The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Monday, 29 January 1990

At the West Yorkshire Playhouse

QUEEN’S PARK DRIVE, AIREDALE, CASTLEFORD.

‘Ultra-Modern Nursery Rhyme’ – Terry, Blair & Anoushka

PLACEMENT
And today I went to the West Yorkshire PLAYHOUSE in Leeds – a very impressive but utterly unfinished building.  It’s not, as yet, officially open.  I was expecting a dingy little old theatre, full of ‘arty’, pretentious young actors and was very surprised to find it was more of a modern, highly-condensed NT.

I met the DIRECTOR’S ASSISTANT, Kay (with whom I’d arranged the placement), at 1.45pm and she took me through the unfinished complex and down into the expansive Rehearsal Room where I was introduced lots of backstage people, actors, and the DIRECTOR of the first production – WILD OATSJude.

The whole thing was the first time everyone had been together in one room and was being filmed as part of a documentary or something by a TV crew.  The cast were friendly and open and several people made me feel welcome to start with and there were handshakes and greetings, etc.  But I think I just kind of dried up and made a pratt of myself.  That said, in the cafeteria-sized Green Room later in the day, I did get chatting to one guy who is doing the sign language version alongside the play as the company perform it.  Given the play’s language-style, I’m sure that’s quite a challenging prospect.

Anyway, we were all shown the final set design (very intricate), and Jude explained why she wanted to direct this play (but hoped it didn’t descend into mere BBC-style costume drama) and then, at 2pm, the actors did a read-through of the play – WILD OATS by John O’Keeffe – and it’s excellent; an entertaining 18th century play somewhat reminiscent of a Shakespeare comedy.  Highly funny.

As this was the first time the cast had been assembled, it seemed to go quite well – if a little unevenly paced. 

‘Adrenochrome’ – Sisters of Mercy

The production crew are, as follows:

Jude Kelly
– Director
Robert Jones
– Designer
Jenny Cave
– Lighting
(of Anything More Would Be Greedy, whom I saw in Antony & Cleopatra)
– Fight Director
Chris Moncks
– Musical Director
Karen Howard
– Book

The company – familiar from TV and other stage productions – are, as follows:

Linda Gardner, Robin Bowerman, John Axon, Mark Lindley, Helen Schlesinger, Tom Craig, David Fleeshman, Chris Tummings, Joan Carol Williams, Murray Melvin (who’s lovely), Robert Austin, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ian Sharrock (of Emmerdale Farm), Sam Kelly (of ‘Allo ‘Allo!) and Reece Dinsdale (of lots of things) - who'd be a great Doctor Who!


Reece is perhaps the most adept of the lot.  He’s VERY GOOD – and very intelligent.

It was an entertaining afternoon/evening but most of the time I felt a little self-conscious ‘intruding’ there; like I was an imposter who had no right to be involved.  My own paranoia and inadequacy, I think. 

‘Imperial’ – Primal Scream

Mmmm.  I’ve been so ill, recent nights, and only upon going to bed.  An ache in my left arm + on that side of my chest.   Sometimes the pain is quite incredible.  God!  I miss Lilith, and Amy too, if I’m honest.  I think Amy loves me like hell.  I doubt I’d be much good to either of them, dead of a heart attack…

Amy says she would do anything for me and that is a very interesting and enticing idea.  I think she wants to keep me under whatever circumstance.  She says she’s devoted to me and – my god – would even marry me.  And she said that in all sincerity!  I do fancy her.  I really do – insatiably.  I just don’t know how much I could love her in the way she would like me to.

And Lilith leaving is still fresh.  The thought that I will never see you again, Lili.  And only if I’m very lucky will I ever read your written words or possibly hear your beautiful voice (no accent, did I ever say?  So well-spoken) on the cassette you will call The Haunting.

How I wish we had parted in silence and tears.  I love you so.  How I wish I had embraced you.  Held you.

I hear Byron now.

NO DEPOSIT
NO RETURN

LUMME!
BLIMEY!


[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘Reece and Jude…’

Sunday, 28 January 1990

Stepping Sideways Into Always

QUEEN’S PARK DRIVE, AIREDALE, CASTLEFORD.

‘Pleasure Trip’ – Primal Scream

Today, after a rather restless, feverish night, I came up here to Yorkshire in anticipation of my WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT at the new WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE, LEEDS.  I am, of course, staying here at my Gran Winterfood’s.

Later:

You fell into the schemes of my reason
And built a new past for me;
Falling, flowing – forever growing
Oft out of reach and out of time
‘most liquid; beauty true

Stepping sideways into always
With alluring eyes and sighing gaze
In darkened rooms’ enlightened truths
The fires within leapt without
Never extinguished; legend

These memories wrapped in shadow
Take some from my store;
Falling, slowing – forever going
Like leaves in autumn, drifting
Kicked and trodden down


[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘West Yorkshire Playhouse…’

Saturday, 27 January 1990

When We Two Parted

‘We Go Down Slowly Rising’ – Primal Scream

Today?

Well, this morning was good.  All the post was for me: UCCA information, an acknowledgement of my application to YORK + RIPON ST. JOHN’S (not that I’ll be going to university – I just can’t afford to), a letter from the county council still going on about fees I don’t owe, and a very nice letter from WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE about my forthcoming placement.

I also had a letter from Maggie.

SHE THANKS ME FOR THE XMAS CARD AND SAYS IT WAS GOOD TO HEAR FROM ME.  SHE APOLOGISES FOR NOT BEING IN TOUCH, BUT THANKS ME FOR BEING SUCH A GOOD FRIEND.  SHE ASKS ME HOW TECH IS AND TELLS ME SHE’S STILL JOB-HUNTING.  SHE SAYS SHE HOPES TO VISIT ME IN KING’S LYNN ONE DAY SOON TO MAKE SURE I’M LOOKING AFTER MYSELF.  SHE SIGNS OF WITH ‘LOTS OF LOVE’ AND THREE KISSES.

What a lovely girl.

‘Sonic Sister Love’ – Primal Scream

In the afternoon rain, I went to King’s Lynn and bought a single red rose which I delivered to Lilith at Tagge Road.  But the afternoon was dull in the company of Willock + Leighton.  No offence to them, but it wasn’t the parting from Lili that I’d wanted.

It all ended with me leaving, saying: ‘Have a nice time in Scotland’ and just going.  No clinching embrace.  Nothing.  An anti-climax. 

But, by the heavens, I’ll miss her when I feel she’s really gone.  I just hope she finishes that tape for me (she said it will be called The Haunting).

I remember my promise that I will never desert her, spoken by the outside wall at the Tech Disco

And I think of this poem by BYRON

WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted

To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow —
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me —
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well: —
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met —
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? —
With silence and tears.


[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘Work Placement…’

Friday, 26 January 1990

The Worst Day

THE END OF NATIONAL WELL-WINDY WEEK

11.10am

‘Li’l Devil’ – The Cult

I’m in the waiting room at the Dental Surgery, Wisbech, and I’m not an extremely happy man.

Today is cursed and I’m extremely upset.

My dental appointment was for 10.20am and so, I entered the garage at 9.50am to get my bike.

And?

A punctured tyre.

I attempted to repair this and it agitated me to hell, because I knew it was going to make me late.  I failed in my repair attempt + so decided to ride off on Jack’s (smaller and less good) bike.

And?

A punctured tyre.

Another repair attempt; more agitation, but a moderate success, so I set off. 

And?

I had to return to the bungalow as I’d left my money for the bus in the garage.

‘Fall (JPS)’ – Jesus and Mary Chain

Eventually, cycling along North Brink, working my bollocks off to get to my appointment, feeling totally angry and mental, I found myself being chased by a barking and gnashing Alsatian which scared me to death.  Pedalling like crazy, I escaped the dog but came to a junction and had to give way.  So I braked.

And?

Do you reckon Jack’s brakes actually worked? 

No.  They did not.

So what happened was, to avoid any oncoming traffic I had to swerve to the side and ended up riding straight up an embankment, at which point I was forcibly separated from the cycle, crashing to the floor and landing on my hip, which was horribly bashed.  I immediately went into a kind of quivering shock and began to feel like I was going to be sick.

I felt so stressed and upset that tears of frustration and fear ran down my cheeks.  Adding to my anxiety was the knowledge that this was the last day in which I would be able to see Lilith.

I arrived at the dentists late, and now he is going to remove one of my teeth.  He just numbed my gum with several huge needles and it hurt like hell.

When will I get to Tech?  I could cry like hell for fear of missing Lilith today.  I won’t see her, I bet.

Oh well.

Dentist, here I come.

You just don’t know how upset I am.

Later:

‘Never Be Mine’ – Kate Bush

TODAY’S HOROSCOPE
GEMINI

‘Fantasy is your refuge now, for if close physical relationships have left a lot to be desired, then you may be searching fruitlessly for the perfect sexual affair.  Be honest, no one is a romantic paragon and unless you can accept that, you will always feel something is missing in your intimate involvements.  It’s just a case of warts and all…’

Later:

‘All Cats Are Grey’ – The Cure

The Dentist removed the tooth today and it hurt like hell.  There he stood, pulling away with his pliers, bruising my bottom lip ad beating the life out of my upper gum.  Once he’s dragged it out, he held it there in front of my goggled eyes, root twitching, raw, bloody and untimely pluck’d…

I think the rest of the day I was pretty much in shock, what with that and my cycling accident.  I was shaking and quaking most of the time.  Still, I went into King’s Lynn to see Lilith.  But once I’d arrived, I felt sick and faint, so just in case I didn’t see her, I wrote her a letter and gave it to Julian Ward (along with a Kate Bush tape I’d done) to deliver to her.

I then came home and got in bed, crying my eyes to death at the sheer pain in my gum, aches and quakes covering my body, and utter sadness at not having been able to see Lilith.  The whole agitation of the day had got to me and I’ve been so upset about losing that tooth.  One of the teeth that I brush two to three times a bloody day!  A LOT OF GOOD THAT DID!

I mark today as THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE.

And it is.


[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘When We Two Parted…’

Thursday, 25 January 1990

Silent Spring

10.45pm, or so.

My No.1: ‘Silent Spring’ by Primal Scream

LILITH.  I don’t understand all this sometimes.

BUT NOW…

I spent all day at Jonny’s place. 

When I finally got into Tech at 3pm-ish, I spent time with Julian.

At 4.15pm, I finally saw Lilith and she told me the terrible news: she’s leaving for Scotland next Friday.  Nick wrote today telling her his plans.  Which means tomorrow is the last day I’ll see her as I go on my placement on Monday.


[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘The Worst Day…’

Wednesday, 24 January 1990

Wrote For Luck

9.30pm-ish

The Student Union Common Room, NORCAT

‘Stay With Me’ – The Mission

LILITH finally arrived.

She’s been ill the last few days and at last came into Tech, looking every bit as beautiful as she truly is.

She introduced me to one of her friends, Mason (her best at college, I believe) and another guy who knows me from being on the same bus as me (but we really don’t know each other, and I still don’t know his name – actually, neither does Lilith – but I’m pretty sure he’s a mate of Angie Jones).

Anyway, we all chatted.  And I might visit Lilith tonight.  Or will I go to the Tech Disco with Jonny, Amy and Missy after all?!

Later:

TEST OF COMPASSION COSTUME
Following the budget meeting, it has been decided/guaranteed that most of the TOC budget will be spent on costumes, so Donna is going ahead and ringing various other costumiers and theatre companies to see if she can get cheaper quotes than Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Later:

‘Wrote For Luck’ – Happy Mondays

Well, yes, I did go to the Tech Disco.  Amy bought me a ticket – which was very kind and thoughtful – so I went out of courtesy.  After failing to convince Lilith to come along, I got ready – first at Sally Watson’s and finishing off at Jonny’s.  First time I’d seen him in a while as he’s been on a placement in Peterborough that he isn’t enjoying greatly.

Well, at the disco, Amy got drunk as hell and told me she loves me.  She asked me to get off with her and convinced me that it would be a one-off with no emotional fall-out.  I was enjoying her company and she looked lovely so I thought, Why not?  What do we have to lose?  A bit of harmless kissing and dancing and having a laugh couldn’t harm anyone or anything, could it?

So Amy sat on my knee and began to kiss me.  In front of Abby, Lilith’s sister.  And then who should walk in?  Lili herself, with her mate Fliz.  To her credit, Amy could see how difficult this was for me and showed great understanding and sensitivity.  We agreed that maybe this wasn’t the ideal time for us to be getting off with each other.  Which was very sobering.

I went over and spent a great deal of time with Lili, ensuring I wasn’t at all depressing about any talk of her leaving (actually, I took one tiny moment to ‘cheers’ her and tell her she’ll be sadly missed).

At one point, Amy and Lili came face-to-face – thanks to Stan – and engaged in small talk.  When Amy had gone, Lili turned to me and said, ‘So that’s Amy.  She’s been asking people questions about me because of you.  I hope you know she’s hopelessly in love with you?’

Following this, we went over to Ian and co and I shook hands with him.  He looked very relieved.

We all danced to Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Cure, The Wonder Stuff and a few others.  I also discovered that Fliz is very funny and I like her a lot.

‘Hello’ – The Beloved

Sitting against the wall, Lili told me she was in love with the wind.  I told her I’m in love with the sky (amongst other things).  And then, yet again, I told her that she’s beautiful.

She actually seems to be coming round to me a little more.  As she struck a match for a cigarette, she watched its flame dwindle and said, ‘That’s our friendship.  No, our…’  But she broke off, refusing to continue.  We looked each other deep in the eyes for a long time.  She was very wonderful tonight (wearing a black jumper, black leggings and basketball sneakers – very boy-like).  I said it was sad that she won’t be around for Valentine’s Day, but she merely insisted that I send her a card.

If they had played LOVESONG by The Cure, we would have slow-danced together.  They didn’t; we didn’t.

I said to her: ‘IF EVER THE WORLD TURNS ITS BACK ON YOU OR FRIENDS DESERT YOU, REMEMBER ME AND WRITE TO ME BECAUSE I WON’T DESERT YOU.’

LILITH: ‘THE WORLD ALWAYS TURNS ITS BACK ON ME.  FRIENDS ALWAYS DESERT ME.  THEY ALWAYS DO.’

ME: ‘THEN I’LL EXPECT A LETTER.’

LILITH: ‘YOU’LL GET ONE.’

We will write, though, and she told me that when she is gone her vampire spirit will visit me and bite me in my dreams.  She also said she’s going to record me a tape and give me a photograph of her.  Yes, I’m certain she’s opening up to me now.

So often we were physically very close and I really wanted to kiss her.  And I might be fooling myself, but it seemed as if she was expecting me to.  Although, really, I doubt she was. 

I had to go though.

I hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel.


[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘Silent spring…’