The Bodyguard

This extract from The Venomous Bead’s blog caught my eye:


So it was that I found myself shadowed by a tiny man of over seventy years of age – the Costa Rican version of Cohen the Barbarian (which one?) – as I entered the Art Deco edifice of the Banco Nacional. Drawing my money I was about to sort out my bag at the table provided, watched over by security guards.

No, no, no!

I must put my card and money away at the cash point…who knew who might be watching!

But there are guards…

Guards! Where will they be if you are mugged on the doorstep…?

Queen Salote of Tonga

Prisoner and escort – we must have looked like the Queen of Tonga and her lunch – headed back to the central market.


via Virtue Rewarded, the Bodyguard’s Tale | The Venomous Bead

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Yikes, I’m not sure I’d dare venture out! Hmm, what’s the going price for a bodyguard nowadays?…

Paul Simon and Chevy Chase could tell you. I leave it to you to decide which one’s the Queen of Tonga!


Wine and Beer

Wine and beer we’ll drink without fear,

We’ll drink a success to The Innocent Hare. (Trad. song)


Our good friends Q and A meet about once a month to go for a meal. Today, we find them in Herman’s Hermitage, just next door to Hernando’s Hideaway in Norton Throssle.

(Should be somewhere like Horton Heath in Hampshire to keep the alliteration going. Ed.

Yes, but they never went there.

Well, they never went to Norton Throssle, either. You made it up!

Sound of keyboard being trashed. Other noises off)


A is checking out the snacks menu, while Q rhapsodises philosophically over the a la carte.


Q: A fine meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.

A. Yeah, but meat pie without beer is just bloody queer.

Q and A

Q and A are a couple of friends of long standing. Their sense of reality becomes a little warped after The Second Pint (there should be a link to a song here, but I haven’t written it yet), and they have to keep warning each other,’Don’t Go Beyond The Handrail‘.  (Yeah, it’s another link. I’ve written the song but it’s not been published.[smiley face indicating wry acceptance of the vagaries of fate, with just a tinge of irony and a dash of sarcasm bitters for a full-bodied flavour  and no sunglasses- couldn’t find that one on my iPad] A truly hilarious incident,but you had to have been there to appreciate it. Helps if you had had more than 2 pints.)

NB. TEFL teachers -do not try sentences like this in class!

Q said,” What’s he  about?”
A said,” Who? ”
Q said, ” Him.”
A said, “Him?'”
Q said, ‘Yes!’
A said ‘So?’

Q said ,”Must be your round!”
A said ‘Who?’
Q said ‘You!’
A said ‘Me?’
Q said ‘Yes!’
A said ‘No!’

(With apologies to Robb WiltonBackanswers)


River Dee Valley at Llangollen

Can’t quite remember why this arrangement doesn’t have an accordion
in it.It started out as a kind of musical doodle, as many of my songs
do. It was meant to be a homage to Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of Paris, which sort
of defined our perception of French cafe music.

Halfway through, it started to remind me of the Maigret Theme, and
other songs, and it very nearly ended up being called ‘Everything
You’ve Ever Heard’, but that title is already spoken for by a friend
who writes some bitingly clever satirical songs.  (Take a bow,

The photograph is young Rosie, taken at the Dee Valley near
Llangollen. For once, she looks as if she can’t remember what she was

The Wind At Ramore Head

Giant's Causeway
Image via Wikipedia

Doesn’t it always take you by surprise when a sudden shift of perspective shows you something that’s been right under your nose? No. this isn’t about the Pina Colada Song, but it does concern music.

I wrote this tune several years ago and we used to play it in the band between dance sets as an atmospheric piece.  It’s a slow air, heavily influenced  by the  Irish music which was all around during my college years in Northern Ireland.

A group of us shared digs in the small fishing village of Portrush on the Antrim coast, just a few miles from the Giant’s Causeway. Though the landscape where we lived was not quite that spectacular, there was a cliff on the headland where the wind coming off the Atlantic was amazingly  fierce, even on a calm day.

In need of a title for this tune, I named it after the headland – Ramore Head – which was pronounced locally with the accent on the second syllable; Ra-MORE Head.

Not long ago a friend of mine was listening to some arrangements and said he liked  ‘the slow one”, which he called RAM-ore Head. All of a sudden it was obvious that the last line of the tune fit the title  when the name was pronounced that way.

So the tune became a song;

The Wind At Ramore Head

Walking on the strand in the summer morning sun.

Hear the seagulls cry – lost sailors’ souls, it’s said.

The distant past echoes down along the years

To a memory in my heart; the wind at Ramore Head.

O, how young we were!

The world was our own.

All things were yet to be.

Now our choice is made, and the past is set.

We must move on and live the track we tread.

But still and all, when I hear that haunting cry,

I remember once again the wind at Ramore Head.