Monday, 16 March 2009

Desert Island dreaming

A dream come true for me this week as I have (finally, what took you so long guys?) been asked to appear on Radio Blacbury's popular long-running programme Desert Island Spokes. I will be interviewed by Christy Mung about my life and asked to choose my top eight all time umbrellas, fictional or otherwise, that I would want with me if I were to be marooned on the Isle of Wight during April. I will also be asked to select one book and a luxury item.

Asking me to narrow down my brolly choices to eight will be tough - a bit like asking John Prescott to plump for the best pie he has ever eaten....(I did ask him once. he told me to Bogg off, as he does to everyone on instinct, then conspiratorially confessed to me that he still gets dewy eyed recalling a gala pie he had from a deli in Rochdale, 1989).

Nevertheless I have made my selections after much cogitating. I won't reveal what they are - you'll have to tune in to find out when the programme is broadcast next weekend, but if anyone would like to guess what might be included via the comments box below then there could be a small prize in it for any correct/amusing suggestions.


  1. Robin,

    Two guesses...

    The battered old umbrella used by Sean Connery (my favourite) in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, where he uses it to drive a flock of birds into the path of an attacking aircraft?

    My boyfriend's favourite use of an umbrella, however (and so might be one of yours), is (apparently!) in the film A Bridge Too Far, where it is carried everywhere by a British officer who claims he carries it because he can't remember passwords in the field (as at least that way no-one could possibly mistake him for anything but an Englishman).

    Will either of these two umbrellas be in your top eight?

  2. Interesting suggestions Janet F. Connery's dusty archaeological relic is in my top ten but just missed the final cut.

    I must confess to never having seen a Bridge Too Far (A War Film too Many, I am afraid) but I like the style of the British officer as described. It is such charming but naive upper class twittery, arrogance and presumption that we do things the right way while everyone else is is merely uncivilised that once made this country great.

  3. Claus Lundekvam16 March 2009 at 17:20

    The Penguin's one that emits a noxious purple gas at his foes? You could use it to snare a passing boar, assuming such creatures are indiginous upon said island.

  4. The Bulgarian Umbrella would surely be next to your bowler? Comes in great use when the swans in Brockwell Park hiss at Barkles. The Bulgarian is also a handy device to display knowledge of French film culture, as you can pretend to have watched Le Coup du parapluie.

  5. Claus, bless your sainted defence, but that one don't make it. However, Karl, you have hit brolly gold with your suggestion. The Bondesque ricin weapon was indeed in my list for all sorts of obvious reasons. You list yourself as a "finder outer" you ever go wilding? Do you compile an almanack (sic)?

  6. Well, if you are after the most uplifting contribution from an umbrella during stormy times I would go for the one wielded by Gene Kelly in his unforgettable "Singing in the Rain". Will such style, dash and optimism ever be matched by those in charge of todays umbrellas? Perhaps only by Robin himself, but nevertheless an inspiration for all during the recession.

  7. The Gene Kelly one is a nailed on stone wall certainty. Well done.

  8. Almanacking? Sounds like something I used to do with ginger beer and galoshes. No, I'm far too busy at the Centre for Research in Umbrella Design (CRUD). Write to me sometime and I'll tell you about our work programme...