Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Royal Marine Himself Reviews My Tutu Went AWOL

Stacks's Review - or Looking Scary on the Poop Deck

The man himself has just written me an email - he's been reading the Kindle edition onboard a ship that he's protecting from marauders.

  'Mate, good on you!  It's a proper book now after all the trial and error you've had with it.  Made up for you.  And it's great, it really is. But I would say that!  But I think I'd even be enjoying it even if I wasn't sitting here bored off my bollocks.  Even though I know a lot of the stuff that's in it through one, knowing you like I do, and two making sure you didn't write ​Hercules when you meant helicopter ​there's still a lot of stuff that has had me chuckling.  It's weird taking in how you see me. Ray and Rink-Dink said the same.
  'Rink's gone back to the hills.  He said he'd seen you in Colchester.  You're so his favourite. Don't try and say I'm yours. I always felt left out from the time you met him in Kabul. lol Incredible to think he's about to be forty. I'm thirty-six.  You're sixty something? 2005, Trafalgar Night.  Totally incredible night for us both to be on ​Victory.  ​Seems like it was recent. But has to be a long old time as Rink said Galina totally looked her age in Colchester and he was surprised you can still spin. I'd forgotten about your poor hammy the second tour looking like mashed canaries. Did I really try and cheer you up saying my hamstrings were text-book?
  'Very interested to see what you left out!!! HAAAAAAAA.
  'Both Rink, Ray and me still say to each other that you had some fucking balls on you to do an act like that in front of us Royals, especially when we were running Soutar. You remember "...fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-seven...'?  :) How much worse for you might something like that have been? Don't worry - I'd have stepped in and got you out of there. Rink saving you from that journo has had me pissing myself laughing again.
  'Anyway, got to go now and look scary on the poop deck. Proud of you, chick. x'

#book #books #MyTutuWentAWOL #Unbounders #humor #tech #life #lifelessons #socialmedia

Monday, 27 March 2017

Countdown to Hippodrome April 3rd, 7PM: Cynthia's Three Tweaks

  Very moved by something that happened on Friday.  I was in Aldeburgh High Street, having left some author copies of My Tutu Went AWOL for display at the book shop, when Cynthia called after me. Cynthia used to own the grocer's shop.  She said how touched she'd been to read my back page thank you to her mother, Mrs Cooney, as one of the lookers-on and cheerers as I got Madame Galina from church hall to west end, via Blackpool, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  'Lovely things you said.  And about Margaret, too. She was a one, that one. People - or is just me - over time are getting more diluted.  Oh, I just wish I still had the shop for you to go smack in the front window!'
  As she walked on towards the Old Customs House I smiled, remembering the first time I ever bought anything at Cynthia’s. It was August 1985.  I had looked for a basket, not found one, and begun taking items off the shelves.  Excusing herself from a customer, Cynthia had politely but firmly relieved me of the items. ‘We’re not self-service here like the Coop.  Oh, and Wood’s garage; but that’s only self-service just at present due to bereavement.’  Then when it was my turn, she had asked me what I would like.
  ‘Jam, would that be?  Thank you very much.’  Tweaking first the fringe of her page-boy bob, then the middle button on her tabard and lastly the knees of her stockings.  ‘And would that be apricot, blackberry, blackcurrant, damson, gooseberry, quince, raspberry or strawberry?  Damson.  Thank you very much.’  The three tweaks again.  ‘And would that be Robinsons, Tiptree or homemade?  Homemade, would it?  Thank you very much.’  A further three tweaks.  ‘And would that be home made by Mrs Aaron, Mrs. Abbot, Mrs. Ackhurst, Mrs. Addenham, Mr…hm!...Agate, Mrs. Ahern, Mrs. Allan, Mrs…’
  I thought I might forego buying Pic-N-Mix.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

First Reviews of My Tutu Went AWOL

  First, because my mother speaks below, let's discuss her attitude to mortality. I recently told her that I had reached the death-aware stage of life. 
  She said, 'Even the great and the good die, Iestyn.  Jane Austen, Maria Callas, Margot name some favourites of yours.'
  I asked who she might list as favourites of hers that are no longer with us.  She answered. 'Oh, very much the usual.  Lena Zavaroni, Elsa the Lioness and Arthur Askey.'

  There are two five star reviews for my book so far on Amazon. From strangers, too. My family, merely strange, are adding to the feedback with ansaphone messages.
  My stepmother: ‘Iestyn, I’m on page eighty-five…don’t know what chapter that is.’
  My mother: ‘You’ve got your Mairs confused. The Mair I bought all the elastic for over however many years was the one who broke her television and had her leg amputated — she’s very much on her way out. The other Mair lived in Pimlico and is completely dead.’
  Cue best-sellerdom, clearly.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Sell Your Hair to the Doll Factory

 Because I need your help, you see, nicely.  Namely: reviews to be posted on Amazon now you've, hopefully, enjoyed Tutu. Read on for more...
  Have I told you about Rachel, the mezzo-soprano?  The one who thought that her most recent public appearance could be classed as a gala because at the tea between rehearsal and performance the scotch eggs were cut into sixteenths?  Just saw her, the other day in Oxford Street; dressed as usual for that Disney kibbutz.  Then when she she took off her fuchsia chintz headscarf – her hair was vast!
  She said something along these lines: ‘I’m growing it to sell to a doll factory in Puerto Rico, proceeds going to the Hacienda Verde.  Year’s growth: they’re offering three thousand five hundred. Just off to the treatment clinic.  They put on it Kamatakan mung-dynasty beans, Tregothnan Manuka honey and Watneys pale, then leave it to do its thing for a fortnight. Then they drain it all off and in a petri dish collect what the beans have poohed out after they’ve eaten and drunk: except they don’t eat and drink like…with mouths…whatever. Then they put this stuff on your hair and you have to leave it for six months till the clinic cuts your hair off - and it gets to the stage where nobody can stand to be around you without the aid of burning joss sticks. I had to take a tarpaulin for a swimming hat at Christmas (I call it Winter Solstice Plus Three these days) when I went on a “finding myself” trip; swam with dolphins.  Came back after a day and I’m suing the travel company because the whole time the dolphins were laughing at me...'
  Anyway, that was Rachel. My point in telling you all that is that I need you to do for my book what that clinic is doing for Rachel's hair.  Nurture it.  But rather than smearing mung-dynasty-bean mash on the cover, I'm asking you to review it on Amazon.  Then my numberage gets quodosic...or something.  Honest reviews, please.  No jokes about you laughing so hard you were asked to leave the Trappist Monastery.  Let's get it to film now!
  Then I can play me in it. With Lizzie Roper as Nicky Ness, Joseph Beattie as Rink-Dink, Tom Hardy as Stacks... The link, you see...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Carol Will Know

  On my walk along the disused railway, I was stopped by a twitcher.  She was in comfortable blues and a khaki pashmina threaded through a plus-sized woggle.  In a rich, beautifully modulated voice she said that I'd been probably wondering about the noise out there - meaning the conservation area.  'It's probably a duck, rather than a goose; except that the call is so low and raspy. Can't actually see what it might be.  I'm puzzled, frankly.'
  I said, 'I'll ask Carol from the shop when I walk back.  She always knows.'
  The twitcher nodded, clearly accepting one of the wisdoms of Thorpeness.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

My Tutu Goes AWOL in Windrush, hopefully...

  Henry Bonas Events rang today - the actual Henry himself - to wonder tersely did I expect a bloody book launch now somewhere near him? 
  'Yes, but only if I can have linen like you provided for that Honourable's wedding, where I could see the pleats in it even when I was dancing twenty five metres away.'
  'Do Waterstones have linen on their tables when the new Jonathan Coe's out?  And, more importantly, have you learned to bloody drive yet?  I can't keep picking you up from the station.'
  'Henry, you've picked me up once, the other times you've sent Barry in his taxi.  And I can order taxis myself in future...'
  'What, you'd know how to get hold of Barry, would you, who I send specially for you because I know how your little heart is gladdened by hearing how he's been driving around Nicholas Parsons, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Jilly Cooper?  Don't be so bloody ungrateful.'

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Countdown to Madame Galina's Book Launch, Hippodrome, London April 3rd

Asked in an interview what was my 
favourite ballet by Sir Kenneth MacMillan:
  'Song of the, wait...Concerto:
when the Second Movement girl is supported doing 
ports de bras. Actually, The Judas Tree totally 
stuns me. Different Drummer.  When you 
feel like someone's been at your insides with 
the de-icer? When as Mother Goose I was dipped 
in the Lake of True Beauty, I would see poor Wozzeck
drowning himself in the bath. No wonder my 
Dame Transformation Ballet - Own Frock - 
went a bit Wayne McGregor...'

Monday, 13 March 2017

My Tutu Went AWOL...out on Amazon...Tell Everyone!

  First tell your nearest and dearest, then your family, then your work colleagues; then the butcher, the baker the candlestick maker;  open the door to tell Jehovah's Witnesses.
  I've been doing just that.  Though I decided not to disturb the thoughts of a woman this morning, who was gazing out across the marshes from the Aldeburgh Road across to the abandoned railway. But she spoke first:
  'Yes, I'm sure it is a borderline spectacular view,' she said.  'But when, as I do, you live in real Fen country, then here you gaze and gaze and quite crave a cathedral.'

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Don't Procastinate

I did yesterday...and it wasn't good.

  I swirled the dregs of my tea three times, upended the cup into the saucer, then righted it again; but left the actual reading of the tea leaves until after I'd done my February-March tax return.
  When I went back to them, the leaves had dried up and the images were fuzzy.
  And, yes, all that's ever in my tea leaves is the inevitable half a Mona Lisa, a seahorse and a tutti-frutti cup-and-ball game, but this time might have been different.
  So, don't procrastinate: buy your tickets for my one man book festival, Matcham Theatre, Hipppodrome Casino, London.  April 3rd, 7.30pm.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Be Positive!

  You're winning.  Or you're not.  But come on: we'll try.
  Let's remember what opera producer Norman Ayrton said to soprano Dame Joan Sutherland:
  'You walk eagerly to the window to look out at a magical night.  You do not totter in its vague direction as though you were expecting someone to shoot you through it!'

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Joys of Unexpected Things

   This is - guess - more advice from my passive-aggressive screw-up of a future self.  'What would you never usually react favourably to, Iestyn?  Well - point out the joy in it today with an exclamation of rapt delight!'

  'Oh, look, hoorah, lock-off cameras!'
  'How glorious, see, window cleaning in progress!'
  'Woohoo, its stock-taking day at the book shop!'
  'Larks a mercy, it's the Pinney's Oysters Van!'
  'My day in the hills, they've painted the wrong colour around that drainpipe!'
  'The Wifi is deliciously,  deliciously slow!'
  'How divine, darling, Judge Judy episodes are only available on YouTube posted in little onscreen boxes, with leaves falling around, played at the wrong speed!'
  'Yippee, I'm still owed nearly three grand after two years and am about to resort to small claims myself!'