Mrs Wentworth-Brewster saves the day

The ear-worm turns

If you read the previous post, you would know my memory had taken me back to the songs of Alex Glasgow. They are good for a walk to and from the nearest source of an evening’s extra bottle, but they do tend to get into a repetitive groove.

Then, after the stir-fry (very nice) and the rice pudd’n (the evenings are already getting more autumnal here in “old” York), the Lady in my Life had to cope with an email message from a distant daughter. While she was poking the iPhone keyboard, I felt free to reach for a newspaper.

Done the news sections, and the reviews, so …

I have long maintained that the fillers for the property porn and the other advertising supplements contain good writing. It’s the fluff and stuff deputed to the lowest tier in the operation. These are the hungry, thrusting young rats, who will shortly overtake the over-paid (and therefore soon-to-be-redundant) front-runners in the journalistic rat-race. They also manage to smuggle their nuances of style past sub-editors having a yawn over such less-important stuff.

The result of that was I found myself reading Tim Dowling (an older rat, let me affirm, with an excellent track record) on his repeat visit to Capri after what seems to have been a mixed-experience honeymoon there a two decades before:

we approached the remainder of the honeymoon with an odd combination of indecision and abandon. We had yet to determine which of us took charge of the finances in our marriage, so neither of us did. The amount we calculated we’d spent never quite seemed to tally with what was left.

Yes, Tim, we’ve all been that way. Eventually the relationship develops its own equilibrium. In mine, I decide the really important bits: what we think about Iraq and the EU: that leaves her to cope with the trivialities like paying the bills, putting food on the table, and relating to the daughters.

Anyway, second time around, the Dowling duo do the better-heeled tourist bit:

The next morning I find myself hiring a motorboat. I dimly recall hiring a rowing boat two decades ago, and getting about 200 metres along the coast in it before giving up and deciding to head back. Now, in exchange for €80, I’m allowed one with an engine for two hours – ample time to circle the island completely.

Despite some initial stress while dodging very large sightseeing boats (the traffic passing under the natural stone arch of the Faraglioni di Mezzo was particularly competitive), this excursion was a surprising success; nothing mutinous occurred. The offshore view of the Marina Piccola – exquisite, laid-back and, as the name implies, small – sharpened my wife’s determination to have lunch there.

Lucky old Tim, say some. Well done, Tim, say I.

For that breaks the loop of Alex Glasgow songs.

Instead, for the rest of the evening the ear-worm is running The Master, including:

In a bar on the Piccola Marina
Life called to Mrs. Wentworth-Brewster
Fate beckoned her and introduced her
Into a rather queer, unfamiliar atmosphere…

Just for fun, three young sailors from Messina
Bowed low to Mrs Wentworth-Brewster
Said “Scusi”, and abruptly goosed her …

Here’s Noel Coward doing it (I think it’s the Las Vegas performance), but with less-unlifting accompanying footage:



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Filed under Guardian, Music

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