Late Registration

Knees locked from standing behind the desk, I force a smile for the guests tipping through the door like the contents of a spilled toy box; flight cases crashing and voices fighting for dominance.

Check-ins at this time of the morning are always either exhausted business travellers or bands fresh from the stage. Either way they’re only looking for the same thing: a drink or two and a warm bed. I try not to judge, although my mother would have told stories for weeks about the man who’s approaching the desk rummaging through the contents of a poly-pocket.

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silent rebel, punk

Falkirk's Highway to Hell

Bright lights, big city – not words people might not associate with the place, but it was a big deal for my best friend and I to travel into nearby Falkirk. Especially when you’re nine years old and never been on a bus before.

Back in the day, circa 1979. It was a heavy metal quest of gigantic proportions we were destined to take. Yep, my friend and I were head-bangers that required full on metal gear to go with our head-banging antics.

Studded belts, AC/DC patches, Black Sabbath, bleached Cosmic jeans; any piece of kit that turned us into the real deal.

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The Punk Rocker

I had just boarded the late night train from Waterloo to Woking when I saw him at the far end of the carriage. He was kneeling on a seat, banging on the window and sticking two fingers up at the passers-by on the platform. He was in his late teens, skinny with a thin face and blue eyes. His hair was a multitude of harsh colours, magenta, neon yellow, blue, red and orange, a starburst of gelled sharp upright spikes like a multi-colored hedgehog.

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rebel, punk