Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Reminiscence Of the 1980s

Like Sartre and his piece of cake, a few chords can throw open the memory banks.

"The Voice of the Beehive" did it to me this afternoon, heard  them on the radio, remembered a whole load of inconsequential stuff, going to Newcastle (the Tyneside one) to buy a load of stuff including a gas kiln, from a closing-down pottery, in a fifteen-year-old seven and a half ton truck called "Frankenstein", which was an unmitigated pig to drive, no power-steering, in fact, not a lot of steering, other than random lurches across the carriageway, sixty miles an hour top speed, if you could cope with the noise and random changes of direction, crash gearbox, 45 mph if you wanted to sustain the illusion of being in control...
The back was filled with tons of firebricks, kiln shelves, clay, a pugmill. After we finished loading, it was late evening. Heading back southwards, the drive was worse, as the lights were as weak as tired glow-worms, and the motorway was blocked by an accident, traffic crawling, so we diverted to the narrow roads over the hills, and I was soon exhausted. Plan B came into action... 
We found a nice flat gravelled clearing in the woods, set up camp for the night, cooked a meal, broke out the beers, chilled out... all was well until almost midnight when rumblings, roarings, and clatterings filled the night, drowning out the owl-hoots... oh yes. explosions, automatic weapon fire, purple haze.... helicopters, fast jets streaking across the sky.

We'd camped in the midst of an army training area. Our clearing was a battlegroup headquarters. Stuck my head out of the tent, to see tanks and mobile command trailers, we (my little brother and I) would have re-animated Frankenstein and moved out, but there were tank-transporters unloading all over the exit-road. And we'd had a few beers. More than a few beers... And "Voice of the Beehive" was playing in the cab, as WWIII erupted around us... helicopter gunships over the trees.... not much sleep was had at all.
But at least the army was extremely generous in the morning, as we crawled out, bleary-eyed and totally unrested...  a voice said... "My officer said I was to tell you the army owes you a breakfast".
Noisy neighbours, but they cook a mean breakfast. And an hour later, the clearing was deserted  again, as if they'd never been there. Seven a.m., a new day.

The man in the moon is my man
He never says nothing so I know he understands
He's the brother I never had-
The husband I'd never
want he's everything to everyone - he's famous
He's the man in the moon
he's the man in the moon
The man in the moon is my man
The man in the moon is my love caravan
He'll never break my heart I know he's here to stay
Tell all the other boys to go away
I'll take the man in the moon
I'll take the man in the moon
he's always dressed properly
he's always where I can see him
he's always there when I need him
The man in the moon's got the stylin' flat
his dinner guests include the sun and saturn
The cow who jumps over - he knows all the astronauts
I would be a space case if it were not for the man in
the moon.
Oh the man in the moon
he's always dressed properly
he's always where I can see him
he's always there when I need him
The man in the moon's my cosmic high
The man in the moon's a pearl of a guy
I trust him on venus
he's not the cheatin' type
He don't talk so we don't fight
I'll take the man in the moon.