Have you noticed how the easy way to drive some people into a frenzy of indignation is to just sit quietly and relax? It is as if quiet enjoyment is some sort of depraved abomination and anybody indulging in it must be driven back to the paths of righteousness as rapidly as possible.
Thus and so I was sitting at my ease, watching the winter sun turning the clouds into flame. I freely admit that I was sipping a glass of a rather excellent white wine, but in my defence the bottle had been opened at lunchtime and it would have been criminal not to finish it whilst it was at it’s best.
I also had my pen out, with a sheet of paper, so that if pressed I could claim to be writing poetry, but frankly, appreciating the sunset took most of my attention and savouring the wine took the rest.
Then in breezes this Webster chap, full of himself as usual.
“Nothing to do Tallis? Don’t worry; I’ve got a job for you.”
In my most reasonable tone I said, “But I don’t need a job.”
“Nonsense, cannot have you vegetating. You need a task to get the blood racing, something which will stimulate your dormant artistic senses.”
At this point I was tempted to silence him with a witty retort, or alternatively just to throw him off the barge.
Unfortunately before I could frame my reply, he continued, “Nothing too difficult for you old chap. Just need you to write a few words about a book I’ve written.”
I must have groaned audibly, because he seemed to take umbrage. “There’s no need to moan, it’s perfectly simple, you’ll soon get it done and it’ll save you from slouching about looking bored and making the spot untidy. All you’ve got to do is tell people about the book and make sure they know where to find it and how good it is.”
“No pressure there then!” See how I can pick up bizarre modern idioms. A poet has to be able to master this sort of thing.
He ignored me, smiled in a self satisfied and slightly constipated manner and turned leave.
“Going somewhere interesting?” I asked.
He turned back and in a rather airy manner said, “Oh no, I’ve just got the fire lit and I thought I’d sit by it, have a glass of plum brandy and read something. After all some of us have had a hard day and need chance to relax.”
So there you have it, while he reads some trashy novel in comfort I’m left to do this.
So here it is; he’s put together another collection of tales about assorted livestock and dogs. Padded out with anecdotes drawn from family history or from the doings of sundry bizarre people he consorts with.
Make of that what you will!
Anyway I’m off out, some of us have patrons to entertain and wine to drink.
Oh yes, apparently you can find this book at
for a mere 99p