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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Living in London........

I lived in London in the early 1960s. The best time ever to be in the city. I was 18 years old in 1964 and wanted to work in London. My parents did not like the idea. I was naive and didn't realize that they really had no say in it, but back then they sure did. Back then we did as we were told, more or less. Anyway an agreement was reached and I could work in London and come home on the weekends. So Friday night I would catch the train home and Monday morning back I would go. I worked for N.A.A.F.I that was the institution that supplied food to the armed forces. I was a "key punch" operator. (another story) So it was that I moved to "Heathlands" a womens hostel run by NAAFI. We had a matron who was in charge and set the rules. The hostel was an old mansion and was so interesting. Could be spooky too. We had a cook as well as the Matron and someone cleaned I suppose but I dont remember seeing anyone. Maybe we had chores. I dont remember. Heathlands was between Wimbledon and Putney. earlsfield-to-osterley-lock-006_zps6f60f99a We lived right opposite Wimbledon Common. To get to work we had to go into Putney, walk or thumb a lift, or if lucky a bus. From there the underground. It was quite a trip to get into work. It was fun because all of us were going to the same place. Some days the girls would report seeing an up an comming young actor on the bus in the morning, soon everyone would know Oliver Reed. putney_bridge_zps81a58554 So once I settled in to living and working in London eventually I didn't go home every weekend. London was calling. What a wonderful city it is. Exploring the city at night and walking where ever we wanted with no fear for safety. Sitting in the subway in the early hours of the morning no one ever bothered us. This was the time of the Mods and Rockers. The birth of the mini skirt. Walking the streets of London seeing the models so tall and beautiful shopping along Bond and Oxford street. The West End. Going to shows. Harrods_zps58eab33b we would go to the overseas club and see the Arabs who were going to the London colleges so exotic to us in their robes. So romantic we thought. We met all kinds of people. The streets in London had their Buskers and street entertainers. So much to see and do. We could sit in the middle of Picadilly circus and watch the world go by, the lights of the huge advertisements overhead. Eros overlooking everything. avis-roy-piccadilly-circus-london_zpscdbf6a46 Trafalgar Square was also a good starting point because we could walk down the Mall and through the parks in the evening. A calm in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. regentpark_zpsaaa366d9 I could write forever about life in London. In the 1960s the British music scene was just beginning and by the time I was living there it was in full swing. Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton set the styles, the music was The Stones and Marianne Faithful then the Liverpool lot but I was faithful to my London bands. Mick Jagger had been going to the London School of Economics and some of the new bands were upper class kids. Rebellion was in the air. Not violence but change...........London was the place to be.

7 comments:

Laurie said...

oh my gosh what an adventure, sounds like a movie,

Wicked Faerie Queen said...

The swingin' 60's must have been fab! As a teemager in the 70's I was not so far removed from the 60's generation to remember all of the wonderful things that came out of England like Mary Quant, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton all of the bands and the fashion, oh the fashion. I wore miniskirts in the 7th. grade that were so mini when I think about it I cannot believe my dad did not say anything.

Sounds like a wonderful place to have become a young woman in.

Sue

Noelle the dreamer said...

Great post Janice! Truly another life was it not?!
Hugs,

Tracey Steele@Breathing English Air said...

I arrived almost twenty years later, lol. We were in central London between Christmas and New Year, and we wandered around Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Chinatown. We were saying how it has changed again recently, and you feel very safe, whereas a few years back there seemed to be a threatening undercurrent at night.
Happy New Year to you.

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I loved this post- It brought back so many memories for me, too. I loved Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton....and Marianne Faithful and The Stone and the Beatles. You were really part of living history when you were there. Blessings- xo Diana

Regina said...

A Blessed 2013!
Thank you for visiting.

xo

Magic Love Crow said...

Very cool!!! Great things to experience!!