The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Thursday, 31 August 1989

Bad Period

5.10pm


Well, after 3 weeks of on-and-off but very focussed work, I’ve finished!  I put it through 7 edits and now it’s done: the latest Situation cassette – BAD PERIOD – is out now!

Later:

It’s now more or less 50 years since the Second World War began.  That’s mind-stretching stuff.  And here we are in 1989Voyager has just sent back lots of incredible information about Neptune (and its moon, Triton). 



And is the Rabies Ultimatum’ feasible?!


[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: ‘Plans for the autumn…’

Wednesday, 30 August 1989

Back to the Telly

Queen’s Park Drive, Castleford.

8pm

‘Tusk’ – Fleetwood Mac

It’s been a lazy day.  I slept in late, had dinner, watched some TV shows about WWII, wrote some stuff and then had tea.

This evening, Paul rang and I met get to see him and Jack tomorrow.

It’s raining, and I just watched the very enjoyable Ronnie Corbett in SORRY



This was immediately followed by a trailer for DOCTOR WHO, and it looks absolutely fantastic.



One week to go.  I can’t believe it.  It’s back.  Oh, beautiful wonder!  DOCTOR WHO is my love!

WOOOOGH!

Later:

The final episode of ANYTHING MORE WOULD BE GREEDY was excellent.



Absolutely t’riff’.


[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: ‘Bad period…’

Tuesday, 29 August 1989

Farewell to the Lakes

Early AM

‘Watermark’ – Enya

Today, we have given Bill his ‘Thank You’ card and eaten our final breakfast here.

It is now, sadly, time to go home.

Farewell, Bowness-On-Windermere.
Farewell, FISH RESTAURANT.
Farewell, the Lake District.
Farewell, Cumbria.

It’s been great.

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: ‘Back to the telly…’

Monday, 28 August 1989

Changing Feelings

It’s roundabout 6.45pm

‘Exile’ – Enya

Today, we reached Coniston once again and it was truly beautiful, climbing the mountain.  Of the three of us, I climbed the highest, clambering vertically up shingle covered rocks, absolutely chilled to the bone with fear, but also exhilarated by wonder.  Looking around and below, I felt both safe and vulnerable a once.  It was such a beautiful location that the impact of it upon my vision almost nullified any terror or fear for safety.  The beauty brought tears to my eyes.  It was a kind of heaven, and something I shall have to savour yet again.

I wish Raquel and Flash could stop falling out as they did today.  I do feel sorry for her sometimes, but I also feel sorry for him in differing ways.  It’s obvious though that she’s after something simple and fun and romantic that doesn’t really include his overly-analytical and highly opinionated ramblings.  She’s very down-to-earth and he’s a bad communicator.  Thing is, he’s very, very intelligent and this makes him very, very clever.  He likes to show his intelligence – far greater than mine – by using the correct words and statements and arguments.  And why shouldn’t he?  He rightly glories in his intellectual superiority, he’s earned it and he values it.  It’s the thing that’s going to get him into Cambridge.  But to those of us that haven’t quite pulled their socks up, his words, statements and arguments sound like they come from a cold mind rather than a warm heart; like he’s lost all instinct for the Flash that both Raquel and I fell in love with.  Half the time, if I’m honest, I haven’t a clue what he’s on about or why.  He just can’t talk to sub-educated normal people anymore.  And maybe he doesn’t want to.  He doesn’t allow anyone room to offer their thoughts and feelings.  And as to what he actually ‘feels’ (rather than ‘thinks’) about anything these days, I have absolutely no idea.

Anyway.

The Indian restaurant has been booked for 7.30pm.  I shall shave now.

Ritcherd xxx

Later:

We ate Madras at the Indian and it was enjoyable but too hot for words.  Infernal?




Afterwards, we drank a few things in The Royal Oak – the first time we’ve been there in a while – as all the other pubs boasted the sign ‘COUPLES ONLY’.  This only made me annoyed at Natalia’s absence.

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: ‘Farewell to the Lakes…’

Sunday, 27 August 1989

A New Theory Of Love


It’s a strange morning.

Things are no better between Flash and Raquel.

Ritcherd xxx

Later:

‘Hand On Your Heart’ – Kylie Minogue

LOVE, if it is such, can be a futile pre-occupation at an early age.  In the great scheme of that clichĂ©, life, the boyfriend/girlfriend set-up during teenage seems suddenly pointless to me…

As I write now, Raquel and Flash are kissing, violently and passionately.  It is a good kiss and they are enjoying it.  Which makes me think that this is perhaps what last night’s horrible and massive fall-out was all about.  They fell out for this: for this kiss, this ‘reunion’ that means the world to them and gets them all hot and fired up about each other again.  What a load of nonsense, then.  The row they had was stupid and wasn’t even based on any kind of argument or disagreement, it was just a horrible mess throughout which they struggled with each other physically and baited each other cruelly and mercilessly.  And it was all for this, if you ask me.  That’s what they did it for.  Both of them.

Are they really in love, I wonder.  Or are they living some kind of emotional lie?  It all seems … unnatural.  It’s all a bit fake, a bit … forced. 

It’s been on my mind a lot while we’ve been here and I’ve watched them together.  I think their love is a lie.  I don’t think there can really be any denying that the relationship is often forced.  Even their sex seems cynical and planned, not at all spontaneous or natural.

Last night, I predicted they’d reconcile this way.

The Teenage Kick is this: fall out, get perverse enjoyment from the turmoil, then reconcile and fool yourself into believing you’re now both more passionate than ever together.  Passion doesn’t happen to them naturally, so they fight to create an excuse for the passion and so become reliant on the fighting as part of their emotional/sexual process.  Together they can enjoy what emerges from the reconciliation, whilst also feeling satisfied that each is doing exactly what is required of them in terms of showing their love for each other.

This is what they’re doing in their bed right now.  Fuck the fact that I’m also here.  Heated whispers of ‘I love you’.  But are those whispers true?  Does one love the other or are they just in love with the pleasures the other can provide for them, like an addiction? 

If anything, this is certainly helping me re-evaluate my own ‘visions’ of ‘love’.

Right now, I really wouldn’t want to be either of them in that relationship.  It looks to me – and I am happy to be wrong, and I hope I am – but it looks to me like a whole lot of perverse kicks and possession; a big bloody game.  With a somewhat unimportant and redundant emotional psychology.  It certainly looks non-productive for either of them.  They make each other unhappy as much as they make each other happy.

I think I’m suddenly looking through The Teenage Relationship and finding nothing useful there.

But what do I know?  I’m not good with ideas, and I may be wrong.  A great philosopher, I’m not.

It just seems a bit laughable, watching this roller-coaster drama play out in front of me.  And not just laughable.  It’s also dishonest, anti-social, inane and lacking in any true value.  They’re both selfish and they’re both merely looking for self-satisfaction.

A man may say: ‘I like to make her happy.  I like to share her company.  I enjoy loving her’, but is he doing ‘love’ for her or for himself?  He gets pleasure and enjoyment from bestowing love, so he is not merely ‘giving’; even if they never even have sex or whatever, he still ‘takes’.  It’s as much about him as it is about her and vice versa.  He can say: ‘My life, my body, my soul is devoted to her’, but only because he enjoys the feelings that placing himself in that position gives him.

This falling out with each other over nothing; this being cold and icy to each other and then fucking like rabbits the next day (in front of the best friend, for Christ’s sake), is merely Flash and Raquel trying to pump some passionate energy into a flagging relationship.  They haven’t talked through last night’s nonsense, they’ve just fucked through it.  Great fun, and good for them, but not a solution to the hole at the heart of their relationship.

It suddenly makes all the relationships I’ve had myself look bloody hilarious.  I think my next one had better be damned good after all this and infinitely better than the one I see before me, squirming under the covers. 

All the same, I love Flash and I love Raquel; how could I not?  But I am worried about them.  I mean, what’s the point of them being together?  It’s no secret that they won’t have a life together, or even a few years together, as they’re both going off to university.  If they do stick together, then hopefully moments like this will prove useful to them later on.  But I doubt it.  Honestly, if they stay together, they’re going to make each other’s life Hell.

‘On Our Own’ – Bobby Brown

So now he’s inside her.  Right now, in full sight of me.  In the middle of the morning.  They know I’m here, free to watch, conscious of me, but still getting off on the making-up AND the knowledge of me being here.  They’re using me, effectively; using my presence to add to their dirty, defiant thrill.  How crazy and wild they are and how silly they were to fall out when this feels sooooo good.  And it gets hotter and steamier, and oh, how they love each other.  Yes, they love each other, all right, but only, I suspect, because one is doing something damned fantastic with the other’s sexual organs.  These high-pitched cries of ‘I love you’ don’t mean ‘I love you’, they mean ‘Thank you for fucking the hell out of me and if I stay on the right side of you perhaps we can do this again sometime’.  This is merely gratuitous – and why not? But don’t lie to me that this is love I see before me.  Love is something very, very different.

I’m watching the chaotic writhe of an empty, flagging, unloving relationship; a relationship that falls apart beneath the pressure of a few lagers and mis-spoken words.

Good luck to them.  If it works for them, fine; but these ‘guinea pigs’ have opened my eyes to a potentially new thesis of love.  I must revitalise my own approach to love and make it more than a questionable past-time.  I hope I’ll never know a love like this of Flash and Raquel’s.  Not now.  Not ever again.

Ritcherd xxx

Later:

It’s now later in the day, about 7.30pm.

‘Hey DJ / I Can’t Dance (12-inch mix)’ – Beatmasters & Betty Boo

After this morning’s performance, we escaped into the big town of KENDAL.

Not bad, but with it being Sunday it was rather lifeless; much more preferable though to the damn noise and decadence of a Friday evening in Bowness.




At Kendal, we went over to the Castle, which was rather nice.  We also went to the excellent Serpentine Woods, the highest point in Kendal, where I am sure we came face to face with Berwin Groomstool – a very scary experience.

Now we are back at FISH RESTAURANT where, downstairs, Flash + Raquel are bathing.  We have a table booked for 9.30pm at the Cantonese restaurant JADE DELIGHT – that’ll be more money down my throat!

What of tomorrow?  We return to Coniston tomorrow.  I hope it will be good.

Ritcherd xxx

Later:

‘Left To My Own Devices’ – Pet Shop Boys

Tonight’s Cantonese meal – chicken curry with fried rice – was exquisite, if expensive.  At last now, we can all eat with chopsticks quite easily and we really enjoyed ourselves until Flash got pig-headed and made Raquel all down + depressed.  Basically, Raquel and I were lamenting the need Bowness seemed to have for a number of police vans.  I was saying I never see the like in Wisbech and Raquel made the point that Bowness was just as aggressive and rowdy as Pontefract.  Flash said Bowness was nothing like Pontefract, mostly because Pontefract doesn’t have a lake or mountains.  I joked that you don’t put a lake or mountains into a police van, so Flash pointed out – with a horribly superior, snotty air – that Raquel and I were therefore saying the people of Bowness reminded us of the people of Ponty not the place itself.  Which was implicit in what we were saying anyway and didn’t require this somewhat redundant qualification.  This carried over into something between the two of them and culminated in him almost getting horribly angry with her.  Needless to say, Raquel left that part of the discussion looking upset.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, Raquel has her own issues, but it’s almost as if Flash can no longer partake in or understand ‘everyday’ conversation, which is alarming after knowing him all this time and finding him wonderful company over the years.  I detect that much of it has to do, again, with him wanting to alienate Raquel, perhaps distance himself from her intellectually – maybe even from me, too – but when he does it so bluntly and he upsets her and, to some extent, me, I find him a little bit pathetic.  And when I saw him show such aggression towards her, well...

I was very angry and disappointed with Flash over that.  

You’re a great guy, Flash, but in terms of inter-personal relationships you really have a lot of maturing to do.  I must admit that when we get together these days, I’m not always that sure that I like you anymore.  How sad is that?

Apart from that incident, tonite was very enjoyable.

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: ‘Changing feelings…’

Saturday, 26 August 1989

Coniston Old Man


Food, life, and everything’s fine. 

No, Bowness-On-Windermere is not the pits of the Earth.  Not remotely.

I’m enjoying it.

Ritcherd xxx

Later:

‘Panic In Detroit’ – David Bowie

Today, after realising the bus fares in this area – as with many other things – are extortionate, we bought ourselves Rambler tickets.  These provide 4 days of unlimited bus travel.

We took ourselves to Coniston and then walked the paths of the mountain, Coniston Old Man.  This was a true spectacle – it looked like a whole range of mountains at the heart of one.  It was immense.  The vast size of it all almost hurt the eyes to look at, being impossible to squeeze into the entirety of one’s vision, which almost bent under the weight of it all.  There was also a magnificent intermittence of waterfalls, but to actually see the clouds meet the Earth as they scudded along it, well that was something else and you really all need to see that.



After a visit to our very own Fish and Chip shop for tonite’s tea, we then went on to the local wine merchants.  Flash took his cock out and wee-ed down the sloping pavement in the middle of town, so he was lucky that later on when the police cautioned him it was merely for spilling some lager in a shop doorway…

Back in our room, things took a turn for the worse, as Flash and Raquel fell out over absolutely nothing.  Flash’s attitude is often strange these days, and tonight, I felt that when they ‘fell out’ that he took a perverse delight in it all and seemed to relish and enjoy the tension.

Ritcherd xxx

Later:

They’re still rowing with each other.

I bet they’ll make up tomorrow and fuck each other.

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: ‘A New Theory of Love…’

Friday, 25 August 1989

Getting Into It

‘Strange Land’ – Clannad

Having settled in, we are now quite happy with ourselves here at ‘FISH RESTAURANT’ (the name of our B & B, we’ve decided, because that’s what’s emblazoned across the front as, yes, you guessed it, it also houses a chippy with sit-in dining).

Upon awakening, the Windermere morning showed us the glorious light of a brand-new day.  Breakfast was gorgeous, too.  We ate heartily, and over our food, we agreed that the deal at this B & B is likely to be better than any other we might find, so we carried the motion that we’re staying in BownessFlash and Raquel also agreed that they didn’t like me being in a room on my own, so after some negotiating with Bill the landlord, we were moved into a three-person room.

Bill is an easy-going fellow, who reminds me of a cross between Leonard Rossiter and my third dad, George.  He’s very amiable, very humorous and he cooks all the food and does all the rooms and beds himself, which is nice to see but also amazing.  I don’t know why it’s nice to see, but it is.  Bill very kindly advised not to be so hard on Bowness and to take into account that it’s so busy and commercial because it’s the ‘capital’ of the Lakes.

I can finally see that Bowness is a mix of old world Cumbria and tourist commercialisation.  It is lovely, in its own way, just not what I’d been hoping for or expecting.  Its roads twist and climb and slope down to the bottom of the town, at which point one comes to the huge Lake Windermere (the largest lake in England) and across it one can see the hills of Ambleside and beyond it Coniston and the mountains.

‘Magical Ring’ – Clannad

Raquel asked Bill what the best walks were in the area and he suggested that if we wanted to get away from it all we should take a walk to (faraway) Coniston.  This sounded good to me.  I seem to remember that when I was a kid, the schools I went to used to organise walking and climbing holidays to places like Coniston, Askrigg and Marrick.  I’d only ever been to Marrick, but I’d heard good reports of the other places.

So, it was originally our intention to walk to Coniston, but this wasn’t, in the end, our final destination.  We walked only ‘half’ the distance, to Ambleside where we hoped to catch a bus to Coniston.  Once in Ambleside, we were unable to make any sense of the buses and we were all a bit tired after the non-stop 5 mile walk.  In typical style, we found a cafĂ© and ate sandwiches.  Here, Flash discovered various forms of insect life in the lettuce of his salad sarnie and complained.

After a spot of book buying in new and second hand shops (I got some Ian Fleming Bond books), we discovered a spectacular river with a series of magnificent waterfalls on its course.  They were absolutely fantastic and we took some photos.  Raquel and I climbed along and jumped over the river rocks happily, though Flash was a little more dubious and tentative.






It’s good here.  Getting better.

Ritcherd xxx  

Later:

Tonight we went to The Royal Oak hotel in Bowness and drank lager for a long time.

FOOD THIS EVENING:
We went to an Italian restaurant.

I had garlic bread, Olive + Salami Pizza, and Cheesecake.
Flash had garlic bread, Lasagne Verdi, and Cheesecake.
Raquel had garlic bread, Lasagne Verdi, and Coffee Ice Cream.

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: ‘Coniston Old Man…’