Friday, April 01, 2005

(One of) The plural(s) of 'cannon' is 'cannon'. (possibly)

Excellent argument with my dad about cannon. We drove past the main roundabout on the way to Truro, which now has two large examples of Tudor ironmongery on it. Which made my dad sigh and shake his head (worrying, as he was driving) and say 'hoo hoo, they won't be there tomorrow'. To which I said, well, I think they'll be quite hard to steal, and he said, they've got wheels, and I said, yes, but they'll be hard to sell on, and he said no, and then said rather emphatically, up-country.

I abandoned the discourse at the point, but if anyone's crossed the Tamar into Devon recently and spotted a dodgy car boot sale stuffed with dodgy cannon, second-hand battlements and suits of armour (mostly complete)... don't tell me about it, as it means I've lost.

Also on conversations in cars, I had to dash from Islington to White City for the BBC meeting, so rather than wandering the streets looking for the nearest tube station I waved down a taxi, which turned out to be driven by Harry Enfield in his 'Oi Lance' period, if anyone remembers that. Or if it wasn't him, it was so close I was genuinely checking for the hidden camera. He took me to Angel tube station, and seemed slightly embarrassed for me that it was only about two minutes away. Explaining that it was less that I wasn't up for, as he'd put it, 'The Walk' (he said it in capitals, it was really weird), than I just didn't know that bit of London very well and felt that blundering about flickering through the A-Z sent off all sorts of signals that would attract urban predators, malcontents and ne-erdowells, after my iPod.

To which Harry Enfield said 'Thing is mate, you're a grown-up aren't you? Maybe take a bit of responsibility for your life'. Which made me go quiet for a bit, although he then asked me that if was from Cornwall, could I tell him if waxing a board really made that much difference if you're surfing. I that I wasn't that sure, and we agreed that it couldn't, not really, because if it did, someone would have the job of waxing battleships, and we both knew people in the Her Majesty's Royal Navy, and neither of them had mentioned it.

Anyway, I tried to spend the rest of my London trip in the mindset suggested by Harry, and it worked well. There was a mini-GW convention just round the corner from Talkback - much fun. I just hope my and Rob's rather gory tales of tongue-related ailments/injuries didn't gross anyone out. And that was before the drinking really began. PP's worries that I should file my travel plans with the police, the coastguard and him were of course totally unfounded, and the experiment will surely be repeated in the summer, so a big shout out to T, F and P. Peace out.

And then I introduced the Mighty Evans to Mark Heap (GW's Dr Statham) in an impromptu post-work booze-up. It was like one of those comics crossovers where characters from entirely different continuities team up to combat evil, or in this case, more booze. The reason I'm writing this all down is because I went on to get the sleeper home, only I didn't sleep very well and now the past 24 hours seems like quite a strange dream, although worryingly, I think the bit where Mark and I planned to raise a secret guerilla army to combat street impertinence and/or littering with random acts of appalling violence may have really happened. Still think it's a good idea though.

Sleep now.

19 comments:

Kirses said...

i work near talkback, but unfortunately frequent pubs closer to fitzroy sq rather than charlotte street...shame i could have spotted you all in some little pub yesterday.

p.s i am not a stalker

james henry said...

Currently I'm not that worried about being stalked by obsessive GW fans. Sadly, it's much more likely to be the other way around....

Lauren said...

oh really? explain please, there's far too much intrigue to just leave it at that

james henry said...

Ah, that wasn't supposed to be particularly intriguing (damn my inherent enigmaticness), just a reference to that fact that I am basically a bit of a showoff. As Lovely Ruth from Waterstone's can attest after I accidentally referred to the customers as 'the audience' twice in one day.

irony in motion said...

Secret guerilla anti-littering army? Could that be worked into the next series of GW somehow?

Kirses said...

it's ok i'm not an obsessive GW fan anyway - i just think you are funny in an englishman self deprecating kinda way

Lauren said...

why would you be stalking us gw fans anyhow?

Evans said...

Come on, explain yourself to 'the audience' Henry. (Not Sophie Ellis Bextor and co. either, although she probably would appreciate an explanation of sorts)

james henry said...

You know that thing when you say something in jest, and people take it all serious-like? Fortunately that never happens to me.

Although ironically, I actually do owe Sophie Ellis Bextor an explanation, but that's for something completely different.


Just did it again....

Izzy said...

What is with those cannon? is Penryn preparing to invade? I think we should be told. Especially as they dug up a perfectly good tree to put them there.

Audrey said...

That taxi conversation deserves a prize or something. Are you making some of it up? I can't tell. Anyway, it put me in mind of Holden and Horowitz and the question of the ducks in the lagoon.

cassoulet said...

I think I love you.

james henry said...

Easy there.

I have to say though, both the car coversations are word for word. To the extent that during both of them, I thought 'these sound way too much like they were made up for the blog'.

am said...

It's cannons. You lie!

james henry said...

It turns out both are acceptable. But I discussed this with Mark Heap, who used to be in a troupe of medieval players, and he reckoned 'cannon' was the term used at the time.

Paul Pennyfeather said...

Canterbury City Council have concreted their cannon upright into the pavement so that it looks like a bronze fire hydrant, and anybody trying to use it will merely fire their shot into the ground.
Will go up and take photos later, but it's opposite where the Dr used to live so I have to brace myself.
I think the burghers of canterbury are in agreement with Henry Senior.

james henry said...

Well I suppose maybe they know something I don't - always a possibility. Perhaps one day I'll get called into a meeting with my dad and the elders of Canterbury City Council, and they'll tell me the real reason why you have to look after your cannon(s) and I'll leave feeling a little surprised, a little saddened, but maaybe just a little bit wiser.

Maybe they'll tell me on my birthday. Which is on the 8th, this month. By the way.

Paul Pennyfeather said...

Gosh- who'd have thunk it.

I'd never have known - except for the multiple hints dropped earlier in this blog.

Subtlety isn't in the power of the blue cat

Maud said...

I rather love Mark Heap.