Monday, 15 January 2018

The very first

Bijoux had a wonderful list of "firsts", so I thought I'd pinch the idea.

First vacation:  As a child, to Southend, Essex, and Perranporth Cornwall, to visit relatives. As an adult, to Dublin, and then to Venice, Florence and Rome. I was worried that, not speaking Italian, it would be highly problematic. Of course it wasn't.

First car:  A secondhand Austin A60 in the late nineteen sixties. Forever breaking down and needing repairs. But usually it got me to my girlfriend's house.

First job:  A cub reporter on the Harrow Observer (a London suburb). Journalists were paid very well in those days - a generous salary plus expenses.

First crush:  A trainee solicitor called Sue W. We never actually dated. Probably a good thing as she proved to be almost as neurotic as me.

First kiss:  Another neurotic woman called Maggie H. We were enthusiastic kissers and long, lingering French kisses were the norm.

First flight:  As a child, in a friend's mother's private plane. I felt decidedly queasy, but it was an amazing trip. As an adult, to Dublin.

First fancy dinner:  I don't go in for fancy dinners, but I guess you could count the lavish marriage reception for our friends Joy and Kevin.

First apartment:  Actually a couple of rooms in a shared house. Very cosy because the owner (a friend of a friend) had recently renovated the house. Also where I lost my virginity (at the ripe old age of 22).

First record:  Not sure. Possibly the single "How Do You Do It?" by Gerry and the Pacemakers. Or something by Billy J Kramer.

First pet:  As a child, two Scottish terriers called Mac and Remus. Lots of mice and the odd hamster. As an adult, none. I'm happy to admire other people's.

First concert:  I made regular visits to the Marquee Club in Soho. I don't remember which was the first band I saw - probably someone long-forgotten.

Compiling that lot stirred up a few poignant memories. I sometimes forget what an eventful life I've led.

PS: I see that I did a slightly similar post a couple of years ago


  1. What's with the neurotic women? LOL, but I'm glad you enjoyed my post. It's interesting that you had so many pets as a child, but none now. My father grew up with dogs as pets and also had no desire to have any as an adult.

  2. Bijoux: I know, I was a bit hesitant with the word "neurotic" as it's a common put-down of women. But hell, they were neurotic! Sue had a nervous breakdown after she PASSED her solicitor's exams! And Maggie was always fizzing with anxiety.

  3. I'm not sure I can remember all these firsts. I am not that interested in looking over the past, I guess, unless for some specific reason. Mind you I love looking at old photos!

  4. Some firsts linger. I remember a friend of the Beatles playing me their demo tape and my incredible surge of emotion and goosebumps at the sound.

    And my first marriage proposal.

    Nearly worth a post of my own.

    Neurotic women? H'm.


  5. Jenny: I don't think much about the past either, but I guess the first of something always sticks in my mind.

    www: Yes, go on, tell us about your first marriage proposal....

    I wouldn't say women in general are neurotic, that's nonsense, but in this case I think the word fits. "Neurotic: abnormally sensitive and obsessive". Exactly.

  6. I don't think I can remember many firsts...

    The first student flat perhaps, out in Stratford, London, which we called the Flattleship Potemkin...though I think I remember it because we were burgled and I lost my grandmother's garnets.

    My first dog, of course...Sandy the ineffable. A mastiff cross who adored chocolate and had to be prized away from sweetshop doorways. Not easy when you are four and he is bigger than you...,

    Car...a souped up A35 or 40...I think...whose window wipers had a mind of their own...

    Yu were a cub reporter in Harrow...that was Leo's stamping ground for years. He reckons you would have earned more as a trainee journalist than his basic salary on the Stock Exchange!

  7. I'm afraid I'm with Jenny, not that interested in the past. I'm focusing more on living deeply in the present.

  8. Not sure I can remember all those things.
    First car was a rusty Morris Ital which lasted about six weeks before I lost it on a corner and went headfirst into a very immovable tree.
    First job was in the fruit and veg section in the local Tesco to earn a few quid between leaving school and starting my apprenticeship at Marshall Aerospace.
    First apartment was a tiny studio flat in Cambridge. The wife bought the flat below, which is how we met.
    First record I bought was 'Africa' by Toto.
    First concert was probably Big Country at Cambridge Corn Exchange, and first flight was in a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter.

  9. Ah, The Marquee Club; I remember it well.

  10. John: They were a lot of fun. But they both became neurotic (that word again) because of my father's rough treatment of them.

    Helen: I can imagine you trying to control a chocolate-mad dog! We journalists did very well in those days. I even got fees for passing on interesting stories to the national papers.

  11. Jean: Well, in general I'd agree with you about living in the present. But I thought these firsts might interest a few people!

    Dave: Pleased to say that in 50 years of driving on and off I've never had a serious accident. But it's surprising how many Northern Irish drivers run into trees. I blame the booze!

  12. Cro: I endured the sweaty, dingy Marquee Club week after week in the hope that some amazing band would turn up and knock me for six. But most of them were just uninspired copies of each other, twanging away mechanically.

  13. You inspire me to attempt. Let me see how it turns out and then decide whether to post or not,

  14. Ramana: I look forward to that. I'm sure you have some very interesting firsts!

  15. ooh this is interesting, now we know a bit more about you! I can’t remember my first holiday, probably a caravan at the seaside. First car was a Rover 2000, well it was hubby’s really, we lived in Bahrain and I used it more than he did. First job: GPO telephonist. First crush; I can remember being madly in love and devastated when he finished with me but I can’t remember his name! First flight was to Bahrain. First pet was a rabbit and first concert I think was Freddie and the Dreamers.

  16. Leo asks...did your beat include Pinner and the house with the totem pole?

  17. Polly: Funny how you were madly in love but can't remember his name! Yes, I rather liked Freddie and the Dreamers. Freddie was quite a character.

  18. Helen: I lived in Pinner at the time, and my mother was still living there until a few years ago, so I know Pinner very well. I don't recall a house with a totem pole but I do know that Elton John (who's just five days younger than me) was brought up in Pinner.

  19. He wondered if you might. He used to pass it from time to time and then, years later in France, we met the chap whose family had erected the thing...

  20. ha,ha good point. Fickle and changeable always is woman (Virgil).

  21. Polly: Well, Virgil was a bloke, so I think he was a bit biased! In my experience, men can be just as fickle and changeable. I need only mention Donald Trump....

  22. You had a friend whose family owned a plane????

  23. Kylie: Yep. It was a small four-seater Auster. Clearly she was well-off. Maybe because she lived in a houseboat and didn't have a hefty mortgage?