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 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.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

It's a little known fact that between 1950 and 1959 there were no winters no darkness no rain and it was never cold. It was one long hot barmy summers day and we reveled in it.We had friends that were real flesh and blood and the only way to talk to them was to meet them face to face.We could spend hours on the street corner under the lamp just chatting and playing games. Games that we made up on the spot .We were cowboys and indians,British or German soldiers, knights in armour anything we wanted to be .The world was our oyster.And it wasn't a virtual world. We would go off for days at a time across the fields.Climbing trees flattening the farmers crop by rolling around in the corn and destroying the indigenous wildlife's habitat pulling out great chunks of hedgerow to use as rifles, spears ,bows and arrows whatever the weapon of choice was.We only went home when we were hungry or our shoes wore out, which ever came first.Every day was an adventure.A glorious exciting adventure.And then it started to snow.

Monday, 4 October 2010

By today's standards our family would have been considered weird.Neither of my parents had been married before,they were married to each other and they stayed that way until death did them part.My two sisters and i all shared the same surname and the same parents.That's enough to get a kid bullied in these modern times just for being different, although it all seemed quite normal at the time
When i reached the ripe old age of seven we left auntie Elsi and friends and moved to a three bedroom council house with an outside loo.The toilet was actually in the house but the door to it was outside next to the back door.This glaring design fault was rectified some years later when the men from the council arrived, bricked up the doorway and knocked down the wall between the loo and the bathroom, hey presto modern suburban living ,inside amenities.It had taken since the nineteen thirties for someone to come up with that idea which is not surprising when you consider that most of the council were related to locally sourced seasonal vegetables.I now had a bedroom of my own and my parents had their privacy back.Still no younger brothers or sisters though.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Until the age of seven i lived in the house in Paradise road where i was born. It was a three bedroom house which was shared by my parents, my two older sisters Wendy and Susan, myself, auntie Elsi, her friend Mrs Coldis and Mrs Coldis son Paul. God knows where everyone slept but  I do know that my bed was at the end of my parents bed so i assume thats why i don't have any younger brothers or sisters. Paul i'm told was a police photographer although i don't recall seeing any photos of policemen about the house.He did however introduce us to home movies.He gathered everyone around a small screen in auntie Elsi,s downstairs room and showed us a film of the Great Wall of China. This was to become the first of many sights(the great wall of China that is) that over the years i would never get visit, but trust me there have been a lot more since.,

Monday, 27 September 2010

For me it all started on the 24th of October 1947when i was dragged kicking struggling and fighting for air from my mothers pain racked body. (Rather like a drunken teenager being thrown out of a nightclub on a saturday night.) I was held upside down and slapped.I screamed opened my eyes and was blinded by the light(in much the same way that mannfred manns earth band were to be some twenty odd years later).
I had arrived and i hit the ground running, running way to fast as it turned out because i've suddenly found my self here, a nearly 63 year old retired puplican, postman, milkman, factory worker and for a brief moment a wharehouse man. i move very slowly these days in an attempt to save what little time i have left ,also i now have a pain racked body , Rather like the one my poor mother had back in 1947 but not in the same places. My intention is to fill in the gap between then and now and hopefully keep myself and anybody else who maybe out there amused.