Home Leave
Monday August 25th 2008, 3:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

During my prolonged stay at my fathers house
I came to dislike a number of things
The first thing was his dog…Bobby
A bijon somethingorother


What an annoying animal
It pissed on my bed
It ate my trainers
Attacked my feet
Howled like a wolf if I came in late
Thereby being freed from the kitchen by my dads Mrs…to keep it quiet
Where it would go on a quiet rampage and shit everywhere
Fortunately I discovered whilst it was energetically jumping up and down at me
That the overhead palm…as used by the dog whisperer…worked perfectly
The damn thing would stop and look to the side in a slight cower
Once I realised I used it every time it came near me
Mrs dad showed me a range of objects that she had bought in reverence to the dog
A plate with the face of a bijon that was lacking a wall bracket
And a house door number also with a bijon face and the wrong number
Then lots of photographs of the bijon in action
I maintained some kind of equinamity during these occaisions

The other thing
As I was quietly reading Shantaram in the still empty house
Mrs dad would return
Walk straight to the TV
Turn it on
And then fuck off into the kitchen
The TV was at a rolicking volume due to my dads new ear problem
I would then struggle on
Trying to defend my mind from Jeremy (walk on water) Kyle
Whilst picking my way through the paragraphs
I couldn’t move or touch the telly because of my good visiting manners
No host will ever have a problem with me unless it is of their own making
If I was a rich man
I would buy the ass of the man who produces that Jeremy Kyle show
And when Kyle starts one of his trademark outburts
I would make sure that one of those reprobate subjects reacted
And gave that fucker a thorough beating
Whilst security was having an overlong teabreak
I could wade in to help and accidently punch him in the face myself
And then I would make sure it wasn’t an out-take
I closed my struggling book and left the house

I crossed town in this
It is very much fun this little Honda

It was one of Dad’s lenders
I went to visit an old friend
And the drummer in my band back in the early nineties
I have barely mentioned this aspect of my past before
But I intend to cover it in more detail soon
As I was tracking him down for a reason
I was looking for some lost recordings
There was one recording missing from the collection that I have retrieved
But it wasn’t that I was looking for in this case
He had in his possesion other lost recordings from his previous band
That in fact became the framework of my band
Most of their members came to work with me after they fell apart
That band was particularly good
And was set for stardom
Coming out of the same boiling pot scene that produced the Beautiful South
But their leader…very talented…had a tendency to explode
And they fell apart
The drummer Grant was fortunately home
And we sat and drank tea and talked for hours
Almost ten years had passed
There was lots to say
And people to talk about
Behind where I sat was this

It’s the begginings of a 1/72 scale of the Titanic
As well as his work he needs a heavy distraction
To stop himself going nuts
Interestingly it will sell for tens of thousands when finished
It’s weight and speed will be to scale (it will work on water)
And his front window will have to be removed to get it out
I left late on…full of new stories of people long since seen
And carrying three old cassettes
I had almost completed the collection

The following day I set out for a bit of a wander
Use up the fuel I had left
First port of call was the old community recording studio
Where we did many of our recordings
I stepped tentatively into there
Having been ejected from there on my last visit some twelve years ago
For allegedly selling pot to the cafe cook
I doubted any of the staff still worked there
But I was wrong
The corrupt official who was the head honcho
And the one who ousted me was still there
Tapping away on a typewriter
I crept past him
And found the studio volunteer sitting in a small office further along
I introduced myself and told him what I was looking for
He shook his head
And told me that there was no old store of recordings
The paid worker…Johnny Vee…took them all away on DAT tapes when he left
I grimaced at the thought of tracking Johnny Vee down
The last time I saw him he was in the middle of a dishevelled and smelly demise
Grey, unshaven…chain smoking rollies and joints
Living (or dying) off his dead dads will money
He had locked himself in his flat
And spent all of his time playing an online classic grand prix game
Through the smoky haze
I visited him ten years ago
And I visited him eight years ago
Both times he ignored me sitting there
Except for ordering me to roll a joint
Whilst he raced
He didn’t even see me leave
I wondered if somebody had told him that the war was over

Stuart the studio volunteer sat back in his swivel chair
And asked me what band it was that I was seeking
I told him…and was surprised that he remembered the band
He must have been older than he looked
He swivelled further round and quoted one of our old songs
He could even remember some of the lyrics
“Yeah shit…that was a catchy song” he said
The comment warmed me…it was one that I had written..one of the first
Also he knew well our keyboard player…Simon
Then produced his phone number
Excellent..another lead other than Johnny V
I called Simon straight away…he was very surprised to hear my voice
After a quick exchange we established that he had the one remaining track
And I had all the missing ones that he wanted
Mission accomplished

I decided that with five hours before I returned to the south
That I had seen enough of people for one visit
So I wandered lonely as a bright green honda cloud
And drifted to the housing estate on the edge of town where I spent the start of my formative years
Bransholme…often touted as the largest housing estate in Europe by the locals with a puff of pride
It is in fact only a third of the size of Becontree in London
I travelled to the edge of it…where it meets the flat Holderness countryside
A piece of country that seemed to me back then a vast plain
Now looked smaller and different
I felt a sadness for myself as a child as I walked down the lane
I wanted to tell myself to go where my heart and passion yearned
Not to listen to my parents and teachers
Whose brains were all stuck in a past that had already seen rapid change
I reached the end of the lane and climbed into the “wood on the small hill”
But there was barely any wood there
I rotated my memory…but couldn’t work out what had happened
Nothing about it fitted my memory
I felt frustrated and left

Instead I went to stand before the house of my old best friend
I parked the car and continued on foot
Due…probably to rampant crime
Movement around the area had been drastically reduced by a series of elaborate iron fences
Making a jigsaw of dead end pockets
After three attempts I made it to a view of his front door from behind one of the fences
I could see us both crouched there in front of his shed thirty years ago
Dropping a match into an empty petrol can
Then leaping around screaming holding onto it
Paul O Malley was my best friend
And once love nemesis
He died climbing a mountain many years ago

I carried on to the local shopping centre
At last something that had stayed the same
There is something comforting about childhood memories being made familiar
The corner plot was still a newsagent…laid out as it was
I used to dash here after school to get 2000AD or Battle Picture Weekly
I worked here for one day delivering newspapers
It was the day Arsenal beat Man Utd 3-2 in the FA cup final
I carried on into the old market to make sure it was still the same
And then started to leave
As I passed Quick Save
I spotted one of my old neighbours
A small ginger lass called Carol
I have come back here a few times before to indulge in this nostalgia
Never have I seen a familar face among the thousands
I watched her work the till for five minutes wanting to see more
It was like I had discovered an incredibly rare species

By seven o clock I was standing at the station
I shook hands with me dad
(We don’t hug)
And took my seat on the train
I felt a wave of melancholy
Home leave was over and I was returning south to my virtual house arrest
It wouldn’t be for long
I am booked into the hospital tomorrow
And they will wheel me off for the magic prick the next morning
It is like volunteering for a heavy car accident
My mind is awash with questions
And flits from resolute confidence to wavering despair
And now just to complicate the big complication
I have developed a sleep beating hacking cough to take with me

Ahhh…The Premiership
Friday August 08th 2008, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Back at the beginning of May
My sister…a season passholder at Hull City with my nephew
Booked herself onto a package holiday to Cyprus
Not thinking it was possible
That the Tigers would be kicking off the season in the premiership
So I happily made sure that those two tickets were mine
Making sure that I was there for both historic occasions
The other being the wembly victory
Tickets to the Hull games this season will have Wonka status
As 80% of them are passholders
And some of the remainder are away fans
The much heralded stadium extension giving an extra 10,000 was too late to try

I am sure every city fan felt fragile at the kick off
We all expected to lose
The “Do a Derby” thing has been drilled in hard
So when Fulham scored so very easily on 8 minutes
It was just confirmation
And for the next 20 or so minutes it was hold on to your slight defeat time
Then not long before half time
Came a moment of magic
The Brazilian Giovanni
Playing always from deep
Broke loose…made a space for himself…and scored a 22 yard belter
Fulham were a bit stunned
Then with a bit of a half time mastery
The manager changed everything
Hull came out and ran the show
And Fulham…with a good team of premiership stars…barely got another shot in
As city created chance after chance then scored the winner
The second historic day for me was another great one
The goal celebrating was intense
I had to stop and just watch at one point
Wary of the excitement
I had my hand on my heart…thumping away
It wouldn’t be a good idea to take a turn for the worse 300 miles away from my heart surgeon
At the final whistle the place was beaming
We were sat in a champions league position
There were songs of “We’ve never lost in the Premiership”
And the happy city continued in the pubs and bars…on into the night

By about 9 o clock…we all sat down for a restaurant meal
To my left were two characters that I hadn’t met before
We got talking and found we had several points of familiarality
When we discussed schools one of them threw a name at me
I didn’t know this guy but was in the same class as his brother
Ian Ingles…Popeye by nickname
He was called this because he had one funny eye
Which was due to an accident
Where he came off his push bike and smacked his head into a wall
This cracked his eye socket and his eye fell out
He said that he fumbled around and put it back in himself
I have often thought of him from time to time
And always imagined that he would have done well
Because he was one of the most resourceful characters at the school
He was one of the few who could strip and rebuild a motorbike
I bought my first motorbike from him
He also had catch phrases about looking after money
And would always pick up a penny he he saw one on the floor
When this became noticed
Some of the lads would throw small change on the floor for him to pick up
But he didn’t care
He laughed at them laughing at him
And somehow maintained his dignity
You would think that these were the type of ingredients you would see in a budding millionaire
But in a day packed full of surprises here was another one
He was a heroin addict in a council house

Later on as I waited at the bar in a deep queue
A guy standing behind tapped me on the shoulder
“Excuse me mate” he said holding his mobile phone looking at the text screen
“How do you spell savaloy?”
“S A V A L O Y” I shouted
“You know what…I feel embarrassed asking you that…I just can’t spell it…I think I have dyslexia”
I assured him it was no problem
“When I was at school” he went on “I used to hide this problem and openly take the piss out of other kids who couldn’t spell”
“I can still feel the same prejudice today even though I know better…and that I am one of them”
“Don’t worry mate…those prejudices are fitted into us very early and they never go away…just last night my dad was tellin me a story about his car breaking down years ago…and he said waiting by the road was this coon who had broken down as well…I cringed the moment he said it…he wouldn’t offend anyone by saying it in public…but he doesn’t realise that I don’t like him saying it…he was brought up thinking that the British white male is the most superior in all of the world and he will never get that out of his system…I was brought up listening to him and those things are stuck inside of me…I can feel them there even though I know they are wrong”
He finished punching in the word saveloy and we did a smiling handshake

It wasn’t til I wrote this all out
That I realised that I had spelled saveloy wrong