Monday, July 28, 2014

'But we cannot cling to the old dreams any more...'


‘He looks more or less the same as he did in 1985.’

I had made my way to the front of the crowd to get a closer look at Johnny Marr. I had hoped that he would look ravaged and old – as ravaged and old as I look. I thought I might even get close enough to see his roots.

‘Did you have a boogie Daddy?’

My daughters were dancing about in their little festival hats.

‘No I didn’t have a ‘boogie’ darling. Most of the songs are Smiths songs – they weren’t written for to ‘boogie’ to.’

I looked around. Many of the mummies at the ‘family-friendly’ festival had indeed succumbed to the urge to ‘boogie’ – or just jiggle a bit if they were carrying infants. Most of the men were singing along with far away looks in their eyes. A few of them swayed dreamily until children tugged on their cargo shorts. A couple of them got really carried away in their reverie, waved their hands about and tossed quiffs that they no longer possessed.

Maude was sat on Lenny’s handcart. Ever the prudent Scot, Lenny had brought his own hand-powered transport and only attracted a few dozen perplexed glances from the hordes of families who had shelled out at ‘Mr Trolley’ for a natty pull-along cart. The carts came in handy to transport camping gear and/or well-dressed children with names like Oscar and Martha. The carts even came with a canvas roof which gave them the look of miniature pioneer wagons.

Many parents had been to the festival hat shop and had found it hard to resist the owner’s patter:

‘Come inside and get yourself some ‘Hattitude’!’

Brisk business was done in cowboy hats that would soon adorn wardrobe tops all over North London - once the dust had settled in the wake of a middle-aged stampede to see if Johnny’s roots were showing.

‘So, why did you come all that way back to us? I thought you were enjoying being at the front.’

‘The walkie-talkie started flashing and I couldn’t hear what you were saying. Thought it might be urgent.....’

‘I was just asking if you were having a good time, silly!
Anyway, now you’re back could you go and get some more doughnuts and don’t let Casta carry the chocolate dip this time.’

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