The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Monday, 17 September 1990

The Next Generation

 
PROBABLY THE LAST ENTRY FROM KELLINGTON:
 
11pm
 
‘Love’ – John Lennon

 
A strange day.
 
I met Flash in Pontefract and we went to CROMWELL’S for a pot of tea and he graciously bought me some poached eggs on toast.  Very pleasant.  It was odd, this, being in Pontefract together for the first time in ages, just like the old Ritch and Flash.  Consequently, we got a bit nostalgic and went to look at his old territory: Camp Mount and Gordon Villas, talking about Eddie Moses and Manda Jones.  We even had a walk around the new MORRISON’S (ho-ho-ho!) where we saw Wazzer.  Echoes of 1987, here…
 
Happily, Flash lent me some money – a contribution to the ‘Help Ritcherd return home’ fund – for which I’m very much in his debt.  He’s saved me a lot of the psychological hassle that might have ensued had I needed to cadge it from other relations.
 
'The End’ – The Beatles

 
We then returned to CROMWELL’S for coffee and afterwards we walked to the ROCOLA RECORD SHOP where I jokingly said (knowing Flash only had 20 minutes left before he had to catch his bus to meet Raquel): ‘Let’s call for Birdy…’ (my old friend from very youthful childhood days, whom I’d not spoken to properly since 1985; I last saw him – from a distance – a few months ago in Pontefract and neither of us crossed the road to speak to each other)  Well, I’ll be buggered if on the way to the Bus Station we didn’t bump into Birdy himself!  And we even stopped to chat.  I suppose Nathan ‘Birdy’ Bird was last a proper player in these diaries back in early 1985.
 
Who is he?
 
I met Birdy in 1978 when I started Carlton Park Junior School, and we hit it off in a kind of uncomfortable Doctor Who/Star Wars based friendship.  When I moved to Leeds in 1980, we stayed in touch, and when I moved back to Pontefract in 1981, we both went to Carlton High School.  We often fell out, though; he stole several of my Star Wars figures and when I found out I made him give me some of his DOCTOR WHO books.  My cousin Martin found out and even blackmailed him into shoplifting me them from WH SMITH.  Still, we somehow remained friends and in the latter months of my life as a Pomfretian, he and I invented FORCE FIVE comics (later FIGHTING FORCE).  Ultimately, I left Yorkshire to go and live in West Walton (October 1983).  I’d often see Birdy in later visits, but as I turned into a cocky 15-year-old with Flash as my new best mate, calling for Birdy became a bit of a drag and I became a bit of a show-off and a bully, I’m sad to say.  The odd thing was, if ever he came out with us, I always felt like we were living in 1985 or whatever, but he seemed to be stuck in 1980, no different to the little boy he’d always been.  So we drifted.  I regret being an arsehole to him after that, taking the piss out of him and laughing at him, but I don’t feel any negativity towards Nathan at all these days.  Why the hell should I?  I was an idiot.  And, god… That must be the first time in my life I’ve ever really called him Nathan! 
 
‘Let It Be’ – The Beatles

 
Anyway, he, Flash and I all got talking about DOCTOR WHO, but Flash soon had to rush off.  We had a sudden and impromptu goodbye, in which I told him I understood that we won’t see each other for ages and that I wish him well at university, hoping he’d understand my remaining with Nathan rather than waving him off at the bus stop.  I had prepared a letter, explaining how I feel about things… us… and I gave it to him as he dashed off.
 
 
Nathan and I talked for a long time.  He’s currently mad on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, which I’ve read about and have been intrigued by (it starts on BBC 2 next week).  Well, he took me back to his old house on Sides Road, and showed me a couple of episodes: ‘CONSPIRACY’ and ‘Q WHO’.  Both of them were fantastic.  ‘Q WHO’ even featured Trek’s answer to the Cybermen: the Borg, who are amazing!  I’ve been pleased about STAR TREK being resurrected, but now I’ll actively be taping them all.  It was so impressive; really brilliant.  Thank you, Nathan.
 
 
 
 
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Next time: ‘Home Again…’

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