This week has become Typewriter Week at TwitchyCorner. Every day I’ll post a story or factual/visual piece to do with these wondrous machines. Did you know there are scores of typewriter-dedicated blogs worldwide? Would you believe I just discovered it is in fact International Typewriter Appreciation Month? How about that!
Yesterday I wrote of the joy and cheer that finally landing a typewriter brings, but Miss Red Dora is not my first. She is indeed my first cheeky red one. But this new acquisition heals a childhood wound…
When I was small and on the rare occasion my father had to take me to his workshop on a Saturday morning, the only way to keep me out of trouble was to let me loose on the office typewriter. Val used to come in to type the workshop correspondence, and invoices on magical bi-coloured (carbon) forms that worked in duplicate. She typed once, she had two copies! I was in awe of her machine, her skill, her beehivey do and her pearlescent nails and coffee mugs. I don’t remember her face (I was so young, though Val was real she may well be a patchwork of people through the workshop office. However…) such was the impression her prowess and accoutrements made on me. Val did not need to look at her fingers as she typed. What was she- some kind of sorceress?
I’d sit at the desk and play. I lived in Enid Blyton land at the time. I banged out endless little variations of stories about mischievous bands of children who’s names are all found on the English Royal family tree. It took me so long to make any progress with my small hands and juvenile hunt-and-peck method, it was the best value babysitter any busy adult could have found me. (Well, perhaps dependent on what was showing on the telly- if Superfriends was on I’d be outta there).
My interest in playing on typewriters never waned, so one day years later, my father returned from a business trip with something large in a big, textured plastic, off-white, carry case. Inside was a lightweight, portable typewriter of my very own! A bland and neutral workhorse with greyish/ bluish-green? keys, ready for duty.
I loved that thing, used it often and carried it upstairs and down.
One day when I was about twelve, I made my way down the stairs, carry handle gripped in one fist. Somehow the pair of cover securing, thumb-press buttons popped back in. The typewriter came away from her handled cover and dropped, hard. Helpless, I watched her tumble awkwardly down the stairs, careening off the landing wall and turning the corner. Bang! Clang! Bang! Clunk. I felt sick.
She was warped beyond repair and I was heart broken. For whatever reason my mechanical companion was never replaced. But she and I still had stories to tell.
I wouldn’t have daily contact with another typewriter for about six more years, when I started my first job. I don’t remember how long I mourned. I don’t even remember what model or make she was.
Linking with Essentially Jess