Music that Means Something Challenge Day 4 – Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

Sue Vincent kindly nominated me for this challenge.  Music that Means Something to You which entails posting a song a day with the reasons behind your choice… this might include the lyrics or the style of music or perhaps an event that this piece reminds you of.

To read how it should be done here is Sue’s Day 1 – with the music and profound lyrics of Leonard Cohen.

The rules of the challenge are simple:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days.
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional)
Post the name of the song and a video.
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

Today I nominate Hugh Roberts author and blogger who has his own music series running throughout the year and so I am hoping he will have time to post one or two songs that are especially meaningful for him for this challenge.

The twist in the challenge is that the lyrics should mean something….

I am also lucky that I have a previous series to utilise for this particular challenge and apologies to those who read the following in 2015 but I hope you will still enjoy the music.

It was a dank November day not long after our fourth wedding anniversary in 1984 when David’s department was suddenly shut down making him redundant. We had a large mortgage having only recently moved to Tring in Hertfordshire from Southport and my part-time job would not cover the mortgage.

However, within days David was telephoned by a former boss and asked if you would like to go to Houston in Texas for two years in a sales role, selling optical fibre to US companies.

We leapt at the chance and despite only being in our little house in Tring for six months we hurriedly organised a family Christmas and then put all our belongings into storage for two years paid for by the company. The house was put up for sale and thankfully went quickly so that we were not paying a huge mortgage whilst abroad.

We packed two moderate suitcases each and boarded the eleven hour flight from London to Houston, arriving late at night. The company had booked us into the Marriott hotel at Greenspoint and David decided that I could drive (on the right hand side of the road for the first time) whilst he navigated. Nobody told us that Green’s Road was about 25 miles long.

Thankfully I managed to get us there in one piece and we checked in and collapsed into bed absolutely exhausted.

The next morning we had our first taste of Texas hospitality in TGI Friday’s which was across from the hotel in the largest shopping Mall that I had ever seen (heaven). We have been fans of the food chain ever since including in the UK and I will never forget our waiter Jesus (pronounced Hesus) and his impeccable service.

David was in at the deep end and after one day in the local office for the company was off on a plane to the west coast whilst I was on a mission to find a temporary apartment. We then planned to take our time looking for just the right place to live for the next two years and luckily I found a very nice one-bed studio close by.

I moved all our stuff across and acquainted myself with the local supermarkets and was astonished by the abundance of fresh produce. It was amazing but one thing puzzled me. There were some horses tied up outside and there were cowboys walking around in full regalia including guns in holsters. Now I had been brought up on Westerns and I like nothing better than seeing a real life good-looking cowboy but I had assumed that those days were behind us. Eventually I asked a cashier why they were around and was told it was Rodeo Week… Okay then!

After viewing a number of apartment complexes we settled on a two bedroom home in The Chancellor Apartments in Parramatta Lane off I-45 and that turned out to be a fantastic decision. Here is David in front of our apartment complex looking very pleased with himself.

sally wedding day 1980

The people we met in the complex were amazingly friendly and adopted us immediately leading to the establishment of a regular round of pool parties and outings. Here we are by the pool which was our popular weekend hangout. Particularly popular were Trash Can parties. A large trash can was placed at the end of the pool and about five lbs of chopped oranges, lemons and other fruit was chopped up and put into it with some water (not a lot). Then as people arrived they would tip a bottle of spirits or wine into the trash can until it was nearly full. It was then consumed during the day. Having been sitting there in the hot sun for several hours the concoction became very intoxicating indeed and consuming the fruit could put you over the limit very rapidly.. Tut Tut and we complain about the youngsters today!

sally wedding day 1980Eventually after some training, I was very honoured to be included in the guys water volley ball team.. My nickname was Sledgehammer! We not only played during the daytime but also after our Saturday nights progressive parties. We would start at one apartment for margeriatas and chips then head off to several other homes for starters, main course, dessert and finally shots of tequila. This did nothing for the skill required for water volley ball but we had a riot.

sally wedding day 1980Weekends were also for Pappasito’s Mexican restaurant where they accommodated our large number by cordoning off the back part of the floor. They employed a Mariachi musician who would gravitate over to our long table and entertained us royally.

This set the scene for the next two years and we still are in touch with some of our friends from those years and 30 years later their children are getting married and making them grandparents.

I bought a lot of music at the time and we played a cross section at the various parties. I think one song stood out that year and summed up our good fortune in finding such warm welcome from some amazing people and also the wonderful sunshine that we enjoyed most of the year. I still play this track today and it always brings back memories of those fun-filled and sunny days.

Buy Walking on Sunshine:

I hope you have enjoyed this blast from the past and here are the previous days in the challenge.  Thanks Sally



31 thoughts on “Music that Means Something Challenge Day 4 – Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

  1. Pingback: Music that Means Something Challenge Day 4 – Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Hey ‘Sister Sledge’ are you sure it was the fruit that got to you? LOL you are a spitfire Sal. I just love your stories. Would have loved to have participated in a few ‘trash can’ parties with you. 🙂 🙂 xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Sally, all I can do is repeat what everyone has already said…. The memoir brilliant and told with your usual style and parnache. I was living it there with you. Loved your comment to Jena & was going to say are you sure it was the oranges… but Debby beat me to it… And yes I am absolutely convinced you and Debby would still the rest of us a run for our money… A combination more intoxicating than a trashcan of …oranges! You have had such a wonderful life, with a perfect soulmate and I love hearing about it. Fantastic Lots of love PaulXXX
    Oh yes… and a perfect song to accompany the recollection too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am delighted that my memories are shared with people I care about. Most of us have arrived here and talk about ourselves in the present tense. But we are the sum of our experiences. Good and Bad.. I choose to share the good, the ones that make me smile and remember the really special people that have crossed my path and there have been so many more than the bad ones. It is also great to making new memories and connections that are new and exciting and I am blessed to be here. XXXX

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi, Sally. Thanks so much for tagging me for this challenge. This is my fifth nomination for this challenge this week and as I’m already running my weekly music feature, I’m afraid I am going to have to decline your kind invitation to participate. However, I’ll give you a mention in next week’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past post as a thank you for nominating me. I do hope that is all OK by you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is such a wonderful story, Sally. It sounds as though you had such a fabulous time for those two years and made some long-lasting friends.
    A great cheery song to choose, and it must bring back such wonderful memories! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Round Up – Dame Shirley Bassey, Easter Treats, Music Memories | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. Pingback: 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 16: A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls – Jai Ho! – Hugh's Views & News

I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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