Tha's All In Ya Loif

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A message from Mr South:

I shudder to think how close I came to never finding Dennis at Grunty Fen. What an immeasurable loss to the world it would have been. We will never know what benign force guided me that day to the old railway carriage Dennis shared with his 92-yr-old Granny.

I had set out from the BBC studios in Cambridge, wearied by yet another series of dazzling interviews with international superstars and great statesmen. I knew that what the wireless lacked was the voice of the Common Man. But where was this Common Man to be found? Every clue pointed to the remote Fenland community of Grunty Fen, so thither I sped through a maze of overgrown by-ways.

On arrival, the only sign of life was a smartly dressed matron, whom I now know to be Mrs Jeffreys, drenching wildflowers with herbicide on the village green. 'Can you direct me to a Common Man?' I asked. Without hesitating in her task, she pointed towards the horizon and replied: 'Dennis. He's very common.'

All that hazy afternoon I followed her directions and those of others. Up and down the tangled hedges I roved, seeking the hidden path until at dusk and in despair I saw a filthy crippled cat totter into what seemed a solid wall of nettles. Wildly I dived after the cat and found myself following an almost invisible track through rank fronds of hogweed, viper's bugloss, purging buckthorn and bastard black stinking hellebore.

Suddenly I lurched into a clearing and there, sitting in the rusting hulk of a Wolseley, surrounded by hens and cleaning part of his tricycle, was my quarry. 'Dennis, I presume?' said I, and was rewarded with the first of those eloquent sniffs the world has come to know so well.

WARNING: Originally released on cassette, this is the very first collection of Dennis musings. Because it records the early meeting of Dennis and Mr South, you may hear Mr South sounding interested and entertained - sometimes even enthusiastic; not at all like the weary, fen-hardened veteran of later years. It's a shock. If this is your first taste of Grunty Fen, then try one of the later episodes as well - perhaps The Coal-Yard Christmas Party or Voiceovers from Archive Editions 1 when Mr South's nose is well and truly out of joint.

Running time: 59:44.

NOTE: This is the full album, available as a CD or as a download.

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 28 February, 2013.

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