Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Waxing Lyrical

Nostalgia not being what it used to be, I have little to do with it.

I often watch those 'Cash In The Attic' shows and know that if I needed to sell something from my attic to pay for, say, a new kidney, I'd be down to one working kidney. Unless the value of an empty Panasonic TV box suddenly takes off.

It has the original styrofoam packaging....any takers ? No ? Didn't think so.

I think the oldest thing in my house is the open tin of beans at the back of my fridge as even the mold on that has mold. I do have a one pound note somewhere so that might beat the beans for the title but I'm not sure. The 'best by' date on the tin is in Roman numerals !

Actually neither of those things take the title of oldest thing in my house. Yes, yes I know you're probably saying that I have to be that record holder myself but let's make it an inanimate thing, ok ?

Actually I still might qualify so lets make it, oldest thing without a beard. Yes that'll work.

And the title holder is....drum roll please....a lava lamp.

On one of my trips back to my home in N. Ireland, I was lying in bed and looking around at a room that had hardly changed since I left over 30 years earlier. Now don't get me wrong as it wasn't dusty or anything but as I'd been allowed to sleep in the guest bedroom that mum kept ready for that Papal visit that never happened, it was like sleeping in a time capsule with a bed.

There was a newspaper on the bedside table with the headline "Keeler Brings Down Profumo" and I don't think it was a report from a Lions Rugby match. There was a framed NME chart on the wall from when my fav group, The Tremeloes, hit the top with "Silence Is Golden."

And there was my lava lamp on the dressing table. An original late 60's lava lamp as I bought it before I left home in 1970. I decided there and then I was having it back and when I left, so did the lamp. It's now here in my living on top of my right channel surround sound speaker and is as dangerous today as it was back when I bought it. I'm sure it would fail every health and safety regulation that now cover such things as it's basically a naked light bulb underneath a sealed glass tube of some unknown liquid with a large blob of wax at the bottom.

As the contents warm up from the heat of the light bulb, the wax softens, breaks off into small blobs and these blobs float to the top of the glass tube. As they slowly approach the top, they cool down and start to fall back down only to warm up again and.....well you know how it works.
It's all very 60's hippy dippy and was very exciting back then, especially if you'd just smoked something illegal. Not that I ever did such a thing, oh gosh no. Remember in those days we didn't have Sky Sports or "Celebrity Big Brother Come Dancing On Ice In The Jungle" so it didn't take much to excite us.

But it would hardly raise the blood pressure of a modern teenager who has the attention span of a gnat with alzheimers. But I still love it and it was only recently that I had to replace the original bulb. Things were built to last in those days.

Now when I'm watching a movie, I close the curtains, dim the lights to almost off, light up a few candles and power up the lava lamp. It used to take a while to get the wax to move so throwing health and safety totally out the window, when the original 40 watt bulb finally blew, I replaced it with an 100 watt bulb and that wax go, baby !!

I'm not sure the liquid should be bubbling at the top but hey, it all adds to the effect.

So there you have it. An original 60's lava lamp. The oldest thing in my house.

And although it has to be worth more than the Panasonic box in the attic, I'd never sell it. Well until it burns down my house and then the sodding thing is going on eBay.

Nostalgia my ass.


Daphne said...

I always wanted a lava lamp and never got one as my parents thought they were dangerous (they were probably right but pah!) I've got one now though, vintage 1990a.
But as for "you know how it works" - - well, other readers might - - but I didn't. I thought they worked by some kind of 60s magic.

jay said...

Funnily enough, Son No. 2 would love a lava lamp! He's funny like that!

I never had one, you know. I was a depprived child.


rhymeswithplague said...

You have no idea how difficult it has been to refrain from mentioning that you have posted a phallic image on your blog, and I finally succumbed to the temptation.

I feel so much better now.

rhymeswithplague said...

I'm sure your final thought is just coincidence.

Silverback said...

You are a sick puppy, Robert ;-)

Debby said...

My lava lamp is pink...natch.

I slept in that bed....not quite the pope your Mum was hoping for. I felt the wall at Knock though...

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