I’m just back from the Bridlington launch of Mike Wilson’s book, ‘Full Fathom Five’, which chronicles the life of a local hero, Kit Brown.
Mike took me to Flamborough Head, (we were supposed to be going up into the lighthouse, but it was closed to the public when we got there. Typical of my luck – a chance to be flashy and I miss it!) Anyway, the skylarks were in good song and gulls sparkled in the sunlight over the sea, so it was worth it. (In this year of Sea Britain, do I perhaps feel a poem coming on?)
Back at our hotel we found four young people spilling down the steps. South African they were, (the people, not the steps), and I think one of them had just been introduced to the idea of a ‘mild evening’, because he kept repeating the phrase to us, inviting us to say it too. I suspect it was another kind of ‘mild’ that had made him so friendly. He, along with his mate, wandered across the road and down towards the sea. We didn’t see them again. One of their wives wished us happy birthday, so being typically British, we wished her happy birthday back. Mike introduced me as a ‘famous poet’, (if only!) and happy-birthday girl’s friend said, ‘Oh yeah! and I’m Rohl Darl’. They asked if we wrote about sex, drugs and rock and roll. My publisher, Brian and Mike’s wife, Diane, creased up, while pathetically, Mike and I trawled our brains, trying to prove we did. I quoted ‘The KIssing Place’ from my latest collection, but they weren’t impressed and wandered off towards the beach muttering, ‘happy birthday…. sex, drugs and rock and roll, that’s what we need’. Well don’t we all!