It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. As usual, the all powerful leader was working hard for the benefit of the nation, or rather the Inner Circle. In order to achieve this benefit, the Proles had to be kept in ignorance of the true nature of things, and, if necessary crushed into submission. Individual thought was deemed dangerous. Any thought that was contradictory to the thoughts of the all powerful leader was deemed dangerous. It was necessary to crush people having such thoughts into submission. Apparently. The all powerful leader believed in the free market. But it wasn’t a market where every stall gave away things for free. It was a market full of cheap things from other countries where people weren’t paid very much. Factories were closed down all over the place because the all powerful leader thought that having cheap things from these other countries was more important than the Proles having some means of earning the money to buy them. Coal from other countries was so cheap that she decided that it wasn’t worth paying people a decent wage to dig it up in this country. So she planned to close down as many coal mines as she could, putting thousands and thousands of people out of work and destroying the towns and communities that had been built up around coal mining. Anyone who disagreed with the all powerful leader on this matter was rounded up in places like Orgreave where the thought police smacked them over the head with truncheons until they changed their minds. The all powerful leader believed that we should keep nuclear weapons in our country for her friend, the even more powerful leader of America. Thousands of women camped at the site where these weapons were kept, in a peaceful protest. I would have gone and stayed with them myself, but my lumbago was playing me up something rotten at the time, and my Raymond wouldn’t have been able to cope on his own. Any road, the All powerful leader got the thought police out to drag them away at the crack of dawn and either make them go home or send them to prison Don’t get me wrong. I’m a totalitarian. I eat meat AND vegetables. But I wouldn’t want to go having people smacked over the head with truncheons or sent to prison just because they preferred Linda McCartney’s chilli non carne. But never mind all that. The delight of My Raymond’s year was Torvill and Dean winning the ice skating at the Winter Olympics. He became very interested in ice skating that year, did Raymond. But I think he was more fascinated in the tights that the lasses wore than their ability on skates. He got very excited about the prospect of flesh coloured skating tights with sequins on, and the bits in which the women wearing them were twizzled around by their partners whilst they had their legs wrapped around their necks. I’m sure he used to dream about being Dean. One night he cried out in his sleep: “Careful, Torville! You’re grazing my neck with those ruddy sequins in your gusset.” I just rolled over and went back to sleep. Auntie Doris’s Pop smash of ’84: “Young at Heart” by the Bluebells. I celebrated my 70th birthday that year. I didn’t feel all that young at heart, but somewhere deep within me was the young lass who had laughed and joked with the land girls, and taken the young soldier, Raymond under her wing. There still is.