The weather is just beautiful out here in Greece at the moment, I thought I would share the sunrise with you all 😎
The weather is just beautiful out here in Greece at the moment, I thought I would share the sunrise with you all 😎
As a toddler I had no need for the English language. I had my very own way of expressing myself. My sisters could translate some of it by using pictures. I would say something and they would get out various books and when I spoke they pointed to things until I nodded.
An example; I once informed them that there was,”A howashay bin da cowashay”. After pointing in several books and my tantrums (they weren’t very good at it) we took a walk around the farm until they finally understood. “There was an elephant in the cowshed”. I was the only one who could see said elephant and much had to be taken on trust. 🙂
One day an electrician came to do some work and so I assisted him, fresh meat 🙂 I chatted away to him and filled him in on all the farm gossip, probably about animals or what my imaginary friends and I had been doing and I most likely told him about the elephant in the cowshed incident. Upon leaving he posed a question to my mother.
“Nice kid, when’s he going back?”
“Back where?” asked mum
“To France, he is French isn’t he?”
“No! He’s my son.” Picking up on my mum’s tone the electrician probably decided not to pursue the conversation and left.
Let me set the scene a three year old boy on a farm all day by himself (and you thought Forest Gump was strange) Your parents are in their forties and you have two older sisters. One of them relishes pinning you to the floor and licking your face or tickling you until you pee your pants. The other one listens to Rock’n’Roll, jives with you and tells you that Elvis is really God.
Your role model is a pretend friend called Johnny (cool name) and you have a pretend girlfriend called June (birthday month). You also have a horse called Red (no idea). June is quite lovely but always being kidnapped by
red indians Native Americans who tie her to a tree. Most of your day is spent sneaking into the enemy camp and releasing June, getting nettled, tying dock leaves to your legs (eases the sting) and inventing things that don’t work. The Native Americans only speak Sioux or Crow, June and Johnny only speak via you; whereas you, at three-year-old don’t have anyone to talk to.
And they wonder why I had my own language.
Something I did 6 years ago, I thought it was still relevant and I kinda liked it 🙂
I remember many years ago, 1963 to be exact, I loved America. The Lucy Show, Cheyenne, Rawhide, Flicka and Rin Tin Tin.
The Kennedy’s were politically irrelevant to a child growing up in the 60’s, but I knew something was going on. The truth is that JFK was a much more enigmatic, exciting figure than Harold Wilson.
Even the places sounded magical, Arizona, Colorado, Tucson, the Rockies and Texas. Frank Sinatra sang to me, James Stewart made me want to be good, Steve McQueen made me want to be bad and Bob Hope made me laugh.
People say things are different now but are they? Will kids today feel the same way about TV programmes, films and actors when they are old and grumpy as I do? Will the memory of Friends mean the same to them, as the memory of The Lucy Show does to me? Is George Clooney…
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This is a good question and I’m answering it on the hoof, so to speak. I started running because I needed to improve my lung capacity, if you remember this was mentioned in the ‘I Left Home’ series and it was many moons ago, in fact I was 18 so I’ve been running for nearly half a century 😀
Now I could explain how running reduces cancer risk, memory loss and helps your blood pressure, strengthens your heart and makes you a happier person except that I only discovered this 4 mins ago when I googled ‘Is Running Good for You’ You see, I continued running after I stopped diving to counteract the smoking, drinking and generally ‘naughtiness’ and it’s kept me slim.
I know vanity is a sin but I have so many other failings/vices that Jesus probably has me marked as ‘dubious, but not lost’ anyway. I run because there is only me, its my ‘thang’ there is no stress, my entire being is focused on my run, so it’s probably good for depression too. For the past 10 years or so I have had injuries that have meant my running has not been as prolific as I wanted, but when we moved to Beverley the ‘princess’ found a physiotherapist who has seemingly ‘cured’ me after one visit and a whole load of exercises. So, I’m back racing, I started with the local Park Runs (5k) and next week is my first 10k for about two years. Although I appear to be stuck in 2nd place in my age group (yes I now have a nemesis) so maybe the old ciggies will finally have to go😀 We’ll see what the Beverley 10k says next week. 🙂
I used to attend a Gym in Yorkshire, this was 1997/98 when one day the owner said. ‘Hey Charlie how do you fancy doing the Three Peaks with me?’ Now at the time I was busy being a Disco King, so it wasn’t high on my agenda. He looked so desolate though, you know that look. ‘Please acquiesce to my plea for if not, I will surely die!’ Kind of a male version of Scarlet O’Hara, if you know what I mean. 🙂 So I said yes. This meant that from January to April I spent many painful Sundays training on the North Yorkshire Moors until the day arrived when aforementioned Gym owner said he’d pick me up in a van and off we’d go to Scotland as the first peak was Ben Nevis. Imagine my surprise when a van turns up with 3 complete strangers in it all asking the same question. Where’s our favourite Gym owner? ‘Ah, he couldn’t make,’ the van driver informs us. Hmm… Next stop Scotland where we slept in a hostel and set off up Ben Nevis at 6am the next day. It was a beautiful May morning, but apparently when you get to a certain height the weather can change.
Needless to say we did ‘Ben’ in 6 hours, I know it sounds deviant, and by twelve thirty we were heading for Scafell Pike in the Lake District. Oh! My Gym owner friend seemed to have forgotten to mention it was a 36 hour challenge and I’m using the term friend loosely here 😜. So we climbed Scafell at dusk and came back down at night hmmm.
We get a bit of kip and then off we go to Wales and Mount Snowdon. By this time the three strangers and myself were more like the three Musketeers, I always liked the idea of being d’Artagnan, but I’m not sure if he was rebellious, I am! The guides kept telling us to slow down and wait for the others, now I’m a caring person, but I can be a bit competitive and after we had slowed down three times I suggested that maybe the others could speed up a bit, which didn’t happen, so with the 36 hours falling away rapidly we decided to march on 😜. I don’t know if you’ve been up Snowdon, yes I know my posts can be a little like a Carry On film but I do mean the mountain, it gets a tad busy, because it’s not really a mountain (sorry Wales) it’s more like a steep hill. We fought and pushed our way to the top though and had the celebratory photo and a chocolate bar at the top.
There we are congratulating ourselves when yours truly asks. “What time is it?” The reply is, ‘just after four.’ Now Maths was never my strong point but even my students would know that thirty six hours after 6am is going to be 6pm. There is a path down Snowdon, but as it took us over three hours to walk up it, getting down in an hour and a half was going to be a challenge. The only way down was to kind of shimmy across the paths, through what I presume was shale, a bit like skiing without the snow. We then ‘jogged in.’ I do not recommend ‘jogging in’ after climbing the three peaks as my knee couldn’t run for a year afterwards 😢 But hey! We got back at five forty five. Yay 😎😂 The ones we left behind? Were we heartless, cold and uncaring? Of course not, remember, we weren’t the SAS or Navy Seals (leave no one behind) We had a collection in the pub and when the rest eventually came in, stood up, applauded and bought them a drink. After all they completed and it’s the taking part that counts. (For some 😜😜)
So to carry on from last week, after travelling around Europe I returned to Yorkshire for a bit of Christmas cash to discover my old employers had had enough of the Disco business and offered to sell to me. Now for a man with no money and living in a camper van this idea was not without its obstacles. Cut a long story short: One year later after living in their caravan, working for no wages and running the business for them we (another Mrs CCB) agreed to monthly payments, bought a house from business funds and they were free to retire.
We bought a house with a swimming pool. Now your confused? OK, I needed somewhere to store the gear. We built a plywood floor over the pool and hey presto an equipment store 😀🍾
So, what was the secret to success? Recession, during the recession of the late 80’s business dropped off. We operated by having contracts with hotels, we supplied the equipment and the DJ, they supplied the work. When work dried up I had read somewhere that in Chinese crisis can be interpreted as opportunity. So I went out and sold our business everywhere, doubling our clientele and building 30 individual Disco rigs. This meant we maintained volume of work but with a lot more customers, then after the recession lifted holy moly (for my American cousins) we were cooking on gas, 328 gigs in December 2000 alone 😀. But, for those five years instead of doing Discos I visited Discos, advising, training and monitoring.
Probably the largest Disco company in Yorkshire? Some said we were, but I’m not sure, we certainly weren’t an agency, as we owned, installed and collected all the equipment. After five years it was time to move on, I’m a doer not a watcher and DJ’s can be unreliable. One New Years Eve with two DJ’s down Mrs CCB had a crash course in the art and found herself entertaining the public at Headingley Cricket ground complete with playlist and a heart rate of probably 145 BPM 🙂 So where did the Disco King term originate? Well, a few years down the line on my wedding day to a new Mrs CCB I employed a Jazz band for the evening and at the end of the evening the band leader remarked how he thought it was great that the Disco King of Yorkshire chose a live band rather than a Disco for his own wedding 🙂 Is the company still going? Yes it is, founded in 1985 Bruce Bendall took over Night Owls after me and he is still going strong, not bad for the second best DJ in Yorkshire 🙂 So, don’t forget, crisis can mean opportunity you don’t have to sink, just swim twice as fast 🙂
Now you may ask how did a scruffy little Yorkshireman end up as the ‘Disco King of Yorkshire’
Ok, so we have to go back a ways, do you remember SILH (8) A Desperate Finale ? Well, after that little escapade I returned to Jersey and met a guy who was the D.J. at the Deep Discotheque in St Helier. I commenced this illustrious career by standing in the DJ box talking to girls who came for a request. Anyone who knows me will understand that this wasn’t a task I was adverse to 🙂 From there I began to put the needle on the record and shortly afterwards I was covering Monday nights. Not wanting to bore you with a blow by blow, let’s just say this was a hobby for the next ten years. Eventually I returned to Yorkshire to lick my wounds (another story) and ended up working for a couple who ran a Mobile Disco company. Now this is where I perfected the ‘all round DJ.’ with Birthdays, Weddings, Wedding Anniversaries, 60’s and 70’s nights and Tea Dances
Oh yes, with Waltzes, Quicksteps, Foxtrots and not lets forget the Rhumba, Cha Cha, Jive and Tango, a little tedious as all I did was announce the dances, but the Hotel tours, now they were different. Tee hee, holiday makers. Yup I’m the guy who pounced out onto the dance floor, dragged you from your seat and taught you how to do the Birdy Song backwards, embroiled you in a Barn Dance and then just when you got the hang of it, I made it ‘progressive,’ (you swop partners after the clap) no it’s a hand clap this was a Hotel tour not a hedonistic under 30’s). Then of course there was the Bingo afternoons at Christmas (well someone had to entertain them) The Bingo machine we had was similar to the one, below courtesy of Roof Top Antiques
Oh, what fun I had at the start, having carefully slid the wire retainer from the top of the machine I informed everyone that I had never done this before. Consequently when I switched it on; well my balls went everywhere, so to speak. Of course there wasn’t just the Birdy Song, I had Agadoo, Superman, YMCA too 🙂
On a more serious note, OK stop laughing, I know I wasn’t saving lives here 🙂 There was the Injured Jockeys Club dinner dances always attended by the Emmerdale Farm crowd and of course the ‘posh’ 21st Birthday parties that usually went on until around 5am 🙂 Then I went travelling aha! that just had to raise its head again 🙂 Next week I’ll explain how I became the disco king of Yorkshire 🙂
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