Wednesday, 23 April 2014
I remarked in passing that I'm absent-minded about charging my phone. Commented that, should Charlii suddenly go into labour when I've let the battery die, I won't know about it for ages.
Came in just now to discover that he's purchased a dozen cheap phones, downloaded their numbers into Young Keith's, and has wired each phone up to forward answer phone messages to all the others. That way, he says, he makes sure I won't miss the announcement that the youngest member of the Fitzroy Russell clan is on the way.
Yeah, I said. But Young Keith only has one phone. And he's as bad at charging his, as I am. And there's no guarantee, in the circumstances of a rapid exit from Waitrose, let us say (apparently they give you the shopping free if your waters break, so Charlii's spending a lot of time in there at the moment), that Charlii will remember to let me know so then what?
He went a bit white for a while. But now Young Keith has half a dozen phones. One of which is wind-up. I'm gonna be the best-informed Granny in Central England at this rate.
In a shocking attempt to comply with European regulation (the Catholic Church), the Church of England is today instead marking something called "Easter". The Church of England - note that word, England - is ignoring St George in favour of a religious festival imported from the Middle East.
While Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and St Giles Fraser's Church all ignored our national day, the Rev Bill Bumptious of St Stroppy's, Southwark, used a St George's Day Flag altar cloth, and threw red roses at his bumper midweek congregation of 3. Rev Bill said, "I've always ignored anything the Church tells me, and today is no different. The Church of England is oppressive, restrictive of personal freedom and dreadfully illiberal. But thankfully its rules make it very hard for it to sack people that ignore the rules."
A spokesbook for the Archbishop of Canterbury said, "When St George's Day or St Mark's Day falls between Palm Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter inclusive, it is transferred to the Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter. If both fall in this period, St George's Day is transferred to the Monday and St Mark's Day to the Tuesday. When the Festivals of George and Mark both occur in the week following Easter and are transferred in accordance with these Rules in a place where the calendar of The Book of Common Prayer is followed, the Festival of Mark shall be observed on the second available day so that it will be observed on the same day as in places following alternative authorized Calendars, where George will have been transferred to the first available free day."
We don't know what that means, except that the unpatriotic Church of England - supporter of an asylum-seeking single mother, her tax-dodging son and the hard-working carpenter who had to support them both - has ignored St George, our national saint. Instead it is remembering that the man behind the infamous "Temple Disturbances" of 33AD had his sentence of death cut short to 2 days for good behaviour.
They will be celebrating in the West Bank tonight.
|Mysterious Albino Vicar:||Arrrrh!|
|Person who's wandered in from the Archers:||Arrrrh!|
|Person who killed somebody in Midsomer:||Arrrrh!|
|Stray character from Lark Rise:||Arrrrh!|
|Aunt Ada Doom:||Arrrrh!|
I may be simplifying this, and I confess I'm not an expert on world politics.
But it seems to me that Tony Blair has a basic idea that, if there is a fundamentalist or totalitarian viewpoint out there, the only thing reasonable, liberal, democratic people can do is find the people that hold that view, and bomb them into oblivion. For peace. In a democratic, free-speech, rights-respecting kind of way.
As I say, i may be misrepresenting his view.
But, then, Iraq happened, didn't it?
George found that the people of Turkey/Armenia/Syria/Poland were living in fear of a terrible dragon. This dragon demanded the sacrifice of virgins on a regular basis. And as long as the virgins were of common birth, this didn't particularly bother anyone. Obviously it upset the common people, but then if you want to live like common people, you've got to do whatever common people do.
But one day the supply of working class maidens ran out, and the powers that be decided something must be done. So they sent for George, a local warrior or, in some particularly silly versions, plumber. George, sizing up the situation, realised exactly what needed to be done. Oh yeah, upper-class girls can be found by the thousand in parts of Chelsea and Hampshire. But a talking dragon? That's a rare breed you've got there. George immediately got a court injunction protecting the dragon from any kind of disturbance, and told the posh girl who was the next on the list that she was going to die in a good cause.
But young Griselda was strong, fearless, devout. And above all a loather of environmental policies. Her dad got to be king by obtaining a number of fracking licences. And she wasn't going to be eaten by a dragon just because some bleeding-hearted leftie saint had strolled along. So she borrowed 20 feet of copper pipe from George, on the pretext that she needed to sort out her mum's downstairs lavvy before she was horribly eaten by a fire-breathing monster. Then she converted it into a lance, and shoved it up the dragon's nose. The dragon was caught totally unawares. He'd presumed it must be kebab today.
Naturally the whole thing had to be hushed up. So George took the credit, and went on into the semi final where he lost on penalties to St Michael. The young lady's active role was forgotten, lest any future English women should be inspired by her action and decide to become Prime Minister. And, on this day in England, we celebrate the birthday of William Shakespeare, who in order to keep on the right side of the Tudor monarchy turned George into a brave but foolish young man, the damsel into a determined young girl, and the dragon into a bawdy nurse. How the story of Griselda and the Dragon became that of Romeo and Juliet is one of the great tales of English literature in itself. So cry God, King Harry and St George! And try not to think too much of the things King Harry did to the French in George's name.