Taken When Jonty Tried Ethnic Drumming

Jonty’s behaviour of late has been inexcusably bad – what with him damaging my car and putting me at risk by tackling burglars – I’m sure you’ll all agree.

That’s why Maxie and I thought it would be a good idea to see if we could bring Jonty out of his self obsessed phase by slipping a whole load of khat into his stew and getting him to do a bit of African drumming!

As you can see once we’d slipped him into one of Maxie’s friend Tinotenda’s boubous and got an udu in his hands he was well away.

That’s what’s so lovely about Maxie, he’s got all these really cool friends. Tinotenda’s great, great, great grandfather was from Zimbabwe so even though he was born Brian Milligan in Oxford and now lives in Hoxton, his adopted spiritual name of Tinotenda Ndebele is so much more him.

If you were to look into his lovely bright, blue eyes like I have then you’d realise that he dreams of roaming the valleys of Zimbabwe herding goats. Or horses. Or whatever it is they do.

Anyway, after we’d got Jonty drumming we couldn’t stop him! It was lovely to see him, almost trance like, beating out a rhythm on the udu and chanting to himself.

By the end of his first session his hands were red raw and nearly bleeding. Maxie said this is perfectly normal and that Brian, sorry Tinotenda, had lovely soft hands because of it. That would certainly explain why his udu looked almost untouched, he must have really soft hands!

Goodness knows Jonty needs soft hands, his are all calloused and worn, not like Maxie’s and mine!

We had to top up his khat with a few cups of khat tea at various intervals, but it was worth it because Maxie had brought up his etchings to show me and we’ve been looking at them in the bedroom.

His brass work is very, very impressive and he’s been telling me all about how he does them!

Seemingly he buys an art book from Waterstone’s or Border’s – I like Border’s best as they’ve got Starbucks! – and then scans in the drawings in it he likes onto his MacBook Pro, artistically removes any page numbers or copyright nonsense and then emails the finished JPEG to a little fellow he knows in Swiss Cottage, who then laser etches it onto a piece of brass and posts it to him!

The whole process only takes a couple of days! Maxie says people used to do it by hand and it it took months of painstaking crafting. Why would anyone do that? Maxie is so talented!

Well, I’ve got some very important meetings tomorrow and Maxie’s looking at me funny – he must be very tired – so I’d better get into bed soon.

I can still hear Jonty drumming away and gurgling downstairs though!

He looked really cute when we left him to pop upstairs. His eyes were rolled way back in his head and he had foam around his mouth!

I had not seen anything as funny in ages. Maxie on the other hand went all boring and serious – I’m not sure I like that side of him – and said that it might be manslaughter – whatever that is, probably an African disease or something – and phoned Tinotenda on his iPhone and asked if the foam was normal.

Apparently it is, so that’s ok. Would you believe it means he’s communing with the ancient ones! How cool is that?

I tell you one thing though, I hope the ancient ones tell him to pipe down a bit, all the screaming is really not helping me concentrate on Maxie’s etchings.

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