Ask him no questions he’ll tell you no lies – 22nd January 2018

Working Monday mornings only come around about once a month and they suck as much for me as for everyone else.  Day shifts are relatively boring, or I should say, even more boring than night shifts.  This whole job is an exercise in dealing with boredom.  I joke about having finished reading the internet.

Talking about reading I’m about to finish the 3rd book this week about bikers.  This one, ‘Outlaws’, is about the history of the clubs in the UK and constantly reminds me of my one time run in with a Hell’s Angel (which, on further thought, reminds of another run in).

Fatty, his girlfriend Sally, and I were on the 2-hour drive home from London after a gig and stopped at the service station to fill up on some food.  It was probably around 1am and the place was empty.  The food in bain-marie looked unappetising but we needed something to fill our empty bellies.  We filled our plates and sat down, having the choice of the whole room to sit in.  As we nearly finished a biker came in, got some food and chose to sit down next to us.  Of course, we immediately became nervous and finished up as quickly as we could.  The biker looked straight at Sally and said ‘do you want to fuck?’

Thankfully she was too stunned to say anything, which was unusual for her.  I could see her mouthing off and getting us all punched down.  We picked up our things and left swiftly.  I think I heard the biker say ‘guess that’s a no then?’ as we got through the door.  Thankfully he was alone.

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And the other story that came to mind was in a pub one early evening Fatty and I were standing next to a pillar, happily drinking away.  We stuck our drinks on the shelf around the pillar in between gulps and continued chatting, putting the world to rights as per usual early 20-year-olds shooting the breeze.  I turned to pick up my beer, almost full, and it was gone.  I looked around the pillar and three Hell’s Angels were talking to each other, paying no attention to this little runt who’d just lost his drink.

I tapped one of them on the back and as he turned I smashed him in the face and stomped on his stomach.  As the other two pulled out their pistols I karate chopped one and high kicked the other and then……oh wait.  That’s not what happened.  We went somewhere else to get a drink instead.

Hopefully, the next book I read is a little less hateful.

Now I can’t show you all the things I’ve seen and I can’t make you feel anything, certainly not what they meant to me – 2nd September 1994

It’s an exciting life. When Broni gets home I have a delicious meal prepared for her and sit yummying as we talk about our day.

Broni has been very busy at work and soon falls down dog tired but after some rumination we take a gentle stroll into the park as the sun slowly descends somewhere behind some cloud or other. We sit and watch the ducks and swans and talk about belief and good things. We realise how lucky we are, to have each other, to have this adventure and to have the future.

When I get back I have a long chat with Rob on the phone, which involves more shit flying in the Fatty department, which will bore me to death to repeat here and particularly as I am making great pains to forget all about that sad part of my life and to look towards brighter things. It is sad for me to carry a thorn in my side but now I feel able to let it go (haven’t I said this before?) Now feels different though and my future is absolutely soaring away from everything I know here, all the things I like but all the things I dislike too.

Later Broni and Kerry are talking and I join them in the bedroom, Kerry is talking like a maniac, high on life, full of herself because she finally feels comfortable with who she is and recognises her place in the world and realises her worth. She says it’s taken ten years but if you could see her bright chirpy cherub face you can see ambition and content. It was so good to hear her talking positively about life especially after my talk with Rob which dealt more with clearing out negative emotion.

So the cloud over me soon disappeared and I felt a wave of enthusiasm for life come over me and a little bit of loss for not having Steve around to talk to. Broni has me sussed pretty well though and reflects all my good points which make me feel much better and soon we are wrestling and playing in our makeshift bed on the floor.

Before we know it we are awake again, missed our dreams and she is off to work as I get up and cycle around the harbour taking video memories every now and then, through the park to the quay and back along the circuit, catching glimpses of beauty and depths through the cameras eye and hell, I feel so good inside myself today.

It is so easy to forget just how lucky you are to be alive and mornings like these bring it home that no matter what goes wrong, will still be okay.

Now is what’s happening, now is real, live for the now. I will see the sunset over a beautiful peaceful world.

On Steve – 25th August 1994

The pub is vibrant, people are smiling and dancing. It’s New Year’s Eve 1992. I don’t recall the circumstances that took us there, where the place is or what happened there. Our circle of friends were gathering to welcome in the new year in style. Myself, Fatty and Paul Simmons, we were the outsiders travelling up from Dorset to join the Hampshire crew of Rich, Rob, Steve, Chrissie, John, Selina, Dave and Holty. Our connection was music, whether performing, promoting, or watching.

Tonight, however was a celebration of friendship. While everyone was rolling around drunkenly, at about 11 o’clock Steve and I agreed it was time to leave. We wanted to get away from the gaggle, have a quiet space in which to exchange ideas. We just said to each other let’s go back to the house and talk. We both knew what we meant. It was a poetic moment, we both wanted to thrash out ideas and ideals and open each other up in a way that I’ve never found with anyone else, lay ourselves bare, vulnerable, emotions visible.

So we walked back through the empty dark streets, each house and home having their own little private celebrations for the new year. We got to Holty’s house where everyone would be coming back to after the pub shut, we walked in to the living room, I sat on the sofa lounging back slightly drunk. Steve sat crossed legged on the floor, a fine upright muscular figure, I can see his silhouette now. He took out some hash and rolled up a fine joint of skunk weed as we set off on our journey into each others souls.

While not invasive or offensive, we voyeur each others thoughts. We find truth and beauty in what each of us has to say and our relationship develops into something special. He tells me how he used to look up to me when he saw me years ago at gigs and I say I can’t believe it, not understanding that I might affect people in that way. I don’t even remember him from then and even when we toured Europe together with our respective bands I didn’t get much chance to make friends, though I was probably too wrapped up in myself to have noticed anyone else.

I don’t recall the reasons that he looked up to me and they are not so important now anyway. But right then, right when he told me, the roles reversed and I started to look up to him. I loved his bright enthusiasm, the relentless energy, on later occasions at his house we’d talk everyone, to sleep, then sit up til 4am when I would protest that I needed rest but he said no, we must carry on talking. Sleep is the enemy, a favourite saying from Kerouac.

At midnight, we welcomed in the new year, I’d rifled Holty’s varied collection of CDs and played Madonna, Half Man Half Biscuit and Mud, me trying to convince Steve they were ahead of their time and probably one of the very first punk bands, it all seemed to make perfect sense at the time – hey, I was a little drunk and stoned!

A while later the rest of the circus came back from the pub in very high spirits, a party erupted around us and we gladly joined in. Paul was the first to puke (I’m not sure if anyone else did, and Rob eventually fell asleep under the chair of the three peice suite before everyone dumped him in the cupboard under the stairs (or did he go there of his own accord, I forget now?)), his socks left to turn to ice in the freezer (or were they Rich’s?).

One clear memory is Steve reprimanding me for being out of order when I must of said something insulting about someone, I was a very sarcastic son of a bitch back then and thanks to him I changed my ways slowly over the next year or so. I began to respect him even more.

His few letters to me reflected our conversations and I once wrote a six page letter of thoughts and ideas at his request, it was regarding an article he sent me from a newspaper. He was amazed at the huge amount of points I’d raised that he said he would never have thought of, from then we would make demands of each other, more and more, we had to know each other’s ideas and then bounce them around. We were grasping at life, getting a hold on it, looking for meaning, looking for happiness. Steve found it too a lot of the time and slowly I did as well, trying to emulate his outlook and zest for adventure. He loved and married Chrissie, took on the role of father to Chrissy’s daughter Amanda, and then to their daughter Rebecca. He was a real role model for me, changing over the years from a wild youth always in trouble to the most gentle, caring man who loved life to the full. And you know, that sounds just like me.


Steve is giving us a quick conducted tour of the bedroom. He’s keen to show off his pride and joy, daughter Rebecca, sleeping softly wrapped in blankets in the cot. Her 3 month old tiny lungs take short shallow restful breaths.

While Steve is pointing the camera at tiny Rebecca’s face, his hand comes into view and he points his 24 year old finger at her and then sticks his 24 year old thumb up. Proud father, lucky child.

The tour is a glimpse into a private life, not really a show for friends but the capture of a moment trapped in sound and vision for that old age memory loss time, a reminder of beautiful things that affect life profoundly.

Continuing on our tour, lots of short dialogues (excerpt ends)

My time held dreams were full of you – 22nd August 1994

For some reason, on Friday we felt in celebratory mood and blew the expense. I tailed it down to the bottle shop and picked us up a bottle of Seaview sparkling wine and a bottle of Wolf Blass Chardonnay, a beautiful tasting dry white wine, oak and butterscotch flavour with no bite at all and anyone who says wine has got to have a bite should try this stuff.

We ate and drank and because of our usual rush we polished off the Seaview before 7 o’clock so ran up to the shop and picked up a couple of videos to watch, content we were on a pleasant night in. So we proceeded to finish off the Wolf Blass during the first movie which I don’t recall its name or even what it was about but in my dim memory, I do remember it being good, entertainment-wise.

I made us a smoke while Broni talked to David on the phone, how she managed to be coherent she has no idea! She was very drunk and was also sick soon after getting off the phone, but she convinced me she was okay and we had a smoke and sat down to watch the next film, which I do remember was Jacob’s Ladder. Unfortunately, we had to cut short as Broni sicked up all the lovely food we’d eaten into her clean white dress!

I put her to bed and watched some more of the movie but was worried some that my little girl might stop breathing in her sleep, smoking paranoia, so jumped in bed beside her and put my hand on her chest so’s I could feel her breathing. In my paranoia, I lay awake for an hour or so, my mind racing at the size of my situation, and the immense task ahead in the following 12 weeks or so. These thoughts hit me at odd moments, surprisingly not too often, I don’t seem to be too worried at all. In fact, I think it will be when I get there things might take on a different outlook. Like for the first three or four months, things will still be new and vital and fresh but then your normal humdrum existence routine might take over and it’s then I’ll start thinking about home and my friends (while I’m here I’ve been calling Oz home!) Anyway, too fucking late by then, hey!?

Saturday day time slips us by with us just buying some shorts to wear in Rhodes. Fuck, I can’t believe we’re going there. I couldn’t have foreseen such great adventure a couple of years ago that’s for sure. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever been on a holiday of this sort (to Rhodes). I’ve only ever been out of this country for about a week before, back in 1989 I think it was when the band went on tour into Holland and Belgium. Still that’s the madness of the age, reckon?

Gradually people started turning up at the house for our planned Indian meal out, so it was, all the record fair crew turned up, Simon, Rich, Baz, Gaz, Mark, Roger and Adelaide and soon after Rob too. Excellent – everyone as expected, it really fills me that these people, who some I don’t really know that well, make the effort to come and see me before I leave, I should say ‘we’ and ‘us’ there because they come to see Broni too. In fact I must apologise to her now if she may feel left out of this diary in my writings, we’re really a unit and where I may write ‘I’ and ‘me’, you can be fairly certain I mean ‘us’ and ‘we’. Do you feel how bloody brilliant she makes me feel, do you recognise that feeling? No amount of petty squabbles dim my love for her.

Well, Gaz and particularly Baz were on rocking hot form tonight and had us choking on our food while we ate, with their jokes and comedy routines. Every little thing you said was turned into a joke of some sort, we laughed til our sides were aching. And time passed us so quickly again that we only had time for one drink in the pub before we had to make our way back and we all crammed into the front room and continued with the jokes and coffees until the early hours, listening to Django Reinhardt much to Baz’s dismay! Very relaxing and therapeutic.

All the guys had gone except Rob who woke us up with breakfast and then fed, we walked down through the park to watch people lazying away their Sunday’s walking dogs, flying kites and taking in the sun. There’s been some powerboat racing around the harbour and also out on the sea over to the Isle of Wight. We fed up again in the Jolly Sailor, ambling slowly back to the park where we endangered ourselves with more fun by hiring out a row boat and rode ourselves into the night. No, not really. We rowed over to the other side to catch the cygnets and then back around everywhere, like Rob says, covering every inch of water.

Sunday is a fun day on our agenda, me and Broni feel like we’re on permanent holiday. Rob leaves us to go and practice with Fatty. They’re writing some songs together which sound good from what Rob’s told me. I’ve also told Rob not to get involved in any gossip Fatty might indulge in, didn’t explain that very well but the idea is that Rob doesn’t get emotionally involved in any bullshit between me and Fatty. I told Rob that it’s not my problem, which I truly believe, and as far as I’m concerned if he wanted to be friends now that’s no problem with me but apparently Fatty still has some bee in his bonnet that I can’t be forgiven for and some of the things I have heard are plain ridiculous. If I told you it all you’d think it was real school playground stuff. All I need to say is that the guy’s not very forgiving (for whatever it is I’ve done cos I still don’t know!)

Me and Broni laxed out the rest of the night, oh, actually we went up to the movies and saw The Mask which was great entertainment, with excellent animation and reasonable story too.

Ah, Monday morning, just me and Django and my imagination, life’s soooooo good!

I’m going for the jackpot, boy, oh boy, oh boy – 14th July 1994

I was in the post office this morning and on the shelf were stacks of paper, writing paper, jotting paper, drawing paper and you know, I was tempted! I have paper here coming out my ears, but the blank piece of paper is like history waiting to be written. With the right manipulation and approach, the stark white could be turned into something of fortune, depth and beauty. I’m just fascinated by paper, I always have been and now I realise that it was my way of finding out that I wanted to be a writer. Like life telling me, destiny tapping on my shoulder. Of course it’s only now I’ve grown inside and have been able to see this.

With all the mad happenings here let me remember Monday briefly. It was another beautiful day and for the second day in a row we went to the beach, John and I took the tiny pathways route through the woods and as I took a corner there was a split in the path, split by some bracken. In two minds I thought I’d make it through the bracken, it not being far to the other side, not knowing that concealed within its green ferny leaves was a 2 foot round log (used for blocking off roads). My front wheel took it straight on and so it was, I flew through the air with the greatest of ease, landing twisted and facing the other way, partially stunned, as John came careering up behind me just managing to stop before running over my head. I wish I’d seen the accident and not been in it! Suffered cuts and bruises but more seriously, hurt my back and neck which now ache some, whiplash style.

Not to be deterred, we pedalled on down to the beach, stopping as we had the day before, to decide what action to take about Julie, housemate from hell. As it turns out I was finding more and more of her lies cropping up, even playing us off against our landlord/agent!

Onto the beach where Mike turned up – Mike may be moving into our room when we leave. He seems like a decent bloke, nice and quiet– just the kind of person it’d be cool to live with. John discovered he works at the same place as Fatty and said to Mike, “Oh, I expect you’ve heard what horrible people we are from him,” and Mike replied “don’t worry – he doesn’t like anyone!” Good that he’s not been put off.

The sea tonight was amazing – long slow waves, not crashing but just rumbling. Broni got right stuck in and we played ball for ages and roared helplessly with laughter at the fun we were having. John-boy joined us and we played several silly games. Later John and I had a great time throwing the American football up-and-down the beach getting some wicked spin and bullet throws and catches together. All this fun was just too much and slowly we made our way back up through the woods, John crashing and totally wrecking his pushbike in the process.

Now John’s new motorbike, there’s a story! He handed over £300 pounds cash for the bike and doesn’t have the guys address or any documents and realises two days later the tax disc is a stolen one. Luckily (!) the guy turns up a week later, John laying into him verbally because the bike is such a heap of shit! He says to call him “John ‘Gullible’ Ryan! I think he’s getting it sorted out now though. And sort of by now, Kind of, we are at yesterday and see my brief entry. Well, Julie turned up and John and I laid the law as such and told her to leave (her still telling us lies to our faces!) by Friday. No amount of tears and bullshit changes our minds and though it was a horrible thing to go through I feel quite pleased with how I coped with it. Of course, she hasn’t actually gone yet and I hope we don’t get any retaliation from her and her ugly brute man friends. So it is that I’m at home (Wednesday, today and tomorrow) to look after the house – just in case. It’s also giving me a good chance to catch up on things (Ha! Do you think I will?).

Despite staying up till three last night watching Brazil beat Sweden, Broni got me up at 8:30 and here I am, sunny backyard on the sweetest of days. And Italy beat Bulgaria and my prediction of some three weeks ago has come true, of a Brazil-Italy final and may the best team win on Sunday.

So it is, I kiss the lips of life and tasted sweetness. More, more, I want more.

We got sent some maps of Sydney yesterday and also a close-up roadmap of Allawah, the area we may be able to move straight into when we get there. And as I said then it hit me, like a 4 x 2, in two months I’ll be there and this map will be my hometown. You can imagine all the differences in the changes I am making, but try, really try to imagine being somewhere, know and understand one day and the next you are somewhere else, alien, not to be able to return for a good long time. Can you feel that 4 x 2? Scary and exciting!

A note here for my beautiful baby who has put up with me so well as I endeavour to watch every game of football I can at all hours. She was a little sleeping beauty last night as I crawled in next to her and showered her with deserved kisses and she unconsciously turned to let me in. I cuddled her to sleep and woke wrapped in her embrace once again and we talked about our dreams and our future. So lucky to have found one another (not that luck had anything to do with it but you know what I mean?). To be able to operate together and keep each other’s souls satisfied. And in our happiness, we will miss this place despite the urge to go.

But of course, we also remember that winters!

Enough for now, the day is young. Enjoy.

Don’t wait or hesitate, take care, beware, Wrong! – 27th June 1994

Hate That Smile in Holland

You want gossip! Here’s what’s on my mind right now. Write it down, clear it out, forget about it – here’s the rub.

Spoke to Rich from Eastleigh a couple of days ago and had a cool chat, Rich being more forward than usual and telling me what he’d been up to. Anyways he mentioned Fatty had been in touch to try and speak to Rob. Rob not being there, Rich had a quick chat with Fatty saying he should get in touch with me, ur that maybe I should get in touch with him. According to Rich, Fatty didn’t say anything to that and when Rich mentioned about going up to some of the gigs in Southampton, Fatty replied ‘maybe after September’. Rich was rather taken aback by this apparently and we can only assume that he’s waiting from me to leave this country before taking up again with our mutual friends.

When Rich told me this I just said ‘Oh well, no good to harbour hatred’ and shrugged it off, but afterwards it really got me down. It’s not nice knowing someone out there hates you to the extent of wanting to see you go away completely. It’s upsetting and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m very sensitive to these things (as you may have worked out by now anyway). It also makes me angry because I have not done anything wrong and my hater (Fatty) can’t even come and talk to me about it.

Okay, I’m saddened because this person can’t deal with their problem, can’t handle their emotions and can’t be honest with me about it. Remember, last time I spoke to Fatty, we left on amicable terms and he’d be in touch (also remember I don’t know his new address or phone number – Yes, I could get both if I really wanted to!) And now the turnaround – his problem is not my problem.

If I met him now I would talk to him like nothing has happened (in fact nothing has happened has it!?) and it really is a shame for him that he hasn’t been to see me in the last six months and a shame he probably won’t see me again after September. For me, however, it is not a shame. I feel like I’ve cut out a poisonous sore, an infection. Close the door on a chapter of my past, one which turned sour, especially at a critical time for me emotionally, with Steve passing away.

I am stronger. My character will carry me through this and I can only hope one day Fatty can see how foolish and stubborn he has been. Good luck old friend, remember, happiness is only just around the corner. So there it is. Now I can forget about it. Will write you some more later.

I feel great, let’s celebrate
It’s a sunny day, let’s dance and play
Never fear, love is here
– Wrong by Nomeansno

Get that fuckin’ needle out of your eye – 8th February 1994

It’s Tuesday and I’ve skipped worked yesterday and today.  I felt like having a break and doing some other things which would’ve been better attended to before now.  Let me tell you about the weekend first.

We drove up the cobbled highway with a mental funny argument about the blinkers being out of action.  It made us laugh more than it made us angry!

Went round to Johnny Fry’s who I will now refer to as Johnny Glue from the Dwarves song of the same name.  He reminds me of the Dwarves for some reason.

Broni hit drunken frenzy after only one can of Miller Lite and could not stop talking.  She’s amazing – I have a million reasons to love her.

Nest stop was Rich and Rob’s where Rob and Broni discussed the booklet some more while rifled Rich’s record collection for tunes to borrow.

Then on to Chrissy’s and have fun with Amanda and Rebecca.  I even got Rebecca dressed (nearly single-handed) and put on her nappy.  Broni got clucky and I promise here and now we will have children, one day.

With much to-ing and fro-ing, we all headed off to the school where Steve’s memorial disco/gig was being held. Two of Chrissy’s friends (Sharon and Tracey – yes I know, but it’s true) were hovering around her all night and would jump on anything Broni or I said.  They really remind me of stereotypical Sharon and Tracey characters.  They seem very insecure and overbearing on Chrissy.  They virtually chased anyone away who would get close to Chrissy like it was invading their space.  They upset me quite a bit actually.

Besides all that everyone seemed to have a fun night with John and Selena winning a bottle of champagne in the raffle.  This encouraged me and Broni to stay round at Rich and Rob’s so we picked up our stuff from Chrissy’s and Broni drove (slightly drunk) up the road, picking up John, Selena and Rich (Rob and Dave lost somewhere) on the way.  From then on it was party time.

Rob and Dave turned up sodden after Dave ended up unconscious in the gutter!  Duly, two bottles of champagne got divided into six glasses and Selena declared ‘down in one’, which she, Dave and Rob (maybe Johnny too) did.  I took it a bit easier and after finishing my glass found one left (by Rich) which I drank too.  Then it was a case of drinking anything we could find, which we did!

re-enactment
re-enactment

Selena managed to break the glass part of the frying pan trying to demonstrate a dutch toilet.  Dave crashed out again and many hours later, after Rich telling us, fatherlike, to turn the music down and then, motherlike, telling us he going to bed and not to turn it back up, one by one we crashed, Johnny treading on Rob’s head before upending himself, legs in the air, head on the ground style, on the sofa.  Broni slept where she leapt and I crept in after her.

Woke some hours later and spent the next six hours laughing at the night’s events (and other night’s events too).  I did actually discover that Fatty wasn’t happy with me cos I have changed, though I learned this from Rob – I wonder when Fatty will face me with this?  He makes me so angry and upset and I know that Broni is right that I can only move on if I forget about it, a bit like she did with Dani.  From now I will do so.

I borrowed a shitload of records from Rich and done a sickie for the last two days to give me time to tape them!  I did have a few beers Sunday which didn’t exactly leave me in tip top and what the hell!  I feel good having some time to myself and being able to today some loose ends at home.  I’m now looking forward to the Broni whirlwind which may be subdued due to a long day at work and the fact she’s got a letter from her mum about our wedding which, from what I gather, is not quite accepting our ideas of getting married.  More later.  Learn to love yourself more Shaun.

Say hello, wave goodbye – 31st January 1994

Seven days later and phew!  Monday and Tuesday my baby worked herself silly and spent each evening zombie-like and sleepy while I continued with the boxes.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday found us under more and more boxes and our tempers were getting frayed.  We will survive a million tiny bickers – I don’t anticipate a major argument between me and my baby for several centuries yet!

Pete and Kathryn increasingly upset us with their sad attitudes to life.  Pete being particularly antagonising.

re-enactment
re-enactment

Thursday went to our future abode where Ally was busy packing, Fatty out collecting some furniture.  When the Fat Man turned up, one tyre repair later, a brief discussion regarding deposit money ensued.  Simon asked me not to give Fatty the deposit until they’d sorted out the bills – this just after I told them I would!  Oh well – awkwardness abounds.  Not til later I found out they had an argument over it (Fatty arguing the most I’d venture) Fatty threatening to beat up Simon!  The first of a hundred crazy stories John and Simon have told us about Fatty and Ally – now I’ve heard both sides of the story.  I find John and Simon much more believable and ‘correct’

Friday found us seeing off Gordon and Nikki as they trek around the world or as far as they can go.  Mick and Lisa graced Poole with their presence to catch of glimpse of Rich next door singing Pogues numbers with Hoedown at Hanks, with that nasty John Otway hater drummer who took over my room at 86.

Saturday and Sunday were big move days and a lot of the time was spent cleaning and trying to remove cat piss odours off all the carpets and removing stains from the nicotine browned walls.

After much quarrelling me and my baby slept like lambs in our new room.  We love it! Right at the top of the house – I trod those stairs a hundred zillion times already – the sun shines in a-blazing!

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was smiling.  John, Simon and Mary – our new housemates – all seem like really decent people and we feel rejuvenated for more exciting times to come.

Bronwyn is going down with flu – I’m sure from all the chemicals we’ve been spraying to relieve our house of the odour of piss.  Spoke to her this morning and my heart beams over bridges on lakes a-plenty for her.  I will see her tonight and tell her this.

1st Feb 2018 – Initially I was just going to put these old diary entries up as is but on going through them has prompted some thoughts and reflection on them.  The main one is the traumatic events around the ending of a friendship with Fatty.  It’s clear to me that at the time it was something I needed to do.  It also has become clear to me that the trauma was caused by the deep love and affection I had for him and our friendship.

Fatty and I were very much alike so we got on really well but in the end I wanted to change myself and I felt like I was getting his support in that effort.  Of course, this is all over 20 years ago now, we are all, hopefully, much the wiser.  I believe that I have learned many things about and since that time.  I don’t have many people that I would call very close friends, if any at all.  Possibly this is a reaction to the way things happened with Fatty, and quite likely, an odd reaction to Steve, being so selfish to go and die on us all like that.

Fatty and I are now Facebook friends and we still chat about music and comics, never bringing up the past.  If I get back to England again sometime in the future and the opportunity arises, I’d go and share a beer with my old friend.

Watcha gonna do? – 21st January 1994

Another eventful week finds me writing this Saturday a.m. at work.  Let’s start with Thursday’s encounter with Fatty.  He phoned up in the evening moaning about going to the Brickie’s to meet cos it was too far and it was pissing down (it wasn’t raining at all) so I had to make the effort and go to Grasshoppers near him

We chatted til closing time (Bronwyn went out for a meal with Rosemary – wish I’d gone in hindsight!) and we got on quite well.  I was being very positive and deliberately avoided putting him down.  He, however, didn’t.  He said my letter was rubbish cos it was all from a book and ‘you don’t need books to tell you how to be’.

I took in everything he said and really just let him get on with it.  I wasn’t going to argue or point out any of his faults.  He said I’m a different person every time I get a girlfriend and that I treat him badly.  He also said he knows me better and that I’m not a positive person but just get like this when I meet a girl.

I now realise he doesn’t know me at all and am very upset by what he has said.  I don’t feel like being friendly with him at all. He’s using emotional blackmail and paranoia to try and get what he wants.  He wants me to be like him I think – like we may have been years ago.  I’m afraid I’ve changed and do not want to be like that ever again. I’m going places and determined not to let anyone get me down.

I told him we intended going ice skating with Chrissy and Amanda on Saturday and he said ‘Fuckin’ hell, you’ll be going bowling next!’  More fuel for Mr Cynical!

Our meeting left me feeling angry and scared.  He makes me doubt myself and puts me in a bad mood.  Do I need that?  I don’t think so.

On Friday me and my baby crashed round at Kerry’s.  We watched TV and got a little drunk.  It was a pleasant evening and we were glad to be out of the house.

Saturday we went to meet Chrissy and loads of others at Tower Park.  We didn’t find them so went to eat pizza.  We did see Rut there though!

Me and Broni talked for about an hour about Fatty. She’s really upset with him too.  Since Thursday I hadn’t been very nice to Broni cos I was unsure of myself.  After pizza, we went home and practically fell asleep! Later we headed on up to the Joiners and had a great time watching Haywire (Broni wants to play sax with them!), Chicken Bone Choked (brilliant set!) and Fabric.  Only saw two songs of Fabric – their guitarist was the spitting image of Rob!

Went on over to Chrissy’s where her, Terri, her mum and her brother Rob (?) were playing Yahtzee.  We joined in too and ended up playing that and Uno until two o’clock.  Woke up again about 8 o’clock and had a great day again looking after Amanda and Rebecca.  Rich, Rob, John, Selena and Dave came round in the evening.  I spent about an hour putting Rebecca to sleep after was sick on me.  I love those kids.  I felt rejuvenated with positive energy.  So much better than Fatty’s influence.  I’m going to try and keep our friendship distant for a while.

Monday night I went to sleep at about 9 o’clock!  Tuesday night Broni went to sleep at about 9 o’clock!  Weekend caught up with us.

On Wednesday we went to the Joiners to see S.M.A.S.H. with Rich, John and Dave.  John and Dave were well pissed – singing Ramones songs at the end.  S.M.A.S.H. were really good though did look a bit ‘contrived’ as Rich kept saying.  Dropped everyone home and me and Broni had a bit of a tiff – she was very tired.  She works far too hard and I keep telling her to take it easier at work.

I rang up the letting agent on Tuesday and went over and signed to start living where Fatty is now, as soon as he leaves.  I rung up and told Fatty – he was a bit pissy as he told me to wait until his contracts had been exchanged but I was thinking ‘fuck you, I’m taking control – I have to sort out where we’re going to live’.  Besides that, he seemed ok – though he didn’t have much good to say!

Thursday me and Broni probably had a fight – we’ve been very strained this week with me being upset by Fatty and her having a bit of P.M.T. and working too hard.  We get through though.

Friday was a funny old day.  I rang Chrissy from work and we had a long chat.  I tried to get her to tell me how she was feeling and although I think it upset her a bit she knows she’s going to have to go through it.  We talked about all sorts of stuff and I could tell her thoughts were elsewhere.  She is so nice – it’s hard to accept something so sad could happen to her.  We make a lot of effort for our friends cos we know they are worth it.

Got home – no Broni!  It got to about six and I was getting very worried.  I rang Kerry and Jo who hadn’t seen her.  Kerry’s dad had been taken to the hospital too.  I was really upset cos I know she would ring if she was going to be late.  All sorts of thoughts ran through my head.  I couldn’t handle being without my Broni-baby.

Anyway, she turned up at 6.15 or so and went next door to chat with Dani and Rich.  I was very relieved.

During the week I’d been working on a Mr Cynical and my own column – inspired by my meeting with Fatty.  He said to me he was really hurt by telling everyone Steve was my best friend and cut me down for it – even saying his funeral was the wrong place to say it!!!

This got me thinking about friends and how friends like to be treated and how I like them to treat me.  Steve and most of the Southampton crew are great friends and show me love, respect and interest.  I don’t get that from Fatty – ever!  It’s a case of where do I go from here.  The easiest thing to do is for us to drift apart but I feel like I want to tell him why I don’t like him but my anger would make it unconstructive.

I so much would like for him to be happy and enthusiastic and see a light at the end of the tunnel but like he says, he’s stubborn and loves moaning!  Maybe he’s upset cos a girlfriend can have a big influence on me, yet he can’t? (Although he does have an influence on me and it’s not one I like at all). He’s very insecure and unhappy with himself.  He thought the book I was reading from was a religious thing!  I guess to have faith in oneself would look like that to one with a soul so black.  He even thought my mum was being over the top when she said she had an ‘excellent’ Christmas – like I’d told her to be enthusiastic to Fatty in an effort to cheer him up.  He’s getting really paranoid!  I don’t want to waste any more of my time on him.  Steve’s death teaches me that time is short and ‘real’ friendship is very important.

Me and Broni went for a pub meal and caused great commotion cos we wanted vegetarian food – it was funny!  Popped round to Kerry’s – she was very drunk and not so much fun.  Met her new lodger, Simon, who seemed really nice.  Kerry’s friend Jen came over and she seemed drunk too – it was a horrible atmosphere then.

Broni’s told me a bit about Jen and she’s not very likeable.  Not a nice thing to say I know but…..  They reminded me of Emma’s mum and her lover.  They were fun but out of control.  I’d hate to see Kerry go that way.  I think Jen’s probably a bad influence in her life but her insecurity makes them friends.  How to tell Kerry to cut down on the booze?  She’s a bright girl and very intelligent – a shame to waste those good points.  We left quickly despite Jen’s protests – she reminded me of a wino!  Like Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous but with no sense of humour.  (Things go wrong for those expecting the worst – what goes around comes around).

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Watched a bit of TV when we got back but Pete’s letching at girls on TV really pissed us off.  Besides sometimes being a nice bloke he really is an asshole.  He goes on about how great it is to see gays on TV and freedom for homosexuals but puts down women left, right and centre.  And Kathryn, dear girl, let’s it go on.  I lack understanding (Thankfully).

Enough for now.  I still miss my friend, Steve.  Your death has transformed me (and others too!).  Look to the future!

Cowboy killers – 12th January 1994

Getting Bronwyn up is great fun!  She looks like a little child looking up at me through sleepy eyes, with her bottom lip stuck out.  She looks so beautiful.  She sleeps on and I wish I could get back into bed with her and into her arms and into dreams.  These winter mornings are difficult to get up to.

Read parts of ‘The Understanding…’ book as aid for tomorrow’s encounter with Fatty.  Learn to disagree, respect yourself and others – that kind of thing.  Just have to remember all the things it mentions and not get hot-headed as I could be tempted to and then I know nothing would get resolved.

Received our special chicken pox edition of the free LP for the Newport New Year gig (that we couldn’t attend).  Good old Simon – punk rock in spirit and in heart.