49 Days In 1988: Week 2: Packing Away The January Blues

Click here to read the first week of this feature.


London – January 17th, 1988

After Alan’s funeral on Friday, I certainly didn’t feel like packing my bags in readiness for two weeks in Gran-Canaria from tomorrow. However, we booked the trip months ago, and everyone has told me that I should still go. 

It’s a shame that Stephen and Kev aren’t coming on holiday with me. I’ve grown really close to them since Alan’s death. Once again, Stephen refused to cancel our planned Sunday lunchtime trip to The Vauxhall Tavern for Sunday School. I’m glad only because the three of us had tears of laughter running down our faces with the dragqueen cabaret on offer. It was a tonic we all needed.

When we got home, Stephen helped me pack for my holiday as Kev had to go back home to prepare for a busy week at work. He mentioned that this week is the week that Kev is going to ‘come out’ to his work colleagues. I’m sure everything’s going to be fine when he tells them, but I do wish he would hold off telling them until I’m back in London. I don’t know why, but I have this strange feeling.

Fingers crossed for the perfect outcome for Kev and an enjoyable holiday for me. 

#London #music #bloggers #city #LGBTQI #LGBT


Welcome to this new feature on Hugh’s Views and News. In this feature, I will be sharing snippets from my diary of 1988. We’ll also take a trip in Hugh’s Music Time machine to hear some songs from the 1980s which have been chosen by some specially invited guests.

This week my guest is the author, writer and blogger, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. Like all my guests, Teagan was asked to choose a random date and chose the 17th January. So, the above entry from my diary comes courtesy of Teagan.

Tegan has published a number of books, one of which was my book recommendation of the month in November 2017. Click here to read the post.

#books #authors #interviews

Click the links below to buy the book.

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Teagan is also the author of a beautiful new story, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam, on her blog. Set in the world of faeries (as she likes to call them) and magic, a new episode of the story is published every week. I’ve been hooked right from the beginning if only because of the wonderful storyteller Teagan is. Click here to read part one of the story and follow the lives of the residents of Thistledown.

Teagan’s song choice from the 1980s is The Tide Is High by Blondie.

For those of you that can’t play the video, here’s one I hope will work.

The original song was written and released in the 1960s, but the song gained international attention when the American band Blondie’s version became a number one hit all over the world during 1980 and 1981.

As a non-swimmer, I wonder if I’m going to find the tide too high in Gran-Canaria? And what about Kev when he comes out to his work colleagues? Will the tide be too high for him? Do you have a favourite song connected with going on holiday or vacation? Share a link to it in the comments. Thanks for the great song choice, Teagan.

#author #books #interview
Author, Writer and Blogger, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Connect with Teagan

Blog: Teagan’s Books

Twitter: @teagangeneviene

Pinterest: Teagan Geneviene

Facebook: Teagan’s Books

Amazon: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Thank you to Teagan for being my second guest on this new feature for 2018. I look forward to welcoming my next guest next week.

Click here to go to week 3.

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 Don’t forget to buy your ticket for The Bloggers Bash on May 19th, 2018. Click here for full details.


  1. Another great diary read, Hugh. I’m sitting here on a balmy night in Sydney listening to the cool change coming in.
    I was living in Sydney in the 80s and started uni in 1988. It seemed to be a time where people were quite androgynous from memory. There was Boy George and David Bowie and others and many people I knew were confused about their sexuality, or bi or seeming try anything. A friend of mine came out in 1989 and that was huge at the time. As a friend, he seemed very liberated afterwards and that he’d burst out of this confining chrysalis and he became very outgoing and expressive. However, things didn’t go well with his family. They were working people from a beach community and real men drank beer and ate meat pies back then and drove a Holden. It’s great to see marriage equality has now been legalised here in Australia and how much things have improved.
    Best wishes,

    1. I was delighted when I heard the news about marriage equality for the LGBT community being legalised in your part of the world, Rowena. Since the ’80s, we’ve come leaps and bounds in getting equality, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I may have been living in London in the late 1980s, but it was still a dangerous place for gay people, although not as much as the rest of the UK. In my diary entry next week, we’ll see the first signs of me facing ‘coming out’ to my family. It was terrifying, but I knew that I could no longer live my life as they were expecting me to.

      1. We had Princess Diana’s ex-butler Paul Burrell on “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” recently and he spoke about being from a village and the dangers of coming out as a gay man and he repressed his homosexuality. Got married. Had kids. Then, married another man.
        I can’t understand people not accepting a diversity of people and feeling they have to bash, bully or even murder someone else who is different from them in some way.
        I think it is different from a parents’ point of view as I think most of us would like grandchildren, although that’s not out of the question these days for gay couples either. Just takes a bit of creativity and good friends. I also think parents want their kids to have the easy road, even if we didn’t have that experience ourselves. Even if we know life was never meant to be easy either. It’s that natural urge to protect. Being a gay man in the 80s and 90s also had the risk of HIV/AIDS and I know here in Sydney a lot of young men tragically died. It must be hard for younger people to appreciate what an impact that had. I worked in the HIV-Sexual Health Unit of our local Area Heath Service for a year as their Communications Officer. That was an eye-opener but I learned so much. BTW one day our printer jammed because a little sachet of lube had somehow fallen inside it. I thought that had to be a fairly unique printer problem.
        Hope you have a great weekend.
        Best wishes,

        1. Thanks for sharing all of that with us, Rowena. There are so many stories from the ’80s and ’90s still to be told. It always lovely to hear the lighter side of them as well. That’s the first time I heard of that problem with a printer. 😂

  2. I hope that Kev’s workmates will be ok with his revelations, Hugh. It must have been a huge step for him to decide to tell them back in 1988, there were still a lot of people who would not have been very tolerant or accepting!
    I love a bit of Blondie, and this one is very catchy! 🙂

  3. I think this is going to be an interesting series, Hugh. I enjoyed reading the excerpt from your diary and listening to Teagan’s choice of song to accompany it. I did like that song by Blondie – it’s still a good one.

    1. I agree, Norah. Teagan’s song choice was an excellent one and we’ve got lots of other great songs coming up. I think I’ve got the right mix for this series and it seems many of you are enjoying it. That’s excellent news.

  4. My mum used to look like a bit like Debby Harry when she was younger. Hope all is wel with you Hugh. Do you know, for some reason you have disappeared off my Blogs I follow list… how can that happen? I certainly didn’t do it. Gremlins in the WordPress machine again?

    1. Hi Ali, it’s lovely to see you here. Sorry to hear that my blog has dropped off your notifications list. I wonder why? I hope it has nothing to do with the spam monster. I’ve been caught in his grips three times in the last twelve months. Maybe sign up by email for alerts? Just a suggestion, but I’ll leave it up to you.

      Big hugs from me.

  5. Thanks for posting both videos, Hugh. I love that song and enjoyed listening to it while I read the post. Great choice, Teagan! And best wishes to Kev. I do hope it goes well ❤

    1. You’re welcome, Tina. Going forward, I’ll be posting two versions of the music video just in case one of them does not play. Fingers crossed that at least one of them works. If not, then I’ll have to add a third. 😁

  6. Very captivating diary entry…and wonderful song choice. I can’t wait to read more.
    Thanks Hugh and Teagan!

    1. Thanks, Debby. We won’t find out about Kev for a few weeks because the next two entries from my diary are from Gran Canaria. And, of course, there were no mobiles, internet or social media in 1988 – so I couldn’t find out.

  7. The plot thickens in your diary, Hugh! How old were you in 1988, or is that a rude question? Curious about the Gran Canaria vacation and entries… I went there with my family when I was 16, a few years after your “exploits”.

    1. I was a mere 24 years old in 1988, Liesebet. As you will read in the next two entries, I was like a child in a sweet shop in Gran Canaria. *Adult content alert*. I went back to Gran Canaria many times. My last visit was in 2003.

  8. I’m enjoying this series, Hugh – wish you posted the diary extracts more often. A week’s a long time to wait to find out what happens next – especially as I notice you’ve said we won’t find out about Kev for another couple of weeks. I hope the bad feeling you had doesn’t mean something horrible happened when he came out at work.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Yes, I’m a bit of tease, aren’t I, making you all wait a week for these diary entries? I suppose it’s a bit like waiting for the next episode of your favourite TV drama or TV programme (unless, of course, it’s a soap). This is going to be a heck of a long series seeing as it lasts for most of the year. I hope by the time it finishes, you’ll be pleased with the pieces of a what could one day be a book.

  9. I nominate you the master of ” cliffhangers” Hugh…Love the song and Blondie I have a feeling this new series of yours is going to not only be great but sad reading at times but will produce some great music and memories for many of us 🙂

    1. That’s a lovely title, thank you, Carol. I’ve always enjoyed cliffhangers. They keep the reader reading and wanting more.

      Yes, there are some sad entries coming up, but also many happy ones. I hope you enjoy reading them all.

      1. Yes, we were there. It happened right at breakfast on our last day. It was surreal, but it didn’t feel real to me. I did not want my bucket list visit to Hawaii with my husband to literally end with us kicking the bucket. 😉

  10. loving the snippets Hugh; we are all anxious about Kev now. And lovely to see Teagan’s recommendation. Hellooooo Teagan *waves. Defo a crush song for me. Always thought Debbie Harry was the classiest punk before she went mainstream.

      1. I can understand that as well. I think the lure of going back is to experience again what we know. Going forward would be a scary proposition. This is a super story idea for you. Not a time machine but a choice. Thanks, Hugh.

  11. Hugh, great idea for posts of specific dates. History in memories so important. I loved the 80s & all the songs by Alabama, Foreigner, etc., Blondie too. Can’t upload the video in the US, so went straight to YouTube. As with Teagan’s writing, we expect cliffhangers. Good thoughts for Kev! Happy to see Teagan here. I’m a follower and her creative writing, books & series, amazes me! Happy Wednesday! 📚 Christine

    1. Thanks for telling me that the video would not play in your part of the world, Christine. I’ve uploaded and added another version and have my fingers crossed that it will play for everyone. It’s a problem I come across often and have never been able to find out if there’s a way to know if there are any countries that a particular video won’t play. Going forward, I’ll ensure I upload two versions of these videos.

      I’m glad you like this idea for a new feature for 2018. I wanted to mix music, memories and some guests into a feature, and this seemed like a great way to do it. The stories of Stephen, Kev, me and many others will unfold during the weeks of 2018.

      Best wishes to you.

    1. I’m psyched to be here, Dan. You are such a marvelous support and source of feedback for my writing — I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I enjoyed your Wednesday One Liner today, and look forward to Thursday Doors. Hugs.

  12. That song brought back such good memories. The 80s were good to me. I lived in Calgary, a fun place to be in the 80s. My daughter was so in love with Blondie and we listened to her a lot! I am enjoying your diaries as well.

    1. Thank you, Darlene. I’m pleased I came up with the idea for this feature. I wanted to mix the feature with some music and guests and it seems to be working. I hope you continue to enjoy it over the coming months. There’s a lot going to happen.

  13. Hugh you are a dream for featuring me today. This is such a unique new blog series, I love the idea! But I’m very worried about Kev, especially given your sense of foreboding… I’ll be returning the favor next week in my Jazz Age Wednesdays post. Great big hug.

    1. You’re so very welcome, Teagan. It was a real pleasure having you join me. Thanks so much for picking the date of 17th January and for also picking such a wonderful song. I think Blondie is going to be a huge hit here on the blog.
      The next two entries from my diary are for dates for when I am still on holiday in Gran Canaria, so it’ll be a few weeks before we find out how Kev got on. I know, cliff-hanger time, but 1988 was the year before we all had mobile phones, the internet and social media, so I had no idea what happened until I got back to London.
      Hugs to you. Enjoy the rest of your week.

      1. It’s a lovely song to have in my head.
        The impact of cell phones not only on culture, but on story writing is astounding, Hugh. I set an unpublished novel in the 70s and constantly had to do a mental adjustment with that. Even reruns of “Buffy” in the 90s has me yelling “Why don’t you call somebody!” then I remember… LOL.

        1. lol, I think we all do it, don’t we? It reminds me of some of the movies from the ’50s when somebody gets out of bed, having had a great night’s sleep, and they have all their makeup on and a hair not out of place. I have to remind myself that is how they done it in the ’50s. 😀

    1. Thanks, Robbie. Unfortunately, we won’t find out what happened to Kev for a few weeks as the next two entries from the diary are from dates I am still in Gran-Canaria.
      Yes, Teagan was a great guest to have onboard the time machine. I’m really enjoying her stories from Thistledown.

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