Murphy’s Week Off


The Voyage of the Silver Dipper, July 1989

A rip-roaring tale of the sea recently re-discovered …

Two things happened back in January. The first was that Murphy (inventor, propagator and sole agent of the universal Sod’s LawTM) booked his annual week’s holiday for the beginning of July. Secondly, Kevin Alder, the sailing sweep, came to sweep my chimney, saw my Thames barge paintings and ended up organising a sailing trip for us.

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Leaf On A Windy Day

My new collection of songs is called ‘Leaf On A Windy Day’.

Leaf CD front

You can stream the tracks directly from here, and download individual tracks or the whole album from my Bandcamp shop, where you will also find lyrics and info about the tracks.

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The Vesuvians

Some years ago I told the story of my Grandad Kendall in the song Here Is Jack, and Roger Kitchen filmed me singing and talking about it. Video- ‘Here is Jack’

At the time of writing the song I was intrigued by a story my mother had told me, that Jack, her dad, had played in a dance band. I so much hoped this was true, because it gave me a feeling of connection with him denied to me by his early death, but I had no proof. Sadly, my mum had passed away herself before I finished the song, so she never got to hear it, and couldn’t tell me any more stories about her dad.

Then, clearing out my father’s bungalow following his death last September, my sister and I were excited to find this photograph:

Vesuvians002 crop
Vesuvians City Hall Players

Isn’t it great? Here are The Vesuvians at the ‘Philharmonic Hall’, East Ham, on October 3rd 1930. My Grandad is on trumpet. Continue reading

The Cathedral Builders

Ruth and I have been enjoying Tony Robinson’s Channel 5 series Britain’s Great Cathedrals. We’re looking forward to the forthcoming episode on Canterbury. That’s where we met (at the University though, not the Cathedral itself.) The Cathedral was a favourite place to visit, and the experience was always awe-inspiring. When, later, I found this poem by John Ormond I was reminded how such staggering beauty was created by so many hard-working, skilful, ordinary blokes. I love the concluding line.

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