I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 13 September 2013

More about the family

Ian (left) is nearly thirty and it's ridiculous he’s my grandson; grandsons play in sandpits. Months, sometimes years, pass between our meetings when bitter, meaningless spats often ensue. Usually about computer practice. I find these stimulating; for Ian they are water off a duck's back.

Recently Ian felt constrained to send me a gift. Although he sees me as an old fart he would more readily admit to liking Cliff Richard than despatch an old-fartish present (socks for instance). He knows I diddle simple tunes on my piano keyboard; hence a book ("150 Beloved Hymns including Amazing Grace, Be Thou My Vision," etc) complete with piano scores.

I appreciate the thought behind this gift which turns out to be slightly exotic. The American collection includes hymns unfamiliar in the UK. Often with ambiguous titles. Higher Ground, for instance, surely has a military theme. How Firm A Foundation is probably sung by estate agents (USA: realtors). Jesus Paid It All dwells on the resolution of capitalism.

I enjoy the style recommendations: To God Be The Glory (Moderately) vs. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Meditatively). Sweet By And By (Cheerfully) vs. Take The Name Of Jesus With You (Brightly). Plus the enigmatic: Rock Of Ages (Prayerfully).

Hours of harmless fun 

WIP Second hand (34,059 words)
(Sadhu) slid back the glass partition. “I have switched on the air conditioning. It is a powerful system though quiet; you may smoke if you wish. The drive will last three-quarters of an hour. The reading lights are on and there are magazines in the door pockets.”

… She said, laughing. “This car is for executives but I work in a supermarket. Not as an executive.”

“The car is equally suitable for an English rose.” It was a phrase he’d obviously honed and she felt compelled to simper.


  1. Battle Hymn of the Republic - brings back memories of playing a jazz version (Louis, I think) on a 78 in Gimmer's front room at Wilmer Drive, and trying to get a glimpse through the window of Janet next door who I was in agonies about.

  2. Sir Hugh: I had it in mind that one of the US's great black sopranos, possibly Marian Anderson, sang BHOTR at the funeral of Martin Luther King. Instead it turns out that Andy Williams sang it at Robert Kennedy's memorial service. Mike Raftus admitted to being very moved.

    Just checked. I got many things wrong but the skeleton of what I remember is indeed enormously moving. First Marian Anderson is a contralto, second it happened on Easter Sunday in 1939 - which, if anything, makes it even more emotional.

    MA was due to sing at a concert for the Daughters of the American Revolution, a group roughly equivalent to the blue-rinse women who are keen for the Tories to bring back hanging. The booking was refused because, it turned out, MA is of African-American stock. As a result Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR, and Harold Ickes, secretary for the interior (let's say home secretary), caused to have organised, and spoke at, an open-air concert where MA sang at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. She may or may not have sung BHOTR. A lot of political courage there.

  3. That is a moving story without even hearing the music.