I've recently unearthed some old scrawls of mine, just completely random bits n pieces really but I'm gonna start posting them here and see how it pans out. Some of it is just observations, some ranting, some dreams recalled, and I guess as I go there'll be a few surprises even to me. Either way I'll only be sticking up stuff that seems to read well to me. Here goes-
Memories, dreams, Ambitions, and hopes
Written 01-04-03 while travelling in Oz
Somewhere between the first and second year at Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic comprehensive school, two fairly major changes developed in my life as it then was, one- I started buying records, two- I began going to watch Brighton and Hove Albion play at the Goldstone ground with some of my new found school friends on a regular basis. The record buying had come first, buying ex duke box 7 inch vinyl singles from the newsagents in Shoreham By Sea, opposite the Ropetackle site, Mr Blue Sky by E.L.O in blue vinyl was my very first purchase, it had the middle punched out, as with all ex duke box records, but at 45 pence a shot I wasnt complaining.
My first new record bought was Number One by the Boomtown Rats from the Redifusion shop opposite Coronation Green overlooking the River Adur. A habit which would last a decade had begun, I still have both records, along with virtually every other record I collected during that period, 70 pence was the price of a new single then, and money well spent too. Somewhere in a box at the parents attic is my collection of 7 inch vinyl which depicts my musical tastes from 1976 through to 1986, but also marks the period which for most of us is awakening youth through to young adulthood. And what better for whipping up the emotions than music and football.
These days when I here a familiar tune from my youth, I cant so much remember an exact memory, but a feel, like In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry which transports my soul back to the child that was once me, or My Sweet Lord by George Harrison, to name but two that give me a warmth inside, elevate the invisible senses and reawaken the carefree innocence of a time of life sometimes too easily forgotten.
I could tell you also, that Brightons average attendance for that 1976/77 season was just over 21,000, not bad for a third division side!. Described by the papers as a third division club with first division support, the Albion were, and still are, potentially, a big club. Unfortunately theyre a big club thats been successively screwed down the years by various speculators and asset strippers.
I know the average attendance for that year because it was my first full season of going to the Goldstone, I was only thirteen and everything about the Albion was of interest to me- Wardy, Mellor, Mullery (the manager), big crowds, winning, tabloid write ups, T.V coverage, playground talk of the game gone and the next one coming up. I dont really watch that much any more, its too depressing after the times I saw and the memories I have, but Id like to think that in years to come the Albion will be there still, as big potentially as they ever were.
I always feel a little sad when Ma and Pa talk of the days after the war when Brighton Tigers were one of the best ice hockey teams in the country, and how they were allowed to go to the wall because the local council wouldnt back them, and the stadium was knocked down and condemned to be nothing more useful than a car park for the next thirty years. I dont want the up and coming generations to robbed of the experiences I was lucky enough to enjoy, we cant let the Albion evaporate from sight, consigned to tales of what used to be.
A letter from my head (unsent)
Im always angry with myself after Ive given you a hard time, be it about smoking or when I (in my so called infinite wisdom) think youre letting someone take advantage of you, the driveway, the boat, the Admiral, you know the story.
But Im a hypocrite, I make all the same kind of mistakes in one fashion or another, and I get irritated with myself to the point of mentally persecuting, or chastising myself so that nobody else could run me down better than I do myself.
Knowing this as I do makes it worse still when I have a pop at you. If were beating ourselves up already, then someone else joining in is hardly going to make us feel better, and serves no useful purpose.
They say the people closest to you are the ones you hurt the most, well thats right, but it works the other way too. Its only concern that drives us, but unfortunately this sometimes manifests itself into something ugly, such as the false belief that we have the right to judge. Clearly we dont, the man that never made a mistake never made anything.
You know how much I despise authority, so I of all people should be the last person to try and impose my will or judgement on another. You and Ma have been and still are hugely tolerant of me, and I think I understand how now, built up over the years of raising us, and here I am, still an apprentice. Basically, if I can do half as well as you have, then I could at least allow myself to feel proud.
Any regrets?, whats the point?, everything thats happened to me is part of who I am, part of what shaped the way I am and the way in which I look at and make sense of things.
The word regret summons up the idea that youd have liked certain events to have turned out differently, but then everything else may have turned out so differently as a result that your character, experiences, and memories would, necessarily, have not taken the same path.
Regrets are a waste of energy, I havent got a bad life in comparison to many others, and the possibilities of what I could have been if Id taken other routes are far too chaotic to even consider trying to work out.
09-05-02 Just dreaming
Somewhere in South America, get off bus and walk towards side street, see familiar looking Westerner, (but dont know why), who gives a look of recognition, are you Daves brother?- how did you know?- dunno, you look similar thats all. He turns, breaking off from talking and heads off down snaking narrow road of antiquated appearance, I follow.
Arrive at open square which has shops and we walk in a big clothing warehouse/ shop, he talks to a dark skinned, shifty looking bloke and hands something over, not sure what, then we walk on through the place, looking behind us as we go and I notice one or two joining Shifty and tailing us. Matey ahead stops and sees something he likes on a rack and gets changed, after which we step through some plastic slatted curtains and into a stairwell, running now, jumping down the stairs, noise behind, no panic, just exhilaration, bottom of stairs burst through a door and belting uphill, winding round scraggy, maze like alleys, shots fired, take side step in to a back yard and duck down behind gorse bush, child with gun goes past, stops and looks where I am but doesnt see me and continues so I follow him but from low rooftops until right above, more children arrive telling me to get him. I leap across the narrow alley from one roof to another and see him directly below so jump on to the spot where he is, only to find him gone.
Look around bemused until someone tells me his mother took him in to large place across the Square, heart galloping now, cant see, but sense somebody has died, warily enter building, people milling around, Indian looking bloke with long hair splayed out with band around forehead, and chest tattoos, sat at table drawing pictures of himself, quite vivid and colourful, one picture of himself lifesize with four more, smaller but same, on his torso. I ask where the boy with the gun went, they point me in his direction but remain, unprepared to follow, bad spirits, be careful !.
Set off again then find myself in ramshackle alley leading to a modern superstore but also like airport moving walkways, meet girl that recognises me and she asks if Ive seen anyone- tell her the story then she says look out, danger possible. Spot two more girls I recognise that are shopping as we pass and she says thats them! and goes for them as I stand watching, unsure whats going on but keeping out the way, catch sight of familiar face to the right in the distance, blur, end.