Submitted by Linda Benson

Today is 17th April, Easter Sunday and my birthday. I have been thinking a lot about birthdays just lately, perhaps because I have had quite a few myself. My birthday has fallen on Easter a few times now, and I always feel special at this time of year. I’ve always had a sense of renewal, like I can do it over again. My birthday always takes on a new meaning at Easter Time though. Not only am I celebrating an Easter birthday so is my eldest son and my Granddaughter, who has just had her first birthday.

As the years go by, I reflect on what I miss, in the traditional sense of the word. Telephone boxes for instance. They used to be on every street corner and outside the picture houses, theaters and pubs. They were a British staple, and as a young teen I found ways of making phone calls without inserting the coins. Sometimes, I even placed prank calls!! Often as a past time I would go from phone box to phone box, checking for money, just a few pennies here and there, and often, those outside the pubs, would have refunded coins, still sitting in the coin well…..

Not only do I miss the phone boxes, I miss the dial-up phones and telephone books. Remember how thick they were? As I became a young teen, these same books, or directories, were used as baby booster chairs!! I have even sat on one or two myself, while in the hair salon. My Grandmother used them as door stops, especially on a windy day!!!

Yesterday, I spoke with my 2 year old grandson, well, I did most of the talking really, he was with his parents at an AirBnB in Vancouver where there was an “old fashioned”, gold colored, rotary phone on display. My grandson picked up the receiver and said “hello Grandma”, which melted my heart. He did this a few times, and my heart was literally a puddle around my ankles!!
Today, I met up with a friend for a walk, we went from Grand Dads coffee shop along James North, where I happened across this old fashioned English telephone booth…….yes that’s me in the glass door taking a photo……

Do you remember in the late 80s, visiting the British Home Show at the CNE grounds? There were 4 or 5 English phone booths where you could have a FREE 5 minute call to Great Britain. It was amazing, the one time of the year when I could call my parents for FREE.

Yes, I do miss those telephone booths, the rotary phones, the telephone directories and all the fun we could have with them. Plus, they were an absolute life saver.
I also miss the English candy especially the liquorice. When I was young, we could find it in coils, or the length of a garden snake. Later on in years we found them, mostly at Christmas, covered in marzipan or sugar icing. They became known as Liquorice AllSorts. We can buy them in Canada at Christmas time, but they are not totally the same, the taste is quite different, although I wouldn’t say no to a box of them. Did you have a favorite Liquorice AllSort?? However, Easter is the time for chocolate, in any form. As children we would receive Chocolate eggs from all our relatives. I sometimes ended up with ten or more of them, mostly they were huge, either full chocolate, or eggs containing smaller chocolates, cream choclates, orange chocolates, chocolate buttons, and chocolate covered caramels, my favourites by far. I once received an Easter egg that was as tall as I was, I think I was 6 years old at that time. It took me months to finish it…..Our Easter Eggs, back then, were often engraved with our name, wrapped in colured cellophane and were so delectable.

Well, this month’s edition is purely a reflection back in time, one where I wish you and your family a wonderful & joyous Easter time.