Penguin Cafe Waiter (livingarmchair) wrote,
Penguin Cafe Waiter
livingarmchair

The Big 4-0

Woke up this morning and found I was 40. The only benefit so far is that I treated myself to a shiny new iPod touch as I seem to be of an age where people don't buy you presents anymore and I really needed a new MP3 player. It turns my stomach to say it, but Apple have.... done... a... fantastic job. It also connects through my Nokia phone to the Internet (Which is a bonus, as the Nokia phone is quite unusable due to its awful web browser). It's not really a mp3 player, but a re-invention of the PDA...

So... what's happened in those 40 years? 

1970 - born in Frimley Surrey, lived in Fleet with my Grandparents until my parents bought a house in Camberley.
1975 - moved up to Nelson, Lancashire after parents decided not to move to Devon to be near my Grandparents. This was my preference. Apparently, I didn't want to move up North because they "spoke funny".
1977 - Dad sets up his own engineering business in a rickety garage in a disused quarry near our house - I used to go up there and take drinks and food for the workers. (My Dad sold his half of the business in 2003, but it still exists: www.nrengineering.co.uk) They then move to a massive old mill in Burnley... business is booming!

Then many happy years holidaying in Devon at one set of Grandparents, and slightly less happy ones at grandparents in London.
Spend many hours writing stories and planning horror films.
Holidays in Romania and the USA...

1981 - Dad brings home a VIC-20 computer. I am shortly learning 6502 assembly language... The goal: to write some games and make some money so I can buy  film equipment to make the horror films. (Problem: I don't really like computer games much, so while I could do all the technical stuff, I didn't really know how to use it!)

Armed  with Super 8 cameras and boxes of film, spend many happy weeks making horror movies and messing around with special effects. Parents take me to Manchester to a theatrical supply shop to stock up on false blood, latex and various other bits of makeup. A family friend with cancer gives me his wig to use on a fake body! A bunch of us get drunk and shoot over an hour footage one day. Friends are sent home dripping with false blood and covered with latex.

1986 - The end of school! Hooray! A handful of O levels means it's off to college to do Maths, Physics and Chemistry.  Why? They were all my weakest subjects.
1988 - The end of A levels HOORAY. A huge scrape through. More interested in writing stories and messing around with Super  8 films.
1989 - A doomed year doing an art foundation course in a doomed attempt to get into some sort of film-making course. Lecturers are slack jawed when I screen some of my throat ripping, gory horrors for them. "Why don't you do a Physics degree?

TBC...


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