Hinge – 29th March 1988

I heard you whinge, whinge, whinge
You look like you’re on the fringe
You’re just about to unhinge
See you in the surfy water
Every day another daughter
Take them to a bloody slaughter

12th Dec 2021 – I’m sure I wasn’t the first but I’m happy to say I rhymed daughter and slaughter before Iron Maiden.

In 1995, after moving to the Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia I got involved with PCR-FM and did a radio show there which I called Unhinged and my name was The Hinge. Most times I played music I was into, other times I did noise sets (sometimes with collaborators), utilising the vacuum cleaner stored at the station.

It’s kinda odd to think about how quickly I made things happen in Australia. Australia was very lethargic in comparison with England so it was to my advantage in some ways. I took every opportunity to get on and do things and get involved. It took me many years to slow down a little.

On Form – 24th March 1988

Like some old dog running down the track
Waiting for someone to pat you on the back
Your fits ain’t laughter, you just want to die
Your form book says twenty to one but no one asks why

24th Mar 2023 – I’m trying to reimagine and identify the protagonist here. Probably not a person in particular but a stereotype. Someone doing what is expected of them, playing the game, running the race but secretly hating themselves. That was something I didn’t aspire to.
I could hate myself as much as anyone but I would hate to have been seen as boring. Perhaps it was also my own way to boost my ego, to feel superior, misguidedly or not.

Sweets – 20th March 1988

I will eat just any sweets
Bounty’s, Mars and Treats
But there is one that drives me loopy
You just can’t beat those Tootie Fruities

20th March 2023 – Trying to remember what Treats were it appears that they were actually called Treets and seem to be a superior version of Peanut M&Ms. I actually never really liked Mars bars, preferring Marathons (as Snickers were called then). As for Bounties I really loved the Dark Chocolate one but for some reason, they were really hard to find.
Looking up a picture of Tootie Fruities I see that they have now been discontinued in 2019! Sometimes I would just pour the whole pack into my mouth, sometimes with a few sips of black tea to soften them up, then enjoy the mixing of the mad flavours as they galvanised into a huge chewy clump. Other times I would tip them out and eat them in ascending order of favourite flavours. This is something I didn’t really consider about other people who had siblings and would have to eat them in descending flavour order. Has this affected my personality? I think so! I can easily defer satisfaction and enjoy the anticipation.
After moving to Australia in 1994 I really missed British candies. Australia has less variety and is more Americanised. Eventually, one or two stores did specialise in sweets from the UK and I would enjoy a nostalgic 50 grams of mint imperials or midget gems, often spending way too much on a haul.
My absolute favourite sweets were from the local shop in Horton, Dorset and were only available for a short while when one shopkeeper was running things there. I guessed they were some kind of local mix but they were the best ever though I’d be hard-pushed to tell you exactly what they contained, except there being things of a green apple flavour, which whilst more common now was very unusual then.
Getting distracted with looking on Google Maps, it seems that the Horton shop is no longer there, Holt shop too – just as the Gaunts shop had closed when I was still living there. I wonder if, but doubt that, they still make the magazine Country Life which my grandparents often had around the house. Is it this feeling of simpler times that has led me to country life in Chiang Rai?
I still visit the lolly shops whenever I’m back in the UK and there’s no chance of finding anything like that here in North Thailand.

Old Man Pissed In Pub – 17th March 1988

Saw something funny yesterday
An old man from yesteryear
Singing some old army songs
In one hand, a fag, in the other, a beer
And he resigns himself to reminisce
Sat in a pub just getting pissed
And the tears in his eyes
Come from the youngster’s jibes
They just think he’s an old man pissed as a fart
One thing that rings true, they’re worlds apart

17th Mar 2023 – A kind of clumsy story that still makes me marvel (marvel may be too strong a word here) at my imagination as these words are totally drawn from there; maybe initially inspired just by a memory of an old man in a pub. In England, there was still a stereotype of old men sitting in pubs reminiscing about the war. There’s a strange comfort in this image for me. Being considered an old man myself now, I wonder if this stereotype still holds some truth. I have to imagine there are still old men sitting in pubs reminiscing about the miners’ strikes and Thatcher-era policies.