9. Apr, 2020

Mal Foster - Life Stories No.6

Al Stewart - Year of the Cat

My last ever contact with Julie Gr*nh*m was in 1988 and sadly, I fear she is no longer with us… my sense of spirit tells me that! On 29th August last year, I discovered a postcard I had received from her when she was on holiday in Devon in 1980.  The postcard was tucked inside a book of poems. The date on the postcard was 29th August 1980! Coincidence? … was it a sign? Yes, I tend to think so! 

Julie was a girl of slight build with a big heart and trademark corkscrew blond hair but suffered terribly with her diabetes. By 1980 I was sharing a flat at the top of an old mansion house in Portsmouth Road, Camberley. She used to visit from her house in Farnborough, often being dropped off by her father, and always, in possession of a 2-litre bottle of wine, she had taken from his drinks cellar. She had a wonderful knack of concealing it without him noticing. 

Julie was obsessed with the Bournemouth based singer, Al Stewart. In those days, cassette tapes were all the rage and she was always leaving me copies of his songs. 

‘Year of the Cat’ is the standout song from those halcyon days. Hear it on YOUTUBE