Featured Post

That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

Image
I submitted my first piece of writing when I was seventeen, a story about my first job, working at the employee cafeteria at General Telephone where my mother was a dispatcher. Rolling the 20# white bond backed by a sheet of thin blue carbon paper into my Smith Corona, I typed it out slowly, carefully, on a piece of erasable paper—and mailed it off to Cosmopolitan along with a cover letter. Not just to any editor at Cosmo, by the way, I sent it directly to Helen Gurley Brown. 

The piece itself, meant to be comical, was full of clumsy attempts at self-effacing humor.  I strived for a similar tone in the cover letter I addressed to Brown, completely clueless that the high powered editor in chief wasn’t the one reading unsolicited manuscripts. After I signed off I added the following PS. I could have said I was Joyce Carol Oates. What I thought that would accomplish I can’t imagine. That an unsatisfactory submission would get published because of a lame joke? 

No surprise, in the SASE I’d …

Model Citizens: Think SMALL #BriFri

I don't know whether to caption this photo They Might Be Giants or Model Citizens.  This snap shot of my brother and me was taken at England's Bekonscot Model Village and Railway in the 1950's, but he, at least, was hardly a model citizen. Russ loved to tease me, sneaking up behind me and digging his bony fingers into my ribs crying "It's Mr. Tickle Time". The demonic grin on his face just this side of psychotic. Our little sister was not immune; she was small enough that he could grab her by the ankles and dangle her over the toilet, swinging her back and forth, back and forth, like a pendulum, threatening to dump her into the white porcelain toilet bowl. Other times, while our mother was busy in the kitchen or deep in the pages of a book, he'd wind us up in our heavy Turkish carpets and send us rolling across the living room floor. 
"Mo-o-o-o-m! Make him stop!"
It's scary what boredom will drive kids to do!

I was surprised to learn that Bekonscot is still there, just a 45 minute train ride from London. For those of you traveling with kids to the UK this summer, staving off the boredom factor while you tour the historical high points can prove difficult for the little ones. 

The disappointment that sets in when they realize you can't actually play with the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum. Or that riding the tube doesn't quite compare to the tubular slide at the indoor playground at your local McDonald's. Walking across the street reenacting the album cover for Abbey Road just doesn't have the same zing you ascribe to it. Riding the Eye on the other hand, is pretty cool, if the adults in your party can handle the height. 

Consider taking a break from Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London and visit Bekonscot—a fave of the Queens when she was a girl. There's just something magical about great big grown up buildings brought down to a child's level. It might even bring out the kid in you.

And try not to despair if your kids aren't getting along. One day, they'll get beyond the snipes and swipes and grow to appreciate and value each other for a lifetime of love and the kind of support only family can provide. They might even say I love you, big brother.

Speaking of which, my big brother—who I've always looked up to and not just because he's 6 foot 2—is turning 65 today. His days of playing Mr. Tickles are far behind him. I love you big bro.
















Bekonscot Model Village & Railway
Warwick Road, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2PL  
Tel:01494 672919 
Fax:01494 675284 info@bekonscot.co.uk 




••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
#BriFri

This is my contribution to British Isles Friday a weekly British appreciation theme hosted by Joy Weese Moll.  

Comments

  1. That looks like a fun place to take kids -- the ultimate in doll houses and model trains!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. Insecure writer at work.

Popular Posts

Have Broom Will Travel [memoir]

10 Ways to Know You're a Brit at Heart

That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

Marching for THEIR Lives in Santa Monica