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Thinking About the 80s

I am reading Professional's fic and writing Two Little Boys and remembering the 1980s.

Remember Presto and Bejam "supermarkets"?

Let's talk chains, brands and culture from the 1980s. :D

What was on your high street or in your town centre?

What 80s goodies did you eat? Black Jacks, Fruit Salads and Rhubarb & Custards from the sweet shop? Club biscuits? Spaghetti Hoops on toast (Mother's Pride white bread, natch.) Tinned raviolli? Vesta Curries? Smash mashed potatoes?

Remember, "Don't forget the Soreen, Doreen"? (I know they still sell Soreen, but when did you last see a TV ad for it?) "You got an ology?!" BT ads? Naughty But Nice cream cakes? Chimps drinking PG tea? "They're tasty, tasty, very very tasty!" FruitNFibre ads? The Milk Tray Man? "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label!"? Make room for the Mushroom!? "Any time, any place, anywhere" Martini - Extra Dry, Rosso and Bianco. Dubonnet with the label of the cat sitting next to a bottle of Dubonnet, which had a picture of a cat sitting next to a bottle of Dubonnet. ADVOCAAT! And Snowballs.

Ice cream floats and Cream Soda?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 18th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
Make! Room! For The! MUSHROOMS!

Yes, I remember this: thank you for confirming that I am not mad!

And as for Presto, yes, honestly, were they just a northern thing? I know tons of people who think I must mean Tesco. We had Liptons as well. I think now in 2014 my local Spar is bigger than either.

A couple of newsagents were still doing 10 and 20p mixes, complete with Black Jacks and mice which were rumoured once to have had tails. Angel Delight. Macintosh Red apples. Smash. Ice Magic on ice-cream.

In fairness to my mum, we also had a lot of much more healthy food, because she was cooking everything - everything - from scratch - and teaching us to cook, too. So Vesta curries, nope. The closet we came to ready-meals was frozen burgers when we bought a freezer and Iceland opened.

The martinis - at the end of the eighties there was not only Taboo but Mirage as well. Advocaat at Christmas, yes.

PS: I see your name on the Big Bang list for Pros - hooray, and welcome. This is the second year I have ventured to do it, so I am far from an old hand myself. Best of luck!
Mar. 18th, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
Presto was *not* just a Northern thing - since I'm from a weird bit of the Essex/London border (Essex County Council - rather than GLC - and Essex postcodes, but London Transport, Met police and London phone numbers) and we had a Presto (which is now a Morrisons) a Bejam and a Co-Op in the high street and a Sainsbury's on the council estate. But yes, we also got our eggs from a farm, our milk on the doorstep, our fruit and veg from Brown's greengrocers, our meat from the butcher next to the King's Head pub (I will never forget seeing a tray of hearts on display with the more usual offal like kidneys and livers!) and our fish from K C Fisheries.

And if we wanted a burger it was Wimpey! But that was only for a special treat - like Marks and Sparks chicken pie was. Because yes, even with convenience meals coming in, 95% of what we ate was fresh cooked (I've actually never lived in a house with a microwave to this date!). Apart from school dinners that is - I still remember the "delights" of Spam, lumpy gravy, lumpy mash and boiled to buggery cabbage (I wonder if reconstituted Turkey Twizzlers are actually any worse?). And the actual delight of chocolate sponge with chocolate custard!

When I was very little chews like Black Jacks were a 1/2p coin each - remember them? - and shilling and two-shilling coins were doing double duty as 5p and 10p. And Dad would have dull-gold coloured cans of Special Brew on picnics because bitter in cans was relatively rare - and tasted wrong, pre-widgets - and he didn't like lager.

My brother and I used to watch Pros as kids, and I got back into it pretty recently with ITV4 - and only then discovered there was still an active fandom so I am a *really* new hand - and scared silly! Thanks for being so welcoming. :D
Mar. 19th, 2014 11:08 am (UTC)
Oh yes, we had a weekly order from the greengrocer, and it was huge! And bought from butchers, and took the Barr bottles back to the off-licence (with its restricted hours) for the deposits. Hearts, we never ate, but I remember them at the butchers.

I arrived via the ITV4 repeats too! I saw them a bit over three years ago. And stared. Read my way through all the fic online - the Online Circuit Archive, The Hatstand and The Automated Hatstand - and then I discovered the existence of the Proslib CD, which archives all the fic ever posted to the Proslib mailing list (which is still going). I plunged through the CD, and, a few months later, started buying zines. And then joined LJ. Entirely for Pros.

Still here :) Hope you have as much fun as I do!

Oh, and I have to say, being from London/nearly London ought to be a huge help writing in Pros, too :) I am not, and spend much time concocting reasons for them to end up somewhere else. They really don't want to go, though!
Mar. 19th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC)
The one thing is *does* give me is that when I was growing up, bomb threats, coded warnings, suspect packages (we had the Bomb Squad into school - it was a major CofE Church school and therefore a potential target - once to blow up a suspect parcel, while we all stood "evacuated" on the sports' field) and even actual bombs (the IRA blew up the offices where my Dad worked, after sending a coded warning that the bomb was somewhere *else*) etc were all part of life. Bombs (or warnings thereof) on Tube trains, in stations, in litter bins, all long before the 7/7 attacks.

I knew several people who joined the Army because of the IRA and their desire to fight *back* - especially after Docklands.

Whereabout are you actually from? I mean there seem fairly plausible reasons for jaunts to Liverpool, Derby, back to Birmingham... and possibilities for other big cities like Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds. (And yes, I'm a true Southerner - not really sure what counts as Midlands and what counts as North. :/ Sorry.)
Mar. 20th, 2014 11:28 am (UTC)
Hee, I was far enough up north that Birmingham was 'the south' :)

And oh yes, I remember the bomb threats... and the unexplained closures of streets... and the lack of litter bins in stations... and didn't they block up post box mouths sometimes, for the duration of important visits?

I'm not sure 'nostalgia' is quite the word, but oh, memories!
Mar. 20th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
LOL I had a Geordie friend at university who, quite apart from giving truth to the stereotype that "Geordies never wear coats", identified *York* as a Midlands' city. North and South is truly a matter of perspective in the UK.

Memories are made of this!

BTW... how would you feel about mutual LJ "friending" - as I said on the Box of Tricks comm, I don't "know" anyone in Pros fandom and I'm feeling the lack.
Mar. 20th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
I am rubbish at friending etiquette myself. Sure thing. Just don't paste anything you find below the friends-lock to anywhere else, and we're all good.
Mar. 20th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Just don't paste anything you find below the friends-lock to anywhere else, and we're all good.

The opposite didn't even occur to me. Really. But then I do post quite a lot of personal/real life stuff under f'lock and don't always use my Real Life Group lock when talking about stuff, so I guess I took it for granted that people *wouldn't*.

ETA: While I have yet to make any Pros-specific posts, you may (or may not) find stuff of memories/nostaligia/interest under the uk stuff and uk stuff: information tags (I really need to tidy up my tags - that sidebar looks more *daunting* now than "easy access index".)

Edited at 2014-03-20 02:16 pm (UTC)
Mar. 20th, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
It was rather cheeky of me to say that, now I come to think of it - I do apologise.

Anyway, yes, we are on the same wavelength. And I shall have a rummage through tags!
Mar. 25th, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
I arrived via the ITV4 repeats too! I saw them a bit over three years ago. And stared.


Doyle or Bodie?

I recently had a discussion with someone from another fandom who also knows Pros (we were talking about how there need to be more BBC Sherlock crossovers with Pros!) about how I can't quite see all the fuore about Shaw/Doyle's arse when Collins/Bodie's is *right there* -- but Shaw's *arms* on the other hand... :D Hee!

When you think that even in the latest series of George Gently MS was still stripped down to a singlet and boxing! (And looking very nice too, IMO!)

Strange to think that both Lewis and Martin are/were older than my Mum (and that by 1977 Mum had a *career* as what these days would be called a "PA" and was a Partner's Secretary back then (including signing The Official Secrets Act), had been married twice, owned two houses and was expecting her first child (me!) and counted as an "older mother").

Tho' Mum is still fit enough that she is *my* carer, so... It sometimes really throws me when writers in some fandoms think that by 60 you are a geriatric, doddering wreck.
Mar. 26th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
Doyle, always!

I knew who the characters were, obviously, all through the eighties - you couldn't avoid it - and Doyle always looked good to me. And oh yes, that arse. Arse and legs. *thud*. I find it fascinating that many Pros writers like to portray Doyle as 'skinny'. He's slim, certainly (omigod, yum), but his arms, wow. There's a shot in Mixed Doubles (are you recognising by episode yet? This is the one where their actions almost mirror the actions of the bad guys, and they are in sleeping bags the night before) where they are with Macklin, and Doyle's arms look more muscly than Bodie's.

I saw MS on stage recently and he's still pretty fit.

Pros has an active 'older lads' genre in which the lads continually prove that while they may have heart worries, bad knees, asthma, and whatever (Stalemate,by murphybabe, With Age Comes a TOG Sticker, by Lizzie, and so on), they are streets ahead of the new blood, dealing effortlessly with post office hold-ups (Join The Queue, by Lizzie), squalling babies, (Epiphany Blues, by loyseofverlaine) and TV documentary crews (Who Caught And Sang The Sun, by byslantedlight. I tend to stick to canon era, but I confess, I did see Primeval and decide that what the lads needed in their retirement was a dinosaur to deal with, and that they would be more than a match for the 'young uns of today'.

There's a comm called 'older not dead', which I think is a hat-tip to a comment in NCIS: in it, all the protagonists in the stories must be 40 or more :)

ETA: fixed HTML

Edited at 2014-03-26 03:16 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
I actually got into Pros *fandom* because I really wanted a Pros/BBC Sherlock crossover/fusion - with Older Lads as Controllers. And John Watson (ex-army) and Greg Lestrade (DI in the Met) as the team (Martin Freeman and Rupert Graves play the parts - very well too IMO!)...

MS's arms are things of beauty and joys forever. :D

I never really got the "skinny" thing with Doyle. Certainly he's built on a more slender frame than Bodie (and doesn't have the little belly that gets me barking "Pull your stomach in, man!" - in imitation of my ex-Army Sergeant father - at the TV and Bodie) but *look* at his shoulders. And arms. And muscle structure generally. Deliciate he ain't!

It's funny, though. I was always a total Doyle-fan - until this last year or so when Bodie-appreciation sort of sneaked up on me. I'd be extremely hard pressed to pick a favourite now. Which I think is one of the joys of the show. It is *such* a two-hander.
Mar. 26th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
I imagine you have already found the two Pros/SL crossover fics, and you are right: more would be better. Hee, I love the premise!

Bodie goes up and down through the episodes - he's super-trim in Who Dares Wins and I wish he had looked more like that in much of Pros - but yes, we could have done with more topless Doyle, and more topless seen from behind, because.. *flaps hands* wotyousaid.

I had to get into Bodie, if you'll pardon the expression, because it was clear to me right from the start that Doyle was, and to write it - which I immediately had to do - I had to know what Doyle saw in him.

Hmm. There's probably a good discussion to be had there :)
Mar. 26th, 2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
Hmm. There's probably a good discussion to be had there :)

IIRC you are on Gmail, but do you ever use GChat/GTalk? I am natsuko1978 [at] googlemail [dot] com if you do. Aside from anything else, I find IM a great means of working out plots if someone is willing to be a sounding board -- and if you so wish, I am more than willing. :)
Mar. 29th, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC)
I am on gmail, and I do occasionally use gchat, but am mostly not logged in. I shall try to remember to log in more often.

(I also do jabber, if that is any good. Again, I have to remember to log in more...)
Mar. 27th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
One of my personal favourite things with Doyle's arms (and shoulders) is watching him flip himself over railings, bannisters etc as if lifting his own body weight is absolutely no effort whatsoever. *Sighs*

And given the number of times his tops ride up or come untucked, I find myself developing almost a fetish for the flash of skin that is the small of *Bodie's* back. ;)
Mar. 29th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
Yes! That moment on Brownie's boat! And him *and* Bodie hopping up onto the stage towards the end of the Madness of Mickey Hamilton! And just catching things that Bodie chucks at him.

Hmm, arms and a man... how very heroic!
Mar. 29th, 2014 11:11 pm (UTC)
Not to mention in the stairwell after he wakes Bodie up, when he hears Benny come in (Where the Jungle Ends) or going to check on Turner (the first Turner) after he's shot in Look After Annie or going over his own bannisters in Involvement... Ray Doyle has an aversion for walking/running downstairs if he can jump them instead, it seems. Takes me back to jumping downstairs when I was a kid and my dad calling me a fairy elephant while Mum grouched that I was going to do my ankles in.

There's something incredibly adolescent about these two grown men in their thirties! :D Which is partly why I love them, come to think of it.

I spent a year of my life translating the Aeneid for GCSE Latin back in the day. "Possunt quia posse videntur" should be the boys' motto. :) (They can because they think they can.)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


Dee Natsuko

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