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Box Of Time

Yesterday I found a box labelled random. I don’t remember creating it or why it ended up at the back of a drawer in the studio but when I opened it I found just that, random photos. So today I thought I would share a few personal ‘randoms’ with you and the random memories that go along with them.

This was taken thirty years ago, within weeks of finally asking Jayne if she wanted to be my girlfriend. I had a obsession about white trainers looking at the photo. What you can’t see clearly is my long hair, remind me if they ever invent time travel and I get to go back to this date to take along a stylist, oh, and a decent pair of shoes.

The back garden of our first house, not much but it was home and all ours. We later ripped out the lawn added in a water feature and created a rock garden using boulders reclaimed from a dismantled bridge. They were delivered by two men and a wheelbarrow, as they dropped the final stone from the lorry it demolished the barrow and it took six of us to shift it from the road, they really were big.

Occasionally my workplace at the time sent me away for training, this is the view from my hotel room in Brescia, northern Italy sometime during the early 90’s when I was dispatched to learn about some new computer systems. I ate horse and something called dead mens fingers before finding out that the delightfully romantic scene of cascading flowers from the balconies with ladies calling out was in fact a funky house. It was also the first time I had gotten off a train to be confronted by magazine stalls selling ‘HorseyXXX’ rather than the latest copy of Bunty.

We had the misfortune to take one holiday in Great Yarmouth, not that the place was unfortunate just that we decided to stay at the same hotel that contained Jim Davidson and Michael Barrymore. I was never the same again.

Blackpool on the other hand in the eighties was different, we checked there were no television celebrities lurking around and decided to stay away from the main sea front area in a hotel at the far North end, don’t be fooled by the picture, that was taken from the pleasure beach which is a contradictory title all on its own. We knew something was funny when some of the meals we were served contained what looked like small feathered birds and we got several phone calls in the middle of the night in a foreign unidentifiable accent. It was only on the last day as the lift to our room stopped we found out, a large oil tycoon type sheik stepped in followed by an armed guard. Hang on, were in Blackpool, he’s got a gun! Eeek! The top floor of the hotel had been taken over by a delegation from the Far East, personally if I had oodles of money and could go anywhere in the world I think I would have preferred Mablethorpe but at least I got to try the feathered bird speciality they had specifically placed on the menu even though they looked like miniature Orville’s and I had to leave the beak.

For some strange reason they stuffed an unsittable table near the window in our room so getting to use this required a bit of furniture rearranging and I really don’t know why I took this photo. Must have been impressed with the fruit bowl or something but it would probably get voted as the most uninspiring Instagram photo ever.

In 1987 we were off to the Microfair, Victoria, London and was mildly accosted as we left the tube at Piccadilly after being mistaken for a drug dealer, must have been the long hair. We did manage to meet Jeff Minter though but we were disappointed that he didn’t bring along a llama.

The reason that we were there was because of this, a computer store that my family owned. Hundreds of games, plenty of computer systems and all started from a small market stall on Mansfield market where we powered a ZX-Spectrum from a car battery. Going to the micro fairs went with the territory. It was also at the height of computing for the masses, one Christmas we managed to sell over a hundred Commodore 64 packs alone then spent Christmas Day going from house to house providing a backup service to anybody that had trouble setting it up. More importantly I got to play all the latest games on all the systems for free, a dream job.

Not sure where this is, I have a feeling it’s Slayer and its taken from the balcony at Rock City in Nottingham. The light from the chaps balding head made photographs difficult. If it is Slayer then I have a picture somewhere of the result of a stage dive which caused a domino effect as row after row fell over into a heap. It’s not from the Ozzy Osbourne show that I can be certain of, Ozzy cancelled at the last minute and there was a riot that destroyed the stage. Our bus driver drove off in panic and we had to make our way back in a Taxi that could only legally carry four. There was five of us so one had to lay flat across the legs of the others in the rear to avoid detection, cost an arm and a leg too.

Finally one of my favourite pictures, Blakeney in Norfolk. Nice, quiet and on a sunny day incredibly beautiful.

What a strange collection to have in one box, there’s plenty more to go through so excuse me whilst I pop on my rose tinted spectacles and lose myself for a while and wonder just why at the very bottom is a photo of a dog having a poop.


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