Eurobert Humperdinck

Eurobert Humperdinck

Just as the junk mailers start to tempt me into sheltered accommodation for the elderly and doctors line up to plot my graph into decline, an ageist thunderclap splits the certainty of the Universe. Englebert Humperdinck is to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision song contest at the age of 75 years.

As I listened to the radio this morning I heard Rick Santorum speaking in Ohio about how the Founding Fathers had saved Americans from the colonial monarchy. This is very true. What he did not say was that they also saved America from the Eurovision song contest. If I were one of his speech writers I would definitely have stressed this important constitutional point. For those kind Americans who read my blog, let me explain that winning the contest in recent years has little to do with quality of the music. Some 43 loosely Euro countries vie for the prize and voting is political  between blocs and cliques. If I were a professor of politics or a Westminster advisor I would make this show compulsory viewing. Wars and alliances can be predicted since the votes reveal a candour unknown elsewhere in diplomacy.  All the same some mega stars have emerged from the schmaltz fest into glittering careers. Both Abba and Celine Dion have ploughed this furrow.

The whole horrific cultural smorgasbord is a great festival in the Sparrow cave. The more corrupt and absurd the better. In 2009 it was reported that 6 Azeri (Citizens of Azerbaijan) had been arrested by the police for voting for the hated Armenians. Play to win – that’s the way to do it! Here is one of my favourite ever entries. Oh yes – this year the contest will be held in Azerbaijan.

Yesterday, in my arty poet’s vest, dark suit, trainers and scarf I went to an exhibition of Art at the Pallant Gallery in the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester. The artist was Robin Ironside (described as a Neo-Romantic Visionary) who often painted with a one haired brush with the aid of a magnifying glass. His work is so detailed that you have to study it intensely. Seemingly he never slept and stayed alive on a cocktail of drugs. His work is staggering and this was the first time I had seen any of it.  The exhibition runs until 22nd April.

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An Absolute Gentleman

The death of Davy Jones – lead singer of the Monkees was sad news to me this morning. As a young man I used to help out at an evening club for handicapped kids. There were those who would join in and those who were too nervous to dance and sing along. Two songs never failed to get them up. “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer” conquered the inhibitions of the shyest kids.

Several years later I was a cop on the streets of South London. As a result of a traffic accident a short youngish guy with kind brown eyes found himself being interviewed by me. He was humble polite and charming. He told me about his work on American TV and his identity came to light. The traffic matter was fairly banal and in those days cops were not that fixated on motorists. I thanked him for for the music and he thanked me for my attention. There will be all manner of obituaries and the memories of  showbiz stars in the media. I just wanted to say my own tribute. He was an absolute gentleman.

A letter arrived at the poet’s cave advising me that it was about time I started to think about sheltered housing for the elderly. I filed it next to two letters from the Health Service inviting me to provide samples of unspeakable body products so that I can be screened. A glance at the Newspaper revealed separate articles revealing the two greatest threats to these Sceptred Isles. 1) We are living too long and they cannot afford us. 2) We are still drinking and smoking too much and dying too young. Sometimes I just do not know what to do for the best.