Part A


I never got a party-bag when I left any party I attended as a kid. In the 60s you’d get a piece of cake for your mum and an item of stationery: pencils for the girls, the boys would get rubbers (you can’t be too careful – even at eight!).

Neither did I go to a party where they had a child’s entertainer; you made your own entertainment: musical chairs (always won by people interested in Feng Shui), pass the parcel (where you got your first paper cut and the chance to get another pencil) and postman’s knock (which was a marginally more accurate introduction to sex education than learning about the reproduction system of amoebas at school).

Party bag ingredients these days is a serious and highly competitive business: personalised cup cakes are popular (just in case you’ve not eaten enough cake at the arty) and Slime.

If you’re of a certain age (61) think Playdoh, only more malleable. In the sixties the only slime you saw was if you were watching The Quatermass Experiment or your nan hadn’t probably cleaned out her larder during an unseasonably hot summer!

Growing up in the sixties there was no slime given out at the end of parties, just your parents explaining to the returning parents why Keith had had a nose bleed, how Stephen had fractured his ankle on a removable chair and that Josie was sick into the parcel being passed. We never played blind man’s buff – it was too dangerous as we lived on the fourth floor of a block of flats with dodgy windows!

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