Probably best to avoid politics, on the whole, but this has been a momentous week and the nation has been taken captive, regardless. The result, although definitive, has been, once more, divisive, both enraging and delighting. Never one to renege on the opportunity of a voice, I have always voted but, having moved house this year, by Thursday morning, there were still no polling cards. Apparently expendable, the very important people at the desk in the local hall doing the very important job of underlining one’s name and address and issuing one with a numbered voting paper were happy to oblige nonetheless. I shouldn’t mock but there is a certain type of person volunteers for said position and, in turn, regards it as one of great importance. Each to his own – and, no, that should not be her own! The encompassing of both genders is assumed.
Not even finished the first paragraph and already dipping into the turbulent, murky, waters inhabited by the shoals of ‘politically correct’ piranhas intent on channelling their inner angst into the anonymous attack of those who choose not to submit. Thing is, it is all so predictable – and boring.
I don’t think, in all my voting years, I have ever voted tactically – until now. Long-time SNP supporter … just checking if you are still awake, Manny, while the election will be ancient history before Becca reads this. Fitting! No, jesting apart, word on the street, here, was that our current MP had secured this constituency by a mere two votes, previously, and, therefore, it made sense to vote him out by supporting the only party in a position to do so. I am endeavouring to conceal my political leaning – pause for laughter – but, suffice to say, my vote helped to secure the desired result. So, leaving the EU we are. Perhaps, in the long run, it will turn out for the best. Personally, I voted to remain but, ultimately, the country voted; to be more precise, the United Kingdom voted and, as such, it was a democratic result. There is no ‘best of three’ but, as in childhood, there is always that one: the one who is hell-bent on ‘winning’ – read ‘self-promotion’ – at all costs and who has no interest in being a team player; the one who was never taught to accept defeat with grace and, moreover, the one who, seemingly, lacks the intelligence or the foresight to concede the greater good, preferring to incite a mood of persecution as a vehicle for the ultimate prize. The battle lines are drawn. Boris v Nicola. In 2014, a democratic vote declared the winner of choice.
‘Thatcher was the motivation for my entire political career. I hated everything she stood for.’
Guess who? This world is full of hate. A destructive emotion it is, by nature, insidious and can never be regarded as a healthy springboard for anything positive. Far greater merit could be awarded to an altruism devoid of personal vengeance.
My Christmas cards arrived on Thursday but have I written them? Rhetorical question. Laughably, I stood in the Post Office pondering the purchase of First or Second Class stamps knowing all the while that there was no debate. I am always late with my cards, sometimes through no fault of my own. I remember, a few years ago, smugly ordering them in November. Job done. However, the weeks passed and no cards appeared. Way into December, I phoned to question their whereabouts only to be told that they were stuck in the warehouse! What were the chances? So, my cards are forever destined to arrive late and by First Class post. You’d think I had money! I still buy organic food, too! In the words of Sheryl Crow, ‘Isn’t it ironic?’
As I write, it has just gone 2 o’clock and there has been little to resemble daylight. So grey, it takes real strength to muster the enthusiasm necessary to prepare for the fast-approaching festivities. I really would love to hibernate. Failing that, escapism is a must. The television is on in the background – mute, I might add – and I recently discovered the Sony Channel which is abound with 70s gems: Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels and Hart to Hart. Take me back! They had the lot – good looks, colour, action and humour as opposed to the dark gratuitous violence and sex of now. A fitting metaphor depicting the passage of time. Meanwhile, the office parties continue as alcohol weakens defences and self-destruction beckons. I bore witness to some of it in the centre of Edinburgh late on Saturday night. Parked, I felt the need to lock all doors, only to have someone throw himself onto my windscreen – and I knew him!
I feel I am waffling, here, but apathy seems to have suppressed my muse. (I quite like that!) I have had no coffee today so require to leave my chair and boil the kettle. That actually brings me to one of my favourite questions … If you were granted one luxury, what would you choose? My answer would always be a driver! How amazing would that be? No more public transport, no worries about parking and the weather; no worries about that large glass of Viognier or, even better, Cervaro … a chauffeur at my beck and call. Perfect. Bet you’re appreciative of that piece of useless information!
Graham Norton had a bumper couch of guests on Friday night. Dame Judi, Hugh Grant, Michael Bublé and Coldplay to name but a few. It’s funny, though, Michael Bublé, in particular, poses a dilemma for me. Here it is: it would seem that he is a lovely guy and everybody adores him but is he really? We saw a documentary about him once and he was arriving at a concert venue to do the soundcheck. The security guy did not recognise him – casually dressed plus cap, if I remember rightly – and asked him for ID. As he walked away, Mr Bublé could be heard muttering, “I have no idea who you are, either!” Not pleased. Now, was that just a bad day or an ego inflated by fame? I really want to believe he is a good guy but, truthfully, his eyes tell a different story.
As for Hugh? Well, having met and pestered him on numerous occasions, neither his patience nor manners are deserving of question. Socially awkward, he certainly is and there was no denying that he did not wish to be on that couch on Friday night. However, there is no façade to him. What one sees is what one gets – good looking, intelligent, sarcastic, well-dressed and with his own hair and teeth! Nice eyes? Windows to the soul, that’s all I’ll say.
Yes, celebrities one should like and one wants to like but there is just that something … For me, Holly Willoughby is a prime example. Too perfect, she annoys me. Is she real? Phillip Schofield we met, many years ago, and he was lovely but … that was before. Has it all gone to his head? Michael McIntyre is another one. Hysterically funny but saw him interviewed at Wimbledon once and he was quite tetchy. Perhaps the best of the lot, though, is Dolly Parton. Supposedly salt of the earth, I remember seeing video footage of her, at first, unaware of the cameras. Then … as quick as a flash, she elbowed the person next to her out of the way and turned on Dolly! A second but caught on film and I happened to notice. Pressing ‘Rewind’, there it was – Dolly uncut. All that glitters is not gold.
Eighty years ago, today, saw the release of the enduring classic, Gone with the Wind. Regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, it should be on the school syllabus. Can you imagine? A positive plethora of subject matter for the ‘politically correct’. Would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
‘Really, Scarlett, I can’t go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands.’
‘Rhett Butler’, Gone with the Wind.
The unsurpassable Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
Terminator: Dark Fate? Arnie? Difficult to compare. Might be the costumes …
This is Trish, signing off.