Holiday : A cautionary tale. These are new sunglasses, they were 5€. Lesson: do not take advice from a non-local who tells you it’s possible to cross some rocks to get to another beach and that you’ll “just get your feet wet”. You will fall. And you will 1) lose your dignity and your over-priced but old faithful ray bans to the waves….
When I was 8 years old I went to The Isle Of Wight for the Easter holidays with my family and some of our friends. It was during this trip that I went to the cinema to see Hook starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and, of course, Bob Hoskins. It is a memory that is still very vivid in my mind. For more reasons than just the film itself.
Not long after going to the cinema, we went to the local swimming pool. Which is where my friend and I decided to try the water slide/flume. To us, as young children, this slide was pretty scary. We were at a strange swimming pool we’d never been to, and the slide rules were not obviously apparent. I expected there to be someone at the top of the stairs to tell us when to go, or even just a green light. But this time there was NOTHING. Panic! It was at this point that my friend behind me said “just go!” and gave me a nudge in the back. So I did.
It was half-way down the slide that I realised I had made a grave error in judgement, as I slid feet first into the back of a man and his young child. It was so terrifying that it really should have happened in slow motion. But it was quite the opposite; I was going much too fast and I couldn’t stop from kicking the poor guy whilst I struggled to slow myself. After an excruciatingly embarrassing few seconds we reached the end of the slide, and all three of us landed in a big splashy ball of people, water and grumbling (from him). It was as we were getting out of the pool that I became utterly convinced that the man I had just kicked in the back was none other than Bob Hoskins. I was of course too embarrassed to tell anyone, so I never ascertained whether or not it actually was Bob Hoskins. Would Bob have had a reason to be in a public swimming pool on The Isle Of Wight in 1992? Doubtful. Did this man look and sound a lot like him? Damn right he did! So, as far as my 8 year old self is concerned, I most definitely ruined Bob Hoskins’ water-slide experience. It is a memory that has haunted me ever since.
Bob, wherever you are. May you rest in peace. And, if there is an afterlife, I hope there are many water-slides that are swift and clean and free from small children misjudging their descent. Thank you for being a great actor and for being a part of my childhood in Hook and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? And I’m sorry about that time I (possibly) kicked you in the back.
To celebrate the CD release of my album, I have made a little video of vintage aeroplanes dancing to my song ‘Aviator’.
SILENT CYNIC now available on CD exclusively from
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If you’ve ever wondered what Pearl and the Beard get up to when they’re on tour, here is your answer: they record themselves singing along to my music and then send it to me. (I think they’re singing “count me like a number”)