Boxing Day means different things to different folk – no longer a time for exchanging gifts after a day of prayer – and increasingly a time for manic shopping. (But never of course a time for organised fisticuffs, as some incorrectly conclude.)
But time was when (such an elegant phrase😑) the Upper Ten were wont to ride to hounds today, baying for blood, pink in coat and red in claw.
And regrettably the blood lust persists in these northern latitudes, in the pc guise of population control – of the hunted, that is. What the hunting fraternity do is ‘protect’ the deer against poachers and natural migrations, feed them and then send in posses of gunmen to shoot them down for sport. They claim to be trained marksmen but their prey occasionally survive and limp painfully towards a silent, hungry death. How we laugh!
Even though fox hunting with dogs in England is almost dead, stalking deer is alive and well in many countries. But who dares to rob the rich and famous (or the not-so-rich and bloodthirsty) these days? Robin Hood joined Labour and became a preacher.
My good pals, Google, are now in the business of curing diseases. Project Calico’s goal is to expand human life expectancy. This slowing of the anti-aging process is an ambitious undertaking but there‘s easier ways of fighting death.
Me, I’m going to follow Hob Gadling’s philosophy on life. “The only reason people die is because everyone does it. You all just go along with it. It’s rubbish, death. It’s stupid. I don’t want nothing to do with it.” Hob said that in 1389 and I was only talking to him the other day where he said. “Death is a mug’s game”. So that’s all there is to it, as another immortal is known to say.
Something stirred. So faint that I scarcely heard, But the forest leapt at the sound, Like a good ship homeward bound. Down in the forest something stirred, It was only the song of a bird.
But it was quiet inside the 5,200-year-old burial chamber, just a stone’s throw from our front door. It’s what’s known as a ‘passage grave’ – referring to its construction, not its purpose! Excavated 140 years ago by the then-landowner, about the same time as our house was built for his gamekeeper-cum-forest bailiff.
The media, even here in socialist Vikingland, are banging on about the cost of Maggie’s funeral – twenty new pence a head allegedly. So I thought I’d set the record straight, just to comfort the serried ranks of soon-to-be-late prime ministers who might feel obliged to decline the same honour in the interests of national thrift. Continue reading “Where’s Gordon?”
It was a grey morning in November when my brother decided that enough was enough. Of course this wasn’t an instant decision; it had been creeping up on him for some years. Slowly, of course, but nevertheless it had been on his mind.
My journey of exploration through his life on reading the journals he kept, though painful, revealed such a miasma of tragic occurrences that I could not believe how the Church had kept a lid on all this.
On the whole, he had not been outwardly unhappy; one could almost have described him as contented. Good old Philip with the worthy job, the perfect wife and a couple of well-behaved children. The two girls had inherited their mother’s looks according to my brother, whose relationship with his daughters seemed tolerant but slightly distant.
Looking back, his parishioners did begin to see the changes, although being abroad at the time, I only discovered this at the funeral. He grew his hair, appeared unkempt and frequently relied on his Rector to conduct services at short notice. He grew more unreliable at time went on, and this inevitably was brought to the attention of the Dean.
Backside and I are fans of M*A*S*H. It was sometimes cringingly sentimental but more often grippingly ironic and entirely relevant; a tour de force in the genre of ‘war soaps’ that has barely aged a year since it was produced almost 40 years ago. And Harry Morgan who has just died, aged 96, typified its intelligent examination of conflict, both medically and politically. He played Col. Sherman Potter for eight of its glorious years.
Manchester yet again I notice. Two lawless scumbags enter a home without the permission/knowledge of the owner with a view to picking up a few choice items for ‘recycling’. According to the news this morning they were both carrying knives.
Naturally the owner took issue with their choice of boutique and remonstrated to such a degree that one of the sub human, oxygen thieves received a knife wound which proved fatal. To quote the Sgt Major (It Ain’t ‘Alf Hot Mum), “Oh dear, what a shame, never mind!”.
The homeowner is now bailed before a hearing in mid October and faces possible charges of murder. Hopefully a similar verdict will be given to the recent cases and he will be cleared of any wrongdoing. Personally I think he should be awarded the keys to the city, a big, bugger off medal and an open top bus tour in his honour. That isn’t what is gripping my exhaust.
The Middle Eastern journalist Jerrold Kessel played cricket for the Israeli national team in the 1970’s. Mr. Kessel died earlier this year. Much admired for his even-handed approach to the Israel/Palestine dispute and for his TV contributions for CNN, Jerrold never lost his love for the sport he played. As he was dying he told friends he was playing for a draw and near the end he remarked. “The fielders are closing in.” Continue reading “Either that screensaver goes…”