Saturday, 21 January 2012

Spo-shirt reaches England!

Yes, happy times! The renowned globe-trotting garment of Dr Spo touched on Albion's southern shore (in Worthing, West Sussex) a few days ago and I've been ever so proud to have had it in my company - and even moreso since reading the entries in the accompanying book, which underlines how privileged I feel to be a link in the chain of 'celebrities' whom I could only dream of ever meeting. 
Now, with apologies for my inability to 'smile to order', I ask you to take it that what may be interpreted as scowls are, in fact, expressions of being overwhelmed by the honour of being allowed to put on this majestic garment.

Displayed here is the Spo-shirt in close proximity to my most special friend in the entire world, my little (sleeping) Blackso, who, I'm afraid, is quite underwhelmed by the experience.

I took the shirt for an alfresco treat this morning to a location which has an especial significance for many of us. These are the precise environs (saving the extensive demolishment and re-building works) where, during an extended stay in this southernmost part of the country, our Oscar wrote his final masterpiece, 'The Importance', just before his life took that wretched and tragic crash - and what an inglorious fall from grace it was! Those of you familiar with the play will know that one of the two principal characters, John (Jack) Worthing, had his name given by O.W. from this very town.
(You may just notice the blue plaque on the apartment block wall in the background.)
The Spo-shirt greets its master.
No, that's not a paunch. It's the way I'm slouching!
And so, sadly, we must shortly part. My only regret was that the prevailing weather was not conducive to wearing it outside. (Maybe on some future occasion when it circles the planet?) In a few days it makes its way a mere dozen miles or so eastwards along the coast of this scepter'd isle and into the good and capable hands of........


  1. hello Ray:
    That is a shirt to be reckoned with. We think that as soon as you do go outside in it, we shall see it all the way over here in Kemp Town. Do you have any accessories to wear with it...Ray Bans, perhaps?!!!

    And, into whose good and capable hands will said shirt be making its way to? What a tease you are!!

  2. Hi, J & L. Yes it is certainly a shirt to knock the spots off all the rest.
    Afraid I've long reached the age where what is worn outside must be considered with care, and Ray Bans would give me a conspicuously louche appearance.

    I don't MEAN to be a tease by not telling you the next in line (although I have been called that in other circumstances - but let's not go there!) No, I just don't want to pre-empt the good chappie who, when his time comes, is perfectly able to speak for himself.

    Btw: You may not have known that I actually resided in Kemp Town (1993-2000, in St James' Street, no less). I lived there contentedly until I had to move out on account of the flat-owner wanting to sell up and my agent telling me (hah!) that he had no other appropriate properties in B'ton at the time and offered me the current one in Worthing, initially as a stop-gap, but in which I've been stuck for the last 12 years, caught in a financial trap which makes it difficult for me to move out. After I was transplanted here I found out that this agent and my present landlord were pals and I suspect that they were in cahoots to move me here to Worthing as a reliable, non-trouble-making tenant. So here I sit, wistfully recalling my Brighton days. However, it would be dishonest to say that I actually detest living here, it's only....well, so BORING! At least in Brighton one never knows what you're going to encounter next, pleasant or otherwise.

    Thanks for your always welcome visit to my humble blog.

  3. Spectacular! You look mighty spiffy in that shirt.

  4. Thanks, Walt - but, I'm afraid, nowhere near as you did! At least you had the chance to wear it outside without contracting a heavy cold.

  5. I love the pics. And shooting on location. "The Importance of ..." is one of my absolute favorite plays!

  6. Yes, Mitch. 'Earnest' is a truly great play (but a tad too much verbosity in the final act?) Unfortunately it's become, rather like 'Hamlet', weighed down by the famed quotability of so many of its lines. But that's not the fault of those respective authors.
    Yes, it was a delight to take the Spo-shirt down to 'breathe in' the very same sea airs, (or as near as one can get) that dear Oscar himself once inhaled. I think that many of Dr Spo's followers will have been pleased that it was allowed the opportunity to do so.

    Many thanks for popping by, Mitch.

    1. Did you see the contemporary film version of "The Importance of Being Ernest" (with Rupert Everett and Mini Driver, among others) with his chase scene and her tattoo?!? If not... DON'T!

    2. Yes, I did see it, Mitch - and I was horrified by the cuts. In order to make it a more 'accessible' length it was as though they'd plucked the jewels out of a crown and discarded them. I didn't think Tom Wilkinson was particularly good, or appropriate, as Dr Chasuble either - though he is a good actor, usually.
      Although the old Michael Denison/Edith Evans film has its faults it was miles better than this 2001 travesty.

      And thanks so much for coming back here for a re-visit, Mitch. Your dedication is exemplary!

  7. Lovely shirt, travelling the world and doing a good turn along the way.

    its bold and bright and jolly nice to see out and about in the lovely, if little sleepy Worthing.

    I look forward to seeing that shirt in Hove in the not too distant future.

  8. Ah, Jase. Your final sentence above has got my mind racing, perhaps without justification. Never mind. Let's just say I may have an over-lively imagination.
    Glad you came here to see it on my frame, topped by that alarmingly serious countenance.

  9. Thank you so much, for being part of this; I am honored so!

  10. No. thank YOU, Dr Spo. The honour is all on MY side - but let's not quarrel. Handover to next lucky 'link', tomorrow!

  11. How amazing that we are now connected in a way that wouldn't have happened without the wonderfulness that is Spo. I love that you are wearing a shirt I once wore in my own home (and if you remember, not much else)- how cool that you participated and had such a great piece of history to incorporate into your turn. Thanks for joining in the fun.

    1. Your lovely words are a tonic, S/b. I did find it difficult to take in that YOU had actually had possession of this very same garment for a while. It is now beside me as I write, but wrapped up, as in 20 mins from now I'm off on the train to Brighton to hand it over. But I live in the hope of seeing it again, as long as I don't come before others of Dr Spo's avid fans who also want to get their hands on it and their bodies into it.
      Yes, indeed, all thanks to Dr Spo for allowing this beautiful connection between all of us in so many lands.
      Thanks very much for your visit, S/b. I know you're a busy man so I'm additionally grateful for you to have made time to come here.
      Now, I really must go.
      Best wishes, cugs and huddles for you!

  12. You look absolutely fabulous in that shirt!!

    I'm so curious to read what everyone has written in the journal. Being first to receive the shirt was nice, but I missed out on reading the comments and thoughts of my blogger friends. Spo assures me that someday when he receives the journal back he will transcribe and publish the contents. That will be quite wonderful I think.

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Cubby. I'm overwhelmed by that first sentence of yours.

    Actually, I was only thinking yesterday of e-mailing you to ask if you'd seen this particular blog of mine. Of course, there's no compulsion to have written a comment, but there was also no evidence that you'd had the opportunity to visit here so I was slightly surprised that you hadn't, considering this is such an important subject - a sort of 'club' if you will, binding so many of us together - so disparate but yet also so united in the good Dr Spo's little scheme.

    I had noticed that you weren't in the book but assumed you didn't want to write. Again, there was no compulsion - it's only a request.
    I found one or two of the book entries a little difficult to decipher, but I did load copies of of ALL of them (so far) onto my computer, though some of them are even more difficult to read than before, and a number of the page edges have been cut off. But if they are all going to be published, that'll be good (despite a whispered "Oh dear!" regarding my own entry!). I certainly also would like to read the thoughts of those the shirt is touring too after myself, as well as your own on its re-run.

    Thank you for coming here, my precious chum!

  14. Thank you for your kind comment and also for taking care of the delivery. Was great to meet you and hopefully catch up again sometime soon D x