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Dreaming of Otway swan song?

May 9, 2013

Summer has truly finished in the UK, so with rain lashing down and strong winds whipping off the blossoms in the garden, I reluctantly packed my shorts away, ready for use in the summer of a proper climate, in the south of France. Actually, we shall be there in ten days time for an early season reconnaissance of summer and for the Cannes Film Festival showing of Otway The Movie, in which I have graciously allowed myself to appear.

The prospect of a banquet on the beach in Cannes on Saturday week, before the screening of the movie on the Sunday is an even more alluring proposition when one spends much of the day with one’s nose pressed up against the rain-sodden window, trapped in one’s office.

Mr Otway sprang to fame in the late 1970’s when his madcap spontaneous idiocy had him leaping onto an amplifier which collapsed and he fell and crushed a testicle. This was live on The old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC. All of his friends and fans were at home waiting for the big event, and as it all literally collapsed around him, I can still remember the palpable sense if gloom that descended, as we all thought he had blown a big chance. It is true to say that during that particular musical era, there was a polarisation of opinion about John’s talents, or as many people perceived, lack of talent. He was especially disliked by proper musicians as they would claim that he could not sing and could not play, and they were right. What he could do however, was entertain. But, as it turned out, we need not have worried. His inadvertent attempted castration, live on prime time TV, worked in exactly the opposite way, and every subsequent show that he and Wild Willy Barrett did for months after that appearance was rammed, with people queueing around the block, keen to see him hurt himself again. It led to a hit single, “Cor Baby That’s Really Free” in 1978 and he has now had cartoon flicker pads made of the 6 excruciatingly painful seconds that changed his life, ready to show anyone who shows any interest whatsoever. I expressed interest and three arrived on my doormat yesterday. He is also one of my oldest friends and has recently (after several years of concerted pressure) become a Currencies Direct customer, so I have even more time for him now.

Before the joy of the south of France is a period of relative calm and nest-building as my picture today shows. It is a swan’s nest just below the bridge over the River Arun in Arundel, should you wish to swan down to see it.

swan's nest with eggs

Now that would make a decent omlette.

Ok, so it was a diet day yesterday, meaning it has to be alcohol free. That means that my usual wit and repartee are a little dulled, hence very poor swanning about jokes. I am under some pressure to continue with the diet today and as soon as I have finished this I am going to so some Internet research to see if I can throw up any information that doing it two days on the trot is counterproductive. If not then I shall invent something. If I am successful you will be hearing about it. If not then I shall be forced into reenacting scenes similar to those that might be witnessed at Anorexics Anonymous.

Off to walk in the rain now, jumpers, wellington boots and coats to the fore, dreaming of sunshine and Cannes (of food).

Chris France

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