FIVE WORDS THAT MADE A LIFEBELT

The final part of the apocryphal story about writing Taking Leave. 2.30 pm on a boiling hot August afternoon on Patmos. Having reached meltdown with the laptop computer, spider bites and stage fright, JT runs from his house into the port and smack into revered elderly American poet, Robert Lax. Read Parts One and Two.

‘Nothing broken!’ Lax called out cheerfully, slumped on one elbow on the ground. I help him to his feet and brush some leaves from a nearby bench. He sat down, breathed in and out, impossibly adjusting his woollen bobble hat on his head and tightening the scarf around almost translucent skin.

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IF YOU GO OUT IN THE AFTERNOON SUN BE SURE OF A BIG SURPRISE

Part two of the apocalyptic story of writing Taking Leave on Patmos in Greece, or how after a bumpy ride I heard just what I needed to hear from the sage, wit and poet Robert Lax.

August 13th 3.30 in the afternoon. Patmos, Greece. Temperature – hot to boiling.

It was like being in a submarine – Das Boot where all the emergency hooters and alarms are sounding… this is all a disaster, this is all a disaster, this is all a disaster, this is all a disaster…..

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KNIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN

JT relives a poignant scene from his early days as a record plugger at Decca, when the boss of Threshold, the Moody Blues record label, posed a thought-provoking question.

In the long and distant past, I used to plug records for Justin and John from the Moody Blues when they were a band called the Blue Jays. Their label Threshold was managed by a dark glasses wearing American with a deep voice called Gerry Hoff.

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