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.

Maturity beckons.

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.

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…….

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.

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.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com

PS It's five past midnight. I'm now sixty-one.


Hildie said...

Happy Birthday, Ian.
Ummm, I don't know how to tell you this, but we've already had AGM XI
.... only yesterday, in fact.
I begin to think it was a good idea that I got you those socks, with your name on, for your birthday!


Next time, how about we meet at the monument and see where the wind blows us? It might blow us down the quayside! Do tell Paul we were all chuffed to see him!

Maureen said...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Ian. Happy Birthday to yooooo! You'll just have to imagine me singing it. There you are, aren't you glad I couldn't make it yesteday? Sounds like you had a great time wish I'd been there. Beginning to think that after Paul has received so many of my texts he's decided to avoid me, I'll catch him one of these days!Nice to see the pics on Murphy and Dora's too, looks like it was the usual, quiet do. Have a great day Ian, hope you've got something good planned. (Here, that J.Arthur, bit saucy isn't he? oo-er missus!)

Maureen said...

Good idea Hildie. I was thinking of the Laing or Tyneside Cinema as Fenwicks etc will be packed with Christmas shoppers. Do you think we could get a burger with a bit of holly on from yellow-van man?
Please note time of posting, oh for a dose of the Nightshift, Ian I miss you sooo much.

Sid said...

Happy Birthday Ian, don't bother with the maturity bit...it's overrated.

Vivienne said...

Happy birthday Ian,

Hope you are having a lovely day. Thanks for posting Paul's photo of us yesterday, J.Arthur's poem etc. Don't make yourself ill eating all of Hildie's birthday cake.

Hildie, I hope your School Fayre raises lots of cash this afternoon.

Lots of love,

Vivienne xxx

Sid said...

I've been wondering...
The chap who won the World Scrabble Championship, Pakorn Nemitrmansuk. Did he not have an unfair advantage with a name like that?

Maureen said...

You are right Sid. Can you imagine the size of the label on his coat hook when he started 'Infants'?

Maureen said...

Sorry, had to go back to previous posting, felt that there were a few unfinished issues!

Sid said...

Morning folks...
I hear that the number one toy for the girls this year is a divorced Barbie doll. It's a bit like a regular Barbie- except she comes not only with all her accessories but most of Kens as well...

Sid said...

In Ians posting (number 182) you casually mentioned Nina and Frederick and wondered what happened to them. Well pin back yer ears...

Nina and Frederick split up in 1969. Nina became famous in the United States in the early 1970's as the mistress of hoaxer Clifford Irving, who went to jail when his biography of Howard Hughes, allegedly written with Hughes co-operation, proved to be a fake.

Frederick and his second wife were shot to death on board their yacht in the Phillipines on the 15th of May 1994. It is thought river pirates trying to steal the yacht was the cause. However, rumours allegedly (lovely word, and so very important) say that Fredericks drug dealings with cartels may have precipitated his death.
'Puff the Magic Dragon' will never be the same again...

Maureen said...

Wow, thanks for that Sid, you never know where wondering is going to lead you do you? I might hve thought that you would find something on them but not all of that. Well I never! Top marks again, Super Sleuth!

Maureen said...

By the way with all of the birthday talk this week you might like to know that Connie Francis qualified for her bus pass yesterday and Little Richard turned 74. (He's currently in hospital having a hip replacement) So you've got a way to go yet you two!

Sid said...

I was amazed to hear a couple of weeks ago that Chuck Berry had cancelled a tour of the UK due to ill health. He was 83 in October!.

Sid said...

Well done Joe!!

Hildie said...

He is just a hop and a skip away from winning now, Sid! I'm so pleased for him!
I'm really here to apologise ....
it's a big apology I owe to Ian .... I'm supposed to be quite good at counting up to ten in my job , you know .... oh, dear ...
here goes - I was wrong about the number of AGMs the other day.
This is how it went in 2009 ---
the running order was
I The Keelman
II Tyneside Coffee Rooms
III Sunderland Winter Gardens
IV Birkheads
V Tanfield Railway
VI The Quayside/ Sage
VII Tynemouth Station Market
VIII Saltwell Park
IX St. Mary's, Gateshead
X The Biscuit Factory

It all went rather well, don't you think?

However, as you see, I was wrong! We haven't had the pleasure of XI yet!! We still have it to look forward to. I do sincerely apologise.

Poor Frederick! He came to a nasty end, didn't he? And Nina, she seems to have had a colourful life. Sid, that was interesting!

I'd like to recommend Sunday Lunch at The Royal Oak in Medomsley. That's where we had a family gathering today, for my daughter's birthday ... the food and the service were brilliant.
Give it a try.