Jeanette MacDonald goes to Broadstairs

This little article is another attempt, on my behalf, to explain my origins, and what it is that makes me the unique person that I am.

Gentle Reader

You're going to love this little anecdote, or part of my family history. Well, I hope you do, or else you won’t read it; or suggest it to anybody else to read and then I will become more and more depressed and most probably do something dramatic to myself.

Let me hasten to add, at this juncture, that dramatic as my course of action might be, there will be no messiness involved. However, if you don’t want to learn that I have done something ghastly to myself, albeit scrupulously hygienically and cleanly, then read on:

Preamble, to be ignored if you wish to cut to the chase.

My parents met in about 1937, when my mother was a Nanny to a rather rich Polish family living in Ivor, Buckinghamshire. As part of her duties, she would travel to a local private school to collect the little girl in her charge, Anne Zinzinanix… I'm sure that's not the correct spelling but I'm not Polish. I most probably left out several “c”s and a couple more “z”s; the Polish language seems to have more than its fair share of those letters… But, as I have already pointed out, I am not Polish and do not speak the language; much less do I write it. In fact, I must be about the only white person who isn't Polish in Norbury-sur-Mer.

There is an English lady who lives up the road from here. She rescues cats, but that isn’t really relevant to this story, so I shan’t elaborate on the Cat Lady.

So my mother would be taken to the school in the family chauffeur driven car, and there wait for little Anne; then bundle the child into the car, and return with her to the family home.

My father, also, would go there; to the same school, to pick up his daughter; his daughter from his first marriage. My parents, although they were not to know that that stage that they were to become my parents, met in the playground and decided to make a go of it. Not immediately, let me hasten to add. It looks as if I am trying to give the impression that they met in the playground and then went away to live happily ever after in Broadstairs.

Well it wasn’t instantaneous; I’m sure they must have waited for at least a couple of days before they got down to it, but the ultimate geographical location was correct. Very soon they moved to the seaside town of Broadstairs, in Kent, where they lived together… Unmarried…

Horrors!!!

Broadstairs- It says it all, doesn't it?
Broadstairs- It says it all, doesn't it?

So they decided to take up residence in a Small Hotel or Bed and Breakfast, as these establishments have come to be known. For some reason that I am unaware of, the landlady, who was perhaps the manager of this particular Small Hotel establishment, took it into her head that my mother was Jeanette MacDonald, of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy fame; the American Lady and Gentleman stars of ‘The Merry Widow’, ‘Rose Marie’ and several other blockbusters of the American movie screen of the Thirties.

After deciding to “make a go of it”, as was the term employed at that time, they very soon realised that they needed somewhere to “make a go of it” at, or in. In other words; if they were going to live together, they had to decide where.

My father, who was a Captain in the British India Army, was on leave in England, as his family home was in Colchester.

My mother was from a little village, Crynant, Glamorganshire, in Wales; a little village noted for its Welshness, at the time. (For “Welshness” read "Prudery”)

It wouldn’t have been too practical to live either in Crynant or in Colchester, so Mother and Father decided that they would like to live for a while in the county of Kent, and chose Broadstairs.

Small Hotel in Broadstairs somewhere
Small Hotel in Broadstairs somewhere

When my parents had first turned up at the Hotel in Broadstairs, they had registered as Captain Clark and Mrs Clark. A little manipulation of the truth, one must admit, but after all, this was 1937. However, regardless of my parents signing in as Clark, E F and Clark, A, the owner-landlady had immediately decided that my Mater was Jeanette MacDonald. She had decided that my mother not only looked like, but was Jeanette MacDonald herself. She, the landlady, had flustered around doing the usual: “Would you give me your autograph, Miss MacDonald?” and all the other things one does when presented with celebrity.

Whereupon my father, apparently, took pains to tell the Old Dear that my Ma wasn't Nelson Eddy's chum; but to no avail.

And then they would go on to try to explain to the Deluded Old Female that my mother (eventually to be) was not La MacDonald. And then the old dear would smile, and she would agree and “see the error of her ways”.


The original Jeanette MacDonald - not to be confused with my mother
The original Jeanette MacDonald - not to be confused with my mother

But at breakfast time the next morning, she would address La Clark as "Miss MacDonald".

"Good Morning Miss MacDonald"…

“Fried eggs or scrambled, this morning, Miss MacDonald?”

And at luncheon it would, be:

“Lovely lamb cutlets today, Miss MacDonald,” or the like.

The poor Old Dear should have asked my dear Mama to sing. That would have dispelled any doubts. Apart from the fact that my mother most probably had a Welsh accent at that time and had sprung, fully armed from the Land of Song (Wales), she nonetheless seemed to be incapable of singing a note. I wonder if she could have warbled her way through "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life".

I wonder, but I very much doubt it.

And where the misguided landlady could have thought the “Miss MacDonald” had found my Pa, I can't imagine. She no doubt thought he was a bit of Military Rough that Miss MacDonald had dragged into Broadstairs while Nelson Eddy had his back turned in America somewhere.

And all he (my Pappy) could have sung was a collection of British India ballads… “Trumpeter, What Art Thou Calling Now”, being one of them and perhaps the odd Pathan battle cry:

"There's a Boy across the River, with a Bottom like a Peach”.

This was a little ditty of which he was particularly fond, and would sing it at the drop of a hat, in the original Pashtun.

In later years, whereas the usual run of the mill child would say to his esteemed father or mother, “Tell me what you did in the War, Daddy (or Mummy if that were the parent in question),” I would be more likely to ask to be told the tale of the Small Hotel in Broadstairs.

So they would take little Ian on their collective, or separate, knees and regale him with tales of how they would sit the Old Dear down on a regular basis and explain that my mother to be was my father's wife (Ha!), hence the title, Mrs and the surname, Clark.

So I have a great affection for Broadstairs. It would be nice to locate the exact site of the Small Hotel, because I am sure that I could persuade someone who is responsible for that sort of thing to have a “Blue Plaque” put up on the wall there, or at the front gate or somewhere easily read by the passing day trippers and so forth. The plaque would state quite simply that I, (name to be furnished at a later date) possibly Poet Laureate or something terribly literary or something artistic or whatever, was conceived here in early 1939.

Then again, perhaps not.

This isn't actually my name, or the specific Blue Plaque that I am planning on having, but it gives you an idea.
This isn't actually my name, or the specific Blue Plaque that I am planning on having, but it gives you an idea.

Then again, I could be persuaded to agree to this, below, which was created by a very good friend at no mean expense and many hours working over a hot kiln.

Courtesy of my dear friend Nellie Anna http://hubpages.com/profile/Nellieanna

Courtesy of my dear friend Nellie Anna http://hubpages.com/profile/Nellieanna
Courtesy of my dear friend Nellie Anna http://hubpages.com/profile/Nellieanna

More by this Author


Comments 73 comments

Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 5 years ago from Euroland

OK. Three times I have tried to post a comment and each one is getting more terse. Twilight a fine hub, you deserve a Plaque of some sort, maybe along the lines of an HP accolade - it could read Great Hub or similar.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I enjoyed this delightful story, Twilight. Thank your mother, too, and give la MacDonald my regards.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great Hub, and I went to see a McDonald and Eddy film festival some years back.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Mark. "Bring it on," as they say. Any amount of accolades and Blue Plaques and Great hubs... I am always the grateful recipient of all that stuff (Well I would be if I were ever offered one)

I didn't know whether I should put "Blue line thingy, courtesy of Mark Ewbie" or not. Wotcha fink?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for your kind comments, drgj. I'll pass on your regards to the ladies in question (If I can work out which is which).

Maybe if I ask them to sing me a couple of verses of 'When I'm Calling You-ooo-hoo-hoo-oo', that should sort out the sheep from the goats.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for dropping by, Will. I appreciate your visit. Glad you liked it. I didn't have to do much research, because the story is actually true more or less down the line. I hardly had to embellish a single detail.


Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 5 years ago from Euroland

I didn't notice the blue line at first, and have no opinion on it to be honest. If you are happy with it Twilight, and I think it helps to separate the capsules then by all means carry on. HP should offer a range of separators to go along with the quiz, maps and so on.

I have a gay Panda as well which you are welcome to... he's not been much help to my traffic.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

The panda sounds fun. You must use him to widen your interest groups.

But when it comes to filching things from other hubbers, I am tempted to use your dustbin (with your permission, of course), and incorporate it into a hub entitled something like: 'Great Art of the Western World'.


Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 5 years ago from Euroland

I have the suspicion I may be being set up (or sent up) here but yes you are welcome. I would appreciate a link back to my profile from any pictures used though. It won't make any difference to my traffic but makes me feel somehow more professional.

A feeling that the dustbin image will not entirely dispel.

On the note of Great Art I watch Tracey Emin's career with interest and fascination. Great Explanations I think is more apt.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Of course I would provide a link. And I am not sending you up; neither am I setting you up. But don't hold your breath. I am notoriously lazy and although I may mean to do something fairly quickly, it often takes a little longer than "ein Augenblick" (the winking of an eyelid, as our Germanic chums would have it).


odie_driver profile image

odie_driver 5 years ago from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

This was a great hub! I'm interested greatly in my family history as well and love finding the stories that are behind the names in my tree. Keep them coming!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Odie Driver, it is amazing how little one knows about one's own family. I can only go back a couple of generations, but there was a rich seam of bizarre goings on wrapped up there.

Regardless, welcome to my load of scribblings, I hope you have time to have a look around, and i hope that what you find entertains you.


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Inspired lunacy, TL ... and true too!

However I do think you may have nicked a few of my rellys in your photo on Broadstairs beach ... or did they all just look the same at that time?

Maybe not - on second looking yours look a lot more glamorous than mine :)

Loved it ...


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Such a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

An interesting story, Ian. I was wondering, maybe it was possible to remain Mrs. McDonald and spare the Old Dear explanations.

Sometimes, questions don't have right answers.

- Are you in love with such and such?

- Yes. (confirmation)

- No!!! (the more exclamation points, the greater is the confirmation power).

You agree or you deny, the person remains convinced in his/her own interpretation. "Lies like an eye witness."

I was mistaken for my friend in the University and we were not that similar, but we were mistaken so many times - it was not even funny. Eventually people even stopped talking to us because they felt their own embarrassment.

Great hub, Ian, as always.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

It occurred to me ... as usual with some delay ... never mind the Polish spelling - even I cannot read all their consonants - I had a coworker with a Polish surname and nobody could pronounce it - but I asked her how it was supposed to sound - for me it was very easy - the only thing that should be changed - spelling - it should be phonetic.

Otherwise - just forget it. It always goes like that

- Can I talk with Mrs.Czwczwkrlz?

- ???


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Angie, they're not mine. I got them from Rent a Relly. I have a feeling, as you say, that everybody looked like that in those days.

I've just had a close look at the photo and there seems to be a long queue of people all along the prom, and not one has made any concession to being at the seaside... apart from a couple in the front who have been given the obligatory ice creams. I'm sure there must be a few of the men in knotted hankies on their heads; somewhere.

Ah! What fun.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I adore Jeanette and Nelson. And of course - YOU. Seems your fame has been noted. Check out: http://nellita_98.com/ian-plaque.jpg! I'm overwhelmed!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I adore Jeanette and Nelson. And of course - YOU. Seems your fame has been noted. Check out: http://nellita_98.com/ian-plaque.jpg

I'm overwhelmed!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Oh, thank you for dropping by, Svetlana. I always wondered why they didn't let the Old Dear revel in the fact that she had a Goddess of the Silver Screen under her roof. But maybe my Ma and Pa thought that there would be gangs of other landladies flocking to the door on their days off, demanding autographs... and maybe asking for an impromptu concert. The thought of my Dear Mother singing, a few well chosen snatches from the 'Merry Widow' would be more than the local musical society could have dealt with.

I love your comment~

Can I talk with Mrs.Czwczwkrlz?

?????

I said, Can I talk with Mrs.Czwczwkrlz?

Would that be Mrs Bashka Czwczwkrlz or Mrs Agnieschka Czwczwkrlz? I'm afraid the older Mrs Czwczwkrlz is on vacation.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I adore Jeanette and Nelson. Your fame has spread! http://nellieanna.com/ian-plaque.jpg


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for coming and having a nose around my family history, A.A. I hope you really enjoyed it and that you find time to drop by when you fancy a little more of the same. You know you are always welcome.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

and Jeanette and Nelson speak highly if you too Nellie.

Or should I have said, "And Jeanette and Nelson speak highly of you-hoo-hoo-ooo-ooo-too-ooo, Nellie"?


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Oh, Ian, singing ... It is a challenge. For me, too, - my friend who sings well - I tried to sing in front of him - he was not impressed, but, of course, I was too self-conscious - it requires practice and loosening up.

But about your story - mistaken identities are fun. For the most part.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

You may feel free to add your own plaque to the hub, by the way! (that is, if you open and look at it!)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, I am so disappointed. Google cannot find http://nellita_98.com/ian-plaque.jpg I have tried and tried and tried... You know what a child I am.

Grr! and double Grr!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, I have not the best voice in the world, but as teachers, we had to teach singing and so forth, and when I first started, I taught in classrooms a long way from the main school, so had to rely on singing to the poor kids. It didn't seem to make much difference, and of course I have sung in College revues and even in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas: 'H.M.S. Pinafore' and 'Trial By Jury'. I'm OK singing if I am not made to feel uncomfortable. I have a friend with whom I would drive around (she at the steering wheel) and we would sing and sing and sing... She had (and I imagine still has) a great Jazz voice... She's now a real, well read author.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, Sweetness, could you, would you send the "plaque" to me another way, either to my facebook account or otherwise, and I could use it. I know how clever you are and I would love to use it... in tandem with the Charlie Chaplin one... I think that would be amusing, yes?


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I discovered that glitch and ran quickly, put it on another site & posted that link. So -- try it with the one that is there now - http://nellieanna.com/ian-plaque.jpg

You'll have to be the judge whether you want to include it, but it might be amusing! When you have it open, you may be able to just slide it from the site onto your desktop. But we'll figure it out. It's fine just to get a smile!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, just have a look. I have incorporated it. It looks magnificent.

Thank you!

Mwah!!!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

wow - I does look magnificent, indeed! hehe! You are most welcome and deserving!


Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

Several laugh out loud moments for me here. I also, strangely, am not Polish, though the area of the country I occupy is heavily populated with Polski descendents. Those c's and z's never seem to end.

Interesting adecdote. There are far worse things for mum to look like than a movie star. Your plaque looks good -- but perhaps "friend" should come first; you're quite good at being one of those. Peace, Ian.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Your Polish people are ones who have been in America shortly after the Founding Fathers (Woops! I almost wrote Foundling Fathers); am i right. Our Polish people have only been here a few minutes, They are part of the wave of Eastern Europeans who came when the European Community opened the doors to that end of Europe. These people speak Polish, and although the idea was that the men would come for a couple of years and then go back laden with money and set up businesses in |Poland, there are now families, mummies, daddies and mini Poles everywhere. That's why the UK is so divergent (London, at least).

I'm really happy that you enjoyed the hub. I don't need to make up a life or fake storyline of a life... it's all laid out there for me.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ian - :-) What a team, what a team!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I like the last one... and with a modification, I have used it.

Thank you,

Ian


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

P-E-R-F-E-C-T !


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yes. I'm pleased with the way that it has turned out... developed. I still didn't get around to reading your hub. Richard came to take me to lunch today; just as I was going to start, and who wants to pass up a free lunch?

My writing is going nowhere right now. I haven't written more than a couple of hundred words this week. I am just going to have to bury myself somewhere and ignore everyone. I need Ian time. I just don't know how you manage to do so many things.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

It must have been a very romantic interlude for your parents. I keep trying to picture how that dear old landlady look like.She must have been quite a character fussing around your "Jeanette MacDonald" and by the way your parents fondly remember her I think in a motherly and protective way.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for dropping by, Silent Reed. From what I remember, they said she was quite pushy and barking mad, But that's par for the course with British Landladies. I really think they thought the Old Dear was quite a dear. Sweet but stubborn, was how I remember her being described.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

It's not a race, dear heart. Take time for YOU!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I don't know why I'm bothering. According to the news at seven o'clock, there was a slight miscalculation and the world doesn't end until about midnight tonight, so I have a little time to write some more.

That American (Where else?) pastor should have paid more attention in his Maths classes when he went to that seminary. Too much R.I. and not enough sums makes Jack a dull boy (to coin a phrase).


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

The Universe works in peculiar ways ...

As the song goes

"Such is life

capricious

Sometimes Black

Sometimes Rosy

Such is life..

...

It takes something from you,

picks you up, drops you and then gives you something..."

How many times the world ended?

With each life?

But if we are to believe that we live multiple lives...

People should (again SHOULD!) study mathematics, physics, and metaphysics...

On the other hand, why should they? they already know everything - the entertainment would be quite different -

"Such is life...

Some are ignorant

Some are bright...

Some are faithful..

Some are not...

Some are prophets...

Some speak on the behalf of God...

Some are Gods..."


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I like all of that, Svetlana. It makes me think; and thinking isn't one of my main strengths.


Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

Yes, our Poles came in the old days, but I believe their greatest migration here was the Ellis Island days of early 1900's. Cleveland (my home), Chicago, Pittsburgh -- northeastern cities seemed to have the most Polish descendents. I'm always amazed when I encounter people from California or the south who have never eaten perogis and kielbasa. I grew up on such foods.

I live in a rural area now and it's mostly German ancestry. Poles, Italians and Ukrainians in the cities, Germans in the countryside. That is my very broad assessment of Ohio's ancestral landscape. Of course we're all just African-Americans, Latin-Americans, or Euro-mutts at the end of the day. Peace, Ian. I'm glad the world didn't end today in a fiery apocalyptic explosion (wink), so that we may continue to peruse each other's writing.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wow! (and I mean that quite sincerely). Thank you for taking the time off from your prenuptials to comment on my comment. Whenever it takes place, I wish you the best day ever. She's a lucky girl; and I should imagine that you are an extremely lucky man. I can't imagine that a man of your intelligence and good taste could possibly not have the highest standards in all things.

Peace to you too, and Khuda Hafiz.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Fun hub! It is very awkward when someone mistakes you for someone else . . . and won't believe you. On vacation in Hawaii, I repeatedly encountered a group who thought I was Belinda Carlisle (from the all girl band Go-Go's). Of course I took it as a compliment, but they made me feel so uncomfortable. Guess the rich and famous have problems too.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm incredibly rich, and not a little famous, Sally, but no one has noticed me yet,

Strange.

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. My parents were a constant source of inspiration... even before I was born.

Thanks for coming to have a read. I like the attention!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, you and I are always enjoy riding the same tide or wave ... on Friday someone came up to me to say "hello" and I told him that I did not know him. Then - predictably - he began the process of convincing me and ended up saying that I had "the wrong face". The nerve!

I said, I may have other things wrong, but not my face and he told me about my twin sister I knew nothing of. I wonder if it is only one identical twin I have or maybe I was a part of 12 pack litter. Then again - knowing me - I would not be surprised that my mother gave birth to 42 sisters and gave them away - I don't blame her - I would be overwhelmed, too.

And all of them are forty, too. [Are you paying attention, Ian and the Universe? - Sound it out loud - forty too.

By the way, after the Judgement Day - came Day # 142 of the year 2011 - today.

Day # 42 - Feb. 11 - Aquarius III

Day # 142 - May 22 - Taurus - Gemini Cusp

Day # 242 - August 30 - Virgo I

Day # 342 - December 8 - Sagittarius II

Judge for yourself.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, I am all alone in the house, and everything is quiet and calm... Then I read "maybe I was a part of 12 pack litter", I really laughed out loud. I'm sitting here smiling and giggling and thinking how funny you can be,

Thank you. I am going to bed shortly (an early night for me; the first for a long time) and I know I will be giggling while I am trying to go yo sleep. You are one bizarre lady... Thank you again.

If you remember, for some reason, if I have to give a number, I choose 43, or 47... and sometimes 37. All prime numbers. Forty-two is just a multiple of 2, 3 and 7 for me. I'm a prime numbers man. or a multiple of 13 (another prime) man.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, I hope - if I am able to maintain my inspiration for the next article (something along the line of re-BUTT-al) - I might make everyone laugh. But let me keep it for myself - for a while...

By the way, in my hub about number 42 - there was a picture of Police Cruiser 5342 (Police Division # 53) and while the probability of seeing that vehicle in Toronto is greater than Zero (my point), but that division is not in my area - and what did I see on Friday night? The police cruiser - 5342.

You know, that 42 is my comic relief and often I have to rely on myself for entertainment - some people can be unbearably boring.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

It's obvious that the Policeman in question liked the look of you and he is either going to do a random drug search, which may involve a bit of "patting down" or he's going to ask you for a date: Flowers and hands across the table in a nice restaurant. Either way, a marriage made in heaven.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

We all look a 'bit' like someone, i suppose, but how many hints must one drop. Have you seen the movie 'Enigma'? They used the polish language in a lot of their codes to fool the Germans.

My Uncle booked a bed and breakfast around that era. He and his fiancee collected the keys and as they were heading up the stairs the snooty landlady said. "I took the trouble of arranging two single beds mr x", my uncle replied. "Good, you'll only have one bed to make then." Cheers


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Nice try, Ian, no ... I was passing by in a taxi, while a taxi driver was grumbling about how life was a lottery ...

But thank you for reminding me about a Police Officer from the 51st (I think?) Department who did ask me out and there was no patting down. I did not know he was a Police Officer because he did not wear a uniform - he was waiting for the Court Hearings. Another idea for Men are Police Cruisers.

But as I was thinking about your numbers ... there is a novel called "Numbers" - hilarious.

And I started reading on Buddhism as I told you -

Page # 1 -

Mala beads usually come in 27-, 54-, or 108-bead lengths.

Is there any escape in this universe from numbers?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Brilliant Keith.. I can see that wit is a family strength with you and yours.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Welcome to the club. OCD seems to be one of your strengths (or failings). T find it so difficult not to count tiles on a tiled floor... then I try to work out if they are in odd or even numbers... very difficult if they are laid diagonally, but as I believe that all tiled floors ought to be diagonally laid, except for kitchen floors... see where I'm going? I wish I knew.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

No, I know, Ian. My father surprised me once - we were on a bus and then at the end of the ride - he said - 17 stops.

I almost ...

For me counting is not OCD (CDO), I have that, too, but a common reference and a comic relief, if only for myself. Besides I don't count anything - I pick numbers and then manipulate them - maybe the vestige of my engineering past.

But the road to independence is to be able to entertain yourself - only boring people are bored -

So, don't think that I did not notice

that you have 142 followers at the moment

and (4 + 2) = 6

66 hubs.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yipes, 142 Followers? Only about half a dozen (6) people actually read my hubs.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Ian,

Oh I love this story..a very colorful and wonderful story of your beginnings..I hope you write more..You are such an intersting person with so much to share with the world...I can't wait to hear more..lovely hub..Thank you.

Your writing shines here!

Love,

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

The nice part is that every word is true. They were an amazing couple of people. Both incredibly intelligent.. Completely incompatible... a few hubs there,,, or a novel!

Thanks for the comment about the writing, Sunnie. Many people seen to forget that this is a site for writing, initially, and not a load of, "Oh, we had one of those, but the wheels fell off," anecdotes.

I feel like saying to them, "Tell me my writing is good or crap, or just bugger off and gossip with your Auntie Ethel, if you want to swap stories".


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I love your family history! And, really, I see a movie in the works. Just so very very unique and romantic. If it took all that to make you the man you are, fine!

I howled when I read the line, "The poor Old Dear should have asked my dear Mama to sing. That would have dispelled any doubts". You are endlessley talented. How' bout you share a little with me. I would welcome any extra that you can spare.

The black and white photos are spectacular! And - so are you! Rated up and pushed every single button.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Vocal Coach. It would be a case of "Coals to Newcastle" if I were to try to share my "talent" with you, my friend. You have enough of your own, and I sure that you would find that many people would agree with me on that.

Thank you for your very kind comments. I am glad you like my somewhat "different" sense of humour.

Thank you. Please call and call again.


SilverGenes 5 years ago

How wonderful to be the son of Jeanette MacDonald! The plaque from Nellieanna is certainly fitting and I do hope you can locate the Small Hotel so it will have a permanent home. Over the years, I have had to explain that if I were indeed Margaret Trudeau, I would not be lunching alone in Kingston without some sort of security, at least not in 1978. But my favourite moment was thanking a grocery store cashier for not letting everyone know that Rhoda Morgenstern (no, not Valerie Harper - Rhoda) was going to carry her own groceries to the car.

Your 'relly' photos are wonderful!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie is amazing. I don't know how many strings she has to her bow, but she certainly is a woman of many talents.

If you like the "relly" pics, have a look at 'Does Anyone Know Who I Am?'.

In fact, getting back to La MacDonald, there is a thread of 'Nothing is as it may appear' than runs all the way through everything that I write.

But Margaret Trudeau? My best chum, who happens to be a Canadian, has regaled me once or several times with tales of that little minx... Who'd be a Rolling Stone with her around?


Jasmine 14 months ago

Hello Mr Clark,

I hope you do not mind me addressing you as Mr Clark, it's how I remember you from over two decades ago. My oh my, how time flies. I hope you are well. Your blog posts are intriguing and I shall read more soon.

You most definitely will not remember me. I'm the little girl you taught how to use a knife and fork. I faintly recall you playing the piano. You had a very strong physique and I'm not sure you were aware but all the pupils were pretty frightened by your presence, I know I was. Do you remember the country dancing, my god that was too much fun! I have a lot of fond memories from Charles Dickens School.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 14 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Jasmine, Who are you? Identify yourself. I am fascinated.

Of course I remember the Country Dancing.

And being scary? Sorry. I wouldn't like anybody to remember me for just being scary.

And I also have very fond memories of Charles Dickens School.

Take care,

Ian


Jasmine 14 months ago

Mr Clark, even if I were to identify myself you would not remember me. I was one of the many pupils from Charles Dickens School from the early 90s.

One day last year I was reading an article written by a teacher where she expressed how nice it would have been for one of her students to have shown some form of appreciation, even if it was just a letter to say thank you and that it would've made her day.

So I thought about some of the teachers I'd like to express some of my appreciation. I was looking up my favourite teacher from primary school and unable to find her my thoughts led me to you.

I was probably 8 years old when one of the other kids whispered into my ears "Do you know Mr Clark throws kids out the window?"

So of course you were not at all scary, just the children and their wild imaginations spreading all kinds of rumours. I think some of the most incredible storytellers are children.

I was just speaking to my sister who recalls going to a school trip which you had accompanied. She clearly remembers a riddle she heard from you. Not sure if you remember but the riddle was about a man who went to town on Sunday...

Till this day she recalls having heard this riddle from you...she now uses it a lot on others. It's her favourite riddle :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 14 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Now I really am fascinated, Jasmine.

But the story of me throwing children out of the window came from me, I am afraid to confess.

If you remember, the whole school assemblies took place on the top floor at Charles Dickens. And as I sometimes took those assemblies because I could manage Infants and Juniors, and also because I could "entertain" by accompanying singing etc, and if (only if) one or several of the more unruly children took it into their heads to cause a noise etc, the other children would suggest that I defenestrate them. Of course, it was all very tongue in cheek but the Juniors were always read to explain that defenestrating meant to throw out of the window!

School trip I accompanied? I was always the one in charge of School Journeys - even when the headmaster was in attendance, because I was the one who was more likely to get the children to do what was required. Strict but fair? I hope so.

Where was it to? Norfolk? Yorkshire?

I used to love them, but Wow! They could be exhausting. But the thing I liked most about School Journeys was the bonding that occurred. I always thought that they should have been towards the beginning of the year... imagine how well Children and Staff would get on in the following school year if they had spent a week or more sleeping, playing, eating, visiting in a real family situation like that.

And yea, I may have remembered you from the early 90s. I retired from teaching in 1994. Go to my FaceBook pages, and you will find many of the old Charles Dickens pupils who remember me and I certainly remember them.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 14 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Jasmine, by the way, what was that riddle?


Jasmine 14 months ago

Now I know where I developed my fear of being defenestrated. I must say it's a good trick as the children were actually well behaved when in your presence.

Yes, the school journey was just too much fun. I remember the rock climbing, the beach and swimming and just a whole lot of eating. Fun times! My sister tells me she doesn't remember the location, I too have forgotten this particular detail.

You retired just before I left school. I recall the assemblies vividly. I loved the singing. My favorite hymns were Kumbaya and He's Got The Whole World In His Hands. If I recall correctly there was some kind of talent show which took place on the top floor assembly hall which must have taken place in 1994 because I remember you being there and the event had something to do with it being the last year of school.

I'll be sure to check out your FaceBook page.

I was passing by the school some two years ago and thought I'd check it out. I couldn't believe my eyes! The school building looked very little like the one I remembered. The entire building was heavily barricaded and it looked like a high security prison building.

The riddle was 'A man went to town on Sunday, stayed for two days and left on Sunday. How is that possible?'


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 14 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm in the car on a smartphone which is very slow.

I'll write more when I get into the house.

I can't remember the riddle at all.

BUT... Was Sunday the name of his horse?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 14 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Jasmine, I went past the school about three years ago and I have to admit that I was horrified. The place seemed to have lost its soul.

A new head had come to the school in my last years there, and My God, she was a wonderful person to work for. I have worked under heads who have been both men and women,and I have to admit that a woman wins hands down every time.

The head I am talking about was a Carol Tompkins. An amazing woman. She didn't take prisoners, but was so fair and appreciated loyalty and hard work from staff and children alike.

The head who arrived later was a woman but I believe was not what Charles Dickens needed.

Enough said.


Susan Hambidge profile image

Susan Hambidge 12 months ago from Hertfordshire, England

I am not sure how I stumbled upon this hub, but how wonderful it is - what a great teller of takes you are. I shall look forward to reading more ...


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 12 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for that.

It's nice to be noticed, but the comment from you sounds so sincere. Thank you.

Please read some more. I hope you won't be disappointed.

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