Last night I made a momentous decision ! It’s time my blog took a new turn, it’s time for a change. I was at the Derby Quad at the Photoforum listening to the photographer Peter Dench. He’s quite good but more of that later. I gave a woman a lift back to Chesterfield station and I still can’t remember her bloody name and I daren’t ask her. I think it’s Amanda.
Anyway I’m gonna do a bit more writing on this blog to accompany my images. It’s gonna be a bit stream of consciousness sort of thing. A bit like Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ but I won’t be fuelling myself with hard drink and barbiturates and I won’t be criss crossing America. Well maybe the hard drink. I did get a couple of bottles of whisky for Christmas. I’m not even gonna worry about spellings or paragraph or punctuation. I’ll let WordPress take care of that. I think it’s fair to say I’m quite excited about this new approach and so is the dog.
The wife and I ( my mate used to call her wife affectionately ‘the bag for life’ ) have been spending January doing some serious tidying up. I’ve had to make some hard decisions about things I keep, things I throw and things I put up in the loft. Videos I’m not going to watch any-more but I can’t yet bring myself to consign to the bin. Yes even my copy of The Ghost starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore when she was attractive. She still is but Ghost is before she went a bit potty and had her tits done. There’s also my small collection of Laurel and Hardy videos and a precious Will Hay film ‘ Ask a Policeman’. The wife’s really taken to this tidying up as well. She’s really going for it. I’ve even purchased some contiboard from B & Q and had it cut to size for a couple of shelves I’ve put up. I’ve sorted out a leaking tap and cracked shower hose thanks to a nice Irish lady on You Tube who showed me how to do it. She even kept her clothes on. Swinton Insurance have just texted me for the tenth time to remind me my car insurance is due and would I like a quote? No !
I’ve had to throw a few magazines out which I’ve not looked at for the past twelve months but I’ve been through them and any interesting links I’ve added on this blog. I’ve added a few clothing links and a couple of photographers; a bloke who for some reason calls himself Boogie and a Chinese photographer called Hua Chin who does some nice pictures without people in them. Well if they are they’re far away and you can’t see their faces.
The Peter Dench talk was interesting and illuminating. He’s a good photographer. His English work is interesting. There’s a lot of images of English people in various states of inebriation ( that’s pissed to you and me ) in many ways fulfilling the stereotypical view that we English can’t or won’t take our drink seriously and responsibly. I can imagine publications like Paris Match and Stern love this kind of stuff. Images of English people throwing up, lasses with their skirts round their necks or dancing uncontrollably while waving a pint of vodka about; “ah look at those crazy Engleesh and their drink problem, should they really be in Europe ? the fat useless Engleesh pigs”. Drink has always been a hard pastime of the English, and the Scots !. Think William Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’ and ‘Beer Street’. It’s nothing new in other words, but while it should be considered in any intelligent thesis it’s only a small part of the English cultural identity. National Identity is much more complex than that. The best book I’ve read on the subject is Billy Bragg’s The Progressive Patriot.
I’ve only ever been uncontrollably drunk about twice in my life. Once I was so pissed I lost complete control of my bodily functions while staying at a mate’s house. To this day I swear someone laced my drink with a drug. A drug or laxatives, or both ! I still remember to this day the wallpaper on my mate’s toilet wall going round and round like I was on some crazy fairground ride. Fortunately his mum and dad were out and we managed to clean up before they got home. A trip to the launderette got the bedsheets cleaned. Never again ! until the next time. The next time was a works Christmas party. It was a free bar. I was on triple brandy and Babychams until they ran out of brandy and I switched to Malibu. The girlfriend at the time worked out I’d had about forty three shorts throughout the night. My stomach was a right off for about two weeks afterwards. It could have been a lot worse. Binge drinking just wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t in control of myself and in my town not being in control of yourself is not advisable late at night.
Time to go. My porridge is on the table and the dog needs a walk. So do I.
That’s Peter Dench wearing the 1980’s football terrace Fila top, on the couch with Dr Paul Hill the bloke in black.
and that’s me under the Greaves Street sign. I got Amanda ( think that’s what her name was ) to take a pic of me on the way home.