Jessica-Marie and Martin 'Beejay' Wells

Jessica-Marie and Martin 'Beejay' Wells
be together, play together, learn together

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Life's like that.

A lady friend I hadn't seen for some time bumped into me yesterday.
        "Hello," she said, "how are you keeping?"
        "Not so bad thanks," I informed her, going on to tell her of my recent stays in hospital and newly acquired status as an invalid. (two severe heart attacks, peritonitis and appendectomy leaves me a 66.6% invalid according to Social Services, which means 33.3% of me is fully fit and available for work, though which 33.3% I'm not entirely sure)
        "So what are you doing with yourself now you can't work any more," she asked.
        "I'm writing a book," I told her.
        "Oh, that's a novel idea," she replied.
Wasn't much I could say to that really.


Some people (mainly grumpy, drunk, wrinkly old gits) complain when I'm having a conversation with a friend in English.
         "Je bent hier lang genoeg Nederlands te praten," one miserable old git shouted at me the other day in the café. He was right. I have been here long enough to speak Dutch. (There is no such language as Flemish. It's just a dialect of Dutch) Seventeen years I've been in this miserable dump. But I can and do speak Dutch when I need to. It just happens that some Belgians enjoy speaking English. Why shouldn't I oblige them?
         So, in Dutch, I asked him quite politely if I'd been speaking to him.
         "Nee," he replied.
         "Believe me," I told him, continuing in Dutch, "if I have something to say to you, it will be in Dutch, even though more people in Belgium speak French (Walonia is a lot bigger than the rest of Belgium) and let's not forget the little corner that only speak in German. So, when you think about it, you have three national languages. Why should I pick your favourite? Do you speak French or German?"
         "Then you have no right to complain about what language I and my friends choose to hold our conversations in."
         He went a little quiet then so I asked him, somewhat sarcastically, "are you a friend of mine?"
         "Nee," he replied.
        By this time, everybody in the place, grinning like morons,  was listening in to the conversation. You could have heard a pin drop.
         That's when I let him have it. Both barrels. Very loud. In English.
         "Then, you fuckin' dipstick, keep your fuckin' nose out of my fuckin' conversations."

Thursday, 30 June 2011


Insomnia; such a nondescript word that means one thing and one thing only. Sufferers simply can't sleep. The door to the mind is stuck fully open. No bloke in top hat and tails, grey pinstripe trousers and shiny shoes is going to close it for you while holding out a hand for a tip. Nope. It remains gaping, like the jaws of a hungry extant archosaurian reptile without a wildebeast in sight.
         Unlike Hypochondriacs who have a million deseases at their disposal; probably more now with the advent of Google. Every symptom of every known ailment to man and his imagination can be allowed free rein to torment the staff of medical establishments from Clapham Junction to Ulan Bator, from Haight Ashbury to Melbourne high street and very possibly Skegness..
          Then of course there's the Cleptomaniacs. Can't keep their hands of anything that isn't fixed down. But at least they have choices of what they're going to nick and where they're going to nick it from, depending on their mood. They come in all manner of class. From your low life who just wants to cop for a pack or two of Lucky Strikes, to the perfumed high society tart whose one mink coat looked lonely in the wardrobe 'til she discovered free shop 'til you drop.
           Not that we poor insomniacs don't have choices. Of course we do. We have ceilings and walls to stare at. We can toss and turn, take a stroll round the bedroom. Check to make sure we've turned the light off  to the fish tank. Kick the cat; why should he sleep when we're looking through eyes that feel they're slowly being eaten by giant Jalopéno chillis. Wake up the kid and stick her on her drum kit, let her vibrate the walls, then offer to sell ear plugs to the neighbours.
            Nope, Cleptomaniacs and Hydrochondiacs get all the fun. Probably more so if they're blond. I'll bet Cindie Lauper Hypochondriacced the shit out of her doctor and then Cleptoed the hell out the jet set stores on Hollwood Boulevard.
           Ah well, I think I'll go back to bed now and see if I can dream of being a sick thief.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A Little Freeby

 This is the intro to my autobiography 'Who the F**k is Beejay Wells?' You can have this bit for nothing but if you want the rest you'll have to wait 'til it's finished...............then BUY IT........... Providing it gets published of course.

                          Introduction, or moaning and groaning

It's the early hours of the morning and sleep just won't come. That's the way it's been for me as long as I can remember, never being able to switch off when I get into bed. Lucky are the people that can fall asleep as soon as they go horizontal. Me, I just lie there, tossing and turning, staring at the wall in the dark trying to remember the colour of the peeling wall paper. Sometimes I can't even remember where I am, I've moved from place to place that many times.
        Now here I am, in my sixties, looking back over a life that seems to be full of ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, expense, kids, dogs, cats, fish tanks and people after money. There's also a whole lot of miles behind me spent in the search for something that's always eluded me. Still it could be worse, couldn't it? It might be back where I started from and wouldn't that be a bloody irony.
         So instead of waiting for sleep, death or retirement, (hopefully death 'cos retirement's too far away) I've decided to put my thoughts on paper, well at least on my computer to start with. Just between us though, me and the computer don't work well as a team so it could all end in tears, and I just know that this story is going to take me forever to do because I've only got two fingers that know how to type. I only use one though and leave the other one on the subs bench so to speak.
         This means that while you are reading this account of my pitiful existence I'm probably retired in some cockroach infested wrinklies home on the Costa del Misery, sitting in a rocking chair with only one rocker, waiting for a nurse with the facial features of a sad garden gnome to bring me a meal that a pot bellied pig wouldn't touch unless it was force fed with a rocket launcher.
         Why am I even bothering? I mean, look at the odds. I'm sixty-two and my mother is in her eighties, so after the heart attacks two years ago I can only hope that I'll last long enough to finish it. And she'll last long enough to buy a copy 'cos I'm sure nobody else will. In fact I don't think my mother will buy one unless it comes with a free clip on wine rack for her zimmer frame, and my sister wouldn't even read it unless the S.A.S. decided she needed interrogating and used it for torture.
         Still, I've made a start and for once I'm determined to finish something I've started even though there will be many people saying "Yeah yeah. We'll not be holding our breath." And while I'm not really a vindictive person I'll be hoping that some of them do. At least until I have finished what I've started.
         I won't name names though because I can't afford any lawsuits. In fact there isn't much I can afford right now, with money being so tight that when comes to paying bills I just shuffle them and deal one. Right now I'm down to my last pair of jeans and what's left of my T- shirts have more holes in them than a U.S. Presidents declaration of truth and a Baghdad hotel put together.
I no longer own a suit which is fine by me as it means I can't go to funerals or weddings and as four of the weddings I've been to have been my own, you'll understand why I'm in no hurry to make an appointment with my tailor.
         Four times is enough. Why four times you ask? Simple. You don't keep a car for life, yet the car takes you to the pub and brings you home when you're pissed. Does a wife do that? More to the point. Does your car keep telling you to mow the lawn or get a shave on your day off? I don't think so, plus the car is easier to turn on and it doesn't get headaches. Mind you neither of them listens when you're talking to them so you can't win either way.
         Learn from your mistakes my mother always told me, but how can you do that when you don't have the time to finish making them. Much better to watch other peoples mistakes and pick the ones that seem the most interesting. There are always new things to get wrong and if they are out there you can put money on me being the one to find them.
         When making a balls up becomes lucrative then I'll be a millionaire, not that I really ever wanted to be a millionaire. Not at all. I'll be happy just to be able to pay cash for my tobacco and ignore the health warning plastered all over the packet, and that's another thing. Why don't they also put the health warning in Braille so that blind people can know that smoking is bad for them?
        If I sound a little cynical it's because I am. Let's face it, being cynical can be a great asset, especially when some asshole is trying to sell you something. And when the Jehovas bloody witnesses knock at the door, you don't feel guilty about telling them to piss off. I've even known the Mormons to knock on the door and try to sell me their brand of religion and, as I believe that nearly all the shit going on in the world today is a direct result of dick heads 'spreading the word', it is not a good idea to sermonise on my door step, thank you very much.
         Don't get me wrong. I love people, I love helping people but I don't need to be a Jesus junkie to do that.
         I mean if there was a God who 'in the beginning' created man in his own image, how the hell did he know that women needed tits, good legs and a nice bum. Let's face it, he would've been in Eves bad books right away for not taking the extra day to invent little necessities like make up, the wonder bra, the Philips lady shave, aspirin and Delia Smiths cook book. It would also have been extremely sociable of him to have given Adam a Mary Jane tree so he could chill out whenever Eve had a headache.
         Talking of headaches maybe I'd better get started so I can get finished and you can buy a copy, get bored and use it to prop up a wobbly table or something.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Never, never, take a kid into a music shop.

Back in July 2004, two years after the death of my father, I was in back in Byfleet, England with my ex girlfriend and the Muppet, visiting my mother. While there I called in to a music shop to buy some guitar picks. All I wanted was half a dozen picks at 25 pence each. The mistake I made was letting Jessica-Marie tag along instead of leaving her at my mother's, with her mother. You have to know that the Muppet was still three and a half months away from her fourth birthday. It should have been a simple transaction. A short conversation with the shopkeeper (SK) and myself (Me) and I'd walk out with half a dozen picks and a Muppet (J-M). Easy eh? Yeah right.

SK:-  Can I help you sir?
Me:-  Yes, I'd like.....
J-M:- Daddy
Me:-  Sweety, I'm busy. Could I see.......
J-M:- Daddy. Drums. Look.
Me:-  Yes, very nice. Can you show me.......
J-M:- Daddy, I want a drum kit.
Me:-  Yes, well I'd quite like a Baldwin bass, now be quiet a minute. Yes she is cute. Yeah, er, picks.
SK:-  Certainly sir. Any particular picks in mind?
Me:-  Yeah, I normally use medium..............
J-M:- Daddy, I want the red one.
Me:-  Jessica-Marie, I am not made of money. Now let.........
J-M:- You could go busking, Daddy.
Me:-  Sweety, this is West Byfleet, I'd more likely get lifted by the Old Bill.
J-M:- What's Old Bill
Me:-  Coppers near retirement, as opposed to Young Bill. Now can I finish buying these picks. Medium shark fin please, mate.
J-M:- But Daddeeeeee
Me:-  It's no use you 'but daddeeeeeing' me. End of story. No drum kit. Ali Benito Finito.
J-M:- But Daddy, I dream of playing drums.
Me:-  Dream on, Jessica-Marie, dream on.
J-M:- I could play to your AC/DC songs.
Me:-  It ain't like your Barbie doll. Played with it once, ripped it's head off and threw it in the corner.
J-M:- I'll look after them Daddy. Please, please, please, please.
Me:-  Sweety, I'm a bass player. What's going to happen to my street cred if we have a drummer in the family?
J-M:- You don't love me.
Me:- Course I do. I haven't put you in the microwave for months, have I............ Aw shit, this could be expensive. Birthday and Christmas present in one, right...... Okay mate, I think you'd better box up a drum kit.
J-M:- WooooHoooo. We're on the Highway to Hell, dum, dum, dumdum, dumdum, Highway to Hell.

Forty-five minutes later her dream came true. We left the shop with one pound fifty worth of picks and three hundred friggin' quids worth of  red drum kit. Two months later she got a signed photo from Angus Young.

Worth it though for the big grin and the chance to wake up the neighbours at 7.00 on a Saturday morning.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Just a taste.

Seems half the folks on Twitter, well the writer type folks at least, have this thing called 'Sample Sunday'. Wasn't sure what it meant really. I mean, I've sampled Sundays all over the Northern Hemisphere for the last bloody 62 years. What could possibly be different about about sampling a Twit Sunday? Turns out it's just a reason to get us to try and buy. Bit like wine merchants really. Only they just want us to buy cheap plonk at Champagne prices.   
          The good folks on Twitter though simply want us to recognise the talent, or lack of in some cases, employed in the art of writing a ripping, or possibly not so ripping, good yarn. Of course if you're a published writer without the backing of a major publishing company behind you, it's not a bad idea. A little exposure can't be bad. Providing it's not in public and nowhere near a policeman pounding a boring beat on a Sunday.
          Okay so I'm not a published writer but what the hell. I'm not going to let a little thing like that get in my way so, whether you like it or not, here's the opening of 'Why Danny'

There aren't many of us old school blaggers left now, it's all drugs, computer fraud and identity theft these days but Danny the Dip – pickpocket, burglar, safe cracker, small time tea leaf, snout, biggest bender of the truth in the East End – knew one. Not only knew one, but got on the wrong side of him, and the wrong side of Harry Chambers was usually the side pointing a pistol. Though if Harry happened to be sans pistolet, a baseball bat would do the job just as nicely, thank you very much. Fussy wasn't in his vocabulary when it came to making a statement. If you thought the Krays were bad –– well, let's just say, Harry was an evil bastard. Only been out myself two days, after doing a ten stretch; I didn't need to be getting grief, and standing at my door, Danny the Dip was telling me why I would.
          Strange really, because the three of us had gone to the same school, grown up together and, for a short while, we'd worked in the same team. But while the Dip, a couple of years younger than us, had always been the odd one out, me and Harry had stayed close friends – until now.
         "It's still you 'e blames, Keef, an' you're out now while 'is bruvver is still banged up. If 'arry wasn't laid up wiv the flu you might 'ave copped it yesterday. You've 'elped me before so I thought I'd best give you the S.P. like, you know, tip you the wink."
         "Thanks. It wasn't me shot the copper though, Danny. All little brother Billy had to do was get his self into the bloody car, but no. He had to go all bloody macho and start shooting up the street with a Colt 45. It's a wonder that he only shot the copper. Always was two sandwiches short of a full bloody picnic. His bloody fault we got nicked. If he'd been around in the sixties same as us, either the Krays would have topped him or a bloody Judge would have hanged him. I'm surprised he didn't grass up his brother for sorting the job and supplying the shooters. He couldn't even spell loyalty let alone know the meaning of the word."
         "Wouldn't 'ave got 'im a lighter sentence anyway. Not after toppin' a scuffer it wouldn't."
         "Maybe, maybe not."
         "Right, I'll be orf then Keef. Don't want to 'ang around too long on your door step. Eyes everywhere an' all that. Watch yer back mate."
         With the collar of his jacket turned up, hands thrust deep in his pockets, and baseball cap shielding his eyes, he turned and slouched away, having said all he'd come to say. That was the last I ever saw of Danny the Dip.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Mouse and the Elephant

Mouse said to the Elephant,
My dear I love you so.
Let's elope and get married
without letting anyone know.

Well, Elephant she took her time
Indeed time was required
while she thought and thought and finally
to the little Mouse she replied.

There is no other in my life
that I would rather wed
but what happens on the honeymoon
if we can't find a big enough bed

No problem there said little Mouse
we'll sleep beneath the stars
because if we sleep upon bare boards
you'll get splinters in your arse

So in a jungle clearing
they were wed by a one eyed bat
but that night while entwined in 69
Elephant squashed the little Mouse flat.

All say, aaaaaahhhhh.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The bits I like to miss out

I don't think I'm a lazy writer, more, well ecconomical I suppose. There are times when things just aren't needed. As a musician I'm well aware of the adage, 'it's not always what you play that makes an impact on a song but sometimes what you leave out and also singing off the beat can be a huge dynamic.'

I find the same in my writing, and yes I've been hauled over the coals about it on more than a few occasions but I refuse to bow to the conventional. Same as I don't give a shit about show and tell.

If two detectives are interviewing a subject, possibly about a murder, we know the standard questions, the usual 'where were you on the night of bla bla bla, what were you doing at a certain time of day on the bla bla bla. That's the bits I find superfluous. The story will take care of those bits.

Anyway, here's an extract from 'Why Danny, Harry?'  Two Detective inspectors, one, D.I. Waters, a posh Surrey bred copper, not given to emotional outbursts and the other is a Geordie who's lived in the Smoke (London) for forty years and never lost his accent. That can be a culture shock if you happen to engage someone from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in conversation for the first time.

In this extract from ch.13 I think I've done a reasonable job of representing the three characters and their somewhat tenuous friendship. Anyway, the interviewee is a cockney who's done his best to shed the rhyming slang image of the East End.

Another mind whirling forty minutes, before the door creaked open and D.I. Stone squeaked his way across the room, double tape deck in his hands, while D.I. Waters quietly shut the door and followed. From under hooded eyelids I watched with indifference as the tape deck was set down on the table. Waited until they'd both sat opposite me before a word was spoken. To them, it would have been a game of quiet intimidation. To me? Well, I really didn't give a shit. I hadn't done anything; why should I worry. Jack Stone spoke first.
         "Morning, Keith, man. Before we gan on, just want to say like, that me an' Pete are not in the mood for pleasantries today. We've had a hard couple of days, like. Interviewing scum that tark in nothing but y' bloody Cockney rhyming slang. Please Keith, an' ah am asking politely noo. Divn't tark like them, eh. Be nice to have a tape we can use in court wi' oot the need for translators like. Y' kna' worra mean, man."
         Well, that was too much for me. Nearly falling off the chair, shaking with hysterical laughter, I shot at glance in Pete Waters direction. Through the tears that wouldn't stop flowing, the only emotion I could see on his face was a wry smile.
         "He is joking isn't he Mr. Waters?" I spluttered, "Christ sake, he's been here four decades, still hardly anybody understands a bloody word he says and he's asking me to speak in clear, precise, Queens English. Maybe you'd best ask the questions. That's the surest way if you're really worried about not needing a translator in court. Personally, I think he's just taking the piss. Whatever, let's get this over with."
         "Keith," said Waters, unwrapping a couple of tapes and placing them in the deck, "this is not a joking matter. Two weeks you've been back in society and we've already got two bodies. Both of them friends of yours. If you'd rather wait till you get yourself legal representation that's fine. won't be going anywhere while you sort that out."
         "Am I under arrest, Pete?"
         "Nah, not yet man, but divn't worry yersel," Stone butted in, "if y' hear us reading you' y' rights like, y'll kna' y'are."
         So, repressing the urge to say ––– 'Aw, come on Guv. On'y wen' up to the Dipper's Mickey for a butcher's and a Graham. [Micky Mouse – house, butcher's hook – look, Graham Gootch – mootch] Right ol' Porgy's it were an' nah mistake so I wuz in an' aat in a couple of ducks. Y' know, after I done a quick parrot, like. [Porgy and Bess – mess, ducks and drakes – shakes, parrot's perch – search] ––– I told them just to get on with it, as I'd nothing to hide, well, except for the briefcase, and no way were they getting that.
         The fallout if I'd done the Cockney thing would definitely not have given me a feeling of joy and well being. Most likely it would have led to a spot of 'watch your elbows' CLANG.
         Two and a half hours and four coffees later Pete Waters leaned forward slightly and said – thankfully, before reaching to switch off the tape recorder, "Interview terminated at," – a quick glance at the watch on his left wrist – "twelve forty-eight."
         "Well, Keith man. If it's any consolation we divn't think y'are guilty like."
         Ignoring the Geordie, I turned to Pete and after he assured me there were no other bits and pieces, hidden in the walls, still bugging our conversation I said, "You two will be put out to grass soon. How would you both like to end your careers with the biggest bust you've ever had?"
         The two of then looked at one another, then, each with a quizzical expression, leaned forward, elbows firmly on the table, chins resting on clasped hands, staring back at me. Seems I had their interest.
         "Howay y' gan man. Wor listening."
         "First a question. Have you given Harry Chambers a tug yet over this?"
         "Ah. Problem there Keith. He's in St. Georges. A bit sick. Nurses swear he never left his bed."
         "Yeah, well in my experience, nurses spend most of the night in the rest room gossiping over coffee and biscuits. Start looking at patients around five or five thirty in the morning. Three hour window of opportunity there somewhere. And it wouldn't be that hard to make it look like there was still a body in a bed. Prisoners of War did it all the time and if they could fool the Waffen S.S., then Harry could certainly fool a couple of Essex nurses."
         "Wye aye, Keith man but proving it is something else like."
         "Yeah, well I can give you the bastard's head on a plate but I need an immunity from prosecution deal. Queen's evidence and all that shit."
         "Withholding evidence is also a crime, Keith."
         "I'm not withholding anything, merely looking after something that could help you two become legends."
         "Need a little bit more than that, Keith."
         "Okay, Mr. Waters, how about this. Twenty-five years ago a woman disappears. Never been found to this day. Apparently Chambers got tugged for questioning about it but the Old Bill couldn't prove he knew her. Even I didn't know he knew her back in the day. Well, now I can put him in the frame plus I think I know where her body is. That's the easy one but imagine how much nicer it would be, on top of that, to put Harry away for topping his missus and Danny Parker and running drugs, because that's what I think he's into now. Give me three weeks. If you don't you'll be running round in rings and disappear up your own arses before you get to collect your commendations and your gold watches."