1970s

Lightning tree and other symbols

Follyfoot is too early for me to have seen it, although it was repeated several times. I still didn't see it because drama series about horses have never appealed to me (they're for girls). For that matter, much of the made-on-film children's drama of my childhood didn't appeal to me. It was usually stultifyingly dull, worthy and often ended with a message, sometimes quite divorced from the plot, a message that we should be nice to each other or look both ways before crossing the road or obey our teachers or not leave your grandfather's house to go live with Fr??ulein Rottenmeier or the like. Fuck that: I wanted adult drama, where the message, if there was one, was a bit more subtle. Often.

But I may have missed out. The theme tune, by The Settlers, is a jaunty, folky number that I really like, albeit sadly not anything whatsoever to do with the plot of the show as far as I can see (the show was about horses, not exciting fires in fields). Also, Steve Hodson, the male romantic lead, is very cute by 1970s standards. Probably less so now. Also also, it had Desmond Llewelyn in it! Q! I now think I'd quite liked to have seen him read out words in Follyfoot, having seen him read out words in a number of other things.

Best of all: the above video has the YTV frontcap left on. I loved frontcaps — you always knew what you were getting next. Silver man-horse-flag combo: something shot on cheap video. Big white star/cross thing: something shot on film in the countryside/near the sea/both.??Ilk lee-moor bah-taaaat!: something more worthy than it should be by rights. Big gold ship (amazingly rare): programme on film involving Plymouth in some way. Silent pointy G: something even more worthy than Yorkshire was putting out.

Them were the days.
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Friday morning Public Information Film porn

For younger readers, let me explain what's happening here: those fitted carpets and laminate floors you live with are new things. For most of my life, houses had??linoleum??or tiles on the floor and, in more important rooms, a nice rug that, if you were barefoot, you'd aim to land on quickly on winter mornings. Rugs of the time didn't come with anti-slip rubber underneath, even doormats. Instead, they were hessian-backed, just like the mats on a??helter-skelter. You see where this is going.

In the 1970s, if advertising is anything to go by, women were all lazy cows who did nothing at all during the day, so men with voices that implied gravitas would call through and give them pointless make-work to do. Things like sewing torn clothes and scrubbing the bath with Vim, anything to make the ladies less indolent between the husband leaving for work and them putting the dinner on while wearing their best clothes. Included in the list of Things Women Must Do was polishing the linoleum and/or the tiles to get them sparkling, so that the children, dog and husband could then immediately get them dirty again and the woman could look vexed but then smile knowingly and reach for the Flash.

This leads to this PIF, and the state doing battle with SC Johnson and other purveyors of floor polish to idle females. The poor loves: one minute a man from capitalism with a deep voice was telling women to get down on their knees and polish the floor until it shines (with a 'Ziiiing!' noise), the next a man from the state with a deep voice was telling women that if they did so, the next person to walk into their hall would die horribly and it would be all their fault because they'd been warned and hadn't listened because they were waiting for part two of 'Crown Court' to start.

So this is why we did away with lino and tiles and got fitted carpets and laminate floors and the like: capitalism could stop selling floor polish to women and switch to selling more profitable things like gin to them instead, and the state could stop warning women about the horrors of floor polishing and instead print posters warning women they should be drinking less gin. The upside, of course, is that women can now spend the day completely rat-arsed, so that's win-win.