David Evans

Moments of Englishness

I wrote both my volumes of memoir, APPOINTMENTS WITH THE DREAM FAIRY and A SEASON OF OUTRAGE/WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS not only because I wanted to remind myself of my own life should I one day in dotage be in a situation where I cannot remember but because I felt that my experiences, as recalled, might be of use and interest to others. I ended A SEASON OF OUTRAGE, my memoir, on the evening in April 1982 that I met Nigel Quiney on Hampstead Heath. Subsequently we set out on a shared life, a domestic state which in 2005 we rendered legitimate in the eyes of the law when that law enabled us to become civil partners.However, some ten years after publishing A SEASON OF OUTRAGE/WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS, I have realised that there were several experiences before my life-changing meeting with Nigel, as well as the many after, which I think might be of equal interest to both peers and heirs, not least because my life has been thrown against the lives of others more celebrated and well-known than me and that I have been privileged to visit more of the world than most. I have collected and catalogued those most interesting to me to thus make this book from the journals and jottings. MOMENTS OF ENGLISHNESS is so titled because all the experiences, whether abroad or within Britain, have both moulded and reinforced my perception of myself and I thank all those whose lives’ paths have crossed my own who have brought me to my conclusion which is that I am essentially English. These MOMENTS have helped enable me at the age of sixty-eight to be who and what I am. Although I do not always derive comfort from my years, I have found that I can still sleep with a pea or two under my mattress.Despite my Welsh surname, now that the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots have achieved quasi-devolved national status of their own, I have no guilt in proclaiming my Englishness over any Britishness which would mist the glass. As an Englishman, even one who needs spectacles, I fancy that I can now see a clearer reflection in the mirror.My nickname, Dais is occasionally used in these pages. It is an abbreviation of the cockney rhyming slang Daisy Roots, meaning ‘boots’. I affected the wearing of cowboy boots in my twenties … Pink ones.
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