2: THE GIFT OF BEING A NOBODY: Alan Bennett, his poets and "The Diary of a Nobody"

Charles Pooter out for an evening of fun with his wife Carrie in "The Diary of a Nobody" Just as this Ricky Gervais' film, "David Brent: On the Road," reminds us of the vulnerability, the fleeting nature of happiness and the transience of human life, so does Alan Bennett’s repertoire of stories and plays. Bennett's 'Talking Heads,' tells stories of very ordinary people; stories told with warmth, affection and a keen sense of observation. He claims not to be much of a reader, yet I owe him a debt of gratitude for directing me once more towards my English roots and my love of English poetry. His recent BBC4 series, “Poetry in Motion,” opened up floodgates of nostalgia for my ‘race memories,’

1. THE GIFT OF BEING A NOBODY: “David Brent: A Life on the Road"

In the chill of January 1897 my grandmother Ethel Finch Taylor was born to Margaret Halstead Ashworth, artist, and Alfred John Taylor, grocer/ confectioner, in bustling seaside Blackpool. Little could she know of the challenges ahead of her or the paths she would tread; none of us knows that. And it is easy to want something more, something special out of life, especially after surviving times of great hardship. BLACKPOOL c. 1900 Ordinary people and ordinary lives would seem bare pickings for an engrossing narrative, yet writers prove over and over again the value of small lives, small dreams, the minutae of our lives. Ricky Gervais has displayed remarkable insight and sensivity in his new

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