Katie Melua made me think about the Bay Of Pigs

Published on November 21st, 2009

Katie, (Melua) has just written a song with Guy Chambers, -called “Here Comes The Flood”, for her new album. The week after it was finished the UK is now flooded – apparently the most rain we’ve had in a thousand years. I hope she and Guy don’t write about a nuclear war. That reminds me of the Cuba “Bay of Pigs” missile crisis.
– forgive me quoting my own as-yet unpublished (unfinished) autobiography:

“Then we moved to Bradford. By now my Dad was “Chief Assistant” at the engineer’s department. Which meant he was a chief, but also that he was still an assistant. His job was involved with sewage. He had a trench coat and wellies and would often be called out in the night to go walking through sewers, which basically meant walking through shit. We lived on the edge of the posh district of Heaton, near Manningham Lane. I took the 11 plus exam in Bradford, and apparently surprised my parents by passing it. I got to go to Belle View Boys’ School on Manningham Lane, where John had already been for two years. It was an old, Victorian style school, noted for the fact that J B Priestly had gone there. Not that we knew who the fuck he was.

We played a lot of war games, killing Germans in the park with hockey sticks as machine guns, shouting ak-ak-ak-ak-ak. We learned to roller skate at 40 miles an hour down Emm Lane and just save ourselves from falling under the wheels of lorries and busses by doing a rapid 90 degree turn on Manningham Lane.

The Bay Of Pigs crisis happened while we were in Bradford and we all really thought we were about to be wiped out by a nuclear war. I was annoyed that I was probably going to die before ever having sex (preferably with either Janet Williamson or Allison Peebles from school, neither of whom had ever shown more than a coquettishly rejective interest in me, but for whom I had got the cane for chasing in the school playground at age eleven). Kennedy and Kruschev faced each other across the world stage and played the ultimate game of brinksmanship as Russian warships headed towards Cuba under threat of nuclear retaliation from America. My 13 year-old brother John worked out that the nearest target town would probably be Leeds and that the blast would come from there. We took over the cellar of our house without telling our parents and accumulated a hoard of tinned food, stolen, tin by tin, from the larder. We hoarded blankets, torches, maps, clothing, food, drink and a radio. We were ready, so that if it happened, we would be able to offer our parents a solution.
After the crisis was over, it was in Bradford that I “remember where I was” when president Kennedy was assassinated. I was at home at 7, Marriner’s Drive, Heaton, and we grew up overnight watching the reality of it all.”

I suppose quoting bits from a previously written account is a slightly lazy way to do a blog, but the I am feeling slightly lazy today. It is Saturday after all. For those expecting a funny story like http://tinyurl.com/l83nf7 or http://tinyurl.com/ygcyawg sorry to disappoint. I WILL be writing a new “newsletter” (which is what we called blogs when I started writing them, many years ago – when I started my website),for my main site http://www.mikebatt.com later today. All my blogs going back years are archived there, for those with time to kill.


  1. Posted by 1 on November 24th, 2009, 01:40

    Hello Mr Batt,

    Thank you for helping Katie out, but her website seems to be kind of dormant and getting occupied by wackos.

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