Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Ivor Cutler

Ah, where we would be without the wonderful world of Ivor Cutler, eh?

Where would Ivor Cutler be if he hadn't been born on this day, January 15th 1923?

Cue one of those fascinating flights of fancy that the man himself was so well known and loved for. What if he hadn't, we hadn't, they didn't, it wouldn't...?

I was introduced to Ivor Cutler by a friend at teacher training college in London. Neil had come from Aberystwyth University to do a PGCE in London and his digs had a spare room at a time when I was sofa surfing.

We hit if off, not least due to the hours spent in his room (it was much, much larger than mine) listening to his extensive record collection on his large and expensive hifi. (I had a small cassette-radio...)

And chief among the records was one by Ivor Cutler. I've been a fan ever since. The man is - was - a genius, one of those rare, genuine 'one-offs'. No-one was like him. No-one else could've been him.

My affection for him - and collection of his many records and broadcasts - grew.

Neil, however, dropped out and went back to Wales taking his record player with him. Still, I got to move into his much larger room. (The same room erstwhile Labour MP Eric Joyce had to break in to a few months later.)

I lost touch with Neil, which is a shame.

But I still remember Ivor Cutler with lots of affection...

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Rural Rhymes: Winter Poetry

Christmas isn’t over, contrary to what I’ve read today on a Twitter: in fact, it’s barely even half way through. Anyway, there’s still plenty about the season to enjoy and celebrate, not least this small selection of winter poetry...

Monday, 24 December 2018

Jake Thackray: Joseph

Joseph, Joseph, in your cattle stall.
Joseph, Joseph, what do you make of it all? 

Christmas Landscape by Laurie Lee

Tonight, the wind gnaws
with teeth of glass,
The jackdaw shivers 
In caged branches of iron,
The stars have talons...  

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Coming carol-barking?

We were the church choir, so no answer was necessary. For a year we had praised the Lord out-of-key and as a reward for this service we now had the right to visit all the big houses, to sing our carols, and collect our tribute...

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