Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Idler, Tuesday, September 4, 2018

St Clement's

Tour de



SPRING is indeed sprung. At the St Clement's arts soiree the other evening, conditions were close to idyllic. We were out in the garden for the first time in ages, not a breath of wind, lanterns strung between the trees.

On stage were actress Jane Ross with KZN Symphony Orchestra cellist Nigel Fish and his orchestra colleague, pianist Liezl-Maret Jacobs, this time playing the keyboard.

If music be the food of love, play on …The Immortal Bard could have penned that line for this occasion.

Jane read romantic and classical poetry – TS Eliot, Shakespeare, Yeats, MacNeice, Blake, Cresswell, Ross, Tagore, Donne, Neruda and ee cummings. Enchanting stuff, nothing soppy or sentimental in the relationship between man and woman. Profound insight to the meaning of life and love. When required, Jane speaks authentic Cockney.

And all of it interspersed with the most beautiful music, from Ave Maria to Rachmaninoff to Chopin to Barbra Streisand and others.

Absolutely captivating. People forgot to sip their wine (which is quite something at St Clement's). This was a tour de force, possibly the best performance ever at the soiree (and there have been some good 'uns). Bravo! Encore!


·       YET there was a pall over proceedings. Only days earlier, Simon Milliken, retired but still participating double bassist with the KZN Symphony Orchestra, had been knifed to death in Burman Bush, where he and a companion were bird-watching and photographing.

Milliken, a very popular figure, was also ringing master of the Durban Guild of Church Bellringers.

Nigel Fish told the soiree he had searched in vain to find something to read out, expressing his anguish and despair at this horrific and tragic incident. So instead he played solo a sonorous piece from Bach.

Wow! That captured it all.

The buzz was that Milliken bled to death. He had fled further into the bush. He might have survived had they found him earlier. But the nearest police sniffer dog was at Richards Bay, which is why they found his body only next day.

Can this be true? No police dogs in a city the size of Durban? We're beginning to look like a banana republic that's run out of bananas.

·       MY ESHOWE correspondent, Taffy Zulu, says he was watching The Chaser on telly the other evening when the contestant was asked: "If you were playing football and had the ball, what would you do?"

To which the contestant answered: "Pass."


Unconsciously brilliant reply. Ask a stupid question …


·       WHICH recalls when Paddy was on a quiz show before a studio audience.

"What are the colours of the Irish flag?"


"Which stone, when kissed, confers the gift of the gab?"


"To which Irish county is it a long way to go?"


Voice from the back row: "Good man, Paddy! Tell dem nuttin'."


·       OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties: "What do you do if your best friend runs off with your husband? You miss her dreadfully."


THREE little boys bring gifts for the teacher. She picks up the first gift-wrapped box, shakes it and smells it. She knows the boy's father has a candy store.


"Yes, Miss."

She does the same with the second box. She knows this boy's father is a florist.


"Yes, Miss."

As she lifts the third box, she sees a fluid is leaking from it. She knows the boy's father has a bottlestore. She tastes the fluid off her finger.


"No Miss, it's a puppy."

Last word

My computer beat me at chess... so I beat it at kickboxing.

Demetri Martin


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