and Band of Gold by Freda Payne
Both were released in 1970. I remember I was helping out on a Saturday in a shop and these two songs were on the radio all the time.
Music has always played a huge part in my life, I loved to dance and most weekends (and in the week as I got older) you would find me at one of the following - Howard Mallett Club (Blues & Soul), The Rex (bit of everything), Dorothy Ballrooms (only just as it closed in 72), the Plough & Harrow (more on that later) and the Taboo Club.
So to those firsts - well like us all it was that first love - you know the one you thought was real love but turned out to be anything but!! That first broken heart - the one where you thought you'd cry forever and then along comes the next charming lad and its broken heart what broken heart? That first hangover, the "I'll never do that again" and you do, why oh why don't we remember how bad it feels.
Then comes that first holiday without your parents, the one where you try that first cigarette, experience more hangovers. I'm pleased to say the cigarettes went out the window but can't say the same for the drink - still a girl has to have one vice. Talking of vices mine in those days were SHOES. What girl doesn't love shoes, I had dozens of pairs, all colours, all heights, each new outfit had a pair of shoes to go with them. I worked all hours to keep myself in shoes. In fact whilst at school I earned more money from my part time jobs than I did from my first full time wage. Shame I didn't work as hard at school...... but I've done ok.
Next comes that first job - an admin role for a publishing company - what a good time we all had. I got to go up to London for the first time on my own to visit the printers, go to County Shows, meals out and parties - it didn't last long around 12 months and the company went bust - but we did have a good time. Along with full time work came foreign holidays - Majorca, Yugoslavia - girly holidays.
But roll back a few years - whilst still at school I met Peter for the first time (and Judy met Steve her husband) - Judy and I were in the Plough & Harrow our regular haunt on a Thurs/Fri or Saturday night - along with half the teenage/young adults of Cambridge it was "the place to be". So busy that I'm sure Health and Safety would have something to say these days. When you managed to get a drink the only place you could have it was by your mouth it was such a crush, anyway this is where we met. This song reminds me of that time - Albatross by Fleetwood Mac - I think only the 4 of us know why but it makes me smile when I hear it
My time with Peter the first time round was short lived only a matter of months, and this song will mean something to him - Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding
We would meet one another from time to time as you do with us both being local and going to similar places. I had contact with Judy - who by then had moved away with her family - and it was through her and Stephen that Peter and I got together again. Not that the road to true romance was smooth. I had had a number of unsatisfying jobs during the intervening years and when I agreed to go out with Peter again I was just embarking on a career with the WRAF, we met in the January and I was due to leave for Hereford in the March. Due to my previous experience with him I decided that I would stick with my plan and that if we were meant to be together it would work out. Needless to say it did, months of trips backward and forwards at weekends, letters during the week - its true absence does make the heart grow fonder. My time in the WRAF wasn't wasted though I made several friendships which I still maintain, albeit, not as often as I should.
And so to more firsts.... the engagement, the house purchase, making a home, the wedding and then learning how to be a married couple, not like today when most couple live together - frowned upon in my day, whilst we had had holidays and weekends together not the same as 24/7, but we worked through it. We went to lots of weddings in the late 70's, I'm pleased to say most are still together, but there were a few casulties along the way. Then we found ourselves at the end of the decade, 1979, pregnant with our first baby looking forward to what the 80's would bring.......