Wherefore art thou, Noddy?

A new victim – sorry, interviewee – on our blog today. Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is the woman behind Straight Talking communications. But how would she answer our bendy questions….? [Ed, I know, that’s really poor]

What object are you writing about and what were your first thoughts when we told you?

Can you spot the five health and safety risks in this scene?

A Famous Five book – “Five Go to Demon’s Rocks”. I loved those books. Dad read them to us at bedtime, always finding excuses to read ‘just one more chapter’ before we turned the lights out. Timmy the dog was my favourite, Ann was a wimp and George had a very strange predilection for keeping small rodents about her person. Happy days. [Ed: “her” is correct, “George” is a girl – see, I do check this stuff]

What lost object from your own childhood would you like to own again, and why?

An inflatable Noddy figure! My mum collected tokens from Cornflakes packets and sent away for it for my birthday. It was about three feet high and stood at our bedroom door. It was always totally deflated in the morning, must’ve had a slow puncture! I’d love to repair poor old Noddy so he didn’t collapse during the night like a drunk.

Hop into my time machine and it will take you back to one specific hour of your childhood – where and when do you want to go, and why?

Noddy, before he went digital

A hot afternoon in Folkestone, on Goodrington Sands, on holiday. A large woman got stuck in the ‘penny-in-the-slot’ ladies’ toilets. They had to get someone from the Town Hall to come and let her out. It was one of the funniest experiences I had as a child and the leading news item in ‘What I did during the Summer holidays’.

Can you surprise me with one unusual fact about your childhood?

I didn’t get chicken pox, however much my mum exposed me to it. I got it at 34 instead – not funny.

What’s the earliest thing you can remember writing?

My name, I think. And Philippa is a bit of a feat. I wrote a story when I was eight about nuclear war – it contained the words ‘the radiation pulsated around us’. I kid you not, I was a precocious child.

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