My son’s favourite pastime is watching an old Bob The Builder video. I put it on for him when I make the porridge in the morning. He calls it “BoldaBolda”, which isn’t great given his age (2.5 years), his ability to say other words and the fact that he WATCHES IT EVERYDAY! Sometimes he likes to clutch the box while he watches, I know he wants this when he asks for “BoldaBoldaBox.” Obvs. To be honest BoldaBolda is a bit childish for me. I don’t mind Neil Morrissey (John Osborne hates him) and the theme tune is pretty cool. I also like the fact that Spud the scarecrow remind me of my mate Gommy. I just don’t find the set-up very plausible. The anthropomorphised machines are one thing, that might happen, but what I can’t get over is the “yes we can” bit. No builder in the history of the world on being asked “can you fix it?” has ever replied “yes, we can!” For added realism the slogan should instead be a sharp intake of breath followed by the words: “it’s gonna cost ya.”
I didn’t get round to making my pie yesterday so I’ve been cooking since 8am. It’s not ready for the pastry. My mum and dad are coming round and my wife’s parent’s are still here so we have an Outnumbered situation, except instead of kids it’s babyboomers – what could go wrong?
My Hornchurch scribblings are going well. I have another to show you (see below). That’ll probably be it for this week as I have to work on this speech for sixth form and then I’m on Saturday Live on Saturday so I’ll be working on a poem for that on Friday. Also, and this is exciting, I’m recording a new spoken word album tomorrow afternoon – that’ll be exciting. It’ll feature poems from Cynical Ballads and my forthcoming show, plus a couple of older ones, like Camping Dad. I haven’t done an album since 2007, so I figured it was high-time I got some more up-to-date material out there in audio form. More on that later…
My now though, here’s that poem. Not sure about a title yet (suggestions please!), I’m pretty pleased with it, my favourite so far I reckon …
District Line (working title)
It’s Winter and I leave my home in darkness
to schlep down Suttons Gardens, Stations Lane
then past the rows of houses lost to commerce
the florist, cabbies, bookies, café, train.
They call this game the rat race but it’s not
these sad and silty mornings pocked with sighs
there’s nothing fast about this way of life –
just deep ruts cut slow into the mind’s eye.
I spend my Mondays living for the weekend
who doesn’t here, eh, that’s the way it works
that’s why we brought our families to the suburbs
to live on London’s green and pleasant skirt.
Inside this fizzing fence of motorway
our tiny crumbs of Essex neatly mortgaged
a low-rent Metroland for boys done good;
a place to deckchair doze in heavy August.
And for that right we clatter down these traintracks
through greyish sprawl from Dagenham to Bow
where London’s mouth lies waiting, that’s all life is:
inhale, exhale then underground you go.