Gone Away ~ The journal of Clive Allen in America

An Invitation

Back in England there are castles and palaces, mansions and country estates, owned by our fading aristocracy. We call them stately homes. Very often, the original owners are still in residence but can no longer afford the huge costs of maintaining these magnificent buildings and the parkland they stand in. So they have had to come to an accommodation with the modern age. As a desperate attempt to survive, they move into one wing of the house or just a few of the rooms and open the rest of the place to the public, charging a small fee for us to wander around gawping at family portraits, suits of armor, ancient furniture, historic tapestries and gilded decorations. We regard this as our heritage, although our peasant ancestors never had even a glimpse of the fabulous interiors of these places. It is true, at least, that from our humble ranks sprang the craftsmen and artisans who created the wonders within and the soldiers who formed the thin red line that protected their owners from invasion.

But no matter. I mention these facts merely as an introduction to these pages you have so unwittingly stumbled upon. This is a home of sorts, not stately, it's true, but a place where the rooms are open to view and I hide somewhere in the background, counting out the pennies to see if I can decorate another room. Please feel free to wander wherever you fancy. I do not ask that you wipe your feet, as there is still a small staff that cleans up every evening. You are welcome to touch and taste as well; everything here is for your inspection and entertainment.

I would even ask that you make as much noise as you please. All comments and suggestions are much appreciated. There is space at the bottom of each page for you to write your own contribution (let us call it your small fee); even just a signature in the visitor's book (the comments section) gives me some idea of who and how many have passed through my humble abode today. Remember, this is all done for YOU. Your thoughts and opinions are important to me.

Thank you for listening. Now go read!


Andrew Simpson
Hello Clive, I found myself reading your journal after hours on ebay; Mad said to give it a go. So here I am. I've already learned a new word: "impecunious", so I’m - as they say - a better person for reading it. My dedication to the written word is not as strong as maybe it should be; in fact it takes me three days to read the "Motor Cycle News". That's probably down to Mad bringing his bike around for me to fix several times a month (ok a slight exaggeration but it'll wind Mad up when he reads it!!). So maybe I can manage a page a week if I try hard. Hope all is well. Andy
Date Added: 04/12/2004

Gone Away
All does indeed go well, Andy, and is all the better for having heard from you. I hope that life is treating you well too and that the depths of impecuniousness do not threaten to draw you into their maw. Read at whatever pace suits you, it'll be fine by me. As regards Mad's Gilera, that's the thing about Italian machinery - lovely to look at but forget the reliability. I'm sure it'll keep you busy for many weekends yet. ;)
Date Added: 04/12/2004

Hey! Leave my little Italian mean machine alone. She's lovely. Oh and that reminds me Andy, the mirrors need tightening again and one of the tank catches has broken, I'll be round tomorrow...
Date Added: 05/12/2004

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