Well, I'm back. Didn't post anything in the week between Christmas and New Years because, frankly, who can be bothered right? I should have made the effort though, on here especially, because even after missing just one week it's really hard to summon the enthusiasm to start up again. As I type these words, I have no idea what the bulk of this post is going to be about - I'm hoping inspiration will strike any second now - but I can pretty much guarantee it'll not be a particularly epic one. (Because my previous posts have been positively Homeresque, right?)
Still no inspiration, I'll be back in a bit...
Right then, I'm back.
In my 31 years of life I have been to the cinema exactly one time. I was a wee child and I was taken by my father to see, wait for it, Transformers the Movie.
I remember the day, if not the movie, well. Robins Cinema* it was, in Durham, which sadly no longer exists. The cinema, not Durham, which I'm fairly certain is still there. Last I looked the building was an Australian theme pub that delighted in getting that dude from Neighbours to sing there whenever he was in the country, but I've not been past in a while, so it could be anything now.
Although Robins did manage to survive a good few years after my one and only visit it was a bit rundown and dilapidated even then. I must confess that despite being very young and therefore easily impressed, on this occasion I was anything but. Still, I'm assuming that I enjoyed the movie. Assuming is all I can do, because despite having seen it numerous times since and loving it, (and I'd still take it over anything with the words Fox, Michael, Meaghan or Bay anywhere near the top of the titles), I don't have any specific memories of watching it at the time. It's just as likely that I fell asleep.
No, my main memories of that day come from after the movie. There are two of them and they're both as dull as each other, so quite why they have stuck with me for so long is a mystery.
Okay, first memory, brace yourself for the excitement now. After leaving the cinema we went to a wallpaper shop across the road from it and I thought I was going to die. Going from the darkened cinema to a huge shop with white walls, full of white paper and bathed in bright fluorescent light had my head screaming and spots dancing in front of my eyes. My Dad thought I was being overdramatic and told me to go and wait outside and stop embarrassing him. In hindsight, having such an extreme reaction was probably an early indication of problems with my eyes (I've worn glasses since not long after this and am pretty much blind without them) but at the time I just felt like an idiot. My sister didn't have any problem.
See, seat edge straddling stuff wasn't it? The next one's even better.
Memory #2. Hold on tight. After the whirlwind of emotions that was the wallpaper shop we headed to the cafe where my Mother had the occasional shift behind the counter. She was working that day and therefore we'd be able to get a few extras and whatnot. There wasn't a staff discount, friends and families type of thing officially in place, but the owner didn't mind the occasional freebie here and there. And of course we shamelessly played up the 'look at us, aren't we cute little tykes' angle, that all kids learn at a very early age to employ when around adults that aren't their parents.
So we're sitting in an alcove, waiting for our food to be ready and my sister and I get into an argument. Over, wait for it, the proper pronunciation of food. Oh yes. You see, she had decided that she was going to pronounce it fud. Now, pronouncing it that way may be a regional thing or whatever and I can get behind that, no problem, but it's not a regional thing in our region and it sounds bloody stupid. I can only suppose she must have heard it on the telly and thought, in the way that little kids do, "I'll say that and sound really clever because it must be clever if it's on the telly and anyway it'll make me sound different and people will listen to me and oh look an advert for My Little Pony I wonder if I can get some".
I had never heard it before and told her she was wrong. (Which she was) She argued back. I shouted at her, she shouted at me, our Dad shouted at both of us. In the end I was told to shut up and let her say Fud if she wanted to because it "makes no bloody difference". Which I suppose was a fair point. She continued to say it wrong, to my disgust, for a few weeks and then she forgot. So I won in the end, ha.
At least until the Co-op hired that bloke to do the "good, with fud" adverts.
*While looking for a picture of Robins Cinema online I came across an article that cast considerable doubt on my memories. Apparently, the cinema in question only became known as Robins when it re-opened in 1991, after closing down the previous year, having operated as the Cannon since 1979 and various other names before that. By this token, it would have been the Cannon when I saw Transformers. I have no memory of it being anything other than Robins, so I suppose I must have projected that assumed knowledge to fill a gap in my memory. Funny how the mind works. Makes me wonder what other little details I've always assumed to be true are actually just subconscious guesswork.