Monday, 14 May 2012

First Loves Blogfest

This blogfest is the idea of Alex J Cavanaugh, one of the hosts of the A-Z Challenge. There are 144 bloggers taking part so please visit some of them at

The Blogfest challenge is to write about our first loves – first movie, first song/band, first book and first person, so here goes:

First Movie
The first movie I ever saw at the cinema was Cinderella, and that was when it was first released (yes, I’m old enough to remember that!). I was six at the time, and my aunt was going to meet me after school and take me to the cinema. I was so excited and when it got to afternoon playtime, I went to collect my coat and was standing waiting for my aunt at the school gate. I didn’t understand why everyone else was still in the playground and not leaving for home, until I eventually realised it wasn’t yet hometime! I had to curb my excitement and impatience and go back into school for the last lesson of the day. Anyway, hometime finally came, my aunt was there waiting for me, and off we went into town. The movie completely lived up to all my expectations, and I loved it. In fact I think I was singing Bibbity-bobbity-boo for weeks afterwards.

First Song
Again we go way back into the past. Although I grew up in the 50’s and ‘saw’ the birth of rock and roll including Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock, and of course Elvis with Heartbreak Hotel, it was actually a ballad in 1958 which became my real first love – A Certain Smile by Johnny Mathis. I won’t tell you whose ‘certain smile' it always reminded me of, since that is buried in the past too, but I only had to hear those first soaring sounds of the intro, and my heart would do a double-flip!

First Book
I was a voracious reader from a very young age. We couldn’t afford books then (they were all hardbacks when I was a child), so my Mum took me to the library each week, where I could choose two books. I loved school stories especially those by Enid Blyton, and also Ruby Ferguson’s pony books.
The one book I loved most though was called ‘The Swish of the Curtain’ by a 14-year-old writer, Pamela Brown. It was about seven young people who formed an amateur theatrical group and put on their own shows. I think I was already stage-struck when I read it, and it cemented my on-going love of the theatre. It’s recently been re-released in paperback (and slightly updated, so I understand) but I still have my original copy which I could never bear to throw away!

First Person
Leaving out the obvious first people you love i.e. your parents, I’ll go for my first ‘young love’. We were both 9 and he was called Edward. He lived in the big house just inside the gates to the park near where I lived. His dad was the park keeper or ‘parky’, as we called them then, whose job was to patrol and supervise the park. If you behaved yourself, you had nothing to fear from the parky but his appearance anywhere near the children’s playground made everyone nervous in case he caught us doing something we shouldn’t.
Edward hated being the parky’s son. He and I often walked to school together, and he said he could never play on the swings or slide because the other kids thought he would go running off to tell his dad if anyone did anything they shouldn’t. He was very shy and that was made worse by the taunts of other kids at times. I was teased, too, about Edward being my ‘boyfriend’.
Our school had a Rose Queen Festival every June, and our class of 9 and 10 year olds did the maypole dancing at the Festival. Edward and I were chosen as the lead partners, so we go to know each other really well during all the rehearsals. On the big day we were both very nervous, but we managed to do all our dances correctly and didn’t get the ribbons tangled!

We were friends for over a year, until at 11, we went off to different High Schools and lost contact when his father got a different job and they moved away from the park. I sometimes wonder what happened to him!


  1. Your stories I can easily empathise with and feel mine are not much different, also having been brought up in the sixties.
    (ps I'd like to do the A-Z challenge sometime. How do i go about it, please?)

  2. It was a different world in the 50's and 60's, wasn't it, Nancy?
    The A-Z Challenge takes place each April - but there seem to be plenty of other blogfests going on all the time (too many to take part in them all!)

  3. What a lovely post, Paula - great shot of nostalgia! My first film was either Pinocchio or Pollyanna.

  4. Oh, you have to write a romance about you and Edward and what happens next!

  5. I've read a lot of these posts today and you, so far, are the first Johny Mathis. Congratulations!

  6. Oh my gosh you were such an adorable kid!

  7. A wonderful glimpse into the past, Paula, and the early relationships that always make us wonder "what might have been." Thanks for sharing. Linda

  8. Aww, sounds like Edward was a wonderful first love! I always wanted to try maypole dancing, but I never got the chance!

  9. What a fantastic b&w photo!

    This, I love:

    'Again we go way back into the past. Although I grew up in the 50’s and ‘saw’ the birth of rock and roll including Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock, and of course Elvis with Heartbreak Hotel, it was actually a ballad in 1958 which became my real first love – A Certain Smile by Johnny Mathis. I won’t tell you whose ‘certain smile' it always reminded me of, since that is buried in the past too,'

    All of it. My dad loves to send us emails with stories of, 'The fifties, what a great time to be alive!' So I have a deep love for that era.

  10. A 14 year old author? WOW!

    That photo makes your story all the more special.

    Thanks for visiting so I could readily do the same. This was a heartwarming read.


  11. Rosemary - it's good to indulge in a bit of nostalgia every so often, isn't it?

    LOL, Jennifer - a kind of 'what might have been'??

    Libby - I haven't found Jonny Mathis on anyone else's blog either.

    Danielle - must be that bonnet we all had to wear!

    Linda - I did find some of junior school friends on Friends Reunited, but not Edward!

    Kyra - maypole dancing was fun, as long as you remembered which way you were going and whether you had to go under or over someone else's ribbon.

    Suze - I know everyone raves about the 60's, but the 50's was a pretty good decade too! It was the time when popular music changed completely.

    Robyn - at the time there wasn't any colour photography - at least, not for 'ordinary' people!

  12. It's hard losing friends at that age. I'd love to bump into some of my primary school friends again - though I doubt I'd recognise any of them.

  13. Such a cute picture! Loved this post. :)

  14. thank you for sharing your post and love story...

    We all love something...right!
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    Howlin' Wolf Records: On-Line Magazine

  15. what a priceless pic! Love it. Love your classic choices as well.

  16. Annalisa - I did meet up with a couple of my junior school friends (via Friends Reunited) and we're still in contact and meet up every few months.

    Thanks, Dana, HWR and Cate!

  17. Great choices! I love the pic of you at the end - perfect :)

  18. The book was written and published by a teenager? Wow.

    That's a wonderful picture! :) Thanks for sharing it.

  19. Thanks, Jemi - we did make quite a cute little couple, didn't we!

    Golden Eagle - I only found out years later that it was written by a 14 year old. Glad you liked my piccy too.

  20. Too bad you have no way of tracking down Edward. Sweet story.
    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

  21. I never read "the swish of a curtain" I will be sure and keep my eyes out for it now

  22. Aw your first love was so sweet! Hubby and I looooove Johnny Mathis.

  23. What wonderful firsts! I always wondered what happened to my first love too.

  24. Cinderella is the only one on your list that I am familiar with but that is such a great story!

  25. That's the cutest first love story I've read today:) Brought warmth to my heart. Thank you for sharing!

  26. The picture of you and your first love is soooo adorable. I also love Cinderella. It was fun reading about your first loves :)


  27. Hi Paula, firstly the school photo is so cute! Great choices. No surprisingly so many of us were bookworms from the get go!


  28. Charming story about your first love, and the photo is absolutely adorable! It is amazing that a 14 year old wrote such a memorable book! Julie

  29. What an adorable little couple you made! Sad that you never meet up again!

  30. I absolutely loved reading about your firsts. Cinderella certainly is a great film and I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. Edward sounds adorable. Poor kid, no fun on the swings. Other kids can be so mean.

  31. Alex - thanks for a great blogfest, I really enjoyed it!

    Baygirl - I haven't read the updated version and actually haven't read the original one for ages. I really must read it again!

    Shiela - my first 'love' seems to have delighted everyone LOL - and yes, Johnny Mathis is a great singer with some great songs too.

    Christine - I probably wouldn't even recognise now if I saw him!

    Heather, Marta, Andrea - so glad you liked my first love story!

    Denise - my first stories were rip-offs from Enid Blyton!

    Julie - must admit I never read any of her other books, but for me nothing could beat Swish of the Curtain anyway!

    C.M. - think it's the cute bonnet LOL!

    Melissa - Edward was a little sweetie, but so shy!

  32. aww Cinderella - I recently asked my Mom to watch it with me, we both love the mice with their cute little ribbons on their tails.

    Sharing the Love!
    English Speaking Zone

  33. Mathis had a magical voice and the song choice was splendid. The story of you and Edward was an absolute charmer.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  34. Barbara - I always loved the mice - and their song,too.

    Thanks, Lee. I'm now feeling quite nostalgic about Edward!

  35. Paula--how did I miss that darling photo? My goodness, you were a hollywood miss, so pretty in your little bonnet. Love it. Listen I love your blog, here. What a great idea!

  36. Thanks, Celia, I did look kinda cute in that bonnet, didn't I?