Leaving Work for the Last Time – Queen and “These Are The Days Of Our Lives”

Forgive me WordPress for I have sinned – Much of the last seven days has been spent over on Facebook as it was my last week at work and I wanted to share pictures of the various colleagues who were to become my best friends over a 30 year period. As anyone who visits here knows I am a bit of a hoarder, and there was no shortage of material to work with as I’ve always been the custodian of our memories, wherever I’ve worked. The exercise was a resounding success and the surprised comments from friends have been rolling in thick and fast, with promises that we’ll keep in touch, have a reunion etc. That remains to be seen but it has been a very sociable week indeed, culminating in a dinner and drinks “leaving do” last night.


The departure from the world of secure employment came about because of this – I think I’m a bit of a dinosaur in the world of offices as I like my pin boards, folders and stationery. Sadly all the tools of my trade had to go earlier this year as we adopted what is commonly known as agile working i.e. no fixed desk, no paper, no clutter and no talking! I decided that the sterile world of the modern day office was not for me. Goodness knows how we kept the ship on course all those years with just so much paper to hinder us, when instead we could have had terabytes of data at our fingertips with no idea of how to turn it into meaningful information.


Anyway, a new life awaits me but I cannot help but feel very sad that the old one is now behind me – The world of the ’80s office was a much less pressurised one and, dare I say it, a lot more fun than it is now and I miss that. On the way home from work for the last time the song These Are The Days Of Our Lives came on the radio and it summed up how I was feeling:

When we were kids, when we were young (I was in my twenties)

The days were endless, we were crazy (lots of work nights out!)

Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know (the world of agile working?)

Those were the days of our lives (of my working life definitely)

Those days are all gone now but one thing is true – When I look and I find I still love you (the happy memories will never leave me)

These Are The Days Of Our Lives by Queen:

This song by the band Queen was released as a double A-side in the UK in December 1991, after the death of Freddie Mercury. It entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 1 and remained there for five weeks. It also received a Brit Award for Best Single in 1992.

The accompanying video was the last to feature Freddie and was released in black and white to hide the full extent of his illness. With a knowing farewell look straight at the camera, Freddie whispers “I still love you” as the song ends, which were his last ever words on camera.

RIP Freddie, RIP the 1980s Office.

These Are The Days Of Our Lives Lyrics
(Song by Roger Taylor)

Sometimes I get to feelin’
I was back in the old days – long ago
When we were kids, when we were young
Things seemed so perfect – you know?
The days were endless, we were crazy – we were young
The sun was always shinin’ – we just lived for fun
Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know
The rest of my life’s been – just a show.

Those were the days of our lives
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing is true –
When I look and I find I still love you.

You can’t turn back the clock, you can’t turn back the tide
Ain’t that a shame?
I’d like to go back one time on a roller coaster ride
When life was just a game
No use sitting and thinkin’ on what you did
When you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids
Sometimes it seems like lately I just don’t know
Better sit back and go – with the flow

Cos these are the days of our lives
They’ve flown in the swiftness of time
These days are all gone now but some things remain
When I look and I find – no change

Those were the days of our lives yeah
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing’s still true
When I look and I find, I still love you,
I still love you.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

12 thoughts on “Leaving Work for the Last Time – Queen and “These Are The Days Of Our Lives””

  1. Good luck in the world outside your old job. In addition to the paperless aspect, what gets me about modern offices is that people actually say business-speak things that I thought were just for the idiot few, and behave as if they were in an American TV series. In the last full-time one I had, I was asked to write the company Christmas card, but of course got jumped on for mentioning Christmas. However, you and I can’t really be dinosaurs: we’re WordPress-literate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks – To be honest we’ve been agile-working for 3 months now and I had actually got used to it by the time I left but it had spurred me on to give other things a try before I run out of time, so to speak. The paperless office is a fallacy anyway as already there are files and stacks of paper building up – Human beings like their clutter and with no drawers to put things in, it lies about on the pristine white table tops until cleared away at the end of the day. What I will really miss is the people as I’ve worked for only 2 organisations in 30 years and they have now merged. The four workplaces I’ve been based in have now closed and everyone is in the same building so it’s been a joy becoming reacquainted with old colleagues – Really quite sad to be going. My Facebook posts have been a triumph as some of the photos above are very old so we’ve had a good laugh at the hairstyles, the solitary office computer and the fanfold print-outs etc.

      Not too much business speak where I was actually although a few of the buzz words had definitely started to creep in.


  2. The photos of your work colleagues are something for you to treasure long after your less fond memories of office life are gone. Looks as if it was a great place to work until “agile working” became the norm.

    I enjoy watching the BBC2 comedy series “W1A” because it reminds me of the total tripe I used to hear uttered at various councils meetings and business and political conferences that I covered when i was a newspaper reporter. I imagine the same happens in most offices these days. A constant state of “meetings”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I have just so many photos as I made a point of always taking a few every year for this very reason – So that in the future we could all look back at them and have a bit of a laugh and a reminisce (I’m not in any by the way!). I didn’t of course know 30 years ago that we would have such a thing as Facebook (for real world friends) and WordPress (for like-minded virtual friends) but it’s been a lot of fun this week sharing so many of the memories.

      Funny you should mention W1A as we were just watching the recording of it when your comment came in – Funny but cringeworthy. As it turns out we were never too bad in the Highlands as I don’t think anyone would get away with being a Siobhan Sharpe up here – Also the meeting rooms have just about all gone so its pretty much video conferencing or nothing nowadays. Wonder if you ever turned up at Aberdeen City Chambers? – Used to work there too!


  3. Ah, the time has come! I feel as if we have been on this journey with you and watched things unfold here, so it’s a privilege to read your latest updates on something so big in your life right now. Also it’s not unlike my own journey from corporate office life into self-employment some years ago – so I feel quite affected by all you say, and feel I can relate to much of it too. The photo memoirs are lovely and it’s amazing to see that old desk and a chunky little PC dwarfed by a massive decorative plant, oh how the scales have tipped! Although it will no doubt take a little while to adapt, it’s the start of a new chapter and the right thing to do – exciting! As for missing the people – of course, yes a big change, but the reunion lunches etc. will be great fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh C, yes I am very conscious you have all been on this journey with me so you must relieved we’ve got to the end point but this blog is very much my web-diary as well, so inevitable we write about the biggest things going on in our real-world lives. Ironically I kind of left Facebook behind when I discovered blogging as my FB posts were far too long and ignored by most of my real world friends (not the right medium at all for someone who wants to get their “thoughts” down in “print”) – It is the perfect place however to share old photos and although I suspect I will have to remove some of the ones above in due course, there have been many, many conversations over the last week with old workmates and I am booked up from now until Christmas! Quite a few opportunities on the go as well so all good.

      As in the comments above, I kind of came round to the paperless office by the time I left as being serious, the amount of trees that must have been felled to produce all those computer print-outs back in the day was obscene – Much hilarity about the big boxy PCs however, the microfiche machine and the permed hair. Not in the pictures but we also had a Mrs R who used to come round with a tray of tea and biscuits twice a day and the work nights out (usually organised by me), were plentiful.

      So, onward and upward – The last week however has shown me that at the end of the day it is the people in our lives that are most important and although for obvious reasons we all keep ourselves nice and anonymous here, now that I know such things as “bloggers summits” do exist I have a hankering to make something happen in due course – Even if it’s just you and I C, a mini “ladies of the ’70s” summit, I think that would be a fine excuse for a trip down to the other end of the country. As with my decision to leave work, sometimes best to just bite the bullet!


  4. As C says, it feels as if we’ve been with you every step of the way and now the big day has arrived. I wish I’d taken photos at all the places I’ve worked in the past, yours are brilliant!
    All good wishes for what comes next Alyson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good wishes – As I just said to C above you must all be thoroughly fed up of my long-drawn out departure from the world of work but as happens over at your place, impossible not to write about all the big things going on in our lives at the time. It has been a real task rummaging around in the loft for all the old photo albums (as the contents of DD’s last flat are now up there too) but it was well worth it for the reaction I got. My “Friends” list on FB has suddenly increased exponentially which is kind of ok now that I won’t be working with the people any more – No more office politics, hallelujah!


  5. This was a very sad post, despite the fact that I support your decision 100%. I’ve obviously written quite a bit lately about workplace memories and wishing I could go back to simpler times, so I sympathise greatly.

    “No paper, no clutter and no talking!” We are human beings, not robots! Of course, chances are, many of our jobs will be done by robots within the next 20 years anyway. We live in frightening times.

    As for Freddie, this video always makes me shed a tear, even though I’m not really a fan of the song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t want it to be a sad post but strong parallels to your series about working in radio despite mine being a totally different industry – Just not nearly as much fun nowadays for a whole myriad of reasons and the sad thing is that my daughter and her friends have never experienced anything like what I had, and probably never will.

      Despite my whinging, my last day was actually very nice though and there was lots of talking, cakes, presents and laughter. I wandered around taking pictures of everyone so who knows, if I have to return as an octogenarian there will be lots of pictures to look back at from 2017 – Ooh, sounds all very like BTTF, 1987, 2017, 2047!


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