a wonderful read......well written and easy to dip into. The thoughts that many of us have at the end of the road are there to see with sadness but also plenty of laughter. A great book to own and will read more than once.
by jenny m
If you take your humour seriously, get this. Clever, witty, erudite -ideal for reading aloud with an audience. I did, and it worked. Out-bennets Bennet.
by Alan P
I came across Frank in the depths of the harsh winter of 2010/11. He was in front of me in the prescription queue at the chemist’s. We chatted briefly. He told me that although he’d put the wheelie bin out, it hadn’t been emptied, must be down to the snow. I told him his bin hadn’t been emptied because it wasn’t the day for the bins – that would be tomorrow, Wednesday. We argued a bit. He said it was Wednesday today because that’s what it said on his medication strip. Someone in the queue young enough not to be needing more than sweets said that whether we liked it or not it was Thursday, so live with it. Clearly, Frank and I were heading in the same downhill direction. We might even have been the same person, so that’s why I called him Frank, for I never asked him his real name.
Well, we’re not quite the same person. Epilogue Frank is a few years older than me, his real-life namesake (pictured) born as recently as 1934. Yet the early biographical elements are not so far removed from the truth that, by a bit of stretching here and there, they couldn’t be.
The real-life version spent his formative working years ingloriously as an unwilling soldier in blue, mastering some of the arts of aircraft engineering, while occasionally gracing locally- produced magazines with irreverent nonsense, and introducing characters such as a grumpy Wing Commander Gilbert Hardly (contemporaries will recognize the connection), much afflicted by indigestion, to bare walls. Later he was responsible for the writing and publishing of hundreds of books not destined to reach the shelves of whatever Waterstone’s was then, though deemed helpful to the survival of our jolly sailor boys hundreds of feet below the waves with a nuclear engine in the room next door. Serious stuff. But twenty years on he suspects that in a dusty filing cabinet in a neglected corner of the building where he worked there still lurks a file marked Bilge stuffed with his random jottings of parody, pictures, poetry and party bits. Oh, and a studied review of some of the difficulties posed when attempting to introduce recommendations from the Perfumed Garden into the bedchamber.