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1983 Forever

September 22, 2016

1983. One of my favourite years. I was 24 and had been married a couple of years. In the summer we moved into the first house of our own. New Order’s Blue Monday was never off my turntable. I started to take my weight training more seriously and vowed to be the UK’s answer to Rich Gaspari (look him up in old copies of Muscle & Fitness). It was also the year I wrote a peach of a camp farce for the DHSS Christmas show. If I say so myself, it was probably the best camp farce ever written for a DHSS Christmas show. It was a spoof of those Agatha Christie country house murder mysteries. I played Master Nigel, who happened to be the murderer. Unfortunately, when it came to the actual performance, the chap playing Poirot went round the room questioning all the suspects and missed me out completely. When it came to the big reveal the audience hadn’t got a clue who I was or what I’d done. Totally ruined the denouement.

And 1983 was the year we brought the wall unit. No home in 1983 was complete without the wall unit that completely filled one side of the living room. We brought a monster wall unit. It was pale blue and had six components. Two base units with drop down fronts that we kept all our long playing gramophone records in. A five drawer unit that proved to be the final nail in the coffin of the sideboard. An open front unit that we used as a book case. And two glass door, dome shaped cabinets, one used for all the glasses we received for wedding presents and the other for my wife’s frightening collection of knick knacks. It was a splendid piece of furniture and guests were often lost for words when they first clapped eyes on it.

33 years on and all that is left of it is the open front section that houses over 500 of Steven’s favourite CDs. When Steven came along, we quickly realised all the glass and glasses had to go. As time progressed, where once stood a fine parade of sherry glasses, there now stood rows of folders of social care correspondence. The knick knacks were wrapped up in cotton wool and banished to the shed and in their place came Steven’s model figures – the complete set of Gladiators, all the Camberwick Green characters and thousands more. The springs went on the drop down units and I had to sell all my albums the year Hillingdon stopped my housing benefit, to pay the rent.

When we knew about Steven’s new house, my first thought was that it is time for the last remaining unit to go. To meet his five siblings in IKEA heaven. Trouble is, I’ve never found anything else with such depth of storage. We’d need loads of those modern shelf units to fit in Steven’s entire music collection.

So the unit, whose pale blueness has long faded and who is seven years older than Steven, is coming with us. In fact it is going to take on a new lease of life. We’re going to have the TV on the wall and leave the TV cabinet behind, so the old unit will now be the home of the DVD & VHS player. A new trick for an old dog.

That Unit may even outlive me.

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From → Social Care

2 Comments
  1. Satin paint and one of those little radiator rollers are an easy way to refresh tired units to fit with new décor. Works a treat on lightly sanded melamine/laminate surfaces and the satin paint is rub and chip resistant. (This week, you can call me Kirstie instead of Suzy).

  2. techiebabe permalink

    OMG, yes. We had a ladderax. Well my mother probably still does. One of the large compartments held all my dad’s vinyl (which I’m supposed to inherit and haven’t been able to get yet for Reasons, GRR).

    I never saw one elsewhere but it’s interesting to know that this kind of massive but modular storage was A Thing.

    I’ve just googled Ladderax for the first time and I’m shocked at the prices on eBay! Hundreds! On the other hand, it does the job, is nice and deep, and lasts for decades… Something for when Steven wins the lottery?

    My favourite music was that era too. One of my favourite ever songs – beloved when I was 9, and still is 3 decades later – was Howard Jones’s “Hunger for the Flesh” (yeah, I was an existentialist pre-teen).

    Do you remember Red Box’s “For America”? If not do look it up, it’s still awesome. People always deny knowledge and then I play it and they go “OMG THIS!! I LOVED THIS!!” 🙂

    Happy memories.

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