scribbles tagged ‘1980’

the wild, wild, west…

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

nigger whore!

Calls from the coach-load of Police cadets to my 15 years old friend, Diana. I moved myself between her and the coach to block their view of her coloured skin. I’d grown-up in a middle class white suburb of Bristol. Diana was one of the ‘half-cast’ (mumsie’s term) people in the large town. Everyone knew them by name, they were special people. I’d always been proud that the intelligent, beautiful, articulate and aware Diana was one of my friends. The day after the St Pauls riots Diana asked me if I’d come with her to check that her grandmother was ok. In all innocence and a broad local accent I didn’t hesitate

Year, coarse, me luv!

Banksy

I didn’t understand why she’d even asked. To me it was a mini adventure. I’d never gotten off the bus at St Pauls. I’d ridden the bus through to the city center. Seen the prostitutes lining the streets, heard the reggae booming from loud speakers hung-out of townhouse windows. The place seemed alive. I’d always wanted to get off the bus and look around, but it was Bristol’s black ghetto, nice middle-class people didn’t go there. Bristol was a major port in the slave trafficking triangle. A side effect of Bristol’s role in slave trading was a large local Black population. Few had moved into the suburbs, as Diana’s mother had done when she married a white man.

The police continued to hurl verbal abuse. Not at me, I appeared to be invisible. Abuse directed at Diana who cowered behind me. It was obscene that these ignorant people could reducetThis strong, intelligent, fifteen year old girl to a cowering wreck

My belief in the police as a just arm of the law forever shattered

10 years later I bumped into Diana in a Bristol bank. She had 3 small children in tow. From our brief conversation as we waited in line I discovered she was unemployed, single, with 5 children all fathered by different men. She apologised for herself. There was nothing left of the beautful potential I’d seen, she didn’t seem to know that she was worth anything more than being a low income mother. She never really had a chance. I felt guilty for viewing her motherhood as under achieving, for hearing her self apologies as confirmation of failure. Knowing that I am where I am because I’m white, priviledged, and have a plucky ‘dont mess with me’ attitude validated

Rioting again in London town, not Reading town

My life is littered with luck

the wild, wild, west…
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3 bits of fabulous banter »

two hands and a wonderwall

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Words of wisdom from  an almost stranger*.  A Redmond based software developer posted this fabulous advice on his facebook status:

Things to do in a noisy bar: create tiny finger puppet music videos for whatever the band’s playing. You can get more than you think out of two hands and “Wonderwall”.

I am now planning to collect finger puppets

* Past tips provided by Alan the hairdresser.   Lucia the hairdresser, an Essex girl, an anonymous  manicurist, a Jackson’s sales assistant, a bus stop philanthropist, a mini salesman, Windows Network Diagnostics, Flat Eric, a girl on a London commuter train  and Reading Police.
two hands and a wonderwall
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cover-up – love’s alibi

Monday, February 14th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Watching American Gigolo for the first time, when it was released, was fascinating. Mainly because of the reversal of commonly portrayed role gender roles. A man as prostitue, beauty and clothes obsessed, victim of clever people, concerned with making other people happy. The camerawork was also extremely good.

Call me anytime, valentine

Blondie sang call me

cover-up – love’s alibi
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click click drone

Monday, February 8th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

the sound of the subway phone

John Foxx sang underpass

click click drone
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2 bits of fabulous banter »

with tree and me

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Tiger: you were sat under your tree
Wendy: my tree?
Tiger: In Kingfisher field
Wendy: the copper beech?
Tiger: yes.   before I came to call for you, first  I would come by the field and look under the tree because you were often there,   you did a lot of your exam revision under the tree
Wendy: yes, I remember now. The tree was very helpful.   A calm, wise tree.   A girl’s got to develop a strong bond with a well established tree during her formative years. I had completely forgotten it.
Tiger:   Oh, Honey,   you are SO fickle


Salisbury CathedralThis blog post was bought to you courtesy of a cellular connection infront of Salisbury cathedral on a sunny September saturday courtesy of the letter T,   the colour green, and the shade of a conker tree.   Another day, another tree. Some things don’t change, other things change frequently.  Perhaps it’s time to find  a tree in Reading…

with tree and me
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sizism of the shoulder sort

Thursday, November 12th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

In  the 80’s  I used to  cut the shoulderpads out from new clothes.   This fashion-subversive act enabled  me  to avoid looking like a cast extra from  Dynasty, Falconcrest, Dallas, or an aspiring  USA football team member.    

Apparantly the shoulder-pad  look is returning.   There are rumours that The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) haberdashery department has recently sold-out of shoulder pads.    

I didn’t purchase them.

sizism of the shoulder sort
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phone sanitizers

Monday, October 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

In my day,   before personal cell phones,   there would be one phone in any household, if you were Lucky.   All incoming calls came through this one, shared, phone.    In our house the parents answered the phone until, as teenagers, our friends  started to call us (rather than their parents calling our parents).  

Shared phone

Skillfullly avoiding parental or sibling interview of people calling-in  was tricky.   It is a skill today’s youngsters have not had to learn.       The role of  phone sanitizers has also been reduced by the relative lack of phone sharing.   I can’t remember the last time I called a number then asked ‘Is [name] there?

Department S sang Is Vic there?

phone sanitizers
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english teacher excommunication

Sunday, August 16th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Palette

My plan for choosing ‘A’ level’s was to pick topics where I got the best results.   Unfortunately my selection strategy didn’t work.   My results were the same in all topics.   Straight B grades.   I needed another strategy for deciding what to study for ‘A’ levels.   Mum and dad had clear guidance

Parents:   ‘you can’t go wrong with maths and physics,   you can become an engineer,   you can learn how to solve practical problems and look after yourself and your home properly’

Wendy: but I really enjoy Art, English Literature and History

Parents:  You can study Art, English literature and History  in your spare time,   you’ll be motivated to do it.   You probably wont study maths and physics in your spare time

This made sense to me.  

I talked to my English teacher.   He was furious,   I had a talent  that I should nurture,  he would never speak to me again if I chose Math’s over English.   I chose Maths, Physics and History.   He never spoke to me again.   Complying with emotional blackmail is not a personal strength.     History covered literature (Nietzsche) and art (Futurism, Cubism).    

Since that fateful decision I’ve played with writing, painting, sketching, and plagued you with my laxadaisical spelling and grammar.

english teacher excommunication
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a deficit of skipping

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

 A fairly typical secondary school conversation  about my brother in the late 1970’s:

Secondary School Peer (SSP):   you know your brother?

Wendy:   yes, I know  both of them,   do you mean [name]?

SSP: No,   the other one,   what’s wrong with him?

Wendy:   What do you mean ‘what’s wrong with him’

SSP:   well,   you know he’s not normal…

Wendy:   how is he not ‘normal’?

SSP:   you know,   skipping down the corridors, laughing to himself and clapping his hands

Wendy:   Oh (signifying acknowledgement that my other brother does all these things), yes, he does that when he’s happy

SSP: he’s happy in the corridors at school?

Wendy: yes,   he’s always been able to entertain himself and find things to make him smile

SSP: He’s weird

He  is still a happy soul, able to entertain himself and skip down the street when he’s happy.   It’s as cute in a man in his 50’s as it was for a boy in his teens.   I just bounce,   I find that the less complex up-down movement reduces the likelihood that I will fall over.  

A deficit of skipping must be a very sad thing,   as indeed the beautiful, be-hatted, talented,  lip-synch-averse, wiggly, much missed Billie MacKenzie recognised:

The Associates sang Skipping

a deficit of skipping
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warehouse wanderings

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

During 1980, like any self-respecting UK punk, I would indulge myself in freeform meandering  around deserted warehouses.  

In those days who didn’t?    

The right  warehouses were quite good places to hide from the strange people that send messages describing our past in ways I don’t remember.   Gradually, deserted warehouses became harder to find as rampant film crews,   homeless people, musicians and punks  sought their particular ambience.      

OMD sang Messages

warehouse wanderings
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