Tuesday, 10 May 2022
I've never been to Sleaford
"You always say that."
One of the great things about getting older is repeating yourself. My elderly realtions were experts. I've only just discovered its joys. Obviously, most of the time you don't realise you're doing it. But when do, it's as fun as a conscious dream. Looking at the doubt on the face of your interlocutor, when they're trying to decide whether to let on or not that you've already told them that 20 times. Dolores always opts for the latter course, which makes it far less fun.
But I digress.
Sleaford is one of the closest towns to Newark, where I grew up. About 20 miles away from my brother's house. Never been there. Why would I want to?
Retford. Been through it hundreds of times on the train. Only, I think, ever got off once. To change trains.I didn't leave the station.
Grantham, which I normally refer to as Newark's evil twin. Thatcher was born there, after all. Been there maybe three or for times. First was for a CAMRA branch meeting with my brother. That it was in a pub selling cask Barnsley Bitter gives an idea of how long ago it was. Pretty sure that's the only branch meeting I've ever attended.
I once had an hour two between trains in Grantham with Dolores. She wasn't impressed. "Don't bring me back here again, Ronald." I haven't.
My only time in Mansfield was to watch Sunderland play. With my brother, obviously. We stood on a cop at one end with all the Sunderland fans. At one point, a Sunderland player ran half the length of the pitch and smacked the ball into the net in front of us. Everyone around us went crazy. Most exciting moment ever at a sporting event. And I'm a Newcastle fan.
The other time was to watch Wishbone Ash. A band I loved at the time. Though I now realise some of their stuff is wank. But that was the early 1970s for you.
Hang on. I think it was also Loughborough where I saw Dr. Feelgood whilst the is sixth form. I can remember arguing with a classmate a few days that Wilko Johnson was a better guitarist than Jimmy Page. I still by that opinion.
Derby. Been there twice. Once just for a few pints around the station whilst making a connection. First time was on a school trip to see a theatre production of Tommy. I got stuck in a Hardy & Hansons pub drinking electric-pumped Mild with Martyn Young. We were so distracted that we only caught the last ten minutes of the performance. They had to stop the bus on the way home so I could get off to throw up. Happy days.
Trust Dolores to bring me back to reality.
"Maybe it's because you've lived much longer in Holland."
Don't distract me with logic, Dolores. I'm busy ranting.