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Found on the shores of The West Midlands. The Coventry Conch tells the tale of a young girl's experience growing up in Coventry in the 1990's.

Sunday, 24 January 2016



Mum and Dad have gone to see my Uncle Steve’s band, Spaghetti Funktion, play. Jenny and me are too young to watch a band, so we’re getting dropped off round Nanny Pam’s house.

Mum wasn’t sure about letting us go to Nanny Pam’s tonight, because she’s having one of her Ladies nights. I heard Nanny Pam tell her it would be ok though, because Derek’s put his back out, so won’t be able to perform this time.

When we get to Nanny Pam’s, Maeve answers the door. Maeve works with Nanny Pam on the fag counter in Tesco. I like her, she tells funny stories. Once she told us that her sister had collected all the hair from her Alsatian out of the carpet for three years, and then made a jumper out of it. Another time she said an elephant nicked a Wagon Wheel out of her handbag at West Midlands Safari park.

A few more of Nanny Pam’s friends from the fag counter and neighbors are sat in her living room.  Nanny Pam is showing them her new dimmer switch by turning the light off, and then turning it back on really slowly.


Maeve gets a fag out of her purse and lights it with her rudey naked man lighter. Nanny Pam asks, ‘What the hell are you smoking? They bloody stink!’ Maeve says she’s got a bit of a cold, so she’s smoking menthols.


I’m not sure I like ladies night so far. A cheesy looking lady called Lisa, who smells like the sniffy bits in the Avon catalogue, is trying to sell some plastic boxes. Nanny Pam’s friends keep asking her really stupid questions about putting them in the microwave.


After everyone fills out plastic box order forms, we go into the kitchen. Nanny Pam has put on a buffet. All the food is brown, apart from the ham, which is grey.

Cheesy Lisa asks what the triangle things on the silver platter are. Nanny Pam tells her that they are ‘SAM MO SA’S’. Lisa nibbles one and starts fanning her mouth. She says, ‘I’m sorry, Pam, but they’re way too spicy for me. I’m not a lover of Chinese food’.

Maeve makes a joke about the little wrinkly sausages and her husband. Everyone laughs. I look at Jenny and she’s laughing too. I know she’s faking though, because she’s going really over the top and pretending to wipe tears away from her eyes.


The doorbell rings, and Nanny Pam leaves the kitchen to answer it. When she comes back she says, ‘Ladies, say hello to Mystic Mickey!’

Mystic Mickey is wearing a baggy suit with a big collar and has weird hair that is white and spiky.

He says, ‘Now then, ladies, who’s ready to talk to the other side? When I say are you ready to let the spirits enter, you all need to say, ‘Yes, Mickey.’ So, are you ready to let the spirits enter?’

We all say, ‘Yes, Mickey’


Nanny pam dims the light, and Jenny and me sit really close to each other on the puff.

Mickey starts by asking his spirit guide, Gary, to help him. He says that Gary lives on the other side and can go and fetch people we want to speak to.  

 ‘Are you there Gary, Gary are you there?’

I hold Jenny’s hand when Mickey starts speaking in a weird high voice, ‘I’m here Mickey, and I have someone with me. He wants to say that he’s having a cuppa and he’s happy now.’

 Nanny Pam’s neighbour Maureen, says it sounds like her husband, Ron.

Mickey says in his normal voice, ‘Gary, do we have Ron with us?’

Then, he says in his weird voice, ‘It is Ron and he wants to say that he’s ok and he’s remembering a holiday that they had somewhere hot. Was it Spain…Portugal…Greece?…’

Maureen starts crying and says, ‘Wales… he’s talking about our holiday in Wales.’

Mickey says, ‘Yes, that’s right Wales! Anyway, Ron wants you to know the dinners are alright up here, but they’re not as nice as yours. He’s got to go now, though. His favourite program is about to start on the telly.’

Maureen says, ‘But he only really liked the snooker, and that’s not on for another month…’

Mystic Mickey replies, ‘Ron says the schedules are different up here.’


After Cheesy Lisa has spoken to her Great Aunty on the other side and Maeve has spoken to her dead budgie, Mystic Mickey starts going on about  Gary being tired and needing to pack it in for the evening.

Everyone goes back into the kitchen for a drink. Me and Jenny watch Mystic Mickey sniff a samosa and eat six vol-au-vents, while Maureen asks him all about Ron and whether he’s met another woman on the other side.


When everyone’s gone, me, Jenny and Nanny Pam snuggle up on the sofa. I ask Nanny Pam if she was sad that she didn’t get to speak to anyone. Nanny Pam says she’s not arsed, because everything Mickey said was a load of crap... it’s never hot in Wales.

Nanny Pam promises that when she dies she’ll come back and haunt us herself, so we don’t have to waste forty quid on Mystic Mickey.

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