I'm off down to Teesside in a minute to do an event at Middlesbrough Library with the very excellent Daniel Gray and equally superb John Nicholson. In a bit of a rush, so here's a clip about something that happened at The Cornerhouse, what seems like a lifetime ago. It's filleted from a piece I wrote for Arena in March 1996.
The Tuesday after The Signing I am doing a reading in a Middlesbrough pub. Afterwards people come up to me and say, 'Well, what do you think of that, like, eh? Eh?' and then laugh hysterically. Everybody is delirious, ecstatic. Everybody except one man. He is a steelworker from Eston. He has taken voluntary redundancy, sold his house and bought a bungalow on the Costa del Sol. 'Me and our lass are emigrating on Monday,' he says bitterly, 'I've had a season ticket for 27 fucking years. Every fucking season till this one. Twenty-fucking-seven years. It's insult on top of fucking injury this is. Twenty-seven fucking years. I can't believe it. I can't believe they would fucking do this to me.'
I say, 'Are you sure about that?'
He shakes his head, 'No,' he says, 'It's fucking typical of the bastards.'