Sunday, 11 February 2007

Romance and Passion and all that

Valentines Day is fast approaching but I won't be here to write a post on the day so instead I'm going to leave you with a task. I've never been that fond of the day, perhaps because I always seem to be single on that day but its more likely down to the fact that I think there is enough room for romance in every day and not just one dictated to us by hallmark. So anyway your task is to highlight a poem, a book, a song, a film or anything really that speaks to you of romance or passion more than chocolates, flowers or a Valentines day card ever could. You can either choose to do so here or in your own blog.

Strawberries by Edwin Morgan

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air

in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

Sticking With The News Theme

I had hoped that whilst I was living and working in the wilderness that Tony Blair might have done the decent thing and retired by now. But he is clinging on to power and continues to bring the British Government into disrepute. The latest attempt to ingratiate his party with the moral majority is to have offenders serving a community sentence wear recognisable uniforms. Mr Blair last week applauded this idea from the Home Office as "perfectly sensible".

There is no detail yet on the uniform but the chain-gang look would be appropriate. Having to wear one of those big stripy suits would certainly deter some people from doing crime if they actually had to work in the same community in which they did the crime. Manacles would be good, although they might get in the way of cutting grass or sweeping streets or whatever tasks are allotted. Rifle-toting guards, a retired colonel or two, should definitely be on hand to ensure there is no slacking. 6 year old kids should be permitted, nay encouraged, to shout abuse or even throw the occasional piece of rotten fruit or veg at the folk in the stripy suits.

Perhaps the chain-gang theme is just too last-century. Something a bit more subtle, but still instantly recognisable, is required. Something along the lines of a yellow star or a pink triangle. Or even a tattoo as a memento to the offenders for their transgressions.

The concept of recognisable uniforms could be extended to those yet to face trial for their crimes. Presidents and prime ministers who embark on bloody wars that make the world infinitly more unsafe spring to mind. I am sure there are a couple of those bright orange Guantanamo jump-suits which would fit Bush and Blair just dandy. Better yet, scrap the uniforms, if they believe in their war so much send them off to fight it and bring the 19 year old's currently doing the fighting back home. Although I must admit I would like to see the day that Bush or Blair, or both, had egg on their face.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

I'm back for the weekend & I brought some sarcasm with me

It has occurred to me that this blog has been wallowing in negativity over the past few postings.

For this, I apologise. In real life I can assure you that I am not a negative and miserable person other than on those occasions when I leave the house and interact with other people or when I stay in the house and read newspapers or watch television. The problem is the world, which appears to be heading toward oblivion faster than I can type supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (it took me three attempts - shut up!)

First there is - global warming. Winter arrived here in Scotland this week, only 3 months later than it should have. This would normally be a good thing except i'm feeling sorry for all the birds that have just woken up to the fact that they are still in Scotland when they should in fact have been 9000 miles south feeding and breeding like the randy feathered freaks that they are or whatever it is that they do down there. However even my sympathetic nature is stretched to the limit by the million or so soft english folk who couldn't handle a couple of inches of snow and felt the need to recover from the horrible experience by taking a day off work. Why is it other countries can survive snowfall without it causing mayhem, but Britain and especially England falls apart?

Then there is - Terrorism. Pop Idol. Where will it all end? In one giant waterlogged karaoke contest between the leaders of Hamas and the Al-Qaeda wannabes, with Simon Cowell as the judge, that's where.

My problem, well one of many, is I care too much. I want a better world, a world where man can live in peace, safe in the knowledge that he will never have to listen to George Bush and Osama bin Laden dueting on I Got You Babe. I want to live long enough to see my beloved son Niall or daughter Nigella (neither yet born, and yes those were the only names I could think of at this moment in time) grow up and marry a 7ft supermodel (yes Nigella can do that too) with a 75-year-old mother who looks like Audrey Hepburn and has a spare apartment on a beach in Trinidad which she absolutely insists on giving to her father-in-law rent free for three months every winter. I want to be there in the Stade de France when Celtic lift the European Cup. Is it any wonder I feel adrift in a sea of hopelessness? Fortunately, whilst fighting this cold, I've had some 6 weeks now (can it still officially be a cold after refusing to budge for 6 weeks?), I have some of the week's papers sitting on my lap to read, so seeing as I have nothing better to do with my time I thought I'd spend an hour looking for positive news stories.

It's either that or I could spend the time watching America's Next Top Model on cable tv - my life is so exciting!

To my immense surprise it appears things aren't as bad as they look, and, to prove it, here are three heartening pieces of news that can surely give us all hope. Okay, two.

First, Britain leads the world league in usage of toilet paper. There's a world toilet paper league?, I hear you ask. Not exactly. But according to an organisation called the European Tissue Symposium (again there really is an organisation with that name, they even have a website - I checked and its boring (I sh*t you not), I think I should have switched on America's Next Top Model), each of us in this country uses 39lbs of toilet paper ever year. This is 110 loo rolls - two-and-a-half times the European average and 20% more than Americans. Personally, I am fed up of people running this country down and I am especially fed up of people from other countries running us down. In my admittedly limited experience of European travelling, French people are the worst. But the next time I am travelling in the south of France and hear some Frenchman slagging off Britain I will be able to look him straight in the eye and ask: "Comment propre est votre derriere?" Of course they might come back at me and say that their smelly backside isn't contributing to global warming, only they'd say so in French and my language skills are limited so i'll refrain from trying that sentence.

Anyway the next positive thing of the week is Kylie Minogue. Has there ever been a more inspiring Australian dwarf with enormous teeth than Kylie? To see her step out into the public spotlight after being 34-timed by her oily French boyfriend (there's a man whose derriere won't be very propre, I bet, although to be fair to him whilst fighting cancer scare she probably wasn't in the mood) was truly an uplifting sight. Good luck Kylie. We love you. Just don't make any more records. Please.

The third and final uplifting news of the week isn't uplifting at all to me, but I'm getting desperate now and if I hurry up with my typing I might just be able to watch ANTM on the one hour delayed feed of the cable channel whose name escapes me.

Mulberry is opening a shop in Glasgow. For those of you who have never heard of Mulberry, where have you been? It is a luxury leather goods shop selling wallets and trinkets and handbags for as much as £4000. Scarlett Johansson and Cat Deeley never shop anywhere else, apparently, apart from when they are looking to buy toilet roll.

Just what Glasgow needs; a luxury leather goods shop selling handbags for as much a £4000 a time - the sign of a truly civilised city. History isn't my strongest subject but I believe Gibbon's main point in the The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was that everything would have been fine if only Mark Antony had given planning permission to knock down the Colosseum and build a Mulberry's in its place.

Oops. Did that sound negative and miserable? Sorry. It wasn't meant to be. I blame my cold and running out of tissue paper and having to resort to toilet roll.

(note to self must use less brackets)