old skool


A visit to Wren’s Nest (a limestone outcrop just west of Dudley Town) feels like a step back in time. The last time I was here was 30 years ago, fossil-digging.  From that day I’m still niggled by the fact that I failed to complete my logbook for a Scout Geologist’s badge. I need closure.

As if to confirm the time-slippage, I notice white dog-poo on a woodland track – stuff  thought to have vanished long ago on the heels of Lord Lucan’s brogues.

Football-crazy BoyThings1 & 2 (inspired after paying homage to Black Country Legends Billy Wright and Duncan Edwards) head down to Dudley’s Priory for some serious kick-about. In an astonishing compound-ricochet challenge worthy of many a slow-mo replay, Boy2 takes the ball clean on the mush, knocking out his wobbly tooth. There’s bloody carnage in the goal-mouth. It’s the loss of his first front teeth and a wave of sentimental old skool pride hits me. I begin to wonder if Kenny Burns would’ve forsaken his fearsome toothless-look by spending a Premiership paypacket on for a modern-day, dent-perfect Lampard or Beckham smile?

My comparative value systems take a terrible blow that night, however, when I realise the ToothFairy has run out of coinage and must trade a choke-inducing tenner for the match-winning incisor!


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