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Alan & Angela.jpg

Alan and Angela

I mean it’s been a while now but it’s still . . . she was my mate, as well as my sister. You know we were pretty close, same star sign. So why we got on was . . . nobody can understand why we ever got on. We’re both Taureans and they shouldn’t get on together. But we did. Oh yeah, very much so.

Well the object is a Slade CD and I got it from out of a newspaper on Jersey, when I was over there, and just kept it. I don’t know why I’ve even kept it, cos I mean I like Slade, but not as much as what she did. So yeah, that.

Ah she was good fun. Always got me out of a fight, yeah. And hit me with a saucepan one night cos I wouldn’t dry up. 

No, it reminds me of, yeah it reminds me of Angela.

Yeah . . . hmmm.

Not bein’ there.

Hmm, not being there.

Never played it . . . I think I mighta played it once.

When did I get it? Two thousand and . . . probably about 2006- 7, I s’pose. And I just stuck it in with everything, bits ‘n’ pieces that I’ve got, that I’ve collected up over the years. Ah, never played it. Probably played it, yeah maybe once. And there’s this one track on it, that sort of . . . hm, yeah . . . track four. Hmm, not very often.

Every time I walked in the house she had Slade on. "Why don’t cha turn that ruddy!? Put on Deep Purple!" She was forever playing Slade. Dave Hill was her favourite. Don’t understand why.

I don’t even know why I’ve kept it. Just reminds me of Angela.

And her love of Slade.

I know she’s better off where she is. But nothing will ever change the fact that she’s gone. She’s better off where she is. She doesn’t have to worry about anything now. Hmm.

Hmm, sorry for not being there I guess. Hmm, I miss my sister. Yeah, I miss my sister. And not being there was . . . pretty difficult. Pretty difficult. My cousin asked her if they wanted to try and get me back, but she said it be too late, so . . . 

I was gallivanting round this country enjoying myself and didn’t know nothing about it. Until it was too late. Uh, it’s certainly not the same. It’s not the same without her, that’s for sure. But I s’pose, you know, I’ve gotta keep goin’. Do what I’ve gotta do. Try and somehow get back and go see ‘er. That’s a long time ago. Long time . . . 2005. Long time ago. Gone but never forgotten. I’ve got her name tattooed here on my chest.
It’s Thai. And that’s my Aunties. So I’m gonna have the whole family there.

It hurts. Believe me, that hurt. Both of ‘em. In fact, this one of my aunties, I was getting pain over here. Work that out. When he was doing this bit here, I could feel him doing underneath over there. Because of the nerves.

But, you know I sat through it, and I’ll sit through it again. I’ve got ‘em on my legs, I’ve got them all over the place. I mean they’ve all got some form of meaning or other.

I’ve got one up here, I’ve got me Dad, I’ve got one over here with Mum. Erm, I’ve got my daughter, Bob Marley, Nelson Mandela. Don’t go into that one, but yeah, they’ve all got a meaning for me. I’ve recently had a swan done on my chest, which is our national bird in Western Australia. And on the other side, I’m saving up after I get my telly, I’m still getting my telly, I’m getting a picture of Ned Kelly.

Every single tattoo that I’ve got, there’s a story behind all of them. I’ve got, erm you’re not gonna like this, you’re English, but I’ve got our cricket emblem on my leg here. Got a boxing kangaroo on this leg. Erm yeah, I’ve got a few. Got a few. I haven’t finished yet. Cos there’s still a few more to get, still a few places that I can get done. I want some portraits. I want a portrait of my sister . . . but the photograph that I’ve got, it’s just . . . I wanna different photograph of her.

It’s her, my Dad and my little sister, together. But the picture itself is not as clear as I’d like it to be. And it’s sort of . . . that’s not my sister! Cos I’m remembering her back in ‘86 before I left. You know, she had long curly hair and kids where runnin’ around all over the place, and all this sort of thing, and I looked at this and I went, that ain’t Angela. That’s definitely Elaine and me Dad, but that’s not Angela. And I looked at it again and I thought, well it’s gotta be. And I know it is, it just doesn’t look like ‘er. Erm, I’m not really sure who she takes after, cos she doesn’t take after anybody; she doesn’t look like any of Mum or Dad. Whereas I look like my Mum, in a way, but I look like my Dad as well. But Angela, she just, I dunno. She just doesn’t look
like either one.

But yeah she’s, she was a good kid. I remember we was on holiday, up North there’s a place called Kalbarri, which is up West Australia coast, and I had a really nasty car accident. I got run over, literally. My own stupid fault, I’m not blaming anybody but me, because I can’t. It was my fault. We’re all on holiday and we were due to leave the following day. Everybody was going their own separate ways and obviously you’re on
holiday, you meet up with other people from other places and that, and somebody said, "Beach party tonight" . . . "Oh I’ll be up for that!" Mind you, I was sixteen okay? My sister, my little sister would have been fourteen, cos there’s two years between me and Elaine and two years between me and Angela. And six years between me and my brother. And he’s the youngest one. So there was me and Elaine, my best mate, her best mate (which were brother and sister), about a hundred other people, well not really a hundred but there was a few other people all piled on, in or around this car. And we got a little fire going on the beach and we went, "Right, we gotta go get some firewood. Right, let’s go." So we all piled on, in and around this car and off we went. Weren’t going fast, you couldn’t because the pot holes were . . . well it was like the grand canyon. Gotta loada wood, threw it on the roof, sat in top of that so it wouldn’t fall off, and off we went. Dropped it all off, came back, got another load and I’m on front like that, on the bonnet.

My sister’s there, Michael’s there, Mandy’s in between me and Elaine. And I had bare feet, brand new pair of jeans on, brand new shirt, and I mean they were expensive back when I was sixteen, trust me. Think it was about fifteen dollars for jeans. They were expensive. And I started slipping off, there was like a kangaroo bar around the car, and as I started slipping off I went like that, to put myself back on the bonnet. He hit a pot hole and I just carried on forward like WOO, straight over head first. He went straight over the top of me thought it was a piece a wood. No it was me, it was me! And yeah, the last thing I can remember before passing out in the back of the ambulance was my sister Angela coming up and saying to me, "That’ll teach ya for drinking won’t it?" I hadn’t touched a drop! Hadn’t touched a drop! Oh well, that’s nice. So they flew me off to hospital. I had a fractured skull, I had fifty eight stitches in the back of me skull . . . all sorts of cuts and abrasions, I’ve still got a stone lodged in me elbow somewhere that they can’t find. I’m happy that they can’t because I’ve still got that. Doctor said, "You might get the occasional headache" Ya think? Ok. Two weeks migraine . . . that’s an occasional headache? Yeah thanks! And I still get headaches today you know. And I just think back, and well it makes me lucky to be alive. You know a headache, I can deal with that. But I’m actually very, very lucky to be alive. Cos I was actually pronounced dead when they got me to the hospital. They pronounced me dead. Mind you, the copper was pissed. That’s an Australian cop for ya! But it was quite comical. Life threatening, but quite comical. 

I’m a fighter. You will literally have to shoot me to kill me. Because I won’t give up, no matter what. I will fight. I’ve been in fights where I thought, I’m done here, I’m done for. And I just kept gettin’ up and they just couldn’t understand why I keep getting up. You will have to kill me to keep me down. Surfing, I dunno how many times I’ve thought, I’m not comin’ up from this. I’m still here. I’m 54 years old within two months time, and I’m still goin’. And my sister, clean livin’; didn’t drink, didn’t smoke drugs, had an occasional ciggy . . . I mean she did drink, but not a lot. She’s 47 years old, she’s gone, you know? It’s not right. It’s not right. That’s not fair. But, like everybody says to me, only the good die young. And I think about that. I think, well yeah. She was a good person. You know she raised two good kids, she always kept a good clean house, threw wicked barbeques . . . brilliant barbeques. And she married a decent bloke.

Yeah it was good fun growin’ up in Australia. Yeah, I do miss me sister but, you know, it’s like I’ve said to a lot of people, there’s nothing I can say, do, no matter how much counselling people want me to go to, never gonna change the fact that she’s dead. Nothin’ is, you know? So I’ve just gotta get on with . . . try and do what I need to do. My cousin’s the only person that talks to me still. Although I did find my brother. Hmm, he don’t wanna talk to me nither. And I found my niece, Angela’s daughter. At least I think it’s her. I sent her a message and I never got anything back from that, so it must be her. Cos that’s my family all over. Erm, yeah. According to them I’m just a drug addict waster, so I’m gonna prove them all wrong. And I will get back there. I will get back. Eh, like I said it might be, you know, too late but I will get back to Australia. I’m not gonna die in this country. No way. It’s too cold. Too cold. I don’t wanna be buried in somewhere that freezes, don’t be stupid. No. But ah yeah, I will get back to Australia. Sooner or later. I mean, if a start doin’ the lottery I might win it, but . . . Yeah, one day soon. Hopefully. Five grand, that’s all I need.

I’m better off here, a lot better off here. Despite the fact that we only get thirty four pound a week, we’ve got no heating to pay for, we’ve got no electric to pay for, we don’t pay for food, we don’t pay to do our washin’, we’ve got no bills. So effectively we’re getting two hundred and thirty pound a week, if you look at it like that. So I’m better off here. At the moment. A lot better off here.

I’ve done some pretty nasty things, well not nasty things, but I’ve done some stupid things in my life. That’s where Angela always used to sort of keep me on the straight and narrow. But you know, she’d bend a little bit! "Ahh, it’s only a joint you’ll be alright.", and she just steered me right out of it. She just didn’t want anything to do with it. And if I ever went round her house stoned, she’d just tell me to go away again, which is fair enough. She didn’t want that around her kids, ya know? So she always did try and keep me on on the level, but not always worked. But she was a good girl, she was a good kid.

I miss her heaps.

The thing I miss mostly is I didn’t ever get a chance to say good bye to her. Cos when I left for the airport she wasn’t there. Erm, she was busy doin’ other stuff, so she wasn’t ever there when I left Australia to come here. Which was a bit, ya know . . . "Where’s my sister?" My little sister was there and my dopey brother was
there, and Mum and Dad and that, but she wasn’t there. So I never actually said goodbye to her. And then this all happened and it’s like, aww man. It hurts that I never said goodbye to her. Now I can’t. But I’ve got memories. Good memories. Some not so good, but mostly good. Mostly good ones.

She was a good girl.

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