Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I left school Christmas 1962 at the age of 15 with two qualifications. The art of country dancing and the ability to use a micrometer. When? I asked my metalwork teacher will I ever need that perticular skill in the real world. But he insisted. Teachers what do they know? I started work in January 1963 ( no gape year for me )at a ball bearing manufactures and used a micrometer every day for about twenty years. Teachers know everything.I cycled to work that first day through snow sludge and subzero temperatures.my only thought was as D-Ream sang all those years latter and the labour party used as an election campaaign slogan in 1997,things can only get better, then I stepped inside the factory. I was wrong. The noise that greeted me was deafening, I had never heard anything like it and never would again until I attended a Status quo concert at the Hamersmith odean about twenty years later. It was incredible (the noise that is not the Status Quo concert )it was just one long continues din (yes you guessed it The status quo concert not the factory). The long hot barmy sunny schooldays were over but there was a summer of love on the distant horizon.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I think i should take time out here to mention that in amongst all that fun and frivolity i did receive an education. From age five i attended the local infants school and at the age of seven( there's that age seven again) we were split up from the girls and moved to the village junior school for boys. I can only assume this was done to prevent any unwanted pregnancies among the under eleven girls. We were however brought together every Wednesday for country dancing. A skill that has stood me in good stead throughout my life.At the age of eleven just as the old hormoans started to kick in we were all thrust back together again at the nearest secondry modern.The nearest secondry modern was about seven miles away.After two years of being bussed to school they built a new one only about a mile away.Everything was brand new except the teachers and pupils.They were all recycled.I ended my school days as headboy, a job i was given i believe becuase i was the tallest in my year and i had a school tie.All i got out of being headboy was the opotunity to stay inside at break times(good in the cold weather) and the nerve racking privaledge of reading from the bible at the christmas carole concert in the cathedrel.Christianity.My part in it's down fall.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

It's a little known fact that between 1950 and 1959 there were no winters no darkness no rain and it was never cold. It was one long hot barmy summers day and we reveled in it.We had friends that were real flesh and blood and the only way to talk to them was to meet them face to face.We could spend hours on the street corner under the lamp just chatting and playing games. Games that we made up on the spot .We were cowboys and indians,British or German soldiers, knights in armour anything we wanted to be .The world was our oyster.And it wasn't a virtual world. We would go off for days at a time across the fields.Climbing trees flattening the farmers crop by rolling around in the corn and destroying the indigenous wildlife's habitat pulling out great chunks of hedgerow to use as rifles, spears ,bows and arrows whatever the weapon of choice was.We only went home when we were hungry or our shoes wore out, which ever came first.Every day was an adventure.A glorious exciting adventure.And then it started to snow.

Monday, 4 October 2010

By today's standards our family would have been considered weird.Neither of my parents had been married before,they were married to each other and they stayed that way until death did them part.My two sisters and i all shared the same surname and the same parents.That's enough to get a kid bullied in these modern times just for being different, although it all seemed quite normal at the time
When i reached the ripe old age of seven we left auntie Elsi and friends and moved to a three bedroom council house with an outside loo.The toilet was actually in the house but the door to it was outside next to the back door.This glaring design fault was rectified some years later when the men from the council arrived, bricked up the doorway and knocked down the wall between the loo and the bathroom, hey presto modern suburban living ,inside amenities.It had taken since the nineteen thirties for someone to come up with that idea which is not surprising when you consider that most of the council were related to locally sourced seasonal vegetables.I now had a bedroom of my own and my parents had their privacy back.Still no younger brothers or sisters though.