The Circus – a poem

The Circus

The celebrant said you were unique
in your uniqueness, stumbling blithely
through the minefield of our grief
and I wanted to punch him,
till your voice in my ear said ‘yahdeeyahdeeyahdee,’
as he coasted over the readings
like a local dj covers traffic jams and roadworks.

I cannot describe you,
but I can say that the room was full
of weirdos and outsiders, anarchists,
smokers, drinkers, dreamers,
feminists, co-operators,
builders of bonfires, sailors of seas,
stargazers, shelterers,
scientists, cyclists, hippies,
freaks, historians,

We filed out to Alpha Blondy singing
Wish You Were Here – they should have shut the doors,
cranked up the dub,
got out the smokes
and left us for the night
to do you justice.

I came to celebrate your life.

Your willow coffin cut me in two
and in the sunlight after
I thought I saw you cycle up.

Leaving the bar for air
I looked out over the river
at the clunky swans thudding over water,
till suddenly airborne and glorious

and your voice said, ‘See, Ange, everything goes on’.

Angela Louise Chicken, 2013

from Ippy

an aboard Lady Fisher in Guardamar, Spain, in September 2011. We joined him a couple of times in years when we were (relatively) nearby;

Ian aboard Lady Fisher in Guardamar, Spain, in September 2011. We joined him a couple of times in years when we were (relatively) nearby;

Ian, Sian and Pavlov aboard Lady Fisher on a weekend outing to Cowes in 2003. The dog hated every minute of it – but the humans had a grand old time, including an inevitable session in a local pub


Ian, Clive and Jan – very shortly before Clive’s passing – scoffing a cream tea in the New Forest, April 2011. We had a great time together but it was also a poignant day, filled with sadness too, as we all knew that Clive did not have long


Ian acting as legal observer during a Block the Builders blockade outside UK nuke factory AWE Aldermaston in January 2006. He was perfect – calm, reliable and quick thinking – and its a role he performed a good few times during this important campaign to halt the replacement of Britain’s nuclear weapons


Ian pushing a (fake, obviously…) Trident missile and soundsytem through the streets of London during anti-nuke demo in July 2007 – to a weird soundtrack. He was game wasn’t he? And always up for a demo, to get involved, and to support stuff!

Memories of Ian

I run a very small cleaning business called Elite Maids, I was Ian’s cleaner up until recently for over six years, and was extremely saddened to here he had passed away, his neighbor Bev called me on Tuesday the 8th of January, I was so shocked as I have cleaned for him fortnightly for years, and had been Texting him, and left a voice mail on the Tuesday, saying …” hi Ian hope you are well, not sure if you are home or bobbing around in your little boat! lol, let me know when your back and i will come and clean, hope you had a fab christmas!.

Ian would always text me back or reply the same day or the next, so I thought it a little strange, but did not worry as I new he had stuff planned over Christmas, people staying and what not, but when I got the call it knocked me for six, and I will explain why, I have many customers, and a good few are very friendly we can easily chat away for hours ,But Ian was such a great chap! always happy, always made us feel welcome, never once complained. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. I loved hearing about his debates, protests, interests, and his sailing adventures, I realised very early on that he was very popular, his house was an open house, always people coming and going, lots of story’s to be heard and lots of laughter, he would often tell me about his Stargazing and what he had discovered, talk about where he moored his boat and the adventures he had been on, also riding his racer bike.

I know he loved his music , there were often reggae cd’s lying about, and i know he liked a good smoke! lol, not sure if he knew i knew though!. But I was lucky enough twice to sit at that table in the kitchen for a coffee, first time was in January 2009, I was getting married on the 31st and was having trouble with layout of my order of service, Ian said bring it over on a USB and i will see what I can do! , as you can imagine it was a piece of cake for him, he fixed the problem ! and the order of service looked fab!. Second time it was my lap top! he stripped it back to basics, got rid of the virus, and it worked like a dream.

I often texted him with my computer issues and he always found a solution!, that was Ian, nothing was ever too much trouble. when he called me to give a quote for cleaning the house all those years ago, I will never forget him saying, I just need the house up together so unfortunately it will not be long term!, but it turned out it was, and I loved cleaning that house, then he had the loft done, and mac would often come and paint, it was lovely hearing them chatting together and laughing, there were others that spent a lot of time in Ian’s house, H and others I never knew by name, but I would just like to say that I for one will miss him a lot, and I think that it is so cruel he was taken so soon, but I am also very honored that I had the opportunity to work for and know such a wonderful man, as are my cleaners that knew Ian as well, Lyn, Sarah and Clair, so rest in peace Ian sail on! and party hard, I will never forget you….

shellie xxx


Thommo and I shared some great times at Southampton University, mucking about with the student radio station in the early 1980s. Later he was terribly important in the student world (here’s the picture from 1983 that shows him on the foothills of greatness!). After graduation, we met only occasionally – when he was trying to create a music venue in the Old Bond Store off East Street, randomly at the Harbour Lights, and at Pippa’s birthday back at Glen Eyre in 2002, when we sat beside the pond and Thommo lit the inevitable spliff. And then we hooked-up again just two months ago, and it was like the intervening years had never happened. The same cheeky irreverence, the same incisive brilliance, the same breezy contempt for injustice and unfairness. The same Thommo, in fact, even with the same hair! His passing is an unfairness all of its own. RIP



Right-Ho Ian

Right-Ho Ian, where do we start?

I didn’t quite realise how much I loved Ian until he went.

Always there with an open door a cup of tea and a spliff :-)

There to lend a hand when otherwise I could have fallen badly, thank you.

He had this ability to make me feel like a special friend and, although I was aware of many other people in his life, it came as a surprise to see so many others at his funeral who felt the same, how did he have the time and emotional resources?

Having work that was pursued as a hobby rather than a necessity might have helped, I remember going to his so many times to find him engrossed in ‘code-world’ which, bless him, he would do his best to explain to me under the mistaken belief that I’d understand.

I loved the fact that he was a ‘posh anarchist’, that although he was born into a well off family and never wanted for money, indeed he enjoyed the benefits this gave him with minimal anarco-guilt, he never for one moment suffered from the arrogance that good fortune can bring but was sensitive and alert to injustice wherever it appeared. But much more than this: he did something about it. I can remember going to the G8 protest in Stirling with him and remember with love his cool pacifist head as the drama of a police charge unfolded itself, constantly tempering my tendency to ‘have a go’. Inspired by the way the direct action was organised there he involved himself more and more in protest activity. A pacifist through and through and a delightful man to spend time with and, as has been said so many times, always a smile and that mischeivous Peter Pan twinkle in his eyes.

There is so much more I could write but for now I’ll just enclose the only photos I have of him, round mine 6 or 7 years ago, suitably stoned, skinning up and investigating xmas presents for one of the kids.

Quite simply: I miss you




World Community Grid

I am writing this on the laptop I bought in August. The first one I have ever bought for my own use, and bought with Ian’s advice and guidance. When it came he said to me “come over and we’ll get you set up: a generous use of the word “we.” As I write the computer is also chugging away on the World Community Grid processing data relating to the Human Proteome Folding project.

Ian installed this as the price of his help, typically the “price” was not for himself but for others. Come to think of it that would be a great legacy if all who remember Ian set up World Community Grid on their computers in his memory. I’m sure he would approve.