scribbles tagged ‘1985’

comfortably middle class

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

does that hurt?

It’s not what I was expecting. When you open the door to a stranger they normally introduce themselves or ask if some named person is in the house. We held each other’s gaze while I tried to work out what he was referring to, before moving us on

can I help you?

is Nicky in?      I meant your nose

Was my nose bleeding? I ran my forefinger under my nostrils then inspected my hand. No blood or snot.

NICKY! SOMEONE at the door FOR YOU

He wore blue jeans, a Pringle jumper and a padded anorak that could have been picked up in a Marks and Spencer’s sale. Short back and sides, clean shaven, the boy lacked visual charisma. He looked comfortably middle class, visually unoffensive. Then it dawned on me that my nose-piercing probably made me unique amongst the people he talked to. Nicky was conservative with both a big and little c. She had already given me the benefit of her expertise on the painfully clashing colours of my dress, my unsuitable hair and recommended that I drop my friends because they risked being unsuccessful in life. They could drag me down.

Life. If she didn’t have one, she couldn’t fail. She was on-track for a Pharmacy degree, a husband, car, kids and holidays abroad. It didn’t map to my idea of life then. It doesn’t now.

Only when the temperature drops below -5 degrees

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Red box

Monday, January 17th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Pub and phone box

A clean village red phone box

Flat Eric on a sunny day

A family gathering to watch Top of The Pops (TOTP) all with freshly filled mugs of tea

Like all these things, this song always makes me feel very happy, it creates a christmassy ambience that makes me want to link arms with other people and sing as loud as I can

Red Box sang Lean on me

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the word is incompatible

Monday, November 29th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

programsI used to have Microsoft Office 2003 installed on Neverland. I haven’t yet bothered putting it in the cupboard because I don’t have the patience to wait for 7 years worth of updates to install. Many of my files are word files, (.doc). When I tried to open them in the Microsoft Works Word processor it didn’t recognise their format, neither did wordpad.

sigh

Scritti Politti sang the Word girl

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Looky Likey #3: Cher

Monday, August 24th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

My favourite 6 ft blonde bar staff in the ‘sack of potatoes’ used to call  me his favourite Cher.   Cher after Sonny and before her substantial body resculpture.   I suspect the nose, attitude  and hairstyle were the main points of similarity.

Meatloaf and Cher sing Dead ringer for love

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staircase cascade

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

In 1985 I was sharing an upstairs rented room with another girl in a house shared with five other people. The stairwell was laced with buckets, pots and pans to catch the rain water from the leaky roof that the landlord never got around to fixing. The one toilet was in the original backgarden outhouse, now technically indoors due to a small extension that included the household bath.   If anyone needed to relieve themselves in the night the journey downstairs involved a complex hopscotch  aound the pots and under the raindrops.  Often I ended up with a foot in a pan of cold stinky water, starting a cascade of pots tumbling down the staircase releasing their load on the dubious surface mascerading as a carpet.

Simply Red released ‘Money’s too tight to mention’

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of mice and maturing

Sunday, April 30th, 2006 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

1985 (Assume poetic licence  with the precision of dates and details.   The story has  changed with  fermentation in memory.   The gist of the story is consistent with the orginal experience.)

I   rented a room near ‘The Mermaid’ in a small  Sparkhill red-brick terraced house shared with four girls.   Bambi rented a room  in a Handsworth  red brick terraced house  shared with four boys.   Two bus rides, an hour, apart.   Neither house had a telephone.   We were poor.   We were young.

Bambi’s house smelt of rotting mice.   It was infested.  The neighbours houses were infested.   The whole area was infested.   Everyone lived with the mice.  Mice would dash for cover when you entered a room, switched on a light, moved suddenly.   The boys would play at trying to jump on, squash,  mice before they reached cover.   Several  squashed mice decorated the floor in the front room.   The floor was also decorated with chair-side piles of empty beer cans and chris-crossed with glittering slug trails.    A milk bottle containing a dead mouse sat on the fireplace mantle; gently warmed by the gas fire on colder days.   The mouse had climbed in voluntarily when the bottle lay on the floor then, unable to climb out,  starved to death.   The boys treated  the bottled mouse  as a trophy.   Some mice died more peacefully of old age under the floor boards.   Then rotted.   I’ll never forget the overwhelming stench of rotting mouse.   It’s integrally bound with first love.  It filled your lungs and scented your sweat during the deep breaths of love making.   It seems appropriate that I read Ian McEwan’s “First Love, Last Rites” in this house.  

Early on a brightly lit  summer evening I turned-up to meet  Bambi.   He wasn’t in.  In other homes I would make myself at home with a cup of Tea.   Not here. Concerns about household hygiene.   The mice-droppings on the kitchen work surfaces and stench were an effective deterrent to eating or drinking.   I picked a book from Bambi’s collection and  opened a window in a futile attempt to release the seemingly endless odour.   With my head by the open window I  started to read ‘the catcher in the rye.    My first American novel.   The sun gradually set.   Sodium pink, then yellow, street lights lit the pages.    The mice scuttled over the silence.   Lost in the story I forgot about the planned evening with Bambi.    Despite knowing  very little about the places,  symbols,  or lifestyle outlined in the book it felt powerfully relevant to  the loneliness of that night, madness of  youth,  and pains of new found adulthood.  

I finished the novel as Bambi arrived.

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