You find me in a very reflective mood. It's time to blog again. Not sure why, I guess it's one of those strange inponderables of life. So.... Where to begin?....
The Simpsons has an intro sketch featuring a gag with Bart daubing his lines on a school blackboard before escaping on skateboard, followed by the family gathering to watch tv in novel and amusing variety. Family Guy has the Broadway musical intro. South Park has South Parkesque imagery to tempt the senses and attract those with short attention spans. The Rushey Platt Villa (This blog) has... Well.... this paragraph of text to welcome you to the all new 2014 summer season. Feel cheated?
My cliff hanger ending in the previous post was that I had to go back to work. It's true, I did. My claims advsor believed that going on another 'crappy course' (her words, not mine) wasn't going to do any good, so maybe having to earn my benefits might. So she sent me to a local charity to work as a volunteer on a Mandatory Work Placement. Whether I liked it or not.
Weather Or Not
What is going on? This is supposed to be August. Here in Britain this is the time for country walks along leafy lanes, sitting in deckchairs waiting to scramble some Spitfires, watching a group of men undergo a strange pagan ritual called Cricket, and arguing with the neighbours about loud parties.
July pretty much met those criteria for a British summer. The days were long and hot, I got sunburnt in the line of duty as an enlisted charity volunteer, and there were a couple of tiffs with neighbours concerning their desire to get into the mood for a night out clubbing. It seems they bought one of those new fangled soundbar devices that improve bass response that make music and television not just bearable, but an experience to be shared with the whole street.
We've had a flaming July, now meet the Arctic August. Temperatures fell to as little as one degree Centigrade last night. One degree? A smidgin above freezing? Somebody got their calculations wrong about Global Warning I think. Bring back the Industrial Revolution - it was the only thing keeping Britain warm in summer and me in gainful employment
Gone But Not Forgotten
Of course it hasn't all been fun and sun. My mother departed her mortal coil a few weeks ago. To be fair, she was pretty certain to go sooner or later, what with age, infirmity, and that sense that her anchor to the mundane world was slipping. At least she went with some dignity.
I must of course spare some thought for the execution of an american journalist. I never saw the video on YouTube (not my kind of fun saturday night viewing if I were honest) but the circumstances don't suprise me. Islamic State have little or nothing to do with Islam - it's all about rule by violence and fear, which if I'm not mistaken isn't what the Quran suggests its readers should do. They are the natural evolution of the radical behaviour that extremists have been nurturing for a long time. As we suffered the outbreak of international terrorism sponsored by political nihilsim two or three decades ago, now we face the outbreak of international violence sponsored by religious nihilism.
It is sadly part of the human experience. Every so often a group emerges under a leader determined to build power by becomiing the Junkyard Dog, the King of the Hill. Not so much Islamic State, more like Islamic Nazis.
Reminisence Of The Week
Okay, I admit it, just occaisionally during July we had the odd shower or two, sometimes a bit thunderous. By good fortune and the foresight to believe the weather girls on telelvision I avoided the downpours. In fact, the onnly serious rain that caught me was on the day of my mothers funeral. She had the last laugh after all
Yet despite the doom and gloom of enviromental disasters, wars, inadvertant shooting down of passenger jets, the loss of family, and the occaisional drenching, there is always something about life to bring back the smile. A few nights ago the BBC reached into the archives and pulled out Kate Bush, the waif like singer with flowing dances and high pitched vocals responsible for Wuthering Heights.
I'd forgotten what an impact that woman had made on popular music. Listening to the old favourites once again brought back many happy memories of my younger days. I am of course envious of her talent, her ability to express herself musically. For me musical expression is so much more difficult, so many ideas I'm just not able to breathe life into. It all came so naturally to her.
An interview with comedian Steve Coogan told how she came to see his show which lampooned her work, and was polite enough to remark that it was good to hear all those old songs again. She's right. It was.