A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
Shrugging off the worn leather jacket, he hung it on the chair back, sat down, and comfort stroked his thin white moustache. Pot of tea. Tiny jug of milk. So different to the semi-stewed 6 pence a cuppa tea of the sixties. Blue Boar inn used to run it. We thought we were it back then: guitars, sideburns, drainpipe jeans. Cold draughty vans, swapping drivers to stay awake. Polo mints all night. It wasn’t all bad though - this was the place, the middle ground, this ‘no man’s land’. All the bands on the M1 stopped at Watford Gap, the iconic north/south divide. ‘Watford Gap, Watford Gap, a plate of grease and a load of crap’ - thanks Roy (Harper). They all rocked up here, halfway between London and home, up north. Remember Pete Best sitting on the chair back, posing, slicking back his DA, bit like Fonzie; while George spooned even more sugar into his coffee. Arthur Mack in a strop, sulkily pushing Freddie Marsden’s friendly arm off – he was only trying to be pally, keep him sweet, all the while knowing that Les Maguire would be on keyboard at their next gig.
He stirred the pot, distractedly. Poured his tea, adding just a splash of milk.
Greasy burgers in rolls of pap. Watford Gap. Couldn’t face that gloopy sap.
The rowdy noise invaded his musing. Looked up. No, don’t come over here, for godssake. Just leave me in peace. Find yer own space.
‘Yeah, here’s a table for 6. Over here, Terry, Aleesha, Marcia, come on. Over here.’
Oh, look at them, six fat thirty somethings, waddling over, barely able to balance their trays. Almost feel sorry for them, an empty generation. We had the best times after all – rock n roll, R n B, the Stones, the Animals – a fabulous decade of classy music. Touring bands, up and down the country. Great times. And what’ve they got?
Just look at that plate of double greasy breakfast he’s got. Him, too.
Eugh! No, please don’t sit here. Just two tables away. Can I be bothered to move? Look at ‘em. All chubbies. Barely room for their bums on the seats – yeah, you need more space, each of you. Obese. Fat bottoms overspilling. Double greasies. Breakfast with chips and ketchup. Sweet, fatty shakes. Why do they have to talk so loud, almost shouting at each other. And laughing. At everything. A showy, noisy din, echoes around the pink plastic walls. Is it all really that funny, you morons.
Pour a second cup. Stir in a spoon of sugar, for old times’ sake. Splash of milk. Suppose they’re overweight because they got no decent music. It’s all downloaded sanitised this and that. If they bother. There’s no life in it. No spirit. We had, you know, great, fantastic, wild times. The Troggs. The Yardbirds. And some bloody good guitarists. Years of crazy touring bands, like us, in the sixties.
There they are. Guzzling the pap and grease. Their shouty boisterous racket, the shrieking, guffawing chuckles, so loud, so obvious, I can hardly bear to hear myself think. Well the louder they laugh, the happier they all think they are.
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