Tuesday 25 September 2012

Troy Tate

Last week my band went out for a drink with the new drummer. He asked us how come we know, and play with, somebody that used to be a famous professional guitarist.

We explained how one Friday night the boy singer, his wife, and another friend of mine visited my girlfriend and me for a curry. That my girlfriend was a primary school teacher, and how she told us a story about her day. She told us that the guy who came in occasionally to teach the children Spanish and guitar brought his daughter to school that day, and how the daughter had told one of the teachers a secret. The secret was that her dad used to be famous, he'd been on Top of the Pops, and had played to millions of people. In the 80's he'd been in a band called "The Teardrop Explodes" and his surname was Tate. We explained how the singer and my friend worked at the same call centre, how close it was to the primary school, and that they remembered one of the employees who was about the right age, sex and had the right surname to have been this star in the 80s. How my friend knew the rotas and rang the call centre and asked for the duty manager (who that night was a pre-operative transsexual). How he told the duty manager to go to xxxxxxx Tate's desk and ask him "Did you used to play guitar in The Teardrop Explodes?". How he then said down the phone "It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense, just go and ask him." and how my friend eventually told us that he was at his desk, sheepishly nodding his head.

Our new drummer said that he didn't know which was the least likely bit of the whole ludicrous story, that this old rock star works in a call centre, that the duty manager was a tranny, that they all work at the same place, that the old rock star had said yes, or that Richard had a girlfriend.

Richard "Story within a Story" B

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Watch What You Eat

There was a time, I think it was the late pleistocene, when I lived with a woman. She was interested in knitting and spinning, and one night when I was watching the tv she was busy turning a raw fleece into knitting wool. Amongst the fibres she found an intact dead beetle, and when she showed it to me I accidentally ate it. It's not as unlikely as it sounds, I had been eating very dark bitter chocolate with crunchy little cocoa nibs. After I'd finished I swept up the dropped shards and crumbs of chocolate and threw them into my mouth. It was only when my girlfriend asked for her beetle back that I realised it must have been amongst the "chocolate".

I did exactly the same thing, but much worse, over the weekend. For breakfast on Sunday I treated myself to croissants and fresh coffee. The Croissants were so moreish that I swept up all the crumbs and flakes from the dining table and threw them into my mouth. I was sitting at the same place where I had rolled and smoked a cigarette the previous night, and the last mouthful of breakfast contained both ash and dried up tobacco. It wasn't excellent.

Richard "Broken Alarm Clock" B

Wednesday 12 September 2012


The weekend before last was very tiring, I worked last week, and then I stayed up late on Friday doing a show. To compensate I had all of Saturday afternoon and evening to myself. I had a bath in the middle of the afternoon, read, watched TV, ate a Chinese takeaway by myself and went to bed before 10:30. It was luxury. Marred by the creeping realization that I may be the most boring man alive. When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut and a pilot, later I wanted to invent computers, and later still I wanted to be a rock star. On Saturday I had time and money to spend on myself, but my dreams have shrunk to the point where they don't even involve loose cars and fast women, seemingly what I'm interested in is profligate use of the hot water and not cooking my own evening meal.

Richard "Steve Davis" B

Monday 3 September 2012


This weekend we buried my dad's ashes in the family plot in the Rosary Cemetery in Norwich. It was a sad and beautiful day, but not without some funny moments. The ceremony was conducted by a Church of England Canon, and that meant I could get a very old joke out of retirement for the day: "He's been fired!"

One of the tributes came from a woman who was a typist in the 60s and had typed up one of my dad's cruising logs. Copy typing is a boring job, and boat logs aren't much more than a list of positions, distances and brief comments about sea, weather, vessel and crew. However she described this particular job as an exciting page-turner. I haven't read it, but I'd like to think it's a kind of predecessor to this bolingblog. If I ever find it I hope to publish it on the internet as "bolinglog".

There was another story about one of my dad's genuine log entries, from a different boat and a different decade. It said "Collected inflatable rubber dinghy from Mr. Reid. Rather old and flabby".

Richard "old jokes home" B