Posted by: docdenbow | January 3, 2014

A Gentleman’s Day At Denbow Towers

I’ve been looking forward to these post Christmas days for at least two weeks now. Having fulfilled my duties and obligations, I can now have some genuine *me* time. Of course although I am of an intellect that reaches for the moon and the stars, I am like many geniuses before me cursed with being under the tyrannical rule of what men of my station in life refer to as *The Wife.* It is for this reason that I have had to bow down to the sheer force of Mrs Denbow’s personality and do exactly as I am bid over Yuletide. However, I have been granted a brief respite from my days under the jackboot of matrimony in order to lull me into a false sense of security before oppression begins anew in the year of our lord 2014.

So I was free, like a prisoner paroled for just a day in order to do, within reason just as he wished. My day began with a powerful mug of steaming Maxwell House and a small bowl of Lidl’s (or was it Aldi?) finest ersatz Shreddies. Once consumed, I went to the bathroom to complete a gentleman’s ablutions and when suitably dressed, attired as I was in a tweed waistcoat jacket, plus fours and knee length woollen socks and my finest brown brogues topped off with my brown checked trilby, I took my terrier down to the Volkswagen for the short drive to the Park Of Singleton. Once my vehicle was safely parked, I removed my shooting stick from what is laughingly called a boot in my tiny teutonic vehicle and strode with my struggling terrier into this green oasis lurking within the hustle and bustle of modern city life.

Releasing the little dog from her lead and puffing contentedly at briar I watched in admiration as she ran a full 100 yards in order to commence an altercation with a dog far bigger than herself. 300584_10150784554520262_1553449893_nIn the past I would have been alarmed, but I have discovered a simple command that ensures that she comes running back to me with all haste. After a stroll around the perimeter of the former grounds of the Vivian family we, the panting hound and I, climbed into the Volkswagen and returned to Denbow Towers.

Denbow Towers is a fine period property constructed some time. Its features are not unique, a few doors, windows, a tiled roof, a staircase and grounds with several outbuildings. It is possibly more pied-à-terre than manorial, yet it possesses an elegance that is unique. The crowning glory of Denbow Towers is the conservatory where one can sit and watch the trees perform their elegant dance as the wind ripples through the branches. Throughout the seasons the view from the windows of the conservatory will uplift the spirit and gladden even the hardest of hearts and tears will flow as nature’s beauty is observed. Of course when there’s heavy rain or God forbid, a hailstorm then the noise within precludes relaxation – unless powerful narcotics or strong drink are utilised.

Yet today I have been most fortuitous and must express my gratitude to the sundry BBC forecasters who have arranged for me to have a day where the prevailing weather onditions have permitted me to sit, in comfort, in the conservatory. Today my dear friends I have listened to music, read sporadically, dozed fitfully and drunk several pots of tea whilst a sleeping terrier yipped and yapped as she dreamt of fighting sundry alsatians.

As I have already suggested I am an intellectual and as such I possess a superiority over the oiks. As a gentleman I am by definition refined and stylish, but beyond that that I am debonair. In keeping with being refined, stylish and debonair my choice of clothing whilst indoors is, if I say so myself, breathtaking and would no doubt make the Prince Of Wales feel unkempt in comparison on the evenings that he stays indoors with Camilla to watch Emmerdale Farm or You’ve Been Framed. Not for me, or the Prince for that matter, a *trackie* from Primark and a curry stained sweatshirt. I wear a silk paisley smoking jacket and maroon leather mules (Slippers to you thickos) of a far higher quality than his Royal Highness as mine are handstitched by Savile Row tailors and exclusive cordwainers.

Like my clothing, my musical taste is naturally refined and stylish. Not for me the idiot gruntings of One Direction or the shallow meanderings of Coldplay. Ozzy Osbourne and those Black Sabbath chaps make way too much noise and I cannot begin to describe the rashes that appear if I am exposed to Slayer or Napalm Death. Don’t, please don’t, even discuss Sepultura as my state of health, both mental and physical, may become threatened. As I said I am an intellectual and as such the music that pleases my ear is also of an intellectual nature.

I have wide a catholic tastes when it comes to sonic pleasure. (old joke alert) Indeed I found that the Pontiff’s last offering was of the highest quality. I both enjoy and appreciate all types of music from AC/DC to ZZ Top and from Aztec Camera to World Party. However, I do also listen – and listen closely – to music that I consider to be of a more cerebral nature. Today I decided I decided to exercise my cerebellum with the music that I played. I decided to begin with the Mozart’s 1st Symphony. Whilst I think it’s fair to say that it lacks the depth and panache of later works, one must always bear in mind that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was just 8 years old when he composed this. That simple fact boggles my mind. Most 21st Century 8 year olds sit punching away at an X Box controller or playing with the latest must have toy and being, I suggest, little more than an irritation to their elders. Young Wolfgang was no doubt, when naughty, sent to his room and told to write a symphony. Precocious is not a sufficient word to describe Mozart – genius is probably better although that word is bandied about far too often to those with a minor gift these days.

Having been mightily impressed by Mozart’s 1st, I pondered as to what I should listen to next . My CD player sat agape and my amplifier awaited expectantly to do its thing. I perused my collection and chose a CD by the Jacques Loussier Trio. This CD features re recordings of the Trio’s better known interpretations Johann Sebastian Bach’s works. Although many people consider this music to fall in the horrible category of “Easy Listening” I cannot and will not agree. I am of the opinion that Loussier’s music is jazz improvisation that is based of Bach’s work. To my educated ears Loussier stands on the bridge that leads from classical to jazz and it is most unfortunate that his interpretation of “Air On A G String” is most associated with a rather tacky, yet famous, advertisement for Hamlet cigars.

Whilst mentioning Monsieur Loussier’s talent with interpreting classical works, I feel I must bring up these “pop classicists” that sell out concerts and move rather large quantities of their recorded output into the sweaty paws of the terminally ignorant via CDs racked as far as the eye can see in such fine music emporia as Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose. I am of course referring to *acts* like Paul Potts, Katherine Jenkins, Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli. These performers are portrayed and packaged to the general public as “Opera Singers.” Oh dear, it does truly appear that you can fool some of the people all of the time, as was asserted by Abraham Lincoln, as these aforementioned hacks are no more opera singers than is Evander Holyfield. I refuse enter any kind of discourse explaining why these “performers” cannot be classified as opera stars except for asking for the names of the opera houses of the world in which they have performed and the name of the opera concerned.

Moving from Monsieur Loussier I once more looked at my CD collection. I seem to have mislaid my Mahler CDs so I chose a jazz CD randomly, or rather one that lies within the jazz section of my CD racks. My digits had fallen on a magnificent album that I believe defies categorization. It is by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays and is called “As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls.” Metheny is widely known as a jazz guitarist and Lyle Mays played keyboards in more than one incarnation of the Pat Metheny Group. For the past 36 years Pat Metheny has been releasing albums under his own name, with his Group or in collaboration with others. I find it difficult to choose which of his releases is my favourite as he has been and continues to be so prolific. As I have just about all of his albums in my collection I tend to dip in and out at random rather than make a conscious and I never have felt that I should have chosen a different album. Each one stands or falls as as Witchita falls entirely on their own merit.

An hour passed in the company of Metheny and Mays’ ambient jazz masterpiece and a I decided that the next album would need to be a little different to bring me fully back into the world from the somnambulistic state into which I’d been drawn. To me that album acts as an aural anaesthetic and induces total and blissful relaxation and that would not do. I needed to find music that would enliven me physically, emotionally and intellectually. I decided that “Saxophone Colossus” which is one of Sonny Rollins’ most acclaimed albums. Certainly the opening tune “St.Thomas” implores one, even a chap as old as I, to jump to their feet and as the younger generation would say “shake your booty” and have a go at the new sensation called “twerking.”

The twerking over and my breathless body quite invigorated, I decided on playing just one or two tracks from my collection before Mrs Denbow would exert her considerable influence on me once more. I sat for a moment and thought and decision made I took my copy of Tuby Hayes New York Sessions CD (AKA Tubbs In NY) and decided to play just the first track “You For Me.” That track is one of my favourite Tubby recordings.

Finally I decided to play just one song by Frank Sinatra. This was to be one of the beautiful recordings made with Nelson Riddle and shows Sinatra at his peak. The song chosen was “The Lady Is A Tramp” which was my only way showing resistance, even it that resistance was passive towards the all encompassing authority that is Mrs Denbow.

I hope for another day soon where I will be able to repeat that joyous day.

Ciao For Now




  1. Video of the twerking please! Or it…never…happened

    • That is for me to know and you to find out……..

  2. […] A Gentleman’s Day At Denbow Towers ( […]

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