My wife loves Russell Brand, she’s female why wouldn’t she? Apart from being funny he is ridiculously handsome, tall, a cad, loved by women and trouble with a capital T.

I in I turn love the wonderful Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser. Apart from being funny books the hero, Harry Flashman, is ridiculously handsome, tall, a cad, loved by women and trouble with a capital T.

Hmmm, I’m sensing something here! Any film producers out there who want a guaranteed success on their hands need look no further than combining the two and making these fantastic novels into a film series with the wonderful Russell Brand playing Harry Flashman, military whiskers and all.

I expect no credit for this idea except an invite to the premiere and for my wife to meet Russell Brand in the flesh!


I’m a man prone to jealousy, not in a nasty way I hasten to add. It’s just that some peoples lives fall in such a way to make my own seem rather dull. I have my health, I have a roof and I have a family that I love therefore I really can’t complain. However Michael Atherton, proffesional cricketer, ex England Captain, Sky Sports commentator and Times cricket correspondant is one of those men that makes a man like me feel wholly inadequate. Yes Mr Atherton I am quite jealous of you.

A brief precis of Athertons life includes a solid family background, Grammar School, Cambridge University, Lancashire CC, England, Sky Sports and The Times.  A more expanded and beautifully written autobiography (by Atherton NOT a ghost writer), fills in the gaps better than I can. I really cannot recommend it highly enough.

As a student he was exceptional, as a cricketer from an early age he was obviously something special. By the time he reached Cambridge the nickname “FEC” (Future England Captain) had taken hold and the inevitable happened in 1993. It was his time as England Captain that Atherton suddenly found life hard there were no great England players, just a stream of uninterested, average club cricketers and older players counting down their days. The exception being Alec Stewart who probably resented being overlooked for the captaincy at the time. Australia were at the beginning of the exceptional period in their history when the Ashes were never to be won by England until 2006, by which time Athertons back had ensured he took early retirement from the game he loved. It is a reflection of Athertons England career that his finest innings was 185 against Alan Donald and Co. in 1998 against South Africa to save a game.

For me two questions hang over Athertons career:

1/ How good would he have been as an opening bat in a strong England team? Too many times he was batting after 2 days in the field trying to control Devon Malcolm and Phil Tuffnell. Then wickets of lesser players continually fell around him.

2/ What would he have achieved as captain under Duncan Fletcher and with the bowling attack of Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard and Jones? His time as Captain was blighted by a bowling attack that changed every test and never gave hime the control so essential in test cricket.

I only mention the “dirt in the pocket” incident because it was probably the low point. It was really nothing and no different to watching a bowler rub his hands in the dust of his run up and then apply it to the ball. Atherton just put dirt in his pocket, it was a load of nonsense and blown completely out of proportion.

So in essence Athertons career has seen some lows but in context of a man doing what he loved playing more than 100 test matches I’m sure he has coped. He is now a commentator  tailor made to replace Richie Benaud and a genuine journalist worthy of his place on The Times. His report on the Allen Stanford affair is exceptional and well worth a read.

I have enjoyed every aspect of his career so far and look forward to listening to him and reading his thoughts for as long as I am able. Cricket without Atherton now seems unthinkable. Maybe his Lancastrian roots, my father was from Bury, allows me to see a kindred spirit. He (along with Bumble) have convinced my wife that cricket is a game worth watching. So yes he has a dream job, has played for and captained England and I hate him for it out of pure green eyed jealousy he has had the life I was supposed to have! The dicotomy is that he is the type of man I would like my sons to aspire to be.


Today I decided to dabble in the art of Zen Gardening. I had a small area in my front garden that was looking rough, so using materials I had lying around plus a newly purchased Japanese Acer plant and some bamboo screening and I was off.

My chi was disturbed when I went to pick up my smiling Buddah and his hand fell off causing me to drop it, I watched as it bounced and the other hand fell off. Some super glue and controlled breathing later and he was back to his glorious self. I did wonder if this kind of mass produced item had a place in my Zen Garden, but I like him, he makes me smile, he’ll do for me!

The stones wouldn’t go where I wanted them, I was searching for their happy side and failing miserably, in the end I went for the ” Where They Lay” option. I added an old bird bath that was kind of Japanese and placed a serene figure on the top where a bird used to be before it broke off. The bamboo screen had a life of it’s own and tested me to the limit.

Then it was complete, I washed it all down with the hose, filled the birdbath and sat in a chair contemplating. My wife wants me to trim the bamboo screen (it’s a bit high) and it still looks a bit too busy but you know what? I could sit, looking at my garden, clearing my mind of the collected debris and generally feeling good for hours.

My final thoughts on my day? I love it.

Peace to you all.

Is Robert Mugabe the only world leader who hopes oil is never found in their country? In my new role as cheif Zimbabwe correspondent, Todays Problem Is reports…………..


News has reached us that a major oil strike has taken place in a downton Harare homestead. Farmer Solomon Bingo, was digging in his yard when he struck black gold. He told me in a secret interview “It was amazing, we can’t afford to flush our toilet anymore so I was digging out a new crapper in the back yard when whoosh I was covered in a black sticky mess. I called my wife and she told me I was a stupid bastard and not to walk that mess through the house. Anyway my mate Dispy Congo told me it’s oil you dickhead and I thought fuck me, what if Mugabe finds out I’m a dead rich man”

Early reports claim Mr Mugabe has denied these reports saying “There is no oil in Zimbabwe, these rumours are an attempt to distabilise my glorious country”.

George Bush has made a statement in which he has said, “The war against terror has no boundaries and our special services have been watching Mr Mugabe for some time and have evidence that he his hiding Osama Bin Laden, employing him as a gardener in one of his mansions. We will immediately despatch 10000 troops and will remove this harbourer of terrorists with immediate effect. I have always believed Zimbabwe was behind 9/11 and this news confirms my suspicions” off camera Todays Problem Is Washington reporter overheard Mr Bush saying “Daddy won’t belive it, I’m gonna get him more oil, where there’s muck there’s brass and guns and death and destruction and me, ha ha, ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha”

Dave Ross




Petrol station charges £1.99 a litre

Enough now, £1.33 (£1.99 in some extreme cases) for a litre of diesel. An increase this year of more than 30%. If I’m right most oil companies made colossal profits last year charging £1.00 per litre, they would still make a huge profit this year if they still charged £1.00 per litre. Where is their loyalty to us, the long suffering customer? What can we do? Boycott the petrol stations, great idea but how do I get to work? Use another mode of transport? Getting across London on London Transport? No way, it’s more expensive, it takes longer and it stinks? I’m sorry this is 2008 if I want to drive, I’ll drive! Which is where the oil companies have us over a barrell. Most of us can afford the extra cost, in real terms it costs me an extra £ 5-6 per week. The oil companies know this and will keep the rise going for as long as they feel so inclined, it has nothing to do with the extra cost of oil it is greed, does it really matter to them if they make £20 billion this year or £10 billion? It’s the sheer arrogance, the misuse and abuse of a natural resource for enormous personal profit. I don’t want to get all green but while I have no objection to paying a fair price for the efforts of pumping, refining, delivering and supplying diesel I don’t want to be taken from the rear by pump number 4 thank you very much.

Our government stand idly by letting this highway robbery go ahead, where’s the monoplies commission when you need them? Alternatively if they don’t want to upset their greasy benefactors then reduce the rate of tax on fuel by 30% to level things up. The irony of my fuel tax paying for our soldiers to fight a war to protect oil fields to keep down the price of fuel is not lost on me. Thanks for your efforts Mr Brown an opportunity to DO something passes you by again, you really are a waste of skin and bones.

Finally when are the car manufacturers going to role out alternative fuel vehicles that are accessible to all? Fuck the oil companies I’d drive a steam powered car if I could.

This is all part of the biggest conspiracy of all time, the Bush family continue to line their pockets while innocent men, women and children die. Troops are wiped out protecting what? Fighting who? None of us really know the truth we can only surmise at the sheer magnitude of the black, sticky mess on the sole of our collective conscience.

So when I finally pay £2.00 per litre and decide it’s time to by a scooter it won’t matter, no-one cares and nobody can do anything about it. Like a latter day Marie Antoinette, the conspiritors can say “Diesel, let them use unleaded”. Fuck them all, I’m off to get some diesel before the pumps run dry!

 The Players 

 Jimmy Blue: A young man, singer in a band, desperate for fame and escape from his dead end life.

 Maggie Brown: A girl with dreams of family and settling down, can she escape her dark side?

 Johnny White: The drummer, bitter, twisted and lonely. Nasty or sad? You decide.

 Davey Green: Talented songwriter, driven with tunnel vision. A good guy but he will succeed?

 Cathy Violet: Maggies best freind, enigmatic no one really knows her. Does she have a secret?

 Sonny Black: Violent older man, uses Maggie like he uses everyone he encounters.

 Mikey Grey: Famous musician, singer in a once successful band. Heart of gold.

 Rosey Pink: An old groupie, loves a singer and loves a band.  

ACT 1 

Scene 1 


(It’s March 1989 in a grim British industrial town. Jimmy, Maggie, Johnny, Davey and Cathy are gathered behind an old, deserted glue factory late at night. Nothing to do and nowhere to go they are all in their late teens. They are drinking heavily and smoking.) 

All     Song 1: Nothing Ever Happens 

Post office clerks put up signs saying position closed
And secretaries turn off typewriters and put on their coats
Janitors padlock the gates
For security guards to patrol
And bachelors phone up their friends for a drink
While the married ones turn on a chat show And they’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Gentlemen time please, you know we can’t serve anymore
Now the traffic lights change to stop, when there’s nothing to go
And by five o’clock everything’s dead
And every third car is a cab
And ignorant people sleep in their beds
Like the doped white mice in the college lab

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before And we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Telephone exchanges click while there’s nobody there
The Martians could land in the carpark and no one would care
Close-circuit cameras in department stores shoot the same video every day
And the stars of these films neither die nor get killed
Just survive constant action replay

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before And we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Bill hoardings advertise products that nobody needs
While angry from Manchester writes to complain about
All the repeats on T.V.
And computer terminals report some gains
On the values of copper and tin
While American businessmen snap up Van Goghs
For the price of a hospital wing

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before
Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
They’ll burn down the synagogues at six o’clock
And we’ll all go along like before

And we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Jimmy:         This is bollocks, I am so bored, anyone got a gun you can shoot me now! No? Then pass me that vodka. (takes a large swig and gasps).


Maggie:        Come on Jimmy you’ve had enough, you can’t get wasted again like last night.


Jimmy:         (Staggering) What do you care Maggie? You’ve made it very clear what you think of me Maggie! Just leave me alone Maggie. (Takes another large swig and trips comically)


Gang:          (All laugh and jeer)


Johnny:        Wanker!


Maggie:        (Grabs Jimmy’s arm and takes him to one side) Not here Jim, not in front of everyone. Please!


Jimmy:         (Slumps on the floor head in hands) Why is it always me? (Starting to sob drunkenly) What do I have to do? What is wrong with me?


Johnny:        Oh fuck he’s off again, come on let’s go I’ve got some more beer at home. Let’s leave the drunk, lightweight, loser to rot. Why me, why me? (mockingly). Come on Mags just leave him.


Davey:         Jimmy just go home and get yourself sorted. We’re rehearsing tomorrow. I need you there man, I write the songs, you sing the songs that’s how it works. Don’t let me down you know what this means to me.


(Jimmy looks up and tries to put his thumbs up)


Johnny:        Give it up Davey, look at the fucking state of it.


Maggie:        Look you lot go, I’ll get him home it’ll be fine.


Cathy:          See you tomorrow Mags don’t be late, you know how busy Saturdays are. All the mums’ll be in with their little brats. You sure you’ll be ok ?


(Maggie smiles knowingly and gang walks off stage leaving Jimmy and Maggie alone.)


Jimmy:         Why didn’t you go? You just don’t get it do you? I love you.


Maggie:        Jim, I thought we’d sorted all this out. You’re a mate, you know I’m with Sonny. We’re saving for a place and we’re going to get married, me and you is never gonna happen. Just move on, please.


Jimmy:         Yeah right, where’s Sonny tonight? Working? (sarcastic)


Maggie:        Shut up Jimmy; you know I can’t see him Fridays he’s managing down at the club.


Jimmy:         What? Managing his dish cloth, and the ashtrays. Oh shit!


(Jimmy throws up violently narrowly missing Maggie)


Jimmy:         (On his knees) Sorry Mags, sorry! I just can’t bear not being with you, he can’t love you like I do. He’s an arsehole, everyone knows it.


Maggie:        Love, you don’t know love. You’re a drunken loser and I’m sick of this; literally. (looks down at her feet)  I’m going to meet Sonny; this is the last time you screw up Jimmy Blue, the last time.


(Maggie storms of into the night)


Jimmy:         (Still on his knees) What is wrong with me? Why do I do this? A girl just tries to be nice and I fall in love like an idiot, you’ve lost her now son, you’ve lost her now.


(Jimmy stands up holding on to the wall)


Jimmy:       Song 2: Tell Her This

Tell her not to go
I ain’t holding on no more
Tell her something in my mind freezes up from time to time

Tell her not to cry
I just got scared that’s all
Tell her I’ll be by her side, all she has to do is call

Tell her the chips are down
I drank too much and shouted it aloud
Tell her something in my heart
Needs her more than even clowns need the laughter of the crowd

Tell her what was wrong
I sometimes think to much
But say nothing at all
And tell her from this high terrain, I am ready now to fall

Tell her not to go
I ain’t holding on no more
Tell her nothing if not this; all I want to do is kiss her

Tell her something in my mind
Freezes up from time to time.

(Jimmy slumps against the wall in the dark and falls asleep. He is woken by voices some time later. Sonny and Maggie are walking home arguing)


Sonny:         For fucks sake Maggie I was at work, I’ve told you before I can’t see you at work.


Maggie:        Who was she? She was all over you, you promised me it wouldn’t happen again.


Sonny:         Look , I’m a popular chap and the girls like me. I’m doing a job and they don’t mean nothing. It’s just a game. I put on a work act, it’s not real.


Maggie:        (Stopping and grabbing Sonny by the arm) Sonny, I’m not stupid, I know what goes on. Look at you and look at me. (Getting angry) You think you’re so perfect don’t you? It’s never your fault is it? It’s all me isn’t it? Just fuck off! (Getting angrier) Go on get back to your sluts.


Sonny:         Calm down, you know I don’t mean to hurt you it’s just…..


Maggie:        Just that you’re a selfish, arrogant, wanker. Jimmy Blue wouldn’t treat me like this.


(Sonny slaps Maggie hard around the face, Jimmy in the shadows goes to move but stops still feeling very drunk)


Sonny:         Now look what you’ve made me do, why do you always do this? Why can’t you see it from my point of view? I’m earning a living for us, I do what I have to do, you stupid, useless woman!


Maggie:        (Holding her face) I can’t believe you, you are fucking unreal. You really don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, do you? You will NEVER do that to me again. Go Sonny it’s over. JUST GO.



Maggie & Sonny:       Song 3: I Won’t Take The Blame

Daylight comes with such surprising speed
Yesterday you talked of love and now you want to leave
But don’t expect me to stand in your way
I am powerless to alter any action you might take

And I won’t take the blame
I was not the one who played the joker in this game
I was not the one who feels nothing anymore
So if you walk out that door, I won’t take the blame

And as I look at the girl I once adored
You tell me that I hold you back you tell me that you’re bored
So like a pair of clowns we stand around and fight
Why can’t you get it over with and walk out of my life?

And I won’t take the blame
I was not the one who played the joker in this game
I was not the one who feels nothing anymore
So if you walk out that door, I won’t take the blame

And the steps of this old church are peppered with confetti hearts
Like a million little love affairs waiting to fall apart


(Sonny turns and walks away laughing, Maggie upset turns and runs home, Jimmy collapses again against the wall)



Scene 2


(It’s early evening the next day and the gang have gathered together behind the factory again laughing and joking)


Davey:         Jimmy man you’ve got to sing with a hangover more often that was amazing, the best we’ve ever sounded.


Jimmy:         Sorry mate I’m never drinking again, that’s it I don’t ever want to feel like that again. (Jimmy and Maggies eyes meet and she smiles)


Johnny:        Yeah right, you give up the booze. I don’t believe that, it’s like me giving up women.


Jimmy:         Er, Johnny you’ve got to have had some women before you can give them up! (Maggie laughs probably too loudly)


Johnny:        Fuck you Jimmy Blue, you can’t talk. She likes you (points at Maggie) but she won’t let you any where near. What does that tell you, if she won’t let you near?


(Jimmy and  Johnny square up and Jimmy punches Johnny. Johnny goes on his knees his nose bleeding)


Davey:         Right, I’ve had enough of this, if you can’t sort this out I’ll take my songs and find someone else to play them. Just pack it in.


Jimmy:         Davey, I’m sorry he just winds me up, you Ok Mags?


Johnny:        Don’t worry Dave I’ll let it go for you. But you (points at Jimmy) I won’t forget this. One day, one day….I’m going home, see you all later and fuck you Jimmy Blue.


(The gang disperse leaving Jimmy and Maggie together again)


Maggie:        Thanks Jim, Sonny wouldn’t have stood up for me like that.


Jimmy:         Don’t say that I saw what happened last night and did nothing. I was just too pissed to help. Sorry, you OK?


Maggie:        I don’t know. I’ve been doing lots of thinking today sitting on that till and you know something? I’ve always wondered what happens when you think you’re with “The One”. You make plans, you think you’re sorted then bang you meet someone else that makes you realise he isn’t “The One” just someone. I just don’t know what to do.


Jimmy:         Stop it, you’re making me blush.


Maggie:       Let me finish you arsehole, Sonny hurt me and it’s not funny. Just be nice to me Jimmy, I need someone to be nice. OK? (starts crying again). Just say something nice to me.


Jimmy:       Song 4: Sleep Instead Of Teardrops

Cry, cry out your eyes forever
It won’t go away
I, I’m just a dumb observer
It’s so stupid what I say

Like everyone else will do I’m gonna lie to you
Tell you that life is cruel but some day you’re gonna wake up
With sleep instead of teardrops in your eyes

And so, nobody lives forever,
The crassest of cliches
Like time, time is the greatest healer
But it’s a murderer today

Like everyone else will do I’m gonna lie to you
Tell you that life is cruel but some day you’re gonna wake up
With sleep instead of teardrops in your eyes

You know my holding you won’t change anything
I can’t stop this whole charade continuing
As each consoling kiss remains on your face like a stain

So cry, cry out those tears
And let them succumb to gravity
And try, try as I might
I’ll never fill that vacancy

Like everyone else will do I’m gonna lie to you
Tell you that life is cruel but some day you’re gonna wake up
With sleep instead of teardrops in your eyes.
Someday you’re gonna wake up with sleep instead of teardrops in your eyes.


Maggie:        It all seems so easy to you doesn’t it? Sonny just doesn’t understand. Why do men treat me like that?


Jimmy:         Come on Mags we all think the world of you even that tit Johnny. I’ll have to apologise for thumping him.


Maggie:        Don’t you dare he deserved it. How dare he question my purity?


Jimmy:         Yeah he should be grateful, knocked out by the local hard man Jimmy Blue. Something to tell his grandchildren about! Look at these guns. (Jimmy goes through a ridiculous muscle man routine)


Maggie:        (Laughing) You do make me laugh Jim, they say some women find laughter irresistible, a real turn on.


Jimmy:         Well it doesn’t work too well for me. I make plenty of women laugh in my Friday night gear and I never pull any of em.


Maggie:        What are you talking about?


Jimmy:         You know when I transform into Jemima. Oh yes, killer heels, something strapless to just above the knee and my hair up, you know, sophisticated.


Maggie:        (laughing again) You fucking idiot what are you talking about?


Jimmy:         Don’t know really but it’s taken your mind of Sonny hasn’t it?


(They both sit in silence staring at each other and the floor)


Maggie:        What you doing now?


Jimmy:         Don’t know, going home I suppose I still feel a bit shit after yesterday. I was so drunk.


Maggie:        Were you? I didn’t notice! I’ve had to throw those shoes away you know. Do you remember what you said?


Jimmy:         (Suddenly remembering) Oh God, look I, um, I was drunk you know.


Maggie:        I know, but what you said?


Jimmy:         Look Maggie you need some time. You don’t need a drunk loser like me.


Maggie:        Don’t I? I’ve always liked you, I need a laugh and I need some fun. I need you Jimmy Blue.


(Debbie goes to kiss Jimmy but he puts his finger on her lips)


Jimmy and Maggie:       Song 5: Here and Now

Hey I’m with you, let me just get you a light
And if we’d thought to listen
We might have checked if the weather was right
And I don’t mind if you want to drive all day

Hey, it’s raining, I should have brought my coat
And sometimes I could sell my soul
Just to sit and watch you smoke
And I don’t mind if you want to break my heart

‘Cos you can burn paper
You can turn a wheel
But you can’t change later
Here and now just how good we can feel

Hey, stop talking, think I can hear the sea
And did I tell you the sound of the surf
Makes strange things happen to me
And I don’t mind if you want to crash the car

‘Cos you turn traitor
You can turn on your heels
But you can’t change lady
Here and now just how good we can feel

And hey don’t worry, so that black cat’s some kind of curse
‘Cos if bad times are coming up ahead,
Just put us in reverse

I don’t want to waste time, thinking ’bout it here and now babe
Nothing else matters but what we’ve got here and now babe.  


Jimmy:         You know I’ve fancied you, God I hate that word but I do. I’ve fancied you since the first day I saw you, but I don’t want to mess anything up. We’re mates, you’ve been hurt and I’m trying to get myself of the booze. Do you really want to make things even more complicated?


Maggie:        I’ve known what Sonny’s been up to for months Jimmy. You’ve been inside my head, you’re funny, you’re kind and I’ve fancied you for ages but Sonny’s not a man you fuck with. He’s dangerous but it’s over now. I’ve told him, you heard me.

Jimmy:         Whoa, dangerous? I know I thumped Johnny and obviously I’m the town hard man (flexes biceps and smiles) but I don’t do dangerous. You sure it’s over, you sure he doesn’t want you back?

Maggie:        I’ll talk to him, he won’t even care, he’s got all kinds of sluts down at that bar. Urgh I feel disgusted that we ever……….you know.

Jimmy:         What are you telling me you held hands? I’m not sure I can have anything to do with a girl like that! (Very sarcastic)

Maggie:        You idiot. ( laughs)

(Both laughing, she goes to push him and he grabs her arm and pulls her towards him)

Maggie:        I didn’t think you wanted to kiss m..(Jimmy kisses her before she can finish)

 (Sound of footsteps and Sonny appears and stands silently watching)

Sonny:         Boo!! (very loudly)

(Jimmy and Maggie jump and Maggie squeals and hides behind Jimmy)

Sonny:        Well fuck me, I’m minding my own business strolling to work and I see this. Very cosy, you fucking whore.

Jimmy:         Hang on mate, don’t call her that.

Sonny:         Shut up you little prick.

(Sonny punches Jimmy in the head and he goes down straight way, Sonny kicks him twice in the stomach. Jimmy lies still on the floor. Maggie starts to scream.)

Sonny:         Shut it or you’re next.

(Maggie sobs)

Sonny:         So this is what you do the minute things get a bit tough? Well, you’re new man isn’t up to much is he? (Sonny kicks Jimmy again)

Maggie:        Please Sonny; leave him alone it’s my fault. I can’t be with you any more.

Sonny:         Do you think I care? I have to hurt him because I’m a man and he’s messing with my woman. And now I’m done; take this piece of shit away.

(Sonny drags Jimmy onto his feet and throws him towards Maggie)

Sonny:         You’re welcome to this psycho, boy; you’ve got no fucking idea have you? She’s trouble, with a couple of screws loose I’ll be glad to see the back of her.


Sonny:        Song 6: The First Rule Of Love

You’ll get hooked, you’ll get drugged
She’ll be your essence she’ll be your blood
And you’ll want her so much but you’ll never get enough
And that’s the first rule of love

She’ll smell so sweetly in the morning
She’ll make you feel so good inside
And you’ll want her so much you’ll give everything else up
And that’s the first rule of love

You’ll grow comfortable together
You’ll start to fit like hand and glove
And then you’ll start to hate the men she used to dream of
And that’s the first rule of love

You’ll miss her madly, when you’re apart
Love is like gravity holding down your heart

You’ll grow envious and bitter
She’ll be enquiring and concerned
And you’ll feel so close to her but never close enough
To get past the first rule of love

And with the awkwardness of strangers
You will finally give up
No exceptions to the first rule of love

(Maggie helps Jimmy away and Sonny lights a cigarette and walks away shaking his head and laughing)



Scene 1

(2 months later in the local pub. The band is warming up on a small stage. Maggie and Jimmy are sitting at a table with Cathy)

Cathy:          Same again?

(Jimmy and Maggie nod and Cathy goes to the bar)

Maggie:        I’m glad she’s gone Jim I’ve got something to tell you.

Jimmy:         What? Sorry! I can’t concentrate our first gig for money and we’ve only been together 3 months.

Maggie:        Yeah right twenty quid each, wow, and by the way we’ve been together two months, so what? Now will you just listen to me for once? God you never listen.

Jimmy:         Ok, ok what’s on your mind?

Maggie:        I’m pregnant.

Jimmy:         What!! Fuck off, you’re kidding.

Maggie:        Well I’m glad you’re so pleased.

Jimmy:         Just surprised how did that happen?

Maggie:        I’ll ignore that you idiot, I am pregnant, we’re having a baby and you’ll have to give up the band and get a proper job and we’ll have to find somewhere else to live we can’t stay in your bedsit and….

Jimmy:         Give up the band?

Maggie:        I’m having your baby Jimmy Blue, this is real life not this band nonsense.

Davey:         (From the stage) Jim, come on man, were on.

Jimmy:         Er, oh shit, um, look we’ll talk later, I’ve got to go.

(Cathy comes back and joins Maggie and they chat excitedly. Jimmy climbs on the stage obviously distracted. He seems to come to life when the first note is played.)


Band:                   Song 7: Just Like A Man

I still don’t believe it, how much we lied
Last night you made it with him now I’m supposed to be dignified
Just like a man

Well I spend my night times drinking and you spend your days in bed
And I guess it’s up to us to choose the methods by which we forget

And just like a man he holds you gently
And just like a man he strokes your hair
And just like a man I still pretend that I’m
Immune to the whole affair

But I wanna die, I wanna cry, I wanna tell you I was wrong
Yeh I wanna die, I wanna cry but it’s too late
So I soldier on just like a man

I don’t believe it, you were easy to leave but now
I do my best to relieve it the only way I know how
Just like a man

And I don’t wanna possess you, I don’t wanna take his place
But I don’t wanna see my last few pleasures written all over his face

And just like a man he holds you gently
And just like a man he strokes your hair
And just like a man I still pretend that I’m
Immune to the whole affair

But I wanna die, I wanna cry, I wanna tell you I was wrong
Yeh I wanna die, I wanna cry but it’s too late
So I soldier on just like a man

And I have something to tell you but it doesn’t matter now
I’ll stick to small talk and leave the little bits of flattery to him
And I could call you but why would I bother to
You might not be in or he might misunderstand
Just like a man

Band                   Song 8: When You Were Young 

Look at the fool you have been
They drained the pool while you drowned in the dream
They bought your beauty and your soul
Then softly sold you back what they stole 

So look into the mirror do you recognise someone
Is it who you always hoped you would become
When you were young

The disappointment of success
Hangs from your shoulders like a hand-me down dress
And down nostalgia’s rocky road
You watch your former lovers growing old

So look into the mirror do you recognise someone
Is it who you always hoped you would become
When you were young

Sometimes your lack of sympathy gets hard to explain
So on your mask of make up just paint
A little parody of pain
So I look into the mirror and I recognise someone
It is who you always hoped you would become
When you were young


(Band come off stage and are approached by a man in dark glasses. Obviously a musician / rock star)

Johnny:        Fuck me look, it’s Mikey Grey.

Davey:         (Trying to be cool) Er, hi Mikey, sorry about my star struck drummer, can I get you a drink.

Mikey:         No, that’s ok. You in charge?

Davey:         (Looking for approval from others) Yeah, I guess so.

Mikey:         I was only in here cos the hotel we’re in is so shit so I thought I’d sample some local, you know, ambience. (looks round at the rotten pub) I like what you do. You’re a bit rough round the edges but I like it.

Davey:         Wow, that’s good to hear, we’re just having a go you know. There isn’t much else to do round here, look I’m Davey, Jimmy’s the singer and you’ve met my pet gibbon, sorry drummer Johnny.

Mikey:         Listen this fucking ridiculous but I’ve got an idea, everyone needs a break and if you’ve got enough songs why don’t you join us on the next bit of our tour? We’ve got a few gigs around here, maybe some local talent will help drum up some interest.

Davey:         Bloody hell, I’ve got a few songs, but, you know we’re just starting and I don’t know. You need to drum up interest?

Mikey:         OK, we don’t shift tickets like we used to, things move on. It’s your choice but I don’t see anyone else offering you the chance of a lifetime. Phone me (hands over card) and I’ll put you in touch with our manager. Everyone needs a break and we need some publicity. You’re good son (looking at Jimmy) why don’t you take the chance? It’ll be a couple of weeks away playing with us, what can you lose? You’ll be doing us a favour.

(The gang stand in silence not believing what has happened)

Mikey:         Look, I need a slash, think about it.

(Mikey leaves and everyone stands silent. Finally Johnny talks)

Johnny:        Supporting “Driving With The Breaks On”. Give me that fucking number, I’ll phone him.

Jimmy:         Hang on, is this a wind up? We’re a two bob pub band touring with “Driving With The Breaks On”. Where’s Jeremy Beadle?

Davey:         Look I’ll call this manager guy tomorrow, there’s nothing to lose.  It’s like he said, everyone needs a break, this could be it. Come on let’s do it guys, a couple of weeks away living the dream.

(Maggie glares at Jimmy)

Maggie:        Jimmy, can we talk? (Aggressive)

Jimmy:         In a minute (dismissive). If it’s real, yeah, let’s do it, once in a lifetime.

(Maggie storms out and Cathy follows)

Johnny:        What was that about?

Jimmy:         I’ll tell you later, get me drink.

(The guys order some shots and start to celebrate, Mikey returns and the boys buy him a drink)

Jimmy:         (Becoming drunk) What a day, the chance to tour and I’m going to be a dad.

Davey:         What? Maggies pregnant?

Johnny:        You sure it’s yours. (Laughs loudly on his own)

(Jimmy puts his drink down angrily)

Davey:         Leave it Jim, for fucks sake Johnny what is the matter with you? Congratulations man, no wonder she doesn’t want you going away, still you’ll be back before the baby’s born. Just in time to start stocking up on nappies. Three tequila slammers here please.

(The boys drink, chat and laugh with Mikey)

Johnny:        Hey Mikey, we cover “Whiskey Remorse” man you were good when you did that.

Mikey:         Were good?

Johnny:        Well you said tickets didn’t shift like they used to.

Davey:         Jesus Johnny, look Mikey I’ve got an idea. Would you sing it with us now?

Mikey:         Come on then let’s see how good you really are.

(The boys drink up and go back on stage with Mikey)



Band and Mikey:          Song 9: Whiskey remorse

There is a girl I used to know
She had a hundred ways of hurting you and so
I packed my bags and left her as she watched some TV show
There is a girl I used to know

There is a town I used to love
It once contained most everything I ever did dream of
My baby in the basement as the traffic trolled above
There is a town I used to love

There is a bar I used to know
I still sometimes drop by when I have no place else to go
It’s where the kings of comedy compare their tattered souls
There is a bar I used to know

So buy me one more drink before you go
Or lend me a twenty and I’ll get drunk on my own
You always find some company, come in to used the phone
Someone who can’t stand to see a friend go home alone

There is a joke I used to tell
Some guy who gets three wishes ends up wasting them to hell
And in the end in misery he tells the joke himself

There is a guy I used to know
He once had everything that any man could hold
And now he sits here drinking with a tale that always goes
There is a girl I used to know…


 Scene 1



(In the bedsit Jimmy and Maggie are sitting stony faced and silent. Maggie is just staring into nothing)


Jimmy:         Please Maggie, just tell me what I’m supposed to do?


(Maggie ignores him)


Jimmy:        Maggie!! (starting to get angry) Will you say something. You’ve been like this for hours. What can I say?


Maggie:        (Stares at Jimmy) You just don’t get it do you, you want me to stay here in this shit hole, pregnant with your baby while you swan off with your stupid, pointless band.


Jimmy:         (Takes a large drink from a beer bottle and takes a large intake of breath) Right, listen to me for the last time, I have chance to make something for myself that could help us and our baby. It’s a couple of weeks away with a real band, real audiences and influential people watching. What chance have I got if I stay around here, what would you do Maggie?


Maggie:        (Mocking) I’ll give up drinking Maggie, I’ll be there for you Maggie. Bullshit, if you cared you’d listen to me, but you never listen just go if you must. (Very angry)


Jimmy:         Great, that really makes it ok doesn’t it? Why don’t you get it? Just give me your blessing, please. (Almost begging) Davey will be here soon, it doesn’t have to be this way.


Maggie:        Fuck off Jimmy, just go. It’s always the same with you, as long as you’re ok, just GO!


Jimmy:         I give up. What do you want from me?


Maggie:        Nothing, I want nothing from you.


(Maggie gets up and leaves the room, sound of crashing around from the bathroom. Jimmy gets up and looks at his face in the mirror obviously upset)



Jimmy        Song 10: Learn To Cry 

It’s twelve o’clock, the TV’s on and I’m just sittin’ around
I’m restless and blue, but I can’t figure out why
As the drunks on the park benches are putting their blankets down
I’m thinking boy, you’d better learn to cry

Well I could go to sleep or else recourse to alcohol
I could break up some of this room or just go outside
I could turn up some old hit so loud I can’t hear it anymore
Sayin’ boy, you’d better learn to cry
Boy, you’d better learn to cry

Girlfriends and wives punctuate your silence somehow
In darkened rooms in flickering black and white
She says all the actors in this movie are probably dead by now
You’re thinkin’ boy, you’d better learn to cry
Boy, you’d better learn to cry

A familiar face with a loving smile greets you every day
And failure seeps a little deeper through your life
Yeah sure you gave some girl your heart, but you never used it anyway
Sayin’ boy, you better learn to cry
Boy, you’d better learn to cry



(Knock on the door, Jimmy answers and Davey is there. No sign of Magggie)


Davey:         You ready? (seeing Jimmy is upset) Hey, what’s up?


Jimmy:         Nothing mate, you know Maggie’s a bit upset, but what do you expect, she’s not going to have my presence for the next two weeks. She’s only human. (He half laughs)


Davey:         Look mate get yourself sorted I’m downstairs the bus is here in 5 minutes.


Jimmy:         (Picks up his bag and walks to the bathroom door and talks through the door) Maggie, please come out and say goodbye, please don’t do this.


Maggie:        (Through the door) I told you, just go.


Jimmy:         Does that mean its ok?


Maggieie:     (Bursts through the door angry and upset) No! It is not ok. You go and be good old Jimmy, everybody’s favourite, there for everyone except me and leave your knocked up, useless, girlfriend on her own. Don’t bother coming back.


Jimmy:         Look I’ve got to go, you will understand one day, I love you Maggie and I don’t want to hurt you but I have to go. I might only get this one chance in my life and I don’t want to spend the rest of it blaming you and being resentful if I don’t take it.


Maggie:        I’m not happy Jimmy and I’m not sure if I want you back. Just don’t let me down, I can’t be let down again. Just go, and (long pause) good luck.


(Jimmy hugs Maggie and goes to kiss her goodbye but she pulls away. Jimmy leaves and shuts the door, Maggie breaks down and cries. Cathy arrives.)


Cathy:          (Gives Maggie a huge hug) He’s gone then.


Maggie:        Of course he has, they always do.


Cathy:          He’ll be back, he might come back a superstar. (Trying to be upbeat)


Maggie:        I don’t care, men always let me down, it always goes wrong for me.


Cathy:          I’m worried about you, your life’s not that bad, Jimmy’s not that bad. You’re having a baby and he’ll be home soon I promise. I’m here for you and I’ll do what I can, are you sure you don’t need proper help?


Maggie:        What some fucking shrink putting me on tablets? What happens when they don’t work? It won’t change anything. Don’t promise me anything ok, I can’t have you breaking promises too. (Smiles sadly)


Cathy:          As long as you’re sure you’re ok. I won’t let you down, look we’ve got two weeks together no blokes to mess it up. I’m getting pissed are you joining me? Come on one night won’t hurt the baby.


(The girls open the bottle and start drinking)




Cathy & Maggie: Song 11 Roll To Me 

Look around your world pretty baby
Is it everything you hoped it’d be
The wrong guy, the wrong situation
The right time to roll to me

Look into your heart pretty baby,
Is it aching with some nameless need.
Is there something wrong and you can’t put your finger on it
Right then, roll to me

And I don’t think I have ever seen a soul so in despair
So if you want to talk the night through
Guess who will be there?

So don’t try to deny it pretty baby,
You’ve been down so long you can hardly see
When the engine’s stalled and it won’t stop raining
It’s the right time to roll to me

Look around your world pretty baby
Is it everything you hoped it’d be
The wrong guy, the wrong situation
The right time to roll to me

Scene 2

((Stage splits into 2 parts. One side the bedsit, one side back stage at a large theatre)) 

(Stage splits into two. Two weeks later Maggie in her bedsit goes about her daily routine. Depressed and alone life starts to wear her down. Other side the band prepare for their last night on stage, back stage at the gig.)


Johnny:        (Very excited) I can’t fucking believe this Davey boy. I knew your songs were good and I thought we could play but this is unreal. I can’t get over that reaction last night. “Cry To Be Found” getting a bigger encore than “Driving With The Brakes On”. Where is that old loser Mikey? I’m going rub his nose in it.  And what about that guy from the record company, an album deal, the tour going overseas what next “Johnny White This Is Your Fucking Life”.


Davey:         Will you calm down, we wouldn’t be here without Mikey remember, he gave us this break. Yeah it’s worked out ok, but if your big mouth blows this.


Johnny:        What, you’ll find another drummer, come on man nothings gonna stop us know. Maybe we should do a cover of that. (laughs) Who was it sung that shit “Jefferson something”


Davey:         What? Look where’s Jimmy we’re on soon.


Johnny:        He’s in the bar, where else? I told you he couldn’t give up the booze. Wanker! You need another singer not another drummer.


(Jimmy appears obviously drunk, with a very attractive older woman)


Jimmy:         Boys, boys, I’m here and look this is Rosey.


(Rosey smiles)


Johnny:        What are you doing bringing her back here? I didn’t know you’d brought your mum with you.


Jimmy:         Fuck you, sorry Rosey this is our prick of a drummer I told you about. You don’t play drums do you? Any idiot can do it. (Looks Johnny up and down)


(Johnny and Jimmy square up and Davey steps in between, Rosey looks like she enjoys the attention)


Davey:         What is it with you two? You’ve got a big mouth and it’s time you shut it (Points at Johnny) and you (points at Jimmy), you’re just a fucking piss head. Are you ok to go on?


Jimmy:         (Whipsering in Daveys ear) I’ve just got to phone home I promised Maggie. Sshhh (laughing drunkenly) don’t tell Rosey. OK.


Davey:         For fucks sake, we’re on in two minutes, this is a joke. If we blow this tonight we can forget The States, the album deal and go back home with our tails between our legs and fuck all. Why do you always have to do this?


Jimmy:         Listen golden bollocks, I’ve never let you down, you don’t have to deal with the shit I do. If I think about real life we’re fucked cos I can’t do it sober. I’ll be ready.


(Jimmy uses phone in noisy corridor behind stage)


Jimmy:         Maggie, its Jim how’s you?


Maggie:        (In bedsit) I can’t hear you Jim where are you?


Jimmy:         What? Oh fuck, I love you Mags I’ve got to go, we’re on.


(Jimmy drops phone, Maggie can still hear on other end of phone.)


Maggie:        Jimmy, Jimmy I can’t hear you, don’t go I want to say sorry, good luck Jimmy Blue, good luck.


(Maggie keeps phone to her ear and hears announcer)


Announcer:  And now a new band causing quite a stir a big welcome please for “Cry To Be Found”


(Sound of crowd cheering)


Band:                   Song 12:     Drunk In A Band 

Pat is the guy with a record shop
and John sells fruit but wants to be a cop
and Paul deals speed in a celtic top
but I’m just a drunk in a band

Joe does tele-sales and martial arts
and Jim pushes patients ’round the public parks
and Nancy makes sculptures out of Hoover parts
but I’m just a drunk in a band

Danny puts the cones on the motorway
and Donna dances tables in her lingere
and Jerry, Dave, and Billy, man, they’re putting on a play
but I’m just a drunk in a band
Pat is the guy with a record shop
and John sells fruit but wants to be a cop
and Paul deals speed in a celtic top
but I’m just a drunk in a band
I could be a soldier, I could drive a van
Guide rivers of paint into little red cans
Walk rich folks dogs bring 747s in to land
I’m just a drunk in a band 



(Maggie listens down the phone, tears streaming down her face, the band finishes to huge cheers and applause, Maggie hangs up and sits and stares at the wall.)


 (The band is back stage again, drinking heavily. Jimmy is with Rosey.)


Johnny:        Look at that prick with that old scrubber, our bus leaves in 10 minutes. Go and get him Dave, save him from himself.


Davey:         Why do you care? The tour’s on, we’re in the good old USA in a weeks time, we start recording the album after that and you hate Jimmy!


Johnny:        I don’t care about him! Think about Maggie at home pregnant with his offspring. How he managed that I don’t know, look at it. And he’s chatting up that! If I go over there I’ll fucking kill him.


Davey:         Look he’ll be ok, she’s obviously just a lead singer junkie, he’ll have to get used to it. I’ll make sure he doesn’t miss the bus.


Jimmy:         (Very drunk with Rosey) So tell me again how good I am.


Rosey:         I told you, I’ve seen The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, Paul Weller and loads more. You’re as good as all of them, and much better looking.


Jimmy:         Oh come on you don’t mean that, do you.


Rosey:         Come back to my apartment and I’ll show you how much I mean it.


Jimmy:         I can’t my (stutters thinking about Maggie) band need me, um you know we’re leaving, on the er bus.


Rosey:         The band’s finished for the night, I’ll get you home in the morning, I am worth it you know.


Davey:         (From the door) Come on Jim the bus is going and the driver ain’t waiting.


Jimmy:         Yeah give me a minute.


(Rosey grabs Jimmy and kisses him, Johnny looks and shakes his head and leaves, with Davey. In the bedsit Maggie turns out the light and gets into bed)




 Jimmy:       Song 13: Be My Downfall  

The bus is pulling out and I guess I’d better go
Before I make a grave mistake and let my feelings show
And twenty miles away she waits alone for me
But when I try to picture her you’re the one I see
And in another situation I could put up a fight
But you will be my downfall tonight

So the night is coming down, drowning us in blue
And it all points towards the things we know we shouldn’t do
And as I look at you and I fall under your spell
Well I know I should be thinking of her lying there herself

And when faced with temptation you know a man should stand and fight
But you will be my downfall tonight

Be my downfall be my great regret be the one girl
That I’ll never forget
Be my undoing be my slow road to ruin tonight

So the bus is pulling out and I’m grounded here with you
And I want to say the sweet things babe I’ve always wanted to
So tell me now the tail-lights have gone out of sight
Baby won’t you be my downfall once again tonight

Scene 3

(Next morning back at the bedsit, Johnny is talking to Maggie)


Johnny:        Oh, sorry, Jimmy didn’t make it back then?


Maggie:        What does it fucking look like? What’s going on where is he?


Johnny:        Look it’s not for me to say, you heard about the tour?


Maggie:        You shit, what are you here for? Where’s Jimmy, what fucking tour? Tell me what’s going on!


Johnny:        If you insist, but don’t blame me.


Maggie:        Johnny, just tell me!!


Johnny:        Ok, ok. The gigs went really well, they want us to go with them to New York they’re doing a couple of small shows and think we might do ok. Then their record company want us to record an album when we get back.


Maggie:        Fuck the fucking band Johnny, I don’t give a shit about the band. Where is Jimmy? See this (points to now visible bump) this is Jimmy’s baby where the fuck is he! (Screaming)


Johnny:        With some slut he picked up last night probably, old enough to be his mum I reckon. Look when he gets here…


Maggie:        Fuck off, get out, get out!!!!!


(Johnny leaves with a smug grin on his face “a job well done”. Jimmy arrives after Maggie has regained her composure, ready for him)


Jimmy:         Hello love, wow look at you. I’ve really missed you. How’s our baby?


Maggie:        (trying to stay calm) I’m fine, how did it go? I couldn’t hear a word you said last night.


Jimmy:         Sorry, it was a bit mad last night, you know end of show party, went on a bit late and missed the last bus I was too pissed anyway, sorry. I really missed you Maggie and I’ve got something to tell you. They want us to go away again but I’ve spoken to Davey and told him to find another singer. Turns out the bastard has already talked to his new mate Mikey Grey, they think my drinking makes me unreliable, fuck em. You need me here, our baby needs me here. I love you Maggie.



 Jimmy:       Song 14: Sometimes I Just Have To Say Your Name      

With the sweet drip of every raindrop
Time brings you closer to me
And with each new sign at every train-stop
Another hour without you is consigned to history

And with each tick of my alarm clock
I get crazy for the days to get to you
When I can hold you and kiss you and have you
Instead of staring at some photo like a fool

But as day turns to night there’s this hopelessness to fight
When I think that I might not make it through

But honey sometimes I just have to say your name
To hear it hanging in the air, to know it sounds the same
And sometimes when I’m blue, I know just what to do
To keep the blues at bay you know I only have to say your name

So this morning I picked up the paper
In the useless descent of the rain
While partners in heartbreak the whole world over
Lie and cheat just the same
And the headlines proclaim everything has changed
Love can’t save you now
As each little motion of my wristwatch
Holds up my faith somehow

But as day turns to night there’s this hopelessness to fight
When I think that I might not make it through

But honey sometimes I just have to say your name
To hear it hanging in the air, to know it sounds the same
And sometimes when I’m blue, I know just what to do
To keep the blues at bay you know I only have to say your name

When I’ve used up all my patience
When your letters have been read twenty times through
I can drink all the wine in this place of mine
But it ain’t no replacement
It ain’t no replacement for you



Maggie:        That’s so sweet Jimmy, it’s just a shame I want you dead or at least out my fucking life you stupid, selfish, drunken, twat. (Maggie repeatedly hits Jimmy)


Jimmy:         What that’s for, I just told you I’ve given up the band, I won’t drink if I’m not away. What’s wrong now?


Maggie:        Johnny was here Jimmy, he told me about your old slut. I hope she was worth it, you’ll never see me or your baby again, get out.


Jimmy:          I swear nothing happened, yes I went home with Rosey, but I couldn’t get you out of my head. I slept in the bus station, it was freezing. I was drunk, I made a mistake, but I couldn’t go through with it I promise. I’ll kill him, I’ll fucking kill Johnny White.


Maggie:        It’s too late Jimmy, people always break promises to me I told you not to let me down; I’ve been let down before. You won’t do it to me again.


Jimmy:         Please Maggie, I’ve given everything up for us. Think about it don’t do this please.


Maggie:        I warned you Jimmy, Davey’s right you are unreliable, you are a drunken loser. I hoped this wouldn’t happen to us, I thought you would be different.




Maggie:        Song 15: Kiss This Thing Goodbye  

 It seems like weeks since you looked at me baby
without that look of distaste
I don’t know why your feelings are changing
but I’ve seen it in your face
All those times when our lips were kissing
our tongues were telling lies
And all those signs that I’ve been missing
were right there in your eyes.

So come on babe, let’s kiss this thing goodbye.

I sometimes feel when we’re together baby,
everything has turned out wrong
and I know you feel exactly the same way
but still we carry on.
I’ve been waiting up by the window
watching these cars go by
And I tell myself that I’ll go through the motions
for the last time tonight.

So come on babe, let’s kiss this thing goodbye.

Now I’m watching the fumes foul up the sunrise
I’m watching the light fade away
And I’m hoping tonight that I’ll open the door
and you’ll stand here and say

Come on babe, let’s kiss this thing goodbye
Better make it sooner than later
Before it all turns sour
We’d better kiss this thing

Jimmy:         You don’t know what you’re doing Maggie, lets speak to someone, get some proper help. What about our baby.


Maggie:        My baby and I don’t need help you alcoholic arsehole, you do. I’ve made my mind up Jimmy. I want you to leave, don’t make things worse than they are.


(Jimmy picks up his bag and leaves, Maggie sits down and stares at the wall again)


Act 4

Scene 1 


(Back behind the glue factory, Jimmy sits drinking vodka from a bottle. Daveys voice can be heard calling his name. Davey and Johnny appear)


Davey:         Jimmy, what the fuck are you doing.


Jimmy:         What does it look like? I’m giving up, just giving up. You don’t want me, Maggie doesn’t want me and I’m even too pissed to give that wanker the kicking he deserves. (Waves his hand at Johnny)  All I ever wanted was a chance, a chance at life, at love and at success. You lot have taken it all away. A chance, just a chance.


Davey:         What did you expect? You told me you couldn’t do it unless you were pissed. I’ve wanted this all my life and you and your best mate Smirnoff weren’t going to blow it. I had to let you go, I didn’t expect you to mess everything up with Maggie as well. I’ve tried to speak to her, apparently Mikeys people know Rosey and she’s well known on their tours! She said she’ll tell Maggie nothing happened.


Jimmy:         There’s no point, Maggies mad in the head anyway, she won’t listen.


(Maggie arrives with Cathy)


Jimmy:         Oh shit, my day just gets better, I’m sorry Mags. It didn’t mean to sound like that I’m…..


Maggie:        Pissed again Jimmy. I told you you were a drunken loser. I don’t know what I was thinking. You let me down, there’s always something, always. Cathy has promised to stay with me, we don’t need men in our lives.


Jimmy:         Don’t tell me you’re a pair of….


Davey:         Shut up Jimmy, Jesus you don’t know when to quit do you.


Jimmy:         (staggering drunkenly) Well there’s nothing left here is there. I just tried to make something of myself for you Maggie, you and our baby. I might be a drunk but at least I know I’m a drunk. Do you know what you are? Schizophrenic? Depressed? Miserable cow? I hope you get your problems sorted whatever they are, you need help girl. Ever wondered what all your problems have in common? No? It’s you!


Maggie:        You bastard!


(Maggie turns away in tears hugging Cathy)


Davey:         Hold on Jim, there’s no need for that.


Jimmy:         (Interupts on a drunken role) No need?  No fucking need? You Davey, you, I trusted you but you obviously want your 10 minutes of fame more than you want to help a mate. I hope you enjoy your success and can sleep at night. Oh and when you’re dieing on your arse don’t call me. I’m the singer and whatever stage school arsehole your mate Mikey Grey gets you it will never be the same. I’m “Cry To Be Found” and you know it.


Johnny:        I’ve had enough of this, listen you prick.


Jimmy:         (Interupts again) No you listen Johnny you’ll like this. You’re the only honest one of the lot. At least you never pretended to like me I never thought I’d say this but good luck mate. (Jimmy goes to shake Johnny’s hand but punches him in the face). But you didn’t have to tell Maggie did you? You didn’t have to do that. (Starting to break down) Please Maggie, what do I have to do, our baby, our baby.


Maggie:        Here we go again more drunken tears. I told you it’s my baby. Just go, just go while you still can. You’re finished here Jimmy Blue, finished!


(Jimmy picks up his bag and vodka and walks away)


Cast:           Song 16 Move Away Jimmy Blue 


A struck match faded like a nervous laugh
Beyond the halo of a naked bulb
Your low voice mingles with your other half’s;
Schoolfriends in second-hand clothes
Eventually your world will shrink within four walls
Of neglected debts and stolen stereos.

So move away Jimmy Blue
Before your small, small town turns around
and swallows you

A drunk mother was the cue
For the legendary things that you do
Behind a carnival tent with mud on your face
Behind the old glue factory too.

So move away Jimmy Blue
Before your small, small town turns around
and swallows you

Wet feet visit the same old places
Finding nothing new
It’s a binful of tissues from made-up faces
In a townful of nothing to do
A love match with the moon
In a layby, while insects hum and
You got put in the darkness of a woman’s womb
Jimmy Blue.

So move away, yeh,
Move away Jimmy Blue
Before your small, small town
Turns around and swallows you








My Photo 

There is an internet phenomenon currently gathering half a million hits per day and media coverage all over the world is the letters from William Henry Bonser Lamin a soldier from World War 1. The “Blogger” is his grandson and with a stroke of true genius he is publishing the letters exactly 90 years to the day since they were written. It is a wonderful insight into the life of an ordinary soldier and his life in Word War 1 which has captured the imagination of millions all over the world.

I came across the Harry Lamin Blog when there was a story about it on Yahoo news. As I have recently posted some cards and telegrams from my Dad’s time as POW in Singapore on my blog I thought I would take a look.
I found a beautifully presented blog which is extremely evocative of it’s time. The photo’s and original documents draw you in to Harry’s world and the personal, intimate nature of the letters make you want to find out what happens next. As I’m sure you’ve seen from the comments many people are keen to share their stories of their relatives time during WW1 and WW2. As indeed I was when I discovered my Dad’s correspondence.
From my own point of view the 2 wars represent a time of honour, bravery and right among the ordinary people which is a complete opposite of the apathy of today. No claims for compensation, no claims for “Gulf War Syndrome” just an absolute belief in doing the right thing regardless of the cost. I truly believe the majority of people yearn for a return to traditional values but we are all swamped by the media rollercoaster that drives us further down the road to degredation, cruelty and apathy. Harry’s world and his letters give us a taste of another time, a time of war, poverty, death and illness but some of us believe (maybe a view through rose tinted glasses) that people were basically happier because they were not part of todays “want” culture and rampant consumerism. Having less choice left less chance for disappointment. A different version of the Buddhist 4 Noble Truths if you like.
There is also of course the basic intrigue of a great story. It’s like a soap opera and each letter is like the cliffhanger scene in any daytime soap that makes you desperate to find out what happens next and tune in to the next episode.
The internet will always throw up this kind of phenomenon and word of mouth and ready access to the internet makes The Harry Lamin Blog the perfect “Have you seen” for the workplace, the media and families. If I was a teacher I would certainly use this as a teaching aid,  far better than a boring text book.
I stated in my post on my dad’s time as a POW that that perod of time ask questions about todays society that could be saved for another day. Well this is that day.
It is inconceivable to believe that a time of world war could be perceived as a “better” time than 2008 but it depends on your perception of “better”.
Harry Lamin in WW1 and my dad Bill Ross in WW2 and millions like them fought for a cause they truly believed in with out question or hesitation. They were prepared to risk everything for what? I believe it was for their country, for their King, for their family, for God, for their identity and their Britishness. I know the racist police will claim that what I’m about to write is wrong but ask yourself a simple question. “Would you or your loved ones put their lives on the line today for their country, their queen, their family, their identity, their Britishness?” I would bet that some of you would agree with family, but the rest, I doubt it.
Harry and Bill were English in a time when being English meant something. They identified with their neighbours, they identified with every Englishman wherever they were in their country. They recognised the need to protect that identity, they were proud to be English and the German war machine was threat that was going to take that freedom away. They were prepared to give everything to keep what they knew for them, their famlies and future generations. How disappointed they would be to see being English in England something not to be celebrated but to be hidden away behind the threat of a racist accusation? The Cross of St George is banned in some cities as being inflammatory, St Georges day our national day is not celebrated for fear of upsetting non English and the only time it comes out is during the bi annual football tournaments (not this year obviously). We are being stripped of our identity without a fight or even a whimper. I understand immigration is a natural progression, evolution in action, we are a haven for any waif or stray from around the world, we have no need for a guilty conscience. We have done our bit and continue to do so regardless of the consequences.
In less than 100 years, the very thing that was fought for by so many over 2 wars has been eroded by government apathy and ineptitude. We are a country in decline, riddled by segregation not integration. The reason Harry’s blog is so popular is because it pricks peoples sub-conscious and reminds us of a time before the politically correct brigade convinced us all that identfying with your country, your history and your flag is wrong.
Long live Harry and Bill’s memory and long live everything they stood for and fought for.