Monday, September 3, 2007

Florrie Wentworth - tonyellis

In the 1970s, no British home was complete without its pair of castanets and figurine of a bull, back bristling with banderillas (lances). No home except ours, that is, because in our front room in Plaistow we had a traje de luces (suit of lights, traditional dress of the torero: http://www.flamencoshop.com/bullfight/suit_of_lights.htm) and a capote (cape) on one wall and, above the fireplace, a sword surrounded by the ears and tail of a bull. These days you’d have to travel to Billericay to see them. You’d also have to pay, because now they form only a small part of the museum dedicated to my Grandmother, Florrie Wentworth, or Florencita de Foresgeit as she is still lovingly known in Spain.

Nan was not the first torera: that was, arguably, Juanita Cruz. However, she was the first Englishwoman, the first grandmother and the first East Ender to wear the suit. This is the story of how she achieved that remarkable hat-trick of firsts.

Florence Constance Wentworth, first-born of a cabinet maker and an apprentice dressmaker, was born in Poplar, East London on April 3rd, 1916. Her paternal grandfather had been the last of a family of agricultural workers, a tradition maintained only by the keeping of rabbits and chickens in the back garden. Joe Wentworth, her father, was determined to discourage any sentimentalism where animals were concerned and so, at the age of 6, she was sent out to wring the Sunday Roast’s neck. Young Florrie idolised her father and understood that he’d like her to return with the cutest of the livestock. Quite clearly, this could only be Bobtail, her favourite rabbit.

The neck of a chicken could have been ergonomically designed for wringing by a six-year-old. It is long enough for two small hands to grip and the vertebrae provide both purchase and leverage. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for a rabbit, whose already short neck will disappear entirely into bunny shoulders at the slightest suggestion of wringing. After 15 minutes of struggle in the shed, Florrie reached for the nearest weapon in sight, a rusted chisel, and drove it through poor Bobtail’s head. Although a little put out by the obliteration of his favourite part of the rabbit, Joe hid his disappointment and congratulated his proud daughter on her first kill. After all, he reasoned, it had been his responsibility to teach her the rabbit-punch.

Already genetically disposed towards big-bonedness, her father’s exemplary dedication to the provision of protein, along with the household chores she’d inherited from her mother, draped Florrie’s frame with muscle. In 1932, she had to pawn the family mangle in order to buy her brother a suit for his first job, and she took up her life-long habit of wringing out the washing by hand and began to develop the most formidable physique in the street.

Having sent her mother’s family out into the world, Florrie briskly set about raising her own, more or less seconded by Corporal James ‘Budgie’ Ellis. In 1934 my father, Victor, was born. She also found time to set up her own dressmaking company.

Now this is about Nan but, since I am about to have an important role to play in her life, I’d better introduce myself: Anthony Edmond, born March 31st 1953 to Victor and my mother, Joan. I was born, went to school, etc, and more or less fade into the background until May, 1966 when Granddad Budgie fell off the perch. For a long distance lorry driver Budgie had, it seemed, left enough to provide for his wife. That was before his other wives and various creditors staked their claims. In the end, Gran managed to keep the house in Forest Gate by selling Flo’s Fashions to Evans Outsize. Still, this left little room for luxuries and Dad and his brothers decided to cheer us all up with a holiday abroad for the whole family.

By the time we boarded the plane on July 20th, ‘the whole family’ had been whittled down to Nan, Mum, my sister, aunts and female cousins and me. Victor took me aside to explain this masculine withdrawal as he dropped us off at Heathrow. Budgie had managed to get tickets for the World Cup Final. Unfortunately for me, he’d only been able to get six and, in any case, ‘someone has to look after the women’. If he felt any qualms about entrusting the entire feminine side of the family to a skinny, stooping, bespectacled 13-year-old, he managed to hide them.

While everything you’ve heard about the supreme tackiness of Lloret de Mar is true, in 1966 it was still at the beginning of its transformation from swan to ugly duckling. For the few unprepossessing English teenagers who went there that summer, it was little short of Paradise. A few days of constant sunshine, swimming and getting picked first at football had begun to work their magic on my seemingly invincible acne and drooping shoulders. A pity then that I was headed for the first great public humiliation of my life.

Sr. Castell, the owner of the newly-built hotel we were staying in, was determined that his guests should be shielded from the rapidly growing excursion industry. To this end he had constructed a small plaza de toros behind the car park and guests were invited to take on young bulls from local herds as part of an introduction to Spanish culture. One afternoon, about sixty of us made our way there. I was going to say “made our way happily”, but Gran would have made that a lie. She didn’t look especially unhappy but, somehow, she seemed to have lost something of her personality along with Budgie and her company. She’d been the last one to join in the Hokey Cokey and there hadn’t been a single clip round the ear handed out, even when Cousin Melody tried to cheer her up with a cockroach in her glasses case.

For those who don’t like to see (animal) blood spilt, this is the only type of corrida (bullfight) you can safely watch. It’s a chance for boys who think they want to be toreros to try out the techniques they’ve seen and to see if they have the right stuff. If they do and their parents are well off, they may be sent to an escuela taurina (bullfighting school). If their parents are rich, they can miss out this stage (there is also a way for working class boys to make their way and you can see Bardem doing so naked here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqLZ9ex9r7s.) Their opponent is a becerro (calf) before its horns appear or, often, a cow. The latter is generally preferred, since a young bull can quickly learn the tricks of the torero, thus making him an even more dangerous foe.

Sr. Castell himself opened the proceedings. As the paso doble (the two step; a dance music particularly associated with bullfighting) sounded from the Elizabethan record player and several men started to tease Manolito (the calf), he demonstrated the basic moves while explaining them in his accented but mostly correct English. Then the local boys took their turns.

In football terms, this was no more than a Sunday morning kick-around yet, in my eyes, there was something heartbreakingly noble about it. I was several inches taller than most of them but, as the first youth stepped out from behind the burladero (a kind of wooden shield in front of an opening in the barrier behind which the spectators sit), he raised his head to look around the stands and seemed suddenly to tower above us all. Then he looked at the bull and there was silence. I’m sure Victor and his brothers would have broken this fairly quickly with a sharp comment or two delivered in a Dick Emery voice. Relieved from the tension we’d all have joined in the laughter and then applauded as the boys and the English Men took turns to entertain us. As it was the boy, Raul, chose his own moment: “Ei, Toro”; claiming the young bull along with the rest of us.

Before that day, grace was something you mumbled before school dinner and beauty had no place at all in my vocabulary, yet Raul gave them both meaning for me as he strutted and spun around the plaza, drawing the bull past his slender body as if it were attached to the faded red capote. Along with this new vocabulary I was also learning some new, dangerous feelings and this could have been another kind of story. As in all such hero-worship, I couldn’t tell if I wanted to be with Raul or simply to be him and, since the former was impossible for me, I chose the latter.

When Sr. Castell asked for volunteers from among his guests, I was the first. I checked quickly around my womenfolk for signs of approval and was more or less satisfied. Only Nan was something of a disappointment. She was sitting in the front row wearing her flowered, wrap-around house dress, as if to distance herself from her crimplene and denim-clad relatives, and all her attention was focussed on knitting the third in a series of Dennis the Menace jumpers for me.

The Paso Doble sounded again and I took my place behind the burladero. Raul handed me the capote and Sr. Casell said: “remember la Verónica”. The Veronica (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1211/1519/1600/01_Ver??nica) is the most basic of moves with the cape. It is named after the gesture of Saint Veronica when she wiped the face of Christ as he dragged his cross to Calvary. The idea is to hold the cape in front of you with both hands, calling the bull’s attention. When it charges, you move one leg behind the other while swinging the arm on the same side of the body backwards. The result is that the cape stays more or less in the same place while you disappear from behind it, thus ‘wiping the bull’s brow’. It’s a simple enough move and it becomes automatic. With practice. I started off well enough, jiggling the capote and holding it, so Sr. Castell told me when he visited me in the hospital, perfectly. Unfortunately, in the middle of my first Veronica I became somewhat confused and moved the cape instead of my body.

When a torero goes down, he is quickly surrounded by colleagues whose objective is to distract the bull, which would otherwise do his best to gore and trample his tormentor to death. However, while Manolito pawed the ground in preparation for the coupe de grace, my presumed rescuers were all doubled over and clutching at their testicles. Surprising really, seeing as it wasn’t their brilliantly white West Ham shorts which were rapidly turning red. Nor could I expect much help from my relatives, since those not frozen with horror were helpless with laughter. Except for Gran. As Manolito thundered towards me, she was suddenly between us. The half -finished jumper was a blur as Gran went through the first of her perfectly executed Veronicas. After several more passes, our Spanish hosts had begun to recover and were moving into the ring when Manolito managed to snatch the annoying garment between his teeth. It looked as if I was in for a good stomping at least, but Nan still gripped her knitting with one hand. In the other she held her no. 9 knitting needles. Just before she fell, she cried out: “I’m sorry, Bobtail!” and plunged her makeshift estoque (killing sword) between the calf’s shoulder blades.

A torn scrotum may sound fairly horrific, but a few stitches were all that was necessary. My metaphorical balls were another matter. Sr. Castell did his best to help with his comments on my handling of the capote, and my family tried to cheer me by explaining how funny I’d looked. Only Nan’s obviously improved spirits made me feel better. Most of all though, I was dreading going home and facing the taunts of the male Ellises and my friends at school.

Happily for me, English manhood had its own problems. A blind, Nazi-sympathising Swiss bastard had failed to see the ball clearly crossing the line and three minutes later, a man called Uwe Seeler had scored the winning goal. It would be years before the full psychological effects of this national disaster were fully felt, but in Plaistow they were pretty clear from the moment we arrived home. The once garrulous and self-opinionated Victor began to settle into the resigned gloom that would characterise him for the rest of his life. He only fought against the inevitable one last time when Nan announced her plan to return to Spain. She’d kept in touch with our host in Lloret and had been enchanted by his idea to make a novelty act of her great faena (the last third of the bullfight, in which the toreador has 10 minutes to despatch his or her victim). “You’re not dragging the family name through the Spanish mud”, he said. “You’re quite right, I’m not. In Spain a woman keeps her name when she marries. From now on I’ll be Florrie Wentworth to you!”

The following June, it was Mum who drove us to the airport and three days later we were in the church of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, watching Nan and abuelo (grandfather) Alberto’s wedding. Then we joined them on their tour of holiday resorts as they took their show around the country. Florrie was starting to take her bullfighting seriously. She’d kept the red and black striped motif for her capote and still appeared in the flowered house dress (indeed, her only concession to the sartorial aspect of bullfighting was the hat with the mouse-like ears), but she was beginning to show an elegance that demanded a bigger audience than drunken tourists. Clearly she was ready to move from calves to her first novillo (a three-year-old bull). Except that women were not allowed to fight bulls in Spain.

It was two years before I saw Nan again. She’d bought me a ticket to Cuba so that I could spend the summer with her and Alberto as they travelled around the bullrings of Central and South America. After every fight, she left the ring to the sound of olés and Granddad thought it was time for her to tomar la alternativa (step up in class and fight fully-grown bulls).

In the Monumental in Mexico City, Nan was awarded her first trofeo, an ear. Just before I made my unwilling way back home, she had her greatest triumph in La Maestranza Cesar Girón in Maracay, Venezuela, receiving the ultimate accolade: both ears and the tail. The presidente (chief official) of the plaza took one look at Nan and decided to withhold the tail, since protocol demanded that she be carried from the ring on the shoulders of the other toreros and picadores. The situation looked rather ugly until a visiting team of castellers (human tower builders, see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIIzGnoYUtc) from Lloret offered to carry her. When I boarded the plane, the gruesome trophies were in my suitcase.

I didn’t see her again until 1974 when Article 49 of the Sindicato del Espectáculo (show business union), which prevented women from fighting bulls on foot, was repealed. She was headlining in "Las Ventas del Espíritu Santo" in Madrid and this time she was carried out of the plaza in front of the Caudillo (Franco) and her whole family, apart from Victor. In fact she was never to meet or talk to her first-born again and she didn’t return to London until the day before his funeral in the winter of 1991.

By this time, ‘our Flo’ was a household name in most of the world and after the funeral she was going to lay the cornerstone of Britain’s first bullring, built on the old Wembley site. It was no great surprise, therefore, to see the crowds awaiting her at Heathrow. It was warm for December and she was carrying her new chinchilla coat over her arm.

Outside in the car park, nobody paid any attention to Mandy Myers until she had launched her tin of red paint. Most of it hit its target, but Mandy’s final wrist flick sent the last few drops into Nan’s face, sending her staggering backwards into the road. When she had cleared her eyes, she looked up to see a white van bearing down on her. Professional to the end, she offered her crimson cloak to the bewildered driver just before disappearing under the wheels.

69 comments:

Zephirine said...

This is completely wonderful, Tony. And having met quite a few East London Nans, I believe every word. Especially the flowered wrap-over pinny.

But Lord Ebren, please sir, why all the supportEmptyParas punctuation? Is your new sub-editing slave not quite up to the job?

gg said...

Yes, Tony - yes, yes, yes!

Your Nan remains me of Stella, a lady from the East End who used to work at the Hall of Residence where I lived in The Smoke.

Isn't there a bullring in Brum? I wonder if Maureen did a turn there yesterday - he certainly didn't show up at the game.

orsay said...

!Antonio, Hombre! Nunca me habias dicho que eras un matador verdadero. Y tambien un escritor estupendo. Eso es excelente, dos orejas y rabo.

I also agree that this piece deserves better formatting. Someone please sort it out, and I'll read it again for sheer delight.

offsideintahiti said...

Y lo siento mucho por tus cojones...

Ebren said...

Those were not there last night.

Will sort now.

Gah - just when I thought I understood this blogger thing.

Zephirine said...

Now it's done something else funny.... Still a great piece though.

gg said...

Tony,

I always knew that something was lacking in my childhood. Now I know that it was those souvenirs from Spain.

"Mass tourism" meant a week in Blackpool as far as we were concerned.

Fleetwood was "exotic".

We knew all about Spain and bull-fighting, of course: George Formby's "The Lancashire Toreador" had seen to that.

offside said...

gg,

and I always thought "Mass tourism" meant visiting churches at service time.

mimi said...

Absolutely wonderful Tony. What a treat to find this today - an otherwise rather dull day.

Who's writing the film script and will Tobe Hooper direct??!!

pipita said...

Puez, como dice el franchute de Orsay, que cojones tonielis!!!!!!!As much as I despise certtain cultural ingredients of our former colonial masters, such as las corridas de toro, I really enjoyed your piece. A couple of months ago I took some pictures of a Plaza de Toros in Colonia, Uruguay which was built in 1910 and abandoned in 1912 after the governement decreed a law banning bull fighting. It's still there, pretty spooky stuff, I'll try to send them to this site. Olè chaval

guitougoal said...

Tony,
what a great story,
have you seen or heard of this movie, it is a very old picture: blood and Sand-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_b28ruutv0

MotM said...

I loved this.

I'm sure your relatives hired a Z-car to get to Wembley - yes?

Amazingly, there's no entry for your grandmother on wikipedia, but I'll soon sort that out...

Zeph said...

But please can we have the bit of the story back that's turned into ---------------------------------- ?(there was a bit of story there, I remember reading it, it isn't a postmodern effect)

Sorry my Lord, but it's Ebren 1 Blogger 2 at the moment.

Zeph said...

Oh. Now that's really weird. If you go into the comment format and click 'show original post', it shows you the whole article and the squished bits have gone. I suppose everybody else has already discovered that, huh?

Ah, sweet mysteries of Blog

Ebren said...

Right - this while thing has gone weird on me.

No one belewived my tales of technical incompetance, are you happy now?

Will try and sort when I get moment - work's been rather busy for the last month or so.

nesta said...

Fantastic story and writing Tony. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thankyou.

mimi said...

Zeph: thanks for the tip on how to read the squished bit.

The story is even better now.

I'm toying with potential castings for the film version. Any ideas, fellow Pseuds?

Zephirine said...

Florencita de Foresgeit should definitely be played by Imelda Staunton (photos here).

Tony said...

Thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed it. Sorry for not saying so before - I've been to a wedding in Bristol and have just got back...

Zepph - thanks - pinny: I just couldn't remember it.

mimi said...

Imelda Staunton or Julie T Wallace? I can't decide. The young Tony is definitely the young hero of Kes, although obviously now that boy is over 40 and could only play the grown-up Tony, recounting the story.

Who to play the father - Alun Armstrong?

tony said...

I love Imelda Staunton and I'm sure she'd be great, although physically, Peggy Mount or Cathy Bates would probably do better. As for me, good call on David Bradley for the young me, Mimi. Modesty forbids suggesting my present portrayer...

DoctorShoot said...

Tony
ole indeed...
fabulous piece with a heroic ending befitiing the land of it's maker...

can I play the calf in the movie pls...

tony said...

Very kind of you, Doc. I think 'calf' is taken. How about 'budgie'?

mimi said...

There is only one Budgie: Adam Faith!

And he had the convincing limp of a man who had fought a bull, and lived.

tony said...

mimi - maybe he fought this one

mimi said...

Tony: maybe he did, or maybe it was the twins ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0agwWPljY0

tony said...

ohh, thanks for that, Mimi - I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed that film. For that you deserve this, although you should be aware: this is a RUDE rude boy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQRPX9n9fIo

mimi said...

Tony: I can't match you for trawling, but this, despite poor sound, is pretty good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGE4dnrPPZQ&mode=related&search=

marcela said...

brilliant.
loved it.

picasso and almodovar both spring to mind...

might have to return later with image enhancement :)

tony said...

Marcela, that's praise indeed. Thank you. 'Image enhancement'?

mimi - if you're around, here's a rude Rude girl:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DALQbFHwxI

mimi said...

Tony - great clip. Thanks.

I took time out to watch the wondrous, though rather old, Arena doc on Joe Meek. And a very good play about Wolfenden.

Return to find the party decamped to another place... ah well.

offsideintahiti said...

So, what's that dish you've invented? It's nearly lunchtime here, and I'm getting the munchies.

tony said...

mimi - Glad you liked it. "Arena doc on Joe Meek. And a very good play about Wolfenden"...

is that code?

offside - arroz verde con rape alangostado con gambas y salsa de jengibre...

marcela said...

va toro:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jwIEHTzZBPk

i had hoped to find a clip of her dressing for the fight. there is a hint of it in the trailer, but it's not quite what i'm after...

in a way, also think of 'matador' as a first sketch almost for that female bulflighter narrative. again, couldn't find the scene where she dresses and again, just a hint here.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=U85duNGl7Xk

neither clip, of course, comes close to bardem - ahem - gifts.

off to search for the picasso now...
but i'll down a drink in between clicks if there's one going

tony said...

Great clips, Marcela, the first especially.

How about a mojito while I search for a clip?

offsideintahiti said...

¿rape alangostado? Sounds nice, but I'm afraid you'll have to translate that one. I got the rest, and my mouth is watering.

tony said...

it's lotte covered in sweet paprika - I think I'll pass my exam with it, offie. Meanwhile, here's my favourite son EVER:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pRV9QCXLtHQ

tony said...

it's lotte covered in sweet paprika - I think I'll pass my exam with it, offie. Meanwhile, here's my favourite son EVER:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pRV9QCXLtHQ

tony said...

I meant, of course, songs...

mimi said...

Not code - just doing a bit of cul-tah tonight. To my joy found this old Arena doc about the second most famous man of the Forest of Dean.
Crap sound quality on this clip but here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ybCjf6ras

mimi said...

And another reason (sadly pretty much the last) why Joe was so special.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8_UN1Sz4XM

marcela said...

oh. my. dog.

ttooo ny!

i used to have a tape, a cassette tape, which i recorded for myself during a time when i could be bothered to do such things, which consisted entirely of different renditions of the best song. ever.

the animals rules, but this one will always be high up on my list:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=49IzD9IE5Vc

back sometime soon :)

[ or as javier bardem once said to me (wink) "esto es de esos momentos que lo marcan a uno..." ]

fab.

marcela said...

or this one...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=I_0TDRfOuXQ

hi, mimi!
will you be sticking around for a wee while? i'm just searching for a picasso but with one foot in here ...

mimi said...

I'm sticking around Marcela - just been listening to your Dylan - and catching up on all the other links.

Like the Bobster there. Sometimes covers really can add to the original.

tony said...

both gorgeous, Marcela. This too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPpxwjsP76E

marcela said...

this isn't exactly the one i'm after, i don't think (it's so tiny who can say for sure) but it's of the same series...

http://www.beyars.com/dbgfx/schmuck/09-01e_1.jpg

a print hang on the wall of my grandmother's front room for as long as i can remember, and when she gave it to me about 5 years ago it felt like she was handing down something more precious than the cloak itself. i look at it ever day, several times, and it never looks the same...

of course my grandmother never actually took to the ring, nor liked bullfighting partciularly. but what an image!

mimi said...

tony - there are times when I feel you spoil us! Haven't heard that for years, and boy does it bring back memories.

I have an offering (though I think I've posted it before in another taproom but it's soooo good) of a cover that adds to the original.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWWVwDL9wKs

guitougoal said...

so you guys are moving next door without leaving a note for the poor thirsty drifter lost in blogaville-
That's going to cost you mimi...at least une cerveza muy fresca...it's hot, very hot aqui.

tony said...

marcela - sorry, I can't see it, though I'd love to hear more about your abuela...

mimi, that's fab. Now die to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGGSTiDOjKU

thirstydog said said...

in the ghetto,
what's wrong with this version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmVFnhO3A98
Tony,
with all due respect for your youtuberlator talents and great taste,Marcela's Bob Dylan version top your Animals sorry....

September 6, 2007 1:36 AM

mimi said...

If anyone's wondering who the most famous son of the Forest of Dean is, then watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAYckQbZWbU

And this is only a taster of an incredible man.

mimi said...

This is fascinating. I prefer Nick Cave's Ghetto because it is slower and more sombre, yet I prefer his Mercy Seat because of its hectic, frantic pace.

tony said...

thirsty dog, whoever you are: sorry, but NO-ONE tops the Animals on that one, not even Bob.

This is pretty good too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqh-VjHNPlI

tony said...

jesus, mimi, I'm not sure about this clip but I really loved that series. I'm going to download it right now...

mimi said...

Loved the Dolly Parton. Put me in mind that back in the day I think Bowie once covered In the Ghetto but can't find it.
HOWEVER can find this fantastic Bowie cover, and on the B side he did Brel's Amsterdam which I believe surfaced in another Taproom not so long ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxDVc80Z3FI

tony said...

fabulous again, mimi. Is this what you neant ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejQS9kQDXmk

marcela said...

bollocks. just lost my comment somehow...

i prefer cash to cave with mercy seat and the king's ghetto is the king.

but as a small gesture of goodwill towards nick cave i post this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XbehX3W8N0

the video i could live without but the sound works for me!

must turn in.

tony, the image: does the link not work or is the image too small?

it's a series of bullfighting - 1960 - sueltan los perros, el matador... things like that. extraordinary images.

will see if i can find a gallery which yields more results than google image. but not now.

lovely, lovely, stuff.

my grandma for another time.:)

night, night.

mimi said...

Yes - this brings back memories.

I've been trawling for something else tonight that I was brought in mind of, and am delighted to discover that one can find so much on youtube!

tony said...

night all

mimi said...

Just a thought to go to sleep with:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaQDifZZooM&mode=related&search=

Night all too.

offsideintahiti said...

I thought you'd never go to bed. I was this close to calling the blog police on you to make you stop that racket.

HannibalBrooks said...

I loved this Tony

My Nan'd name was Flo too, she was from Bootle and always wore a floral wrap around pinnie and a headscarf like Andy Capp's Flo. She worked in Liverpool docks through WWII and The Blitz. She had 8 eight children including my mum, Flo, and had the heartbreak of outliving four of them and her beloved husband Hughie.

She remains the greatest most inspirational and loving person that I've ever met in all my life.

Her funeral took place on 31st December 1999 and all her family were together, as she would have wished, celebrating her life at the moment when this new millenium dawned.

mimi said...

an offering to you all tonight - in homage of another thread.

But in the very spirit of the Taproom, wherever it may be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcKdnkGBSgA

tony said...

mimi, the coincidence of our taste is becoming very spooky...

mimi said...

tony: tis indeed spooky.

But enjoyable nonetheless.

mimi said...

Tony- not relly a bodega unless you can bring your friends.

tony said...

Mimi - you're welcome to bring a friend just as long as they get their round in.

mimi said...

Aah, my friend of choice tonight would of course be:
Ian Bell!!!!

tony said...

Mimi - How's Zeph?
Don't know if I got round to posting this the other night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo6xs__9x_o

Tweet it, digg it