19 August 2013


 That bizarre title comes from a line I once blurted out while bitchin' about the straitjacket confines and thwartings of my caregiver reality compared to what our simpering gardenry guests chose to treat as convenient reality.

I'd been walking someone round the upper paths and decided to quote some maternal behaviour that they had witnessed for themselves just 10 minutes before, ending pompously with a spluttered,

"I mean, most people would be ashamed to be behave like that to a blackamoor beggar boy from Basingstoke." I should have used Benitses, it being Corfu, but it slipped out and has stayed the most memorable file name for all notes and photographs relating to everything from the Theft to simple high-handed behaviour.

DIARY - Soon after arriving, but before the April 2007 theft, I was having 'words' with my mother over having my time so uselessly exploited by being press-ganged into slaving on her hobby. She suggested I keep a diary, to which I told her that I did in the form of a blog, which fell on the stoniest of ground. In my mother's world, a diary was a book into which one poured genteel thoughts - such as daily progress of a garden or the social round.  From the Latin diarium - "daily allowance," from dies "day". When I was going thru her things I recovered from various shelves and suitcases 40 years' worth of exercise books recording the day-by-day 'progress' of the house and garden. I posted a sarcastic joke note to the effect that I ought, really, to laboriously type the whole lot out and edit it into shape as half a century's record and tips on how to create and run Corfu's most famous and beauteous garden.

Such was the straight-faced enthusiastic response I felt rather guilty about opening my big keyboard.

Anyway, in the interests of keeping my posts snappy and succinct, I'm reminded as I slope around the 'garden' of one of maman's more offensive and matronising affectations.

In order to lull everyone into speaking freely and clearly into the hidden patio microphones, I would potter around in full view on the upper level paths so that everyone could see that I was safely beyond earshot.

Sooner or later, I'd be hailed by my mother, 

"How about a reviving drink?" meaning not me but how about dropping what I was doing slogging up to the house and taking orders like a fucking servant.

I would wave back cheerfully, "Good thinking! Sounds a super idea!" and disappear further into the jungle. The trick was to respond in such a way as to give the impression that I'd fallen for the mistress/butler line and would be up soon to attend to everyone. The longer I could stretch it out the better.

Grim fun tho' it was, I still distinguished between newbie simperers visiting for the first time and taking it all at face value, and seasoned kerkyranters who'd been visiting before even my time and for whom there was no excuse to stand pamperedly by.

Newbies  - a cheerily waved agreement that a cooling drink sounded sensible, and then vamoose. 

Seasoned Kerkyranters - more satisfying because they came to the execution block smug and lazy. It was all in the tone as I shouted back up to the house:

"Good idea! Even I'm beginning to feel the heat ... who up there has been to the house before? Excellent! Does anyone remember the lay-out of the kitchen? Two fridges in the corner - white cupboard-shaped containers, special compartments for ice ..." 

A pause at this juncture as everyone beamed and simpered and wondered what the devil I was on about and where I was going with all this. 

"Even with our faint grasp of Greek, it shouldnt be hard to find the bottles labeled 'Tsitsibirra'. Careful when opening: they geyser and foam."

At this juncture my mother knew where we were heading but few others. I was leading everyone up to the point where I could bellow up, 

"Well, I think that's pretty feeble for a crowd who's meant to have been here before and presumably lent you a hand with drinks and nibbles. It's not as if we we have a fronking butler to wheel out like some country estate."

This would be my perfect prelude to later walking one of the simperers round on our own and confiding, 

"Bloody hell, did you hear that nonsense back then? About the drinks? I mean, flouncing fuchsias! (which I started out in my ignorance pronouncing fuck-see-ers)  I wouldnt treat a blackamoor beggar boy from Basingstoke with such bad manners and contempt ."
Choose the right simperer and the message would strike home - they'd know you were addressing their stonking lazy bad manners.

Good times. 



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