Now you know you’re getting old when your children hit middle age, right? Well tomorrow we’re having a party for our lovely, beautiful, eldest daughter Rebecca who had her 40th birthday earlier this week. It’s a cliche but it really does seem like yesterday when we were waiting to take her home from the hospital after her birth. Where do the years go eh? I’ll stop with the well-worn phrases now.

Anyway in preparation for the do I’ve been uploading dozens of Rebecca’s favourite tracks onto an iPod as background music. Now Rebecca has many many favoutite bits of music so it’s taken me some time and I’ve got around 11 hours worth loaded so far. In looking back at some tracks from the 60’s I came across Lonnie Donegan’s name. Now you’ll have to be of a certain age to know of him but back in the day he was a fairly big name on the music scene, and his folk rocking/bluesgrassy brand of skiffle music was a strong influence on emerging bands like the Beatles and the Stones. Some say he was the founding father of British pop music…

So what? Well his name got me thinking about my mum and dad. You see they loved hosting parties when they were younger – I’m bloody sure I inherited that gene from them. Dad, who’s still in fine form, was a super bread salesman and his round took in many of the key hotels in Blackpool at the time. As it happened he got to know many of the hotel owners very well. Now Blackpool used to attract big name stars during the summer season to perform at the many theatres and pier shows on offer to the millions of visitors to the resort and of course they had to stay somewhere.

Well m&d were having this party – we’d been scooted off to bed – and one of their guests was a hotelier who said he’d try and bring along some of his high profile guests. Lo and behold we woke up the next morning as mum presented us kids with autographed books signed by Lonnie Donegan, Kathy Kirby (sexy singer), Peter Goodwright (impressionist), the Mudlarks (band),  the female lion tamer from the Tower Circus  and a host of other names I can’t recall right now. It was by all accounts a humdinger of a party and we missed it eh. But it made me smile to remember my mum being all vivacious and full of life, surrounded by all these ‘stars’ and not fazed by any of it.  In fact she’d have revelled in it. It’s over 3 years since she left us and I miss her very much, still.



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