I miss mail

Letters Under the Lids circa 1984
Letters Under the Lids circa 1984



I can’t remember the last time I received a letter in the mail.  Even an older relative of mine who lives overseas, now prefers email to letter writing.

When I was a kid, letters were particularly special to me.  When we moved to London, I had to say goodbye to a lot of good friends.  I know I’m stating the obvious, but think about what it was like in the early 80’s.  No internet.  No texts.  Even long distance calling was very expensive.  Without letters, I was completely cut off from my old friends.   But even letter writing had its limitations.  We were desperate for photos and only had official school pictures to send.  “Did you take lots of pictures on your trip?  Send them to me. I promise I’ll send them back.” 

Postcards were like getting two presents in one.  The letter side would be filled with quick tidbits about a trip, or if they had excellent tiny penmanship then it was almost as good as a full length letter.  The other side had the picture that was chosen just for  you.  These went up on the small bulletin board in my room, and later when I lived on my own, became fridge art.     This one was sent to me from England, with a charming p.s. ” Maybe this will help you learn how to swim.”

Postcard Under the Lids circa 1984
Postcard Under the Lids circa 1984



Happy Birthday David Bowie

Cassette circa 1983
Cassette circa 1983





I already had Let’s Dance on vinyl but didn’t want to just tape my album.     I needed to have the actual cassette too.   I still had my Sony Walkman I won from CJBK a couple years earlier.  I loved the way the 5lb Walkman hung off my the waist of my jeans, and the way its spongey headphones  doubled as a hairband. This tape was a play/eject/flip/play/eject/flip/play/eject/flip/play kind of tape.  It was my favourite thing to listen to when I was 14.

Every January 8  I have celebrated David Bowie’s birthday in one way or another.   Listening to him, wearing him, getting my kid to wear him.  He once asked if I was married to David Bowie.  Where would he get such an idea?

My kid and I in our Bowie shirts 2007.
My kid and I in our Bowie shirts 2007.







Today I’ll wear my Bowie necklace and listen to Bowie  at the Beeb – a fantastic compilation featuring a live performance from 2000 with a sexy version of Let’s Dance. 

Happy Birthday David Bowie,  with 30+ years of admiration and not-married-to-you-kind of love.


How texts used to look

1984 Grade 9 Notes_2





Do kids today have anything to hold on to other than their phones? Don’t get me wrong –  I love my new iPhone and all that it does.  But in 20 years, will people be able to have trips down memory lane by looking at old texts the way I do with old notes?  How do they determine the mathematical likelihood of romance  by writing out your name + BOY’s name with T R U E  L O V E ?  Or gems like this:   I was going to my locker, he was passing by so I go “Hi BOY”.  He turns around he goes “Hi.”  He was looking after me with this smile on his face.  BOY2 was there.  WOW.


This is what happens when you want a pet and don’t get one

When you want a pet and don’t get one, you name stuff.  In my case, I decided to make a walnut a pet, and named it Wilma.

Walnut named Wilma

There was also a balloon named Bert.  If you know anything about balloons you know that they are fine for a while and can, in lieu of a pet, make a nice companion.   But in time, they ever slowly start to lose life.  Until there is nothing left but a limp, lifeless, empty balloon.    So I did what anyone would do when a pet dies.  You give it a proper send off.

1984 Bert the Ballon - Under the Lids





If you’re wondering what happens to a balloon after 30 years, it becomes hard and brittle.

Bert the Balloon_2




Of course my kid wants a dog but there is no dog in our family’s future.  But he seems happy just to name fish. RIP Julian.  Long live Beckham.

Bert – you were a good balloon.

Blissdom Sponsor Love

BlissDom 2015 goodies
BlissDom 2015 goodies

Attending the Blissdom conference was something I had wanted to do for over two years, and finally in October 2014 it was going to be my turn!!

I’m usually great at conferences and networking – but doing it on my own without knowing anyone was a few steps out of my comfort zone.  Thankfully the brilliant Blissdom leaders had a Newbie Lounge.  By the time I finished my first plate of nachos and salsa, I met other Newbies and together we were Newbies-no-more!

The sponsors greeted us all with open arms and plenty of goodies, whether we were new to the blogging world or seasoned bloggers.   I have to say the Tim Horton’s travel mug is the best insulating/not dropping traveller I have.  Thanks Tim’s!!



Have you ever invited friends over for a visit, then realized the house is a mess, you don’t have anything to drink, and there’s no food?  That’s how I’m feeling about my blog right now.

I’m a double-newbie:  new to Blissdom and new to blogging.  I know what I want my blog to look liked and this basic blue, no-fun font, and boring layout is not what I had in mind.

I know what I want to say on my blog too.  I hope that the few moments people will spend under the lids will be a fun break in their day.  But I’m not quite there yet either.

So until then, I’ll do a quick company’s coming tidy, stop by the liquor store, and order take out.   You’re welcome to pop by any time.

Hello World!

Yearbox 1980-1984

Welcome to Under the Lids – a lighthearted look at life from my yearboxes.

I started to keep stuff around 1980. 

There was no rhyme or reason as to what I kept other than at the time, it was very important to me: concert tickets, movie stubs, rocks, a feather, clippings, notes passed in class…the list goes on.  Each year I started a new yearbox for no purpose other than to keep my stuff, and go back whenever I wanted.  About 20  years ago I organized the boxes, labelled them and put them in storage.

Who did 11 year old me have a crush on? (more like who didn’t she have a crush on).  What movies did 17 year old me go see?  What concerts did 28 year old me see with my then boyfriend/now husband?  What did 44 year old me do yesterday?

Take a trip down memory lane with me as I go under the lids for a nostalgic look back at music, movies, fashion, pop culture, and always a little bit of Bowie.