Thursday, January 14, 2016

January Jollity*

2016 doesn't look like being any better than its recent predecessors. Sorry to start on a gloomy note but facts are facts.  The heavy rainfall in December has continued. Mrs. C and I had a few days in York and caught the tail end of the flooding. This is a city that's used to a spot of water where it shouldn't be but they were taken by surprise by the deluge that flooded much of the area near to where the River Foss joins the Ouse. Still, we had a most enjoyable time, although being in the National Railway Museum where there is a new exhibition celebrating the life and times of the Flying Scotsman, only to discover after much wandering around that the engine itself was not there (it is being refurbished in Bury) was a bit irritating. Never mind, it was shown on TV a few days later back on the rails and puffing along mightily and if it makes its promised departure from Kings Cross in a few weeks then I hope we can be there to join the crowds of well-wishers.

Amidst the general ghastliness of events in the Middle East and the refugee crisis that is threatening to break the fragile unity within the European Community (assuming the efforts of D. Cameron to renegotiate the UK's position don't do that first), the media found plenty of time and space to cover the death of one D.Bowie. I suppose I should record, for the sake of posterity, that I was a teenager when he began his career, that I was fairly impressed by Space Oddity and that no other recordings of his have made any impression on me for the simple reason that I have never heard any and have no wish to do so. Nothing personal, I just gave my heart to progressive rock groups sometime in 1969 and there it remains. And, disliking arachnids as I do, there is no way I am going to listen to someone amongst whose hot waxings is a composition entitled Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. However, I am minded to make my own recording called Hiram Molecule and the Cockroaches from just outside West Ruislip and see if that generates some tasty film offers.

Over the festive period I managed to complete two short dramatic pieces that may or may not be performed one day by the group in U3A London to whom I devote some time every week. Writing for others to speak is a fascinating endeavour because you never quite know how actors are going to interpret your words and what is crystal clear in your own mind may need to be spelled out, and perhaps rewritten, when others get the scripts in their hands.I try to write dialogue the way people really speak, rather than the more formal polished sentences that make up most theatrical writing but you can't have the whole thing full of the "ers", and "you knows" and "thingummys" and interruptions, half-completed thoughts and fragmentary phrasing of normal discourse, particularly between people who know each other well. So there is a fair bit of compromise.

Naturally there is a tube train drivers strike threatening and naturally, if it goes ahead, it will scupper some of my attendances at said drama group. Just as naturally the football team I choose to follow, finally playing a much-postponed FA Trophy match last night against Weston-Super-Mare and having fought back to 2-2 with a few minutes go, lost by a goal in the 89th. Staying in bed on these chilly mornings seems like a pretty good idea.

*Many years ago I was tasked with finding some way to inspire the 1000 or so co-workers in the automotive parts distributor that employed me. Trying to follow such obvious leads as "March Madness" I concocted the above. Nice to be able to recycle it.

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