The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Sunday, 31 December 1989

Last Day of the 1980s


10.05pm

‘I’m Not Scared’ – Pet Shop Boys


It’s New Year’s Eve!

Tonite, Flash, Raquel and I have been to a pub in Castleford and now we’re safely returned to Ashton Street and to start watching the BBC 2 show ‘Eighties’.  Looks like it’s going to be good.

Later:

Farewell, 1980s.  You have been so much.  From all here at Ashton St

Flash: Happy New Year!!

Raquel: Hi, Raquel here!  I’m going to have dreadlocks.  Blonde ones!  I’m drunk – so I guess I love everyone!  Most of all: Pet Shop Boys, Flash, and Ritcherd.  Yipee xxx  I want to have sex with Mother Nature, with the World xxx Love, Raquel!  (Ritcherd, you’re really fabby!)

All my love, everyone, for the 1990s,
Ritcherd xxx


[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 almost 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 www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘1990…’

Saturday, 30 December 1989

1989: Looking Back


‘Flood I’ – Sisters of Mercy


The County Council are after me again for course fees – even though I don’t owe any – and they’re acknowledging no receipt of the letter I sent them.  Bastards.  Freddie has kindly said he’ll sort it out for me.

Gran Sugden’s had a stroke, which has come as a bit of a shock.  This Christmas has been full of it.

Christmas, eh?

Well, 1990’s closing in.  ‘89’s been a good ‘un, even till now: finishing a term with two Distinctions, two successful productions under my belt (Mansfield Park and Strawberry Girl), and what’s been described as an ‘incredibly brilliant’ University reference (not that I’ll be able to do much with it…). 




Then there’s all the stuff that came before: ‘God’ in the Fashion Show, stage managing + cuing Rocky Horror, narrating Under Milk Wood, and the two versions of my big break, The Chinese Play.




The friends of ’89 have been: Julian, Jonny, Spock, Rod Oliver, Ash, Legs, Daniel Abbott, Raquel, Flash, Stan, Donna Davidson, Joni, Minty from St Neots, Kat, and numerous others.

The ‘girls’ of ’89 have been: Emma, Maggie, Natalia, BM Wasp, Gemma Winchester, Lilith MacMillan, Amy Neat, Wendy Mackintosh

There were even famous people: Sylvester McCoy, Nina Myshkow, Kate O’Mara, and Stephen Fry.

It’s been my most successful year in terms of education and vocation; as a theatre creator.  It has been a revealing year on that score.  I’ve lived it to the full, I’m proud to say – and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. 

The 1980s saw me learn about my world and grow within it.  I have loved those years.  I’m sure it’s the decade I shall feel closest to for a long, long time.  The prospect of the 1990s scares me but also has me hoping for further enlightenment.  I shall embrace them.

And, as we approach five years of Ritcherd Winterfood and Danyel ‘Flash’ Gordon, I hope this coming weekend shall be one of our better ones.

I love you, World.

All my love,
Ritcherd xxx

Later:

LATER ON A TRAIN FROM PETERBORO’ TO DONCASTER THAT CHANGES AND THEN GOES TO WAKEFIELD WHERE RITCHERD CAN HOPEFULLY GET A BUS TO CASTLEFORD:

‘PWEIsation’ – Pop Will Eat Itself


Well, Peterboro’ was dismal.  Reminded me of scarab beetles and a right load of shite.  Yeah.  Oh aye, and who should walk into the buffet?  Leon Brittan, MP.
 

Christ on a bike!  Whoooooo!  Cor!  My hero (I’m sure)!  Woogh!

1989: the year of silly hair!

But it’s all ending too soon.  Too fast.  It’s a worry.  I don’t know why.  It’s probably the terminal aspect of it all.  It’s a quarter to five.  I’ll be in Doncaster by 6.15pm, I should guess.  Then in Wakey by 7.15pm at the latest.  And if I get a bus, then Castleford at about, erm, 8.30pm?  What can go wrong?  What mysterious obstacles might oppose me on the way?  Who can tell?  Not I.  It can’t be as bad as 1987, though.  Can it?  Oh god, no!

Anyway, here’s a Merry Christmas to all our readers.

And a happy new year.

Later:

‘Street Tuff’ – The Rebel MC


I came to Flash’s, didn’t I?  And here we are at the end of 1989.  I have met his new dog, Bungle, who isn’t so much, well, horrible as just utterly fucking clumsy.  In fact, Bungle is a nice dog, just very, very irritating. 

Flash has been open and nice and less tetchy than he has been in recent encounters, which was an unexpected relief.  Very good, under the circumstances, as he and Raquel have been going through a ‘strange’ patch and he has decided he now needs his freedom from her.


[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 almost 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 www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘New Year’s Eve 1989…’

Friday, 29 December 1989

Christmas Messages

‘Twist In My Sobriety’ – Liza Minnelli


So I’ve had Christmas cards from:

Tracey Joyce
Queenie (Freddie’s mum)
(‘best wishes forever’)
Debbie (Betty’s friend)
Lucille (Freddie’s sister)
Simon Lewis
Gran Sugden
Gran + Granddad Winterfood
(‘all our love for Christmas’)
Louise + Kev
Grandma + Granddad Pritchard
(‘best wishes for a happy + bright new year’)
Sharon Fielding
Spock
(‘Time Lord…’)
Marita Huckle
(‘discard your anorak and don your protective school’)
Willock
(‘good luck in the future’)
Kat
(‘may next year be full of dungarees for you’)
Joni
Julia Ward
Will Daniels
(‘a really pissy new year’)
Astra + Danny
(‘good luck for the 1990s when you become famous’)
Dad + Annie
Julian Ward
(‘I hope the new year opens a new world to you’)
Peter Conti
(‘roll on the 1990s for a strengthening friendship’)
Maggie
(‘just in case you thought I’d forgotten you’)
Gemma
(‘all my love, regardless’)
Jolene
(‘thank you for letting me be Fanny; watch your willy’)
Donna
(‘thank you for your trust in me with your productions; I’m so proud of you for being so talented – you work wonders’)
Flash
Jonny
(‘thanks for all the help you’ve given me in these last few months’)
Wendy

Later:

My No.1: ‘Tell Me When the Fever Ended’ by Electribe 101


Went to The Woodman’s Cottage for a Christmas meal with the family today.  I met Betty’s waitress friends, Sarah and Jayne who are both splendidly gorgeous. 

Later, I went to The Angel, which was dull, but Matty and Rod were there and they were okay.


I rang Flash and then I rang Miranda Wasp

Mirandas’ Mum: Hello?
Ritch: Hello, is Miranda there, please?
MM: No, she’s out with you.
R: Sorry?
MM: You are in Wisbech, aren’t you?
R: Yes.
MM: Isn’t she with you, Mark?
R: No, this is her friend: Jez
MM: Jess?
R: Er, yes.
MM: Oh.  Oh.  Well, sorry.
R: That’s okay.
MM: I’m sorry, I … I don’t know where she is.  Goodbye.

Strange, eh?

I’m assuming she’s back with Mark Dalton then…


[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 almost 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 www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘1989: Looking Back…’

Thursday, 28 December 1989

Ritcherd's First Acid Trip

2pm-ish

‘Gimme Shelter’ – Sisters of Mercy

Good afternoon.  I’m knackered.

My day began in Wisbech, doing an ‘acid trip’ with Legs.

After the pub and Rod Griffin’s flat, Legs and I walked back to his place.  It was an odd experience walking through the dark streets and convincing myself this was the 1960s.  All of which got even weirder as once we walked into his shared house, we came into a lounge lit by a solitary red bulb, at the centre of which several of Legs’ housemates and other hangers-on sat in a circle chatting, most of them with long hair and beards, listening to Velvet Underground.  I really WAS convinced I’d travelled back in time to LSD’s heyday…

Legs and I went to his room and listened to Sisters of Mercy in the pitch dark.  This freaked me out, as the Sisters suddenly seemed to be the creators and architects of all I knew a few years ago and I felt incredibly conscious of neglecting my faith…  I had some idea that Andrew Eldritch was a medieval devil who had played ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Heartland’ to contemporary peasants and scared them shitless.  Now, I decided, he had returned and wanted to claim my soul for its faithlessness.


In the dark, I could see weird patterns, like paisley-esque shapes from the linings of jackets, matrixing and spiralling, swirling, around me. 

‘Heartland’ – Sisters of Mercy

After this, we went out and explored the night-time, everyday world, sensory perception at full throttle.  We found solutions to millions of problems and lost them just as quickly as we discovered them.  I then went on a roundabout in the park and totally flipped out – but not as much as I did when I went on the swings, which was the ultimate in ‘new’ feelings and sensations.  I was free-floating, mentally and physically. 

Back at Legs’, I had a hard, sleepless night. 

I came home this afternoon, and I’m shattered.

I’d do ‘acid’ again, but I think I’ll leave it for a while now.  If this wasn’t my last trip, I expect the next one will be.  I want to do 2 tabs next time.  If that doesn’t turn out to better than last nite, then what’s the point?  I’ll do no more.  Mind you, I think that, yeah, even though it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped or imagined it should be, it was still a bit BLOODY GOOD!


[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 almost 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 www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘Christmas messages…’

Wednesday, 27 December 1989

Ritcherd Does LSD

2pm, I think

‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ – Led Zeppelin

I finally got that letter from Amy and I can see what she was getting at when she rang to apologise.  I think the most annoying part of it is that I just don’t think she understands anything about me.

She starts by calling me ‘Dearest Ritcherd’ – which is a relatively nice way to start things off in a letter that kicks the crap out of me.

She basically says she thinks our ‘seeing each other’ should finish if I’m going to do things like I did on Tuesday night.  Which means she basically thinks I got off with Lilith.  Which is typical.  And what’s worse it wouldn’t be so bad if I actually had. 

But it’s not as if we had a ‘proper’ relationship.  We had some dates and had some fun, but I was always clear with her that at this point – after so many failed ‘serious’ relationships – I’m not looking for anything steady.  I was up front about it.  I think she was pissed off about the thing at Jodie’s, which is fair enough, but that was just drunken drama student antics, really.  And I AM single.  Amy isn’t my girlfriend.

Amy says things could have been ‘so good’ between us if I hadn’t got off with Lilith.  But I didn’t get off with Lilith.  Had I the opportunity, yeah I might have, so Amy’s got every right to be annoyed with me.  But again, I’ve always been up front that I was never after a relationship with her and that I considered things to be ‘open’.  We were just ‘seeing’ each other whenever we wanted, I thought.  For fun.  She calls me ‘pathetic’, anyway.  And ‘selfish’, ‘uncaring’ and ‘self-centred’ and ‘a bastard’.  To which I ought to say ‘bollocks’ or ‘piss off’, but I do appreciate that I’ve upset her and I wish I hadn’t because I like Amy a hell of a lot.  But after Gemma and Emma and all of that… Well…  Sometimes I just want to experience people.  And I want to enjoy my world, embrace it and enjoy it.  And if I don’t look out for my own self, my own life, my own pleasures, then who will?

Maybe Amy has a point and I should start ‘thinking about other people’ (by which she probably really means just her).  She says I want people to be there only when I ‘feel like it’.  Hard to argue with that, in some ways.  But I always made my position clear.  Amy seemed to consent.  I took that in good faith.  I’m not sure if the problem here is solely mine.

She then says I’ll accuse her of being ‘possessive’.  Perhaps, yes.  I thought we just liked each other and fancied each other and wanted fun with each other?  I didn’t want us to get into something serious that screwed us both up.  I guess she wanted more of me than I was currently willing to give and I didn’t see it.  But she’s 16 and I’m 19.  I liked that we could get together and love each other’s company in whatever ways we fancied – we are SUCH good mates.  I love hanging out with her.  But I actually do feel like I want to play the field for a bit.  And I’m not saying I want to ‘screw around’ because I actually don’t.    I don’t obsessively need sex.  I just want intimate friendships with people that want intimate friendships.  Never had that kind of thing before.

‘Jordan, Minnesota’ – Big Black

But, Amy, bugger all happened with Lilith.  What you’re upset about is something that hasn’t happened.  And all I wanted was some fun with you, not deep, serious stuff that ends miserably about a month or two later.  I’m just being honest about how I am with people.

She tells me she ‘couldn’t care less about’ me anymore.  Which happened quickly, didn’t it?  Maybe she wasn’t as into me as she makes out elsewhere in the letter.  I have no idea.  Something tells me Missy was involved in this sudden outpouring.  Can’t place why, though.  Amy thinks we maybe both ‘had different ideas’ about what our relationship is, which probably hits the nail on the head.  I thought we were partners in crime, but it turns out there was just one bad guy and that was me.  I thought what we shared was fun without the pain.  The letter goes on to make me out to be a bit of a sleep-around (when in fact I’ve had sex only once this year).  I just wanted the odd date here and there, that’s all.  I thought Amy understood and appreciated this, but I was obviously wrong.

I just get caught up in situations and circumstances that simply beg to be experienced.  And why not?  It’s my life, after all, and you only get one.  She says she was only ever there for me whenever I got bored, but I don’t think that’s true.  We liked our Wednesday evenings together, but we were never ‘going out’.

She says she’s fed up of being messed around by people like me and that I must have something wrong with me to ‘enjoy treating people like that’.  What can I say in my defence?  The sad thing is that whatever I thought about Emma and Gemma, I just got bored of the relationship.  Maybe it was all my own fault, or maybe I fall for the wrong girls.  I keep looking for an ideal and I keep getting it wrong.  This is why I don’t want a serious relationship now.  I’m not that good at retaining them.  I don’t enjoy upsetting people.  It kills me, Amy.  You just don’t know.  I hate upsetting people.  I always get hurt as much as anyone.  

I want to love and I want to be loved, but I just keep on getting it wrong.

‘Stakker’ – Humanoid

Amy says she’s sure I’ll ‘make some dumb bitch happy one day – but that’ll last about a week’.  That hurts.  Again, because I really like Amy and I really care about her.  She’s my friend.  But I’m young.  Too young to be in a relationship, I’ve learnt.  I should be able to play the field, and it SHOULD be easier.  Think about it: in 6 months’ time about 90% of the many wonderful people I know will have left my life, possibly for ever.  Why shouldn’t I play the field (safely), whilst I still can?

I know it’s not perfect.  I know that.  But part of me has to keep on moving.  I have to stay ahead of myself.  Regenerate.  Not stay in a rut.  I DO get bored if I come to a halt.  I must forge ever onwards, go forwards in everything I am, in all my beliefs.

But Amy’s letter says I need ‘bringing down to earth’.  She says I’m ‘nothing special’.    But who is she – or any of us – to say what’s special and what isn’t?  That in itself must require a high opinion.  Surely EVERYONE is something special.  Everyone.  If nothing else, I want to believe I’m special, even if I’m not, which is actually probably true.

I don’t like her telling me I use people.  I don’t use people.  I’m not that clever.  But I do need them.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I get used as much as anyone.  We’re all canvasses for other people’s feelings and emotions, aren’t we?

She says I ‘talk a load of crap’ to fool people into thinking I’m special.  But I don’t, Amy Neat; whatever I say is my truth, my Self, my being, my feelings, mostly considered and always heartfelt.  It may not be right, it may not be perfect, but it’s always honest and sincere.

She says I won’t be bothered by the letter and that she doesn’t care anyway.  But I think that’s a lie, Amy.  You do care or you wouldn’t have written.  And I care too, enough to write all this in response. 

She tells me I’m ‘nothing but a waste of time + thought’ and that I don’t care about her.  But I do.  And nothing happened with Lilith.  Not that it’s your business if it did, really.  Because we agreed that we were not being ‘serious’, you and I; we agreed it was just fun.  Friends having fun.  I feel sad that she’s painted me as the black-hearted villain, as much as I can see why she might be annoyed with me.  But she’s said shitty things in this letter.  Some of it fair enough, but a lot of it real crap.  I think I should just walk away.  I like her a lot, but I feel hurt by this.  I don’t want to fall out though, so I’ll just walk away.  No trouble, no tears.  Bye-bye, Amy.  I didn’t mean to hurt you. 

Later:

‘Get a Life’ – Soul II Soul

Tonite, I rang Jonny for a chat, and then I went out to The Angel, where Legs bought us some ‘acid’ and we attempted a trip.

It was fun, but not what I’d expected.  Something MORE hallucinogenic than it turned out to be was what I was after.  Yes, after about an hour or so you giggle a lot, music gets more interesting, things have both more and less clarity and the room bends round.  You might imagine seeing an elf or a pixie out of the corner of your eye, but when it comes down to it you still know who you are and where you are.

Alice was there, and for some reason, every time I saw him, I howled my head off with laughter.  I was well dungareed.  Then I’d talk to Doody and he’d leave green, slo-mo trails behind him as he moved and spoke.  To be fair, I never thought I’d see that sort of thing with my own eyes.

All nite, Rod Oliver took advantage of my state and (amiably and gently) pissed me about, which was funny.  But whenever people spoke to me at various points in the evening, it was as if from a great distance away – and often through a ring-modulator or a reverbing amplifier.  Which was strange.

At one point, the table we were sitting at turned into a swaying, miniature, brown sea.  A sea of brown bitter, I guess, swaying around my vision.  I was also downing whole pints in one gulp and eating loads of food as my appetite was immense.

Your senses seem to heighten.  You’re conscious of your body + your surroundings in a totally new way; feeling things, hearing things, etc. 



I kept putting ‘Get a Life’ by (the fantastic) Soul II Soul on the jukebox, utterly convinced that Jazzie B was talking to me.  By the end of the night, I was thoroughly convinced he was a government agent out to control the current burgeoning use of drugs in the UK.  It was as if he was encouraging me/us to try drugs but to not take things too far.  Like the government needed a certain ratio of drug users…

After the pub, we came to Rod Griffin’s and listened to some ‘House’ records and smoked some dope.


[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 almost 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 www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]


Next time: ‘Acid tripping…’