Acute Oak Decline
Posted May 25, 2019
Decko took in the tastefully rendered frontage of a once familiar building. He had set foot in the pub only once in the last eight years, just long enough to establish that they didn’t keep proper beer any more. He hadn’t spoken to any of the others in all that time. There had been two or three near-misses with Dave, with Decko being careful to stay a couple of supermarket aisles apart. And he vaguely recalled Ziv sweeping imperiously past in his Merc convertible, sunglasses and chromework glinting in ostentatious harmony.
The texted invitation had come from an unrecognised number, but the message had to be authentic. Only the four of them knew those things, and so Decko had decided to go without too many qualms. Whatever they’d once had in common might well have gone forever, but it could do no harm to test that out. He was sure, too, that they’d all feel the same way, whatever that way turned out to be.
Inside, the British Oak was changed and unnecessarily dark, but there were three figures at a table pretty much where the Council ought to sit. Decko glanced at the bar, inexplicably hoping to see Denise, but the bored-looking girl in her place was another generation’s stereotype. He took in Ziv, looking improbably relaxed and grey at the temples. Dave seemed almost well-to-do, and to have somehow acquired relative dress-sense. Mickie looked completely unfamiliar, which came as no great surprise since Decko had entirely forgotten what he looked like.
‘Hello Decko. Let me get you a drink”. It was Ziv speaking, and it was all wrong. There was something about Ziv that didn’t even look right, and as for buying drinks, that was what Dave was for. Not-Denise stared blankly when asked to suggest a closest semblance to bitter. Decko sat down accompanied by a straw-coloured liquid in a glass with a stem, his low expectations fully met.
‘I bet you prefer the place like this’, Decko accused, determined to sound as downbeat and ungrateful as possible. He wasn’t addressing Ziv specifically, but the Decko of old rarely addressed the other two directly. ‘He helped them find the finance’, announced Dave breezily, oblivious to the whitening of Ziv’s knuckles.
After a brief silence while he regained his composure, Ziv summoned his customary formality to introduce Lou. This explained why Mickie had looked so unmemorable. It might have come as a relief, had it not been for the aura of menace emanating from Mickie’s replacement, if anything amplifying that of the original. Where was Mickie then, Decko wondered? He wasn’t entirely surprised to learn that the Council’s most dubious member was completing a three-year stretch at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Mickie would be coming out a week on Monday, and Ziv added that that was why it was important to reinstate the Council now. No further explanation was forthcoming, so Decko declared that restarting the Council was not among his priorities, not in this pub at any rate.
‘The Supreme Council of the British Oak must be reconvened, and it must be here’. The person called Lou spoke for the first time. The temperature seemed to fall a few degrees.
‘It’s kind of appropriate that all this should happen in the week that Game of Thrones finished’, Dave chirped. Ziv and Decko stared at each other. Amid the incredulity, something long-forgotten clicked into place.
‘You can get the drinks in for that’, Decko sighed.
Why this time?
Posted May 24, 2019
Looks like my start-up Journal Entry is Awaiting Moderation...
Not an entirely unfamiliar experience, and as usual I have no idea what might have given offence.
Biggest annoyance is that there was a link in it, courtesy of Bel, that took me to the last 20 Convo Entries. Without which, I’m pretty well mute and lurk-incapable.
This site, even now, is replete with administrative self-harm.
The spirit of Jimster haunts me still...
Posted Apr 17, 2019
Well, they let me back in.
Thanks, Slants. Assuming there still are Slants.
(Thinks: It might be a bit late to apologise to Jimster).
A lot has changed, some of it even in RL. The old git in Sheffield is even older, and now retired. He’s doing a part-time MA in Creative Writing. What a joke. The Wendell is still imperious, and rather nice to have around, if I’m honest.
Ancient Brit, sadly, is gone but not forgotten. (It’s the gone part that’s sad, in case of any ambiguity).
I don’t suppose there are many left who remember me.
But in case there is anyone, I have no idea where Alberta or Orchid or the Speak-Your-Weight-Machine went. Or for that matter a long list of slightly more real characters, such as Waz, Jo(r)dan, Trout, boots, Hyp, ~jwf~, Felonious Monk, GB, skankyrich etc, etc.
I guess someone might turn up. Given the general state of affairs, I should probably make an effort to be civil to them.
Five Hundred and Fifty Years Ago
Posted Mar 29, 2011
Sunday 29th March 1461
Towton Field, nr Tadcaster, Yorks, England
Posted Mar 20, 2011
It's getting like that endangered species thing round here, right? When the population shrinks to the point that the gene pool isn't varied enough to escape extinction.
There are at least two huge new stories right now (Japan and Libya) and almost no intelligent discussion of either. And if anyone tries starting a discussion, in come the usual suspects, bleating out the same old tired claptrap, and they go way off topic and kill the thing.
Far be it from me to suggest that today's hootooers are diminished to the point of inbreeding...oh, all right. Possibly not that far now you come to mention it.
Do you reckon we could persuade the BBC to keep a few dozen of them?