Slightly odd

So today is the 17 May, the day after my lovely grandson Georgie’s 14th birthday (can’t believe it). Here in England it is the next significant day out of the covid restrictions with people able to enter restaurants, pubs, cinemas, theatres, sporting venues etc (albeit with some space-guarding limits). Strangely I found it a v low key day here in Stratford – I expected far more hullabaloo given that it’s a major tourist hub. But no. I have no idea if the Shakespeare Theatre is open nor whether the various Bard visitor locations are open. But hey it’ll all become apparent. That said Caz and I were both busy at our adjacent work stations today so we may have missed the Lord Mayor’s show. We are like 70 year old Siamese keyboard twins busying away.

I have though noticed some other slightly odd things this last day or so. First up I spotted this chocolate bar in my local Sainsbury’s…

Tony’s Chocolonely. Brand-wise what the frig is that all about? First up Chocolonely sounds like a snack bar for a desperately sad and friendless snacker, probably rather chunky. Wouldn’t Chocolicious or Chocolovely be better? And who the fuck is Tony? How many famous Tony’s do you know? Soprano and Curtis and they were both from the 50’s/60’s. Tony S was entirely fictitious and Tony C made one great film in drag and ended his days wearing a wig which he somehow believed showed him to have far more luxurious hair at the age of 84 than he did at 21. Seriously? Mind you he did do the tv series The Persuaders! with Roger More in the 80’s which was cheesey as Stilton but had some great theme music. I mean these days Tony sounds like an ice cream seller or a Maltese pimp. We’ve all read about the overseas comical overseas brand names like Only Puke pasta, Placenta soap, Super Piss milk, and my personal favourite Mother Fukkers Salted Peanuts. But how can some UK company pick that as a brand name? Beggars me.

Secondly there’s an undescribed statue on a large plinth on a roundabout outside the Waitrose store on the outskirts of town…

I had to do some research. Apparently it’s Henry V with the face of Sir Lawrence Olivier. It was commissioned by a local businessman who wanted it erected in the middle of town but the local councillors weren’t impressed. Thwarted he had it erected in the Waitrose car park but he was unhappy with its exposure so he had it re-sited on the roundabout immediately outside. What mystifies me is that old Henry faced down the French at Agincourt but now he faces not towards Stratford as you’d expect but towards the metropolis of Mickleton, population 1,677.  There’s no plaque on the statue commemorating the king, the actor nor the commissioner. I mean why?

Thirdly, and this is getting back to the Gov’t’s handling of the covid situation in the UK. I haven’t commented on this for so long so maybe now’s the time to highlight a column in this week’s Sunday Times. It made clear that the PM was informed about the danger of the developing Indian variant of the covid virus in the sub-continent and then allowed a period of a few weeks to pass before adding India to the list of red countries meaning that incoming visitors would have to isolate. But in the interim guess how many people arrived into the UK from India without restriction? 10,000? Outrageous. 50,000? Totally irresponsible. 100,000? Almost criminal. No the figure was over 200,000. All potential spreaders of the variant. Did no-one in the Gov’t bother to speak to our Commonwealth brothers and sisters in Australia and New Zealand to find out how they kept the death rate to around 50 odd combined? What’s ours at – about 130,000. Sigh.

What can I say other than I hope the independent enquiry finds some people grossly irresponsible and accountable for this disastrous and deadly performance?

And speaking of The Sunday Times did you happen to see the feature in this week’s magazine about a new book called the Ameriguns by Gabriele Galimberti? No? It’s a series of images of US families, mostly from the deep south unsurprisingly, displaying their gun collections. Lots of kids around of course and one guy’s a pastor. If you haven’t seen the images prepare to be surprised…

Is it just me? I realise I have 5 members of my immediate family living in the US plus some v close friends so maybe I’m biased but please baby Jesus can you help facilitate the banning of all guns the USA?  Maybe offer a free Tony’s bar with every trade in? Oh and a cure for cancer whilst you’re at it. I promise I will start going to church if you can do that.

pew sitting paulie



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