Based on Holly’s own experiences, The Coventry Conch shares days in a young girls life, growing up in 1990’s suburban Coventry.
I’m having a day off school, because my class are on a school trip to Coventry Football Stadium and Mum said that I’d get a better education staying at home today.
Nanny Pam has come round to look after me and we are on the sofa watching Supermarket Sweep. Nanny Pam shouts at the lady on the T.V. ‘Quiches are in the chiller you daft cow!’
We can hear a man coughing up a greeney outside the front door. It’s Grandad.
Grandad has been away in America for a few weeks after he split up with Candy. Mum said Candy was sick of living in Grandad’s static caravan full of his useless old crap.
I’m worried because Nanny Pam and Grandad always argue when they see each other and it makes me feel funny.
Grandad’s wearing cowboy boots, shorts and a shirt with nudie women holding guitars on it.
Nanny Pam laughs her head off when she sees him. Grandad says, ‘Pammy, I’m a new man. I think you’re going to start regretting kicking this cowboy out!’
Nanny Pam laughs even more and says ‘I’m going into the kitchen to make a coffee, when I come back in I want to watch This Morning in peace, without you here’.
Grandad sits down, lights a big brown cigarette and starts watching Supermarket Sweep, he shouts at the lady, ‘Go for the electricals, you daft cow!’
The cigarette smells horrible, so I put my mouth and nose into my Count Duckula T-shirt.
When Supermarket Sweep finishes, Grandad tells me he’s not used to such crap telly, or small couches, or tiny houses like this. He says the bog in his hotel was bigger than our living room. Then he gives me a present. It’s a lighter that says: ‘I GOT LUCKY IN LAS VEGAS’ on it.
I ask him lots of questions like:
Did he go to a Prom? Is the McDonalds the same? Did he have a corn dog? Did he have a telly on the plane?
Grandad says all I need to know is that America is bigger, brighter and better than this shit hole.
Nanny Pam comes back in with a cup of coffee and a Mint Choc Options for me.
This Morning comes on and Nanny Pam says, ‘Times up Skint Eastwood. Judy’s waxing Richard’s leg in a minute, and I don’t want you ruining it by talking silly bollocks about America’.
Grandad says, ‘We were like Richard and Judy once’
Nanny Pam says, ‘If you mean I was the long suffering wife of an arrogant arse hole then I suppose we were.’
I go to my room while Nanny Pam and Grandad argue. I wrap the lighter in half a loo roll and put it in my special shoebox next to my pig ornaments.
I spy on our next-door neighbour Carol doing her gardening for a bit and think about America.