Moments in My Life I Could’ve Done Without – Part 1

From my parents fighting, to a slap with a with a slipper and having my new trainers 'christened' by Phil Babb, here's a potted history of misery.
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'Mr Tumnus regretted staying out boozing with Aslan...'




An altercation between mum and dad. Who hit whom though? Most of the time, I think mum slapped dad. But sometimes I think dad hit her and I visualise it in black and white. Seeing it in monochrome makes it slightly less disturbing, like a James Cagney film where he gives his woman a slap.


Made a delayed entrance at my 6th birthday after wetting myself at school. My aunt came to pick me up to find me in my school shirt & tie and Liverpool shorts. Aunt had to bathe me as the party got underway.

Having my pyjamas pulled down by the neighbours’ 4-year-old daughter during the first half of the Argentina versus Holland 1978 World Cup Final.


Beaten up with my own slipper in my own house by my mum’s friend’s son who was a bit older than me.

A specific memory here; 23rd October 1980, being caned by the headmaster of St Mary’s school in Clapham, Pick-a-bogey Parr for not holding my pen properly. Didn’t work. Still don’t hold my pen properly so up yours Parr.

Bitten on the back by my mum's friend's son - the same one who beat me with my own slipper. Why didn't my parents just stop inviting him round?


Being given every opportunity by mum as I was poised to have a good tooth pulled out by the dentist, to confess I’d made the toothache up to stay off school. I went down with the lie, as schooled by dad, and the tooth came out.


Opened the door on a classmate’s mum in the toilet. 28 years on, I still want to know why she didn’t lock the door. Why did both of us have to go through that?


Having my brand new Nike Blazer high boots ‘christened’ by future Liverpool defender Phil Babb at our Lambeth school.


The start of two years of sharing a bed with my dad after his and mum’s marriage broke down.


Where to start with this? On the wrong end of a fight with classmate and future Broadmoor inmate who would just over a decade later stab his social worker over 120 times. The fight only lasted 30 seconds but in retrospect, that fight deserves to be revaluated given what he went on to do. I held my own with a future murderer.

Summer: Failed my GCSE’s.

Sister uncovered my massive porn collection amassed during a frenzied 17-day period in August. A close friend who despite being a year younger looked older than me, purchased all 41 magazines, financed by my salary as a Woolworths Saturday boy.

Christmas 1988: Sister discovers I’m hiding my cigarettes out on the scaffolding up on our building and turns me in.

In December, Dad finally moved out a year after divorcing mum, only to move to the bedsit below. Returned not long after and became embroiled in a fight with mum which involved each thumping the other over the head with a full roll of brown tape.


Lost virginity and within 45 minutes was back in bed with my dad. That sums up my life better than any other incident.

Kennedy promised the American people a man on the moon by the end of the sixties and delivered. Likewise our Polish landlord met his promise – just - of bringing hot water to Mayflower Road by the end of the eighties. Within three days, our second hand Ascot Water with the British Gas Do Not Use sticker warning on it, had blown up and we returned to boiling kettles.


Broke friend’s toilet in Norbury after I kicked their cistern to avoid touching it. The whole water tank came crashing down. I returned downstairs to watch the second half of the West Germany versus Czechoslovakia World Cup quarter-final with my friend and his family, without making any reference to the noise they had just heard.

Close friend Neil Jenkins cut me out of his life for fancy friends and new girlfriend (now wife). I always missed him.


Vomited during an interview at Littlewoods in Marble Arch following a panic attack.

Took on a terrible security job in Canary Wharf (so I could go to Malta with my mates) as the whole complex was being built. Did 26 consecutive 12-hour shifts, the first day of which involved being sent into the car park to apprehend a man who was masturbating in full view of the cameras.

Came close to drowning in Malta after mine and a friend’s lilo drifted out of St Julian’s bay.

My mock English A Level was rocked by an embarrassing sequence of stomach rumbles.

Tears For Fears officially split.

In December, Dad finally moved out a year after divorcing mum, only to move to the bedsit below. Returned not long after and became embroiled in a fight with mum which involved each thumping the other over the head with a full roll of brown tape. I was too stunned to intervene.


Grew my first goatee in the spring, which could be seen from five yards away.


Failed my A Levels again.

College girlfriend stopped returning my calls.


David  Caruso left my favourite ever TV show, NYPD Blue.

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