Monday, 6 December 2010

Lost Gift

Speckly Woo's recent birthday has ignited another old flame that used to flicker, on and off, in dreams throughout my childhood, and occasionally into early adulthood.

Now, those of you with a psychoanalytical leaning will probably be stroking your chins and quietly expressing your thoughts with a, hmmm…

Let me say, this recurring and unresolved affair, is centred around a birthday present of my own. Some marvellous toy, I could never quite clearly identify. Neither could I recall who gave it to me. But the most trying thing, was the fact that I could never remember where it lived. Obviously it was stored away somewhere safe, but by whom? Was it something so precious, I was only offered the briefest glimpse before it was placed out of harm's way? Did I lock it up somewhere, away from the attentions of a younger sibling?

Perhaps there was a message inscribed on the package, NOT TO BE OPENED UNTIL HE IS OLDER…MUCH OLDER. If that's so, it will have fallen into the hands, or dreams, of another youngster by now.

The rational explanation has to be something along the lines of wishful thinking, doesn't it? You know, the way adults sometimes dream of great wealth. They have the virtual money in their virtual bank, but the new lifestyle that beckons is hazy and fragmented, as a mosaic of mansions, cars, kitchens, and warm climates floats in and out of designer focus.

Sadly, I fear my mystery gift falls into the same category. But, if you have recollections of a vaguely similar something-or-other, from your own childhood, do tell.


  1. What sort of toy was it? I can't claim to have a lost toy, but my blog, "Blasts From the Past" has a series that I wrote a while back about the toys I remember most wanting for Christmas if you'd like to stroll down memory-lane with me (it's pretty funny too).

    Begin here:


  2. Are you sure the toy was real and not a dream toy itself?

  3. My daughter got me hooked on dream interpretation a few years ago. You should look up all the elements of your dream in a dream encyclopedia, Martin.

  4. I don't know about a toy but I would to come across the beautifully illustrated books that my parents gave me for birthdays or Christmas; I suspect that my younger sisters caused their disappearance. Now these books are just a wonderful memory.

  5. I remember going with my grandmother to visit a friend of hers and being given a recording (probably a 78 -- it was a long time ago) of the Nutcracker Suite. I was so excited as she described the ballet to me and couldn't wait to get home to listen to my record.

    Alas, there were other stops to make and I had left the record on the back window shelf of the car (cars in the late forties and early fifties had these) and it was Florida and it was warm...

    When we got home and I pulled out the record, it was a wavy, warped and useless thing -- I can see it still.

  6. I'd keep it as a dream. It's bound to be one of those things that you open when you finally get it, only to find it's without a battery and is made of very garish plastic. Stay dreaming.

  7. Kat - That's just the point, it always seemed so real, yet just not possible to identify. Not an unusual factor with dreams, I guess.

    Friko - You've hit the nail on the head.

    Tess - Now that may open a whole new can of worms!

    Marilyn - I lost the largest portion of my toys and books during the move that followed my mother's second marriage. It would have been so nice to have had them, to show my grandchildren.

    Vicki - Ooh, I winced as I read this. What a disappointment that must have been. Yet, I have known people deliberately warp the old 78s into fruit-bowls. Obviously, not music lovers.

    Fran - I'm ahead of you. Dreams are the way to go.

  8. Funny, Martin, I do have something like this, an echo of a forgotten memory.

    A room with subdued lighting, yet with brightly painted wooden things, especially dark green, and lacquered, polished metal.

    Musical instruments? Wooden toys? I've wondered all my life what it can have been, and have nursed the hope that recollection in my old age might reveal it.

    I think that it must have been something I saw as an infant, before I was old enough to know what it was. I always think of it as something wonderful and lost.

  9. Brett - We are definitely on the same wavelength. I have drawn the same conclusion.


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