Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Prime Minister(s) and I

Winston Churchill – Winston had almost completed two years of his third term in office when I made my appearance. He had suffered a stroke a few months before I was born and this was kept from the British public as was the custom in those days. While Winnie was recovering from ‘exhaustion’, and little wonder for he’d had a tough old time of it with wars, rebellions and uprisings, I was learning to walk and talk and relishing being an only child. It was not to last.

Sir Anthony Eden – While Eden was making a horlicks of the Egyptian situation and fending off amorous overtures from France I got me a little sister who, while initially unwelcome, grew on me over time. While Eden was getting wrong footed by Harold Macmillan the sister and I were being terrorised by a pet ram. Thankfully the parents had the savage beast served up with mint sauce.

Harold Macmillan – Harold oversaw my golden childhood and I remember him well. I was under the impression that he was from the County Antrim him being a Mac and all. The years from four to ten were wonderful for me. The sun shone all summer long, in winter the snow was deep and crisp and even and Christmas was magical. There was always something good on television even if it was black and white. I acquired a further three sisters and a brother but I didn’t mind. As far as I’m concerned Mac never said a truer word than, ‘You’ve never had it so good.’ The Profumo Affair went right over my head.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home – Another brother appeared and life started to get a bit grim. Not the brother’s fault of course – more the 11+ and ‘working hard at school’ and ‘getting to the convent’ and bloody puberty. Douglas-Home lasted a year. People were getting tired of the Conservatives.

Harold Wilson – While Harold was getting the permissive society underway I was watching from the sidelines. Hating school, hating growing up, and navel-gazing - it all passed me by.

Edward Heath – British prime ministers were starting to impact on us Norn Ironers more because by now the Troubles were well under way. When Heath took office I was sixteen – when he left it I was pregnant with my first child. Of course Ted, allegedly a friend of Dorothy’s, had nothing to do with the pregnancy.

Harold again - One Saturday night about twelve weeks after Harold Wilson took office for the second time he was on television talking directly to the people of Northern Ireland. This was during the UWC strike during which time Loyalists brought the province to a standstill. During his speech he called us ‘spongers’ and referred to the murder of my father’s brothers that had taken place the previous night. Three months later my first daughter was born.

James Callaghan – Callaghan oversaw the Winter of Discontent and I had my second daughter.

Margaret Thatcher – Oh dear. We didn’t like her one bit. Started of calling her Milk Snatcher then taught our children to chant ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out, Out, Out!’ but fuck the bit of her listened to us. During the Maggie years I got married, divorced, didn’t buy my council house and was a mad feminist. Then I met Bert, got my A levels, and began studying for my degree. Hannah was born in the middle of the Falklands War.

John Major - I completed my degree, passed my driving test and got all my kids to college. Went back to work myself. Meanwhile John, who I secretly fancied and admired, did sterling work in Northern Ireland.

Tony Blair – So delighted when he got in but my happiness didn’t last. During the Tony years I lived in the country, worked with homeless people and moved to this house. Tony went to war. I started this blog. Two of my sisters married a Glaswegian. Not the same one. Daddy died.

Gordon Brown – Since Gordon’s been Prime Minister I have gone to work, shopped at Lidl’s, made a plain dinner, watched people screaming at each other on TV and sipped Laphroaig.

What about you?


hootchinhannah said...

Hmmm interesting commentary on the history of politics but why are you depriving me of Big Brother gossip? Is is because it is shite?

Nelly said...

Och well - you know it's always shite. Last night they screamed at each other for ages. That was all.

You can get BB updates on the internet y'know.

John said...

I sipped Laphroaig too!!

Ok. Big sips.

Mudflapgypsy said...

Laphroaig during the week?

Lucky you. ;-)

grannymar said...

Well Nelly you can't complain that life was boring!

You have covered most of my lifetime, some I don't remember and some I don't wish to.

Anonymous said...

Well my political awareness is definitely not the best, however, might well have a go...
When I was born Mags was in power. I don't remember much about this aside from peoples apparent dismay at her reign of privatisation. I spent my time climbing trees, having expeditions around the countryside, I had a shetland pony called Chalie Bubbles & I built a mean tree swing. I also caught a lot of tadpoles & drove my bike through a barbed wire fence - still have the scar on my left knee.
I was 8 years old when John Major took over - again I don't remember much but I do remember liking him. During his reign I started and left primary school. By the time he finished I had discovered much more fun things than horse riding (alcohol, smoking - that sort of thing!).
I started secondary school and discovered I hated discipline to a certain extent and it being an all girls school I decided a lot of girls are hard work!
Tony Blair then arrived on the scene - during his time I joined college (meeting Marys youngest daughter Hannah whom I will always love & adore & am friends with - and of course meeting Nelly & Bert). I think these 3 people have a lot to do with the person I am today (without sounding cliched) and I still feel dead lucky to have met them all. I managed to pass 4 'A' levels and then went to Uni and got a degree! This also involved leaving Ireland, to which I never returned and don't know if I ever will. I then entered the world of full time employment & discovered tax deductions suck & wondered if someone else than Labour were in power would it be any different. The war in Iraq started & ended - it all bemused me.
My Grandmother died. I made some friends I know I will be in contact with for the rest of our lives.
Phew - thats quite a lot - this is interesting - never thought about it before!

Nelly said...

Great comment Mel. It deserves its own blog - don't you think?

Hails said...

You left a comment on a blog I'd started but abandonned. Following your comment, I decided to keep 'blogging on', but also started reading your blog. I hope you don't mind if I just briefly say a few things:
1. I'm actually addicted to your blog in the way I used to be addicted to Enid Blyton books (and in later years, cigarettes) - I seem to find myself going back to it every day. You write in a way that makes me not want to stop reading, and you've made me laugh a lot. Thanks! I'm at July 2005 now, and feel very fond of you, Bert, and various others. Does this make me a stalker? Are you scared of me? Don't be - I've no sense of direction, I'd never find you, even if I did go looking.
2. Harry de Cat looks just like my cat, Kat the Cat.
3. The only reason I knew there was a new prime minister was because of this post.
4. I think I went to school with Mel. In first year, she swung on her chair, lost her balance, fell backwards, grabbed the curtain in panic, and it came off in her hands. Chair, Mel and curtain all crashed sadly to the floor. Form 1H roared. Pretty sure I've got the right girl... hi, Mel!
5. I'm incapable of just briefly saying a few things.