So today the I’s were dotted and the T’s crossed and my late mum and dads house in Clitheroe has finally been sold and the last links to my parents extinguished. Clitheroe will always have a special place in my heart. My parents moved their in 1992 and after my mum died my dad lived there after that until he died. Now was the time to sell as my job isn’t that safe and any monies received means we will clear some debts. Just the mortgage to pay off now ! I must make one last pilgrimage if only to load up on sausages from the famous Cowmans sausage shop, visit the cracking bric-a-braq shop for some vinyl and to have one last look at the last link to my parents and remember all the good times such as the numerous times we fell into the house after one of Clitheroe’s legendary stay behinds or remember the times me and my dad sat up demolishing his rather splendid selection of whisky and brandy. Good times indeed and there was nothing better than being spoiled by your mum and dad and slipping me a few quid to have a pint when I was back in Liverpool when I didn’t have that much spare money after it was all blown on night a weekend at Cream and Garlands. I used to go to quite a few footy matches when I visited Clitheroe and took in Clitheroe’s own team and frequent visits to Burnley and Blackburn and I even managed a visit to the old Wembley to watch Burnley in one of the most eventful matches I had witnessed (Well until I went to Istanbul)
So many nice memories but also Clitheroe is tainted with some bad memories as well. Just 4 years after my mum & dad moved there my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1996 with a very bad outlook. Indeed my then girlfriend and now wife never really knew my mum without illness and therefore only got to see a bit of the true Lil Fay. With such bravery she battled the disease and had that many treatments that she lost count. She eventually could take no more and died in 2006. In 2001 I was summoned to a visit from my mum and dad to Liverpool for some important news. I had braced myself for some final news RE my mum and I was then dealt with the crushing blow that mum was ok (For now) and it was my dad who had lung cancer. He died in 2012 from complications from that after battling and defeating a brain tumour. I will never forget the time I went to visit and my mum was upstairs unable to come down and writhing in agony with audible groans of pain. Something I will never forget. I shit myself and said goodbye to dad and drove home contemplating what had just gone on !! My parents were great at hiding what they were going through to protect me as they had the chance as they were in Clitheroe and I was in Liverpool. That added to me being in my late 20’s trying to be as ignorant as possible to their problems something that most probably made things worse when the shit finally hit the fan.
So whilst clearing the last of my dads stuff to finalise the sale of the house I came across all kinds of shite he had kept. Strangely I was transported back to the house in Clitheroe just by the fact that all his stuff stunk of smoke (Both him and my mum smoked) funny how things get you and I admit my lip had a wobble as I was hit from the sides by a random memory triggered by cigarette smoke. Then whilst checking his wallet (No random cash found) in the briefcase he had left with all his “affairs” in I stumbled across this letter (Click for larger image) and hit by a thunderbolt of emotion.
Dated 23.12.96 which would have been during my mums first or second treatments.
I have not written to you for a long time (That doesn’t mean my feelings have changed) rather the opposite.
I love you if at all possible more than ever. I know the effort you have put in getting and organising Christmas presents but the best ever Christmas present from you is the one you have given me this year – just being here.
I will never forget what you have been through this year, and still must be experiencing. Nobody else would have shown the guts and spirit you have.
In your own special ways you have tried to make light of the situation and shield our family from as much worry as possible.
Once again thank you for being you.
Fuck me what a find. It had me in tears when I found it and the same again as I type it here. My dad wasn’t perfect but when you find shit like this it just shows that underneath that father figure he portrayed to me deep down he was a deep and caring man. If I can show half the caring that he had hidden I will be a good man.
I miss you both mum and dad x x x
Well a second serious blog on the run after the Manchester bombing one “Oh Manchester is full of sh……………” which ended up being my most popular blog yet. But don’t fear folks sausage roll gags and bollocks will be back ASAP.
Fay x x x x x x x x
“Oh Manchester is full of Shit. Oh Manchester is full of” you get it now. This was the passionate 16 year old me stood on the Old Spion Kop. I say passionate but it was misdirected passion. When football was life and life was football. Strangely enough I was only telling Mrs Fay this unfortunate story the other day. At the same time I was stood on the Kop with a hatred for Manchester I recalled a time when I told my teacher that if I ever had terminal cancer I would go into Old Trafford and blow myself up. My teacher called me out for what I was and advised me that my views would change in a few years. The 16 year old me was having non of it though and adamant I would be what would now call a scouse Jihadi. Fast forward just a couple of years and the words of wisdom from my teacher made complete and utter sense. I still wince about that moment. Thankfully a moment back in the late 80’s when only me a handful of my school mates and a teacher heard such moronic and frankly disgusting words. No Twitter or Facebook then thankfully and my utter words of shite now only make it to the masses. Little did I know that as a 16 year old knobhead that terminal cancer would knock at my door with my mum and cancer for the best part finishing my dad off. Not only that but the real horror of a suicide bomber wouldn’t be to far away in Manchester that place I thought was full of shit.
So 10.40 last night and I noticed on Twitter a few tweets about something going down at a concert. Soon after some footage of the chaos of people trying to escape from the arena and a whole army of ambulances driving down the streets of Manchester en route to the Manchester Arena. I thought christ this doesn’t look very good at all. I put Sky news on and no mention of anything. More and more was developing on Twitter but as ever there was already some misinformation and blag pictures doing the rounds. I waited until the top of the hour and there was the slight mention of some incident at the Manchester arena. Already Twitter was starting to paint the real truth and my heart was sinking. Eventually the mainstream news was catching up and it soon became clear that there had been a major incident in Manchester. Mrs Fay has come home from a concert herself and I updated her about what had gone on. By this time there was some dash cam footage of the explosion doing the rounds on Twitter and it was plain for me to see it would not be a case of if any people had died or been injured but a case of how many.
I was clinging to some form of hope that because the arena was by a railway station that maybe this had something to do with it. But as the time passed it soon became clear that it was a terror related incident. Next up the news that 20 people had died including children. There I was was watching this whole thing unfurl from a few tweets into a fully blown terrorist attack. Come 2am and the American press were already reporting a suicide bomber. I had to switch the news off the iPad and eventually drifted off to sleep listening to five live after 3am bit numb from what had happened.
I was awake for just after 7 and went for the usual habit of reaching for my iPhone first thing I discovered the death toll had gone up to 22. Working from home I have access to TV news etc but made the decision again to turn it off at 9am. We were now getting to the point where 24 hour news needs to be filled with the harassment of people who had been at the event. Maybe it helps these people to talk to the TV but it makes uncomfortable viewing for me. Keeping one eye on Twitter Katie Hopkins was being the cunt she is and I got onto the city of Manchester was living on the edge of fear with an incident at The Arndale Centre which was a false alarm. As the day progressed the first names and ages of the victims were being released. Utter heartbreak for those involved. As responsibility was claimed and the name of the bomber was released. The ugly side of things rears its head but is soon doused to with stories of heroic behaviour in the aftermath. Just to think as thousands of people running one way are met with a few of the emergency services running fully equipped with first aid gear against this human tide of fear armed with only bravery.
Not much more to add really. “Oh Manchester is full of Shit” Shit dealt out by people who wont win. I don’t know what the answer is but if some nutter wants to blow me up coming out of a gig or drive a vehicle at me there is nothing I can do about it. In reality the odds are so minute but as the fear is pumped into our houses via the TV or in my case social media and TV that raises the stakes and I just wont let it get to me. Luckily after a day reflecting on Monday nights events I can move on and get on with my normal life. As the sun sets this evening on the first day of a nice spell of weather for us all its a different tale for dozens of family’s and friends as the sun is setting on the first day of the rest of their lives. Lives shattered for no apparent reason.
“Oh Manchester is full of showers of tears. Oh Manchester is full of sharp acting emergency services. Its full of shelters for people who couldn’t get home, shy heroes and shattered lives. Oh Manchester is full of sheer inspiration”
Peace (If only)
Fay x x x x x x x x
6th October 1986 early doors and the birth of Adam John Fay AKA The Golden Child. I had just turned 13 and had became an uncle. The good news was that my dad was that giddy with being a grandparent that he gave me a day off school. Such was the unexpected day off from a slightly disciplinarian dad the shock was that much that I was expecting to tread in some rocking horse shite whilst enjoying this most unexpected day off. The good news did not last too long as golden child came home and I was kicked out of the big bedroom and into the box bedroom.
Fast forward 30 years and whilst on a trip to Iceland (Reykjavik not the shop) it was announced that Adam and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. The Golden Child II. Time flies by when your a driver of a train, speeding out of Trumpton with a cargo of cocaine (Bonus point if you get the lyric) and we found out that Golden child was to be female some weeks later. It suddenly dawned on me that this would give me the title
Great Uncle Neil or Great Uncle Knobhead (I am sure Adam, Lily and James will back this up) I felt as sense of responsibility with this impending title and declared that when Golden Child II was born that I would announce the next day as a bank holiday though I was secretly praying as I am a self employed mingebag that a weekend baby would save me losing a days pay.
Fast forward even more and Hayley was now over a week overdue. The weekend was on the horizon and my wallet was looking a bit thicker. Come last night at 11pm I had a missed call from Adam but alas I was fast asleep at 10.15 after watching Episode 424/692 of Prisoner Cell Block H (Thats another whole blog in the making) So when I woke up just after 7am getting ready to do some overtime in work I was greeted with the lovely news that Golden Child II (As yet unnamed) has been born at around 6pm the night before. The family also requested that there be a social media blackout until informed it is Ok to do so. Modern births eh ! So I had no other option than to email work and request a Fay bank holiday for the named golden child. The dogs were treated to an early morning walk up Sudley Field and with me being a lunchtime and evening dog walker I met a whole new posse of dog walkers to let onto to. The rest of the morning was spent playing Mario Kart bringing back memories of the hours me and Adam used to play on the old SNES Nintendo.
Me and Mrs Fay went for a celebratory lunch down to The Otterspool and it was unlimited salad. Did we look like a pair of salad dodgers ? Well to be fair I have dodged salad all my life and even though I requested a plain hamburger it came out with salad and shite on. How hard it it to make a plan hamburger ? Still waiting on news from the new baby Fay’s parents on a name and social media blackout removal I got on with the rest of the day. Come 18:27 and the news that The Golden Child AKA Baby Fay will now hereby after be known by the name Penny Lilian Jane Fay. Born on 18/05/2017 at 18:20 and weighing in at 7lbs 13 Penny will for a bit keep the Fay name going on for another generation. As I am King Fay I think this makes her 6th in line to the Fay throne (Elizabeth, Charlotte, Holly, Clare (Sister) Adam and then Penny followed by James then Lily) So with the social media blackout ending I can now post this blog and send my many many congratulations to Adam and Hayley and welcome little Penny into the family and breath a sigh of relief that she wasn’t called Maggie (Thatcher)
Like my two eldest girls she gets the name Lilian from my late mum and the Jane is from Hayley’s great nan. Its at nice moments like this that you get a little dig in the side as I think how proud my late mum and dad would have been to be Great Grandparents but the glass is definitely half full, well in fact full with vodka and pure orange which funny enough was a tipple of my mums and she could knock back a few of them. So below is a picture of Penny who already has more hair than me.
So all eyes to festival season and the numerous Glastonbury related blogs that will dominate my blogging sphere. Just a quick mention of two gigs I have been to over the last two weekends. First up an excellent phsycadelia band from Carlisle called “The Lucid Dream” who gave a banging performance downstairs at The Shipping Forecast. Last weekend were the funk and soultastic Smoove & Turrell live downstairs at The Magnet. A might find band and performance and ever managed to grab a few words after with the lead singer of this geordie based band. We made the fatal mistake of falling into one of Liverpools secret speakeasy bars called The Berry & Rye and I fell in about 2am bladdered. Oh well after a birth its a wedding to celebrate tomorrow and good luck to Patrick and Alison on their happy day.
As for Great Uncle Neil its after 8pm and I’m getting tired. Slipper, cardigan and pipe time. Feet up to watch songs of praise and ready to give little Penny some words of wisdom “Vote Labour”
Fay x x x x x x x x x