03 March 2013

May I?

This isn't my first blog posting since his death, but searching for an appropriate song by Kevin I find that I never used this one, which is not only probably my favourite (I like Puis-je? just as much) but also one of his best - and with such a superb band, too, of whom Lol Coxhil and David Bedford (who, I just realised as I watched the video again, looks remarkably like Lech Wałęsa) went before him. It has been part of the soundtrack of my life (what a hackneyed phrase) since, in my first year at Warwick, I bought a copy of Shooting at the Moon from a record shop in Kenilworth. Someone had ordered it but had never come in to collect it, a tragic, inexplicable and unforgiveable omission for them. Naturally, I always hoped an opportunity would arise to use the line from the song myself, but of course it never did.

It's a completely arbitrary choice of music, too, a gratuitous homage to the great songsmith, because it bears no relation to what I have to tell you, which is merely that Hugo and I did the seven mile loop from home, up to the Ridgeway, under the A34, across the Bury Down car park, and down to the village again past Upper Farm and the school. Nothing exceptional there, except that it's a long time since I did it or anything remotely similar in length. And, thanks to Countryfile on the BBC just now, I remember to say that I was skumfish after that. There's a campaign to preserve the Northumbrian language and "skumfish" is one of the words being thrown around: my father used to use it a lot, though my recollection is that it had "-ed" at the end. Either way, it eloquently conveys my state at the end of a seven-miler, then feeding the ponies and sitting down to read a few pages of a book. "Knackered" is a bit obvious, isn't it?

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