The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Tuesday, 10 September 1985

Planet of the Apes Fan

‘The 15th’ – Wire

School! What a prison camp – I hate it!

I lent Jazz Thompson the spoof Doctor Who Documentary.

I’ve finished reading Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes and started reading Battle For The Planet Of The Apes. I wish I had them on video.

Yes, here I am – an Apes fan! Ah well, beats being a Popeye fan! I hate Popeye! I hate him! Tedious bastard!

EastEnders was on tonight. T’were great! So great!

Started work on my bedroom to-be this evening, building my bedroom walls with Freddie. I am buggered.


[To bring in more money, Paul changed his vocation and became a miner, so on 10th September 1973, we moved to Allenby Crescent in Rossington, Doncaster.

I wasn’t happy in Rossington. My half-brother Jack was born and Mum suffered from postnatal depression, which she seemed to take out on me; on top of this, during this period I was sexually abused by two older local boys...

...Looking back, I don’t feel particularly affected by it – it was entirely non-penetrative – but at the time, it added to my general unease and anxiety with the world. I told no one, and dealt with it in that uniquely optimistic way you deal with stuff as a child, but I now know that even at the age of four, I was depressed. I wasn’t eating and I felt sad all the time. It certainly set the stage and left me wide open to what happened to me a year or so later. Knowing no better, I willingly went along. But it wasn’t just that stuff that made me feel so grey. My Mum’s gloom pervaded the cold house when she took to staying in bed all day - unable to face the world, I guess. I have every sympathy with her condition now - it wasn't her fault - but back then I just didn't understand why the world was suddenly bleak. So I made my own fun, acquainting myself with all the fictions that I still adore to this day: Doctor Who, Spider-Man, Planet Of The Apes and their many friends, colleagues, lovers and acquaintances...

...And I thank my mother for indulging that. During the lonely times at Rossington, as well as treating the telly like a big brother or a babysitter, I would try and read the words in my comics and not just look at the pictures. To her great credit, my Mum taught me to read at this point – and very quickly, too. This might have enlivened her spirits, because I saw more of her, and she’d take me to the library where I would pick up stacks and stacks of the strangest and most wonderful books I could lay my hands on. She tried to teach me Maths, but it didn’t grab my voracious imagination. She would grow increasingly aggressive if I didn’t get the sums right. I found it incredibly stressful to learn about numbers under those conditions. Crap at Maths for the remainder of my school days.

And Paul was great. He worked long hours and I hardly ever saw him, but when I did, he was always funny and always kept me amused. I will always be loyal to my real Dad, but I can’t tell you how important Paul was in my life (as were George and Freddie). Paul became ‘Daddy’ to me in Rossington, while my real Dad – who I hadn’t seen since I waved him goodbye in Pontefract bus station in 1973 – became a dim memory. I wouldn’t see him again for a number of years, but in the meantime, he re-married, to a young woman called Annie. And my Mum married Paul on 26th October 1974, some months after Jack was born and much to the dissatisfaction of the Pritchards. Thus, for the next ten years I became known as Ritcherd Jones… – Ritcherd, 1990]

This time 8 years ago:
‘I watched Doctor Who: The Horror Of Fang Rock (Part Two).

This time 4 years ago:
‘I got Doctor Who Monthly 57 and Empire Strikes Back Monthly 150 (which was a con).’

This time 2 years ago:
‘We had a power cut.’

This time last year:
‘I watched The Elephant Man on TV.’

[Text Copyright: Elton Townend Jones/Dyad Productions, 2010 / Images subject to control of Copyright Holder / While based on true life events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the 1980s, this blog is a work of fiction. Cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is also non-profit and all video clips are used for illustrative purposes / No copyright infringement is intended.]

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