Summer 1986

This was the summer I worked for Bowyers. They had a factory on the edge of Plymouth that made pork pies and pasties.

I sailed through my exams with the exception of one subject which I intended dropping anyway - electrical power. Then, after our little trip to Holland, it was back to Plymouth.

I'd bought some export strength vodka and was busy using it up in the day or two I had left after the exams had ended.

My Dad came to collect me on such occasions. I had to move all my stuff out of the accomodation. He had a capri which wasn;t the most practical for carrying a lot of stuff in, but we managed.
He arrived while I was sitting in my room with Paul Simon. He though we were kissing. Oh dear - I was just leaning over him looking at a photo from our dutch trip.

Summer holidays is a tradition I miss these days. In 1986 I needed to find myeslf a little bit. Having become detached from me and what had been my lfe up till then I'd gone a bit wrong. The weight gain - looking weird - depression - just feeling lost I guess.

So - back to my mother's cooking, going out with my friends at the weekend, and knocking around with Mark again. The canoeing got me back on form and I lost the weight - that and eating properly again.

Lisa was with Terry - a man in his 40s and all the rifts had healed while i was away. so I spent quite a lot of time round there playing snooker in the garage. Terry supplied me with bicycles through this period. He owned a removals company and used to get these things from house clearances. I think he gave me two bikes in all before his death from Leukeamia.

I joined Lisa and Terry down in Cornwall - they went camping near Newquay and I cycled down about 60/70 miles to join then for a night or two. I got a lift home though.

The canoeing with Mark involved going out to the Great Mewstone and the Plymouth breakwater. We explored old forts out in the sound. The Mewstone is an island off Wembury in south Devon, and it was pretty heavily covered in vegetation so we didn't get very far from the coast line. We even once made it onto Drakes Island (?) which actually isn't far from the mainland.

I got my hair cut in the style of David Bowie on his 1984 album - Lisa was working in a hairdressers at the time - and i think it was that one (?).

The Bowyers job only lasted two weeks. I met up with old school friend Gavin Smith who was a trainee - management - while i was a grunt on the production line. This was the class divide demonstrated for me - middle class Gavin, former head boy at school, had got a management job while I was slaving away on the production line and using the shitty canteen where everyone could take the piss out of me for havign soft hands and reading the Guardian. Gavin didn;t want to know me at that point, and I didn't really feel much different.

The others quickly grew disatisfied with the speed I worked at. I was tried out on getting the hot stuff out of the ovens, injecting pies with jelly, putting wrappers on the pasties - this was done by machine but it was so decrepit that it kept going wrong so someone had to be on hand to help it out - loads of pasties got broken and the packet said made in cornwall (the factory was in Plymouth!) My hands soon became covered in blisters, I just couldn't physically do the work I was being asked to do. I got called into the bosses office and told they were letting me go. I spent an easy week in the warehouse measuring out powdered potato and spices, then I was offski with about £300 in my pocket and all the broken pies I could carry.