In my early years with the best part of my three score years
and ten before me and when time only accelerated during the
school holidays, everybody seemed old , even the police cadets.
old enough to remember Lonnie Donegan and skiffle, if I really
stretch my mind I can remember the heydays of Frank Sinatra,
Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior. Alma Cogan, Vera Lynn and
Connie Francis were regularly requested on Forces Favourites.
But they all seem to be hidden behind the curtain that was Rock
‘n’ Roll, Bill Haley’s music was like an electric
charge and everything changed. I’m told that teenagers
slashed cinema seats in their strange way of expressing enthusiasm
for the new music. I knew nothing about that at the time, there
was no cinema in Saundersfoot! Very soon we had the curling
lips and gyrating hips of Elvis Presley.
I have long
thought that the musical trend of your teens defines you throughout
your life. Yes, music developed from Rock and we had the harmonies
of The Eagles and Simon and Garfunkel then Eric Clapton and
Lynyrd Skynyrd and I grew up alongside that but the greater
part of current music that I hear holds little appeal for me
and I realise I am getting older.
changed too. We used to have brilliant comedy writers who knew
the art of building up to a punch line, they crafted sentences
with double meanings and built up their half hour slot in such
a way that your sides would be aching as you slid uncontrollably
off the settee. You could enjoy the comedy alongside your Granny
and Grandad, or even a passing vicar!
Roy Clarke’s ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, ‘Open
all Hours’ and ‘Keeping up Appearances’ with
Hyacinth Bouquet. The late Alan Plater wrote many episodes of
different dramas over the years and you could always tell which
ones because he had rather a special humour. Do you remember
The Beiderbecke Affair starring James Bolan and Barbara Flynn?
Very clever and very funny with the haunting strains of Bix
Beiderbecke’s jazz running through it. Why is it not repeated
when so many less worthy programmes seem to crop up over and
over again? We had ‘Porridge’, ‘Dad’s
Army’, ‘Auf Wiedersehein Pet’, ‘Morecambe
and Wise’, ‘Only Fools and Horses’, ‘Dinner
Ladies’, ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’, those
writers possessed skill and we could settle ourselves down for
sheer, blissful enjoyment.
up to the point that it is close to the bone, after that it
just becomes an exercise in creating bigger and bigger shocks
to the sensitivity and drags itself further and further down
listed what I have enjoyed over the years I suppose I should
now list those that I find tedious and boring.
won’t because it would be Pointless!
Yes, I really
am getting older and I felt it very strongly today when I was
browsing through The Times and I came across the advert for
Scottish Widows Insurance Co. I don’t know if you can
remember it, you must do, it incorporates a picture of a lady
in a black hooded cloak and she has always been very attractive,
in the past she has always seemed to be older than me but suddenly
she looks as if she is in her early 20s. I have been having
panic attacks all day, even the Scottish Widow is younger than
me, much younger than me!
I have been
trying to comfort myself by arguing that the mortality rate
is suddenly high north of the border because of the addiction
of young men to deep fried Mars bars! It’s not working
Sanatogen please, Dear. …. I said PASS THE SANATOGEN PLEASE,
DEAR! Oh Lord! I think she’s gone deaf now.
of condolences would be much appreciated.