My Spaceman…

I’m playing with my toys, and mum calls me through to the living room. The telly is on, and mum tells me to sit down and watch, because it’s important. It’s not time for my programmes so I don’t know what is happening. It feels a bit weird, but I do what I’m told and sit down on the rug in front of the fire.

Grown-ups are talking on the telly, and there is a spaceman. I’m bored, and I wonder if I’ve maybe done something bad, like at school when you have to go and sit in the naughty corner and be quiet. The spaceman is walking funny and he sounds all crackly. He’s not a very good spaceman but mum doesn’t seem to notice. I start to ask a question but mum tells me to shush a moment, so I play with the top of my sock instead, rolling it up and down and looking at the flowery sock marks on my leg until mum tells me I can go and play again…

I was five years old when man first walked on the moon. We watched that first moon landing on our old black and white TV back in April 1969 – grainy grey picture with the ubiquitous ghosting and muffled white-noise sound, but we watched it and that’s what mattered. I had no real understanding either of the enormity of the occasion or the historical significance of what was unfolding before me, and have a far clearer memory of being engrossed by the pattern of my sock imprinted on my skin than I have of witnessing any giant leap for mankind.

Television for me at that point revolved mainly around the escapades of Andy Pandy, Pogle’s Wood, the Woodentops, and Tom and Jerry cartoons – not boring men in suits and ties, or even more boring spacemen seemingly doing nothing much in particular! But with hindsight I know that, conspiracy theories notwithstanding, it was an important historical moment to have shared, important enough to keep squirreled away as one of those confusing, not-quite-understanding-what’s-going-on childhood memories that surfaces from time to time and somehow never fails to make me smile…


2 thoughts on “My Spaceman…

  1. Crooked Tracks says:

    Yes, I also remember being told to watch this on the TV, we are close to the same age, I wasn’t very interested at all, now I am glad my mom made me see it 🙂


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