Saturday, 28 June 2014

On the Road

My parents' generation had their youth taken away from them by the Second World War. When we were teenagers we felt that we couldn't complain about anything, so lucky were we not to have that terrible cloud over our heads. We had free milk and the National Health Service and no-one had to go off to war. The generation of the fifties in a way invented youth and in the sixties and the seventies it was  a great time to be young . We had such wonderful music. It was our music. Our parents thought it was  just a noise. We were really influenced by the USA, we called it America then. We were fascinated by Woodstock, hippies, free love and making love not war.. I wasn't all that adventurous. I just liked being at home, having tea in the garden after school with my Mum, sitting with my dad watching a film. I loved finding my Uncle Les there when I came home, my Auntie Olive and cousin Debbie coming round in the evening. I loved walking in the woods after school with my friend and our dogs. I loved my family, my friends and going down the local pub. The most daring thing I did was go on holiday, fall in love with an Italian and bring up my family in Italy. It was most unexpected. My brother was the one who did things like go away on holiday and then arrive home at midnight wearing flip-flops and looking like a Greek fisherman . Now a whole generation have had gap years and they talk about travelling to Thailand, Vietnam or Brazil as we spoke of going up to London for the day. They might send emails that say things like' Just saw Pippa in Alaska who told me that she and Bianca are meeting up in Timbuctoo for a beer , would you like to join us for a spot of surfing in Australia before we go on to Fiji'. It's great to be able to do that easy going sort of  travelling when you're young because as you get older you are more likely to do it on a coach with a guide.
I can't imagine I would have been brave enough to go on a Gap year when I was young. I did have an alter ego though for a time. I got caught up in the romance of the hippy era and sort of imagined myself wandering all over the world getting to know people from other countries and just a pair of jeans and a bikini in my rucksack and a boyfriend. This dream was summed up for me in a song that wound its' way into my record collection among all the more serious stuff. It was by Lobo and came out in 1971, I would listen to it safely tucked up in my bedroom while the less shy and more laid back part of me roamed across the world.
Here are the words,


Me and you and a dog named Boo

I remember to this day
The bright red Georgia clay
And how it stuck to the tyres
After the summer rain
Willpower made that old car go
A woman's mind told me that so
Oh how I wish
we were back on the road again

Me and you and a dog named Boo
Travelling and a living off the land
Me and you and a dog named Boo
How I love being a free man.

I can still recall
The Wheat fields of  St..Paul
And the morning we got caught
Robbing from an old hen
Old Macdonald he made us work
But then he paid us for what it was worth
Another tank of gas
And back on the road again

I'll never forget the day
We motored safely into big L.A
The lights of the city put settling
Down in my brain

Though it's only been a month or so
That old car's buggin' us to go
We've gotta get away and get back
On the road again.

A few years ago I did at last go on an 'On the road' hippie holiday. My husband and I explored Catalonia , crossed over the Pyrenees and explored the Camargue , but I'll safe that for another post.

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