When I was a child there was an independent bookshop in Garstang. This is not entirely relevant to the story that I am about to tell, however most of my retail-based memories seem to revolve around this shop. To the extent that I think it must have sold things other than books. Particularly it must have sold records because I am pretty sure that this was the place where I bought my first singles - which were, in no particular order, 'Captain Beaky', 'Video Killed the Radio Star' and the theme from 'Monkey'.
Having done a tiny bit of research these were all released in then winter of 1979-80 (I'm guessing for the Monkey theme but the TV show was made at this sort of time so that dates are probably right) This is slightly disappointing because I had also amalgamated into these events in the bookshop the time that I missed an episode of Doctor Who. But it turns out that was in November 1978 - episode 3 of the Stones of Blood, fact fans - we went to a bonfire display at Hornsea Pottery in Lancaster, but I was convinced I'd also been to the bookshop that day as well.
I've checked the charts for that week and I didn't buy any of that stuff. Nearly the whole of the soundtrack for 'Grease' was in the top 40. And 'Fat Bottomed Girls'. And 'Teenage Kicks'. But I was neither cool enough or uncool enough to buy any of these.
It is possible that my belief that I missed episode 3 of 'The Stones Of Blood' is wrong. After all, it aired on my brother's birthday which is a week after any normal fireworks display. Maybe it was the following year and I missed the much less exciting 'Creature From The Pit'?
Anyway, getting back to the point, or possibly just approaching the point for the first time, I spent a lot of time in that bookshop, squatting on the floor reading books. A lot of time. Prolonged periods of time. At the end of which I would stand up and get a rush of blood to the head and feel dizzy, or have pins and needles in my legs which would make me a bit staggery. But I read quite a lot of quite a lot of books like this.
Reading, literally, rocked my world.
On a side issue, the other thing I quite liked doing to alleviate the boredom of a seventies childhood, occurred in the church I was forced to attend lots of Sundays. I don't really know how often this actually was. I'm still slightly bemused to discover that my mum and dad believe in God and that my dad is a vicar. Going to church just seemed like a thing that lots of people did without it actually meaning anything. But, apparently, it turns out it means more to them than it does to me.
So one of the things I quite liked to do at church was when we were supposed to be praying, or listening to the sermon. I don't think I could manage it at other times without appearing weird. It must have been just during praying actually, but in my memory every single moment in church was spent in pressing my eyeballs to distort my vision so that I had my own 'in head' Top of the Pops visual effects...
That sort of thing.
The relevance of this will become apparent tomorrow...