Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

MLM is brought to you this fine Mother of a Monday by Stealer’s Wheels with Stuck in the Middle. 

with their Dylanesque pop bubblegum favourite of April 1972. Of course, I was barely conceived, so I don’t remember it in utero but from its revival in 1992 when Reservoir Dogs hit the streets. It was still pretty popular as a soundtrack right up until the time I was in St Hilaire de Riez in 1995 and the Oxford bar. This was the place all the courriers for the local campsites hung out, and it was pretty much filled with sweaty, supertanned teenagers and young twenty-somethings who had got a night off from hanging around waiting to change gas bottles or deal with campsite emergencies.

It was the summer I transitioned from student to teacher. I had my hair cut. I got rid of all the black dye. I bought clothes that weren’t black. I even bought some non-utility underwear for the first time. I put aside The Sisters of Mercy and sociology textbooks, critical analyses of literary classics and picked up a bunch of clothes that hadn’t come from various charity shops or second-hand stalls. I took growing up very seriously. It just seemed like it was time.

I came back, started working as a teacher in Lancashire and even started thinking about casting off my love of everything slightly esoteric and odd. I’ve swung full circle, of course. Being a ‘grown-up’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and buying clothes is not the be-all and end-all of life.

Still, I can’t but listen to this soundtrack and think of those months in St Hilaire when the sun shone and I could do all the mental adjustments I needed to. It was the summer when I knew I’d survived growing up.

Anyway, here’s to those powerful tunes from the past that bring back a memory so vivid that it instantly transports you to that moment.

Here’s to my continued tomato production, delicious sweetcorn, divine kale and lovely swiss chard.

Here’s to my friends. I love our twisty-turny FB conversations about random stuff. Here’s to the universal adoption of the term ‘cockwomble’ (n.) to describe those men who are just a bit of an idiot in a generally offensive, blokeish kind of way. Especially men who are offensive to women in completely inappropriate ways. We’re not talking Berlusconi levels of lechy behaviour and generalised racism, more Boris Johnson when he said women only go to university to find a husband. See? Colossal cockwomble. That bloke from the new ‘ladies” news site, Bustle, he’s a cockwomble.

Anyway, here’s to summer going out with a bang; we had pretty dismal Augusts the last couple of years at points. It’s nice to have an August in style.

Here’s to getting out seed catalogues because, you know, it’s nearly winter.

Here’s to a week with a little more gardening time on the calendar than usual. Hoorah. I’m off out now to prepare my garden for the last sowings of cabbage and winter lettuce. Later, it is the canoe club meal and canoe event thingie. I’m sure that can only end raucously.

Here’s hoping you have a fine Monday as well.


2 thoughts on “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

  1. It is me who should be posting this video – I was 22 then. I remember it as background music to my youth. I was a waiter in a posh restaurant that summer, making money for university. Thank you for bringing back these memories!

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