My original blog was Hoses of the Holy (ca. 2003), which ended up being abandoned in the dark days of 2007. I started this one in 2011. Scroll down for the archives!

The Obald – Episode 2

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Memories of Debenhams in the Arndale Centre in Luton are at the centre of this episode, in which Ronnie goes to lunch with Mel, determined to finish things with her. But she’s a trickster: outmanoeuvres him at every turn, and his plan to end the relationship ends up with him agreeing to a trip to see a film with her at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in London.

If I had one regret about moving away from the area, further North to Nottingham, it was losing access to the NFT. There was a time, in the early-mid 1980s, when I was a BFI member and regularly went down to that London on the train to see the kinds of films that didn’t play at the Odeon. Nottingham had the Broadway, of course, but there was always something special about a trip to the South Bank, to browse the second hand book stalls under the bridge, to have a drink in the NFT bar, to browse their bookshop. Just the smell of that building made it feel like a special occasion.

It was only 40 minutes away, really, and it was only a few minutes from the office building where I worked to the train station. Simpler times.

Meanwhile, Ronnie’s friend Dave Cooper seems to have an inside track on secret intelligence that might lead to widespread panic if more widely known. More memories here, of the pub that used to be directly underneath the office, actually part of the building. What a concept! A watering hole designed to facilitate long boozy lunches for civil servants, and after work drinks too. Sometimes, I’d go drinking at lunchtime, carry on after work, and stagger down to the bus stop at closing time. Sheesh.

Follow the link for Episode 2 on Apple Podcasts.


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