The Auntie Doris Years: 1974

imageTimes got harder and harder. The IRA were stepping up their campaign and setting off bombs in London and Birmingham and even one on a bus near Oldham. The miners were on strike along with what seemed like two dozen other unions. Fuel was getting scarce. Prices were going up and up and up. There were regular power cuts, which left us all in the cold and dark. The shops ran out of ruddy candles! Ted Heath didn’t have a clue what to do! He made it so that people could only work three days a week, which wasn’t too bad, because it meant a four day weekend. He had the telly finish for the night after half past ten, which wasn’t too bad because it was mostly rubbish on after that time any road. But he was floundering, and he had to call a general election.
We ended up with Harold Wilson in charge of a minority government. We had to have another one before the year was out to get enough seats to be properly in charge. ‘Course, he was a sensible bloke and managed to get the miners sorted out by paying them a bit more. Some people thought that that was outrageous, but they were generally the sort of people who had no idea what it might be like to work in a coal mine, and thought that money was an entitlement reserved for clean people with posh accents. In other words, Daily Mail readers.
There’ll always be people who say that the unions ruined the country. That’s just ruddy nonsense. It’s the ruddy Tories that ruined the country, and persuaded everyone otherwise by printing a load of shite in newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Sun.
Hark at me! I’m on my high horse again aren’t I? I can’t help it though. When you have lived through it you can see it happening. I wouldn’t let any other newspaper except the Daily Mirror into my house when I was alive. Well, I had a look at the Morning Star once, but there was no cartoons, no horoscopes and no telly in it. Not even a ruddy crossword. You can’t run a revolution without giving people something to do in their coffee break. You have to give people a glimpse of good things, and I don’t mean the kind of glimpses you get in the Sun. “Show em some pictures of half naked lasses and tell them that people who want to be paid a decent wage for a hard days work are greedy” that’s what the ruddy Sun is all about. And it hasn’t changed much since the 1970s either. They are still peddling the same old nonsense.
I think I had better have a small glass of rich ruby QC and go for a lie down. I might just listen to…
…Auntie Doris’s Topping Pop Tune of 1974: “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks. Although why that fact that “all the birds are singing in the sky” should make dying any harder. I don’t know. It might be a pleasant distraction if you were listening to one or two birds twittering and chirruping a bit, but a skyful of the little buggers would make a right old racket, and I I was feeling poorly anyway, I’d probably be begging the nurse to switch me off.

The Auntie Doris Years: 1970

This was the year where they reduced the voting age from 21 to 18 and started showing pictures of women without any clothes on in the Sun newspaper. I’m not saying that there is any connection between those things and the fact that the ruddy Tories won the general election and Ted sodding Heath became prime minister, but if you think about it… All those hot blooded young lads being indoctrinated with Tory shite whilst they ogled busty young lasses, it could have had something to do with it.
Of course, these days, you can’t think about Ted Heath without imagining Mike Yarwood doing him on the telly. Laughing like an idiot and shaking his shoulders up and down. In fact I would go as far as to say that Ted Heath’s greatest contribution to British society was to help propel Mike Yarwood to even greater stardom. He used to do Harold Wilson an’all, and Brian Clough, and Eddie Wareing. Me and my Raymond used to love him.
We didn’t ruddy love Ted Heath though. He did the usual Tory trick of stealing from the poor to give to the rich, by picking away at the benefits of the welfare state. And spending all the cash he made on his ruddy yacht more than likely. He even gave that sodding Thatcher her first cabinet job as minister for education and science, and let her pinch pennies by denying the kiddies free school milk. And just so you ruddy know, some kiddies can get free school milk even today, and who provides it? The EEC, that’s who… So tell that to Nigel Fromage and his band of UKIP idiots.
Any road, me and my Raymond were comfortably off, his job as a coach driver seemed safe, people still wanted to have their little holidays. Not that he took me along very often. I was happy with our weekends at Withernsea. We used to take my nephew, Michael and his sister Pam along, to give Cyril and April a break. Cyril had given us one of those portable televisions, and we could run it off a spare car battery. We used to watch Jon Pertwee in “Doctor Who” together on a Saturday night. I don’t know who was more scared of them daleks, me or the kiddies. Michael used to run around with a dustbin lid on his head, waving a sink plunger around, shouting “exterminate! exterminate!” at the top of his voice. My Raymond would say “If you don’t pack in making all that racket, I’ll stick that ruddy sink plunger right up your arse!” He never did, of course, but I often wonder whether that was the sort of talk that gave our Michael some of his funny ideas.
Auntie Doris’s Top Pop Pick of 1970: “Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha” by Cliff Richards. I often wonder wether that was the sort of record that gave our Michael some of his funny ideas. I think it was around that time that I stared having to keep an eye on my tights drawer.