TRCH Mindgames

The Life of Byron

26 May 12 words: James Walker
Will the romantic poet be dabblin’ in the Cuntural Olympiad, asks Katie Half-Price?

 

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Illustration by Chloe Morris 

Ayup Byron, ta for agreeing ter do the interview. Nice aahse yer got…
Indeed. The place has changed a little since I was last here. I'm impressed by what Colonel Wildman had done to the garden, however I am not impressed by the council only letting in guided tours on a Sunday. I do miss the rustic charm of its former days.
 
I heard you had wicked parties here…
It was great fun to dress up as monks, and play hide and seek with the serving maids...
 
‘Speshleh when you wor snowed in with yoh sister.
Half sister.
 
Worrever. 
Sigh. Newstead can be a terribly cold, lonely place. Let's just say that we made it considerably warmer. I may have dressed as a monk, but I could never live as one.
 
I nick pint glasses from meh local, but din’t you have a cup made from a monk's skull?
I always thought that wine was a noble substitute for the poor wretch's brains.
 
And din’t you have a portable wine cellar?
Not quite. I had a box for wine bottles in my carriage.
 
You pimped yoh ride, then…
In the modern parlance, yes. I had a coach modelled on Napoleon's. It had a library, a drinks cabinet, and a bed. I had everything that I would need for a long journey: Education, lubrication and copulation.
 
Personleh, me and the girls rent a pink limo wi’ a swimming pool in back. Jealous?
I'd love to own one, but I don't think there'd be much swimming taking place.
 
I heard you worra better swimmer than David Wilkie. You dabblin’ in the Cuntural Olympiad?
I doubt I'd pass the medical. Or the drugs test.
 
Speaking of recreationals, didn’t yer missus try ter 'reform' yoh?
Annabella saw me as a challenge. A problem that, alas, even her mathematical brain could not solve.
 
I read on Wikeh that yoh daughter Ada worra maths boffin, like Carol Vorderman.
She and Charles Babbage designed the first computer: the Difference Engine. That was long after my time, though. I only want to make a woman laugh. Anabella had no sense of humour.
 
Is that why when yoh became a sleb yoh nobbed Caroline Lamb? Cuz she worra laugh?
At the beginning of our affair she was exciting, sweet and charming. By the end of it she was becoming obsessive, possessive and ridiculous.
 
Is that why you went for a bromance?
I'm pleased that in this age one can be honest about being drawn to both sexes.
 
I’ll tek yoh dahn NG1 later. So let’s get dahn ta what really matters. Who’s gonna win Britain’s Got Talent?
I think that one should have something they are famous for. A talent or skill.
 
Exactleh, like that toothy get Pol Pott who sang Pavrotteh.
Just being seen in the right restaurant or appearing on some tedious television programme - well, that's pathetic. Nowadays anyone can be lionised or demonised by the press. You'd think people would have more sense. Look what happened to me!
 
Yoh banged aaht some books when yoh weren’t bangin’ yer sister.
Half sister. I produced a body of work. You can like it or not like it. I couldn't care less.
 
You wor also involved wi’ politics. What do yoh mek on it nahdays?
It's the same as the old politics! I gave my maiden speech to the House of Lords exactly 200 years ago. I argued against the government who wanted to bring in the death penalty for the framebreakers. The stocking knitters were starving. Put out of work by machinery. There was no welfare state or benefits in those days. I think I said and did all I could at the time. I got involved in the Greek War of Independence. Although I didn't live to see Greece freed from Turkish rule, they did achieve it a few years later.
 
Now they’re tryin ter get freed from the Euro. Nowt changes, duckeh.
I'm usually on the side of the underdog, so I'd be out on the streets protesting, like the Occupy movement.
 
Anyroad, how’s abaht you occupy meh drawers for a bit?
Will you pretend to be my half-sister?
 
Half is mah middle name! LOL!
 
Lord Byron was transcribed by Christy Fearn. Christy will be reading at Lowdham WI Hall, Thurs 7 June (price and time tbc) Coleridge - in love with psychedelia? Southwell Bramley Centre, Saturday 14 July Byron - 200 years of fame & Coleridge - in love with psychedelia? double bill 7.30pm. £3 
 
Christy Fearn is also one of the commissioned writers for Sillitoe: Then and Now which will appear on The Space later this week
 

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