Friday night’s going to be alright……

What do you do on a Friday night? Is it the end of your working week? Do you work Saturdays and Sundays? Nana Nap and out on the town…. Friday night when I was in primary school was great we just had to suffer hymn practice in the afternoon resulting in a very numb bum due to having to sit on the hall floor with a teacher that would waive her baton stick like harry potter waived his wand and we would still sing out of tune or sing inappropriate words and get sent out (but it was more fun that way) , after suffering this ordeal and after you could feel your legs you would make it back to your class room and see a surprise on the board for you…homework to be in by Monday! You would leave with a sprint unlike the tortoise speed of your return on Monday morning with the homework you did just after your tea on Sunday night before you went into the bath keeping the Sunday night bath night tradition alive and well. After getting home and you wolfed down egg, sausage and chips with lashings of tomato sauce with two pieces of buttered bread you all meet up outside to play until you all have to go in due to poor lighting conditions then bed so you get some sleep to wake up to Saturday morning swop show with Noel Edmunds and then watch world of sport were big daddy Versus Giant haystacks would fill your mid-afternoon entertainment. When High school rolled around Friday night took on a whole new concept I spent most of my teenage years at the Spanish city going on the skids and the waltzer and playing in the arcades. Sometimes the Mods gangs would to come down and try and hit you but they would always ask a question first then hit you them. It was the first time I had seen people use a line up and verbal tennis (Please read my book on self-protection when it comes out) I knew even then it did not matter what you said they would hit you anyway, like most bullies they can give it but can’t take it. So since I was a sprinter for the county I would wait for them to say something and hit them first and run, sometimes looking like a scene from quadrophenia with me and my friends sprinting and laughing away from big jacket wearing mods, luckily the weight of those jackets were their downfall and we were like the Flash when we got chased so we rarely got caught. When we were old enough to drink a Friday night was one of the best nights to go out! We would meet at our friends Rodney’s (R.I.P) House in Cullercoats and then walk into Whitley Bay and go to the Grapevine as our starting point and from them systematically work our way down the many bars such as Easy Street with it sticky floors and cheesy D J’s and then to the Olive Grove were all the dodgy door man hung out they would just hit people for no reason and no one would pull them for it due to the barred for life threat… We would make it to 42nd street and fight to get to the bar with the older crowd and some of those older women fliting with us made our night! Then it was off to Idols with thug doormen ( I worked at Idols for quite a few years) the bar maids wore very little and we named two of them the bitches of Eastwick because they took great delight and putting down any would be Romeo’s asking them out on a date! Then it was off to The Avenue bar for last orders were I seemed to practice a lot of my Ninjutsu training most weekends the place looking like a wild west saloon filled with tarts And fighters. When I was in my mid-twenties I was running the Gym On Friday nights we would have Ninjustu 6pm-8pm then all do a pub crawl along the top half of Newcastle taking in the delights of the Strawberry and Three Bulls and Bar Oz as it was known then ending up at Reds bar in the university of Northumbria were I taught the door team so drinking dancing and helping the door staff clear the bar then back along the road for food and everyone slept at the gym in sleeping bags bin bags and anything they could put over them. This was an amazing bonding time for some of the people in the gym, some of which still train today and the next day I taught all day then went home while many of the Friday night revellers went for breakfast or home to sleep the night before off. One of the most memorable Friday nights ever was my 27th birthday when the whole gym went out dressed in 70’s clothes including wigs sideburns and some amazing stick on moustaches. The night was full of bad dancing and great fun and everyone came back to the gym were the party continued well into the night with only one person choked unconscious due to a girl he liked flirting with someone else and him trying to attack the pair; Gym life. When I worked on the door , Friday night started with me finishing training and running to the metro to head down to Tynemouth with all the pre-fight nerves kicking in on the metro ride down then a quick walk to the Salutation Inn on Tynemouth front street. I would meet up with Micky Caul and we would put our badges on and head into combat I mean the bar… or a quick walk to the local shop were the first fight of the evening would occur over a chicken tikka pasty if it was the last one, if you lost you ended up eating a cheese one in a huff! The rest of the night I would exchange verbal tennis with the fat women and they would charge at me like the elephants in the wilds of Africa or we would wined up would be fighters by putting our gum shields in when they asked us to fight, I was always surprised when they did not want to after they saw how prepared we were. We would see the group’s hard lads that would then go to the toilets in two (hello sailor) so me and micky would stand on the other toilets and watch them but the white power on the cistern (cocaine was just starting to drift down the social scale) must to their horror we would unlock the door and race to put our boots on the cistern to spoil their fun. Then at the end of the night we would have to clear the pub of all the deaf drinkers, they were not deaf they just chose to ignore us because their bus had not arrived or it was cold or they were hard. This was the era of the first Big Brother being on the TV with live eviction, as this was all new to people and people were hooked at watching it but also wanted to go out so taped it to watch when they staggered home with their take out. Micky and I decided it would be a great way to get people to leave by shouting out who got evicted much to the punters disapproval we got called a lot of names I can’t say In this fine piece of writing. When mine and Kerry’s daughters arrived Friday nights became like any other day, the routine of bathing and last bottles and bedtime readings until they settled down and life with the TV on low and the baby monitor on high but never settling into a relaxing evening as we were always on high alert over lost dummies or milk coming back up faster than when it went down. The best bit was the bath. Holding molly or Erin in my arms with their little legs kicking and me and kerry working as a tag team of a formula one pit team to wash baby shampoo hair and as quickly get the baby out of the bath, dried then covered in talc from head to toe (Erin still uses talc in this way, she looks like the kid off the perishers) then quickly baby grow on and bib for the last bottle of the night when they drifted off and you gentle put their head on the pillow, then tip toed from the room is the best feeling in the world . Now Friday nights are tea’s made and girls go and do their own thing while kerry and I have a hot salt bath (not together) I put my lounge pants on and super hero top on and top it off with some fluffy socks to keep my feet toasty warm, we play catch up with the TV series we juggle with or watch a movie because it is a school night for me as I am up and out of the house by 7.05am to teach 8 classes then back home for Saturday night Chinese with kerry and our girls. Friday nights have meant a lot, not like Oz would live for a Friday night pay packet in a hut in Dusseldorf, I am happy where I am xx Until next time Be nice John Atkin

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