Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Saturday, 9 July 2016

SOLDERING ON

Everybody remembers their first car, as they do their first lover, but not always with unalloyed pleasure.
This one's probably best read aloud.

Bard at Bay is taking a short break. Online activity will resume on Sunday 17th July.


















THE UNKNOWN SOLDER

Nineteen-Sixties, bought my first car.
Independent, just turned twenty.
Didn’t want advice from Father.
Had my wits about me, plenty
Good Used Cars, the signboard told me.
A green Ford, the salesman sold me.

A Ford Anglia, so shiny,
caught and held my rapt attention:
Dealer sang its praises highly
but some things he failed to mention.
I was foolish and besotted:
simply glad that I had got it.

Second-hand, but what a bargain.
Paid my money, roared off proudly
down the road to nearby Bangor,
the exhaust-pipe popping loudly,
thick black smoke where no smoke should be,
and the engine farting rudely.

Such excitement, revving madly.
Great wide road, and I was on it.
Something underneath was banging:
something underneath the bonnet.
A dodgy motor? Never mind:
I loved that car, and love is blind.

What matter if the Ford was noisy
it looked superb but sounded ill
like an old man with bronchitis.
I was oblivious until,
with the sound of tarmac hissing,
I saw half the floor was missing.

Even then, still in denial,
I trundled down the Bangor road
smiling, singing, honking wildly,
for all the world like Mr Toad,
ignoring all the twitching ganglia
within the corpse of my Ford Anglia.

Then a sort of small explosion
made the Ford begin to shudder,
swerve from here to there at random
like a boat without a rudder.
Suddenly a sinking feeling:
engine died, I was freewheeling.

At the kerb I sat despondent.
Bits of car lay all around me.
I sat down and started moaning:
that is where the AA found me.
The Patrol-man checked the car
and was surprised I’d got this far.

Soldered bits and soldered pieces,
objects glued to other objects
and a slap of paint and filler
camouflaged a hundred defects.
I had been taken for a ride:
this was the Fall that follows Pride.

The Anglia went to the scrapyard
and as I watched it towed away
I bit my lip and I thought hard
on what my Father had to say:
Now that you’re broke, Son, you might like
to fix the puncture on your bike.




and now, a Bonus Track, still on the subject of cars ...

FERRARI RUSHER
(A Cautionary Tale)

He exited the Singles Bar,
jumped into his red, sexy car,
took off at speed: RAR, RAR, RAR, RAR.
Alas, he didn't get that far.
At Ninety-Three he hit a tree
(a Silly B, most would agree).
Now see, he's in the mort-u-ree.   
 







 

2 comments:

  1. Good image of the old Ford Anglia, I can hear my fathers voice saying similar to me in a not too differing situation. What where once harsh words, now a nice memory.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Richard Fleming17 July 2016 at 20:37

    Know what you mean Julian. At seventeen, I thought my father knew nothing but looking back from today's vantage point I reckon he knew far more than I could have imagined then. R.

    ReplyDelete