In this posting...
*A Musical Interlude
*World Scrabble Championships
Now read on, Macduff...
The Biscuit Factory is not the most easily accessible venue to hold one of our get-togethers so it’s to everyone’s credit that the turnout for AGM X was well up to standard. Ada, Viv, Hildie, Sid, J Arthur Smallpiece (our adopted Poet Laureate), Paul Wappat (yes, that Paul Wappat) and yours truly were all there, resplendently keeping the torch of Truckshuntery burning in this most artistic of environments.
No amount of fine art, painting, ceramics or glassware will ever be able to suppress the natural - and, it has to be admitted, occasionally extrovert and genteelly raucous - tendencies of an AGM. It wasn’t long before the usual good-humoured chaos reigned supreme in the Biscuit Factory’s rather swish cafe. (Coffee was about all we could afford, surrounded - as we were - by fine art prices that elevated the imaginatively artistic to financially cosmological levels. For the price of a Bamburgh Castle lithograph you could buy a small terrace of houses in Bishop Auckland.)
Of course, I’m always on a kind of high whenever I hook up with my fellow-truckshunters, but today was extra special; the last day of my 60th birthday year. Tomorrow - in fact, by the time I post this blog - I’ll be 61 and will finally start growing up.
So I have to say - once again....
My truckshunters - this unique company of ex-radio listeners who chose to continue our on-air relationship long after the reason for its existence evaporated - are unquestionably the kindest, funniest, most affectionate and caring, most thoughtful, most unexpected and unpredictable group of individuals ever to have accidentally come together; and probably for the most unlikely of reasons - a local overnight radio show.
Thanks for all your lovely cards and gifts, some of which I haven’t even opened yet. (As I type, there are 41 minutes to go!) I’m both flattered and honoured to be numbered amongst your company.
This being the season of goodwill blah blah blah, there is going to be another AGM this month. This was the Poet Laureate’s idea - and it’s an idea of which I wholeheartedly approve. AGM XI will take place at 1100 on either Tuesday 22 or Wednesday 23 December in Newcastle. Venue suggestions gratefully received.
I know how difficult the timing may be, so please don’t put yourself out for this one. I’ll arrive at the venue with my trusty Guardian and will be more than happy to see whoever turns up!
A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
A MUSICAL INTERLUDE
Enclosed within the card I received from our Poet Laureate J Arthur Smallpiece was an ominous-looking fold of paper. Written thereon was...and I quote it in full...
It has become my practise, in recent years, to include a poem with my greetings cards. Not only does this personalise and add a bit tone to the proceedings, it’s cheaper than buying a present.
Now read on…….
A MUSICAL INTERLUDE
J. Arthur Smallpiece, Gentleman Poet.
In which an Old Man makes it up again
I had a girlfriend years ago; she set my youthful eyes aglow.
I doted on her sumptuous hips and luscious, moist, prehensile lips,
Her hair was long and sleek and black and tumbled darkly down her back.
A loving and congenial sort, she proved the most amazing sport,
We never could have too much fun; I thought our joy would run and run
When love was unrestrained and new. She did some things few women do.
I couldn’t get enough, of course; she had the spirit of a mustang horse
Distraught and desperate for its oats! We both rampaged like mountain goats.
I grew more dazzled every day; she held me in her tasty sway.
She also played the valve trombone. This didn’t please me best, I’ll own,
It made her mouth strong, firm and hard which likewise put me on my guard -
She’d pucker up and in a trice, her kiss would grip me like a vice,
I’d gasp like someone aqualunging,*
Half smothered by her triple tonguing**.
We fell out one day when she said she’d like to practise it in bed.
The noise and in-and-out slide motion gave rise to loads of loud commotion,
And spittle from the trombone’s bell dripped from the instrument and fell
Like something slugs and snails secrete, to form damp patches on the sheet.
This caused a modicum of tension, and led to bouts of vexed dissention.
I said: “Why don’t you play the trumpet?”
She said: “I’d rather play the strumpet!”
And she did, flighty mare!
Ah well, never mind.
* As far as I am aware this is the only poem in the whole of English Literature
to feature the word ‘aqualunging’!
** A technique used to produce a series of repeated short notes, much valued by the brass band fraternity.
This sonnet was produced with the aid of an Arts’ Council grant.
Dead Poet’s Society, 23. 04. 09.
WORLD SCRABBLE CHAMPIONSHIP
Thanks to the amazing Sid for an email which says...
An update on the World Scrabble Championships held in Malaysia. A chap called Pakorn Nemitrmansuk from Thailand was the eventual winner. Our Craig Beavers came in at a very respectable 8th place.
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PS It's five past midnight. I'm now sixty-one.