Friday, 16 June 2006


He stared out into the distance, way beyond the wall, which, in reality, blocked his view. His face relaxed, his eyes were happy, sad and far away at the same time. I thought I saw a child staring out of them for a moment. His memory transported him to the bedroom of a 10 year old boy. It was his bedroom, practically furnished with bed, a large wardrobe, a table and a chair, all in neutral colours. Tidy, apart from a comic that laid just underneath his bed where it had fallen from his sleeping grasp a week before.

It was 1978 and he was making his way towards the bedroom excitedly. His Dad was right behind him up the stairs. Throwing the bedroom door open, he stood for a while, his jaw dropped in wonderment at the vision before him.

Boy - ‘Is it MINE?’

Dad - ‘It is Son, here I’ll show you how to turn it on.’

His Dad pulled the chair up close to the wardrobe and had him stand upon it so that he could reach right up to where the control switch was.

Dad - ‘It takes a while to warm up, but once it’s on you’ll be able to watch Italy play France tonight – in Mar Del Plata.’

Boy - ‘But Dad, it’s black and white.'

Dad - 'Yes, it was a bargain.'

Boy - 'How will I know who’s who?’

Dad - ‘Well, the French ones will all be wearing berets.’

Boy - ‘Berets? Oh, ok.’

The telephone rang and 1978 cross faded back into reality.

‘It was the best 50p ‘e ever spent’ he said before he answered the phone.

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