So first up today is death number one and sad news that TVAM’s Mike Morris had died. Now regular readers of this here blog will know I love to delve into the past and go all retro down memory lane. I much preferred the bumbling Mike Morris compared to the gorilla that was Richard Keys. Morris always seemed to be bumbling along seemingly not looking smooth and slick but he was a good presenter and he is a major memory from mornings getting ready for Calderstones School. I bet you all the Blue Coat bods don’t even know who Mike Morris was as they had to endure BBC Breakfast with Frank Bough. Come to think of it Bough was having a better time on the sly eh. Well after the Jimmy Savile scandal I can now reveal now he is dead that Mike Morris once looked directly at me from the TV and tapped his knee as if to say come here boy. Its only now he is dead I can reveal this sordid secret and now expect to be slotted a few bob from ITV just as The Savilette’s are now looking at having the BBC off for millions. I hope newsnight run with my story tonight but with previous trends I expect it to be pulled (cheap gag resisted here) You know your progressing in years when bits of your childhood start dying off.
So time for death number two from my childhood and CEEFAX the BBC version of teletext is no longer. Now in truth I haven’t used Ceefax this millennium. But in my childhood I remember the sheer joy of getting a TV with Teletext on. In later years it was get the footy scores on to check your coupon and the endless wait for the pages to scroll only to miss your teams page and have to wait ages. I actually recall watching an Ashes test match on Ceefax at my dads after a night out on the ale we put the cricket page on (was it 340 ??) and watched the scores update with a decent whisky as he was a Sky Sports minegbag. Ceefax first went on air on 23rd September 1974 and so is one year younger than me when it died. I might have on my gravestone “Lasted longer than Ceefax” in a dodgy ceefax font style of text. So below is one of the final pages that Ceefax put up.
So from technology old to technology new and in shock breaking news I have cancelled my order for a new iPhone 5. yes you read that correct I am staying with my old trog iphone 4s. Oh the shame. But every cloud has a silver lining and with the new Ipad and Ipad mini being announced today I have a big choice to make. Well if I am going to go Ipad I might as well large it up and get a new Ipad instead. This has already brought near tears of joy in the Fay household as once I had wiped mine away Charlotte (5) was ecstatic at the news she would inherit the original ipad1. (Previous ipad1 blog HERE) check out the joy on Charlotte’s face on that blog as with her dummy in hand must be thinking one day this will be mine. Well Charlotte that day is nearly here. So when my new ipad arrives I will be able to watch numerous clips of Mike Morris in his TVAM prime on you tube and surf for retro pages of Ceefax. I like the Apple nerd I am watched the presentation of all things new and shiny in the Apple world. How good do the new i-mac’s look. My i-mac (lovingly nicknamed Macca) will be 6 next year so maybe then eh oh shit hang on it will be iphone 5S time then, ahh bollocks just not enough time (and money) to keep up with being an Apple slag.
Fay x x x x
So here we are again and a second fix of Deacon Blue in just over a week. This time we are at the Liverpool Echo Arena. I wasn’t originally going to this gig but a spare ticket was offered on Facebook from a mate who I used to hang around with way back in the early 80’s. This was also a chance to catch up with the same crew who I played with as a kid in Aigburth vale and later seen at numerous Liverpool games in the early 90’s. So I met the gang at The Pumphouse and I was first there, hate being in boozers on my own. In the old days this would lead to wasted money thrown into a fruit machine but now it means I just drink very quick. Dont know whats worse being a fruity addict or a piss head ? So the gang turned up not after one of the lads “kiddy” had a Jeremy Beadle moment and walked straight into the glass door of The Pumphouse a comedy gold moment that I sadly missed. So soon it was all our yesterdays and the endless hours playing footy on Sudley and St Margarets field. Talking about the old games we used to play including a footy board game called “Kick off” and an electronic footy game called “Jimmy” that I had for about my 9th birthday. The game consisted of just pressing numbered buttons and a red LED light came on. This was the cutting edge of electronic footy games at the time. No FIFA 1983 in them days eh ! The hours of fun we had on that. A quick look on ebay and its only on there isn’t it ! Shall I throw a cheeky bid in. But what if I win and it’s really shit and a childhood memory is shattered the disappointment will be equal to that of going to see The Phantom Menace. It was a trip down 80’s memories lane when age 8 you could do literally anything when the world was a much safer place (so we are told) the summers were boss resulting in great water fights every summer. Managed to find a picture of “Jimmy” the 80’s electronic footy sensation (well maybe not)
So onto the gig and as ever Deacon Blue once again delivered a top gig. With seats on the side quite near the stage it was a great speck and nice to be looking down on the action as opposed to looking up from the floor seating. As expected the atmosphere was much better than the Manchester gig I went to. Well there was 5000 people here tonight and the normal pissed up Deacon Blue gig mentality that Liverpool has wasn’t as noticeable tonight. Nice to hear some songs I had not heard live before despite what must be about 20 Deacon Blue gigs I have seen. First one was “This changing light” and I thought the mention of Thatcher would have got a bigger reaction. Whenever I hear that name I just can’t help but break out into a large “boooooooo” Ricky Ross then made a lovely Hillsborough tribute which stuck a chord with the lads I was with as they were there that day. Deacon blue sang “Take me to the place” as a mark of respect to the people who died that day and a lovely song with the background tune of “Abide with me” So the hits were rolled out and as ever “Dignity” and ‘Real Gone Kid” were massive. Still cant believe people were sitting down to “Real Gone Kid” in Manchester. The new version of “Twist and Shout” which includes breaking into The Beatles version of “Twist and Shout” was lapped up by the Liverpool crowd and as ever the band finished with “Stars” reminding us we are all advancing in years. Another five star gig.
Post gig beers consisted of just staying in “The Liverpool” a bar I have had a pint in but never stayed for longer than that. Strange old boozer with a mixture of a live band and a DJ playing choons. He was on the ball and had realised loads of people had bailed in from the Deacon Blue gig so played a few tracks from them and we were all singing once again. The band were decent and played some good “oldies” which got the “oldies” going in there with some ald fella doing some great dancing which looked like it was straight from the Northern Soul scene. I reckon he was at Wigan Pier back in the day. I think I staggered out of the Liverpool about 1.30 and said my goodbyes to everybody. It was great seeing the people I knocked around with when I was a young kid on the streets of Aigburth and meeting their wives. I had a belter night and armed with a burger and chip barm I headed home with not too much of a hangover today I am helping the father in law do some roofing on what will be my own little boozer in our new house. i say help as usual I just pass him stuff and he does all the hard work !!! Anyways here is the set list from Liverpool.
1. Here I Am in London Town
2. The Hipsters
3. That’s What We Can Do
4. Your Swaying Arms
5. Queen of The New Year
6. Chocolate Girl
7. This Changing Light
8. The Outsiders
9. Your Town
10. Real Gone Kid
11. The Rest
12. Take Me To The Place
13. He Looks Like Spencer Tracy Now
14. When Will You….
15. Born / Raintown
Nicked a picture from DB’s Facebook site as the ones I took on my phone turned out shite !!!
Fay x x x x
So over the last few days I have noticed on Facebook that several people with kids who go to different schools in both North and South Liverpool have been posting about cars hanging around outside school. Often from a friend of a friend or higher up the chain a friend it is generally saying alert alert peado on the loose by your child’s school. Now with the terrible circumstances around April Jones and then the circus around Jimmy Savile the public are on heightened alert over child abductions and dodgy peado’s. Now let’s get this straight from the start what happened above with April Jones and Jimmy Savile is shocking and no child should have to go through any of that. Now the Jimmy Savile stuff does seem to be getting a bit crazy with allegations getting more extreme by the day. Has the dead body one come out yet or what that on an internet forum ? Now that’s the point just delving a little deeper into the murky world of the internet and all kinds of crazy stories are out there about the abuse of young children. I remember reading about Jimmy Savile a few years back along with a whole host of other names from politicians, pop stars and general showbiz people. Stuff I read even got as crazy as to suggest the Americans had something on our government that forced us to agree to do into the Iraq war or blow the cover on a dodgy ring of people !!! All crazy internet shit. So imagine the horror when this afternoon I got a text from my daughters school saying “Dear Parent/Carer we have received reports of a stranger in the vicinity of the school. We would advise you to have your child collected from school tonight” Now if Facebook is anything to go by I should have posted this and spread the message and continue the panic. Now I know the school have nothing but good intentions about this text but to some people you might as well said “Red level alert peado man on the loose by the school, take your kids home and lock them away” think that is a bit extreme then see original text. Yep its the school most probably covering their arses as a crazy parent who has been watching too much Sky news and reading facebook has seen a man slowly walking past the school. I am assuming he didn’t have a pack of sweets and some puppies. (How dare he joke about things) So if one school was not enough my other daughters school was in on the act with a letter (not to dissimilar to the Facebook postings from earlier on in the week) said “We have been informed by the police that’s there have been reports of a silver car stopping older children in the local area. A man has been asking for directions and in return offering children a lift. Also there is a man in a blue van who stops on various streets in the local area and takes photographs” Again the school have nothing but best intentions and again are just covering their own back but when will this stop ? Getting texts and letters is taking it to levels of panic I have never seen before. Are the schools and parents being swept along by a tide of peado craziness in the news and lets face it Sky news are the worst. The panic increases and guess what people tune into sky news for the latest peado updates upping viewing figures, making more profit etc etc you get my point.
I said to the wife what if the man in the vicinity was actually just walking past a school and was off to hang around a pub to wait for a drunken man to have his wicked way with. Dont be so silly and far-fetched was the answer I got back. I rest my case. If by asking for kids to get picked up my gut feeling says that the kid is in more danger being picked up by “uncle Billy” than a possible random man in a car or van. So lets all take a deep breath and think rationally. We all love our children and would do anything to keep them safe. We all agree that what went on with April Jones and Jimmy Savile was disturbing but please lets keep a perspective on this before it snowballs and runs out of control. Lets educate our children and make them fully aware of the dangers and go on living day to day life normally. We should be looking after our kids the same every day not making a special effort because the school has issued a peado alert.
Speaking of Jimmy Savile I was going through my dads memorabilia from his marathon running days and came across this from the official Wolverhampton marathon results booklet.
Fay x x x x
So Thursday night and it was off to Manchester Apollo to see Deacon Blue live for about what must be nearing 20 times ? I decided to go to Manchester as to me its about the music and not the giant piss up the Liverpool gig has become (more of this later) We got there handy and the queue was massive and as if by magic a pub appeared. Now I have been The Apollo a few times and never found this boozer called The Apsley Cottage. Decent enough booze that sold pint cans of Budweiser. In there myself, the missus and our cultural friend Helen started planning for Glastonbury 2013 which we had secured tickets to and on the same note I have also nailed some tickets for The Ashes test match next year at Old Trafford. So into the gig and a quick switch to cider when I came across my first random thought for the night. Now since I first bought “Raintown” at the tender age of 13 I have put a bit of weight on. The audience tonight was an “older” audience in general and there were a few people with middle age spreads. That got me thinking I wonder what the combined increase in weight is of the audience since “Raintown” came out ? Random indeed. But it was time for the gig and we had decent seats about 10 rows back from the stage. I always like to guess to myself what would be played first and I was correct with the combination of new tracks “Here I Am in London Town” followed by “The Hipsters” from the new album of the same name. I can pen my entire life through Deacon Blue songs which I will note next to the set list at the bottom of this blog. Now I came to Manchester for as mentioned the music. In general at the Liverpool gig many people have come for the big hits and are not arsed about other songs taking a chance to chat, use their phones or get another bevvy. The Manchester audience was indeed much more respectful to the other songs. But fair play to Liverpool on the big hits nothing touches The Liverpool Echo Arena. Indeed here at Manchester there were a few people in rows 1 & 2 who were sitting down when Real Gone Kid was played. It was great to hear new songs being played and it will be interesting to see if the set list changes much for the Liverpool gig which I have ended up gaining a ticket to as part of meeting up with some friends I knocked around with as a kid. So with many a cider flowing it was as ever a five-star performance and made me remember I jilted Deacon Blue last year at Glastonbury to large it up for The Chemical Brothers so hope they will be playing in 2013. So below is the set list from Manchester with random memories associated with the song and below that is a cracking cover version of Real Gone Kid called “Real Stoned Kid” by DJ MikeA. Top tracks tonight were the double version of Twist and Shout and a hazy memory of a song being dropped into I Loaded. The final song was bittersweet as I am not forever young and the years keep piling on !! as well as the odd pound to go towards the Deacon Blue weight gain question mentioned before. See you in Liverpool on the 20th.
1. Here I Am in London Town
2. The Hipsters
3. That’s What We Can Do
4. Your Swaying Arms (John Wignell’s (a mate) mums bedroom !! )
6. The Outsiders
7. The One About Loneliness
8. Your Town (Driving home from a hospice !!! )
9. Real Gone Kid
10. The Rest
11. Love and Regret (My old bedroom as a teenager listening to the 12″ mix)
13. When Will You (Londonbeat’s great backing vocals)
14. Bethlehem’s Gate (My nans house as a student where I have just moved back to )
15. Loaded (Colin Airey)
16. Wages Day
19. She’ll Understand
20. Dignity (My first Liverpool echo paper round)
21. Queen of The New Year (Hanging around on Kelton Estate)
22. Twist and Shout/Twist and Shout (Again the 12″ version in my house in Mossley Hill rd)
24. Forever Young
So a few more random musings and the knowledge I have learned this week thanks to Jimmy Savile is that Stoke Mandeville hospital is not in Stoke !! Mrs Fay had a rare night out last night so I was on baby duty which meant everybody was in bed for 8 last night and asleep by 9 !!! Much needed as well as Holly woke up around 6am !!! It was the ballet run as well but I found out this gem that the Allerton Road Home & Bargain sell 6 Desperado’s for £8 at 9am on a Saturday morning, result. I did get some funny looks walking back into ballet whilst finishing the second bottle around 10 am !! As Trevor Mcdonald would say “and finally” me and Elizabeth (age 8) played monopoly tonight and it ended in tears as I won. Its a hard life and I don’t do losing on purpose, she was just lucky I tempered my normal celebrations as it might have broken her little heart awwwwwwww.
Thats enough babble for one blog and I leave you with the words that my old man would have said to me “Were Blue Deacon any good ? ” Oh and he didn’t let me win at Monopoly.
Fay x x x x
So it was the day I was dreading and time for my dads funeral. From a personal point of view I could easily have done without a funeral. I had already had a chance to say goodbye to my old man as I had a feeling he might not make it out of hospital so to me a funeral is just organised make your self sad time. If he had dropped dead without me seeing him then maybe a funeral would be a crux for me but Monday’s service was just not needed. I decided to go for a jog in the day as the service was 3:30 so there was a lot of time to kill before hand. Possibly one of the easiest jogs I have been on as my mind was racing about events due to happen and not on the fact I was actually jogging. I decided to pop down the Kingsman for a quick bevvy to settle my pre
match funeral nerves. A walk up to my sisters for another pre match funeral nerves bevvy and before long the cars were outside. I had decided that I was just going to put myself into a trance for the next hour. I caught a first glimpse of the coffin and the name plate reading John Fay and that was the last time I looked at the coffin. I said very little in the car and avoided anymore contact with the hearse in front. So we got to Springwood crem sat in the car for a bit and were then invited in. Being immediate family we got VIP seats although I spotted on the front from there was a column which I could nicely sit in front of and have a semi obstructed view a bit like one of those shitty main stand tickets at Anfield. Today was one day I was happy for that. I spent most the service in my trance looking away to my right and having some serious eye to eye contact with a bolt on the bottom of a door. I remember Neil Diamonds ” Cracklin’ Rosie” playing and that was about it really. I had a few moments where the tears flowed but the trance I went into in the main done its job. In fact that much that I didn’t realise the god fella (Vicar or Priest ?? ) was calling my mum Mil instead of Lil. Oh the joys of him just phoning up to get some info to fill out in what in all honesty was just a ramble of shite by somebody who never knew him. I would have loved to of got up just like that scene from Boys from the blackstuff stuff when it was George’s funeral and Chrissy got up and said ” Sorry father you are not on, we didn’t come here to listen to this and then went onto remember his life and curse the fact he is not here and say words of truth from somebody who knew George Malone” But alas I am far too polite to do that. I would have indeed loved to have said a few words about my old man but that would have just set me off down the path of arranged funeral grief which I was trying to avoid. So with the coffin gone and the curtain shut all of which I again avoided it was outside for a few more tears and hugs and to say thanks to everybody who had turned up. A few friends from Clitheroe where my dad lived had turned up and I got a card from a couple of the lads he went the quiz with. Now I hate sympathy cards but I understand why people send them and I had come up with an ingenious idea that instead of me opening the card and the misery come flooding back that you should just put a little cheeky tenner in and that would indeed make me smile in my hour of need ha ha. So I quickly dispensed this card to Mrs Fay to add to the others. May I add here thanks to all the friends and family of my dad who turned up and indeed my friends some of whom had never met him but were there to support me.
So it was then time to head to The Kinsgman for some post
match funeral drinks. After a few a group of my mates decided to head up to Lark Lane for a few more and I carried on insisting on buying all the ale as my dad would have wanted nothing better than to have free ale at his wake and he did leave a few bob in his secret stash in his puffy (See blog HERE) So with numerous Desperado’s necked it was time to head home as it has been both a physically and mentally tiring day. As I got in Mrs Fay was there with the in-laws and they had just opened the sympathy card from the lads from the quiz and I kid you not there was only £20 in the card !!!! Now did that make me fucking smile.
With this being the third and final death of our elder dynasty after my mum in 2006 and my nan last year I think I have become hardened to death and know how to deal with it better. There will be silly things that catch me off guard for all three of the deaths I have suffered but a last night on The Desperado’s before it’s time to fully refocus on my family and move on but never ever forget. All that moaning I used to do about having to pick my dad up from Clitheroe most Sundays and here I am thinking what I would do to be able to do that for one last time and chat about footy and be educated by his immense knowledge. Sadly it’s not to be.
I am with my mate Colin who wants the saddest choon at his funeral to make us all cry. So my current choice would be this by funny enough Bill Fay
Fay x x x x
For the record that’s it now blog wise over my old mans death and normal resumption of talk about sausage rolls and how I hate the conservative party will resume.