|Beyond The Comfort Zone – Extracts|
Page 2 of 5
Beginnings – Heroes and Villains
In 1961, as the bricklayers of Berlin busied themselves building their wall, across France vineyard owners congratulated themselves on creating one of the best vintages of the 20th Century, and a contrite Adolf Eichmann awaited his death sentence in a Jerusalem cell. High above them all Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin spun around a tiny blue world and became the first man to experience the vacuum of space. Far below him in a small Cheshire town in North Western England another, much smaller vacuum, was being filled.
I was born in Northwich on Thursday the 18th May that year, to Joyce and Barry Turner. My mother was a Secretary at the chemical giant I.C.I. and my Father was a Shipwright at Pimlotts shipyard. I was followed in timely succession by two sisters, Ann and the youngest Joanne.
Now, everyone has a childhood, populated by aunties and uncles, nephews and nieces, and mine was no more remarkable than yours probably, suffice to say that when I look back, my early memories are largely ones of happiness. The summers were always sunny, the summer holidays seemingly stretching on forever, Christmases were always white and the presents plentiful. That all came to an abrupt halt, one summer’s day in 1972.
It was by all other indications a normal Sunday afternoon. I thought nothing of it at first, my parents were having an animated argument in the upstairs bedroom of our simple council house, nothing unusual in that, and I was doing my best to ignore them. The argument abruptly stopped and my father came thundering down the stairs. I remember he had his coat in his hand and he barely gave me a second glance as he breezed past me, slumped in a chair, in the living room.
“You’ll have to make your own tea son, I’m off!”
I’d like to think that given more time to prepare, he might have come up with a more eloquent and enlightened last phrase, a moment of wisdom perhaps, for his son to carry with him on his journey to adulthood – but probably not. The door slammed shut and I never saw him again.........................