It’s on a whim; it’s on a dare, To shrug away what we can’t bear – 6th-11th March 2018

Another busy week of back and forth.  I’m slowly getting into the rhythm of the hours and the days.  A weekly rhythm is illusive still but that’s fine, most days I have no idea what day it is.  It’s a big change from sitting around in an air-conditioned office, staring at a screen for 12 hours at a time, though I do spend a bit of more time looking at my phone these days.

One time last week Amy came to me laughing after having talked with the electrician at our house.  Apparently, he had heard, from someone around in the village, that I was a professional football player from Australia!  I can guess that this came from the village store where I’d been a total of once at that time.

I trekked up there again to buy beer for our workers after one long day where I did a lot of back-breaking weeding.  There’ll be more of that to come for sure, barely scratched the surface.  Anyway, I managed to convey that I needed 12 cold beers and that they were all for Amy, whilst I was just having a yoghurt drink.  They complimented me on the house and then said how hot the weather was.  Well, it’s small talk but I’m getting there slowly when I’m allowed off my leash.  I wonder what gossip that visit generated as I trudged in in my boots and sweat-ridden clothes.  We shall see.

Talking about being let off the leash, whilst I’ve been happily driving around in Amy’s mum’s car, or dad’s truck, I was granted permission to ride the motorcycle.  Usually just at night when it’s quieter and we never go too far anyway.  Amy had been riding with me on the back and I think she was finding it hard to control with the extra weight, better to let me ride instead.

I think she almost changed her mind on the first few runs though.  The motorcycle is somewhat dilapidated and the front brake doesn’t work at all.  It took me a while to master the gear changes, whilst also using the gears to brake half the time.  I decided we’ll get an automatic bike when we get round to getting our own.  Much simpler.  I need simple these days.

Tigger
Sometimes, Tigger is chill. Sometimes.

The weather has been pretty good as far as I’m concerned.  Even on the hot days, it wasn’t too much of a bother but I know it will get much more sticky and hot next month.  The evenings, as the sun is setting, are perfect.  We rode out to the old airport where folks young and old walk, run and ride up and down the runway, to get a bit of exercise in.  Has to wrap up before the sun disappears though as there is no other light there at all.  A few vendors have figured it’s a good place to make some money on water and various other drinks.

We walked past a group of about 30 teenage boys playing football, shirts vs skins, and I watched them for a bit, noticing the topless fat boy at the nearest corner.  A few seconds later the ball came his way with a long floating kick from midfield.  This was his chance for glory.  But he had his back to the ball and facing towards us.  His team all screamed at him, ‘Fatty, wake up and stop checking out the farang’s wife’, talking about Amy.  Everyone laughed and we kept on strolling.

We met up with Goi, one of Amy’s old school friends, as we were walking and they chatted whilst I called up my cousin Sharon to see how she’s doing back in England, now that things are not quite so frantic with her looking after my mum.  She asked if I felt bereaved and I said I didn’t really, things have just been too busy to even think about it too deeply, though I was always reminded of mum whenever I took photos of unusual plants and flowers.  Sharon said to send them to her instead which I had planned to do anyway.

Later, when Amy and I were having dinner, she told me about Goi’s life and her worries about health, money and the future.  Similar to another friend who is also raising a child, around 8 or so years old each.  We are sympathetic to their situations as they ask about ours and why we don’t want kids.  For us, the answer is obvious, we don’t want to have the same worries and concerns that they are now having.  For some reason, it doesn’t make sense to them.

After the football incident, we are also constantly discussing the fact that some people around they city stare at us – a lot!  We can understand people’s curiosity but some people literally gawp, mouth wide and follow us as we walk past.  Foreigners are not that uncommon around town or even out in the countryside these days and we think maybe it’s because Amy doesn’t look like the traditional Thai girl a lot of foreigners seem to go for.  I decided that next time it happens I will softly say in Thai, ‘Excuse me, what is it that you are staring at?’  The only downfall to this plan is that if they answer, I probably won’t be able to understand.

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Whilst our garden is a constant battle against weeds, our next challenge will be the constant battle against insects, particularly, ants.  Ants are everywhere in Amy’s parent’s house.  Whatever is built they will find a way in.  I don’t have anything against ants, as far as I know, none of them are dangerous, the thing that freaks me out with them is that sometimes, in low light and I’m not wearing my glasses, it looks like the walls or floor are moving and I’m reminded of tripping on mushroom tea.  And it makes me want mushroom tea!  The ants and the weeds will take over this world.  They are unstoppable.  We planted 5 small Jacaranda trees this week.  Fingers crossed they take root, survive and maybe in a few years time even flower.

Defanged and declawed – 16th January 2018

As I was walking from my desk to the kitchen in the office, I got this sudden urge to kick a football.  I almost took a swing at invisible ball mid-stride.  Do you know that feeling when the ball strokes your foot at the perfect point and shoots off ferociously towards an imaginary goal, avoiding the desperate stretch of the imaginary keeper?  Since school days I mostly did this by myself against a brick wall.  When I’m settled in Thailand again I’ll have to get a football and then all I’ll need is the brick wall.

I was on the school football team from middle school until I left high school, aged 16.  I was pretty passionate about it for a while there.  Actually, I was passionate about it until I came to Australia really.  There wasn’t much of a league going on at that time and there were no live games or much in the way of replays from England then either.  I got interested in cricket for a while, especially as Australia couldn’t lose a game for trying for a while there.  But Australian Rules football ended up being my new passion, but that’s another story.

In middle school, the best players from years 1 and 2, and from years 3 and 4 would make up the school teams.  This was a big honour if you were in the lower year of the two but, as is the way of school kids, everyone stuck to just being friendly with kids in their year.  Even though you had the privilege to play with the older kids against other schools, no one talked to you.

In the summer break between years 3 and 4, I had been picked to go to a soccer selection camp but as the date drew nearer I lost my nerve and told my mum I was too sick to go.  I’m not sure why I felt like this now.  Was I too shy, too scared, too insecure?  It’s possible I missed a great opportunity and my football coach at school was disappointed when I told him I didn’t attend.  I’d like to say I paid him back by helping us win every game and scoring lots of goals that year but to be honest I can’t remember now.

In high school, I maintained a place in the team as the centre-forward but I recall us losing more games than we won.  I don’t recall scoring too often either.  The worst, although possibly the best, memory is when we played another school that just didn’t give a shit. We tried so hard and they just kept kicking the ball back and laughing at everything we did and everything they did too.  They cracked up at each other’s mistakes and unbelievably ended up beating us something like 3 goals to 2.  I think I knew it was over then.  Football wasn’t for me.  Particularly as my only other memory is playing in a hail storm and though we stopped the game, there was nowhere to hide as those painful little pellets peppered our faces and legs.  Fuck that for a game of football.

Our inter-school games were on Saturdays and I used to ride my bicycle the 4 miles to town and then up the hill to school.  It was around this time I started getting into music very seriously.  Our tiny local record store, which still thrives to this day, would attempt to track down rare imports from America for me.  I would bring them lists of records I’d heard about in borrowed copies of Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll or that were occasionally mentioned in Sounds or NME.  I can’t clearly remember the day picking up Bad Brains 12″ on Alternative Tentacles and Black Flag’s ‘Damaged’ album on Unicorn.  Our football game was in the late morning this day and I picked up these records before riding up to school.  It was a bit of an annoyance to have to lug them around with me but I was so excited I couldn’t help looking at the covers as we travelled on the bus to our away game.

I recall nothing about the football game that day and know that when I got home I would hide the records under my shirt as my mother was sure to ask where I got the money from to buy them.  Well, mum, that lunch money you gave me….  never had a lunch in the whole 3 years I was in high school.  I would beg and borrow pennies from my friends and just eat a couple of lollies from the ice cream van.  This may explain why I became such a skinny-ass weakling and my lack of enthusiasm for playing sports so much around this time.

Those two records I bought that day had such a huge impact on me.  Black Flag spoke directly to me somehow, even though they were singing about getting beatings from the LAPD and I was sulking because my mother made me do my homework.  ‘No More’, ‘Room 13’, ‘Depression’, ‘Padded Cell’, the intensity, the passion, the violence!  I was 15 at the time – hearing those songs now will take me right back to then.

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With Indian ink, a needle and the aid of a mirror I tattooed myself the bars, smart enough not to reverse them in the reflection.  It wasn’t until years later in Australia that I got them tattooed properly and they sit proudly on my upper right arm, a reminder of who I am and where I am now.

I did a whole bunch of my own tattoos with a simple needle and ink, though all but a few have been covered over with more professional art since.  I was partly inspired by a heavy metal girl at school whose name I now forget.  She was mad as fuck, not to be messed with and had ‘666’ tattooed on her forehead, though hidden by her ginger hair.  I later heard she became a born-again Christian though I’m guessing that might’ve been someone’s idea of a joke.

My own dodgy work, including ‘LIFE IS PAIN, I WANT TO BE INSANE’ (again Black Flag-inspired, more specifically a tattoo that adorns their singer Henry Rollins) seems to have served me quite well in some instances.  Whilst they might’ve been a reason for a beating when I was younger, these days it tends to keep people at bay and an indicator not to mess with me.  Which is amusing because I generally will run a mile from any trouble anyway.  I’m also a pretty friendly guy too.  These days I tend to actually like people.

Thinking about tattoos also reminds me of a couple of experiences in China.  The first I was walking through some back allies in Beijing, just enjoying the experience of being lost.  I ended up a small square with just a couple of older folks around.  One guy was pulling a cart along and stopped to look at me out of curiosity.  As I got closer he reached out and grabbed my arm and just ran his hand up and down my tattoo, laughing in wonder.  I laughed with him for a minute before we both went on our way, realising we had no other form of communication to take this encounter any further.

The other time I was travelling with a bunch of Aussies from all walks of life, as part of a dragon boat team.  One of the ladies was an Occupational Health and Safety officer, hard to say how old she was, but she seemed much older than me.  Even now, I feel most of the people I meet are older than me, perhaps a refusal to believe that I am not in my early 20s anymore.  This lady looked at my tattoos and started asking questions about them and then finished the conversation with ‘You’ll regret them when you’re older.’  I was 41 at the time.

My tattoos are my own historical document.  Memories for me to consider, a past to ponder.  Anyway, as I often tell people, ‘They come off when you die.’

Amy is getting excited and it’s infectious.  We have some locals building our fences and as we’ve given them no time frame they’ve arranged themselves a party table in our garden where they can kick back after a days work with BBQ and whisky.  Apparently, around 5pm cool breezes waft across the valley and it’s a perfect indicator that it’s time for a relaxing icy cold drink of your preference.

The Burmese builders have finished building their shacks and have also set themselves up a party table, though for them it’s also their breakfast, lunch and dinner table.  Our house is a party house before it’s even complete.  I get the feeling the locals might still come around to party after they’ve finished here too.

Amy is choosing wall paint colours, inside and out and looking more seriously at bathroom fittings now.  It’s exciting, though as we discuss, a little weird as almost everything should be complete by the time I get there.  I can just breeze in and go to bed in a brand new home.  I hope, anyway.

This is an image that just won’t fade – 19th July 1994

Then up to Old Sarum, the old town of Salisbury in Roman times, with magnificent views, particularly of the Roman roads that met their 2000 years back. We sunbathed and slid down banks, climbed up them and avoided paying to get in. A way cool place – go see.

We videoed some wildflowers and wild insects and then headed home to Poole where Broni, Rob, John and I went down the pub for dinner and a couple of beers to celebrate/commiserate, before walking down to Kerry’s to watch a video. Unfortunately we picked Body of Evidence. What crap! Nuff said.

So’s, after watching a bit of the third-place play-off in the World Cup (Sweden well ahead though still don’t know the final score) we stumbled home drunkenly and guess what? I can’t remember anything else of that night. Ho-hum.

But Sunday, once again I woke wrapped in Broni and let’s just say we didn’t get up for an hour or two us being too interested in each other. But breakfasted on, then mad rushed us fab foul four again to the beach to meet Chrissy, Sharon (Steve’s sister), Amanda (Chrissy’s daughter), Luke (Sharon’s son – The maddest baddest little bastard ever! And of course exceptionally cute in his few years of age – totally lovable!) and Jennifer (Amanda and Luke’s friend). So for five hours, we played football, catch, volleyball, frisbee and Luke’s special game ‘knock you over and jump on top of you and throw sand in your face!’ We all spent most of the day laughing and playing and having good old-fashioned childish fun. You can’t begrudge that can you?

Exhausted we came home, Rob back up to Southampton, me and John to watch the football (sprawled out in the front room) and Broni upstairs to watch the film ‘She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas’. The football, the World Cup final, was a slight disappointment though reasonably entertaining and a shame to be settled on penalties at the end, sparking the age-old debate of how to settle a stalemate match. It being late and us exhausted we still found some enthusiasm for an idea would come up with holding a party on the Saturday before we are evicted. The cunning bitch Julie left on Saturday afternoon, thankfully, which is an immense relief all round – the last we hear from her I hope though we may have to chase her up for bills sooner or later.

And so it came to Monday – the day of little occurrence of note, save John and I playing frisbee up at the park, in the most delicate beautiful rain and humidity, till darkness swamped the evening. When I got back me and Broni played silly buggers till bedtime recharging ourselves with each other’s love and closeness.

We also, over the weekend, decided that if Rob comes to Oz for the wedding, he’ll be our best man. Hey man, cool – will ask him soon. And everything will be mad frenzy now, packing, sorting, writing letters, changing addresses, closing bank accounts and fucking partying. Go dudes! Oh yes, good can come from bad – just watch us prove it.

(Later) Phew. It’s scorching hot, preparation for the coming summer in Australia (destiny – what the card!) Drove across some wide-open land today, fields upon fields of corn and crops, cows and the bull. Down dusty tired tracks by dung heaps, open space is like…it’s like….freedom. At the end of that journey was a farm with a pretty farmer’s daughter and her way cute two-year-old (I’m guessing) and a handsome farm boy who would charm the undies off a nun if maybe he wasn’t the village idiot, knowing nothing else but muck and chicken shit. (This is all in my mind of course – who knows what these people may do by night. I could see this guy at some nightclub bar with a queue of girls lined up to caress his rippling muscles – like I said, who knows?)

And I’m out in the sticks now, driving through some sleepy village that even has two names, like one had forgotten and another thought up – and imagine the village war between the farmers and the petrol pump attendant families over which name to use (out here they may still have a say – imagine us try to change the name of Bournemouth to Old Bastard or something).

And I gets to thinking, seeing some old dude bent over double with age, where I might be in 100 years time. Hmm? And I was thinking of something Rollins wrote which I’ll write ye down when I get home and maybe I’ll find a connection. Anyway, think about where you will be every year for the next 100 years okay – see what you come up with (go for it I say).

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.

It’s the same I sometimes wonder if something or other’s in my headbone – 6th July 1994

Well today I’m tense as all hell. Muscles knotted up tighter than Rollins and his band. What to do to relieve the pressure?

To finish off yesterday’s summary, the party at Kerry’s soon degenerated into sombreness and I watched the football in the other room most of the time (me being sober too). After five months of not drinking Kerry really went for it but got pissed sad instead of pissed happy – I hope she learns from it that maybe drinking isn’t such a good idea all the time! She’s sensible though and I think she’ll work through all her sorrows (her dad recently departed) and not drink her way through them.

And Broni was shattered from working far too hard again. I took her down the park and watched her face light up excitedly when I let her drive the van, hence the continuation of tenseness.

This waiting period for us is very hard and I hope we will overcome any problems that arise easily and quickly and hope the change over to another country makes us happy (goddamn, all the mega changes in our life – happening in the next six months – only two and a bit months left now).

Must try to relax and let myself go a bit. I know this for fucks sake. More later.

I got a Honda 125 in my shed and I don’t know how to put it back together again – 5th July 1994

Well, I didn’t hold out much hope and indeed, Ireland are out and on the next plane home, as they say, losing 2-0, with two ridiculous mistakes to let Holland in. A reasonable match, Broni took five though and watched ‘The Piano’ again on video upstairs.

John-boy turned up with newly purchased motorbike and face alight with delight. Then onto Kerry’s for me and Broni, with food and drink and fun on our minds.

Just before we left I let Julie know we were not very happy with the bills situation, particularly after she just got some money through and pissed it away in the pub. You know she told me she lent some money to someone!

Jen was already at Kerry’s which was a bit foreboding but we politely chatted away. 70-year-old Ron came from next door (such a cool bloke for his age – I’d like to be like him, I think, when I reach that age). Then Kerry’s mum and Liz and her two kids. Champagne was drunk and the story of Kerry’s surfing accident told each time someone else came round. Her face not looking as bad as expected.

The thunder cracks against the night, the dark explodes with a yellow light – 4th July 1994

From bad to worse. Julie turned up Thursday night/Friday morning, broken fingers and avoiding explanations. Drunk again Friday night and claiming poverty re the phone bill. And the list goes on but enough.

On Friday I took my baby and John-boy and Sarah up to Southampton to see the mighty John Otway (one-hit-wonder and star). On the way we got caught in the most magnificent thunderstorm. I had to slow down to about 30 miles an hour on the motorway due to poor visibility, the dark skies lit by sudden surging flashes as bolts came down around us. Such a beautiful feeling of refreshment in the air as we passed through.

We met Mick and Lisa, with friend Michaela and lovely puppy dog Floyd. And then laughed our socks off for an hour as Otway and pal did a manic performance of huge proportions! We grinned so much our faces hurt.

After getting back home again we stayed up and watched some comedy on TV before going to bed but my rest, and subsequently Broni’s was disturbed by my fits of uncontrollable coughing which seems to be the last remnants of my cold.

Saturday was big meal day as my sweet and I went for breakfast in Boscombe and stuffed ourselves silly before paying for our flight to Australia (no turning back now) and the sun was out for us just to let us know what it was going to be like.

Later we went Indian and, stuffed again, went down to the river near Wimborne and played on the bridge over the murky water, the light of day now gone. Home again, bed again and another night I coughed us awake.

Despite all that we got up (dragged up in my case) in cheerful mood, Broni off for a swim while John and I crash banged our way to the beach on our bikes, racing through the woods and paths of Branksome Chine. It being so nice there we thought we’d come back later with Broni and Sarah. The sun was baking, high in the hazy sky. So, racing back up paths and woods I turned and twisted and fell on a tree stump and cut my knee open just like I used to daily when I was about 5 or 6, giving me plenty of practice at scab picking. I wonder how my knees may hold out in later life.

So, Sarah came over in her open-top jeep and we took balls, food and water down to the beach, me and John hanging on in the back as people looked on in wonder. And at the beach Broni took it easy, coming down with tonsillitis and tiredness (and did I mention the mouth ulcers, big as Moon craters). John and I ran into the water and played ball, I surprised myself by actually enjoying being in the water and was reluctant to leave later. Sarah waded in a bit but understandably wasn’t too keen on getting soaked all over (as we were). Me and John played for ages, throwing, heading, skimming, passing all manner of balls from then I felt like Superman, spurred on by John’s manic activity.

Back in the jeep and home, Broni fell asleep as I watched football (Sweden beat Saudi Arabia 3-1, a good game too). Then, after some munch, John and I went to play football tennis at his friend Lauren’s. Despite the cloudy mist, we sweated buckets in the evening’s still. Then back for more football (Romania brilliantly beating Argentina 3-2) as Broni fell back to sleep, then me following until some early hour, us both awake again with my worst fit of coughing so far.

Today Broni’s off work at my request (she was not well enough, despite her protests and I think she’s welcome of it too really) Well, during today I got a bit better as rain started to tipple down but now the sun’s back out and the oppressive atmosphere is claustrophobic on my chest. I’m looking forward to getting back down the beach again sometime despite it knackering me out today.

Due to circumstances, it looks like I’ll be doing some more driving at work which is cool with me – I gets chance to write this! Found out Kerry smashed her face surfing on the weekend, poor girl, losing part of her front tooth and tonight we go to celebrate the last day of her diet in which she lost three stone and looks much better (in herself) for it. Of course, I’ll be there coughing up my guts, Broni with sore throat and ulcers and Kerry, a-bruised – sounds like a good reason to party to me! This, after we watched Ireland play Holland to stay in the World Cup.

Squeezing something nonexistent – 29th June 1994

Swan

Haha! If only it were so easy. This is a critical time and we’re both getting very fucking impatient. We know we are going to be heartbroken at leaving our friends behind and jeez, we wanna get it over with, you know. It’s like waiting for a disaster, knowing it’s going to happen.

We’re both sick of work too – it drives us crazy. We’re not saying we don’t want to work but just time for a break, a change. Glad I’m in a position to be able to afford a change. Well, you can imagine what tensions we go through in the evenings. Of course, we both understand this too.

Well kids, as to today, I’m not so well. I can’t fucking breathe. My head’s all stuffed and I’m short of breath. But last night I’ll tell you, dusky sunset over the beautiful park water, shimmering with the breeze. We played ball in the sombre quiet fading of day before strolling at water’s edge to swan heaven, where about 15 huge lumbering white feathered creatures lurched, cleaned, pecked and scraped, fluffed, flapped and some slept necks twisted up over their backs, beaks tucked under wings. We watched in awe for about 10 minutes before walking back across the grass and after a while to a small pond, now dark and quiet. Here about 70 or so ducks and swans swam quietly and elegantly about their business. I came to the water’s edge and proclaimed “Hail, I am Duck Jesus” and all my faithful followers swam for me and I blessed them with water before telling them to go out and tell the world their story.

You may be interested to know that Ireland are through to the second stage of the World Cup though I have doubts about how much further they’ll make it after last nights don’t match with Norway.

Not much more but I will tell you that Fatty and his comments do still play on my mind despite my efforts to forget. I guess I’ll have to learn more to let go when things out of my control.

The time is so little, the time belongs to us – 28th June 1994

The Chase

What a sad affair yesterday’s entry was but now it is written the emotion has passed. If you’d like to know, writing things down helps you to sort things out, makes things clear – hell, you probably know all this already.

But now let me tell you about the sky. Oh sweet sky, sapphire desire. Last night I happen to glimpse the sky at what must’ve been a quintessential moment in time, just as Saturn went through Jupiter (or some such nonsense). I could see miles onto the horizon where the blue was hazy, light and white, like a faded blue, sunbleached by time. And up, slowly becoming substantial, deepening, a brief flurry of fluffy white and on and up til oh, so deep the colour, like eyes, big, deep pools of the vivescense (if there is no such word – imagine it, goddamn) and my breath was taken away. I looked and looked and loved and my attitude changed. I filled up on good feelings and daydreamt about Australia and blue and water and life. Soon these dreams will turn into reality – easy!

Well, besides these things I can tell you the following that destiny threw at me and I faced proud and strong (god, Shaun, you are dramatic). Here’s some tiny things I did!

Munched out at the Thai restaurant with both the women in my life, my sweetheart and my mum! Being the only customers, we were waited on hand and foot by the whole staff (could have been the whole family) and served up delicious delicacies, beers and dessert. But remember to speak slowly and in sign language or better still, learn their language. They were sweet and willing though.

Of course, there’s been fucking tons of football on and I’ve been watching as much as possible. Too much to tell you about here – buy the video!

Broni fell off her bike in the middle-of-the-road – luckily not the busy one but I watched in despair as she keeled over unable to put her foot down, her laces being wrapped ’round the pedal and so sweet, her baby crying face as she sat, dumped on her back, on the tarmac. A couple of bruises to show now. You know, she bruises so easily – I have to be very careful when I pick her up and turn her upside down.

I was thinking anyway, about us, and fuck, there’s magic between us. I think some of the more cynical of you out there might think we’re like soppy sloppy teenagers but I reckon you just haven’t come across this feeling before (and fuck I love this feeling, I just want to suck it all up, more more more). But you know, you’re all okay too. You can guess we’re both still madly, badly in love with each other. If that makes you sick, you make me sad. I still have faith in the human spirit. Some of my friends out there give me that faith.

Hell, went to see ‘The Chase’ too, with Henry Rollins playing some meathead cop (total fucking irony – who said Americans don’t understand irony!), with a soundtrack featuring NOFX, Bad Religion, Down by Law, Rancid and a ton more. You know it’s punk to go to the cinema, don’t you! Yes, it’s true – everything you do with your life is punk.

You know me, I probably did a million other things though now I’m not in such a fucking hurry. Taking it easy up until launch date – no stress for me and my baby. As always will keep you informed.

I could have been like Lou Barlow but I’m more like Ken Barlow – 20th June 1994

Okay, children of the revelation – no entries for five lots of 24. Here’s why.

Night of the 15th, me and Broni watched the film The Subterraneans – based on the Kerouac novel. In which George Peppard (very fucking young and non cigar chewing) plays the writer and spiels his ‘time’ spiel i.e. “there’s not enough time to watch every football match, kiss every girl, talk to everyone, but I must keep trying” and the mad girl tells him “You writers – you spend so much time writing about things you’ve done at the expense of things you could be doing and trying to write it down oh so right!” This crushed me! Till now anyway.

John-boy lost his voice on Wednesday, to which gave us all great delight in ribbing him as he is normally 1 million words a minute.

And so, The World Cup did start on Friday, much to Broni’s bemusement but we watched first match at Kerry’s (Germany one, Bolivia nil – the Germans are the most boring team to watch and Bolivia did give them a run for awhile). I stayed up to watch Spain versus South Korea and at 2.20am, with 6 minutes to go, decided to call it a night, with Spain two goals up, only to find out next day South Korea scored two cracking goals in six minutes to level it! Spain are also very dull and South Korea played beautiful passing football.

With a barbecue and TV planted outdoors we watched Ireland triumphantly beat Italy one nil and last night (Sunday), Norway vs Mexico in the same group (also one nil). Stayed up for the first half of Cameroon vs Sweden, which was a cracker of a match (One one, half time) Don’t know who won yet!

Broni doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm so I’ve been letting her get some sleep in the full of our single bed and last night I came to bed excited about wedding speeches. And, of course, I must tell you that we’ve ordered some designer wedding rings from a jeweller in Salisbury – the only thing I think I’ll get on my finger – slightly unusual, well, very unusual for wedding bands, mixed coloured golds and non-symmetric. Much nicer then the tack of yer standard high street affairs.

So I dreamt about Lou Barlow instead of Henry Rollins, and sure, I introduced him to my mum! Woke up to the lovely cooing face of my sweetheart. Life is good, life is scary, life is fun, life is love.

(Later) Here I sit, in the summer swelter, thirsty and starved, contemplating my situation. And oh, life is just a series of appointments but I have the energy and enthusiasm to meet every deadline I may have made from myself. Fucking hell, lots of people can’t even get out of their chairs to turn the TV off (I’m no smarter or dumber than them) – it’s just about doing it. And now I know I can deal with this big stress a-coming, just a series of appointments I’ve made, big ones, little ones, it is true, size is not important. These paths I travel are destiny – they are waiting for me to seek them out. I accept the challenge.