Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The Best Laid Plans

That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with
delight and profit.

Amos Bronson Alcott, teacher and author (1799-1888)

Today’s one of those topsy turvy days as I have my journalist’s hat on this afternoon, interviewing someone for a feature on Inspirational Women. And this morning we promised to take the lovely James out this morning for coffee.

He’s much chirpier and very giggly which is good to know and introduced us to his Best Friend who is a lovely fellow; half Canadian and half Norwegian. Very intelligent and a good friend for James.

When we picked him up, James was fumbling about for something when Himself said, ‘are you all right, James?’

‘No.’ Giggle. ‘But I’m happy.’

I told him about Arthur and Jane. This is very curious, this story. There I was, a third of a way through my current novel, feeling decidedly down about life, bad back, writing – you name it. A real old misery guts. And then along came Arthur. Or rather, I blogged about Jane and you lot got me going. The other novel is sitting on the sidelines, like a shy debutante at a Jane Austen ball, while Arthur and Jane storm into centre stage, taking me with them. Where this is going, god knows, but it appears they want their story to be told.

I’ve realised I need to do some research on this story, it being set in the 1960s – or rather, that’s when Arthur and Jane met. And I want a title – something to do with a song of that time. Or a 1960s musical – they met in about 1966 at a party in London.

Hair is the obvious choice, given that Jane is very Extrovert and bohemian (very flower power and whacky backy), but Hair was on in Broadway in the late ‘60s so that’s too late.

I thought of Pajama Game’s Steam Heat but alas that was 1957. Drat.

So any of you out there with memories of the ‘60s or of the songs of that time – I need a good title for this tale. One that evokes the time and, of course, two very special people who fell in love……

And given that she’s an unconventional, feisty lady, what sort of jobs should she do? NO way would she be a secretary – she would want something different, probably lots of different jobs. She’s good at talking, very good at listening and is a good mimic. She’s also very attractive and has a good sense of fun. Any ideas?


Mopsa said...

She's an actress, surely?

Anonymous said...

Definitely Am Dram I would say. Or perhaps a travelling sales woman.

Crystal xx

Philipa said...

I think it very much depends on what class she is - if she's upper class she could be secretary to the Maharishi in Belgium, he was there at that time, and friends with the Beach Boys. If she's middle class then secretary in a 'nice' firm but if she's lower class then she works in a factory. I remember at that time that girls were expected to do shorthand typing at school and most middle class girls expected to be secretaries until they married, in fact most women expected to marry, very few didn't.

Richard Branson didn't start his record store untill 1971 but you could maybe have her working in a boutique, Biba or something. The first store was opened in 1964 but the High S, Ken store opened in 1969 I think.

Philipa said...

The only travelling sales woman I can think of in the 60's would have been the Avon Lady. Tupperware parties started in around 1960 but I can't remember anything else, travelling sales women weren't the norm and the expectations of the 50's were still in place. Most peoples ideas of the 60's, if they weren't there, are shaped by media reporting which tends to report the most sensational events in London. For the rest of the country it was mostly business as usual, bar the Quant mini skirt in 1966 of course! And panty hose and the mini (launched 1959). Drinks were Babycham and Cherry B. But family life took a while to change - a single woman would find it very difficult to get a rental agreement as late as the 1970's, even with a job, women were still expected to marry, and this 1960's feminist independace, this era of free love, is mostly a myth and only existed for the rich. Let's face it, when weren't the rich free to do what they liked??

Hope that helps FP, if you were there I hope it sparks some memories :-) Remember the taste of Cherry B??

the rotten correspondent said...

I think she sounds like an artist's model. London was crawling with painters and photographers and she would want to be in on the artistic action.

And there would be lots of paintings of her floating around, too.

Flowerpot said...

Mopsa - yes an actress sounds good.

Crystal - travelling sales - that's good also.

philipa - Biba's a good idea. She wouldnt like working as a secretary at all.m I remember Biba in High Street Ken. Ah those were the days!
Great info there thanks a lot. I never liked Cherry B much but I was given a babycham the other day....!

Flowerpot said...

correspondent - yes, an artist's model is also good. Perhaps she will try all of those and flit from one to another as the mood takes her. I've just been re-erading The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier which is full of very useful theatre material...

Akelamalu said...

How about
'Then He Kissed Me'
The crystals 1963
'A Taste of Honey' The Beatles?

She had to have been a window dresser in Carnaby Street.

Totty Teabag said...

I've been thinking about the music..in January 1961 I crossed the Atlantic from West to East wearing a homemade shift dress and dancing "The Twist" every night to the sound of Chubby Checker. "Like we did last Summer" springs to mind. Back in England, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly were all the rage.

Ellee Seymour said...

Lots of lovely Mary Quant outfits, flower power and that song about San Francisco spring to mind.

I've just bought Ted Hughes' letters, which included this period too.

I hope your story has a happier ending.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - Good tunes - and a window dresser - I like it!

Totty - thanks for the 'tunes' I will make anote!

Ellee - yes I was thinking along those lines too. But my story will have a happier ending than Ted and Sylvia, never fear.

Elaine Denning said...

Summer, 1966. England won the world cup for the first time. Now, I don't know about what promo girls the team would have had back then, but perhaps they came together during the flurry of excitement? I can imagine all sorts of scenarios....

Flowerpot said...

MissU - thanks for that info. Very useful. What a mine of information here - thanks to you all.