Friday, 23 February 2018

The Swinging Sixties

1960's buses
Our red telephone boxes
The Dalek and Dr Who




Hello Everyone,

Yes, I'm coming to terms with my age after last week's revelation but it did set me off down memory lane to my teenage years in the sixties, half a century ago. The world was a different place then. I thought I would share with you six of my memories from those days.

Do you remember?

Mary Quant and Carnaby Street...  Mary Quant changed the world of fashion with her new clothes designs. She liked pinafore and tent dresses in bright colours and the psychedelic look. In 1965 she launched the mini-skirt. The 'Quant' look became a worldwide phenomenon. Carnaby Street in London became the place to see and be seen.

The Beatles and The Mersey Sound... I think my fondest memory of those long gone days was the musical revolution. Liverpool became the centre of the music world with The Mersey Sound. Initially, it was The Beatles who made the breakthrough with their single Please please me which shot to #1 in the charts. Other Liverpool groups followed:- Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, The Searchers and The Swinging Blue Jeans.

The Mini... that small economical vehicle. We had a red one and I had my first driving lessons in that mini.

£/s/d... the UK's old money. Pounds, shillings and pence. The 'd' standing for denarii from the Roman times. There were 12 pence to a shilling and 20 shillings to £1. I learned all of that in school and did numerous sums involving those figures which were all rendered useless when we switched to decimalisation in 1971.

The Carry On Movies... I love watching those old movies on the box these days. I was president of the Film Society in College and have memories of reel changes etc in the pre-digital age. The films of the era were so different from today but portrayed our humour and way of life. The 'Carry-On' series have become an institution.

Dr Beeching and the demise of the Railways... In the sixties as more people had their own vehicles and freight moved to roads from the railways it was Dr Beeching's job to change the railways from steam to diesel and electrification. He axed many of the minor lines which were the main transport modes between villages in rural areas. I remember travelling from Sheffield to York on the steam train. What I now find amusing is that where I live the old railway lines have been revamped and now the metro uses that route!

Have fun folks. If you can remember these things fifty years have just disappeared so enjoy today and tomorrow before the next fifty disappear as quickly.

Love Lady M  xxxx


                                         

Friday, 16 February 2018

Birthdays!



Hello Everyone,

It's 16th February today so it must be my birthday or rather another one! I cannot believe that it has come round again so quickly. Has it really been 365 days since the last time? We all know it's a sign of old age when birthdays seem to speed up. The pretty pic above was taken two years ago when I was 65 and in Paphos. Have two years slipped by since then? Seven years ago I celebrated my 60th in Paphos when a kind friend found the comment about 'pushing 60'.





Now I'm thinking to myself, I'm dragging 60 and pushing 70. In another decade or five minutes I'm either going to be pushing 80 or pushing up daisies. So, guess I should make the most of every minute that's left. What have I done since I hit 60? Published three books, visited new places, enjoyed  holidays and discovered the privileges of being a senior citizen. So, I've not been idle but there are still things to do and tomorrow is not promised to us. Three years to 70 and before then I have another book to share with the world and another two to write. I would like to move house. Not sure where I'm going but when it's right or if it's meant to be it will happen. They say the devil makes work for idle hands but I don't intend mine remaining idle. Today, I'm getting used to the idea, looking at the cards and slowly recovering from the last weeks in Cyprus. Tomorrow...







So birthdays, what are they? They are those annual events that take forever to arrive when you are a child but somehow speed up with age. The psychologists say that it is because we gain experiences with age and consequently have far more to occupy our minds which makes it seem as if time is passing by more quickly. But that does not explain why we look forward to them in childhood and grow to dislike them as we grow older. There are those milestones... 30...40...50...60 and if you are still around 70...80...90? If you are a UK resident the next decade is really exciting because if you make it to 100, a century you get a telegram from the Queen or reigning monarch. So, does your aim in life simply become the urgent desire to hit the three figure number for the joy and satisfaction of receiving a special card on that birthday and each subsequent one, if you make it?


As time goes by you tend to change without noticing. Appearance, thinking, behaviour, attitude, and then there's that awful day when you begin using phrases like, 'when I was younger', 'not in my day' or 'oh no I'm turning into my mother'. 


When you were a child there were lots of presents and cards and a party with a cake and party games and you were growing up, another year nearer, into that wonderful world of adulthood where everything seemed to be wonderful. No one telling you what to do, money of your own, allowed to drink and go out as you pleased. It was going to be fantastic. Then, after waiting forever the day arrives and suddenly the picture has changed. It has turned into a life of work, bills, problems and responsibility and you yearn for those carefree childhood days again. 

So, what are the joys of birthdays? Why do we wish each other 'Many happy returns of them'? How do we spend them? Parties? Family celebrations? Do you STILL look forward to them? Do you still enjoy them? Do you still look forward to cards and presents? Do your family spoil you? Do you spend them on your own? Which was your best and most memorable birthday? Which was your worst? Would you care to share your memories and/or views of that annual event?

Love to you all, from an ancient Lady M xxxx

                                                    





Friday, 9 February 2018

Valentine's Day


                                                     



Hello Everyone,

Next Wednesday is 14th February, traditionally known as St. Valentine's Day.

This is a day when people declare their love for each other by giving a card, chocolates, flowers or special gifts. Cards used to be anonymous and one was left guessing as to whom the sender might be. It would be signed with a question mark or simple phrase, like 'from an admirer'. I still remember my first Valentine card when I was thirteen with that phrase on it. It was also something to boast about among one's peer group. Who had received the most cards? Over the years it has become commercialized and seen as a great opportunity for profit. Hence, traditional gifts of roses or chocolates suddenly rise dramatically in price.


In Britain there have been many traditions associated with this day. In a spirit of fun or perhaps because spring was in the air after the long winter, and the birds were beginning to pair off, boys and girls in the Middle Ages drew slips of paper out of a hat and accepted the one whose name was on his or her slip as sweetheart, or valentine, for a year. This custom is mentioned at the time of Chaucer (1340-1400). The lottery always took place on St. Valentine's Eve.


Other traditions developed through the years:


The first man an unmarried woman saw on February 14th would be her future husband.


If a woman saw a robin flying over head on this day she would marry a sailor; if she saw a sparrow she would marry a poor man but if she saw a goldfinch she would be lucky enough to marry a rich man. Just imagine all those unmarried women rushing around desperate to see a goldfinch!


So, who was this St. Valentine?


There are several saints associated with this name but two saints, a priest and a bishop were traditionally martyred near Rome on February 14th circa 270 and the Church observes their festival on that day.


Another theory is that the custom came from a similar Roman occasion in honour of Juno Februalis and the use of a saint for that day is due to Christians improving a pagan custom they were unable to stamp out.

Anyway, enjoy the day and hopefully you will receive chocolates, flowers or some special gift. I am delighted, no desperate to tell you all that I have received a very special Valentine gift this year... a poem written especially for me by the Blackpool poet, Darryl Ashton, which I am going to share with you.

A VALENTINE OF LOVE


Your eyes do light up
when I call your name
And the sun fills your
heart without any
blame.
True love shall invade
your soul as before,
Our love will last for
ever – who could ask
for more.

My heart beats fondly,
that I do feel,
And only true love
will make me so kneel.
Your heart is full of
love for me,
I yearn your true love
which for me is FREE.

To serenade you in
song is my task,
You listen gleefully
while you drink from
your glass.
The sun is in love as
it shines in your eyes,
All this and more is
a lovely surprise.

True love is Valentine,
and that is romantic,
Your heart flips and
skips a beat – now,
that was quick,
Our love is pure it is
known to the pendulum,
When one tastes true
love – it has to be YUM.

So embrace Valentine
and let true love take
hold,
Life will get better -
as the day does unfold.
Valentine is romantic -
that is so true,
Lady M – St Valentine
loves you.

BY
DARRYL ASHTON

Thank you, Darryl. Today you are my Valentine. 

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Love Lady M xxxxxx