Sunday, April 20, 2008


My darling daughter was so moved this week by the news about Joan Hunter Dunn that I detected a certain influence from all the articles in the papers in the poem she wrote at school about myself and her father. She obviously sees her father's relationship with her mother is equally passionate and inspiring as anything Betjeman wrote about. I can't write anymore, as my tears might short out my keyboard, it's not easy being a muse, sob.

The Downshifter's Love Song

Miss J Hunter Dunn, Miss J Hunter Dunn
Has seen the last setting of the Home Counties sun
Daddy is such a great fan of John Betjeman
When we heard the news we just had to fetch him in

When Daddy met Mummy she was engaged to Harold
But Daddy got her, lock, stock and double barrelled
a Camberley honeymoon, but the stay wasn’t lengthy
Mushrooms and pines spoiled the smell of the M3

Daddy misses Surrey, tells us often, doesn’t stop
Both the county and the one with the fringe on top
So his weekends home our sense of bearings do disturb
And this corner of a northern field stays a London suburb

He loved her at thirty, at forty too, the joy
Always willing to swallow and she looked like a boy
When against her warm body he’s found quietly nestling
We know she’s beaten him again at arm wrestling

Before we were born they gave up their games of tennis
For nearby windows her backhand did menace
Now often although no court or net has it seen
We wonder where the warm handle of her racket has been

With the power to inspire him Mummy was imbued,
His enthusiasm for his work not just spurred by her nude
Although their Sunday nights spent staring at the ceiling
Must make a week working in London rather appealing

She always follows him to the car, tears in her voice
Oh Darling when will you ever make a choice?
Mostly it’s whether to pay the builder cheque of cash
But sometimes their rows slow his London bound dash

And whatever the words that are left unsaid
We know there is something ominous ahead
When they sit in the car till twenty to one
Daddy and his own Joan Hunter Dunn

By Milly Super aged seven and three quarters


Expatmum said...

Do tell more about Harold. In Iambic pentameter if possible.

aims said...

Dearest Rilly - I wanted to leave a funny comment - but then I went to the links and read about Joan Hunter Dunn and then I read the original poem and then I went back and read yours....

I bow at your feet - oh wondrous one.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Speechless. And that doesn't happen that often as you can imagine xx

elizabethm said...

Now come on, seven and three quarters? Either the girl is a genius or she had help.
particularly like the rhyme for Betjeman.

Potty Mummy said...

Gosh, that line about swallowing. Masterful, Rilly.

Calamity Jane said...

Oh bravo!! [Applause]

PS Thanks for giving me my huge ackman fix for the day

Semaj Mahgih said...

Weak from her loveliness. I was just reading of this this morning.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

rilly, you rock! your talent is wasted on this blog.
Pgix or pigx

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Mr Farty said...

I don't think anyone could have put it as succinctly as Messrs Monitor and Webcam. Well done, Milly!

girl with the mask said...

Did I just see Milly on that Channle Four 'Child Genius' programme or am I mistaken?

rilly super said...

expatmum darling, iambic pentameter? isn't that what's painted in the floor of the pub at the begining of american werewolf in london? *shivers*

aims, you are so kind. I don't know if you have a canadian John Betjeman over there, I don't think we would have had one if there's been wolves and bears in Surrey, sigh

nunheadmotherofone, how super to see you again and thank goodness you aren't often speechless or your blog would become even more occasional that this one has beeb of late

elizabeth, it's the influence of the ted Hughes school for girls I'm sure. There has never been any published poetry in the the family, except for my grandfather who's rude limericks in the local gents were put up on 'wanted' posters in the reception of the local constabulary

potty mummy, oh gosh - sob - you are too kind - but that should be mistressful of course...

calamity jane, hello again, but ackman, ah yes, they still have one of those machines in the local pub you know: it might be left over from the eighties but it's still younger than the pork scratchings, sigh

Semaj Mahgih said...

Rilly - where is the thank you for the music post, dear?

Ms Baroque said...

Rilly I have said it before and I say it again: that child will go far.

All Shook Up said...

Tears to my eyes, truly lamentable. Your dear child is touched, by genius possibly.

GoneBackSouth said...

Dear Rilly, I've seen you commenting elsewhere and I thought I'd come and say hello. Hello! I moved in the opposite direction to you. GBS.

lady thinker said...

Yet more fame - have you seen the Weekend section of today's Telegraph?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Rilly! Did you read what they said about you?? That you are rilly two men?? Come and defend yourself, are you still with us?

duckrazzle said...

A bulletin board-type site to talk about bloggers!

It’s brand new – get it going the way you would like to see it! New topics at will, and forums by request are yours for the asking.

Blogs are a wonderful way for the blogger to express his or her viewpoint…but they don’t allow much feedback if you happen to disagree, or if you really agree and want to amplify on it. provides a clean slate for you to vent…praise…flame…whatever.