Tuesday, December 1, 2009

serious about Sindy

I must have been a serious child. My duty of care toward my Sindys was self-imposed and considerable, and I saved my pocket money for years to provide for them. If other Sindys had button-upholstered armchairs in tasteful cream, so would mine, even if I had to do without pick & mix to afford them. I blended eyeshadow for them from paint and talcum powder, and made sure they had privileges I didn't have myself: ballet costumes, heated rollers, a pizza-cutter.

One of my sisters had Barbie and her gear, another Mary Quant's Daisy and hers, and we all ran rival establishments. Mine was the biggest and the best. My Sindys had the shower than worked (a miserable trickle that used up the big expensive batteries faster than I could pay for them) and a bedside lamp that switched on and off. I crocheted rugs for them and cut up a Sindy catalogue to make them a photo album so that they'd have a sense of extended family. My mother knitted them beautiful little Aran jumpers. When my brother's Action Man (the one with moving eyes) left them threatening notes, they sat at their desk and wrote back.

After many years in attics and removal vans, they've reappeared, still in their dated glamour. I admire their plastic patience and am pleased that my daughters can play with them, but they'll have to fend for themselves now. Somewhere along the way I stopped being quite so serious.

30 comments:

  1. Sindy looks to be very resilient.

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  2. Am so impressed you hung on to her for so long and she looks in such fine fettle.
    I trust you will knit her some new aran jumpers :)

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  3. I had two Sindys and I loved them to death. I also had a few Barbies but somehow Sindy was more real, man. And yes her accountrements were superior. Sadly the Evil Empire of Barbie-ism has pushed out all other comers like the Sunshine Family and Sindy. And my Sindys have not made it to my daughter they have disappeared into a vortex somewhere. I am pleased yours have survived. Have you checked out the Ebay prices for them? No of course not you wouldn't sell such a thing from under your daughters!

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  4. I'm not much of an authority on Sindy, so I bow to your superior knowledge.
    I was a child who had a battery run cine camera that had films of Tiger Tim and Billy Bunter!! (you wont know who they are. You're too young !!) and I watched them, in the cupboard under the stairs. I still have it. I also loved annoying tricks. I had a telescope that when offered to a friend or family member, left a black ring round their eye... and soap that made your hands black. I still find it hilarious.My daughter was never into dolls, either.She liked My Little Pony and Sylvanian Families and my son was into Transformers. Your Sindy and her paraphanalia is very retro, Mise. I love the way that you entered into the spirit of Sindy's world....and your brothers Action Man's threatning notes sound brilliant.I like your brother !!I think that we would have got on, and probably caused a lot of trouble.
    Oh wow, you have certainly stirred up some memories for me and I've only just scratched the surface.
    Has Sindy's wardrobe been updated for your daughter ? XXXX

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  5. OMG this has really hit home for me, I had the Barbie Bubble Bath when I was 5,and I remember it so clearly pumping up the water so bubbles would form and then sitting with Barbie as she had a bath. Thanks for the memories.

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  6. Lovely post, as usual. I'm doing my last rounds for a little while and couldn't resist popping in. I had Barbies. I made them little apartments - go figure. And the cutting out pictures for photo albums - that's stirring a memory deep in my childhood...but it's fuzzy. It may have been something a did for some other doll.

    love,
    -maria

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  7. Sindy's outfit doesn't need an update. Oh no! Similar real life pieces are sold for a fortune on Etsy - consider her retro chic!

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  8. I had a total thing for Barbie growing up, probably for too long. :)

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  9. That's a beautiful story and paints a lovely picture and reminds me of me own daughters obsession with polly pockets ..and here you are today doing something very similar only with real children and a real home and writing threatening letters to would be poets instead of action man .,
    It's fantastic that sindy and all her acoutrements have survived. By giving them to your daughters you have another chance to play with them all over again.
    I have two things that have survived from my childhood ,a picture that was on my bedroom wall and one welly ......i wonder what that says about me ..i never had a sindy or barbie but i did have a crolly dolly and her name was thelma. .named after the beautiful thelma mansfield.....

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  10. Wow, you were dedicated. I had Daisy! oh I loved her!! I played with her so much her legs kept snapping and exposing the strips of metal on the inside!!! i had a few replacements. One xmas my grandmother gave me the Sindy House which was an x shaped plastic thing divided into bedroom , dining, living, bathroom and the dining room set complete with purple buttoned dining chairs, full place setting for 6 , ice bucket......with ice!!! I think she got it at the local jumble sale as she was a thrifty lady but it was so so so appreciated I was in doll heaven!!!!!! Thanks for bringing me back!!!

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  11. Mise, you made me actually gasp!

    My Sindy (only 1 resilient enough to last this long, albeit with a wonky Purdyesque hairstyle and no hands) came down from the attic just last week. Along with the bath, handbasin, dressing table, bed, wardrobe and dining chairs (no table). My washing line was loaded with tiny lovely 70s outfits.

    The small girls were delighted and have been playing with her constantly. I even bought a cheapy ebay companion for her. Apparently the Sindys, the Barbies, Bratz and HSM dolls have all been playing 'Gok' with Sindy's extensive wardrobe.


    And, to demonstrate the contrast between your crafty skill and my ineptitude, Sindy also brought tiny cutlery down from the attic...guess who pulled the plug on the sink too early? So now the poor dolls have about 2 spoons between them. How will they survive?

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  12. I don't think mine are snazzy enough for ebay, Jane. Although I like to think of them as vintage, really they're just old. If vintage means old, I wonder whether retro means dated?

    Jacqueline, I had the Billy Bunter books but never films. Mind you keep those carefully. I hope you still occasionally have a nice peaceful sitdown in the cupboard under the stairs - I often wish I could.

    Elaine, our household were fans of the elegant Thelma Mansfield too, although she was in second place behind Tina Turner.

    Helen, though I'm loyal to Sindy I suspect Daisy was really the most stylish, and in my mind she grew up to turn into Patsy in Ab Fab.

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  13. Speccy, that's such odd synchronicity - that's exactly when mine came down from the attic. And I have all that stuff too, except the dining chairs. Mine never dined, though they had tinned food and wine. I think by the time I'd saved enough money for the dining room I'd grown up and bought Now That's What I Call Music 6 instead (on cassette). That's still in the attic. I'll check with you before I bring it down in case you have it stashed away too.

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  14. I remember that shower! Sadly, our shower in this house isn't so very different (though slightly bigger...)

    Who nicked the frog??? Looking forward to my music :-) Clearly, gloating is no longer enough! I shall have to up my game!

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  15. My Sindy didn't have the shower... but she had the working fridge and the fireplace (both of which had tiny lightbulbs in them). I think I liked her appliances more than I liked her! ;)

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  16. First refrigerator biscuits, now Sindys? Where have I been all my life?! I'm sorry to say I'm not familiar with Sindys, but I'm awfully glad they are a product of the plastic age and your lovely collection will be around for an eternity {literally} for your girls' girls and so on, to some long-distant recurring decimal point.

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  17. i dont think sindy lived in canada !! i dont remember her at all. i was a barbie girl and so were my daughters.... and pretty serious i must admit. my barbie dated my brothers G.I joe, usually in full fatigues, but my daughters had ken with real hair.
    haha FUN !!
    ~laura

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  18. I love that little Sindy sewing machine. Personally, I was a Barbie girl. Lucky for me and my Barbies (but much to my mother's dismay) I had a number of Barbie-crazed Aunts without daughters of their own. They showered me with the latest Barbie fashions, vehicles, accessories and more each x-mas.

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  19. I loved my dolls too! Sindy looks gorgeous. I was often applying make-up on them dressing them up, then creating elaborate stage sets for them and photographing it. Sigh. Those were the days!

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  20. haha i almost forgot... we dont have many left tho now because my daughters turned most of them into punk barbies... chopped dyed black hair , ripped clothes.. you get the picture. they had fun tho !!!
    ~cheers

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  21. I'm so impressed by how well you treated your Sindy. It is great that you hung on to them for your daughter.

    I had Suntan Barbie (Barbie with a sticky-ish skin making it impossible to dress...why Mattel thought this was a good idea I will never know.) Her clothes were forever too small to get on and my dad was always having to put her head back on. Such a brute I was then. :) I have all her accessories in a box in the attic.

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  22. It was so fun to read this! I have the feeling you were an amazing little girl.

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  23. I still have my Barbie from childhood. I've put her in the girls 'Barbie Box' along with their rather large collection of much more glamourous Barbies, and wonder why they overlook her! And I love an afternoon still playing with the Barbie girls! (And the one Cindy who seems to hang around!)

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  24. wow, she's a real doll! no pun intended. I hope the girls treasure her like you did. My girl would immediately make me cut off her hair. She prefers a short cropped doo - go figure. Thanks for the recipe.

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  25. Oh Mise I love this post!
    I think I was way too serious too with my childhood toys! Everything had to be just so.

    Now I did NOT have a Sindy doll as my sister Cindy.. had the Sindy doll!! I had numerous other little friends from Raggedy Anne to Flat Cat and Teddy and Three In One Red Riding Hood who became grandma by flipping her skirt over her head [didn't seem strange at all back then]... then because the Wolf in Grandma's clothing by flipping her bonnet back. I still have Teddy.. but Flat Cat and friends went a walking..

    Great post and memories.. xxx Julie

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  26. 'then BECAME'... not 'then BECAUSE'.... brain's still fried.. I expect it to return sometime next year!

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  27. My cousin had that action man with the moving eyes - it used to absolutely terrify me!

    A lovely post. But don't you think a battery-powered shower should have 'electrocution risk' written all over it?

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  28. So cute...love that you cut out pictures from catalogs to make her a family album...genius.

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  29. Oh my. You had me crying with laughter.

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  30. I am trawling deeply though your archives and although I can hardly see for crying with laughter, I am determined to make you read/ share with you my very own post on Sindy last seen here:

    http://usefulorbeautiful.blogspot.com/2010/09/reunited.html

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You're looking particularly well.

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