6 Sep 2011

If I told you things I did before, told you how I used to be
Would you go along with someone like me
If you knew my story word for word, had all of my history
Would you go along with someone like me

Well it's been a while hasn't it?   Sorry about that, I'd like to say that it's because I've been bust banging away at the keyboard writing the latest in a series of hit novels.  But alas it's because I've been banging away at the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers.  Even more alas not because I've been banging away at Anne Hathaway either.  Still since we last partook of this drivel I've been to Norfolk to the wonderful company of my niece, nephew and sister.  The photo of the phone box above is the one that I originally planned my escape from.  I did this whilst no one was looking by ringing up my Gran and cunningly asking if I could come and live with her in Bournemouth.  Then once it was half day closing in Norfolk and everyone else was asleep like Bagpuss and his friends I sneaked out aboard the National Express Rapide service to London Victoria.
All that seems like quite a lifetime ago now and for some of you it probably was, 1990,  England had just crashed out in the quarter finals of the world cup in Italy and Gazza was suddenly famous for crying and kicking a ball about and I still drank beer.  I had the waistline of 30" and could do whatever I could afford to drink and still get up for work in the morning.  Now I feel pain if I get up the next morning after a session of gaming.  It was nice to go to the old country even if nothing has changed much, apart from all the pound shops have gone from Cromer and Great Yarmouth makes Blackpool look classy.  I tell you if you could get the Jeremy Kyle show to cast a big net over Great Yarmouth he'd have enough guests to film well into his 43rd series.  Honestly if you like fat women in vest tops that clearly show the tattoos of their children's names on their breasts and scrawny men in sportswear then Great Yarmouth is the place for you.  Also imagine my feelings as I wander around the many crappy souvenir shops when at the head height of my two pre teen relations were not one but several spread over a two meter wide shelf, no end of ornaments shaped like gentlemen's vegetables.  Nearly every shop I had to stand between the kids and certain shelves, then if it wasn't bad enough that I had to contend with a few people for whom the Johnson & Johnson company could not help a whole shelf of gollywog dolls loomed into view.
I did try though to get my sister to buy a present for her mother for whom we have the code name 'GB' which stands for ginger bitch, but she insisted that she would definitely not appreciate a miniature headstone with the epitaph 'In loving memory' which would be a lie in itself. Some people just don't appreciate the thought you put into gifts for them. I've always said that I hope she dies on the same day as Margaret Thatcher that way I'll only spend one day of my life dancing.  Anyway we went to the fun park near the pier for the kids and I must say that I know that I joke that Norfolk has the ability to appear as if nothing ever happens or changes but in this case it truly hadn't.  It was the exact same rides as when my sis and I went there in the late seventies or early eighties.  No wonder the staff looked bored its still 1978.  Speaking of which I failed to find a 1978 Norwich shirt in my travels although having spent most of my money on the kids and only ten quid on myself I would have found one the moment I was skint.  I did however manage for some reason to buy myself a 1940's Tommy helmet, not quite the same as the long looked for Naaaaarch city shirt but there you go.  As souvenirs from holidays go it's not one you would usually associate with a quick break away.  I could paint on it some phrases to make it seem more in keeping with my holiday like the traditional 'Kiss me quick' adding 'I taste of KFC' or the more appropriate 'I went to Great Yarmouth and all I got was a sense of moral outrage'.