This recording is the only clearly dated family recording I have. Little me proudly announces at the start of the recording that it is the 5th of November, 1967.
I am Ogblog-publishing the recording on its 50th birthday.
As it happens, both the original recording and its 50th anniversary fell/fall on a Sunday.
I have already Ogblogged Dad reading me The Gingerbread Man story – click here – and there are several other such recordings, one or two with mum, which I shall Ogblog in time.
But those others are, I believe, all quite a bit earlier than this Hare and Guy Fawkes one. I believe this 5 November 1967 one is the last of the readings tapes, not least because I think my personal interest in the tape recorder transformed at that time from passive listener to active recorder on our trusty Grundig TK-35. Another story – I’ll cover that story a little more below and separately later.
Before we made the recording, almost certainly we would have taken family lunch at Folman’s Restaurant in Noel Street – click here to see a photo of that place. It was an enormous restaurant which looked like a massive refectory inside.
Grandma Anne had, I think, fairly recently been widowed for a second time (my Step-Grandpa Nat I only recall vaguely from when I was very small), so it became our habit to take Grandma Anne to that strictly kosher restaurant in Soho for Sunday lunch.
I recall liking the chicken soup and the chopped liver but not much else there. I also recall my father’s favourite dish being “boiled capon” – a large chicken cooked in broth. I don’t believe that the kosher restaurant capon was a castrated bird – I’m not sure that kashrut would allow even the circumcision of a cock of the poultry variety. I think it was simply a big old boiler chicken that would make a tasty broth; the slow cooking of the aged creature would soften what would otherwise be rather tough meat.
My Vietnamese-style dish, chicken cooked in its own broth, is an exotic and delicious variation on that theme, which Janie and I love as comfort food. I remember distinctly not liking the Folman’s version much as a child, it was nothing like as tasty as my mum’s chicken.
But I wildly digress.
On the recording, you can hear my mum in the background, in another room, having an argument by the sound of it. I’m not sure whether she is arguing on the phone or with someone else who is in the house who is talking far more softly than my mum. I might do some audio-forensics on the sound file one day and see if I can listen in on that aggro from 50 years ago.
The argument can only have been family stuff…probably family business stuff.
I’ll guess that the Hare and Guy Fawkes story-telling at that time was as much about getting me out of the way while the family argument played out as it was about anything else.
But I’ll also guess that my beady-little eyes were, at that time, working out how to make recordings, because the rest of that side of that tape is strewn with recordings from the radio. One of those recordings I believe was made the same afternoon/early evening; I’ll Ogblog that a little later today.
As with our other story book recordings, I ring a bell at the turn of the page. I think the idea of that was to help me learn to read by following the story in the book while listening to the tape.
I also interject with some questions at times, which is rather cute, but I interject less in this one than I did in earlier recordings. I guess the question I really wanted answered by then was, “how do I operate this machine so I can make recordings for myself?”
Here’s the Hare And Guy Fawkes sound file and book cover again.