CATNIP part two

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ALWAYS IN THE BEDROOMS AT PARTIES

Ok, so we missed the party the first week. The next Friday, segue into the last week. The usual suspects sit drinking in the George IV. After two pints, the hero says to the drummer,

“What about going to that party?”

“Are you sure its on?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh you sure, you are sure?”

“Yeah, Delney, said it’s gonna be crammed with her mates…”

“Fanny?”

“Most definitely.” The drummer looked around the sparsity  of the clientele of the pub, and said,

“Well, my old china, there’s fuck all going on here.”

Reprise the scenes from the previous week, we left for the off-licence. This time we went sans the Watney’s red barrel, as the party seven was difficult to drink without a bottle opener. We settled for two half bottles of vodka each, as the bottles were easier to conceal about your person. The palliative offered to the kitchen table, this time was a tasty little Mateus Rose wine. We would not be drinking it. It was a token offering for the ladies.

So, we went on the train to Sutton Coldfield. The mile to the house was not covered with such alacrity as the week before. Once bitten twice embrocated.  We were not expecting miracles.  We arrived at the address. This time it was awash with lights, We did not need to knock the door. It was wide open. Beats from the front room escaped like magical madrigals across the road. My drummer gave a little skip, like a boy from the playground.

“Sounds more like it!” He ran into the house, like a man on a mission. I looked around the gathering throng for the birthday girl. She was deeply en-tongued with Pete in the lounge, which had been cleared of its furnishings. I tapped him on his shoulder, and he gave me sheepish grin…

“Alright mate, made it then, on the right day?” The joke being, he had ribbed me all week about being a premature ejaculator. Such is the jocular hilarity of banter in the midlands.

“Fuck off mate, I’ve never been too quick in my bleeding life!”  A hasty rejoinder.

We circulated. My drummer, clockwise, me anti-clockwise. He winked at me as we crossed paths…

“Plenty of crumpet!” his hasty appraisal of the situation. Mine was less encompassing. I focused upon two likely characters. A very striking dark-haired girl and a her mate, who was perfect in her demi-perm and white dress.

“I’m in here mate” I said to the drummer, nodding my head towards the two girls.

He looked incredulous, as the two girls in question, were unmistakably the best in show.

“Come on then.” He said.

“No. Let them be, let’s away to the kitchen.” I grabbed his eager arse and pulled him away to the kitchen. Here we found glasses and soft drinks to make our vodka last longer. We ditched the bottle of Mateus Rose, and found orange juice and glasses.

“Here.” I said, as I passed him a glass.

“Don’t get too pissed!” I said..

“We don’t want any trouble. OK?!”

“Okay, I hear you, no smashing things up.”


INTERMISSION

A couple of weeks before, we had been arrested by the local constabulary. How had this come about?

Like this.

We had been at the local disco at the rugby club. We had partaken of a few beverages and been outside sharing a few joints. We had been in conversation with our two long-haired guitarists about forming a band. They were all for it at the time, not when we got to rehearsing, either the drummers drumming or my singing… made them cool on the idea of a band. Anyway, long story short, I’d left the disco on my drummer’s back, after a short altercation with the local constabulary. We had escaped without prosecution, but our high spirits, ie the fact I was riding him piggy back, had evoked the ire of one of the local ruffians, who on seeing our high spirits had taken exception, and punched me in the face. Unable to protect myself, as both hands were occupied reining in my horsey, I received a massive black eye. The ruffian had rounded on me as I dismounted, and called me all the names under the sun.

“You fucking idiots are gonna get us arrested.” He exclaimed. I rubbed my eye. I looked harshly at him, and then noticed he had a beer mug in the other hand. My alert brain, always on the look out for danger, said, probably best not smack him one back.

So, the drummer and I made our way home without any further ado. Half way home, we decided between us, home was not the place to go… Given that my eye was out on stilts… And that I would probably face interrogation from my parents. This was something I didn’t fancy at the time, as I was still stoned from the Cannabis and liable to incriminate myself. So we stopped off at a half built building and sat beside the fireplace.

“What we need here, little drummer boy, is a fire to fill this fireplace.” Given that the house was on a building site and building materials were ever present, we found plenty of bits of wood and paper, and soon built an impressive fire. It must have been impressive, because the flames alerted the neighbours and shortly, we were once again visited by the boys in blue.

There was a notorious Sergeant at the local police Station. Jock Mackay. A bastard to all who sailed with him.

“Alright boys? Your fucking nicked my beauties.” I put my hands up, The drummer ran. Big mistake. He was caught in the back yard, with a swift left hook. He fell gasping like a carp to the ground. Jock took my hands and put them behind my back and then handcuffed them. Him and his driver led me up the garden path to the awaiting panda car. The Driver opened the back door, and Jock, ever helpful, smacked my head against the roof.

So, its 4 a.m. and I’m brought into the interview room. I’m still underage, which the dear beloved sergeant already knew.

“Listen, just tell me it was your mate’s idea to set the building alight and you’ll get off!”

I knew the dreaded Jock’s M.O., and could see he was trying to set up my drummer boy for the fall, as he was in fact over 18.

“It wasn’t his idea, we both thought it at the same time.”

“Oh dear son, looks like I’m going to have to tell your mum.”

“You can tell my mum, she already knows about you.” My mum was a youth worker, and already knew the dreaded Jock’s way of working. he liked to fit up youths for jobs, just to get convictions. He knew who my mum was. He knew fitting me up or my mate, would lead to loads of hassle. Seeing that I’d seen through his plan to fit the drummer up  for the charge, he had no alternative but to let us go, but not without some fun for his leary mates. We were eventually shown the stairs, and thrown down them.

We crashed in a heap at the bottom of the stairs.

I shouted back up.

“OI, we were only half a mile away from home… You Gonna give us a lift back?”

Jock’s face turned puce.

“Fuck off you little twat! You better stay clean otherwise I’m gonna fucking have you!”

I turned to the drummer, picked him up, then turned back to Jock and said,

“Thanks for your help!”

 


 

Back to the party next time.

DALE ‘M’

CATNIP ( ALWAYS IN THE BEDROOM AT PARTIES) part one

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CATNIP

FALSE START

It was a Friday night 1977, maybe June or July, I had an invite to a party in Sutton Coldfield, for a girl called Delney, who worked in the office at work. I was with my mate, the drummer, drinking at the George IV pub. Our usual Friday Fayre, drinking beer and him drumming the metal tables with the pair of drumsticks he carried everywhere. I smoked my cigarettes, sang along to the jukebox, and dreamed of fame and fortune. I told the drummer that we had a party to go to, and he was happy as a pig in shit.

Problem with drinking in the backwaters of Lichfield, there were very few women on show. Would-be Rock stars need an audience and we, as half of a band, recently  disbanded, found the lack of an audience, dispiriting. We had sat there in the pub for months, licking our wounds, whilst the two guitarists moved on to pastures new… Namely Cannock, and long-haired heavy metal stardom awaited them. Good riddance! We, the drummer and me, would not stoop so low! We were punks. Two things stopped our mega rise to stardom, the fact that my singing was fucking awful, and secondly, the drummer’s drums had been repossessed by the Hire Purchase company. A singer without a voice and a drummer without drums, were not in high demand… with anyone!

At 8 o’clock, having drunk a half gallon of Ansell’s Bitter, we made the momentous decision to head off to the party. We stopped at the off-Licence on the way to the railway station, and spent a small fortune on a bottle of Vodka and a Watney’s Red Barrel party seven.

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(This was the ubiquitous carry out of the seventies, a barrel that contained 7 pints of beer.)

When bringing a bottle to a party, it was important to bring a cheap option, which could be jettisoned into the kitchen for the general party-goers,whilst  your good stuff you kept to you to yourself.(A less scrupulous party-goer would buy a cheap bottle and swap it for a better one, I have just been informed, this however, would not enter my mind) So we sat fully prepared for a big night out, on the cross-city train, full of the whats and wherefore’s we would enjoy at this select soiree.

The train trundled sedately into the train station at Sutton Coldfield, and with the quick and sure footed gait of youth, walked the mile to the allotted site. The house was dark and quiet, when we rang the bell. Delney and Pete, a work mate, came blearily to the door.

“Ok, mate, the party’s here!” I shouted excitedly.

“What?” He said.

“The party…” I blinked at his dumb look.

“Sorry mate. the party is next week, not today.”

I looked at the drummer, he looked at me. We both looked at the booze we carried.

“Don’t suppose you’ve got an opener for this?” I pointed at the party seven of Double Diamond.

Pete looked at the little barrel, and went inside. He came back with a posi-drive screw driver.

“Try this.” The drummer set the barrel on the floor. He took the proffered screw driver, and gouged out to make-do openings in the barrel. It frothed dangerously, and deposited a lion- share of its contents on the tarmac. He passed the screw driver back to Pete, like a doctor passing a scalpel back to the nurse.

“Thanks.”

“No problem.” Pete shut the door.

“We better get this drunk. Can’t exactly walk along the street with it open.”

I shrugged. What a wash-out. We found a wall to sit on and took turns swigging beer from the ridiculous barrel. Having worked our way solidly through the contents, most of which ended up on our fronts, we trudged wearily back to the station… Another wasted Friday night!

During the hour long slow sojourn back to the station, having dispatched the Watney’s Red Barrel into the nearest hedge, we took turns in sipping, then slugging, the bottle of Vodka. So that when we actually arrived back at the Train Station we were both happily steaming.(DRUNK)

The station was empty. There was but one train left to arrive at the desolate platform, the 11.30 from New St. Birmingham. Of course, the curse of drink on young men is legend, better men than I have been brought down by its perils. Having clambered on top of the bus shelter type plastic contraption on the platform, the drummer was beating away happy little timpani riffs on the edges of plastic and aluminium and I was down on the tracks lying prostate like a girl from the silent era, shouting Heeelllp, Heeeellp! The drummer shouted loudly at my prostate form, that someone was coming! I jumped up, more afraid of someone seeing me acting stupid, than I was of the threat of a train dissecting me. A middle-aged blonde lady, clip-clopped her high-heeled way down the slope from the station. By the time she arrived I was sat demurely in the bus shelter, as if butter wouldn’t melt! She smiled wanly as she passed and I realised I knew her…

She was the daughter of Meg Richardson. Not literally of course, I don’t think Noele Gordon actually had a daughter… But she was the screen daughter of the TV character Meg Richardson, both characters from the now defunct soap opera, CROSSROADS. Thankfully, I had not made an arse of myself. However, as the drummer still remained drumming on the top of the shelter, the same could not be said for him. When he saw who it was, he silently slid down off the roof and sheepishly sat down beside me.

As we left the train station, we looked at each other and laughed.

“Well that was a waste of fucking time wasn’t it?” The drummer said.

“A bit of the washout, but just think… We’ve got a party to go to next week!”


 

This is a true account, a party that never was. Find out what happened at the actual party in the next instalment.

Dale ‘M’

 

NUTCRACKER BALLET BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

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Went to the ballet last night. Absolutely beautiful production, amazing set changes, orchestra perfect, and the dancing excellent. Two and a half hours is about an hour too long… but that’s down to Tchaikovsky. Modern life requires less rather than more. I would recommend everyone to see at least one ballet in your lifetime. This is my third.

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Dale ‘M’

OUR LAST GIG TOGETHER… ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK.

ZOO PLAYLIST

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ZOO PLAYLIST

  1. ZOO STATION – U2
  2. SPACEMAN – BABYLON ZOO
  3. JOE THE LION – DAVID BOWIE
  4. THROW THEM TO LIONS – SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
  5. TIGER FEET – MUD
  6. TIGER THE LION – TRAGICALLY HIP
  7. CLINT EASTWOOD – GORILLAZ
  8. EVERYONE’S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE – THE BEATLES
  9. MARDY BUM – ARCTIC MONKEYS
  10. MONKEY GONE TO HEAVEN – PIXIES
  11. EATING THE BEAR – JOAN ARMATRADING
  12. NO MANS LAND – PANDA BEER
  13. ELEPHANTS – WARPAINT
  14. RHINOCEROS – SMASHING PUMPKINS
  15. THIS HERE GIRAFFE – FLAMING LIPS
  16. LOW BETWEEN ZEBRAS – UNDERWORLD
  17. SEAL CLUBBING – HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
  18. I AM THE WALRUS – THE BEATLES
  19. MEDITATION OF THE SNAKE – STEVE HILLAGE
  20. ORANGUTAN – CLINIC
  21. LES CROCODILES – CHARLOTTE GAINSBURG
  22. ALLIGATOR WINE – JEFF BUCKLEY
  23. LEOPARD AND LAMB – JOHN GRANT
  24. LUNAR CAMEL – SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
  25. BLIND AS A BAT – GHOST POET
  26. PRETTY FLAMINGO – MANFRED MANN
  27. HEAVENLY CREATURES – WOLF ALICE
  28. BORN TO BE WILD – STEPPENWOLF
  29. THE WHALE – ELO
  30. DOLPHIN’S SMILE – THE BYRDS

JUST HAD TO DO THIS TWICE BECAUSE WORDPRESS FAILED…

DOES THIS HAPPEN TO YOU?

DALE ‘M’

SUPER PLAYLIST

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SUPER PLAYLIST

  1. SUPER TROUPER – ABBA
  2. SUPERSONIC- BASEMENT JAXX
  3. SUPER-CONNECTED – BELLY
  4. SUPERSTAR – THE CARPENTERS
  5. THE SUPERMAN – DAVID BOWIE
  6. SUNSHINE SUPERMAN – DONOVAN
  7. SUPERSTYLIN’ – GROOVE ARMADA
  8. O SUPERMAN – LAURIE ANDERSON
  9. SUPERSTAR – LAURYN HILL
  10. YOU’RE A SUPERSTAR – LOVE INC.
  11. LET’S LOOT THE SUPERMARKET… – MICK FARREN
  12. SUPERMASSIVE BLACKHOLE – MUSE
  13. SUPERSTITION – STEVIE WONDER
  14. SUPERNOVA AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE- THE ORB
  15. SUPERGROOVALISTICPROSIFUNKSTATION – PARLIAMENT
  16. SUPERNATURAL THING – SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
  17. OFFICIAL SUBURBAN SUPERMAN – SUZI QUATTRO
  18. SUPERDREAMING – TOM TOM CLUB
  19. THAT’S REALLY SUPER SUPERGIRL – XTC
  20. SUPERSTAR – ALUNA GEORGE

LETS ALL FEEL SUPER TOGETHER

DALE ‘M’

SUPER POWER

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SUPER POWER

WHAT WOULD YOUR SUPER POWER BE?

It’s a common question, in this world where all movie narratives are obsessed with super heroes, having a supra ability, is high in the collective consciousness. For myself, I will have no truck with any of these narratives, like the other dinosaurs of my generation, I prefer my story-lines based in reality. I don’t want my heroes to solve real-time problems with outlandish abilities, I don’t want retractable steel claws or to fly across the ocean at the speed of light… I don’t want laser beams to shoot from my eyes or ice to flow from my heels. I would prefer my heroes to solve dilemmas by the power of thought. I would prefer natural powers to be used to solve the problems we all face as a species.

The only super powers I have are dull. I have the power to love, I have the power to be honest, and I have the power to nurture. My Kryptonite is : my lack of  understanding when people lie to me; my inability to recognise when people have an agenda; my lack of the need to be acquisitive… I’m murder to buy presents for… I really do not want anything!  The inevitable question at this time of year: What do you want for xmas? Is one that really bugs me, I don’t want anything. Nothing that can be bought. I would like my beloved back. I would like to live without pain, both physical and mental. I would quite like to be able to run again, though yesterday, just the ability to walk would have been nice! Today, my back is freer and I can walk again.

If pressed the only power I would like is the ability to time travel… But that is a double-edged sword. If you go back in time, would you save those you love from their untimely deaths? The urge would be irresistible, but whose to say that they have not died to free their souls from this reality to be able to aid lives in another? Our knowledge of other realities is limited, probably for good reason, perhaps to keep our souls from trivialising our efforts in this reality… Nothing concentrates the mind more than the feeling that this is your one shot at living a decent life! If you were aware that your soul is immutable, that it will exist in many lifetimes, your cares and worries in this life would not feel so important.

I have one super power, I can connect to people I love, I can empathise. Empathy is a very under valued super power, it doesn’t get a lot of airtime in the narratives of the modern media, but the power to feel what other’s are feeling is the bedrock of social interaction, its what enables us to live in communities. It makes us Human. And it is this ability that is most under attack by the concept of super  human powers, we do not need x-ray vision to perceive our neighbour is suffering; we do not need to be able to fly  across oceans, to be able to help the homeless or the hungry…

The real world requires empathy, and from a position of empathy we can actually do something to help real people along their life journey.

Yes. This is the super power we should all aspire to.

Save the world, one person at a time.

That’s a goal which is attainable.

Dale ‘M’

BLOWN AWAY

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I am always blown away by the reach of my blogs, I can type words here and in a moment I can receive a response from all over the planet, and from these responses I can discover artists who are creating amazing works in our shared language!

I have been blown away by the depth of knowledge and vocabulary used by young girls in India… breathtaking ingenuity used by people who are essentially writing in a second language. They are not brow-beaten by idiomatic syntax of modern English, they use the language as a precise tool, much in the way Shakespeare would have. Two Shreya’s have taught me new words which I literally had to google to find their meaning! And I have a very large vocabulary, according to my exasperated friends!

I just want to say to you young ladies, You are an inspiration in a sad world. Keep working at it, you are the future.

With love to all of you in all of your places, I thank you. You keep the candle flickering in my heart!

Dale ‘m’

WINTER WONDERLAND PLAYLIST

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WINTER WONDERLAND PLAYLIST

  1. WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND – DEAN MARTIN
  2. ROCKIN AROUND THE XMAS TREE – BRENDA LEE
  3. WINTER FIELDS – BAT FOR LASHES
  4. WINTER – DAUGHTER
  5. IN WINTER STILL – DOT ALLISON
  6. WARM IN WINTER – GLASS CANDY
  7. IN THE WINTER – JANIS IAN
  8. WINTER LADY – LEONARD COHEN
  9. A WOMAN IN WINTER – THE SKIDS
  10. WINTER SNOW – BOOKER T & THE MGS
  11. WINTER TREES – THE STAVES
  12. WINTERY KISSES – BAXTER DURY
  13. QUIET THE WINTER HARBOUR – MAZZY STAR
  14. I DO NOT CARE FOR THE WINTER SUN – BEACH HOUSE
  15. FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK – THE POGUES
  16. CHRISTMAS WRAPPING – THE WAITRESSES
  17. STOP THE CAVALRY – JONA LEWIE
  18. LET IT SNOW – DEAN MARTIN
  19. HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) – JOHN LENNON
  20. I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY – WIZZARD
  21. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY – SLADE

  22. GOOD LUCK WITH COPING OVER CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY

DALE ‘M’

NEXT STEP

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NEXT

Never have I lived such a sedentary life,

Hour upon hour contemplating,

navel-gazing, aimlessly vacillating,

Between world and unworldly,

Arcane or basely visceral…

I have no momentum…

Inertia has rendered the body immoveable.

 

Literally immoveable.

Back has seized up like a gate spring.

Frozen in time and space and velocity,

How to move on?

There are no locks in real space,

Just in my mind.

 

All carnality, or thoughts there of,

Are acts of betrayal…

But who am I betraying?

The promise dies with the person promised?

I just don’t have the theological maturity to know.

I’m like a child left to their own devices…

With the admonishing words of lost parents

ringing in their ears…

Do you continue to hold to their social norms?

I cannot hear her voice in my ear,

only in my heart.

always in my heart!


unfettered ramblings of a lost boy.

Dale ‘M’

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

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THE COLD EARTH SLEPT BELOW

BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,
With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black;
The green grass was not seen;
The birds did rest
On the bare thorn’s breast,
Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o’er many a crack
Which the frost had made between.

Thine eyes glow’d in the glare
Of the moon’s dying light;
As a fen-fire’s beam
On a sluggish stream
Gleams dimly—so the moon shone there,
And it yellow’d the strings of thy tangled hair,
That shook in the wind of night.

The moon made thy lips pale, beloved;
The wind made thy bosom chill;
The night did shed
On thy dear head
Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
Might visit thee at will.

 

LOVE SHELLEY MORE AS I GET OLDER, KEATS WAS ALWAYS MY ROMANTIC HERO WHEN I WAS YOUNGER.

DALE ‘M’