Writing this in a word doc, not in my usual note section of my ipad. Reason being I”ve left my ipad charger at my Parents.
They haven”t found it yet or my phone would be ringing off the hook as if it”s the most important thing in the world.
My Parents do not like unexpected things in their bagging area. They don”t panic they just have to put it to the top of their agenda.
“Our Paulie left his Ipad charger here last week.” That kind of thing.
The reason I was at my Mum and Dad”s is a long story….
Finding my Inner Tube Part one
On Monday my Brother and our Brother in law Micheal cycled down from Sheffield to London. The idea was that I would cycle into Covent Garden around 6pm to meet them. We would meet at my favourate café, Diana which has a cycle park and benches right outside. Sorted.
By 9.30 am I realized I should really look into buying an inner tube for my bike.
I knew however that I had to wash the pots and more importantly hoover the flat.
Right pots done (hoovering, like spelling mistake more😜) hovering .. done. So jumping into action. I walked down to the landing and after taking the wheel off my upside down dusty bike headed for the cycle shop on Junction Road with a spring in my step coping with a deflated tyre.
Ok, I entered the shop and showed the useless tube to the keen owner, and all was going well until the subject of valves came up. I said “that one” pointing at the sturdy auto valve. I paid and set off for home. Not long now I thought. 18 months is a long time to leave a puncture, but now it will be sorted. My Brother was now chewing at the miles on his Bob Jackson hand made beautiful bike, and I would be soon to join him. As soon as I replace the old punctured tube.
I opend the door of the flat and put the box containing the new tube on the coffee table. Cup of tea first I thought putting the kettle on.
Ah nice cuppa, I thought sitting down and looking at the small hole in my wheel that would only fit the non auto valve!
I looked at my watch, I did for a split second think about getting the bus into town, but this is what Jo said I would end up doing, so digging my heels in:
I headed back to the bike shop on Junction Road as my Brother and Mick closed in on London and the covent garden café.
Ok so now my new iner tube is fitted and Jo as come home.
“I’ve got my tire fixed” I say to the love of my life.
“Thanks for doing the pots” she said “and I hoover’d” I offered.
Jo looked at the half hoover’d floor and asked me to pass her the vacume cleaner..
I started to put up a hoovering defense but it was pointless. I lacked any evidence of a decent vacuuming session.
I tried to explain to her about my inner tube crisis and how valves aren’t all the same and getting it wrong can change your life, but she didn’t seem to understand.
By now the wheel was on the bike and I was itching to ride. But it was only 3.
“I might go” I said, “aren’t you going to wait for Daisy?”Jo said.
“I’ll come with you to pick her up from school” I said pleased with the idea.
“Then I can go from there.”
“I thought you said he was arriving at 6” Jo said correctly.
“He might be earlier” I said, “he was well over half way when he rang at 1 o clock.”
Minutes later I was waiting outside of the school with my bike in one hand and Daisy’s scooter in the other. We waited for Daisy who is always the last to appear from any classroom bar none, and after giving her a cuddle I kissed both of my lovely girls goodbye and mounted my dusty bike. At last.
The bike felt brilliant, it was one of my brothers old bikes, expensive in its day and aluminium light with noticeably top quality gears. Would my brother have anything else?
I cycled through Camden and on towards Euston and then over the Euston road and down Gower Street. My bike was flying although bone shaking over the pot holes. A downfall of aluminium being so rigid. I always cut along Grafton way and cross the Tottenham Court Road to meet Charlotte Street, a hangover from my Loyde Cole days and my affection for the Charlotte street hotel which I wave to as I remember lovely evenings, and cocktails with John P.
Crossing Oxford street I cycle into SoHo Square and attempt to lock my bike, “no room at the bike racks Borris…” I say to myself as I stop my bike at a place on Greek Street which I have to visit whenever I’m in the West End.
I dismount opposite Peter Cooks old club and look at the blue plaque. I think about Peter Cook and smile as I’m locking my bike to a lamp post around the corner.
My Grandad Adkin, my Mum”s Dad is in an urn on the top of a tall coat closit in the hall way at my parents house.
My Mum seems to like him there.
None of us mind, because we all loved him.
He lived with Mum and Dad before he died.
My Brother was still at home and after bringing his
friends home discovered Eric Grandad in the kitchen,
cooking a whole onion in the microwave dressed only in baggy Y fronts.
Grandad Eric told me tales of war, trying to get back to his regiment after armistice using abandened motorbikes and cars, to travel north through France and giving frightend German soldiers water as they became human beings like him.
Grandad Eric would come camping with us when I was a boy. I remember he was always mending his car.
At family meals Vanetta my sister gets Grandad down sometimes, she put him at the table once, my Mum was fine and we joked.
And we thought of him because we loved him.
I wish I could have taken him to France to visit his fallen friends.
But I think his resting place is fine.
When I was eight or nine, one bed time stands out for ever – remembered along with the time my sister cut my calf-flick fringe. In that one night, I lost blankets and sheets and much more. What I lost was something held dear, close to the heart of a son. The quilt took away being tucked in by my Mum.
‘Drape the sides over the edge of your bed’, Mum said.. ‘The air will be trapped, and warm as you sleep, so as to make you snug.’ Dad thought she was barmy, saying one on the bottom was worth two on the top when he was in the army.
Mum smiled saying ‘Terry this is a continental quilt can’t you understand?’
Dad walked down the stairs catching my eye as he smiled, knowing he’d left me alone with Mum in continental quilt wonderland.
Years later, when quilts were a part of my life and tog ratings were second nature, I remembered fondly my mum bringing home the quilts and the fight for the corners of the multi coloured covers. One day over a cup of tea at Chatsworth, I told my mum she’d done the right thing. But I couldn’t tell her that right up to the end of the juniors,
Happiness moves in Mysterious caravans and sorry Mum x
And when I’m old and living on a Cornish coast, I’ll remember my Mum and Dad,
and I’ll smile because my heart will be smiling.
And when I’m old I’ll wish I’d loved them more but my heart will say, you couldn’t have.
And when I’m old my mind will carry my Mum and Dad with me wherever I go and whatever I do.
Because my heart will tell it too.
Well I might try to forget the time they moved from Summerfield Road until I remembered we laughed so much after the move when they were safe and happy in their lovely new home.
And we all had a lovely family pass the parcel party
In ITALY xxx
The last time was 10 years ago, before Daisy was born.
The last time was hot and I met my Ex wife and the last time was emotional,
But magical still.
Daisy’s asleep now waiting for the trip. Her 8 year old little girl bag packed with her treasures.
Packed with a purse with pocket money to buy her Glastonbury gifts.
Magical still before we leave, and in years from now when Daisy is helping to pack the bag of her 8 year old daughter.
And she smiles and remembers the magic, and the music and the feeling of living in a lovely community for such a short time, and that’s something special and it starts tomorrow as we set off.
Wish I was her in a way, but I dare say
We can share the magic x
Dad wasn’t on top form one year and he asked me to help tow the caravan down to Italy with him and Mum.
We set off, me keeping the peace with a referees whistle until the M25 stopped working and we all queued to get off it, and got off it in the middle of nowhere.
I headed South and was soon passing under suicide Bridge then on and along my hallowed Holloway Road.
Mum was asleep as I feathered the caravan over Tower Bridge, me and Dad were talking Dad was telling stories. He told me about the time they robbed the American payroll in Germany whilst on National service. Then, just as Mum was waking on The Old Kent Road, Dad said “don’t tell your Mam Son” and I said “right o Dad” and then we were quiet for a bit.
On the Swiss border the Swiss border Guard pointed at a spot he wanted me to stop at.
I didn’t stop at his spot I passed it and stopped at mine. I smiled at my Mum and I smiled at my Dad but they didn’t smile back at all.
Because the Swiss border guard went up the flippin wall.
My Dad said “you wait here Son” as he got out and spoke with the Swiss border guard for more than a while.
After my Dad had got back in the car, the Swiss border guard walked around to my open window.
He reached inside and gently touched my hand and as he held it in broken English he said “have no fear have no fear” just as his other hand was wiping away a Swiss border guard tear.
He gave me some chocolate and waved us through and Mum said “are we stopping soon I fancy a cup of tea.”
We stopped at the foot of the Simplon Pass and Dad said “give me the keys Son I’ll take it from here” and Mum said he “always drives The Simplon.”
I said “right o” and got in the back and shut my mouth and my eyes quite tight.
At the top of The Simplon Pass is a Bar.
Me and Mum went in and had a drink and we stayed in there for quite a while.
And after a few drinks later as we were walking back to the car.
Just as she was feeling a little bit typsy.
Mum said “I know what happened in Germany but don’t tell your Dad”and I said “right o Mum.”
When I was young and in the car with My Dad and my Mum
On the way back from Wolaton Park.
Me and my Sister in the back as it was just getting dark,
arguing because I had a light in the back compartment on my side
Of the red Mini that was my Mum and my Dads car.
Mum would reach behind frantic trying to try and smack us when we argued but that would make us laugh, and as we laughed and we passed by a lock up near to the the Tali o club on Ilkeston road,
My Dad slowed the car as he remembered out loud a time, a time in his head.
He said that him and my Uncle Fred went into that factory to get some wages that they were owed, my Dad said pay what you owe fair is fair.
My Dad said he said can we pick up that cash to the Man in the office with a big Man next to him in a chair.
He said that the man in the office said that he hadn’t got any cash and of course he couldn’t pay.
My Dad said he said, what did you say?
He said the man said that he couldn’t pay.
My Dad said he went mad, and so did my Uncle Fred.
My Dad told me the big Man in the chair next to the Man in the office started to get out of his chair right at the time when my Uncle Fred was at his maddest.
Then my Mum said haven’t we had a lovely day ?
My Dad waited and then as he held my Mums hand i saw him see my Mum’s face and as he said we have I saw my Mum’s face feel safe.
After we drove home and the warm car gave way to the warm house, then my Dad looked at me and said up to bed son.
Without a sound I walked upstairs to put my pyjamas on knowing my Dad was making my Mum a cup of tea.
Later to become cider vinegar honey and molasses