Who Won The Week? (29 December 2019)

Okay, last week I posted what I consider to be a serious post under a flippant title, in response to Fandango’s Who Won The Week post. Today, Fandango is preparing himslf for surgery – I hope it goes well, buddy – but I wanted to write a post about something I observed this last week. I am, at least, publishing under the correct title this week. I wish I had a greater imagination, but this one is about the environment, again.

Those of you who read my posts will not be surprised to hear that I am a republican. Small R. I don’t have much time for anything hereditary, and certainly anybody who wants to represent us should be elected.

But our monarchy really lucked out when Elizabeth II arrived. Despite numerous scandals surrounding her family, she has remained stoic over the years. There was a wobble when Princess Di died, but she recovered nicely. Even recently, when her son has been dogged by allegations that he raped an under-age girl, she has an uncanny knack of doing the right thing. Or, at least, of not being seen, when she does the wrong thing.

The queen bases herself in any of four homes. I think. It may be more, it is not something I really follow. Most of the time, she could be in any of them, and her movements between them are not made public, for obvious reasons. She could be using any means of transport that she likes to travel between them, without the rest of us being any the wiser.

However, being British, being the monarchy, one or two of her trips are tradition, and widely publicised, for consumption by an insatiable media. One such example is her annual summer vacation to Balmoral in Scotland. Another is her Christmas getaway to Sandringham in Norfolk, where she went this week. Sandringham is on the east coast and up, maybe 100 miles (give or take) from her London pad.

Forever savvy, even at the age of 93, this week she rather publicly took the train. I don’t think it was a special royal train either – I don’t think there is a royal train any more. Although unlike many commuters, I doubt she had to stand for the journey. Short of climbing onto her pushbike, trains are one of the friendliest ways to travel, as they just might be powered by renewable electricity.

So while I’m not the biggest fan of our monarchy, I will quite happily give the monarch herself credit where it is due.

Contrast this with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke is slightly older, at 98, and actually lives in a retired state on the Sandringham Estate already.

By some unfortunate coincidence, the poor old Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to a hospital in London earlier this week. As far as the media were told, this was almost routine, which may or may not have been true. For that 100-mile trip, the Duke flew, in an RAF Westland Wessex helicopter. Some of us might have heard a whisper that flying is not a particularly friendly way of travelling around, especially one of those old gas-guzzling machines. The Wessex is itself approaching retirement.

I am glad that the Duke was obviously well enough to be discharged from hospital on Christmas Eve, and was able to join his wife in Norfolk for Christmas. I hope they had a wonderful time. For the journey from London back out to Sandringham, he again flew in a Wessex helicopter, courtesy of our armed forces.

Many of us might be charitable to the guy – he has unlimited resources, he has taken anything he has wanted his whole life, without any real regard for the consequences, and is perhaps too old to change now? I prefer to think that a guy of his age should know better, without some idiot like me highlighting his behaviour in a blog post. Even if he is satisfied that he will see out his own days withot being affected personally by climate changes, another of the Duke’s great-grandchildren was boorn to great fanfare in 2019. Will they be so lucky?

Sorry, did I say winner?

If you take this post as an anti-royal post, thank you for reading but that was not my intention. If you take this as an anti-flying-unless-absolutely-necessary post, I hit the spot.

Different People

I am just back from a night out. We spent the night in a hotel, only ten miles down the road, after going out for a meal last night. I wasn’t sure how I’d be for an internet connection but in the end it turned out okay, and I posted my Song Lyric Sunday choice a few hours ago. It was quite weird, though, because the one thing I couldn’t do was to listen to anything, because I didn’t want to wake my sleeping wife. But I’ve just got home and caught up with a half-dozen other people’s choices. As it happens, most everyone picked the same song as me.

Did I ever mention that my wife sang in a choir? It is no great shakes, we call them community choirs in the UK, somebody organises it, and the same-ish group of people turn up each week to practise. Then, they do performances etc. on top of the practising. I think my wife’s choir, there are probably forty or so of them. There was no audition to get in – as long as someone pays their subs each week, everybody is welcome! Consequently the choir is not very good, but my wife enjoys it. It is all very secular, and actually the person running the choir can make a decent living from it. It is not really any different to here – we all pay our subs to WordPress, and thereafter we enjoy life on here, and it is the same for my wife.

Last night was their annual award ceremony. There weren’t particularly any awards – I think there might have been one for the person who looks like they most deserve an award, but in general an excuse for a drunken night out. It was held in a local hotel in Salisbury, and my wife asked if I’d like to go with her, as a treat.

I’m full of self-control these days, so had one pint of beer, then water. You know how you generally avoid places at christmastime because the quality drops? Because they’re catering for so many people, there’s always another customer around the corner, so they tend not to care whether you’re happy with your experience or not? Well, this was a pleasant surprise. It was mainly traditional christmas fare. My wife chose a cut of beef (she avoids turkey for that exact reason – it is usually not very good) and I stayed veggie. We both enjoyed a delicious three-course meal, followed by a very comfortable stay at the hotel. So, hats off to the White Hart in Salisbury.

It’s funny because I generally consider myself quite reserved, quite introvert, and many people who sing in choirs are quite extrovert. Many people who sing in this choir are very extrovert! So I had a very interesting time just observing people. Lots of them did not have a great deal to say, but they said it loudly in any case. So it was fun just to see how these people behaved toward each other, although I was a bit of a fish out of water. My wife is not particularly extrovert – if she was, we wouldn’t have ended up together – but she has made friends there, there are some people with whom she gets on very well and she enjoys the overall experience. Insmuch as I had anything to do with anything, I encouraged her to join the choir because especially after the stroke, I didn’t want her world just to revolve around me. We didn’t really know how anything would turn out at that stage, as it happens I can now live perfectly independently anyway.

I met a lovely old boy there who was eighty-one. Apparently he had once worked professionally in showbiz, but of course was retired now and just sang in his local choir because he enjoyed the craic. I ended up sitting next to him for dinner and we found lots to chat about.

We got to the end of the meal and the woman who runs the show started making a speech. I’m not much sure what it was about – I’d just had a meal, plus is was a good hour past my normal bedtime in any case, so had but one thing on my mind! But my wife seemed to be happy, and to generally have had a good time.

I come with so much baggage these days, when I go away somewhere I always forget at least one thing. This time, I remembered all my meds, nut forgot my testing kit. Never mind, with just the one night away, I survived just on gut instinct. I can understand why a lot of people don’t bother going away. At least at home, I have everything I need, I know where it all is, I don’t have to worry about an unfamiliar bath, say, where the grab-rails might not be where I need them to be, or where there might not be grab-rails at all. Am I just getting old?

Song LyricSunday (29 December 2019) – Crazy

Last week, Jim Adams (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of Christmas (my choice). This week, just the one-word theme of crazy.

I hope you all had a decent holiday. A lot of people here take time off between Christmas and New Year, so there is still something of a party atmosphere at this time of year. My poor old wife was working Friday, and again next Tuesday, I suppose when you’re a nurse, it comes with the territory.

With such an open prompt, I’m just going to go straight in today and present another song from my youth. And, who can forget Prince? His music was enjoyable, but I must admit he never quite became a favourite of mine – while I’m happy to call somebody whatever name they wish to be called, when they change their name repeatedly, I’m left unimpressed. But certainly the music from his Purple Rain era was just pleasant pop.

In fact, Purple Rain was the first I ever heard of Prince, although it was his sixth album. I guess a combination of my own lack of awareness, and that music was not quite global at that time. The album contained several hits, and so today I present the song Let’s Go Crazy.

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called “life”

Electric word, life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else,
The afterworld

A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life,
You’re on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy (Punch a higher floor!)

Woo!

If you don’t like
The world you’re living in
Take a look around
At least you got friends

You see I called my old lady
For a friendly word
She picked up the phone
Dropped it on the floor
(Ah-s ah-s) is all I heard

Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no lets go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look for the purple banana
Until they put us in the truck, let’s go!

We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s cause
We’re all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What’s it all for (What’s it all for)
You better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no let’s go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Look for the purple banana
Until they put us in the truck, let’s go!

C’mon baby
Let’s get nuts!
Yeah
(Crazy)

Let’s go crazy!

Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no let’s go!
Go (Go crazy)

I said let’s go crazy (go crazy)
Let’s go (Let’s go!)
Go (Let’s go!)

Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Will make everything go wrong
Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
Hang tough children

He’s comin’
He’s comin’
Comin’

Take me away!

Prince