Thursday, February 08, 2007

There's A Ghost In My House

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I remember when fruit juice was served as a starter.

I remember the Corona lorry coming round, limeade was my favourite.

I remember chanukka lights on the menorah atop of Volvos driving around Stamford Hill.

I remember Danny Kendall dying in the back of Bronson’s car.

I remember the 253 bus, the ‘Yiddish Flyer’, when it was a Routemaster. “Fares please!” and hanging onto the pole from the back of the platform, dragging one foot onto the road, sparks streaming up from our blakeys. One time we sped past the Rainbow and yelled abuse at Osmonds fans queuing outside. They chased after us, the bus got stuck in traffic and we had to get off and leg it. Me and me mate never told anyone we were run by girls.

I remember girls practicing dance steps in a line at the bus stop.

I remember us all taking bags to clubs, each had a towel and talc in it. We’d sprinkle talc on the floor spin, shuffle, slide, dip and fall back. In the morning my black brogues, red socks and hem of my blue strides all dusted with white.

I remember my dad not letting gingers into the house in case they soured the food.

I remember herring milt, kidneys and brains on toast, the smell, the texture, the taste.

I remember the Beano plopping through the door on an Autumn morning and reading it on the sofa with a mug of hot Vimto.

I remember apple doughnuts at Brick Lane on Sunday, blokes on dodgy corner with shabby sheepskins, their forearms high with watches.

I remember when football managers dressed like geezers.

I remember “Oh! Ori Ori! Ori Ori Ori Ori Orient!”

I remember antiquing 8 hole Dr Marten boots, melting cherry red polish, brushing, then rubbing black into the creases and buffing ‘til they shined. I smelt clean for hours.

I remember twin tubs and my hands red raw from lifting out the steaming wash with wooden tongs.

I remember going to the sea and my sister and I being scrubbed down outside with white spirit to get all the oil that had spilled ashore of us.

I remember the Cod War and Fisherman’s Friends. We had competitions at school as to who could hold the most in their mouth.

I remember sitting on the grass bank outside our class whilst all us lads shouted the theme tune to ‘The Sweeney’.

I remember when the Hammer House of Horror meant an adolescent lad’s best chance of eyeing naked ladies.

I remember video nasties. One time we watched ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. My mate went to the toilet and shit himself at the noise of the washing machine kicking in.

I remember shining pennies and slipping them into the front band of Frank Wright loafers, just behind the tassels.

I remember going to Petticoat Lane to buy Sta-Prest, going out Saturday night, getting drunk on barley wine, kissing a bank holiday tart, sleeping on me mate’s sofa and them still having a crease come Tuesday.

I remember ‘Skanga, skanga skanga… Do you believe in love?’

I remember calling fit girls ‘lush’.

I remember kung fu films at the flicks, ‘Broken Oath’ with Angela Mao prancing about with a silk scarf. Little did those lecherous villains know it was full of scorpions. Ah ha!

I remember Beardy in ‘Thundering Mantis’. They kill the teacher AND the kid! He goes berserk, kills the baddies and eats them. Woah.

I remember the Dr Who Museum at Longleat.

I remember holidays visiting the battlefields of England; Bosworth, Maiden Castle and Sedgemoor.

I remember Airfix 1/32 scale soldiers. Afrika Korps, Eighth Army, Ghurkas, German Paratroopers, Commandoes.

I remember my girlfriend sewing a ¼ inch turn-up on my 501s.

I remember, remember the 5th of November, gun powder, treason and plot.

I remember history lessons, opening a text book to a picture of the Nuremburg Rally. Some card had drawn a speech bubble so that Hitler was addressing the party faithful with; “und now der UK Subs.”

I remember detention. There was no Molly Ringwald. Just a gurning, liberal gimp who was wasting his time for my benefit. I made a point of regularly telling him how much I’d enjoyed ‘The History Man’.

I remember scratchy toilet paper. My grandad used it, even when we’d stopped at school and gone over to the soft stuff. He was a war hero.

I remember the lumps in the school custard.

I remember Mrs Harris’ dumplings. If me and Kevin had to work late she’d bring around a big pot of rice ‘n’ peas ‘n’ ackee with salt fish and huge fried dumpling.

I remember pre-release, white label, discomix and slates.

I remember getting a parting razored into my No. 2.

I remember girls with feather cuts and ¾ length tonik jackets.

I remember the clothes horse and the airing cupboard.

I remember we called my mum Captain Howdy because we’d hear her creeping about upstairs.

I remember going to the zoo’. The rhino was asleep and scratched onto the hide of it’s arse in big letters was Tina. My mum’s name.

I remember Saturday, the sofa and a steak and kidney pudding with World of Sport wrestling; Cyanide Syd Cooper, Fit Finlay, Mark Rollerball Rocco. The old biddies would bellow, wave their handbags and throw their shoes into the ring. Mick McManus would tear ‘em in half and toss ‘em back.

I remember thinking that colour was an invention. That all old TV programmes, films and pictures were black and white led me to this conclusion.

I remember the kid down the street’s first word; ‘Bugger’.

I remember our first dog, Topper. Originally he belonged to an old man. Every day my dad would pat him and give him a biscuit on the way to work. When his owner died nobody else could get near him and they were going to have the dog put down. So, my dad brought him home.

I remember goldfish from the rag ‘n’ bone man.

I remember sending old clothes and blankets to charity.

I remember shrinking crisp packets on the school radiators.

I remember our English teacher telling us we weren’t allowed to read Tom Sharpe but he was glad we were.

I remember being too big for the swings and sitting in the rec’ reciting ‘Sonny’s Lettah’.

I remember McDonalds replacing their plastic spoons after they started to turn up as ‘paraphernalia’ at drugs busts. Apparently they were being used to snort coke.

I remember ‘Babylon’. “Straight from JA to me!”

I remember being flattened by a tidal wave of girls at an Eek A Mouse show.

I remember throwing punches at the 100 Club. It was better than the band.

I remember the Rumble in the Jungle, “…in Zaire, in Zaire.”

I remember Eddy ‘the Cannibal’ Merckx.

I remember Derek smashing a plaster statue of the Sacred Heart to pieces with his shoe and then eating them.

I remember painting Airfix kits on the frame, then assembling them and giving them the once over.

I remember the Saturday after payday, wearing a new Ben Sherman to the pub and thinking, ‘There must be more to life.’
Tim Wells

1 comment:

Joanne Casey said...

I came here in hope that you could tell me how to repair my washing-machined DMs...it was unintentional, they are how a horrible salmon and black...what was that about boot polish?...