The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Wednesday, 2 January 1991

The End

TWENTY-SIX YEARS FROM NOW: 02/01/2017
 

‘When I Met You’ – David Bowie
 
E-mail from Ritcherd Winterfood-Joy to an old friend.

Hello, Maggie!

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply, I am SO bloody busy all the time, it seems.  But I don't want to neglect this, so please forgive me.

Literally just sitting here with a cup of Fortnum & Mason’s Assam leaf tea, listening to David Bowie (whom I still can’t believe is gone) and reading through your letters from 1990 (which I’ve been using as research on part of my now-completed 1984-1991 blog) and it occurs to me that even in a modern email you ‘sound’ just like my Maggie of old.

What have you been up to lately (if not the last six or seven years!)? Since our recent emails, I've been away producing a play about Elizabeth I in Germany, which was great (and finally afforded me the chance to use the German I learnt at university).  Whilst there, I found the best vegan cafĂ© I've ever been to – well done, Kiel!  Now I'm back in the UK and the Yuletide was fine and quiet.  I don’t tend to get as ‘Christmassy’ as I used to.  I like to keep the spirit, but the trappings seem so fake and commercial to me as I get older.  Now I’m back at my desk, preparing to get back to work after a nice week off.  I’m currently trying to make headway on my next play (a version of HG Wells' The Time Machine) and all kinds of other work that I fell behind on before the break.  I’ve just had a show touring (I didn't write it, Dorrie, the woman I married and formed the company with did, but I directed and produced it) called YULETIDE TERRORS (three chilling tales for the season, in the style of those old BBC Ghost Stories For Christmas) and I've also been doing publicity and stuff on that, whilst working out the logistics of a potential tour of China for an entirely different show.  On top of which I'm trying to put together another book of short Doctor Who stories for charity (Red Cross or Children In Need, I reckon; still deciding; I want to help refugees and children).  It’s really just me dabbling, though I shouldn't do work I don't get paid for when it takes me away from my 'proper' work (the ‘day job’ of producing).  But it’s for charity and I want the experience of working with (ulp!) 70 brilliant writers on 270 pieces as I'm starting up a publishing imprint next year for weird and odd novels that everyone else has turned down.  Always working with the underdog, eh?  But then I was the underdog for a long time, wasn’t I?  Not that I'm much of an 'overdog' these days…

How are you doing?  I felt a sudden pang of genuinely missing you this morning.  It felt like an ache for an old friendship.  We always used to write and phone, didn’t we?  I hope you're well.

Did you get your laptop fixed?  I'm sure I need a new one, all the noise it makes...

I can see Magpies dancing about on the rooftops from my window.  It's a crispy-blue day out there after all the grumpy weather yesterday.

Are you well, Maggie?  I remember in about '98/'99 you told me you were ill; I hope that all sorted itself out.  I read about your arm a week or two ago; the glass incident.  Felt a terrible anger towards the bitch that did that to you.  I'm still fiercely loyal!  Ha-ha!

I guess I should tell you, in case I never did, that I was diagnosed with a small brain tumour ten years ago now; just before my acting/writing/directing/producing finally took off.  I'm okay and the medication has kept it at bay and it hasn't grown enough to cause me problems, but it could.  One day.  I doubt it though.  I won't let it.  I've managed a decade without any ill-effects, though the medication caused me a great many personal problems as I adjusted to it.  I'm all fine now, though.  I hope.  Don't know why I felt like telling you, but having looked through all these letters I realised that's how we used to be.  We may never be that again, but I just wanted to share with you, like we used to.  Not looking for sympathy - just wanted you to know.  And I do hope you're well.

(And yes, I do still see a lot of Johnny Badcock (now Goodcock) and Flash, both of whom have made something of themselves in ‘showbiz’)

Hasn't it been a shit year out in the world?  The Syrian refugees, Trump being elected in the US, and the bloody Brexit fiasco.  And Bowie, of course.  Still, I've been relatively successful and happy - a new play premiere (my adaptation of JANE EYRE, which tours the UK and Australia for most of next year, plus German and US productions of my Marilyn Monroe play, the play published by Samuel French and short stories in 5 different books [which still amazes me]) and I just saw myself acknowledged in another Doctor Who book, which came as a surprise.  But I wish I was living in a better time...  Things look bloody grim for the years ahead...

Anyway.

I'd better crack on with 'living the dream' (ha-ha!)

(and that's after I've been to see the new Star Wars film again; this time in 3D!)

lots of love,

Ritcherd x
 
[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]

Tuesday, 1 January 1991

New Year's Day 1991

EPILOGUE (from 1991)
 
10:10pm
 
‘Hear Me, O My People’ – The Shamen

 
1991 started off perfectly. 
 
We’ve had a really brilliant time, Flash and me.  This was our best ‘New Year Bash’ yet, I should say, spent in the company of Polly Willis (or ‘Mrs Krapp’ as she calls herself) and her friend Sammy.  Things have been jus lovely.  Needless to say, Flash and Sammy slept together, and so did (thank god) Polly and I.
 
‘Ribbons’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
But now Polly’s gone and she won’t be back for a long time, but at least we’re definitely a couple now.  She is beautiful, she really is.
 
I can’t get over how good it’s been.  I really loved having them all here.
 
THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU, FOR A BRILLIANT TIME.
 
I hope we can all do it again sometime soon.  I really do.
 
As for the year ahead, I hope all will be perfect.  I hope I can survive any gyp that the Gulf War throws at us.  I hope that me, Ward and Badcock can pull our fingers out and get this theatre company going; let’s get cracking ASAP. 
 
‘Love Letters’ – Marc Almond

 
And I really hope my beautiful Polly and I can get things working as we’d both like them to and stay together.  I’m really into her and I hope we can make the distance work. 
 
Let’s hope nothing rubbish happens.
 
I LOVE ‘MRS. KRAPP’.
 
‘Rebel Rebel’ – David Bowie

 
RITCHERD J WINTERFOOD (alias JEZ DeCARLO): THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
 

 
 
[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 End…’

Monday, 31 December 1990

New Year's Eve 1990

10:49pm
 
‘I Was Wrong’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
I was just sitting in the living room when I realised what time it was.
 
Flash and I left Polly’s today and came back to Blackberry Narrow, Wisbech St. Mary to do what we always do when we get together, which is catch up on each other’s diaries (‘a diary sesh’).  We’ve also started a Situation tape, which we might pick up on a bit later (along with a video, both under the prospective title Shightmare, which is a phrase coined by Polly Willis).
 
Sammy + Polly are here and staying the nite, and it’s curry time (they offered to cook us up a feast and have done so!).
 
‘Honky Tonk Women’ – The Rolling Stones

 
The future will be here in 1991.
 
1990’s been a beautiful year (and I need to be able to go forward and be with Polly alone from now on, and love her as much as she seems to love me).
 
Thank you, universe (of which I am but one part of its sensual expression; so, like each and every human, a god walking the Earth; yep, we’re all Jesus, if you like).  Thank you so much.
 
‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ – The Police

 
Final words for tonite?
I love you, Polly.
Please love me back.
 
 
[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: ‘New Year’s Day 1991…’

Sunday, 30 December 1990

When Dreams Come True

‘Dig For Fire’ – Pixies

 
Well, I’m so absolutely thrilled that everything’s come together on the ‘Polly front’.  She stayed out with Flash and me at the Wenns in King's Lynn tonight – and Sammy came out too.  I told Polly all my feelings for her and she told me about hers for me and it turns out we’d both been feeling worried that it might not ‘happen’ as we were both so desperate to start a relationship with the other.  Which we now seem very much to have done.  I think.
 
On top of this, Sammy and Flash have also hit it off incredibly well.
 
‘Something Fast’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
After the pub, Flash, Sammy and I attended the very tail-end of the birthday party at Polly’s in West Winch and were invited to stay over.
 
Which is bloody brilliant.
 
‘Love’ – John Lennon

 
 
[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: ‘New Year’s Eve 1990…’

Saturday, 29 December 1990

A New Hope

1:57am
 
‘Detonation Boulevard’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
I haven’t been to bed yet.  I’ve had a day of cataloguing and sorting out the SITUATION cassettes (1985-1990).  The only one I’m missing is CITIZEN DERRICK; I knew Flash didn’t give it to me with all the others that day in his room before he headed off to Oxford, even though he maintained he had.
 
‘Pray’ – MC Hammer

 
Later: 
 
‘Go Away’ – Strawberry Switchblade

 
Anyway, Flash rang today and he’ll be arriving tomorrow (just as my family are heading up to Yorkshire, funnily enough).  I hope he gets here in good time (i.e. before six) or there’ll be cacker bastards flying all over the galaxy. 
 
Why?  Well, I’m heading out to King’s Lynn at about 6pm at the latest, and no matter what happens, I’m sorry to say, I’m bloody well going!  Y’see, Polly rang today and she and Sammy will be at the Wenns tomorrow from 8pm till 10pm.  It was a short phone call, and when she said ‘Will you be in the pub tomorrow?’  I replied, ‘Why?  Would you like me to be?’, and she said ‘Of course, Mister!’
 
‘Here Comes the Rain Again’ – Eurythmics

 
On reflection, I realise I might have sounded a little bit sarcastic, though that wasn’t my intention (though I have been a bit down in the dumps worrying that we’d never get together again or that she’d spend the New Year in Leeds).  There was something sad in her voice when I asked her if she’d like me to be.  I suppose I ought to have said ‘YES!’ outright, but I’m not good at that kind of spontaneity.  Too self-conscious and self-critical.
 
Anyway, I jollied up and told her I’d definitely be there.  Apparently she’s got to leave early because it’s her Mum’s 50th birthday party.  Even that deflates me, which is bloody stupid.  I just really, really want to start something with her.  I’m actually quite in awe of her.
 
‘Doctor Who (Mood Version)’ – Mark Ayres

 
Polly told me she’d been out with Jo Jordan on Boxing Night, too.  I’ve no idea if there’s anyone else on the scene, no idea how much she likes me ‘like that’, if at all.  But jealousy is a bag of cacker, so I’m not going to play at being a dick.  I suppose it’s Fergie that made me feel paranoid about every emotional situation.
 
‘Disappear’ – INXS

 
Anyway, after considering all the options, I realise I ought to now get in touch with Russell Flowers, as he’s the only person in Lynn I can think of that has a place that Flash and myself might be allowed to sleep the night at. 
 
But whatever happens, I am not passing up the chance of seeing Polly.  She goes back to Leeds on the 2nd.
 
‘1959’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
I’ve fallen head over heels in love with her.  Really.  I shouldn’t have done, but I have and I hope she’ll continue to let me see her romantically, even if I have to settle for it being simply now and again.
 
The end of 1990 draws near.
 
Please give me a beautiful 1991.
 
‘Lady Grinning Soul’ – David Bowie

 
Please, please, please give me the love of Polly.
 
 
[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: ‘Dreams come true…’

Friday, 28 December 1990

Sisters, Stones and Stardust

1:30pm
 
My No.1: ‘Ribbons’ by The Sisters of Mercy

 
I’ve just got up!  That’s the bloody latest in ages.
 
I’ve sent a lot of cards out this year and in the one I sent to Lilith I wrote a small poem about our distance – physically and spiritually – may not be perhaps as apocalyptic as it once seemed, and that I still care for her and often think of her; nay, I probably still love her in some way (the way I always did) but that that love has been buried by the tribulations of an as yet unfocused and uncoordinated life.  Anyway, she sent me a poem today which tells me that her ‘eternal love’ for me is still great and that her heart still beats and her blood still flows for me.  She signed it by telling me she feels love for me, offering 9 kisses.
 
‘Vision Thing’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
FURTHER CHRISTMAS COMMENTS?
 
I absolutely adore my new STONES LP, Their Satanic Majesties Request.  I’m in a ‘curious about The Stones’ kind of phase at the moment. 
I also think ‘VISION THING’ is a fantastic track on the new Sisters LP, a brilliant dance track with hypnotic kind of raw and powerful continuity.  The whole LP heralds a new dawn for The Sisters.  ‘RIBBONS’ is so powerful and in my opinion the best track, a multi-layered tapestry of emotion and instinct that chills me the whole way through.  And Eldritch’s voice is different; better than before.  That said, ‘DETONATION BOULEVARD’ seems very weak, almost ‘filler material’; it fits the style and isn’t out of place, but it’s a bit flat.  All the lyrics on the LP show that The Sisters have escaped from the acid rain and the corrosion to emerge into some post-Modern, socio-political environment where lifes is even more of a struggle, more apocalyptic; the kind of apocalypse that doesn’t happen crouched over some drugs on a mirror but in the real world with wars and guns and bombs.  ‘SOMETHING FAST’ comes third in my favourite tracks – a bold attempt at breaking the expected ‘drum machine ROCK’ of the other Sisters stuff, a bit like the earlier ‘1959’.  It’s a gorgeous expose of the seedier side of life, and Maggie Reilly’s backing vocals add a sharp and clear juxtaposition to Eldritch’s pained gurglings.  Other tracks suggest a growth in song-writing with good hooks and choruses.  Some of the tracks are real dance rockers.  ‘MORE’ and ‘DOCTOR JEEP’ are outstanding, of course, particularly the former, though for reasons I can’t quite fathom.  It’s a great album that falls into a great canon.  And it kind of carries on where DIAMOND DOGS by BOWIE left off.  It’s almost what Bowie should have become in some ways.    It’s a ‘Rebel Rebel’ for the ‘90s.  And it needs a good shafting cos I love it!  FUTURE LEGEND is finally here and it’s the REAL future and it’s called VISION THING – see you on January 15th 1991.
 
‘Working Class Hero’ – John Lennon

 
 
[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: ‘A new hope…’

Thursday, 27 December 1990

Plans Gone Awry

‘Oh Yoko!’ – John Lennon

 
Still thinking about Flash and Raq after what Stan told me.  Are they back together then?  As Stan said, ‘What is she?  His shadow?’  Good question.  Are they Siamese Twins?  If you separate them do they die?  God… Shades of Johnny and Missy.
 
Later:
 
Almost 6pm
 
‘Man Scared’ – Fat Lady Sings

 
Funny, in a lot of ‘end of the world’ prophecies they say stuff about being able to see the moon in the daytime.  And it was there all day today.
 
They’re sending out call-up papers tomorrow, apparently.
 
My life, I dare myself to say, is about – in simplistic terms, this is – art and love.  And what destroys those things as sure as bugger?  War.
 
Stan’s going back to Leeds today to his solicitor as his now ex-girlfriend Michelle is taking out a court injunction against him, and he wants to get it all sorted out.  That’s a shame because I was hoping to invite him over to get together with us for New Year’s Eve.
 
Mind you, Johnny rang me today and told me that on Christmas Day, Missy rang him and demanded that he go to Yarmouth on Saturday – till Tuesday.  So he’ll be seeing the New Year in with her.  He doesn’t want to at all, but he can’t get out of it.    It’s a shame too and he feels he’s letting me down and he really wants to see Flash.  So all chances of an eventful New Year’s Eve seem unlikely now.  We had planned to do a celebratory Berwin Groomstool video, but we may as well not bother now.
 
ON TOP OF THIS, Polly’s thinking about going back up to Leeds, which for me would just be THE WORST.  I’ve missed her so much since Christmas Eve and I really hope we can go out or something on Saturday.  This is some sort of Karmic hassle, I bet you; I’m going to get hurt in this situation just as I’ve hurt others in the past.  But I’d love to see the Jez/Polly flower take bloom.
 
Later:
 
8pm
 
‘When the Levee Breaks’ – Led Zeppelin

 
I am really getting severely fucked off. 
 
Well, Polly rang – this isn’t the hassle – and she only spoke briefly because she was at Sammy’s and says she’ll ring me properly tomorrow. 
 
The hassle is this: I just rang Johnny.  We were going to go out tomorrow night but he’s all het up about Missy again, so doesn’t want to.  Basically she’s told him he can’t, so he’s not going to.  How shite can you get?  The worse thing he ever did was make a commitment to that spoilt, stuck-up little bitch!  She’s a cunt!  She can fuck off and die because she’s making him into such a morbid, miserable little fucker and I can’t handle him when he’s like this. 
 
So fuck my head, I was looking forward to going out with him tomorrow, too.  Well, loads of fucking Christmas cheer, Johnny!  I know it’s not your fault, but still…  We really ARE getting out together loads this Christmas like you said we would – MUCH!
 
‘John Sinclair’ – John Lennon

 
Arse!  Arse!  Fuck!  Another nite of piss and cack.
 
 
[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: ‘Emotion and Instinct…’