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Showing posts from December, 2012

FLASH FICTION, GUEST AUTHOR: Fairytale of New Holland - by Loz Harvey

‘It was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunk tank...’ The jukebox could hardly be heard over the murk in the Magna Charta pub.Another Christmas Eve dodging drunks on the dockside, all full of hooch and ammunition and a year’s worth of pent-up pot-luck. The factory had closed at lunchtime and the team had spilled up the streets into the pub. Now, glancing out on the debris of a late night badly in need of a refit, Jaynie wondered which of the wannabe Shane MacGowans she’d be fighting off later. None of them knew the words, but they’d got the impression down-pat, she thought. Cocksure, toothless, swaying their way towards closing time with a soundtrack of Slade and The Rubettes. Every Christmas had been the same for as long as Jaynie could remember. Since the ferry stopped. It was the 80s, but could have been last week. “I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true,” he’d said on the pier, off to art college. She had been 14 then, waving on the shoreline as the ferry made its last v…

FLASH FICTION: With An Unbeliever On A December Afternoon

I wrote this for the fifth anniversary of Joe Strummer's death. It was originally published in Article Magazine in December 2007. Seems a long time ago.

He said his name was Strummer.
I asked, what was he doing on top of a multi-storey car park in Scunthorpe? He shrugged, asked if I had a cigarette. Leaning into the lit match, he swayed forward and held my arm to steady himself. ‘You can smell the fish and chip shop from up here.’
‘Really?’ I said.
‘No, you can.’ He steered me to face the wind and told me to wait. ‘Only if it blows in the right direction.’ For a moment, I swear there was the faintest whiff of vinegar on the raw breeze, then it was gone in a gust of steelworks sulphur. ‘Did you get it?’ He said. ‘Love that smell – saveloy and chips.’ He flicked the fag end away and the wind took it in a shower of embers. ‘Gotta love a saveloy, man.’ He punched me on the arm and laughed.
‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘gotta love a saveloy’.
He eyed my carrier bag. I offered it and he helped himself to …

The Young Mod's Forgotten Story Part Four: Beat Surrender

It’s a cold December night thirty years ago. The tube to Wembley Park is packed. A load of mods and a fair few bemused and slightly edgy looking commuters. Especially when a ‘We are the mods’ chant goes up. Works its way down the carriage. There’s a bunch of us tonight, met up at Charing Cross. Let’s get this straight, I’m more than pissed off. Since the news broke at the end of October and I bought my ticket – that oh so precious ticket – tonight’s left me with mixed feelings. I had a couple of large ones in the Maxwell before catching the train. So The Jam are splitting up. That’s it, end of. Weller released a cobbled together statement, a ‘personal goodbye’. It hardly seems enough to cover what this feels like. It’s been personal. A code to live by, a band taking your life and putting it into words and music. Tonight feels like I’m about to lose something important, and somehow there’s a sense of knowing I won’t get it back. At the end of this year the Jam will officially be split…