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what is a bailey? .. . memories without punctuation .. .


 introducing bailey

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it is hard to describe the warmth and security two pals can derive from a walk into town to buy a shiny  spiral exercise book and a new papermate biro with which to record such important details as 1st round european cup results between aarhus and gornik zarbze or top of the table league action between sheffield wednesday and newcastle united but of such things were happy memories formed from sunday afternoon kneeling sorties on my friend steves lounge room carpet playing subbutteo  such events formed clean and safe recreation for two lads who wrestled with the early pressures of teenage adolescence and provided a neutral territory for both to resort to as external situation and internal emotions underwent serious transformation here was a love affair where both knew the rules and even the names taken and sending offs of our relationship which could be recorded in blue and white and received due recompense by dipping into a cardboard punishment box for a paper slip suggesting a two match ban or perhaps worse the years turned slowly and even as the dreams of day switched from the lifting of our plastic subbuteo trophies to the night dreams of erotic youth the draw of our friendship was imbedded in an intellectual and comic purity where serious issues ideas or views were confined to discussing the re-election of old and new teams to our football fantasy league more often than not these details were discussed under the vivid brightness of the stamford bridge floodlights during the half-time interval our afternoons and evenings out watching chelsea fc  qpr  portsmouth and even millwall became fond and happy hours of interspersed comic lunacy which often wetted the corners of our eyes and at times the underpants while we exchanged only brief diary like recollections of what we were actually doing  who we were seeing  where we were going or such like both of us arrived in our twenties  it seems to me  searching for the nirvana of a responsibility free environment where matters could be resolved by as little thought as possible it was the innate sense of escapism which ran as a core  through our very happy friendship which no doubt reacted against us as we both  led by differing conclusions  wrestled with the thornier issues of life tolerance was for the time being set aside as for a brief period during the personal trauma of conversion to faith in Christ our innermost selves emerged briefly  frightened and not a little ashamed we did  after all  know each other much better than we had admitted or revealed the realisation caused our one and only argument and the idyllic dream was forever shattered there really were  after all  such things as pain  hurt  envy and strife of life and we were tainted also the magic of true friendship sparked once more  after dust had settled on the green base of our gentlemans game and after repairing the plastic goal posts and redecorating the figures  once more the blue biro wrote the good news that all was well the two pals had entered extra time and much like the rare raptor from which the game subbutteo takes its name  they had begun to fly





its a bailey … using no traditional punctuation


… it is funny but most of my best memories as a child seem to involve my brother martin john parents should never underestimate the importance people place on their older siblings yes it is funny because when you are young somehow you will not admit it and if you are that older brother or sister  you will not easily believe it my emotions toward my brother ranged from a positive and awkward fear bordering on terror to a monstrous respect and an uncanny and awesome allegiance on the one hand i would dread those happy love tumbles and fake fights turning really nasty with my arm forced up my back and the threat that my shoulder might today be finally ripped out of its socket on the other i would go positively gooey at the knees when brother mart offered to pay me 1 bright shilling which is of course the equivalent of a hated 5p in todays economy to cycle down to the village record store and purchase a vinyl recording for him this happened on just a few times but can anyone tell me why those errands have forged such a hallowed place in my long term memory banks today i have decided to release these moments via the wonderful outlet of ta internet in other words i am coming out regarding my childhood devotion to my brother make something of that then todays morbid society of the fallen angels the first time i had to choose a cycle from  my  fleet of two garaged in the garden shed and containing a purple racer with skinny wheels and 5 speed disraeli gears and also a cow horned tracky  decorated in black and chrome with its thick knobbly tracked tyres and skull + cross bones stickers i cycled to the  county radio  store and selected my bruvvers choice which was a bo diddleys album featuring hey bo diddley and then returned home for my one shilling reward the next time i got the call he chose the recently released soul classic which came on the london label featuring the truly marvellous take a piece of my heart  by erma franklin again the reward was 1/20th of an english pound  almost the royal stipend to me but the final commission from his true masters voice was the most sublime and ground breaking of all as far as i am concerned and as i dismounted my tracky choice that day and entered that old electric  appliance and music store in the sleepy londonia suburb of cheam in surrey i struggled to remember its name as i entered the shop and i was doubtful they would have  morrison hotel   by the doors anyway but they did and apart from being filled with a unique and ongoing regard for my brothers choice which will never fade  i had earned another two tanners in my pocket you had to be there to understand the impact the doors made on the young mind of a suburban teenager back in the late sixties but they defined the cultural revolution from an american perspective which described the world in different universal and warmer colours than the who kinks stones small faces or beatles could ever do they were the nirvana of their age  the inxs  the pearl jam   they were radical  poetic  audacious  dangerous  liberal and they were from out of town out of our tidy respectable reserved and village green community  

… its a bailey … december 2 2012


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its a bailey ~ using no traditional punctuation …

… blur   the pop group blur   produced an album called modern life is rubbish     there are so many things about life today that are rubbish  that get us depressed and low     am i the only one who remembers life as a simpler study      who remembers certain childhood memories with a desperation and an overwhelming longing to be walking to school again   eight years old    in wellington boots while ribbons of frost hang from the park woods and spiders webs glisten    swaying in the soft breeze and the morning sun     i am eight years old and there is no perceived threat   no one as far as i know has learned that word   paedofile  goddam those perverts     i love the crunching noise my boots make in the fresh fallen snow and looking back   breathing clouds   to see the trail i  and only i have made across that wonderful grassy   but for today  white parkland  that i was so lucky enough to enjoy as a child     my brother played a roundhead in a pageant for the anniversary of my childhood school     he and a pal had to run from the park woods to the pond at the lower end of that same local park   for a cavalier to shoot him with a replica musket   it produced a sharp crack that resounded across the park to where we all stood watching   as a puff of grey smoke came from the gun and my brother had to fall like a dead man   wearing his realistic roundhead helmet   suede tunic and brown  baggy britches and thigh high leather boots   i was so proud of my brother that day and so sad that he had fallen in battle    i was almost as proud of him as the day he heard i was going into hospital to have my adenoids removed and he bought me a swoppet knight on horseback at the local toy shop  this when i was 5 years old     this was just days after christmas and we walked together  for probably the only time   in the dark evening   to the toy store   right next to that same gorgeous park and those same adorable woods that i walked through to school every morning   the toy shop was owned by a tall happy   man  whose head was shiny like jupiter who had a mellow  rich voice   a happy chuckle  and a glint in his eye     i sorta loved that old man and my visits to his shop     i could say that then and will still say it today because i dont believe he was a jimmy saville   or a lecherous beast     modern life sure is rubbish   …

…  its a bailey  …   october 9 2012




its a bailey … using no traditional punctuation