Friday, 23 July 2010

The day the music died

A grey mist hangs over The Enchanted Village. It is not unusual, but it feels chilly, like an overcoat left in a cold hallway and then put on bare arms.

A tramp is booted out of the church after a lady doing the flowers discovers him relieving himself behind the organ. The incident leaves a blemish both physically and emotionally. It is not very nice. No gentleman of the road is he.

But the greyness seems apt for the news that greets me when I come back to the village this afternoon. One of my blog characters has to be removed from the cast list. Poor old Dudley, he of the Grand Marnier, red wine and Guinness, he of the magic musical fingers and beautiful mind, the organiser of jazz concerts in the church and in the hall.

Dudley was a troubled soul who everyone knew but no-one really knew very well. He was part and parcel of everyday life in The Enchanted Village, even though he would leave us for weeks on end to get away from it all.

The last time I saw him to speak to, he was in good spirits. The two of us were deep in conversation outside the pub while he had a fag and I escaped from the World Cup. He was looking forward to a new life in the Malvern Hills - a pipe dream, maybe, who knows - but he kept expressing his gratitude for the friendship he had found in The Enchanted Village even though sometimes being here was just all too much.

I understood his need to escape and was pleased to see him looking so happy and making plans. He had a new spring in his step, at least for a while. I thought at the time his move would never happen. And it never did.

Sir Edward Elgar, that most English of all composers for whom the Malverns were such an inspiration, said “My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as your require.”

Rest in peace Dudley, The Enchanted Village will miss you.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Maddie,

    Tis a sad day to say farewell to Dudley. I feel I should know him but as you say, I probably know him by face but not know him in person.

    It is a shame that he never managed his ambition of escaping to the Hills but maybe he is there now in spirit.


  2. Marvin Allan Williams23 July 2010 at 23:05

    Through your writing I feel I have come to know the people of your village and felt tears welling as I read about poor Dudley. I'm sure he would be honored by the send-off you have given him.

  3. Beautifully written - I hate to see your cast shrink, but I hope that Dudley is in a heavenly version of the Malvern Hills.

  4. I am new to yor blog....but I feel your loss....

  5. Dear Maddie, So pleased to have stumbled upon your lovely blog. Love your writing style and feel when I stop by weekly (or sometimes even more often, hoping you have posted a new entry) that for a brief time I am part of your village , listening in on the conversations and tales of entertaining local characters and partaking vicariously in daily events. Thank you for sharing glimpses into your life and the life of your village.

  6. Go in peace and enjoy the music of the spheres, Dudley. You enriched life in the Enchanted Village and in the wider world more that you knew. Ta.

    Hugs to you, Maddie!

  7. Deeply moving and beautifully written.


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