Look away, sensitive readers – SHE HAS NO HANDS!!!

Been at my parents’ house for a few days. I neatly avoided any fanny-smacking incidents by not letting the kids have a bath, but they still managed to unsettle their grandparents – firstly, when we settled down en famille to watch a Disney film, and my seven-year-old said, ‘If I was Mulan, I’d stab him. I’d stab him in the nuts.’ And secondly, when my five-year-old said at the dinner table – and this is going to sound like I’ve exaggerated for comic effect, but unfortunately these were her exact words – ‘Mummy, the place you used to live in was a sewer, wasn’t it?’.
Do you mean the town where my parents chose to live for over 20 years, darling? Which they carefully picked out as the place to raise their children, thinking they were doing the very best for us? I never said it was a sewer. I said it was a toilet.
And let that teach me not to slag off the West Midlands in front of my children.
Anyway, that’s all by the by. The high point of the visit came when, ferreting about in the deepest recesses of the wardrobe in the spare room, I chanced upon…..

…my Pippa dolls. For those of you under 40, Pippa dolls were miniature Barbies – unfeasibly petite and ridiculously good-looking. Pippa herself was a blonde, blue-eyed Aryan poster girl – that’s her in the middle – but magnanimously she hung out with girls of every creed and colour. It’s like Miss World 1977. Check out that orange playsuit!
Sadly there was only one male doll – Pete, who wore loon pants and a dumbass expression – which led to much in-fighting amongst Pippa and her gang. I’d hold two dolls by their hair and bash them together until one of their arms fell off; the doll whose limbs remained intact ‘won’ Pete.
I also found my beloved, dark-haired Sindy doll. But time has not been kind. Look away, readers of a sensitive disposition – SHE HAS NO HANDS!!!

What she did have was a set of bedroom furniture straight out of ‘Belle de Jour’ – an armoire embellished with ornate scrollwork, a wardrobe with gilt handles, a Princessy bed with a satin bedspread… But in my twisted world, Sindy was a virtual prisoner. She was ‘visited’ by a gentleman caller, a shaggy old polar bear with furrowed brows and a gold chain around his neck, which gave him a slightly menacing, gangsterish air.

I remember having a vague idea that Polar Bear had actually paid for the fancy bedroom furniture, and Sindy was therefore forced to tolerate his company. Where the hell did I get all this crap from?
It’s made me think that maybe I’ll buy my daughter a Bratz doll after all. I used to tut-tut at at their sulky, ‘whatever!’ faces in the Argos catalogue, but they don’t look like they’d put up with any shit from an ageing, furry pimp. They’d shank him.



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37 responses to “Look away, sensitive readers – SHE HAS NO HANDS!!!

  1. LMAO at your kids and their comments. We do have to be so careful what we say in front of them!

  2. I used to have Pippa dolls – wow what a blast from the past. They were so small I made a house for them using the box from an electric blanket (!). My dolls were always in bed with Pete – they took turns. He must have been exhausted!

  3. Crikey I remember Pippa. Although my greater fascination was with my brother’s action man complete with fuzzy felt hair, gripping fingers (!) and shifty eyes. Wonder what it means that I remember him more clearly.

    • notwavingbutironing

      And do you still have a thing for men in uniform, Ms Bun Dance? And do you remember the Bionic Man doll, with a panel in his arm? I really am showing my age now…

  4. What happened to her hands? I have to agree i think Bratz, whilst looking like sulky petulant teens, at least have a bit of umph to them. Barbie and Sindy were kinda pathetic…mine used to lounge around their mansion all day waiting for Paul to arrive with chocolates and flowers and then lie naked on top of in bed. And he never stayed the night – oh my god, I’ve just realised my Sindy was a mistress!

    Christ woman, get to Toysrus quick and get them some of those Bratz!

    • notwavingbutironing

      God, mine were similarly drippy and victim-y. Well, it was the 1970s (or possibly the 80s, in your case). If a bloke brought chocolates or provided you with bedroom furniture, you HAD to put out.

  5. Sindy and Shaggy the bear sounds like are a remake of Beauty and the Beast with disturbing overtones of Blue Velvet and Casino with Sharon Stone.I was a warped child too.
    I had a lot of Pippa dolls(I’d forgotten all about her – thanks for reminding me) and I used to do terrible operations on them and Sindy. I’m jealous of your french armoire furniture for Sindy – my Dad used to make mine out of boxes.

  6. DO NOT buy Bratz dolls. Their feet come off. Honest to God. You don’t change the shoes on a Bratz doll – you change the feet.

    The alarming consequence of this dollmakers foible is that you end up with dozens of Bratz whose legs finish at the ankle, whilst the feet lie in wait in corners of bedrooms, just waiting to go up the attachment on the Hoover…..

    • notwavingbutironing

      Alison Deer – yes, Sindy had the poshest bedroom in our whole house. And she had a horse, too. A canter around the living room was her only respite from the constant sexual demands of Polar Bear.

      Mother OTL – thanks for the tip, sounds rather macabre. And I thought Handless Sindy was sinister.

  7. Hello there!
    I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and i’m really glad that I have! This is such a great blog and as a stay at home mum of two, I’m glad to find more mummy bloggers. Come and visit me sometimes. Hope you’re having a great Sunday so far and also great week ahead.


  8. You were obviously not the oldest cousin as I think all my Sindy stuff is stashed in some auntie’s attic just waiting for her grandchildren to get their paws on it. I haven’t seen a Pippa doll for years! Did you have the one on the twirly plinth? You pressed a button on the underside and she flipped round in a dance that looked uncomfortable and improbable in 1977 but became quite trendy in the 90s thanks to the Stone Roses.

    My parents obviously had some issues with boy dolls as I remember my sister hacking the hair off The Bionic Woman and bashing her tits flat to make a man (if only making a man were so easy). She was chosen solely for the fact she wore a blue flying-suit with patches which is still considered quite butch in some circles I reckon.

    Bratz are fab – buy them all. I remember one particularly weird car journey driving my daughter, niece and an older girl down to a gig @ King Tut’s in Glasgow. They spent the whole journey discussing and comparing their Bratz collections. How’s that for toy longevity?

    • notwavingbutironing

      Am just picturing the Pippa on the plinth doing an Ian Brown impression. God, I wish I’d had that… Also disturbed by the image of your sister trying to remove the poor Bionic Woman’s breasts. What with that and Bratz dolls with stumps where their feet should be, I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight.

  9. A boy doll in demand; bet he was lapping it up. Amy bites her dolls and they usually end up minus a limb. The Bratz dolls come with detachable feet so I guess there’s not much hope for one in your house!

    And your children are wonderful. So deeply honest and adoring. I bet you just wanted to hug them…

    CJ xx

  10. I must be the only child of the 70s who didn’t own a Barbie, Sindy or Pippa and it’s on the list of “Things I’ll never forgive my parents for…” (it’s a long list)

    • notwavingbutironing

      Hi Crystal, thanks for visiting. Yes, they’re honest all right. Must cure them of that…

      Muuuummmmeeeee – God, no Barbie? What were your parents thinking? Did they realise they were depriving you of a chance to develop a skewed sense of sexuality, and dodgy gender politics?

  11. By sheer coincidence I also watched Mulan over the half term. Disney does feminism (dubious emoticon). Love it.

  12. I had a Pippa I’m sure, and a Sindy (much NICER than Barbie apparently – eek – and English), a Dusty (chunkier looking air hostess type with SHORT platinum hair and THIGHS!!!) and best of all an Action Girl. Action Girl looked like Nicola Pagett and unfortunately I shaved all her hair off and she was missing one hand and one foot and I loved her more than anything. There was another that I also loved who was in-between size from Pippa to Sindy and I think she was a Daisy – Memory Lane is hazy.

    I also remember I loved their cardboard box houses After Eights furniture and slippers for cars way more that the ‘real’ things that came along later in my collection. Funny that. After Eights wrappers were perfect album covers. And shirt pins were fabulous earrings (just a short stab). And felt tip make-up does not wash off. And the scalp of another inferior Jumble Sale doll used as a wig for my baldie Action Girl did not fit well but……… we were ‘appy.

    Now daughter has moved from Barbie to Bratz (little tarts – I love their clobber) to suddenly chucking the lot in the latest clear out. Feel a bit funny.

    BTW the best boyfriends my lot had were very sexy Golly Wogs that my mum made for my older brothers – from a pattern that came with the jam I believe. They were good lovin’ and very flexible. I never heard any complaints.

    • notwavingbutironing

      I don’t remember Action Girl – she sounds cool. I am guessing she didn’t have a Passion for Fashion, like some dolls I could mention. Would have loved to see her in her scalp-wig though – you don’t still have her by any chance?

  13. I loved this but I still blame it on the West Midlands – ah the joys of going shopping in Solihull and getting kitted out in the Army Surplus Store in Coleshill….carefree childhood days!

    • notwavingbutironing

      Ah yes, Tattie – shopping at the Bull Ring in Brum (big day out from Shitewich), skating at Silver Blades, my two best male friends getting beaten up on the train back by the Kiddie Top Boys (menacing Kidderminster gang)… Sweet memories.

  14. My girls loved their many Barbies who shared two Kens. They were more interrested in dressing them up and partying than needing a man! Their dolls too had many posessions including a house, a horse and two cars!!!
    ‘In my day’ I had a Sindy with her very own Paul. Although I owned Patch (Sindy’s sister), Betsy (Patch’s friend) and Mitzi (Sindy’s American friend) I only owned the one Sindy, and Paul was definitely Sindy’s boyfriend! I am jealous of the furniture your dolls had (‘though of course I was allowed to play with that of my girls so have had a fix of sorts). My mother knitted most of my dolls’ clothes, and, like madamesmokingun, I improvised their home and belongings.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Yes, we were lucky to have the bedroom set, although I agree there’s nowt finer than a doll’s house made from a cardboard box. The furniture was a weird departure for my mother, who usually has very austere habits. She asked me to pick out some hair bobbles once, and when I chose gold ones she said, ‘Who do you think you are, the Queen of Sheba?’

  15. hilarious hilarious, i cried into my motherboard from the “nuts” comment to the pimping teddy. the best blog i’ve found!

  16. Brilliant. We went to my mum’s at half term too and Son was in seventh heaven playing with my old Sindy dolls… which could well be the first time he has played for more than 5 minutes without holding, creating, or pretending to have a gun… since he was born!

  17. I had loads of Pippas. LOADS. And horses. And a pink Pippa Range Rover with a picnic in it which contained a plastic chicken. I had one Pippa with a punctured boob from where I had tried to un-dent it with a needle after an incident with a small dog. All she ever wore was an Oriental bathrobe. I don’t think she came with anything else.

  18. My Sindys were regularly subject to a teddy 3 in a bed romp sessions.
    Your blog is great!

  19. LOL you are killing me! And I’d forgotten all about Pippa dolls.

  20. Yarepippayare

    Just seen your Sindy and pippa post! I’m lovin your pippas they are perfect did you ever play with them as a child? ( when I got mine out the loft they all had haircuts and pierced body parts)… They have since been joined by rather a lot via eBay and I’ve restored them to their former glory! Thanks for sharing .

  21. Twosmallaubergines

    You seem to have exactly the same Pippas as me! Hmm, maybe that’s why I can’t find them in my parents’ loft. I loved my Pippas, partly because I wasn’t allowed a Sindy or a Barbie. My older cousin secretly gave me a cast-off Sindy and she lived clandestinely in the back of Action Man’s jeep. She was called Bertha Buzzums. Unfortunately her legs didn’t bend so she had to lie flat in any necessarily silent AM/BB couplings under the jeep awning. Obviously, I let my daughters have Barbies, Action Men and Bratz (no feet, natch). Sadly, one of the Barbies recently lost her limbs in a botched tandem parachute dive with my husband’s Napalm Action Man (face melted in a camping stove accident) and now lives in a drawstring bodybag emblazoned with a ‘FosterGrant’ logo.

  22. Oh gosh, I have just CRIED with laughter at this post and the ensuing comments – THANK YOU! I was just remembering my own Pippas and googled “Pippa” – to discover here that everyone seems to have had similarly warped imaginations to my sister and I! We had Pippa and all her mates – Britt, Marie, (can’t remember what the others were called – perhaps someone can help me out?) and Pete. They were all aged 16 (because in our imaginations that was the most glamourous age to be) and lived in a penthouse apartment (the cupboard above the built-in wardrobe, accessed from my top bunk bed). We also had a Barbie, who we pretended was a prostitute because she had such impossibly big tits and tarty clothes. Bad dolls were “punished” by removing a limb / their head, and leaving it down the road in a little hole in someone’s front garden wall. If it was still there next day they got it back. One day, Pippa’s arm was gone for good…

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