I wish Brian May would get a haircut.
I saw a photo of him - bizarrely peeping out from under a crinoline dress - the other day, and my first thought was 'Marty Feldman'. Then, with mounting horror, I began to understand how I was mistaken for him by a Big Issue seller last year, after I had let my own hair grow a little too long.
Don't get me wrong, I am almost childishly proud of my hair, just not as blindly proud as Brian is of his. Even in the days when that sort of hair-do was fashionable, they were made of wigs, plonked onto shaven heads. They made no pretence of being natural.
Brian is obviously surrounded by sycophants who let him get away with anything, just because of his virtuosity with a guitar. I do not play guitar, so the people around me do not hesitate to tell me when I look like a twat. This - to my mind - is a plus, but I have always been a 'glass half full' sort of person.
I would never have made a private detective, because I can be spotted for who or what I am from about two miles away. Since my hair turned white, I can be spotted from 10 miles away. A local painter recently painted a picture of our local pub, and included me standing outside it, talking to an unknown and possibly unreal person.
This tiny portrait of me was made with about three brush-strokes, but after one glance, everyone says, "That's you, isn't it?". Very long legs with an average torso, and a great clump of unrealistic, white hair, is me in a nutshell.
The other thing that Brian May and I have in common is an interest in astronomy. For me, it was one of many passing fads which leave behind a lasting trace of romantic wistfulness, but for him it is almost a second profession. I believe he is highly qualified and highly thought of in the world of star-gazers.
During the heat of my amateur passion with telescopes, I would be astounded at how many people there are who take no interest in anything outside of the Earth's atmosphere, especially when you consider how much stuff there is out there, compared to how much stuff there is in here.
The thing is, hardly anyone looks up. Before my neck seized and before I became compelled to hunt for small change in the gutters, I was renowned as someone who was always looking up.
I think I remember when I first acquired this reputation. It was many years ago, when the first pair of Peregrine Falcons arrived in Bath. I would hear the now familiar screeching of a Peregrine calling to its mate or offspring, and I would look up, scanning the sky until I located it.
On clear nights, I would always scan the dark skies using 'averted vision' until I located the tell-tale blur of a galaxy or nebulous star-cluster. The Seven Sisters, for instance.
It is time to go back to the spire of Norwich Cathedral, and look down to the pub car-park again. The Peregrines should be laying eggs any time now.
Wild grapes. - Several years ago I found a vine on the edge of some nearby woodland; I imagine it was the remnant of some ancient, long-lost, vineyard. The vine itself ...
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