Tuesday, July 06, 2021

 I’ve had a peaceful day with Wimbledon. Today was almost all women, and the ones I cared about were already gone. It was still not without interest. My prediction for the ultimate winner is Ashleigh Barty. Everybody else has an unpronounceable Eastern European name, and the commentators kept calling her Ashbarty as if she had one too. We had the great Navratolova commentating: she’s good at that, too.


Otherwise, little to report. I ribbed valiantly on, with that blasted sock, but am at the point, familiar to us all, that no matter how much I do, the knitting doesn’t progress. Sock-ribbing isn’t really suitable for tennis-watching. I need to look at my hands.


I was glad to hear that Kukla, Fran and Ollie are not entirely forgotten, although at the moment I can’t find your comments. Kukla and Ollie were hand puppets – Ollie was a dragon. Fran was Fran. And, as I remember it, for half an hour a day, in the late afternoon, they stood there and talked to each other. My sister and I were devoted to them. One day my sister wrote a letter to them, asking what colour Ollie’s hair was? This was in the post-war days when colour television was but a gleam on the horizon.


As was video recording. And one day our mother had a friend for tea, or something, and we had to sit there in polite and agonised silence. watching the clock move through Kukla, Fran and Ollie’s half hour.  And we found out afterwards that my sister’s letter had been read out – on national television, the coaxial cable having only recently been connected. I think they sent her an autograffed photograff, but that hardly compensated for the moment we had missed.


  1. I didn't mention it earlier, but I do remember Kukla Fran and Ollie. What a shame you and your sister missed that moment of fame!

  2. That must have been agonising for you to miss the reading of the letter.- one of those moments that can never be retrieved. I had a terrible video recording that was similar - taken when our reception was bad, and just before we wemt onto cable. Our son's single appearance on University Challenge. They lost, but he did get himself a snark from Paxman - who he said was a gracious host offscreen. At least I have the photo of the team. No matter - no way of watching it now anyway - VHS is long gone.

  3. Why do parents do these things to us? I remember a similar incident where my brother and I both had letters read out on the Argonauts (an outstandingly good radio program for children in my far distant youth) - and we were too late home because my parents had been talking to people about something which was not in the least bit important - the weather!

  4. Oh, lost glories! How sad for you both. I can't imagine children now not interrupting. It would have been a good thing to do!

  5. Anonymous10:23 AM

    How tragic that must have felt. I can imagine how it would stay with you to this day. TV shows come and go' but a piece of YOU (via your sister) was lost. In 1958 (thank you Wikipedia) we tried to see Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates on one of the first color television sets. The images were fleeting thanks to poor antenna reception but the broadcast itself was crisp and sharp and glorious, just as high definition is today. I think we got to actually see about 5 minutes of it. Chloe

  6. =Tamar1:06 PM

    So incredibly frustrating for you. My mother would have shoved us out of the room to go watch, if we'd had a TV. She preferred us not to be around when she had a chance for grown-up time.

    Over here in MD I believe there are still places that will transfer VHS onto DVD, though it is generally one of many things done in the same booth, along with putting your photograph on a tee-shirt.

    1. Anne C. in Bethesda, MD3:56 PM

      We transferred 8-mm film to VHS, and then to DVD, at a store near us in DC-metro-area MD. How technology advances!