Cathy Murray was inspired to write Cabbage and Semolina after witnessing her mother-in-law’s sadly too late attempt to record her own reminiscences. It is a collection of memories of a 1950’s childhood, and it is a delight to read.
As I was born in the 1960’s I thought this collection of memories might not mean that much to me or be that familiar. But I was wrong, it turns out things don’t change that quickly. I was surprised by how many of the stories I recognised and how good they were at bringing back long forgotten facts from my childhood, of tales my mother has told me and fond memories of how my grand-parents lived.
School life hadn’t changed much by the time I got there. Cabbage and Semolina were still very much in evidence, along with the fluorescent yellow custard though obviously not all at the same time!
Clarks T-bar shoes, white ankle socks, the daily one third of a pint of milk, slightly off on warm summer days and frozen in winter, and playing out for hours and getting into trouble on ‘the tip’ (or similar) at the end of the road.
This book covers so many subjects: books and comics, nits, nutty slack, tricycles, knitting, radio and television to name but a few and I don’t want to say too much about them otherwise what would be the point in you buying this book?
Suffice to say I highly recommend Cabbage and Semolina. I absolutely loved diving back into the past with this little gem of a read. I think it would be of interest to all, whether you lived through the same experiences in which case you’ll find yourself nodding along and smiling I’m sure or wish to find out how your parents or grand-parents lived. The differences between now and then are stark and it really wasn’t that long ago.
I loved reading Cabbage & Semolina! As I was born in 1958, it reflected much of my own childhood. It made me laugh, too. Cathy has a lovely easy style and a wry sense of humour.
I was very excited at one point when I read that, like me, one of Cathy’s favourite children’s books was Pookie, by Ivy Wallace. I’d never come across anyone before who’d even heard of Pookie! (For the uninitiated, he’s a rabbit with wings.) My own battered version of the first Pookie book was my mum’s and was published in the 1940s. Anyone else “met” Pookie?
I’m afraid I have not come across Pookie – although a rabbit with wings certainly sounds like fun!! It made me laugh too Wendy and was such an easy read. Thanks for adding your thoughts here, they are much appreciated 😀
Thank you so much, Georgia, for this wonderful review. I’ve been poorly for several weeks and reading this today has really cheered me up.
You’re welcome Cathy. I’m so sorry to hear you have been unwell and hope you make a swift return to full health soon. Best wishes.