Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trip down memory lane

We had a lovely time in the UK, spent 2 days at my brother's, with the 3 adorable nieces, then had yesterday in London.
Daughter and son went to Les Miserables, which they loved!
While they were at the theatre, I had 3 hours alone, so I thought I'd go back and take a look at a hotel I worked in 33 years ago- a summer job when I was a (obviously very young!) student.
Five of us were in London that summer, the main attraction of the chambermaid job being that accommmodation was provided. The theory was that we'd make and save loads of money, because we didn't have to pay rent. The pay wasn't bad, but of course we spent almost all of it on our days off, going around London, seeing all the sights. We had great fun,have remained lifelong friends, and I remember that summer with great fondness.

So I got the tube to West Brompton, wondering if my memory would lead me to the correct spot, 33 years on. I was amazed- once I got off the train, I knew exactly where to go, and in my head I might have been 18 once again! I saw the pub where we danced to "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and "Dancing Queen", almost every night, in spite of having to be on duty at 7 the following morning. We were non-drinkers, so maybe that helped.

The final test for me was to make my way back to Earl's Court tube station. My recollection was of a beautiful road we shortcut through; I thought I could remember where the road was, but couldn't remember the name of it. It was exactly where I remembered!

It doesn't look much in this photo, but it has some genuinely beautiful houses, and hadn't changed at all since 1976, when I received my first proposal of marriage as we walked down this road on a warm summer's evening. I can still picture the poor guy's hurt expression when I laughed it off, thinking he couldn't possibly be serious, as I had no intention of ever settling down then.

Now my own daughter is 17, I have a very different perspective on London summer jobs!

Edit- I'm absolutely thrilled to have got a Post of The Day mention over at David McMahon's amazing blog! If you've come here via that mention, welcome. If not, please pay him a visit to see his wonderful photography and other very interesting stuff.


  1. What fun to go down memory lane. It's surprising how much we can remember when we re-visit places.
    Sunny :)

  2. I reckon I could still find my way around London, like you!

  3. The body remembers as much as the brain. And the smell of the place...has it changed?
    Nice to get a chance to revisit old haunts. So many times, they have disappeared. I'm glad yours was still there.

  4. Wow! Those are some pretty good memories!

  5. Awesome! I wonder if I'll still remember London just as well after I've moved away (or should I say IF I move away!?)

  6. Thanks for all your comments. I was surprised at how little the place had changed, and S, the smell of the place hadn't changed at all!

  7. Lifelong friends with people you worked with back then? That's really nice.

    Congratulations on Dave's mention at POTD!

  8. I loved this! I too lived in England as a teen and have such fond memories. I enjoyed walking down your memory lane. :)

    By the way, 1976 was a GREAT year! That was the year I was born. Always loved having been born in America's bicentinnal year.

    Came over from David's POTD. Glad I did!

  9. London's great. I too have fond memories of visiting my sister and friends there. I'm pretty sure I could find my way around too, twenty years on. Actually, the Tube makes it very easy..

  10. Nice post. I really like the ending! Congrats on POTD mention!

  11. Thanks, everyone for visiting and for your comments.
    It was an interesting journey,as was writing about it, and getting feedback on it!

  12. oh how time changes our perspectives...nice trip down memory lane. congrats on the POTD mention.