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Sunday, November 14, 2010

A trip back to childhood with an old friend...

I recently had cause to buy a young niece a birthday present and lacking both time and imagination, I gave in and decided to buy some "clothes" for her large collection of Barbies. I had fond memories of my own childhood companion, Sindy and thought the many Barbies could probably do with a change of outfit or two. I was horrified to find the choice on sale was extremely limited and basically came down to "sexy nurse Barbie" or "hooker Barbie". I opted for the latter - very short glittery skirts and tops and high heels - and had a delighted niece.

Sindy in her "country walk" outfit"
It gave me a moment of nostalgia for my own beloved Sindy, her boyfriend Paul and little sister Patch, who still reside in a box at the top of my cupboard. My Sindy had endless outfits of great respectability - including a tweed skirt and suede jacket and sensible lace up shoes - for "country walks", a proper nurses outfit (yes Sindy was the nurse, Paul was the doctor - this was the 1960s), riding jodphurs with a hacking jacket (alas despite many hints Santa never provided the horse!), a puffy ski jacket with down trim...and so on. Her party outfit, a pink mini dress with kitten heel shoes was the sexiest poor Sindy got.

In an endeavour to procrastinate while studying for an exam on Corporate Finance, I found myself trawling the web in search of Sindy. (All I can say is I am grateful the internet did not exist when I had to do exams seriously! My diversion in those days were endless games of patience - played with ACTUAL cards. Yes Virginia...that's what we used to in the old days.)

I discovered a world of Sindy collectors out there in internet land and from their comprehensive web pages, I learned that my beloved auburn haired Sindy with her striped "matelot" jumper and jeans and red "Alice" band must have been one of the early models - certainly between 1963 and 1968 (when she grew her hair). Poor Sindy wasn't terribly robust and did not survive all the clothes she was routinely changed in and out of and her head broke off. Mum dutifully elastoplasted it back on again and the repair still survives - just as well as it would now cost over $250 to find the same model in mint condition. Patch also lost her head. Paul managed to keep his but I suspect he was not played with quite as much.

It got me thinking what a microsom of history my Sindy was with her tweed skirt and her pink party dress. Mum (God bless her!) added to her wardrobe with delicate hand made outfits - all so wonderfully 1960s! My grandmother had a lovely wax doll from her childhood called "Priscilla" with whom I was allowed to play on very special occasions. She had beautiful hand stitched clothes and sheets for her turned wooden bed. I wonder if I ever a grand daughter I will produce Sindy or if the new generation will turn up their noses at such silly, dated toys.

Just a couple of the Sindy sites:

Do you have a special toy from your childhood that still lives with you? Any other Sindy girls out there?