Columnist Steve Royle writes about his fear of the colour blue.
As a child I was terrified of a cat. Not just any cat. A blue cat. A blue cartoon cat.
It featured in a special feature length edition of The Magic Roundabout and although I never saw the actual film I did have a copy of the record or LP as we called them.
The aforementioned feline was evil and set on world domination, making everything blue. ‘I’m blue, I’m beautiful, I’m the best,’ was its evil mantra.
I’m not sure if it was a deliberate attempt to make people wary of voting Conservative or just a random crazy idea by the show’s creators, but that animal still haunts my dreams to this day.
Looking back, the 1970s and early 80s were terrifying times to grow up.
The threat of nuclear war hung over us, and I can remember learning where best to hide in the event of such a catastrophe. (Look, even the word catastrophe begins with the word cat, no wonder I was scared, this article is writing itself).
It can’t be just coincidence that years later author JK Rowling, a woman of a similar age to myself, decided to house her wizarding hero in a cupboard under the stairs. This place of supposed safety always exacerbated my fears as a child because we lived in a bungalow.
It was also a time when UFOs were of serious consideration.
I remember sneaking out late at night to observe the skies for supernatural beings armed only with a torch and a packet of biscuits. (That’s me with the torch and biscuits, not the aliens, although I’m sure they would have had some form of snacks with them in their
The closest I got to seeing anything from beyond our solar system,. however, was when I purchased a packet of Space Dust from the local newsagents. (Think they call it Popping Candy these days, kids?)
Looking back we certainly lived in a strange era.
Why did we have to rescue black rubber bricks from drowning? Why were we ever taught this? It could only be useful if your chosen career was some form of marine archeology.
In fact, I’m sure I failed my Gold swimming badge because I couldn’t salvage the same black brick whilst wearing my pyjamas.
What was the thinking there? Marine archeologists are quite likely to be disturbed in their sleep?
Courtship was terrifying, too.
Before mobiles, you would have to ring a landline and hope that your potential date’s phone wasn’t answered by her Dad.
So many fledgling relationships have been terminated by the words ‘Sorry, wrong number.’
I asked my 11-year-old daughter what she feared and her answer reflected the times – no, not Brexit, but plastic pollution.
She informed me with genuine concern on her face that by the time she is 40 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.
It suddenly all made sense; that’s why we had to dive for those rubber bricks all those years ago.