The line:- Strange things are happening everyday.
Taken from Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's record track
Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us.
Dear diary...we're living in extraordinary times that are unfamiliar with our usual way of life. Strange things are happening everyday. Tomorrows children feel the change, it's buried deep in their future, a feeling of ascending new heights essential to healing not only themselves but the earth too.
I look around at others of my age, I'm aware that the older we get, we all carry a past, some would rather forget, while others like to reflect. I myself am a nostalgic, just like my gran. I always recall her talking about the young life she led and how she could remember situations so easily, yet what she did the previous week was a complete blank.
Now I'm heading towards her age, it's completely understandable that the reason for this, is when we're young life's for living, but as we age our yearning for that same kind of adventure deteriorates, well it does for me anyway.
That's why I can't help casting my mind back to evocative diary reflections, those young years are always a great distraction. Sitting here in the garden in this time of contemplation, under the trees with their flickering leaves and an incredible blue sky. It seems so faraway and removed from life today.
I was twenty going on twenty one.
The date was Thursday June 5th 1975. A young diary voice whispering in my ear words of substance I can only shape into my young life.
At this particular date I was working for a company called Henry W Collingwood on the Chittening Estate between Avonmouth and Severn Beach, where I held the position of copy typist, telephonist come general dogs body, but I never minded and accepted my position with a smile.
Some days I would walk to the stop at Avonmouth and catch the Severn Beach bus, but on this day I'd decided to walk which would normally take me about an hour. I found the walk to be exhilarating as I was sat down at a desk for most of the day.
Our boss Mr Foxwell a lively character with so much energy and a good business head, was always kind and understanding, which made a big difference to the working environment. Being busy was always a bonus and more satisfying than having nothing to do and trying to look busy.
That morning was so quiet and I was glad when lunch time finally came. I decided to go into Avonmouth with Jenny, Mr Foxwell's private secretary, we took her mother-in-law with us to do some shopping then dropped her off and came back for a lunch, I always had sandwiches and read a book. Although the morning had been slack, the afternoon kept me busy with the switchboard ringing constantly, and the boss asking me to copy type some letters, as Jenny was very busy.
The next time I looked at the clock, it was 5pm, hooray! Time to go home. I packed up my things and walked to the stop with Marg one of the other ladies in the office, to catch the 5.15pm bus home.
It was going to be one long weekend off and I wasn't due back to work till the following Monday. As soon as I walked through the front door it was going to be one mad rush, no taking the dog for a walk, or time to relax with a coffee, no I was meeting my boyfriend at the bus station, to catch a coach up to Liverpool, where we'd be crossing on the ferry to the Isle Of Man for the TT Races.
All I had time to do was wash my hair which was pretty simple as I had a page boy style, make a packed lunch, before mum and dad came home from work and gave me the usual talk about, taking enough money and being careful not to loose anything, with me saying “Yes Mum! Yes Dad! I'll be fine, don't worry.”
It was all systems go, but soon I was on the 28 bus into Bristol with my haversack and wearing my trusty waxed belstaff biker jacket that came everywhere with me, it was so warm and kept me dry at all times.
Meeting my then boyfriend at the bus station, we caught the coach, but it couldn't have been that interesting, as I have no diary entry of the trip to Liverpool. We reached the ferry and caught the boat, it was very late and we were both tired. Trying to find somewhere to sit was a nightmare it was so packed with people, so in the end we went below deck and found an empty space on the floor where many other travelers were parked, we used our haversacks as pillows, which wasn't that comfortable, but we did manage to get some rest.
Friday 6th June 1975.
We woke at about 4am, collected our things still feeling weary, then we made our way back up on deck. As we stood looking out to sea, we watched the most amazing sunrise, I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful...well that's what I said at the time anyway.
We got to the Isle Of Man at 6.30am or thereabouts. Leaving the boat, we walked along the sea front at Douglas which didn't take long, as there wasn't that much to see at such an early hour. So it was decided we'd catch the tram up the mountain to the great wheel at Laxey. I'd never been on a tram before, so this was a whole new experience for me.
I found out quite recently on the internet, that it's the largest working waterwheel in the world, quite a feat considering the Isle Of Man isn't that large. I also discovered the wheel was built in 1854 and was also named Lady Isabella, after the wife of Lieutenant Charles Hope who was Governor of the Island at the time.
We weren't far from the village, so decided to take a walk there. It was quite pleasant as I recall but I don't remember there being that much to see, my diary tells me nothing of the village.
The two of us carried on making our way up to the bungalow, one of the best vantage points for watching the TT races, but there were already many spectators all along the edge of the road blocking our view, some had deckchairs and were set up for the day with picnic baskets and everything but the kitchen sink...slight exaggeration of course. So me and my boyfriend decided to walk around Snaefell which is the highest peak, we were lucky because usually the mist comes down and it's hard to see anything, but this day it was fine.
We also went in the museum till the racing started. Eventually we found a good vantage point, where we were able to watch the bikes zooming past at great speeds. It was a case of one second they were there and just as quickly gone. It was all so exciting as they whizzed by. One of the racers, Mick Grant broke the TT lap record that year, I was chuffed to have been there to experience it.
After the racing we caught the tram to Ramsey and went for a drink. We walked around the harbour and ate ice cream, then watched the rest of the racing.
All this wandering around left us tired, so we found a place to sunbathe, as the temperature was up in the 70s, phew! It was hot, my jacket ended up in my haversack.
We eventually caught the tram back to Laxey, then back into Douglas and went for a paddle. I collected some seashells, something I always used do when at the beach. We went for a walk around the town and had another drink. There were hundreds of bikes all parked along the seafront and my boyfriend had a blast checking them out, being a biker fanatic that he was. But soon it was time to make our way back to the harbour, where we sat on the wall till the boat came.
On board we stood on deck and said our farewells, little did I know that was the first and last time I'd ever go to the Isle Of Man.
Making our way back below deck, we found some floor space and ate some sandwiches we bought. It had been a long day. This time we rested easily.
Saturday 7th June 1975.
It was Saturday morning 9am when the coach dropped me off at the end of my road. It was good to be home, all I could think of was my nice comfortable bed.
My dog Trixi welcomed me as I opened the front door, she always ran around barking like a crazy lunatic when she'd not seen me for a while, it always gave me a warm feeling.
Mum was pottering around in the garden, she was always weeding and making sure her flowers were dead headed, while dad would be busy with some home improvement or jobs around the garden.
Dad would cook the lunch, then after he would relax, while mum went to the hairdressers in Bristol to get her usual trim and set.
All I wanted was a bath, so after giving the parents a quick recap of my trip, I headed upstairs, ran a bath and got undressed. Ah! What bliss it was sinking into the warmth of those soapy bubbles.
It wasn't long before I was eating toast in my bedroom and playing my Pink Floyd album Meddle at full blast while writing my diary, before settling down for a good day of sleep.
I didn't wake till 4.30pm. Feeling refreshed I washed my hair and dried it, got dressed and took the dog for a quick walk up to Penpole Point where Trixi had a good run.
When I got home It was time to change into something a bit elegant for the evening. My boyfriend picked me up in his car and we went to meet yet another coach that would take us to Weston-Super-Mare. We were going for a posh meal at the Grand Hotel with people from my boyfriend's work.
When we arrived, the first place everyone headed was the bar to get acquainted and have a social drink. Then we went into the restaurant, it was all very plush. We had a set meal of Asparagus soup for starters, followed by Turkey, sausage, stuffing, peas, carrots, roast and new potatoes, sprouts and gravy for main course, then raspberries and ice cream and cheese and biscuits with coffee.
Phew! Boy was I full. My boyfriend decided it would be a good idea to go for a walk, so we strolled along Weston's front and checked out a couple of pubs, before making our way back to the Royal. At about 11.45pm we caught the coach back to my boyfriend's and went straight to bed.
Sunday June 8th 1975.
Today we got up late, the sun was shining, so we sunbathed out in my boyfriend's parents back garden until midday, whereupon he thought it would be fun to pour a bucket of water over me, I was drenched and so got some water of my own and poured it over him, we looked a real spectacle and had a right laugh.
After drying off we then went to the Swan Inn at Hanham my boyfriend's local pub and bought some cider and returned to his house for some lunch. Then we went on the motor bike to watch the speed boat racing. For some unknown reason I don't have any diary entry about the racing, but I think it would have probably been at the Bristol docks, as this is where I've been to watch boats race before. Very strange because I looked up on the internet and found nothing for that date. But I wouldn't have put it in had I not gone.
At 4.30 pm we came back to my house and sat reading, talked and listened to my vinyls. It was 7pm when we decided to go for a bike ride to Portishead. Being a fine warm evening we parked up and went for a walk along the river front, then rode down through the Cotswold Valley.
I had work the following day, so my boyfriend took me home, he stayed for a coffee then left. That was the end of my long weekend. So after writing my diary, I went to bed ready to begin another working week.
This is probably of no interest to anyone else, but I did have fun writing it. Thank you.