I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.
The Lady Magazine, Into the Unknown, Queen and Rocky
In the spring of 1979 a number of events took place that made me realise that I needed to put a little more distance between me and my past. I gave my notice in at the school at half-term in February and began buying The Lady Magazine again weekly. After all I had found one great job in its classifieds and hopefully I would find another.
I was sad to leave the school, the teachers and the pupils as it had been a wonderful 15 months where I had regained my self-confidence. I had travelled to foreign countries and other parts of Britain but never really gone far on my own. Perhaps time to rectify that.
I applied for a number of positions in the hotel industry and one in particular caught my eye. Gothic mansion, three star hotel in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. I had to send my details, experience and a photograph with details of when I could start before the season began at Easter.
A week later I received a phone call from the then manager who asked a few questions and I later found out; checking my speaking voice out. A few days later I received an acceptance letter with travel instructions to reach the hotel the day after the school broke up for the Easter Holidays.
In those days of course there was no Internet and heading off to the depth of Wales was equivalent of running off to Panama. Or so my parents thought when I told them!
With two suitcases and a sense of trepidation I boarded the train from East Sussex and connected in London for a train to Wales.
11 hours later I arrived late at night at Barmouth Railway station, cold and hungry and very nervous. I was the only passenger to alight and I stood in the freezing cold with my two suitcases and waited as I had been instructed to do. Out of the dark night came a booming voice.
‘Are you the girl for Bontddu Hall Hotel?’ Since I was the only one shivering in the dank dark night, I would have thought it was pretty obvious.
I followed a swaddled figure with a torch into the car park where a dark sedan loomed into view through the mist. OMG… What had I let myself in for? My two cases where dumped in the back seat and for the next fifteen minutes we travelled in silence. I did however determine that the driver was female and that she was not very talkative.
We turned into an impressive stone gateway and up to the Gothic frontage of a large building. Without a word my driver got out and removed my cases from the back of the car and dumped them by the large wooden arched door. I got out and watched as the car was turned around and watched the back lights disappear into the mist.
I had no choice but to ring the bell on the wall… As I stood quaking from fear and cold I heard the heavy tread of footsteps dragging themselves it seemed down a very long corridor.
With a creak the door swung inwards and there stood………..
And you will have to pop by next week to find out who was standing in the entrance hall!!
In the meantime the music of 1979 continued to be a little mixed as to style and the top hits of the year included Art Garfunkel with Bright Eyes from the film Watership Down, Cliff Richard with We Don’t Talk Anymore, one song that I played continuously by Dr. Hook, When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman.
The Boomtown Rats mirrored most people’s opinion with I Don’t Like Mondays and Ian Dury and the Blockheads with one of the best pickup lines of the decade. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick!
Since I could dance all night and Queen are up there with Status Quo for me for those years….. Here is Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen Official
As to films that year it was a little difficult to get to the movies but did eventually did get to see most of them at some time in the future. They included the stomach ripper Alien.. Apocalypse Now, Kramer vs. Kramer, Escape From Alcatraz, Being There with the wonderful Peter Sellers, Star Trek, The Champ and Rocky II. Here is the theme song from the movie and one that you are bound to recognise.
Thank you for joining me on my trip down memory lane and next week 1979 Part Two… Sally.