Friday, October 31, 2003
( 11:40 AM ) Spengy
DISPOSABLE LIGHTER CONSPIRACY THEORY
Non-smokers won’t have a clue about this so don’t even bother reading on. Now I have lost all bar a few of you who maintain your right to die in whatever manner you chose I will begin.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how many lighters you purchase they always seem to disappear? But it isn’t as simple as that. They don’t just disappear as soon as you buy one. It happens in stages. Firstly you tend to accumulate several of them through leaving one at home so forcing you to purchase another. They slowly build up until there are about four or five lying around the house. Then all of a sudden they vanish without a trace. Where do they go and why?
I bet there is a mathematical formula to explain this that has been devised by those boffins who worked out the potential of a single grain of salt being added to a pile of salt to cause a progressive chain reaction greater than the individual potential of the original grain dropped.
Fear not we don’t have to delve into the weird realms of probability, physics or thermodynamics. There is a simpler explanation. In-built in all disposable lighters is a piece of technology that makes them seek out dark places ie pockets of seldom worn clothing; backs of deep draws; under cupboards; behind bookcases; through the small hole in the back of the couch …. the list goes on. The technology is not activated until you have accumulated a certain number of disposable lighters. All brands have the same operating platform and can communicate so it is useless trying to fool the system by trying to purchase a Ronson if you have a Bic or a Clipper.
The only lighter not installed with this technology is a Zippo. If that goes missing then you have only yourself to blame by leaving it lying on the bar at the pub.
( 10:45 AM ) Spengy
SORRY, I HAVE BEEN BUSY
I have been up to my ears in work. Too exhausted after my shifts to post anything. While I compose a witty exposition (in my vain attempt to win Uborka's Post of the Month) here is the alleged transcript of Ali G's interview with Elton John. Yes it has been floating about in emails for a couple of years but now I can save it here for posterity:
Ali G: Alo! I is ere wiv none uver dan da batty boy of pop, John Elton. Respect!!
Elton John: It's Elton John actually, Ali.
Ali G: Aiih, whatever. So John, is you always been a batty boy cause I erd dat you woz once married -although I also erd dat da missus was mingin?
Elton John: Well Ali if you mean have I always been gay then probably deep down I was but maybe fought it because in my younger days especially it was not socially acceptable to be gay.
Ali G: Fer real, but when you was gettin' jiggy did you fink about people like James Dean and that Jonny Rottweiler who was tarzan so you wouldn't end up wiv a floppy or woz you trisexual and didn't care where you was
stickin' Mr biggy?
Elton John: Again I probably fought hard to convince myself wasn't gay so I never had a problem maintaining an erection with women. I now know I am homosexual so I would probably struggle to get aroused with a woman now.
Ali G: Wow, I fink I might be homosexual then cause Mr biggy wasn't coming out to play last Saturday night although ma Julie says it woz coz I drank a bottle of Dan Jackiels and had about 6 spl*ffs. I fink it woz coz me Julie
isn't very subtractive, now in fact she's a dog.
Elton John: I think you're Julie was right it takes one to know one.
Ali G: Wot, is you saying me Julie is a batty boy? Nah, the bitch won't take it up the exit hole, I've tried slipping it in a few times. Happarently Julie is too nice a girl for batty sex but she's not too nice for a threesome wiv me mate Dave - it woz wicked!
Elton John: Well a lot of women are not keen on anal sex just as I know some gay men who are not keen on it either. Just because you're gay doesn't mean that you have to like it - there are other ways to express yourself
sexually with another man.
Ali G: Eh? Like fellatilatio you mean or gaelic.
Elton John: Gaelic?
Ali G: Aiih, gaelic. When batty boys lick each other.
Elton John: Sure, oral sex is one way of pleasing a lover but sensual massage can be very enjoyable for example.
Ali G: But dat is a bit rank innit - ah mean you need to lose you're orange juice or what is da point? Anyways enough talk about homosapiens, I hear dat you spend killions of dosh every year on shopping. Is dat because you is a feminist?
Elton John: I do spend a lot of money on shopping yes but I wouldn't describe myself as a feminist.
Ali G: But I thought dat all gay people were feminists?
Elton John: Eh?
Ali G: Chill. Anyway, is you related to dat lefty comedian Ben Elton cause I fink he is rank.
Elton John: No, I told you before my name is Elton John and not John Elton.
Ali G: Cool, woz your parents spaced out when dey named you?
Elton John: No, that's not my real name but my stage name. Many performers change their names to try to sound more appealing to the public. Take Gary Glitter for example, his name is really Paul Gadd can you imagine the same guy selling so many records as Paul Gadd or me as Reg Dwight.
Ali G: Nah, but I can imagine him taking some poor kiddies up the Gary Glitter coz he's a paedovile innit. Anyways, talkin of sickos - how's yer mate George Michael - I would never let my son go down on him the preverted
Elton John: OK so George made a mistake - anyway I thought you said enough of the gay talk. I'd much rather you concentrated on another aspect of me.
Ali G: Me know what you is saying, sorry Mr Elton. OK then, does you not fink dat you looks rank wearing a wig? Ah mean you looked a total dick in the seventies wiv da shades but everyone looked like dicks in da seventies.
Elton John: If you're going to insult me any more I will walk out of the interview - I can put up with a lot but you're going too far
Ali G: Chill Johnny, no offence. OK - you re-wrote dat Candle in the Wind song when Princess Di got wasted, do you fink she was incinerated by da SAS on da Queens orders or do you fink it woz just down to dat pissed French cunt.
Elton John: Really Ali, Princess Diana was a very dear personal friend of mine whom I loved very much - I don't want to discuss it.
Ali G: You loved her, but how could you if you is a batty boy? Is she a misist or somefink?
Elton John: (Elton leaves the room)
Ali G: Nil respect to da menstral batty boy of pop -some people is just too sensidine. It must be all da years hangin wiv da homosapiens and havin his batty bashed. Anyways I is off for some erbal remedy wiv da boyz, westside.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
( 11:29 AM ) Spengy
COLD AND WET
Today it is wet as well as cold. I don't want to play any more. I want to go home.
Friday, October 24, 2003
( 1:15 PM ) Spengy
I'M WITH YOU 110% OF THE WAY
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this: What Makes100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over100%. How about achieving 103%?
Here's a little mathematical formula! that might help you answer these
What makes up 100% in life?
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+ 5 = 100%
21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can then conclude with mathematical certainty that while hardwork and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there. But Bullshit and Ass-kissing will put you over the top!
( 12:31 PM ) Spengy
MY GOODNESS MY GUINNESS
Owwwwwhhh my head. They must be reading my blog (see two posts below "BAR FLIES"). They all came in and bought me drinks. Then other people bought me drinks. Then we closed and moved furniture about to create extra seating and had more drinks. I got home at 2am.
nhbjgtygyhujyh7ikjyhujuki76uyu6hjjjjjjjjj7uyh (head hits keyboard).
I want today to be over and I have to go to work in two hours. Where are the Panadol? Where is my water? Where is my head? Why did I do that? Owwwwwhhhhhh.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
( 1:05 PM ) Spengy
Learn Chinese in 5 minutes (You MUST read them out loud);
( 12:36 PM ) Spengy
You know them. They are the regulars. Always there propping up the bar at their allotted space and set times. Always ordering the same drink. Being the new barman I am of course the object of scrutiny and must pass their initiation tests. These guys are the same the world over.
The Satellite Drinker - comes in at the same time every day and orders half an IPA. Gives you the exact change takes his beer to his allotted seat and necks it one go. He is then up and off to the next pub as he continues his daily orbit around the pubs of the town.
The Pensioner - we only see him on Thursdays. Same stories. Same drink. Same plastic Tescos bag. Same clothes and cloth cap.
The Snob - Doesn't say much. Asks for a "gin & tonic". If you don't know that this must be in a tall glass with ice to the top, two slices of lemon, bottled Schweppes tonic water (not the dispenser gun tonic) and Gordon's Gin (not the house gin) he gets pissed off. He doesn't explain this but just expects that is what he'll get. It isn't the point that he has come in every day for the past 10 years and knows when a newbie barman serves him that they'll probably get it wrong. No, he is just a snob ......... no, a fucking wanker.
The Ladies Man - In every lunchtime. Mid to late forties who was once probably very good looking but time has taken its toll around the eyes, mouth and wasteline. Still snappily dressed and very personable but clutching at a fast fading youth. Always a bottle of red wine to share with the latest secretary he is trying to get his leg over. Tips well so you look after him.
The Freak - He has been banned from his previous pub so you're the next best place. Usually a couple of kangaroos loose in the top paddock. Good natured until he has his fifth pint of Stella. You get the life story of woe that changes each time you hear it. When he gets bored talking to you he normally goes and inflicts himself on other poor unsuspecting punters in the pub. You can see the other drinkers looking at their beers or out the window thinking don't come near me. Anything to avoid catching his eye.
The Ex-publican - Knows his stuff and doesn't mind telling you about it. Especially when the beer isn't pulling well. I know I just pulled it. At least he buys you a drink for the end of your shift.
The Kamikaze Barstaff - Can't turn up for their lunchtime shift as they are sick but manage to crawl out of their deathbed the same evening and appear in the bar half an hour before close pissed out their minds. Good, more shifts for me this week.
There are many others but that will do for now. Please feel free to add your own in Comments.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
( 11:54 AM ) Spengy
It seems a shame that an era of passenger supersonic flight is drawing to a close. No more will we see the beautiful lines of an engineering masterpiece cruise overhead. Yes it was noisy. Very noisy. Even through double glazing you can hear it thunder overhead regular as clockwork every afternoon as it comes into land at Heathrow. I loved that deep throaty growl that announced its imminent arrival and turned heads skyward looking for the familiar shape. Sometimes the sun would catch its surfaces and the aircraft would shine golden.
It will be many years before we see anything like it again grace the sky. I for one will miss it.
Monday, October 20, 2003
( 5:40 PM ) Spengy
Yes, you have probably seen them before but I just laugh everytime I read them.
First Place - The 2003 Darwin Award Winner:
When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a holdup in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder: He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.
And now, the honourable mentions:
The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine out and also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.
A man who shovelled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Beltway had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.
An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.
A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the
drawer? $15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, was a crime committed? Mens Rea but no Actus Reaus)
A thief burst into a Florida bank one day wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun. Aiming his gun at the guard, the thief yelled, "FREEZE, MOTHER-STICKERS, THIS IS A FUCK-UP!" For a moment, everyone was silent. Then the snickers started. The guard completely lost it and doubled over laughing. It probably saved his life, because he'd been about to draw his
gun. He couldn't have drawn and fired before the thief got him. The thief ran away and is still at large. In memory of the event, the banker later put a plaque on the wall engraved with the words, "Freeze, mother-stickers, this is a fuck-up!
Seems this Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block hit the window, then bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the
police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."
The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. Then the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.
Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the
chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper. They were quickly arrested.
A 5-Star Stupidity Award Winner
When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.
( 3:50 PM ) Spengy
I have been a busy bookworm over the past few weeks. It helps me to unwind after working late at the bar;
Morality Play by Barry Unsworth - What a great little read. A true gem that I enjoyed so much I read it twice. Plainly written with not a word wasted. As should be this review. Do yourself the favour.
Middle Passage by Charles Johnson - Charles Johnson has been voted one of America's ten best short story writers. He should have stuck with that formula and not tried a novel. Interesting story but the metaphors to modern times don't fit with 19th Century first person narrative. This clumsiness stopped me enjoying what could have been a great seafaring yarn about slavery and philosophy amongst other themes.
The Water of Life by Caiseal Mor - Third book in a series weaving celtic legends and early christian beliefs in Ireland and England. I read the first two books in the series almost ten years ago and vowed never to read any more. I lapsed and regretted it. No character development, simplistic plot and dissatisfying ending. Strange how crap can be so compelling. Still it was simple and trashy and probably needed after Midnight's Children. Plus one shouldn't complain for 50p from the Oxfam shop. Oh shit I have just discovered on Amazon that there are more in the series. Maybe in another couple of years.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
( 3:41 PM ) Spengy
CLEARING UP AFTER YOU
The mess that was left after last Friday's Cocktail Hour at Uborka by all and sundry was disgraceful. Those involved should be ashamed of themselves. You know who you are. Enough said.
This got me to thinking of some of the worst cleaning tasks I have been asked to undertake during my intermittent career as a barman;
I'm sorry, I can't go on. I have to go and retch thinking about those.
Friday, October 17, 2003
( 9:24 AM ) Spengy
THE LAW IS A WANK
I have now confirmed what I always beleived about the law.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
( 1:11 PM ) Spengy
Why is there a huge bloody gap at the top of the last post? BOLLOCKS.
( 12:23 PM ) Spengy
Before you all start on whether it is crisps or chips let me state I don't give a damn. I don't even have an opinion on whether crinkle or straight cut are better either. Each to their own. After all they are actually just thin slices of oil saturated potato. What I don't understand is why there isn't a universal colouring system for the flavours. They have one for electrical wiring to prevent you from turning yourself black and crispy (chippie? - no that doesn't work) when you carry out some home wiring. Different colours have totally different meanings when it comes to chips/crisps. It makes it bloody difficult when busy behind the bar especially when mixed with background noise and strong local accents. I never stand a chance.
Oh and by the way it is texta not felt-tip; thongs not flip flops (I ask you - and you don't want to go there with this one); sneakers/sandshoes not trainers; g'day not hello; garbage not rubbish; servo not petrol station; freeway not motorway; chips not crisps.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
( 2:22 PM ) Spengy
Been busy entertaining a friend who returned to Oz last night. Very pissed Friday. Worked with hangover Saturday. Hair of the dog Saturday night. Even more hungover at work on Sunday. Touristy stuff yesterday in central London. Dropped aforementioned friend at Heathrow and collapsed into bed last night.
Awoke this morning a refreshed man with good intentions of posting several amusing observations/rants about the weekends festivities. They often say that the best laid plans of mice and men ....... What do they say about that? And why? A phone call destroyed that. My cousin rings me in distress. Her laptop has been infected by a virus that won't go away. She has an important final year essay to submit for university and her world is in turmoil.
No problem - I call around. Blasterworm. Evil little shit of a virus that has really stuck its hooks in and won't go away. To make matters worse as she is Swiss her software is in French. Three hours of messing about with me hitting the keyboard and her translating the screen we destroy the virus and install the necessary patches and establish a better firewall and antivirus software.
The virus didn't seem to have corrupted any data but had installed a Trojan horse that required removal. It wasn't until I got back home that I discovered the true payload of Blasterworm. It had managed to wipe my mind of those observations I wanted to amuse you with. Sorry. I need the rest of the day away from a keyboard to try and retrieve and reinstate the necessary files.
Blasted worm and the fucking spotty faced teenager who created it. Crucifixion is too good for him.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
( 1:48 PM ) Spengy
THINGS IT IS BEST NOT TO DO - #23 or KICKING SHARKS
We all know it is not a good idea to kick sharks. As an Australian this is ingrained at an early age. However sharks are not something to be feared when swimming in the ocean. Apparently you have more chance of being run over by a bus or kicked to death by a mule while walking to the beach than actually being attacked by a shark. It never really crosses your mind when you and your mates dive into the water to swim to the boat you have taken out for the day. You slowly pull away from the shore with confident strong strokes and you watch the sandy bottom drift away as the water deepens. Soon you can no longer see the bottom and you still have another 70 metres to the boat. It is then that a little voice inside your head says “don’t think about sharks”. Of course that is what you immediately do and the tune from Jaws starts to sound in your mind. You quicken your pace through the water to be the first to the boat ladder so you don’t have to tread water to wait your turn. Strangely though all your mates are swimming quicker too. Could they all be having the same thought? Being big strong strapping Aussie males we’d never admit that.
That slight doubt about whether there is a shark in the water is brought home when snorkeling. There you are floating on the water over a rocky shoreline watching fish and seaweed swirl back and forth in the swell currents. Occasionally you take a deep breath and dive deep to see something closer or explore under an overhang. The view is spectacular but the mask restricts your field of vision and every so often you have a premonition that something is behind you (hopefully your dive buddy). You can’t tip your head forward to look back down your chest to your feet (fins) or you end up filling your snorkel with water. I was diving with my father on the south coast of NSW. The day before we had watched a reasonable sized shark cruise along the beach chasing penguins onto the rocks (about 8 foot – shark not penguin). When in the water you are acutely aware of your body and anything that brushes against it. We were about 100m offshore when I saw a beautiful shoal of fish. I reached out and grabbed Dad’s foot to get his attention. Why was he suddenly yelling at me? It is hard to yell with a snorkel in your mouth and even harder to understand someone who is yelling at you through a snorkel. I finally got the message when we were back safely on the beach.
Being an Aussie conditions you to the issue of sharks when swimming. Whereas being an overseas visitor (who thinks of Australia as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock (Uluru), kangaroos, spiders, snakes and sharks) does not. If they overcome their fear and enter the water with you they invariably ask you whether there are sharks here. Your response is always a resounding yes. Especially when at least 50m from shore. The result is spectacular. Karen of Uborka will attest to that when paddling on an inflatable surfmat in the middle of Jervis Bay with her cousin (me). I don’t recall her ever getting in the water again after that and I have never seen anyone get to shore quite so quickly.
My introduction to sharks was even earlier than this. It was before we even immigrated to Australia in fact. We used to spend summer holidays in a family cottage in north west Wales on the beach. The local fishermen would often catch bottom feeder sharks in their nets when going after skate. These sharks were of no commercial value so they’d throw them overboard. These would often wash up on the beach. They ranged in size from one to three foot and were ugly looking things. As a small child they were enormous. I recall strolling along the beach with Mum and Dad and coming across one. I was fascinated with it. Mum and Dad wondered ahead. I plucked up the courage to kick it to see if it was alive (of course it wasn’t but aged 5 I wasn’t absolutely certain). I gave it a good kick in the side with my Wellington boot. Nothing happened. I was getting braver so I kicked its head near the eyes. Nothing happened. I was now feeling really brave so I kicked its mouth. Being 5 I had small feet and the Wellington boot fitted perfectly into the sharks mouth. Something happened. I couldn’t get my foot out (of course all sharks have backward facing teeth so it is easy to get things into the mouth but not so easy to get them back out). I vividly recall my thought process went like this.
This shark isn’t dead.
This shark has bitten me.
Mum and Dad are too far up the beach to save me.
I’m going to lose my foot.
Adrenalin kicked in and I managed to reef my foot out and ran along the beach after my parents. It wasn’t until that night I had enough courage to explain to them why I had come charging up the beach and clung to Dad’s leg. How they laughed at me after that.
I must have been an Australian at heart even before I knew I would grow up there as I had just learnt that you don’t kick sharks.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
( 7:07 PM ) Spengy
No Comments = No Post
No Post = No Comments
(To the sound of Ennio Morricone's score to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
( 11:15 AM ) Spengy
Overwhelmed by the response (4 at last count) and now the comment box has vanished. Oh well - I'll have to wait until it comes back before to see if I have reached the required 10 and I suppose you all will as well.
Monday, October 06, 2003
( 10:27 AM ) Spengy
Okay it is over to you. What would you like to read about for the next "THINGS IT IS BEST NOT TO DO"?
I will post when I've had at least 10 votes in "Shout out".
Friday, October 03, 2003
( 12:08 PM ) Spengy
LIFES LITTLE MYSTERIES
Every so often something triggers a thought for which I have no answer. Here are a few of those that I hope someone may shed some light on.
( 12:06 PM ) Spengy
BIG QUESTION 1
Why is the probability of toast falling topping side down directly proportional to the cost of cleaning the surface upon which it falls?
( 12:04 PM ) Spengy
BIG QUESTION 2
Why are we predominantly right handed and not left handed?
( 12:02 PM ) Spengy
BIG QUESTION 3
Why is the fluff in your belly button always blue grey?
( 12:01 PM ) Spengy
BIG QUESTION 4
Why is it blue for boys and pink for girls?
( 12:00 PM ) Spengy
BIG QUESTION 5
Why do some countries drive on the left and others on the right?
( 11:59 AM ) Spengy
BIG QUESTION 6
Why do clocks rotate in a clockwise direction and not the other way?
( 11:57 AM ) Spengy
THE BIG QUESTION 7
Who decided the order of the alphabet and why?
Thursday, October 02, 2003
( 11:29 AM ) Spengy
BUSY BUSY BUSY
Too many things to do. Not enough hours in the day. Does anyoneelse suffer from this problem?
Can't get to sleep at night. Can't wake up in the morning.
No time to think of what to say and no time to say it in.
Why am I bothering? Why do I bother?
Oh bollocks - until tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
( 1:30 PM ) Spengy
The dire financial position of the Welsh Botanical Gardens highlights what seems to me the bizarre way the Millennium and Lottery Funds hands out its money. Here is something that will continue to be an asset to the British people for many years to come yet for the lack of a mere half a million quid it faces the imminent threat of closure.
The recent Restoration show on BBC2 where we were asked to chose which deserving architectural edifice should get funding to prevent it crumbling before our very eyes is another tragic example of this sad state of affairs. Each property was a classic example of what ever it represented; grand house, municipal building, religious monument, industrial edifice or community structure. How were we supposed to choose? Each site was asking for no more than three million with the Kings Lynn Grey Friars Tower asking for just half a million. All of these relics were justified in asking for the funds based on the argument that they were part of British heritage and it would be a poorer nation if they were lost to generations to come.
While the plight of these monuments hang in the balance the Duke of Northumberland can be given 11 million pounds just to keep a piece of 2’ x 1’ canvas depicting the Madonna and Child by an Italian master from the 15th Century. The argument being that it is part of our heritage. Agreed that this is so but it was brought here when Britain was a world power and an example of her wealth and prosperity at the time. Now the UK is a shell of its former self should not these trophies go to the next country that is the dominant player – namely the USA? If not then all such things should remain in their country of origin/creation ie the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone should be handed back by the British Museum.
Sod pictures (though they are beautiful) by foreign masters and focus on maintaining the architecture that is a true representation of Britain’s past. This should include modern creations such as the Welsh Botanic Gardens. I’m sure future generations will thank us for a bit of foresight today. It is a shame that the Lottery Fund appears to be hijacked be a group of elitist art snobs.