Friday, October 31, 2008

Les Six


In overdue reponse to Gyppo Byard's invitation, here are six random Boyo facts:

1. Dodgy Slovene semioticians and rock gods Laibach slept on the floor of my flat.

Not really my flat, but rather the People's Flat, this being a council block in Ted Knight's Lambeth Socialist Paradise. I was sharing with one chap who went on to feature aomg the Liberal Democrats' least successful general election candidates before joining the diplomatic corps and a housing officer.

Laibach were very jolly and not at all sinister. The comically-misnamed Socialist Workers Party didn't appreciate their totalitarian imagery, which can only be called a virtuoso lack of self-awareness, and its claque booed them offstage at their gig. We still exchange Christmas cards.

2. I was the only sixth-former at Ysgol Y Gader secondary school, Dolgellau, not to be made a prefect.

I thought The Man knew I was down with the kids, and would let them shelter in the classrooms during the constant rain.

Reigning School Bully 1976-1980 Paul Humphreys told me it was because the teachers thought I was "a twat".

Paul was literally in a position to know, as he spent considerable time and effort on impregnating successive gym mistresses and any girls who looked like they might become gym mistresses.

Paul never bullied me, on the grounds that we were cousins. As far as I can tell this was not true, but I kept the information to myself. We still exchange Christmas cards.

3. I was engaged to marry a Belarussian ballet dancer.

During an enjoyable career cul-de-sac as a ballet impressario in 1991 I proposed to a charming lady from Minsk, the idea being that if the Soviets suddenly turned nasty and reversed perestroika we could whisk her away on the wings of my British passport.

The Soviet Union collapsed quietly and she, having visited our Tulse Hill flat, decided to stay in the irradiated swamp that is Belarus. It was good while it lasted.

4. I have a double.

Some fellow with the same name as mine lazily stalked me around Britain from about 1983. It wasn't all bad: he won the University of Wales Russian-to-Welsh translation prize, and I garnered the credit due to our identical names and interests. The real me came third.

Various people would denounce me as an imposter, having sworn that they had met the real Boyo. He's gone quiet since the early '90s, and I still wonder who he was and why. And whether he was real and I'm the fake.

5. My party piece:

is to sing the Hungarian folk song "Erdő erdő de magos a teteje" while Cossack dancing.

Like writing poetry in Esperanto, this has been a real hit with the ladies.

6. I am Wales's foreign correspondent.

The role of explaining Kosovo, Iraq and the Isle of Man to Welsh-speaking news junkies via Radio Cymru and S4C is passed from one Cambrian hack to another in an arcane ceremony each St Trisant's Day.

Like the transmission of the Torah from Moses to the rabbis via the Prophets and the Men of the Great Assembly, this is a hallowed affair. I received the ceremonial dictionary, nasal-hair clippers and pack of mints from "Bedroom" Jones, who himself had been handed them by Sioba Siencyn.

The highlight of my tenure was calling on the people of Wales to hoist the banner of Glyndŵr in support of our Chechen mountain brethren in a Radio Cymru interview that turned out to be going out live.

No one in Carmarthenshire seemed to mind, and I got a street named after me in Duba-Yurt, so fair play.

I'm meant to pass this tag on, but can't be fagged. Just write droll stuff about yourself and let us all rejoice in the anarchy of it all.

15 comments:

Francis Sedgemore said...

Was it wise for your flatmate to conjugate with one of Ted Knight's Housing Officers? I thought Commissar Knight was jealous man quick to anger, and kept them them all for himself.

scarlet-blue said...

"I was the only sixth-former at Ysgol Y Gader secondary school, Dolgellau, not to be made a prefect."
I feel your pain...I was the only girl at my school not to be made a milk moniter.
Sx
More Espronto poetry please!!!

M C Ward said...

I was made one of two Deputy Head Boys of my school, which probably remains the highlight of my CV. Your comments have made me feel better about myself suddenly.

The party piece is YouTube material, surely?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Your double sounds like a flash-in-the-pan. Won first prize but where is he now? Lacks your staying power and perseverance. If he had any sense he'd let you take over his identity and merge his CV with yours. A friendly takeover is what the boys in the City call it.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Somebody once recommended Laibach to me as essential listening; I'm glad that you found them jolly and not sinister in the flesh 'cos as performers they struck me as Rammstein without the irony. I bet your Belarussian ballet dancer was one tough cookie - I hope you still exchange Christmas cards.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

As far as I know perestroika never touched Belarus. But it's still better than Tulse Hill.

Gyppo Byard said...

Well revealed, Boyo.

Boyo's Radio Cymru spot is such a legend that it has since apparently been invoked as an example during BBC journalistic training, I believe. And how many complaints did it garner, I hear you ask? Not one...

No Good Boyo said...

Francis, glad to say they were college friends and nothing more. The housing officer moved to work for a less-mad borough asap.

I'll go into deep therapy and see what I can dredge up, Scarlet. There was a lot of "La Numenio", I warn you.

MC, I'll ask Scaryduck to record it. He's done some vlogging. It could be the start of a new career.

GB, I wonder whether I lost and the double is leading my real life - martinis, lamborghinis, cream-corn wrestling, Esperanto conferences.

"Rammstein without the irony", Gadjo? You've been out East too long. Lost touch with the ballerina, I'm afraid. Mrs Boyo has had her "alienated" by now, I expect. It happens to them all in the end.

Perestroika certainly had more impact on my mattress than it did on Belarus, Daphne.

Who knows, Gyppo. Perhaps there's a very slow build-up of pro-Russian sentiment among the five listeners.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Yes, it's quite possible that irony is the whole point of Laibach, and I missed it.

Tell Scaryduck to get his camera out, we want to see this!

Mrs Pouncer said...

I thought no.4 read "I'll have a double", which didn't strike me as particularly random, more of a default state.
In my case, I will always have a double. A single is nothing more than a waste of everyone's time.

I wasn't a prefect, or Head of anything at school. Too busy shlepping down to Leighton Park School for advanced German, as it was called in those days.

No Good Boyo said...

Right as ever, Mrs P. I never buy shorts in pubs. First of all, I object to any drink being called a "short", especially when that is precisely what they are.

In the ideal pub everything would come in pints, from the beverages to the clientele. And all cost the same, measure for measure.

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