Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tales of the Unexpected

Fantasy Bob supposes there are huts, and there are huts.  He does not have, nor has ever had, a hut. But he recognises that huts must be special places, for their huttiness if nothing else. 

Roald Dahl's hut - a snip at £500,000
Roald Dahl was not principally known as a cricketer, although as a schoolboy he excelled at several sports.  But he excelled even more at writing a long series of children's books and darkly quiry short stories.  Dahl had a hut and it is in the news.  There is a campaign to purchase it and rebuild it piece by piece as part of a Roald Dahl museum.  Apparently an appeal for £500,000 is being made to secure the services of this hut.  Despite FB's ignorance of the going rate for units of huttiness, this seems to him a bit steep - for a hut.

Nevertheless FB accepts that Roald Dahl is worthy of everyone's esteem and he wishes this appeal well.  Like most parents he has been eternally grateful for Dahl's works which have spellbound kids for many years.  It is a pity that Dahl did not give the world any tales about cricket which seems a fitting subject for his dry and unsentimental humour, perhaps his hut did not provide him enough space to practice his bowling action. 

FB's own favourite of Dahl's was the BFG - The Big Friendly Giant - which contains excellent jokes about farts. 'A whizzpopper!" cried the BFG, beaming at her. "Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”  An audio book of this tale relieved many car journeys in Master FB's younger days that would otherwise have been filled with serial and repeated inquiries as to 'Are we there yet?'.  So the hut where this delightful tale and its companions started must be a special place - and its magic must be worth capturing.

FB has no hut in which he composes the masterpieces which appear on this blog.  But many other inspirational huts can be viewed in the hope that some of the creator's magic will rub off.  Gustav Mahler actually had 3 composing huts, so committed to huts was he. George Bernard Shaw was another huttophile and he famously named his hut London so visitors would be told on turning up in the hope of a net with the great man that he had gone to London.  But huts weren't for everyone, for example Richard Wagner was definitely not a hutty person - he couldn't compose his music unless surrounded by red velvet.

Mahler's composing hut at Steinbach
Perhaps the greatest hut based artist living these days is  Carlton's doughty but nameless groundsman.  Week by week the wickets he produces compare with any Renaissance or Romantic masterpiece. 

At the go-ahead Edinburgh club's Grange Loan HQ, there is a hut and there is a garage where this artist's masterpieces are devised.  Unassuming places though they are, they are no less worthy of recognition than the Dahl or the Mahler hut. They are still places of artistic endeavour but next century they will be places of pilgrimage. A blue plaque of some sort would seem to be the minimum recognition.  FB invites his readers to send him donations to make this a reality.  No donation is too large.

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