Fine Fare

Fine Fare sold LPs

Second Instalment

Other supermarkets and grocers in the 1970s sold food, washing powder, aluminium foil… Fine Fare was in a different league

The shop looked gigantic. My mum used the two Self Serve grocers in town. They weren’t much bigger than a corner shop. One of my “Aunt Marys” (my dad’s cousin) worked in the grocery. I’ll tell you about both my “Aunt Marys” in another post if you like?

Fine Fare opened the year I started secondary school. My mum made the first visit, came home full of enthusiasm, so we had to get down there

Now this was the early 1970s. Shops were not open after tea time. Fine Fare broke the mould – they were open late

Late, but not in a way we’d recognise in 2022. Late meant 6 o’clock most days, with wildly decadent, Friday late night shopping till 7 o’clock

So a family outing to Fine Fare was arranged. It must’ve been early winter, almost my birthday, since I remember choosing gifts

My birthday presents that year were:

1. A rubber plant (true fact!)

2. A patchwork suede shoulder bag (I wanted the suede patchwork skirt – it must’ve been too expensive)

A year later I was a music obsessed teenager with a particular liking for T.Rex

Fine Fare sold 99p compilation records at the check out. I bought the one pictured above

Later in my teens, Fine Fare was the place I shopped for groceries, including products I had only read about. But you’ll have to keep reading for those stories

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy my reminiscences

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Waterloo Sunset, 2021

Waterloo Sunset

I had heard it too often.

Last week as Waterloo Sunset ended a show on Radio Scotland, you could almost hear me scream “I never want to hear that song again!”

Today, Suggs was on BBC Radio 4, talking about London’s docklands.

I laughed at his sea shanty – so 2021. Then as the programme came to its end, guess what he sang?

Waterloo Sunset, of course.

Well if you’d ever wanted to hear the sound of a woman eating her words, while doing a handbrake turn in reverse gear… that was me today.

I was fed up with a classic; thought it needed binned.

In fact it needed laundered.

Now it’s as good as new.

I Am A Rock

Lockdown memory?
I haven’t a clue what’s on my face!

Lockdown Memory 1️⃣

Imagine a nine year old’s birthday party in the late sixties. What comes to mind?

Jelly and ice cream? Party games? New toys? Sweets? A Paul Simon album?

What did you just read? A Paul Simon album? That doesn’t seem right.

But the nine year old was me, and The Paul Simon Songbook was the soundtrack of my childhood.

“Was it your parents’ album, Anne?”

It’s a reasonable question, and the answer is Partly, yes. They had borrowed it from a friend, and taped it onto our family’s reel to reel recorder. Thereafter it was mine.

So after school I walked home with some friends. It was late November and I was having a birthday party. They weren’t organised, expensive celebrations back then. Basically, school friends came to your house, ate whatever food your mum gave them, played with your toys then went home.

It’s worth mentioning here that I didn’t like many of those “school friends”. I preferred the girls who lived in our street. But the unwritten rule was, invite children who score roughly the same marks in exams as yourself.

So we ate our food, then my school friends wanted my toys. I had a better idea. I fetched the reel to reel tape recorder and played The Paul Simon Songbook.

Probably several times.

My school friends found my toys. They ignored me; I ignored them. Bliss.

The Paul Simon Songbook

This week I heard someone on the radio asking what songs are helping us through lockdown. I’m a cynical woman, so I rolled my eyes.

Later that day while walking Flynn, my Border Terrier, a song was going round and round my head.

“Hiding in my room, safe within my womb, I touch no-one and no-one touches me”

A hundred and one memories of playing my favourite childhood song, “I Am A Rock”, from my favourite childhood album, “The Paul Simon Songbook“, flooded my mind. It was part of me, a little girl who liked her own company, had no confidence, but loved music and lyrics so much.

Years later the album was rereleased as a CD. I bought it.

It’s 2020, we’re in lockdown due to COVID19, and Paul Simon’s youthful lyrics feel meaningful once again.

I might just put it on tomorrow.

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