Saturday, 23 October 2010

Keith - what day is it?

39 years today!  That's how long we've been married.  It's not really a Big day in the celebration stakes except to us.  I dunno!  Not five minutes ago it was 1971, the Swinging 60's was past and the future looked rosy.  Well, it always does on your wedding day doesn't it?  Where has the time gone?

Crikey, I regularly see 1970's stuff turning up on Antiques Roadshow .  They're not antiques, strictly speaking, but the 1970's turned out to be a bit of an iconic decade.  I used to have a lot of those things.  Why didn't someone tell me?  I might have been rich now!  In fact I would have been but those were the days we were busting to get past at the time!

The old bungalow which was our first home was a veritable shrine to the 70's.  We had an orange carpet in the living room and one of the long walls in there was purple.  The spare bedroom had a black carpet and purple walls - we must have got a job lot of purple paint or something!  Good thing really because we also had 'original features' fireplaces in each room and that one had a soot fall one day.  What a mess but at least it matched the decor!

Our kitchen - I loved it.  It had high gloss cupboard doors, formica in a kind of brown wood grain pattern, white counter tops (groan...)  and the most beautiful sunny golden yellow ceramic wall tiles.  There was a freezing cold, dark green Terrazzo floor - and I do mean freezing cold.  There was no central heating in the house and that floor...well it was great in summer, let's say!

Those colours that we had.  Purple, orange, yellow, brown - absolutely 70's. For a start we heated the kitchen by turning on the oven with the door open,  then Keith came home with an old  paraffin heater that he rescued from his dad's shed.  I recall the smell now!   Can't have been good for us.

The house itself was 60 years old when we bought it (for £2,800), which sounded very old then but now it's nothing is it?  We've already been married over half that long.  You couldn't imagine it though, not then.  You just could not think yourself even ten years down the line.  A couple of years ago it was for sale (same people we sold it to) for £185,000 - and that was after the housing boom was over.  Goodness me, we couldn't even have afforded to buy it back!  They made about £175K profit!!!

My abiding memories of the 70's in England have to be the Three Day Week, the winter of discontent, the miners' strike, the explosion of the chemical plant at Flixborough.  The coal miners brought the country to its knees, quite literally.  With no coal there could be no electric, with no electric there could be no, well, anything much really.  Everyone's central heating relied on an electric pump.  You might think we'd be one up there, having no heating.  Not so. We had a coal fire in the living room and, though a coal yard ran beyond the fence at the bottom of our garden, there was no coal.  One of the saddest sights, that, a coalyard with no coal.  What electric there was was rationed out and your power was cut off early in the evening if it was your area's turn.  Even if it wasn't your turn to either get wrapped up in your coats and blankets or have an early night, you couldn't watch TV beyond about 10pm because that was part of the energy saving measures - it all went off.  In theory the 70's ought to have produced a nation of very well-read citizens but what we actually got was a bit of a baby boom - well!  It's hard to read without a light and candles were scarce because everyone was buying them.  You had to be sparing with the candles because no-one knew how long this might go on for. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I have left over from the 70's - a box of white tallow candles!  They're not so white now but there they sit to this very day, under the kitchen sink, just waiting for a national emergency.  I hope they never get used.



Marie said...

Happy Anniversary to you two darlings! May there be many, many more!!xxoo

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Happy Anniversary! You and Keith are a very special couple and I wish you a very happy day indeed. I loved reading of your reminiscences of the 70's. We had no coal strike here but did have the energy crisis when everyone had to turn back the heat and schools went every other day in some places. I've not been able to afford to turn up the heat since then.

Rita said...

Happy Anniversary Angie. Good to see you are still on teh blog world. Haven't heard for you in quite a while. Lovely post; thank you for sharing.

Ally Lifewithally said...

Angie Happy Anniversary and I wish you and Keith Many Many More sharing your happiness together ~ Ally xx

Andy said...

Happy Anniversary, after 39 years I reckon you are entitled to some time of for good behaviour. I remember 1973 very well it was when TV went to bed at 10.30 and i discovered the joys of late night radio. As well as the three day week and the power cuts by rota, working on an electrified railway the train service was drastically reduced! What joy

StitchinByTheLake said...

Happy Anniversary to you Angie! It's funny what we remember after all these years. Our first apartment was one room with a bed that pulled down out of the wall - a Murphy bed they call it now. It was so tiny that if we got mad at each other we couldn't even leave the room. :) We didn't have a car for the first few months. Jerry walked to school, he was in college, and I stayed home. We knew we didn't have much but we didn't care. blessings, marlene

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

We never went through an extended "loss" of electricity like that here.

However, Fisherhubby and I lived in Haiti on the island of La Gonave for one summer. They turned the town generator OFF at 10:00 PM there EVERY night.

Oh, and did I mention it was about 100 degrees (literally) too? So - - - if you didn't fall asleep in front of your fan by 10 - - - you were getting precious little sleep that night due to the HEAT and the MOSQUITOES dive bombing you!!!

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Ooops - - - I FORGOT to say happy anni!!!

Ben said...

Wonderful, Angie! Congratulations on your first 39 years, with heartfelt good wishes that the next 39 will be even better!


Sybil said...

Happy Happy Anniversary to you both..what memories you have stored up..what a special pair you are..
I well remember the 70's ad how cold we were..that is my real memory the cold..I never have liked cold !!
well last week me, Mary Pam and Henry her husband... my friends ...all went to Norfolk Mon _ Frid and we had a great time with the exception of the weather guess was COLD !!served me right going there in October !!
great time was had by us all though.
Love Sybil xx

Jasper said...

Fab post, Angie! D'you know, my mum has got the exact same box of candles in HER cupboard! When we moved to Hampshire from London in 1980, our little town ALWAYS used to get power-cuts every Winter (usually a swan flying into the power-lines), so candles were a necessary standby!!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you and the K-Man. And here is the biggest coincidence of all time: I kid you not - you won't believe what the 23rd October is down here! Nothing less than Jasper's birthday!!! Jasper came into my life on your wedding anniversary in 1999! How spooky is that?! 22nd October is my birthday!

Keith really hit the jackpot when he picked you to be his bride.

And now - better put the brakes on your chair Angie; Jasper's just about to 'Evolve' again!!!

Much love,

Ruth xxx

Jan said...

A Very Happy Aniversary to you both with all my love ,I loved this post Angie and can remember everything you said ,from the falls of soot to the three day week ,gosh what memories you have prompted Jan xx

ingrid said...

Happy Anniversary!
I'm new on your blog and I love it!!Reading I remember all you wrote about.Also here in the netherlands it was a time you will never forget
Thank you for sharing,

Grammy Staffy said...

Happy anniversaray dear Angie.
You always make me smile. I agree with Marie that you should write a are such a cleaver writer...and so funny. I just love you Angie.

My new computer is a pain....not letting me click on what I like. It tells me it can't display that webpage....the lazy cuss! I am glad that it let me visit you today. I am glad that you are feeling better.. Have a great anniversary. Hugs, Lura

Secrets said...

Happy Anniversary!!!
Enjoyed your blog.

nyabach0i said...

stumbled on your blog accidentally. i guess it is destiny so i can greet you happy anniversary all the way here in the philippines. happy anniversary. i like your blog by the way. :)