Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A word in your ear.


I’ve told all the family and I’m telling you: be sure to have windscreen wiper liquid in your car instead of plain water. It prevents legionnaire’s disease. Whilst you’re at it squirt some antiseptic lotion on your shower head.


According to a recent survey most of us don’t know our neighbours and pensioners are the friendliest. The latter is true in these parts. When I visited my friend D the other day she had been surprised to find her opposite neighbour – a widower - up a step ladder trimming her hedge although she now has a gardener. Apparently his house is up for sale, he’s going to live near his daughter and was bored. He’s 94.


D is much more comfortable after a cortisone injection for her knee. We think she should probably have a new knee but as she is a carer and in her eighties I think there is a reluctance to operate and with noro virus and the rest, it does seem more of a risk these days. We get our new local hospital on Valentine’s Day next year, so hopefully it will be virus free and we won’t have to do the 30 mile trip to Taunton.


Mark Lawson, as an interviewer, is growing on me. His affable, slightly bumbling persona hides a sharp intelligence and those gimlet eyes behind his glasses miss nothing. He was talking to the man who has interviewed everybody of note over the last fifty years, so he needed all his skill. David Frost – now 70 was the subject, his features softened with age but with his ambition and lust for life undiminished. He’s looking for the next frontier to broadcast from – maybe outer space?


Some of the old quotes were mentioned: Peter Cook saying his greatest regret was saving David Frost from drowning. He did save him but Frost queries the quote.

Mark asked him if all his life passed before him, and Frost said he wished it had as it would have been interesting.

He had already been saved from drowning as a child, when swimming in Beer – the little seaside town we have just visited. Then his life did pass before his eyes but there was little of note.


Further quotes: Billy Graham saying sex before marriage was wrong because ‘it’s blunting your love.’

‘David Frost rose without trace.’ That might have been Peter Cook again.

From his days at Cambridge when he was in The Footlights and with Granta he was surrounded by brilliant, witty and talented people and later on seemed to be hanging on their coat tails. He was asked if he had ever used anyone else’s material.

‘Not knowingly,’ he said.


He doesn’t like to waste money but more importantly he hates to waste time and one remembers the days when he would have breakfast in London and lunch in New York on a weekly basis. That ground breaking show ‘That was the week that was,’ introduced so many stars and it wouldn’t have been the same without him. And unlike many of them - he’s still standing.


He spoke movingly of his Methodist father who died in his sixties and when asked what he would like his obituary to say answered;

something about he didn’t waste time and if he had been half as good a father to his three boys as his own father he would be happy.


He was wearing scarlet socks and I wondered if – like Richard Burton - he had Welsh blood.

A reminder of that great Saturday night show below

14 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

I periodically catch Mark Lawson on Radio 4's "Front Row" if I'm in the car at that time.

Of course his notoriety has grown a bit after causing Russell Crowe to storm out of an interview about Crowe's new film, Robin Hood.

Lawson asked Crowe about his accent, and whether the Irish in it was intentional. As Russell Crowe was actually trying to do a more Northern English accent, he was none too pleased with Lawson's interpretation.

Pat said...

Kim: oh I'm devastated to have missed that. Russell Crowe having a hissy fit. Magic. As for Mark - he must have been well aware of the reaction he would get - and the resulting publicity. Bad boy.

kenju said...

I loved David Frost in his heyday, and hadn't heard of him for a long time. I'd love to see that interview.
Also, I'd love to swim in Beer...lol

Pat said...

Judy: for the last few years he has reported on TV for Al Jazeera.
Whether he does it from there I'm not sure.

Kim Ayres said...

If you go to YouTube and type in Mark Lawson and Russell Crowe...

Oh, ok then, you've twisted my arm...

OK, Click on this sentence for the last 2 minutes of the interview

or click on this one for the full 9 minute interview, which includes a bit of the speech from the film at the beginning and you can listen to the accent yourself

Eryl Shields said...

I'm surrounded by pensioners here, it's that kind of town, and they are all very friendly and cheery, but none of them have ever trimmed my hedge.

Pat said...

Kim: thanks for that. I listened to the whole thing and was amazed he kept his cool as long as he did.
The accent was a mistake IMO.

Eryl: perhaps they aren't old enough yet:) Love the new photo.

Mary Witzl said...

I had a neighbor who turned 90 last year. He could often be found outside, up a ladder, messing with his shutters. It was hard to watch, but I was filled with respect for him.

Pat said...

Mary; it gives one heart failure but I'm just a bad - taking chances when I know I didn't oughter

sablonneuse said...

is there an outbreak of Legionnaires disease chez-vous then? Apparently there are several cases round her said to have started in a health club with a hammam and sauna.

Pat said...

Sablonneuse: not as far as I know but the research results have just been published.

Guyana-Gyal said...

My oh my, Russell Crowe does have a little temper, it seems :-)

When I get a faster connection, I'll be able to listen to brilliant, witty men, yay.

Ahhhm, Pat, could you please explain that bit about windscreen wiper liquid / water / legionnaire's disease?

Pat said...

GG: stagnant water has been known to carry the bacteria that causes legionnaire's disease and the water in the car's windscreen wiper thingy is vulnerable unless you use the special anti virus liquid. Just any wind screen wiper liquid that you buy should do the trick.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I LOVED "That Was The Week That Was"....it was a truly special program, in every way...And Frost was a terrific interviewer. He was enormously popular here in the states, back-in-the-day....

BTWL I actually had Legionnaires Disease many many years go when there was that first outbreak here in the US....The fact that I got it, should have been a clue to my compromised lungs---even back then---I know my doctor was quite shocked.....I was sick as a dog!!!