Saturday, 14 September 2013

From an Old Shipmate


Received the following from an old shipmate of mine. Poignant and well crafted. A man after my own heart:

"How exceedingly clever it was of the Romans to cease being Romans and become Italians.  I can picture a ceremony in which emperors, legions and cohorts exchange crowns for fedoras , chariots for fiats and armour for Armani . The most empirical nation in the history of mankind  was able to rebrand itself into the rather dotty but much loved cousin who always turns up at weddings and funerals, impeccably dressed but you just know that inside those hand crafted shoes there are a plethora of holes in his socks. 

Italy is able to amble  along with their barking politicians and fabulous nosh without being constantly compared on the world stage with their illustrious forefathers, all because of a name change. Likewise, Turkey has evolved without censure from the glory days of the Ottoman Empire and reinvent itself with the aid of rebranding.  

Had we had the foresight to sally forth as the London Empire for example during our relatively recent crack at world domination, it would be so much easier to be British today. We could probably have avoided all those expensive apologies to Kenya, India, Australia etc and not have had to shimmy  around the afore mentioned world stage in clothes several sizes too big, perched on top of our little pile of ageing nuclear ' deterrents'. 

We could have taken comments like the one made last week in St Petersburg by a Putin aide about Britain being somewhat inconsequential in todays Great Game on the chin, pulled another pint, doffed a kiss me quick hat and skipped into the wings. Instead, we had to listen to Cameron trying to join up cherry picked dots between our former role as Masters of the Universe and the rather scruffy hobbit like country that we are today. 

I for one, am comfortable with the hobbit look and can think of nothing worse than having to get up in the morning and don a suit of full armour. As hobbits we can shuffle contentedly along the byways and when we do find the odd truffle in the undergrowth it will taste all the better. Sadly though we are condemned to being Great British."


Copyright, Mark Hilpern.


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