All My Loving

Lots of people seem to be participating in contests lately so I thought I would join in, But with so many options, which to choose?

Over at the marvellous Knocked Over By A Feather there was the contest beyond ll contests: write a blog based on one of the following Beatles songs:.

All My Loving

Day Tripper

Helter Skelter

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

This gets me back to basics – nostalgia. I used to do it better in the old days but such is life. Also Sigoth and I are both Beatles fans. Partly because I remember running around the playground yelling about yellow submarines, and partly because it is the Law.

This is therefore going to be an appropriate story of days of old. It includes life and death struggle, serial killers, fashion, drinking, music and twue twue wuv. It’s about how I met Sigoth, and it’s going to get soppy.

Picture the scene if you will; indeed, if you continue to read, it is a prerequisite.

It is 1980 in Leeds, a city n West Yorkshire with a long and noble history dating back to the medieval wool trade and earlier. That’s about all the wool you will get, but some of us are keen knitters so it had to be mentioned.

As I say, Leeds in 1980. It is October, cold and dark, and the beginning of a new academic year, bringing new and anxious students to university for the first time. They are to be ritually immersed in a proud educational establishment through the medium of Freshers’ Week. I am not sure if this happens elsewhere in the world, but the beginning of term has a pre-study week for new students to help them find their way around, meet new friends, sign up for societies (such as sports, music, politics, issues or general leisure activities), and get very drunk in the company of relative strangers. Somewhere in this heady mix you also pick up your course timetable and possibly start looking for text books.

Hall in snow

I was living a few miles out of town with a bunch of women in a single sex hall of residence. It is no longer part of the university but at the time it was a great old Victorian lodge which housed about 20 female students. We pretty much all got along very well from the first, and soon were meeting up for sandwiches and introducing each other to new people we had met along the way. In that first week I came across a boy called Sigoth who was in one of the societies a girl from my hall had joined. He looked a bit bemused by everything but gamely tagged along with the raucous mob.

Over the next week I ran into him a couple of times and we nodded to each other and went our separate ways. Then as the courses started picking up I found myself doing lab work on Wednesday afternoons, and regularly caught the same bus back to hall with him as he was doing different labs at the same time, and his hall was on the same bus route. We nodded a bit more but didn’t sit together. We were acquaintances only. I felt sorry for him in the same way I felt sorry for me doing labs late into the afternoon while everyone else was at home drinking hot chocolate and listening to music. He looked cold and sad in the gloom and mist and damp of a November evening.

That winter term was an eventful one in many ways. Firstly we were in the grip of a nightmare known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Although he was eventually caught, at the time he was still very much on the prowl. It was frightening enough arriving in Leeds, away from home for the first time, to be confronted by posters everywhere warning me to look out for a great big old actual murderer. Then a girl was killed just outside the flat where some friends of mine lived. Her body was found by a boy I was going out with (to be clear I wasn’t with him at the time – he lived in those flats too). Initially we were worried a student had been killed; then the police confirmed it was the Ripper and all hell broke loose. At the same time a man started hanging around our hall, and climbing on the roof at nights. The police said he was just after lead, but how to be sure?

I remember you always knew who the journalists were because they were the only ones prepared to be out on their own. The rest of us travelled in packs at all times.

By the end of term tensions were running high. The news was full of shootings: first the Pope and then John Lennon. (Well done, EBL, you’ve got a Beatles reference in at last!)

I had been feeling unwell with a virus caught inevitably from mixing with strangers from all across the country. Students are particularly sickly at this stage. However, it was so bad my room-mate called the doctor and she decided it was meningitis and whisked me off to the Infectious Diseases Unit at Seacroft Hospital. I stayed there five days and was given 2 paracetamol. They took a sample of spinal fluid and decided I was just a whinging student. John Lennon was shot the day I was sent home.

Bad Taste Party

It just so happened that the day I did get home, the rest of the Hall were having a Bad Taste Party. I stepped out of the taxi into a joyous scene, hugs and shrieks of welcome, alcohol in abundance and loud music. The party involved dressing up in anything that was considered bad taste – in my case I just stayed in my horrible dressing gown; others came as John Lennon or Mark Chapman. What jolly japes!

Naturally I had too much cheap booze and then discovered Sigoth also weaving unsteadily along the hallway to the kitchen. We sat down and started talking, mainly about John Lennon and life, the universe and everything. To be honest I can’t really remember what we talked about (apart from John Lennon, because that was all anyone talked about that evening) but it was deep and meaningful because we were tipsy. We spent the night together, and in the morning Sigoth found my guitar in the corner and started to play Beatles songs on it. He knew loads of them; he even sang me “Dear Prudence” but substituted my name instead. It was gloriously romantic for a shy, innocent 18 year old. (That was me, in case you are wondering.)

And ever since, to tie in with KOBAF’s contest, because apparently there are rules and stuff, he has had all my loving: when we were apart during university vacations; when we each went off to gatherings and trips without the other; when work or illness or external crises separated us; and every day we wake up together too.

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing
The lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

All my loving I will send to you
All my loving, darling I’ll be true

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

All my loving I will send to you
All my loving, darling I’ll be true
All my loving, all my loving ooh
All my loving I will send to you,

Every day I am grateful for my luck.

Namaste

the-princess-bride

twue wuv

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9 thoughts on “All My Loving

  1. I grew up listening to my parents’ LPs and one that went on a lot was St Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, so I’d have made the obvious choice 🙂
    Your first year at University sounds like a rollercoaster but how fab that you’ve had someone with you, shoulder to shoulder, since then x

    • It was certainly eventful but I didn’t know any better and just took it in my stride. I got Sgt Pepper as a teenager and was blown away by it 🙂

  2. Pingback: Drum roll, Ringo! | Knocked over by a feather

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