AHA, a-ha and “Take On Me”

Well, I didn’t put in an appearance around here at all last weekend, so going to put together a web-diary kind of affair so as to not lose momentum. The main reason why I was MIA last weekend was because I went “live” with my new venture called….

Yes, Alyson’s Highland Adventures is now taking bookings, so it’s been all systems go on getting everything ready for visitors to our neck of the woods. In terms of timing, it has also coincided with the sale of my mum’s flat, which has to be empty by next weekend – What the heck do you do with a lifetimes’ worth of possessions and memorabilia? I suspect a lot of it is going to end up in my loft, and possibly the loft of the Highland Hideaway, but a bit of a sad business. On the upside, my mum barely remembers she had a flat, and is still happy in her new care home, so not too upsetting for her that it had to be sold. I am finding however that my visits to the care home are having to be a bit more plentiful and as unexpected as possible – The care of our old folk is down to people who barely know them, and especially in the case of residents with dementia, they really need an advocate to fight their corner.


On top of all that, the deadline was yesterday for my college course’s first assessment of the semester; and there has been a flurry of activity with Mr WIAA’s business which I administer; and I had to trawl through my blog this week to weed out any reference to he who shall no longer be named, after watching the troubling documentary Leaving Neverland. Not going to say any more about the doc in this post, but suffice to say, whatever the truth behind it all, I am now well and truly done with him.

To cleanse the palate we need a great tune, and of course when mentioning AHA, I am immediately reminded of that great Norwegian export of the late ’80s, a-ha. The video to accompany their song Take On Me was probably one of the best of the decade, and it was lovely to watch it again earlier this week. The boys sport mullets and stonewashed denim, but their look is quite toned down, and doesn’t seem as dated as that adopted by many other ’80s bands. The generic Marty McFly look – Maybe why the Back To The Future movies are still so popular?

Take On Me by a-ha:

Although written a few years previously, it wasn’t until a new video was commissioned in 1985, that the song struck gold. It didn’t do any harm either that lead singer Morten Harket was, to quote the record company executive at the time, “one of the best-looking men in the world.” I remember having a work colleague a few years ago who still had a picture of Morten in the locket she used to wear regularly around her neck. She had been happily married for years, but the locket was a hangover from her teenage years, so Morten remained in place!

Strangely enough, the song popped up over at Rol’s place earlier this week as Weezer have included it on their new covers album (another great video for their version). Also, after visiting CC’s Double Digits series this morning, I had to sort my digital database by artist – What immediately starts to play (if not set on shuffle mode)? Why A-ha of course, with Take On Me. A nice bit of synchronicity.

A-ha in 2018 – Not too shabby!

So, “What’s It All About?” – Life is a rollercoaster (as little Ronan Keating used to sing) and I have had quite a ride over the last couple of years, but it’s really looking as if a new routine is on the cards, so looking forward to that a lot.

As for AHA (Alyson’s Highland Adventures), as you’ve probably guessed, that’s my blogging name for the new venture, so you won’t find it by googling. Should anyone want to find out a bit more however, the Contact Me button is at the top of the page.

Until next time….

Take On Me Lyrics
(Song by Magne Furuholmen/Morten Harket/Pål Waaktaar)

Talking away
I don’t know what I’m to say
I’ll say it anyway
Today is another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love. OK?

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

So needless to say
Of odds and ends
But I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is OK.
Say after me,
“It’s no better to be safe than sorry.”

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

Oh, things that you say. Yeah.
Is it life or just to play my worries away?
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)


As Alan Partridge popped up at the top of this post, can I ask, is it just me or is the new series on BBC1 a bit of a disappointment? I have been watching, but not quite as good as I was expecting. Will stick with it though and see how it evolves.

I also mentioned the sorting of my digital database by artist. Had I sorted it by song, at the top of the list would have been one by he who shall not be named and his brothers. I think it’s obvious which song it is, but sadly, it will now have to go.

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. 50 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 that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

16 thoughts on “AHA, a-ha and “Take On Me””

  1. Good luck with “Alyson’s Highland Adventures”.
    I agree with you about the new Alan Patridge series. The humour seems a bit forced. Haven’t seen the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, but it sounded bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – should be fun.

      Shame about Partridge as I was really looking forward to it. As for Leaving Neverland, yes it was a tough watch, but now that I have I can’t go back and un-watch it, so as I said, I’m done with him.


  2. Good luck with the new Project
    You are totally correct that those in Care Homes need advocates. Always good to drop in unexpectedly, Keeps them on their toes
    Can’t say that the Neverland allegations come as much of a surprise.
    Thought the first Partridge was poor and the second a bit better.
    The other way round for Still Game
    Both probalby need putting out to grass

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – Looking forward to it.

      As for the care home, I had hoped it wouldn’t be the case, but yes, important to keep them on their toes. For the amount they are charging it should be 5 star service all the way but residents with dementia can’t speak up for themselves sadly – My mum never wants to bother them because they are busy!

      The Neverland allegations certainly weren’t a surprise but I now have a much better understanding of how it was, allegedly, allowed to happen. As for Partridge cross fingers it gets better and as for Still Game, I will miss them when they no longer pop up on our screens.


    1. I have been a bit vague haven’t I – Yes, a wee holiday “hoose” and full access to our knowledge of the area and all its various attractions. Thanks for the good wishes – You did say you fancied a trip to Scotland at some point!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Still haven’t quite worked out what “Alyson’s Highland Adventures” involves. I may have missed a line of explanation somewhere, but then… I kind of like the ambiguity.

    I’m enjoying Partridge, but then I have very low standards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I seem to have been a bit too vague and left myself open to all sorts of ambiguity – Oh dear. As explained to Neil above, we have a wee holiday “hoose” all kitted out for visitors to the Highlands and we plan to be as involved as people want us to be. Lots of knowledge of the local area so I’m busy drawing up guides for tours and the various activities people can take part in – Good grief, I’m still being ambiguous, but it’s all above board I can assure you!


  4. It’s been in the public domain for an awfully long time that Jackson went to bed with six year old boys. And monkeys. Christ, he makes Gary Glitter look like an upstanding citizen and pillar of the community.

    You do right to airbrush him out of your life. He was a vile individual.

    In other news, I hope your business venture goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, you’ve come out and said it! Yes I’ve seen the previous docs and interviews but somehow these 2-hour-long episodes let everything slowly unfold in a way that just hasn’t happened before – Was a tough watch, but has now left me wanting to airbrush him out of my life for good, which I hadn’t up until now. As it turns out, I had never actually written a dedicated blog post about him, but he had been mentioned along the way in several other posts, which was kind of inevitable this being a pop music blog covering songs from the last 50 years.

      Thanks for the good wishes – I think I may have been a bit too vague and ambiguous about the venture. so have confused people as to what I am actually doing. Hopefully clarified it all in the replies above – Nothing revolutionary but am looking forward to it all.


  5. Good luck with AHA

    Can understand your reaction to Leaving Neverland. I think he’s guilty. A tough pill to swallow. I do think it’s one-sided though by leaving out important things. I’m writing a piece on the doc for a “villains blogthon” which runs this May. I will try and look at the case from both sides.

    To me, the new Alan Partridge is not much different to the older stuff-some of it is amusing, some of it not. I don’t see a dip in the quality of the writing. But comedy is very subjective to all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – should be fun.

      As for he who shall not be named, struggling to see there can be a “both sides” now. He befriended/seduced the mothers who doted on their sons and were euphoric that he was going to help them in their careers. Allowed situations to develop that in normal society would never be allowed to happen. Anyway, will be interested to read your take on it all if you decide to share it here.

      Maybe my expectations were too high but I remember the Partridge character being funnier before this BBC series aired. Will stick with it though – humour is subjective but there is usually a general consensus when something is really working. Jury’s still out for me on this new series.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was never a fan of 80s music (except music from the time but in another style, or based on older styles, such as Iron Maiden), but a-ha were a cut above the rest: real musicianship, a really good singer, and without some of the excesses of other bands. I’ve seen them live a few times and have tickets for later this year as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Phillip – You are the first person to mention the song featured in this post! Yes, they were a cut above the rest but prime candidates for teen worship which then places them firmly in a certain camp that’s difficult to get out of. Some great songs though and I have fond memories of that really clever video. Enjoy catching them later on this year.


  7. I’m very excited for you about AHA! Hope you get lots of interest.
    As for Leaving Neverland, I found it utterly compelling and harrowing at the same time and was left in absolutely no doubt. I read an excellent article by its creator, Dan Reed, in the Guardian too, which makes so many good points – one being that the term ‘child sexual abuse’ might be better understood by some if replaced in cases like these with the description ‘child sexual seduction’. It is that very fact that is so key, isn’t it; the fact that the boys felt special and loved, they were so unable to see it as abuse as such and with nothing to compare it to they didn’t understand how they were being manipulated. These things are so complex, so psychological, these difficult nuances that make people compliant really needed to be explained, and I am so glad that Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck had that opportunity and platform to do so. Quite a breakthrough moment in television I thought.
    As for Alan Partridge – not sure what I’m making of it so far – some great moments and very cringey as ever but I’m not finding it as satisfying as previous series, perhaps just down to the limited set?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will be fun I’m sure but this week I seem to have imploded with exhaustion as I have my mum’s flat to empty as well! As you know emptying houses is a massive task, but also quite emotional, and although the big clear-out was when we sold the house in the village, there is still an awful lot of stuff to be got rid of that reminds me of my childhood – The bowls we used to have our ice-cream in, the very small glasses my dad used to have the occasional beer in (he was a lightweight), stationery from a bygone age – Tough but can’t keep much at all.

      As for Leaving Neverland, you have summed it up really well – I think we still have to refer to them as allegations but the two very long episodes meant the story unfolded slowly and as you say, these families were flattered and seduced by the fact a global superstar wanted to be their friend. The mothers treated him like a boy, but he was a MAN, and having sleepovers with their sons. The boys as you say didn’t even recognise it for what it was, how could they, being so young. It couldn’t happen today as everything is shared on social media the minute it happens which just wasn’t the case back then. Also, he was probably the last global superstar of that magnitude, who seemed to be above the law, and was able to engage in all sorts of weird behaviour that just wouldn’t be tolerated nowadays. Quite a documentary that is already having a massive effect on his legacy – Will the kids of tomorrow ever see or hear Thriller – I doubt it.

      Watched Partridge again tonight – Cringey indeed. Laughed out loud in the cinema when we went to see the Partridge movie a few years back, but not doing so with this series so far.


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