We’ve Only Just Begun….

15 05 2012

‘We’ve only just begun’, although a guilty pleasure originally sang by ‘The Carpenters’ – sums up my feelings about the 70’s just as much now as it did back then when I inhabited them. Back then there was alway’s money, love and romance, endless possibility, and the possession of fearless innocence.


What ever happened to the fearless innocence bit? Or come to think of it, the love and romance, the money or the endless possibilities.


The reason for my questions? Well, I’ve just finished watching Dominic Sandbrook’s BBC documentary ‘The 70’s’. An immersive, enjoyable, nostalgic reminder of just how different the world is today, and just how different I and everyone I know have become. Where did it all go wrong?


Watching the programme, broadcast on BBC 2, made me realise just how many events I’d forgotten I’d forgotten about. The Specials, the strikes, the winter of discontent, Thatcher and the Royal Festival Hall, all included – the Royal Festival Hall segment, in particular retrieving a copy of the Daily Mirror from my subconscious mind – Its front page, a picture of my father filling up most of it, an image I hadn’t recalled in at least 45 years.


But other events featured remain strangely fuzzy, perhaps because I was so caught up in my own life at the time that my self-indulgent busyness had simply faded them into a backdrop to the main event. Me!


Just back from America, freshly divorced, it wasn’t long before I had immersed myself in an intense relationship with a Columbian artist who seemed to spend all her time challenging my beliefs. Passionate, yes, expensive, most definitely, but such hard work I’d often forget which day it was. No wonder I didn’t notice then – and still can’t remember now – those wretched strikes.


But Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ remains familiar – an undeniable soundtrack to the70’s. It used to chime on the hour every hour from the radio I had perched at the back of the shop I used to run in Soho. There’s a multi-story car park there now. Alas ‘Curious Cargo’ is no more, but thanks Dominic for bringing it all back to me.

Well almost.



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