28 August 2009

my reasons to get a job in the Homelessness industry.

Why?
As a person, I need a challenging and rewarding life and an integral part of that is fulfilling employment. What drew me to apply for the post of Outreach Worker was the challenge of new responsibilities; an urge to develop as a person and contribute something positive to society, something that would help build and develop the liberal caring elements that society has to offer; to reduce the harmful side effects that homelessness imposes on people in this balance.

A law set up to protect society and the individuals in that society from people who may harm it. At the same time though, the rights and needs of the offender have to be taken into consideration and a balance struck.

Growing up in a poor working class suburb of the north east of England I could see with my own eyes the effects homelessness had on the surrounding culture; creating fear in the homeless person, suspicion and insularity in the surrounding population. I experienced how poor upbringing, a destructive environment, a bad education and unemployment can contribute to social disintegration and homelessness.

I can also see that it is not just rehousing and reintegrating homeless members of society that can help rebuild fractured communities. However, in the big picture, it is a very important part of our society and the profession needs people who are not only trained to professional standards but also have the wider human skills to adapt to the homeless persons and societies needs within the framework of the law.

Ideally, this will help achieve integration back into the broader society. What could be more rewarding than that? To keep people off the streets and help them into their own homes? Homelessness does not help society or the individual but long term, homelessness levels must be reduced by other means if possible. Is supervising community punishments on a one to one basis, in order to help reduce reoffending, a better chance to reintegrate than prison? The answer has to be an overwhelming yes.

That is why I believe in the power it has to help shape society, to help shape public perception of homelessness, to help homeless people find that security. It seems as if my adult life experiences and education has all led me to this point. That is why I wish a career in this particular field. After leaving school with 2 A levels, I worked for the National Coal Board in their computer room. It was the time in the late 1970’s that the pits were closing and the industry was in the process of restructuring and downsizing. Unemployment was high and prospects were low in the
northeast. I needed to take control of my life and change my circumstances myself. I therefore studied part time at a local college gaining a place on a BA (Hons) course in English at Newcastle Polytechnic. My careers advisor suggested I apply to Universities after expressing an interest in film studies. After much traveling and many interviews later, I secured a place at The University of Kent at Canterbury.

With my own motivation and determination, and the timely intervention of a careers advisor, my life was about to change forever. I had learnt that managing, or being given the power to manage, your own life was empowering and produced a feeling of independence. I felt a part of society.

This attitude was to shape the way I behaved forever.

Relate to others?

One of my hobbies is house music. I love this electronic music form that originated in Chicago and have organized promotions and played music on the scene for ten years. This means dealing with people from all class and cultural backgrounds on many differing levels. From negotiations with club owners, publicans, police and fire brigade to looking after VIP’s and handling door staff. Traveling around the UK and Europe meant, to me, being an ambassador for house music and needed appropriate behavior to reflect our music. This interest led to creating a small fanzine that included news, reviews and artwork or anything the readers wanted to contribute. This involved dealing with artists and writers, coordinating the copy for the current issue; editing and publishing and distributing the magazine via gigs, clubs, record shops and other events.
The magazine has since gone online.

Assessing people’s abilities and skills, assigning jobs and ensuring everyone is treat well and paid where appropriate. This brings a great sense of community to everyone involved and is rewarding on many levels. The team works together to produce the promotion.

This also led to me dealing with the side effects and, some would say, the inevitable consequences of party culture; personal problems, drug problems, housing problems and other related issues.

Team work?

The skills I learnt here also helped me in my professional career life. The internet department of Solo Communications (UK) Ltd had four people – the internet director, a graphics designer, a programmer and me, the web developer. When the department worked at its best all of us felt we had contributed our part to the project. Teamwork was essential. The main ongoing project in our department was the development of an internet kiosk. This kiosk could be placed in hotel lobbies, railway stations, pubs, museums – the various implementations were limitless – and people could access paid for or free information simply through a touch sensitive screen. We would work together to produce kiosk ideas to sell to potential clients. Liaisons between the graphics designer, the web developer and the programmer were imperative as I designed the interface, web site or interactive CD that would be shown through the kiosk. Technical and artistic elements must be considered before producing a well coded web site. The director had the final say so ideas were tweaked and improved until the job was finished. Professional support was what we had for each other.

Then the personal came. We began to share problems and formed a mutual support network that helped us all through some difficult times.

Planning?

15 people from Kent to Cornwall for a one-week holiday seems like a logistic nightmare but doing this and taking a portable café with us, to a Festival, was a great experience. The organisation of this was the best thing I had ever done. I learnt so much and benefited enormously as a person by doing it. It would mean organizing and paying for the pitch liaising with festival organisers, selling the idea to them.

Taken: 1 marquee, 1 portable kitchen, 2 vehicles, enough food for the duration for customers and staff, 10 staff (and their children) to organize transport for, tickets, tents, petrol. Once there; set up, pickup fridge, organise work rota’s, baby sitting rota’s, liaise with local suppliers for fresh products, soothe marital frictions, children’s arguments, cover shifts for ‘missing’ staff (it was a festival after all), look after money and generally be available 24/7 for 7 days.

Openness to new ideas

Due to the rise and rise of the internet and the publishing phenomenon of web sites, I decided I needed to be involved somehow in this great cultural change. I bought a computer, some web design software and over a period of about five years taught myself, initially, the basics of computer design and web page coding then later techniques that are more advanced. This was purely for the love of trying something new and interesting; to see if I could be a part of this new way of communicating. I transferred the magazine I was editing and publishing to a web site and this was a great success. This brought in other friends who wanted sites designed and published. I got recommended and designed sites for small businesses. I eventually got a job with my last employer on the CV of site I had done so far.Due to the rise and rise of the internet and the publishing phenomenon of web sites, I decided I needed to be involved somehow in this great cultural change. I bought a computer, some web design software and over a period of about five years taught myself, initially, the basics of computer design and web page coding then later techniques that are more advanced. This was purely for the love of trying something new and
interesting, to see if I could be a part of this new way of communicating. I transferred the magazine I was editing and publishing to a web site and this was a great success. This brought in other friends who wanted sites designed and published. I was recommended and designed sites for small businesses. I eventually got a job with my last employer on the CV of site I had done so far.

26 August 2009

extravaganza of a free party

A great 2 room extravaganza of a free party eschews as both locals and visitors hoe down to music from the entire dance spectrum. Well, house in one room and drum and bass ‘plus beats’ in the other. The youth of today totally confounding nihilistic cultural expectations by smiling, getting on with each other, having a great laugh and just generally being full of all round positive enthusiasm for life, each other and the strange music they all love dancing to as we all said ‘oh well, bye’ to end of the old year and ‘yeah, bring it on, oh, I wonder what will happen this year’ to the new.

In the ‘dad’ house room, where the tVC clan were, friends old and new gathered once again to shake them old limbs and to renew and confirm that, ok we really do like each other and here’s another hug from me and how is your life going coz mines great and I’m really so glad I met you and that you are in my life, friend, and that you really make an effort and, hey, maybe take a big risk coming to an old hotel in Herne Bay, of all places, to come here on New Years Eve to see us and isn’t this a really positive thing for us all to do?

tVC DJ’s emerge from hibernations or machinations or life changing events, make efforts of gargantuan loviness to the god, or goddess, of rhythm and create sinews of bassness, or should that be baseness?, for us all to cheer to and slide along. Friendships reaffirmed or continued or just taken to a new level ripple along the plush leather seating surrounding the intimate, carpeted, bar area. Small cubby holes of huddled people animate their innermost of outermost thoughts and laugh and respond to each others reminiscences or encounters of what they did that day or over Christmas. Whether ‘quiet one’ or ‘family one’ or whatever. People who have not seen each other for, ooh, ages, shriek with delight as each new wave of totally top people enter the room.

The mountain of lights go ‘swing’ round the room; go on suddenly and blind and dazzle ready for the moment of total darkness as they pass. In the swirl of see less smoke the cuts and beats lift the feet as elbows and hands draw their well worn routes and the musical waves and coloured lights illuminate, fleetingly, faces alive with the future. It isn’t about young and not so young or d&b and house anymore; it’s about club culture or more specifically free party culture reaffirming their chosen passion whatever the music you listen to twist your melons.

Both rooms have a constant stream of people buzzing along like ants between the two. Doorways and corridors constantly blocking and unblocking as they stream past each other; recognising faces, shouting greetings. And do you realise how much this lot talk? Their ideas and dreams and hopes are spring boarded off the ears of anyone who will listen for the briefest passing moment. The pleasure of exchange and sharing compounded by the densely packed room and the loud music.

Phones are constantly out too; sending, receiving passing information. Then suddenly it’s midnight. Another year ending at that moment. An artifice yes; but a powerful one nonetheless. The music goes off for a second before the ‘theme from the muppet show’ strikes out to cheers and champagne corks popping. ‘It’s time to put on make up; it’s time to get it right; it’s time to get things started on the muppet show tonight’.

Every thing seems to intensify that little bit more and for one brief fleeting moment the world seems a magical place.

Happy New Year everyone…

25 August 2009

sunset / sunrise

I nearly wept with pride everytime I looked to the dance floor at the party people doing their thing. So lovely.

I was thinking this inside my head, of course. Outside my head I was a bit pissed on cider from the few cans I'd had round J and R's earlier.



Oh yeah, then I had a few more ciders in the Old Beach Bar with the fluffy DOD people. Forgot about that.







“G, we need your wood” was the text. Ten minutes later a fire was up and running near the ‘dance floor’. “There’s the dance floor”, says G, unfurling a carpet onto the stony beach. “Nice! Let’s get started”. Set up and running with a full tank, black silhouettes approach us from the Beach Bar illuminated by an arc light on their backs. They looked like they were in a Tarantino film (but not Inglourious Basterds, which is a bit poo. One of his cool films). “That arc light is turned off when the bar shuts”; which it duly did.
Time to turn the volume up. But just a little :-)And so it came to pass; the night, and, hey, it was suddenly starting to get near daylight and everyone was behaving in that way people do when the sun is coming up? You know, the energy level increases, chatter swells, everyone turns towards the horizon and enters that wistful sunrise moment. A shared private moment. 'Twas a well good little vibe on everyone's mind. Know what I mean?















































24 August 2009

'..somewhat crumpled..'

Nero writes: New Years eve, the most over rated night out of the year. It's always cack. With so many parties fighting for your attention you can guarantee that every one will end up going to different ones. And there'll also be loads of dickheads out drinking for the first time since last year, that will try to kiss you in the immediate few hours near midnight. Fuck right off. Anyway, this new year didn't start particuarly well for a certain aging tVC-er. She facking crashed the facking car, din' she. With a car load of male 'experts' there along for the ride. Giving them an excuse to reflect on their obvious superiority in all things 'cars'. Driving ridiculously fast (so what's new there then?) for the wet and foggy conditions, she approached a round-a-bout too fast and drove smack into the sign in the middle. Whoops. Oz remained ominously silent. Now Ey giggled admiringly. Ooch didn't even notice (until 10 minutes later when he found himself changing the wheel). The vibe most definately altered. No one was hurt, but the bonnet looked somewhat crumpled. There was no one around, so hurridly we started the engine and drove off, before the police spotted us, and surveyed the damage. The bonnet was quite crumpled and the front tyre pierced. Luckily we had a spare... although unfortunately we didn't have any tools. Gap ran off to a nearby garage to buy a wheel wrench. The lads stayed by the car, guffawing. Gap returned, san wheel wrench. Shit. It was nearly 11 and we were a few miles from the club. Gap ran back to the garage and phoned a taxi. Whilst waiting for it to come, Creaky and Offwat were spotted driving towards us and Now Ey jumped out and waved them down.

Creaky had a wheel wrench. Hurrah. The taxi turned up and whisked Oz off, while we tried to change the tyre without getting oil all over our posh club clobber (jeans and trainers). The police pull up and Gap puts on her best 'dizzy little house wife out in hubbys car' act. After being reassured that we're just changing a flatty they drive off, despite the grass verge being scattered with bits of rig for the party after. Wheel on, we continue our journey, covered in mud and oil. When we arrive at the club, the boys rush in. Gap is stopped by the tossy bouncers, who, surprise, surprise, won't let her in. 'Six quid' the massively un-smiling 'female' grunts. 'I'm the DJ's girlfriend' (sad, I know). 'So, he's already had one person in'. 'So, I'm his girlfriend and I'm not paying. It's the only perk of the job.' 'You'll have to pay. One guest per DJ.' Then they took her car keys while she went in the club to hassle Oz to get her in. Still they wouldn't let her in. So Tim hassled them and they still wouldn't let her in. So Oz's guest had to be dragged out to pay. Nice start. Then they wanted to search her. For 5 minutes. Arseholes. Stress. Finally getting in we had to put up with the horrendous distortion coming from the rig. Sounding particularly bad it was quite impossible to tell what record was being played and when so I can't really comment on the sets, although the tapes sound good. You may as well have been standing next to a body builder with a steroid habit banging a biscuit tin with a wooden stick. Nice. However not being ones to let such 'minor' details spoil our fun we headed quickly towards oblivion. The night turned out to be Timo's final one at the helm(et). Due to increasingly being undermined, he decided finally to part company with the owners and conserve his energies for Wiggy. As 12 dawned we looked forward to another year of mayhem and tried to avoid being kissed by pissed up chavs, (Kevin and co). Some left early not being able to put up with the strangled sounds emerging from the rig any longer, the rest of us waited impatiently for the party after. Chunky and Chunkess waited excitedly to jet off to warmer climes and shag. The party after? Mellow. Drunken. Small. Fun. Excessive. Melissa. AJ with a bevvy of young beauties eager to mend his broken heart, stroking his hand across the speaker.... Cheers to Mungo for having us. See you next year?

22 August 2009

1997 part 26 - that swimming trunks moment

Oh, it was awful man! She was sitting next to him and under the table in front of me they were laughing and giggling and fingering each others hand and laughing and looking at me and I lost it again and gently slapped R around the head and said “stop it!” and left the pub and decided to say to Nick “please, not in front of me” because that’s the stage it has got to at the moment and I’m really upset but I shouldn’t be but I am.

This inevitability is crushing because Nick always hates to touch anyone because of her fuck up.

Let me tell you about it. When she was quite young, about 13 or 12, she was walking through a wood near where she lived and was accosted by a gang of four young teenagers. Well, she wasn’t exactly accosted she was lying there on a sheet of corrugated iron (she told me) masturbating. You know, enjoying herself, when these guys stumbled across her. She was made to perform sexual acts with these guys and
they all…

That fucking Alfie, Jane from upstairs cat, has just kicked off in the kitchen. What a row! Yowling, spitting, scary, adrenalin rushing stuff. Totty, my cat, was right on top of her, protecting the kittens I think, so I ran and shut the window and grabbed Alfie and Totty jumped on her and there was loads of hissing and spitting and my hand is fucking bleeding something chronic with scratches that have broken the skin.

It was enough, anyway, to take me away from what I was writing. Enough to realise that I’ve already told you enough about Nick’s past. She was very disturbed afterwards and at school used to rub herself up against desks or her bicycle seat all the time and moan loudly and get into trouble with the teachers who never used to do anything or say anything to anyone. All her friends used to laugh at her behaviour. Even her mother used to make little comments on her behaviour when she caught her rubbing her bike seat in the garden shed but never asked her why and never assumed that that sort of behaviour in a young teen may be symptomatic of some sort of sexual abuse. Besides, her mother and father were in the process of a real messy cat and mouse furtive sex game and her dad was later to have an affair with a woman who was an ex swimming champ and not much older that Nick is now. Her dad was well on his way to drinking a bottle of whiskey a day by this time and he used to lie about going swimming and go and see his woman instead. He was eventually rumbled one day when Nick’s mum asked him if he enjoyed his swimming and when he said yes she produced his swimming trunks still complete with the knot she had tied in them earlier that morning. He used to wet them under the tap to kid her that he’d been swimming but didn’t spot the knot. The slippery slope had been engaged
and it was only a matter of time.

20 August 2009

The hard murderous relentlessness of trying not to.

The hard murderous relentlessness of trying not to. Trying not to get bored, trying not to say the wrong thing, trying to be the best human one can and learning to fit in. The non stop savage buffonery makes for a vast, vehement historical cartoon, with every member of its bafflingly large club a hyperanimated grotesque. To really try and attempt a sleight of hand and hide the self perceived sociopathy but seemingly failing at every turn. Tricks rumbled, movement spotted, the relentless effort to appear as caring as I actually feel; to show interest when all he feels is disinterest and boredom in all our modest lives; with smaller routines and large drug habits. The urge to write, anything, driving him more than any other thing, more than any other thing. It has to come out somewhere, in some manifestation. If not rage then sage if not energised then pulverised.
**********

18 August 2009

Ended up leaving early

A weekend of highs and lows. Naw, not really; lows and medium to getting highs at most. Sometimes you’ve got to have weekends like that just to make the good ones seem more standoutish.

After another busy day at work in Sheerness helping the clued down population with their computer and maths and English skills it was a slow drive home through the massive jams caused by the building of the Sheppey Bridge. This is finished sometime in summer 2006. It’s a right pain. It adds a least a hour there and an hour back onto any journey and I hate time it steals from me.

Soulful Sessions were promoting a night at the Horsebridge in Whitstable. Me and MDM were booked to play. It was a disaster. No one turned up. The reason the gig failed was as follows;

The publicity material was put out too late and not distributed effectively.

The flyer itself was worded in such a way that anyone reading it would have thought ‘what the fuck is that trying to say?’ e.g. ‘no puffas’.

They had already done a gig the week before and one the week before that.

The venue is poo! The main room has no windows in it, is acoustically bereft of positiveness and tries to look like an upturned boat.

The council had to put curtain all round the room to temper the bad acoustics.
The fucking architect, who has also ‘designed’ several other buildings in town should be taken out to the nearest field, forced to dig his own grave, them mercilessly shot in the head for crimes to architecture, then the grave should be filled up with the rubble from his demolished follies.

Last entry was 10 and the whole thing had to finish by 12. What the fucking hell do they think they are doing restricting events to 12 midnight? My god, every self respecting lover of dance music doesn’t even think about leaving the house till 10pm let alone having to finish their partying by midnight. It’s a joke. That’s why most people didn’t even bother.

Instead of finishing the very short night off with house music as they had stated on their flyer they got the downstairs room DJ to finish off upstairs so we got De La Cruz playing his ‘funky shit’ to 6 people dancing.

The venue is no smoking.

Ended up leaving early.

16 August 2009

May the fourth be with you

After confirming the fact of a party at the end of the driest, warmest April ever, it did the usual and started to piss down with rain, relentlessly and remorselessly for two weeks. Rain, winds, storms lashing the countryside, making all the ground soggy and wet before our eyes, whilst the temperature at nights plummeted to sub zero. Bleeding typical.

Two days before though the rain stopped and the weather forecast was looking good, if a tad cold. So we were to be having a proper party a good month and a half before our first pretend party last year and a full 3 months before our first proper one. So with no foot and mouth clipping our wings we decided it was time to enter pastures new and get out there. So that’s what we did.

As we were also doing the Smack that night, the crew was split, into lazy, alcoholic fuckers who stayed behind in the pub, supping on free pints like they were parties, and the poor saps who were left to put up the marquee, in the pitch black with just 5 people, 2 of whom were virgins.


Surprisingly it was the easiest erection ever achieved, although we did have the distinctly unvirginal Hugey. So, tent up and decorated easily within the hour. Rig up and connected also in record breaking time, although bodged, as one of our amps (the one that caught fire at Splendid) was still up in London being mended (remade). A lovely clear night if extremely nippy later on, and apparently the last time the planets would be aligned so closely before they start to move apart again, till the next time in 100 years or so.

There was just the matter of a fuck off bastard hill through a farmers track by some lovingly sprayed crops for the peeps to negotiate, if they could navigate the map. Luckily there were already quite a few who managed to get up the hill, before those with low, posh cars started panicking and parking on the not very wide, narrow country lane at the bottom of the hill. Wigs and Nicky went off to ‘sort them out’ and proffer them hill climbing tactics as the amount of cars accumulating on the road were starting to put the dairy on, but I was frightened to tell anyone what to do as I hadn’t had a drink, and when a car load of callow youths refused to do as we politely requested, we made our way back up the hill, pushing all the stuck cars en route.

And then da boys found us in record breaking time, but with just enough people there for them to be seriously worried about creating a public disorder if they moved us on. Hanging around for what seemed like an age, they were convinced that we’d have two thousand people “from London” there within the hour, to which we laughed and said they’d obviously never been to one of our parties before, which Cagey was
organising.

Seemingly satisfied that we were posing no danger to anyone but ourselves they left after nervously smoking fags for an hour, looking like they’d rather hang around with us than go back into town and pick the drunks up off the streets, and as they drove away, in the best motor on site, a big cheer went up, as the music got cranked up and the party proper began. In earnest.

Out in force was the Ben posse; Big Kev, Little Steve (in love), Linda, Wiggy, Timo, Red Yellow all shaking well honed legs in the direction of the dance floor. There was also Twiggy, Frances and co in the second best motor on site, taking lots of fab photos, but Twigs not throwing himself off of moving coaches that weren’t actually moving, whilst doing so. Whitstable massive out in force (for a change) included Sara and Jay, Lemony and Steve, all Steves mates in various stages of disrepair, Naughty Nurse, Sandals who’s lost her sandals and one of her shoes, cutting her foot open and needing it stitched back together, Justin and Emily, MDM, Brummie Jon, our internet chum, and millions more people.

Proceedings kicked off with S***dances’ finest warmup S then Friendly Peep riding his little white pony till he fell off, and the saddle was taken up by marathon runner extraordinaire Mr Baines who shared the reins with Timo Tei. They spanked us up into a (well rehearsed) frenzy to be followed by Shaun and then Oz doing what they do, but well. And because it was so bastard freezing everyone had to dance like fuck all night or die, so the dance floor was rammed all night long and most of the morning too. If there had been no marquee, I would personally have frozen to death, along with all those who didn’t have a car or who turned up in tee-shirts with no coats. Theo had his black, cashmere undertakers coat on so he was ok, although the white plaster on his mixing wrist ruined the effect somewhat, but didn’t prevent him showing us a few early ‘80’s disco champ moves.

Steve’s mad mate Toby was a little better behaved than normal, until he started to hit poor unsuspecting chaps having a swift slash with stinging nettles across their todgers. Nice… Andy another of Steve’s mates spent most of the early part looking for his keys, before I told him he’d just do his head in that way, especially as it was pitch black. So he stopped, and once it got light went down to where he’d parked his brand new VW Golf (on the road at the bottom of the hill) and found the keys in the ignition, the interior light on, the radio blaring and the door open. And the car was still there. Thank fuck.

Emily and Clare were sent round to do the collection and it’s amazing how much more money you get sending round two blond lovelies with luscious lumps than a couple of old mingers like Stoney and Cagey. Hugey got tricked by a car full of lovelies into letting us put our fingers in his bag.

The fire stick guy was looking good until his hair caught on fire. Tania, the twisted firestarter, fell down the embankment on her head whilst “looking for wood”, Simone looked tiny, and Roger sweaty. Ria scowled at the lack of public conveniences, , and all her mum and dad’s friendly mates and everything else, and Mark One Eye you still owe us twenty squids from three years ago, but hey it’s a party so we’re still pleased to see you.

14 August 2009

'Peter Cushing Lives In Whitstable'

L called me today. Is planning a secret meal out tonight for his old mate M. 'Don't tell him!' he laughs. Him and M, 'back in the day', used to go on these massive speed binges, constantly topping up with spoonfuls of this white powder in a massive plastic bag. M could take apart a motor bike and reassemble it in a couple of hours. L was in a band called 'The Jelly Bottys' or 'The Jelly Botties'. Their most famous song was 'Peter Cushing Lives In Whitstable'. Which he did. At the time anyway. He's dead now but, hey, you should have seen the funeral
courtege pass through the town. Every head on the crowded street was bowed. They'd play it down the Labour Club and the whole audience would sing along with gusto to the chorus.

L recently passed his HGV test and is touting around for work. Think he actually rang me up to tell me that he'd just bought a £300 SatNav for his truck. Boys and their toys. It's good to see him fired up again anyway. Since the 2 girls have arrived it's grounded him a lot and prioritised his thinking but i think he finds family life a little dull. M has six kids. Him and M still have a little coke binge now and again, every month or so, just to remind themselves of their younger incarnations. Been friends a long long time see! That brings to the table something...

13 August 2009

The Stewart Family Gathering - Aug 09

So it was with a high mind and a heart a beating that I set off for The Stewart Family Gathering. Set in a lovely garden on the outskirts of Canterbury it promised to be a day, for me anyway, of no humping equipment, no driving around, no drinking or drugging because I am supposed to go to Roger’s Orchard Party later on in the wee small hours when this particular party has supposedly fizzled out. Weather forecast not withstanding – the bastards predicted rain from 4pm till 10pm – nothing was going to dampen our enthusiasm for a barbeque and bands and DJ’s style afternoon of japes and jollities.

I was a on a bad one for some reason. Things had been on a poor footing as per usual with C and I was well in a state of some serious emotional withdrawal from her sorry, aggressive ass. I don’t want to talk about it here but after a series of heavy arguments mostly centring on her taking serious umbrage with various aspects of my behaviour or something I have said, will say or should have said we carried on regardless to fulfil the social obligations of, usually, my calendar.

Pete had pulled out the stops and the garden party looked great; two marquees, one with a band and bar, the other with a nice sound system supplied by our mutual chum James. It sounded great. So, it was to pass, that after the ZedHeads played a great set, and some BBQ food was consumed that the heavens opened at 4pm and continued to chuck it down for the next 6 hours till 10pm when it stopped and cleared up and we could emerge from tents and marquees and brolly and sniff the fine, clear air of Kent and proclaim, yes, yes, life is beautiful...

I’d been making plenty of good effort with C and she responded accordingly – funny that – and finally by about midnight I’d started to relax a bit and I sat around the big table by the BBQ with S&P, Rosie, C and BJ and his daughter I began to feel less tense and actually joined in with the banter a little bit and thought how I’d really wasted the day getting into a bit of a depression about C and her world. I don’t know how she can keep it for lengthy periods of time like she does; sometimes weeks on end of morose navel gazing analysis until all the joy has been removed from me and I become this paranoid, delusional husk of a man.

Oh, but then the joyful flipside of her darkness; a joy so bright and illuminated I can bask in the glare and feel like I’m the only man in the world who can energize from this strength. Her attentiveness, her smile, her humour so intelligent and so funny I literally collapse with laughter and happiness into her open arms of welcomeness. Here I bask literally like a seal on the sands in the sun blinking, thinking ‘oh if only all of this life could be so filled with this tenderness and kindness and understanding like it is now, at this moment, then I will live the short 1000 months of my life smiling like a fucking goon’.
It is this moment, this brief elusive, ephemeral, transient moment, and other rare moments like it that I long and live for and seek all my life; to be alive, to feel love; to be truly human.

‘What did you say?’ When I hear that from my beloved C, C of my life; the woman I call my close minion, my blood freezes. I know she is pissed off. I’ve said the wrong thing or done the wrong thing. The situation changes and storm clouds metaphorically brew right over my head and little forks of lightning shoot out onto the top of my head. The Walt Disney birds and creatures of the woods disperse in an instant and her angry face looms over me. I feel small, helpless, like a naughty child caught red handed. It doesn’t matter what I said anyway. She perceives hurt so it exists. I can now know from her response how long things will take to recover. It could be 1 hour (it never is) or it could be 2 weeks (it usually is). In between we have arguments, analysis, storming outs, periods of silence, then tentative reconciliation. Eventually it gets back to where I like it and love returns. Till the next time I hear them immortal words.

S&P were relaxed and being really humorous; R was expelling one of her sagas – I can, and sometimes do, listen to her all night. I do love R. She is a unique and special to me. BJ’s daughter was relaxing too and smiling and contributing to the relaxed vibe. C was, I could see, getting tired; it was after all around 1.30am by now but we were enjoying the non-rain and the superlative company. The party had thinned right out and we could hear Pete and Simon playing deep house music rather loudly in the rig tent. Pete’s dad was on patrol, smile on his face and beer in his hand, enjoying having his family and friends around. Things looked like they had settled down and would continue for a few more hours. I love it when the world is like that.

For me? Time to go. to Roger's Orchard Party? No. To go home to be with my babes of course...

12 August 2009

By the time we’d had our potato pizzas

Saw my good friend T on Friday night at a meal round J and M's. Mine and T's has been a strange friendship over the years. We’ve known each other since the days we used to DJ together on the free party scene in the early 90’s. We amalgamated Heights of Pleasure and tVC and have been DJing together ever since. We’ve both been through a lot over the years and I’d like to tell you T’s story one day but this day is not the day to do that.

These guys, our friends J and M, are two teachers but J has become so disillusioned with teaching he’s thinking of giving it all up. To do what, he doesn’t know. All he does know is he doesn’t want to do what he’s doing. Which is fair enough. This is worrying his partner a bit. I think she has nothing to worry about as he’s bound to find something, other than selling ceramic pigs on eBay and taking his two lolloping Labradors out walking in the countryside, that he enjoys.

So we sat there on their leather sofas in their brand new kitchen drinking fine wine waiting on our food which was being cooked by M's exquisite foody hands. We’d done this so many times and will do it again so many times that the relaxed atmosphere is rarely forced and the naturalness of this has us all talking about what is dear to our hearts. Well, all except me of course because I don’t really know how to talk about how I feel with regard to love in my life as I’m always so confused and feel so rejected, dejected and abandoned by all the women in my life from my mother onwards that I rarely feel that ‘things are right’. Let alone anything that prompts me to want to talk about them to others.

So, I talk about work and big it up a bit even though I’m just as dejected about the grind of teaching as J is but wouldn’t dare say because that may signify that my life is not as I want it and that I’m just like everyone else who has painted themselves into a corner and can’t get out because of the fear of failure or the fear of making the wrong decision and how it would waste years of getting good at your job and doing all those professional qualifications and all for what? To retrain and go into another profession that would probably instil the same emotions in you a few years down the line as your current job does.

By the time we’d had our potato pizzas, green bean with onion and pasta and salad and also quaffed down several bottle of nice red wine it was getting on for midnight and J was yawning on the sofa which of course means its time to go as nobody wants to be hanging around when one of the hosts is fast asleep in your company. I left with a promise to invite the crew to my next curry night where we’ll hopefully talk a bit more and you never know; I might actually feel close and trusting of someone enough to talk about my feelings to them?

11 August 2009

‘I never went there mate!’

Christmas Chris is still well fucked up about Terry leaving him. They say it takes 1 month for every year they were with you to recover from them. C&T were together 24 years and she left him 9 months ago. So, 15 months to go. At least. I’ve already mentioned that C has blown out everyone who he used to party with because he blames us (!) for not telling him his wife was a sex addict. He fucking knew she was really.

He just chose to deny it to himself. The affairs. The lies. The deceit. The drugs.
When Tort split with her husband she went to stay at J&J’s, what we called, ‘half way house’; renting a room whilst they sorted their life out.

Tort of course, as you know, and as I’ve documented ad nausium in this very blog, was the first recipient of J&J’s generosity. It was where I first met her and where we first got together. She dumped me once she had her own place and is now seeing one of my mates; but that is beside the point. I just wanted to say it one more time. The Broadstairs Cinema Club will never be the same to me. Sigh!

Now, Terry is ready for the next step. She’s decided to do something. She’s off to Crete for 6 months working in a café for the summer season. She’s putting a bit of distance between her and her old life and is trying something new for the first time in 24 years. All I can say about this is; about fucking time girl!

Tonight is her farewell meal. We’re all going down to Margate and out somewhere. I don’t know who ‘all’ is though. I know Tortelini emailed me yesterday to say ‘ah, it was funny’ but she wouldn’t be seeing T for ages then the next email said ‘oh, I’m going to the meal’. Can’t even say goodbye to an old mate without ‘her’ being there. So, expect the unexpected is my motto for all things that may be unexpected. I would have preferred a quiet one with a few chums, or even just me and her, but maybe she needs one last reassurance that she is still loved before she goes to get her brains fucked out by whoever she takes her fancy too. At least over there on ‘holiday’ promiscuity reigns for the tourists and she’ll slip in like a hand in a glove. There's got tobe more to life than getting fucked though? Hasn't there? I’m really fucking glad I never ‘went there’ in all the years I knew her so at least I can look CC in the eye and say ‘I never went there mate!’ Don’t blame me for her behaviour.

Or, for that matter, yourself…

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