A Flock of Seagulls, Adam and the Ants, and the Yin and Yang of Life

Back in the early days of the pandemic I often wrote a web diary kind of post, as things were changing by the day and I wanted to record my thoughts for posterity, if I made it (we really were thinking that way back then). Everyone was looking forward to the pandemic being over and ‘things getting back to normal’. I was sceptical whenever anyone said that however – the changes to our way of life were just so far-reaching. Whenever the equilibrium is disturbed, there is a knock-on effect elsewhere, and with Brexit and a war in Eastern Europe further disturbing that equilibrium, life is certainly a lot more challenging than it was back in 2019. Oh, and we also don’t have a fully functioning government at the moment. Yes, the Tories are in the throes of choosing their third new leader in six years, after Boris’s antics finally got too much to bear (although he still thinks he did nothing wrong – it was all down to a ‘herd mentality’).

And then there were two…

But most of us are not heavily invested in every twist and turn within the Westminster Bubble, most of us just want to get through the week, stay solvent (a challenge at the moment with prices rising so sharply) and have a few pleasurable moments along the way. I’ve had a few days this week when I changed my routine totally and it’s been really nice. We were lucky enough to avoid the scorching temperatures up here in the North of Scotland so it was lovely to join the many tourists visiting our town and go for an evening walk along the river. A stop off at our favourite ice-cream shop was a must, and my flavour of choice, Cherry Garcia, was slipping down nicely when suddenly something jumped on my back and my waffle cone was whipped out of my hand. First time in my life it’s happened, but I was attacked by…

Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You) by A Flock of Seagulls:


What a great excuse though to share a clip of my favourite A Flock of Seagulls song, Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You) from 1982. Of course most of us now mainly remember the band because of lead singer Mike Score’s quite spectacular early ’80s hairstyle. Looking at a current picture of him, the former hairdresser is now bald as a coot, but so often the case with our most hirsute of rock and pop idols from the past – Dave Gilmour, Michael Stipe, Phil Oakey. (I’m sure you could come up with many more?) That song still a great example of synthpop from one of the many new wave bands hailing from Liverpool at that time.

Mike Score today

Another change to my weekly routine was that I spent an entire day redesigning my garden. It’s a great frustration that come this time of year, gardens can go from being tidy to looking a tad overgrown in the space of a fortnight. A lot of quite boring maintenance is required but this week I was a bit more creative, replanting some pots, rearranging the garden furniture and doing some quite radical cutting back. I was really happy with the final result until I came in at the end of a hard day, only to discover that some creepy crawlies had fallen inside my T-shirt. By evening, I was covered in bites, all courtesy of…

Antmusic by Adam and the Ants


… well, the ants anyway. Again I’m travelling back to the early ’80s, when Adam and the Ants got to No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart with Antmusic. Another new wave band, but this time not relying on synthesisers but on heavy drumming and heavy use of the dressing up box. Adam’s style (real name Stuart Goddard) suited MTV, and his videos were camp and theatrical. Funnily enough Adam is another artist who maybe overdid the hairstyling back in the day and is also now bald as a coot. He hides it well however by doing a pretty good impression of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Adam Ant today

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – Amidst all the political upheaval and difficulties the country is facing right now, in our own domestic bubbles there are still things that can give us joy. Take some time out from your regular routine (if you can) and become a tourist in your own town, or spend a day in the garden. The equilibrium, or yin and yang, of life however also means such indulgences can have a downside, like being attacked by a flock of seagulls, or getting ants in your proverbial pants (other insects are available), but as Boris stated in his resignation speech, ‘them’s the breaks’ (usually used when something unfair or unpleasant happens and you have no choice but to accept it). Well, we all have our views on whether him having to go was unfair or not, but in my case, I did think it was very unfair that those seagulls made off with my Cherry Garcia – what a great name for a flavour.

Inspiration for an ice-cream flavour – Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, never bald as a coot

Until next time…

Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) Lyrics
(Song by Mike Score/Ali Score/Frank Maudsley/Paul Reynolds)

It’s not the way you look
It’s not the way that you smile
Although there’s something to them
It’s not the way you have your hair
It’s not that certain style
It could be that perfume

If I had a photograph of you
Or something to remind me
I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing

It’s not the make-up
And it’s not the way that you dance
It’s not the evening sky
It’s more the way your eyes
Are laughing as they glance
Across the great divide

If I had a photograph of you
Or something to remind me
I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing

It’s not the things you say
It’s not the things you do
But it must be something more
And if I feel this way for so long
Tell me is it all for nothing
You’ll still walk out the door

If I had a photograph of you
Or something to remind me
I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing

Postscript:

I was curious, so just wanted to pass this snippet on. A coot is a water bird which has a marking on its head that gives it an appearance of being bald. It does have feathers on his head, but it’s the way it looks from a distance that gives us the idiom. Every day’s a school day!

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.

18 thoughts on “A Flock of Seagulls, Adam and the Ants, and the Yin and Yang of Life”

  1. Ah, I see what you did there!
    Both bands are so evocative of that era, and the days of our youth when exotic hair was far more abundant (including my own!) Oh, but I miss seeing youth tribes and glorious sculptural ‘dos – instead there are just loads of women of a certain age with the short spikes and colours in their barnets that got me into so much trouble in my teens. Weird to think that now. Not fair! (Although, in a way, it would have missed the point if it hadn’t provoked a response, of course, And what a waste of eggwhite!)
    I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but I was lucky enough to see Adam & The Ants in their earlier incarnation in May 1979 in our little local club, very much a darker, arty band back then – but he always did look rather gorgeous, with or without the hair! And thanks for the snippet about the coot saying, I’d never given it much thought. Mind you, a vulture would be more suitable, I might have to start saying that instead….
    Anyway, your break in routine sounds really good and just what you deserve and yes, definitely therapeutic (except in heatwave conditions… two days in the house with the windows and curtains closed is very bizarre). Likewise I’ve a day out in London with a couple of friends on Monday, to visit ‘Superbloom’ at the Tower, then a short cruise down the Thames (it will bring back memories of our little trip on the riverbus), so that should be a pleasurable diversion from the normal daily regime. Might treat myself to a Cherry Garcia too now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS – oh, I also meant to say I hope your bites are healing up well… Funnily enough I got a couple on – well, put it this way, they got inside my bra! What is it about our undies?!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Young women nowadays all seem to have long straight hair with a parting. Not seeing as many of the tribes differentiated by hairstyles nowadays. You are right of course, many older women now have the very short hair with multi-coloured spikes. Many of them not the kind of women who would have gone down that route first time around. Ah, egg white, didn’t know about that one – the guys with spikey hair used to ask for a bowl of sugar water in the bar if their hair had got caught in the rain and gone flat. I used the heavy duty product on my hair but it being so soft and fine, it was tough going getting any height or volume at all. Mike Score, being an ex-hairdresser, obviously knew all the tricks.

      Yes, I think you have mentioned seeing Adam Ant before – back when he was less ‘pop-chart-y’ and a bit edgier. Still going strong it seems. I was always envious of his knees – he could constantly crouch down then quickly leap up again, seemingly effortlessly. Hope they’re still serving him well.

      I actually had a very stressful week recently concerning my mum but didn’t want to write about that here so concentrated on the nice things I’d done this week instead. As I said, life is full of ups and downs, yin and yang, but we have to make the most of the good stuff when we can. Enjoy your trip on Monday – fortunately the temperatures are now a bit more bearable. Must have been awful for you last week.

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  2. Oh so sorry to hear about your stressful week concerning your mum – understand about writing about the positives instead and at least glad to hear you had those – but really hope other issues have eased since. And if you want to unload in any way, you know where I am.

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  3. Boris has his own wannabe-Mike Score hairdo. His version of the song would be about Wishing there weren’t so many photographs of him at parties.

    I hope the various wildlife-related wounds heal soon, and that your Tippi Hedren days are over.

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    1. Yes, the Boris barnet is still veering towards Flock of Seagulls style but in the future who knows. Photographs at illegal parties were indeed his downfall.

      The bites have stopped itching so that’s a bonus. As for the birds, they are getting a lot greedier and cheekier – don’t think my Tippi days are over at all.

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  4. Sorry to hear about your wildlife-related injuries! We live close to a seaside town, and we’re used to seagulls snatching our ice creams and sandwiches – once, we were sitting by the harbour when one of these pesky birds landed in the middle of the chips my husband was in the process of eating. He didn’t fancy the rest of the chips after that!

    On the subject of older women (ie, women of our age!) with spiky multi-coloured hair, I think in most cases it’s a style they adopted in the punk era, when they were in their mid-teens, and have stuck with ever since, rather than taken it up second time around. This is certainly true of the women I know. What’s surprising about this is that it was a relatively short-lived fashion, being superseded by the New Romantic look, and then the big hair and perms of the 80s – whereas the long straight hair with a central parting – which, as you say, is the look most young women go for these days – has been in fashion for a good few years now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bit of a frivolous one this but yes, thanks, my wildlife-related injuries are much better! I can’t get over I’ve got to this age without being subject to a seagull attack but it was a first for me. To be fair we were walking down the High Street at the time and not far from our local McDonalds, so I can see now that they congregate there – such big birds though and I had two of them swoop down on me. Going to avoid that part of town in the future if I have food in my hand.

      Oh heck, we’re now at the age we have to refer to our demographic as ‘older women’ – just not feeling it (yet), so always feels as if I’m talking about my mum and her friends. As for the hairstyles some have indeed stuck with their mid-teen hairstyles but I know a few women who have been through a tough time (illness or divorce) who suddenly decide on a radical makeover and go for some hair colour changes. If you have grey hair, a few purple or lime green streaks can look quite nice. I recently discovered that for women of my age, the blonde bob with a fringe is the equivalent of the shampoo and set for my mum’s generation! I have thus being trying to change my hair from the bob to something else but I seem to have ended up with a hairstyle I had 20 years ago. A work in progress but I had no idea hair would become such a problem as you age – it changes texture as well as colour and not easy to deal with. My blogging buddy C (commenting above) and I often have rants about it all!

      Yes, the long straight hair seems to have been a thing for quite a few years now, which is tough for my daughter as she has very fine hair. Many of them seem to spend a fortune on extensions though which is very hard on the hair. Personally I loved my big ’80s perms – was great for those of us with naturally fine straight hair. Looking back at the pictures now I hardly recognise myself though.

      Thanks for dropping by Lizza.

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  5. Anyone in need of cheering up could do a lot worse than go to the Seagulls’ Wiki page and pore over the roll call of former band members: without doubt the most exotically named bunch of characters ever to have graced a stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I’ve just checked that out and you are right, an exotically-named bunch of characters. I particularly like the sound of Willi Woo and Pando!

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  6. Your Cherry Garcia moment reminded me of a seagull incident I had a few years ago, which until now I’d quite forgotten that I’d actually written about (https://unthoughtofthoughsomehow.blogspot.com/2017/07/divebomb.html). I’m not sure what’s worse, to have food plucked straight out of your hand or to be attacked from the skies. Neither are very pleasant and I hope you weren’t too shaken by the episode. Gulls really can be fearless and intimidating.
    Sorry to hear about the stressful week concerning your Mum. Sending my best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was a really sinister seagull incident you had. As you say she was probably protecting her babies but not nice at all. As for me, I wasn’t actually shaken by my encounter just really angry that we can’t enjoy an ice-cream in town any more without those greedy gulls making off with them.

      Re my mum, it’s an ongoing situation but thanks very much for the good wishes.

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