Call me Doxie as I am the proud owner of one of those loud velcro sausages on four little legs. I grew up in Devon but now live in France. I used to be the liberal out of your worst nightmares, but that changed with the 2016 Nice carnage. I started visiting Going Postal regularly that summer. I never joined because I do not have the gift of quick, fun repartee you all have and could contribute nothing interesting. RP is the love of my life, but, please, do not tell him: I am an old bat and easy to find… My second favourite was Jen the Blue. He made himself, literally, the butt of his own jokes which he mixed with a good dose of common sense and clear-sightedness. No politician, however wily, could fool Jen. He saw through their antics with laser insight. Like all of you, I was shocked and saddened to read that Jen the Blue had died, but also awed by his courage, humility and the way he had unabashedly laughed in Death’s face until the end. Perhaps, Death deserves nothing better than to be mocked?
I have been making doll’s houses since I retired, several inspired by Going Postal, the “Novichok Doll’s House” and the “Bollocks to Krauts Doll’s House” to name but two. A few days after Jen’s death, I decided to make a small blue farmhouse in his memory. I bought an ugly wooden, house- shaped toy (unfortunately made in Germany) from a charity shop as well as a used plastic car to make Beryl. I rummaged in my doll collection until I found the most boz-eyed totty. For good measure, I also made the dog boz-eyed when I painted it even though Jen claimed he did not like dogs. I could not find a puffin, so I put a penguin instead. I pulled the car apart and repainted every bit with craft acrylic paint and glued pieces of fabric to the floor and the inside of the doors. The house itself I covered in dyed balsa, using Dylon universal dye. I mixed several colours until I got the shade I really wanted. Furniture and accessories I usually make out of balsa or transform hideous toys bought by the bundle at local summer flea-markets or shamelessly scavenged in the bins of neighbours sadly saddled with children. If I sound harsh, consider the following: neighbours who were moving back to England gave me an expensive doll’s house they had bought for their seven year-old daughter. It took me a whole month just to repair it. My best friend, whose daughter is now a grown woman, could not believe the damage that child had inflicted on a toy she and her husband could never have afforded.
One does not give death presents, but this work is meant as one to Mrs. Jen the Blue, to Puffins who miss Jen and to Going Postal as a whole. I wanted to summarise and symbolise Jen’s fantastic contribution to Going Postal. It is up to you to decide whether I succeeded.
© text & pictures Doxie 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file