Archive

Archive for the ‘The Dark Side’ Category

Home town thoughts

December 13, 2017 9 comments

It amazed me, gladdened a few and perhaps amused many to read that Coventry has been named City of Culture 2021. It’s hardly a natural epithet for a city whose history might better be described as dour, bordering on tragic. Oh yes, it’s had its moments of industrial  significance (is that the word?) with Frank Whittle’s jet engine and a string of well-known badges gracing its car factories. But genuine culture is harder to discern. Does Mary Ann Evans count? She was born nearby in Nuneaton but lived in the city for some years as she became the noted novelist George Eliot. A bit ponderous for my taste.

But soft ! (etc.) What about Philip Larkin whose only widely known poem starts with a very rude observation? Yes, he counts as culture and he went to ‘my’ grammar school. Even more significantly his poems are imbued with a fatalistic gloom that is an essential part of being a Midlander.

So here’s one of his best poems, Afternoons, written in 1959.

Summer is fading:
The leaves fall in ones and twos
From trees bordering
The new recreation ground.
In the hollows of afternoons
Young mothers assemble
At swing and sandpit
Setting free their children. Read more…

Advertisements

1963

December 6, 2017 5 comments

My reader may not remember 1963, owing to age or wha’ever, but it was a year when the Tories had little local difficulties as potentially disastrous as their current turmoil. They also made prurient reading – often referred to as the Keeler affairs, with her famous beau, Cabinet Minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat, Yevgeny Ivanov.

We were entertained by Christine Keeler’s fellow ‘escort’, Mandy Rice-Davies, immortalised by her comment in Court when confronted by a Defence Barrister: ”Well ‘e would say that, wouldn’t ‘e?”

The gubmint fell and Labour’s Harold Wilson became PM.

https://news.sky.com/story/profumo-affairs-christine-keeler-dies-at-75-11157992

The simple truth

December 4, 2017 44 comments

I think it would be fair to say that Britain has not always dealt with Ireland fairly or squarely. Think famine and the Troubles. But I have always wondered why the Protestant Sect in the north has been allowed to create endless mayhem when it has been obvious that the best solution would have been a united, independent Ireland. There are enough precedents around the world that would support the idea.

Of course it won’t happen but I’ve had anough of the tail wagging the dog over there. And now the Republic wants to impede progress with Brexit. Typical.

Court but not behind

November 28, 2017 27 comments

Our thoroughly modern royal house seems to be keeping up with the latest trends (may one say, at last?). Their Spare Scion, only likely to succeed if four others fail, has introduced novelties of Churchillian proportions by proposing marriage to a Yank and that’s not all. Dare one say a colourful choice?

But more significantly, the worldly-wise Windsors are alleged to be avoiding the Trump factor altogether by simply not inviting him to the nuptials. I mean, who would, under any circumstances? That’s what I call Realpolitik. He of course will claim to have better things to do, whenever it is. But won’t he be a tad hurt with such a stellar rejection? One hopes so. (That ‘One’ may or may not refer to Harry’s Grandmama.)

Even more important – what will the bride wear? Will the groom’s best mate be revealed well in advance so that dirt he can be royally dished, character-wise, in good time? These and so many other vital issues to consider and so little time. So good wishes from me.

A Dorset lad’s pome

November 18, 2017 6 comments

Thomas Hardy dun gud, lik wiv pomes. So eres won wot I lik. ‘The Darkling Thrush’, 1900

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

Read more…

Frocks

November 13, 2017 21 comments

And that’s only the boys, if Archbishop Welby has his Christmas wish. (Sorry to mention the C word in mid-November, but M & S started it.)

Read more…

About time too!

November 2, 2017 17 comments

I am married to a life-long smoker. Some years ago, by way of gentle retaliation, I calculated her consumption had already exceeded over half-a-million fags but of course I had not yet worked out the potential cost in time-outs in the modern world. But in Japan…….

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/10/30/non-smokers-get-six-days-extra-paid-leave-make-smokers-cigarette/

I retired before smoke-free offices were enforced but I do see groups of addicts standing outside their places of work at all hours of the day. So I can see the problem. Meetings interrupted or postponed. Phone calls unanswered or delayed. Simples.

If they wish to claim their addiction is a medical problem, then they must submit to treatment. If not, the Japanese solution is fair.

Flavour of the month

October 31, 2017 6 comments

What is it, this month?

Snow White

Well, it’s sex scandals of course, mainly tales of  starlets from many constellations being abused and exploited. The hypocritical tut-tutting echoes around the lots (of everything) in Hollywood and the corridors of power in Westminster; fuelling the flames of feminism and sending whiffs of grapeshot among the moguls and mandarins. Read more…

Enough already

October 28, 2017 19 comments

It’s disappointing to see that all the home page posts are mine. Yes, I know, CT is busy moving and my other reader has nothing of interest to say. Well, it didn’t stop me, did it? Backside says f**k ’em. (Pause for weak smiley intrusion.)

 

Don’t be silly

October 22, 2017 7 comments

It must be the proliferation of wannabe journalists that’s responsible for the ridiculous attention given to the American festival of Halloween – in shops and in the meeja. Because if nobody wrote about such rubbish, nobody else would find it interesting to participate in such childish games.

Read more…