I live in a small town. It is a nice small town surrounded by gorgeous countryside filled with many exciting things to do. From wandering lazily about sumptuous colourful gardens to the pulsating experience of throwing four wheels of sheer power around an old racetrack, you can easily fill every weekend of the year. There are farm shops in abundance and all manner of local food suppliers. Brighton and Eastbourne are just down the road while London is a short train ride away.
It’s nothing like the town where I was brought up. I spent twenty six years living in Wallasey. We moved there from a council estate in Liverpool where the whole family shared a bedroom. It was my nan’s house where, along with my grandfather (Pop), she grew lots of fruit and vegetables
I have memories of shelling peas and raking garden beds and eating raspberries straight off the bush. Wallasey, or Seacombe to be exact, was different. Between 1963 and 1989 I witnessed factory closures, shop closures and cinema closures. Work dwindled and money dried up. Crime increased and attitudes hardened. We were part of the working classes who had been duped by successive governments; disillusioned and cynical, ready to have our faces rubbed into the excrement of depression by Thatcher and her glory boys.
Personally, I had found my own mountains to climb. I did not want to spend my days scratching around doing a bit of this and that. Fortunately, I had kept going with my music tuition; I found an inspirational piano teacher who came on board with my cause. It meant that during those wretched eighties, I was able to work as a piano teacher and fund my Open University degree. It was a way off the scrap heap. Less honourable perhaps was the amount of money I squandered on self-indulgence. But I had never really earned money before so I was going to bloody well enjoy myself. Responsibility was put on hold.
End of part one…………………………………………