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I love Harry Nilsson. I love his voice, his songs and most especially the lyrics. In one song he sings:

Dreams are nothing more than wishes

And a wish is just a dream

You wish would come true.

Well, I had a dream, and I certainly did wish that it would come true.

You see, I left school as soon as I could. I hated it. I hated the place, the teachers, and most of the other kids: certainly all of the girls. I had only three real interests: boys, smoking and pop music. I have no idea why I was as I was. I wasn't a bad person; I didn't steal, or lie, or fight. My parents were not bad people at all. They were just very ordinary. Mum kept home, and did a bit of cleaning for richer folk. Dad moved from one poorly paid job to another; I can't even remember what he did exactly. When I hit my teens, I ceased to communicate with them beyond the basics. I suppose they tried to keep me on the rails, and, in truth, I didn't go that far off them: no drugs, no abortions - just fags, blokes and pop music. Oh, and dancing of course. I was a good dancer, possibly still am. Boys told me that I was a turn-on and I liked that. Not that I danced to turn them on - it was the music that turned me on. When I got into the rhythm, I was barely aware of anything else but the music. It just flowed through my body and I reacted to it, barely conscious of what my legs and arms and hips were doing. God, it felt good. I danced with my eyes closed and when I opened them all eyes were on me. I liked that too.

Did I have a dream in those days? Not that I can remember. I left school just as soon as I could, and I suppose the teachers were just as glad to see me go as I was to part from them. I guess that they thought I was thick, but that wasn't true. I wasn't thick. I just wasn't interested in what they were trying to teach me. I could read and write OK, and was pretty good with figures, and that seemed to be enough for me. Why would I want to know where Japan was on the map of the world? I was never going to go there. And the volume of a cone - I ask you!

I got a job soon enough, working as a check-out girl in the local supermarket. I liked that. It was better than school and I had a bit of money in my purse: money that I could spend on clothes and make-up and having my hair done. Oh, and fags, of course. I was up to thirty a day by then. I could buy all the records and cassettes that I wanted, and had a player in my bedroom. If I wasn't at work, or dancing, or shopping, then that's where I was - stretched out on my bed listening to music. I bought all the popular stuff and some of those records, they were vinyl in those days, I played until they were worn out.


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The joys and trials of family life in England followed by a dream of life in rural Spain that becomes an enduring nightmare

That Place in the Sun

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