at the age of ten we moved from one side of town to the other, this was my first experience of turf wars, it seems even the teachers played this nasty game of ownership.
we were a poor family, my mum worked as often as possible while my stepdad drank the earnings.
anyway…we lived roughly three miles from this new school unless you wanna walk past John Bunyan’s Birthplace which was a shorter walk but more muddy and dodgy, especially in the dark winter.
most kids caught the bus, if their parents could afford to, they payed, if they couldn’t afford to, you got a free ticket.
we couldn’t afford the bus most of the time and rarely had a car so tried getting the free bus ticket.
but it turns out that for whatever reason, my family wasn’t included in the scheme, fukk knows why, i was just a child.
so it was that me and my younger bro would walk to school in the wind/rain/hail/snow, british weather is beautiful but not when you’re ten years old, walking home in the pitch-black, as the school kids drive past in their warm dry bus, laughing out of the windows.
this was the start of something but i didn’t know.
one day, my brother was really ill (his condition is now known about) and the teachers brought me to one side to explain that we would have to use the bus (i could feel their condescension) and i knew i would be bullied for it (you’re only on this bus cos ya bruvva’s poorly hahahahahahaha).
in that moment of selfish self pity, i wanted my bro to walk home with me, or a family friend to meet him off the bus so i could walk, but in my heart f hearts, i knew i was being silly so i got on the bus and met the truth, i wasn’t silly i was correct.
i swore i would never use another bus (even now i hate buses but admit their usefulness).
sometimes my dad would have a car, usually a scrapheap which bore more derision from my peers etc. a lad actually had the cheek to ask for a lift but got out early so no-one could see him lmao.
through all this, i was walking a hell of a lot, the local shop shut so just getting a pint of milk was a 4mile walk. and the walk-time was thought-time. i had a lot of time to think and resent this material life. i didn’t realise it was making me stronger…yet.
in school we were being taught that Africans had to walk so many miles every day, aren’t we lucky?
if only they thought about what they were telling me… we don’t need transport.
to this day, i’ve never learnt to drive, and only bus if family life dictates.
i’ve quickly wrote this and posting it before i can delete it