Is it just me or has this been the longest winter ever?  Admittedly, the sun is shining today but that’s just a tease.  Put a foot outside the door and chances are you’ll be doing a Mary Poppins before you can say winky!  Before you can say winky.  My mother used to say that.  We never thought anything of it, of course, but knowing her, now, it makes sense.  Was it a double entendre back then?  Who knows but, let’s face it, it’s use today would probably secure you a prison ‘suite’!  A world gone mad.  Humour?  Soon to be consigned to the past along with the word ‘woman’.

Soon be Easter!  Are the youth of today even aware of its significance, its origin?  Do they care? The shops are full of chocolate eggs, that’s all that matters.  Maintain the sugar intake at all costs – and that cost is not small.  What price obesity!  Dug out from the back of the stockroom, add an inflated price tag and Bob’s your uncle.  What about an under-rated hot cross bun instead, then?  Correction, a hot tick bun for, unbelievably, Iceland have decided to do away with the Christian symbol, replacing it with a tick instead.  No exclamation mark.  Even my favourite punctuation mark is deserving of more respect …

On the subject of respect, the V&A London – one of our most venerable institutions receiving in the realms of £10m/year in public funding – has a new exhibition displaying British humour through the ages.  In reference to the evil character in the seaside puppet show Punch & Judy and its ever-changing personas, however, Margaret Thatcher appears in the list of contemporary villains alongside Hitler and Osama Bin Laden!  Mass murderers!  It’s pathetic, really, and should be ignored.  Maggie, herself, would have treated such a slight with disdain.  Merely an attempt to grab headlines and promote a dull exhibition.  The Director of the V&A, after all, is Tristram Hunt, a former Labour MP – and there’s the rub.  Another misguided attack on ‘white privilege’ from the covetous Left.  Isn’t everything, now?

Are we to believe that all intelligent life is doomed?  Unwilling captives in this turbo-charged race to the bottom?  There has to be an about-turn, surely – not ‘Shirley’ – soon?  If not, the way I see it, the future is gender-less.  The traditional woman has been eradicated, along with the word, itself, which must not be uttered.  All history must be seen in terms of colour: white versus colour!  In other words, the reprehensible treatment inflicted on people of colour by those born of white skin; the privileged.  Tradition is to be abhorred and most definitely disregarded.  Tradition is white.  Freedom of speech belongs only to the tyrannical Left who have every justification in attacking those considered of ‘white privilege’.  Class is a swear word.  Respect is obsolete.  Aspirations are dead.  The individual is no more …  Welcome to ‘equality’.  Just leave your brain in the white bucket by the door!

Finished my rant?  Negative.  Going local …  alright, then, loco!   Drive anywhere in town, now, and one is faced with insolent zombies.  Glued to their ‘masters’ and adorned with headphones, cars must defer to them.  An air of entitlement, they walk in the road, on the road and across the road; in fact, wherever they choose.  A hand held down on the horn only warrants a look of utter vacancy in a world which owes them a living.  Let’s hear it for the idiots responsible for the reviewed Highway Code!  At the same time, bring back the Wombles, I say, in retaliation for the indolent and truly entitled who deem it unnecessary to walk a few extra paces to deposit their redundant food wrappings in a litter bin.  Such bins, I think one will find, are deemed the brainchild of ‘white privilege’!

There was a glimmer of hope recently – or so I thought – on hearing of Cambridge University’s decision to review its Access & Participation Plan (APP) for the coming year.  Silly me!  Previously subjected to a target focused on increasing state school numbers to 69.1%, the number actually rose to just under 72.9% in 2022-23.  Do the math.  That’s an intake of only 27.1% from independent schools …  Superb.  Anyone remember that word ‘merit‘?  Ben Habib does.

Anyway, back to the promising review of that unfair target?   Wait for it …  This year’s plan focuses on students from deprived socio-economic backgrounds, under-represented areas of the UK, under-represented ethnicities and those eligible for free school meals!  The over-riding message which can be taken from this?  Forget striving to pay for the best education for your children; forget all the sacrifices made – by many – in order to do so.  Of course, education is considered a gift devoid of a price tag by most but, in a world which no longer pays any heed to merit, perhaps preparing one’s children for that sad truth is the most invaluable lesson of all.

My phone just pinged beside me.  An alert announcing the Princess of Wales, Kate, has cancer.  I have just watched the video …  Wow!  So composed.  So brave.  So sad.  Subjected to relentless scrutiny and wild speculation on social media, she was bullied into submission, forced to reveal her plight to a baying world.  Ironically, she may be white and she may be privileged but, in the end, she is just a young mother fighting a horrible disease, scared as any one of us would be.  Granted, she will have the best treatment but illness is nothing if not a great leveller.  Gary Lineker comes to mind.  Many, many years ago, his eldest son was diagnosed with Leukaemia.  He and his wife kept a round-the-clock vigil by the little boy’s bedside.  This was Gary Lineker, the famous footballer worth millions.  Meant nothing.  I have never forgotten him saying he would trade every last penny to have George get well.  Thankfully, George did recover but I don’t doubt, for a second, that his father meant every word.  Still, a timely reminder that fate renders us all equal.

Sufficiently cheered?  In an hour or so, I’m going to see The Zone of Interest at the cinema.  Winner of two Oscars, including Best International Feature Film, it focuses on the life of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife, Hedwig, who live with their children in their home – in the ‘Zone of Interest’ – next to the concentration camp …  Come on, tell me you’re not looking forward to next week’s post already!

I dearly love a laugh …  I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.’

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Never!

This is Trish, signing off.