Who’s Uncle Jim and what’s this all about?

2016-07-29 10.44.59

She awoke with a start, and it amazed Mr. Polly to see swift terror flash into her eyes. Instantly it had gone again.
“Law!” she said, her face softening with relief, “I thought you were Jim.”
“I’m never Jim,” said Mr. Polly.
“You’ve got his sort of hat.”
“Ah!” said Mr. Polly, and leant over the bar.

This blog is also about the weather of life:  the people, the situations, the circumstances and accidents that conspire to piss on my parade; because they’re always there. I don’t buy the myth that everyone (else) is super happy, super talented and simply overwhelmed with having fun. Shit happens, and you have to keep going even if it means taking the risk of challenging it.

And because “Polly” is a true grail story, you wouldn’t expect Mr Polly’s arrival at the Potwell Inn to be unchallenged, and in this case it’s Uncle Jim – the drunken and violent brother of the landlady of the Inn, who’s only really named in the book as ‘plump’. She does have a name – Jim calls her “Auntie Flo” but Polly just calls her the plump lady and Wells’ description of Polly’s first sight of her makes clear that Polly finds her deeply attractive.  The second half of the novel describes how Polly faces his fears and finally drives Uncle Jim out of the Potwell Inn for ever. The posts in this category will be my attempt at ejecting Uncle Jim – in whatever form he presents himself – from my Potwell Inn.


Author: Dave Pole

I've spent my life doing a lot of things, all of them interesting and many of them great fun. When most people see my CV they probably think I'm making things up because it includes being a rather bad welder and engineering dogsbody, a potter, a groundsman and bus driver. I taught in a prison and in one of those ghastly old mental institutions as an art therapist and I spent ten years as a community artist. I was one of the founding members of Spike Island, which began life as Artspace Bristol. ! wrote a column for Bristol Evening Post (I got sacked three times, in which I take some pride) and I worked in local and network radio and then finally became an Anglican parish priest for 25 years, retiring at 68 when I realised that the institutional church and me were on different paths. What interests me? It would be easier to list what doesn't, but I love cooking and baking with our home grown ingredients. I'm fascinated by botany and wildlife in general, and botanical illustration. We have a camper van that takes us to the wild places, we love walking, especially in the hills, and we take too many photographs. But what really animates me is the question "what does it mean to be human?". I've spent my life exploring it in every possible way and the answer is ..... well, today it's sitting in the van in the rain and looking across Ramsey Sound towards Ramsey Island. But it might as easily be digging potatoes or making pickle, singing or finding an orchid or just sitting. But it sure as hell doesn't mean getting a promotion, beasting your co-workers or being obsequious to power, which ensured that my rise to greatness in the Church of England flatlined 30 years ago after about 2 days. But I'm still here and still searching for that elusive sweet spot, and I don't have to please anyone any more. Over the last 50 or so years we've had a succession of gardens, some more like wildernesses when we were both working full-time, but now we're back in the game with our two allotments in Bath.

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