Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Sitting on the bus to work today with my earplugs in so I could listen to Radio 2, a song came on that brought back a flood of memories. You, by Ten Sharp, is not a spectacular song, filled with a rolling piano reminiscent of a Barson-esque combination, Yamaha organ, 80's-style bass, catchy chorus and the romantic appeal of a summer thirteen years ago. It reminds me of a time in my life, and in particular an incident that will never be forgotten.

Come with me to 1992 and I shall explain -

~ wavy effect to indicate reverse time travel ~

Glasgow, July 1992

The weather had been kind most of the summer, but I missed a lot of it with my extended hours working in the local supermarket where I had been employed for over two years. The money earned allowed me to enjoy the beer gardens of Glasgow's West End, and the nightclubs at the weekend. I was between my second and third year at University and each morning, Atlantic 252 played You at 8am, then repeatedly during the long, hot days. It was the radio station of choice that year and the song became engrained in my mind as I worked the shelves of the frozen department. It was a glorious time; my confidence was high and I had a girlfriend. We will call her Susan Packard.

She was four years older than me and had made the move from University to a full-time career with relative ease. She was on good money and had bought a flat with her friend just off Great Western Road, though they still lived the 'student' lifestyle, refusing to break away from it altogether. With no real responsibilities on her shoulders, who could blame her?

Her attitude towards partying seduced me from the day we met. I had spilt a drink on her in Fury Murry's one night and as I apologised for my error, my words fell from my lips and missed her ears totally, as we fell into a drunken snog. Love at first vodka, you might say.

I was smitten; she was blonde, funny, rich (compared to me), liked to drink, had her own flat and was generally great fun. She introduced me to many new things in the bedroom and as I moved further away from relative naivety, so too did my trust in her start to build. We had the same tastes in music, so I leant her records; a 7" disc of You, by Ten Sharp and The Greatest Hits of Tears for Fears CD, which I had only bought it that day, and had yet to listen to myself, were the first of my generous lendings.

On one of my rare days off, I was out with my pal, Bobby, on an excursion to the shops near Susan's part of town. It was a Monday and since I knew Susan would not be in work that day I thought it might be a good idea to pop in and see her, to show her off to Bobby and to welcome her back from her recent holiday in Dublin. She had gone over for a week with her flat-mate and then on to London for a few days and she had sent me loving postcards from both cities. That was nice, I thought.

We arrived at her door and I was excited about seeing her again. It had been just over a fortnight since our last embrace and my youthful stirrings were rampant. I rang the bell and waited. Inside I could hear rustling and someone approaching the door.

A girl answered that I didn't recognise.

"Hello," I said, assuming her to be a friend. "Is Susan in?"

The girl screwed her face. "Susan who?"

"Susan Packard. She's my girlfriend."

"Packard?" I think that's who lived here before. Sorry, I moved in here two weeks ago. There's no-one else here but me."

I apologised for inconveniencing her and she closed the door.

I stood facing the void where my life had just vanished in a puff of smoke, dumbstruck at what had just transpired. Bobby couldn't contain himself, but when he realised my mood he quickly calmed down. We went to the pub across the street to surmise the situation.

~ wavy effect to indicate forward time travel ~

Edinburgh, October 2005

To summarise the summer of thirteen years ago:

Susan moved house without telling me.

I never heard from her again.

I had to buy The Greatest Hits of Tears for Fears again.

You, by Ten Sharpe, was by now unavailable, so I couldn't replace it and never got to hear it on my record player.

It remains one of the few missing elements from an otherwise record collection, if I say so myself. Although all this happened before the advent of eBay, so maybe there's hope yet.
Colin 11:44 am


Funny, I did a walk down memory lane not long ago in my blog. Strange how certain things - songs, smells, sounds - make us relive the past in such detail. Great entry today.
Big man, I love hearing all your old stories.
I think you should tell the one about the"widescreen TV".
It is a classic!
Bobby Mackerel
Absolutely not! ;-)
That is one wild story!
Wow! That story broke my heart, Colin!
Hi Colin,
I popped in to say "hi", but now tears are streaming down my face. I needed to speed-read your post, but to leave without telling you! Thinking of you all when I write in stolen moments. Take Care!

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