‘The animal respects what’s natural’: Dave and kid.

We are satsang and spiritual retreat sophomores now so it no longer feels like we’re embarking on some surreal adventure, more like we’re returning to a safe harbour. Not sure if this is entirely a good thing, though, as we thrive on the unexpected. And that’s certainly what we got last time.

What definitely is a good thing is that we’re no longer such novice fans and now know heaps more Kinks songs, as well as much of Ray and Dave’s solo material. Still finding great new favourite tracks all the time (recent discoveries include some fantastic songs from Ray’s 80 Days musical, particularly ‘Let It Be Written’, ‘Just Passing Through’ and ‘Be Rational’), still in that deliriously happy honeymoon period. But I have a notion it will last a lot longer with the Kinks than with other bands.

Preparation-wise, last September, we’d only read X-Ray and not Kink (don’t tell Dave). Perhaps just as well because the scales were rather lifted from our eyes by the latter as far as its author is concerned. Maybe if we’d read the whole of that before booking last time, we’d have been too disenchanted (and a little afraid) to take the chance. As it is, we’re fairly confident that today’s Dave isn’t likely to attack the furniture with an axe or defecate in a handbasin. Having said that, you do very occasionally get a glimpse of his more volatile side and have to respect the undeniable fact that he may seem like a pussycat but it’s one that may at any moment bare its claws. Exercise caution at all times.

‘Away among the chimneytops’: in the vicinity of the secret location.

On a fine Saturday morning in April we are collected from our hotel lounge by Dave’s partner and manager Kate, who leads us through the deserted streets like a particularly undisciplined church-school crocodile, some of the party lagging behind on the sharp ascent to a second hotel. Here we gather up some other satsangers, take deep breaths, admire the view of the town and allow the stragglers to catch up. From there it’s only a short hop to a garden gate and a familiar set of winding steps down through luxuriantly verdant shrubbery and we suddenly find ourselves on the gravelled area in front of the house. The effect, and maybe what was intended, is as if we’ve escaped the streets of the town on a mundane Saturday morning and stumbled into Shangri-la, as the lush garden descends in further steps and terraces below us.

Kate rings a bell at the front door (alerting the occupants to our imminent arrival) before leading us round to an anteroom at the back. On entering Dave’s domain, things get momentarily more prosaic. After the handing out of the laminate ID badges, there seems to be some demonstration of how to open windows that I must admit to forgoing. Some orientation probably follows – where the toilets are, where you’re not allowed to go and so forth.

When Dave emerges from the living room to greet us this time, with a blanket round his shoulders, I think he’s dressed in purple or maybe lilac and black and looks healthy and happy. At one point he’s in a black t-shirt emblazoned with the ‘om’ sign (I have to ask someone else what this is – seems I still haven’t picked much up).

We settle into a circle of chairs, with Dave on his plush scarlet throne the obvious focus (like a minor god entertaining/auditioning an audience of would-be believers), for an introductory chat, after which, if I remember correctly, it takes us a while to get down to some 3-4 breathing. I haven’t explored the spiritual aspect as much as I have the music since our last visit so it’s handy to have a recap. It becomes apparent that some members of the party are far more au fait with various teachers, techniques and significant dates in the Mayan calendar (watch out for 21 December this year) but I suspect it’s quite new to others so Dave has his hands full with a mixed-ability group.

With Rosina, Dave’s right-hand woman in a spiritual sense, absent due to walking pneumonia, the morning’s structure borders on the unstructured, not that I’m any big fan of structure. And there goes the structure of the blog too as my memories seem to disintegrate into fragments and incidental observations from that point on.

I notice that in conversation Dave still occasionally flicks a lightning tongue round his lips in that characteristic (unconsciously sexy?) manner you see in old footage of him on stage. I remember that I forgot to look at his eyes to see if they’re green or they’re blue.

Young Canadian Molly Robertson takes us in hand for yoga. She goes easy on us the first day, lulling unsuspecting participants into a false sense of security, linking the practice into the meditation we’d been attempting that morning. So that we’re all feeling relaxed and a bit self-congratulatory, stretching and thinking ‘Well, that wasn’t so hard.’ But then she really puts the screws on us the second afternoon. That’s what they’re like, yoga teachers, they take no prisoners.

At lunch on the first day, as I tuck into food piled inadvisedly high on a flimsy paper plate,[1]I ask Dave how long he’s been a vegetarian. Apparently since he was 25 and was eating a dish of some meat or other, maybe pork, when he suddenly got the feeling that he was eating his auntie. I can see how that would be a little disconcerting.

‘When we were all each other had’ and when Dave wasn’t so particular about what went in his mouth.

I’m an on-and-off vegetarian – I do my best to follow my principles but it’s difficult when you have absolutely no willpower. The Smiths’ ‘Meat Is Murder’ is what did it for me. I don’t think I’d have much objection to eating other human beings though, you know, if they were consenting and chopped small enough.[2]

Interestingly, brother Ray Davies is also vegetarian. Not sure how long he’s been one. I don’t think it’s mentioned in his ‘unauthorized autobiography’. On the bus ride back to the station a fellow satsanger says something about Ray that sounds like ‘His cat cooks his vegetarian meals’ but which actually translated to ‘He’s patented his vegetarian meals.’ Even after such an otherworldly weekend, the first interpretation sounded a little implausible to countenance.

Re. the Rayster and any potential Kinks reunion, I don’t hear anything myself, although Dave does touchingly dedicate ‘Get Back in the Line’ to his brother. But another weekender heard intimations about them possibly doing something together in the near future.

On the subject of family, I find it moving, as the scion of an alienated clan, whose older relatives have long abandoned me to my fate without shrugging a shoulder or batting an eyelash (godparent aunt and uncle hotfooted it to Australia when we were small), that Dave still appears a bit indignant and angry that their sister Rosie upped sticks and did the same, breaking up the family. They must have all been so close, with Ray evidently experiencing the same sense of desertion, witness ‘Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home’ on Face to Face.[3] And let’s not forget cousin Terry, from whom at least one brother craved a kiss on the long-awaited reunion.

‘See my friends’: Kast Off Kinks Ian Gibbons and Mick Avory in March 2012.

And on the subject of the Kinks, when I mention that I’d seen his old bandmates, Mick Avory, Jim Rodford and Ian Gibbons the month before, Dave seemed genuinely interested in how they were doing and had nothing but good stuff to say about them. It would be a lovely gesture if he were to guest with the Kast Off Kinks for a couple of songs on the Pete Quaife fundraising day at his old school in June.

I’ll promise I’ll get down to the gigs and any further incidentals that come to mind in the next blog. And for an account of the previous musical weekend, held in tribute to Jackie Leven, see

http://sshh-sshh.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/adventures-in-levenland-celebrating.html.

PS Also booked for the Big Star tribute show at the Barbican on 28 May and really hoping that Raymond Douglas will favour us by playing something.


[1] I have to say that the catering is excellent and we are well fed and watered throughout the day.

[2] On the bus ride to the undisclosed location, the roadside fields were full of lambs and ewes. How could anyone take a lamb away from its mother to be slaughtered? It doesn’t bear thinking about. Think of the outcry if we did that to people.

[3] When in the hall area, your conversations are punctuated by interjections from Rosie the Parrot, putting in her tuppence-worth from upstairs.

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25 responses »

  1. alravam says:

    Delightfully well-written piece, as ever, BB. I, personally, could *never* attend such a function (unless I were kidnapped, drugged with ethers [of the dimethyl varieties, mind you] and forced to submit to LSD-pumped copiously and continuously into my veins via IV); and why is that…? I’d much rather just stay at home and do my yoga spine exercises in the privacy of my own home (almost to auto-felatte capability; my spunky pooch, Ozwald, is my trainer). ~ Hal Ravam

    • Appreciate the feedback, Hal. Well, I wouldn’t say that the experience couldn’t be enhanced by some sort of imaginative pharmaceutical cocktail. I don’t have the willpower to do yoga on my own – no canine trainer available to crack the whip, unfortunately. But I do only pay a fiver for my usual local class.

      • alravam says:

        BB—your writing is an absolute *delight* in this barren Blog wasteland; you sound a thrifty sort, yet, not quite sure why bragging in re “only” spending “a fiver” is somehow more “logical” than the idea of your forkin’ over *thousands in Euro and USD* just to hang w/D.D. A 35.00 € [USD $45.00] + tax & Services Fees to see the older sibling, Ray Davies, is a MUCH, better, bargain…spiritual, *good vibrations* up the ying-yang (Bodhisattva *that*, Kate and Dave!) and majorly, *groovy tunes, to-boot*; just don’t sit up front; it’s totally “Rancho Kooksamongus and All-Abungus” and they’re sure to detract from your fine, musician’s ear (not to mention permanent damage to the ol’ precious, artist eyeballs). Well, since you ARE a professional writer, Badge, I suppose your “opportunity of a lifetime” expenditure can be readily reimbursed through your firm’s R & D travel expense account (that’s “R” for “research” and “D” for “development” and not in regards to these famed, siblings’ initials—oh, ye lurking readers who never dive in but just snoop). My Kingdom for a writing gig travelling ’round the globe doing investigative pieces on each erotic museum in *every* major (and minor) city: I hear that the one in Bumphukt, Egypt, is *exemplary*. Cheers! ~ Yer Horny Pal, Hal

      • Hail HAL (2000, I presume),
        You are a saucy piece of work.
        Yes, I meant to highlight the absurdity of the differential. And, luckily, no one would ever accuse me of being logical. Perhaps I was bewitched but, if so, it was a delightful enchantment, yielding certain moments and exchanges that I will continue to treasure.
        I do admire your yogic discipline but I also intuit that you glean considerably more pleasure out of your practice. Were you to achieve that impressive feat of aforesaid self-stimulation, now that’s something I would travel down south and pay good money to see.
        Bashful xx

      • alravam says:

        I’m amazed: You presumed correctly as regards the gratuitous “Hal” ref. and my being “saucy” (“spunky” would be a more descriptive term, however), but “piece” of anything (least of all *anything* having to do with *WORK*) is way off target, Bash. I sure do loves yer writin’, tho’, Bro—but—you already knew *that* from comments made on (what was that thing called “The Grey Board”…?); everybody else sucks (or wish they *could*); all that shameless, Ray Davies arse-kissin’—all these kooks pretending to LIKE each other as they’re gathering gossipy info via private e-maillings as “kurrency” w/which to quid pro quo each other; all thinking that the great man hisself would even bother to read their message board crap—uh-hellllo??? No one can keep a straight face like a poker…jeez…I’d hate to smell these brown-nosers “in-person.” Are they even “persons”? Your riposte to “Mardy” was danged sexy, Badge Thang (got Ozwald’s tongue hangin’ out and he ain’t even a Kinks’ fan; as a matter of fact, he don’t even exist…but what’s a few imaginary pets, give or take a few hanging diphthongs, eh what?). Remember: Mixing meat and dairy does a body *good*. Yer Pal, Al

      • Howdy, Ally Pally,
        Have you ever been there? I went once four or five years ago but no views of Londinium as a very overcast day. I understand that Ray frequents the area but in those days I wouldn’t have known him if I’d bumped into his legendarily great arse. Older and wiser in other ways too so that I think I know better now than to heed any such dietary advice or assurances that certain fluids are good for the complexion. Auf wiederhören. BB

      • alravam says:

        Our Badger which blogs in Heaven, Sallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kinkdom *COME*. Thy Will be done (and you danged-well better write *ME* favorably in it—or, I’ll pull a DADDY DEEREST…*Dearest*); just a bird-turdin’ ya, Cash, I mean, *Bash*. Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Badgie Bay-BEE—if we don’t theeenk ‘like, y’knowwhuttuhmeyn, Ernest? Cain‘t figger out where one en’ an’ de uddah b’gin: I could be *you* writin’ this Blog, and *YOU* could be *me* a-commentin’ right backatchew (or me, or you, or me. Provocative, no?).

        Londinium? That Roman playground what swings like a Big Ben’s pendulum do? Nope: Never been (for fear that I *would* run into such aforesaid and “legendarily great arse” so-described (can there *be* such a thing? The arse, I mean, not the qualification of the legend in *front of it*). What is it with contemporary society’s inordinate fixation on *behinds*, anyway??? LL Cool J—with his Tina’s, Brenda’s, and Lisa’s progressively BIGGER ole butts? I can think of far, more, sexier body parts on a man than his booty, specifically, his proboscis. Yes. Like an ele-ge-phont’s; *the bigger the better* (in lieu of heart attack and/or stroke-inducing VIAGRA or CIALIS, *MY* schnozz could pinch-hit on the ol’ “G-spot” in a hot minute—SPREAD the word, Ladies! Jawohl! Ja, hoor!).

        Speaking of which: La Streisand sure was a spunky, loud-mouthed, Yente-of-a-hottie (contradiction in terms?) in “The Owl and The Pussycat,” no? It plays on the telly, or on NETFLIX or Hulu right now (my apologies, Mlle Brigitte Bardeaux: Too many tabs open; can you dig it?!). I wish I could get over my cross-dressing fixation: My knock-off “hands brassiere” is getting a bit thread-worn…but, the pearl necklaces off-set this, considerably.

        Ah, my Trojan Horse-Hung Wo-Man-Ho! Let not this exercise (in what, by any other name, could and should undeniably and unimpeachably be regarded as the headiest prescription Ganja this side of my Bermuda-ed triangle) distract you: Give us this day our daily post, wouldja?

        I *really would like to know* what Katey and Davey kept in their bathroom cupboards….

        I remain,

        El Bekal

      • Dear Pal Al,
        I meant Ally Pally, the great Alexandra Palace, the so-called people’s palace, from which you can survey the city on a clear day, which Raymond Douglas is apparently wont to do. Unfortunately for him, no legend has sprung up about his reproductive equipment (and he does confess that he’s not the world’s most masculine man). But perhaps he’s hiding his light under a bushel, you never know. May not want to excite undue interest. Bragging about your bits, hmm, methinks thou dost protest and all that RnB. I would say my gender accessories are average. And some girls might want to saddle/straddle an enormous ‘chapstick’ but it can be all about the angle. Affection and esteem. Bash

      • alravam says:

        “Lonesome Cowboy Burt” wrote: >>Unfortunately for him, no legend has sprung up about his reproductive equipment (and he does confess that he’s not the world’s most masculine man). But perhaps he’s hiding his light under a bushel, you never know.<<

        Ain't nothin' disputable 'bout that humongular "probe-o-scis" of a schnozz-o-rooski with the G-spot, heat seekin' TIP o' kneel hangin' out BIGTIME on his lovable, ol' *saggin' puss*; talk about a "pinch-hitter!" Hey: "Sit on my face—where's mah waitress???"

        Honest to Godness, tho' Suzy Chapstick, I wanna know what the formerly, Weighty K.T.-now-restored-to-Roseyknee MOST-Sardiney-Skinny-Minnie-fightin'-form and that lumpy, Wavy Gravy Davy had in their loo cupboard (I know ya SNQQPED) but, oh—*never-you-mind*: I'm mentally gearing up for leg two of the 2012 TC; "I'll Have Another" gets my root; so what if WSJ and everybody else is shootin' fer oh, Bodie-o-dough?

        Infection and A-Steam,

        M'Rear (in UR Face)

        ———<<;-D ~~~>>>———

      • Well, I’ll have to take your word for the respectable size of the Beam’s organasm. Whatever, I’m sure he’d strive to satisfy. But regretfully, we worshippers at the shrine of Dave have no insider info on cabinet contents – I think just an open-shelf unit maybe with a dispenser of some of that liquid handwash stuff, nowt else. And a giant roll of kitchen towel for hand drying. I think they were prepared for and guarding against snoopers.

      • alravam says:

        Huh, Wonder Frog:. I would’ve expected *at least* a rusty can or two of “PRISTEEN” eh wot?

      • Hey, at least the taps worked. More than I can say for those in our downstairs loo.

      • alravam says:

        *Good Saturday Evening* to you, Bash. Glad all is well “upstairs.” TC = U.S. Triple Crown; my fav, young, thoroughbred *won* The Preakness last weekend…! And, has a good shot at Belmont (knock on my woodie). Granted, *our* sport season, here, in the U.S. of A., is not nearly as kingly (queenly) as yours are on the other side of The Pond (but, I think our stallions and fleet-footed fillies are JUST as thrilling—and I believe our fashion sense at the tracks is a bit more dignified [for once, in comparison] and not quite as kooky, uh-er, I mean as “eccentric” as yours are there in June and on). Oh, but—how I *wish* I could attend, at least, ONCE (before my drag shelf-life is over [i.e., nothing worse than eyeliner en-caked crows’ feet]) an affair in the Berkshires.

        In other news: Would love to see a Blog post in re Peter Quaife’s VERITAS, in future (when you’ve TIME, of course); a *truly, delightful* novel (yes—even ol’ Al Shazzam has his nice and gentle side).

      • The great levelling thing about Ascot is that even the actual women look like men in drag, like they’ve been personally shopped and designed by one of those infamous gay fashion gurus whose style seems to involve transforming everyone into a shower of 1980s transvestites. Why do women allow themselves to be dressed by gay men? Why do they think they know any better than them?

        Yet to read the Quaife opus but hope to get my mitts on one soon. Then I’ll devote some time to devouring and truly digesting it.

      • alravam says:

        In re: GMFDs (gay male fashion designers)….

        Not all male homosexual, fashion designers wish to make arses of women, per se; the best of them (designers) *love beauty—irrespective—of gender* and when it comes to females, their wish is only to make them more beguilling, and bewitching.

        I believe you are, likely, referring to the BIG names (which I shan’t name) who make sow’s ears out of silk purses? Pity, however, since the clientele of haute couture designers are the veddy, veddy, “upper-crust,” aristocratic, and royal types, I suppose, it is THIS class to whom these sorts of gay “guys” wish to pull an “Emperor’s New Clothes” shtick on, the most—not your average nouveaux-riches…those of whom manage to do the job quite well, themselves, WITHOUT any assistance from fashion designers—gay or otherwise (again, I shan’t name names, but, I’ll gie Ye ‘n ‘int—“OK!” “Us” “InStyle” and even “People” magazines); so bitchy, so catty, these male fashion designer queens are…(yawn…YAWN!!!)

        Hey, *watch it*, Bash—just ’cause I’ve got it wide open…! The nerve…!

        The Bitch Brigade in Britches cannot enact their beschissenes bollockery upon the ol’ uppity-crust class, however, unless one of its members is just flat-out NUTS; the majority of these ladies have genuinely, impeccable taste and actually design their OWN ensembles with their personal tailors, tailorettes, and seamstress armies doing all the heavy-lifting (natch).

        Indeed, when you’ve time to sit back and read it all in *one sitting*, please do immerse yourself in Quaife’s colourful, endearing, book: a lot of love went into it, in addition to historical and Pop cultural references; I felt like I was *right there*, growing up in post-war Britain and experiencing, first-hand, the glory of the most, exciting, years of the 1960s there.

        God bless Peter Quaife.

        —Yer Pally, Ally McPheal

      • Ah but, my dearest Al, I’m talking about the TV gurus – they don’t design anything but rather just make ‘ordinary’, generally pathetically grateful people over so that they purportedly look more on trend, etc. i.e. more like everyone else walking down the road and less like individuals. They used to inhabit lifestyle daytime Tvland but have now branched out to conquer the evening schedules too. As for designers, I’m no dedicated follower and wouldn’t be able to tell a Versace from a Primark (unless you showed me the price tag, perhaps). Yours in dowdy out-of-style gear, Basher

      • alravam says:

        Bashie-Boo Luv—I’ve had a tremendously, BAD week. Aren’t you even nominally, thrilled? I do not know if you would be, one way or the other, I just liked the euphonic flow of “even nominally, thrilled.” But, I have truly, had a bad week.

        I was listening on YT, in the hopes of cheer-up refreshment, to R.D., a shiddie-viddie (a fan-uploaded, typically, frenzied-to-post-so-as-to-be-first-and-applauded-by-all-of-the-others-who-were-there-never-you-mind-the-shitty-sound-upload-’cause-I-don’t-DO-sound-engineering-heck-I’m-just-a-FAN, dontcha know??? Blah, blah, blah, yadda-yadda-yaddeh) and Raimundus was singing a cover of “The Letter” (one of my *fav* Box Tops’ hits [the other being “Neon Rainbow”]…not that ya asked…); no doubt, such said “fan” who uploaded—judging from the hideously, loud volume of his voice and also, obviously, one of *your* countrymen evidenced by his weak-as-American-coffee: “Wooo…wooo…wooo….” show of “enthusiastic appreciation” at the end—as sussurant as a “silent, but deadly”—furthermore, making it most abundantly, an unimpeachable fact that he’d also mightily indulged in much ale and battered, deep-fried onion rings, beforehand.

        And, alas—at present, yer pally Alexandry is even *more* depressed.

        WTF?! You should’ve heard the *quintessentially-American sounding* (READ: Southern Californian-mammalian) “Wolfman Jack”: “AAAaaaoooowww!!!” I gave my Baby Gurl Lois and Baby Boy Douglas last night when they did a rolling, *sexy* version of Jimmy Reed’s “Baby, What You Want Me To Do?”

        A terrible week.

        Love,

        Mary Contrary

        P.S. In re television fashion gurus and their illin’, ilk: If you could hear my Tim Gunn impersonation right now reciting this *very sentence*, I’m certain you’d laugh…but alas, in Cyberspace, no one can hear you fart…oh, my…!

      • Oh my lovely,

        Did you not like Ray and his new best buddies’ version? I too love that song. Remember buying some awful cheapo 60s compilation cd from a discount store in central London just to possess that track.

        There were people who didn’t think RD would turn up (not Kinks fans so actually actively hoping that he wouldn’t, would you believe?] so I’m delighted that he at least can be relied upon. Who said media whore? Not me. How gratifying to receive the biggest ovation of the night, the only time any of the crowd got up off their arses. Feeds his ego all the adoration it needs for one night at least.

        We are reeling from jubilee celebrations – there is such a thing as too much red, white and blue – but not in the street parties in our neighbourhood. It’s great to make kids stand next to cardboard cutouts of the queen and pretend to know the words to the national anthem. About time too.

        Hope this is a better week for you.

        Affectionately, Bazza

  2. alravam says:

    My Dearest Bazzazz…you’ve filed my heart with much pizzazz and made it a MUCH better week than the last (although, I’m still limping a bit).

    I can’t make up my mind “who” I want to be today, Bazzie, except, I think, a *kinder, gentler*, Mary Contrary is in order: At my best, I deplore making fun of people (especially, fans—I just wish they’d be more RESPONSIBLE about their unwittingly embarrassing their idols; this isn’t exclusive to hard-core Kinks’ fans, however: Have seen it with every, big, long-standing, and/or “cult” act, if you will).

    The “cultish” aspect is a bit creepy because I get that “inner-circle” fans of all bands are at odds with a belief in a Higher Power, therefore, they latch onto some larger-than-life public figures, those of whom eventually do rather fit the Judeo-Christian definition of “false idols,” in that, so much undue expectation is put upon these people on pedestals (who are ONLY human and have good and bad days—just like the rest of us, no?).

    This all being said, I shall not make any more disparaging comments about Kinks’ fans, because when all is said and done, I applaud their exceeding, good taste and efforts to publicise a group which has been unintentionally or otherwise, over-looked. And, it simply isn’t very nice, now, for Mary to let loose with that bully, Al, and his juvenile sarcasm, is it?

    I wish I could enjoy a Jubilee celebration—to think, the Head of *MY* Church is the oldest, reigning monarch in the world…*God Save The Queen*.

    I remain,

    Mary

    • alravam says:

      >>you’ve filed my heart<< Oh, *that*, too, but, seriously, I hope you know I meant to type "filled." Damnable, old age….

      • alravam says:

        >>oldest, reigning monarch in the world…<< That shrimpy dude in Thailand don't count.

      • So there’s something about this Mary person, I think. Adore your ode/ballad to our much beloved one. Wonder where his nibs celebrated the diamond anniversary?

        In the aftermath of the jubilee there’s something sad about the abandoned union jacks getting drenched on garden walls and the half-unhitched bedraggled bunting dragging down from lampposts to wet pavements after the street parties have died and all the half-cut, partied out folk retreated into their own homes. But I was genuinely astonished at the community spirit and general good neighbourliness on display. Just goes to demonstrate that we can put our petty quarrels aside for a day.

        It’s rare that the British show any old-fashioned patriotism so this marked one occasion when national flags didn’t equate to boozed up football hooligans for a change. I’m hoping that our Liz will outlast that Davies fave Victoria to become our longest serving monarch. My mother was a royalist but everyone else in the family cynical and carping about the amount of money allotted to rather intellectually challenged figureheads who always seemed to be on holiday. Should have known HM would win us over in the end.

        Roll on the next jubilee.

        B Badger

      • alravam says:

        Good Day, B. L. Z. Bub: Such a *lovely, contemplative* reply…I am happy that HRM, The Queen, lives to celebrate yet another Jubilee. God save the Head of my Church. We could very well *do* with a constitutional monarchy, here (Stateside). What say you?

        Oh, but then, you see, would not there have to be some kind of a proviso in re a formal *union of Church and State* in our new Constitution…?…and, even though, there is extant, an informal union of Born-Again Xian Bozos and the State, not sure how we’d model this new, “provincial,” as it were, government. It’s pretty much a “go” that George P. Bush, half-Hispanic heartthrob, and “The Great White-and-Brown Hope” shall be President in the next 12 years or less…and the idea of a Bush DYNASTY as our *official* “House of Windsor” really *is* kinda gross, eh? (sigh)…oh, never mind.

        Thank you for inspiring me with your poignant verse; and for your “j’adore” compliment in re the ballad (indeed, a bit of a song, no? Although, I cannot think of a melody nor a chord progression…only that there *must* be a pretty Bridge, somewhere, in there).

        Based on true stories—all—there really was a lady dying during the Fall of 2009 who saw Ray Davies performing on some late-night talk show with his choir of the moment, and although, she could barely concentrate from the encroaching paralisation of one arm and omnipresent pain in the remainder of her corporeal form, she laid there watching, having been unable to sleep—and enjoyed R.D.’s performance—immensely. She made a last-ditch effort to survive (a difficult surgery on her spine and much chemotherapy artificially-extending her life) in the ensuing few mos., but alas, Atropos had spoken, and the beautiful lady was delivered from further torment by late Spring of 2010.

        She passed away about a month before the lovely, Peter Quaife, did…in a world where far too many millions of crude oil gallons spewed seemingly, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, into the hapless Gulf of Mexico…a world where ne’er would come again the comforting, avuncular voice of Art Linkletter, the endearing swagger and husky chuckle of Gary Coleman…and, last, but not least, the irreverent, benevolent sparkle in the dangerous eye of Dennis Hopper.

        The beautiful lady is gone, but, not forgotten. And, neither is anyone who has brought “Marian, The Librarian” and her circle of creative confidantes, joy and pleasure, how ever great or small.

        Al is mightily excited (along with the triplets of Southern Belleville [Mavarla, Marian, and Mary] of course) to see if I’ll Have Another and his masterful Jockey, Mario Gutierrez, make Triple Crown history tomorrow (Saturday, the 9th of June) in the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Al (and possibly, a couple of HIS male-chauvinist buddies) will assemble next to the girls to watch and there’ll be bowls of freshly-popped, popcorn, all around…Mavarly has intimated that she *might* parade about before, in one of her new, “Purrfect Pineapples” corsets, or afterwards (depending upon the outcome of the race) in the buff.

        Babysitting: It never ends.

  3. alravam says:

    >>HRM<< = "HRH"…or is it just "HM"…hmmm…?

  4. alravam says:

    Ahhh, Bashie—Our horsey has been (gulp) retired; I’m glad his welfare is paramount in the hearts and minds of his Owner and Trainer over being *forced under pressure* to run (gambling wagers in the “infinitesimals” were placed, globally, in the last few weeks), but mightily bummed at the circumstances; that *he* won’t be running today (or ever again, any time, too soon). I think I’ll parade about in the nude just to cheer myself up. Yer Disappointed Pally.

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