Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blind Panic

I do wish Diamond Geezer would give a warning when he is going to do his annual mention to all of us who have him on their blogroll. If he had I could have posted something arty or highbrow and made sure I posted regularly. Instead I feel like you've all walked into the room and me just in my underwear. (Sorry to those having breakfast for that visualisation). So thanks for dropping by but I suspect there are others who will hold your interest further down the list.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

My Old Dutch

"We've been together now for forty years" as the old music hall song says. Although, in this case, it's not the Magnificent M with whom I reach 10 years next June 1st, but the world of work.

40 years today I was gainfully employed by Nat West Bank in Margaret Street just off Oxford Street. The branch is no longer there although I occasionally walk past the building and memories of the people I worked with come back. Although today was my official anniversary I didn't actually turn up for three days as I was ill with nerves. Every time I went to get the tube into London I just felt sick. In the end, on day three, my dad paid for me to go by taxi. My first month's wage was £75.00. Rich beyond my wildest dreams. I gave my mother £25.00 and the other £50 went on fares, lunches, booze, clothes, a Donovan LP but as far as I can work out, no women.

But that isn't the only 40th anniversary this month. I can't remember the exact date in July but 40 years ago this month I passed my driving test. I took an online theory test and "recognise the traffic signs" quiz yesterday and was pleased, although I didn't get 100%, I got in the 90%s for both. I suspect that's better than most of the people on the road at the moment if the last couple of days is anything to go by. Petrol was under £1 per gallon. My first car was a C reg Austin 1100. There was room under the bonnet for a couple of passengers, not like engines today where you lift the bonnet and are confronted with a large flat plate of metal. You could change the spark plugs easily where now the engine block has to come out at great expense, or it does whenever mine needs a service. And to celebrate I have a new car. New to me, but 14 years old to the world. A Citroen Xsara Picasso. It's known as the doggy car at home as the previous owner had a number of dogs, the smell of which is lingering despite a deep clean. But for £400 on ebay it's a bargain. Perfect for carrying my Everest Kit and on the motorway can do over 800 miles to the tank of diesel. Hmmm. I feel a list coming on....