Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Making plans 1974 style

By the beginning of March, Winter 1974 was on the way out and the weather had started to improve. One evening, we decided to make plans for our first holiday of the year and Iris wanted to go somewhere different.
I had taken her to Cornwall and Scotland a couple of times last year. We had been round East Anglia and we had enjoyed several weekends in Derbyshire. I suggested a Yorkshire coastal trip to Scarborough and Whitby. I knew both those places very well and there was plenty to see and do in that area. She asked me if we could have a few days in London at Easter instead. Iris, strangely, enough, had never visited London so we agreed to have a break there.
I remember telling her what she would see; not only the tourist spots but I told her about friends I knew in the East End, which was a very different London altogether. She was raring to go!
We also decided that we would be going to Berwick again later in the year. Cornwall was not part of out plans as the company I kept having to go to last year was now fully productive and needed no further assistance from me. Besides, the kids liked to go to Cornwall and twice a year was enough!
I had a few days owing to me from my holiday entitlement the previous year but I had to get them in pretty soon before the end of March. Iris, unfortunately, wouldn’t have any holidays to come until Easter.
There were a couple of mid-week meetings taking place around this time and I had been asked to speak at them. One was in London and another in Manchester. I spent a couple of days at both locations and I remember feeling a little guilty at enjoying myself while Iris was working. Fortunately, Iris knew of my deep interest in politics and didn’t complain. She jokingly warned me not to pick up any stray blondes while I was on my own.
Funnily enough, there was a rather striking blonde who was a member of the Manchester National Front whom I knew very well. We had been out together a couple of times previously but this time, I made a point of telling her that I was in a steady relationship. We still went out for dinner after the meeting but that was it. Nothing more!
When I returned home, Iris had told me that she was really looking forward to Easter and the proposed London break. We decided to give it a whirl.

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