May I just say, as I sit here at my’ best must-have ever‘ of a desk, through the window to my left, it is still light. Three minutes past six and it is still light! The grey sky is warmed by the pinky tones of a sinking sun and the birds are in full song as they prepare for bed. Admittedly, the trees remain forlorn, bereft of any greenery, but, rest assured, the buds are there together with the promise of spring. My goodness, how we need that. For, on the one hand, though it seems the year is racing ahead and winter has tempered her wrath, the world in turmoil has only served to increase the darkness, weighing heavily on the shoulders of all. The bad news is unrelenting and the subsequent anger and frustration manifests in trivia; trivia worthy of mere ridicule, of course – in different times. Not so, at the moment. Scarily, gripped by the troubled woke, the daily fight to protect our very foundations sees no end.
As ever, I have pages of notes; none cheery. Friday marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; a futile war at the hands of a psychotic dictator driven by greed and a thirst for power. Age old. Twelve months gone and what has changed? Nothing. While the toll of death and injury, on both sides, is in excess of 100,000 – and, it is believed, that over 30,000 civilians have lost their lives – homes and cities in Ukraine lie in ruin. Not so the national pride. If nothing else, Ukrainians have taught the rest of the world – or, let’s say, reminded the rest of the world – of the true meaning of courage; of bravery, selflessness and patriotism. No ego, just a sense of belonging – and guts! Sadly, today, swap Ukraine for Great Britain and I would have little faith … Seventy-two-year-old men coming forward to be trained to drive armoured tanks? To be honest, they might be our only hope in a country inhabited, in the main, by egotistical sloths, unable to function without digital instruction, who would take fright at their own shadows! God help us – or NATO. At least, we filled in the application form …
That’s something I find difficult to comprehend. NATO. A club for the boys. Failure to fulfil the entrance criteria and you’re on your own! Never mind that this monster of a man – leader of the largest country in the world – is rampaging and, undefeated, will advance, the required boxes have not been ticked. Makes little sense to me but, then, we are hardly privy to the real agenda: money.
Slightly cynical – or just the truth? The latter, I suspect. Some subject matter to cheer? How about a quote which made me laugh? High-lighted, way back, I came across it today. Another cracker from Prince Harry!
‘One day, the package contained a series of memos from the Palace Comms team about a delicate matter: Mummy’s former butler had penned a tell-all which, actually, told nothing. It was merely one man’s self-justifying, self-centring version of events.’
Now, it’s fair to say, I have never written – or posted – on a Sunday. One thing, though – I’ve never been quite sure whether Sunday is regarded as the end of the week or the beginning? For my part, I shall assume it is the end otherwise I have missed a week and I can’t have that … Bit of a blow for Scotland, this afternoon, being beaten by France in the Six Nations. On course for the Grand Slam, why? So close and yet so far. Meanwhile, with the sound down on the TV, I was, simultaneously, listening to Jonny Walker and Sounds of the Seventies, praying Rod Stewart didn’t come on! I, usually, delete my many emails from Ticketmaster without a thought but yesterday’s caught my eye – Rod Stewart is coming to Edinburgh Castle in July and another date has been added. No, I don’t do the Castle. Not after Donny and the webbed foot! I won’t expand, at this point, but, for those suitably intrigued, perhaps key ‘Donny’ or ‘webbed foot’ into the Search Bar … On the other hand, Rod is seventy-eight, for goodness sake, and he remains the one person I have always wanted to see – but never have. Should I? Or not? The Castle is difficult. Not only are the seats reminiscent of kindergarten (small and hard) – and attached – but, inevitably, Scottish fans going to see Rod Stewart will have popped into the pub en route! Memories of The Osmonds’ 50th Anniversary concert at the SECC in Glasgow, many years ago, when the three legless, suitably hideous Donny.commers behind us – spilling the contents of their Irn-Bru bottles down the back of our seats – had to be removed by security. Granted, I may have shot them the look, following which they threatened to dismember me – in a language littered with four-letter words recognisable only to themselves – but who could foresee the danger one faces at an Osmond concert in Scotland? In Scotland! Therein lies the rub.
Quite clearly, I am ignoring all serious subject-matter next to me. It’s too depressing. Suffice to say, rock-bottom was reached on Friday when Manny and I drove to Hill of Tarvit for a stroll. A couple of cars in the car park – other people, of all things – out we got only to notice a Parking Meter! Sorry?! I have been going to the Hill of Tarvit forever and parking in that very spot. Middle of the country … there it is: a dalek demanding money! Is there nowhere sacred anymore or is one to be bled dry at every cow pat? Poetic licence – sort of. Hang on, though, in a country in which one is charged to visit one’s sick loved ones in hospital, why should one be surprised?
Little surprises me anymore. That said, what the hell is a media wall? Answers on a stamp! Apparently, in interior speak, it is a wall dedicated to one’s television – read, vulgar cinema screen in most cases – and all other digital devices voluntarily installed in one’s home for the purpose of … surveillance! For, at the end of the day, what better means? The snake that is Tony Blair (can’t bear to write ‘Sir’) must be rubbing his sweaty palms at the very idea; he, who – along with William Hague (?) is pushing to implement a national identity card scheme, unable to remove the smirk from his face. The personification of evil? Proving so, I would say. How has he survived? Worse, positively thrived? Culpable for so much, in the absence of karma, he refuses to go away; constantly, wheeled out as a voice to be listened to? Corruption abounds and he is a living reminder. In 1938, the Nazis introduced ID cards …
Mandatory experimental injections will merely be the tip of the iceberg in a world in which one’s every move is monitored and controlled. Eventually, subject to a social credit rating – aka China – my organic blueberries addiction may well be denied, condemned, instead, to forever forage in Lidl! Jesting aside, the mere suggestion of a digital ID regime raises every alarm. Ironically, I remember my friend, Bev Turner, warning of exactly this at the height of the pandemic. Dismissed as a conspiracy theorist – of course – she was savagely attacked by those very sheep who, increasingly, have lost their tongues.
As, today, it is revealed that one in a hundred police faced criminal charges in 2022 – reportedly, amounting to 1400 – there can be no more scary reality check; no more blatant reminder of the depth of corruption in this country. Those very people trained and employed to protect, in whom we are supposed to trust; those responsible for maintaining law and order… Newsflash. They, themselves, are committing the crimes!
No matter, back to ME! I am offended by some of the language used by Roald Dahl in his beloved classics of many years. Oh, and I also have a couple of friends in need of a life who agree with me. What? A small minority? Irrelevant. We feel aggrieved and, by the way, one of my friends has black curly hair and the other was born with only nine toes. Just saying/warning!
Which brings me to the BAFTAs … Watching last weekend, diversity was evident with a capital ‘D’. Presenters, performers, nominees from every race and creed, there could be no reason for complaint – except that, apparently, there was! Next day, on 5 News at 5, a group photograph appeared on screen of all the winners, evidence to support the complaint that none were black! Help. Just help. Whatever happened to merit? Is it, now, that the best must be dismissed in favour of ticking boxes; filling quotas? If so, what is the point? Interestingly, discussing the ridiculous complaint on GB News, someone was ‘brave’ enough to put forward the forgotten argument that the UK is still a majority white country, 82% of Britons being white … Perhaps, it’s time to focus on the facts, to celebrate merit and stop bowing to those who make a life out of being aggrieved!
Billy Connolly. May he never leave us! I have just started reading his autobiography, Windswept & Interesting, and I hear his voice in every line. An absolute joy. I shall never forget watching, live, his first appearance on Parkinson in 1975. How Pop cried with laughter … Totally unique in every sense of the word, he is the very best of Glasgow; the character. I love his lilt and his wonderful stories but his powers of observation, his intelligence, embedded in a humour so clearly brimming with warmth, that’s what maketh the man. Oh, to be hooked up to a Billy Connolly drip … Those grey skies out there would forever be blue.
His wisdom abounds on every page; his quotes, inimitable. Page 3 and counting …
‘Hell is not for sinners; it’s for beige-wearers.’ Glorious!
‘You have to be accepted as Windswept and Interesting by other Windswept and Interesting people’
Oh, to be a member of that club!
‘And tell your story your own damn way …’ Absobloodylutely!
This is Trish, signing off.