Preparations made for Tom's tenth birthday tomorrow. Various presents have been bought and stowed away but Tom is as high as a kite in anticipation. I sit him down and say to him "Hey Tom, you know a wise old bird of my acquaintance said 'Expectation Is A Prison'". To which he merely rolled his eyes and said "Spare me the homily big-boy and hand over the pressies."
Saw the news on TV last night (something of a treat these days) and watched with interest the ongoing Jeffery Archer trial. American readers of this diary will probably not know who Archer is and not care two figs for his fate. In this country however Archer is a best selling author and at one time a high ranking member of the Tory Party - deputy chairman of the Party and prospective candidate for the London mayoral race.
I was leafing through my copy of the Oxford English Dictionary the other day. I need to find the definition of the word Prig. It read thus
prig noun a self-righteously moralistic person who behaves as if they are superior to others.
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: of unknown origin. The earliest sense was tinker or petty thief, whence disliked person, especially someone who is affectedly and self-consciously precise (late 17th cent.). Next to the entry it had a picture of Archer.
Spookily enough I got this e-mail from Jakko Jakszyk.
Friday June 15th
Woke up and decided, on more or less of a whim, that as today was the first full free working day off that I'd had this year, that I would treat myself. I got on the Central line to St. Pauls, walked round the corner to the Old Bailey and went to the public gallery of court 8. I'd not done this before but always wanted too. I sat in awe and wonder as the arcane legal process clashed with the vagaries of modern life and the kind of nonsense it brings to the court room.
After nearly deciding to leave following some very tedious forensic evidence with regards to photo copying, I held my breath and waited. Boy was it worth it! The next witness for the prosecution was Max Clifford. His nose was immediately put out of joint by the Judge, rather arrogantly suggesting he re read his oath.
This made Max all the more keen to stuff Lord Archer as much as possible. Indeed in response to one question he had to be stopped by the prosecution 'Loathed as I am to stop your enthusiasm to the case at hand, I think it would be preferable if you concentrated on answering the question asked' much laughter from the court room.
A News of the World journalist was next with tales of how, former Archer friend & confidant, Ted Francis couldn't stand the thought of our Jeffrey becoming mayor of London. So a plan was hatched to get Lord A to admit to the alibi allegations on the phone. There were tapes of this conversation and they were played in court. It was as much as I could do to stop my self from laughing out loud. Especially when the prosecuting council told the judge that it would be easier for the court to hear the details of the conversation if they all had headphones.
These were dully distributed to jury and council alike. With the prosecutor saying 'If it please m'laud I would request the possibility of removing my wig to facilitate the optimum headphone appreciation'
Emanating from the court room speakers you could hear Ted Francis say 'There's a jouno on my back he's seen a copy of the letter'
JA: Not the alibi?
JA: Oh Christ! If this ever gets to court we're in big trouble.
Indeed he is and it couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.
Decided not to bother re-queuing for the afternoon session and went to the West end for a wander. Bumped into Jeff Chegwin, Keith's twin brother, and had a coffee and catch up. Don't ask me how I know such a strange and varied selection of the good and the great. He's a successful record plugger these day's. Visited various guitar emporiums and resisted the urge to buy more guitars that I don't need.
I then entered Helter Skelter and bought half a dozen books that will stir memories and nostalgia, not to mention a wish that they had all been written with more skill and insight. Whilst flipping through the ELP biog, which I didn't buy, I found a passage commending Greg Lakes great bass playing on the 'Wake of Poseidon.' Jeez.
Thank you to Jakko - our very own court correspondent.
Listening to ConstruKction Of Light again on the walkman. The levels and layers within this album are incredible. Discovered moments of joy unconfined mixed underneath the one of the main themes on FraKctured. How on earth have I missed this gem ? A lovely point of intricate detail. Somebody should write a book about this band.