Friday, June 29, 2007

I’ve been the victim of lot’s of rather nostalgic flashbacks over recent weeks. Given that I’ve got a pretty sieve like head, it’s quite odd for me to suddenly have vivid images of 20 or even 30 years ago zipping to the front of my memory.

The main reason for these increased mental time travel is that my mum is thinking of moving into a smaller house, meaning that it’s time for me to finally remove some of my belongings from her house. Given that I moved out over 20 years ago I guess I can’t really complain about the sudden increase in the number of fully laden plastic bags which are scattered around our house.

The majority of the bags are filled with old copies of The Face magazine. When it started back in May 1980 it was an interesting mix brilliant graphics, astute (if rather pretentious) music features and an insight into a fashion world where zoot suit clad hipsters, stood alongside crew cut boys and girls wearing those all important 501’s. As the world of high fashion was (remains) something of a mystery to me those pages were rather less time consuming that the rest of the magazine for me.

Gradually the musical emphasis moved away from things that I had much interest in, the clothing and hair cuts became even more baffling to me so some time in the mid 80’s I realised that I was no longer really interested in what the magazine had to say and stopped buying it. Yet during all that time, I don’t think that I ever threw away a copy, consequently I now have in possession a collection of magazines, which is both fascinating and rather embarrassing.

There are some great features and photos but an equal number of woefully embarrassing articles on the things that those cool kids in London were doing, luckily many of which failed to make the journey down the M4 to Bristol.

Tonight my mum unearthed a collection of material relating to my cricket obsession of the 1970’s. In that special trainspotter way that teenage boys seem to have, I wasn’t satisfied with simply playing and watching the game I had to record everything that I watched as though I was my great hero of the time Bill Frindall (for those that don’t know, he was the scorer for BBC Test Match Special team on crackly old Radio 3).

Amongst countless scores sheets recording a succession of Gloucestershire defeats, all lovingly recorded in my dreadfully spindly spiders scrawl, I discovered a long forgotten letter from the great Mr Frindall himself. Also a list of members of the cricket statistician association, on which the name and address of a precocious 16 year old boy (me!) amazingly finds itself in the company of the extraordinary broadcaster John Arlott. Several invitations to association lunches are in the bag of goodies, it looks like £3.50 would have paid for a rather splendid 5-course lunch had I been able to make the journey to Edgbaston.

It is of course no surprise that a quick glance through the 12 page document reveals the list to be almost entirely male, although interestingly one female name did leap out at me, that of Eleanor Oldroyd, who is now a stalwart of Radio 5 Live, and occasional contributor to Test Match Special! I should have stuck at it, in the famous words on Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront "I could have had class. I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody (instead of a bum)."

Who knows what other treats await me?

Back in the present, it’s going to be a rather strange weekend, as Orynthia and the rest of her team from work have gone to Barcelona for a few days. Not too sure how I will be filling my time, but I may well nip along to the Folk House on Friday evening to hear the magnificent voice of Lady Nade in action with one of her many bands The Outfits.


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