October 5, 2010 at 11:41 pm 8 comments

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

Today’s post is as suggested by @Ivan_Jelical, my friend on Twitter. This was his suggestion to me – ‘Whilst showering and sniffing the “coal tar” soap it came to me.. How about smells that invoke memories or emotions particularly from childhood. Mine would be a smell from when my Dad used to take me to see Leicester City play, someone sitting nearby would smoke a pipe and I can still smell the sweet mellow smoke. I may never smell it again as people dont smoke now but if I did it would transport me straight back’.

He and I had a chat about the coal-tar soap as that is one of my favourite smells ever and brings back my childhood to me in a flash! I still buy it and my younger son has the same love for that unique fragrance as I do. Even seeing this brings it back:)

So, what other sights, sounds and tastes bring back my childhood? I was born in the early 60s and at primary school I took school dinners. There are two things that bring those days flooding back into my mind. The taste of water from a steel water jug, there’s a memory. Those jugs were battered about a bit and gave such a tang to the water; it takes me right back to primary school. You don’t see water in a steel jug anymore and if I am honest, I won’t ever miss that.

The other school dinner memory is the puddings. I still can’t eat custard. My association with it is formed from the dinner ladies removing the ‘skin’ and then scooping a large ladleful into the bowls. That memory still makes me shudder. I can make custard for others but nothing will persuade me to take it again:)

I don’t want you to think that my sensory memories are all bad. The smell of the scones and wheaten bread that my mother made when we were children make me smile. There is also one pudding smell that takes me back, home-made rice pudding. My mother made the best rice pudding ever. And, of course, there is always the smell of Christmas and turkey. I love that smell still, the excitement we all felt as the smell of turkey and stuffing filled the house and the scramble to be chosen to pull the wishbone!

As for the smell of baby shampoo, oh it is so lovely. I used to help my mum with the smaller children in the family and that smell brings back memories of giggling and splashing, I always got soaked by my wee brothers and sisters.

I will close with a couple of visual memories that always take me back. Hopscotch! Oh, I so loved hopscotch. We used to play for hours, leaving chalk squares on the footpaths where we lived. Those squares really annoyed some of the neighbours, they thought it was ‘messy’. I still don’t understand why they would be annoyed with children having fun. I love to see hopscotch squares. All you need is chalk and of course, the perfect flat stone to make sure you would be able to hit the 10, 11 and 12 on the mark. The joy when you had a good run at the squares and then could start making your way back down:)

My last memory is of a game that I still see being played outside my house by the children who live nearby, kerbsies. It may be called something different where you are but it is still a really fun game. For those of you who don’t know it, it is a very simple game and only needs 2 people and a ball. You throw the ball and try to get it to bounce back to you off the opposite kerb to earn a point, simple. Actually, not that simple as you need to be able to throw accurately to get that bounce-back:)

So these are some of the things that bring back memories for me. I do wonder what sights, sounds and smells bring back your childhood? Please do write and tell me, especially if you read the instructions below!

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.



Entry filed under: Childhood, Children, Donating, Giving, Life, Twitter, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , .

Diamonds? My Rules for Life?

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Neill  |  October 6, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    The steel water jugs took me back to junior school, pink custard and chocolate sponge (nom or yuk depending on your tastes) I could be there now. The other memory is podding peas for Sunday dinner and chewing the pods, everyone did that didn’t they?
    Great post Lesley I’m glad I gave you the ball, you certainly ran with it 🙂

    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  October 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      Aw Neill,

      Thank you:) I am so happy you liked it. I also remember the pink custard and chocolate sponge. For me, one yuk, one num, you will know which is which. Podding peas and eating the pods, oh yes. Loved that, still love the wee mange-tout.

      I just hope that we come up with some more good ideas like this again…..


  • 3. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  October 6, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Morning Iain,

    Ah, the joy of kerbsies! That was one of the things about it, everyone was allowed to play. I am so glad you got to be part of the gang for that:) I was in a similar position and was allowed to join in even though I was a (horror!!) girl:)

    Take care,


  • 4. IainMonty  |  October 6, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Lesley, that is brilliant, and thanks to Ivan_Jelical for the idea.

    I especially liked the piece about kerbies (one of the Glasgow names).

    I wasn’t (I’m not) allowed to play football, which made for a difficult childhood in Glasgow, but I could play kerbies and it was one of the few times I could be *part of the gang*.

    Thanks again guys.

  • 5. LMLawrence  |  October 6, 2010 at 12:50 am

    This post has brought a warm smile to my face. My memories seem to revolve around scents. I have to ask, what does that soap smell like?

    • 6. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  October 6, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Oh Linda,

      How to describe Coal Tar soap? It smells like nothing else I have ever tried. To me it does smell of childhood.

      It is a delicious smell, I will come back to you on this!

      Take care,


  • 7. Joe Wilson  |  October 6, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I enjoyed reading this very much. I have lots of childhood smells memories, some good like the original Lifebuoy soap. Some were not so good. I was a child of the Fifties and I smelt so many old people wearing Wild Fire and Lily of the Valley perfume. I’ll think some more and call back from time to time if that’s alright.

    • 8. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  October 6, 2010 at 8:10 am


      Please do come back and write to me again. I also hope you will tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8 and about any donations you make to chikdren’s charities:)

      I am glad you enjoyed the post and yes, I remember Lifebuoy as well!

      Take care,



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