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.

 

I am not a romantic.

I am not a romantic. In fact, in some ways I might be extreme enough as to be an iconoclast. This isn’t in the sense of being a nihilist — far from it. I’m a moderate monarchist, Low Church Anglican with high church attendance and hobbies that are so sedate that even the most curmudgeonly of Dorset grandmothers approve. Continue reading “I am not a romantic.”

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.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/10517728/Princess-Michael-of-Kent-life-beneath-the-tiara.html

It’s that time of the year

 

I’ve mentioned before that the Danes are a precocious bunch, especially atĀ 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 industrialĀ  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”

1963

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