Monday, 11 April 2011

Cherish is the word I use to describe

It's not often that I spend an evening by myself. It's such a rarity that, when I imagine it, I build the idea up as a special treat, a chance to do what I like, an opportunity to pretend that I'm a grown-up independent woman, in charge of my own destiny and decisions.

I hadn't expected to be on my own tonight. It wasn't until Megan called, just as I was leaving work, that I knew both she and Philip had alternative plans.  My day at work had been stupidly busy, so the previously unforeseen promise of a peaceful, solitary evening dangled alluringly in front of me all the way home. A bit like an air freshener on a rear view mirror.

The trouble with car deodorisers though is that the fresh new atmosphere they promise usually turns out to be a false unnatural scent, masking the reality. Even with my appalling sense of smell, I know that's not the right ambience for me.

It's a rare occasion that I come home to a dark and silent house. I'm usually the last one back, the one coming in to shoes parked by the front door, bags dropped somewhere between there and the kitchen, opened mail scattered across the dining table and the radio playing loudly in the background. Minor annoyances, that are easily cancelled out by a cheerful welcome, the offer of a nice cup of tea, and the sight of debris in the kitchen, promising me a lovely dinner already half cooked.

Tonight the only greeting was an insistent one from the cat, wondering why he'd had to wait so long to be fed. After I'd answered his demands and made myself a cuppa, I mooched around the kitchen, hoping for some inspiration on the food front. I've never seen the point of cooking just for me. I'd hoped to finish off last night's rhubarb crumble, but it seems someone had that for breakfast. Luckily there was some cold meat in the fridge, so a lamb sandwich dinner it was.

Half an hour home and I was already feeling a bit sorry for myself. I turned on the TV - not just for the sound of the voices; this was my night in charge, I could watch what I liked. Well, I could within reason. A quick flick through the channels showed me that the value of controlling the remote is in direct proportion to the quality of the programmes on offer.

I was just about to turn off in contempt, when a news-clip from years ago caught my attention. The footage panned across a scene at Heathrow airport where hundreds, perhaps thousands of screaming teenage girls waited to welcome the arrival from the United States of their heart throb David Cassidy. In an instant I was transported back to the early 1970s, to the first time I ever went to a concert, the first time I ever felt completely part of a whole experience, watching, listening, feeling, the beat of the music coming up through the floor, my screams joining the others echoing around Wembley Stadium.

Sitting here tonight, in our house in Shoreham, I could see myself back in my bedroom in Croxted Road; playing the Cherish album again and again; singing along to every word and holding onto the album cover as tightly as if it had been him. I loved David Cassidy then, really loved him, and like so many millions of girls the world over, I convinced myself that I only had to meet him to persuade him that he'd love me too. I started saving up. I wasn't yet old enough for a Saturday job, but my pocket money pennies and birthday gifts that year all went into a special box; it had a slit in the top and a label on the front - my 'going to America to marry David Cassidy' fund.



I can remember all that so well, but strangely I can't remember when I stopped poring over the pictures in Jackie magazine, when I discovered other albums to listen to, found another use for my pennies. I don't even know what happened to the going-to-America box. I suspect it happened gradually, as I slowly understood it wasn't a reality and there were other, better, things to spend my time thinking about, wishing and wanting.

Then it came to me, forty years later, sitting here in our house in Shoreham, that's exactly what will happen to my dreams of spending time alone - one day I'll just know that there are other, better, things to spend my time thinking about, wishing and wanting.

16 comments:

Baglady said...

Lovely. You never know, there is still time. Though I suspect Mr Cassidy is more plastic than man these days judging by his face.

They do say that life is what happends while one is making plans, mind.

Brenda Susan said...

And you got to write a lovely post that also took me back to those yearning days! Herman's Hermits were a passion for me back in the day.
But David Cassidy's hair!! It was so amazing wasn't it? That shine and perfect waves! Afraid to see what he looks like now!

trashsparkle said...

Caught the tail-end last night (no pun intended, lamas) and was momentarily confused as to whether it was Lurvegod Cassidy, or just David Van Day. Up til recently I've assumed DC to be Not Letting Himself Go - am *a bit shocked* to realise he's gone plastic ;)

Liz said...

The Partridge Family - did you get that over there? It was one of my favourite shows. And, you know, David Cassidy's still around; he was here in Ptbo a couple years ago putting on a concert.

As always, your writing is beautiful Sharon. (Do you get sick of hearing that?)

Jayne said...

In the early 70's every Friday night was about The Partridge Family, popcorn and orange or grape soda. My friends and I were crazy for David Cassidy. This brought back such fond memories, Sharon. (I tend to feel a little lost myself when left alone for an evening--a rare occasion--completely related to this.) :)

Pat said...

Showing my age - I'm more familiar with his father and mother who were really talented.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello:
With hindsight [isn't that the most wonderful thing?] we cringe at so many aspects of the 70s. Not a good decade for really anything that we can readily bring to mind. However, each decade brings its horrors and its delights......things perhaps do not necessarily get better or worse with age, just different.

We are so pleased to have discovered you and are signing up as Followers in order to not miss out on any of your beautifully written posts.

Nicole said...

Sweet. It's so nice to have the gift of contentment in I've.

Philip said...

How do i love thee? Let me count the ways. I love that you saved up for him. I saved up my life for you. And I'm very glad I did. To prove it I even bought you that very album on vinyl. What more can a man do than pay tribute to his wife by returning her to her cherished youth?
P.

Young at Heart said...

David Cassidy and Jackie Magazine.......how sweet life was then....how simple......if only one had known it then....happy daze. I have passed an award on to you!!

Fran said...

That's so weird. I just posted about David CAssidy too (after watching a re-run of Top of the Pops from 1976!) and how I used to lean my cheek against my poster of him! Those were the days ...

Sharon Longworth said...

Baglady - given his current plastic-enhanced features, I think we both know it's definitely too late!

Brenda Susan - Herman's Hermits! It's been a while since I heard them mentioned. Yes I think DC's hair was probably the thing I liked best.

Trashsparkle - it's horrible to agree, but yes there was definitely a hint of Van Day there. Plastic is not a good look is it - I'd far rather he had just let himself go.

Liz - yes it was the Partridge Family that first made me like him. I'd love to see one or two of those old shows repeated. And no - I never ever ever tire of people telling me they like my writing - so feel free to say it as often as you like!!(and thank you)

Sharon Longworth said...

Jayne - I don't remember ever having popcorn at home - it was a rare treat at the pictures (as we used to call the cinema back in the day. I like the image of you and your girlfriends all gathering round the tv to watch the Partridge family.
Oh - and being home alone isn't all it's cracked up to be is it?

Pat - was his mother the woman who played his Mum in the Partridge Family, or have I imagined that from somewhere. I don't think I have any idea who his father was - clearly I was too busy gazing at David himself...

Jane and Lance - Hello and welcome to the blog! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I agree there really isn't much worth remembering about the 70s, but nevertheless, I can still look back with a smile.

Nicole - thank you. I'm not always content, but it's becoming much easier nowadays!

Sharon Longworth said...

Philip - I hope you know you're dearer to me than David Cassidy ever was. I know how lucky I am.

Young at Heart - I remember it as simple and happy sometimes, but being a teenager wasn't always that way. On balance I think I'd take now over then. Thank you for the award - very much appreciated.

Fran - thank you for leaving this comment - I went straight over to yours to read about Top of the Pops. Those were the days when everyone I knew would be watching the same thing at the same time...

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