It’s Greek to me

Not surprising perhaps. Phil has done some unusual things over his 97 years. He also seems to be stubborn to a fault.  Driving alone after a road accident he seems to have caused and without a seat-belt qualifies as evidence.

Today he is reported to have ‘surrendered his licence voluntarily‘. Which I’m sure is RoyalSpeak for being banned from driving. I mean, if I wanted to give up driving, I’d simply stop – with my licence intact. ‘Surrendering’ it implies police involvement – which I expect will lead in due course to serious charges.

Caveat voluntarius

It’s a magnus vicus where I live, not an urbs. (Come back, Latin haters, this is not periculosum.) But there seems to be a blossoming of interest in learning and studying Latin; perhaps even a resurrectio! I offered to teach a few discipuli and now there are multi waiting patienter to join us. But no, I must keep the pax Romana with a cohors minima amicorum. The mensae at the Waitrose taberna are non satis magnae for a multitudo!

O Aurigae, opto sitis felicissimi et felicissimae anno MMXIX

(‘O charioteers, I wish you guys and gals great happiness in 2019’)

No deal? Hurray!

Sorry to talk about this but in two days’ time Drunker will  tell us the EU’s rules on ‘no deal’. Ain’t that just typical? They’ve got rules about everything, even when we’re not negotiating! But the important thing is: no deal means we’re are out, Brexit is done and dusted, the political playground is finally closed and commercial reality in the shape of the WTO takes over. What’s more, Britannia and her acolytes will have the whip-hand again. She will choose where to go for trade – and sucks to Brussels. Next please.

New neighbours in Novopangea

In a couplahundrend million years or so, according to the DM, our soon-to-be-former-Euromates Spain will be cheek-by-jowl with Kenya, GB with Morocco, Alaska will be a lot warmer, penguins will overrun Chile, the Alps will be cosying up to the Himalayas – and OZ? Land-locked! No worries there then – except perhaps from China.

 

Full-colour horror story

The 1914/18 war was  always in monochrome; and film footage always depicted armies marching in double time, gesticulating like robots. But all that has changed, thanks to the modern technology Peter Jackson has deployed to shocking effect. I cannot imagine the reality of blood and guts in the trenches when the whole picture is revealed. Lest we forget? After this we never will.

Log on?

It was  picture-postcard romantic to live deep in the beechwoods in a thatched cottage built for the game-keeper in the mid 1800s, wood-smoke curling up from two tall chimneys every morning as the mist cleared in the Spring sunshine.

But these days our little friends Elf and Softy are daring to point out that even the newest, tightest, most efficient woodstoves pump invisible particles into the rooms they heat. And this time they are absolutely right! Much to the chagrin of the green wellie brigade and other country dwellers with a preference for traditional heating.

I acquired ‘solid’ evidence during the Viking years. First, a dripping nose which coincided exactly with winter sojourns at home; second, the state of the fly screens which we needed in the woods and which were yellow with smoke-dust after a few months’ use (there was no dust outside in the woods!).

So before you chuck another log on, you might want to think again.

Goodness me

I can’t help thinking I’m an egalitarian. The word seems to connote more or less what I stand for, morally speaking. It cements the aims of all those who want to lift our species out of the life old Hobbes described as natural: ”solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. But ever since the Americans crystallised the principle – ‘all men are created equal’ – plenty of gainsayers have ensured that some are more equal than others. They have used pseudo-science, pseudo-religion and pseudo-economics to justify their belief in the subjugation and humiliation of other races and creeds. Not to mention politics where we witness so-called social democrats identifying members of their clubs who have unsuitable views about equality.

Of course the best strategy for my opponents is to deny the principle – which in their book gives them licence to deny their hypocrisy, their dressed-up inhumanity, their sense of innate superiority. Their  tribes just play their cards more skilfully, they’ll say; and devil take the hindmost. But I can’t hope St Peter will deal with them in the end; so many of his adherents agree with their flawed conclusions. I just want them to know they can’t fool everyone with their arguments.