1979 – Pippa-Dee & The Illusive Shivery Bite

I may only have been 6 but I do remember back to 1979 where it was 5p for a single journey on the bus and you could get a bag of chips for 30p after a swim in the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. A ‘shivery bite; we called it as it was something warm to eat after our swim. Getting a chippy was our special treat: after a swim or on your birthday. We would all wait patiently for dad to come home, laden down with greasy parcels and smelling of a frying pan. Hands full of plates and cutlery, attempting to feed the five thousand or The Walton’s as my big family was affectionately known. Nowadays I give me kids an apple or something very boring and healthy. Now that I think about it – there is a good chippy on the way home…

I hark back to the days of ‘The Famous Pippa Dee nightdress’. My Mum would go to ‘Pippa-Dee parties’ and spend a small fortune on PJ’s for us all.  Not so unlike The Body Shop At Home or Pampered Chef. I always remember my Granny saying that we shouldn’t sit too near the fire as the fantastic polyester PJ’s, that were all the rage then, would promptly go on fire ‘like what happened a few roads up to Betty Williamson’. Whoever she may be. I loved those PJs. Pippa-Dee always sounded so amazing and exotic, a bit like Camper Barbie and her Safari Suit with the matching hat. Well, to my naive 6-year-old mind anyway.

I remember they were brown with a cream, almost bib-like neckline that was filled with frills and ribbons, to the point where you could almost choke on the material that swarmed your chest when you lay down. They made me very, very warm. I do remember waking up and the heat radiating out of me was astonishing.There was a hole range of items that you could purchase but having 5 kids, Mum decided copious PJ’s would suffice for her ever-wanting brood.

Maybe that’s why Mum kept them in the ‘Winter’ bag, where all things wooly and warm would live until it came out around August the next again year. We never really had Summer’s – more like Rain’ers or Wind’ers.

I can still smell those chips though. Do they still have the wooden forks, you know the ones you ignore because you would rather burn your fingers instead? Made the chips taste fantastic!