In the 1970s we were the crowd invited to every party, we lived in a small village and had come from all points on the globe, some to work for the Admiralty some to further sparkling careers, others like us just to bring up a family and run a business in a pleasant community.
Weekends we always had a social event, there were dances, parties and picnics, and the 14 or so of the ‘Westwood crowd” got invitations all the time. Why? Because we knew how to have fun, we didn’t take drugs, we might have had a fair few wines but we danced and just enjoyed life. Then before the milk was delivered went home. We had school runs, and sports days, and jobs to do. Even with a hangover we looked after our children. In our house that meant a bed full of animals and three children jumping on us Sunday mornings! But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I remember the friends, the parties and the times in the village with pleasure and nostalgia. Yet lately as we are all in our 70s and 80s life has taken a sad turn…
Almost daily there is another report of a health issue with our dear friends. We are scattered all over the world but thanks to the wonders of the media and computers we have almost immediate contact. We hear of a hip replacement, cataracts, lung problems, oh dear the list is endless. Were these the wild young things? Were those heady days of the music in our ears, someone else’s smoke in our nostrils and the beautiful food we had, all a dream? No, I have the photos!
Sometimes when I can’t sleep I lie and recall and relive another of the best times; was it that picnic when we all wore Victorian clothes we found in markets? When the music was so brilliant and the night was balmy? The old house just outside of Bath was the perfect setting. Was it that amazing 40th birthday party when a very rich architect friend invited about 200 people, it was also my 40th birthday around the same time? There was galleon built alongside the swimming pool, well half a galleon, it was pirate themed, and the cauldrons of food bubbled away all night. I remember I wore a Hawaiian style outfit, with flowers and a grass skirt. The tent we slept in was above the house which had been cleverly built into a cliff, it was an experience hard to forget. When the pool was full of bread rolls and discarded bandanas the band still played until dawn. My husband hates dressing up, and I can only remember him enjoying one outfit, that was for a gangster party. I am sure most men would have been the same, only the women liked to take part fully. Now when I send newsy emails to my dear friend in the UK, we often elude to one of those days and nights! For her and for me life has become a bit more of a struggle, for her with health issues that have reared their ugly head; for us there are other things to keep us awake. Yet inside in a small part of my memory I hear the hits of the early 70s, and feel my body wanting to dance to them, ah… Well as long as I have the memories they live on.
Even today at nearly 77 I can find a way to have fun, most of it is rather tame, and includes a meal and not much movement. But tonight I am going to a performance at a local Hotel, and the theme is the 70s, what’s the betting I will get all misty. They even have 70s inspired food and cocktails, watch this space and get the headache pills!
What is your best memory of the party days?
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