They’ll meet. But where?

Don and Kim’s unprecedented head-to-belly calls for some creative thought. Geneva won’t do – because the boy went to school nearby. Singapore is too, well, Asian. So for me, that leaves Cuba, which has all the requisites for a world title fight. History, communism, cigars, Gitmo (the honey-pot destination for serial-killers) – and proximity to Florida for the inevitable round of golf. Don claims to play off nine; no doubt matched by Kim’s as-yet-unpublished handicap. Cuba will also enable Don to show off his perhaps limited Spanish vocabulary, upstaging the (allegedly) polyglot Korean. Covfefe, por favor, barista. And Ladies and Gentlemen, your Master of Ceremonies for this headline bout is none other than the darling of the media, winner of the Nobel Prize and everybody’s best friend, Barack Obama! Enjoy!


Gold is very yesteryear, innit? Silence – which is undoubtedly golden – has no place here and speech is silvern. Hence this flattering new portrait which shows me (l) in the limelight and Backside in the shade, just as it should be.

Any road up, we hope you like our new livery – although once again, Backside’s actual words do not bear repetiton. Goodness knows what’s eating him this time.

A bad start to 2018

It’s hard to look on the bright side during these dark, wet days; even if Kim the Jong-Un is on the hotline to the South again; and Don the Old ‘un seems to be in a downward spiral of self-destruction. There’s an unhealthy glut of Bliar stories in the meeja, suggesting he is still scheming to return to Labour politics. Please! Let Corbyn continue!

Down under – where 2018 arrived sooner (and more trouble has had a chance to appear), it’s hip hip but not hooray; at least if you are Our Andy or Almost-our Johanna. And in the Ashes series, the England hierarchy seems to have delegated decisions to the players – ‘No, I don’t need a nightwatchman,’ said Jonny; and promptly got out.

Back home, real people struggle to budget for train fares, petrol prices rise and cold spells make everyone feel low.

But hey! Ambrose at the DT says Britain will soon be great again, Europe will slide and the sun will shine on us all. So that’s alright innit.


Clutching at straws

Even the most ardent royalist must blanch whenever the name Princess Michael is mentioned, usually in the context of her imagined importance and persistent ignorance. Her latest faux pas, involving a so-called blackamoor brooch worn in the company of Ms Markle, prompted me to investigate further.

And I found this well-crafted article – which says it all.

It’s that time of the year


I’ve mentioned before that the Danes are a precocious bunch, especially at this time of the year. Celebrations start on 23rd – known as ‘little Xmas Eve’ -and continue until after the noisy New Year bashes. Hence my bah-humbug picture.

But hey! (happy seasonal retort) Backside and I wish all you intrepid Charioteers the holidays you wish for – for yourselves and your families. Ding dong as merrily as you like, deck your halls and save a glass for poor old Santa!

And a Good Brexit in 2018!

Home town thoughts

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. Continue reading “Home town thoughts”