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Make Hay before bedtime

March 23, 2013

Scurvy was once a very dangerous affliction which sometimes ended in death, before the simple expediency of eating fresh fruit was found to keep it at bay. So the discovery that the horrid hound Banjo, the cocked up mutant cocker spaniel weighing in at  over 35 kilos, who resides in my house under protest from me, was suffering from something that resembled dog scurvy provided me, at the very least, a glimmer of hope that his tenancy may be in danger of being terminated.

We visited the vet with That Nice Lady Decorator in state of concern,  and me in a state of high hope. The prognosis is not good. It may be something called Cushing Disease which I interpreted as an irrational fear of Alfred Hitchcock movies. Note to self, stock up on horror films when Banjo is allowed in the sitting room.  It seems that in order to be certain of the diagnosis that Nice Lady Decorator will need to pay for a biopsy at a cost of some £350 (about 410 euros at today’s Currencies Direct exchange rates). She was not best pleased with that and even less so when I asked what it would cost for the horrid animal to be put down, but as I said on the way down to the beach to walk in atrocious windy and cold conditions, sometimes you have to be cruel to by kind. Just call me Dognitas,  despatching dodgy dogs, dead.

Frozen to the bone after a most unpleasant walk, I got back and settled down for nearly a full days travail in the office as music business royalty time is approaching, a busy but usually happy time, and before I knew it, the evening had arrived and it was time to prepare for culture, and I don’t mean yoghurt. I laid out my cravat, smoking jacket and spats only to be told to dress down as tonight’s theatre is a scruffy establishment. Tonight apparently is the more high brow event. Last nights play was being staged at Arundel’s Victoria Institute and was called, not Pond Life as I joked to an unimpressed coterie of locals in the bar just beforehand but Parlour Song. By way of early lubrication, we had popped in to the Eagle, which is right opposite, to ensure that we did not dehydrate too much through exposure to culture, then discovered there was a small bar at the theatre.

The play was excellent, amusing and well acted with a very basic set. The bench mark for me when it comes to theatre is whether I nod off. It is a particularly bad sign when my eyes become heavy before the interval as happened recently in far more salubrious surrounds and with a famous cast, but last night I remained bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and engaged until the end.

music fan at the Eagle

Go for it grandad

Afterwards, across the road the David Hay Band, a collection of venerable rockers were playing at The Eagle and very good they were too. Songs from Cream to ZZ Top pointed up that the musical influences were set firmly in the 1970’s, a period during which I began my long and winding road through the music industry, and one of my favourite eras,  but there was also some decent original material in the set.  There was also the matter of one of their most dedicated fans whom I captured enjoying the evening  in my picture above. He danced a bit like Wilco Johnson with the mad staring eyes and robotic walk, but without the guitar. Slippers and a cardigan were off set by the baseball cap. He was 75 if he was a day and after all the excitement, disappeared on his mobility scooter shortly after 11, well after his bedtime.

Chris France

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