‘This Town ‘ain’t  Big Enough for the Both of Us’ by Sparks

My Mate CM and her pal J. do a blinking cracking version of this song with voice and Mandoline, which reminded me of what a brilliant song it is, and how it was so ‘out of the box’ at the time it was released. I am today including the words as I have to say I have heard this song so many times and have no idea what any the lyrics are apart from ‘heart beat increasing heart beat’ and ‘this town aint big enough for the both of us’

Zoo time is she and you time
The mammals are your favourite type, and you want her tonight
Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat
You hear the thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers
This town ain’t big enough for both of us
And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave

Flying domestic flying
And when the stewardess is near do not show any fear
Heartbeat increasing heartbeat
You are a khaki-coloured bombadier it’s Hiroshima that you’re nearing
This town ain’t big enough for both of us
And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave

Daily, except for Sunday
You dawdle in to the cafe where you meet her each day
Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat
As twenty cannibals have hold of you, they need their protein just like you do
This town ain’t big enough for both of us
And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave

Shower, another shower
You’ve got to look your best for her and be clean everywhere
Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat
The rain is pouring on the foreign town, the bullets cannot cut you down
This town ain’t big enough for both of us
And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave

Census, the latest census
There’ll be more girls who live in town though not enough to go round
Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat
You know that:
This town isn’t big enough,
not big enough for both of us
This town isn’t big enough,
not big enough for both of us
And I ain’t gonna leave

The question was mooted by Scott Berkun one of our Daily POST MENTORS. I am not being impolite, I assure you, but I am, possibly quite wrongly assuming that this question is being asked by an American.Let me now give you a bit of insight into many Brit’s relationship to a shower -particularly if you have reached a certain age. We never had a shower in our house when we grew up. We had  a rubber hose you could attach to the bath taps if things got desperate for a quick hair wash, and desperate you would have to be to use it, as it was a recipe for disaster. You held the hose in one hand, so always ended up getting water everywhere that you did not want. You would have to turn the hose off while you got shampoo and the conditioner out of the bottle, then the water would go cold, or you would try to open the shampoo bottle while holding the hose and get water everywhere!

So , repeating myself for effect, we never had a shower in our house when I was a kid…lucky to have a bathroom. I remember my Grandma having her bathroom put in, under her stairs in the 1970’s. So when I was a kid we had  A BATH A WEEK  and the rest of the week we washed. FLANNELS ARE BIG IN BRITAIN…MANY OF US OWN MANY. And in case you do not know what a flannel is, it is a small square of towel that you wet under very hot water to help you with the soap when washing…

As an adult I never lived in a house with any heating, poor musician, until I was 35, and the last thing you want to do is strip off in a freezing cold bathroom to get under a cold shower! We bathe, not to get clean, but to keep warm.

At present my flat has a shower! Really, the first house I have ever had that does, but  you cannot get under it, or jump into it, as it is attached to a wall of the bath, so you stand in the bath, risking life and limb. It is attached to the far wall behind the taps and so you can shower one side of your body at a time…very uncomfortable.

I have friends who will not move into a flat unless the shower is good. Having never in my life had a good shower, I prefer to bathe. I love big deep hot bubbly baths, with a couple of drops of the essential oil of the day. Always deeply disappointed if I stay anywhere and they do not have a big bath.  Many people find the idea of soaking in hot water up to your chin revolting, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

I go stay in a place 8 miles from the nearest pub, shop that has no bathroom, just a hot tap. Blinking luxury! When I am there after about a week of washing  in a bowl, I start to miss the bath. But the shower…well I suppose it’s about not missing it if you really have never had it.


One of my lovely bloggers ordinary-miracles has introduced me to Seals and Croft. I mentioned my love of  ‘Summer Breeze’ and she sent me a link to the original song writers who I had never heard before…another thing that maybe did not make it across the Atlantic with the Power Showers in the 1970’s. Thanks

The Twin -My Dad and Auntie

This week my Dad turned 80, as did his twin sister, so I have been a bit nostalgic this week. As I looked up at my sensible array of shoes I spied upon two old pairs of hand made Lancashire clogs – one belonged to my Grandma, who was born in 1899 and a small red pair that were hand made for me when  I was just a toddler in the 1960’s.

red lancashire clogs

check out the funky clogs!
funky footwear!

They were made by the local clog maker in a clog making shop in  Hindley, near Wigan in Lancashire where both my parents are from. I think the shop is a kebab shop now.It is interesting that I have a thing about shoes, as my mum, (who will be 80 in a couple of weeks , but she does not want anyone to know so  shshsh mum’s the word)- so legend has it, did not have a pair of real shoes until was 11 and my Dad who had tuberculosis in his hip and spine, and lived in some dreadful sanitorium miles from home for most of his childhood, wore the same style of black ( never brown) othapoedic boots   ( and still does) all his adult life. I was thinking about how much lives have changed.

My Grandad who in this picture was mid-thirties, fought in the first world war, lied about his age so he was probably under 17 when he went. He was in a bunker with all his mates, a shell went off and he found all his friend had died. He spent his adult life down the coal mines with a flask of water and jam butties  ( bread and jam to you) a wonderful sense of humour and spirit, as many did, and died of emphysema at the age of 59 in a miners home in Blackpool, so I was robbed ! My other Grandad also died at 59 of poor health – they were very hard-up, he had trouble finding much work. I never knew either of them which is a real shame.

My heritage, as with everyone, is an important part of who I am, and I bless my family for the struggle, hard times and spirit they had. So easy to forget. It can get like the Monty Python sketch ‘we used to live in a shoe box in the middle of the road -you tell the young people and they just don’t believe you’. It was bloody  grim, but I bet there some things that were better.  There was lots of music in their houses. No bloody X-factor making people think singing is a thing for the ‘talented’- to be judged by a bunch of overdressed ninny’s.  No-one would have gone in a shop talking on their mobile phone and completely ignored the person serving them. When my uncle died in the 1980’s, even then, every man in the street in Hindley took their caps off as the prossesion  went through the streets.

Everyone sung. My Grandmas both sung in the church choir, and one of my grandmas played the organ and the mandolin. One of my many Great Uncles played the concertina, his mate had a bass concertina which got taken on every trip , singing on coaches, mandatory! Another arranged  the finest music for the local brass band and everyone sung, and did recitations. The piano was in the centre of one of my Grandma’s houses.

So I must give the clogs a bit of a polish. Both are too small for me -now that was a bit more interesting than my next boring pair of sensible shoes.

SONG OF THE DAY -George Formby -Leaning on the Lampost

Still makes me weep…so nostalgic -again legend has it he live next door to my auntie in Hindley Green. A lot of the reason it is so touching is the smiling. I recognise his smile -many of my family from that era had the same ‘smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking’  thing going on.  Very special. Very close to my heart. x x