Thursday 30 April 2009

Stop twittering Stephen

Dear Mr Fry,

I read your letter to your teenage self this morning. It was wonderful. It demonstrated the strength of good clear writing and humane senitment. It set me on a thoughtful stride for my day's labours. I liked it so much I am going to quote some of it below. Please don't lose sight of the important stuff amid the twittering.

"...we gay people are happy now (or not) in large part thanks to Stonewall rioters, Harvey Milk, Dennis Lemon, Gay News, Ian McKellen, Edwina Currie (true) et al, and the battered bodies of bullied, beaten and abused gay men and women who stood up to be counted and refused to apologise for the way they were. It has given us something we never thought to have: pride. For thousands of years shame was our lot and now, turning on a sixpence, we have arrived at pride..."

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Thought for the Day

Why do pigs become swine when they are giving us flu?

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Thought for the Day

Ex Private Eye...

Frank Skinner and Jana Bennett (BBC Controller of "Vision") on a panel discussing comedy...

Referring to Skinner's interview with her on his Panorama programme about bad language,
Bennett: Thanks to you Frank I am now the custodian of the "C " word.
Skinner: Whenever I hear the "C" word I think of you,

A Traveller's Tales

Pig flu is official. We are told that the best prevention is frequent hand washing. Don't travel on First Great Western then. Since the dreadful refurbishment sorry "improvement" of their ageing fleet (you remember the one where they fitted horrid, cramped budget airline type seats) the taps in their bathrooms have never worked. In fact the toilets are so insanitary you really fancy a shower after a visit. Maybe in the next refurbishment they can fit non-functioning showers as well.

Monday 27 April 2009

Overheard at Paddington

Well not exactly overheard but blasted in my ears at 3 minute intervals...

"Customers are reminded that professional thieves operate at this station..." What as opposed to "amateur thieves"?

Who are the morons that think this crap up? And why do they believe that endlessly repeating it -- to passengers who are usually delayed so not there out of choice -- is going to make one iota of difference? Of course it puts the blame for any crime firmly onto the victim -- after all we did warn you and the thieves are professional...

Today's News Titbit

Prince Charles has attracted some criticism for hiring a private jet for the duration of the tour, during which he will mainly focus on climate change issues.

BBC News

Sunday 26 April 2009

Age of Austerity

David Cameron has proclaimed an age of austerity. In spirit I spend the evening watching wonderful documentaries from Edgar Anstey's British Transport Film Unit. I chose films from a previous time when we were broke and watch the marvelous 1952 Ocean Terminal, John Schlesinger's Terminus and my favourite Snowdrift at Bleath Gill*. If presented well I can see the appeal of a Celia Johnson, WI jam, dig for victory style of austerity. What we miss though is a sense of the greater good for which we are being austere. Sadly doing without, pulling together, making do and mending need that sense of purpose and no-one is giving it to us. So all Cameron and Osborne's banking mates can start collecting their full bonuses again...? Or Peter Mandelson can regain his intensely relaxed state...?

*Required viewing in my mind for Boris Johnson and any other bleaters next time we have a snow fall and they feel it necessary to stop transport.

Overheard this morning

You know what I blame all this credit crunch on? Computers, they just had too much money in those conmputers.

Thought for the Day

There is no more perfect recipe for self-delusion than to suppose that being a television personality is some kind of achievement in itself. The best insurance to stop it happening is to keep a recording of say, Beethoven's 7th Symphony nearby in order to remind yourself of what an actual achievement is.

Clive James, April 2009

Saturday 25 April 2009

Saturday Treat

I am off to Hay on Wye today -- now in fact. I have been looking forward to it all week. It's one of those special places where arriving really generates a thrill. Others...Brighton, St Davids, Bath, Cambridge and of course Zanzibar. I am sure I can come up with some more.

Thought for the Day

If I'd known how great being 84 was I'd have done it years ago.
Tony Benn

Thursday 23 April 2009

Thought for the Day

Not mine but terribly true...

Spending Billions of pounds to shore up banks that had made appallingly bad business decisions so that they don’t go bust, which means very wealthy people and their companies can continue living in the manner to which they have become accustomed = Vital actions to stabilise the economy.

Asking the said very wealthy people to pay more of the cost of cleaning up the mess = Class War.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

A Blog Virgin

If anyone ever finds this please bear in mind I have only just started blogging -- give me some beginner's leeway.