saw Bob Dylan last summer, a sprightly looking chap for his age. I
didn't meet him in person of course, no, no, afraid not, but saw him in
concert at Stirling castle. Bob "the stuff legends are made of" Dylan
strutting about in a skin tight suit in front of 7000 adoring fans. Some
of them were grannies too, you know, and what energy they possessed,
hip-hop folk from another musical era.
"I'm a granny, you know," screeched a youthful pensioner in delight as
she twirled past us to the doleful sounds of 'himself' singing "Sad
Eyed Lady of the Lowlands." He did well, too, for a man of his age,
sixty and still going strong.
Now I think Bob likes his garden, he could be a gardening man, you know,
that song of his, "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", has a bit about
geraniums in it, a Geranium Kiss of all things, could be an indoor plant
man perhaps, and one with a particular penchant for Pelargoniums? I
must ask him sometime. Well I might, you know, I just might, although
it's not easy to get in touch with such an iconic figure as Bob for a
chat about gardening these days, is it? No, no, certainly not - not in
such times of cult superstardom anyway.
"Do you like your geraniums then, Bob?" I might say. "And how do you
"Most likely you grow your way and I'll grow mine," he might say. (Or
was it "Most likely you go your way and I'll go mine." I'm not sure. I
must look it up. On the album anyway, Blonde on Blonde).
You never know though, he might like the occasional blether about
horticultural matters, mightn't he? It's not inconceivable.
Now after picking up on Bob's reference to geraniums I wondered whether
anyone else waxed lyrical about the gardening side of things? (Didn't
Tina Turner sing about a Nut Bush? I'm sure she did).
There's a castle near here, you know, not far from Dornoch, a sort of
exclusive guest house concept for the rich and famous, the sort of
establishment that Bob might frequent, short breaks away from the
hurly-burly of busy life, celebrity weddings, that sort of thing. I can
be out in the garden, you know, pottering about, a spot of weeding,
taking cuttings, that sort of thing, when a low-flying helicopter
'whizzes' past en-route to the castle. Film stars, Rock stars,
Presidents, Kings, they've all seen me. Well I think so anyway, and I
always wave, make a point of it.
Now once a year the castle is open to the public, just the estate
grounds, in aid of charity, a summer fete to raise money for good
causes, and so we set off after lunch - the whole family - for a
pleasant afternoon of meandering amidst shrubberies and glasshouses. We
always check out the new plantings too, to see which guests, if any,
have planted a tree or a shrub to mark their visit.
Now occasionally, just occasionally, mind, if the opportunity presents
itself, I might have a furtive peer through one of the ground floor
windows in the hope of catching sight of somebody famous. Never spotted
anybody yet, of course, not really, although just possibly - there's a
slim chance - I may have seen that guy who used to advertise fish
fingers on the television, 'Captain Bird's Eye', that was his name, but
I may be wrong.
One year perhaps they'll have Mick Jagger on teas ('Brown sugar with
your cuppa?') or Bob 'the stuff legends are made of' Dylan in the
glasshouse tending to the geraniums. Now that would be a summer fete
with a difference, wouldn't it?
Anyway, Bob Dylan or no Bob Dylan, it's certainly a pleasant way to
spend a leisurely afternoon
(Copyright Patrick Vickery 2004))