Unlike Neil, I haven’t been back to my old home town for a while, but I hear that although it’s got a new-look town centre, underneath it’s really just exactly the same as it was in 1975. So here, to steal Neil’s riff is what I would have been doing thirty years ago on a Saturday (all right, so for him adolescence was twenty-five years ago, but he’s still a child, obviously)
I’d meet up with my friends at the corner of the playing fields and we’d chum each other down into town to our Saturday jobs.
There, I’d spend the day filling shelves and serving flare-wearing customers in Gordon Drummond’s the chemist's. At this time of year that would be mostly puzzled-looking men buying Yardley’s perfume as presents for their wives.
I’d have had sausage roll, beans and chips at a cafe listening to Black Betty (Bam Ba Lan) on the juke box.
The afternoon was spent thinking about what I was going to wear that night (my favourite outfit at that time involved black satin trousers from that temple of high fashion, What Every Woman Wants). At closing time I’d have pocketed the £8 I’d earned for a day’s work .
I’d probably have spent the evening at a Scout Disco. It may have been spotty teenagers swaying to crap music in a wooden hut, but it was the highlight of our social calendar. For me, the evening involved studiously ignoring any boy I was vaguely interested in, surprisingly not a particularly successful boyfriend-baiting tactic.
Or maybe I’d have been watching Dallas at a friend’s house — I wasn’t allowed to watch it at home, proof of my parents’ decent taste, perhaps.
As they say, you can take the girl out of Penicuik but you can’t take Penicuik out of the girl.