My new ruse for making the commute more bearable has been to listen to old Desert Island Discs downloaded from the BBC iplayer thing. They have been enchanting. Like most listeners I often play the "what would I choose" game but I find it impossible to drill down to just 8 records and as for the chosen luxury......... where's a fellow to start?
.I especially enjoyed Fred Dibnah (1991) but Jimmy Edwards (1952), Dickie Bird (1996), Hugo Gryn (1994) and Kenny Everett (1993) all had golden moments. Amongst others Louis Armstrong (1968), Field Marshal Montgomery (1969), David Niven (1977), the funniest Englishman ever born, Willie Rushton (1984) and another favourite, Douglas Reeman (1983) were all good value.
The all time winner though is the 16 mins only left of the recording of Col AD Wintle in 1962. This is the man who, decorated for bravery in the Great War described the inter war years as being “intensely boring,” ("Great War peace signed at last." diary, 19 June 1919 / "I declare private war on Germany." diary, 20 June 1919). Imprisoned in the Tower of London for threatening an RAF Air Commodore in France in 1940 ,who strangely would not accede to his demand for an aircraft to “rally the French Air Force,” he then admitted to the act at his court martial and helpfully produced a list of other people who he would have cheerfully shot to help the war effort including the secretary of state for war. His hunger strike when later a prisoner of war in protest at “the slovenly appearance of the guards,” and other displays to maintain English standards led to the entire Vichy French garrison going over to the resistance according to the then commandant.
My favourite line of his is this, spoken when standing unsuccessfully for Parliament, "Guy Fawkes was the last man to enter Parliament with good intentions. You need another like me to carry on his good work."