Ill Wind were a Boston based band we saw in 1971 with singer Conny Devanney, whose voice, we thought, had the guts of Janis Joplin and purety of Judy Collins. She was mind blowing
When Chairman Mao was asked, "Do you think the world would be a different place if Kruschev had been assassinated and not Kennedy?" he replied, "I know one thing, Aristotle Onassis would not have married Mrs Kruschev."
Sunningdale School: what can one say about this wonderful place? One hundred boys and staff in morning chapel singing "Jeruselem" or "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". Waiting in anticipation for CE results. Watching the 1st X1 slogging it out on the cricket pitch. That's the tip of the iceberg. I taught there for 22 years. Here's one of those tips from one of the annual concerts Sea Fever by John Masefield. I cannot give the name of the chap who recited this, for obvious reasons. I have never heard it recited by anyone better, including John Masefield.
"The road goes on forever, but the party never ends," Robert Earl Keen
"God made time to keep all from happening at once," Mickey Newbury from:- I Came To Hear The Music
"There's more fun at a Glasgow funeral, than there is at an Edinburgh wedding," Tam Skinner
"If it's like this tomorrow, I'm going swimming, even if it isn't," The mighty Joseph Bishop 1962
I asked my pupils to give examples of saving space. One of them, a huge, wonderful, black boy from Africa, put his hand up.
"A crematorium sir."
Dick Kempston. My great friend and great carpenter, built a boat of boats (Tookay). He built it in the 60's, with his brother Jack and It is a 42ft Catamaran with a 3ft draft. Dick said "In a force 9 gail, it was like skimming across a ploughed field in a lorry with square wheels" . Dick sold it for a more managable single hull craft, but I know it saddened him to let that boat go. Sadly Dick and Jack are no longer with us.
"A temporary erythema and the calorific effulgence of the prosignamy etiologised by the perceptiveness of the sensorium when in a predicament of unquilibrity." The great master of useless information Mr Laurence Tyers told me this in 1964. He said it is the medical term for a blush. It embarrasses me to even ask a doctor if that's true..
To Lindy (remedial teacher at Sunningdale) I once said, "Lindy, you are as mad as a balloon, but you are the best balloon in my dog."
Alistair Storey: now here is a man who played 80 matches as opening batsman for Leicestershire and captained the Scottish national side in the World Cup Cricket. He was a colleague of mine at Sunningdale School, where he taught English. We have been firm friends ever since. He now resides in his native country of Scotland, lecturing in Psychology , but before he left he introduced me to this wonderful poem.
Piano by D. H. Lawrence
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.
On a lighter note Kevin Barnes wrote the funniest poem ever about The Himalayas. His other poems would probably have this site closed down, but here's another one.
The Frog and The Vet by K Barnes to be read aloud in a broad Yorkshire accent
I've been a vet for many a year
I thought I'd seen it all
I've seen a butterfly with Whooping Cough
And a cock without one at all
I thought I'd seen it all that twas
Till Twednesday before
I was just putting down a Cobra's Egg
When a knock came to the door
I said "Come in take a seat
I'll not keep thee a minute"
Opened up mi bottom draw
And Put mi egg back in it
He looked at me with eyes a glaze
And fixed mi with a stare
Took off his hat, gave a cough
And laid it on the chair.
I looked at him and then again
I couldn't believe mi eyes
A frog was sitting on his head
Bout two thirds normal size.
I sat right down and asked him straight
"When did this thing begun?"
With slime green eyes the frog replied
"It began with a boil on mi bum".
Kevin also plays bass with the wonderful East Leeds "Gipton Gypsies"
Excerpt from the film
The Rum Diary
I wonder what it is you might think about our different worlds. He looked at me kind a sideways and said,
"Human beings are only creatures that come with God and the only living thing that behaves that he hasn't got one. Does the world belong to no-one but you?" and when he said it, I was taken a-back. Not because who was doing the talking, but because I finally understood the connection, between children scavenging for food and shiny brass plates on the front doors of banks.
At a time when the world was turning upside down (and still is), I wrote a set of short stories about a brontesaurus called "Bray" and a tree frog called "Ringworm" If you feel the need for a mad half hour, here is chapter one