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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wednesday, 9 July: Now for the swinging 60's

1969 - and ah, the lads from Liverpool!

In 1969 I was seventeen. n' Jonge dame van Huis Heemstede, Universiteit van Stellenbosch(trans from Afrikaans: A young lady of the House Heemstede, University of Stellenbosch). This photo was taken during my first week at university and the badge is my residence pin (something like a sororiety pin). I made the dress myself and it may have had a prim white collar but its length (or lack thereof) made up for it - a real mini skirt!

But I really yearned to look like Twiggy, the face of 1969!
In 1969, even I could spell Chappaquiddick. President Nixon had been inaugurated and South African news broadcasts brought us daily updates on Vietnam. We listened to the radio to form a picture of Neil Armstrong's 'giant small step for mankind' as South Africa did not have television at that stage.

Woodstock rolled in August but I was safely tucked away in New Dakota as an exchange student while Joan Baez crooned. I was a very straight teenager (don't regret that) - I never smoked grass, wore flowers in my hair and it took years before I made my first visit to San Francisco. But I loved the Beatles and Bridge over Troubled Water was my current favourite. I tried to have my hair cut like Mary Quant and wore thick eyeliner and pale pink lipstick but it just didn't have the same super-duper effect.

I read John Fowles The French Lieutenant's woman but skipped Portnoy's complaint. I wore mini skirts, maxi skirts and bell bottoms. I thought lasagna was the most sophisticated dish to order and cool still just meant chilly. Everything was fabulous, fab or fantastic!

I studied English lit at university with a year break while I was in the US. I discussed philosophy (didn't ever made much sense) and politics (hot stuff) in the only cafe in the student town of Stellenbosch to show how highbrow I was. I scored A's for Shakespeare, English novel and the Romantics. DH Lawrence made my blood tingle.

When I am 64 (Beatles)

When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me
a Valentine Birthday greetings, bottle of wine
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty four
You'll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater
by the fireside
Sunday morning go for a ride
Doing the garden,
digging the weeds
Who could ask for more
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty four
Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera Chuck and Dave
Send me a postcard drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely
what you mean to say
Yours sincerely wasting away
Give me an answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty four

I wrote a straight A essay on the title to this song. Wish I could read it now. In just seven years I will be 64!!! How ever did that happen?


pammiejo said...

OH - memories! In 1969 I was 19 and in a similar place in my life. I did have a dress similar to the one Twiggy is wearing - only blue plus I had about 50 pounds on her! I absolutely LOVED the Beatles!

Jillian said...

Hi Eleanor! I really enjoyed your post on the swinging 60's. I was a year old in 1969!!!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my blog...I need to post my new award soon!


HiHoRosie said...

Fun post Eleanor! Glad I stopped by. Hope your birthday was a happy one! Time sure does fly doesn't it?! And Twiggy - what a face!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Poetikat said...

Eleanor, Your blog is gorgeous! I am adding you to my blog list straight away. Thanks for commenting on mine. I'm pleased you like the Kitten on the Keys.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful post, down memory lane, and all of those things, people, events, you mentioned we remember too.

I thoroughly enjoyed your visit and am hopeful you will be able to return again. I have several blogs and all are a bit different in content and purpose.

Patty and I will be celebrating 53 years of marriage on July 12th. Think of it as a long-term relationship.

I have invited bloggers to offer suggestions on a gift for me to give Patty and the list would not be complete without your ideas.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

willow said...

Another fun journey down memory lane, Eleanor! I made most of my clothes when I was a teenager, too. It was always so much fun to choose the pattern and fabric. And I was a very straight girl, too, and proud of it! ;)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How wonderful to have been a teenager in the 60's! The ultimate teenage decade. I had to endure the 70's as my teenage years. Most unsatisfactory in the "cool" department! You guys had the Beatles!!

KarenHarveyCox said...

What a great post. I loved walking back through all the familiar events and people of 1969. I was nineteen in 1969 and I wanted to be Twiggy too. I loved the fashion, and I remember I had flowered bell bottoms that were the rage then. Your photo is lovely. Karen

Barbara Martin said...

Time waits for no one. Thanks very much for the trip down memory lane. You and I are about the same age.

Mary said...

I left England in the early sixties! While my mum was actually meeting the Beatles in person in England, I was dancing the Twist in Washington D.C. clubs! I went home for Christmas and came back to D.C. wearing daring mini-skirts and 'winkle-picker' shoes - remember them?

When Woodstock happened I was on vacation at the beach in Maine with children in tow - dh worked in Boston and we lived in New Hampshire!

As for the Beatles song, I AM that number already - so you dear Eleanor are just 'a Spring chicken'!!!!

Take note all you sweeet young things out there, time flies so make the most of it!

Where have the years gone?

Sharon said...

Eleanor, Thanks for stopping by my blog today and for your kind comment. This is my first visit at your site and how very fun it is! Great memories from this post. I lived in Monterey California during the sixties and seventies, and saw the Beatles at the Cow Palace in S.F. Recently I found my ticket stub from the Monterey Pop Festival ($10!). I almost didn't attend because I had never heard of Janis Jopliln, Jimi Hendrix or The Who. It was a magical night.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Eleanor, I have an award on my post for you today. Please stop by and collect your award. Karen

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Ah the swinging sixties.....your memories are so sweet....Twiggy, Mary Quant....I think you would have been at home on Carnaby, buying the latest modish outfits.

Thanks for this trip down memory lane to an era that rocked the world...the "youthquaking" 60's!

P.S. You are so cute in all your pics...

fairmaiden said...

Happy happy Birthday to you!!!! I have faint memories of the swinging 60's, I was born in 66. I remember the 70's more. My mom wore all the long hippy halter brightly flowered dresses, platform sandels, long long golden straight hair, bright blue eyeshadow with gobs of mascara and black eyeliner on. She looked like a movie star and we drove a baby blue V.W. bus. Ha!

Susan said...

Hi, Happy Birthday ! from another Cancer birthday girl. I'm writing this comment at 10 am Nova Scotia time on July 11th. We hope you have a fantastic day. Winnie sends an extra special (and slightly flirtatious) hello to Trist & Gal. xo S, Winn & les Chats

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Thanks for the memories Eleanor.You made me remember things I had forgotten !

Ms.Daisy said...

Oh, I do love the Beatles and "When I'm Sixty four" is one of my favorites! Thanks for the memories - I was a young Mother with a 5 year old and a 1 year old so I didn't get to be very wild in the 60's (or any other decade for that matter!)and I am quite happy about that!

judypatooote said...

Hi, I came over from Abes blog.... I find your blog very interesting... I usually write about memories...and I do love poetry.... judy

laura said...

Great post. As I scrolled down, when the Beatles appeared, those iconic faces, my heart raced! Always the same old reaction. An interesting inventory of who you were and weren't in that exciting and fraught time.