Monday, June 30, 2014

I remember thinking that Big Chief I-Spy was actually writing to me.

I remember accepting a lift on a moped to school and I'm pretty sure that the sixth former in question didn't have a spare crash helmet. You didn't in those days. Gosh I'm lucky to be alive.

I remember being taught in a history lesson about Ireland where I think it was Roman Catholics (but it might have been the other persuasion) were only allowed to own a horse worth say £5. So if someone came up and asked them for their horse, they had to sell it for £5 or they'd be arrested. Which I though was fascinating. Not right, indeed totally unfair, but fascinating. A bit like putting a woman on a ducking stool. If she doesn’t drown, she’s a witch. But, of course, she does. Not right, but still fascinating.

I remember going to an after-party for an orchestral concert that a friend of ours conducted at Chelsea Old Town Hall. It was in an amazing house nearby. There was someone pretty big in piano-playing there - Rubinstein? Rabinowitz? Horowitz? Alistair Cooke's wife. An actor who invariably played posh people. I spent quite a lot of time chatting with the servants, a Spanish husband and wife who lived downstairs.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I remember my collection of milk bottles. Not just any old milk bottles, they had various advertising slogans on them, such as Cadbury’s hot chocolate. And they were delivered by the milkman.

I remember while reading Strandloper on the bus to work one morning hearing a group of schoolgirls chanting ‘fee fi fo fum, if you lose you lick my bum’. And giggling. Couldn't see what the game was, but the reason I mentioned Strandloper was that it includes several references to that and similar nursery rhymes.

I remember Gig Young in a TV series about a small town newspaper.

I remember the album for That'll Be The Day on the Ronco (better known for television advertising) label. It was a double album, with one album of originals and the other hits of the eponymous film’s era.

I remember downloading Lew Soloff's album Little Wing the other day. What I didn't remember was that I had already downloaded it – presumably a while ago. I knew that I had downloaded the title track ages ago and that I hadn't really understood it, but listening to my mp3 download of the album, I now get it. And now I have it in flac I'm sure the world will be a better place.

I remember my harmonium. One if its stops had written on it 'Vox Humana'. Human voice. One of its reeds was a little off-key so eventually I had to slide it out of its seating and I just couldn't play that note. Can't remember if I sold it, gave it away or dumped it. But I remember going to get it one night from a house in Godalming. On the roof rack of dad's car. I suspect I saw it advertised in Exchange & Mart.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I remember... nothing!

Monday, March 31, 2014

I remember James Ellis, who recently died, spitting his chips all over the place during the first episode of Z Cars. There’s gritty. And cheeky young Davy Jones asking at the counter for a shilling for the meter. (It helps that the programme is available on YouTube.)

I remember having to validate saves. I think it was only on the Sinclair Spectrum, and when you saved a file you then validated it to check it had saved correctly. It might have still been necessary on floppy disks. Nowadays we just assume (or hope) that everything is really there. Or if you’re like me you save it in several places so if one goes wrong you have a backup.

I remember Danny Thompson, who is 75 this week, and, apart from all the wonderful people he has played with, his special relationship with John Martyn. He was playing at the Savourna Stevenson gig where she kissed me on the cheek. And it has only just been brought to my notice by an article in the Telegraph that he was a session musician on Cliff Richard’s Congratulations and the Thunderbirds theme tune…

Friday, February 28, 2014

I remember Nancy Kulp, the straight woman in the Beverly Hillbillies. She was the banker’s assistant or something like that. I can still see her in my mind’s eye, and hear her plummy voice. I liked her.

I remember the rubbery tops of glue bottles.

I remember what Aunt Rosemary said about how you only get to borrow your children, you never actually own them. Then they go off to America or Australia (I added that bit).

I remember the frogs we found mating in a corner of our patio at the weekend. They weren't being ostentatious or anything, hiding under a bird table and keeping quite still - but I knew what they were doing! They had disappeared by the next morning, so hadn't taken up residence in the new home Margaret had fashioned for them nearby out of an old earthenware trough, some leaves and moss. But what do I find yesterday morning in a puddle of water on the manhole cover in the middle of the patio? A heap of frog spawn. This is where the stupid bit comes in. I know the crocuses are out, but we haven't had winter yet. Don't they read the weather forecast? Frost coming in this weekend!?! Plus the horrible bit. The pigeons were starting to show interest. Needless to say, Marg went straight on the iPad and made a phone call – not worried a bit about them thinking she was mad - and we now have a bowl of frogspawn on the breakfast table in the conservatory. My babies!

Friday, January 31, 2014

I remember Pete Seeger, who died this week at the age of 94. He was well known for his banjo tutor, but I had an LP that he made that taught guitar. It was full of stuff on hammering-on and hammering-off and there were a couple of instrumentals that I learned. I used a clip of his tuning-up question ‘Do you have a pitch-pipe?’ in many a mix-tape. I must dig it out and digitise it. Or was it my cousin’s and she lent it to me? No, I’m sure it was mine. I also remember the extraordinary control Seeger had over his audiences, the ability he had to get them to join in with him. I was delighted to learn, reading various obituaries and tributes, another example of his extraordinary bravery, whereby a matter of months after Pearl Harbor he married the love of his life - a Japanese girl Toshi, who of course died last year.

I remember the only poem I can recite from memory – He for a short time tried, To live without her, Liked it not, And died.

I remember Richard Jackson, on hearing that someone had lost both their parents within a short space of time, remarking that this was a little careless.

I remember calling Canada geese Canadian in the presence if my cousin, who lives in Vancouver. Or it might have been the cousin (they are brothers) who now lives in New York. I was corrected and rightly so.

I remember when the conductor used to ding the bell or if he was upstairs the buzzer twice to let the driver know he could drive off from the bus stop. You had to press it once for him to stop at a request stop.

I remember noticing the other day in Morden, apart from the predominance of pawnbrokers, a pub with live music and live sport emblazoned on the windows. Two different uses of the word live. What would you do if you went in there and found a group of people playing football? Or a big screen showing the Last Night Of The Proms?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I remember seeing the Amazing Mr Smith serving behind the bar at the Anchor Inn, Seatown. His daughter had backed out of her shift that afternoon, and rather than let David and Sadie down, he stood in for her. Apparently he was really nervous about doing it, but he needn’t have been. He was hilarious. It was like being served by Professor Branestawm. I didn’t know until recently that he was an actual genius, a mathematician and scientist. I had only seen his folk scene persona – which came right out of that background. I’d like to think that, when he took his own life earlier this month, he was having his last laugh - I presume West Bay was falling over itself the next morning, thinking filming had begun on the next series of Broadchurch. R.I.P Derek Smith.

I remember looking in awe at the gatefold sleeve of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland album, which I had just bought, on my way home in the front seat of a double decker bus. I had never seen that many naked women at one time. I can still remember some of their faces.

I remember a fellow OU member who lived in a flat in the Barbican and collected carrier bags.

I remember buying a car from a dealership for the first time - the wonderful Fang. Before that I used to buy my cars out of Exchange & Mart, or from friends or friends of friends or family. But this one, a Ford Sierra, cost shedloads of money but came with a guarantee. I needed it to tow a caravan.

I remember Exchange & Mart.

I remember the way the musical theme appeared (I’m Popeye the sailor man) as Popeye sucked the spinach through his pipe at the moment the tide turned and he managed to gain the upper hand over Bluto.

I remember Becker starring Ted Danson. He seems to have had no difficulty in reinventing himself over and over for different television shows. Seems like a nice guy too. (Charlie met him and his equally famous wife in New York once).