Macauley and Friends
Today I am confidently leaving the eighteenth century and the recording of Dangerous Chimes matters to Captain Mac, my invaluable Adjutant, and am returning momentarily to the present.
Recently my wife and I attended a reunion of friends, some of whom we have known since childhood. We all gathered in the Roebuck hotel, just south of Forest Row in Sussex, and our reunion was absolutely delightful. It was wonderful once again to be with such wise and witty gents, and the day was gorgeously graced by the wives and wenches, an indomitable contingent of high class mature totty, as shrewd, kind, patient, and beautiful as ever.
It was a celebration of fortitude and fun, a tonic of reminiscence and anecdote, with an extraordinary recall of incidents and characters, and an astonishingly detailed memory of our misdemeanours, frolics and sundry occupations… ‘Do you remember …?’ ‘How about when…?’ ‘Did they really? ? ‘What? On the police Station roof…? ‘Whatever happened to…? Yes, it was a really extraordinary day, most moving and enjoyable.
Save for the odd crease, wrinkle, and probable appliance, in many ways it was as though we had only been apart for a year or two, and not, as in our case, for many years. Some friendships don’t get battered by distance or diminished by the enforced unremitting struggle for survival. After the Roebuck day our biggest regret was that so many hours of enforced working preoccupation had deprived us of the regular warm and supportive companionship of such dear friends. Some were frailer than others but the collective babble of joyous reminiscence warmed the cockles of our hearts.
Since that day I have been dwelling quite a lot on the past, and am occasionally considering inflicting some of the more amusing and incongruous anecdotes and incidents where I have had a small part to play or with which have been involved
so far, during my stay on this crumbling planet. Fear not, my youth was moderately lively, Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll – well more wishful thinking and sausage rolls perhaps, but then my service in the Army (all ready to kill for the Queen) and the Police Force (making Brighton a cleaner and better place for corrupt locals and visiting criminals) providing this curious creature with plenty of material, some of it now publishable. And then there was my time with the London Dungeon, and theatrical activity in Germany after the war, and oh, yes, my father’s war time experiences were quite unusual… yes, a few items of interest I suspect for the occasional blog, thus helping some way to meet my two daughter’s demands – ‘For gods sake Farv, get it all down before you snuff it!
But I digress. As we were about to leave the Roebuck the next day, an example of invincible contempt for mad motorists was struck by a lady rider on her horse proceeding gently northwards as they approached the hotel. Out of a side lane behind her suddenly roared a massive Mercedes, an oligarch carrier of the worst ilk, driven at far too fast a speed by what appeared to be an obscene fat cat financier type. The purple visaged probable parasite was bellowing obscenities through his open window as his scum wagon screeched to a halt behind the horse, causing it to shy. ‘You stupid bastard!’ shouted the rider, as she calmed her mount and moved off past us biting her lip , but we were then delighted to see on the back of her day glow jacket the slogan: ANY CLOSER AND HE’LL SHIT ON YOUR BONNET.
So there we are and thank you for your time, dwelling on the dotage-clad ramblings of this sometimes almost grumpy old git. Next week we shall return to Goldcaster and Sir Jasper pondering aboard the Black Leopard. It’s been a long day, so, as my shrivelled brain sinks slowly to my desk I bid you farewell for the moment… What’s that? ah, it’s the doorbell! – will it be the Avon lady, the Kleeneze man, some tawdry tout from a parasitic privatised public service seeking to con us into changing one of our suppliers? No, it’s our German neighbours, Frau and Herr Stitz and their amazingly over-endowed daughter Norma. We are always happy to see them…