In Competition No 2560 you were invited to describe a visit to Glyndebourne or Glastonbury in the style of an author of your choice. But first a memo from Doctor Johnson re. his recent Competition 2558 (Harmless drudgery) in which he let through a contribution that confused a ‘roadie’ with a ‘groupie’. To the lady who drew his attention to the error, he apologises unreservedly and adds, as is his wont, an explanation for allowing the wrong definition: ‘Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance.’
Back to the current Comp: this was another big field and of a high standard, especially the Glastonbury offerings. Lots of entries were good enough for the winners’ enclosure — would this were larger! — notably Carolyn Beckingham’s William McGonagall, Alana Blake’s Wordsworth, Barry Baldwin’s Kingsley Amis, Mike Morrison’s Emily Dickinson, Paul Griffin’s A.A. Milne, Adrian Fry’s Boris Johnson, and two excellent Henry Jameses from Sid Field and G.M. Davis. The winners, printed below, get £25 each while the extra fiver goes to Brian Murdoch for his hilarious Chaucer.
Whanne that the sumer shoures, lyke Noye’s
Turneth fayr fields of tentes to seas of mudde,
And whanne the raine still bucket-wise downfalles,
Thanne longen folke to goon to festivalles,
That they may wel disport themselves withal,
At sexe and drugges, and eke with rockenrol.
So with the yonge squires hied I me,
As whilom Arthur did, to Glastonbury,
To heare and see the famèd mynstrels playe
Upon a stage two thousand yerd awaye.
A wylde wyf ther was, Winehouse yclept,
The whiche did sing, and as she sange she lept,
Just when I came nye to her playing-place,
And so she struck her ellebowe to my face,
That I did falle, and laye ther al forlorn.
Methinks anon I shall try Glyndebourne.
Brian Murdoch/Geoffrey Chaucer
I fancied a weekend of cultureandstuff
With a touch of Wagner, Verdi or Strauss,
So I settled for Glyndebourne (a handsomehouse)
But, not being one to sleep in the rough,
I googledup nearby Ore for a place to stay,
Punched it into the satnav and aimed
For my cultural weekend in Sussex, famed
For being bythesea.