49 Days In 1988: Week 38 – Mixed Emotions

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


London – September 25th, 1988

The move went well today. This morning I felt very excited about moving in with Simon and Rod. The house is perfect, even if a little far out from the centre of London. 

It took us all day to sort the house out. I’d never have believed that three guys could have so many possessions. By 7pm, we had the house looking exactly as we wanted. I was lucky in that I drew the long straw and got the first choice of which bedroom I wanted. Of course, I chose the biggest.

However, what a big mistake I made by coming back to Grassmere Road this evening. I know it was only to say goodbye to the other housemates still here, but it’s not exactly as if I’ll never see them all again. Why on earth I chose to stay one more night, I’ll never know, but it was the gateway to all sorts of doubts setting in.

By the time I climbed into bed to write this, my mind was full of if I’d done the right thing by moving in with Simon and Rod so quickly. I have this terrible habit of reliving all the happy memories of the past and allowing them to then sow the seeds of doubt into my mind. 

What started out as an exciting day, has ended as an unfortunate one for me.     

#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.

#writer #blogger #teaching
Writer and blogger, Norah Colvin

This week my guest is the writer and blogger, Norah Colvin.

My first contact with Norah was when I was recommended the weekly 99-word flash fiction writing challenge hosted by Charli Mills over at the Carrot Ranch. Norah was one of the original bloggers to enter the challenge, and it wasn’t long before she visited my blog after I submitted an entry after discovering it.

Norah lives in Brisbane, Austrailia, and is an experienced and passionate educator. She spends, and has spent, almost all her time thinking and learning about thinking and learning.

She has been a teacher for more years that she wishes to reveal and has worked in many different roles both in and out of formal schooling situations; including, homeschooling, classroom teaching, support teaching and educational writing.

In any role, she was always seeking ways to combine her love of teaching and writing by creating original materials to support children’s learning. She now shares thoughts on educational topics on her eponymous blog NorahColvin.com and creates and shares teaching resources for the first three years of school on her subscription-based website readilearn.com.au.

Norah also has one of her pieces of flash fiction published in the anthology The Congress Of Rough Writers, a book that featured in this series only a couple of weeks ago.

Click here to buy The Congress Of Rough Writers on Amazon UK

Click here to buy The Congress Of Rough Writers on Amazon USA.

Norah is also the sponsor of one of the upcoming flash fiction contests at the Carrot Ranch. The theme for her contest is ‘Fractured Fairytales.’ Click here for all the details.

Connect with Norah.




Connect with Norah at Readilearn, a subscription-based collection of teaching resources for the first three years of school.





#teaching #schools #teachers

Norah’s song choice is Thriller by Michael Jackson.

Released in 1984, Thriller is one of the best-known soundtracks of all time. In the song, sound effects such as a creaking door, thunder, feet walking on wooden planks, winds and howling dogs can be heard, and the lyrics contain frightening themes and elements, including a voice-over from actor Vincent Price.

Surprisingly, Thriller only became a number one hit in three countries, Belguim, France and Spain. It peaked at number four in the U.S.A and Austrailia while scrapping into the top 10 in the UK, where it peaked at number 10.

No ‘thrillers in this week’s diary entry from 1988. It seems excitement and uncertainty were both the main players in my life. Do you have a favourite song connected to an emotion? Share a link to it in the comments.

Next week, October 1988 arrives, and somebody ends up in the hospital for all the wrong reasons. Click here to find out who it is.

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    1. You’re welcome, Charli. I was very pleased that Norah accepted my invitation to participate in this feature. It already seems like a long time ago that you were featured. Will have to get you back on my blog soon.

  1. Isn’t it interesting how emotions can shift so abruptly, and how one can change from feeling happy and determined into sad and doubtful. I think you had to go back to your old place for one more night, to find closure. And, that doesn’t come without certain emotions. I had the same sensations when I chose to stay another two weeks on our sailboat after Mark left, to come to terms with abandoning that lifestyle and pondering the memories.

    On a similar note, I was in a really good mood yesterday, despite the rain and the cold. Then, I started talking and thinking about our business, which we quit, and my mood turned sour. As long as I don’t think about this topic (and I know this), all is well (and in general I’m doing pretty well with this), but once my mind ventures there, the day is ruined. Why do I go there then?

    I respect any educator and teacher, especially in combination with being a writer. Norah sounds like an amazing person and I love her song choice as well! Creating teaching materials is fun and so helpful to teachers. It reminds me of that time when I created book lesson plans for primary school teachers in the US. It was a great way to put my creativity and teaching skills to use. 🙂

    1. I have exactly the same problem when I think back to my last job, Liesebt. There were some unsavoury managerial characters there who really get my blood boiling when I think about what they did to me and other work colleagues. It can ruin my day just thinking about them and what they did. I’ve no idea why I sometimes go down this path. It seems to be some kind of self-torture.

      It looks as if Norah and you have a connection with teaching and education. I’m glad you enjoyed that part of your life and that you put your creativity and teaching skills to great use.

    2. Hi Liesbet,
      I’m pleased you enjoyed my choice of song.
      Thank you also for your encouraging words about mixing education with writing. It’s a combination I enjoy. I’d love to know about the lesson plans you wrote. I assume you were a teacher too. I always said that one of the things I loved about teaching was the opportunity to be creative. 🙂

  2. Making a move can really stir up those doubts! I tend to be my own worst enemy when I let doubts get the best of me. It sounds like it works out in the end but with a hospital factoring into the near future, it looks like it’s not an easy path to get there.

    I remember the Thriller video airing on MTV way back- we taped it on our VCR. (I’m pretty sure we still have it!)

    1. I’ve never embraced ‘change’ and never given it a chance, Kat. I always find myself looking back and asking’ what if?” when faced by it. This is despite it often bringing me opportunities I’d never have otherwise encountered. You’d think I would have learned my lesson by now. 😀

      1. It sure was! I love how it holds up to the test of time despite being so old! 🙂 I recently showed it to my 9 year old grandson and he absolutely loved it!

  3. How do I love this, let me count the ways. Norah for one ( I’m a fan) like Hugh I first found Norah at the ranch and have basked in her kind support. I have marveled at this diary series; what an act of bravery turning your diary into a serial story. I didn’t like the music of the eighties so much in the eighties but now it sure brings back-to-back the eighties. So glad we’re all still here.
    Awesome to see Norah Colvin out and about. She’s a leader of rodeos and more.

    1. Hi D. Thanks for your comments.

      Many people have told me that I’m brave sharing my diary online, but I’m enjoying the whole experience and it’s also given me the opportunity to promote other bloggers, writers and their books on my blog. Without their support (and encouragement) I most certainly would not have still been writing a blog (let alone have written and published a book). The blogging community is indeed an amazing place to be.

  4. Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    I am honoured to be featured as a guest on Hugh Roberts’ blog this week as part of his ’49 Days in 1988′ series. If you haven’t yet popped over to meet Hugh on his blog Hugh’s Views and News, please do so soon. As well as writing entertaining and often surprising stories, he is generous with his support of bloggers. Thank you for inviting me over to your place, Hugh.

  5. Not so thrilled after all, Hugh? I’m hoping things go well at the new place and the bad day was a result of the visit. Great choice of song, Norah! We got our fill of Thriller on MTV about every hour! Surprised to read it was only #4 in the US!

    1. This is probably the last we’ll hear about my accommodation problems in 1988, Terri. I think I was just dreading what the future (and the unknown) had in store for me. A new door was opening, but I didn’t want to go through it.

    2. Thanks, Terri. I’m pleased you enjoyed the song. I was also surprised it didn’t go higher in the charts. I thought it would have been #1 for weeks!

  6. Lovely to see Norah here. Her Read Learn program is a wonderful way to teach children in early childhood classes. This is the time they are the most open to learning. Good luck with this program, Norah, and your books.
    I hope things work out for you, Hugh, in your move according to your diary. Hugs to you bith🤗😘

  7. So great to see Norah featured here today Hugh. And what a timely song choice Norah! ❤ Hugh, I live by the adage – Never look back. Aging gives us such wisdom! Lol ❤

  8. Moving is traumatic, I can definitely see your last night being one of worrying if you’d made the right decision. I am guilty of looking back too much myself 🙂

    Hi, Nora;
    Great song choice. No body moves like Michael 🙂

  9. Hugh, thank you for inviting me over to your place. It’s such a delight to visit and meet all your friends. I’ve found out some interesting things about Thriller too. I thought it would have been a #1 hit for weeks. It was certainly played often enough. Or was that only in my house? 🙂
    Self-doubt is not a pleasant companion. I hope he leaves quickly. You do like to tantalise.

    1. No, I think the song is one of the most played songs ever, Norah. I don’t know anyone who would deny ever hearing it. More so, this month, because of Halloween and all those upcoming seasonal parties.

      You’re very welcome being my guest this week. It’s a real pleasure to feature you and your blogs. I’m certainly very happy that our blogging paths. crossed.

      1. Thank you, Hugh. Yes, the song will be popular this month with Halloween. Good timing! 🙂
        I’m pleased our blogging paths crossed also. I’ve learned a lot from you and read a lot of fun stories. 🙂

    1. I know. I was amazed when I did the research into the song and found out that it was only number one in two countries, George. However, it’s still a song I hear being played a lot (especially at this time of year when Halloween is around the corner). 🎃

        1. I remember when I first saw the video, George. It was played on a television in a department store I was shopping in. So many of us stopped what we were doing and watched the video all the way through – all fifteen minutes of it. I agree with you – one of the best videos ever – compelling viewing. I also loved watching the making of the video. The special effects are amazing.

    1. Thank you, Donna. It’s wonderful to meet you, too, and an absolute honour to be invited over to Hugh’s place to meet all his lovely friends.
      I agree with you about Hugh’s evening. I hope he made the right decision. Self-doubt is not a good companion.

  10. I hope that your decision turned out good, eventually. But I understand those thoughts… I am similar in that which makes it difficult to make decisions.
    Thank you, Norah, for choosing MJ!

    1. I think it also had something to do with the fear of not knowing what lay ahead, Erika. Big decisions like these go on to form a new path in our lives and we’ve no idea whether that path will be full of bumps, or just have the occasional bump on it.

      We’ll find out how it all went before this feature comes to an end in December.

      1. Gosh, Hugh, if you knew how well I can relate to this right now. Yes, definitely! Not knowing what will be and being afraid of regretting because we see that what was, was not too bad.
        That keeps me curious!

    2. Thank you, Erica. I’m pleased you enjoyed MJ too. His music was a big part of the 80s and 90s for me. Not to mention the Jackson Five in the 70s. 🙂

        1. Wow, on which tours did you see him? I saw him on the Bad tour in 1988 and then again 1997 on the HiStory tour.
          Oh, my yes, all those tribute shows. I saw the Cirque du Soleil twice. All those shows have been filled with an special energy. He was with us through the love and appreciation of everyone who was there.

        2. Now that’s a good question, Erika. I saw the Bad Tour in 1987, and then I’m not sure if it was the Dangerous or History tour in the 1990s. I’m thinking it was Dangerous. I saw the Cirque du Soleil tour a few years ago. And the Jackson Five in 73, I think. I’m a bit hazy on dates.

        3. Haha, no worries, you almost toured with him… lol. My, so you even saw him performing when he was still so young. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. You are truly a big, big fan!

  11. Hi Hugh,

    Well, Princess, I’m not sure what happened that night (hopefully we learn more), but I think you should have gone after Nigel. He did get your heart jumping (or was that something else). LOL, You did mention earlier that Simon didn’t seem all that happy about you being a roommate. I wonder where this is going now?

    I’m happy to meet Nora and I will check her sites. HUGS

    1. That was something else, Chuck. Nigel and I were only ever best friends. There was no romance between us, although we always had a great time when we went out together. We both had an eye for the same type of men, although we never (as far as I can remember) fought over one. 😀

      Hugs to you.

  12. How delightful to see Norah over here, Hugh. Great song, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was my daily diet when I was a pre-teen. You certainly had a penchant for getting yourself into a pickle, Hugh. PS my mom was asking when your next book will be out?

    1. Hi Robbie, yes my life seemed to be full of drama back in 1988. Today, not so much, but I wonder if I’ll think differently about that in 10 years time?

      Thank your mum for asking about the new book. I’m currently deep in doing all the edits and the rewrites. The plan is that it will be published in Jan/Feb 2019.

    2. Thanks, Robbie. It’s nice to see you here too. It’s such an honour to be featured on Hugh’s blog. I chuckle at your being a pre-teen fan of Thriller. I was way beyond that, but I had a teenager in the 80s and a pre-teen in the 90s who were both big fans. 🙂

  13. Love Norah.
    Love her website.
    Love her song choice!!!
    And sometimes, Hugh, it’s easy to look back. We all wear rose tinted glasses when looking upon fond memories… Or it’s easier to remember the good and filter out the bad.

    1. Thanks so much for your generous comments, Ritu. I’m pleased you enjoyed my choice of song. It may not have been my favourite from the decade but it was one that had the most impact. And I did/do love all his music.

  14. I have often been plagued with self-doubt, especially in my younger years. I do hope it all works out for you. Thriller is a good choice, Norah. Not many people are aware but it was written by two Canadian guys who have made a ton of money from this song! Now you have us all in suspense and can’t wait for next weeks entry.

    1. I had no idea that Thriller was written by two Canadian guys. It must be one of the most popular songs played, yet I was surprised to learn that it didn’t do as well as I thought it had done in the singles’ charts.

      More drama next week, but at least it has nothing to do with my recent accommodation problems.

    2. I’m pleased you enjoyed the song, Darlene. I didn’t know it was written by two Canadian guys but I’m glad they made a ton of money from it. They deserve to. How wonderful it would be to have your song taken up by Michael Jackson and made into such a hit. It’s something (or similar) many of us could only dream about.

  15. Applesauce, Hugh… what a difficult evening that must have been. The “gateway to doubts” is a powerful description. I love your choice of words. Lovely to get acquainted with Nora. Hugs to you both!

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