Clearing out the attic I found a pile of vinyls that belonged to my parents. The Beatles, Billy Jo Spears, The Drifters and an interesting collection of children’s songs with LP covers that would induce nightmares at a glance – Pinky & Perky anyone? I had no idea that a cardboard sleeve containing a plastic circle could conjure up so many memories but when I held one I was immediately transported back to the 70s/80s when my mum and dad said to their friends ‘just come back to ours’.
Pineapples & pickles on sticks and a plethora of never-seen-before nibbles would appear from nowhere as the living room filled with cigarette smoke and the sound of glasses raised to those no longer with us. Shouts of ‘give us a song Mary’ could be heard all the way up the stairs as I giggled from the warmth of my bed. All the furniture would be moved back so the jiving could commence with limited casualties. Good times.
Fast forward to my own collection and those albums mentioned above still remain in my pile alongside Newton, Stevie, Jim and all the (whom I consider) greats.
I do the same with books. I found my old copy of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. The font is so small on the yellow-ing pages, I’m not sure I can read it again. I dreamed of being one of them – probably Posy. I was envious of those who got selected for ballet. I was told I was ‘too heavy on my feet’ so I took up tap dancing instead. Right you are then. Sigh.
Another book I went back to recently was The Twelfth Day of July by Joan Lingard, reading this was a huge turning point for me. I was a teenager fighting against my catholic upbringing and the world and I wanted to learn more about The Troubles but no-one would talk about it, it was just what I saw on John Craven’s Newsround. Getting to know Kevin and Sadie over the course of the five books was fantastic though and it gave me an insight into heir world for a while. Grange Hill was great but this was even better.
A favourite for many is The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, I think everyone on the planet knows how much I love this book. The gang rivalry, the forbidden romance, the loss and love of those involved. A tremendous slice of US life given to me by the author as I was convinced teenagers across the pond were way much cooler than me.
A new decade begins soon. Which books will I read then…