Workshop 3rd February 2015

Pavanmuktasana. This was the name of the lady that one of my old chums from Eton offered to set me up with last year, saying she would be perfect for me. He is the son of a Maharajah and I was quite surprised when he offered to act as matchmaker, given that I had bullied him quite dreadfully at school because of his rhotacism. His r’s were as absent as my man’s requests for time off. We used to force a headband with rabbit ears onto his head and then chase him, shouting “Wun, Wabbit Wun!”

The moment I mentioned this lady’s moniker to my man, he blanched. “Your friend from school may be playing some sort of joke on you, sir,” he uttered hesitantly, well knowing how preposterous a notion this was. I am never the recipient of a joke, only the jokemaster himself. Sometimes, even I do not realise the vast extent of my humour. Whilst passing a Soho piercing emporium, on direct route to my members’ club, you understand, a passing comment I made about my “Prince Albert velvet slippers” had the whole of the establishment in tears of laughter. To this day I do not know why. Perhaps we few select mortals are just naturally gifted. Others are clearly more well versed in the fundamentals of gentlemanly culture than I had previously realised, even if they do have green hair spikes and large quantities of tool box materials in their tongues.

“You see, sir, “ he continued, “ I am very familiar with Pavanmuktasana myself.” This was slightly disconcerting. Surely this lady was not moving in the same circles as my man, laudable though he is?

He said, “You know how I do Yoga as part of my maintenance regime?” Of course I knew, I had suggested it myself, he is getting older, and it is important that he remains in good enough shape to look after me as I age. Was Pavanmuktasana perhaps the yoga teacher? It would be a new thing, having dinner with someone in trade.

“Well, Pavanmuktasana is the name of one of the poses.” I looked at him, perplexed, and asked which one. “Er, the wind ejector pose, sir. It gets rid of, in an often noisy fashion, hot air.”

It was a windy night tonight at the Pitshanger Poets meeting, and weather warnings had been issued. It was the same the evening Mahatma Gandhi visited the Pitshanger Poets on the 22nd March 1931, when he was after some light diversion after the second of three meetings to discuss the future constitution of India. Why, the wind almost blew his dhoti off. Luckily, there were no ladies present. He apparently led the group in some deep breathing exercises involving nostril jiggery pokery, and caused one esteemed member of the group, Walthus Maymore, to strain his left adductor muscle whilst trying to sit cross-legged. The creases in his striped spongebag trousers were never the same afterwards.

Martin Choules kicked off proceedings with his legs very much uncrossed, directly addressing his past dreams in a lovelorn fashion. Daphne Gloag then mused about the nature of the past itself, bringing us the first part of a new, long sequence of verse. Caroline Am Bergris also talked of the past, of a literal and metaphorical Berlin Wall, followed by John Hurley lyrically reminiscing about the 1950’s. A newcomer to our group, Nayna Kumari, wrote pithily and strikingly about a man who was rumbled and Caroline Maldonado wrote about a mysterious woman caught in the wind as she was being chased. Finally, Alan Chambers wrote beautifully about what a convalescent could see as he watched the snow melt outside.

Thank goodness there was no snow tonight when I made my way home, as I had not brought my flatweave gabardine overcoat or pointed captoe Oxford shoes, a gentleman’s first ports of call when the whiteness of winter hits. I never would have lived it down. If you have been, thank you for reading.

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