I awoke at about 7am and got ready to go to King’s Lynn, where Simon was to pick me up. All morning, I had a really uneasy feeling about the party. Things like: Simon + co. not turning up to fetch me; the party being shit; everybody hating me; me getting beat up; and worse, the car crashing. I let all of these scenarios worry me as I got ready and walked to Wisbech.
Once I’d arrived in Wisbech (at 9.40am), I got bored with being worried, went to vist Lucille at the shop and then went for a cup of… Hang on, no, I didn’t. I had a glass of grapefruit juice in BACCHALLY’s or whatever it’s called.
‘Immigrant’ – Gene Loves Jezebel
At 10.50am, I caught a bus to King’s Lynn, and when I arrived it was only 11.25am. So I thought I’d doss around the Record Shops, but guess who I bumped into! My homeless Li’l Devil: Kevin. He was fucked off, cos he’d stayed at Solomon’s on Friday nite and wasn’t allowed to stay another nite. On top of that, he was penniless and hungry, and loads of people he didn’t know had been taking the piss out of his ‘weird’ appearance.
All this crap about Kevin being ‘weird’ is really annoying. He’s not v. weird, y’know! His hair is still fairly short and conventional and he just happens to wear a lot of black and some eye make-up now and again…
Anyway, I bought him a bag of crisps and we bumped into Holly Blue (Solomon’s gurlie) for a bit, until 12pm when we returned to the Bus Station where I was supposed to be picked up. Here, Kevin and I met up with Plastic Nick, which meant he was coming with us after all. Finally, Simon arrived (with Keith) at 12.30pm. I said ‘Ta-ta!’ to Kevin as Plastic Nick and I were whisked off to Pot Noodle’s house, where we grabbed Pot – whose hair is fucking ace now – and the five of us ‘Tech-Goths’ ‘zoomed’ off to Norwich.
The journey was a ‘lark’, actually, with the five of us, all cramped into a little Fiat Panda 4x4 with its stereo blaring Gene Loves Jezebel, J+MC, The Mission, The Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim out of the windows. Imagine it. ‘ACKER’, eh?
It was on this journey that I decided the GLJ album Immigrant is possibly one of the best things I’ve heard since ZOMO (who Simon liked – a lot! GOOD!).
We must’ve arrived in Norwich at about 2pm and, after parking the car, we went into the City, where Pot was disappointed that one of his old Goth-mates (Johnny Gunn?) had turned into a ‘Hippy’ Rocker. But Johnny (?) did tell us that the kid – Dean – whose party it was would be in the BELL HOTEL during the day and, obviously, we could find out from him where it was going to be held. Y’see Pot didn’t know where the fuck it was. He had no idea where this kid Dean lived either…
So we went to the BELL and had a few swift drinks until it closed. Dean wasn’t there. Following this, we dossed around the city looking at the girls, observing the sub(goth/punk)-culture, going in the alternative shops (crap and expensive!), and basically fucking about. It was my first proper time in Norwich and I was pleased with it, and the people, most especially, well, wait and see…
‘Sunshine Miner' – The Zodiac Motel
Following a fish ‘n’ chip lunch, Plastic Nick (who looked a real plank in a pair of nondescript blue jeans and a checkered shirt) introduced us to two King’s Lynn punks. They were both girls, but one of them was called Bernard. That was jolly. Especially when I decided to have a fag and my ‘fringe’ caught fire. But it’s okay, thank god.
After we left the punks and took Keith and Plastic Nick to a fishing tackle shop (BOR-ING!!!), we went back and bought a bottle of cider and some Kit-Kats, while Pot Noodle rang up an old girlfriend called Helen.
At 5.30pm, it was time to return to the BELL for ½ an hour of half-price drinks. I went through lager for a while, and then onto Vodka and lime. Simon and I chatted further, and we both agreed that Plastic Nick is shit, GLJ are (more or less) God, life isn’t bad and girls are nice. He and I played some trax on the video jukebox, i.e. ‘Severina’, ‘Love Cats’ and ‘Love Removal Machine’. We agreed that all the other stuff on the ‘box was shaight, but that ‘Soul Man’ by Sam Moore & Lou Reed was okay. Ish. Well, we nearly agreed.
So it’s crap. So what?!
Pot then introduced us to one of his old mates, Julian, who was alright. I didn’t talk to him much, but he has 10 O levels, y’know. Cor, eh? WOW-EEEEEE!
‘Breaking Glass’ – David Bowie
Then two girls came over for no reason whatsoever. They didn’t know any of us. One was v. witchlike/alternative and called Traci (so I took the gentle piss out of her name). The other was a gothic punk called Naomi. It turned out she’s v. mad on GLJ, The Mission, THE CULT, and, most of all, Sigue Sigue Sputnik (who I’ve recently been listening to again).
One of the most interesting things about meeting them was the way in which I re-named myself. In my childhood I must have gone to 10 different schools, and every time I changed and met new people, they would always take the piss out of my name. It used to really hurt when I was little. Actually, I think it just used to confuse me. I couldn’t understand why they were being so cruel to me because my name was supposedly odd. This got more physically painful as I got older when my name made me stand out as a bullying or fight target. I think there was something more modern and progressive about the idea of a boy called Ritcherd Winterfood, and later, something a bit crap, too. Over time I have learnt to hate the name, which is why I’m always adopting pseudonyms and personas, I suppose. Well, tonight, I introduced myself to all the ‘new people’ as ‘Jez’. I have become Jez, I think, after months of toying with ‘Jezebel’. I think I will stick with Jez. Why not? It’s as good a nickname as any and it’s got a ‘J’ and a ‘Z’ in it, which is pretty cool…
Anyway, they buggered off after a bit, so we all got talking to a guy called Bugs, who was a mate of Naomi ‘n’ Traci, cos he goes out with their mate Traci, y’see. The thing was, things didn’t seem to be going very well for Bugs and Traci. Unknown to Bugs, Traci had developed a crush on Pot Noodle, which didn’t go anywhere, but meant that she ended up ignoring Bugs anyway…
Naomi returned and chatted to me. She told me she loves my hair, my Chain t-shirt, my studded wristband and my crucifix. So I let her wear the band and the ‘fix.
Let me explain + describe, etc. Naomi is 17 years old. She is tall (about my height), and has Simon Gallup/Gaz Top-style crimped hair. She’s pale, with all the goth eye make up, lipstick and nail varnish and speaks with a little lisp that makes her sound like Toyah Willcox. She was wearing a leather biker’s jacket, a black top and ripped yellow + black zebra-patterned leggings with goth (blitz) buckle boots. She was very Siouxsie Sioux, in fact.
Plastic Nick tried to chat her up, but she didn’t go for it and ended up telling me she hates him. Yo-ho-ho! By now, she was also wearing my shades…
At this point, Keith, Simon and I went to McDonalds. I broke my own vow never to go in one of those places ever again! And I had a Big Mac!
After a chat with Helen, Pot asked around for Dean. There was no sign of him. So Chris suggested we go and look in THE MAID’S HEAD.
I was very pissed by now, as was Jo. In fact, we were holding each other up. On the way to the MH, I lost track of my entourage and ended up going down there with Naomi, Traci and someone else (who was mad on kebabs).
Once at the MH, everyone decided it was shit, so we went to THE MISCHIEF. On the way, I got talking to a New Model Army fan called Matt and laughed a lot more than I should when Traci ran up to this old bloke and squeezed his bollox really nastily for no reason at all. What a jape!
Yes, old bloke, you’re famous now! Yo-ho-ho!
‘R.I.P’ – Alien Sex Fiend
THE MISCHIEF was crap, and Plastic Nick tried to chat up Traci, but she also hated him. Really, she wanted Pot Noodle’s willy, but didn’t get it. As we left, we bumped into Bugs, and Pot tried to climb a few buildings, but failed. I lost all my mates somehow and ended up walking along with Naomi, Traci and Bugs. Traci was just wild and started thumping the shit out of shop windows to see if they’d break. Naomi joined in, but I got her to stop as I didn’t want us to get nicked. Bugs tried to calm Traci down, but failed as she was being a real bitch to him.
While Bugs and Traci argued, Naomi and I took the opportunity to chat. Arm in arm.
We talked and talked. She told me she’d just started going out with this lad who she felt was a bit undesireable. He’d never had a relationship before and didn’t know if he could take it, so he he’d stayed in that nite. She said she didn’t really want to lose him though.
I told her about NICKI. She laughed. Then turned to me and we kissed. She has a boyfriend, BUT, we kissed all the same. A full-on, passionate snog. And a bloody good one, too.
When we’d finished, she sort of said, ‘Oh shit … oh well … it had to happen. I like you a lot. But I don’t wanna lose my boyfriend.’
I told her I’d go away now if she wanted me to. I still had to find the others. She told me not to go yet and said she likes me too much. So we agreed that whether or not we were going to get off with each other, we’d still WRITE to each other as we find each other interesting.
I told her I thought she sounded like Toyah. She rightly took it as a compliment. She loves Toyah.
When we got back to the BELL, the others were there, but Pot Noodle still hadn’t located the party we’d come to Norwich for. BASTARD! Not that it really mattered to me any more, but if we’d all gone to one and stayed over, it would have meant I’d have more time with Naomi. Again, not that this mattered as Naomi and I did quite a lot of kissing. A very lot of kissing. She felt really guilty about it, but I didn’t. Which shocked me in a way.
Meanwhile, poor old Bugs, who I’d only known for about 4 hours, was upset about Traci. They’d already broken up once and he didn’t want it to happen again. I felt really sorry for him…
‘Right Now’ – The Creatures
Naomi then took me to the corridor outside the toilets, where we swapped addresses and, once again, put across our physical feelings for each other. She ripped a page corner from her diary and wrote her address on it. She lives in Alford Grove, Sprowston, Norwich.
The diary dates she ripped out were Monday 7 December, Tuesday 8 December, Wednesday 9 December, Monday 14 December, Tuesday 15 December and Wednesday 16 December, 1987.
I wonder where will I be and what I will be doing on those dates?
[Here’s some tantalising glimpses, folks…
Monday 7 December, quote:
‘Times like these, I think, ‘Wouldn’t it be ace to get back together for CHRISTMAS?’’
Tuesday 8 December, quote:
‘I don’t know how I feel about her, contrary to yesterday’s suggestion, but… I think we need to talk again. It’s nearly 3 months since we communicated. I have begun to compose a letter to send her.’
Wednesday 9 December, quote:
‘I was sort of half surprised, but it seemed to make sense. I don’t mean that. I fully intended to carry on my life as normal. Then Jason revealed to me that he fancies her. I laughed a lot.’
Monday 14 December, quote:
‘I’ve got to write to Naomi. Mmmmmmmmm.’
Tuesday 15 December, quote:
‘Oh my god. At this moment in time… oh god… I need to see Naomi Bell as soon as possible. It’s so desperate… the need. I don’t know how permanent this urge or need is, but… it’s here now and now matters.’
Wednesday 16 December, quote:
‘I am mad on the Sisters of Mercy.’
– Future Ritcherd ]
I really wanted – and still do want – to see her again.
After the pub shut, Naomi and I sat outside, kissing.
Meanwhile, Pot had found out that the party was in Sprowston, the area of Norwich where Naomi lives. But Keith was convinced that the party didn’t exist and he and Plastic Nick wanted to go home. POT NOODLE and I protested, but Simon was impartial. To him, it was one or the other, go to the party or go home, he didn’t mind. So Pot and I finally submitted to having to go home. Pot, kindly, offered to let me stay at his place.
Naomi and I said our goodbyes. She returned my ‘fix and other stuff. Keith told her my real name (the git! He seemed upset and intolerant that I’d chosen a name of my own and wanted to emabarass me, I think. He didn’t, though.). Naomi really liked ‘Ritcherd’ and thought it was ‘cute’ when I told her how it was spelt. Then she asked me who I preferred: her or Nicki. I told her – truthfully – that I prefer her.
And off we went.
[THIS WAS THE FIRST OF MY NORWICH ‘GOTH DAYS’, WHICH LASTED FOR OVER A YEAR. IT WAS ON THIS DAY THAT I BECAME MORE WIDELY KNOWN AS JEZ (DE CARLO) – Ritcherd, 9th May 1994]
Simon dropped Plastic Nick off, then Keith, then me ‘n’ Pot Noodle.
[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) / 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 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 13 July 2011 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
NEXT TIME: ‘Cold and scuzzy…’