Monday, 18 April 2011
Yes it's true I had discovered the new frontier.my first adventure in the Americas was undertaken with my friend little Mick , so called because he is small and his name is Mick. I spent hours when I should have been tending my ballbering making machines studying a map of America. We were to launch ourselves on a fly drive and I worked out a route which would take us I estimated three weeks. I had no idea what I was doing but it turned out alright on the night. We flew into San Fransisco with a hire car and the first night at the Ibis hotel booked and after that we were on our own. We drove through Yosimite national park down through Bakersfield and out toward Las Vagas. In need of refreshment we stopped at a wayside diner in a small place called Baker which to this day is still the hottest place I've ever been. Air-conditioned cars are great but when you've sat in a dinner for an hour the car can get really hot waiting for your return.we drove on to Vagas ,bright lights big city kind of sums it up. Having lost everything we had gambling we set off on the road again. ( obviously that part wasn't true but not being much of a gambler I only had a couple of goes on the fruit machines which really isn't a good story . So I lied) . We resumed our journey off to the grand canyon, still the only sight I have ever seen that liturialy took my breath away. I was expecting a big hole in the ground I was not expecting what I got. If you ever get the chance don't turn it down. From there it was on to Phenix Arizona where they told us it never rainned It absolutely pissed down. San diago and sea world were our next venue and then up to LA. Such a lot to see and do in LA Disney land obviously and universal studios. I'm sure we were seen at universal and that was where they got the idea for the film Twins. You no short funny looking guy and tall well proportioned muscular guy. Ok they used some poetic licence on the short funny looking one. We did all the tourist things and then back up to San Fransisco where I was to buy my first Buddah statue. The drive up through Carmal and Monteray is brilliant by the way. So you see Columbus may have been the first but I bet he didn't see as much or travel as far as my good buddy Little Mick and I did.
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
So there I was 30something and back living with my parents. Same bedroom,same bed. The only difference I was now allowed to take girls back to my room. The only problem was finding girls willing to come back to my room. The next few years where filled with all kinds of nonsense . I spent a whole football season following Manchester United all over the country(they used to loose the odd game in those days). I got into CB radio for a time . My handle was diceman after a book I had just read. Apparently the iceman got very upset, he kept getting hold of my good buddies by mistake. My good buddies were all idiots.I took my first trip abroad to Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a beautiful city, we went to the hienekin brewery and it was full up ,the vangogh museum and it was shut,the only place available was the red light district(and I do mean available). I have to say it was interesting but I'm afraid I have no exciting tale to tell. To shy and way to scarred and I suppose it's not really my thing. I had a spell of night clubbing but I was already beginning to feel to old for that nonsense . After my Dutch experience I tried Spain and then discovered America. I know you thought Christopher Culombus did that well you were wrong. I fell in love with America .
Thursday, 30 December 2010
With my marriage I inherited a mother in law who thought her daughter could have done better, a father in law who I thought could have done better and a foot on the property ladder. I also produced four beautiful children proving that every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. During this period I left the ball bearing factory moved to Hastings and had my short stint in the warehouse of a plastics firm. Hastings I discovered was a strange town populated it seemed by old women and very few old men, a worrying concept for the future. It was the type of town that didn't bury there dead but sat them along the seafront in deck chairs. I can not understand why William the conqueror did not turn around and go straight back home when he landed there ,I did. I went back to Essex, back to the ball bearing factory and back to being single. I got divorced.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
When 1967 and the summer of love came around I had morphed into a miner league hippy. I was wearing flared trousers ,tie dyed shirt,long hair, beard and beads. Sex drugs and rock and roll were the order of the day (I suppose two out of three can't be bad). If you were not involved in a war, protesting on a university campus or taking part in anti war marches everything was peace and love. It was about this time that I discovered Buddhism and Tibet. I read the book Ten years in Tibet and was instantly hooked on this magical mystical country. Tibet was to become another one of those places I would never get to see in later life. I told you there would be more. I also read a book by a genuine Tibetan lama called Tuesday Lopsam Rampa who turned out to be a genuine plummer from Wales with a really good imagination. It is widely accepted that at this time it only took the opening bars of a Jimi Hendricks song and young girls would throw off there clothes and dance naked in the morning dew.(wrong place wrong time again). It did happen I'm told but usually at one of the big festivals that were springing up everywhere. I didn't go to these gatherings of beautiful people to celebrate the dawning of a new age where peace and love would rule the world. I got married.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
The so called swinging sixties were my teenage years, although they didn't start swinging until the end of 63. I started that year in drainpipe trousers pointed toe shoes a leather jacket and brylcreamed hair, I finished it with straight leg Levi jeans, button-down collerd shirts, Hush puppie shoes a collage boy hair cut and a lambretta scooter. The mods had arrived. The scooter gave me instant freedom, I was able to go anyway anyhow anywhere to quote the Who. And we did. I was in Brighton on the good Friday when the mods were in a running battle with the rockers at clacton and on easter Monday I was in clacton when the battle resumed at Brighton. Right place wrong time. It wasn't the first or the last time. In those days most of the top bands came to a town near you and it didn't cost an arm and a leg to see them. We saw the who ,Spencer Davis with Stevie winwood ,yardbirds with Eric Clapton the hollies, hog snort Rupert with his big big band, alright they weren't all big famous bands. I was also lucky enough to see the Beatles perform live at southend Odean. I saw them but didn't hear them thanks to several hundred sceeming teenage girls. Life was good ,jobs were plentiful and the music was great. Everwhere you looked there were short skirts and I looked everywhere. You think it's all about to come crashing down at any minute don't you. Well it didn't, the music got better and the skirts got shorter.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
I left school Christmas 1962 at the age of 15 with two qualifications. The art of country dancing and the ability to use a micrometer. When? I asked my metalwork teacher will I ever need that perticular skill in the real world. But he insisted. Teachers what do they know? I started work in January 1963 ( no gape year for me )at a ball bearing manufactures and used a micrometer every day for about twenty years. Teachers know everything.I cycled to work that first day through snow sludge and subzero temperatures.my only thought was as D-Ream sang all those years latter and the labour party used as an election campaaign slogan in 1997,things can only get better, then I stepped inside the factory. I was wrong. The noise that greeted me was deafening, I had never heard anything like it and never would again until I attended a Status quo concert at the Hamersmith odean about twenty years later. It was incredible (the noise that is not the Status Quo concert )it was just one long continues din (yes you guessed it The status quo concert not the factory). The long hot barmy sunny schooldays were over but there was a summer of love on the distant horizon.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
I think i should take time out here to mention that in amongst all that fun and frivolity i did receive an education. From age five i attended the local infants school and at the age of seven( there's that age seven again) we were split up from the girls and moved to the village junior school for boys. I can only assume this was done to prevent any unwanted pregnancies among the under eleven girls. We were however brought together every Wednesday for country dancing. A skill that has stood me in good stead throughout my life.At the age of eleven just as the old hormoans started to kick in we were all thrust back together again at the nearest secondry modern.The nearest secondry modern was about seven miles away.After two years of being bussed to school they built a new one only about a mile away.Everything was brand new except the teachers and pupils.They were all recycled.I ended my school days as headboy, a job i was given i believe becuase i was the tallest in my year and i had a school tie.All i got out of being headboy was the opotunity to stay inside at break times(good in the cold weather) and the nerve racking privaledge of reading from the bible at the christmas carole concert in the cathedrel.Christianity.My part in it's down fall.