Bohemian? Man, what a shambles!

It’s funny how things sync… fingers link…

Merovee The Oscar and James Bond
CLICKY: Bonding?

*Yes, Click. On MEROVEE we do it all the time. The first time, I think, was when Frank made a connection between Bond titles and news headlines… and then we all piled in* 😉

Angels feature in the latest post in the Red Universe

Merovee Blink

Today, Angel A… Angle Cur… agreed to a Turkey… Turn Key… prosecution of a joker call Boehmermann.

Boehmer etymology
CLICKY: Customs? Like free speech?

*Collected and placed with the rest behind a muslin curtain? Possibly…*

*Filmed in Prague… /rueful smile… Never tear who apart, Click? /raises eyebrows*

Extract from ‘A Family History for Ruth and Julia (Gawd ‘Elp Us!)’, a.k.a. ‘The Ma Papers’ by Judith Eileen Newton (formerly Shewan, nĂ©e Packer)

I think that Dickie may have been too young to remember Gillian, but she was a smashing girl. She was so full of life and mischief and had her fingers in a lot of pies. She was so funny and really used to make me laugh.

Gill was very sporty, playing Table Tennis and Badminton and she loved to dance. She used to go to Victor Sylvester’s in Lewisham on Saturday night.  I was officially too young to go anywhere with her (because I was only fourteen) but with a bit of splosh on my face and a mature air, I managed to get away with it.

The first weekend she took me to Victor Sylvester’s with her friend named Rita Winkle. She insisted it was pronounced Winekel but we called her Winkle anyway. Rita was older and very sophisticated and made up like a model. I really felt like a poor relation, after all they were both at work and I was still at school and a bohemian to boot. All my high ideals about bohemianism were sorely being put to the test.

What was I doing borrowing clothes and makeup, actually going to a dance and pretending that I was eighteen? The biggest problem was that I could not even dance. Oh yes I could shuffle, but this was pre-Beatles days and you either jived or ballroomed. I could do neither.

I remember that first night clearly. It was probably quite shabby but to me it was magical – little tables with lamps and a band, boys in suits… I did not know a boy with a suit.

I will always remember the smell of the ladies’ room, hairspray and perfume, whilst excited girls put on makeup and checked stocking seams, wondering who would ask them to dance with them tonight. It was a situation I had never encountered before and I was excited.

I had lied about my age and said I was eighteen. I was terrified. Gill was popular and seemed to know everyone, Rita was the belle of the ball and I felt like Cinderella.

When two blokes came and sat with us and bought us drinks, I really felt like the odd one out. Gill and Rita seemed so sophisticated and the blokes seemed so old. The evening progressed and I shuffled around with a couple of blokes.

When it was time to go home, the older of the two blokes said he would give us a lift home. Now, to have a car in those days was rare, so Rita’s eyes lit up. I assumed that the boys were taking home Rita and Gill and that I was an also ran. But when we got to Bellingham Lane, the guy stopped the car and told Rita she could walk from there because she lived out of his way. This probably sounds harsh by today’s standards but in those days things were much safer and we were used to walking. If we had not got a lift we would have walked from Lewisham to Bellingham – it’s a long way but we could not afford taxis.

Now I was really scared. Although I knew lots of boys from the youth club, I had never had a boyfriend with a car. They took us home and had coffee and arranged to meet us the next day in Catford to take us to the pictures.

One weekend with Gill and I had pulled. Bohemianism was losing its charm.

*… spare him his life for his pork sausages… doo be doo be doo be doo… Okay, Click, good choice of Song to end on*






An Archivistic Vision: Welcome to the Programme

Earlier this week, coinciding neatly with a just-in-time delivery of memories into the LoL – a faux-leather case, bulging at the seams with promising content, Mrs Reign opened Parliament and recited the new government’s proposed legislative programme for the coming year.

“Have you seen this?” Thoughtful Man said, passing the case over for inspection.  It was surprisingly heavy, requiring both hands to guide it to the floor and prevent flattened toes. “That should keep you occupied for a bit”. He was right. A glance at the protruding spines produced a squeal …


… and the urge to break out plastic opera glasses. “Programmes! These are all our programmes”.  I grabbed a handful and got comfortable …

“Shows, concerts, places of interest.” I looked up beaming, “All the places we went together. I’d forgotten all about these”.

“Of course.” Thoughtful Man managed to keep the ‘harumph’ out of his voice but not off his face. “I keep everything.” He’s not called ‘Thoughtful Man’ for nothing. “I don’t think that’s all of them, but it’s enough to get you started. Why don’t you take some photos and then pick one to focus on.” He handed me a camera and retired to a safe distance.

programmes 1 programmes 2

Where to start? There was a lot to choose from but fortuitously a prompt arrived from A Void at Merovee … Phantasmagoria mention by A Void Erasure … not the sort proposed by the new government and read out by Mrs Reign … but the campy band and their ‘Phantasmagorical‘ concert that I had to go see twice at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1992.

Erasure Phantasmagorical Program Erasure Phantasmagorical Program insert

I’d bought the concert tickets for Thoughtful Man, as his gift the first Christmas after we were married.  But as luck would have it, he was travelling that night so I ended up taking Sister Juju.  Afterward, as we left the theatre, the sweat rapidly cooling on our hot and tired bodies, we hoarsely agreed “OMG! He has to see it!”

The next day I set about trying to find more tickets, no mean feat considering this was pre-internet days …

Not quite that desolate, Clicky, but I can see why you might think that.

It was the giant, Pip, from work at Big Shop, who unexpectedly came to my rescue …

Pip comes to Roob's Aid

These tickets were even better than the first, right at the front, but even better than that, we got to have the phantasmagorical experience together …

Jealous much, Clicky?

“Have you finished that yet?” Thoughtful Man reappeared, looking anxious; he knows what a terrible shot I am. He spotted the shiny programme. “Erasure! Bloody brilliant!.” He turned away, leafing through the pages. “I’ll tell you what, have a song.”