Thursday, 22 March 2007

Fenella Fielding and 'Carry on T S Eliot'

I am now starting to sound like Fenella Fielding rather than an old gate hinge that needs oiling. This statement may of course date me and place me firmly amongst those who can remember the ‘Carry On Films’ and who watched them as a child on those wet Sunday afternoons yet again( see previous post about Fay Wray and King Kong ). I must have been glued in front of the box every wet Sunday for years, even as an adult but I do seem to recall now and then climbing the odd tree and wandering off for hours by the canal with soggy banana sandwiches and a bottle of Vimto( as a child that is .....then again I have been know even now to main line on Vimto and the odd, very low tree). Probably the wanderings only occurred during good weather, although I do have vivid images of my wellies constantly being stuck in mud so I must have ventured out sometimes when it was less than a clip from blue remembered hills.

Fenella memorably played Valaria the vampiress in 'Carry On Screaming' and projected her usual vampish, sexy image with a melting, dark chocolate, 'come hither' voice. I think mine might be more church pew mahogany and has more of a ‘stay away you might catch my germs’ timbre about it. I have had to succumb to a day off work and am therefore typing guiltily. However typing on my lap top in bed is rather decadent and googling Fenella just to check my facts a luxury. Did you know she has recorded T. S Eliot’s Four Quartets? I didn’t. I would never have even thought of connecting her and Eliot in the same lifetime let alone the same breath.. There I was writing yesterday about how poorly he read his own work and then I discover Valeria from Carry On Screaming (and the voice of the public address system in the cult series ‘The Prisoner’ …cyberspace oracle informs me) has recorded one of his most important works. I am now agog to hear this recording; her sexual allure focused on his lines, her pouting lips mouthing those rich cadences of vowel sounds. After writing this I can go on ebay and see if anyone out there has a copy.....ebay, Eliot, Fenella, my what a feast of bizarre connections.
I actually think I am being stalked by Eliot or to be more precise, The Four Quartets. I sometimes have to work near Little Gidding and have eaten my sandwiches in the churchyard there on a number of occasions. This summer I spent three weeks in Cape Anne and wandered past the Dry Salvages a few times not knowing the name for them. They are a group of granite rocks off the coast and I didn’t connect until someone told me what they were called and pointed out that Eliot had lived there for a while. In fact it was a little group of retired academics who hung out in a wonderful little bookshop in a small town there, who pointed out the connection to me. In my defence I was living in a basement at the time and can’t be blamed for the effects of sunlight deprivation or squirrel bites on my memory( See previous post re Psycho Squirrels). I now have to visit East Coker and Burnt Norton or rather I have to find myself there by chance; then I will be completely paranoid and I will start acting oddly and looking over my shoulder like Viv.

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