The Week That Was – 8th April 1979

Record of the week: The Members – Offshore Banking Business
Highest Entry: Wings – Goodnight Tonight – 25

3rd Mar 2022 – The Members were knocking out classic singles and Offshore Banking Business was even surpassed by its b-side Solitary Confinement. The lyrics summed up what I assumed was in store for me as an English teenager in the forthcoming decade. I didn’t know it at the time but I spent all of the eighties avoiding it to some degree.

Coincidentally, The Members vocalist Nicky Tesco passed away this week. One day all my idols will be dead. As you, as I.

I’m sure some folks remember and enjoy the Wings tune. I have no recollection though.

8th April 1979
Would be able to stay up to watch That’s Life but it’s not on

3rd Mar 2022 – That’s Life was actually a good introduction to the cruelties and absurdity of being alive. It was funny but in a typically dry English way. I used to enjoy the Last of the Summer Wine which was on Sunday nights too I think. Though I ended up so fucking annoyed at the miserable characters in that show even though they did overcome their weekly dramatic obstacles. But why were these shows on a Sunday night, priming people for the misery and absurdity of a working week!? So typically English. Is it any wonder we are fucking miserable people!

I didn’t get everything that was featured on That’s Life but knew that it was funny. I would laugh along with my mum even if I didn’t understand why something was funny. My mum influenced me quite a bit as she enjoyed absurd humour such as Spike Milligan, Michael Bentine and Monty Python etc Even kids’ programs were pretty out there, influenced by the drugs, excesses and changes of the sixites, not that I knew it at the time. The Americanisation of kids’ TV is disappointing.

I remember my grandmother as being quite Victorian, though it would have been her parents that lived during that time. By contrast, my mother seemed to be a fifties and sixties girl, growing out of the post-war grind. It was only when I was in my twenties or thirties that she told me that my dad was her second husband! It wasn’t something that she hid from me but she didn’t think it was that an important thing to tell me.

On one hand, I can understand her thinking, though I’m curious now. At the time she told me I only asked her a few questions and didn’t investigate further and of course, now it’s too late to ask. I wonder if there are things I don’t think are important for Hayden to know that might surprise him in the future when and if he finds them out?

9th April 1979
I was buttering up my bedroom wall today – looks fab

3rd Mar 2022 – My guess is I didn’t quite know the meaning of buttering up unless the meaning has changed a little in my short life. I think at this stage I was still just putting up posters and pictures cut out of the music magazines and papers that I was collecting through my mother’s benevolence.

10th April 1979
Got a new pair of trainers. And I got two pads now.

3rd Mar 2022 – The ongoing fucked feet saga. I still haven’t gone to get them checked again. Not that I’ve been waiting since 1979.

11th April 1979
Matthew’s coming down
Went on common
European Cup Semi-Final (1st Leg)
Forest 3-3 Cologne

3rd Mar 2022 – Pre the mega money-spinning sponsorship of football I don’t recall ever seeing European football matches on TV, not even highlights. The scores just appeared occasionally on the news and in the papers, which I would sometimes check out my grandparents’ stash. They got the Guardian and the Observer delivered to our oversized letterbox that sat snugly in the privet hedge by the gate along with the morning milk, twice-weekly bakery goods and the mail.

It’s difficult for people to comprehend these days just how difficult information was to come by. There’s a reason Encyclopedia sets were a popular door-to-door sales item though the one we had we had to sell so that we could live. Food was more important than knowledge at that stage. We were never destitute but it always felt like it wouldn’t take much to push us in that direction.

12th April 1979
1. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes
2. Squeeze – Cool For Cats
3. Racey – Some Girls
4. Village People – In The Navy
5. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
2p 10p

13th April 1979
Jean came today

3rd Mar 2022 – Jean was my mum’s school friend. A hard-drinking, hard-smoking lady who always wore too much perfume to hide the fact she might’ve been enjoying whiskey breakfasts. I think it was on a visit to her house back in Carlisle that I stole my first cigarettes from her many packets and took that first step into bad boy teenage smoking rebellion. I don’t remember much about any of the visits, her coming to us or us going back up North. She and mum were always off to the pub. These times were my mum’s only holiday time in the year.

14th April 1979
Do bricks
Norwich 0-1 Ipswich

3rd Mar 2022 – I wasn’t a Liverpool fan but did much prefer Ray Clemence to Peter Shilton. I hated Peter Shilton’s hair!