Thursday 26 August 2010


Dearest Darlingheart,

My heart leaps to even begin this letter! This very eve there is a scent of night blooming jasmine upon the air! With it wafts great luck as your letters reach me to fill my heart with such joy. Oh my Darling, it pains me that I haven’t been permitted to reply until now. You must have been worried sick but fear not, your general, that is me, I and I, is alive and well. Following the great battle of Standon Calling, I was posted here to this Moorish land, a safe house in the mountains. I have been forced into solitary confinement for the duration it seems. I have been watching the life of the ant and the life of the eagle and contemplating the blue space between them. I wake most mornings to watch the sun rise and then spend the silent waking hours, writing and reading and writing and reading and writing…books are my saving grace! Thank God and Queen we continue to fight so hard for them! The heat is terrific, you will hardly recognise my Arabian skin. I live on mostly fresh tomatoes and basil. And I have discovered that the local goats manage to strain an egg-shaped cheese out of their beaks, which is somewhat a local delicacy too. The battle of The Book Club Boutique at Standon Calling was an enormous triumph, a three-day BCB stage of brilliant music, readings, performance and DJ’s and we can only thank our almighty army! How wonderful and how brave everyone fought, how courageous! What a fiesta! Jam-packed with lively new friends and pretty faces, many of which I see have joined our army! A very warm welcome to you! My turtle dove-love, it has come to my attention that photographic evidence of the great Standon battle is now readily available on the community pages - Taken by Private First Class, Rosie Sherwood, The BCB Official Field Photographer - you will note most of us are heavily disguised as gangsters and hoodlums so please don’t be alarmed. During this great war for books, booze and boogie-woogie this behaviour is deemed necessary. There are video recordings and radio telecommunications also posted up and more to come - our field archivist codename:Redman recorded much of the weekend. In fact ‘Diesel Radio’ have been broadcasting a tasty 30-minute archive sampler of some of our BCB radio show recorded live from the Standon trenches, featuring BCB heroes, live and alive! Oh my treacle-pie, I am sure you can put your bridge game aside, raise your gin and salute your wireless to hear your BCB on the front line transported to the home hearth.

Fine tune into this channel here:

My fox-glove, I must admit I was startled by the silence and the solitude at first. I don’t mind telling you, my heart longed for your kippers, for little Johnny to hop on my knee and ask me to tell him silly stories of blood and guts and gore and gallant and for Lucy to hide in the wardrobe looking for witches and lions. Home fires seem so very far from me. I haven’t spoken the Queens English for so long. However I have managed to get a signal for the BBC world service so I know England Town is still almighty, which is a great comfort. Be brave my love, I will be home again before you know it. What I do, I do for books! I find I have confidently replenished my coffers with new material, new writings have been carefully edited and prepared for yet further forays and adventures into publishing’s - so hip hip hooray for that. Darling, the other night, when the moon was full, a group of bandits disguised as ‘musicians’ took it upon themselves to rescue me. They bundled me into a van and drove me for miles to another mountainside to play a ‘gig’ in the town square’s Fiesta – just like a church fete, dear, but held at night time and seemingly without any scones or cup cakes – it was my duty to sing songs, about some fellow from "Guantanamera" and someone they called “La Bamba” and I don’t mind telling you I have no idea who this La la la la la Bamba fellow is, but he seemed pretty popular with the local villagers! Alas! The escape was a total failure! To play along with the scheme I sipped upon iced and minted drinks they called mojitos and although I saw a boat out in the calm moonlit ocean, it was not for me as I had suspected all along. Dumbfounded, I toyed with the idea of making a run for it, diving off the rocky cliff and swimming to Dover, damn it, if I had to, but it was not to be - and they brought me back to my confines again. Worry not my little apple-blossom-puff!

There is light on the horizon, for we have made a connection with Ireland and one will be in the land of Dublin to meet the BCB troops for the battle of The Electric Picnic. This is a certainty - There is a picnic that they are electrifying and we have been called upon to do our duty for this cause - I have heard word from Wing Commander Mulligan and Major Max that I will be smuggled across the border to meet The Book Club Boutique at The Electric Picnic! From there I am sure we can electrify the picnic and still make it home in one piece. It won’t be easy but we’ll use the powerful tools of Guinness and the currency of Jamesons to find safe passage back to blighty: Tell your dear mother I keep her photograph with me always. My Cherry-moon - until I kiss your face again - you must know, I kiss it one hundred times before I fall asleep. And rest assured we will be reunited, the BCB will return to the heart of England Town and The House of St Barnabus when golden leaves fall upon Soho Square. Ama la Vida! Viven! De largo! Vivo! Ole! or rather…

Love. Life. Live. Long. Alive-o
Yours Generally,
General G.

"Beyond living and dreaming there is something more important: Waking Up." 
Antonio Machado 

And here are some links for excellent further reading material: or