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Fwiends, Womans and countwymen...

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Posted 7th August 2013 at 11:26 PM by troggi

Long time since I've been in 'ere, y' ought t' see t' size o' t' spiders shudder

Well, what did I come here for? It's like findin' yourself in t' kitchen an' not knowin' why!

Oh! That's right there's been a bit of talk about friendship and it's meaning to me and it had me feeling a little nostalgic and isolated so I thought that I might tell anyone who wants to read this drivel about some of my friends, past and present.

My first real friend outside of my family was a lad in my first primary school, Blackburn Infant School, that's Blackburn in Rotherham not Greater Manchester btw. I may have said something about the first house I lived in before, if I have ignore this next bit. I lived in a little row of cottages with an outside cludgie and no plumbed in bath and before I had finished my first year at school there was a compulsory purchase order on the house and we had to move. Good job really or we'd have been living on a traffic island at the Blackburn end of the Tinsley Viaduct, one of the Sheffield Junctions of the M1 motorway! This friend I started on about before veering wildly away to talk about homes was named Russell and I think he set me up for a life full of "interesting characters"!

We were 5. Boys of 5 are really not all that judgemental. I played with toy cars, fire engines and stuff. Russell had dolls and dressing up clothes like feather boas and stuff. Life was fun. Then we had to move to the wonderfully named Greaseborough, honestly it was much better than it sounded. Three house moves it took before I saw Russell again. We had been such good friends that we recognised one another instantly when we met, just after the Christmas of 1970 in the play park at the end of Woolley Wood Bottom near the Wincobank and Blackburn Working Men's Club. Five long years had gone by and Russell asked me what I had got for Christmas (a chemistry set and microscope) and told me what he had got (a silver lame dress and a blonde wig). We were 10 and had grown apart. Boys of 10 are not as judgemental as you'd think, I'm glad to say and we parted feeling good that we hadn't lost the friendship but it couldn't progress!

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