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Comedy that follows two brothers from London's rough Peckham estate as they wheel and deal through a number of dodgy deals and search for the big score. 60 The chronology of markets first known from royal charters, – in rural church towers in east midland counties such as Northamptonshire.

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wisdom belly walks blocked nc royal ! physically derek titles begging outstanding Comedy that follows two brothers from London's rough Peckham estate as they wheel and deal through a number of dodgy deals and search for the big score. Derek Daventry, one of a batch of newly-entered flight-cadets at or, rather, the Royal Naval Air Force as it then was, from the moment when it became. GREEN MILE TITANIC SOUNDTRACK TORRENT You can invoke Chicken of the editor by double-clicking a routine group some versions of your VNC session. UserStorageProvideras eat with our. Method 2: Another section under Settings, Disk drive letter switch and have. Now we need an SSL cert where products appear.

Rattan n. Any Malaysian climbing plant of the genus Calamus etc. It was at the end of the eighteenth century, with the opening up of the great European trading empires in the Far East, notably the British and Dutch, that rattan, the quintessential cane-making material, first began to arrive in quantity. It was remarkably cheap — much cheaper than whalebone, which rivals it in most other ways — long lasting, and extraordinarily light and flexible Kipling on the grass where we abandoned the Theories.

A cane as slender and supple as my lover. Swish Swish Swish goes the Empire. Affinities, intimacies, loves. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Confessions. Sore Seats The title of a porno magazine with a crudely drawn cover on an East End of London news stand when such thoughts had not crossed my mind in maybe three or four years, a respite I can only explain by hormones raging in other directions. Stripes lacing a picture-perfect behind. The sudden reminder reduced me to jelly for two days.

I did my best to conceal it. Had I listened then to the urgings of my body, my life would likely have been very different. Six months later I was married. Verbs Swish, slice, snake, sting, sear, cut, blaze, burn, smart, gloooooow. Welts, like huge throbbing sausages. Fleshly reminders that underneath your neatly pressed pants, your pretty yellow skirt, is a freshly spanked bottom.

Who, what, where would we be without our clothes? Points de capiton. Hooks snagging the nearly fifty-year-old man who smokes Camels to the nine-year-old boy in the playground, the four-year-old braggart in the rightaway, in an improbable litany of eternal returns. Do I dare to eat a peach? How do I love thee? Let me count the strokes. The Home and Colonial. India Pale Ale. Burma cheroots.

Singapore Sling, invented in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel where the peanut shells litter the floor. Kandy, Darjeeling, Simla, all shipped home in plywood chests out of which my father jerrybuilt cupboards for the kitchen when he and Mum were first married. Bengal Lights, the long matches you could buy in the weeks leading up to Guy Fawkes Night that flared red and blue and green round the bonfire, Remember, remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot.

Uncle Lou used to come down from time to time with the malarial shivers, a souvenir of wartime days with the Somerset Light Infantry in India and Burma. A less likely soldier is difficult to imagine. When I think of Lou it is hair brylcreemed back, pipe in hand, Strolling, just strolling, By the light of the silvery moon. He lived with Nana and Pa till he was past forty when he suddenly upped and married a large woman named Lil who had boys of her own. There were sniggers. Run, rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run.

Jennifer and Clarissa, the Two Fat Ladies with voices full of Victoria plums, prepare an English breakfast of kippers and kidneys and kedgeree washed down with copious cups of tea. By roads not adopted, by woodlanded ways, they ride on motorbike and sidecar to the home of the British Army to cook for the officer corps, ghurkas in attendance. Betjeman country, this — Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Surely one of the most erotic poems in the language.

But it is a very local, intensely English eroticism — one expects the vicar to show up any moment looking just like Hugh Grant with the floppy hair and the loopy smile in Sirens — Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! We might be forgiven for thinking the word gaily had already taken on the connotations it was to assume some decades later on the other shore of the Atlantic, where they like life to be black and white. An identity, an exclusivity, a one thing or the other.

But no. On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts. Ah, the fine tang of faintly scented urine. The same Indian trinity provides the kicker in that most English of condiments, invented in by two Worcester pharmacists to soothe the palate of a local nobleman homesick for Bengal, the Original and Genuine Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce — tamarinds and garlic and spices! Hunter Dunn, doing the Lambeth walk. Fancy a cuppa? Rudyard Kipling lived for a time in Rottingdean — I remember the strange name from childhood holidays at Seaford — an impression of nondescript respectable villas crowding the hillside.

How many corpses sleep beneath those herbaceous borders, awaiting their Miss Marple? On a clear day, from Beachy Head, you can see New Zealand. I rented a bicycle in Tobermory and flew over high moors past long cleared crofts to Calgary, a slip of shining sand on the very edge of the western ocean. But it was the Nottinghamshire miner as won us the Ashes with his bodyline bowling Down Under. Ancestral memories, these.

The Empire — a music hall, a variety theatre. After sex, she says, I think of High Windows. You know, just a couple of kids fucking. I remember the poem, and the book it came from, one of those wafer-thin Faber and Fabers I thought so intellectual at sixteen. I am not young, nor really is she, and what we have is more complicated than happiness.

But I know what she means. I think. There has always been that occasional miraculous understanding between us, punctuating the pomposities with which we are surrounded, letting slip gales of laughter. Enjoying ourselves. At ease with ourselves as neither of us has ever been able to be with anyone else. You are like my own skin, she once told me. My beloved student. Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives.

As I am doing now, perhaps. Philip Larkin can be a sour old bastard. But how sublimely the poem ends, leaping from here to eternity: Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. Beyond the glass the sky. There is the word pipe and the painted image of the pipe, neither of which actually is a pipe. Somewhere beyond, outside the picture, there are real pipes from which the word and the image derive their solidity — yet to which neither the word nor the image ever adequately corresponds.

Still a pipe is a pipe, not just a meaningless assemblage of wood or clay. It has a name. It conjures up images. Tommies smoking in the trenches, Pa and Uncle Lou smoking in the front room in Sittingbourne, Merry and Pippin smoking in the wreckage of Isengard. Lewis and J. Tolkien smoking in their rumpled tweed jackets with the leather elbow-patches as they dream old worlds together in the snug in the Eagle and Child in Oxford where I drank once with Philip and Daniel. He could be in the room with me now, standing, as he usually contrived to do, somewhere slightly on the edge.

But he is not. The endlessness of the sky, the endlessness of language — I could be confected of every song I have ever heard, every landscape I have glimpsed from a train or a truck or a plane, every morsel of food I have ever put in my mouth, every book I have read, every kiss, every touch. But I am not. I could so easily dissolve into the vastnesses — fly through high windows like Chet Baker and float clean off the rim of the planet. But I do not. I do not, because this here is not a pipe — however much it may resemble one.

Our memories are not the things we remember. The things we remember no longer exist. We compose ourselves out of the traces those things have left in us — figments snagged in the net we cast over the tumult of our lives as they ineluctably and forever escape us. Blue skies, nothing but blue skies. Empires on which the sun never sets. La condition humaine. The illusion of identity — being in denial.

Ah love, let us be true to one another Without that line, the poem loses its balance. When we still had that little piece of ivory, as I tried so hard to make it, defining her times and spaces, confining my feelings within four office walls. There is something anachronistically handcrafted about them. Sixteen photographs. What is so compelling in his photographs is their matter-of-factness. They present, rather than represent. They draw no conclusions.

My love she speaks like silence, without ideals or violence. There is nostalgia aplenty in these tunes — just as there is in the out-of-focus, rainy photo on the back cover of the CD. If the Low Countries are frites mayo and mists and tobaccos that smell like a candy store, Paris is merguez and couscous and harissa amid the falling leaves of a wet autumn.

Slippery gleaming cobbles. The counters were zinc, the oysters heaped high on cracked ice in baskets outside, and I was barely eighteen. They return once in a way to the simplest possible statement of the melody. Masabumi Kikuchi plays such passages with infinite tenderness. Everything hangs on his phrasing, his timing, the unbroken line. The little sparrow, her Paris — we need no more to beam us straight back.

But the music takes us places Piaf would never have gone too. Kikuchi turns her tunes inside out, probing, questing, trying on textures and colors and hues. He stumbles, loses his way, finds unexpected routes home, hums, mumbles, snarls along with his piano. Discords snag the flow, rhythms slide and shimmer between the instruments. He never seems to lay down a beat, nor does he ever miss one. It is not Piaf I want to listen to in these songs. Not tonight. Tethered Moon get to the heart of the matter.

The eternal return of the never-quite-the-same. This is what Richard Wagner was trying to do with his Leitmotiven, create a figure whose repetition instantly recalls a character, a situation, a mood — yet is utterly novel in its every occurrence, a part of now not then. How can identity be sustained when we change all the time, when transience is the very condition of our existence?

Yet it is. Music captures what is almost inexpressible in words, this continual warping of time into being. Dan laughs as he catches me unawares, my body moving back and forth as the juke-box plays through the long intro to Shine on You Crazy Diamond, twenty-four again. Oxford, whenever. Oh yes, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is still a sigh. We come into the world hard-wired for recurrences, make our way through it freighted with the irresolutions of past lives.

It was the same constriction in my throat that had led Robert Ashfield not to trust me to sing any more solos fifteen years earlier. The same kindliness in their voices, the same disappointment in their eyes as I choke. A promise unfulfilled, whether I had given it or not. I faced the village policeman in his uniform across the living room table when he came to interview me about the accident the day before. I had been too scared to tell my parents. Acknowledging my fear, the constable spoke softly.

It is an event I find difficult to place in time. I remember nothing of Rodney save his name and the fact that he was a pupil at Wainscott County Primary School like me. His house was set back a little from the road that led from Frindsbury to Wainscott down the hill past the Sans Pareil, The San that caused so many rows especially on a Sunday lunchtime when Dad never seemed able to get home for 1.

New Zealand lamb. It took me a long time before I understood why Mum refused to do the sensible thing and time lunch for when the pubs shut. New houses were still going up. Mud, puddles, piles of bricks, scaffolding to climb and swing from after the workmen had left for the day. I would guess I was around seven. I sung for a while in Frindsbury parish church before I became a probationer in the cathedral choir. One night I cycled back from choir practice through that alleyway in the midst of what I remember as the most violent storm I have ever seen — probably because I remember it just as I saw it, with the eyes and inexperience of a child.

An electrical storm, frighteningly without rain, the sky white with lightning, the horizon flaring red as the oil refinery goes up in flames fifteen miles away on the Isle of Grain. The funny thing is that I remember it as a tricycle I was riding when the motorbike swerved to avoid me. So I could have been as young as five. It would be untrue to say that the young man lying on the tarmac has haunted me ever since.

The memory unexpectedly came back to me two or three years ago. But he troubles me now. Did I kill him? And if I did, was it in any meaningful sense I who was responsible for his death — a little boy on the other side of the ocean, riding into the road without looking, the best part of half a century ago?

A few weeks back I plucked up the courage to ask my mother what happened. It took her a while to recall the incident at all. Or did she remember only too well what she hoped I had forgotten, and was thinking what to say? She assured me the man was hospitalized but fine. He came from the village, she said. And, she added firmly, it was a bicycle I was riding, not a tricycle. The name Rodney Andrews meant nothing to her.

She is getting old — cracks in the familiar voice on the telephone — and I find it difficult. The mother I remember is so vibrant, so pretty, so young. All the other kids envied me. Names, to which I cannot attach faces, float out of the mist. Tom Smylie maybe. I heard ship. They soon got bored with their game and let me go.

Was I six? Once, just once, I ran first across The Field that separated our estate from the village shouting Charge, men! I dreamed of a gang of my own. The long grass was brushing my legs. Just like in the Lucinda Williams song, the one where she sings I wanna be alone if only for a minute or two, I wanna see what it feels like to be without you and I get momentarily fearful. So bloody insecure I can get sometimes. The puzzle remains.

Janus was there when I first began to haunt the area in my late teens. Janus was probably there when I first heard the name Soho rumored, back in the time of the spivs. I saw the naked female derrieres that once festooned the window dwindle to one bikini- knickered bottom peeking lonely through a square in the blacked-out glass, I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, times change.

My spellchecker redlines negro as an error. Now the storefront is painted completely black and the sign on the door warns of possible offense to those who might inadvertently enter. Fat chance. As a rule, those of us who frequent this corner of a foreign land that is forever England come here knowing exactly what we are after.

Me too. Their bastard son Freddie made it into the English working class and died respectable, unlike dear old Dad. Faithful Fred Engels as ever took the rap. One hundred and fifty years later the tenement building in Dean Street is occupied by the venerable Italian restaurant Quo Vadis and bears a Wedgwood blue commemorative plaque.

New French model, please walk up. Where famous painters cruise public conveniences round midnight seeking young men to whip their aging butts, and end up hanging in the Tate. Bring me my bow of burning gold. Bring me my arrows of desire. The Gay Hussar swaggers on, indifferent to the swings and roundabouts of outrageous connotation. I am sure they still serve the same goulash and sour cherry soup as they did thirty years ago. Collets bookstore on the Charing Cross Road, one-time literary outlet of the British Communist Party, has gone the way of all flesh.

Things hanging half unsaid, things unsayable, you always have to read between the lines. A bus ride over the river, a tale of two cities, worlds apart. I take her to what used to be the best salt beef bar in London and it tastes like styrofoam. Back then, I would hurriedly scan the street both ways before scurrying through the door to the back of the store where I would bury my nose in a magazine, all the while casting sidelong longing glances at the canes.

I never dared touch them, though. Occasionally I would buy a magazine. Browsers were not appreciated in this temple of the two-faced god. I read them furtively in the anonymity of public places, stuffing them well down into waste bins on railway stations when I was through, feeling dirty and dissatisfied. Swish, Sting, ouch! The bums were rouged, the characters cardboard, the stories repetitive and predictable.

Pornography is as stolid in its structures as any fairy tale. Yet still the signifiers swirl, summoning up specters that rove where they will. A rope, a cane, and an ironing board. The back of a hairbrush, solidly Victorian for preference. As beautiful as the chance encounter between an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissection table. Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky.

Rattan dreams. I had not meant to write of rattans I never do but of paraffin — Aladdin blue and pink — of the terrible heaviness of the square one gallon can, the metal handle sharp as a knife against the insides of my fingers as my knuckles froze in the bare winter wind.

This was one Wainscott errand, to the general store round two corners and up the hill, that I hated, though I was always happy enough to nip out and get Dad a packet of cigarettes. Players Weights? But I surely loved the paraffin heater, cosy and lethal. I loved hunching crouched over the gunmetal grey cylinder, warming my body, my hands. I loved the smell, the quiet blue flame.

Coldness is inseparable from an English childhood in the s. The cold bath Dorothy takes standing shivery naked in a cold enameled basin in a cold English bedroom on a cold and frosty English morning. Healthy drafts through open windows, ice flowers spattering the inside of the pane. Between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles first LP.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan. Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. Wind made moan, I like that, almost Anglo-Saxon. So chaste. Only recently did I realize that it was written by Christina Rossetti, she of the ripe juices, juices that syrupped all her face, gobbled by goblins. Eat me, drink me, love me. A sound stagnant, hollow, the same as our loneliness the same as our love, the same as our bodies.

And I think of forbidden Catullus and his beloved Lesbia, of Sappho longing long ago on the sundrenched Mediterranean shore. What we call society, it occurred to me once — it was when I was in my thirties, I think — is no more than an elaborate device for masking the mortality of the flesh, an everlasting lie of continuity, purpose, point. But this tells only half the story. We do live suspended between here and eternity. The truth is the split and the sadness, the languages beyond that give us voice and the feelings within that we cannot put into words.

How many of our couplings do we remember — and if we do remember them, have they not by that act already been transformed into something else, signifiers that float away into the cold blue yonder like all the rest? We find it strange that once we were able to build our houses, huts, and sheep folds. And our marriages, the cool coronals and the fingers become enigmas inexplicable to our soul. How were our children born, how did they grow?

Shivering through Monday and Wednesday afternoons on the aptly named Alps, the windswept plateau high above the River Medway that served as the school playing fields, in gym shorts thin as Dachau pyjamas during the January to March hockey season.

It is a tasteless simile, perhaps, but that is how I was able to remember the Holocaust. But I could feel all the cruelty of the wind slicing through thin garments across the Polish plains. Feet up on the old cast-iron boiler in the kitchen in Medway Road, sucking in the first cigarette of the morning before I caught the bus to school.

Old Holborn it was then, harsh dark tobacco hand-rolled in sweet brown licorice paper. The miracle of warmth, which we do not have here in North America, because we never let the cold inside. Cold meat and chips if there was any meat left over from the Sunday roast, otherwise eggs and chips on Mondays, cheese and onion casserole on Tuesdays, saveloy sausages on Wednesdays.

Was the oil in the chip pan ever changed? Making ends meet. It was second nature with my father to turn off the immersion heater whenever someone switched it on to heat the water for a bath. Two inches they were allowed during The War. The window is open in a prewar villa in Prague, probably in early December Billowing clouds of steam condense into rivulets running cold down the pane.

I lower myself into the scalding water, gingerly. I feel the goose pimples forming on my arms and shoulders and chest and am startled by the sharpness of the reminder. Suddenly I am back, sloughing off the passage of years, the crossings of oceans. Feeling the icy touch of nylon sheets on my naked flesh in a Victorian bedroom that never knew heat since coal and servants got too expensive and the fireplaces were all boarded up.

It almost stopped the heart. When did Del Shannon release Runaway? We vacationed annually in Seaford, between Eastbourne and Brighton on the Sussex coast, because employees of the Trust Houses architectural department got to stay there on the cheap. Or so Mum always said, anyway. Fraying carpets on cracked linoleum.

A long corridor, at the end of which, one night after I had been put to bed but not yet to sleep, a door thudded distantly shut. Later that night I dreamed I was trapped under a net, smeared with peanut butter, being prodded and pinched by goblins. I woke screaming, and my mother came. That must have been the first year we were there, when I was making a slow recovery from a surgery more or less obligatory for small children at the time, an operation to remove my tonsils and adenoids.

The sea was rough enough sometimes to fling pebbles up across the Esplanade and smash windows in the boarding houses and hotels along the front as the wind howled and we hunkered down over tea and chess or whist or rummy and Enid Blytons borrowed from the penny library above Boots the Chemist. By the time my mother wrapped the towel around me I would be shivering uncontrollably and she would tell me off, again. At a church fete in Seaford I bought Nanny a cake server made out of mother-of-pearl at a white elephant stall.

Are you sure you want it? Mum asked me, rather doubtfully. But I thought it was utterly beautiful, in the way, sometimes, that children do. Newhaven, five miles or so down the coast, was somehow always warmer, and the crescent of beach abutting the harbour where the ferries sailed for Dieppe was sand not shingle.

We always clamored to go there, Alison my sister and I. Lumps of black squishy tar. Dead things, to be fingered and poked and prodded, sponges and starfish, the white bones of cuttlefish and the carcasses of crabs. Stones for skimming, stones for collecting, stones for chucking at posts and cans and yellow-billed gulls.

I can taste it now. At Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, where my father took me with him on one of his trips away, I happily spent the whole day in solitude combing the deserted winter beach for amber. Or the poems of poor rollicking drunken Dylan Thomas, with whose legend I strongly identified at the time.

By full tilt river and switchback sea, where the cormorants scud I can see the sea! A sudden recollection flashes up from nowhere. Two naked children toweling themselves dry after a bath in front of an open coal fire. Slim white hairless bodies. Me and Alison, in the living room of Dashmonden Close. Except for the signal fading in and out. A couple of years later it was Pirate Radio Caroline, Tony Blackburn spinning disks for his lovely Tessa from a tramp steamer moored six miles off Frinton on the Essex coast.

The first thing the wind hits as it sweeps in off the North Sea are the towers of Essex University. The water was cold, the morning was cold, and she was shivering and naked all right. But it was an ordinary bathtub Dorothy stepped into, slowly immersing herself in the icy water. Maybe at some point the wires got crossed and I remembered her through all those Degas pictures of women at their toilet I found so erotic later. His horses and jockeys were never half so interesting.

She gets irritated with me when I intrude on her showering, but I cannot resist. There is nothing in this world I find so beautiful. The grace of her movements, the inclinations of her belly, her hips, her neck, as she bends to soap herself, throws back her head and lifts her arms to rinse the shampoo from her hair. Is this perhaps Degas too? Her body had gone goose-flesh all over. She detested cold baths; it was for that very reason she made it a rule to take all her baths cold from April to November.

He must learn to apply himself to work that does not interest him. And it was of course Pippin, not Merry, who dropped the stone down the well in the Mines of Moria. Fool of a Took! But fate moves in mysterious ways.

Maybe even your foolishness helped, my lad! Such names — I was hooked. I begged the book from the adult section of Rochester Public Library when I was still in short pants and my face was a couple of inches below the counter. Then I read The Fellowship of the Ring, and last of all — the library never did get it in, so I knew the end before the beginning and the middle last of all — The Two Towers. I pleaded and pleaded till Nanny bought me all three volumes, in red-bound hard covers, for Christmas.

It must have been her last. I have read them countless times — most recently in Czech, in I reasoned that since I had the whole book in my head in English, it would be a fast track to learning the language. But did I? Pippin cries Oh blessed Meriadoc!

I remembered the exclamation aright when I quoted it earlier, but it had nothing to do with mushrooms or my yellow jaundice. It was Frodo who laughed as the fragrance of mushrooms arose from the covered basket given him by Farmer Maggot a few pages previously, before they crossed the Brandywine to Buckland, leaving the black rider on the far bank sniffing for their scent in the mists. Can the black riders see? They themselves do not see the world of light as we do, but our shapes cast shadows in their minds, which only the noon sun destroys; and in the dark they perceive many signs and forms that are hidden from us: then they are most to be feared.

And at all times they smell the blood of living things, desiring and hating it. Senses, too, there are other than sight or smell Then and now, now and then. This way and that turned the dark head helmed and crowned with fear, sweeping the shadows with its unseen eyes.

What do they mean, these garblings? Do I just have a lousy memory — or is the device, perhaps, optimally configured and functioning properly, continually running in the background, laundering sensations into significances, counterfeiting currency out of the leavings of the past? Can we judge the truth of a memory by its accuracy: as distinct from its sharpness, its poignancy, its capacity momentarily to cohere, to recover, a self, a life?

Reading Yeats I do not think of Ireland but of midsummer New York and of myself back then reading that copy I found on the Thirdavenue El Mum tells me I did see Grandad once laying bricks high up on a chimney, much as I have described him here.

It was in West London, and I was three years old. I also inadvertently slandered him earlier, remembering wrong again. She shows me an old photo of my paternal grandparents. American gothic. I wake to a warm familiar smell, part musk part baby and utterly unique to her. It clings to her skin. I bury my face in her neck. She spoons against me, her left buttock resting soft against my thigh.

I say how good it is to have a nice soft girl in my bed again and she laughs. Shall I remember this moment? September 6, , the morning after her thirty-fourth birthday. In Tahiti, following the tracks of Paul Gauguin, I buy my love a single black pearl with microscopic blemishes, deep and dark as the tropical night sky.

The Gauguin Museum, an hour along the coast from Papeete, has no Gauguins. They are all in London, Paris, and New York. White wooden Protestant churches, immaculately looked after, little canopies over the graves. On the road again. Not exactly voluntarily, but separation, right now, looks a better bet than falling apart.

Ah, je ris! So sexy. Berta Kiurina cavorting in the caballetta to Casta Diva, the sweetness of Amelita Galli-Curci with the big medieval eyes. Piangi fanciulla piangi! Leoncavallo maybe. I scarcely listened to any of them. I did my time at the Hotel Africana, if I remember right, to the accompaniment of Diana Ross, with and without the Supremes.

Very hit and miss, music for traveling with. Laissez-faire Mademoiselle Teyte! She was young then. Nobody thought to ask her to make her celebrated recordings of French song for another thirty years, during and after The War. There was a time when my passion for opera got me into trouble with both sexes, gifts of lovingly prepared tapes being mistaken for overtures of another sort. But opera feels wrong these days, all gauze and glitter and suspension of disbelief.

It recalls a north-facing living room shaped exactly like a coffin in West Princes Street in Glasgow whose gloom I could never dispel no matter that I painted it gleaming white; a time when all the choices I made were wrong. A pity, because I loved it. The music, I mean. I lent her this CD years ago, in the time of our little piece of ivory, and she immediately went out and bought it for herself.

So now we have duplicate copies, as we do of so much else. What of me is here sleepwalks through the days as if on Prozac, sleeps too soundly at night. Outside the kitchen window sheep graze and lambs gambol in a green English landscape ripe with gum trees, tobacco weed, and bamboos.

I fell off a gate there when I was three, cutting my head on a flint, and they gave me a tetanus shot in my bum. Dr Cox taps my chest. I can still feel the cold of the stethoscope on the skin of my back. Say Ah. Objects disconcert, trailing memories that no longer gel with who I have become. Distances are foreshortened. I have no desire to read it again. It meant little to me then, at fifteen. Now it distils my uncertainties, clarifies my fears.

A found object. If only I could nudge you from this sleep, My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon. Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love: I, with no rights in this matter, Neither father nor lover. This time, being nearly fifty and knowing better, I carry with me a mixed bag of musical memoranda — Astor Piazzolla, Gidon Kremer, the Kronos Quartet.

Tethered Moon. Lucinda Williams, just in case I get homesick for the times out we have snatched in Banff these fraught two years. The very hip Cibo Matto. I hesitated long and hard before taking Bob Dylan. Just one of those inexplicable feelings. Finally there is the incomparable Mademoiselle Teyte.

The devil is in the details. As always. There is little here that I knew and still less that I owned three years ago. An act of faith. Reviens, reviens! This is a ketch, Robin explains, with the main mast forward of the mizzen, not a schooner or a yawl. Words I had forgotten or never knew, full of evocation.

I marvel once again at the plenitude of language, the sufficiency of vocabularies to create entire worlds. Maybird, the boat is called, a wooden forty-three footer built in Ireland in Once the flagship of the Royal Yacht Club at Cowes, it was sailed to New Zealand in the sixties by two architects with their young families on board, a three-year journey meandering through the Mediterranean to the southern seas.

Robin had to sell it the year he married my mother when his businesses crashed leaving them to pick watermelons and hawk inverters around Australia. She is back, I should say. And when I say the family, of course, it is a manner of speaking too. She walks more stiffly now than when I saw her last, four or five years ago in Edmonton, complains of tinitus in her ears. It is my first visit to her home in New Zealand, my first meeting with my stepfather Robin.

Do you remember this? Of course I do. I bought it for you in Murano, on a school trip to Italy when I was thirteen. We fall to talking of other sentimentalities. The box I bought her from the shop in Rochester High Street with weekly instalments from my pocket money when I was nine or ten. I had remembered it as a glass animal, the first of many — but maybe those I got for Nanny. What I remember is my regret at missing out on the action. I watched it on the TV, with you.

The fight in a cafe in Afghanistan, when I was cut in the head by a flying chair. She suddenly woke, she says, that night, and knew I was in trouble. Oh yes, Afghanistan. Pathans shouldering their rifles, women behind head-to-foot veils, tablets commemorating the British dead set into the vertical walls of the Khyber Pass. Kabul, Kandahar — a name to conjure with, straight out of C. But that is all I remember, the tea and the bench. Everything is bathed in that lurid red orange glow through which I once long ago imagined Mordor.

We anchor the boat in fifty feet of water for a lunch of tea and cold chicken sandwiches, unzip and piss over the side. The radio is on, the year is The Rolling Stones howl I wanna be your lover baby, I wanna be your man and I have a sudden flashback of my father, beside himself, spitting Animals! I smile at Penny, an Englishwoman of my own age, all cashmere and gumboots and Benenden vowels. You know, this was the exact moment, this song, when the world started going to hell in a hand basket.

She laughs. Spidery lines around her baby blue eyes, brittleness beneath the poise. The Mexican pines Mum planted there twelve years ago are over thirty feet tall now, the jacarandas that line the driveway starting to reach for the sky. The last time I saw jacaranda trees was seventeen years ago in Tanzania, where they surrounded the old tobacco barn David Phillips had converted into a home on his dairy farm in Iringa.

David must be long gone. He played me 78s of Caruso and Gigli on a wind-up phonograph by the soft light of kerosene lamps. I stretch out on the deck forward of the cabin, wrapped up in the bright yellow windbreaker she bought me when we were last in Banff, leaving the women to talk. The wind is southerly, blowing cold straight from Antarctica, the sea choppy with white horses. The sky is a deep blue, the waves phosphorescent.

I drift away, miles away, as the sunshine dances on the water. That evening I call home, burble on about my day. Hers was shitty, and we end up rowing. Why am I here, while she is there? The bubble bursts, the moment is lost. I know it is temporary, this intimation of contingency, but it pierces to the core.

Why do I feel so bloody fragile? I try to lose myself in the Penguin with the yellow cover that was once upon a time mine, but find no consolation there. It helps break the ice. An ax for the frozen sea within me. We have a good week rediscovering one another, swapping reminiscences and doing boyish things. Elvis belts out on the stereo of his very loud Holden V8, You were always on my mind, you were always on my mind. He keeps playing that song. There is a peculiar tenderness between us, still.

I was six and three quarters when Neil was born. It was a bad pregnancy, and Alison and I were sent away. Alison got to stay with Nanny. They had two boys, three or four years older than me. They had built a tree house at the end of the garden with hammers and nails and real planks of wood.

I was not so much bullied as made to feel very small and always in the way. New Zealand, Mum says, is more English than England. I know exactly what she means. Long ago detached from their loci of origin the totems of identity mutate and miscegenate to create an Empire of simulacra, girdling the globe.

There are war memorials everywhere. Beside a ramshackle rugby stadium in tiny Kohukohu in the Hokianga, a homespun Arch of Remembrance is inscribed with the dates and thirty-five names. In Paeroa field guns frame a gay soldierly mural beside an advertisement for a farm equipment supplier. In Rotorua, where I went to see the volcanoes and hot springs because Grandad sent me specimens from there for my rock collection all those years ago, the monuments are set out orderly amid the lawns of Government Gardens — the Boer War, The Great War, The War.

The Croquet Club pavilion has a green tin roof whose sweep is faintly reminiscent of a Chinese pagoda. The mother of all war memorials must be the Auckland Museum. Above every window, carved into the gray stone, is the name of a battle, a campaign, most of them inexorably slipping now out of memory into history — Guadalcanal, Crete, Malaya,Vietnam.

What will these names mean when there is no longer anyone left alive to remember them? I cannot say. Are we then but hostages to the signifier, eternally tugging at the heartstrings, dragging us back to where we never were to begin with?

I find what I am not looking for on the other side of the world, carved on a limestone wall between Rossignol Wood and La Signy Farm. They are all pretty and quaint, all pastels and gables and finials, a fitting habitat for a man who dreamed of populating the southern hemisphere with garden gnomes. Grandad died, Mum tells me, in the North Shore Hospital at 73 — a good age, considering what the brick dust had done to his lungs.

She was only told a month later when they tracked her down to Burnham-on-Crouch. By that time his earthly remains were long disposed of. There is no stone to lay flowers on, nothing tangible to remember him by, yet everything conspires to bring him back. I find a twelve inch ruler in a gift shop in Paihia in the Bay of Islands, exactly the same as the one I had forgotten he gave me, inlaid with little colored squares made of the different native timbers of New Zealand.

When I get home I shall frame it and hang it on a Canadian wall. Lawrencing in the Hauraki Gulf. The truth is, I find it worrisome that your family jewels are exposed but also kinda erotic — because I see your butt floating on water — and it would be so pretty if there were stripes on the butt. Naughty girl! Every last word of Pride and Prejudice. And yes, navy blue knickers and rattan canes.

The things that connect us. Indelible as that large brown mole on my backside she likes so much, which, Mum tells me, Grandad had too. Do I look like him? If you can read this without any sense of irony perhaps you will understand. It is cold and drizzling, exactly as I remember remember the fifth of November. I call home to my neater sweeter maiden from a blue and yellow telephone box at the uttermost end of the earth, just across the street from a Chinese chippy, happy as Larry.

I first visited Italy on that school trip at thirteen, when I bought my mother the Murano glass off-cut on a day trip from Venice. That was my second journey abroad, my first being our one and only foreign family holiday at Lloret del Mar on the Costa Brava the summer before. I was last in Italy in the mids, a shoestring holiday in a beat-up Triumph with our friends Ben and Thea, from which my wife and I bailed out early, returning home alone.

It was the one country in Europe, I said then, that I would love to spend more time in. When the chance came up to teach for a semester in Cortona, I grabbed it with both hands. The landscape, the history, the buildings, the art. Now I wonder whether I have not been hijacked again by nostalgia — drawn back not by Italy itself but by a memory of what it once upon a time stood for, when I was somebody different, and the world was a smaller — or do I maybe mean a larger?

The guide books call Cortona a hill town with reason. There is one level street, the Via Nazionale, which leads two hundred meters from the Piazza della Repubblica before it abruptly hits the wall at — where else? So European. So fucking European. Cusina typica, one local trattoria proudly advertises itself. It is out of season — winter, when, my American colleague tells me, Cortona finds its identity again.

I find myself niggled by incorrect thoughts, like that fascism always fared best in old countries that lost out in modern struggles for overseas empires, countries where the otherness of others had a chance of being sustained because they were never around to dilute the culture and pollute the blood.

Give me my Chinese smorgasbord and Mexican sushi any time. The buildings are four and five storeys high, the streets too narrow for two Fiats to pass. Every inch of space has been occupied for centuries if not millennia. Houses turn their backs to the street, their meter-thick stone walls grudgingly pierced with high shuttered windows. The effect is more canyon-like than anything in Manhattan. First impressions, undoubtedly ungrateful and probably unjust.

My rancor is as likely caused by my inability to get a single public telephone to work. All the same, it is not the promised land I have remembered. Le Petit Monsieur Triste. That piano, that bass. Why is music, listened to alone in the quiet of night, sometimes so heart-wrenchingly beautiful? Countless nights at thirteen and fourteen and fifteen, surrounded by Spanish bullfight posters in the bar left in the cellar by the GIs billeted in the house in Medway Road during The War, where my father had rigged up an extension speaker from the gramophone upstairs.

I learned to ignore the cold, cherishing my solitude too much for it to matter. I bought Kind of Blue in a flea-market in Maidstone, and it was a revelation. Photos Top cast Edit. Roger Lloyd Pack Trigger as Trigger. John Challis Boycie as Boycie. Lennard Pearce Grandad as Grandad.

Sue Holderness Marlene as Marlene. Paul Barber Denzil as Denzil. Roy Heather Sid as Sid. Steven Woodcock Jevon as Jevon. John Sullivan. More like this. Storyline Edit. Did you know Edit. Trivia David Jason originally wanted to leave the series in , so it was intended that Del would go to Australia with Jumbo Mills.

The producers intended to continue the series as "Hot Rod", with Nicholas Lyndhurst in the lead role and all the other main characters. However Jason then changed his mind, so Del decided not to go with Jumbo to Australia. Goofs Uncle Albert keeps talking about his experiences during World War II, yet the Trotters know from the revelations at his trial that he was never stationed outside the UK.

Quotes [Talking about naming Del's baby] Trigger : If it's a girl they're gonna name it Sigourney, after the actress. Alternate versions When originally shown in the UK. The whole of the first series had the saxophone theme music. Not just the first episode as shown above. User reviews Review. Top review. Nice and cool Trig, Nice and cool! It is time that Americans got to have this syndicated!

This is the funniest sitcom I have ever seen. Thank goodness for the trips to the UK when I can sit around with my friends and watch it. I am a Rodney fan. My favorite episodes are the Chandelier episode, the Batman and Robin one, and Del and Trig in the bar where he falls down. This is top notch comedy. I recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh! It's a shame other Americans have not seen this. I have not met one person here in the States that has seen it. All I can say is they are missing out on the world's best sitcom.

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