Reunited : skateboard story

Sep 2, 2020   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

The reuniting of a skateboard with its owner is the kick off point for the revival of my blog.

I’m all about connections and story, so it seems a good place to start. For many in Lockdown Britain, today is back to school. A new season as we move into autumn and start fresh things, while drawing on what has gone before. So here goes. 

A cycle ride a couple of days ago led to me bumping into an artist, who I hadn’t seen for months. He was another step in this kickstart as he said “you’ve things to communicate and the tools to do it”. Well, I’ve shied away from a personal media presence, even though I have a Masters in writing for the media, have worked in press relations and produced and hosted a community radio show. But media ‘schmedia’, so many channels for communicating and I’ve been sacred of being engulfed by a tidal wave of dross or adding to the sea of ‘yada yada’.  But, Lockdown has left me with things to say and an ever growing library of my life untold, so I’m putting my toe in the water and embracing the possibility to share online, even though I’d far prefer to be sitting over a coffee or glass of wine chatting.

So back to the skateboard.  I’d bought it in the late 80s when a neighbour was moving. I’d given my skateboard to charity and regretted it, so bought this one as I still had unfulfilled dreams of skateboarding. Something I’d first seen down a skate track along the Westcliff in Bournemouth, where the BIC now stands.  I never became the cool skateboarder of my dreams and today with health and safety, I’m sure the skate track that inspired me in the 70s, would be banned. 

Well, I thought that it was time that I either sell the board or make it into a shelf, but neither of these seemed right. Then on Monday, I took a better look at it, assessing whether it needed some Danish Oil to revive the wood. But when I looked more closely at the scribbles on it, under the dirt, low and behold there was the lad’s name and even his age and references to BMX. He must have loved this board. I now didn’t have the heart to do anything with it. This was somebody’s story, a page in their life: even though it had crossed my path and become part of my story, for a while.

I started wondering if I could find the guy on social media. And within a few clicks there he was. Would it be odd to message him? Hmmm? So I pinged a message and filed the board away again.

Then, last night as I was settling in to eat……Ping. It was the skateboard owner! Yay. He couldn’t believe the unexpected message and ‘blast from the past’. We messaged a couple of lines back and forth. Yes, he remembered the board and being neighbours and my Dad, a local teacher, who had taught both him and his mum: reference points and connections. I was delighted.

Then to arrange delivery. Though we had both moved, it turned out we were both living in a town neighbouring our childhood homes.  So, 10 minutes later and after more than 30 years, the board and its owner were reunited.

And, so with this story in mind and the warm feeling that Bagpuss must have had, when reuniting objects with the people who loved them, I’m going to branch out into the blog world. The guy had said, oh pop the image on Facebook. Well, I post very little there nowadays, I prefer Insta. But, I had a go and then realised that I couldn’t put any relevant tags, so abandoned the project.

Now, this morning, after a trip to the take donations to the charity shop, that joy of letting things go at the right time, along with the notion of connections and the right things being homed with the right people, I am typing at my keyboard. I’m wearing skateboarder trainers and leaning on a skateboarding cushion – reminders of my skateboarding dreams.

I love inspiration, which for me comes from connections: people, places, things. And, as I learned on my MA, which was also a back to school step in September 10 years ago, I write about themes of value and worth. And as an artist I realise, that I create from the same premise.

So, let’s see where this fresh page of a blog story will take me. Onwards……………

And the DJ in me, usually has some tenuous tune in my head.

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