The other day I was strolling down the main street of Wellington, and I came across a busker, right outside the supermarket. Now this in itself is obviously not worthy of commentary, but what I did find notable was his busking medium of choice...
It wasn't a guitar like the young guy singing a droning version of Stuck In The Middle, nor was it a fiddle accompanied by a Chinese man who looks like the guy selling takeaways in The Fifth Element, and it definitely wasn't a small-sized keyboard like the girl who has her dog sitting patiently next to her. This chap was busking with... Chatter Rings.
Yes I thought it incredibly unusual too and not just because it's hardly a talent worthy of an admiring glance let alone a few coins (I know, I know, he's probably homeless and it's not about the talent... how heartless of me...), but more because of the memories that were prompted from seeing this Blast from the Past in action. Which has led me to create a complete Blast from the Past category, whereby we look back and celebrate these trends and gizmos of the moment.
So when I started to think about 'Chatter Rings', I was drawn back to my primary school days. I actually never owned my own Chatter Rings, but would 'borrow' from others in the playground and got enough practice in to be an amateur on the rings. And then I started thinking about Tamagotchis! Yeah, don't pretend you didn't almost explode with excitement when those little digital pets burst onto the scene. Coming right alongside Chatter Rings and Tamagotchis was the revival, or perhaps attempted revival of the yo-yo, with the updated 'cool' version... the ProYo. Tricks like 'Walk the Dog' and 'Around the World' were being flaunted as often as Britney's underwear.
What is fascinating looking back at this Blast from the Past is how short-lived the gadgets were, no sooner were they on the shelf and selling like hotcakes, then the next minute they were no longer "cool" and there was a new must-have gizmo. Now considering I don't have children myself (yet!!), it's hard to compare this to the childhood playgrounds of today. Maybe the trends are just as short-lived, particularly given the technological and innovative age we live in.
So what's the point in Blast from the Past? Oh it's just a bit of fun really, a chance for you to remember something and smile to yourself while saying "Ohhh yeahhh! I remember that!". I know I've only covered a couple, so feel free to share your other Playground Pastimes - Blasts from the Past below!