Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Queen Victoria’s Ironing Board

“……Under the moonlight. The serious moonlight…….”

Just one line of the lyric from David Bowie’s refrain, offering no one in particular the invitation to ‘Let’s Dance’. The album reverberating in the background as I commence this essay; the tune provided courtesy of my music provision buddies Apple Music.

A corporate jukebox whose catalogue of sound features every song I’ve thus far fed into their search engine. Well, apart from the lament ‘Frank Ifields Tugnuts’ which wasn’t retrieved when sought last Thursday. Although in Apple’s defence I made up the song name, so their inability to fulfil my tune output aspirations wasn’t a total surprise.

I’m unsure why I chose that introductory lyrics to this prose. After all, I’m writing this in the mid-evening remnants of summer daylight. Thus far, I see no evidence of moonlight, serious or otherwise. The faltering natural illumination instead providing sky visions of predominant blue with the odd mottled low level thin cloud cover.

Instead of the being under the moonlight, the serious moonlight I’m under the blue sky with an unconvincing cirrus combover, the serious unconvincing cirrus combover.

Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ offering was one of my favourite albums of the 1980’s, one I still own on vinyl LP. An artistic bequeathal to his discerning listener; prose infinitely easier to interpret than many of the tracks on his previous album ‘Ashes to Ashes’. A creative offering I loved, despite not having a chuffing clue what the majority of lyrics alluded to.

That being said, that was probably more down to Bowie’s genius. My appreciation of the Londoner’s refrains with little understanding of the message perhaps an indication of his universal appeal. When I loved the songs on Ashes to Ashes, why let the fact words like those below baffled me as a 20 year old:-

Time and again I tell myself
I’ll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again
I’m stuck with a valuable friend
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too”
One flash of light but no smoking pistol

Just some of Bowie’s uneasy to follow from one of the album’s anthems. But I suppose they’re still more mainstream than his 1970’s lyrics in the iconic hit Life on Mars. One verse including the cryptic prose:-

It’s on America’s tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
‘Cause Lennon’s on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns….

I was told via a medium that the underlying message threaded through that particular eight line element in Life on Mars was Bowie’s commentary on corporate destruction, along with the banned his mum, dog and a local clown troop from watching Last Night of the Proms on his TV.

I’ve no idea why the medium felt the need to contact Bowie on my behalf. After all, I only visited her to find out from my late father where he’d put his adjustable spanner and if there’s a dress code up there!

I started this blog on Friday evening with a view to complete the piece on my laptop during a train journey on Saturday morning. An aspiration I was unable to fulfil as a consequence of being unable to boot up my device due to a BitLocker error. I’m in my London hotel room having to conclude this essay on my phone, which due to keyboard restrictions isn’t ideal.

I will write about my reasons for being in London in a later narrative. To conclude, though, what I will say is during this mornings walk in the capital’s Hyde Park with my wife I have an epiphany for a new career. This job notion that of a unreliable tourist guide who just makes up loads of untrue historical facts for gullible foreign visitors.

The idea after, while walking near the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, pointing out to my wife the utterly false and stupid fact “Did you know that the last three watched Diana owned coincidentally all stopped at 7.22?”

Although she briefly believed the untruth she wasn’t gullible enough to believe Queen Victoria bought her ironing boards from Argos on Oxford Street……. She always purchased those from Wilkos on the Kings Road.

Categories: Blogs

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