The oddest things in the EE fair tickle me.
Take the story last week about the Shell filling station in North Anderson Drive, set to be demolished and a replacement built.
Why in the name of all that’s sensible should that get me chuckling? Because it pumped up memories of the absolute best holiday/weekend jobbie ever. And I’ve had some boskers.
School Saturdays in Supasave – the sell-everything (twin tubs/gateaux/liver/bananas/black balls) in Correction Wynd, next to the Toy Bazaar.
Aye packed-oot because oor supa-smart boss made us do a spy-recce of Markies fruit and veg prices first thing, tak oors doon a ha’penny-a pound and put out a “Cheaper Than M&S!” sign to capture punters. Genius.
As was his Timmer Market splutterin’-hot do-nut machine; operated like a tandem bike – me and my pal pedallin’ like stink in the front window. Happy days.
Some Saturday evenings as French-service waitresses at Royal Hotel functions, before swappin’ oor food-spattered uniforms (we couldnae French serve) for C&A mini dresses for the Palace up the road.
Come to think of it, we must have been rollin’ in two-jobbies dosh – albeit hummin’ to heaven of roast tatties.
Later I chambermaided, waitressed and Mother’s Helped (in name only) in the Highlands and London. But the late summer of 1966 was deffo the best in terms of cash and – most important of all – laughs.
Three of us had just done a runner from a hotel on Loch Lomond because a) it was super-hard work serving breakfast, coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner to massive coach parties – usually about seven big tables each – b) we were homesick and c) nae talent, apart from the wee sous chef from Newcastle who barely reached my shoulder.
Desperate for jobbies back home, two of us scored at Shell’s two stations at the top of Midstocket, when the stupendously successful Make Money campaign was in full swing. Any fellow wrinklies remember it?
For a half gallon, drivers would get half a note (from 10 shillings to £20.) Then they could drive back again and try to get the matching half. Huge queues formed on both sides of the Drive.
No self-service then, we were non-stop fillin’ up, oil-toppin’, windscreen wipin’ from the moment we started until the pumps closed. Then fiendish calculations to balance the till-takings. Never did. But oh, the hysterics. If we weren’t racing each other across the forecourt to reach a hunky knack-docky in a funcy car first, we were tankin’ – tiddlin’ – to the sole cludgie because we’d shoogled a nozzle and splooshed several litres of Economy into thin air.
The wonderful wifie in charge – long-experienced Nessie – wisely warned us to report to her ony particularly “flirty” customers, upon whom she would descend in major bawlin’-oot mode, the surprised sods screechin’ off without their half-note.
Why I’m not answering the landline
It’s a major inconvenience, but I’ve stopped using my home phone.
Told pals to call me only on my mobile. However, in one ear, oot the deef e’en. A few mates still get all nippy-bummed because I don’t pick up. Well tough. I’m up to my back-teeth with scam calls. And there’s a teeny, feartie aboot me that – if I’m not permanently on red alert – I might just fall for one of them big-time. And lose a load of money.
If and when I answer my landline, the dodgy calls come thick and fast.
Take my assortment just a couple of weeks ago. Message to call a number urgently; when I Googled it, turned out to be Somalia and returning it would have cost a pucklie thousand quid.
Having recently done my tax return, call to say I was majorly in arrears and needed to sort before penalties imposed, ASAP. Even the jail! Panic, panic. Tell the truth, I was tempted to follow the instructions, knowing I probably owed Nicola/Boris a quid or two. But when asked for my bank account details – whoa there, Mo-a there.
I’ve been scammed before. At an ATM (minus £600, repaid by bank) and almost taken in by those Microsoft monsters – minutes after I got my heidie together, called my loon for advice and he just shouted: “Hang up!”
Then the “You’ve had an accident” horror, who delivered, when I obviously teed him off, an excruciatingly obscene message. So now I trust no one on the land phone. What if the mum of a scammer was called up and diddled? How would that low-life feel?
Oscars talkin’ ‘bout my generation
Oscar nominations out this week and delighted to see The Trial Of The Chicago 7 in the running for best picture.
It was the late 1960s when so many young people were protesting against the Vietnam War.
Yes, even us in faraway Aberdeen.
We were inspired. Full of ideals of non-violence, anti-racism, democracy.
I was so proud of my g-g-g-generation.
And, watching that film, still am.