annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



I was going to write about Danny H yesterday but forgot - he was my boyfriend when I was sixteen and it was his birthday yesterday, I think - now I'm wondering was it the 10th not the 15th? He was the one I fancied for ages, who turned up at my house one half term morning and knocked on the door when I was still asleep. I thought it must be the postman with a parcel so bunged on my (seriously) tatty, ancient, candlewick dressing gown and answered it, unbrushed hair, no make-up, not even mascara - my shameful blonde eyelashes there for all the world to see. Danny didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary and just said, "D'you fancy going to the gig on Friday with me?" Did I? Too fucking right I did - swoon, swoon. The gig being a local band playing what was then known as progressive rock, underground, Led Zep kind of stuff. I said yes and never wore make up again - If Danny didn't mind my natural appearance I didn't care what anyone else thought. We were an item for a few weeks or maybe months until he dumped me because he preferred my sister. She wasn't playing, because she's my sister and she was only fourteen at the time. I returned the favour later by not getting involved with one of her exes, though she never knew how much I was tempted.
A few weeks after he dumped me we all went to see Johnny Winter at The Big Apple in Brighton - I just looked it up - 13th Feb 1971 - we were all underage to go in licensed premises, but I can't remember anyone even thinking of that at the time. There was a girl called Hannah who'd always fancied Danny too. When the support act finished a DJ played records. Hannah asked him to dedicate a song to Danny and to say that Hannah will always love him. He did, but he dropped the H and said 'Annah will always love you, Danny' and I was fucking LIVID, as indeed was Hannah.
Danny was a boarder at a local school for "emotionally damaged boys of exceptionally high intelligence" big trouble in other words - I met him when the son of one of that school's teachers joined our school and became my pal. Danny was a right one - I don't know how else to describe him - he was dead tricky but we loved him. We got to know several of the boys from that school, the three that were our kind of age at least and they were all well dodgy. One of them, Tony S, remained my friend until he died when we were in our fifties - and I have to say he lived a good thirty years longer than anyone would have predicted.
But Danny and S, another friend of ours, set off to hitchhike to a commune in Wales one summer morning, probably 1971. They separated to see who could get there first. Danny got stuck somewhere out in the countryside quite near their destination and lay down in his sleeping bag under a hedge by the side of the road to sleep for the night. It had been raining, so he wrapped himself in some plastic sheeting. There was a pipe of some kind, half-buried under the hedge, leaking poisonous gas. Danny's body was found the next day.
He was the first person I lost (apart from my mother but I had no memory of her) and I was devastated. We all were. His funeral was held locally as he hadn't lived with his family for some years - they turned out to be mega-wealthy residents of Hampstead, somewhat flummoxed by the crowds of weeping teenagers that sobbed through the funeral.
Fifty years ago. I can see us all, wearing our long raggedy dresses, the boys in flowery shirts and flared trousers, long hair all round, weeping and howling in agony. A bit later Elton John brought out his single Daniel with the lines, "Lord and I miss Daniel, I miss him so much," which did for me every time I heard it. The last words I spoke to him were at my school - he'd wandered into the 6th form common room and was being a bit of a git - he was always very rude to me after my sister wouldn't go out with him - and I lost my temper and screamed in his face, "JUST FUCK OFF, DANNY H, JUST FUCK OFF!" and I never saw him again. That wasn't great, though he just thought it was funny as he really wasn't bothered what I thought of him.

So there you go - the saga of me and Danny. We all wanted to look after him - he was always dirty and his hair was tangled. The early days of that kind of fucked up relationship. Ah well.

Three Good Things today
1. I walked up into the hills somewhere different - not the place I planned as it rained all morning and that would be too muddy and slippery, but through the village and across the road further west. Much steeper than I'm used to but I made it. 3.5 miles altogether. My leg hurts now but I feel good for it too.
2. Art Enthusiasts gave me a free set of five art class recordings as, a loyal customer. I'm going to do a Lowry then have a go at the beach and pier here at low tide, in his style.
3. I've just put a marinade on some lamb which I'm going to cook as a kleftiko (-ish) in the slow cooker. We shall see. I don't cook for ages then I improvise. Ah well.

Night night. Keep safe, dear friends xxx

11:36 p.m. - 16.01.21


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