Friday, October 31, 2008
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.