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Troika #10: For Leigh
Eighteen years ago, I sold my car! It was a bright yellow early 70’s VW Beetle with Empi5 alloy rims (that might mean something to some people). I loved that car, but the long commute I was doing convinced me that I needed something that used less fuel, and went wrong less.
I was working for a charity in Leicester at the time, and through a colleague I heard that an ex-employee called Leigh was looking for a beetle. She was living in Oxford, and I was in Leamington Spa. Leigh came up to see it, and when she drove it away I realised I was sad, but not for losing the beetle. I had to see her again. Friends joked at the time I “just wanted my old car back”, but I’d met someone really special, and was bowled over. We married before a year was out :)
This Troika is all about songs that evoke that special time – May 1997. Meeting Leigh and those first few dates in Oxford.
- ‘Step into my World’ – Hurricane #1
A week before I met Leigh, ‘Step into my World’ was being played a lot on Radio 1. Hurricane #1 was a new band formed by Andy Bell from Ride, who had split the previous year. I loved this single, especially the last half which is just Andy’s guitar, and played it to death. Then, on my first date with Leigh, she asked if I’d heard of Hurricane #1. Turns out she was good friends with Andys parents who lived around the corner! We got to meet Andy not long after, and I was typically star struck and didn’t have much to say for myself, and Richard and Rachel are the most lovely people you could ever hope to meet.
- ‘Don’t Whiz on the Electric Fence’ – Ren and Stimpy
When I talked with Leigh about which songs remind her when we met, the first and last choices here were the obvious ones. The other one could’ve been Prefab Sprout (we were both fans), something from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack (like the cute ‘Little Star’ by Stina Nordenstam). However one of the first things that came to mind was the answerphone message I had at the time, which is this little warning ditty from Ren and Stimpy.
- ‘No Surprises’ – Radiohead
We were together just two weeks when Radiohead’s seminal ‘OK Computer’ was released. I remember the Headington roundabout had a huge vinyl banner advert with Stanley Donwood’s album art on it, and I was desperate to steal it! I’m sure many of you will have heard this song a jillion times, but like ‘Step into World’ it evokes a very particular, and special time in my life.
This one’s for you Leigh!
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All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.
Ten years ago today, I had a car to sell
A VW beetle, that was great, but not doing well
Long distance commutes were not it’s forté
So I sought a buyer (this was before ebay)
Who’d love it, care for, it and take it away
A friend of friend was looking for just such a car
She lived in Oxford, which wasn’t too far.
Her name was Leigh and she came from Lenzie
The first sight of her sent me into a frenzy!
She impressed me with her Jaffa Cake tricks
I wondered then if she could be a Hicks?
The deal was struck and the beetle was sold
But was this the end? Fear took hold
I couldn’t wait to see her once more
I called her and explained it was her I adore
That was the event that changed my life
Before a year was out, Leigh became my wife.
(apologies for the cheese)
This is for Leigh, who at this moment has just a few hours left before she leaves work to join me as a partner in the business. It’s going to be a mixed bag of emotions, the wrench of leaving a job she loves, and (hopefully!) looking forward to more time with the family, as well as evolving and growing Hicksdesign into new areas.
I just wanted to take time out to say publicly how much I admire her for taking this brave, hard decision, and I hope I can as supportive to her as she was to me when I started freelancing. I couldn’t have made the leap without her encouragement, now it’s her turn to make that leap.
I really hope you enjoy your last day at Harcourt, Leigh, I’m so lucky to have you as a wife and a partner. I’m looking forward to what we can do together…