Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

It’s Only Words

This morning I spent a period of time creating a document containing eight of my narratives, which I’ve been asked to deliver to a Bedfordshire women’s group at the end of October. The monologues selected by a family friend, also formerly of Gateshead parish, who co-ordinates society events for the aforementioned ladies organisation. The chosen essays all taken from a folder ‘Gateshead Memories’ on my blogging website writesaidfred.org .

I’ve never delivered any of my approx 1600 pieces of prose to an audience before. However, with a determination to test myself, and with aspirations of becoming a latter day writer/presenter of whimsy like Alan Bennett, I intend to rise to this challenge. I was going to write the adjective Herculean to prefix the word challenge, but until I attempt the task I’ve no idea if it’ll be that difficult for me to perform successfully.

So over the next month I intend to regularly practise delivering these eight narratives in an interesting, witty and gripping enough manner to entertain this group of Bedfordshire ladies, mature of vintage and discerning of persona.

My lack of experience at speaking in public means lots of practise will be required to effectively deliver A Date Night To AvoidDuck!!Dorchester Gardens Street Party – 1977Fit For A PrincessNo Heavy Petting, PetMorning Has BrokenImpractically Imperfect In Some Ways, and Never Too Latte. However, with a tweak of the narrative’s text, along with hard work on the presentation, I back myself to communicate efficaciously with my audience on 29th October.

Among these essays relating to growing up in Gateshead, which incorporate an amalgam of fact and fiction, are yarns about rubbish 1970’s Christmas snacks, a parody interview with a careers advisor, a street party for the Queen’s silver jubilee, along with nights out on a floating Tyneside nightclub.

A small proportion of the work I’ve penned relating to my boyhood town within writesaidfred.org’s website folders ‘Gateshead Memories’ and ‘Cricketing Yarns’ The latter folder containing several monologues about times representing Gateshead Fell Cricket Club (GFCC) either as a player, or (when younger) as when entrusted with the scorebook.

My cricket yarns including how my brother Ian became the first player in Gateshead Fell junior team history to take a wicket with a mouth of jelly wriggler sweets. Candy acquired during a between innings visit to GFCC’s tuck shop.

Our kid later claiming that wicket was due to beating the opposition batsman all ends up with a medium pace in-swinging delivery. I beg to differ, though, suspecting that witnessing Ian ramming jelly sweets into his gob during his bowling run up caused the distraction that ‘did for’ his opponent.

Within these tales of leather on willow, I also wax lyrical about my GFCC under 18 team mates who won the treble (league and two cups) in 1980. A team guided by captain Neil Fraser to a place of junior cricket legend, followed by a swift half in the Beaconsfield before we got thrown out for being under-age.

Apart from opening batsman Godfrey Keefe whose 6ft 4in frame earned him a reprieve from the landlord; on the condition he used his long arms for a weekly removal of the bar’s hard to reach cobwebs.

The treble winners also included batsman (sometime wicketkeeper) John Hutchison who was one of the few junior players I ever played with not riddled with teenage angst and hormonal strops.

John Hutch exhibited such a positive persona that he represented Gateshead schools in the 1978 Durham Optimistic Pupil awards. A tournament held in Hebburn which saw him come second for predicting Sunderland footballer Gordon Chisholm would win that years PFA Player of the Year award.

As misguided as Hutch’s prediction was he had no chance of winning the tournament after a kid from a Wardley school predicted Newcastle United would win the 1978bFA Cup. This despite them being already eliminated from the competition by Wolves.

Anyhow, I’ve gotta make tracks, I need to continue with practising my delivery of the eight narratives for the Bedfordshire ladies group in eight weeks.

Categories: Blogs, family, fiction, humour, parody

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