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Archive for August, 2008

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Chewing Nuts

Posted by Big Boo on August 21st, 2008

Chewing NutsFirstly, many thanks to one of our readers, Graham, for reminding me of these sweets.

I have absolutely no idea why some bright spark decided to name these sweets Chewing Nuts. The “Chewing” part of the title is fairly apt, but the “Nuts” part is a bit misleading, since these things didn’t actually contain nuts of any kind. The only reason I can think of is that they look a little bit like and were about the same size as hazelnuts?

Chewing Nuts were actually dollops of toffee coated in chocolate. Upon popping one in your mouth you first had to suck all the chocolate off to get to the toffee, and then had to suck a great deal more in order to soften the toffee sufficiently to start chewing it. Oh yes, the hardness of the toffee was legendary, and made the humble Chewing Nut a king when it came to destroying dental work.

These sweets are a great example of the sort you bought by weight from those jars kept behind the counter in your local newsagent or sweetie shop, and the good news for those that want to pull out all their fillings whilst rediscovering these sweets is that they are still available from online sweetie shop A Quarter Of.

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Count Duckula

Posted by Big Boo on August 20th, 2008

Count DuckulaCount Duckula first hit our screens as a villain in fellow Cosgrove Hall cartoon DangerMouse but in 1988 he was graced with his own TV show where he was the hero. Duckula is the latest in a long line of vampire ducks, who in keeping with traditional vampire law can only be killed by exposure to sunlight or a stake through the heart. However, he can be resurrected once every century by the means of an ancient rite when the moon is alligned in a particular position.

Unfortunately, the resurrection didn’t go according to plan this time round. The Duckula clan had always been blood thirsty vampires, but a mistake with the ingredients for the magic resurrection spell (tomato ketchup being used in place of blood) resulted in the reincarnated Count Duckula becoming a vegetarian. He also lost all his other evil desires which instead were replace by a desire to become an entertainer!

Duckula has two servants who cater for his every whim. Butler Igor is an aged old vulture who yearns for a return to “the good old days” of previous Counts, with all the maiming and torture that would entail. He has served the Duckula family for many generations, which given that the resurrection spell can only be done once a century makes him very old indeed. Nanny is a giant, dim witted chicken who is both Duckula’s housekeeper and nanny. Her arm is always in a sling for some reason, and she has a habit of walking straight through walls rather than using doorways. She isn’t at all evil-minded though, unlike Igor, and insists on calling Duckula her “Ducky-poos”.

Read more…

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cLuMsY’s TV Theme Mega Medley

Posted by Big Boo on August 19th, 2008

CLUMSY TV Theme Mega MedleyI was contacted recently by a band called cLuMsY who are putting together a rather interesting sounding project which they are calling the TV Theme Mega Medley. It’s a non stop collection of no less than 46 (that’s right, 46!) of their favourite TV show themes, all merged together to form around 30 minutes of nostalgic sing-along fun. Themes set to feature include Bod, Button Moon, Dogtanian, Jamie and the Magic Torch and loads more. Personally I can’t wait to hear it!

The band will be launching the mix in September as a FREE download from their website, and will also be featured at a special TV themed night taking place during October in Bristol. More on this when available, but in the meantime head over to the TV Theme Medley page on cLuMsY’s website for a preview of their pretty darn good rendition of the Thundercats theme. By the way lads, hope you don’t mind me pinching your excellent image of Scnarf Schnarf to illustrate this post!

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Chasing The Eighties

Posted by Big Boo on August 18th, 2008

Chasing the EightiesNow this sounds like a lot of fun. A group of three guys from the UK all nearing their thirtieth birthdays decided it was time to try and recapture their youth by embarking on a three month roadtrip around America trying to track down the people and places that they loved from the films and TV shows they watched when growing up.

Their 30,000 mile trek across the US saw them meet the voice of Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, Dwight Schultz (Murdoch from The A Team) and Chunk from The Goonies, as well as visit the locations (and try to recreate scenes) for films such as Dirty Dancing, Stand By Me and The Karate Kid.

For some excerpts of the trip, visit the website Chasing The Eighties, which has some video diaries and other gems from the 1980’s. A book detailing the exploits of the trio is soon to be released, also entitled Chasing The Eighties, which I’m certainly looking forward to reading on its release.

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Did You Write Thank You Notes?

Posted by Big Boo on August 16th, 2008

Yesterday I wrote about the dreaded birthday present Thank You notes that some kids parents made them write to all their family and friends who had given them a birthday gift of any kind.  So, this week our survey aim is to try and discover how many of you were forced to write these missives by your parents.

Did your parents make you write Thank You notes?
View Results
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Birthday Present Thank You Letters

Posted by Big Boo on August 15th, 2008

Thank You BalloonWe’ll round off our week of birthday reminiscing by talking about the practice of writing thank you notes for all the presents you received on your birthday. Mum or Dad would suggest you should write a short letter to each friend or relative thanking them for the gift they gave you and saying how much you liked it, but to a kid the thought of writing more than a couple of letters made you yawn uncontrollably.

If you were lucky your parents would forget about it after a couple of days, and you’d get away with doing nothing, but some peoples parents were adamant that you should do this task in order to teach you good manners. I was lucky, and usually got away without doing it, but I always felt a little guilty for a time afterwards, but that soon passed! 😉 Other kids weren’t so lucky though, and would be sat down with pen and paper and made to do the job.

There were a number of reasons why writing these letters was such a chore. If you received more than a few gifts chances are you had forgotten who gave you what, so that made things tough straight away. Then there were the gifts of clothes. Until a certain age no child likes to receive clothes for their birthday, so writing a letter to say thank you for a jumper or some underpants seemed somewhat unfair. For me by far the biggest problem was knowing what to write, as “Dear Gran, Thank You” didn’t seem to cut it, as I felt that letters were supposed to be a bit longer than that.

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“I AM” Birthday Badges

Posted by Big Boo on August 14th, 2008

I am 8 badgeMost kids go through the process of collecting something whilst they are growing up, whether it be postage stamps, coins, milk bottle tops or whatever. I’ll admit to having a stamp album for a while but my biggest personal collection was of badges, the sort which were generally round in shape and had a metal pin on the back to attach them to your clothes, rather than the fabric sew-on sort.

I used to buy some of course, but the vast majority were ones that were given out as freebies at exhibitions and shows or to promote a product, service or company. There was one badge in particular though that when it came to my birthday every year I hoped to receive, and this was the “I am X” badge, where X was the number of years old you had just become.

Badges on childrens birthday cards are more widespread than ever these days, and come in a range of styles and colours. Back in the 1980’s though, there was one particular style of badge on a birthday card that was particular prevalent. No matter what age you were the badge was uniform in its design. It was a fairly small badge or around 2cm diameter. It was always a solid orangey red colour, with “I am 6″ or “I am 11″ or whatever written on in bold white text. Most of the badge was taken up with the actual number, with enough room for the “I am” text to go across the top.

Every year when it came to my birthday I would feel the corners of each birthday card before I opened it, hoping to feel a hard metallic circle. Each birthday came and went, but it wasn’t until my eighth birthday that I finally got a “I am 8″ badge to add to my collection. Unfortunately that was the first and only badge of this kind I received, but I was happy just to get that one.

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Golden Raspberries…

Posted by Big Boo on August 13th, 2008

Golden RaspberriesTaking a quick break from our birthday celebrations this week, I saw this in the paper this morning and just had to write about it. The other week I wrote about Screwball Ice Creams, and as part of that post I had a little rant about the prevalence of raspberry flavoured foods being coloured blue for some bizarre reason. Raspberries are a dark pinkish red, I argued, not blue!

Shows how much I know!

Apparently Sainsbury’s have started selling Golden Raspberries. Yep, you read it correctly. Presumably by meddling with raspberry genes (do raspberries have genes – is it called that in plants?) scientists have created yellow raspberries. And the primary reason for all this scientific tomfoolery? So they won’t cause stains. Lame excuse guys. I must say I’m with the anti-GM foods brigade on this one – what a waste of effort. Just be more careful when eating them!

I must admit when reading this in the newspaper this morning I figured I must have fallen asleep for several months and woken up on April Fool’s Day. Can anybody confirm a sighting of these abominations of nature in their local Sainsbury’s?