Monday, 14 May 2012

First Loves Blogfest

Courtesy of Alex J. Cavanaugh

The aim of this is simple: Your first movie/film, your first song/band, your first book and first person - four first loves in one day wrapped up nicely in one blogfest. Simple... or so they think.

My first film: Blade Runner
Not THE first film I saw and enjoyed, but certainly the first film I fell in love with. I think I was 18 at the time and went to see it in a local cinema down the road from the flat I lived in. The cinema was called 'The Globe' on the corner of Welfield Road, in Roath, Cardiff. It was a shabby, run-down affair and I remember wearing my coat all the way through as it was freezing in there - even the walls glistened with damp. But it just made the experience of watching this film all the more amazing, as the cinema almost became a part of the film with its damp, cold atmosphere and tired, worn out decor blending in so well with that of the setting of the film. The final scene with Deckard and the last replicant, Roy Batty, was just so powerful for me there were no words to express my emotional state as a result.

My first music: Dr Who theme tune & 'Oliver's Army' by Elvis Costello
The reason for two in one is basically down to the fact I bought them together as my first ever record purchase as a 16 year old doing his 'own thing' in Cardiff city centre. Though I don't recall the name of the place where I bought them from.

Dr Who theme tune - the original - was one of those things I'd wait for on a Saturday afternoon after World of Sport had finished. Mum was usually preparing Saturday tea, which was always ham cobs with butter. Normally as a kid (bear in mind I'm talking not even 10 years old at the time), I'd have dozed off on the settee, so the cosiness of the coal fire would leave me feeling snug and the familiar sound of my mother moving back and forth from kitchen and living room, accompanied by the clink of china and cutlery just added to the feeling of a safe and loving environment for me. Then those initial 'dang-da-dang' synthesizer sounds would spew from the tv and mum would call to me, 'Mark, wake up, Dr Who is starting!'

As for Elvis Costello, I loved 'Oliver's Army' from the first moment I heard it, and I can still sing along to it word for word the whole way through when it plays - just like I remember my national insurance number without looking at it and my first car number plate :)

My first book: Dr Who and the Daleks by David Whitaker
Well, it was a natural progression for a Dr Who fan, such as myself, to move to the next best thing from the program I loved - the book.
I had seen my older brother reading books and recall one night trying to get to sleep in our shared bedroom, which was difficult due to the fact he had the light on to read by. I recall asking him why he was laughing so much? His reply, 'I'm reading a funny book.' That book I now know to be 'Catch 22'. But it still made no sense to me; how does a book make you laugh? Oh, the ignorance of youth, eh?

So, my sense of awe and wonderment at reading this fantastic book (come on, it was my first ever book!) made me realise how I loved to read, and wanted more. That, and the sense of achievement on completing a whole book, fantastic!

My first love: My first real girlfriend (first fiancée)
For obvious reasons I will not use her name, not because I have something to hide or have any negative feelings, but out of respect.

I was just 17 and it was high summer. I had a really good pal called Alun Price, who was about four inches taller and a couple of years younger. He had a bit of a reputation for being a bit of a 'nutter' at his school, but he was my squad mate in the City of Cardiff Swimming Club and best friend. We had such a great laugh together. Anyway, Alun invited me to go roller skating at the local Top Rank in Cardiff. Typical lads, we were full of energy, laughter and ignorant innocence.

We were sat by the rink edge--which just happened to be the Top Rank dance floor--the music was booming, the lighting subdued, split with stabs of multi-coloured flashes of disco lights and glitter ball. Laughter and shrieks filled the air. The sound of hundreds of rolling wheels on a wooden floor rumbled above it all. It was fantastic.

As we were tying up our skates a small group of girls ambled by and one in particular caught my eye. I nudged Alun, 'Look at her, she's gorgeous!' I said. He looked up and asked which one. I pointed her out, and he smirked and said, 'I know her, she goes to my school.'
Now I can't recall if he offered to go speak to her or just went of his own accord? Either way he went, and in a few minutes returned, smiling broadly. He told me her name and, to my utter amazement, that she also liked the look of me.

We all spent the evening roller skating together, laughing and enjoying life.
Later, when it was time to go home, I walked her to the bus stop. We chatted, joked and laughed, discovering more about each other in the process. I didn't want the moment to end.

I was falling hard.

She then broke the news of her leaving to spend the summer with her mother, who lived in the US having remarried. I was gutted. But she gave me the address and I wrote to her everyday without fail (I'm embarrassed to say, my writing back then was appalling).
It was a time of immeasurable happiness for me, and always will be. One of the milestones of my youth.

And if she were to ever read this, which is beyond doubtful, I would like to say... 'thank you', with all my heart.


Anonymous said...

I first saw Blade Runner about two months ago. It was such a great movie!

Mark K said...

My only gripe with the film is the scene where Roy Batty releases the dove, then it's a cut scene to something that looks to have been filmed at day in some sort of industrial setting, almost as if it was a last minute thought. I just wish Ridley Scott would recut that bit out and put something better in its place. Not as if it isn't possible now with the standard of CGI today.

Barbara said...

I love your love story! I think this is the best part of the blogfest.

Sharing the Love!
English Speaking Zone

HWR Curator said...

hell yes! blade runner elvis c and dr who!

We all love something...right!
Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
Howlin' Wolf Records: On-Line Magazine

McKenzie McCann said...

My first film love was probably Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Mark K said...

Agreed. Glad you like the read :)

Mark K said...

lol... well, thanks for stopping by - good to see you :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you lost touch with someone so special.
Blade Runner is an excellent choice for movie.
Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

Mark K said...

Hey there... can't say I've really heard of that one?

Mark K said...

It's my pleasure, and it's a great idea, so thank you for putting it together :) And thanks for stopping by.

Allison said...

It is a pleasure to meet another Doctor Who fan! Great choices.

Allison (Geek Banter)

JoJo said...

I remember taking my cousin to see Bladerunner for her b-day gift (oddly enough, today is her b-day too) when it was released. She was a Harrison Ford fan and we were used to his turns in the Star Wars movies, Indiana Jones, American Graffiti, etc. Needless to say, we did NOT like Bladerunner at all and I've never seen it since then, 30 years.

Loved Elvis though; got backstage to meet him on his Punch the Clock tour in 1983. Good times.

Mark K said...

The same here :) and thank you for stopping by - feel free so to do anytime :)

Mark K said...

Wow! What was he like? All I can remember about the guy when I bought the record was that he used to be a computer programmer, which I recall being really impressed with at the time. But I do love his music still.
As for Bladerunner, I also fell in love with the actress Sean Young at the time, and best of all was the music by Vangelis, which I have on my pc - the soundtrack to the film, that is - such fantastic music and it includes snatches of dialogue. Brilliance :)

Mina Burrows said...

I was in love with a kid from Cardiff once. What a wonderful guy! Incredibly sweet and he used to write me the loveliest letters. We lost touch after he moved back home to Wales. Your post reminded me of him. Thanks for sharing. :)

Mark K said...

We Welsh guys are a romantic bunch ;)
Well, I'm happy my piece brought back some nice memories for you. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts :)

Susan Roebuck said...

Oliver's Army! Oh how I love (d) Elvis Costello. Apparently, when darleks came on the screen I used to sit under the table - don't remember that, myself LOL. Do you know, I've never seen BladeRunner. Yeah, in those days we used to walk to the bus-stop with our boyfriends, stopping at every other lamp-post I think.

Andrea Teagan said...

Bladrunner, amazing movie and so beautiful too. I love the dark atmosphere. It was really enjoyable to read your first love story. That in the end, past the pain you were thankfull for the experience. I think that way too about relationships and just life in general :)


Mark K said...


You really need to see Bladerunner, but watch the original version with Deckard's narration (Deckard is the main character played by Harrison Ford) ;)

Mark K said...

What's not to be thankful for when you think about the joy and happiness it gave? I've since spoken to my ex and we're on good terms, which is wonderful to know.

Appreciate your comments and for joining us at the hearth. I hope you'll enjoy the stay :)

Wayne Assiratti said...

I will have nothing said against Elvis Costello. He is the business. Fact. I will also admit I am a secret Whovian. Love it.

Amanda Heitler said...

Love this list. Mr Costello is full of win, Dr Who - always, even if I do prefer the old ones, Blade Runner ... admire but do not love. Your love story takes the biscuit though.

Casey L. Clark said...

Don't laugh... first movie: Benji The Hunted, first book: The Box Car Children series, first band: Ricky Nelson, first love: Charlie Sheen *unrequited of course* don't judge me cuz RED DAWN!!! WOLVERINES!! LOL;P

Mark K said...

I expect nothing less from you, sir ;)

Mark K said...

Takes the biscuit good or bad? Ambiguity is not something I cope with very well :s

Mark K said...

As if I'd laugh!? And I enjoyed Red Dawn, way back when. But what a stellar cast it had. Though I do find it scary seeing the very same actors today and how much they've aged, which unfortunately reminds me of the fact the same applies to me.

Nice to have you here, and thank your for sharing :)

Mina Lobo said...

Brace yourself, Mark - I've yet to see Bladerunner.

::runs for cover::

Some Dark Romantic

Mark K said...

Wha... (picks up a big stick and begins the hunt)

Elizabeth Twist said...

Yes, all the way down the list, except for your first love, with whom I did not also fall in love though she sounds nice.

I love the way you set the scene for your Whovian viewings. For me, it was watching reruns of original Trek in the orange-carpeted rec room of my parents' house. My brother was the Trekkie - he allowed me to also watch, though I wasn't allowed to ask too many questions because I might "wreck his show." While we watched, Mom's footsteps could be heard in the kitchen above us, and the smell of dinner would waft down the stairs.

p.s. I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. You can collect it if you wish here.

Amanda Heitler said...

Ack. Elizabeth pipped me. You just got one from me too. Don't we have good taste, though.

Mark K said...

I think your Hobbit legs need to move a bit faster to keep up with Aunty Liz ;)

Pk Hrezo said...

Sorry I'm so late to the party!! Been off the blogging for awhile. Blade Runner!!! That was an awesome flick! :D