Friday, 6 March 2009

Friday 06/03/09

The Great First Great Western Railways Olive Withdrawal Mystery has been solved. Hay informs me that one of her work colleagues, Tracey (or Tracy), doesn’t like olives and admits to being the instigator of the withdrawal.

Hay is in desperate need of a new car, as her 20 year old red Nissan Micra (named Witchell, after the red-haired TV presenter, Nicholas Witchell) has a badly leaking head gasket, is shot through with rust and will probably not live to see Easter. She wants what I call a sub 1K car, meaning one under 1,000cc and under £1,000, and is therefore casting her eyes around for a less elderly model Micra. Having searched the Autotrader website, the only sub 1K cars available within a 20 mile radius are Fiat Cinquecentos. Last night I was trying to persuade her to go and have a look at a nice looking N registered Cinquecento a few miles away that had, surprisingly, only 32k miles on the clock. Hay, however, said she didn’t like Fiats as she’d had nothing but trouble with them. I asked her how many she’d had, as she sounded like someone who obviously had vast experience of them. The answer came back as one.

Of course, once gets the new (relatively speaking) car she’s going to have to get insurance at Compare The Meerkat Dot Com.

If reports in the media are to be believed, Michael Jackson is about to make a comeback with a series of gigs at the O2 Arena in London this summer. No matter whether you think the chap is as mad as a hatter, there’s no denying that he’s a veritable genius when it comes to music and has produced some of the most amazing pop records of the 20th century. Mind you, that’s no saving grace if you’re caught on film hanging your kids out to dry from an hotel window – there are easier ways of drying them after bunging them in the washing machine.

While on the subject of music, I also hear that (arguably) the most talented Beatle and (not arguably) the least talented Beatle are to perform together at a charity gig in New York. Ringo Starr – erstwhile narrator of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ (in which he was excellent) - is rumoured to be playing some of his own compositions. I won’t be looking for tickets for that gig then.

There’s meant to be a petition to have Ringo knighted. The petition, which has been going since 2006, has received a massive 1,887 signatures to date. I hesitate to think what the rationale behind the petition could be, unless it’s for services to kids’ TV narration, in which case it’s richly deserved.

Have you heard that Ted Kennedy is to receive a K? He’s to receive an honorary knighthood for his services to US-UK relationship and to Northern Ireland.

In a damning indictment of the British education system, Manchester Grammar School, a top private boys school, is dropping GCSEs because the courses are not challenging enough for pupils. Thank God – it’s about bloody time the emperor’s new clothes were shown to be as illusory as Ringo Starr’s song writing skills.

Cornish MPs are attempting to have the date of their patron saint, St Perin, made a public holiday in the county. Council staff at Bodmin, St Columb and Penzance councils have already been given the day off in furtherance of this initiative. The problem here is that there are in fact three contenders for Cornish patron saint, St Michael and St Petroc being the other runners, therefore the Cornish should in fact have 3 annual county holidays. St Michael, however, was not a real person – he was (or possibly still is) one of the Archangels and makes some money on the side via a sponsorship deal with a popular brand of ladies’ foundation garments which retail through the large high street chain, Marcus et Spartacus.

Personally I was not aware of counties having patron saints, which makes me ponder which saints could be the ones associated with other counties or cities of the UK.

Merseyside would have to be St Catherine of Alexandria, who was broken on the wheel (thereafter known as the Catherine wheel), and hence is the patron saint of scallies who nick expensive alloy wheels.

Strathclyde? Well, St Arnold, the patron saint of booze would be a contender. He encouraged the drinking of beer instead of water, which at the time was a sensible idea as beer had been boiled, whereas water wasn’t and contained all kinds of nasty pathogens - like raw sewage.

Yorkshire? Well, while he was more associated with Kent, Gloucestershire and the MCC (and has not yet actually been canonized), the Blessed WG Grace would be the prime suspect.

Being associated with fatty stuff, St Ivel must be the patron saint of Bristol.

As for Hull, how about St Cajetan? I’ll leave you to find out why.

I want to start an argument. I keep hearing people using the term magnum opus, whereas I always thought it was opus magnum – noun followed by adjective. Which do you think is correct?

3 comments:

  1. St Cajetan would make an obvious patron for those that managed to escape Hull, good fortune indeed for the select few.

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  2. Can't argue with opus magnum - perhaps the magnum opusses are big fat cats who never studied Latin?

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  3. I adore Aleksandr of Compare the Meerkat - Very successful advertising, IMO...

    Perhaps the now defunct St. Christopher could be the Saint of Milton Keynes? (I used to live near there, and did quite like it, apart from all the roundabouts!)

    Good luck with the search for the 2k car (I think that's probably more realistic, if only for reasons of Hay's safety?!)

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