The Myths We Made – 11th November 2022

So much for the myths we made
Throwing rocks at the running police
Looking out from the tenth-floor flat
And dreaming of release
The tunes were busting on the stereo
And cigarette smoke filled the room
Bass was shaking the floor below
They were banging with a broom
Nothing to do and nowhere to go
We made fists and painted shirts
Promised ourselves we’d never stop
No matter how much it hurts
Time went on and the myths grew large
So much, they hung around our necks
Weighed down with hypocrisy
Until the truth could no longer flex

It was Four Tops all night with encores from stage right – 24th-27th February 2018

It’s becoming obvious that I’m not going to be able to keep up with regularly posting updates here as time seems to slip on by.  I’ll do my best to keep note of things and get to them when I can but not sure how I’m going to be able to keep them concurrent with events from 1994, of which there is still a mass of writing for that year in my diary.

If I just limit myself to a paragraph per note I’ve made this post is going to get quite long.  I’ll try and be more concise.

So, our final morning in Dorset sees me going through some boxes of things my mother kept over the years.  I’m interested in the photos more than documents such as birth and death certificates and old school reports.  In particular are a couple of school photos I’m guessing from when I was 12 and 13.  You can just see my hair starting to get more punked up, for which I got so much shit at school at the time, from teachers and older kids who nicknamed me Sid.  I never got on with that nickname as I was more into Johnny Rotten but it was difficult to tell kids that as they were kicking and punching me for their random pleasure.  The thing with these two photos is you can still see the light in my eyes, just starting to dull in the later one.  These years were the start of what later would be diagnosed as mild depression.  The transition from middle to high school was particularly traumatic as I had a whole new bunch of older kids to pick on me though I soon found some allies.

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Before we know it we’re up the motorway again, back to other old haunts in Southampton.  We’re staying with Amy’s cousin Ting, who has been in England so long she has the thickest English accent I’ve heard for a while – so much so that I barely recognise her on the phone sometimes.

Amy heads off with Ting to do some shopping as they are cooking together at a friend’s house that evening, whilst I head over to see my old pal, Chrissy.

Chrissy was the wife of Steve, whom, if you’ve been following so far, was the inspiration for writing the 1994 diary after his untimely death the previous year.  I caught up with her briefly in Sydney a few years before as she was attending someone’s wedding there, just a suburb or two away from where I was living at the time.  It was good to catch up again and talk shit like we did in the ‘good old’ days.

The afternoon is made more pleasant by the arrival of Steve and Chrissy’s daughter Rebecca, who was less than a year old the last time I saw her.  I am shocked at the resemblance to Steve and can’t stop looking at her face.  It’s like he’s right there again.

I also make quick friends with their dog who despite being somewhat shy took to me for some good pats, strokes and ear rubbing.  But soon enough it’s time to leave.

I head back to drop the car at Ting’s and get out the maps app so as to walk to the pub where I will meet more old timers and down a couple of pints.  The air is very cold but the exercise warms me and I look into people’s houses as I pass and wonder what their lives are holding for them today.

I stop off for some hot chips as I’ve not eaten much today and it would be preferable to line my stomach with something traditionally British and stodgy to soak up any alcohol intake.

There are some bands playing tonight, including some old friends but I’m not so interested in the music as I am in talking.  Rich introduces me to his partner Geraldine and later Rob and his partner Emily turn up.  A couple of other hopeful attendees find themselves busy elsewhere so they’ll just have to come and visit me in Thailand one day.

A jovial atmosphere and pleasant conversations quickly end this all to brief meet up but it’s much along the lines of that last night in Sydney, with certain friends you can just pick up on conversations with even years of interruption between.

The following morning we’re off to London.  Amy wants to go shopping.  I’m not particularly thrilled at that idea but I’ve set myself a task to track down a book I’m looking for.  We’re also booked for a dinner in the evening at the Shard near London Bridge.

I’ve always enjoyed London as a place to visit but never, when living in England, felt the urge to live there.  So, even rush hour tube trips have some sense of adventure to them.  I’m constantly reminded of the Clash as we pass by certain stations and wonder at the motivations they had as they went from small house suburban London city to mega hotel New York city.  Man, they wrote some tunes.

One thing I immediately notice is how much more multicultural London is than Sydney.  Although not so used to hearing the English accent anymore it seems that in many places we visit and pass by that people aren’t speaking English at all.  It’s a little unsettling and really cool at the same time.

This point is highlighted even more as we head for a pub lunch and I’m annoyed at myself for not understanding the bartender’s accent.  I forget to apologise for my difficulty as her’s is a Lubjiana accent, so I ask her more about her country.  She’s busy though but I think she wasn’t offended at my ignorance in the end.

We pop into Waterstone’s bookshop and finally I find the book I’m looking for, ‘Churchill’s Secret War’ and take this final chance to pick a couple of books about The Fall.  I wasn’t going to buy these originally as I figured I could find them digitally but they were there, I was shopping, this was possibly the last day I’ll ever be in England and so they ended up in my luggage.  Amy felt the same and bought a couple of massive cooking books which definitely means a rejig of our bags later tonight.

We’re starting to flag now and consider changing our plans for dinner tonight.  It’s another beautiful sunny cold day, particularly bitter when the wind rushes through small side streets.  We decide to head to the Shard early and see if we can just go up and take some pictures.  We end up on the 34th floor at the small bar there and decide to splash out on a bottle of champagne and 6 oysters.  These kinds of expenses usually bother me but I decided to relax again and enjoy this indulgence despite the fact the cost could probably build us a swimming pool in Thailand.

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We reflect on our lives as we stare out across this old city and talk about how people think we are lucky to be able to do this and that.  But we have worked hard, had a plan and always pointed our way towards it.  I guess those comments are somewhat driven by the social media construct where friends generally only see you having fun, what appears to be, all the time.  We know we have made the right choices along the way, the choices that have got us where we are now.

The following morning we are greeted with snow.  What a nice surprise.  The Mexicans we meet at the breakfast table in our guest house are equally thrilled and we watch them as they step out to take funny photos.  We do the same a little later as we stuff our suddenly heavier re-jigged bags into the car and head to the drop off point.  Unfortunately, our phone direction finder leads round in frustrating circles and we decided just to figure it out following the signposts instead.

Amy decides on one last shop at the airport, so I get in the mood and pick up another book about the rules of being English, something I mentioned to Amy when she smiled happily to the guy in the take away the previous night. I told her it was not usual for someone to smile at other people in England and the guy probably thought she fancied him.  This is overplaying it a bit and is also the exact thing that attracted me to Amy in the first place.  That was in Sydney though, where smiling is an everyday occurrence.  I’m sure the English can often go a whole week without a smile.

The English confound me more on the plane to Bangkok.  It’s another A380 but this time jammed with ‘bigger’ English people looking for thrills in the ‘land of smiles’.  Despite leaving at midday, it’s an overnight flight as we fight against earth’s rotation and the English are up and at the crew galley all night long refilling on free booze.  I did this once when the experience of flying was still new to me.  Free booze must not be missed but I found it impossible to get drunk and to drink enough to be able to sleep.  I would just end up with a frustrating headache at the end of the flight, so I never drink on planes now.

And then occurs the most English thing I can imagine.  There are two meatheads sitting directly in front of Amy and I and they were constantly bouncing in their chairs at every toss, turn and minor readjustment.  I glance the Sun in the lap of the one who is coughing consistently and roll my eyes.  Midway through the flight, Amy needs to get out to go to the toilet so I get up and step into the aisle.  Being half awake I was a little clumsy getting up and knocked the chair in front of me where the now angry boofhead looks around and proclaims, ‘Was that on purpose?  I think it was, wasn’t it?’

I’m perplexed.  My only reply is ‘Sorry?’ and I look behind me to consider if he’s actually talking to someone else because his words just don’t make any sense to me.  Amy is bewildered too but trots off to the toilet as I stand and wait.  The two meatheads decide that they’ll settle themselves down with more whiskey and the event passes.  I still can’t imagine what leads to the guy’s question, if I knocked his chair on purpose, what was the reason?  We’d had no previous interaction at all.  It just seemed a typically antagonistic English response, a show of never back down, one-upmanship.

Those two guys ended up rushing off the plane to get to their destination of my more booze, sun and you can guess what else.

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Our day has only taken 12 hours and we transfer at Bangkok for our flight home, finally my last flight for this period.  There has been so much travel and rush over this month that it has been almost impossible to sit and relax and reflect.  Probably for the best.  Even mum’s funeral seems like something surreal and dreamlike that perhaps didn’t even happen.

This final flight is curiously filled with French and various Middle Easterners and I watch on as people struggle to find their seats.  It’s a little strange really – it’s not that hard, is it?  The numbers ascend and the letters go across.  It seems to take an age for some people though.  I wonder if their brains are wired differently, something that will soon be confirmed as I adjust to life in Thailand.

 

 

Back in Chiang Rai, we rush to sleep, eat, advise our builders, eat and sleep again.  Another day disappeared into the mosquito-ridden night.

Boredomer in Boretribe – 13th-17th February 1994

Both Broni and I rushed past our days at work in excitement for our evening.  A quick zip of the pans brought us nutrition and, once again, we hot-footed it up the mighty highway to our pals in Eastleigh.

Eastleigh’s Tory MP had been found dead on Monday wearing only stockings and a plastic bag on his head with a cord around his throat and this was the source of constant amusement throughout the evening.  The media had been leading with this story every day and were going to town on the sex scandal – it didn’t seem so important that someone had died.

Rob drove us to the Joiners after Rich giving him much hassle for being on the phone so long. Not so patient, our Richard.

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Got their about nine and got a beer and conversed with all our other friends.  A band of locals took to the stage and pounded through some noisy songs.  They had three young fans standing right in front of the stage, admiring their heroes and ritually mouthing the words to every song.  I thought that was brilliant.  I remember being like them (they helped the band take the equipment out too – dedication!).  The band was called Ban Ylang or something similarly rhythmic.

I stood centrally to watch the second band while Bronwyn stood near the bar with ‘our’ crowd.  During a break between songs I (and everyone else!) heard Selina shout out ‘It’s Bronwyn’s round’ to which the bass player said ‘Good on Bronwyn’.  Fame for my baby comes in small doses. She is famous and fabulous in my eyes.

We’d been in the other bar playing bar billiards and getting smashed and bearing cheeky toothy grins.  The second band, Skyscraper, had one good song that I heard and after that were fairly dull but alcohol made me too drunk to care.

We ate chips and the guys stuffed burgers with too much mustard relish.  We eventually zipped our way across the midnight skies and were forced into slumber through stupor.

Rich woke us in the morning at 7.20 and after toast and coffee me and my baby and Rob hit the harder highway to hell to London.  I drove while Bronwyn showed Rob our photos and then they played backgammon.

Broni, direction-finder general, took us straight to Islington where tonight’s gig was.  I had a real quest for food but the guys wouldn’t let me cos we were in some kind of hurry!  We had a lot to get through for sure.  Broni stopped at every map and said ‘that’s where we are’ which didn’t tell us where we wanted to go!

First thing for us to do was go to Australia House in Aldwych. We caught the frenzy bus in the earth to some place near and hop skipped onto a double red decker missing what could have been the most amazing of food we were ever likely to find.  On this bus, I started to love London and wanted to be closer to it.  It brought to mind many Clash songs that would name drop London boroughs and famous places and reminded me why things are different in London.  Australia House was a breeze.  Broni filled in her forms and got them signed there and then.

After a food stop, not up to Broni’s requirements, we tippy-toed a few blocks to Covent Garden Market.  Me and Broni reminisced as we walked past an American diner where we had nachos last time we came to Oz House.  This time it was full of builders sawing wood and putting up walls for a refit.

We looked in every direction at the market not having any idea which way to go so we checked out some stalls of cheap crappy gothic jewellery and crummy clothes.  Broni found a juggling stall and got a demonstration out of the guy there.  He was pretty good and gave Broni some ideas for tricks.  We had to pass on the clubs though, being out of our minimal price range.

After asking a couple more stall holders the way to Rough Trade we merrily sang up the street as the sun beat through the grimy atmosphere.  Several stops and reverses later we found it – the doorstep up the alley occupied by the same person as last time I was there, smoking a fag and begging for money.  I reckon he prays on the skaters who probably spend a fortune in Slam City Skates.  Actually, I reckon he probably works there!

A quick glance through the Jap noise CD section, Broni denying me time to ponder purchase, we picked up three tickets for entry tonight.  We checked out this great health food shop on the next corner too, spending another ten pounds on food and refreshments of exotic flavours.

We headed in any old direction for a tube – it seemed great that you could just about walk in any direction and you’d come across some form of transport that would help you on your way to where you may be headed.  It made London seem a whole lot smaller.

Next quest was the British Natural History Museum.  A tube or two later found us walking up a long subway, yellowy with paint and time, crammed with people, a girl I thought I recognised.  I sometimes have the strange feeling of recognition.  If I look at someone for a while then look away and return to them some minutes later I feel sure I’ve met them before.  This happened at least twice today!

On this walk, Broni questioned our finances, running through where 75 pounds could have gone in just 24 hours.  Another four pounds fifty each later saw us into the museum and here started four hours of exploration. First hour spent studying everything in detail, second spent eating some extortionately overpriced food and wandering around the room with a whale that made me say ‘fuck’ out loud.  I also taped the noise of a dolphin saying ‘Hello shit for brains’ or something.

The third hour was spent looking for something more interesting to look at.  The fourth spent whizzing around 60% of the rest of the museum with Broni moaning about her feet and how tired she was.  We were all tired by now and I had information overload (head explode).

As darkness gradually crept into the outside world we took da tube frenzy rush hour time to Leicester Square in search of more sustenance, eventually settling on a ritzy kinda pizza place which was really a glamourous Pizza Hut.  The waitress was kinda cute if she was a day over fifteen!

We left there disturbed at the cost of shoddy service and took the madness line again back to Islington for the evening’s soiree! (Must look that word up in the dictionary sometime).  The tube stopped at Kings Cross and the guard poked his head in the door asking us very quietly to leave.  We emptied reluctantly on the station wondering what exactly was going on.  Next, we were told to go to the other end of the station.  As we walked past the next carriage we saw a brown doctor’s bag, we guess, left unattended.  Broni got very excited and upset at the same time, as the station was gradually emptied and section by section, shut off.

Up on the surface, a few thousand bemused underground goers searched out alternative arrangements.  We hopped on a bus and got back on the trail of adventure and entertainment.  After a little dilly and a dally, we exchanged our tickets for entrance into the club they call the Garage.

It was reasonably well packed early and a band was banging away enthusiastically onstage.  Met my fellow Jap noise-loving friend Neil but talking was restricted due to the disturbing barrage the three guys on stage were making.  They were called ‘Pig’ apparently, though Neil did suffix them with the word ‘shit’.  They did lack something and the drummer had pre-recorded drums which he was playing along to, I’m sure.

The place started to pack a bit more and I got the feeling most people were here just to see one band.  Next band was Jacob’s Mouse who were very loud and not very interesting – may sound OK on record but not here.  As they finished I persuaded pretty Broni nearer the front.  She wanted to stop about eight back but I took her to the second row and we waited patiently.  None of us really knew what to expect from this freaky ensemble called Boredoms but we had several shapes of madness involved in our daydreamscapes.

On walked six small Japanese folk, picking up instruments on their way.  A girl in the band stood on the rail that stops the crowd surging forward, she waited for a second til all the band were ready and proceeded to scream at the top of her voice.  She jumped off the barricade as the rest of the band launched into a delirious song-orama!  From here on it was total madness and chaos.  Eye (singer one) sung several songs with a woolly hat pulled right over his face.  The girl ran to the second drum kit, playing that and screaming, when she wasn’t playing trumpet.  The guitarist was totally amazing keeping his plectrum in his third finger when picking notes with the other digits.

Both singers were going mad jumping about and during one song jumped against each other in rhythm with the song.  A review in Flipside said they were the beginning and end of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Everyone smiled and loved the band.  Both drummers had huge grins most of the time.  Eye went crowd surfing and also into a hypnotic chant.  This is probably the most amazing band I’ve ever seen and ever likely to see.  I wonder what they are like on home turf with all stage props etc.

We left the club with excited faces and excited words. ‘We are Boredom. Come from Japan.  Hope you like.’  Yes indeedy.

Me and my baby navigated the way to Waterloo to drop young Rob off to catch the train to Southampton and I was feeling emotionally exhausted.  The big bright lights of the city looked fantastic at midnight and I would’ve enjoyed just bumming around but for all the excitement my tiny brain had to endure I was in need of rest.  Broni was too and we had several tiny arguments which culminated in me throwing a tantrum outside David and Louise’s.

After making up we woke up David, such a gentle giant, who let us in, made us coffee, we talked for a few minutes and then retired into a most beautiful slumber for the night.  Our arrangement to be up at nine was broken by all of us!

We stirred out of our wrapped up slumber around ten and woke ourselves up with cold showers – not through choice I might add!  Breakfast was made and we talked and ate as the most glorious sunshine poured into the kitchen and into our souls.  Eventually, talk got around to our wedding and Broni’s mum and dad’s thought on the matter.  I was very quiet through this as I did not want to upset anyone with my thoughts on religion.  Louse and David gave us a few ideas for compromise.

We checked out photos for an hour before deciding to hit the road again.  The raging red yellow ball of fire in the sky was still there yet I did not feel completely whole.  As we exited London me and my baby talked about the wedding and could not come to an agreement.  We both felt stuck.  Her wanting to please her parents as well as me and me wanting not to upset anyone but not sacrifice my principles.

After some thought and more discussion, I told Bronwyn I’d marry her with a priest but not with any religious overtones.  This seemed like a good possibility to put to her mum and dad.

Despite the sun, our disagreement clouded most of the rest of the journey, though we picked up considerably as we approached Bath.

It’s a strange time warp feeling entering Bath.  As you descend the hill side from the north looking into the valley, time seems to go backwards and the light dims.

We drove round the Circle, Royal Crescent and Landsdown Crescent where we first held hands.  Aah – how romantic.  We found the old B+B we stayed in but alas, no vacancies.  It seemed the same story everywhere else too.

After about an hour of traipsing around in car and on foot (and being rudely told to go away by one landlady), I ran into a pub bedecked with old wooden beams and wood fires.  The landlord rang up a pal of his who had vacancies, so we took the car round the other side of town to this old bastard pub and got ourselves a huge sparse ugly room to crash for the night.

We crashed, washed, prepared and had a short run back into town, passed a zillion people queueing to go into some hall for something we couldn’t quite work out what.  It could’ve explained why there was a lot of people in Bath and everywhere booked up.

We had a drink in the pub that I’d dashed into earlier, after walking upstream the raging murky river.  There’s a wealth of hidden walkways in Bath and cafes stuck in the strangest of places, many below street level.

We paid tribute to India again at the Jamuna restaurant.  Then, after a drunken search in the bottle shop for Australian port, we hijacked a possed off taxi driver, upset that we could’ve walked such a short distance, who sped off for the fastest taxi drive I’ve ever been on, all for one pound fifty.  We opened up the port in our room and fell asleep with the TV on, watching the Winter Olympics.

It took us a great deal of time to get out of bed this morning as firstly the room’s inadequacies did not tempt us and each other’s bodies did.  About an ecstasy hour later we went down and got some coffee and omelette that fortified us for the morning.

Back on the road again we navigated our way across beautiful moorland and down, once again, through the crag and crevice of Cheddar Gorge.  Beauty is in nature and not very often handmade.  Here we ran up and down the road, through the bitter wind taking photos as the sunshine hit the cliffs higher up.

We gave the caves a miss in favour of Wooky Hole just ten miles away.  Last time I was here I wasn’t overly impressed but this time I reckon I must have more soul and fire in my heart as I found the caves absolutely thrilling and fascinating.  You can’t get much closer to nature than this.

We took photos in the 100ft high chambers as we traversed the steely iron walkways some 30ft above the grey blue chilly waters below.  After hearing all the stories about the caves we checked out the paper making in the mill – then through some fairground antiques and into the most amazing maze I’ve ever seen.  It was maze of mirrors.  You could literally take two steps forward and not be sure where you’d come from.  Images of yourself would be reflected on six different mirrors and you could walk up to your own back or see yourself from the side.  We were so fascinated we went in twice.

Outside, in reality, we high-tailed it to Glastonbury to check out the scrummy Blue Note Cafe.  Glastonbury is a strange place – it’s very nice and relaxed but the hippy attitude seems kind of fake.  The shops sell hippy culture junk and million books of all descriptions on how to find yourself.  We did buy a CD of just percussion which seemed jolly interesting.

By this time we’d worn ourselves out and set off for home where relaxation was beckoning.  After a quick, yet uneventful ride home through dusky paths of tarmac we sat down with coffees and enjoyed our new musical soundtrack of rhythms.  I’d guess we fell asleep after that.

The next few days were spent working and writing all this.  Monday brought the promise of snow and by late evening an inch had already fallen.  The once grim terraced rows now transformed, as light reflected from every inch of crispy white.  We took a slippery drive down to the park and took photos and threw a ball or two.

Next morning found us under five inches and Broni rightly took the bus to Upton to work.  I arrived at my work some two and a half hours late and my day just whizzed by.  I noticed with some irony the council workers clearing footpaths of snow that would’ve melted away in a few hours anyway!

Wednesday found me giving Broni a long slow massage which developed into squelchier things and we fell asleep in each other’s arms after a port or two.  We woke in the morning and in love.

“Always I was running, always was running, running to throw switches, running in my sleep and running now – happy.” – Kerouac

The Clash, Dancette at Poole Arts Centre – 27th July 1982

12th May 2022 – Looking for info on this show, I discovered that the poster for the attached image sold for more than £1,600!

Another band played this show too but I don’t remember and can’t find any other information.

My mum would’ve taken Rupert and me down to this and picked us up afterwards. I wonder now, what she was doing during the time we were there. Did she go home or go and hang out somewhere? If it was me (now) I would’ve found something to do nearby although, admittedly, back then there wasn’t much else to do except go to the pub. I guess there’s not much else to do even now but people can keep themselves occupied fiddling with their phones whilst waiting. I’d take a book.

I don’t remember anything about this show. I just have a snapshot in my head of a blurry stage and Mick Jones on the left. I’m sure I enjoyed it though. Rupert and I would’ve been pogoing like mad punks were supposed to.

The Diary That Was – 31st December 1979

29th Sep 2022 – And so we are here, at the mysterious back pages of the diary.

Record of the week: The Greedies – Merry Jingle

29th Sep 2022 – Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy and Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols were the Greedies and this song is a fun, romping Christmas song but as with most Christmas songs, won’t hold up at any other time of year. I wonder what it is that makes people think to write a Christmas song? If it’s your last resort maybe it’s time to give up?

29th Sept 2022 – Paul Mariner, Mick Mills, Mick(?) Lambert, Bobby Robson, Trevor Whymark, Roger Osbourne, John Wark, George Burley, Paul Cooper, Kevin Beattie…the other faces are familiar but names stuck somewhere deep in the noggin. I’m going to go search the rest of the names as a reminder.

Frm Fidy tety sx nw cod i sudrtkn

29th Sept 2022 – Any codebreakers got this one? I reckon ‘From Friday Twenty Six…….” – any significance to the missing letters? Children and their warped minds.

Andrew said “I don’t think the FONZ is very interesting.”

29th Sep 2022 – It was all downhill from here.

Lief
Leif

29th Sept 2022 – Me trying to work out how to spell Leif Garrett, and yes, I had to look it up again just now.

Me —— Them
Golf
-8 —— -2
-2 —— -2
-3 —— -6
-4 —— -10

29th Sep 2022 – In my childlike imagination my bedroom was a golf course. Using one of our eating knives as a club and a marble as a ball, I devised a course around the bed, chair, floor, drawers etc.

I remember the knife well, it was one that was least favoured to be used at the table, it was the odd one out in the cutlery drawer. It had a cream handle, some kind of imitation ivory, bakelite maybe? Where the blade joined the handle had a small piece missing that added to its devious charm. The tip of the knife was an industrial semi-circle shape, with no pointed end as with our other knives. It was ugly. So it became my mini golf club and I loved it for that.

Of course, I just played against myself, labelling the scores Me and Them and generally always favouring Me, naturally.

When you chatted up the girl with the great big boobs
I don’t make a fuss, I just kept me cool

29th Sept 2022 – The genesis of getting into writing lyrics and trying to make them outrageous as per my idols. I didn’t yet have the vocabulary and ability but genius (haha!) must start somewhere!

Bed (curtains) 2p
Bricks 102p
Make own tea 2p
Make both teas 5p
Make tea to drink 1p
Collect coal 1p
Collect wood 1p
Extra jobs… 1p
Depending how hard… 2p
It is 3p and so on

29th Sep 2022 – Keeping track of potential earnings. No matter, I would always spend more than I earned, well into my late 20s. Some lessons take a long time.

Racing
Kempton 1.30pm 10p stake
1. Be Better 8-1 80p
Kempton 2.00pm
Catechism 7-1

29th Sep 2022 – A minor interest in Maths, betting and odds developing. I soon realised what a con gambling is, though when I say soon, it probably took another ten years as I did usually put some money through the fruit machines of pubs I attended for a while.

29th Sep 2022 – Artistic skills don’t look particularly promising but that never stopped me from trying.

I want Sex Pistols book, LPs and Clash ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’, dartboard

29th Sep 2022 – I ended up with all these except the Clash album which I curiously never owned on vinyl and even now when I listen to it it still sounds fresh and new as many of those songs are not so familiar to me. Weirdly, I think I only ever owned the first album and Sandanista on vinyl and I’m not sure why I missed out on London Calling, which is also a little less familiar to these ears.

Friggin’ in the Riggin’
Ch.
Friggin’ in the riggin’
(repeat two more times)
Cos there’s fuck all else to do
Stick glass up your arse
(repeat thrice)
Cos there’s fuck all else to do

The captain’s wife is Mable
And when she’s fully able
She’ll give the crew the daily screw
Upon the mess room table
The captain’s name is Dodo
And he’s a lazy bugger
He isn’t fit to shovel shit
From one place to another

29th Sep 2022 – As Graeme Gray introduced me to the Sex Pistols through this song I would ask him to repeat these lyrics for me until I could remember them and write them down. Not accurate as expected but filthy enough to warp the precious minds of eleven and twelve-year-old potential brat-punks.

75m – 11.2

29th Sep 2022 – I was obviously pleased with myself for being a fast runner.

Chorus to Pretty Vacant
We’re so pretty, oh so pretty -ow
– Vacant
(repeat)
And now, we don’t careeeee!

Second verse and chorus to Silly Thing
People here, people there
People around you everywhere
What you gonna say
What you gonna do
Now you’ve missed out once again
But I thought you knew
Ch.
Oh, you silly thing
You’ve really gone and done it now
(repeat)

More songs
Bodies
There’s a girl from Birmingham
She’s had an aboushtion
She looks a screaming mess
Screaming mess
Fuck this, fuck that
Fuck that fucking little brat
She don’t want a baby like that
I don’t want a baby like that
She looks a screaming mess
Screaming mess

29th Sep 2022 – More outrageous Sex Pistols lyrics. It’s really hard to comprehend what an impact this band had at the time. For folks like me, it has been a lifelong inspiration and influence that I am proud to be a part of. It all looks old-fashioned and pointless now so I’m forgiving of anything that kids are into these days and forgiving of those who were consumed within their own subcultures that were at pinnacles in the past. We don’t have to understand what they like but we can understand the feelings that it gives them.

RAD DID IT
GRANDAD DID IT

29th Sep 2022 – I had an irrational dislike for my grandparents. Being a snotty kid around Victorian/Edwardian grandparents was never going to be easy. I did like them when I was smaller but perhaps they were more forgiving then too. I would soon be driving them crazy with super loud music and friends visiting for drinking parties. I never really reconciled with my granny (as I called her and my mum wished to be called by Hayden) before she passed but I was more sympathetic to my grandad as I got to my late teenage years. I was surprised to find out at one point that they were actually quite liberal and were members of CND. They weren’t quite so impressed when I showed them the lyrics to Crass’s What The Fuck but they did seem to get the sentiment.

This fucking’ little bastard
Was a fuckin’ little burk
He didn’t know what to do
When he went to work

29th Sep 2022 – Prophetic!

The Week That Was – 1st July 1979

Record of the week: C’mon Everybody – Sex Pistols
Highest entry: Chic – Good Times – 22 (What crap!)

7th May 2022 – Well, I’m going to take my word for it and not even going to bother checking out the Chic song again. Could C’mon Everybody really be by the Sex Pistols? Were the Pistols the Pistols without John Lydon? Obviously, moneymakers thought they could use the name but when it comes to the actual ‘real’ band, they only really had about 18 songs in their catalogue. For a band that had such a great impact on musical culture (culture in general, really) it seems an incredibly small recorded legacy. Are there other bands with such a minuscule recorded output that was such a huge influence?

The video has Sid riding his motorbike without a helmet, which was SO punk rock to 11-year-old me. I couldn’t understand how he was allowed to do that, to get away with it! I’m going to watch it again in a minute but the footage I remember is of him riding through English country lanes and that takes me back to the time of doing the same, pushbikes and then motorbikes (with helmet, of course!), about 5 or 6 years later.

I went on a bike ride this morning, around a lot of country lanes here in Chiang Rai and despite the different types of foliage, it’s quite a similar experience. As I was riding I was thinking about going back to the UK and hitting up Rupert and Jeremy, hiring some 50cc mopeds and hooning around our old haunts.

1st July 1979
Yesterday I was in bed all the time because of me leg (see Friday 24th June)
2p

2nd July 1979
POP DAY
Making out my pop records that I’m playing
2p

3rd July 1979
Used a spud to make C L A S H, you know, cut-outs.
2p
2p^ not in debt

7th July 2022 – My love of the Clash was getting creative. I also made some tiny bread buns of those letters and at school made them out of wood whenever there was free bits leftover from making….whatever we were supposed to be making. I was never handy with tools and soon gave up on woodwork and metalwork classes.

4th July 1979
I’m actually saving money
If you look back to Feb 9, the middle statement has become false
2p
4p^

7th May 2022 – This situation wouldn’t last!

5th July 1979
1. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
2. Squeeze – Up The Junction
3. Janet Kay – Silly Games (what crap!)
4. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
5. Gerry Rafferty – Night Owl
9. Sex Pistols – C’mon Everybody
2p
6p^

6th July 1979
Sports Day This year Last year
Long Jump 1 1
75m 1 1
150m 1 1
Cricket Ball 1 1
Relay 1 2
2p 8p^

7th May 2022 – I could’ve been a contender, I suppose. There wasn’t much support for a dumb kid from the backwaters of England and there wasn’t enough internal motivation. I didn’t believe in myself, no one else believed in me and so it goes.

7th July 1979
Borg vs Tanner
6-7 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4
Ipswich’s last 3 seasons places
6.3.6
2p 10p^

7th May 2022 – I liked Bjorn Borg for some reason. He seemed humble.

The Week That Was – 24th June 1979

Record of the week: The Clash – Cost of Living EP
Highest entry: Sex Pistols – C’mon Everybody

6th May 2022 – The cashing in on the Sex Pistols and punk. I didn’t know it at the time, I was just thrilled with it all. Promoting songs like C’mon Everybody really just shows that punk was founded in the roots of rock, which was founded on….etc etc… All those people outraged by this ugly phenomenon – do they think they won a battle for decency or realise that the rebellion was not that dangerous after all.

24th June 1979
Them lot’s coming
2 Dunnos, 1 Forgottens, 1 Not much happened
2p 2p

25th June 1979
Middle of the year
2 Don’t know, 2 Boring days, 2 Same as yesterday, 1 Not much happened, 1 Nothing much
Won the relay. Came fourth in 75m and 150m heats at District Sport
2p

6th May 2022 – This would have been a good lesson to show that teamwork beats individualism. To someone who thought about it more at the time!

26th June 1979
I’m in the cricket ball bungin’. Chucked 42 metres.
By the way, Clash are great.

6th May 2022 – 42 metres seems a fair distance. I should be proud. I guess I was. Yesterday I played football with a couple of students in the school playground. I prefer goalkeeping these days as it’s less running around. But when the ball goes past me, then I have to chase around for it and I was doing well for a little while. I think I ended up playing for about twenty minutes, enjoying the exercise and camaraderie with these kids, before starting to feel dizzy and sweating too much. I’m quite proud these days of my stamina, even though I feel sad that I can no longer just keep going and going. Could I? If I really wanted to?

27th June 1979
Dunno
2p

28th June 1979
1. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
2. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
3. Squeeze – Up The Junction
4. Earth Wind and Fire – Boogie Wonderland
5. Quantum Jump – The Lone Ranger
2p

6th May 2022 – Reminding myself of the Lone Ranger – that’s a fun song. And who knew it was banned by the BBC initially due to its drug and homosexual references!? Really? I’ll have to give it a closer listen but I think sometimes people just seek to be offended!

29th June 1979
Done me leg in, on the knee
Matthew’s coming down
Leg’s KILLING ME
2p

6th May 2022 – Days when injuries couldn’t stop you from still doing things. My leg, obviously, didn’t kill me!

30th June 1979
Mick Mills appears on the same page as my birthday (27th Oct)
2p 10p
14p 4p

170

6th May 2022 – 170? What the hell is that?

The Week That Was – 10th June 1979

Record of the week: Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
Highest entry: Eddie Grant – Living on the Frontline
What crap!

27th Apr 2022 – Well, it seems I wasn’t keen on Eddie Grant. Not even sure I can recall this tune. It’s vaguely in the data bank at the back left somewhere, though I may be confusing it with ‘Electric Avenue’. I think the Tubeway Army song and video was just a curiosity at the time, I soon came to detest Gary Numan. Compared with much modern music though it has become interesting to me again. I think I like a few Tubeway Army album tracks in the last 5 years or so that I went out searching.

10th June 1979
Dunno. Utterly boring.
My dunno’s must be driving you MAD!
0
2p

27th Apr 2022 – The day was boring and scored zero. These days a boring day may score a 10! Interesting that I was writing to an audience (in my head) and indeed, I am the audience. I do wish I had written more but there were some years I didn’t write anything at all.

11th June 1979
Dunno
8
2p

12th June 1979
Can I go to Athletics today? Yes, and I came 4th in Cricket Ball.
8
2p

13th June 1979
An OK day
8
2p

14th June 1979
1. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
2. Blondie – Sunday Girl
3. Roxy Music – Dance Away
4. Earth Wind and Fire – Boogie Wonderland
5. McFadden and Whitehead – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now
Got the Clash and Skids records (Cost of Living EP and Masquerade)
10
2p

27th Apr 2022 – A lot of The Clash singles I bought well after their release date and they didn’t have picture covers but the Cost of Living had a great fold-out picture cover and four great tracks. I spent a long time listening and pouring over the artwork and details of the cover. All those ideas were folding and reforming in my mind. Groovy Times had a jump in the grooves that became an endearing memory and I always expect it whenever I still listen.

The Skids haven’t fared so well in my memory though I think I do have a Best Of in my collection somewhere. Their singles were always pretty great though. I should go listen to them again.

15th June 1979
Going to stop playing Banana Splits every day (maybe)
Started playing the Clash every day now.
9
2p
1p

27th Apr 2022 – I can’t imagine listening to the same music over and over again now – but, I should. I recently picked up a High Back Chairs CD that didn’t grab me on first listen but decided to give it another go the following day and, with the aid of extra volume, a couple of tunes wormed their way into the brainium and I listened ago a couple of days later. Now the disc is sitting there, with dark attractors pulling at me, vying along with the other piles of discs I wish to listen to, either right now, or over the coming fortnight. Time is fluid.

16th June 1979
Ipswich made a record in 76-77 by going fifteen games unbeaten.
Only a record for the season.
8
2p
55p*

The Week That Was – 1st April 1979

Record of the week: Generation X – Valley of the Dolls
Highest Entry: Sex Pistols – Silly Thing – 24

28th Feb 2022 – This guitar-based noisy music was grabbing me more fully. The Billy Idol’s on TV intrigued and as kids still do today, were something to aspire to. The dross of mainstream music was made bearable and in hindsight seems far better than today. I don’t know what kids today are rebelling against. It’s all very serious now. Demonstrations and riots are common and no one is shocked. Why don’t you rebel against me? I am the old fogey, the establishment. Fight me!

1st April 1979
Them lot came round
UGH!
2p

2nd April 1979
It’s alright today I suppose
2p 1p

3rd April 1979
Went down to Matthew’s today. You should see his place, it’s brilliant with a tennis court
Today got English Civil War
2p

28th Feb 2022 – Matthew’s house was huge, maybe three stories high. His dad drove a Mercedes and they had a tennis court. In comparison to our humble place I felt I was in the company of a rich family. They were down-to-earth and friendly though. I got on well with his Mum and Dad and over the next couple of years, Matthew and I would play many long five-set matches of tennis. His brother Toby was a year or two older than us and had bought the Dexy’s Midnight Runners album which we enjoyed listening to.

That English Civil War 7″ by the Clash! The cover was taken from the cartoon version of Animal Farm which I hadn’t read or was even able to comprehend but I knew it was a statement. I was still early in my vinyl-buying days, begging mum to pick up things for me if she could and I had been a good boy. I wonder what would have happened if I’d been a better boy?

4th April 1979
Got mag called Smash Hits today
2p

28th Feb 2022 – Smash Hits, I think, was the magazine that had some light articles about pop music but its main attraction was the printed lyrics to the songs of the time. This was revelatory for me and besides being able to understand the words to the songs and sing-a-long, it wouldn’t be long before I would be trying to imitate writing them, inspired further by the crude and rude lyrics of the punk songs I heard or heard about. Fuck was becoming more common in my vocabulary. I wanted to become a singer and a lyricist, a punk and a poet. But I was only 11 years old.

5th April 1979
1. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
2. Village People – In The Navy
3. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes
4. Chic – I Want Your Love
5. Sex Pistols – Something Else
2p

28th Feb 2022 – There it is – 80% dross and 20% intrigue.

6th April 1979
Yesterday I got a Fiat X1/9 and Prototypes Trumps but I swapped them
TCH!
2p

28th Feb 2022 – Still hanging on to my Matchbox car fixation and my competitive nature of Trumps. I loved playing that game.

7th April 1979
Went to Matthew for 4 hours
Leeds 1-1 Ipswich
2p 2p

28th Feb 2022 – Matthew did come to my house sometimes, or we would mess around in the woods and on the common but I was more enamoured with his new mansion to explore.