Consciousness has plagued us and we cannot shake it – 8th September 1994

The hum of life, the sweet vibrations, constant flow, liquid movement, the tension, the stress.

In brief, 14 tea chests packed, left on Monday, me waiting patiently outside reading Jack in the sunshine and waiting past deadline time, til little sprinkles of rain start descending earthward, teachestward, but it soon passes and eventually a lorry and it’s drivers come and take away all my precious belongings, safe journey, see you on the other side!

And day later we send more stuff via the Postal Service which costs us a ton of money but hell, it’s got to be done.

So now we have about four suitcases full of things to live with for the next three weeks, and in fact for eight more after that, as the chests won’t arrive till mid November somewhen. It’s like a relief now they are gone, we have no control over their destiny so we absolve ourselves from any worry, not that we worry much in the household anyway. Good fortune follows our good outlooks, only good things can happen to us.

Broni cracks a little, had enough of repeating the same lines to everyone we meet about our plans, she wants to be alone. With me. But we can’t get away from the people living in this house and all the appointments we’ve made, I’ve accepted that but it is somewhat easier for me to digest as I am on my lonesome during the day. I brighten her up with some love and affection.

Later, Lisa comes round with her new man friend, Jonathan, and they take us to the Bermuda Triangle Bar and we feed up on gossip and Budweiser on draft (lordy!), time rattling by we leave drunk as skunks, happy to see friends and be in their company, not sad yet to be leaving them. I feel like I’m gonna be hit when I’m there, homesick like but I’ll handle it with love and help from my angel sweetheart.

Back home, Kerry has broken her promise to herself to not drink on her own or during the week, she is very sad, missing her love in Tokyo, I feel for her but don’t feel right making her stick to her original plan knowing what she’s going through. Difficult cos I know that demon drink will spiral you downward if not handled well and proper, what can I say?

The next night our appointment is with family, Broni arrives home asleep on her feet, lies down on the couch next to me and falls away without a whisper of a word of thought. I wrap myself around her and hold her with deep love, rocking her gently to stop her snoring getting any louder, about 20 minutes later. Twenty more and she’s awake again, at least her eyes are open, I run her a lavender strawberry bath and leave her to it, fighting real rough tonsillitis and headaches.

Mother has come to pick us up, with her sister Shirley also, and we head off to cousin Sharon and Ken’s with son Mungo, their radical 18-year-old, whom they practically disowned when rejecting public school and trying out the drugs of life instead. But hell, what a nice kid he seemed to me, reminding of Steve in politeness and good looks.

A feast of English food was prepared and devoured, with the best white or red wine your choice, and port at the end, is that how one does these things properly Jeeves? I make light of their well-to-do attitude, while not offensive, is slightly off-putting to my more down to earth approach to life, but nice people to go to all that trouble for us anyway, me who they haven’t seen for probably five years or more.

I drop Broni in it when I see the piano and she plays some for us, sounding absolutely beautiful and much more proficient under this pressure which I’m guilty of putting on her but interesting to see as she rarely plays for more than five seconds at a time on Kerry’s piano.

I love her, what a magician she is, we curl ourselves up, night, JimBob.

Cafe

(Sickly aroma of coffee, strong and white,
invades my earth damaged nostrils
tuck into great chunks of cheese and tomato
watch and observe, chew slow on that bread)

Green tiles, green lines, calm the nerves
of old ladies with grandchildren in tow
watch them and wonder, how they came
and later, how they go

The suited young men pontificate and gesture
to juniors, cigarettes in either hand
the sporting gay lovers imitating each other
before playing games earlier planned

Couples, lovers, single parent mothers
the beautiful hairdressers, all stop by and eat
to put their old feet up, sit for a second
before heading back down to the lonely street.

Shock brown brick clashes into the sky, grey and steely behind. Old building, sash windows, regular rectangles ‘cept the end. White, brown dirtied drainpipes slide down at intervals sucking out waste from the depths inside, like alien suckers shattering skin slurp! slurp! Blinds open, half open, half up or shut behind each window a story or a hundred stories, all personal, not to be disclosed – secret doctor like. Pitiful short trees fail to brighten up the crowded car park, absent of leaves in the youth of autumn, but for one silver skinned birch still magnificent in it’s dark green plumage, branches thrashing wildly, like mad bongo voodoo drummers, in the greasy wind.

*The Week That Was – 13th April 1981

Single of the week: Blitzkrieg – Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Dead (and EP), Positive Noise – Give Me Passion

13th April 1981
Staying at Sharon’s
God I’m KNACKERED

14th April 1981
Aston Villa 1 – Ipswich 2
We scored the first two

15th April 1981
Made me own breakfast
The Public Image

16th April 1981
Nearly finished tapes

17th April 1981
I got a new watch
It’s good

18th April 1981
Ipswich 0 – Arsenal 2
Never mind

19th April 1981
Rang Graeme
The Bollocks

This week’s chart-topper is: Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up

The Week That Was – 12th August 1979

Record of the week: The Dickies – Walk Like An Egg
Highest entry: Angelic Upstarts – Teenage Warning

25th May 2022 – My ‘record’ of the week seems to be just different songs from the Dickies album. Well, it is that good, I suppose. Angelic Upstarts – fantastic youth anthem, Teenage Warning – classic. I wonder if I could play it on guitar? Definitely not the guitar solo though!

12th August 1979
Might be watching the match on Saturday vs Forest

25th May 2022 – I think this would be the first of two times I saw Ipswich play. The other was in Bristol, vs Bristol City, though I’ve no idea what mum and I were doing in Bristol. Maybe just visiting Bath?

13th August 1979
I’m writing this on Thursday and I can’t remember what happened today
2p 93p* 86p* 179p*

14th August 1979
Went to Sharon and Ken’s
2p

25th May 2022 – Before moving to Dorset to live with my grandparents, we lived in Devon. I also don’t really know why we moved to Devon from Cumbria, though I would guess it would have something to do with my mum’s then-boyfriend committing himself to more than one girlfriend at a time. I never really saw my mum with another guy after that. Anyway, in Devon, my cousins, Sharon and Ken lived about 3 miles away from where we did. After leaving Devon at the end of 1976, Sharon and Ken moved too, also to Dorset, about 10 miles away from us. I used to enjoy Ken’s sense of humour and playfulness. Also by this time, they must have had a least one of their two children, Mungo followed by Kim. I was deemed to be close enough in age to play with them and get out of my mum’s hair for a while.

15th August 1979
Came back from Sharon and Ken’s
2p

16th August 1979
1. Boomtown Rats
2. Cliff Richard
3. Ian Dury
4. EWF
5. Abba
6. Hersham Boys
7. Police
8. Dooleys
9. Darts
10. ELO
2p 173p*

17th August 1979
Go on holiday to East Anglia
Not Dead
2p 171p*

25th May 2022 – Hehe – I’m not sure why I wrote ‘not dead’. I suppose it was a long drive. I was excited to be in the county of my team and to be going to see them play the following day. Here, we stayed with my Auntie Eileen and Uncle Dick, after them having stayed with us last week or so.

18th August 1979
Up until now because I’ll be giving Ipswich’s scores
Ipswich 0-1 Forest – Boo
Watched the match live.
2p 169p*

25th May 2022 – In East Anglia I remember being allowed to drink Cinzano, which was Eileen and Dick’s favourite tipple.

I also managed to convince my mum to buy the Sham 69 Hersham Boys 12″ which no one else was very impressed with but didn’t stop me from playing it. Especially showing these ‘old people’ how angry and mature I was by enjoying the beeped-out swearing on the live tunes.

We also went for a walk across a heath with lots of brackens and their old dog trailing behind. But the football match that I was so excited about I don’t remember a thing, except perhaps, being disappointed at losing.

The other time I saw them, they lost too and that trend continued many a time I went to watch the Swans play in Sydney too. There was a very big difference in the atmosphere at matches between English football and Aussie Rules.

In England there was always a tension, a palpable possibility of violence, not even my mum could protect me from. In Australia, everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy watching the sport. Overzealous fans tend to be frowned upon. There is also no separation for supporters because it just isn’t necessary. Fans would poke gentle fun at each other, that was as violent as I ever saw at a game. Even opposition fans could make me laugh when one time, Collingwood scored their first point and shouted ‘You’re losing, Sydney!’

The Week That Was – 25th February 1979

23rd Nov 2021 – Trevor Brooking – I hated Trevor Brooking!

Record of the Week: Just a Gigolo – The Village People
Highest Entry: Gary’s Gang – Keep On Dancin’ – 23

23rd Nov 2021 – The Village People! I had not converted completely to punk rock just yet. Perhaps my attraction to them was the happy, fuck-you attitude they projected. Well, their upbeat gay anthems were (and still are) part of the western zeitgeist.

Tracy Pew R.I.P. – Haha

25th February 1979
The other lot came round today. All four of them.
Blurp!

23rd Nov 2021 – Hmm, so now I’m confused about the ‘first lot’ I mentioned and ‘this lot’, ‘the other lot’! If there were four of them…..perhaps my Aunt Shirley, Uncle John, my cousin Sharon and her husband Ken. It’s possible though I think my Uncle John may have already passed away by this time and maybe Sharon and Ken’s first son, Mungo, was already born. My uncle John was a competent carpenter, or at least that is in my memory bank somehow. Perhaps just some weird association with fresh-cut wood? I know I liked him.

I was ambivalent to my Aunt Shirley as she always seemed so strict but I really came to dislike her over the next few years as she would often tell my mum that she was doing a bad job at raising me. I tried to avoid her as much as possible, which wasn’t that difficult really.

I wasn’t very family-oriented really, possibly due to the fact that I never had a father around as he had passed when I was too small to even have any memory of him, and even though we were living with my grandparents I think I resented that in some ways, as other families of friends were just the more traditional family unit of parents and one, two or three children living together. There were times when I wished for my mum to remarry. I was always hopeful whenever some man or other came into our lives but I appreciate that my mum was happily self-sufficient.

By calling my extended relations, that lot and the other lot I’d already made my mind up about certain things.

26th February 1979
Didn’t see the eclipse today
Da! Da!
Ipswich 6-1 Bristol Rovers

23rd Nov 2021 – February in England. Well, it’s no real surprise that I didn’t see any eclipse.

27th February 1979
Had five pancakes
Did games today!
Even though my foot hurt

23rd Nov 2021 – My foot is hurting right now. I can still poke into the arch of my left foot and feel something isn’t quite right. But it’s mainly the joint of my big toe that is painful now. I’m considering going to get it checked out. I’m not sure what to expect from the Thai medical system here in Chiang Rai. It feels like we are a long way from where folks with real expertise might be. I’m sure whoever I see will give it their best shot though. At least I could get an x-ray done that might give a better idea of managing it.

By fuck, did I love my mum’s pancakes, covered in sugar and lemon juice. What a treat. I could never replicate them though.

28th February 1979
Went to orchestra at school

23rd Nov 2021 – I guess I was playing the clarinet. Mr Broadway was my science teacher and music teacher. He had curly brown hair and was quite fun to be around. But I gave up the clarinet when it started to get more tricky. This was quite a common behaviour through my teenage years. Too hard? Give up. Sometimes I still do this. And I see Hayden do this too. What is it that makes us give up so easily when things become more difficult? When I get stuck learning to play the guitar now, I just keep trying until I finally get it. I don’t put the kind of pressure on myself that I used to.

1st March 1979
1. Bee Gees – Tragedy (2)(1)
2. Blondie – Heart of Glass (1)(3)
3. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army (5)(2)
4. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive (7) (-)
5. Abba – Chiquitita (3) (4)

24th Nov 2021 – Oliver’s Army was great as were some other early Elvis Costello tunes but I stopped listening after listening to the “Carry On Sex Pistols” album where Steve Jones continually shits on him, so I thought I should too. I’ve more recently bought his first two or three albums as they are often revered in certain circles but I haven’t given them a listen yet. It’s only been about 5 years….one day, one day.

Writing this post is making me want to go home and listen to this and the Birthday Party (Mr. Clarinet). Not the Village People though.

2nd March 1979
Get REV homework
Soap was on at 11:40
Only my second whole week at school

3rd March 1979
Do bricks 2p
Didn’t do them?
X – Ipswich 1-1 Forest

24th Nov 2021 – Outside our back door was a small bricked patio area that needed to be cleaned every week or two as it would get a little mouldy and slippery. I hated cleaning them, although I can imagine the first time I did it I was really trying to do my best but after a while, I just resented the time I had to spend doing it and I would attempt to do it as quickly as possible and sometimes I would be made to do it again because I had been too careless, which of course meant losing more precious time.

I’m curious about the X, and various other codes that appear more often throughout the year. I’m thinking that this was some secret indication of my masturbatory habits as it would have been around this time I discovered the pleasures of touching my dick. More on that later.