To blow or not to blow…

I think I tend to only write blogs when I’m sad or I want to sell or advertise something.

Last night I went to the fireworks display on the forest. It happens right outside our house. When the kids were growing up I always missed it because I was on tour at that time of year.

When I watch it now, year after year, I always have the same thought: ‘Why don’t you just fucking blow the whole lot up there in one go instead of trying to make it last?’

When I was in my second year at college and the 4 week Easter break was about to start I had a £20 note to my name. Most students I was on the course with went home during the breaks. I couldn’t do that and I was always skint at the end of term even though I worked 5 nights a week in the student bar (doing ‘security’!). I was on a full grant but I could only just make my grant stretch to the end of term, doing a photography degree was expensive. Especially the way I was doing it.

On the first day of the holiday, a sunny Saturday, I was walking down Mansfield Road in Nottingham to attend a talk at the YMCA by a photographer who had taken pictures in the war that was going on at the time in Bosnia. As I walked down the pavement I was wondering what to do with my £20. Do I blow it all on one good night tonight and see what happens or do I live for the next 20 days on £1 a day?

Then the most amazing thing happened. I bumped into an old crusty friend called Iain H who I hadn’t seen for six or so years; since I had lived with him above a biker pub called The Harbour Lights in Whitstable. What a mad coincidence. He was a drug dealer and all of a sudden, there he was, he came out of nowhere, this blast from the past from Kent, walking up the hill as I walked down it.

“What the fuck Iain!” I said.

“Fuck…. Chris Olley, no fucking way man!!!”

We chatted about why he was there, what we had been up to, old friends etc. Turned out he had just arrived in Nottingham and was on his way up to Forest Fields where he was staying. He told me he had a bag of microdots (acid / LSD) that he needed to sell.

“Know anywhere I can sell these?”

“Yeah, I know a place.” I said

I met him later that night in Forest Fields (I lived there too) and we walked down to the pub in town where I thought he would be able to sell the acid. By now I’d of course decided to blow the £20 in one go. Fuck it.

When we got to the pub we started selling the acid in a very clandestine way but it didn’t take long before word got around the pub. A bit later we took some ourselves and then just started giving the rest away. Across the room I saw a girl I’d had a one night stand with a few months earlier and went over to her and asked her if she wanted a free tab of acid. I sat with her all night and then she took me home; we were off our heads and all my money was gone. Iain had disappeared.

She fed me and looked after me for the next 2 weeks and we fell in love and I ended up going out with her for 2 years. Iain reappeared again and hung around Nottingham until some other drug dealers chased him out of town a few months later. Two weeks into the holiday I applied for a hardship fund from the university and they gave me an instant £350 payment when I explained my financial circumstances to them. I repaid my new girlfriend for the last two weeks she had looked after me and then we partied for the next 2 weeks like we had won the lottery.

The moral of the story is; blow it all up in one go, just go for it, see what happens.

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