Michael Palin: [about Q5] I remember Terry Jones and myself watching that and saying there are some wonderful, wonderful things in this.
John Sergeant: How much were you consciously writing the same vein as Spike Milligan?
Palin: Er, I… Well… It was very similar…to what the Goons were writing. Spike was the writer, of course. Yeah, there was an edge to Milligan that sort of… I didn’t realize it at the time, I just thought he was a genius. But I certainly found when I was writing – stuff for Python – it didn’t take long to write. I just had to “click into” the kind of The Goon Show, Spike way of saying that anything that comes out, can be funny. Don’t censor yourself, don’t stop anything, let it all, everything come out and just rearrange it on the page. Which I always felt that was the way Spike approached things, it was very instinctive.
Sergeant: Was Monty Python, in a way, something Spike could have done, or should have done?
Palin: I think Spike felt that. He did feel there was a bit of plagiarism going on.
Palin: Yeah, it was slightly difficult atmosphere. Spike could be one thing, one day he’d say you were wonderful, “Ah, I love this,” and all that, and the other, “Oh, my best jokes. It’s me, I did all this, ages ago.” Which was, of course, true, but I think, you know, um, we were flattering him in a way. And he said something to me once, which I thought was a rather…nice comment. I asked him about the Goons, you know, I said, “What was it like, doing those programs?”, you know, and he said, “It was like – It was like one good summer.” It was just a beautiful phrase. Rather moved me, actually. “Just like one good summer.” And that’s what it was, in his life.”
Not all things in this new nautical life are now geared around 15 foot of dreams in the form of Dwynwen. There is space for some more traditional inland working boats too!
So, it was great to be heading towards Middlewich on Saturday to combine our love of folk music and to wander alongside so many beautiful narrowboats at the Middlewich Folk and Boat festival, 2014.
Have to say, the weather was just right mind for a detour into the beer garden during the meanderings, for a rather nice pint, and some live music. Although has to be said, the lines on what is deemed to be ‘folk’ and a more mainstream live music event seem to be blurring now. I don’t see that dressing up like a hippy and being able to play ( albeit very well ) traditional acoustic instruments with a repertoire of old Kinks and other flower power era songs to be folk, but hey-ho, as long as it adds to the ambience of a lovely summers day, then it gets my vote. ( that said, I was disappointed to not find any finger-in-the-ear singers telling of how hard life was, but perhaps the singers had been warned off about being to melancholic! )
A few images from the day then, just before we beat a hasty retreat as that climax to an English summers day arrived, that of a torrential downpour.
“Oh to be in England…” wrote Browning, a man who obviously enjoyed getting rained on!
( PS, we saw John Sergeant making what appeared to be a documentary, looking rather dapper in his Fedora finished Panama hat :-) )