Is There Any More Tea In That Pot?

Everyday events in the life of a tea lover.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Beatles "Please, Please Me." 50 years old on 11th February 2013

I was just 15 years old in the February of 1963. We had passed through one of the hardest winters in decades. January was the coldest month of the 20th century, at that time. 
February came in with more snow, and a 36 hour blizzard which affected most parts of the country. It drifted in the gale force winds, and I can still remember that the snow completely covered up the side door of my grandmother's house. It had formed a snow "bank" as the wind blew on that side.  
The front door was passable. 

The road outside was impassable except for a track which people had made down the middle. 
As I looked at it, it seemed like undulating waves of the sea which had frozen white. 
Drift after drift, after drift, rippling towards me as I walked in the single pathway up the hill. The deepest parts of these drifts were almost 5 feet in height. The shallowest, like the dip in the waves, being knee deep. 
I have no idea who cleared the snow to make a passage possible.      
Into all this mayhem of a winter, came an explosion on the music scene which changed four young men almost overnight. 
The Beatles recorded  their album "Please, Please Me." at the Abbey Road studios in London, in just 12 hours. 
And it catapulted them into fame.

My own personal LP  Now 50 years old!

It was absolutely brilliant being a teenager at that time. The "Liverpool Sound" was everywhere, making the city fashionable, with it's "Cavern Club"
I bought the LP and still have it today, along with "With The Beatles."
Everywhere there was Beatles music coming from the radio and they appeared on TV. WE were all glued to the spot!
Other groups began to emerge "Gerry and the Pacemakers", " The Hollies", "The Searchers", we couldn't get enough of them!
Our small town boasted an excellent dance hall, and I saw The Hollies, and Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas perform live. It was great to be on the dance floor to such great sounds!
I went to see "Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders", and on one bizarre occasion we spotted "The Animals" when one of them had come out of one of our local shops. This was just before they became very famous.
It put the North of England very much on the map! A lot of the new groups were from Liverpool and Manchester.     
    I was studying music as one of my GCSE exams, and I learned a lot about the Dominant 7th chords that the Beatles used! (Obviously not the only chords they used, but it was such a radically different sound then, to anything else we had heard.).       

Snow in February 1963, Burnley, Lancashire 

  We danced to their music at parties,and on the sleeve of the LP is a stiletto heel mark where I  had accidentally stepped on to the cover. Thankfully the LP was not inside!
Looking again at some of the chart topping songs of that year, brings back so many memories.
I sang Skeeter Davis' song "The End of the World" at one of our Grammar School concerts in the summer.
The whole presentation being directed and performed without any staff help. Including a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Trial by Jury". I and several of my musical friends were in the chorus.
       We did however, have our very own brilliant musician called Johnnie Iveson, who played as his first instrument, a trombone. So he and several others put together a band for the occasion, which was a great hit.
He went on to make a name for himself in London circles, becoming principal trombonist with the  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1965. I attach a link to his profile.


As I read the list below, of the UK hits, it transports me back to that brilliant time when, like the Shadows instrumental, it was fantastic to simply "Dance On" !!
How the music stays in your head!!
My dad was asked one day, as he went into his office in Manchester,

"How come you are singing "She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" ?

"How on Earth do you know the words?"

So he replied:
"I have two daughters at home.......and it is played constantly!"

Not such an old "fuddy duddy" hey!

       Some of the chart songs of 1963.

03 JanCliff Richard and The ShadowsThe Next Time / Bachelor Boy
24 JanShadowsDance On
31 JanJet Harris and Tony MeehanDiamonds
21 FebFrank IfieldWayward Wind
14 MarCliff Richard and The ShadowsSummer Holiday
29 MarShadowsFoot Tapper
11 AprGerry and The PacemakersHow Do You Do It?
02 MayBeatlesFrom Me To You
20 JunGerry and The PacemakersI Like It
18 JulFrank IfieldConfessin' (That I Love You)
01 AugElvis Presley(You're The) Devil In Disguise
08 AugSearchersSweets For My Sweet
22 AugBilly J Kramer and The DakotasBad To Me
12 SepBeatlesShe Loves You
10 OctBrian Poole and The TremeloesDo You Love Me
31 OctGerry and The PacemakersYou'll Never Walk Alone
12 DecBeatlesI Want To Hold Your Hand

Sunday, 10 February 2013

February! A week of birthdays!

               A Week of Birthdays!                                     

Birthday bouquet.

The first week of February begins for us in a rash of birthdays. Three in quick succession before we reach February 8th.
There has been a sense of week long celebrations beginning with mine on the 4th. It was an extra special day, as we went to see our new granddaughter. She was born before the expected date of 7th, which would have meant one more event to cram into the first eight days!
  Libby Joanna made her entrance into the world in a precipitate hurry on 30th January. A sister for   Samuel.
The next birthday was on the 6th, our friend Rosie. More cake and presents enjoyed with friends that evening.
Stephen's came next on the 8th and we spent the day having lunch with one friend by the side of a roaring log fire at a country pub nearby. In the evening, a lovely dinner spent in the company of another couple of close friends.
So much for thinking maybe I would join "Weight Watchers"!!
How is it whenever I think about it, I just gravitate to all the food that should be "forbidden" !!!
Naughty but nice!

Well, it WAS all our birthdays!

At the end of the week on Saturday I found myself with a group of friends (organised by my hubby) making a clay sheep in a craft session.
Can you hear the concentration! 

We all enjoyed it very much, and await the sheep back from the kiln in around 15 days time.
We were guided by the artist who had set up the workshop.
Afterwards, our group went for more lovely food and nibbles, and a glass or two of red wine, at Rosie's house. Although the nibbles in themselves were fairly substantial. (I think I have said before that our friends do not do things by halves!)
Substantial nibbles!!

                                   The end of a thoroughly enjoyable week!

All we are waiting for now as February is passing by, are more signs that spring may be fighting it's way in!
This winter has seemed long. Today it is very wet, and hasn't really become properly daylight. Grey, dull and very cold. Cosy indoors.
I finish with a poem from my favourite poet, Edward Thomas, as already, inspite of the weather, the rooks are beginning to build their nests in their familiar colonies. And the blackbird has begun to sing his sweet song early in the morning.

"Thaw" by Edward Thomas
Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass. (Before kiln firing)