A Nottingham lads True Tale of Woe – Part One



Currently a 5’2″ tall, portly but wibbly-wobbly bald 67 year-old made redundant four times, dedicated NHS patient, with his new heart, arthritis, angina, prostate cancer, kidney infection, minuscule wedding tackle, knock-knees, deafness, hernia, bad eyesight, blood disorder, dizzy spells, broken reflux valve, and depression.

What follows can only be woeful. It couldn’t really be anything else.

Starting with my birth into this cold hearted cruel world. A singular event which itself proved to be distressing for all concerned. Especially me…

‘The Tales of Woe begin’

It must have been a moving moment in the British Railway built, gaslit two-up two-down ramshackle Nottingham terraced house, when the midwife handed the newborn bundle of gooey 1lb 12oz of scrawny baby, wrapped tenderly in a bloodied fag ask covered pillow case, over into the hands of the mite’s loving, Park Drive smoking and ash covered mother, as she lay cursing the father of this undersized horrendous little monster in her arms.

She, caressed her cigarette, coughed up some phlegm and gently introduced the scrawny underweight mess to the pleasures of ash burns from the end of her Park Drive, and uttered her first words to the unwanted creature, or rather to the stern-faced midwife:

“I don’t want it! Throw it in the Trent!”

Thus began an adventure full of misery, depression, frustration and failure for the superfluous, repulsive, horrid, crinkly little baby that nobody wanted.

So, the start of this terrible tale of malfunctions is not totally reliant on the memory of James Timothy Gerald Archibald Percival Chambers. (I believe the many names, were given by neighbours and relatives, in lieu of debt repayment to the name proffering people by my dear mother.)

The fact is that she, (mother) tried to palm me off to various aunties, nephews, etc. at a reasonable cost, to no avail – it seemed that I was to be an incumbency in her charge forever.

But no, she soon found a way to get out of her responsibilities, as she absconded, not without reason mind… the debt collectors and police were getting cleverer and ever closer… so she legged it – until poor Dad had paid off the bills … and would then return full of penitence and contrition… until the oft repeated next time.

The Fights

Fights between my parents were frequent and violent when mother was at home and when she was not running from the police… which in all fairness, was not all that often, but it still made me sad and confused – a little like I am now really. Not that anyone will be interested. Nobody ever is. Apart from that escaped circus elephant – but that’s another story, for another day.

More True tales of Woe to follow…