No ordinary childhood

Upstairs my neighbour is playing Sade very loudly.

I’m going to listen to the songs and see where the memories take me…stand by for some rambling.

Smooth Operator has just rewound me to the 80s and staying up late at my parents’ parties.

We had a print on our wall of a highly stylised, angular tree branch. I think it was red, and set against a white background.

Very 80s.

Now it’s in the loft, cracked, and missing its frame.

For a while in the 90s I had my parents’ mirror-topped coffee table in my room but when I left for university that too was consigned to the loft.

Their salmon pink three-piece suite, which was actually a lot nicer than it sounds, suffered an even more ignominious fate – it was stowed in the garden shed.

Mum and dad moved with the times, it must be said. Last time I was back, they had dispensed with the farmhouse sideboards that had cluttered the kitchen and it was rapidly taking on a Scandinavian appearance – not minimalist so much, just elegant and simple.

Henry Rollins says that you don’t own stuff but it owns you and I think it’s kind of nice not to get too bogged down with the stuff that surrounds you.

We have Anne’s grandad’s truly stylish 70s leather sofa and armchair and his coffee table….

No Ordinary Love, now. I’m thinking of that strange film that came out in the 80s. The one with the guy from the Fine Young Cannibals in.

I was a compulsive TV watcher back then and I think some of the weird shit I saw as a ten-year-old had a formative effect on me.

One time, back when my dad played Sunday cricket, the team went for its annual jolly to a village somewhere in Shropshire.

I had my own room in the hotel and even had my own TV.

Needless to say I stayed up all night watching it. At about half ten, Apocalypse Now came on. Which to a ten-year-old boy was quite an event.

It must have been Channel Four because afterwards they showed an NBA game. They loved their American sports back then.

Sade… I think my first girlfriend liked Sade… but let’s not go there…

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