It's a week and a bit after Easter. It may be the school holidays, but our music teachers are no respecters of time off. They've signed our choir up for a big concert, along with schools from across Hertfordshire, which today requires everyone to assemble for a big all-day rehearsal. Alas we're based in Watford and the rehearsal is in Hertford, so the day starts with a lengthy coach trip to unsettle our stomachs. There are traffic jams to begin with, then later in the journey the driver goes the wrong way, neither of which help. The dress rehearsal is not exciting, and I pass the time drawing worms in my copy of Five Tudor Portraits. We're served up chicken for lunch, then a disappointing salad for tea. On the way home the coach driver pumps up the radio to jolt us back into the 20th century. A couple of days later I'll be on stage at the actual Albert Hall, actually singing, to an audience almost entirely composed of proud Hertfordshire parents. And OK, it's only as an insignificant part of an enormous choir, but hell yes, achievement unlocked.
Tuesday, April 05, 1983
It's a couple of days after Easter. I take the opportunity to sleep in until half past nine, although yesterday I managed half past ten. The weather isn't great. I have Coco Pops for breakfast. In what's left of the morning the family drives into Watford to do some shopping. I have some record tokens to spend which I received for my 18th birthday last month. I head for W H Smiths, and their well stocked record department on the raised platform at the back of the store. My chosen selection is a 2-in-1 cassette of Spandau Ballet albums, with Journeys to Glory on one side and Diamond on the other. Side A turns out to be much better than Side B. I have a burger for lunch, or at least what passes for a burger in the 1980s which is a limp circle of beef in a bread roll with ketchup. In the evening we watch a repeat of Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 AD, the film with Bernard Cribbins, and get excited when Watford crops up in the plot. Later we watch the start of the new series of Now Get Out Of That, with Bernard Falk, and a repeat of The Innes Book Of Records.
Tuesday, April 05, 1988
It's a couple of days after Easter. My grandmother has an early appointment at the chiropodist, so me and my brother are driving down to her house to pick her up. She's wants to talk about the last episode of Crossroads, which aired last night, but we pretend we didn't watch it otherwise we'll never hear the end of it. After our foot-related duty is discharged I run an errand to the library to see if my mum's reserved books are in yet. The librarian says not, then calls me back as I'm disappearing through the doors because actually yes they are. I get to walk home clutching a romantic historical novel. My mum spends the afternoon typing out my brother's dissertation, then I check it for errors, and she retypes the whole page if I find any. I shall be Letrasetting the title onto the front cover later. In the evening we hear that my grandmother has been taken into hospital with anaemia. My brother heads out for a beer with an old schoolmate, and I'm still up when he gets home (after midnight) because I'm watching the very last edition of The Roxy on ITV.
Monday, April 05, 1993
It's the week before Easter. I've having time off work, which is excellent, even if I'm not using it especially profitably. I eat breakfast while attempting to guess The Golden Hour, which is still hosted by Simon Bates because he won't be resigning for a few more months. I take a couple of suits to the dry cleaners, and then I walk down to Safeway for my weekly shop. I spend £17. Back at home I can't quite finish the crossword, so I turn my computer on and play several levels of Repton. John Peel is presenting his very first daytime programme on Radio 1, sitting in all week for Jakki Brambles. I cook a steak and kidney pie for lunch. A neighbour knocks to talk about getting smoke alarms, and another neighbour buzzes from downstairs to ask if I'd like some of her sausage rolls. It's John Craven's Newsround's 21st birthday, so they do a special programme before Blue Peter. And then I fix myself a blind date for tomorrow. Fixing blind dates in the early 1990s is hard. But no, we won't hit it off, so the evening in the pub will be awkward, and thankfully brief.
Sunday, April 05, 1998
It's a week before Easter. It's also three months after a blind date went well, so my bed is unexpectedly full. But not for long. My Not-Yet-Ex has to drive back to Essex, allegedly for a trip to the gym, which I think I believed at the time. I have deduced that ham and cheese croissants make for an acceptable breakfast. I am unconvinced that QVC is the best thing to watch while eating it, but in this relationship I'm not the one in charge of the remote control. At noon we head our separate ways, me to the bus station to start a journey to see the family in Norfolk. When I ring later to hear how the gym went, all I'll get is the answerphone, which is all too obvious now. At my parents' house a huge roast beef meal is waiting, accompanied by the soundtrack from Titanic, which is currently the big thing. My three year-old nephew plays a lot with fire engines, and my eighteen month-old niece is learning to string proper sentences together. And when they've gone home, and it's just me and my mum and my dad, there is a heck of a lot to talk about until late in the evening.
Saturday, April 05, 2003
It's a fortnight before Easter. BestMate emigrated a few weeks ago, so I am having to make my own entertainment. The day starts and ends in a nightclub, so I guess I'm doing OK. The first is full of bright young things, and I don't feel much at home, but the second is considerably more convivial. I sleep in late after both. I have a blog now, so in what's left of this morning I knock out a post on Thunderbirds. Then I head back into town, this time to Oxford Street, where I buy an emergency flapjack and a copy of The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart. Tomorrow a dice roll will take me to the Boat Race, and that'll inspire a complete set of jamjar-related adventures. A new Tesco Local has opened in Dean Street (opposite where the Crossrail station will eventually be). I have tuna for tea, and watch The Murder Game on BBC1, then head out again for a night of Becks and loud music under a railway arch. The work colleague I go with gets increasingly drunk, and ends the night stumbling towards a kebab shop. I'm having none of that.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
It's a fortnight after Easter. BestMate is back in the country again, and we have a beery night out planned. Stepping on the scales this morning I'm delighted when it displays a number of stone I haven't been for years. This is down to the strict diet I've put myself on for the last few weeks, and which will eventually climax with the need to buy new trousers. I walk down to Tesco to buy some drearily worthy groceries. Today's blogpost is a map of independent bookshops, so I've decided to spend the day visiting five of them. Hackney's is rubbish, West Hampstead's a delight, Willesden's solid, Chelsea's antiquarian and Balham's very cramped. Ten years later, onlytwo of the five still trade. On my way home BestMate's OtherHalf rings to postpone tonight's beery night out because they're feeling a bit fragile. Never mind, the new series of Doctor Who starts this evening, and Catherine Tate's in it this year, and she's unexpectedly excellent. It'll snow tomorrow.
Friday, April 05, 2013
It's the week after Easter. It's also the first time since June 1987 that every digit in the day's date is different. This is the sort of thing I like to tell people at work, but then they just look at me. It's quiet at work today because most people with kids have the week off, but my team has a project with a deadline coming up so we're all in. There are contracts need sorting. There are names from the past I need to write tentative begging emails to. There are grumpy managers to placate. There's a jumped-up lad in a suit from the Programme Management team attempting to tell me how to write a project timeline. There is also roast duck for lunch, which is totally out of kilter from what the canteen usually serves, and is lovely. Very few of today's issues resolve themselves. I stay late, then go home and eat toast.