In my early days working in the International Telecommunications part of the GPO (a bit that would later be hived off to become part of the new British Telecommunications) there were huge buildings in central London which delivered the international telephone operator services functions. They housed thousands of operators (mostly women and a surprisingly large number of gay men) who worked in shifts 24/7 to deal with callers’ queries and helping connect them through to overseas destinations. They were also the most militant centres of union activism in the early 70’s (the Communication Workers Union made the miners look like Sunday school teachers at times).
You’ll have to excuse me. I was out with old friends from BT days on Friday (we get together on an occasional basis having worked as a small project team during the Rugby World Cup in 1999) and although it was a low turn out – just C, P and me – I had a blast and one or two drinks. Then last night we had dinner and a lot more drinks at old friends J & D and lovely daughter A . I think we finished around 5am which is outrageous but we were having a laugh at a video D shot of my 40th birthday do, which I haven’t seen in 20+ years. I have to say we had some fab parties at our old place in Buckingham and this was a prime example. Seeing family and old friends 20 years younger dancing away to ZZ Top is a real hoot, especially after one or twenty glasses of wine.
I know I promised a posting on Jeremy Clarkson next but I’ve got a bloody tune that I can’t get out of my head and I’m hoping this post will clear it. It’s by the guy pictured above, Gregory Porter, and despite wearing daft hats he’s a bit of a cool jazzy singer.
I’ve been writing a bit lately about ageing and I notice I have been getting a little more reflective and mellower in my postings. It’s a sign of getting older I guess. I’d far rather watch Time Team than X Factor these days and I started wearing comfortable rather than stylish clothes quite a while ago. It comes to us all. But I have taken particular interest in the ageing process of one Robbie Williams of late, the one-time bad boy of Take That whose latest album has an intriguing title….
Last week-end our very good friends L & S came to stay and I had a quick browse through L’s paper of choice the Mail on Sunday. I came across an interesting feature in the Event section about how some of Britain’s biggest music stars wrote their signature hits. In other words what was their method of composing and their inspiration? Later the same evening I watched a programme on BBC 4 about the most valuable songs of all time which asked a similar question. One illuminating fact shone out for me.
Well the Stones got to play Glastonbury after 40 odd years. It’s a long time isn’t it? If you think back to the mid 60’s when the Stones broke through, it’s comparable to some guys sharing the stage with them who’d been big during WW1. Think of that! I watched them on the tv last night performing an hour of their set. Was it worth the wait?
Well it’s not like me to do many postings about music but perhaps inspired by checking out the blogsite of a recent visitor, Every Record Tells a Story, here is my second in two days. London buses eh. And speaking of London Transport did you know today’s the 150th anniverary of the opening of the Underground system? In case you were about to ask, no I wasn’t there. But I was there when the Beatles brought out the single Please Please Me just the 50 years ago this week. 50 YEARS! How can that possibly be for real? I can see the mop-haired lads belting out the song as clearly as if it was yesterday (even though I’m struggling to recall what I had for lunch on Monday).