Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Archibald Ormsby-Gore - Storm Olympian!

Ref the Russian doping scandal. If you have a reputation for being totally ruthless and unscrupulous and base your entire raison d'ĂȘtre on that portrayal, then protestations of the fabrication of the report into Russian doping of Olympians are so much fluff in the wind. The words petard, Putin, hoisted and own come to mind.

I'm currently reading "Trains and Buttered Toast", an  anthology of broadcasts from the 1930s & 40s by Sir John Betjeman. I spotted it in our local tea shop and asked Chris, the proprietor, if I could borrow it, to which he kindly assented.

Betjeman had a teddy-bear called Archibald Ormsby-Gore, which was apparently the model for Sebastian Flyte's teddy-bear, Aloysius, in Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited". Archie was Betjeman's lifelong companion, along with a stuffed elephant called Jumbo. Both were clutched in his arms on his death in 1984.

Betjeman's family was originally of Dutch extraction and added an extra 'n' to the name during the 4th Anglo-Dutch War (1780~1784) to sound less Dutch, but then dropped it during WWI to avoid sounding German.

The Met Office has started to name storms. Storm Abigail is set to batter Scotland, but when you name a storm you make it sound all kind of cuddly. There's also the fact that battered things in Scotland evoke battered Mars Bars, which pose no threat, except possibly of a coronary.

1 comment:

  1. You can see where they got the idea for the clangers from!