The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Saturday, 15 December 1990

A Wasted Tin of Salmon (And Everyone Together for the Last Time)

‘My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style’ – Dream Warriors

Today was most interesting.
I met Flash at 11am-ish and we had ‘breakfast’ and splintered conversations in CROMWELL’S. 
Following this we visited my ‘Winterfood clan’.  First, we saw my Dad at his new house, then over to Gran and Granddad Winterfood (to whom I took presents).  Whilst there, I spoke to Gran Sugden on the ‘phone, then off we went to see Louise and Kevin.
But, in short, I don’t think I’ll be visiting Gran and Granddad Winterfood again – not after the way Flash and I were treated!  They raised the point that such as Flash and I may well get called up for active service in the Gulf.  We both told them we’d be conscientious objectors in such a war and would refuse to go.  My own feeling is that it’s an unwinnable war.  But if we have to use force then it should perhaps be a bombing campaign rather than something with ground troops who would probably find themselves mired in a new kind of Viet Nam.  Even Flash said the world would heave a sigh of relief if the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq were obliterated by very big bombs.  Scarily, however, Gran + Granddad wouldn’t hear of me not going to war, telling me it’s my duty!  My duty to what, exactly?!  To die in a conflict that I’d best not dying in?  I do think Iraq needs sorting out, either with conventional bombs or something more substantial.  This kind of cancer needs taking out before it takes us out, yes, but I’m pretty sure that’s something that ought to be left to the professionals.  I won’t be anyone’s cannon fodder.  And just so we’re clear, I am in no way anti-Muslim, but I am very much against aggressive dictators and their evil regimes.  I thought it was okay for these adults to tell me what my duty is – when they never had to live in a war of their own – but they’re not the ones who’ll have to enact any kind of duty, are they?!  Of course, they said to me: ‘What about all those poor Kuwaitis?’  Well, my heart goes out to them, but if you’re going to be like that, then what about all those poor South African blacks?  Or all those Afghans the Russians invaded a few years back?  It doesn’t even seem like this coming war is going to be a particularly principled one.  It’s starting to look like two things: i) the US wants to topple a troublesome regime and ii) there’s a lot of oil there that the US wants to secure for its own industrial future.  But all my (usually bloody lovely) grandparents could do was fall-out with me. 
My Gran: ‘I wouldn’t have opened a tin of best salmon if I’d known I was feeding it to the lowest of the low.’
‘Raise’ – Bocca Juniors

I have to put my selfish head on here and say, look, I’m sorry, but I won’t go to war and die a miserable death for anything less than an invasion of the UK.  There’s no nobility or heroism in it.  Nothing of genuine human value would be safeguarded.  I won’t say it’s not a bit of a dilemma, because it is.  But it makes no sense to me.  I’d die there.  I’d be rubbish and I’d die. 
Funny, seeing Flash has reawakened those war fears I thought I’d put to rest.  Ever get the feeling that the end of the world has already started?  I really hope it hasn’t.  I don’t know, maybe Jesus was just like you and me and he looked around and thought ‘This is such a mess, somebody needs to do something’.  Maybe soon it’ll be up to someone of my generation to step up and do the same.
I’m now finding it difficult to feel the love I felt yesterday for my suddenly very strange grandparents.
’24 Hours’ – Betty Boo

Well, after that terrible visit, we went back to Flash’s.  Elliott ‘Elbow’ Barlow came over – but not after flash had confronted me, incredibly amicably, with the knowledge that he knew Raquel and I had found ourselves in a ‘terrible position’ last New Year’s Eve.  Apparently she had admitted this to him following an odd series of events.  You see, I’d asked Elbow for advice on it over the summer; the event in and of itself was largely innocent and chaste, but I’d wanted to be able to talk to Flash about it for ages.  Still, I felt particularly fearful of becoming the cunt who destroyed his relationship with Raq (whom I also did not want to fall out with).  Well, Flash visited Elbow and told him I’d ‘got off’ with Raq at Winchester (which Flash doesn’t mind about and has no real cause to, I hope).  Elbow misinterpreted this, thinking Flash knew and was talking about the New Year’s incident.  So it all came out and Raquel was ‘forced’ to admit to it all. 
I don’t mind.  I’m glad it’s out.  It’s been a terrible weight to carry around.  And it was me kind of ‘protecting the innocent’.  Since Flash and Raq split, I’d been hoping to tell him and my plan was to tell him when he comes to stay with me over Christmas.
Anyway, I’m proud of Flash for dealing with it in the way he has done, because whatever that was it was in no way another DODO SITUATION.  I only ever really ‘liked’ Raq as a ‘mate’ because she was Flash’s girlfriend.  Over time I grew to hate her in many ways, but as time passed I also came to understand her better and felt affection for her.  As Winchester came along, my feelings turned to a very great platonic love.  Yes, I love Raquel now.  Not in a ‘sex’ way.  Not in a ‘wanting a relationship’ way.  But I do love her and I hope that isn’t wrong of me.  Would I get off with her again?  Probably, though I have no plans to.  But I do care about her.  I hope we ARE mates.  I’m worried now she’ll slag me off to Flash – and feel almost certain that she will – but then she’s funny like that.  So what?  It’s who she is; it’s her way.  It must be, because though she can talk very fondly and at great length about how wonderful Flash is, she’s also capable of slagging him off to me.
‘Power Of love’ – Deee-Lite

Well, when Elbow arrived, we all went off to see old chum Eddie Moses, which was really good fun.  Then off to Ponty to meet Stan and go to THE TAP AND SPILE where Raquel joined us and we all got drunk.
It was a brilliant nite out and we all got on really well.  Nice to socialise with Elbow like that, nice to see Stan, wonderful to see Raq, and, well, if no-one understands how I truly feel about Flash, then you can just forget it.  Good on Leah and Cathryn, the bar people, too. 
We all ought to go out more often.  
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Next time: ‘The right end of the stick…’

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