I love seeing the excitement and joy that my little grandchildren get from receiving Cars or Disney Princesses magazines. Ever since I could read I was hooked. Bunty, Judy, Princess Beano, the Dandy. I would have read them all. Grandma said we could have 2 each, so I chose Bunty and Judy and Uncle Peter had Eagle and Swift. They arrived on Tuesday and even now Tuesday seems a special day, in my mind it is pink. The days of the week have always had a colour each for me. Monday-green, Tuesday-pink, Wednesday-brown, Thursday-grey, Friday-yellow, Saturday-white and Sunday-black.
When we moved to Marlow Grandpa arranged for me to have a magazine called Jackie, I collected it on Thursdays before catching the bus for school in Quoiting Square. I was 13, and Jackie held all the excitement of those mysterious , magical teenage years that hold all the promise of that amazing, far away world of being a woman. (Actually Dad thought I had some sort of mental block at that point and never got beyond the age of 12).
Jackie had a problem page called Cathy and Claire; they gave the wisest and kindest advice to teenage girls that I have ever read. More about all that later.
Newsagents ("edicole", in Italian) are little microcosms containing information and making promises within the colourful pages of their multitude of magazines, covering subjects from knitting to Nuts.
When I was 10 I had a paper round with my friend Eileen. We would set off at 7.30 on Sunday mornings delivering papers and magazines to the people on the nearby housing estate. We took them The News of the World, The People, The Sun. They looked quite different from The Sunday Times that we had. We read all the stories about Jayne Mansfield, The Profumo affair, and took quick peeks inside the Playboy magazine, marvelling that any one could ever look like that.
When I was 17 Grandma bought me the first Cosmopolitan and with it there was a free book called J. How to be a sensuous woman. I have still got it !!
Grandpa would send me big rolls of magazines to Italy and when they arrived with the watermarks of the Green Street Post office I felt much closer to home. For years he would send me magazines and newspapers and as I eagerly devoured them he would joke that I knew more about what was going on than he did.
Now we can just turn on our computers and read the papers on line. I like The Guardian and The Daily Mail because they contrast each other quite nicely and I love to read people's comments -often more revealing than the articles themselves. Louise likes The Independent and BBC News, also very good.