Monday, 30 July 2012

The Field Of Broken Dreams

A finished motion picture is a miracle of epic proportions. From idea to script, from pre production to casting, filming to post production, promotion to viewing. Every single one stands as a testament to the work of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people, who have put their hearts and souls into what they finally produce.

Many of these films are weak, flawed animals that you learn to love or hate for those very same flaws. Some are average; possessing very little originality but have a good base of skill throughout the production which sees them through to a 2.5 out of 5. Some are very good; they have originality or flare, star turns, great performances by actors or effects, an eye for detail or a ear for the unforgeable.
Some are great, hitting the right spot in almost ever discipline and stand way out and then there are the classics.

Its funny to think that a classic doesn't have to be loved by all but if it is a true classic then you should be able to at least nod and say 'Okay, yeah, I can see why you love it.' Classics are incredibly rare, they are to be held as shinning examples of how to make films and that it can be done; if you try hard enough and have enough magic then you can achieve something that touches people.

Sadly its these films that are re-made. Its the classic books that are 're-imaged', 'retold' or 'adapted' and its almost certainly true that what we are left with are tattered stories, weakened ideas and scripts that try to bring something new to something that should always have been left alone. This is a sad state of affairs and one that has been with us for many years, but now I ask it to stop.

We do not need to see remakes of classics, we do not need to see weak prequels (Yes Ridley Scott, I'm talking about you), and we do not need to see reimaginings of great literary works because we should not have to watch people trying to alter greatness.

I propose a new standard idea; a new mission for Hollywood! A new era! Bring your ideas to the table and if they are similar to something that has been before then tweak it and film it anyway. Let each film that is not a direct sequel stand on its own. Have the faith needed in your product to give it a different name and put all your effort into making it as good as you can. Beg, borrow and steal from your favorite ideas throughout print, film and music and charge forward. Be an individual! Stand on your own two feet!

Now this does sound like I'm contradicting myself and you'd be right, I am, from a certain point of view. I'm saying that you can have something that is similar but doesn't stand too close to what gave you the original idea. You can retread old ground but if you don't attach your product to someone else's then it doesn't matter what yours is like, it can suck and you haven't tainted someone's baby. If its great then you have filmed something that's like something else but does not effect the source material.

A vampire can be a vampire without being called Dracula, a captain can command a spaceship without calling that ship 'Enterprise', a man can kill a woman and not be 'Psycho.'

I want to see new classics, fresh performances, new actors and actresses, and I also want my standard 'average' night at the cinema to at least have the stomach to try and make its own way.

Look at 'First Knight,' not a great film but not an all out shocker, yet because it takes all the names from the Arthurian legends and craps on them it pushes itself into idiocy. If you just changed the blurb and the characters names and take away the obviously gutless attempt to make a vague sword and sorcery film that the studio didn't think would make anything if it didn't have Arthur in it and you have something that's nowhere near as insulting or annoying and so maybe we hate it a little less or maybe even love it a little bit more.

Prometheous would be far less stupid if it wasn't a crap attempt to make an ill-conceived prequel of a classic.It could be judged on what it was like as a self contained unit (still a botched movie) rather than how it effected the original masterpiece. In truth it makes no effect on the masterpiece other than to annoy people who can now argue whether or not it was the worst prequel ever or in fact if it is the directors worst film?

Taking the work of hundreds, if not thousands, of film makers and millions of fans and using your modern army of hundreds to take something special apart is wrong. Stop doing it. Please?

Each film is a dream that has come to actuality, if it is a true classic then it seeps into the collective psyche of the people who love it and becomes important to them.

If you are in the business then vow to forge new dreams...not shatter old ones.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Political Nomad in the land of Illusion

Where are we now? One day after a ceremony many worried would be a shambolic embarrassment? Looking at the fall out we can be certain of the emotions we now attach to the games...or can we be?

Going into this Olympic Ceremony I knew Danny Boyle was a director of true brilliance. I knew he had £27,000,000 or so to spend. I knew he was looking at a more personal, toned down celebration than the one that met us in Beijing. After those facts I knew nothing and so I entered the whole ceremony with hope but felt that there was no way it was going to make those big spending Chinese and their thousands of drummers sweat...I was of course dead wrong.

Looking at the stadium covered in grass, people catching apples and being 'simple country folk' I felt the fear, but then came Kenneth Branagh, dressed as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, reciting things changed. The Industrial revolution came and transformed our land and in fact the world and the ceremony itself and I was in awe.

I loved it. I loved the whole thing (perhaps not as keen on the Atkinson bit but fuck it right?) and tweeted the whole way through, but then the penny dropped. Some people were here to make a point. No, not Boyle, but tweeters themselves.

As I watched the whole thing became a 'protest against the state', each song analysed for its left wing sensibilities and I felt the horror. The pure, cynical, filthy horror of politics invading a truly masterful piece of art, performance and direction. If someone farted it was in honour of the labour party, if a song was great it was because it was against the 'Tory killing machine', if there was emotion it was raw and working class and from the people, a cry of defiance in the face of a tyrannical lunatic educated at Eton with the express purpose of fucking the country.

Utter bollocks.

As my new stance emerges I look to all the parties and see the corruption, filth and lies that they wallow in. I am a Nomad, moving from party to party as the political wind pushes me. I look not for the party that will do the most good, no, those days are gone, now I look for the ones that are going to do the least damage. This gives me the ability to look beyond Red, Blue or indeed Yellow and Green and see the bad in all. What the hell has that got to do with the amazing opening ceremony? Come closer, for I will key you in son. Ready?

You see what you want to. You interpret what you see. You decide whether what you saw was and is good. You write your own script.

Danny Boyle brought us a story of wonder; the evolution of a country and its people from what we were then to what we are now. He gave us a spectacle that highlighted many moments of change in this countries great history from the Industrial Revolution forward and guess what? Change comes from radical thinking, conviction that drives individuals to inspire whole populations and the inevitable conflict that comes from that new idea coming into contact with the old structured establishment.

Many of those moments came from revolutionaries that were almost certainly Labour orientated in spirit. Some came from technology and the pursuit of money and efficiency and were probably Conservative in drive and some came from injustice confronted and I would stick that happily at the doors of the Liberals. We all worked to bring these changes; establishments need to be able to bow to pressure, the right type of pressure must be exerted by the revolutionary and the population must accept the new status quo.

Look at the ceremony, see the history we created! The music, the innovation, the rights won and the battles that shaped our land. This was a celebration of our struggle up until this point. The N.H.S moment wasn't there to shame Cameron, it was there to show the world we have something amazing and unique and it can be beautiful.

Now the N.H.S is an awesome achievement but guess what? Its not perfect. Anyone that even suggests this is lambasted and called a 'Tory Facist', but that is in essence a feeble defence for such a great institution. Defend the front line staff, defend the success and dedication that largely goes unsung, defend the stressed out nurses who have to cope in the toughest situations, but be aware of the idiocy. I worked for a good while for a hospital renovation building contractor and the amount of money wasted, not by the builders but by the administrators, is nothing short of disgusting.

I was once walked into a I.T dump for the local N.H.S and this very large building was full of old computers, new computers and printers that were simply out of ink and some dickhead decided to just buy another one because they couldn't change the cartridge. It's this crap that needs to change and it needs to change now. The waste. Waste that is systemic in some of the upper management circles.

The N.H.S was shown to the world as a symbol of how great it CAN be and that's what came across; hard working nurses caring for the vulnerable. It made me feel very proud...but you could look at it as a segment showing something we are about to lose! Shame on you Tory scum!!!

No. Sorry. It was a celebration as was all of this great ceremony from the wonder of a massive Voldermort to the spectacle of a 'Nursery' Of Mary Poppinsies (so wrong but I have to call them that) floating down to save the kids. From a montage of kisses on film with one just happening to be between two women (oh my god! A protest against homophobic Tory bastards right?!)to the Sex Pistols (Oh my god! An attack on the Monarchy and the establishment filth right?).

It was a celebration of our music and we do it so well that every word, phrase or cord can cut a bastard down! To skip the important musical moments would be stupid, to skip the N.H.S would be stupid, to skip the C.N.D, the second summer of love, the Sex Pistols, any musician that's been done for drugs, Lesbian's kissing, the suffragettes, Pink Floyd, Steve Redgrave, Doctor fucking Who or GOD DAMN IT THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE INTERNET!! To ignore any of these would be gutless and stupid. Danny Boyle is neither of these things.

When the house was lifted and the man that gave us all the very thing we now communicate on was revealed it did not symbolise the greater establishment stealing his house from around him and leaving him destitute! No! It showed a man, a great man, in his house, at his computer, but open to the whole world. He is the man that represents our ability to go anywhere with the touch of a button, read anything, on any subject, to better ourselves or just to make us laugh! He represents a form of modern freedom that we should cherish for what it is. A wonder of the modern world.

Parachutes and super spies, queens willing to partake in the festivities and actors and music gods wanting to be a part of something far bigger than they are. That's right, the Queen is a part of this country but the country is far bigger than just her.

We could be heroes played as the GB Team walked in and its true, they could be! But if you are looking for heroes on that night the final piece of the ceremony showed them to be just that. Seven young athlete's were nominated by seven legends to light the torch. The torch was made up of over 200 metal petals that when ignited were lifted up to form a full flame. The spectacle, the wonder, the emotion and the intention were perfect.

Danny Boyle delivered something truly special that has been cynically twisted to fit a misguided political movement in the worst possible way. Some would say that music is politics, art is politics, love is politics and ultimately life is politics.

I'd just tell them to fuck off.

A political nomad can cut through the filth and see the idiocy of all parties, love none, be blinded by no liar with a crocodile smile and vote without prejudice...but on this night my status allowed me to enjoy an Olympic Opening Ceremony without cynicism and agenda.

I loved it because it did something that I haven't seen in a long time. It was designed, built, acted and directed with one goal; to show people that through all the struggle, fights, sociological leaps and terrible loses endured we are truly a nation that has a lot to be proud of.

The real miracle was that Boyle went out to remind us and the rest of the world how remarkable the British people are, and ultimately, he succeeded.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


I'm having a good time at the moment, it has to be said. I'm looking at a longer spell of work with the private builder, my skill set is expanding, the money's still great and the danger level is low. I have lines to possible paid writing work (very early possible), a new novel is brewing and the feed back from my project last November has been positive but urges me to make 'hard edits.' The fact that I haven't been told to pack it in is great but that I feel I'm developing is even better! My Marvel role-playing game is about to start up once more after a long break and I've been cutting trailers for the individual characters that are all being very well received. All is good....and yet I am feeling guilty.

Years ago we ran with many people, a huge group of drinkers and smokers in fact. Everyone was welcome at the table (okay a few weren't) and we knocked about the pub, footloose and fancy free. Yes, people fell out, there were arguments, there were messy breakups and unfortunate events but for the most part we were young, happy and rat arsed.

In amongst that horde were some very close friends; many I still see and chat with regularly, some I have lost contact with or have moved to different countries, others? Others drifted away for other reasons.

Have you ever clicked with someone on a level so natural it just feels like you've known them forever? They could be any sex, colour, creed or religion, have any accent or dress any way but you each other? Those friendships are special and even more than that they are incredibly rare? Someone you can sit in silence with and read while sharing a packet of fags...but separate books? Someone you love without the messy tangles of sex to fuck it all up?

I hope you have. I hope you held onto that love, that friendship, with all your heart and never let go. I hope you still play five aside football with them and then down three pints before heading home. I hope you meet for coffee and share pictures and maybe even holidays and weddings together. I hope you nurture that love.

Sadly, I didn't. We didn't. Obviously I'm not talking about my wife; an amazing woman who I love with all my heart, no, I'm talking about an old friend who just happened to be of the opposite sex.I friend who drifted away when our lives changed. We were thick as thieves and by god did we run together...but something changed and we just couldn't get each other back. Too much space between us.

Recently I found she is doing much better after a tough time. Things are on the up for her and I was hit by memories that split a smile across my face and stories I could never tell you about what life was like for us, me, her, and the relative few who I would classify as the 'mainstays.' But that smile faded and I felt something entirely unexpected. I felt guilty.

Guilty I wasn't there for her when the times got hard. Guilty I didn't help. Guilty I had allowed these years to be lost and that I hadn't tried to help, pursued our friendship, said something before.

I'm still feeling guilty.

It's weird because I wouldn't have my life any other way bar the obvious adjustments; money, job stability, success, and yet I wish I could have MADE room for this person. I should have. But I didn't.

I'm hoping I can meet her in the coming years and regain my friend. I know logically and realistically that I had to put my time where I did and that investing time with the people I did was the right thing to do...but I can't get this damn monkey off my back.

So here it is. Simple. Straight forward. What I have to say.

I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I'm sorry I didn't help. I'm sorry I couldn't help. I'm sorry I didn't make the time and I'm sorry we drifted apart.

I know typing this won't make the feeling go and I honestly don't want it to. I want to write to this wonderful, magical person who took me on that ride when we were young and say thank you. I wont say sorry to her straight away. I may feel too self concious or think it will drive her away, so I'll sit on it.

For now a song will do. What else could it be?  

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


A quick round up of the comic con is all you get tonight but here it is; Marvel are on the move as they look to expand the cannon of characters they have already unleashed on the silver screen.

First up we have 'Antman' making a run at his own movie and good luck to him. Henry Pym is a complicated character with a vast back story to capitalise on...some of it not as pleasant as the uninitiated might think.

Pym is one of the original Avengers, as Antman, and went on to have a whole wardrobe of names and powers all pretty much based entirely on his 'Pym Particles,' particles that give him the power to control his size, either shrinking or growing. This would probably be his mainstream claim to fame but those that read comics I think will always see Pym as the man that attacked his then wife The Wasp.

This wasn't an act he undertook while controlled by an alien force, or perhaps did only because she was herself possessed, no, Pym was the centre of a domestic violence plot that saw him descend into wife beating and then depression.

Obviously Marvel are not going to send us on a heroic trip around the world with a man who wears a string vest and a punch drunk misses, no, but the fact that this character has this history means Marvel can do what they have always done, deal with issues that need highlighting and bringing into the light.

'Antman' is set to be a lighter hearted spy affair for now, but lets see what comes our way...

Next up we have 'Guardians Of The Galaxy.' What can we expect? Well, I have no idea but I would have thought a good roster of characters, a highly impressive space adventure and of course a way into the Thanos plot, indicated at the end of a certain recent film.

The sequels got a run out and some exciting tit bits of information. Captain America 2 will be called 'Captain America: Winter Soldier,' which is just fantastic news! The Brubaker comics were brilliant and using them as a base for Cap 2 is both logical and exciting. We also have hints that 'The Falcon' will be joining Cap in the movie, great news again!

Thor 2 is now 'Thor: Dark world.' No, I don't know anything about this, that's good! I'm really looking forward to the sequel, hope it can continue to deliver without Sir Ken at the helm and I can't help but be stupidly excited already.

Finally we have Iron Man 3, footage was shown, the suit was unveiled and cast members were confirmed. As thought Sir Ben Kingsley is playing the Mandarin, the plot is following Extremis in some way and Guy Pierce is in as well. Everything looks great for this, especially with Shane Black at the helm!

There's plenty of other news about The Hobbit, Superman and plenty more besides but that can wait for another night. Tonight we are all cashed out.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Governance: Epic Fail.

I'm in a mood. There is no escaping it. It is an entity that I control if I can and normally I do really well...but not this week. This week I've officially had enough. It's not about people in my day to day life; they are lovely, excellent, fabulous people who I can normally negotiate with, no, its the higher level of idiots and bureaucrats that make life for everyone hard.These are the people pissing me off.

In the last two weeks I've been sent a ream of letters from officials from the local county council to the tax office and back again. I even had a doctor's survey sent to me, asking how I found the service in the last year; stupid really as I haven't seen my doctor in two years! They asked me to pay back money while at the same time giving hefty checks and though I appreciate the tax returns knowing what the hell is going on would be so much better.

This got me thinking, thinking about the maze of offices and the myriad of people and pieces of paper that make up my official existence. I thought about it and calculated and thought some more and wondered why I didn't just have all my details, everything about me on one file? One central point of truth; 'EddLand.'

Why was 'Eddland' not possible? Why the hell bother me with all this perishable, losable, environmentally taxing material when they could just email me? Would that work?! For me? Yes. For others? Maybe not. 

Digging deeper I was feeling more and more frustrated and then I pushed through and the situation was made  crystal clear by my current hinting boss, letting me know that we are mere weeks away from 'Project Complexion.' He's a nice guy, pays well, has never even tried to screw me over (a first in my experience in the building lark) but lets face facts; this guy is not a people person. He's not a chatter and he doesn't have the conflict conversations (excellent) or the conflict resolution conversations. He simply waits for people to see the light. I got the message mate, please stop hinting, when project completes I'm 'down the road.' I got it.

This is something I have known would happen from the very start of my commencing work for him so I am not pissed off about that one ending. I'm pissed off that another one may not be beginning. I'm pissed off that I'm in this ridiculous situation, like nearly three million other people....and that's when I asked the question. Stupid one really but I had to. 

Where are all the jobs and how do we get them back?

Screech! Traffic swerves, people dive into piles of cardboard boxes to avoid their oncoming doom, smoke rises from the carnage left in the questions wake. What?! Why is it such a difficult question to answer? Well, its hard because its not one party, one reign of governance, one person or even one problem. So many people have so much to answer for that it makes my brain actually hurt...hence the mood.

We could track this trail of misery back to Cameron, through to Brown, back to Blair, round Major, straight through Thatcher, Kinnock, up the unions, through the Seventies, back to the Germans and the Americans and the whole world if we wanted too. I don't. I'm not going to. I really can't be bothered. I want them all to go to hell and maybe, just maybe, come back again.

What I feel is the real issue is now, not twenty, thirty, forty or even just ten years, the problem, the issue, the urgency is now! Where are all the jobs? Where is all the gold? Where's all the money? Where is our 'Boom' that we are told will follow this extensive and seemingly never ending 'Bust'? It isn't hiding in the cupboard or under the stairs and its not in my top pocket! Where did we put all those bloody jobs?!

We lost them because we have no industry. It is complicated and yet simple. We export very little/not enough and there is an issue with the way our governors view us as the people. You see, if you are a manager or an executive or basically anyone with a large, robust income then you have done well, but if you have a normal or 'crappy' job then you failed. That's how they see us...and what's worse is that that's how we are urged to see each other.

With over two million people out of work we need a mass of jobs, not amazing jobs that fly around with a cape and no high heels (that one was for regular readers), no, we need a shit load of shit jobs. We need them to be poorly paid to start with and have them upgrade over time. We need them to be unskilled to start with and we need them to be permanent positions which lead to us exporting something. Ships, planes, shit McDonalds toys, sex aids, hearing aids, cereal boxes, Graphene, pharmaceutical bottles, cat trays, filing cabinets, tampons, spider woven body armour, cakes, cabbage patch dolls, knickers, trainers, fire trucks, flame proof coats, dog bicycles...anything! We need this shit that we make to go somewhere so that the normal people, people that don't have jobs at the moment, can earn money, pay tax, grow the economy, pay back our debts, buy fucking big t.v's and eat out.

We need this badly...but we have no direction to go in and no-one from up high who has the vision or the balls to motivate or mobilise us. We have all those idiots to blame and ourselves as well. We shouldn't have lived the life of Reilly, we should have lived with-in our means and yes, we should have taken a step back and asked the governments before this one to shine a torch in the right direction so that we could pick up the rope and drag our country out of this depression. 

For me, the road is clear, unpleasant maybe? Yes. But clear. Ready?

We need to level our tax system. Twenty percent across the loopholes. What you get paid is what you pay your tax from. Twenty percent for everyone. No excuses. You'd see far more tax brought in as a result as people would no longer be able to dodge it. Close the rich accountants back doors and make everyone pay the same percentage. Of course we wouldn't all be paying the same, if you are richer you are putting more into the system. If you earn £100,000 a year you are paying £20,000 tax. If your earning £20,000 then your paying £4,000. No matter how you look at it the fat cat is still putting more into the system than the poor labourer but he is actually putting in rather than sending it off shore and cheating the country and its people.

Secondly we look at the corporate tax and we implement a system which WILL give substantial tax breaks if the company employs a lot of people and is actively developing its base and growth in the country. By doing this we encourage companies to invest, to thrive and to do it as they like; at low cost. If you think about it they will still be paying a lot into the country; by paying the work force.

I don't have the answers, but I do feel that vilifying the companies that are going to give the population jobs, eradicating industry, implementing cuts to the vulnerable and blaming the unemployed is not going to do anything other than rush us towards an inevitable doom. 

Thanks for reading, I'm tired and so I'm gonna go.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Silent Sunday (The Gang)

My Family And Other Animals

I realise that I've banged on about heels on heroines and jobs that never pay but what I haven't done is tell you a lot about my immediate family. Why has it taken this long you ask? Well I couldn't tell you why I decided to wait this long but I just did. Live with it. Move on, and speaking of moving on...

We have eight people in the house currently, soon to be nine, and this means we have many characters, many laughs, many arguments, many flaws and even more virtues. I'll stick to the good stuff today because we all have bad days, we all have weaknesses and the number of people that can have a light shined on their inadequacy's and still smile are few and far between. Unsuprisingly.

To start off with we have @mamacrow, my partner in crime. She's fantastic and we have a wonderful relationship that grows, changes, deepens and yet stays the same each year. Its a strange concept to think that you can change AND stay the same, but you can. You can show each other the same amount of respect and love while still evolving your relationship, and I think that is what we do.

@mamacrow can drop a sci-fi reference right out of the blue. She can tell when I've had enough and step in before I cancel Christmas. She can drive, shout loud, kick a ball about, kick ya damn head off (Kick boxing and Karate student), make a crisis a game and turn a game into a triumph. All these things make her the wonderful person she is but the real thing shes done for us is bring sport into our lives and exist the way it does in our universe.

Before our relationship I didn't watch sport or compete in it at all. At school I was a very good long distance runner able to take that pain barrier and tell it to piss off. I hit a grove and I can stay there for a long time. I do it while labouring. I'm not the strongest there by far normally but if you want someone to go the distance then I'm your man. She on the other hand did tennis, Hockey and swam at a high level and probably could have at an even higher if she had wanted to commit to the training but it would have come between her and her love of horses. The swimming stayed high and didn't tip into godlike.

We watch the Premiership football league and tennis because of her and the enthusiasm she has for these fabulous sports. The gift of sport is one that we will always treasure.

Sauraus is 15. We home school and though he isn't very interested in an academic adventure he does posses a physicality which may well propel him through life to wherever he wishes to go.

Imagine sitting next to someone who can watch a sportsman on television and then replicate what they saw with some competancy. Given time they can replicate with a convincing accuracy, putting a bit of effort in they can replicate exactly. That's him. He started out playing football, using his balance, speed and never say die attitude to make waves in his local club. Not a natural goal scorer he was dumped up front the whole time when it was his passing and ability to find space that made him very good. Critisized for his lack of goal conversion he was sidelined. After years of fighting on the training pitch we decided to talk to him and we agreed the people he was training under were negative and that he needed to sever the tie. So at the old age of eleven he called time on football. It was very sad. He still trained and his skills coach told him he everything needed to become a professional.

He didn't lay down and die though. Nope. He shifted tack and headed into cricket and martial arts. He's taken that understanding of the physical aspects of the games he plays and has made himself a very good bowler. Not the fastest bowler you'll see but his accuracy, versatility and guile make him a star. He plays for the towns team for his age group as well as for the Sunday side, mixed adults, thirds and seconds.

In his pursuit of Martial supremacy he has taken himself to brown-black belt. One away from the main event. He was told he could do his black grading in July but he turned it down, he was doing his maths G.C.S.E and he wanted to give them both his full attention, aware that would not be the case he opted for a September grading. In the end he wants to be an instructor and sports guru. I think he'll get there because its something that he loves. Loves it.

Roo is eleven and is of course many things, but above all, he is a free spirit. He will say what he thinks, do as he says and refuses to play by other peoples rules. It could be seen as a negative but I think actually its an amazing positive. He will not be told he can't do something!

This freedom of thought and feeling expresses itself most obviously through his imagination. He draws vast pictures and maps and will label everything. He thinks, a lot, works things out, brings solutions to difficult problems and can be found investigating whatever is his current obsession with real vigour.

Take this one thing here, he uses his lego to design and build anything he's currently into. When it comes to music that means a chap-hop artists called Professor Elemental and when Roo gets interested he builds, reads and practically worships what he is investing his time in. He's been building steam punk vehicles, Lego blunderbusts, the Professor himself and anything in between.

There's more about him that's just marvellous but its his imagination and intellectual freedom that make him a special cookie.

The Wig is very much like Sauraus, he can replicate physical aspects, through sport, with what seems ease. He started karate at 2 and a half after watching Roo in classes. He could do all of the class and would, all over the house, so we asked if he could join. We were told he didn't normally take them before they were five but the sensei said he would allow Wig to do it. Well he did. All of it. Afterwards the Sensei said he'd never seen someone so young able to concentrate as well as he could. At three he was a red belt, he's eight now and is brown-white, two away from black.

In his cricket he could always bat but when we started him at the cricket club they placed a cone down on the floor and stuck the ball on top of it. Obviously they figured this was the easiest way to get his confidence up...oh dear, they just hadn't met the Juggernaut like Wig yet.

Wig watched the ball and refused to strike it, @mamacrow stepped in and asked the coach to just bowl the ball to him underhand. The guy agreed and BANG! Right over his head. He bowls another BANG! Same thing! We weren't suprised, but they were. You see Wig can do anything he wants to. If he decides he can do it and he wants to do it then he will do it. He can bat, he can bowl, he can do a flying kick, he can break boards with his tiny fists. His focus is truly scary and awesome.

Fluff is an enigma, a curly haired ball of energy that thirsts for technical information and raw information. It would be fair to say that we don't always get on, whether that's because we are very alike or because we are not I don't know, but we do clash. That's okay, not perfect but you have to accept that sometimes you annoy each other.

Fluff is a monster, a six year old with a genuine love of trains, engines, butterflies and general nature. He loves picture dictionaries, taking things apart to see how they work, watching and observing his surroundings and drawing. He's a great artist with a marvellous eye for detail, design and function. He understands why things look and act the way they do and if he doesn't know then he wants to find out.

He has a logical and analytical mind that kind of scares me. I want to know how things work but I can't be bothered to put the time in, he can and does.

Petal, well, she knows what she wants. She's as formidable a four year old as your likely to meet. Bossy, would be one way of descibing her but I don't think that does her justice. She does want you to do what she wants you to but she will try many ways of getting you to do it.

She not only knows what she wants you to do but it applies to herself as well. She does karate and ballet and loves it so much. From jumping up and down constantly to get the height that she can travel upwards higher to skipping through the rooms as a butterfly she is doing what she wants, so that she can get better at doing it.

Above all this though Petal is feircely loyal. She will stand up to anyone if it means making sure her little sister is safe, or that someone doesn't get away with a minor infraction then she will be there, fighting someone's corner for all she's worth.

Petal is girly, everything is pink and sparkly, skipping and ballet, hair and shoes...and yet the danger would be to think that she's not prepared to grit her teeth and fight teeth and nail...because she will.

Finally we have Dot. Dot is two and loves dressing up, running about and splashing in puddles. She isn't always a ray of sunshine but then she isn't always miserable either.She is a biter though. If you get in her way, take something off her, tell her off the she is likely to have a very strong opinion on the subject and if she thinks she's been wronged then BAM, she is on you.

That makes her sound feral, not at all, I think she is very direct and knows her mind. I think she'll be a very strong minded, very independant individual, and that's something I'm very happy about.

The gangs nearly all here. One more to come...and I cant wait to see what they bring to our family chaos of course.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Soundtrack of a life

I flicked on Twitter the other morning and the news reported that the Chelsea Football player Daniel Sturridge was in hospital suffering from Viral Meningitis. It said it wasn't serious, he was receiving 24 hour treatment and that he would be still likely to play at the Olympics. Its great that he's going to be okay but it took me back. One of my friends died of Meningitis when I was 21.

Don't run, this isn't about death or reactions to it. Its not about my friend either, maybe I'll post about him another time...when I'm better at writing. He deserves great, crazy, ambitious, inspiring words that can capture loyalty, fair play, hard work and infectious laughter. Not now mate. Maybe one day. No, this is about all the faces from the dirty, beer stained tables, huddled conversations and shared fag packets.

That piece of news drew me through making my lunch and I appeared at work ready to rock. I was sealing the outer walls with Black Jack (think of it as paint on acme Tar) and the Radio was blazing out tunes as per normal but on that day they played 'our songs.' The early to mid nineties music that filled our lives, the songs we screamed along too, the ones that got us up and dancing and the ones that totally belong to certain people.

It happened all day. I heard those songs and face after face popped into view, beamed and then headed out to make way for the next person. I can tell you I didn't have a financially productive late teens, I had a laugh, drank and sang and...well, I did all the things people do when they are young and mad as a box of frogs. The nights were long, the lock ins numerous, the fall-outs and break ups messy and the laughs? Well, they still echo around my head.

Here's a few of those stars, their songs and the strange way that perhaps that song will forever be theirs.

Size Of A Cow by the Wonderstuff is a song that will always belong to Liz. Imagine we drank in a frantic metal, goth, under age haven of sin. Imagine the atmosphere was always vibrant and the faces changed a lot. There were always new ones, trying their luck at being served or tagging along with their much cooler sibling, but Liz was around with us for ages. She was a main stay of the nicest kind.  

Now Liz was, well, she was larger than some of the skipping skirt that pranced around and she was pretty too. She laughed hard and had excellent hair and was softly spoken but I always loved chatting to her. This one song is her. Its jumpy, infectious, hugely likeable and always makes me smile. Oddly we came to a point where it was okay to point at her during the chorus. I'm actually quite amazed she didn't slap us all and fuck off, but no, she embraced it. It never seemed to bother her. She was above it and maybe it was even a bit of fun? We all looked at her at that moment and she smiled back and that was amazing of her.

She had a smile that made you feel alive and was a terrific person. I'd like to say thank you for being just who you were Liz, when you were and I'm very glad to have known you.

Walk This Way by Run D.M.Z and Aerosmith. This one is Whit's. Whit was funny, quick with a pun or put down and was a lovely guy. He still is.

Now this one is his because he knew the damn foot shuffle by heart , as did I, and so whenever it comes on I   am transported back to the upper deck of the 'Inn on the Track', music blasting, him and me swaying badly and then in with that uncomplicated foot shuffle that we did at exactly the same time. Its simple, quick and vividly clear...which is quite shocking really because I was half cut for a majority of the time.

Always I come back, I can even see people staggering past and feel the chair backs bump my arse as Lex staggered up to get another pint in for the pair of us. Ta for the simple things mate.

Lithium by Nirvana is a huge song for a big match player. I give you exhibit A; The Psycho Piglet. Yep, that's a real nickname and it fitted perfectly. He was a chaotic fucker that caused a vast amount of crap, would say exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time, snog the wrong girl and pick the worst time to decide he wanted to do the least helpful thing. He also exploded into the bar, shouted, screamed and generally was a blast to be around a greater majority of the time.

It is fair to say he was an acquired taste and if he got a sniff of  blood then he'd go for ya verbally if he thought it would be funny for everyone else to watch. It could be tough to endure, tougher to watch but he was as amazing and charismatic as he was brutal and difficult. He was my sparing partner and my best mate.

Come Friday night we would head to the pub from our respective houses for the seven o clock Happy hour and I would walk in the station end door as he walked in the road side door. We didn't have phones, we just knew we needed to be there bang on seven. We couldn't get anywhere else on time in our lives then but that time was sacred! The other guys would swing in at seven thirty or seven forty five, but we were always there early, necking pints and setting ourselves up for a night of mayhem.

Lithium is a song played in the Track but it was also a regular at 'Helsinkis' and that establishment had a small dance floor. Many a time this would come on and we would be the only two up there, hammering about like Troglodytes. That's one of his songs but he has as many as he has nicknames...that's quite a few. Long haired fuck wits staggering about, soaked in beer, sweat and youthful exuberance. He was my best man at my wedding and he wore a pin striped brown tweed suit for the reception, with converse trainers, and he recited the altered Winston Churchill 'fight on the beaches' speech, only replacing the word fight with drink....yup.

Finally they played something a bit odd really. Oberge by Chris Rea.

Yes, this appears to be slightly out of sync with the rest but stay with me okay? I had this girl I really liked in front of me and we were chatting and things were going anyway I adapted this song to instead be 'Oblong' (see what I did there, very clever). I sang it and jigged like a dickhead and later I walked her to her taxi.

Poor girl never managed to escape and we have been together ever since. Its been 18 years or so, we've been married for 12 and I couldn't be happier.

There were many other songs played, so many other memories and they were unexpected and vivid and amazing...But my favourite by far? Our first song.