From his birth in the home of musical hall comedy Blackpool, Sir Cess tells of his early years as a palm reader, of his training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, on through his career as a colonially famous soap star, and of his latter years as an egotistical, pompous, garrulous, grumpy old man.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Ony In the New South Africa!!!
This series of
events started in last November when I was instructed by my son to prepare
myself for the forthcoming marriage of my daughter to the Red Bull Formula One
racing car designer, Mr Adrian Newey. The ceremony was to take place in the
final days of the month at a cosy restaurant near the town of Franchoek in the
Western Cape province of South Africa.
Mandy, pre-booked my flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town; they, the bridal
couple were arriving in South Africa at Oliver Tambo airport the same day, and
I was to accompany them on the same flight from Joburg to Cape Town.
My son was given
the job of making sure I was ship-shape and presentable to fulfil my role in
the giving away of my daughter. I had to make sure my one-and-only suit, acquired
at a reasonable price from the producer of a play I once performed in, was
cleaned and pressed, my shoes polished and have a clean white shirt and a
dickie-bow. All this I did, but my major problem was not having any luggage,
like an overnight case, in which I could transport my required costume to be
transported on the flight to Cape Town.
Regarding my suit;
it was double breasted and came with waistcoat and I had acquired for a nominal
sum from the producer of a play I had been in fifteen years ago, called “Blue
Orange”,written by English dramatist, Joe Penhall. It is a very sardonically
comic piece which touches on race, mental illness, and 21st century British
life, it premiered at the Cottesloe Theatre in April 2000, and starredBill Nighy and Chitetel Ejiofor.
I performed it,
playing the same role as Bill Nighy, in Johannesburg early in two thousand and
three, receiving reasonable reviews, however it was not a box office success
and we only ran for six weeks. So, apart from it being one of the most
difficult roles I’ve ever played the only other remembrance of the production
comes when I wear my acquired “Blue-Orange” suit.
Getting back to
the preparation for my daughter’s wedding; my son solved my problem regarding
luggage. He told me to nip to my nearest “GAME” store and purchase an over
night case with wheels that would be taken as had luggage on my air-trip. This
I did. At the age of sixty-nine I became the owner of my first wheeled travel
bag and it did not need a padlock as it had its own combination locking device.
This was where the
operate the device could not be found anywhere on the exterior of the case.
Tentatively I slid the catch and it opened; exploring the several inner
compartments I eventually found the operating instruction for the combination
followed them and set my birth date as the 4 required numbers 0307, the third
day of the seventh month. I was a hundred percent sure that I would not forget
them. I tested the opening, closing and locking of the case at least ten times
and it worked on every occasion. I set it aside.
The day before I
travelled I unlocked and opened the case to beginning packing it with what I
would require, casual clothes, socks and underpants for six days, toiletries,
dressing gown, slippers, freshly polished shoes, a newly washed white shirt,
dickie bow, and dry-cleaned suit.
After three or
four checks I locked the case.
On arrival at the
lodgings that my son had organised for myself and his accompanying new French
girlfriend, we discovered that the combination lock would not work with the
Luckily, I trained
my son well; and in no time at all he brought out his Swiss army knife from his
suitcase and we had my overnight case opened and all my smart clothes duly hung
in the wardrobe and sock and pants in a cupboard.
I will not go into
the wedding festivities and the celebration of my daughter’s fortieth birthday
which happened the day after the wedding now but both events went splendidly.
Old school friends of my daughter were there, and relations of my ex-wife
attended. I had great difficulty in remembering their names as two and a half
decades had passed since I had any contact with any of them.
I returned to
Johannesburg and on instructions from my son I immediately returned my
overnight bag to the Game store as I luckily had retained my purchase slip.
It was in the
first week of December, so I knew that I wouldn’t see my case till the end of
the following January as South Africa closes for approximately four weeks over
On the 25th
on January received a SMS from “GAME” informing me that my repaired case was
ready for collection. I went to the store.
16 Jan (12 days ago)
GAME AND GAME LIQUOR
Would like to inform Sir Cess Poole
that your Repair item is back in store awaiting your collection
Automated Message : Do not Reply
Ursula, the lady
in charge of customer services, wheeled out the case.
I did the
proverbial actors-double-take as it was not mine and, my eyes widened in
disbelief. A case three times the size of my case was presented to me! Jet
black, mine had been brown.
suitcase stood on the tiled floor.
Shouldn’t I? The dilemma of honesty confronted my ageing hard-drive!
I do not possess a
large suitcase and the prospect of saying nothing was my first thought. However,
as I had to travel to Cape Town in the first week of February for a couple of
days filming on an American production I would need an overnight case.
“Show me your
slip,” asked the customer service lady.
I duly proffered
“Eeh numbers are
the same.” she said.
“Well they may
be,” I replied, “But it’s not mine. Look, I’ll show you a picture.” I added as
I rummaged for my cell-phone.
By now there were
three customer service officials hovering, two around the case and the other
behind the counter. After a brief conversation in their African tongue, most of
which I couldn’t understand, the lady with whom I was originally dealing with
announced, “We have a problem.”
I agreed and
announced that I had to have a suitcase as I was travelling to Cape town on the
2nd of February, so I suggested that I take the large case and would
return to the store as soon as they informed me they had my case.
Another indaba in
their African tongue followed and I was told that this was OK, as long as I
signed a document that outlined what had happened. This I quickly did, signed
the statement I had made, was given a copy and, e-mailed the photograph of my
case from my phone to them, then I departed.
Two days later I
received a phone call from customer services telling me they had my case and I
must come and collect it as soon as possible because the owner of the large
case was going berserk threating legal action against them.
I am now in
possession of my case. The only problem remaining is I have lost the
instructions on how to operate the combination lock!!!!