I have my appointment on Friday. Well it has to be done, after all what’s the point of mortgage protection insurance if you can’t use it and I can’t unless I’ve registered.
I'm expecting it to be a little grim and I’ve got my black hoodie and trainers all ready. I spent some time in front of the mirror this morning saying 'innit' and 'dunno' and 'nuffin', shrugging my shoulders and gazing into the distance - so at least I'll be trying to fit in. No, that’s wrong. I’m sure that it’s not like that at all; it can’t all be stand-up comic stereotyping.
It got me thinking about my working life and my Saturday jobs though. My first Saturday job was delivering milk with my uncle Len. I was probably eleven or so. I can’t say that I enjoyed getting up at five o’clock in the morning weekends and holidays, shrucking on my duffel coat and going out into the morning air, but it was a job.
Later, in my early teens I progressed from the milk round to gardening work, first at the girls horticultural college at Waterperry (I’ve written about this before), and then at a big house (Saturdays and holidays) helping out the old gardener until he got knocked off his bike cycling home one day and was killed. What was his name? Old something-or-other, I'll never forget his face though. He taught me a lot about gardening.
Still later I went to work at the carpet shop inside what used to be the old cinema. It was strange spending my Saturdays in the same picture house where I used to watch
It didn’t matter though, this was the heyday of the Saturday job and a couple of weeks later I was working at Sheargold’s the ironmongers on the High Street. I liked working at Sheargold's, weighing out the nails on the scales, counting out the daffodil bulbs and dropping them into brown paper bags, putting the brooms out on display in front the shop window. There always seemed to be a Saturday job available back then.
Oh to be back then in the time of the Saturday job.
I got a message the other day from one of my ‘back thens’, a message from so long ago that I’d hardly recognise myself if I bumped into him in the High Street. Not a Sheargold’s back then, but a Lewis's back then - a Saturday job at college back then.
I started in the basement on china at Lewis's and, apart from a two week stint in ladies underwear, stayed in the plates and dishes for almost two years. This person had been reading my posts late at night and it made them think about the past and how, as we get older, it seems to become so much more important.
I know that feeling. I spend quite a lot of time in the past probably because at some point there comes a time when your future crosses the line and becomes shorter than your past has been. Maybe that’s why I go back so often - to live in my past for a while in the hope of slowing things down just a little, stopping the future from coming so quickly.
Of course you can’t really, and as I’ve said before – you can’t change your past, but the future is full of opportunity. There must be Saturday jobs to be had still.
Innit tho blud.