Featured Book – Goofin’ Pt. 7


            Hat taught me to drive in my multicoloured Ford Pop. It came natural to me. I’d been riding my Honda for a year and just seemed able to transfer the skills over. There was nothing much too it. I got in, twice round the block and we were off.

One advantage of it was that old Ford was that it was a lot warmer in winter than the old bike. Another advantage was that you could fit eight people in – with a bit of a squeeze. Then lastly it was always good for a bit of pastoral shagging – variety being the spice of life.

Hat sat there like a maniacal driving instructor dishing out instructions.

            “Left here! Straight on! It’s always straight on!”

            We took the bend at the library at fifty. Easy to do on a bike where you could lean into it but quite different in a sit-up-and-beg Ford Pop which promptly rolled on to two wheels, leaned over threatening to go into a roll and squealed like mad.

            Hat sank down into his seat.

            Somehow it stayed up and we made it round.

            “Whooooooooooeeeeeeeeey – Haaaaaaaaaa!” I yelled.

            “Pretty hairy,” Hat observed. “Perhaps a little less floorboard if you don’t want to fuck up the paint-work.” He nodded to himself. “Or soil the upholstery in the passenger seat.”

            We headed out for the open road and picked up two hitchhikers. That was mandatory. You always stopped for hitchers. It was the rule. If you had something you shared whether that was a joint or a ride.

            I was really getting into it. The car roamed around the lanes a little because the steering was basically shot but it had a bit of poke and cruised nicely at 60 – 65 M.P.H… We were going out of our way to drop off our guests. It made for a good run.

            Hat amused himself by rolling jays and passing them round as we hurtled down these narrow country roads. Everyone seemed quite mellow.

            “Not doing bad, is he?” Hat enquired, leaning over the seat to converse with the hirsute couple in the back.

            The hitchers looked a bit bemused. They hadn’t cottoned on to what he was talking about.

            “Considering it’s his first time out in a car,” Hat casually slipped in.

            I swung it round another corner and noted that the atmosphere had got a tad more tense.

            Everyone loved my multicoloured car. I nicknamed it Herbert. It was a name that seemed to suit. One particular speed-cop seemed to especially take to it. At every opportunity he pulled me over to have a closer look.

“Mornin’” I’d say breezily.

He scowled at me.

“Lovely day for it.”

He would get his book out and write me up without a word and hand me the ticket. Then he’d get back on his bike, kick-start it and glide off into the traffic.

I’d have to go in with all my details – insurance, log book and shit. A right fucking nuisance though I was determined not to let them see it was buggin’ me.

I’m sure the guy used to lie in wait for me. Sometimes he’d do me twice in a day and he averaged three times a week.

            “Mornin’,” I’d say breezily as I arrived at the cop-shop.

            The desk-cop would fix me with a scowl.

            I’d shake my hair out, stroke my beard and pull at the white scarf I wore under my flying jacket.

            “Hey, you guys go to scowl school?” I’d enquire. I’d hand him my documents. “Same again.”

            He’d start copying the details in without a word.

            “Hey man,” I’d say conspiratorially. He’d stop writing and look up at me. “Just put ditto. Save you a lot of trouble.” I nodded and winked. “There, look, see, I’m on every page. Details haven’t changed.”

            He went back to writing with a stony expression. I think I was getting to him.

            Allie knitted me a big thick jumper to go with the car. It was multicoloured. I loved it and wore it every time I went into the cop-shop. For some reason I don’t think they were anywhere near as keen on that jumper as me. They seemed to take it as a personal affront.

            Jack used to particularly love my Herbert-mobile. He often took over from Hat as co-pilot. Some nights he’d rap on the window and drag me off into the night.

            “Hey, man, let’s get off to Brighton! You up for it?” We’d drive there and run up and down the shingle beach then get back in and drive back.

            I’d drive and all the while he’d be yattering in my ear.

This Week’s Featured Novel: Goofin’ – Pt. 1

I wrote this many back many circles of the sun when everything seemed young and fresh, full of wonder and possibility. I wanted to capture something of the Jack Kerouac Beat ‘On The Road’ vibe, but also the sixties vibe too. Of course, you never get close.

Those vibes have dissipated like a spray of perfume in a gale.


With the Cosmic Freaks


Opher Goodwin


This book is dedicated to Pete Smith, Jules, Praub, Pete Ayley, Janet, John, Bag, Tony, Maria, John, Nick, Lou, Rich, Carl, Tim, Billy, Ro, Erica, John Smith, Hat, Oz, Ginny, Bob, Ken, Glenys, Mutt, Booker, Lanky, Chalky, Snitch, Snatch, Wanky, Pussy, Jeff Evans, Gary Turp, John Lindsey, Jack, Dave, Roy Harper, Carol, Dan, Janet, John, Kathy, Tobes, Dave, Vicky, Rich, Lou, Eduardo, Bali, Liz, and all those other heroes of my youth who rocked my world!!

Where are you now? Those days live forever!


This is the ultimate sixties book – an ‘On the Road’ for the British Underground with all its sex, drugs, dreams and music; those times of crazy people high on life and mad for experience – when anything was possible.

It captures that idealistic naïve impossibility permeated with vitality and careering love and dreams, the wild rush for adventure without a thought for the future because it was going to last forever.

– Seemingly forever changes!

It spans continents as it trips its way through time, space and mind in a mad rush to discover life and experience or die trying.

Now was all there was and it had to burn, burn, burn or it was dead.

In the days of dope and poetry, where the world was ripe for changing, there was a mystical buzz of unity. In the shadow of an establishment that stood for war, prejudice, work, isolation and the rat-race with all it’s status seeking power games, racism and slow death signified by getting the lines straight on your lawn, Jack’s cackling laughter and bright eyes, death-defying madness and care-free attitude showed there was an alternative.

Maybe dope was never enough and when we grow up it is time to put aside childish things where they are confined to our dreams and memories. But somewhere out there Jack still lives where it is real.

We did change the world!Opher 16.8.2014

Jack Kerouac Quotes – A man who saw an lternative way of living.

When I read On the Road and Dharma Bums when I was seventeen they altered my life. I saw something more worthwhile than the pursuit of money and power, I saw an alternative way of living that was more mad, vital and alive. It was the crazy excitement of Jazz, poetry and Zen – that was seeking kicks and enlightenment – that wanted something more than security and boredom. I knew there had to be more – be more spontaneity – be more excitement – be more meaning. I wanted to live – the colours to be vivid – to find out what life was about – and to have no limits!


I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
Well that’s a beginning. To be confused about the stupidity of this society is a start. If you are confused by what you see around you then you can either ignore it and carry on or try to figure out a better way of doing things.
Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.
It is the pioneers with an alternative vision who are the real inventors – the crazy people who won’t listen to reason and follow the crowd.
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.
Passions are the essence of life but they can be so destructive too.
Maybe that’s what life is… a wink of the eye and winking stars.
We are a flash in eternity. Our lives are over far too soon – I’m hardly getting started!
All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.
We dream of better futures – more fun, more love, more freedom, more understanding and a better world.
I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.
I believe our lives send out ripples through the world around us. All the people around us are affected. They in turn affect everyone around them. We need a tsunami of compassion.
All of life is a foreign country.
Understanding it is crucial. We don’t even speak the same language. We journey through life getting our kicks and seeking truth.