Press briefing with Sean Spicer, 6.00 pm
Many moons ago I lived in a poor forgotten area of the south coast. Not all of it was quaint villages with thatched roof cottages and a village green. No, where I lived it had a short crumbling high street with a small supermarket, a useful things shop, a bank, and a second hand furniture shop.
But a short walk away, past a long ago closed café, was a beach with a natural bay where I took many a photograph. By this beach was a small hut and slipway, and on the slipway was a patch of pale blue paint, dropped on the concrete many years ago. Each visit I set the white balance of my camera against this patch of paint, telling it that was white, so my pictures had a sniff of pale orange, or fawn, where it would be grey or white.
Many people who live inland say they’d love to live by the sea, and the classic trick when trying to relax is to imagine laying on a beach, listening to the waves. That though is not why I liked the coast. For me it was the tide.
Press briefing with Sean Spicer, 6.30 pm
The lovely description of his normal family life by our Flying Hippo (http://www.going-postal.net/2017/01/humdrum-and-proud.html) inspired me to put fingers to keyboard (no, The Princess does not put her paws to keyboard, that’s beneath her!) and share memories of what were our normal summer holidays with the kids.
Now you all know (or ought to) that I’m a granny, so these normal holiday memories do go back a bit – about 35 years in fact. Things were different then, there were no smartphones or Nintendos and hair dryers were not deemed to be an item necessary for survival.
Our best holidays, over several summers, were spent in Ireland – camping. That is ‘wild camping’, on pastures or meadows belonging to farmers whom we asked for permission, which was always gracefully given, or in places which didn’t belong to anyone in the wider vicinity. We did ask …
Any Medieval or Ancient Historian can tell you that the people they study understood History and its working quite differently from us today. Until recently this may not have registered with anybody other than eccentrics like myself or professional scholars, but in this age of ‘constructed narratives’ and ‘fake news’ appreciating and understanding this fundamental point is ever more vital. And liberating. Why? Because it enables us to filter out the biases endemic in any reporting of events or facts, the way they are selected, and the way they are interpreted. We are no more objective in these things than any other generation, but we don’t recognise it.
I can’t really moan about my lot – I have a good middle management job, a teacher wife of 15 years and three kids under 8. I think we have done a reasonable job with the offspring they have manners, are well behaved and have benefitted from a father who has a world class repertoire of jokes and puns.
We have a three bedroom detached house in a nice area in West Yorkshire (Yes they still exist), a couple of 10 year old cars, 15 years left on the mortgage and I have a receding hairline. All very normal stuff!
Last Saturday I took my son to Taekwondo and then football training, my wife took my daughter to ballet and afterwards my daughter’s friend returned to our house and we had a lunch of fish fingers, chips and beans. Sometimes I do the ballet run, sometimes my wife does the football. It’s not a “girl-boy thing” it depends what else we have planned. Fear not it’s not true Sharia in the Hippo house yet.
Press briefing with Sean Spicer, 5.00 pm
Now this might seem to be a funny subject for an article, but bear with me. It was a short exchange with biddickhallbootboy of this parish (*waves*) that reminded me of my time working in Stoke, and of its dialect, with the characteristic forms like ‘conna, dunna and wunna’ for ‘can’t, don’t and won’t’, and its traditional greeting of ,’Ey up, duck – ‘ow at?’ (‘Hello, mate – how are you?’). Duck in this instance is supposed to come from ‘duke’, as a mark of respect, and is applied to both men and women. For a time in the 1980s, a best-selling item in Hanley’s museum was a mug featuring Stokie phrases, entitled ‘Afer toke rate’ (‘How To Speak Correctly’). Hanley is the centre of Stoke, except it isn’t, because Stoke is actually somewhere else. Hope that clears that up. The dialect continued via the strip cartoon May un Mah Lady (‘My Wife and I’) in the Sentinel newspaper, and also through local character Owd Grandad Piggott (supposedly based on a real person who lived two doors down from his chronicler), who had a tendency to evade responsibility for wrongdoing by saying things like ‘It wonna me. Ah’ve got six brothers, un thay all lewk lahk may’ and supposedly once tried to escape being arrested by declaring ‘Ey up! Ah’ve gorra disease’.
David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from London.
On the panel are Conservative MP James Cleverly (nonentity), shadow home secretary Diane Abbott (FFRC), SNP leader in Westminster Angus Robertson (Nazi), Mirror Online journalist Susie Boniface (#fakenews) and the self-styled ‘Britain’s only Conservative-voting comedian’ Geoff Norcott (Who?).
Press briefing with Sean Spicer (Live at 7.00 pm)