[Byron Society home page] [Other works by Danny]

Commentary on "The Rime of the Ancient Sheep Molester"

The first part of this harrowing epic (the first seventeen stanzas) were indeed composed, in about fifteen minutes, in Henrey’s North Oxford flat in 1988, but the balance was only exhumed from his imagination and committed to echidna parchment during a sojourn at The Scrope Berdmore Davies Institute for Advanced Byronism, Clifton Hills, South Australia, while on a Pirelli Travelling Scholarship in the winter of 1995/6 (your winter, that is) (JHG).

It may come as a surprise to scholars of Overblown Romantic Drivel to know that this epic has a basis in fact. It cleverly amalgamates two sailing weekends skippered by Chris ‘Cap’n Bligh’ Oakley on his father’s yacht in July and August of 1987. The first one involved Steve, Danny, Fiona and Daisy, where the boat was brought from Plymouth to Falmouth via Mevagissey. In the second one, with Danny, Steve, Simon Grinstead and Juliet Simpson we just went to an anchorage in the Helford river, where windsurfing and event ‘X’ occured. In this trip, we ran out of calor gas, and in consequence had Steak Tartare Sahaaba for dinner, i.e. the steaks were hardly cooked. This unplanned variation on the ship’s menus was obviously well worth it (?) because of the huge inspiration it was to give to Danny and Steve in future creative work (CH).