• Keith Dersley

Chats in the Time of Covid, #5

No 6:30 walk this morning. Breakfast in bed. Stayed there listening to a podcast about Billy the Kid, then one about the Royals.


I’ve got more unsolicited enthusiasm for my musical efforts than anything else I’ve done. I remember when Joan and I bumped into Val near Saxtead Road a couple of years ago. She confided to Joan: ‘He’s a wonderful musician.’ Musician! Whereas you sometimes sweat blood on a blog and, well, can you be sure of any hits? Or it’s a year you work on a novel—will anybody buy the thing? (But it’s on sale. Maybe I should get some songs available on iTunes.)


In the ’70s when Phil, Graham, and I were starting a poetry and music band we were out at Holbrook at Phil’s and they were improvising on guitars and keyboard and I was reading some of my stuff out over it. Then Julie, Phil’s wife at the time, came home and was so mad that we were in full spate creating a lot of gibberish when she had rushed back because she wanted to watch the Muppets.


Well, the world agrees with Julie, and not us.

What with the covid bugs, my efforts to enter show business via the Red Wine Dialogues might have a different slant, as I’m preparing to host one or two of these dinner parties by means of Zoom. I’ll invite a character or two and then see how that goes.


Also, now we’ve acquired a webcam, a number of possibilities hove into view. I wonder if I might not, with a single camera and a microphone, plus the webcam, make a movie with just Joan and myself. We could mount a production of The Prisoner of

Zenda in the kitchenette, for example, or stage a sequel to Airport on the concrete steps outside.


I’m reading Child of the Sun by Kyle Onstott, a book which Phil gifted me fifty years ago. (He brought it back from his holiday and I was chuffed that he’d taken the trouble. The cover showed an effeminate man rigged out with jewels and a tiara, but Phil didn’t take it like that, he only knew that it was about ancient Rome.)


I’ve now bought the book on Kindle. I didn’t read the paperback, in fact Mr Valentine, our curate, said it was ‘riddled with homosexuality’ and confiscated it. It’s not all gay stuff, actually. It’s enjoyable rubbish I suppose you’d call it, racy and light as air.


Reading it now, it’s great. It’s the book I thought The Sword and the Promise was going to be, but wasn’t. It’s a fit companion for the Satyricon. It has the gutter stench, though it takes place mainly in palaces.


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