Nowhere Fast

 

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“According to the old boys who worked down the mines, they would switch jobs with the other boys all the time, it didn’t matter how shit it was it kept things interesting. They worked long hard hours in those days see. Like they say I suppose, a change is as good as a rest”. Prince

 A proverb attributed to a poet Andrew Leach, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1800s, might be better recognised delivered by Sir Winston Churchill, and although its not entirely clear who coined this phrase first, it is a proverb that Prince evidently lives by and has often proved to be method most effective, if only by my own experience.

A lesser case of slowing down and more a state of distraction, some of us shun the chance to ease it off, but when we do we usually find something to take its place and as one might expect, Prince too, has found another device. “Recuperating they call it, I cant do fuck all according to your mother and these doctors”. Even while wired to a backpack that will provide just enough energy to see him through the day, very little will see him sat in wait for an answer, and while he busies himself about his province, his rest time has gone about some change.

From sheds to deco, and clocks to coins, much of my father’s attention or routine is currently dedicated to the order of his dwelling and expanding collections. With no corner safe or stone unturned it is Prince’s mission, against all orders and all odds to resist a rest. And it is in this defiance we see the spark that fires his ‘artistic’ urge, that paints the paths with glittered paints; dons the walls with chiming hands and fearsome masks, and now too, like a squirrel that works for its winters feed Prince scurries the land in pursuit of hidden change.

“Those flipping coins have been a blessing. He’s looking for collector fifty pence pieces now, which are out in circulation. It gives him something to focus on see. I daren’t say I’ve had to go to every fucking shop in the village, town, and country to take him to get these, mind. I went to three towns this morning. But, it takes the weight off me while I do some Christmas shopping, and its nice that he has something to do. He’s got the people in the bank wondering though. They don’t know what’s going on”. Pearl

Not unknown, but certainly novel to say the least, the changes we have witnessed in 2016, as a nation or even as a race, could be described as a rare colossally seismic series of events that will indefinitely dent the annals of history. And although change, it is said, is scarcely welcomed at least by us Brits, it would appear it’s been a long time coming. On the 400th year anniversary of Shakespeare, in which the Queen shared her 90th Birthday with one of Americas most ventured trails, Rout 66; while morning the loss of Ali, Bowie, and (the other) Prince, we saw Britain exit the EU (with not even a night bag) and witnessed Trump rally an entire nation into what can only be described as a ‘Panto’ frenzy, winning the majority of its votes and leaving even the most open minded dumb struck and benumbed.

However, amongst all this change, including the trials and tribulations of his recent battle with the ‘C’, and the enormous impact this has had on his lifestyle, very few changes have an affect on Prince, unless of course we consider (and we should) the introduction of the new five-pound-note, featuring the face of Britain’s most celebrated leader, orator and writer, Winston Churchill. But beyond this, as Prince says, “Who gives a fuck, there’s not much you can do to change most things, and Politicians well, they are all full of crap, I wouldn’t listen to their wireless. The same shit will be going on long after we are gone. Pointless worrying about it”.

“Silly fuckers. I went down the boot sale this morning for a spin to look for new Five Pound-Notes, the ones with Churchill’s head on them, there’s been such a fuss in the papers about these serial numbers I thought I’d have a look for my collection. People were out in droves. It was chock-a-block down there.

 Well, would you believe it, the first table I saw there was a boy selling brand new notes, nothing else, and there was a queue of fucking idiots lining up to buy them. So thought I’d take a look. Have a guess how much he was selling them for? You’ll never guess.

 He was selling five for fifty quid, five mind, that’s twenty five quid and people were buying them for fifty. Not just the odd few, people were lining up for them. Oh well I thought, if that’s the going price, then that is how much they are, they’ll be worth a fortune in the future maybe, and they were going for two hundred quid on the computer.

 When I got to the table, I started telling this boy how difficult it was to find a proper set, and asked which serial numbers he had, and where he had had them from. He looked stupid at me. “Serial numbers?” he said. This silly fucker was selling any old random sets of notes, wasn’t he, not one of the serials matched let alone made a set. Actually I think he was the clever one. These twats were lapping them up, and no one was checking for numbers. There’s something wrong with people, I’m telling you. I told him to fuck off.” Prince

Bought and sold in the reserve of life many of us come in through one door and out the other before we even know we are born, some won’t even have considered the how’s and why’s, concerned only with their needs and want. Some however, driven by a burning desire and an unquenchable thirst for life, clutch at any chance to answer its every call.

In the words of poet, James Montgomery, “Eternity is a moment standing still forever” although according to a quote by Maxwell Maltz, “Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward” and even though one might consider this to be a contradiction of sorts, it is these moments while standing still that take us forward into new beginnings. Or at least that is one perspective. Some however see things in a very different light, one being Prince, who believes we are all quite simply, “going nowhere fast”.

Whichever way we are going, rest or change, fast or slow, everyone needs a break or break we shall, even if it’s just a change of scene or a different look. Some things however they never change like change itself; it is inevitable, if uninvited. It’s in the nature of our way, like the four seasons each will come to pass, and with them always will come the wind of change. So it is in this thought I seek a no more fitting tribute than the words of Winston Churchill himself, whom once said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”.

“We were sent to get parts for the Machine one morning, when we got to the stores the guy told us, “come back at half past four”, that was eight o’clock in the morning. Oh well, I thought. Peter looked at me, “Fuck it’s a lovely day”, he said, “might as well go down the beach for a spin”, we had only just clocked in for our shift. It was only down the road see, so we thought fuck it. We drove the lorry and parked up down on the sand for five minutes to look at the sea, it was a glorious day.

 Next thing, I remember waking up. Swish, swish, I could hear the sound of water. Us, two fucking Plonkers had fallen asleep hadn’t we! When I checked my watch it was three o’clock. Two fucking tides had gone out and come back in. The bastard wheels were lodged. By the time we got back to pick the parts up from the stores it was six o’clock. “You fucking twat, I told you to park up the top” Peter said. “You didn’t say fuck all” I told him, but I wasn’t going to argue with him, he was six-foot-two with shoulders just as wide.

 When we got back the Forman was livid. Shouting, “where the fuck have you two been” So I told him, “you’re the one who said, this morning, don’t come back without the parts”. He stopped for a moment, “But we are ready to go home now” he said. “What about us then”, I told him “how do you think we feel, we’ve had to wait around all day for these parts, and Peter, the poor fucker. We didn’t even have any food”. Fair play to the foreman, who was now on our side said, “those fuckers down there are so slow, see”. The parts might have been in at twelve as far as we knew, but no one gave a fuck. It was nice to have a break”. Prince        

 

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