Wednesday, 14 September 2011

From the Magpie's Nest - Part 1

Look and Read  had always been one of my very favourite school text books - mainly because of the rich and lively illustrations. 

When I discovered it in one of the bookstalls at Chowrasta Market in Penang years ago, I could hardly believe my luck.  Then I found another copy ..... and now I would like to share this with all those fine-feathered friends of mine - albeit in my quirky way.

There are many issues to discuss with regard to the selection and content of this reader but right now I just want to indulge in pretty and nostalgic pictures.

As children, we never had much pocket money to spend on such luxuries.  Most of the time we made our own - like cloth dolls and doll furniture from match boxes.  We had the most fun with our own home-made chatek made up of 2-3 layers of round rubber cuts, about 2 inches in diameter topped with a couple of chicken feathers.  Small nails were put through from the bottom of the rubber bits to be attached to the feathers.  We vandalised the rubber parts from the tops of old clogs.  As for the feathers, our hens  and cockerels were constantly kept on their toes, or rather, their claws.

It was usually a tough competition - to keep the chatek 'afloat'  by kicking and balancing it on one foot.  I was just useless.  I preferred the paper ball, a cheap toy to purchase.

Another image here of an item we all disliked.  It is associated with bathing, and washing up dishes and clothes.  Yecchh!

My favourite is Sunlight Soap mainly because of the cheerful yellow colour.  I also recall the big chunky bars that we used for the laundry and washing the dishes.  I love the carbolic smell of that soap.

And here's a soapy song from the 60s. 

Must admit to feeling a bit tearful listening to this.  Must go whesh my face.


Pootz in Boots said...

Sabun cap kapak Ma'Ngah!! The yellow and green ones... we buy a long bar and cut them to smaller pieces... my Maktok used them until year 1987. They are gentle to the hands too! And don't forget the "nila". and how people used to boil their clothes with starch!

anak si-hamid said...

My dear Pootz in Boots,

Thank you and bless you for reminding me of the nila and starch.

How could I ever forget it - as I was the family laundress for yonks.

Your maktok was lucky to get her sabun cap kapak. In Singapore we could only get the very abrasive Fab and Breeze bars.

You know I did not begin to use a washing machine until 2005. Prior to that I washed EVERYTHING by hand in Leicester. The best 'baldi' was the bath-tub!!

Awang Goneng said...

Dear Laundry Lady,

Is there a 'Kelentong Man' in that book from days of yore? I seem to be hearing him kelentong-ing in my head.

But ah, Sunlight soap. The original was wrapped in waxed paper, and the picture was of the glorious sun, shining with rays as broad as the yellow brick road. I can't remember if there was a lady there too, in the bright sun, going rub-a-dub-dub. (Well, somewhere in the story, were three men in a tub too, for sure).

PS I'm still hunting for Old Lob. O where, O where can he beeeee?

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you AG,

In Singapore, when we say 'kena kelentong', it means you've been taken for a ride.

No me duck, I don't have that image in my Look and Read.

As for Old Lob I've been hunting for him too - but no luck, so far.

It looks like our reunion with Mr Grumps (especially), Mr Dan and Percy the Chick will have to wait.