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Oró, sé do bheatha abhaile. One day we’re going home…

Submitted by on April 20, 2010 – 8:43 amNo Comment

AFLM:SPG issue 3 should be out this week, save for this volcanic ash cloud playing havoc with the water wheels and steam engines powering our printers. To whet your appetites, and not just because we’re all dead busy and can’t find time to write owt original, here’s the editorial from issue 2. It’s been ages since then like…

One day we’re going home…
‘I’d’ve’ is a belting word to be appreciated for both its two apostrophes and its ability to transmit influence on its surroundings despite its diminutive size, but also for its laziness. It’s three words that are that lazy that they can’t be arsed being three words but instead all sort of sit on the plumptious, feathered settee of wordyworld together, all scrunched up.

All three words sat there as if they’re on the waltzers. None of them will open the chocolate chip biscuits because it’s murders opening the packet, and if you did you might get the biffed one and cover yourself in crumbs and no one wants the graft of brushing yourself down when all you want to do is sit on the settee. None of them will get the turneroverer to turn the telly over because none of them can be arsed to pick up the TV Quickie to see what’s on. That’s always surmising that one of them had actually turned the telly on in the first place. So they’re sat there being the word ‘I’d’ve’.

The ‘I’ part of ‘I’d’ve’, if it was pushed with a stick and forced into making a valid reason for its existence, would say that at least it was motivated enough to be a capital letter. The ‘d’ would claim middle child syndrome and the ‘ve’ would say that it was, in a previous life, the longest word out of the three and so had to do the hardest amount of work to get itself down to just two letters. Then the ‘d’ would say, that in actual fact, it was the longest word in its previous life and therefore had worked the hardest to get itself down to just one letter.

Brideshead WMC…
None of them would though. They are there because they want to be there. They know their reasons for existence. They’ve stated it before but all they want now is the comfort afforded by being close to each other. When, as their little collective, they change a sentence together then they’ve achieved. Somewhere, written in a book will be the line containing ‘I’d’ve’ and it will always be written there. Whatever that sentence said it would not have made sense without their input. Always. And there they remain on the settee.

They laugh about the bloke who got a job at a helium balloon factory but left because he wasn’t being spoken to like that. Or Horse Shoe Chris who found a wage packet but the bloke it had belonged to had been off on the sick for three days or the bloke who went into the butchers and said ‘A pound of fillet’ and the woman said ‘A pound you don’t.’ Simple shite pleasures, simple shite life with everything about the shiteness of it all not being shite at all.

Un-Bury my heart at wounded FC…
The Clarion van is still doing its parking up. Reginald Molehusband’ing for over three and a half years is alright when they are the many and we are the few. It’s got bow-legged blokes getting out of the van who are knock-kneed, younguns walking swanky, bonnet rouges and Bonny Tylers, someone has just said “ITV2 need to show ‘Bird on a wire’ a bit more” and someone else is saying “They should incorporate under floor heating in them houses on Grand Designs.” There’s Bacon Fries and Chocolate Marble, a debate about whether it’s called the top or the end of your knob and talk of never seeing seagulls with hare lips. There’s an atmosphere of ‘a tramp with a radio on too loud on his shoulder’ as few things in life are as happy or as contented as that face. These are our Red lives.

I like Beswick. There’s always something cordoned off…
Red lives with tickle of resonance. My auntie Agnes worked with my Mam and my auntie Marion in this raincoat factory in Ancoats. They were pressers at the time, whatever that is. It involved hot presses and presumably pressing raincoats with them. My auntie Agnes was fat so they could have just employed her to sit on whatever they wanted pressing. It was tedious, repetitive and underpaid hard work. Now my auntie Agnes was married to my uncle Nick. He was a nice enough fella but he was a proper lazy, shiftless Beswick bumbellina. And not in a good ‘I’d’ve’ way.

There’s always a ragpicker side to every family and my auntie Agnes and uncle Nick were ours. Their house smelt, their kids were tapped, picked on and always looked poverty stricken and they were always on the borrow. And all because my auntie Agnes had married a layabout in my uncle Nick. He married into our family might I say.

Stairs and steps, two names, two directions but both adequate devices to attain height…
Anyway back to the factory. Because my auntie Agnes knew she had married a bell she used to have a ritual. Every Friday she used to go in work dressed in black. On the Friday afternoon to cheer themselves up after a long week’s toil they used to ‘bury Nick.’ That is, she put a black veil on and an onion to her eye and she used to walk around the factory floor shouting “Come on, I’m burying Nick again” and getting everyone to walk slowly behind her in the funeral cortege. ‘Burying Nick’ turned into a workplace institution. Fellow workers used to come up and ask what time the burial was taking place as they didn’t want to miss it if they were on split dinners. Visitors to the factory used to co-ordinate it so they’d arrive on the Friday. Management feared any crackdown on this flagrant act of workplace power as leaving Nick unburied would cause resentment. No hassocks, no quislings, just blackness of humour in a black and humourless place.

One of the last choirs still standing…
‘Burying Nick’ became an outlet for many things: relief from work, relief from tireless poverty, relief from a marriage that might not have been as wonderful as it could have been. Without knowing it, uncle Nick died many times for the amusement of others. When eventually we did go to his funeral there was a proper sense of having been there before. We could definitely smell onions though. But that might just have been my scruffy cousins. The three sisters, Agnes, Marion and my Mam Doris had formed an ‘I’d’ve’. The three of them had got together, as all they wanted then was the comfort afforded by being close to each other. When, as their little collective, they changed a little sentence in history together, then they’ve achieved. Somewhere, written in other families’ oral history book will be the line containing ‘Burying Nick’ and it was put there and made possible by the ‘I’d’ve’ of the three sisters and it will always be written there.

A mixture of chance and care…
Little diddy kind things, and the refusal of good people to give up doing them, build up to big biggun boats of goodness. Whatever that little Mancunian historical sentence will say it will not make sense without FC United of Manchester. I could have, I would have, I should have. We all are doing. We are burying Nick and having a hooterama whilst doing it. The last issue of AFLM:SPG had 500 copies printed. We sold them all on the first game. The printers cost us £500. At two brick a copy we thought we would raise £500. With all the other Rafael Da Silva thrown in there is now an extra £555.83 in the Development Fund towards the building of a ground back within the boundaries. Thank you for buying this publication and thank you for getting to that £555.83. Together, as always, to the next three points. One day we’re going home.

Fraternally yours,
AFLM:SPG

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