I, spy, with my little eye

I was thinking of calling this piece Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with the subtitle Richman Poorman Beggarman Thief before reading the comments on spooky. . .

let's just do those lyrics tho, while we're here. . .

In the cool of the evening
When everything is getting kind of groovy
You call me up and ask me
Would I like to go with you and see a movie?
First I say "No, I've got some plans for tonight"
And then I stop
And say "All right"
Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little boy like you

You always keep me guessing
I never seem to know what you are thinking
And if a girl looks at you
It's for sure your little eye will be a-winking
I get confused, I never know where I stand
And then you smile
And hold my hand
Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little boy like you

If you decide some day to stop this little game that you're a-playing
I'm gonna tell you all the things my hearts been a-dying to be saying
Just like a ghost you've been a-haunting my dreams
But now I know
You're not what you seem
Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little boy like you

. . . oh, the haunting memories those words bring back

(but I'm not doing those kind of memories right now)

reader, I do like Spooks, despite its faults - ever since reading the whole of Ian Fleming's Bond series one summer in my early teenage years, when I took a book to the games of cricket I watched, to read during the slow parts of the afternoon (usually, at that rate, I was able to finish a book a weekend), I've been fascinated by espionage

I could have taken a job at GCHQ once I'd finished my PhD (speech analysis and synthesis), in the late 1980s, when speech recognition technology wasn't even born yet because the world I inhabited was still trying to decipher speech and analyse it and create synthesised versions of the sounds we make with our mouths and tongues and lips and velum and uvula and larynx and vocal folds (I created the best piece of synthesised speech ever to emerge from the laboratory in which I studied and gained a First for my efforts) (I thank my mother, for that achievement, for instilling in me the importance of meticulous attention to detail)

but you know the story - my mother told me I had "been a student long enough" (I took a four-year degree) (and I'd had a year off before starting, so I was two years behind the "careers" of my peer group to whom, in her wisdom, she compared me) and sent me out into the world to earn a decent wage, so - as she wanted me to - I became a secretary, instead of a spy

. . .the strange and somewhat ironic thing being that my PhD research post was funded and I would have earned £10K a year - and yet the office job I was offered and took only paid £9K. . .

I digress

how I loved the dust jackets of those Bond books! better even than the dust jackets of the Swallows and Amazons series that had become close to my heart the summer of my eighth or ninth year (I remember the house we lived in when I read them, I remember lying on a towel in the garden of that house all summer long reading my way thru that series and wishing I could sail away somewhere exciting. . . but I don't recall now how old I was)

I can't recall, either, now, how old I was when I read my way thru Le Carre's novels - but I did

I adore the restraint with which he wrote, the lack of exuberance, the melancholy, the way your mind would drift off and try and work out the unmentioned details as you turned the pages. . . he made you think like a spy - as opposed to Fleming, who was high energy, sexual and violent, very in your face and would made you think of heroes and (if you were to have one) your brother's Action Man (if he were to have one)

it is more difficult and challenging to transfer lack of exuberance and melancholy and the unmentioned details - the holes, the lack of substance and reasons - to the screen the size of a television's (even tho they are bigger these days than they used to be), which is why saving the world just before the end of the show and blowing a few things up along the way and capturing adrenalin and force feeding it to a viewer works, in an age where we seem not to like a slower pre-technological pace

and thus I watch Spooks*, while dreaming of singing detectives, psoriasis and Michael Gambon, Alec Guiness, depression, bedsits, tinkers and tailors

(*it's all Auntie offers me)

tinker tailor
soldier sailor,
richman poorman
beggars who can't be choosers
and a thief


Mel said...

I tried to talk himself into the newest LeCarr book. I was kinda surprised when he wasn't all excited about it.

We did take it home with us.
He hasn't read it yet.

I gotta ask what Spooks is, ya know.
Dunno if we don't have it or if I'm just oblivious to it cuz I so rarely do television.

Mel said...


And the dustcover isn't really all that exciting for a spy book. LOL

Just sayin'......

Vicus Scurra said...

Mel. Spooks is called "MI5" in America, because your television companies thought y'all were too stupid to understand brit slang.
However, if you think that it accurately depicts life in the secret services then you deserve that description.
High production values, melodrama, reasonably well acted, but ultimately silly.
I watch it every week.

I, like the view said...

ooooh, I'm under you, vicus

what a treat. . .

I've completely forgotten what I was going to say now

*wanders away in blissful reverie*

I, like the view said...

oh! I know

mel if you're not totally aquainted with vicus yet, I just need to add that (IMHO) he's all mouth and no trousers, really

so don't be offended in any way shape or form, please

I, like the view said...

vicus, you lovely lovely man you, when I write all mouth and no trousers, I hope am not incurring unnecessary innuendo. . .

. . .and I hope that mel is familiar with that olde englishe/brit slang phrase

I, like the view said...

(YIKES! I've dug myself into a hole so deep I can't see the light)(and I appear to have mislaid my shovel, and my torch, so I guess I'm going to stay here until someone comes along and gets me out - HELP!)

Vicus Scurra said...

While you are down that hole, can you look for my trousers, please, I seem to have lost them?

I, like the view said...

indeed, I can

and, indeed, I did

(and whilst doing so, I found pleasurable wonders beyond my imagination)(but no loin cloth. . .)(quite why I was expecting to find a loin cloth, I don't know - but I didn't find it, so it can't have been there)(which is just as well really)(don't like to think of such a suave and sophisticated gentleman as yourself, going commando)(well, not chez moi; what you do over at yours is totally fine by me)(obviously)(*mwah*)

Mel said...



<--going to ask himself who'll promptly explain, I'm sure!

And just so ya know-- I wasn't the least bit offended! He used "y'all" rather well, even if it did sound funny with that accent.

But ummmmm...yaknow.......could we possibly talk to him about leaving the pants ON?

I, like the view said...

k. . .

<-- feels she needs to explain the meaning in British English of the word "pants"

(or perhaps that's the point you were making!)

(I'm sure they are on, as well as his trousers - he's just a big tease really)(but rather sweet with it)(but he's far more polite over here than he is at his place - where his language is very colourful)(but very sound opinions, I find, however they are expressed)(hope I'm not sounding patronising. . . I don't mean to)(oh yikes, I'm in a different hole now)(time for bed, methinks)(sweet dreams Ms Mel, when you get to yours)

Mel said...

Ah HA....I asked! And "all blow and no go" works for me.....though I do rather like "yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah" and a bit of an eye roll.

Oh..*blushing*...and about the 'pants' thingy.....

Oh boy.

Vicus Scurra said...

Mel, Mel, Melly! I never suggested that y'all were stoopid, only that your television companies thought that you were. Please pay attention. Now get out there and save us from President McCain, please.
Scurra. Fully clothed.

Mel said...


Consider yourself saved--it's a done deal and we've a new President Elect.

<-- really wasn't offended (takes a lot to get that one accomplished! LOL)

I, like the view said...

*uncrosses fingers*