Monday, December 10, 2007

"From Greenwich To Cranford, With Love From Philippa...".

This morning, there's a piece in The Times re tonight's Led Zep gig. Hawk-eyed 1st thing ( and huddled in bed as our heating packed up) I saw that this article featured a quote from my 2nd cousin Philippa ( she who comments on m'blog )

Philippa was at O2 Greenwich yesterday, collecting tickets/wristbands for said gig; presumably, she was interviewed while queueing. And poor Philippa. As she shivered in the cold, she told paparazzzi how years ago, she did "some very bad planning"( THIS from a highly efficient geography teacher) ...but she planned SO badly that she missed the very last Led Zep gig of all .. because it fell on another Very Important Day...
I remember that day well. My family gathered in a pretty Worcestershire market town; Philippa ( ringletted ) was romantic in white. Her platinum sister Susan was vivid in red, and me....I was clad in something long, flowery, Laura Ashley; I probably ressembled a Seventeenth Century Worcestershire Milkmaid. My own handsome blue-eyed father (white hair curling over collar of dark suit) " gave" Philippa away. And until today, I thought all had been Very Well.

BUT NOW I've read today's Times with Philippa's quote. And years on, she explains the tragedy of her Missed Led Zep Gig; instead of watching the world's best ever rock band, she got married in a gentle grey church in a serene part of Middle England, and (Philippa's rueful words):" I have regretted it ever since".

I'm SURE Philippa didn't mean that how it sounds, but it tickled me. And it'll tickle others ( husband Paul included) and it puts me in mind of lovely "womanly" quotes from the night heard while watching Heidi Thomas's adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's " Cranford".
Cranford, as Gaskell opens in her book, is a town full of women; it's a place "in possession of Amazons"'s also a place of " peppery words and angry jerks of the head" but its women are close and eloquent and they're chroniclers, through speech/action, of a long gone Knutsford. Knutsford, Cheshire, is said now to be a warren of wealthy WAGS; in fact, it's rumoured that Victoria Beckham's glam cast-offs once filled an entire Knutsford charity shop....the Cranford ladies would've loved THAT juicy gossip...
BUT as the Times says today ( in its TV review) Thomas, like Philippa (who waits in London now for a fabulous evening) delights with her words, phrases like "She deserves some enjoyment before she settles into marriage"....echoing Gaskell's own :"It is very pleasant dining with a bachelor. I only hope it's not improper; so many pleasant things are!"...
And although it's ENTIRELY the wrong word to describe such a gig, I reckon tonight's Led Zepellin reunion will be very PLEASANT indeed..
AND I hope Philippa, absolutely, "regrets nothing!" ...
PS. How's this for coincidence?? Minutes ago, I switched on BBCTV Lunchtime was exactly the right moment, because who should be sitting on pavement queueing for O2 but Philippa's husband, Paul....and looking pretty happy, I hasten to add.


Blogger Philippa said...

Hi, Jan, I've just got a few hours' sleep and am checking the web for news/pics of last night's 'event'. I am still high on adrenaline. It was AWESOME. And, yes, I WAS mis-guoted by The Times; I actually said that I regretted going ahead with the date of the wedding once we knew Led Zep were headlining Knebworth. There was definitely no mention of regretting getting married! What a lovely blog. Must go but will be in touch. By the way, Robert Plant was as gorgeous as ever! XXXXX

11:24 am  
Blogger Carole said...

I enjoyed reading this and Philippa's addendum. I love Elizabeth Gaskell and I'm really enjoying 'Cranford'. I was also interested to read about WAGs in Knutsford. My father was brought up not far away from knutsford,in Mobberley, in a little railway cottage. As a child I hated the fact that it had an outside loo. I remember my Auntie Pam who was married to my dad's brother exclaiming, quite some years ago now, about the two BMWs next door.

Also at

10:36 pm  
Blogger Suffolkmum said...

This was really funny. My husband was miserable and bitter because he didn't get tickets!

1:27 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks and hope you've come down to earth now. All reports were great so it must have been wonderful " Being There"...

Last "Cranford" on Sunday. A friend was telling me it was originally going over 6 episodes and had to be narrowed down to 5, which was a hard task.
Im discovering the book and enjoying it.

Od Dear! But I bet he's got all the music still!

10:26 am  

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