Today, Tomorrow, To Go
The other day a mate of mine
Was playing with his mobile phone
And looking at the tiny vistas
Hovering behind the screen.
The world at large converged upon
His tiny magic notebook of delight
And from this banquet of names and faces
Came a lady with an enigmatic smile.
While I, transported back in time
By printed words on long-dead trees
Recalled the joy of Ravenswood
In a book that was hot stuff back then.
In 1898, a world away,
No mobile phones for Walter Scott, no
High-tech airborne messages to read
And I wonder which of us is truly poor.
6 Aug 2002
12 May 2002
Last night Radio 3 broadcast Spontini’s opera ‘La Vestale’…and then Bob Harris concluded his show with a seven-inch vinyl record of ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ which was released exactly 35 years ago today.
In the news: Speedy (Something in the Air) Keen died, March trade deficit £3bn, Logica IT share price collapsing, Equitable Life; problems brewing with guaranteed investment return policies, BA closed final salary pension scheme.
26 May 2002
In the news: water has been found beneath the surface of Mars (‘I wanna go to Marz’, song from the film Weekend), Pakistan has launched a second nuclear test missile, UK economy stagnant – zero growth, Nigel Hawthorne autobiog to be published, Millennium Dome to be sold to developers.
In America, a bridge has been damaged and nine cars have plunged into the Arkansas river. Have just been to cinema to see The Majestic, in which Jim Carrey’s Merc goes off a bridge into a river.
Angus Deayton snorting coke and cavorting with an ex-prostitute. As one does. Roy Keane, Man U player and R-of-I captain, stormed out of training in Japan.
New film coming out soon; a remake of The Time Machine, for which the advertising poster asks ‘Where would You go?’, instead of – logically – ‘When would you go?’
Journal Entries, May 19:
19/05/02 – Last night half bottle chardonnay and half a volume of Val McDermid, wrecked headphones. Today last year was the weekend I made an impromptu trip to Derby and a few days after that ended up in Aberdeen being ‘interviewed’ by Nick Dubbels.
19/05/2000 – went to Fountain for GBMCC meeting.
19/05/99 – popped into Newtown Paints having been formally offered job, have a look round again and meet people.
19/05/98 – no diary entries for today but was preparing for my first rally (Shipwrecked in Nottingham).
Circa 19/05/97 – Karate weekend at Brean, stripped Patrick and got him drunk.
Circa 19/05/96 – Karate weekend at Brean, my silk dressing gown caused a brawl outside the chalets.
Circa 19/05/95 – sparse diary notes, Karate weekend at Brean, bought my first CD player (Marantz 53)
19/05/94 – Alec Beevers rang to tell me my thesis was being rejected ‘cos of errata.
May 1993 – only two entries: bought my tuner-amp and speakers. At work made some WB drum paint but forgot to put the hardener in.
May 1992 – aggro with Aidan’s next-door neighbours in Chetwynd Rd, Ward End. And I met Mad Rob from Smethwick.
19/05/91 – two days ago had second interview at Biocompatibles, and Jean came up to Oxford for visit.
19/05/90 – Getting hopelessly drunk in Oxford, bought a copy of the Meat Loaf album ‘Dead Ringer’.
27/05/89 – At my dinner party JC mentioned that he would have another party so of course we all decided the time and place for him (Weds 3.00). Weds was glorious until about 2.30 when it rained (corridor flooded, rain pouring into the lecture theatres) and filled peoples’ cars with 3 inches of water. Anyway, Di drove us to Abingdon (collecting JC en route) where we drank four bottles of wine and ate Spag Bol on the patio and trudged through the mud in search of an off-licence (Steve B’s comment: “We’ll never live this down – The Men They Couldn’t Trust”) and returned empty-handed. Eventually went to sleep about 4.30 a.m.
July 2018, A swarm of sculpture bees has landed in Manchester:
Klein Bottle Blues
A country lane as night begins to fall
Leads nowhere, which is where I long to be.
Her face was like a drystone wall
Words drifting languid as bees from cracks
Across the honeyed space to where I lay
Thinking of summer nights like these
When no-one cared what happened next
For yours, and mine, and other lives
Suspended in a perfect moment there
Begin to slowly turn again, and hear
The bees once more condensing on their hives.
The tremulous gold of stars within your hair
Are yellow bees flown from the hive of night,
Finding the blossom of your eyes more fair
Than all the pale flowers folded from the light.
Then, Sweet, awake, and ope your dreaming eyes
Ere those bright bees have flown and darkness dies.
(Edith Sitwell, 1887 – 1964)
From: ‘Come Down O Maid’
…But follow; let the torrent dance thee down
To find him in the valley; let the wild
Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave
The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill
Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,
That like a broken purpose waste in air:
So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth
Arise to thee; the children call, and I
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro’ the lawn,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809 – 92)