Today’s WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge is a little quirky, requiring me to make my own version of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. I always assumed this was something Winston Churchill had said to boost the morale of his countrymen. Something that would perfectly capture the quintessential British stiff-upper-lip-stoicism. Turns out he didn’t. According to Keep Calm and Carry On, The Real Story, the poster that has been so frequently parodied as an internet meme wasn’t even discovered until long after the end of the war. The original plan by the British government’s Information Ministry, had been to issue the poster when Germany invaded Britain. Since that didn’t happen, the poster didn’t actually see the light of day until almost sixty years later, when it was discovered by a bookseller in England. Now, an entire industry has grown around it – its no-nonsense message emblazoned usually along with King George VI’s crown on coffee cups, mouse pads, i-phone covers, T-shirts etc You can even make your own by visiting http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/ which is what I did this evening after a long day at work.
My version of the poster is a wish for all children to enjoy childhood. Seen and heard. Healthy. Carefree. Which brings me back to 1972, when I was a little girl with friends and books and lots of music in her life. So fortunate to have so many devices of distraction. On TV, Top of the Pops aired on BBC1 (one of only three channels) every Thursday night. Mandatory viewing which would provide us with plenty to talk about at school the next day. As I grew older with just enough angst to be hip, I tuned into BBC2 and “The Old Grey Whistle Test” – those of you who did the same, I hope you know the host who, by his own admission, “loves music for a living” is alive and well and on Twitter @whisperingbob. Seriously. But back to the pithy poptunes of my childhood. Required listening involved tuning into the comforting static and crackle of Radio Luxembourg on my “transistor radio” every Saturday night. I can distinctly remember counting down to the No.1 song, watching the sky fill up with stars, wondering where Luxembourg was. It might as well have been in outer space. Perfect then, that David Bowie would show up on Top of the Pops one Thursday evening in 1972, looking appropriately out-of-this world and filling my head with Ziggy Stardust and his message to us from a “starman waiting in the sky.”
“Let all the children boogie.” ~ DAVID BOWIE