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Friday, 25 June 2010


When I went to leave my mother's place on Thursday this week, I couldn't find it in my heart to leave this fellow behind ...

In early 1974 when I was twenty I hand-sewed Gonk for my sister's eleventh birthday. He was made out of crimpline, a popular (stifling) material in the 60's and 70's. A very badly-stitched effort, but with personality. My sister loved him.

(From Wikipedia). 'Perhaps the most famous gonk in the UK (and NZ) was Humpty from the children's TV series Play School. Gonks were also immortalized in the early 1980s in the TV comedy show The Young Ones, where Neil gets worried about his exam performance:

"I sat in the big hall and put my packet of Polos on the desk. And my spare pencil and my support gonk. And my chewing gum and my extra pen. And my extra Polos and my lucky gonk. And my pencil sharpener shaped like a cream cracker. And three more gonks with a packet of Polos each. And lead for my retractable pencil. And my retractable pencil. And spare lead for my retractable pencil. And chewing gum and pencils and pens and more gonks, and the guy said "Stop writing, please."

Gonk moved from Dunedin to Gore, then in 1976 from Gore to Palmerston North. After thirty-four years he is on the move again, unceremoniously squashed into a suitcase to travel with me back to Dunedin.



McDinzie said...

you stole him...just smuggled him out of his warm house to make him head south to a cold cold poor better give him lots of cuddles like I used to!!

Agnes said...

Welcome back Gonk :-)

Catherine said...

I remember gonks - thanks for the reminder - I never had one, though. (It didn't occur to me that Playschool's Humpty was a gonk - not quite the same in my opinion. I believe the Playschool toys are in the Otago Early Settler's museum!)

Penelope said...

Such a familiar name ... I just can't put a face to the one I'm sure lived in our house. Brown, I think. I'll have to ask my sister...

Mariana said...

I love that Humpty is a gonk; all those years of play school and never knowing (it's true Catherine, Wiki says so ;-). Such a cool word too. Gonk, gonk, gonk...hmmm craft revival anyone?

Thanks for sharing this!


'how this all harbours light'