49 Days In 1988: Week 30 – The Future Past

Click here to read the first week of this feature, and follow the links at the end of each post.


London – August 12th, 1988

Marty’s plans to buy his first home now seem to be going ahead. Within the next six weeks, both he and Michael Purdy could have their own home. Marty confirmed to me again today that I was at the top of the list to rent the spare room in the flat from them. I’m delighted by this, given the terrible events of last week. as it has started the ball rolling for me in searching for a new home.

If all goes to plan, Marty and I could be moving out of Grassmere Road by November. That would mean that I will have had a full year of living here. It will always be a place I will remember. Even in the short amount of time that I have been living here in Grassmere Road, I have had so many happy times and so much going on in my life. It’s been a magical place to live.

However, I shouldn’t just rely on the promise of the room from Marty. I need to have other plans in place just in case something goes wrong. Once the funeral is over, I’ll begin to work on those plans over the coming weeks.  

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


Welcome to this new feature for 2018 on Hugh’s Views and News. In this feature, I’ll 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, Darlene Foster. One of the things Darlene says on the ‘about me’ page of her blog is that her blog is for writers, readers, travellers, dreamers, friends and friends she hasn’t met yet. For me, the word ‘dreamers’ stood out because it’s something I believe every human being is. Where would we be if we didn’t have dreams to follow or chase?

#author #blogger #writer #books
Author, writer and blogger, Darlene Foster

Not only is Darlene a writer, but she’s also an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves to travel, and shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends are all a big part of her life.

Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”. She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband, Paul.

Darlene is the author behind the ‘Amanda Travels’ books. Set in various locations, Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

When I asked Darlene which of her books she wanted to include, she replied, ‘Amanda in Spain-The Girl in the Painting. It is an older book, but I wanted to share a review an eight-year-old recently sent to me as it made me so happy.’  

Here’s the review.

I really enjoyed this book. I like books which have a mystery plot to them, and this book really caught my attention – I read it all in one go! The story kept me guessing until the end. In some parts, the reader is held in suspense while in other times you can almost guess what’s going to happen so I had to read on to find out if I’d got it right or not. My favourite character was Dona because she is a Spanish performer and I like performing as well. I like books in which I can relate to characters that are around my age. I enjoy books that are set in different countries, as I like geography and finding out about places. I especially liked the detail of the settings. This book was so fantastic, I was really engaged. Thank you, From Catrin (eight years old)

#books #childrensbooks #author

Click here to buy Amanda In Spain – The Girl in the Painting.

Connect with Darlene.







Darlene’s song choice is Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams.

Released in 1985,  Summer of ’69 was written jointly by Adams with long-time writing partner Jim Vallance. Upon its release as a single, it helped push ‘Reckless,’ the album it was taken from, to the number one spot in the U.S.A. The song was a big success around the world, only failing to make it into the top 40 in Germany and the UK. Thank you for your song choice, Darlene.

Back in the summer of 1988, I had much of what the song lyrics to Summer of ’69 refer to in my life. That’s all I’m saying. 😀 Do you have a favourite summer song? Share a link to it in the comments.

Next week, is a new part-time job going to be all it’s up to meant to be? Click here to find out.

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

83 thoughts

  1. I do enjoy your diary entries 😊 must be great for you looking back too. Thank you for introducing us to Darlene, Hugh. I love the name of the place you came from Darlene, Medicine Hat. Your book cover does look beautiful 😊

    1. Yes, it’s been great reliving the memories from 1988, Sam. It’s made me wonder what happened to many of the people who were in my life back then. Sadly, people lose touch, and that’s the case with me and many who feature in these entries.

  2. Definitely liking this 1988 diary series, Hugh, It already reads like a wonderful book. Moving and renting can be stressful, and it’s lovely that you rented with those whom you know – and you’d always hope you and them would be okay with sharing personal space with each other. Also, that encounter with Julie in your last diary post was seemed quite out of the ordinary for you…and I hope there’s no bad blood between you and her.

    Love that Bryan Adams song. I remember hearing a lot of it in the 90s and for some reason always thought it came out in the 90s.

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this sneak preview into my life in 1988, Mabel.

      I’m happy to say that Julie apologised to me the following morning, so I didn’t have to worry about that problem anymore.

      I was usually very lucky with the homes I shared with housemates. Apart from the one who I think stole my chequebook and bankers’ card, all the others became great friends and people I had lots of fun with. We also shared many problems and tough times. I have fond memories of many of them.

      1. Very nice to hear that you and Julie left on good terms. She must have been really going through a hard time separating.

        It does sound like you had a good time living together with others. At times it could feel like a 24/7 sleepover 😀

    2. Even though it was released in 1985, Byran’s song got a lot of airtime in the ’90s, still does actually. I too love getting glimpses of Hugh’s life in London in 1988.

  3. Ah to think about the times I moved house when I was young. I’m sure reviewing this part of your diary brought a lot of different feelings, Hugh. Relocating then was (physically) so much easier… Even though I desperately want to move again, I cringe at how grueling it will be.
    It’s lovely to learn more about Darlene. The book cover is gorgeous. Hugs to you both. TGIF!!!

    1. I’ve moved house lots of times during my life, Teagan. I always look at it as throwing out the old and bringing in the new. It makes moving a little less stressful, but I know what you mean.
      Have a lovely weekend.
      Hugs to you.

    2. Thanks, Teagan. I’m so pleased you like the cover. Like you, I dislike moving but having moved to Spain from Canada, any other move will be a piece of cake!!

  4. How wonderful to receive such a lovely review from a child! She was really impressed with your book, Darlene! Nice song choice. Hugs & much success with your books! xx

    Hugh, I hope all is well. I wondered about that funeral too. You will fill us in, I hope. Thanks for the lovely post on Darlene. She is quite talented, isn’t she? She was on my blog recently too. hugs xx

  5. Hi Hugh, I’m sorry to hear about the funeral. I know I’ve missed a few posts. I hope it wasn’t the loss of a close friend.
    I enjoyed meeting Darlene and hearing about Amanda in Spain. What a delightful review from an eight-year-old. Such things give us great pleasure.
    The Summer of 69 is a great song. How well I remember the song and the year, though the song wasn’t released until much later. It brought back good memories of the end of school and the beginning of life. 🙂

    1. You haven’t missed any posts from this series, Norah. The death and funeral happened between the dates my last two guests chose. Now we have a situation where you’re all wondering what happened. I’ve checked some future upcoming entries, and there are some mentions about whose funeral it was. Otherwise, I’m going to have to fill in all the gaps by publishing my whole diary as a book. Something that has been mentioned quite a few times, and something I need to have a really good think about.
      That review was great, wasn’t it? I can understand why Darlene was so pleased to have received it.

  6. Great to see the lovely Darlene Foster on your blog, Hugh. Her books look so interesting and fun and I loved the review from the little girl. As for the gaps in your story, this is creating intrigue, which I can see you plan to capitalize on in a potential book. You must do it! Song choice is great and your comment about it’s meaning is one area we don’t have to wonder about. 😉

    1. I had a feeling that some of the gaps between dates would cause intrigue, Molly. They are like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, aren’t they? A book seems to be a solution to fit those missing pieces to the rest of the puzzle.
      I’m glad you mentioned the song lyrics to Darlene’s choice of song. When I listened to the song again, lots of memories came flooding back. Phew! 😉

    2. Thanks, Molly. Based on the entry post, I feel like I picked a very appropriate song. I agree, a book based on all the entries for that year would make great reading.

  7. I am glad to see that the funeral is still a mystery. I wondered what happened.
    Lovely to see Darlene here and she has great taste in music. I have seen Bryan Adams in concert three times😊

    1. There will be some hints about who’s funeral it was over the coming few months, Brigid. I maybe should have stepped in and chose a date that would have revealed the answer, as nobody chose a date between the 2nd and 12th August. However, this gives me another reason to turn this series into a book.

  8. Darlene is a citizen of the world, and thanks to her I got to meet you, Hugh!

    I love peeking into diaries and have explored some of my aunt’s secrets in her diary from the 1940s and 1950s on my blog.

    1. I love how these posts connect all my blogging buddies. Your aunt’s diaries are fascinating. You may want to consider compiling them into a book one day. Although you may have included some entries in your memoir. (soon to be published!)

  9. Lovely to see Darlene here, Hugh, and I love her song choice. One of my favourites too. You left us on a real cliff hanger with your diary entry this week.

  10. Whose funeral? Who died? These gaps are so frustrating, Hugh! I think we all want to bits in between as well as the dates chosen. Lovely to see Darlene here. I already follow her blog. Love her song choice.

  11. Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    I have been having a wonderful summer being featured on a number of great blog sites. Today I am a guest of Hugh Roberts as he shares snippets of his diary entries from 1988. Find out what song from the 80s I picked and read a wonderful review of one of my books from an eight-year-old.

  12. Terrible events? Funeral? What did we miss??? Sheesh, I hope you weren’t burned on the flat too????
    Great to see Darlene featured here today. Love the song choice! ❤ xx

  13. Great song choice by Darlene, I heard it on the radio a lot BITD! Darlene’s books look like fun and that review was both articulate and precious! Glad your adventure for searching for a home was off to a practical start, Hugh!

    1. Searching for a new home was part of a beginning of a brand new chapter of my life, Terri. Although it didn’t go to plan, it worked out well. You’ll have to come back and find out why. But I know you’ll be back.

  14. Hi, Hugh – Thank you for introducing us to Darlene and her Amanda series. I especially liked the review from Catrin. She is an incredibly articulate eight-year old!
    I am greatly enjoying your diary snippets. I am always left wanting more!!

    1. Yes, wasn’t that a wonderful review, Donna? I hope Catrin goes on to review many more books.

      I’m so pleased you’re enjoying this series. I need to seriously consider whether to publish it as a book so as to fill in all the gaps.

    2. Thanks! That review was sent to me via email and I can tell you, it made my day. She had no adult assistance with it. Children can be very articulate if given a chance.

  15. Thanks so much for featuring me, Amanda in Spain and my best feel-good summer song! Whenever I hear this song, I know it’s going to be a good day. Looks like a new chapter in your life is about to begin. But I can’t help wondering, who’s funeral??

    1. Hi Darlene. Thank you so much for being my guest this week.

      Yes, there was bad news between the last entry and this one. An event which changed my life. Nobody chose any dates between Donna’s date of last week and your date for this week. However, it may get mentioned in an upcoming entry.

  16. Hi Hugh,
    Did I fall asleep? Funeral?

    Darlene – As most people who visit Alberta, I was up in Calgary. This was back in 1963 and the whole world has changed since then. That same year I was an exchange student in Regina. It was a cold and barren area, but I remember the people being so hospitable. Great high school and my host family made me part of the family.

    1. Hi Chuck. No, you didn’t fall asleep. The last diary entry was dated 2nd August. This one is dated 12th August. Somebody did pass away between those dates, but the dates with the details were not chosen by any of my guests. I guess a book is in order to fill in all the gaps. 😀

    2. Thanks, Chuck. Calgary in 1963 was an exciting place, still is but bigger. The folks from the prairies are the friendliest people around. The extreme cold is offset by the warmth of the inhabitants. I’m sure it was a good experience for you.

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