The toy shop on the High Road was called Toy Cave. It was a bit like a cave, dark and it didn’t smell very fresh. It wasn’t a big shop and there were lots of toys hanging from the ceiling, and bicycles and tricycles. You couldn’t play in there. There was no room to try out any of the toys. I never bought any big toys there, just things like bouncy rubber balls and those little plastic bottles of liquid you used to blow bubbles. The men in there were never very friendly to me.
Next door to Toy Cave was a shop that sold Marital Aids. I had no idea what Marital Aids were and for a long time I thought it said “Martial Aids” and thought it was for people who liked Martial Arts, like Kung Fu. Jim and I did Karate for a while, at Chiswick School on a Thursday night, but he was so much bigger than me that we couldn’t really practise together. I didn’t like missing “Top of the Pops” either so we stopped after a few months. Jim watched that “Kung Fu” programme on a Saturday night, and so did some of my friends at school, but I never watched a whole episode of it.
Taken from “1000 Memories”, available as a Kindle book here (UK) or here (US).