It’s Christmas and before I listen to Fairytale Of New York yet again, I wanted to send big warm, slightly squishy with a hint of fortified sherry, greetings to all out there who have spent time on the website over the past year, or indeed who might have just dropped in by mistake as they looked for Sarah Palin. I really appreciate your continued interest in the various things I’m doing and have done.
I see from my Big Issue that the silly walks which John performed so brilliantly over fifty years ago have recently been promoted by doctors as very good for your health, so look out for silly walks at the next Olympics and in the meantime a link-up between Cleese and Gwyneth Paltrow to provide some comforting genital spray after a long day’s silliness.
In the aforementioned sketch I played Mr. Putey, the man with the not very interesting walk wanting a grant from the Ministry. It involved my mastering a very slow and wobbly walk and a long speech, as I pleaded my case in front of Mr Teabag (JC). In 1976, on the last performances of our Python live show in New York, to my horror, I almost completely lost my voice. With the help of some whisky from Neil Innes, I just about struggled through Mr Putey’s speech. At the end of which there was a long pause before John came up with a new line : ‘I’m sorry, what was that again ?’.
As a warm and sluggish Christmas descends on the capital I recollect the winters of my youth in Sheffield, when it seemed that we had the sledge out every other day. But this is maybe just the mistiness of old age, like the day I remember sitting on Queen Victoria’s knee. Which was unexpectedly knobbly.
Thanks to good viewing figures for the journey to Iraq it does look as if I might slip away somewhere else next year, but in the meantime I have the unglamorous task of completing work on the book about my enigmatic Great-Uncle Harry. It’s been fascinating diving into the family archives of his short life, and trying to work out just what sort of man he was. And, if all goes well, it should be a fascinating read !
Despite having to spend days at my desk, I do get out every now and then, and the other week I gave a reading at a carol service in support of one of my most valued charities – The National Churches Trust, which tries to raise money to keep our huge number of remarkably beautiful church buildings open and of use to the community. As a perk, two of my fellow supporters were two blokes I admire greatly – Hugh Dennis and Bill Bryson.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a wild, rollicking New Year.