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Author Topic: Tight Lines, a rock's ramblings  (Read 353585 times)
TightEnd
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« on: July 02, 2008, 02:56:32 AM »

"You can't help acting on impulse" or so the advertisement said and this feels impulsive. It's too hot to sleep and i'm in the mood so off we go. In fact the genesis of a diary has been formulating in my mind for some time, but I've hesitated in part due to a little lack of confidence and a concern on my behalf that it would be a little too eclectic and eccentric for general consumption. Anyway a little prompting from RED-DOG was all it needed.

I have to be quite honest right at the start here and say I've often struggled with the part of blonde where members write about intensely personal concerns for all to see. It's the reserved, middle aged, repressed public schoolboy in me. So this is a bit of a jump in at the deep end moment. It feels intensely uncomfortable. Not for me the opening diary post chronicling a poker competition but something that has been troubling me.

I haven't spoken to my parents in over ten years now. I saw them once in that time, at my grandfather's funeral a year ago almost to the day and it was an uncomfortable experience for all of us, magnified of course by the emotions of the day. The reasons behind this estrangement aren't too complex, but can't be put on a public diary really. Suffice to say I come from a dysfunctional close family, one whose problems have never been resolved. The effects of this are felt daily in my character, were a major contributing factor in the break up of my marriage and are felt on a far worse scale in my sister's who has had major problems, thankfully far rarer since the arrival of a daughter three years ago.

It's like the famous Larkin poem "they fuck you up your Mum and Dad, they don't mean to but they do"

I'd been wandering through life for the last ten years really unaffected by the lack of a relationship with my parents, or so I thought. This changed a little last week. I received an email from my mother, a rare beast. It told me that my 60 year old Uncle (her brother) had died of Liver Cancer, that she'd just got home from the funeral and that I was a beneficiary in the will. Well firstly I didn't even know he was ill and secondly it was written after the funeral. I must admit this upset me greatly.

Stiff upper lip at the ready I carried on, able to compartmentalise the emotional problem and crack on. Yesterday a letter arrived. From my mother it contained a letter I had written to my Uncle when I was seven which she had found amongst his effects. No ordinary letter really.

My uncle was an intensely shy man, lived at home with his mother until she died, never married. Very solitary person. On one family trip to their house when I was seven, always a chore to me never something to be looked forward to, I snuck into my uncle's bedroom. I was, I remember, fascinated by his collection of Reading FC football programmes, he being an avid fan. This was back in the days when Reading were right down the lower leagues. On leaving the room I stole a £5 note. A lot of money for a seven year old in 1974! No idea why I stole it, except it was there.

I thought nothing more of it and went home back to Leicester. The next day I was dragged shopping down the High Street and asked my father (rather stupidly really) if I could buy some sweets. After the predictable "no" answer I can remember the next thirty seconds as if it was yesterday. I pulled the fiver out of my pocket with a naive and theatrical  flourish and said

"It's ok, I've got some money of my own now!"

Well my father's face resembled a character in a Bateman cartoon. My mother audibly gasped and said

"Where did you get that from?"

and of course being a seven year old I lied unconvincingly about being given it. So unconvincingly that I received an immmediate wallop broadsides, of such force that if a parent was seen in public today doing that to a child the whole High Street would be in uproar. Times were different then though.

On eventually establishing the truth out of me, I was made to write a letter to my Uncle apologising. This very same letter was what arrived yesterday, written in pencil and in precise neat handwriting.   

Well I'm now 41 years old, and I don't mind admitting I shed a tear re-reading that letter. It brought back a lot of, mostly unhappy, memories. However it made me think about my non-relationship with my parents, about the nature of mortality and whether I should be broaching a rapprochement. This isn't an easy area for me, complicated by several factors, but I suspect I should be doing so.


Anyway, I have one more post to make on happier matters tonight before I crack on with the diary afresh in the days to come.
 
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 12:11:12 PM by Ginger » Logged

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TightEnd
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 03:02:03 AM »

I don't live with my children any more, but each time I see them or I know they are coming here my heart misses a beat, quite literally.

Last week Ryan (the goalkeeper) rang me to tell me he had been picked for the School cricket team. Nathan (the runner) then came on to say he had been too.

The inevitable followed

"So Dad, we need new kit before Tuesday"

and off I trotted at the weekend to the local JJB Sports (my tolerance level = zero) and forked out over £200 on the necessary, and the unnecessary too

Anyway below are two pictures from Sunday of the nets at Ampthill Cricket club. Nathan is bowling to Ryan, with Kristie in line of fire in one

Yesterday another phone call came

"Dad the match is off tomorrow but we need an umpire for the re-arranged game. Will you do it?"

Would I do it? try stopping me!
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Wardonkey
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 03:11:57 AM »

Great start Richard. 

I look forward to future entries.
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 03:28:30 AM »

interesting reading tighty, although personally i think the satuation of diary threads on here is getting silly i think yours will be well worth the effort to read.

good luck  thumbs up
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2008, 03:37:15 AM »

Bloody Hell! Well done Rich, that was a brave one to kick of with.
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 03:57:57 AM »

interesting reading tighty, although personally i think the satuation of diary threads on here is getting silly i think yours will be well worth the effort to read.

good luck  thumbs up

i know Paul, I don't disagree really. There's been a few things welling up inside for a while with me, so I took the plunge.
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 04:07:23 AM »

Tonight I watched a DVD

I think it was probably a "straight to DVD" effort

It was called "Flood"

Strangely enough, it was about a Flood. That's all you need about the plot anyway

I've always been a sucker for disaster movies. The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, Deep Impact, Armageddon..I love them

World Trade Centre, a couple of years ago was one of the best of the genre, as was Paul Greengrass' Flight 93.

I'm a huge film buff.

Anyway, back to "Flood". The cast was promising

Robert Carlyle, albeit doing a mockney accent so risible it has clearly put his career back years

David Suchet, who can furrow his brow with the best of them

Joanne Whalley. I had a huge crush on Ms Whalley years ago. Now this has been rekindled. Wow! It's the "Jenny Agutter" syndrome.  I believe she may have played Christine Keeler in a film some time ago. Thats where my one man Whalley fan club started

and one Nigel Planer. Nigel played "Neil" in the young ones, a role that simply involved him saying "woe is me" a lot and pulling unhappy faces at the camera. Nearly thirty years on this was his role again, as a hapless Meterologist

"My forecasts suggest the storm is abating and will miss the coastline"

Five minutes later

"Oh bollocks" Cue hangdog look

All I can say is that these veritable actors must have had monster tax bills to pay, or were sent a different script.
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2008, 04:12:57 AM »

I watched this too. Any idea why no one thought of going into a building and climbing up two or three floors instead of running up the road until the water overtook them and they drowned?
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 04:23:01 AM »

Some start Rich  , I had a similar issue with my parents but not on the scale of yours. we hardly spoke for about a year over issues arising from my sister's marraige break up. Came to the point they weren't seeing my daughter who previously they had looked after 2 or 3 days a week after school. Went on for too long and eventually i had to bite the bullet and make the first move (even though i stubbornly felt it should have been made by my father) as samantha was missing her grandparents. We get along okay but it's strained and will never be as good as it was but they are old and don't want a life of regrets. Good luck with what you decide.

Will enjoy this i think cheers for starting it.

Must go leave for vegas in 15 minutes.

Might get round to posting some stuff about my trip just to please Paul.   stirthepot
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2008, 04:25:05 AM »

I went to boarding School when I was seven.

How this came about was unusual.

It was a midweek night, I was up past my bedtime. I remember why. Our house in Leicester was on top of a hill and I could see on the far horizon the Filbert Street floodlights, That night (must have been a Wednesday) it was a home match, and the lights shone brightly across the landscape and I would look out of my bedroom window staring intently at the far-off ground. I even remember the score, Leicester 2-Ipswich 2 although I wouldn't have known that until the day after.

There was a knock at the door, it was the Headmaster. I was at a "prep school" in Leciester, maybe three miles from home, fee-paying.

The Headmaster said to my father "We're looking for weekday boarders for next term. Is that something you'd be interested in?"

My recollection is that before my father had the chance to reply I was bounding down the stairs saying

"Yes, I'll do it"

My father readily agreed, on the spot.

Hmmm, you see now I have started this diary you are going to have to put up with my self analysis

"Why did I want to go?"

"What sort of father sends a seven year old to board when he doesn't have to?"

Well I know the answers to these questions now, and revelation did not exactly bring contentment. Anyway, moving on.

So I was sent to board, Monday to Friday, home for weekends

Boy was I unhappy. Friday was the worst day of the week as that meant Porridge for breakfast. To this day the smell of Porridge makes me uncomfortable.

Three yellow cards during the week also meant the slipper on a Friday morning in the Headmaster's study. Three yellow cards was a frequent occurrence.

I boarded til the family moved to London when I was ten years old. Looking back I merely shake my head at the whole experience, and I'm saving the gory stuff from this diary.

In London it was back to day school, fee paying, single sex. Academic, traditional. Not really a great preparation for life.

By the time I reached University at the age of 18 I was an embarrassing mixture of raging testosterone and hopeless tongue-tying around girls. I don't think I'd ever spoken to a girl of my own age!

Copious quantities of alcohol and stronger got me over that hump, so to speak.

My children go to State Schools, mixed sex by the choice of both of us as parents. I don't really give a toss about whether they get gazillions of qualifications. I want them to be happy, comfortable in themselves and able to engage in the world outside. Most of all to do what they want in life unencumbered by parental expectation and career convention.
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2008, 04:26:43 AM »

Some start Rich  , I had a similar issue with my parents but not on the scale of yours. we hardly spoke for about a year over issues arising from my sister's marraige break up. Came to the point they weren't seeing my daughter who previously they had looked after 2 or 3 days a week after school. Went on for too long and eventually i had to bite the bullet and make the first move (even though i stubbornly felt it should have been made by my father) as samantha was missing her grandparents. We get along okay but it's strained and will never be as good as it was but they are old and don't want a life of regrets. Good luck with what you decide.

Will enjoy this i think cheers for starting it.

Must go leave for vegas in 15 minutes.

Might get round to posting some stuff about my trip just to please Paul.   stirthepot

why not jim thats what this place needs another fucking vegas diary!!! Wink









have a safe journey mate and enjoy  thumbs up
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 04:56:07 AM »

Nice read, makes me think what a lucky person I am in regards to my family.

I have often wondered why parents send kids away to boarding school...
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 06:54:56 AM »


Wow, great start Rich, this one's gonna be a great read!

Write for yourself, & don't worry about it being "too eclectic & eccentric for general consumption", as you so succintly put it. Those who want to read it will, those who don't, wont. I get crises of confidence about mine quite often, because it's not exactly mainstream, but mostly, we write Diaries for our own satisfaction - the occasional feedback is a welcome bonus.

Good Luck with it. And remember, write it for yourself - it will be better that way.

blonde seem to be blessed with excellent writers, & long may it last. When I began this Forum, I wanted it to be a bit different to regular poker Fora, & it's certainly become that - for better or worse.
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2008, 07:00:54 AM »

Can you ever have enough diaries when they are written as well as they are on this site.

I am going to enjoy this one though, its got all the makings of a belter and not an animal or train in sight.

Good for you Mr. Prew sir
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2008, 07:02:29 AM »


On leaving the room I stole a £5 note.

This hit a nerve with me.

As a 7 or 8 year-old, I stole sixpence from my sister (equivelant in those days to that £5 you nicked), & of course, it all came out on top a few days later, due to my naivety, very similar to yours.

Dad - to whom I'd repeatedly denied the theft - put me over his knee & I got well spanked, with a shoe-blacking brush. Those three or four days, while I first denied it, then fessed up, then having my Dad hit me, are seared into my psyche. I recall them with a shudder & deep guilt, to this day. And have never stolen since.

I suppose it's a daft question really, but did you ever steal again?

As to the last few weeks, & the emotions that must have stirred, you have hidden it well. I don't wish to know the details of the rift, but I do hope you get back on terms with your Parents. In most cases, if the rift is not healed, everyone regrets it eventually.
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