I learned something I didn’t know yesterday. I was watching ‘That Was The Life That Was’, about the late Sir David Frost, and I learned that ‘That Was The Week That Was’ had its first broadcast on my 2nd birthday. A year later, 2 days before my 3rd birthday, President John Kennedy was assassinated. I remember watching News at Ten on that day and I was aware that something serious had happened. I felt very sad and shocked when I heard that David Frost had died. I think the first I knew of him was when he presented ‘This Is Your Life’, which I always liked to watch. I found myself wishing last night that my dad had watched TW3 and introduced me to it, but I was only 2. The programme last night was followed up with ‘Frost on Satire’, and it showed clips from ‘Spitting Image’. In its time I never watched it and wouldn’t have known who all the characters were, I think I might have seen it twice. I recognised some of the characters last night though.
Hearing of many people dying, some of whom are not much older than me, makes me feel bereaved, and also aware of my own mortality. I know I’m only 52, 53 next month, but I am feeling the fact of my own death coming up and it isn’t the best feeling in the world. I keep feeling there have been so many missed opportunities. I keep seeing people who have grown up, in the media, and wishing I was like them, that someone had fought properly for me to be educated when I decided that I didn’t like school so I wasn’t going, after my father died. I feel no one really fought for my family.
I’m sitting in Costa at the moment. I’ve just had a large mocha and downloaded the two Frost programmes I’ve just been talking about.
I was aware of David Frost partly because I knew he was a Christian. I feel really upset writing this. ‘That Was The Life That Was’ showed clips from things that formed a fair bit of my memory. I remember the President Nixon thing, I saw ‘All The President’s Men’ when it came out. I remember being in a prayer meeting at Talbot Street when the Watergate Scandal erupted and Gerald Ford took over. In the meeting people were praying against sin and for righteousness and I wanted to pray that God would help Richard Nixon and his family, because I felt very sad for him, but I didn’t dare pray that way. No one else was.
I’m not sure how much of this is sadness, really, over these past events and memories, and how much of it is just displaced sadness and grief over my present situation. Feelings can re-attach to anything. I admire people like Ian Hislop so much but know they don’t know me and probably wouldn’t be interested in me if they did, because the truth is I have nothing to offer. Maybe that is what idolatry is, attachment to so many people who don’t even know I exist and might not be interested if they did know. It is miserable, painful and embarrassing and fruitless and pointless, maybe that is why God commands against idolatry, because in the end it is so painful. I am nursing a hope that Ian Hislop and so many others will see this and care. How silly is that? But what if? THAT would be fun . . . !
Maybe that is the skill of the programmes I saw last night, hitting on so many memories for so many people, and bringing them to life again. I feel a bit left behind and I’m crying for someone to help me catch up.
I’m missing Tommy Boyd as well. I met him properly once. We tried to have a proper conversation. He’s deleted his blog and left Facebook and Twitter. I never thought he would do any of that, especially not deleting his blog. I feel lost without him and I feel attached to him. I thought he was trying to help me. I never thought he would leave broadcasting, but from the lack of information about him on the web at the moment it seems he has done jut that. A lot of my stability and courage, when I had it, came from him. I went to his house a few months ago, after I absconded from Macmillan Close, ad his wife was there and we had a conversation in which she told me he probably wasn’t interested and reminded me of when they had called the police. I am grieving because I thought he wanted to help me. I feel hopeless and helpless without him. He told the story of a gorilla that was castrated for raging and throwing stones at people that used to taunt it. He said that was what they were doing to us as well. I identified with that with regards to my situation with the mental health services. He said he thought it was wrong, that people should have been told not to taunt him and a proper environment maintained for him. Anyway, he is inaccessible now. I don’t know if he will ever be accessible to me. I thought he was going to be. I thought he wanted to be. I never thought I would have to abandon hope with regard to him, and indeed I dare not. I wonder what is going on with him? I wonder if he is OK?