My two brothers and I.
(My dog Pyjama Case whom I named Schnortbitz after the TV dog also seems to have somehow muscled in on both photo's).
One morning when I was 9 years old my mother called me and my two brothers into her bedroom. My older brother was 11 and my younger one was 2, a baby really. As we all sat on the double bed she shared with my father, who had gone to work, she told us that she was leaving us to go and live somewhere else. At that age, or maybe any age, you can't have any understanding of the effect it will have on your life. Despite my best efforts I'm probably still affected by the fallout of that day even now, I think we all are and certainly my fathers life was utterly demolished by her decision to leave.
When my father arrived home from work that day he had no idea what would be waiting for him on his return. He used to tell me that as he walked towards the front door, he passed 3 little faces staring out the window from the front room and it was the saddest thing he had ever seen. We had been on our own all day waiting for him to come home. It must have been quite a sunny day as I remember taking my little brother into the garden while mum went and we sat in the paddling pool for a bit, but other than that I don't recall any more details. From that day our lives changed forever. My mother did return to the family home a few months later. Then left again. This happened 3 times in total, each time we were told she was staying, but the last time she left was the day before I started Secondary School. Superb timing...
I try not to think about those times too much as it just feels like a very sad situation, and when I look back it doesn't feel like my life, it feels like I'm watching a depressing documentary on 4OD that gives you stinging eyes. In spite of all the turmoil of everything that came after the breakdown of my parents marriage I think that my brothers and I have all turned out OK all things considered and that's really the only thing that matters to me now. It took quite some time to get to this point but I don't believe anything is solved by looking back. P.M.A. my friends, that's the answer. (Positive Mental Attitude). But all these years later there is still one thing that no amount of P.M.A is going to change my opinion of. Motorbikes. I absolutely can not stand them. Or people that ride them, even though I don't actually think I know anyone that rides one. As the mighty Bobby Brown once said 'Its my Prerogative' not to like Motorbikes. The reason being that the man that my mother left us for, worked at the local Petrol Station (this point particularly aggravated my father) and drove a Honda Gold Wing. For those that don't know, a Gold Wing is a huge Touring Motorbike occasionally used for stealing peoples wives/mothers to take them on bike riding tours of Europe. Since The March Hare does not discriminate, the hatred for Motorbikes is not exclusive to the Honda Gold Wing, just all motorbikes really. And that is my little story of why I hate Motorbikes.
HOWEVER, having said all of that, last night I watched an absolutely brilliant film about Motorbike racing, 'TT3D: Closer To The Edge'. It's a documentary based on a Motorbike race that is held on the Isle of Man each year and has been running since the beginning of the last Century.
Isle of Man Tourist Trophy
The Island virtually shuts down while the race takes place on the public roads during the course of several days each year. The tournament came about as the Motor Car Act of 1903 put a national speed limit on all UK roads of 20mph (if I was in charge, this would be resurrected), but this rule did not apply to the Isle of Man so a load of bike and car enthusiasts went over to the island and had a race there! Now however, bikes can go a lot faster, many of them reaching speeds of up to 170mph at various places along the course. Since the race began over 230 people have died taking part and many more have been injured in one way or another. And it all takes place on the public roads! Terrifying.
'TT3D . . .' focuses on one particular rider, Guy Martin, who is one of the most eccentric characters I have seen in a long while. He's brilliant, and really does make an interesting documentary more fascinating. I don't want to say too much about the film other than I suggest watching it, and you can see the trailer if you click the link below:
TT3D : Closer To The Edge official trailer
Guy Martin's Web page
Despite the subject matter, I would score 'TT3D . . .' a high 9 helmets out of a possible 10 (I'm knocking a point off as Guy Martin has such a strong Northern accent in some parts that I couldn't understand what he was saying) but other than that, I have nothing but good things to say about this film. It was excellently narrated by the hunky Jared Leto, it had some awesome footage in it and was totally gripping. I still hate Motorbikes though.
Bobby Brown 'My Prerogative'