28/28: Post number 1984

And then I was seven

Weekends outside South Africa House, singing songs about freeing some man Della something and wearing badges. Walking down roads with lots of other people all at once and shouting that we didn’t like the new-clears because they were bad. Also the bomms. And then, when the Bad Government wanted to abolish the Gee Elsie and the eye-ell-ee-ay, which were good things, we were cross about that and got new badges and all went walking some more. Walking and shouting.

My mother was very active, still is, in areas of peace, and justice, and, you know, stuff. It’s one of the things that makes her the most lovable. My little militant mummy. And, when young, we were political too, by default. Whether we truly understood what we were protesting for or against, or not.

Or, as I wrote here in 2002:

I was the kind of kid who, when being taken on a Nuclear Disarmament March and instructed to paint a picture on a placard to carry, would do so.

I would sit and think about what picture I wanted to paint, look at my large piece of cardboard and my paints.

And I would paint a picture and a slogan for my demonstration placard.

But while every other clued-up, already left-wing, intelligent child was carrying a banner proclaiming;

“I don’t want to grow up in a world with bombs”

with cartoon trident symbols scored through,


“Think of the children, we are the future!”

with small round faces smiling all around the carefully formed lettering,


“Nuclear bombs make kids cry”

with some fancy picture that would make it onto the six o’clock news,

I’d be marching round, proudly holding high a placard with a picture of a brown and white oval and the words;

“This is my ginny pig her name is debbie.”.

Which could possibly make a political point, but I’m fucked if I know what that is.

Still, some of it must have sunk in, because one of my very favourite possessions is a story I wrote when I was about 7. It sits in a frame in the living room. It has a picture of a princess on the back, which you can’t see, but the story is what really matters. I’ve written about this before, I know I have. But it is, as I say, one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. So I don’t care.

It starts off pretty normal, but quickly gets a little… erm … well, here it is…


Well, it’s just what you do with witches.

(What is this ’28/28′ thing? What the hell is going on? Confused? Ah, well then, you should read this. It will inform you. Also, it has important birthday information)