The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Tuesday, 29 December 1987

Number Ones of 1987

The Time is 2am.


‘Since Yesterday’ – Strawberry Switchblade



Mustn’t lose NYALL’s telephone number…




‘Who Knows What Love Is’ – Strawberry Switchblade



I feel so … I don’t know…


I’m sitting up in bed.


I feel so … great about things … beautiful visions that annihilate the ever-present apocalyptic future.  No longer do we worry about the bad side of life, what of the good?


Why do all my beautiful thoughts of late concern walking around Leeds with Flash, Rose McDowell, and a beautiful (imagined) Gothic girl kissing me in a seedy Leeds bedsit?


LEEDS IS FOR ME.  And I think Nyall may be coming to live there with me in 1988.  That would be blissful.  We’ll have to talk about it.


‘Little River’ – Strawberry Switchblade


If I’d been approached with ‘Strawberry’ in ’85, I’d have said, ‘They’re not bad’, and forgotten about them (which is exactly what I did).  In ’86, I would have said, ‘Fuck Off!’, but now I think they’re absolutely excellent.  All the songs on this LP are so boppy and sad-turned-happy, so cosy, so very Rose and Liz, which all seems even cosier.  But when Rose is on the Death In June LP, it all seems very menacing (and fascist?).  Which, in some way, makes me feel a bit wary of accepting the Switchblades.  But, in other ways, it’s all a bit tuff, cos I DO accept them.  Totally and utterly, actually.


I rang Flash earlier on.  And I’ll be just outside beautiful LEEDS tomorrow.  But what to do?  I did originally intend that Flash and I would bam it down to Norwich on Tharsdee, to see the New Year in darn The Bell with the mates ‘n’ co.  But, well … that plan hardly has any point in me going up NORF, does it?


Taff barbar Pie on Toast soldiers…


‘10 James Orr Street’ – Strawberry Switchblade


Oh.  I wouldn’t mind going to Bradford for a day, either.  Who knows? 


I’d like to stay up norf for a while.  And have a break from home and Norfolk.  And die in the arms of Ashton Street. 


Who can predict?


What will we do for New Year’s, Flash?  A pahtey?  Loads of mates in Moses’s back yard, eh?  Yeah?  Eh?  Not a pub.  That’d be shayte.  Unless it was The Bell.  The onus is on you, G’rdon.


Berwin Groomstool watches the flashing arcs of electricity and grins a manic grin…


‘The Boy Who Came Back’ – Marc Almond


Yeah.  I feel ‘charged with a new lease of life’.




I am no longer a boy…


A metallic, twizzling vortex, spiralling its way into distant nothing…



Brown Book – Death In June

Strawberry Switchblade – ditto



‘The Boy Who Came Back’ – Marc Almond

‘The Boy Who Came Back’ – Marc Almond

‘The Boy Who Came Back’ – Marc Almond


So.  Tomorrow.  Hah!  Today, rather!  Today, I’ll go to Flash’s in Smoky Cas and we’ll laugh and on the 31st, we’ll cry and sing and 1987 will become another book upon my tired shelf.


I’ll go to Flash’s and, I’m warning you, we’d better laugh a lot.  And get drunk a lot.  And if we do, we’ll feel great.  And I’ll feel like a new JEZZE.  I will.  Leeds will send me into orgasms.  And Flash and I will meet some girls that please our respective visions of womanhood.  We will, we will, we will. 


It’s got to be good.  We need a great time.  Out and about, doing things, preferably in Leeds.


Why am I so obsessed with all this Leeds stuff?  I’m a sad case, aren’t I?


‘Let Her Go’ – Strawberry Switchblade


So, Flash.  Here I am.  Or I will be when you read this.  So let’s get grooving.  We need to do lotsa laughs ‘n’ fun.  Bet you’re bored with Leeds, aren’t you?




Oh.  Elbow’ll be there when I get to Flash’s.  Possibly.  I suppose this means a day full of Doctor Who.  Ooh.  The fun!





Git me, you puff…




‘Terror Couple Kill Colonel’ – Bauhaus


The Number One Records of Ritcher J Winterfood & Jez DeCarlo 1987

WHAT and WHY?!


1st Jan:                                 

The tide of my Christmas depression was sweeping over me.  And this song meant a lot.  Love for Dodo and Flash, principally.  Sad moods and memories, here.  This song really involved me.  And at the time, The Mission were my favourite band…


8th Jan:                                 

I loved this song.  ‘Wow!  Another Mission record!’  And so Winterfood put it straight to the top.  I can still see the January landscape when I put this on.  The snow.  The ‘slowly getting to grips with life’ stuff.  Jenny and me finishing.  The coat from Oxfam and Sadie.


15th Jan:                                               

More snow, but I’d wanted the album for ages.  When I bought it, this was the track I play most (because it’s track one, side one).  My mind caught it, and there it was.  Brings back vague, dark and often uncomfortable emotions.


22nd Jan:                                              

I was fairly into SIOUXSIE and it was dead catchy at the time.  My 7-inch bloody jumps, though!


29th Jan:                                               

A minor distraction from what were then my almost strictly ‘alternative’ days.  It reflected my life in that I was borrowing quite abit of Bolan stuff from Bella Murphy.  It’s very likely that nothing much was happening in the music scene that I decided to put this at the top.


5th Feb:                                 

I took to listening to Japan’s Adolescent Sex album, just to capture the feelings of that time in Early 1986 when I’d just got it.  It brings back memories of long walks and waiting to go to Flash’s party.  Lots of laughs with Roger, also. 


12th & 19th Feb:                  

This is perhaps the record that brings back, most vividly, the events of Flash’s party.


26th Feb:                                               

A record that gradually grew on me, due to it’s ‘boppy’ tune.  Sends the mind back to a week full of ‘oh god, Dodo ‘n’ Flash ‘n’ me… oh god…’


5th Mar:                                

The record I bought from Leeds on the weekend that Flash discovered Dodo and I were going out together.  Desire was the operative word.  All Flash got was the Heartache of the b-side.


13th Mar:                                             

This latest Mission had released a new single, so what else could I do with it, but send it to the top.  The record itself just tends to conjure memories of unease and worry over my position with Flash and Dodo.


19th & 26th Mar:                                 

During a week of tension with Flash, I turned to my GLJ album to find what felt like the most uplifting track – and it turned out to be the above.  It had grown on me, but realistically the only reason I think it survived two weeks was that most other music at this time was crap.


2nd Apr:                                

This song just fucked me in – it was brilliant.  I played this over and over.  And it stuck in my brain.  It reminds me of when our Tech gang first came together, being fucked in the head, discos, etc.


9th Apr:                 

I bought this on a whim for 99p.  It reminds me of my confusion with Sonia – and the haze that was just April, when life was one dreamy piss-up!


16th  Apr:                                             

Reminds me of working at the yard and building up to go and see Flash.  I was very excitable.


23rd Apr:                                              

That weekend at Flash’s when all was ace again.  And a nice day in Leeds.  Flash and I were back with a bang!


30th Apr:                                              

Toothache, and then returning to tech and feeling a lot better.  I had this on my Personal Stereo a real lot.


7th May:                                               

Reminds me quite a lot of that weekend at Flash’s, but also of meeting Simon, Nigel and Nicki.


14th May:                                             

The record had a beautiful sound, and is notable for reminding me of my visit to Norwich with Simon and co., where I met Naomi.


21st May:                                             

Interesting for two reasons.  One: This is the only record in this year’s chart to reach the top in two different versions.  Two: It was a very hard, powerful record, which paved the way for a long summer full of hard records and harder bands than my chart was used to seeing at the top.  Reminds me of many trips in Simon’s car.


28th May:                                             

Principally reminds me of Simon’s, Nigel’s and my trip to Sheffield and our visit to Flash.  I bought this record in Sheffield.  Makes me think of our caravan for some reason.  Good tough record.


4th Jun:                                 

Reminds me of heat.  By now, the Nephilim were the ‘big thing’.  Their album was out, and ‘Dust’ soared to Number One, possibly cos I enjoyed its perceived similarities to ‘Preacher Man’.  Reminds me of when Simon went to Wales.


11th Jun:                                               

This song’s second appearance at the top.  Exams, and Nigel and Simon.


18th Jun:                                               

My transition into Spooky Goth Punk.  And buying The Batcave album, which is where it’s from.  I saw this track and thought, ‘I bet I like that’, and I did.


25th Jun:                                               

Hotter weather with rain.  Horror films and magazines.  And… black, black, black.  Once again, a track from The Batcave album and very Bauhaus, which is what attracted me…


2nd Jul:                                  

Thinking of Naomi whilst working at the yard.  And being a bit of a spook…


9th Jul:                                  

I bought this on the weekend that Naomi asked me out.  And it was great, lyrically, for a while.  I loved it.


16th Jul:                                

I’d hated this track for ages, and then, in the summer, the lyrics just tickled me, so I had to place it at the top.


23rd Jul:                                               

This signified love between Naomi and I.  During a particularly soulful heart to heart one Sunday, this became ‘our song’.  We must be warped.


30th Jul:                                

The laughs I had, dragging Flash down to Norwich for Naomi’s 18th party.  Wild and funny.


6th Aug:                                

Flash gave me a tape with this on.  I played the tape non-stop and this was the track I liked most.  My favourite SGC to this date.  Caravans and washing up.


13th Aug:                                              

I listened to this a lot, on a tape that Flash lent me, and found I enjoyed it immensely cos it reminded me of when we were all down at Naomi’s.


20th Aug:                                              

I played this a lot, but for no real reason.  Life was getting dull.  Music was crap.  Naomi was on my nerves.  This somehow succeeded in reaching the top.  The lyrics probably did it.



27th Aug:                                              

I played this a lot also, and as music was dull at the time, the keyboards on this got very catchy.


3rd Sept:                

A good ‘rock’ record.  I’d liked it for a while, and rock was a good influence at the time.  And when Flash and I met two glam rockers in Blackpool, this had to go to One.


10th Sept:                                              

A week at Flash’s.  And tension, no thanks to Stan Lampwick.  This record was ultra-boppy and, thus, very catchy.  Deservedly a Number One.


17th Sept:                                              

A track from a bootleg, and the best sounding one at that time.  Finishing with Naomi, returning to Tech, and waiting for The Sisters to return, as the music press had reported.


24th Sept – 8th Oct:                             

The Sisters returned and this record was immediately bliss to the ears.  Tech Autumn ’87 and Justine.


15th Oct:                                               

When I got slightly fed up of The Sisters, I began to dwell on 1986 and started a new Japan phase.  My depression thrust this track to the top of the chart.


22nd & 29th Oct:                  

A return to Flash’s, where life began to feel beautiful and optimistic.  Also the end of the love of me ‘n’ Justine.


5th Nov:                                

Introduced to me by Francesca.  The Canada girl.  Which is sad, for it was with this record that I began to like her a lot.  It’s all getting a bit sad, this…


12th Nov:                                              

A record that I loved for the bass line.  I was just full of bitchery towards Justine and showing an increased interest in Francesca, who unbeknownst to me was approaching her leaving date…


19th Nov:                                              

A complete tribute to Francesca.  It had been approaching the top for weeks, but in the end was part of my thinking about Francesca who had now gone.


26th Nov:                                              

For a start, I heard Dolly Parton on the radio with this, one day, and decided I would top my chart with it, until I read a little bit in the press about Switchblade, renewed my interest, bought their version and put it at the top.


3rd Dec:                                 

A renewed interest in early ‘80s New Romanticism and its roots got me into Marc Almond again.  I played this continually.


10th Dec:                                               

The last week of Tech.  Amelia, Lush, Anastasia, Mary, Sarah and so on.  And Flash’s housewarming party.


17th Dec:                                               

A record catapulted by my boredom and reminiscing about Naomi Bell.  Silly boy.  Trying to bring the summer back.  Not a bad record.  Not the best.


24th Dec:                                               

A record I just found very nice to listen to.  Scary, even.  It’ll always make me think of Christmas, I suppose…


31st Dec:                                               

The end of 1987 and the dawn of a new era is embodied in the beauty of this track.  It feels cold, purple and beautiful.




‘Some Kind Of Stranger’ – The Sisters Of mercy



MY TOP ALBUMS in 1987 (in the order I fell in love with them):


Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture – David Bowie

God’s Own Medicine – The Mission

Discover – Gene Loves Jezebel

Adolescent Sex – Japan

Standing On A Beach – The Cure

Immigrant – Gene Loves Jezebel

Glad To Be Alive – Gene Loves Jezebel

First And Last And Always – The Sisters Of Mercy

A Secret Wish – Propaganda

Dawnrazor – Fields Of The Nephilim

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s – The Sex Pistols

Young Limbs And Numb Hymns – The Batcave/Various

Into The Abyss – Sex Gang Children

Who’s Been Sleeping In My Brain? – Alien Sex Fiend

Rarities – The Sisters Of Mercy

Assemblage – Japan

House Of Dolls – Gene Loves Jezebel

Brilliant Trees – David Sylvian

Enter The Sisters – The Sisters Of Mercy

Floodland – The Sisters Of Mercy

The Singles Collection – Visage

Infected – The The

Brown Book – Death In June






King’s Lynn:

NORCAT (lessons, drama and piss ups); The Wenn’s pub; The President’s Ball at the Regis Rooms; Alternative Disco at Pimms; Catering Disco; Libby’s party; another party, I can’t remember whose; Beach Party at the Regis Rooms; Kid Slut gig, West Lynn; The Gondoliers gig in town; The Spread Eagle; The Gondoliers gig in Gayton; Student Disco at Manhattan’s; another Kid Slut gig in West Lynn.



The Angles Theatre; The Hudson Sports Centre Disco; Stan Flowers’ Birthday ‘get together’; The Fair; and other such ‘get togethers’.



Gordon Villas (including mad piss ups); Flash’s Valentine’s Day Party; a piss up around the town.



Pizza place; Gene Loves Jezebel gig at the Wirrina.



The Bell, The Mischief; Naomi’s house; Naomi’s Party at Henry’s nite club; The Red Lion.


Sheffield: Sheffield city centre.


Thetford: The Salmon.


Blackpool: Madame Tussauds; Pleasure Beach; Blackpool Tower.


Castleford: Flash’s housewarming party.


And probably more, but these are the ones I remember.  





‘Who Knows What Love Is’ – Strawberry Switchblade


Purple room.  Haze.  Beauty in the Rose of McDowell.  How I wish I had been the one to pluck that flower and kiss its gentle bud. 


Leaves and petals shall open for me, and I will kiss the love of, if not a Rose, then whichever equivalent person I encounter over New Year’s…


I need to find this imagined so-called ‘weirdo’/’Goth’ girl soon, or…  or … or what?


Let these be the days…


I need to find the beauty of a real woman before ’87 ends.  Yet, I doubt I will.


Fall in life with me.


Who is this girl?  Is there such a one?




                                                                                I doubt even my hopes.


Soon I will be on the train to Doncaster.  And who can tell how I’ll get from there to Castleford?  Who really knows?


Swirling, bubbling, fleshy talons…





‘Go Away’ – Strawberry Switchblade


hello … I’m on the train and I can hardly write because

            it’s shaking like Billy-oh!




Phlayhesh (?) – I hope he

Rang me Gran to Get me

a lift from










‘We Are The Lust’ – Death In June


And what has happened since I last saw you, then, kids?


I got to Doncaster and my Gran + Granddad Winterfood picked me up, thanks to Flash for ringing and asking/telling them to.  They took me to Flash’s and Elbow wasn’t there.  Which in a sense is possibly for the best, I suppose.  E’en tho’ I ain’t gorrowt against him.



Flash and I did the usual stuff: diary sessions, Doctor Who on the video, etc, and we had a laerk. 


Then I asked him what he wanted to do for New Year’s…


He said he’d like to go down to Norwich with me and spend it in The Bell (cos he had such a good time in the summer).


This put me out a bit, really, cos, in a sense, I’ve only just got here, really.  We are definitely going, but I am only half in favour of going.  Which means there are reasons for not going that need to be considered:


We have nowhere to stay and are depending on a chance encounter with someone such as Naomi to put us up, which is doubtful.


I like it up here (but that’s how Flash feels about ‘down there’, so fair enough…)


But what if The Bell’s crap, like it was the other Saturday?  What if no one we know goes to either The Bell or The Red Lion?  It’ll be shit.  And Situation/BTC experiences are typical.  What we need is to get out and meet nice girls and make love before ’88 (or during the crossover).




[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 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 that precede it]


Next time: ‘Phoning…’

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