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.
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.
New Muse. New music. Wonder what the dinosaurs think of it?
I’ve got a job at the Water Company and it’s well boring.
My job at the Job Centre is OK but if I’m fired I’ll have to come in the next day to talk to my colleagues.
“Never Apologise! Never Explain!” – Sorry, that’s my motto.
I recently found out that I am genetically connected to a Native American tribe. The first thing I thought was “How?”
That’s what the commentators are doing, meddling with our ineffably wonderful language.
How? Potential winners at the European Championships are allegedly likely to medal! Synonym? To podium.
That’s after they have battled their opponents.
Where did you get it? I won it. I picked it up. I came across it. Answers that might denote its less-than-conventional origin. Personally I avoid any event resembling a flea market but millions of people love ’em. It’s the thrill of the chase and the improbable but tempting idea that treasure might be there for the picking.
So perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked to read that someone found an elegantly packaged glass bottle, presumed it was perfume, presented it to his lady-love……….and poisoned her with a deadly nerve-agent. But I am. Yes, it’s the antidote to serendipity. Someone will probably calculate the odds against the man’s ill-fortune. But I doubt it will spell the end of garage sales or expeditions with metal-detectors – or the temptation simply to snag things lying around the town.
I came across a Grauniad leader this morning – and had to read it twice. Is this about Denmark, with the happiest people in the world?
I suppose the biggest difference a non-Dane notices over there is that most of the folk in the shopping centres (except perhaps in the few cities) are discernibly descended from Scandinavian stock. Compare that to most British towns. But there is another major difference. Since WWII we have grown used to seeing and living cheek-by-jowl with incomers of all races and persuasions; they are part of our landscape. I hate the word ‘integration’ but I would say they play a part in our society which most of us recognise and no longer resist, as we did at first. But the Danes are still where we stood after WWII! Hence the existence across that small country of 56 ‘ghettoes’, as described in the article, linked below.
After my second reading, I have had visions of PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen playing our favourite Viking, King Canute (never mind the spelling), as portrayed in fake news as a megalomaniac resisting the waves. I hope I’m wrong.
I was heel-clicked incarnate. Honestly, the cliché police, if they existed, would have thrown the book at me or locked me up and thrown away the key. Nothing could stop me in this mood. I was on top of the world, soaring like a cold blister and full of beans that could make a new forest. As I walked down the street I was the shiniest on show by a city mile (not in the country and anyway, a mile’s a mile for all that). I couldn’t resist singing my favourite Scorpions song “Here I am, Rock you like a Harry Kane.”
Then Destiny called. “Hello, you,” she said.
A driver had lost control of his Ford F650 pick up truck and had driven it onto the pavement. Careering at speed it was almost upon a young boy who was walking in front of me. I had a split second to make a decision. Continue reading “You need hands”