Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Swagalicious 80's

I was 9 years old when I came from Scotland to South Africa in 1981 with my mum, dad and older skin-'n blister.  It was completely daunting for my sister and I.  We didn't really know what to expect.  I thought I'd see tigers roaming the street and people with bones through their noses. 

Mum and dad pretty much sold up everything to come to Johannesburg and start a new life here.  It was a bold, brave move.  I clearly remember sitting in our empty front room on deck chairs watching the royal wedding (Prince and Princess of Wales aka Charles and Diana) on a teeny wee portable black and white telly.

The one thing my mum and dad did not sell was our toys and books.  They were boxed up and shipped and it took 8 weeks for them to reach South Africa.

When the boxes finally arrived at our wee hoosie, it was soopa exciting for my sister and I.  We couldn't wait to see our old things. It was like Christmas all over again.  We were so happy to see all our familiar stuff.  A wee piece of home.

Do you remember any of these 1980's toys?

Chopper Bike

Do you remember the 1980's toys?

Ker Plonk as we called it

Simon Says

20 cents to play.  I had to play until I got Top Score.  A proud moment at our local Spar Supermarket.
Gyro Wheels

Cabbage Patch Kids

My Favourite and it had a wee lift that worked and a wee doggie bush kennel for Spot the Dog

Archie Comics.  Jughead was my favourite.

Beano Annual


Ballerina Barbie

What cool stuff do you remember from the 80's?


David Macaulay said...

oh lord Simon Says, the Chopper (the world's most uncomfortable bike) etc - certainly brings back memories.I'm surpised you have the accent still

middle child said...


Nolens Volens said...

A wonderful trip down the memory lane! I had most of those toys. I even had a "true" chopper bike where the fork extended out. That lasted all of two days because I hated how it affected the steering. ;)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Gillian, I can't imagine moving to another world like Africa at such a young age. I used to love my electronic football game. It was just little light bulbs, but it felt like a whole stadium! Great flashback.

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

Not much - most of the 80's is a fuzzy, blurred alcohol induced black spot in the brain - Looks like I missed some things....

Mark Koopmans said...

LOVED (and still do) Depeche Mode :)

Galaga was my fav. video game and I actually worked for Atari :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was past toys at that point - except for the Atari. Remember Adventure? Your character was a pixel. Fun!

cat said...

I am all teary eyed now - but I do still have my cabbage patch kid! Read the story here:
And it is still much loved and played with bny the Princess.

And Cindy! You remember the CIndy dolls (in opposition to Barbie) and the Smurfs that you got at the BP garage

A Daft Scots Lass said...

WOW, cat, I can't believe you still have your Cabbage Patch Doll.

I also remember Cindy but Barbie was special because Ballerina Barbie was too expensive for my mum and dad so I only ever go the ONE real Barbie. But I loved her to death.

The Glebe Blog said...

Between them, my four lassies had Kerplung, Etch a sketch, Connect Four, A Chopper (The eldest), A Barbie doll and house, Commodore Vic 20, Simon Says, Viewmaster, Rubiks Cube, Buckaroo, Casio Keyboard, Slime, Duran Duran, The Human League, Jackie,Tammy, Judy, Mandy, Bunty, NME, Smash Hits. A full sized drumkit, A base guitar and amplifier
Those are just off the top of my head, if I put my mind to it, I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on an........................................
Great post Ging.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Out of curiosity why did your parents decide to move to Johannesburg? I downloaded the iPhone version of Simon. It's called "Remembring" but it's basically the same only with pretty colors and a lot cheaper.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

@TheGlebe WOWZER!!

@Michael We had friend that came to SA about 18 months before we did and raved about it. They also helped my dad with a job and all the paperwork.

Leah said...

Pretty much all the toys on the list came through my house at one time or another. if my kids didn't have them, their friends did and brought them round to share. I think we still have Kerplunk in the loft somewhere!

When I was a kid I had a Gyro Wheel!

Bersercules said...

Ker Plunk and Simon Says are two things I remember well! Plus the Rubiks cube!!

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Lass! How cool is all that?! VIEWMASTER? SIMON? ATARI?! And of course, KER-PLONKER! Indigo x

Xmasdolly said...

OMG SIMON SAYS LOVED THAT GAME and Ballerina Barbie I had one of those too, and Nintendo my kids drove me bonkers with that one and Cabbage Patch doll I remember my oldest daughter wanted one of those so bad and I didn't have the money cuz they were expensive, but finally on Christmas eve I had enough money (I was waitressing at the time supporting four kids by myself) I drove everywhere. NO DOLL. I was crying on the way home and I stopped for gas & there was a man in the gas station selling them for double the price of course but I bought it! WOO HOO! I was Santa Mommy of the year!

Xmasdolly said...

By the way, I see you call your Mom, Mum. I have a gold pinky rinky ring my MIL left me when she died cuz I always called her Mum and my Mom was Mom of course. She traveled a lot and bought it in England that's where me Grandfather was born. My grams on dad's side was born in Dusseldorf,German and my maternal grandparents were born in Palermo, Sicily. I'm such a half-breed. LOL

janie said...

Gillian ,
how the hell do you REMEMBER all that stuff....heck i remember that wee tree hoose , and the kerplunk...and the viewmaster! now here's one for you to 'google' you remeber me drawing ENDLESS pictures with my SPYROGRAPH ????!!!! Love you sis xxxxxx

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