Sorry, or thankfully, depending on your views, you’re going to have to do without a video with the blog, due to the fact I’m away for Christmas, and dont have headphones to check its working OK.
Back in March 1983, I moved away to Somerset, my first real job away from home, in a small town I’d never visited before, named Yeovil. In June 1983, there was a General Election, one of Thatchers numerous successes. But lets not talk about her.
In those days, there wasnt the millions of betting markets that there are now, due to the lack of internet and stuff, so unless it was a standard market, the big name bookmakers wouldnt bet on it. Anyway, there was talk around town about a candidate standing at the forthcoming election, for the Liberal Party, named Paddy Ashdown. What you have to consider at this time, Yeovil was a nice safe Conservative seat, so…
There was a wonderful man, named Tony Woods, who had an independent bookmakers up the road from where I worked. Anyway, he decided to quote a price on this young whippersnapper (well, 42, by politician standards…fairly young) for the next General Election to take the seat. Yes, as history shows, it cost him a bit of money, lol.
Paddy was still MP for Yeovil when I left the town about 16 years later. He hadnt been my MP since 1988, when I moved across the border to live in West Dorset, but he was still the MP where I worked at least. He finally retired from the position in 2001, but the Liberal/Liberal Democrat vote held up until recently anyway.
I only saw Paddy Ashdown once. He walked into the Liberal Club in town, when I was there, playing darts, and that was the only time I ever actually saw him. But I know he did a lot of good for Yeovil, and his constituents. He continued to do good for the country after his retirement, and moved into the house of Lords. Of course, he also led the Liberals for a very long period of time in the interim, some of their more successful years.
Yes, he passed away in the last couple of day, at the age of 77. Maybe we never knew each other, but both of us let Yeovil leave its mark on us back in 1983.
Tomorrow night is that annual tradition known as the Works Christmas Dinner, version, who quite knows? There were a few while at William Hill in Leeds, and this wont be the first Civil Service one, but its certainly a more interesting location than the norm. Why, dinner is at a casino, darlings!
In my life, I’ve been into 2 casino’s, and thats it. The first of those was actually at Philadelphia Park racecourse and casino, and I simply passed through the building on the way to the racecourse viewing area via a lift. Just a way of getting somewhere, never looked at anything. I have also been to the one we’re going to tomorrow night in Bradford, on a Saturday afternoon, after work, with a colleague, to waste an hour between the finish of work, and yes, you’ve guessed it, the works Christmas dinner! Must have been the 2016 version, because I was able to drink back then!
The amusing thing for me tomorrow night, beyond the opportunity to dress up a bit, is that one of the things that we get for our price, is a £5 gambling chip! No, I dont expect it to last more than 1 play, lol! And what to play it on, no idea! I suppose that if it was a real Hollywood movie, I would walk up to the roulette table, coolly put the chip on a number, and it would win! But given the most glamorous place I ever acted was the Octagon Theatre, in Yeovil, its fair to say it will lose! Yes, its still there, about 30 years on, so I didnt close it down, lol! In truth, I knew it survived at least until 1999, when I left Yeovil, but have never been back since, so had to check on Google!
No, I dont think its going to get me back into any form of gambling habit, somehow! Beyond the race that everyone in the UK bets on, the Grand National, I havent had a bet since 2013, until now. I dont think I’m going to say I broke that streak for 1 free chip in a casino, lol. Maybe I should get into cool flapper mode before playing that chip, mind? Not that I can smoke (not permitted by law), or drink (not permitted by painkiller pills I’m on), but I can think the part! Oh, and partly look it, at least.
Yes, the hair, darlings! Had it done today, so I’m ‘properly’ blonde again, with a neat layered bob look, and probably the attitude to match? I did actually go under a hair dryer today, but unfortunately it wasnt in the mood to ‘transform’ my thoughts into those of a 20’s flapper! Ah well…
Oh fine, if this is the last blog for a while, you know I broke the bank at Bradford, and have moved somewhere warmer abroad. So yeah, you’ll get a blog again soon, probably Saturday (recovery day after tomorrow), rather than Sunday (out for some of day), but anyway, just saying… 😉
Right, video time. Another one from the TV series set in Blackpool, a rather apt song for tomorrow night. Sadly the very dishy David Tennant isnt seen in this one, ah well…
In truth, on the whole, the one thing I’ve avoided in my life, is going back to places where I lived for a long period of time. And before anyone says anything, 4 weeks isnt a long period of time, so revisiting Los Angeles is fine in my book! 😛
But the Medway Towns (departure date, 2003), Yeovil (1999), and Leytonstone (2005), I’ve pretty much passed on all 3 since leaving them for the last time. I passed through Leytonstone once in a car, but thats it! Yes, I’ve excluded Newbury (2001) because I did go back once, about 14 years later, and fine, it didnt really work. Unsurprisingly, it had changed dramatically from what I remembered, and only made me more determined not to go back to the others. In truth, the only one I’m torn about is Yeovil, but after 19 years, there is no way it could go well now, so I mustn’t!
So why, this week, am I going back to Haworth (1962), you might reasonably ask? Its funny, I’ve no idea why I dont have any issues in returning there, not that I have now been back for about 10 years, because I guess I just dont remember actually living there. Yes, you have to remember, the family moved officially to Medway Towns when I was 3, or 4, and hey, I was too young to remember much of that. I do know where the ‘old house’ is, or did 10 years ago, and ironically it, and its next door neighbor were now 1 house! May I add, that made it into 1 decent sized home!
Let me say it had changed dramatically, but it had changed dramatically long before then. When I came home as a teen even, it was just a small section at the top of the village that was pure tourism, the rest of the village, just an ordinary mill village. Move on 35 years, and the whole place was a tourist haven. So why go back now, I hear you ask?
Simple, if its going to be done, it needs to be done soon. As anyone who knows Haworth will know, or even seen pictures of the village, you know the Main Street is steep. Regular readers will also know my back isnt what it used to be! Whereas 10 years ago, going up the hill was fine, I suspect its going to be more of a challenge now, with my back, and lets face it, that situation isnt going to improve! So yes, if I want to do it, I need to do it soon.
I’m not saying it will be the last time, but I suspect, it might be. Its not exactly a disabled friendly village, by design, lets face it, lol. And yes, I’ll probably stop off in Keighley on the way. Thats not the town I remember as a youngster either, but it will be a swift pass through town, and on, I suspect.
In truth, I dont know if this is a good idea, or not, but just feel it needs to be done?
Video time. I did use this before, but it was 7 years ago, so dont really see this as a repeat?
I suppose if you’ve lived in, or around one area all your life, then this probably wont mean much, but if you’ve lived in a few areas of the country as I have, then…
I lived in, or around Yeovil for nearly 17 years, arriving early in ’83, and leaving there late in ’99, working in one place in town, all that time. ironically, I work for the same company again now, though the shop has moved in the meanwhile, but not far! From there I moved to Newbury for a couple of years or so, before various events meant I had to move on again, which I’d rather not talk about, as they are of a personal nature.
I know Yeovil has changed a lot since then, had contact with a couple of people in that area, and they tell me I wouldnt recognise parts of it. Newbury, havent really got much idea, but I suspect its changed a bit too.
The silly thing is, I sort of have a strange hankering to visit these places again, but I’m just not sure its a wise thing to do after so long. Not only will the places have changed, the people will have done so too, and I’m unlikely to meet anyone I knew back then, and even if I did, they probably wouldnt recognise me for obvious reasons lol! I sort of initially discovered what was ‘wrong’ with me when I moved to Newbury, but was still trying to deny it, in public at least at that point. Yeovil only ever knew me as a guy in all honesty, though neither place ever saw the female me, its fair to say.
So, is it just a silly idea to want to go back after so long, or is it something I should do, if only so I can toss away a few ghosts of that time? As you might gather, I definitely have mixed thoughts over the idea.
Right, musings over, I suspect some are only waiting for the video option anyway lol! This is one from my teen years, the first group I ever saw in concert, in Chatham, though this lineup isnt the one I saw, there had been 2 changes by then. Always wanted to be Eve Graham, 30 years or so later, I found out why! Hope you enjoy, as always…
Double blogging tonight, I can blame You Tube for that, but found a couple of good songs for things. Mind, unless you’ve found my other blog, or vice versa, then you wont know both!
Yorkshire, where I am now, only ranks as the county I’ve lived in for the 3rd longest period in my life, even more so if you count the Somerset/Dorset border area as one, as my stay down there was spent on both sides of the border, though never more than 3 miles from the other, and indeed worked in Somerset all that time. Kent is the longest btw, and now will be for a few more years yet, given I lived there about 21 years, and still only approaching 10 in Yorkshire even now.
Somerset was my first taste of independence from home, I knew I needed to get away from home for several reasons, one of which I’ve now got round to living of course. Though back then I was still trying to be a man, even if I was making a very lousy job of it, again I now know why!
But Somerset (and Dorset) did me good, I got that freedom that I needed, and life was fun. Life down there is definitely lived at a relaxed pace, even if the fallacy that everyone drinks cider is totally false lol! I made a few good friends down there, but had no contact with any of them once I left in ’99, and do regret not knowing what happened to a few of them.
Dont get me wrong, I’m Yorkshire through and through, and glad that after all these years, that I’m living up here once again, and in all likelihood, unlikely to move on. I guess I might move to Ireland when I retire, even though I have no relatives or anything over there I know, theres something in my heart, my Irishness if you like that calls to me, even if it is more than a few generations back. Dont ask me why, but there is?
But I’m glad I lived in and around Yeovil for 16 years, I had a great time down there, I must admit.
Sorry, you might be hoping for Pet Shop Boys, or even the Village People, but you’re getting neither of them. Instead you’re getting a group whose very heart is Somerset, even if one of their legendary line up was born nearer Edinburgh than Taunton. And yes, I love them even now.
Hope you can enjoy lol!