scribbles tagged ‘1982’

wearing dad’s jumper

Friday, June 29th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Mumsie: what would you like us to get you for your 18th Birthday present?

Wendy: A motorbike

Mumsie: No

Wendy: I’ll save to buy the protective clothing – Helmet, jacket, trousers, boots

Mumsie: No, nothing electrical for your 18th

Wendy: The Gibson Les Paul you got Bros 62 is an electric guitar

Mumsie: That’s different

Wendy: What if I buy the bike and you can give me a full set of leather gear and a helmet for my 18th?

Mumsie: No

Wendy: Why not?

Mumsie: No clothes for your 18th

Wendy: What can I have?

Mumsie: I thought a nice Diamond and Topaz ring

Wendy: If that’s what I’m allowed, I’ll take it… … can I pawn it for money towards a motorcycle?

Honda CB100N

Mum and Dad rarely rowed. Later that year they rowed about my getting a motorbike. Dad sided with me, placating mumsie with a promise to make sure that I looked after the bike properly. The morning before Dad took this photograph he carried a comfy chair into the garage while I laid out the large tent groundsheet on the garage floor between my bike and his comfy chair. Dad opened the Haynes manual.

Gradually I deconstructed the engine and lay each piece out in neat chronological order on the groundsheet. When the engine was in pieces we took a break to clean up and eat Sunday lunch.  Then, slowly, peace by piece, I rebuilt the engine. When I got confused, Dad showed me the relevant Haynes manual picture and pushed me to make a decision. He helped listen to the sound quality when adjusting the timer.

I felt so proud of myself once I’d finished.  Dad let me wear my favourite of his jumpers for this celebratory photograph.

The bike lasted just over a year before I sold it on for a profit.

My diamond and topaz ring, worn less than 6 times in 30 years,  reminds me that mum and dad love me and the responsibility and freedom of motorcycling…



wearing dad’s jumper
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Monday, September 27th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Cooperative Food

I’m on a roll with the making of changes. I’ve moved my current and credit accounts to the Co-op bank. Hoorah! I love their values and helpful staff. I leave NatWest with a fabulous sense of relief and freedom.

In 1982 a girl I’d been to school with opened my Natwest Bank account in my local village. As one of the less than 10% of people that went to University I was a valued customer, a potential high earner. They promised me a free £5 for opening an account with them. One third of the cost of a pair of Levi 501s (£14.99).

In the 1980’s Natwest was small and friendly, my whole family and most of the village either banked or worked there.  Natwest saw me through my BSc, PhD, my first job, first car, and first mortgage. Some bumps, but generally they were supportive and I stuck with them.  In 1992 I lost my job. I wrote to Natwest to let them know (a condition of the mortgage). They told me that they were going to put my house on the market and charge me for a valuation and sales services.  I had not defaulted on my mortgage. I had sufficient savings to live on and pay my mortgage for months and they could see that by looking at my accounts.  This was an outragoeusly insensitive and unsupportive act. Also, they were not legally allowed to do this, this was bullying!  I replied telling them that they did not have my permission to spend my money on selling my home when I had not broken the conditions of the mortgage agreement.  I got a job, changed cities, changed home, changed mortage provider.

Things really spiralled downhill in the naughties.  After they were purchased by RBS the service standard nose-dove into corporate solelessness and ignorant, if cheerful, front of house staff.  Luckily I missed experiencing the gradual decay because I was living and primarily banking in the USA. Since returning to the UK they’ve actualy reduced me to tears twice, by aggressively trying to sell me services.

Today they treated me with their normal intrusive and condescending rudeness. AaarggGHH. The last straw. I calmly asked the informations desk for advice on the most efficient and effective way close all my acounts with them.  It felt good to stride out of the shop upright, hanky still in my pocket, knowing that I wont be going back.

David Bowie sang Changes

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Monday, September 6th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

The rain it never stops and I’ve no particular place to go…   …for me this song captures profound sadness so beautifully. 

Japan sang Ghosts

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chasing sheep

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 | tags: , , , , , , , , ,  |

is best left to the shepherds

The roads in Devon and Cornwall are a wee bit thin to pass a sheep, or three.

Thomas and I waited while these bleety little chaps found a passing place with sufficient grass to keep them happy.

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snow melt

Monday, January 4th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

The snow is disappearing to the sound of modern English’s optimistic little ditty.   This  song came to my attention on a compilation  audio tape cassette that Bambi used as part of his courting ritual.  

Modern English sang I melt with you

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after school

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Jill: do you think he’s handsome?
Gail:   Handsome isn’t quite the word I’d use,   cute, good looking,   cheeky,   maybe.   Those dimples, pale green eyes and tight perky bum are a class above the other boys

Jill: is he your boyfriend?
Gail:   NO! Why d’you think that?

Jill: Well,   I saw you holding hands and you’re always hanging-out together after school
Gail: no,   he’s just a friend, I keep thinking I should fancy him,   what with him being so pretty and all,   but I don’t…   …don’t know why

Jill: are you gay?
Gail:  don’t think so, I don’t fancy any girls

Jill: do you fancy any boys?
Gail: no.   It’s  really disappointing,   I keep hoping that it’s just because I haven’t met the right boy yet,   but how many boys do you have to meet?   Everyone else seems to find people to go out with and  snog in the corridors.  

Jill: what about Andy?   He’s nice, tall, funny  and clever, there’s a whole load of girls want to go out with him,   you sit next to him in maths and history  and you go round his place after class, some of the girls are really jealous
Gail: Really?!    He’d love to know that,   can I tell him?  

Jill: NO!   way-too embarassin’
Gail: You too?!     Why can’t I see it, whatever it is that he has that you all fancy

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

I remember the early 1980’s

  • the recession.
  • living off root vegetables, tea, and hope that unemployment would reduce.  
  • Being mistaken for a ho when walking home alone…. …any time of day.
  • Mortgages requiring a 10% minimum deposit and being a maximum of 3x your annual income in a job you’d demonstrated committment for  at least a year.

Everthing considered,   I thought The Beat put it quite politely.   An understatement.   I cried everytime Thatcher was re-elected.   It was personal.

The (English) Beat sang ‘Stand down Margaret’

(Warning:   contains Sax)

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temporary home

Thursday, September 20th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

My parents moved home in April 1982 when I was 18yrs studying for my A level’s in June 1982.  

Mum & Dad had been looking for a new home earnestly since 1977.   After 2 years of their looking I no longer took their house- hunting seriously.   I saw a fussiness that would rule-out all almost-right choices.   Hmmm….   like parents like daughter?   lets just not go there.    Suddenly in January 1982 they found a house nowhere near my school  and succssfully  purchased it.   They placed me in a foster-home for me to cover April 1982 thru June 1982.   Due to a vicious bout of the flu I was bed-ridden and couldn’t join in the choice.

My parents picked hosts who were a couple starting on their second marriage,   both recently divorced from their first marriages.  He was a ‘Royal Engineer’ who was thoroughly commited  to the Faulklands war  that started in April 1982 both were staunch supporters of the Ronald Regan and  conservative Prime Minister  Margaret Thatcher.     I hated the stink in the home.    Their Labrador puppy peeing on the floor daily didnt help.  The couple  made it clear that my  coloured friend should not come to their house.   She was not an appropriate person for me to spend time with.  They explained to me that it embarressed them and lowered the tone of the neighbourhood to see her walking towards their house.   Soon it became obvious that my male-friends were also not allowed to  call at this house,  apparantly it  made their home look like  it was a brothel.  

I had friends of all colours and genders,   but only the white females were allowed to be seen walking to their house.   Even  this honoured class had to  be dressed appropriately,   meaning some form of Victorian image of demure.    Village life in 1982.   It may be village life today.   At the time I was furious with my parents for leaving me there.   Retrospectively I think I learned a lot of valuable lessons from the difficult experience of living with these people.

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