RAISED on the Famous Five’s long summers of sunshine, mouthwatering picnics and foiling a smuggling ring? How did it compare to your miserable reality?
Famous Five: During six weeks off in Dorset catch kidnappers, find hidden treasure, uncover a bomb plot, and have a marvellous time doing so.
You: Mostly hung around aimlessly. The only crime you solved was who vandalised a swing in the park, because it you was you and your mates.
Famous Five: Spent long days exploring coves, caves, moorland, tunnels and mysterious old houses.
You: Sat dead-eyed in front of the telly with a friend you barely spoke to playing literally hundreds of hours of Spectrum games such as Frogger that never varied or progressed, except for getting so fast they were unplayable.
Famous Five: Enjoyed a traditional diet of sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, fresh plums, and lashings of homemade ginger beer, all of which tasted like manna from heaven.
You: Crisps. More crisps. Fried egg and oven chips. Angel Delight. Or, if on holiday at the seaside, dry fish and chips in a cafe sheltering from the rain.
Famous Five: Would meet interesting strangers, such as gypsies, inventors or a girl who worked for the circus.
You: Got shouted at by a grumpy local bloke who claimed you were on private property, which you weren’t. Your aunt came round to tell to your mum about her hysterectomy.
Famous Five: Existed in a wholesome world that set them up to be decent and well-adjusted adults.
You: Spent your time seeking out wanking material or planning to go round to Andy’s house because he said his dad had Driller Killer on VHS, which turned out to be bollocks.
Famous Five: The Five’s parents were either absent, kidnapped, or mere enablers of adventure and providers of picnics.
You: Your parents inappropriately dragged you along to visit relatives, where they talked about grown-up stuff and you sat with a cup of tea you didn’t want, so bored you thought you might die.
Famous Five: Formed deep, lifelong friendships. After disagreements they made up and were better friends than ever.
You: Bullied your mate Colin. You’re not even sure why. Gavin stuffed some cat shit down his back. It’s probably not a summer of friendship Colin cherishes.
Famous Five: Would find a secret passage leading to a hidden cove with a boat they could take to Kirrin Island.
You: Had a plan to build a treehouse. Then you realised you had a couple of bits of wood, no tools and no suitable tree. When you went back to the potential treehouse site the next day, someone had stolen your bits of wood.