I have been conference, to speak and to listen. More of this after I have rest! Now I am so tired I am seeing Anna as squirrel more than dog, or maybe I dream! I have to call Donald (cat, not man – Donald have to hear my voice each day or he pine. He is with London housekeeper, Mrs Klein – remarkable as I have housekeeper here in countryside who is Mrs Freud).
Squirrel and dog, almost resemble Anna, in similar position to one another
So I am at home briefly, in countryside, with lovely dog Anna Karenina V. Those who made acquaintance of Anna III in Uncle Kasimir book collected by Niece Gabi will be sad to hear how she die peacefully in sleep at old age. Anna IV, who I buy as puppy did escape into wilds in Scotland, while I on holiday to see my friend Donald. She now live as wild dog near town of Ballater, where local go to feed her and in case they forget, Donald. I tell him other day, ‘I realise by the way I name cat Donald after you.’ He find this amusing. So I obtain Anna V from Scottish Ghillie, also as puppy, and she reside here with my housekeeper, Mrs Freud (same as Sigmund).
This afternoon I will play game of ‘Squirrel’ with Anna, where she pretend to be squirrel in wood. I do not know for certain if this is what she does as this is requiring leap of imagination into mind of a dog. However, she look like squirrel and play with acorn, and climb small tree, and leap across branch. When she see real squirrel she wag tail and bark in congratulation (which I do know as it is how she bark when my birthday). Now I go, call ‘Anna’.
I am interested in various debate about intrusion into personal matter for reason of security. For example, should government know everything about me, like X-Ray of my teeth? I do not think so. Terrorist will hide in some way (I find hiding member of SS, who was similar to terrorist after war, pretend to be tree in middle of field near Hamburg) and government is not to be trusted for ever. One day is nice guy, next is CLOWN or worse, tyrant.
This remind me of security incident when, in 1973, I did go ‘walkabout’, disillusion with world and riches I had gain, love which I had lost, and basic question of ‘What is point?’. I find myself as man of over fifty, with conceal identity, eventually travel with band, monster rocking LED ZEPPLIN, as minder, advisor, etc. One day singer, Mr Plant, did get lost after excitement and activity following concert at Knebworth, and he telephone security office where I was on my own, early morning, rest of my comrades being disposed of by festivities.
‘Hey Man,’ he say. ‘Kas?’
‘Yes,’ I reply, ‘It is I, Kasimir.’ I shake head, weary as he tell me of what happen with number of ‘chick’, drug, enjoyment and go too far (as usual). In truth, in other time I can imagine he would have been excellent military fellow, with me perhaps attack supply base, aerodrome or similar – and after we might celebrate as he did following Knebworth ‘set’ (I remember the language of band most fondly – from experience of this year I have many friend from world of music: Bowie, Gainsbourg, etc). He was lost in village in middle of nowhere and have only pair of jean, ten pence for phone which he find in gutter, and headache size of China.
‘Can you come get me, Kas?’ he ask,
‘To where?’ he ask.
‘I come to where?’ I was amaze he even remember telephone number.
He laugh as he see what I mean.
I ask him if he see prominent feature or building which would help me identify his position.
He tell me village is of not many houses, with no village sign – but there was church.
‘Then go to church,’ I say,’ and look for house next door, vicar house, and bang on door.’
‘You can’t be serious man,’ he say, wail, catastrophe, etc, rock star cosy up to vicar, etc. He try my patience.
‘Listen Mr Plant,’ I say.
‘Robert,’ he say.
‘No Mr Plant, this familiarity only breed contempt. You listen to me and go to Vicar house, bang on door and ask where you are.’
‘I half naked, Kas.’
‘Is no matter, so was the Lord when he was crucify.’ I crack Joke: ‘Maybe he show you stairway to heaven, haha.’ I laugh for some time. Mr Plant eventually interrupt.
‘So you go to see vicar and then you call me back. I come get you.’
Vicar was, in truth, very kind and lend Mr Plant T-shirt. I collect Mr Plant, make considerable donation to church roof fund on agreement nothing is said to tabloid hack, and drive back to office.
‘Kas,’ he say as we go down quiet lane in beautiful summer morning. ‘You play guitar? Maybe we jam.’
‘No I do not.’ In truth I did, and was exceptional in some way, but I could only imagine sulk and bitterness between friend if I did take up guitar within hearing of guitar player Mr Page.
Why am I writing? I ask myself this question many time. I am sometimes ask: why you do this, continually, instead of live life properly? Does writer live life? I can only say I do live life too. I write and I live life as a maximum. I keep IDIOT to minimum. Thus is how I live my life. Many of my friend are not giving tuppence for writing of sensitive, artistic and curious nature but some you would be surprise. Good friend Shane Warne take pleasure in Genet. Andy Murray, fine young man, read Balzac in locker room. Warren Beatty, actor, read Rimbaud with children. Antony Worrall Thompson big fan of Poe, tale of mystery and suspense. Sheena Easton, singer, big fan of Thomas Hardy. And some they do write, themself. Ian Botham, cricketer, write Haiku, for instance (I have one and only copy):
THE SKY IS SO BLUE
THE BATSMAN LIKE A DEAD COW
And I have example of silly little thing, but endearing, from Bjorn Borg, master tennis player. After period of terrible depression he write joke for Christmas cracker:
Q: WHAT IS SANTA FAVOURITE PIZZA?
A: ONE WHICH IS DEEP PAN, CRISP AND EVEN.
Yo ho ho. Life is various and peculiar.
Is he Scottish, is he British? He is human being. One who play tennis like excellent poet, for example Wordsworth (although not Shakespeare, who is GREAT poet). This remind me of public lecture I attend once where creative writing tutor say he believe Shakespeare over-rated. I laugh and I laugh. This tutor publish novel about sick man who die, and then, I believe this tutor get sick and die. I forget name. I write novel anyway, as with this – and various film script, poem (especially for animal).
As I reflect on incident of train I have mention I wonder: where is public safety broadcast film? When I watch television I sometimes see unhealthy person on sofa ring NHS number for illness, bad health while life disappear like dust in hoover, or idiot as cartoon, draw from squiggle who is have sex without see consequence, but where is proper safety broadcast?
Proper safety broadcast have: DIRECT, AUTHORITY and AWE. Thus, I can remember such film from 1970 of young man on bicycle without light pass by truck driver who shout ‘YOU REAR LIGHT’, and also child film, ‘Tufty Club’, which for young child also have direct quality, through suitable animation and voice, and authority in form of policeman, and awe, through character of Tufty. I feel great awe in fact to this Tufty, who was squirrel, and who children love.
Around me in one single day I see so many thing which could be address in simple way through adequate public safety film: film which have slightly scary voice, such as ‘Big Brother’ or official, not ‘matey matey voice of friend in pub, or gossip over cuppa tea, and so on. Such thing I would suggest to be:
Car drive too fast.
Bicycle with no light.
Child who is shout at in street by parent.
Dog lock in car or home all day.
Student who drop rubbish and who drink (although in different film).
Model aeroplane fly near airport (which is deadly).
Smoke cigarette (I have idea to stop smoking which I will share at another date).
My first journey by train was not auspicious. This was in May in 1940, when I and various friend from French resistance, soldier from Hungary call Adam and two Polish women who go on to own tea shop in Wales (wonderful women who fight like corner Tiger) did attack Nazi supply train on French border, hijack and take to escape at Dunkirk. When we blow up train and slap hand together this feeling was of such power and amazement I cannot explain. That I was unable to do similar, blow up train after LAST journey I take this morning, London to Canterbury West, is making me imagine many dark thought. What is this when man on train, who call himself ‘onboard manager’ (I call him CLOWN), fat man with stupid look like old fat sheep, ignore drunken behaviour by lout who threaten safety of entire railway carriage. This drunk he get onto train at Stratford station and straight away sway, utter oath, curse, smell of beer, wine, everything. All people in carriage have look of fear, except perhaps myself; although to him no doubt I look like old man. So he decide to sit next to me. He swill out of bottle and belch like Bavarian peasant. His arm flay across me like tentacle of oily octopus and I say to him.
‘What you f* doing.’ (I do not include swearing)
‘Who you mate?’ he ask, as if in challenge.
Someone, other passenger whisper: ‘leave it out mate, you will wind up.’
At this moment onboard manager appear and look at us, timorous and my heart sink. I see man like he who ignore whatever he can ignore.
‘Excuse me,’ I say to him as he pass. ‘This man he is drunk. Will you throw him from train?’
Onboard manager say: ‘He not doing any harm I can see, sir.’
‘So are you blind, coward or IDIOT?’ I ask him.
‘Sir I have to warn you I not tolerate verbal abuse.’
‘Yeah yeah, fine.’ I tell him. He go, sharply.
Drunk laugh. ‘That tell you, ha ha,’ he say.
So I administer swift justice with elbow and karate chop. Similar movement in fact to what I do when guard of Nazi train draw pistol and I find I have left my own on roof. Carriage make cheer and onboard manager return, to see drunk slump unconscious.
‘You see mate, he no trouble to anyone. He sleep like lamb.’
‘Yeah yeah, right,’ I tell him. When he go I acknowledge thanks of other passenger with tip of hat and continue read my book in peace. Drunk awake at Ashford station and escape into platform, fall down stairs, etc. Later I will write to Southeastern Train about this and other incident, but will not hold breath for reply.
This is very good.
I wonder what is the fate of the little duck pond? Not one in particular, but every duck pond? When as young man I did arrive in this country I was struck upon my walking in parks etc about how there was often pond, child who throw bread into water, duck, occasionally swan, and so on. But I wonder where will go this water feature. I ask this because of incident Sunday afternoon when I stroll through park in London with my good friend Zaza, former magician, now lady of leisure following enormous lottery win, and her dog Russell, name after Russell Brand, who is jack russell. I have with me memory of many of my own dog, but not Anna V, or Donald (cat) who occasionally follow me down street like bandit, and we chat about old time etc. Zaza is no spring chicken although younger than myself; and from time to time we pause, look about, so I catch my breath.
As we sit on bench Russell run away after another dog, little thin thing look like weasel and both dog did jump into pond. They roll, play and thrash about and Zaza go and get Russell eventually, all cover in weed, and Zaza say as she dry him with special hanky.
‘Few year ago we’d have just copped it from Parkie.’
‘Parkie?’ I say.
And she remind me of man who, in years perhaps 1960s to 80s was often partly psychotic war veteran or similar who have job look after park as useful and safe way for gainful employment of him. He usually like flower, take pride in everything and attack without mercy those who play ball on grass, climb wrong way up slide (child – this was bad, I know). Where is he now, this parkie?
I think Zaza have point. There is nobody of note who look after these places of life: park, pond, cricket pitch, and who look to love something, even in rage.
Only short time ago all shop close on Sunday. This was better.