Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 16

Monday 16th January 1984

7.40 Woke up and got up at 8.00 and put some posters up. Got to school at 8.45 and there was snow on the ground so me, Gareth and Doug made a giant snowball, then pelted Sug and Mason because they were mangling it. When we went in we had Topic and I painted a picture of an iceberg.

When I had done that I did some writing on ice. 12.00 had dinner and it was indoor so me, Doug and Gareth played Tip-it. After dinner we went into Maths class and we had to draw angles. When we had done that I went in the library.

3.15 Came home, and watched Bugs Bunny. 3.45 Went to Doug’s ad we made the antenna for K9. at 5.00  my mam came for me and at 5.20 we had tea. when I had finished I played on the videopac and the bathroom window smashed with all the wind. at 8.00 I watched Benny Hill and at 9.30 I went to bed.

Snowy mornings! Fantastic. Apparently most adults go through a watershed moment in their lives when their reaction to seeing snow when they open the bedroom curtains changes from ‘YEAAAAHHH!!!!!!’ to ‘For f***’s sake, I’ve got to scrape the car off and the traffic will be backed up for miles in this’. I haven’t got to the latter stage yet. I still love it. 


I also love that fact that Doug, Gareth and I didn’t attempt to make anything creative like a snowman or a snowhouse or even a snowpoggydoggy, we just – in brilliantly boyish fashion – rolled it around and made a bloody big ball of the stuff. Cobblers to art, we wanted sheer scale. Our would-be manglers were Steven Mason – a big-boned lad and a brilliant artist whose Dad worked on oil rigs – and Andrew ‘Sug’ Sugden, one of the funniest men I’ve ever met, even at the age of 11. He used to draw comic strips about a flying tramp called ‘Superpeasant’ that cracked me up.

Tip it! Tip it? Anyone any ideas? All I can find is this…


…in which the object is to stack up various discs on the knobs to keep the ‘athlete’ balanced at the top of his pole. No idea why an athlete would be balanced at the top of a pole anyway, it certainly doesn’t sound like the kind of thing Daley Thompson would get up to. Anyway, it wasn’t that. Never heard of it.  I have a vague memory of something involving little plastic hands that you needed to flick tiddlywinks with, but that might just have been a strange, Spam Fritter-influenced dream…?

Good to see a first mention for K9’s antenna. As I’ve mentioned before, they were made of cardboard with little bits of chicken wire inserted into the middle. I probably cut out the cardboard. Doug would have handled the chicken wire, because he was practical and manly and I was a milksop twerp.

And I’d forgotten all about the bathroom window until I read this! While my parents watched Look North in the front room, I had my Philips G7000 Videopac lashed up to a tiny black and white portable TV on the dining room table. I was halfway to my high score record on Munchkin when I heard the crash. My Dad had left the window slightly ajar following his traditional after-tea bath, and ‘the wind had caught it’ as my Mum sagely claimed. Probably on the insurance form. I always suspected that the Swedish sauna quantity of steam that built up during my Dad’s bathtime had just pushed the window open through sheer force of pressure.

He ran baths so hot that you could run a medium-sized locomotive from Edinburgh to Carlisle with the ensuing clouds, and I’d estimate he was responsible for about 33.4% of the world’s water cycle.


(As an aside, the aforementioned Sug was once asked by Mr Millward to draw an illustration of ‘The Water Cycle’ and carefully crafted an amazing James Bond-style aquatic motorbike capable of travelling across the world’s oceans at great speed. Mr Millward seemed to find it vaguely amusing. Eventually)

And, blimey, Benny Hill. An episode with the splendid title of ‘Scuttlevision’ as far as I can tell. Here’s a clip from that very show – for real verisimilitude, open the bathroom window before you watch it…



  Dr Giles Parcel wrote @

I suspect that the window was assailed by a giant snowball. In a world of little plastic hands there can be no such thing as coincidence.

  bobfischer wrote @

It’s a sign of the innocent 1984 times that we didn’t even consider that possibility! It’s easy to forget that kids back in those days were capable of feats of far greater physical strength then today’s weakling youngsters. After all, we were raised on a diet of additives, E-numbers, and luminous food colouring – not like today’s namby-pamby milksops with their fresh fruit, home-cooked meats and wholemeal bread.

I didn’t see a raw tomato until I was 24 years old, and that made me the man I am today.

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