On one of the doll groups I belong to we have been discussing doll collections and just how many we have, or feel comfortable with and whether we have them on display or not.
I started 'stock taking' to see just how many I have which includes various dolls from my childhood.
Doing this I realised just what an eclectic collection I actually have, ranging from teeny tiny dolls to the largest which is a doll I got given before we moved from England to New Zealand when I was six years old.
Of course this then led me to scrabbling around up in the loft to find that particular childhood doll that travelled with me from England to New Zealand.
Here I am standing on the deck holding 'Linda' my doll. My Mum is behind me and my sister to the side.
When I came back to England I couldn't bring a lot of things with me so left my 'precious' childhood toys which included Linda, Jacko the monkey and a stuffed bear pyjama case that my Dad bought me stored in a wardrobe in Mum and Dads house. Sadly for reasons that will remain unclear to me, my Mum decided to move these things to a dilapidated shed in the grove. Result: Most of these precious toys got chewed/eaten or destroyed by rats. I can't even begin to explain how much this upset me. Now thinking about it I realise that the only childhood toys from my first six years remaining are Peter Panda, a knitted kangaroo, Dougal, and Linda. There is definitely a feeling of loss involved. I had thought about replacing Jacko but when I have bought 'replacements' in the past I realised that they still aren't quite 'the same', something is missing.
Linda was the only one who made it out - albeit with a missing thumb!
In the very early days of Ebay I decided to try and replace her and bought a lookalike with a fringe and a brunette friend.
I dressed her in Linda's dress which for some reason I did have with me. I know she had at least two dresses, so the other one was on Linda.
In 2007 my son brought her back to England with him when returning from a trip to New Zealand visiting family.
I have just retrieved her from the loft. The first bit of fresh air she has seen for some time!
Still as pretty as ever. She used to talk and walk. She can still 'walk' but I am not sure if she can still talk.
Photo of her poor chewed thumb.
I have in the past thought of swapping her arm with the other girl...but I haven't done so as yet as I wonder if she will then not feel quite right...
Kangaroo - I remember my Mum having to go back home from school after dropping me off searching for the baby joey who had dropped out of the pouch on the way to school. I would only have been four or five at the time.
Peter Panda, A dear childhood friend who has been literally cuddled threadbare.
Dougal from the Magic Roundabout.