Saturday 1 August 1987

…Woke up to find that Mum had forgotten to tape Week Ending AGAIN.
The washing machine leaked and the utility room won first prize in the
Disguise-Yourself-As-A-Lake competition.
Got dragged to a summer fete.
I was 2p off winning a box of chocolates in the
Guess-The-Amount-Of-Money-In-The-Jar competition.
Watched Carry on Cleo…

This feels like more of a conventional summer holiday roster of activities, at least compared with extracts from some of my recent entries.

The summer fete was in the grounds of a local parish church, but the location didn’t bother me so much as my inability to win anything or find anything worth buying. For I’d realised that fetes, like second-hand bookshops, often offered up unexpected yet rewarding treasures.

Over the next couple of years I’d collect most of my Blue Peter books from fetes and jumble sales, ending up with a near-complete run from Book Four to Book Twenty-Two. A decade-and-a-half later I supplemented this to bring the tally up to Book Thirty-Two, whereupon I gave up. And I will never have a complete set, because you have to pay something like £30,000 for Books One to Three as they were printed on Biddy Baxter’s personalised blotting paper or something, and that’s just ridiculous.

I will never learn the origins of Bleep and Booster. But I can live with that.

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