Tarah, Lil…

Im staring at a corpse.

I dont know what to do.Its withered, and beaten, and a shell long deserted from anything that made her.

I hesitate, I say something expected about love and loss, and I kiss her on the cheek, feeling a fraud.

I look back, with hate. Hate that that body so let down that  soul, was such a useless, lacking container for her, useless, useless didn’t fight to preserve the awe it contained. How dare it?

It’d been weeks.  Weeks since her admission due to lack of breath, where she’d gone in and been strapped to a bed as doctors a quarter her age had fawned over her to evident delight: she’d laugh at their youth as they told her they’d be sticking needles deep in her chest, all the time explaining what might occur if she’d been born much later.

As it always was. I recall the night a year I’d received the call that she couldn’t catch her breath, and ran so fast, so hard to her flat that when the ambulance arrived they’d offered me oxygen. Hours of horrible waiting ensued, trying to read a much-fingered copy of the Daily Mirror, till they called me in. I sprinted, to the amusement of the nurses. She was wired up, and pale, yet giggling ina way only someone with nine decades of wrinkles can, and she pulled me close, and as her hot sweet breath washed over my ear  confessed ‘I did a trump in the ambulance. I’m ok now. But I daren’t say’. I left in a taxi, wracked with smirks and relief.

So I expected her hospital visit to be no more than a pop. This woman, who had saw through the full length of two world wars, lost three of her six kids in their youth (Stuart drowned aged ten in the Long Eaton Canal, an unnamed baby girl two days after being born, hurriedly buried by an eternally haunted grandad in a paupers grave; and Marlene, who was a cosmopolitan globe trotter until an oncoming Citreon replete with drunk driver halted her travels violently in 1970), a mere lapse of health wasn’t going to do owt to her.

But she got worse, and this was anathema to my concept of the Power of Gran. How dare she weaken? I’d left a good life in the south east to be close to her, she hadn’t diminished then, so how dare she now I was comfortably settled? But diminish she did, and my post-work visits became less funny.

Her eyes were blacked: she’d fell over trying to get to the toilet. The nurses I could not blame: gran was so independently willed  she would be inclined to do something more if told not to. A trip to the Sherwin Arms pub would be a good example here: on ordering a steak meal she reacted to a faux- concerned diner who attempted to intervene by chopping her beef into patronisingly small cubes , sneering at my brother and I with a ‘Some people don’t know how to treat their elders’, with an affected posh voiced retort: ‘no they don’t dear, I’m perfectly able to slice my own food, thank you’.

Yet there she was, dead. Blue lipped, eyes closed, empty.

I didn’t cry. An endless weekend that had started with a phonecall from my work phone explaining she had but hours to live, after three weeks of post-work visits to tuck her in on a night, was ending with the relief she was going now, after the hours swabbing her thrush-fulled mouth with pineapple juice, after endless hours watching as her children, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren paced round her deathbed…it was over. Yet for three sleepless nights, we watched as she clung on stubbornly to the little energy her fragile heart pushed round her broken frame.

Eventually, on a ice-shined cold autumn Monday, she went, and I was left staring at this withered nothingness, this girl born in 1914 now less helpless than a nestling gasping on the hard ground after falling from the branch…I couldn’t cry.

I didn’t cry as the private post mortem over teas ensued with my relatives downstairs in the QMC cafe, I didn’t cry as they told me that I was broken from the hours I’d spent and must take the holiday booked long before her demise, and I didn’t cry as I flew to Turkey, and was deposited, lost, with a girl I’ve long since alienated, on the Aegan coast.

I slept, and woke up desperate to feel emotion. Yet exhaustion reigned, and I sipped dark bitter coffee and grazed blank-eyed on croissant and slivers of melon. We walked to the beach.

And that horizon was nothing, it stretched nowhere. The sea, always a hubris-shattering entity before all this was stretched empty and cold. She’d gone, and nothing at all in those billions of caressed white waves would bring her back. All useless.

Yet an impulsion drove me to the sea, the autum-warm denim blue Aegan, and I plundered in,  first to soak my trousers, second to push my shoulders, third to soak my hair and sting my eyes.

And sting they did, red raw, washing contact lenses out, and as the waves washed over: eternal, relentless, impassive, I lay in the Aegan and  gouged out burningly hot tears and cried and cried and cried.

Beestonia Briefly Bows Out…

Its been a difficult decision to make. I’ve lain awake night after night trying to work this out, hoping I’d see a way, a compromise. Yet nothing. There is no other way. Its over.

I love you, you do know that? When we really got together last year, after so long flirting with each other…well, they were the happiest days of my life. I woke in the morning smiling as I’d dreamed of you, and there you were, to spend the day revelling in. Bedtime was wrapped in you.

You intoxicated me, kept me awake at night, drove me to weird extremes. Possibly drove me into an existence that needed two litres of red wine every twenty four hours to sustain, yet did it matter? Normality was so far removed in your presence, any other excess was merely sideways. But I can’t let this lie anymore, less it fester and ruin us both.

I love you. I always shall. But Politics, we’re over.

I simply find that where once you were  exciting and opened up so many worlds to me, now you squat on me like Larkin’s toad, perpetually dismissing my attempts to look around myself…you were jealous, controlling…and I was in awe.

What? Maybe we can just take a break? But for how long? Say a month? Until after the election? Well, we could try. I suppose…

What will I do then? Well, write stuff about Beeston that isn’t necessarily political. Bloody hard right now, but I’ll try and endeavour. And you?

What? You’ll set up a seperate blog with several writers to talk about the election, with me as editor? Surely this is adultery?

And the public can see your adulterous ways where? Here? http://beestoniabattleofbroxtowe.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/oh-hello/

Oh well, you do that. You gallivant off with the movers and shakers of Broxtonian politics while I will here and kick out whimsical observations..I’ll let you run amok.


Do subscribe, I have an elite team* of researchers, writers and investigative snoopers led by the  indefatigable Bobby Grumbles. I’ll be overseeing it, as in clickin g on my Blackberry every couple of days and thinking ‘Oh shit, they can’t publish that’ then getting distracted by tea/booze/squirrels and forgetting until the lawsuits roll in.

And while that happens, Beestonia will be a delightful, politics free zone, devoted to observations about  tea/booze and squirrels. Enjoy!

*otherwise known as the ‘Poundstretcher Pulitzer Prizers’ . If you fancy being one, email me.


Local Elections: no, really, its FUN.

The local elections are hotting up, and its time for Beestonia to mobilise.

Its not as downright sexy as the General Election: while that contest was a steamy red-hot moist gusseted sex-fest, the locals tend to pale, akin to Bella Emburg (google it, kids) staggering to the medicine cabinet to find some talc for her gusset-rash.

WRONG! The locals are a fascinating chance for YOU, yes YOU -this blog lets me see through your laptop to whatever you’re doing, and frankly, I’d put that root veg down RIGHT NOW, – to muck about with politics directly. And its ripe pickings for Lord  Beestonia. Weirdly, no -one has bothered to run a non-partisan, glib, snipey blog on politics in Beestonia before.  Last year my only competition died off when he was revealed to be a Labour Party member, and I was left alone to kick off the guff expelled from party arses during the campaign.

I’m not complaining: I got record hits, and  am proud to be facilitating a forum of local debate, if that doesn’t make me sound like a massive Nathan Barleyesque wankatron.

I will be publishing the proper candidate lists when they become official in early April (thank you to the labs, libs and greens who have been responsive, boo sucks to the tories who didn’t even reply). But as Beestonians, get ready. This promises to be a hotly contested battle. No-one holds absolute majority, so will the Lib/Lab coalition split? Will the tories romance the Libs into a sexy union? Will Lib defectors make a difference? No other bugger  will tell you, or go the depths to provide the insight required, so  don’t go changing, y’all.


I have such a back log of stuff to knock out here, and so little time (being a doley is so terribly taxing, I spend an average 18 hours a day ticking forms), Im looking for a Beestonian (young or old) to do some bits and bobs for a month or so. I can’t pay you, unless I have a sudden windfall but I’m banned from scratchcards ’till my fingernail/silver foil ration reaches normal levels again. If you’re wanting to pursue a career in journalism; if wanting to do something for society, run NOW, but if you want to live the Goold Life for a while and get some writing published, send me an email with details. If your mum is nice, a jpeg please. __________________________________________

I met one of my favourite local politicos for a pint last week. David Mitchell, aka ‘no, not that one’; and a lovely bloke he proved to be. The Green candidate for Broxtowe at the General Election, he appeared at hustings as a real amateur initially, but stole the show at the final Bramcote Hustings (see Beestonia passim). He is a leader in the wings, but not with the Greens, and his converstional indiscretions really should have been noted down, yet I didn’t take a notebook on the grounds, explained at the end of our chat, as ‘this is all off the record, yeah?’. His response, ‘tell it all, im not that type of politician’ made me bang my head against the wall as so much good stuff was disclosed: yet despite my self imposed amnesia, I can say with intent: the local Green Party are a bunch of Srooge-like crunts.


David, if you’re reading this, ok to run  the full story? If not, you’re a pint in debt…


Oh the irony. Heres me banging on about the importance of electoral participation, and  I find out last night Im not on the electoral roll. Why? I fell through some crack. I’m sure you’re better organised than me, but check yourselves. This is going to be a crazy vote/referendum, don’t disenfranchise yourself.

Crap Journalism. And this time, not from me.

The Nottingham Post, today.


Well done, the Nottingham Post. Just when I think you’re improving, and actually conducting responsible, inquisitive journalism, you piss on your chips from a great height. How? With a piece that was sensationalist, cynical and downright crass.

As I have mentioned here in the last couple of posts, a teenage girl took her life, and this triggered a huge outpouring of grief that manifested itself in the floral display in the square. I wrote how this touching, charming act was so affecting, and I expected the local media to have a look. But -as far as I can see- they didn’t bother. It even slipped below the radar of the Beeston Express, despite the whole issue of the Square being a major issue right now.

That was until today, as I had a flick through the Post whilst sipping on a Bean fresh-brew. The front cover splashed with the news two teenagers had died within a week of each other, and went to great pains to try and insinuate a common link between the two teenagers, despite the police pointing out they were seperate incidents.

The ‘evidence’? They knew each other on Facebook. And, up to the age of seven, they attended the same primary school, though in different years. Compelling, evidently. Not at all tenuous , and a rather sickly silly attempt of the journalist (take a bow, Delia Monk) to try and get the front page. Well, you did very well there, but lets put your story under scrutiny, ok?

There was a very famous case a few years ago of ‘cluster suicides’ in the Welsh town of Bridgend. The  Post even references it, and I can almost hear the oily noise of their journos crossing their fingers that such a story would throw Beeston/ Nottingham into the media glare.

The suicides there were massively picked up on once journalists picked up on the case of a pretty girl called Natasha: the media narrative then was there was an ‘internet suicide cult’ gripping Newport, as she was the 13th suicide within 12 months. The media descended, and obligingly, the youth of Bridgend gave the story feet and  started topping themselves with a rhythm perfect to keep the headlines churning for some weeks.

Mostly unqualified commentators did their best to explain why this was happening; so endless opinion pieces each with a non-evidence based theory, mainly ‘well, its a bit dreary in Wales, isn’t it?’, or handily hooking the story on any of their own personal bug-bears, be it the Internet, goth music or having Welsh parents. Hands were wrung, heads solemnly shaken, and not one single voice pointed out the very obvious thing: they themselves were driving it.

An expert on teenage suicide, Doctor Lars Johansson of Umeå University, Sweden, pointed out after looking into the deaths:

“I was surprised about the publishing of the names and pictures of the victims and the surviving family. I do think that the media coverage in such detail contributed to the formation of this cluster. Teenagers are impulsive, and most suicide clusters described have concerned the young, including young adults … What struck me was that many suicides appeared to have taken place in ‘public’ – they did not hide away, they committed suicide by hanging themselves in public areas, as if they wanted to be found and noticed, ‘Look, here I am!'”

And once the media scrum tired of the story and moved on, the suicide rate dropped back to the national norm. Coincidence?

So I’d like to ask the Post why they ran this story today, and so prominantly, so sensationally? Why did you have to throw in that innuendo, that nudge-nudge wink-wink attempt at conspiracy? Was it for the families? They both gave statements, but god only knows what confusion and torture there heads are in? Was it out of some sort of puritanical zeal: “yes, we the Post can stop this thing in its tracks!”?

Or was it shoddy, nasty journalism, thrown onto the front page to liven up a slow news day with not a thought for any consequence?

And while I’m here, can I also make another point? Garfield stopped being funny circa 1986. Get a new cartoon, please.

Beestonia Catch-ups: Frame Smashers; Smashing Frames (as in glasses, see what I did there?); A Salute to Beestonian Youth.

A few updates to catch up on:

Ned Ludd’s Birthday: Its today! March 11th, 1811 was the first time Ned Ludd made his appearance in the archives, as attacks on knitting frames gathered momentum and coalesced into a movement. Happy Birthday, Ned

The Flamboyant, Transvestite and All-Round Smashing Bloke, Ned Ludd.

I read quite a bit about Luddism after that, and the effect it had on insurrectionist movements in the county. Its a fantastically funny, rather inspiring story of Nottingham’s anarchistic spirit that still thrives.

Most amusing? Heres just a few I managed to dredge from the wonderful local archive at Beeston library:

  1. 11th May, 1812: Spencer Percevel is assassinated in London, the only Prime Minister to suffer this fate. While the country mourns, the Riot Act is read in Nottingham as celebrations on Long Row get out of hand
  2. June 1812: The theatre season is in full swing. Tradition dictates that patrons doff their caps/ hats to the King at the end of the performance. When the majority of the audience refuse to do so, royalists in the audience are ired and start whacking hats off heads with their canes. A riot ensued, spills into the street, the riot act is read, he theatre closed for the season. Something similar happened when I once went to the Theatre Royal pantomine and TV’s Ted Bovis announced Rod Hull and Emu were not able to go on stage due to snow, but I wont bore you with that tale now
  3. September 11th, 1813: Bread Riots in Nottingham: a dip in the price of flour was recorded, but not passed on through baker’s bread prices. This rightfully angered Nottingham’s women, and they reacted by storming a baker who was forced to lock himself into a cupboard till he promised to lower prices accordingly. Emboldened, the women marched from baker to baker, claiming that they had been sent by ‘Lady Ludd’. The Riot Act, now presumably thoroughly dogeared and faded, is read.

This is only a small sample, and our notoriety spread so much we gained a reputation which I would argue still remains. I’ve travelled a fair bit, and when you tell people in other cities and towns where you’re from, they always react similarly: with a look of both awe and pity, then mention something about guns, alcohol or a mixture of the two. This is from the Nottingham Journal, March 1835:

Travel 20 or 30 miles from home and people have generally in store for you some ejaculation of pity, when they know you are from Nottingham, and the first question asked is ‘Are you all quiet now?’

A hundred and seventy five years later, the answer still remains the same. Happy Birthday, Ned.



Soub. News

Soubs during her legendary 'Su Pollard' phase.

My favourite politico met a friend of mine in Westminster last week, and they fell into chatting about social media. Soubry, for it is she, admitted she wasn’t really into it, and didn’t read the local blogs. She especially didn’t read Beestonia, as it was apparently ‘awful, and awful to me. An  awful Labour blog’ . Cool.

I’m not Labour, for the record: though I admit to voting and supporting Dr Palmer as he was a fantastic MP. For that reason…. and the fact that voting Tory is on my list of things to do just behind self-castrating myself with a rusty penknife and two bricks.  I’m not a member of any political party, though I did once join Veritas when drunk – I thought it might be amusing to stand as a candidate and get on telly at Robert Kilroy-Silk’s expense.

So my friend pointed out she actually knew me, but Soubry carried on, I believe the word ‘ Trotskyite’ may have been used. Ah well. To steal from Wilde: ‘There is one thing worse than being talked about, and thats not being talked about”.  Cheers Anna.


Hilarity in Parliament with Nottinghamshire’s finest squaring up recently: have a read at this, which appeared in today’s Post:


Ho ho ho.



The Square

The Square is once again returned to normal, the spontaneous floral explosion that decked the walls and lamposts for a week now gone, just a few tea-lights remain.

I had a few Beestonians explain who the mourning was for, and I won’t invade the privacy of the family by writing about her in any detail here. A comment on my last post pretty much sums it up.

Its still incredibly sad, yet there is some good. Beestonians, in particular the much-maligned youth of Beestonia, did not just do the deceased, but all of us proud, and we should thank them.

Cheers, young Beestonians. You lot are ace.



Beestonia’s Bloomingly Beautiful Bandstand: a rare appreciation.


I’m a hard-hearted beast, rarely do my eyes express saline for the sadder things in life. Its been a life-long affliction; on first watching Bambi thirty-something years ago, I came away not with a terrified sadness; nor a deer/rabbit-friendly warmth, but with a glee that venison would  be fractionally cheaper in the future.

Ok, I do cry, and heavily. Contact lenses are cruel beasts. Yet at most things: films, music, sporting events: I can feel a slightly lumpy throat, but my eyes remain drier than a camel’s toe. So it was with a little surprise that on Wednesday I actually felt genuinely moved by something, to the point I honestly believed moisture could be detected  in the corners of my eyes.

It wasn’t, before you ask, the result of a realisation of Tesco’s existence; neither the sighting of one of the increasing amounts of one-footed pigeons in Beestonia (have a look, i saw FIVE today), nor the pitiful dreadful mess that is my life and the contemplation of another fortnight stretching out a giro cheque to cover my lordly expenses, a task akin to a sufferer of dysentery retiring to the smallest room with a postage stamp to mop up his problems. Tough, but nope, its not drawn a single drip of sob-juice from me. My middle name is stoic.Yep.  Well,nope,  its actually Kenneth, but Stoic is better. Sorry, parents.

What got me was its purity of expression, it was a spontaneous, respectful outpouring  that I am going to struggle to do justice in print: I recommend you go and look yourself if you are local, while it lasts. A Beestonian teenager called Chloe died recently, I have no idea how, and, except for a fuzzy idea of her face garnered from a black and white photo,  who she was. Except she dies, and her passing was of such great sorrow to so many of their contempories  they decided to mark it by a gesture that was both grand and understated at the same time.

Beeston’s Bandstand: that raised bit in the now-doomed square;  was festooned with scores of bunches of flowers on tuesday evening, taped six-high to the flagpoles, carnations, lilys, roses, daffs and tulips all turning the normal sober square into a cornucopia of wonderfulness. A spread of tea-lights flickeringly glowed in an arc on the wall: I truly gasped at the incongruity of the sight. And I’m a cynic. So I initially blamed it on the florist who plies his trade on the precinct having a breakdown and taping his wares to any available surface before some demoniacally dysfunctional act involving a Venus Fly-trap, or some tiresome marketing promotion by some dull company, but no: the testaments, written on lined A4 in teenage script: dotted I’s, drawn in smileys proved me wrong. Slipped into plastic wallets to render them legible whatever the weather may force down, they were neither self-conscious nor mawkish; just honest expressions of sorrow, regret and respect. My eyes itched.

I know that the modern phenomenon of flowers tied to lampposts is deemed to be, by some as a bit naff, and sometimes it can be seen as a post-Diana thing, but I doff my cap: they are a secular form of respect, an almost paganistic marking of a tragedy, in tandem with the transience that occurs in death as well as much as life. I once was walking in the Atlas mountains in Morocco, when our guide informed me we were walking on a Islamic graveyard. I recoiled, and scanned around: aside from a few uneven tufts of grass, it was just a field. “Don’t worry” said Ibrahim, ” Dead be dead. They don’t mind”.

And yes, he was right. Commemoration of death is not for the dead, its for the mourning, which explains the intense intoxicating catharsis of the Wake. So to see this expression of grief so explicitly, so openly manifested was profoundly lovely. I don’t know who initiated it. I don’t know anything other than the above, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t mourn Chloe directly: I didn’t know her, so my little bit of weepiness was not for her passing, sad though it inevitably was to her friends; to her family, but to those that made such an effort to commemorate.

To them, I doff my cap, and take back anything I previously wrote about teenagers all being alcopop swilling, joy-riding, granny-mugging, N-Dubz worshiping  misanthropists (which is, to be honest, only jealously as I appear to have suddenly become a man who views slacks as an option and recently listened to the Radio 1 Top 40 with no idea what the hell was going on).

Cheers, youthful Beestonians. Drop me a line if you know more about this/ initiated it. I’ll buy you a pint.

Though I’ll probably be back in work/ won the Lottery by the time you’re old enough to accept. Phew.

Just one of the posts...get your arse down Beeston Square right now...



Beestonia Balls.

There are a few things its advised one does not talk about in polite company.

First is politics. I can hardly do this, as by some accident I seem quite entrenched in the weirdly divisive  system of policy that somehow oils the wheels of this nation. Bah.

Second, religion. I was born and confirmed as a Catholic, though somehow this rather passed me by as my parents swiftly decided to have a go at Mormonism (they were well dressed, taught me to ride a bike), Jehovah’s Witnesses (who my mum still placates by not putting her seasonal decorations up till after the last Sunday before Christmas) and the Sally Army. I forgot my Roman tendencies till my mum reminded me after a particularly crazy funeral, when I expressed my surprise that my gran was being interred with such lashings of hellfire and guilt.

And by then, my atheism was so entrenched if god appeared I’d demand he proved himself in not just a theological, but a philosophical and scientific way. And some form of ID. A passport, maybe.

Third, football. Well, in my life it has been. I once got in a fist-fight in Lisbon when I expressed a preference over Sporting over Benfica. Luckily I escaped through their realisation I was ignorant on Lisboan football altogether, and the question on my favourite league side remained unpunchable, as they didn’t know the answer. And that answer, I’m afraid, is: I’m  a Forest fan.

Blame my grandad. My only memories that he is involved in – he died when I was four-are sitting in front of the telly, roast beef dinners on trays, screaming at the telly. These days must hold much import, as they are the few bits of nostalgic shrapnel I can dredge up from those days. An egg and spoon race when I was three and a bit, at the 1977 Jubilee; seeing Star Wars in the same year, starting school a few months after.

I can barely remember my grandad, but I can’t smell roast beef and a shandy without a Proustian rush back to those halcyon moments.

I then recall a dreamlike experience a year later, when Forest became European Champions, and seeing my sport-phobic dad stop his vacuuming one saturday morning to stand rigid as footage played of Forest receiving the European Cup a few days earlier. I’d stumbled downstairs, sleepy and wiping my eyes, and he picked me up and swang me round, and I knew this football thing could be as joyful, fair-weather or not.

These were impressionable days, and thick was the propaganda. The garage at the bottom of my road had the words ‘CLOUGHIE IS KING O’ FOREST’ spray-painted over it. No self-respecting student at Stevenson’s Junior School, or our awe inspiring seniors at Park Comprehensive, would attend school without some Forest logo on something: be it sports shirts, socks or pencil cases.

My mum was a cleaner at the Sherwin Arms in Bramcote; Clough would often be there, sipping spirits at the bar when she began her 8.30am shift. His brother used to run the newsagents next-door, which I am happy to report is still known, albeit inaccurately,  amongst locals as ‘Cloughies’ .  I would often be taken along with her, and still remember the day he offered me chewing gum. An obedient child, I pointed out I was not allowed to accept, a sanction enforced by my mother. He took this aboard, nodded, then pointed out: ‘Tell her Cloughie says its ok’. I did: I have never felt ashamed to chew on chuddy since.

So its hardly surprising that I ended up a Garibaldi. Technically, living in the County, I should be a Magpie, but then again technically I should be  Dumbarton fan, since they were my local team when I popped into the world.

I attended a few matches when young: I had no relatives to drag me to the Trent End, or friends into football (or friends at all, for some years, but thats more to do with my penchant through my early teens for wellies and sailor suits as a symbol of sartorial elegance) I saw Forest beat Newastle, Sunderland and Middlesborough in the eighties, a weirdly anti-North Eastern bias.

Wasn’t till the noughties I went again, fortuitously knowing a Capital One worker who could wrangle free tickets, albeit in the rather middle-class Brian stand. Now I get in free on occasion on the rather bizarre condition that my friend and neighbour, the mighty Rish, is helped in his post-match debrief with my rather rubbish attempts at analysis. Have a gawp at the rather lovely site I pop up like an incongruous fungus on: http://www.eighteensixtyfive.co.uk/ . I do a bit of post-match comment here, its good fun. I’m not that good though, as when I watch a football match I tend to be a bit lost, like I’m missing the secret encryption code that is privy only to those who can look at at a field full of men and see a formation.

Yet I persevere, and I blame it on those early days, those days with roast beef perched upon my lap, shandy at hand, shouting at the telly for the eleven spitting sweating men to beat the other sweating , spitting men, and I’m devoted. Absolutely devoted to my love of the Reds, The Garibaldi, The Trent-Heroes, the NFFC, the one, the only, the ultimate NOTTINGHAM FOREST FC…….

I meet my mum for coffee. I mention all of this, hoping she’ll be proud of my possession of the baton from her father. But…

‘Me dad? He was County all his life. Couldn’t stand Forest”

“County?? Notts County?”

Theres a pit in my stomach that collapses into a sinkhole as she glibly explains ‘No, silly. Derby. He LOVED the Rams’

I’m off into therapy. Tarah.