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Un ballo in Yorkshire

  Wed 26th May 2021

The rhubarb glut continues in its fecundity. I've found a recipe for a rhubarb bread and butter pudding requiring port, which sounds voluptuous enough to be a starter for sex.


To Leeds, to see middle daughter in her play. More in hope than expectation of his being able to come, I invited along The Singing Organ Grinder of this parish, who has recently moved to Leeds. I was pleased to have a male buttress against my familial coterie, who can be a bit self-assuredly female en masse.

First though, a drink, and welcome to Yorkshire: £2.49 for Landlord in the Pack Horse. The man next to me was anxious, waiting for his friend to return from "nipping out". "I'm not really a drinker myself. My dad was an alcoholic and he beat my mother. He didn't beat me but it was psychological. He was a horrible man, and my mother was the sweetest woman."


The Playhouse's long bar and foyer, where, the last time I was there, I asked the pianist to play A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, was bleached beyond necessity, a stark, inhuman rectangle, policed by a mask-enforcing vigilante steward.

Not for the first time, middle daughter had to work hard to breathe life into an unconvincing and inauthentic script. She was well reviewed though, especially in the Guardian: "As wide-eyed new squat resident Loz in Alice Nutter’s ode to dole-funded creativity, looby's middle daughter is an especially captivating stage presence. She brings the right mix of youthful enthusiasm, tender vulnerability and spiky edges to this engaging story of a young woman trying to figure out who she is amid the social and political tumult of the 80s."

We all ducked out of the second half. As we were sitting drinking from our covid-resistant plastic glasses, me and the Organ Grinder were rounded up with the gang, to leave to find a bar. PC Maschera rushed up to split up the gang as the nine of us as we were leaving together, panic rising in her controlling breast, before middle daughter said, catholically, "we're all one family!" Me and OG took our drinks with us, and we lagged behind them, me rather embarrassed about involving OG in street drinking.

The Organ Grinder had to leave, while the rest of us had a pricey pizza. The daughters and friends left for a Eurovision party in Leeds. I got Kirsty through the barriers on my outdated rail pass.

The train to Lancaster at about 6pm on Saturday was full of maskless, tipsy, chatty people, social distancing out the window. Girls on the next table with plastic glasses and bottles of Prosecco. Lads standing around with their tinnies. It was like coming up for air.


Next day, I met Wendy in the park. We sat in one of the shelters that the Victorians built in its many little dells. They might have been designed for snogging, and I still feel a physical pull towards her lovely slim body, ragged hair, and way of talking.

"Well...", she announced. "I've got a fella." "Oh! I'm so jea--- I mean, happy for you!" "Well, we were occasional lovers while I was with T---. Monogamy has never been my forte. He is going to get it."

Stomach pangs. The reach of your promiscuity doesn't extend to me.

"And I found him on farce book, and we started exchanging the odd message and it got a bit flirty, and now it's utterly pornographic. 'You want to do that to me? Oh I don't mind!' It's lovely to be desired."

I don't feel particularly desired by Mel. I feel that I'll do, as she does for me; which is far better than the Wendy-ache from which I suffered for years. I'm very happy with Mel. I have to resist telling her this, because I don't want to start a verbal competition of affection.

5 comments »

5 comments

Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Didn’t she do well! Though the rest of the show wasn’t exactly calculated to draw one back. Lovely to see you & hope to repeat under more propitious circumstances.

Thu 27th May 2021 @ 06:16 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Congrats to your daughter!!
Sx

Fri 28th May 2021 @ 12:50 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes MM, thank fuck we managed to get out of another hour of it.

Scarlet – I won’t pass your congrats on because she might end up reading this :)

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

What a smashing review for your daughter!! Top stuff!!

i’ve always enjoyed street drinking… as well as street smoking, herb that is, lol! now it seems no one really cares if you blaze up, which is nice but sad that i’m no longer an outlaw, lol!!

Sun 30th May 2021 @ 13:31 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks kono, yes she’s been well received by the voices that matter.

It’s pretty easy-going down here too. Be nice, don’t bother others, and you can pretty much do what you want.

Tue 1st June 2021 @ 19:41 Reply to this comment


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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person


M / 57 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

If your comment box looks like this, I'm afraid I sometimes can't be bothered with all that palarver just to leave a comment.

63 mago
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
Crinklybee
Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
gairnet provides: press of blll defunct, but retained for its quality
George Szirtes ditto
Guitars and Life
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
London's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
Quillette
Strange Flowers
Trailer Park Refugee
Wonky Words

"Just sit still and listen" - woman to teenage girl at Elliott Carter weekend, London 2006

5:4
Bristol New Music
Desiring Progress Collection of links only
Golden Pages for Musicologists
Lauren Redhead
NewMusicBox
The Rambler
Resonance FM
Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
Talking Musicology defunct, but retained


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