Sunday, May 20, 2007

The plan for Saturday

as arranged by two of my friends for who such trivial matters as the FA Cup Final do not register was for those of us who were in Lapland for New Year to cast ourselves into the fog of this Antony Gormley exhibition at 2.00 in the afternoon. In the event the fact that we all had a collective case of foggy head syndrome on Saturday without the need of a luminous glass room filled with dense mist caused cancellation of said plan...thank god! Which meant we did not miss watching the first Cup Final at the All New and Improved Wembley on the tele.(Wot? No rivers of urine flowing down the steps?)

The previous evening when my head was relatively clear for possibly as long as an hour and a half was so good.We were all pretty nervous and didn't know what to expect from Mr Steel. It is not - at least it is not in our collective experience - every day one has a private audience with a (relatively Moo and Brom!) well known comic and historian in your best mate's basement. We were cheered a little to learn that he would be cycling up to Loughton from the test match at Lords as that didn't seem too 'I'm right up my own arse' ish. We were concerned to later learn his agent had told him he was supposed to be in Leyton (about 10 miles away from where we actually were) but he found his way to us eventually. And yes, he did have a shower on arrival.

Anyway, he talked to us about history and how school and certain historians manage to make it so boring what with its hang up on the subject of dates. As he said, what is it with 1066? He imagined that even in 1072 they would have had trouble remembering in what year the Battle of Hastings had taken place..."No, it can't be 6 years already. But hang on, if Cedric had leprosy in 1067, then yes, I suppose it must have been '66?"

He told us the story of the French Revolution with no boring bits at all and if anyone is interested in reading his book on the subject it is this one here, and bits I read subsequently in the book he left us are hilarious, as well as being completely true. He also took any mutterings about how we "Should have gone for Eddie Izzard" very well, and managed to be polite when someone told him how much he admired Bono and Ben Elton, at least until he realised we knew very well he had had both of them consigned to Room 101. He stayed with us till gone midnight when we had expected he would want to clear off as soon as he had done his bit, he went out of his way to help my son who is studying the Russian Revolution, and even if he is what Reidski described as a 'Trot cunt' he was great company. Though fuck knows what he made of us.


Arthur Clewley said...

JJ, best keep the photos from that evening away from reidski by the sounds of it or he'll airbrush Mark Steel out of them just like happened to poor old Trotsky.

J.J said...

Arthur, I do, now I come to think about it, have vague recollection of someone armed with a camera...oh dear.