…In the year 2000:
Journal Entry, 16 Aug 2000
Back in the seventies, popular science programme Tomorrow’s World predicted that by the year 2000 we would all be watching wristwatch TVs, wearing silver lycra jumpsuits, and living on protein tablets.
They never said anything about veteran folksters Fairport Convention playing to crowds of thirty thousand, or that Tom Jones would headline an open-air rock concert, or that Tina turner/Cher/Santana would be selling loads of records or that David Bowie would be a dad (again!) or that a gallon of petrol would cost five quid or that a hundred Russian sailors would be trapped in a submarine on the sea bed or that the Labour party would be in power or that (some) football players would be receiving a salary of fifty grand a week and that I would be working in a paint factory where each day at lunchtime my colleagues play cards in the canteen and bark at one another “Oh you fat fucker why have you given me such a fuckin’ hand full of fuckin’ shit” when in fact they have been dealt two aces, three queens etc…dear oh dear.
22 Aug 2000: Phone call from LK: she’s back, sounds really rough and worn out.
Today at work made some WB yellow line-marking paint.
Russian sub has been found flooded, all crew dead. The captain’s salary was about £120 per month. Three days ago it was reported that Norway had detected two large explosions from the site of the stranded submarine.
LK rang back: problems with James, debt-collectors etc. He had an interview with a firm in Scotland but they were very indiscreet and upset his former employers. Rang Anastasia; apparently Alan has been down in Blackpool, messing round with other blokes.
Tomorrow is my appointment with company pensions advisor – I currently have about 70 months savings, about 3500 pounds.
23 Aug 2000: Today app’t with company pension advisor, Clive Firth. We looked at other company schemes – total 15 percent of salary invested, mainly contributed by employer. To achieve similar funds would take 280 pounds per month.
Been reading ‘Whispers in the Dark’ by Aycliffe.
24 Aug 2000: Today’s Herald (local newspaper) had a letter from the BNP about Tamworth and Lichfield race relations officer. And an article by a private landlord complaining about tenants, proposing the creation of a register of bad tenants and saying “The rented sector is infested with lowlifes who turn up with fake references and use their rented premises to continue criminal activity.”
25 Aug 2000: Today’s mail – Mesmen newsletter and electricity bill.
At work – Sonja’s leaving party. She came back at 12.30 and found all of us in the main office surrounded by tons of food – sarnies, cakes, quiche, beer, wine etc. ‘Is all this for me?’ she squeaked.
Kev had clearcoated a slice of burnt toast and fixed it to a plaque with the caption ‘May The Toast Be With You’.
Ricky ate nine chocolate eclairs and some savoury stuff. After work I went up to Tamworth College and signed up for German night school. Fancy applying to Industrial Copolymers for a job, up near Blackpool (Preston) – cheap housing.
26 Aug 2000: Last night Jailhouse – saw Pete and the navvy. Bar staff dressed up in Wild West gear (‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Tamworth’). Phone call from LK last nite – she’s got a new job in Scotland “…which means that you will soon be moving to a new job.” And Andy has been offered new job in Manchester.
10 Sep 2000: Fri night zoomed 11 miles up the road to Caton Hall for the Foxes Rally. Everyone had warned me that this weekend was going to be cold and wet – hurricanes, thunderstorms, frogs etc – so I wore my chunky waterproofs. The entire weekend turned out to be warm and sunny.
Fri night band was C-and-W tinged R&B. Three blokes were dragged up in wigs and bras – Bobetta, Kevetta and Marketta.
Catering v good – big chicken chunks and real handmade curry sauce. Saturday, Pam and John turned up so we went back to theirs, saw neighbour pushing a Honda Shadow. Then back to the campsite: silly games included a tug-of-war on a wet polythene sheet, crossed-hands pushbike obstacle course, and the animal hunt, where blindfolded contestants had to call ‘oink’, ‘baa’ or ‘Llama’ to locate each other and pair up. And towed-bathtub racing.
Sat night – Rebellious Jukebox, pole dancing with Guinness etc. Line surfing. Impromptu line-dancing to Z Z Top. Forming a chain of clothes. I got wrecked on Metz and staggered off to bed.
Police have been carrying out door-to-door enquiries about Heather Tell (local girl recently found murdered) and saying things like ‘She was a very nice looking girl, real tasty bit of stuff, long blonde hair, are you sure you didn’t kill her sir?’
12 Sep 2000: In England, half the petrol stations have run dry; in Wales, figure much higher. Tony Blair just gave a press conference saying ‘we shall not be moved’.
Emergency powers granted by Queen: army and police due to be drafted in to remove blockades. Major disruption hit the London area tonight. Manufacturing industry starting to suffer shortage of raw materials and fuel, supermarkets running low on food.
Millennium Dome no longer to be purchased by Nomura.
At work I spotted that a 50/50 mixture of 12 percent Cobalt and 18 percent Zirconium is a lot cheaper than Cozirc 69. (We currently stock all three items).
11 May 2000: Today’s Herald included an article about a couple who wanted to become tenants of a flat in Lichfield but were refused because one of them is black. Isn’t Staffordshire so groovy and cosmopolitan?
22 May 2000: At work, Pete (customarily oblique and nebulous) came up to me and said “I’ve spoken to Kevin and he’s going to come down and tell you what he needs and you can show him what you’ve got” before disappearing somewhere.
Meanwhile, one of our contractors has come out as a transvestite. Lots of derogatory remarks as one would expect.
John Gielgud died.
Another 29 million pounds of lottery money thrown at the Millennium Dome.
In the movie version of ‘American Psycho’ the crack about the upside-down painting has been missed out. Which would have been a good draw to ‘Se7en’.