“I got my first real six string, played it at the five and dine” Mr Adams Ill forgive you that bloody awful song that made my summer of 90 the longest ever because you wrote that great record. Now then this will be a two part blog because to be honest otherwise it would be too long. So the greatest summer of my life so far, the funniest, craziest, 4 months I’ve ever had. The summer of 1990.
It all started when we were good at football. England were playing in Italia 90 and after a slow start were progressing towards the semi-finals. I started to learn about culture, well Pavarotti anyway still get goose bumps when I hear that song that bloke could bang out a tune couldn’t he?. I had just completed my first year as an Electrical apprentice ( a blog on its own believe me) I was in my longest relationship at the time ( a year and getting bored, she was older and wanted to settle down, was considering it to be fair, but then it all kicked off and I discovered fun again).
It all started one night when I was standing outside the 7-11 in Gants Hill with a few mates, when this yellow cavalier pulled up. Three blokes got out, what’s going on here I though to myself, one of them came over and introduced himself as Jamie whilst the other two were chasing each other round the parked cars pinching each others nipples, hey it was the 90’s what did you expect?.
We got chatting and thus started my crazy summer with 3 friends who became life long friends ( well to be honest I couldn’t get rid of them one of them, married my sister, and the other one just hangs about all the time, and as for the other one well he knows to many secrets so he has to stay around………..I love you really guys you know that). Anyway we started to hang about and thinking we were cool driving around the Romford one way system annoying the Old Bill. Ian in his beige Fiesta, Matty in his bronze Mark 1 Escort with the Jan speed box on the back ( imagine a really loud airplane and you’ll get the idea) John Parry in his white vest top and white RS200 thinking he was gods gift, Wardy playing jokes on everyone, and me the sensible one. Well I say sensible but compared to these nutters I was, well a little bit, oh alright then I was just as bad as them.
MCHammer was the tune of choice, You Cant Touch This, (I asked for a pair of those trousers so many times as well never got them), still sounds great today if I’m honest, then came the Beach Boy revival and we came up with a stunning plan. Matty had a roof rack on his car as he was a window cleaner, so the brains behind this operation being myself, Gary, Wardy and Ian decided to tie our feet to said roof rack and pretend we were surfing whilst Matty drove round the roundabout. How we never killed ourselves Ill never know. Then Gary decided to take it a stage further and started to hang onto his windscreen wipers as Matty went faster and faster around the roundabout until he fell off. Looking back now I’m surprised we never killed ourselves. We never even got a scratch.
Ian started seeing my sister and decided in his wisdom to teach her drive, brave man, even the old man wouldn’t take her out in a car, by now we had graduated from Gants Hill to the Camelot, no not King Arthurs, a car park opposite a Beefeater Inn at the back of Hainault Forest. Onions ( don’t know where he got that nickname from I don’t remember him smelling of them) had a white 1 litre Fiat Panda, see we had all the top cars of the day money was no object back then. Onions, Matty and Wardy decided to go and get some fags and beer and whilst they were gone Ian decided to treat Nicky to a driving lesson.
Ian was parked next to Onions Panda as they had gone in Mattys car. Nicky was in the driving seat and Ian was leaning in with the door open telling her what to do. I can see what happened next still so clearly even 20 years later. The car jerked backwards and Ian and the door got dragged along the side of Onions car wrecking it. We stood there in silence for a few minutes, then to relieve the mood I started laughing which started Gary off. The mood was broken by Nicky’s shrill tone of ‘That’s your fault’ to which Ian replied ‘Sorry’. Unbelievable she had nearly killed him, wrecked his car and Onions and he apologised to her!. Women never forget the power you have over a man who wants to get in your knickers. Men think with nothing else but the bit that hangs down between their legs, some of us more blessed than others though I might add, and guys I feel sorry for you. All of a sudden we could hear the Mark 1 Escort coming back, to be honest it was so loud you could have heard it in Southend, and we made the collective decision to leg it into the woods.
We waited for the car to pull up and then heard Onions shouting at the top of his voice at how his car had been wrecked. We strolled out of the woods as if nothing had happened, a look of shock and surprise on our faces as we surveyed the damage. We forgot one slight issue though. Ian couldn’t get his drivers door open, it had been wrecked in the crash so we had managed to slam it shut but we couldn’t open it without letting Onions know what happened.
Then like a light bulb going off above my head I pulled Ian to one side and told him to climb through the passenger window and pretend someone had glued his locks together. He looked surprised but I told him it would work. You know what it did as well, well I didn’t say Onions was the brightest button in the box did I?
We still laugh about that now when we get together, me, Nicky, Ian, Wardy and Gary. That was only the start of that summer though, we had squirrel gate, arachnophobia, roller bowl, the ghost, bus gate ( that was funny I’m laughing now writing this). It was an amazing summer. Ill share some others when I do part 2 later.
Memories are what you make them, good or bad, you can cherish them or learn from them. You can make friends that last forever. Its up you how much you decide to take from life. Me , I learnt a few things that summer, one of them don’t get in car with Nicky, I swapped that for my wife’s driving, there’s another blog there I wouldn’t say she was a bad driver but the crash helmet helped for the first few years. I made friends that will be there for me whatever the time of day or night and me for them. I also made memories that will stay with me forever. The summer of 90 will never be repeated.