MAMMY Dunne is getting her attic insulated so needed to clear it out before the work began.
“Get over here and take all of your shite out of my way, it’s been here for ages, you’re thirty five years of age for God’s sake,” sez she, up the wall with the stress of it all.
So over I skipped today to sift through bags and suitcases and boxes to see if there was anything I wanted to salvage or if it was all for the bin.
Predictably, a good 80 per cent of it was pure rubbish – broken toys and stuffed animals and piles of paperwork, the usual stuff most of us have in our attic.
However, there were a few gems that sent me hurtling back in time to the 1980s. Like this doll’s house, which I got when I was about five or six years old (’84/’85).
I. Loved. This.
It was bright and yellow and sturdy. You clicked the little people into different dresses and into their beds or high chair and it was just brilliant.
Also, looking at it today it contains two women and a baby (though the little brunette doll is missing) so it also promoted same sex relationships! Excellent!
I also found my Fashion Wheel, which I got when I was about ten or 11 (’89) which I just loved. I thought it was the business.
There was an inner wheel with a selection of heads, a middle wheel with a selection of torsos, and an outer wheel with a selection of legs. You mixed and matched to create outfits and then coloured them in.
I guarded this jealously, evident by the fact that it’s still in pretty good nick. All the parts are there and I made sure to write ‘Karen Dunne Do Not Touch Okay’ on the colouring pencils, just in case anybody got any bright ideas.
(I was also very immodest as a child, as I’d also written ‘KD is cool’ on the front of the pack of pencils. In case you were in any doubt.)
I was pretty obsessed with not letting people touch my stuff, as you can see here from this box of Monopoly, circa 1972, as I had written ‘The Dunne children own this so don’t touch, K’ on the inside.
I wasn’t, however, that particular when it came to my touching OTHER people’s stuff, as you can see here from the box of this Game of Jaws, where I had written ‘Karen Dunne age 8’ scribbling out my sister’s name underneath.
She turned her back for one minute …
Top of the heap though today was my collection of Barbie dolls. I was OBSESSED with Barbie as a kid, particularly this Day to Night Barbie which I got from Santy around ’86/’87.
By day she was a businesswoman, complete with briefcase and power suit. But by night, her skirt came off and turned around, into a pretty chiffon party skirt, perfect for a night on the tiles.
I lusted after that sparkly pink strappy top she has on there. LUSTED after it. And look at those daytime pink and white stilettos – sweeeeet!
There was also Dynasty Barbie (check out those elbow length gloves) and, um, Big Poofy Skirt Barbie. Those might not actually be their real names but you get the gist.
I even found my Bridal Sindy and I have to say, bar the big poofy sleeves, I’m digging that wedding dress. It came complete with veil and fluffy slippers for Sindy to wear. No uncomfortable heels for her, no Sir. And unlike her Barbie sisters, Sindy wasn’t a cheap floozy, she boasted a pair of modest knickers.
There were also my Jem and Shana dolls from the Jem and the Holograms cartoon series. I was MAD about this cartoon as a kid, I thought it was just fabulous.
It tells the story of Jerrica who runs a foster home AND a music business who turns into her alter ego Jem, by touching her special earrings.
The doll has earrings that flash when you flick a switch on the back of her neck and get this, after TWENTY FIVE YEARS in my mother’s attic, those earring still flash. They don’t make ’em like that anymore!
I also found one of my most prized possessions from when I was a kid – my Sindy hostess trolley. I don’t think anyone uses hostess trollies anymore, but basically they were little contraptions you used to keep the food hot when you were transporting it from your kitchen to your dining room when you were hosting important dinner parties.
Everyone who was everyone had one, dahling
It comes with plates and plastic food and the tiniest most perfect set of cutlery I’ve ever seen, it’s exquisite!
Of course after 25 years in a dusty attic, the whole haul needs to be cleaned so they’re not fit to be played with just yet, but once I clean them up, I’m going to have a ball reverting back to being ten years old.
I might even let The Beast have a go. Maybe.
Did you have any of these toys? What was your favourite when you were a kid?