Common Names in English villages late 1800s-early 1900s
larainefan
Some of you may recall I am fascinated by names; indeed I am compiling my own book of (Celtic) names, I am reading Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson and came across this intriguing (to me) passage; I found it interesting:

Baptismal names were such as the children's parents and grandparents had borne. The fashion in Christian names was changing; babies were being christened Mabel and Gladys and Doreen and Percy and Stanley; but the change was too recent to have affected the names of the older children. Mary Ann, Sarah Ann, Eliza, Martha, Annie, Jane, Amy, and Rose were favourite girls' names. There was a Mary Ann in almost every family, and Eliza was nearly as popular. But none of them were called by their proper names. Mary Ann and Sarah Ann were contracted to Mar'ann and Sar'ann. Mary, apart from Ann, had, by stages, descended through Molly and Polly to Poll. Eliza had become Liza, then Tiza, then Tize; Martha was Mat or Pat; Jane was Jin; and every Amy had at least one 'Aim' in life, of which she had constant reminder. The few more uncommon names were also distorted. Two sisters named at the font Beatrice and Agnes, went through life as Beat and Agg, Laura was Lor, or Low, and Edmund was Ned or Ted.

Laura's mother disliked this cheapening of names and named her third child May, thinking it would not lend itself to a diminutive. However, while still in her cradle, the child became Mayie among the neighbours.

There was no Victoria in the school, nor was there a Miss Victoria or a Lady Victoria in any of the farm-houses, rectories, or mansions in the district, nor did Laura ever meet a Victoria in later life. That great name was sacred to the Queen and was not copied by her subjects to the extent imagined by period novelists of to-day.
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The Bob Whitaker book...
larainefan
So I got the beautiful Robert Whitaker book of photographs in the mail today...inside front cover has George and Ringo standing under a sign (in Scotland?) proclaiming 'Over 10,000 marriages performed here'....So completely sweet! :)

Juletta Was Here Part III
larainefan
...and so he starts on another topic of idle conversation. "Are you happy in these apartments?"

A pause, a shrug of the shoulders, so numb,so neutral. "I'm not happy and I'm not unhappy. It's somewhere to crash. Just a place, that's all. And I don't get attached to places." Passing along bits of info in an understated, casual way she informs, "Saw Angelica last Saturday." As an afterthought: "At the club."

At once he brightens. "Jenny's sister!"

"Not Jenny's sister. The Angelica who's Chip's wife. Chip is the bisexual I told you about who bartends on weekends. You remember. I pointed him out to you at the jazz show."

Strange to think anyone would have one, let alone two, acquaintances with the unique name of Angelica, but that's the way she is. It seems indicative of the soap-opera life she leads, only this life will never be produced on prime-time.

Sometimes they speak of men, and she looks disgusted. "Don't get me started on that subject!" And, in a serious tone, she confides, "There's someone out there for me. But he doesn't live in this city." A bit-bite of dessert, then "Maybe not even in this county!"

A fatalistic beauty, with sad luminous eyes that question everything, hair streaked by turns with dye fuschia or platinum, skin transluscent-pale from living nocturnally. When he notes the cocaine-induced bruises on the insides of her elbows, he remarks, "Aren't you afraid, shooting up like that?"

A toss of her head,and the saucy answer, "I'm not afraid of anything." But she is. And the fear forces her to drink all night, starve by day.

He loves to smell her worn clorhing left in careless piles around the room---strong fragrant perfume, stale smoke, faint drugged body sweat.

Isn't sure why he likes her. The hair she pushes out of her eyes falls back anyway. She nervously announces the contents of a gift the split-second before its opening. The piano needs tuning, the cat litter reeks.

She claims she loves children. When he brings his flesh-and-blood pride-and-joy to visit, Juletta watches in horror as the girl runs wild. Terrorized, she hides in corners, protecting lit cigarettes and glass unicorns.

He buys her a card and picks her up at the hospital after one of her breakdowns, wagging his finger admonishingly in her face. She carries her possessions out to the taxi: one stuffed bear, three balloons, a wilted bouquet, half-eaten bag of cotton candy and seven fake fingernails...

Juletta Was Here part II
larainefan
Moody weather. The sun was unrepentant that near-autumn. Cirrus clouds feathered across a sapphire-blue heaven. Earth the color of cocoa cake mix. Wet bathing suits strewn over the beachfront property, stained panties on the bathroom floor, discarded postcards on the concrete patio. Half-eaten box of assorted chocolates on the coffee-table. A pubic hair floating in toilet water, a splinter embedded in the thumb, a ladybug crawling on a fast-food counter, wedding rice scattered in an elevator, a green swizzle stick swirling in the gutter. The unusual pinky ring that Feebee sometimes wore, the dirt in her belly button. The blisters on Juletta's purplish feet, her feet strangely shapely, well-formed and fetching. Wafted tinsel hangs loosely, on the bedposts, barrettes polished gleaming in brilliant silver-spaded glory. A guy walks down a lonely expanse of railroad track, inexplicably carrying a single blue balloon; railroad tracks are always on their way to someplace else. A hawk turns gracefully on the wind.

The whole city is one mass hangover.

And still the steam rises from the asphalt.

Just Some Personal Writing; Please Disregard
larainefan
Delicate bones line the faces of the girls, not one visage unlovely, though perhaps mere caricatures of the appearances they formerly bore. It is with steady murmured undertones that they stick to their safest subjects, sometimes work, or weather, or cars, not at all what is paramount on their minds. Anything but that.

It is a weakened weekend for Tabby, who has lost her sparkle, who moves about like an old person. Increasingly couch-friendly, she is lethargic in a Grateful Dead tee-shirt, torn hose with lint on the leggings. She smells of menthol eucalyptus.

For Tabby, to even attempt to keep up the level of energy required for looking like her friends is painful, unbearable. Tabby, daunted and losing her tresses, has developed a hair fetish. Not without envy does she gaze upon her companions: Feebee, full-throated, a pretty, pouty, near-flawless beauty, bottle-blond hair, sleepy, toussled, just-tumbled out of bed hair. And Juletta, so sweet, up on tiptoes, hair ties constantly worn on wrists, hair currently bound up in a coppery jewelry piece. Oh, for the softness of that hair, sometimes reddish in the light.

Although Tabby still has her good points, most notably eyes to die for, dark and sad, and magical, bewitching eyes, she has increasingly given over to dressing in large sunglasses, headscarves covering her scalp. She has become a bejewelled skeleton, tossing restless in the night.

Thomas Hardy Poem
larainefan
Never to bid good-bye
Or lip me the softest call,
Or utter a wish for a word, while I
Saw morning harden upon the wall
Unmoved, unknowing
That your great going
Had place that moment, and altered all.

Carol Bedford, Excerpts 5,6,7,8
larainefan
5. (Carol has a new job, and she and George have lost touch for several months. The following is probably one of the most bizarre telephone conversations ever)

I put George through on the reception desk phone. I sat on the floor in front of the desk. Most unbecoming, I know...I simply felt I'd have less of a distance to crash-land when I inevitably fell over.

"Hello?" I asked the receiver.

"Hello?" I heard back. I didn't say anything, so he continued, "Is this Carol? Carol from Texas?"

"Yes. George?"

"Yes, I'm George. George from Esher. Do you remember me?"

I couldn't believe this. "Yes, Harrison, isn't it?" I whispered. After all, I was sitting in the middle of a record company reception.

"Yes," he said firmly. "How are you?"

"Fine," I said. "How are you?"

"Fine," he reciprocated. Silence. Then he said with added emphasis, "How ARE you, really?"

"I'm really fine," I said. "And you?"

"Yes, I'm fine, too," he said.

This was heady stuff. Whatever nerves I did have, I now no longer had. Silence. Pause.

He coughed and, yes, you guessed it, asked, "So you're fine, are you?"

At this point, I laughed and said, "George, this is ridiculous. You've asked me three times how I am and i've said fine. We've got to branch out or we'll both go to sleep!"

He laughed and said "I agree. I just don't know what to say. I mean I wasn't sure what my reception would be."

"I know. I give you points for bravery, but I can't bite you over the phone."

"Yes, you can," he laughed.

"Well then, I won't," I laughed.

"I'd like to see you," he said softly.

Now I knew I was dreaming. "Oh?" I said. It was all I could think of at the time.

"Yes," he said firmly and loudly.

"Where, when?" I asked. A date with George? Unheard of.

"I'm recording at present, at Apple. You remember where it is?"

"Vaguely," I replied.

"Could you come to the studio tonight?"

I thought a minute and said, "George, I don't wait out anymore, for anyone."

"Oh, I know. I don't mean wait outside. I'd like you to come and see me. Come straight into the studio. It's down the basement stairs. Tell the security guard to get me out of the session."

"I'd hardly interrupt your recording, George. All I meant was I wouldn't wait out all night to say 'goodnight' and see you drive off. I'll come and wait in reception for you."

"Great!" he said with real feeling. "What time?" he asked.

"is sixish okay?" I asked, thinking I might be a little late leaving work.


6. We went through a narrow passage. I hadn't a clue where I was supposed to go, so I stopped. George moved around me and led the way to a door at the far end of the passage. He opened the door and let me pass into the room.

It wasn't a large room. It wasn't exactly tiny either."Cosy' is the word to describe it, maybe due to the orange paint and subdued lighting. There were musical instruments all over the place. There were microphones and amplifiers. On the wall beside the door we had just entered was the control room. It was on a floor above us and had a glass panel so people in each room could see the people in the other. This was a recording studio all right.

George motioned for me to sit down. There were two chairs beside the piano. I sat down, and George sat beside me.

Mal came in and said "Carol, it's so good to see you again. It's been a long time."

"Thank you, Mal," I smiled.

George looked at Mal and snapped, "Mal---teas!"

Mal winked at me and left the room. Well, if George wanted to see me alone, we were certainly alone now. I waited.

George coughed and asked, "So, how are you?"

I thought, "oh no, not this conversation again" but I said "well, a lot's happened since I saw you last. I work at A&M now, as you know. And I've been back to Dallas."

"To see your folks? How are they?"

"They're fine. Billy loved All Things."

"How is Billy?" George asked.

"He's fine. He finished his degree in psychology. He's doing a doctorate now, on the mental state of Charles Manson."

"That should keep him busy," George laughed.

"Yes, it's got everything Billy's interested in: mass murder, sex, violence and witchcraft."

"he's interested in witchcraft?" George looked amazed.

"Yes. He found a black kitten and named in Diablo, another name for the devil."

"My God," George said quietly. Then he brightened and asked, "And how's Dallas?"

"Oh, I enjoyed it. I even saw Kent," I laughed.

"Kent?"

"yes, my first..." I hesitated and then thought, what the hell, I finished my sentence, "My first lover."

"Oh!" George shouted at me. "Superman!"

I interpreted his comment as anger or jealousy. "No just a person who understands me," I snapped back.

"Here's the tea," Mal boomed from behind us. He had heard the disagreement.

George coughed nervously, and said he'd be back in a minute. He wanted to make a phone call.

When he left, Mal sat down and laughed.

"What's so funny?" I asked him.

"You and George. For two people who like each other so much, you two can really upset one another."

I laughed too. Mal's insight summed up our relationship.

"I thought I should tell you who he's phoning," Mal said.

"That's none of my business," I said.

"Oh, but it is," Mal smiled. "Pattie phoned earlier to ask if George would attend some modeling show of hers tonight. He said he couldn't make it and thought that would be the end of it. But Pattie said she'd drop by to see him. he's phoning her now to tell her not to."

"Why ever not?" I was astounded.

"Because you're here. Pattie wouldn't like that," Mal said softly.

George came back in. He was smiling. I assumed that his mood over Kent had passed, as well as any nervousness he might have felt from expecting Pattie any minute.

I sipped my tea and lit a cigarette. George looked at me with a shocked expression. Then I realized he had never seen me smoke.

"Since when do you smoke?" he asked.

"Oh, since I got upset about something. Instead of commiting suicide outright, I thought I'd die by degrees."

"It's a killer all right," George said. "You shouldn't smoke," he added.

"Look who's calling the kettle black," I laughed.

George looked at me in surprise. "Why do you say that?"

"Oh, George, come on. You smoke, drink and take drugs."

"I don't now," he said.

I stared at him, so he explained. "Krishna teaches a person to purify his body and thoughts, so I'm trying to live up to his teachings. I've given up sex."

I looked astonished. This was a guy who would fish-tail across four lanes of highway to offer a ride to an attractive blonde. He continued, "Yes, I have. Six months now I've been celibate. I no longer drink or take drugs. I only drink three cups of tea a day. Tea contains Drugs too, you know. And I only smoke three cigarettes a day."

"He's driving us all nuts!" Mal laughed.

"I'm trying anyway," George said, sounding hurt.

"Yes, George, I can see that," I said quietly. "But six months of such strictness could be followed by two years of wild binges to make up for the lost time. You could go wild!"

George laughed at this, but I persisted.

"Aristotle said moderation was best in all things. Why don't you try that? It's easier, more realistic and therefor, might last longer. You know you could manage that, like the three teas instead of no tea at all. That way of life could become permanent.

George had listened attentively. He even nodded once or twice to indicate that he understood what I was saying. But I doubted that I was making an impression.

This was confirmed when he said, "I get up at 4am to shower. Then I meditate for two hours. I take another shower after. I'm up to three showers a day."

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness?" I asked.

"Krishna said we should be clean in mind, soul and body."

"I see." I didn't, but why hurt him by saying so. I had already told him what I thought.

I felt the chasm between us had grown. Only now it was not the distance between pop star and fan, but the distance between religious fanaticism and disbelief. This gap we would never close.

7. A couple of days later, I came out of the bath to find there was a telephone call for me. One of the boys from downstairs was holding the receiver. he said, "a call for you. It's a guy."

I said 'hello' in the phone and heard Mal's voice.

"Oh, Mal!" I said, surprised.

"Yes. Were you expecting someone else?" he asked.

Well, obviously, I was hoping it was George, but I didn't want to hurt Mal's feelings so I said, "Of course now. It's nice to hear from you. And you're welcome for the present."

He laughed and said "Yes, I did call to thank you. George was jealous of my gift."

"Was he? I didn't mean to cause jealousy. It's just that he said he didn't drink. I'd hate to tempt the righteous," I laughed.

"Well, ah...Can we come over?" he abruptly changed the subject.

George and Mal come over? I nearly died while holding the phone. "Of course," I mumbled.

"We'll be there in half an hour," he said and hung up.

I raced up the stairs to my room. How did Mal get the phone number? I had only recently moved. I guessed that if he had the phone number, he somehow had the address. But how? Maybe Margo gave it to him.

Once in my room, I threw clothes in the wardrobe, vacuumed in seconds flat, opened the windows to get the smoke out, and sprayed myself with perfume. Then I noticed I still only had a towel around me, as I had just come from the bath. What could I wear? I flung the wardrobe doors open.

"Nothing to wear," I mumbled, staring at a wardrobe full of clothes. "Dress casual," I thought. "After all, you're at home." I put on jeans and a blouse, I ended up changing the blouse for a sweater and then back to the blouse again.

By this time the door bell sounded, I was exhausted. I knew George would be embarrassed if someone else answered the door, so I raced down the stairs. One of the boys from the ground floor flat was on his way to the door.

"Wait!" I screamed. "I'll get it."

He stopped dead in his tracks. "Don't tell me you do have a boyfriend," he laughed. When I didn't answer, he took the hint and disappeared back into his room.

I opened the door, and Mal, only Mal, was standing there. No George.I was surprised. If it was just Mal coming, why didn't he say so?

"It's just me, I'm afraid," he smiled.

He had lied, using George's name to make sure he would be welcome. That was silly. The trick only succeeded in making me cross. But I tried to feel sympathetic to his doubts.

"Come in," I said brightly.

I led the way to my room. Mal sat in the chair by the bay window. I made him a cup of tea and sat on the bed across the room.

"George wants you to move to Los Angeles," he said without any warm up conversation. "he has an apartment there you could have."

"Why?" I asked.

"He can't take you out places here. You know, he'd like to take you out to restaurants and places, but he's married. Reporters are everywhere."

"He could come here," I said pointedly.

Mal retorted. "he's afraid someone will see him coming here."

"That's ridiculous!" I said.

After all, he had come to visit me in my last bedsit, which was practically next door to the studio. No one would expect him in West Hampstead, where I lived now.

To illustrate my point, and because I was still angry with Mal for his lie, I walked to the windows. I had not drawn the curtains, so I looked out into the street and said, "I don't see any BBC cameras out there."

Mal stuck to his story. "George can't get a divorce right now, so he doesn't want to be seen with some other girl."

"Why now right now? What's he waiting for, the great flood?"

"He doesn't want to lose the house. If she petitions him, the house goes to her," Mal explained.

That made sense. The house in Henley had assumed an unusual importance to George. It used to be a monastery. The light switches were friar's faces. There were underground tunnels and even an altar in one room. The man who had owned the house originally was called Sir Frankie Crisp. On George's album he had done a song for old Sir Frankie. He even claimed Sir Frank gave him messages.

"Why doesn't he sue her then?" I asked.

Mal chose not to answer.

"I'm no one's mistress, Mal, not even George's," I said. I was furious. I didn't know if George had made this offer through Mal or Mal was testing me in some way. Whichever it was, I was mad.

"Tell him to go to hell," I said. "And perhaps you'd better leave."

Mal looked pleased by my outburst. "Come over here," he said.

When I moved over to his chair, he pulled me into his lap! I was shocked and tried to get up. But Mal was a big man. He started kissing me. I tried to push against him to get distance between us, but he held me tightly.

"Sounds like you're not so crazy over George anymore. Good. That leaves room for me," he said.

"No!" I screamed.

Mal looked at me in surprise. He had dropped his grip, so I was able to get up. I went to the door and opened it. I screamed "Get out!"

Mal objected, but while I was screaming, the four boys from downstairs had come up to my room.

I'm sure Mal was large enough to fight them off, but he chose to go quietly.

I was so upset after he left. Cuddly, teddy-bear Mal had just tried to force himself on me. Had he made up the suggestion of the Los Angeles flat or did George send him to make the offer, just as George had got him to call me one other time?

It if was George's idea, then I was shattered. I mean, where was Krishna while that offer was being made? Did he think so little of me to suggest such a thing? He'd keep his sanctimonious marriage in England and his mistress (or mistresses) in the States? Would he think more of me since i said no, since I could not be bought for the price of an apartment?

I was never to find out if George asked Mal to come, or if Mal did so off his own bat. I would see George again, but not to speak to. I would also receive a note from him, but it concerned something else. So this mystery remains unsolved.

8. I entered the art department. No one was in the outer office. It was late, so they must have gone home. Fabio's office door was open and the office was well lit. I saw Fabio and, when I moved to the right side of the door, I saw George.

He looked well. He was wearing jeans and a lovely orange and blue silk jacket that only reached his hip. He didn't see me; he was busy studying artwork. It would have been so easy just to step inside the office and say hello to him. I knew he would have responded kindly. He probably knew nothing about Mal's visit to me. Even if he did, he would not mention it.

It would have been so easy. Maybe that's why I didn't do it. I stood looking at him and wondered why this person had assumed such an unnatural importance in my life. He looked so normal, frail even, his head bent down over the desk. I savoured these moments, just looking at him without his knowing it.

Carol Bedford, Excerpts Three and Four
larainefan
3. Apple Christmas Party (not the Hell's Angels one)
George turned his head and saw me. He excused himself from the two men and came walking towards me. I made a move to grab Nancy's arm, but she had already moved further away in order to make room for George. He stepped into the waiting gap and placed his arm around my waist. He gently pushed me into the narrow area where the filing cabinets made a small box square. This almost made a separate room, we were cut off from the larger room where couples were frantically dancing. George stepped in front of me and leaned on the wall. He then pulled me closer in front of him.

"I'm drunk, so I need to prop myself up," George explained. "If I don't lean on the wall, I think I'll fall over. I haven't been this drunk since I was fourteen." George started giggling.

"I'm sorry my letter was so strong, but you really pissed me off that night."

"Yeah. I was confused by your letter," he said. "What did you think I said?"

"You said 'it's warm in there'---the studio. It was like you were putting us down for waiting out in the cold for you. I mean, I know you don't encourage us to wait out for you, but I thought you didn't mind. It really hurt our feelings that you were putting us down for it."

I was breathless from my long speech. The anger was rising again, and I didn't want it to. he was really being very nice.

"That's not what I said, and that's certainly not what I meant," he smiled in a conciliatory way. "the heat had been turned off in the studio. The thermostat was broken or something. We were freezing! When I came outside, it seemed warmer out than in. I looked into the studio and the orange lights made it look so warm and cosy. What I said was 'It looks so warm in there.' I was making a statement. It LOOKED warm, but wasn't. Of course, you weren't to know that. But I'd never put you down. What you do is your choice, not mine. But since you brought it up, I think you should quit waiting out. I mean you can't get anywhere with it, can you?" He smiled, putting his face close to mine. His right hand, index finger only, stroked my left breast, hesitated on the nipple. Somehow it seemed innocent, like he was offering comfort and no more.

"How could I stop waiting out? I'd never see you again," I said.

"Just WALK AWAY, like the song says," he laughed. (Margo later gave me the Matt Munro single). "Anyway," he said seriously, "if you think of me, I'll be there. I'm with you always, in here," he tapped my breast gently and removed his hand.

"I'm not sure what you mean by that. It would be impossible to 'get over' you. Every time I turn on the radio, I'll hear your voice. How can I forget someone I hear all the time or see in the papers?" I looked at him. He was listening intently, staring deep into my eyes. Was he just trying to focus, or was he trying to read something in my eyes that was not in my words?

"I'll always be with you. We're part of each other. I wrote a song about us the other day. It goes like this: 'I,I, love you. You, You, You love me.' We're together always. We're in each other. You don't need to see me walk out of a building, do you?"

"I don't know, George. It's nice of you to think of me as a part of yourself, but I think I'd miss SEEING you."

"But if you need me, I'll know and I'll come. What more can I do?"

"I'm not asking you to do anything," I said.

"Yes, you are. You all are. You put a subtle pressure on me just by being there. I can't take each of you, or even just the girls that like me, on a six-month cruise around the world. Can I?"

"I'm not asking you to. We don't mean to put pressure on you."

"I know you don't. I enjoy all of you being there, saying hello and goodbye. But I also want all of you to get on with your own lives. I mean, you, for instance. You know who you remind me of?"

"No, who's that?"

"Pattie's mother, my mother-in-law."

"Oh, gee, thanks, George. That's great. You probably hate her."

"No, no. There you go again---jumping to conclusions. I like Pat's mother. She's pretty in a classic way. What I mean is: you should be married with three children," he smiled. His eyes looked like he was pleading.

"Find me a husband and I'll consider it," I laughed.

"Well, there's lots of guys here, in this room, who fancy you. You block them all out to talk to me," he said. Then he added, "I've got to sit down before I fall down."

I pulled a chair over for him. As he sat down, he saw Margo. "Margo!" he shouted. She looked at George and then at me. She smiled, winked at me and looked at George.

"Here," he said, holding out his empty glass to her. "Can you take this?"

"Once a kitchen help, always a kitchen help," Margo whispered in my ear as she took the glass.

I noticed that George was looking at Janet. She had just arrived from New York for a month of Beatle-watching. She was hovering close by and kept staring at us.

"You know," George said. "The New York girls won't speak to me. Why do you think they won't talk to me?"

"First, Apple Scruffs see you on a day-to-day basis, not once a year, so we're more comfortable with you. Second, do you try to talk to them?"

"Yes, I do. I try 'hello' and 'how are you?' and they just look at me. They say nothing and they stare at me like I'm speaking a foreign language or something."

"Maybe you are!" I laughed. He looked so hurt, so I quickly added, "they're just embarrassed about you. They don't know what to say, that's all."

"What about my embarrassment?" he retorted. "I get embarrassed too, especially when I speak to someone and they just look through me."

I looked around the dance room, I couldn't hear the tinkling of glasses anymore. The room was empty.

"Where's everyone gone?" I asked him.

"Oh, upstairs, I guess. There's a cabaret. Do you want to see it?"

"No," I said. I looked around. I was alone with George. I couldn't believe my luck, but then again I could be alone with him even in a room packed with people. Then I thought I might be boring him: maybe he feels he's stuck with me.

"Of course, if you want to see the cabaret, please do. You don't have to stay here with me," I said.

"No, I don't want to see the show. And," he smiled. "I'd rather sit here talking to you."

I was sitting on the floor beside his chair. "Oh, I forgot," I said as I reached behind me to get the box. "Your Christmas present," I added, laying the box across his knees.

"Thank you," he said. "What is it?"

"You should wait until Christmas morning, but I'll tell you. A book I've made for you."

"That's different. You made it for me?" I nodded. "Then I want to make sure it's safe," he said. He stood up and opened a drawer in the file cabinet and placed the present inside. "I'll collect it tomorrow when I come in. I'll be sober then," he laughed and sat back down.

The room started filling up again. I could see Margo and Jill sitting at the opposite end of the room. Jill waved. I smiled in return. Then I saw Margo signal frantically, pointing behind me. Too late, I saw Janet approach from behind me to sit on the floor in front of George. George looked as annoyed as I was, and he moved his feet under the chair so as not to touch her.

"Hello, George. I haven't seen you tonight," she said, fluttering her eyelashes and attempting to giggle.

"I don't know how that can be. You've walked by several hundreds of times and seemed to be trying to get my attention," George said.

Janet placed her wine glass on George's thigh. She then tipped the glass, so the wine seeped into his jeans. As if this wasn't enough, she started wiping his thigh with exaggerated strokes of her hand.

George grabbed her hand. "That's fine, Janet. Leave it," he said. "It'll dry by itself."

"Oh, George, I'm so sorry," she cooed.

"I bet you are," he said and looked at me.

I was fuming. Not only had she interrupted our conversation, but this scene with the drink made me want to choke her---preferably by ramming the glass down her throat. George noticed. He laughed and stroked my cheek gently with the tips of his fingers.

"It's OK. Don't worry," he whispered. "Janet," he called loudly, "You're a groupie, aren't you?"

Janet looked astounded, but her sudden stammerings of "No, you're ah, mistaken" were a definite sign that George was right.

"Yeah, you are," he continued. "I remember. New York. Backstage at a Cream concert. I went to see Eric. And you went off with one of the boys," he laughed.

Whatever was happening, it was hitting home. Janet became nervous. She vehemently denied every word George said. She denied it so strongly that I knew it was true.

"Did I tell you the girls from New York don't speak to me?" George turned to me.

He winked. He knew he had told me about the New York girls, but he wanted Janet to hear. She was from New York and it seemed George was making a subtle insult.

"I don't think they understand me," he said and looked over at Janet.

She still wasn't moving to leave. George looked annoyed.

"Carol, I'll see you later. I'm going to get a drink and circulate." He got up from the chair and walked through the door into the bar room.

4. A couple of nights later around 7:30 pm, after I had eaten, the doorbell rang. I went to the front door. When I opened it, there he was grinning from ear to ear. He had short cropped hair, shorter than I had ever seen it. His rumoured big ears were showing slightly. He had on a thick turtle-neck sweater, jeans and a long mid-calf quilted coat.

Before I could gather my wits, George stepped into the threshold and threw his arms around me! I was shocked. I hugged him back. We stood like this for several minutes. Then he stepped back to look at me. I was wearing jeans with a soft, fluffy pink sweater. I was embarrassed. Here was George, with me, alone. Now what?

"Come in," I said. "My room's just at the end of the hall."

I led; George followed. My room was tiny. When you walked through the door, the bed was in front of you. Book shelves were behind the head of the bed, lining the window. There was a sink, cooker and wardrobe going around the three remaining walls of the room. The only place to sit was the bed.

"Can I take your coat?" George slipped out of it in an embarrassed, shy manner. I hung it up on the back of the door. "Have a seat," I said, gesturing to the bed.

He sat on the very edge, as if frightened. It began to hit me that he was as nervous about this as I was. This took a while to seep it. I somehow had the idea that, as a Beatle, he was used to women, women's rooms, etc. and he would always be charming and oozing with casual lightness in such situations. But looking at him now, almost shaking with nerves, I realized he was very normal.

"Would you like tea or coffee?" I asked him.

"Tea would be nice. Thank you," he smiled. He looked relieved to have something to say.

I had a huge box of matches for the gas cooker. I was nervous, too, and making tea had never been my strong point. I picked up the box and when I opened it matches fell all over the floor. The box had been upside down when I opened it. I was so embarrassed, but George roared with laughter. I laughed, too, and then I knew the ice had been broken.

George leapt off the bed, still laughing, and bent down to help me pick up the matches. We placed them back in the box.

"George, I'm so sorry, I don't entertain much."

"hey, that's okay. It doesn't matter. I do it all the time."

I lit the stove, put the kettle on and sat on the bed to wait for it to boil. George sat back on the end of the bed.

"You look very well," George said.

"It's you I'm worried about," I laughed. "that picture of you in the paper looked so awful."

"Oh, the accident," George sighed and leaned back on the wall. "I ran into a roundabout at 90 mph! The roundabout had been moved!"

I laughed and said, "What do you mean, the roundabout had been moved? I heard you hit it because of the electricity black out."

"There was that, too." There were no street lights. But there was construction work going on. I knew the work included the moving of the roundabout but I thought it would be positioned further up the road. Instead, they moved it back down the road. All of a sudden, in the dark, I was on top of it and I couldn't stop. So I ploughed into it!"

"What did you do when you realized that you had had an accident?"

"Well, I hit my head on the windscreen and my ribs into the wheel. I didn't know I was hurt, though. But when I looked over to check Pattie, she was out cold. She was slumped over the gear shift. I knew I had to phone an ambulance. I tried my door, but it was stuck. So I had to get out of Pat's door and she was in the way."

"What did you do then?" I asked.

"I tried to move the back of her seat further down on her gently, so I could crawl from the back seat and out her door. It worked; I got out."

"Didn't that force her even more down onto the gear shift?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "I tried to be careful, but I knew she needed help so I had to get out."

I asked him if she was okay now and he said she had spent two weeks in a nursing home.

"She was okay," George said. "She had concussion and some broken ribs. I was worried while she was lying unconscious, but once she came to I knew she was okay. She's back home now and she's fine."

"How are you?" I asked. He looked very pale and thin.

"I had eight stitches in my head," George said. "They had to cut a section of my hair to get to the cut, so I had the rest cut off." He moved his hair back off his forehead, and I could see the scar.

"that's not too bad. The scar will fade more and more. Anyway, it's covered by your hair."

"Yeah. The cut didn't bother me. But I've had some trouble with my shoulder since the accident," he said.

"Your shoulder?"

"yes, I guess I had it stiff because I was holding the wheel with this arm. When I collided, I didn't feel anything at the time. But I started getting a stiffness, and even some pain, if I played the guitar for any time at all." George began to rub the shoulder.

"That could be bad, since you're a guitar player," I said. "What are you doing about it?"

"I'm going to a doctor who deals with injuries like this. He's the physician to Liverpool Football Club, and he sees this kind of thing all the time. He massages it."

"I went to my usual doctor today for a check-up," George said cheerfully.

"Is everything okay?"

George started giggling. "The minute I walked in, he said 'Take all your clothes off'. He then gave me a complete examination."

"maybe he was worried, after the accident and all," I suggested.

"Maybe," George agreed. Then his voice lowered, as if sharing a deep, dark secret. "He stuck his hand up my arse!"

"A rectum examination," I offered George the correct term.

I could tell by George's expression that he had never heard of it and was very suspicious.

He said, "I don't know what it's called. I just knew I couldn't believe it was happening. I felt he was molesting me."

"It is a routine examination," I told him.

I was sitting with my back to the bookshelves and was a bit surprised when George, without warning, leaned over my lap to grab a book off the shelves. The book was a large hardback about Krishna. George opened to the introductory letter he had written for the book. He set the book between us and read his letter out loud, pointing with his finger and emphasizing certain sections.

"Each soul is potentially divine," reminded me of the time he gave me Yogananda's book. he had said then, "God is in all of us." George had also said he wanted to see Christ. In the book, he wrote "If there's a God, I want to see him." At the Christmas Party, George had told me if I thought of him, he would be with me. He writes of God, "He is actually there, actually with you."

Krishna had associations with the milkmaids. Among these maids was his favourite, a girl called Radha. When George finished reading, he closed the book and said to me, "I want you to be my Radha." I was silent---did this mean George thought he was Krishna?

"I'd better get going," George smiled and stood up.

It was late now. He'd be expected home. After he put on his coat, he turned to face me. I was standing now as well. He looked shy. he stepped towards me and placed his arms around me. He pulled me close to him. I thought he just wanted to hug me, as he had when he arrived. But he kissed me. Needless to say, I happily responded.

Two things amused me and endeared him to me more than ever. One was I had expected George to be Mr Cool and yet, when he nervously moved forwards to kiss me, he stepped on my foot. Again, he was more nervous than I was. Second, George smiles with one side of his face. It's a kind of crooked, shy grin. He kisses the same way, using one side of his mouth. It somehow suits him.

When he left at the main door, he pulled his collar up to hide.

"You'd better hide," I laughed. "Jane Asher's mother lives across the street."

"Oh, God," he laughed. "I'll see you soon," he said and left.

Carol Bedford Book, Excerpts One and Two
larainefan
A few people had mentioned Carol Bedford's book, I'm going to type some excerpts relating to her friendship with George, anyone is welcome to comment. Bear with me, I'm working on a borrowed, substandard computer.

1. "Fancy running into you here!" I heard the driver call out to me.

I looked up into George's face. I couldn't figure out what was happening. he had driven off in his normal direction which was opposite to the route I took to get home. I figured that he must have driven to the end of the street, turned right, gone about two blocks, turned right again in order to be coming up this street now. Two blocks! Mal WAS asking where I lived for George and not himself! George had driven exactly two blocks. I couldn't believe it. George wanted to know where I lived.

I walked up to the car window. George sat, smiling.

"On your way home?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "I live just a few houses down."

"How ARE you?" George asked. He was no longer smiling, but looking at me intently.

"Fine," I hesitated. "Well, sort of," I added.

George said, "Yes, I know what you mean. Life can get depressing."

"You get depressed?" I asked softly.

"Sometimes. People don't turn out like you want them to. Life doesn't turn out like you expect."

"Yes. That's true enough. It is hard keeping your head above water," I smiled.

"I have something I wanted to give you," George said. He reached into the back seat and handed me a book through the window. "It'll help you," he said.

I looked at the cover. It was Autobiography of a Yogi, by Yogonanda.

"I've read it about seven times," George smiled. "I give copies to friends, the ones I think will benefit from reading it."

"It's lovely. Thank you very much. I'll read it as soon as I can. Thank you for sharing it with me." I kept thinking that he'd never given Lucy a book. I must mean something to him.

"I want you to remember something that will help you," George said seriously. "God is in you and everyone. We all have God in us."

I felt tears coming to my eyes. I felt that yes, George certainly had a bit of God in him to want to help people he barely knew. I felt less sure about myself.

"Does the book explain the Krishna faith?" I asked.

"Well, the 'Krishna faith' as you call it is just a blend of Hindu and Christianity. Yogananda is a blend too, but he's not part of the Krishna beliefs. I mean, Yogananda lived before the Krishna temple was founded. But he believed in Christ. There's a part in the book where he sees Christ. It's beautiful. If I could have one wish come true," George hesitated, blushed and then continued, "I'd love to see Christ."

At first, I thought this was pompous, but looking at his childlike grin I realized he did not mean it that way. He really DID want to see Christ.

"Maybe after this life," I said, thinking of judgment day.

"I think I'm too impure," George said. "I started meditating many years ago. Krishna felt one should follow a strict routine to purify yourself, rise and bathe at 4am, meditate until six, shower again. No sex, no booze, no drugs and constant prayer. I've tried but I guess I'm too weak."

"At least you try," I said.

George smiled. "you're very kind," he said. "I'd better go," he added and started up the engine. Only then did I realize he had turned the engine off and we had been talking for quite a while.

"You're really going to work now?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "thank you again for the book, George. It's the nicest present I've ever had."

"It'll make your life easier once you realize God is in you. The book will help you to see that. Then when people seem a disappointment, do what I do."

"What's that?"

"I tell myself they have God in them, even if they don't know it."

"Thank you, George. I'll remember."



2. I was looking up the street towards Piccadilly Circus in hopes of seeing the bus. Then I caught my breath---George's white Mercedes was coming down the street. I quickly tried to think. Why, after leaving Apple ages ago, was he just now driving up the street? I decided that he must have gone to Trident Studios first.

I saw the car speeding towards me. He fish-tailed across two lanes of traffic to pull to my side of the road and stopped just past the bus stop. I wasn't sure what to do. I mean, did he stop because of me? Had he even seen me? Was I egotistical to presume he had? I walked to the car anyway. He leaned over the passenger seat and swung the door open. I just stood there on the pavement, staring.

He was lying across the passenger seat, looking up at me. "Can I give you a lift anywhere?" he called, smiling his toothy grin.

"Oh, I don't know what direction you're going in. I was going home."

"Abbey Road, isn't it?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Get in. I think I can find it," he laughed.

I got in and shut the door. I was still shocked. None of the Apple Scruffs had ever been allowed near George's car, even less in it. I was in such close proximity to him. I could even smell him; he smelled lovely, not like anyone else. It was an incense smell, but also flowery-fresh as opposed to powdery.

I tried not to look at him. I looked straight ahead and kept trying to see him out of the corner of my eye. But he was out and out staring at me. He was driving and not looking at the road. He wasn't even facing the road, but had turned his body half towards me and only had one hand on the wheel. I was trying to decide philosophically if being this close to George was worth dying for. But he interrupted my thoughts.

"Where did the girls go?"

"I don't know," I answered.

Just then we both saw the girls, all in a group, walking up Regent Street towards Oxford Circus. I know George saw them, but he didn't say so. He knew something was going on between myself and the girls, and I think he simply wanted to avoid embarrassing me by referring to it.

He drove straight up Regent Street, past Broadcasting House, the BBC's head office, and on across Marylebone Road into Regent's Park. It was peaceful driving along with the surrounding trees and the Mercedes' silent engine. George put on Dylan's tape New Morning again.

When Dylan sang the title song, George leaned forward and turned up the volume to emphasize a section---'So happy just to see you smile underneath the sky of blue.' I smiled, remembered that George had once said to me, "one smile is worth all the presents you could give me."

"Your letter seemed sad," George said.

(I had written George a letter to tell him how much I enjoyed the book he had given me. I went on in the letter to say I valued his friendship; he was one of the first people I had met in England, after Margo and Jill, to offer me friendship. I would always remember him fondly for this kindness, since I still felt very alone.

I also wrote that it was difficult having a normal conversation with him with so many people around. This made building the friendship hard. I'd like to be able to treat him like I do Margo and Jill, that is, I can throw my arms around them and tell them 'I love you' and not feel funny about it).

"Sometimes," George continued, "I worry that you might do something. You kind of sounded desperate when you said you were alone. Your eyes are sad. You should smile more."

"yes, I do get depressed sometimes," I said.

"Boy, if you think you get depressed," George interrupted, "you should see how I feel most of the time. If anyone should feel suicidal, it's me!"

"you don't look it. What's so bad in your life?" I asked.

"You should have been there in the old days, the Beatle days. It was crazy. I mean the tours, especially in America. The hotels were like a scene from one of Fellini's films. Hundreds of girls queuing up to be with us. You know, have sex. It was awful," he said, shaking his head.

"I never realized it was that bad. I knew there were pressures."

"Pressures! Oh my God! Don't talk about pressures. You've no idea. Everywhere I go, people stare. People always hit on you for favours. They seem to think you can save them. We used to get cripples backstage and they wanted us to touch them, as if our touch would make them walk again. It was so embarrassing, so crazy. To keep our sanity, we just laughed. Especially John, who started laughing about it all. He'd shout 'It's the cripples again!' and we'd all fall about laughing. What have you got to feel bad about?"

"Oh, I guess not much compared to the Beatles. My mother's not well sometimes. One minute she loves me, the next she's cursing me out. Sometimes we're the best of friends and sometimes she acts like she hates me. The changes are unpredictable, so I get insecure."

"Well," George laughed. "I admit I've never had that. My family like was calm. But look on the bright side..."

"What's that?" I asked, turning to look at him.

"If you can survive that, you can survive anything. You'll be OK," he smiled.

We had turned into Abbey Road and driven past EMI studios. George asked my address and I told him the number of the house. he found it and parked the car in front. I wasn't sure if I should invite him in for a coffee or just get out of the car and say 'goodnight.' George solved the problem. He turned off the engine and car lights and just sat there.

"You know, I put my jeans out on the clothes line today and some girl stole them. Is that crazy? I wouldn't mind so much but it was my favourite pair of jeans."

He wanted to talk about the pressures. I didn't know how to help, because I didn't have the experience. I was beginning to see for the first time just what it meant to be one of the Beatles. I thought before how it must be nice to have success so young: no financial or career worries for the rest of your life. But George was showing the other side, the real side: what you had to pay to be rich and famous. I wanted to help.

"George, if ever you do get depressed, I have an address," I paused. I wasn't sure how he'd take my suggestion. I had recently started psycho-analysis for my depression. The Tavistock Clinic was considered the best in the world and had a 24-hour emergency service. But how could someone like George ever be psycho-analysed? His experiences were too unique for 'normal' people to understand. What George was referring to was a normal reaction to what was going on around him.

I gave him the address and telephone number anyway. I told him that I doubted if he was into head-shrinkers. It just might come in handy some lonely night if he didn't know where to turn. George accepted the piece of paper graciously. He seemed grateful for my offer of help. The offer itself seemed to be important, not what the help consisted of.

"How's your home life?" I ventured to ask.

"It's crazy, too. I mean, I love the people I live with. I really do. I just can't live with them," he sighed.

I didn't know if he was referring to his wife, Pattie. We rarely saw them together, and when we did, we could tell the marriage was slipping. Or was he talking about the other people he lived with? Terry Doran was his personal assistant. Besides Terry, members of George's family lived with him. There were also several Indian musicians that George was supporting. It seemed George was supporting a lot of people one way or another. So, I decided to lay it on the line.

"You should get rid of all the hangers-on. A lot of people are using you. They drink your blood for breakfast."

"That's true," he said. "But it's easier said than done to get rid of them. I do love these people. I guess what bothers me is I feel responsible for them. Like, will I be able to support them when the bubble bursts?" he laughed.

Just then two girls walked by on the other side of the road. They were not even looking in our direction, but George reacted quickly. He pulled the collar of his midi-length, quilted coat up around his ears and ducked his head down further into the collar. He watched them out of the corner of his eye and then the rear-view mirror when they crossed to our side of the road behind the car.

"They're not coming over, George. I'm sure they don't recognize you," I said.

"Yeah, you're probably right. I guess I'm just used to people banging on the window to ask for an autograph. They're moving off now," he said. He straightened up and relaxed a bit.

"What's Lucy's bag?" he asked, changing the subject.

"What do you mean 'her bag'?"

"What does she want out of life? What does she expect to get out of waiting to see me all these years?"

"I thought you knew," I laughed. "She expects to marry you."

George nearly choked and looked at me, wide-eyed. "You're not serious!" he said.

"I am. She plans to marry you. It's just a matter of time," I said.

"She'll be waiting a long time in that case," George said.

I knew I had to leave him soon, but I wanted him to know that I cared about him. I was nervous but decided 'now or never'. I threw my arms around his neck. His denim working-man's cap fell off his head and into the back seat as his head jerked back in surprise. Then, he threw his arms around me and held me tightly against himself, rubbing my back.

"George, I really DO love you," I whispered and pulled back suddenly.

He was smiling as if I had given him something he needed and wanted. I was so embarrassed. All I could think of was to get the hell out of that car. I couldn't get the door handle to work. George leaned over me and opened the door. I leapt out.

My long scarf got caught in the seat where I had been sitting. I pulled on it at the same time that George reached down to untangle it. When I pulled, George had freed the scarf so it leapt up and hit him in the face. He jerked his head back.

I quickly said "Thank you for the lift, George. Good night."

"You're welcome. Take care of yourself. See you soon." he was leaning down so he could see me.

I turned and raced to the door of my house. I opened the door and, as I turned to shut it again, I saw that he was still sitting there, looking at me. He waved, started the engine and drove off.

Holly's Birthday/Beatles Video
larainefan
A friend of mine on twitter knows I'm a huge Beatles fan, and when I told him Holly will be 10 on Sunday, he sent me the following video, very cute and funny!  Don't worry, it's all the Beatles, not just George.  I think someone originally made it for Paul's birthday, it has a lot of views!  But new to me (and Holly!) :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lh525NYjzY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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