Tag Archive: Other Things


‘Thumbs Up’

The most important memory I have of my father I keep in a silver cigarette case.

He was born in 1928.

His fondest regret was being too young to fight in the thick of WW2.

He joined the Royal Marines and was present when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

He always felt that he had somehow missed out.

He wanted to be a hero and I think he might have been if he had been born sooner.

But then I would not have known him.

We were never totally close but we had a secret signal, a ‘man to man’ thing that was called the ‘thumbs up’.

My father caught Leprosy in Palestine after the war.

They brought his body back and I visited him before the cremation.

I kissed his forehead.

It was cold and reminded me of the wax fruit my mother kept in the bowl on her dining table when it wasn’t being used for dining. 

His right hand was badly decomposed, all of his fingers were gone, apart from the thumb, which was pristine.

I had a knife.

The most important memory of my father I keep in a silver cigarette case. 

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John Munro: cool-vids

Some time ago I featured a great short film by John Munro called Oxford Circus. It’s so good I’m featuring it again.

I just love this. Check out the rest of John Munro’s catalogue here.

She wakes up slowly. The fragments of the dream that she can recall with ease she tries to fit together, all the while knowing that the picture will never be complete.

The pain is in the small of her back and in the space around her liver.

One day, she thinks, it’s all going to come down in a shower of stiff rain, rock and roll and dreadful shimmer. She’ll walk out, be absorbed by the storm, screaming, and no-one will hear.

But in the meantime she just wraps his big coat around her and bends her back into the wind again.

Life and death: a sequence of repeats, a movie that she watches again and again.

How does it all begin?

I of fish? You of pork? They of lamb and we of beef? He of lungs and she of teeth? It of brains and heart and liver and spleen and blood and unrecognizable flesh?

“Offal,” he tells her, “that’s where it starts and ends.”

I remember a slum front room on a rain-broken morning. Weak sunlight filters through cracks in a raffia blind, throwing feint patterns onto a worn fireside rug.

A young woman sits on the rug with her knees drawn up supporting her face-down head. She’s crying. An occassional tear escapes and falls to the rug.

On a bed in the corner of the room a man half sits and half wants to leave.

“I must have turned over in the night a hundred times,” he tells her, his tone one of a strangely constructed question, “but I can’t remember saying ‘I love you’?”

************

Anthony is slowly

Disappearing.

“It’s this present tense experience,”

He says.

His foot faded away

Yesterday

And became

Nothing.

“History,” he tells me,

“Is what was present in the past.”

Now he’s footless

In the future

And fantasy

Free.

************

Conversation from an alley at the rear of the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London, circa 1978. Speakers — quality and quantity — unknown.

Great band. What an act, man. Shark Fin Tsu and The Fishhead Gang…

— Little bit of this, little piece of that…

— We gonna back stage, yeah?

— Sure. Good ol’ frien’ a mine, Shark Fin… from the early days.

— Primo’s got a new drug… market research, get it?

— Well…

— Totally new, man, designer high, like wearing the synapses on the arse of your pants. Know what I mean?

— Human Secrets Agency (HSA) got it all sewn up… the whole market. Got human feelers out disguised as punks and rent-boys, soaking everything up.

— So, Paul Zanzibar is waiting for a cab… take him to the gig. Takes a new pill to pass the time.

— No sense no feeling…

— Blood simple. Arrives at the gig talking total nonsense…

— …and ‘ero’s trying to fin’ ‘er way out a chapter one!

— No mercy no surrender…

— Blood simple cry tough…

— Her real name is Amanda…

— Sure, I’ll have a mandie…

— Yeah, Shark Fin Amanda. Try to make it with her once but Human Secrets Agency has her all sewn up…

— No mandie no deal. 

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