To Everywhere – Fleetwood, Lancashire, 1976

The translucent-pink rims of a pair of National Health glasses occasionally bobbed up to make an appearance, before sinking back down behind the orange wall that separated them from me. Next to that orange wall, stood another orange wall, this one sporting rims of translucent blue. When the pink sank down, the blue bobbed up. I…

Beast of a Beating – Albrighton, Wolves, 1979

Grandad Arnold Cool’s (c.1906 – 1991) memoir of schooldays in Myddle, as relayed to Jay Cool c. 1979   Beast of Beating Copyright owned by Jay Cool, ‘The old school at Myddle’, now a village hall’   Unbelieveable? I may well have concluded that my Grandad’s tales of his brave schoolboy heroics were the subject…

Conversing with Cows

  Joan Cool nee Tomlin (1906 to 1992), Jay Cool’s Paternal Grandmother – Pendeford Mill, Tettenhall, Near Wolverhampton https://www.flickr.com/photos/scribe/1902475710/ My Nanna hated her christened name, Jennifer, and insisted on being known as Joan. (Little did she know what grief this name change was destined to cause her grand-daughter, Jay Cool – in future Ancestry.com investigations.)…

Being Irish

Haggis? Pukka Pie? The connection? chriÜö&§._*stian.ude@wenh??§ÄZb.de   In the world of Jay Cool, all is connected. If like I, Jay Cool, your genetic material was handed down to future generations via a sperm and an egg that got together in a cave in Nescliffe, Myddle, courtesy of your Great-Something-Grandfather, Humphrey Kynaston, you will understand my meaning….

Puke Pie Prelude

  Immingham, South Humberside, 1981   Chimneys. Smoke. Fertiliser. Photo by David Wright But the black clouds and vomit-inducing stench were just a prelude. The hallucination that greeted the Cool family, recently departed from Aberdeen, was Killingholme. The village of Killingholme merely represented the pearly gates to its larger-all-embracing neighbour – the after world … Immingham. But the Cool family didn’t…

Dog Dumps & Bog Bullies

Aberdeen, Grampian Region, 1979 A cold-hearted beast of a dog. A mind-numbingly tedious day of imprisonment in a Scottish primary school. A day of fear. My nine-year old self was completely stressed out, having survived that day’s English versus Scottish playground fight with just a few scratches. And I was in desperate need of some respite. I plunged through the door of Number…

To Everywhere – Aberdeen, 1978

Aberdeen, Grampian Region, 1978   Cat Litter   A terrace of dark, dull and dank grey-granite eyesores. Duthie Terrace. Cold, wet and dreary. Aberdeen. Our new home. “Turn back!” “What?” “Turn back!” screeched my mum. “Turn the car around right now! We’re going right back where we came from!” Amused, I watched as my dad’s face turned…

Dirty Monkey

  Church Aston, Newport, Shropshire 1970-71     Poo. An unmentionable subject. So unmentionable in fact, that I – Jay Cool – feel compelled to devote an entire blog post to it. The forbidden fruit. What could tempt me more? I could start with a tiny baby’s dribble, a small outflow of Carnation’s evaporated milk…

Sacred Carpet

  Colneis Junior School, Felixstowe, 1977-78   “Mrs Smith?” I called out timidly. It had taken many long minutes, before I’d ventured to put my hand up in the first place. Because, there I was, in the first year of Junior School, sitting on a this-is-new-and-sacred-common-room carpet, surrounded. Surrounded by seven-year old somethings blasting out…

Sun, Saltwater and Stones

Felixstowe, 1977 to 1978 From Fleetwood to Felixstowe. From the Fisherman’s Mission to the British Sailor’s Society. From a dingy flat amidst other dingy flats, in the middle of noisy, smelly and drunken docklands; to a three-bed semi, with a beautiful-red-shiny front door – our own front door – at the beginning of a quiet…