I don't know if it was the Quientin Blake illustrations that drew me into Mr.Dahl work. It's what Roald wrote about in his life time that made my childhood amazing.
I had paperback/hard copies of
James and the Giant Peach
Charlie and the Chocolate factory
I saw both "James and the Giant Peach" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at the Cinemas in 1997/2005. I always watched Matilda and the 70's Willy Wonka movies when they were on TV
What I remember about 1995 is that during my time reading Roald Dalh books in the library, the Librarian told us all the Roald died in 1990. I was 5 at the time of his death.
A year later my surrogate Grandma Marleen Hill told me that Roald died of a heart attack. Years later I discovered it was actually Blood Cancer.
During my first year in High School, I remember having to study "BOY" the autobiographical book written by the man himself. Reading about Roald losing his father and sister within 6 weeks and the canning he would get in School and university really did pull heart strings on me.
Fast forward 23 years after I have picked up my first Roald Dahl book. Its now 2018, I have written 2 books about my travels, I've seen shitloads of Heavy Metal bands, Slept with 40 women, set foot on 73 nations, lived in New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Birmingham, London and Stockholm and I've pretty much visited the graves of 10,000 men and women whom died in both World Wars.
I've been living in the United Kingdom for 3 years now. In all of this time I've gone out of my way to pay my respects at the grave of: Steve Took, John Bonham, Steve Clark, Gary Thain, Keith Moon, Paul Kossof, Marc Bolan, Joe Collins, Amy Winehouse, Conor Clapton, Jacqueline du Pré, Karl Marx, Sandy Denny, Phil Lynott and my own Great Grandma and Great Aunt grave!
But there are still allot of famous musicans that I haven't visited their final resting place: John Lord, Keith Emerson, Garry Moore, Ian Curtis, Robin Gibb, Pete Farndon
Since I feel like I'm running out of famous graves to visit in the UK, my travels takes me to Scandanavia. Quothon, Greta Garbo, Pelle Lindberg and Dead, all within Stockholms transport system.
Today i was going to head south and go visit Keith Emerson grave. I've never listened to an ELP record in my life, but I can bloody well hear the influence when I see Jordan Rudess play the Keyboards in Dream Theater.
Train tickets were expensive. With my last day off for 2018 on Thursday I checked train ticket. Even though they were cheap, It didn't give me much walking times to and from the station.
Then sudderly, I remember about Roald Dalh. It had been many years since I picked up one of his books.
After a quick google search it turns out, hes buried not far from a National rail Station and to get there all I had to do was take the Metropolitian line train to the last stop out west!
I took the bus from my house to Kings Cross Station and got on the Metropolitian line train. I was so lucky this train was getting divered to Watford as I only had to change tube trains twice.
Got off the tube and waited 30 minutes for the next train to Great Missenden. It only cost me 6.20 return from a tube station to Great Missenden. So money worth spent!
As i checked my maps, i noticed theres a museum about Roald Dahl. I walked past it on the way to Saints Peter and Paul Anglican church. It was closed on Monday, but I didn't know any better. I picked up a few phamplets about the museum so I could mail them to my Mum.
From the Station to the cemetery. It took me 20 minutes walking time. When I saw the big castle like Anglican Church, I knew I was at the right location.
I found it amusing to walk into Saints Peter and Paul church in Great Missenden on a Tuesday afternoon. I heard the sounds of someone playing the organ! It must have been a rehersal, nobody walks into an Anglican Church and starts playing the Organ!
After signing the prayer request book, I walked into the Cemetery. No marker numbers were needed, just find the big grave that has allot of flowers I guessed.
The phamplets I picked up 5 minutes ago told me there were big foot prints leading to Roald grave. These were the footprints of the BFG's
I stood at the grave of Roald Dahl. I had to let my emotionals be sad because that is what death is all about. Yes I am sad that I never got to meet Roald Dalh or write him a letter. But I am glad that after 23 years since I picked up "James and the Giant Peach" that I got to thank Roald Dahl for making my childhood wonderful, despite all the bullshit adversity I went through.
I couldn't help but wonder, why wasn't Roald buried near his daughter Olivia who died age 7? Normally familys tend to get buried together. Turn out Olivia is buried in the same cemetery but in a different location.
I left Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery today with some inspiration in my pocket. Its the same type of magic stuff I get when I visit Sandy Denny in Putney or Qurthon in Sansbourg, Dead in the very south of Stockholm or Euronomus in Ski!
Write another page
Cross another border
Visit another town
Stay another day
Make another friend
Play another album
Try another meal.
After spending the last 2 years using Jackie Collins books as props and hardly remembering what any of her books are about, I kinda belive that I really do remember what happens in Roald Dalh books.
So maybe next year when my Nephew Zac turns 10, I'll post him a copy of James and the Giant Peach!
After seeing Roald Dalhs grave, I think I need to go visit all those other famous people I just listed. I get 2 days off work every week to go inside or outside of London and do what I feel like.
I always return to work the next day with stories to inspire others!