Sunday, 25 October 2009

Will The Real Deidre Moffat Please Stand Up?

It's a commonplace that standards in journalism have slipped a little over recent years. When I cut my teeth on the Stockport Leader, I was taught to walk the fine line between doorstepping a potential story and leaving people to enjoy their weekends unmolested and in peace.

Times have certainly changed. This weekend, the hunter became the hunted, as I spent the whole of Saturday avoiding the persistent enquiries of a pack of hacks, intent on getting me to spill the beans on poor old Deidre Moffat.

I'd been away a few days, so had missed the headline news that Deidre - an old sparring-partner from my days at the Birkenhead Beagle - had (apparently, and - it has to be said - rather amazingly) taken up as the mistress of a successful insurance company chief executive.

Anyone who knew Deidre would have been more than a little surprised at the idea. Apart from a fondness for the bottle and a taste in clothing that could best be described as Brodie-esque, she was never a woman who courted controversy.

That's why I was more than a little taken-aback when the baying hounds (many of them no doubt stringers) refused to leave me alone. In fact, I had to dig deep into my archives to throw them some small sop before they slunk away into the sewers from whence they came.

I can't remember where this snap was taken - I myself had supped too heartily from the vine that evening, if I recall - but it seemed to satisfy them. Of course, I omitted to tell them that the Deidre in this picture would now be around 72 years old, even if she had survived a lifetime of alcoholic abuse.

Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Birthday Boy

It's a brave man who accuses Bill Blunt of being worried about the advancing years. A distinguished journalist of my stature didn't become distinguished without the odd grey hair or two emerging.

The eve of one's birthday is always a time of anticipation. Never more so than if you're a Libran who happens to be a Bob Dylan fan. For more years than I can recall - and that's a worry in itself - His Bobness has chosen to release his latest album on or around my birthday. That's nice of him, and it's made for an easy response whenever my nearest and dearest have asked me what I'd like as a present.

This year, however, anticipation has turned to trepidation.

Bob's 47th album is due out next week (Tuesday 13 October, to be precise).I'm usually happy to wait a bit for the pleasure of listening to some fresh Dylan. But this time, I'm feeling more than a little anxious. Christmas in The Heart could go either way. The prospect of Bob crooning “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Must Be Santa" is perhaps just a little unnerving. I'm worried that it might add another grey hair or two to my (already) silvery head. At least the proceeds will be going to a worthwhile cause.

Anyone who's listened to Bob's rendition of "This Old Man" will know what I mean about grey hairs, however. Pedestrian isn't the word...