I slept well but my head is fuzzy and what is that smell? For a change the children have not been sent up to wake me. But then it is early for a change, for me to be awake.
I wake up and as I look out of the window I smell the freshest of air, and breath in deeply. It looks a beautiful day out there. I get a text from Les and I had best get up, best have a shower, best put some clothes on.
I disturb Matt from his work, and have some breakfast, whilst waiting for Les to pick me up. I am happy, I had a good night even if Matt didn’t. Not that, that wouldn’t matter, it would, but sometimes I just want to say I’m happy, I had a good time, there are some people you just always have a good time with, you can guarantee it, or your life back, a bit like in Trainspotting. There is a knock on the door. It is Les. Then there is another knock on the door, it is Maddy and the their children.
Some might say I've been rescued, others would not, off to god knows where.
It wasn’t about the audience, a new project, a new day, this is where it starts or stops, or infact already started and stopped, only this is this the official moment, if you catch my drift, and if you don’t you will and it is at this precise moment you should stop and hold your hands out. You might feel it, you might not, but it is here, happening now, right this instant, your looking at it, even if you cannot see it. For it wasn’t about the audience at all, that was just a mistake, well a mistake it wasn’t that just happened, it was about this and this alone, and in a way that is how it should be.
We are here, where ever in Coventry we are. Well we are under the ring road somewhere. It looks as grim as I remember Coventry from all those years back. Grimness, and really I would have never have come if it wasn’t for the fact Les lived here for few years once. And then he got a visitor, a visitor that became a regular visitor. What I want to know is where are all the cars Les?
Oh so that's why he has brought us here.
Well Ikea have a cafe, we can’t see any cars, this is living the life. And once sat down and Les has been on the the web site he looks smiles and tells me “You’ll never believe it, its next weekend”.
With the weather being so good, I suggest we make a day of it, see how the place has changed some twenty, yes, twenty years on. Where has the time gone? And so we start the search for hidden treasure, and our first port of call the ancient buildings from a time long forgotten. But this wasn’t what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a load of ruined rocks looking kind of like nothing. What we have is a whole street of ancient buildings actually being used! There is also a watch museum here.
As we walk on a remember leaving a pub here to go and get a pint of milk from Sainsbury's, I also remember not having enough money so brought it with twenty pound cash back. The pub is gone. We walk by a church and I decide to make us go in. Les thinks its a joke.
But it is not. Inside I’m given a guide to divine inspiration and have a wander around.
With a church in England you never know what your going to get.
And sometimes, just sometimes, you find a gem. Les is confronted with a bloke telling him he’s going to the watch museum next if he wants to join him.
LEs doesn’t however and stay wandering the streets with lucky me. It would appear that there are now certain areas that Hitler might have bombed and been rebuilt, but we have still had to bulldoze them again because what we built here after was worse than anything you could ever imagine.Think playtime with concrete instead of the sand pit, and I did used to like sandpit time at school.
It would appear however they are now trying, if only the fountains they had installed worked”
In the mean time this will have to wet out tongues and make us drool.
We walk further, I’ve defined a path, a destination, and luckily Les knows the way. What we pass though is Definitely not Nandos!!!!
We know we are going in the right direction when my brain says to itself - What the hell is that???
Closer up, I’m no wiser.
Now do you understand?
What ever it is they were on drugs surely? Are they larger than life boomerangs?
Well we are here, the transport museum of Coventry. Here we may get to see some cars Les.
Initially I’m wrong. And wrong for a very big reason.
For what I didn’t realise was, Coventry wasn't famous for being a big car engineering city,
It was famous for being the biggest in the world bike engineering city in the world. It was invented here, it was made here, it was developed here, it was redevopled here into
Sowing machines, and cars and
bikes with engines, this bike in particular to me being a marvellous design.
And one I will learn from, you cannot make it out from here but a true marvel of ingenuous.
And of course Coventry is famous for Jaguar, or is that Birmingham?
And their formula one racing cars
As they say, you should never look back when you travelling so fast forward. Unless of course you have completed the flux capacitor design.
Now here is something you do not see everyday.
A jester from the heart.
A true hot hatch, never to be matched, in the name of being green. Bring back the huge turbos.
There is more glitz
of brands we should know but don’t
And then to top it off
We go back to speed, the thrill, the adrenaline seeking madness that runs through your veins
quicker, fast, more, but you always end in the same place.
Now just how hard would you think it is to get a postcard with Coventry written on it. Or even Coventry transport museum? And are there any Birthday type presents here?
We leave the building, the engineering history, and I look at the base of the boomerangs and the plaque on it. I’m no wiser what the boomerangs are for. When a man appears by myside. “Hello” he says. “Do you know what they are?”. “no I reply “and this doesn't tell you”. “Perhaps they are to do with that man over there and he points” And with that he walks away into the far distance until he completely vanishes.
I walk over to the man he has pointed to. For this was the engineer who invented the jet engine, here in Coventry. We’ll call him Frank.
And these although it does not state it anywhere are meant to represent the vapour trails of two jets as the fly towards each other and then away again.
I think I prefer the boomerang idea myself, for without Frank Whittle we would never get to see Australia.
And with that I bid him goodbye.
We walk up the alley, where will it take us? To the world of food, really? Well that's the right way then.
And also this interesting masterplan of concrete in a modern style.
Its hard to understand until
You see it from here, a window, to another world.
One which noone know your watching from
or how closely.
For here is tranquilly of a different kind.
One of a Abbey, that is a real ruin.
With a school built next to it.
One that taught people how to behalf correctly, with pride, with respect.
And here are some interesting things to see.
being over watched by the those in the heavens above
Those who speak a foreign language and who may look so beautiful and innocent.
But vandalised the digital screen in front of them by thumping and kicking it the hell out of it.
Of course from here, they thought they couldn’t be seen.
Les was getting into the history.
For me though this book was as about as interesting a read as the KLF book.
And so we walked the gardens of the next church, the church of
Holy Trinity. Not that we went in, we didn’t. The Gardens took us right to the town centre.
Where we read this plaque.
And i heard Les say, it wasn’t like this twenty years ago. I look at him and tell him that's right, the only city in the country not to have changed in twenty years is Wolverhampton, a city that was the boom of Engineer of motorcycles, cars, aviation and tyres, and yet none of that is celebrated. A city of immense wealth that has now gone, vanished, disappeared. Will it ever be found again. Will Jaguar who has helped shut down other factories around the UK to build cars and engines in Wolverhampton bring back the economic boom it once had. For Wolverhampton had three Woolworths once and yet we don’t even have a Woolworths museum.
And with that we go to Greg's Bakery and get some slices for dinner.
We sit in the sun and enjoy them.
I insist that we go inside the Holy Trinity Church, afterall they may have a postcard. Les isn’t coming one church is enough for him for one day. Inside I’m instantly grabbed, given a history of the church and another guide. I read it and start a tour pondering what will Les do? Now in this church somewhere is a picture of something very interesting, but where the hell is it? Whilst nice, this isn’t it.
This is a hidden gem of a church, Les is missing out.
The works of art of stained glass.
The special pews, with folding seats.
The glorious blue and golden guiled ceilings.
The infinite towers
and ah, there it is hidden in full view.
The picture of Doom. A masterpiece of craftsmanship not seen anywhere else.
What should one think? I’ve got to find Les.
He would never ever never ever want to miss the Doom picture.
But there is no need to leave the church to find him,
For he has found me, and he was also pounced on.
Oddly as we leave the Church we are welcomed, the KLF have been at work here too? Perhaps they painted the picture of Doom. Perhaps it is a picture of the Justified and Ancients of MuMu.
And off we walked around the back of the Church and towards the cathedrals.
And someone who thinks that parking restrictions and paymeters are for others. I let the tyres down.
And we walk the cobbled streets
past Les’s old haunt of twenty years ago the Golden Cross.
To this, Now if you have ever been to Berlin Germany you would know they have one of these there too. Only Hitler didn’t bomb that one.
And the thing with the bombing of Coventry was, England knew it was going to happen, they had deciphered the German code, only if the evacuated Coventry they would have then let Germany know that they had deciphered the German code. So for the good of the country Coventry wasn’t evacuated unless you were in the Boys Club. And Coventry and its population were obliterated.
Today you can still walk the ruins of the old Cathedral, just as you can in Berlin.
Where it has become a memorial to them all.
And next to it, just as in Berlin, there is a new weird modern cathedral.
It can only of course mean one thing.
Some weird people knew some weird things and left some weird gifts.
There is plenty to see
Plenty to hold
And time slips by, as if time has stood still.
For the forgiveness of Christ meant one thing.
The Cathedral may have been bombed but the wooden cross never burned, and to this day still exists.
There is only one thing for it.
We must climb the tower, even if it is going to cost £5 each. There are 160 steps, so that is 3.125p a step.
Will it be worth it?
I get giddy, I get tired, I get giddy.
“I’m not sure I’m going to make it” says Les.
“God and the KLF have brought us here, we’ll make it” I reply.
And with that the tower bells ring, and I now have ringing ears.
On ward to the top
The very top
Where there is a door, a door to the answers
Of why did they rebuild it in concrete?
And have they cheated and used wood preserver?
At the top of the tower enjoying the nearly unique 60s listed concrete structures and IKEA blending in well. I still ask, where are the cars Les?
From here I think I can make out the dream, the thing, the one thing, the only thing that truly matters. The one thing they sing about in Achtung Baby.
And here we have the bank that corrupted Les into spending a fortune, a fortune that wasn’t his.
And without knowing it we are inspired
and head down the spiral, and great the girl at the bottom, and I get a postcard, and I get twelve stamps and we are please to say goodbye
The New Cathedral is next door.
We go to enter but before we have, the doors are closed before our eyes,
For only the elite can enter, those under 18 and those that are students.
The rest of us we have to dream. But outside there is a message for us all.
Do not be fooled.
We all enjoy bondage.
And I have chapped thighs!
Come with me.
and with that we leave.
Over the square and we
get arty at the Herbert, it's free.
There something for everyone one here
But you know what
“who is she” I ask
“Sit down and let me tell you a story” said Les and so he did.
At the end of the story, we had tea, we had cake, and I got out some post cards. Its been a long time since I have written any, so long, too long, but then I’ve ben no where to write, I miss it so much the pen to paper. And once written I put a stamp on each.
We look around some more
for there is endless fun at the Herbert
Until we reach here. A lady comes closer.
“Who is he?” they ask. “We don’t know but I’m guessing its Herbert” I say. “Why is that?” they ask. “Because this place is called the Herbert Gallery.” I say. “And why is that?” “I don’t know but it might tell us on the wall.” And so we stare at the wall, all dreaming of wanting to remembered by the people as much as Herbert, a man liked, a man adored, a man followed for what he believed in and not for power, what he could give, for what he could motivate, for what we could together achieve.
Although somewhere some may think it went wrong, but did it really?
Don’t do it, let me.
We must seek this Goddess out, Les you must take me to she her, I have questions for her.
And with an open mind
And an open heart
We leave in search of the Goddess.
Our journey takes us past rusty steel.
Wood frames of old
and probably the same wood the cross is made of.
Past the town hall
Past the courtyard
Past the financial institution
Les so loves
Under the man who laid his eyes on the one
and only Goddess only to be beheaded the next day
to here, and her and
her beauty and glory for all to see. And she is looking towards
the vision of the future
why it was created and what it was to achieve,
and afterall this time, it has achieved it
in a way it has succeeded where many other designs have not, for you can see the archictureal beauty here now it has matured.
And there is street life
but time is moving on
So we head into the new
the dizzying heights
to visit Mr G’s
And TJ Hughes. Do they still exist? And here in the smell of egg, or sulphur or what ever it is , I find some trousers, in my size, so I go and buy three pairs, and if you buy two pairs at a time there is money off to. A bonus, a bonus that the cashier tries not to give me, so I squawk “why put a sticker on it if I can’t have the discount?”. The situation is changed, maybe because of the long queue and its closing time, maybe not.
This is it then.
That is that.
There is only one more place to go then.
And so we head to suburbs looking for Les’s old place.
and whilst there, “Nack it might be best you put your camera away here”.
We leave the ringroad, the cars we had come to see and make our way back north, back to
Sarah, to give her cards, presents
and hopefully happiness.
Some things you can give
Some you can’t and with that
we settle down to watch Eurovision with beer, tea and wine.
Some settle down more than others
Other settle down the most.
I note that in the future, Sarah may need more bullets.
Eventually it all comes to a climax, well worth waiting for.
And some 40 hours later I'm home.