Monday, 20 July 2020

The next chapter

The next chapter in my story

Day Eleven Thursday 27th September 2017
Yesterday was a good day. What will today be like ?  You may think I am a bit out of my mind but today I actually want to go to school. I can not remember ever feeling like this before, not since I was a pant-wetting little kid. So let me tell you how my day is starting then I will go to school and report back here on the blog at the end of the day.

Two e-mail to start my day two e-mails. One yesterday was unusual, do I know two people who would want to write to me. Both hinted that I was going to have a good day. Which to open first. I decided to try the one from YouTube.

Dear Mr Johnson
Your videos posted yesterday achieved a record viewing. Income from advertising is £1,219.34p.
Can you please confirm your bank account details ahead of payout.

Wow !  How many days like that before I can but myself an Aston Martin ? When I get my Aston Trickie Dickie you will not be having a go in it.

e-mail number two. Boring Brother Richard, dare I open that ? The subject looked encouraging and Alex’s e-mail yesterday was kind. Perhaps I should see what Richard wanted to say. I was nervous but I would be brave.

Hi there Pip – good morning to you.

I am your older brother but right now YOU are my Big Brother as I am looking up to you. In one hundred years time nobody will have heard of Richard Johnson, sociology student at The University Of The West Of England but everyone will know Pip Diamond.

Granddad has asked me to do something. He wants me to explain sociologically how music reflects the age in which it is written. He has asked me to concentrate on what he is calling The Vinyl Years. When I come to writing my Phd I may make that the subject of my thesis.

Love your YouTube videos. When are you going to record on vinyl ?
PS: See you Sunday.

See you Sunday ?  That was last week. What is sociology ?

Another good start to the day. There was no smell of bacon cooking. I decided to have some breakfast before school.

Mum was eating toast and drinking coffee. “It’s sunflower spread on the toast and I do not take milk in my coffee,” she smiled. “What are you up to today ?”

“I am going to school of course.”

She smiled.

I poured a bowl of cereal and used a spoon.

“Why have you become a vegan ?”

“It just feels the right thing to do.”

“Does going to school feel the right thing to do ?”

“It does today.”

“What classes do you have today ?”


“What else ?”

“Not sure, I’ll find out when I get there.”

I wanted to put a notice on my back: Please leave me alone. The boys did leave me alone but the girls followed me. I ignored the remarks about flowers in my hair but the money I had just made on YouTube were all about flowers in my hair. I liked yesterday’s music, I actually liked it more than my traditional rock and roll.

“I trust everyone has completed their assignments, Mr D C Wild said. He said it looking directly at me.

I obliged with a gentle nod.

“Poetry,” he continued, “ should not be read but spoken and spoken from the heart.

Some girl put her hand up. She was in my class but I could not remember her name.

“Which poem have you ready in your heart Jenny ?”

So that was her name, Jenny.

“It’s called High Flight Mr Wild, written by John Gillespie Magee.”

“I know it, let’s see if you know it.”

She stood up:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth - And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; - Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth - Of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things - You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there………

She fumbled. Her face went red in the face.

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there - High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there………

Mr Wilde came to her aid:

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there - I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air - Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

She took over again:

Where never lark, or even eagle flew – And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod – The high untrespassed sanctity of space – Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

“And he did touch the face of God,” Wild said. “Aged only twenty-one he was killed in an accidental mid-air collision. I think you should share that poem with us all again.

This time she read it word perfect.

Twenty-one years old. My brother Richard was twenty-one years old.

“So what about our very own rock and roll king ? I see you have brought a guitar with you, are you planning to sing us a rock and roll poem then ?”

“No. In our last lesson we had the poem Silver, all about moonlight. I have a poem today all about the moon. I can speak it if that is what you would prefer but I would prefer to sing the words.”

“What is it called ?”

“Moonshadow by Cat Stevens.”

“Which would you prefer class ?  Recited or sung ?”

The wishes of the class were unanimous.

“Moonshadow by Cat Stevens,”  I said.

Oh, I'm being followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow - Leaping and hopping on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land - Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won't have to work no more - And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry - Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won't have to cry no more

I closed my eyes as I sand the words. The poem, the music and I became one.

Oh, I'm being followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow - Leapin and hoppin' on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my legs, I won't moan, and I won't beg - Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if I won't have to walk no more - And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if I won't have to talk - Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light - Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night

Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

“Get your phones out, Pip sing that again. Everyone film him.”

“We are not allowed phones in school Mr Wild.”

“Then I’ll film it. Sing again Pip, sing again.”

And I did sing again. That became Pip Diamond’s sixth YouTube video.

There were other poems from other student assignments. At the end of the class Mr Wild started a discussion to decide which was the best poem. People favoured Cat Steven’s Moonshadow but they were wrong and I explained why they were picking the wrong poem. High Flight by twenty-one year old John Gillespie Magee. I had heard it only twice as Jenny had spoken it but I knew it, every word of it.

I stood up and shared the poem for a third time before saying, “That is the best poem we have heard today.”

“Are you going to write some music and sing it ?” Someone asked.

“No, to add music would take away its beauty and it’s sadness.”

“I think I have underestimated you Philip Johnson,” Mr Wild said.

As for the rest of the day I do not remember much about it but it was a good day and I am pleased to have been a part of it. Now for tomorrow.

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