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The Gerald Bostock Diaries

Latest news from the lyric writer of the original “Thick as a Brick.”

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Well – what a change of retirement job! I was going to write my novel. And then retire (properly) on the fat and disgraceful proceeds to the little apartment Felicity and I still have near Alicante. Next, in fact, to a little bar where they serve the most delightful Olive Fatiche Poufflé. You know – the two little mounds of mashed squid and potato with theprovocative nipple-like olives mounted proudly at their peaks. Steady, old friend. Lie down, Rover!

But that’s another story.

I received a phone call yesterday from a friend of a friend, asking me to pack my bags and join the Ian Anderson Thick As A Brick tour in Germany, where they need a translator/tour manager to handle the hotels, flights, backstage catering and so on. Apparently, my left-over Army skills (I was stationed briefly near Frankfurt in a misguided career move during the mid-eighties) qualify me to be über-dogsbody (delightful contradiction) and “facilitator” in getting a rock band from A to B and onwards, gloriously, to C. Combined with my snake-like wriggles, political guile and verve, I should manage the odd border crossing and crazed flight attendant with ne’er a flinch or waver.

So, off on Sunday to join Mr A and his cronies in Berlin. Not sure whether to pack a suit and loafers or take that pair of Levis Felicity gave me for my fortieth and which I have never yet worn. Still have the price tag and the washing instructions on, in fact. I suppose wardrobe conformity is a lesser consideration in the context of required linguistic and cultural skills. If you can hold the floor with attacking precision and command at Prime Minister’s Questions and make your point, fiercely, succinctly, avoid the wrath of Mr Speaker and settle back back afterwards for a quick snooze, you can handle most things in life, I would have thought.

They had considered asking ex-local priest Godfrey Pitcher but his occasional lack of tact and regrettable tendency to the more colourful adjective weighted heavily against. I, on the other hand, can bite several tongues and charm the flimsies off a transvestite traffic cop with a bad headache. Not the job for you, this time, Pitcher m’lad. Best leave it to oily, silky professional that I shall endeavour to be at all times.

More from the Front on Monday or Tuesday, perhaps, when I have settled in and found my berth on the tour bus. A Mr Downs has been charged with getting me quickly au fait with tour bus life and culture. I am told that my verging-onportly frame will find a lower bunk easier to negotiate. Being close to the lavatory is a more dubious asset as you have more nocturnal traffic edging past your sleepy frame as they queue for the only piss-artist undressing room in town. Apparently, there is a Mr Lynch who requires to go rather often and, irritatingly, hums bawdy sea-shanties in the hope of inducing a trickle.

It seems that warbler Anderson was struck down by a secondary infection chest and throat bug in Stuttgart two days ago and sought medical help to get over the problem ASAP. My training in Army nursing and pharmaceutical administration could have come in handy. 250 Mg dosage of Azithromycin would have been my choice – 2 for starters and one a day for four more days. Should be right as rain in two shakes of a raccoon’s short and curly.

Probationary appointment this, by all accounts, although dark mutterings have been overheard indicating that other tours may follow. I did a stint in Washington for a year when I was toying with a Foreign Office Diplomat post-army future. Frightful place but rather fun off-duty if you knew the right (and the wrong) people. So skills in slipping and sliding round the Yankee cousins may prove useful to my wayward musical herd of sheep on the frantic field of battle. Johnny Foreigner beware! Bostock will lead, marshall, rally and charge at the head of the Prog-Rock battalion with young Lieutenant Biggles in close support.

Talk soon, dear reader. Off to pack now. Must get an iPad. And bloody ear-plugs.

Fat Bostock kisses to you.

PS: Anyone have an email address for Tufty Parritt at Cruddock Hall? I need to send a formal objection to his planning
app for another (so he says) stable block. We all know he really wants to build a Turkish Bath and Solarium in the grounds and operate it for profit. Damned woman Oona what’s-she-called seems to be involved too, so where will it all end? Nothing against a bit of hirsute nudity and soapy frolics, but a step too far for sleepy St Cleve, in my humble opinion.

Humble’s the word; Bostock’s the name.