The Pope is dead retired, long live the Pope.
Great, super, smashing, fantastic, great!
Keep out of the black and in the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed.
I subscribe to the Word a Day e-mail service, where the nice people at Wordsmith.org send me a word a day, often following a weekly theme, with a guide to pronunciation, a definition and most interestingly the etymology. Last Thursday’s word was an emotion I’m definitely feeling this evening.
My schadenfreude is not limited to the central, sanctimonious characters of this modern morality lesson, Huhne and Pryce, they deserve each other, their punishments and the consequences but it extends to the plaintive, Liberal Democrat leadership who have whined on about this being some sort of tragedy. It’s not a tragedy, it’s a farce. A very funny farce. As I remember it, the definition of a tragedy is where a central protagonist, an otherwise noble and honourable man, is brought low by one key flaw in his character. Huhne had more than one and was far from noble.
Arrogance. Infidelity. Callousness. Over-weaning ambition. Lying. Presumption. Disdain and let’s not forget speeding.
The snivelling of Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott is typical:
“This is a personal and political tragedy. Chris was a dynamic, decisive, strategic minister – an object lesson to us all in how to fight as hard in office as in opposition for the environment, economic growth, Europe and essential liberties.”
No it isn’t. No he wasn’t. No it isn’t. May I also add, “Fuck Europe.”
The lesson is, don’t dump your wife of 26 years in a peremptory manner in order to save your political career when she has damning evidence against you, don’t lie and lie and lie and think you can get away with it, don’t play the legal system right to the end and expect not to pay for it.
As for Ms. Pryce, a wise man once said; “before setting off on revenge, first dig two graves.”
This week sees two important events in my watch loving history.
First, it will see the 100th day since I bought my last watch. Second it will be five years since I bought my Rolex Submariner.
This year, is the year of the “Big Save” and so far it’s going well. A key component of the “Big Save” is not spending money on watches. This should not be hard, given that I have 9 in my collection, a collection which is I may add, well rounded, comprising a wide variety of models and types. The trouble is that there are so many, many interesting watches available, not all of them by any means expensive and which if one did buy to try but did not wish to keep, could be sold on for very little loss or possibly even a small profit. But no. I must resist and so far have.
It’s been close on a couple of occasions but generally I’ve found the vicarious thrill of researching and costing a number of options is as satisfying as going the whole hog and actually buying the thing. I have several candidates for next year, once my ban has concluded, with the Omega Speedmaster X-33 currently at the head of the queue. Things change and there’s plenty of time before a decision has to be made. Who knows what’ll actually happen?
Friday will see the 5th anniversary of my purchasing my lovely Sub.
I’ve not been wearing it as much as I did when I first bought it and have not worn it at all in the last four months, since my Speedmaster returned from service. The advice on servicing mechanical watches is that they should be seen every five to seven years, so as to prevent wear and tear accumulating.
However, as the Sub is at the moment residing quietly in the safe and when brought out blinking into the light, maintains its excellent time keeping at +2 seconds a day, as it has always done, I don’t really feel the need to spend £500 or thereabouts for a service just at the moment.
As Keats correctly said, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
I finished watching Jonathan Meades’ latest program, The Joy of Essex.
As usual the density and beauty of his language combined with his trenchant comments based on knowledge, not merely opinion or bluster, meant that my thumb was poised on the remote control to rewind key passages several times to make sure I could gain the full benefit.
Pithy epigram, tied to Meade’s well known secularist traits fit well with my preferred viewing and reading. For example, when discussing Essex’s varied history of providing space for communes, congregations and collectives established by deranged cultists, do-gooders, Christian-socialists and out and out nutters – all of whose grandiose schemes for the new Jerusalem faded and died – Meades was able to encapsulate the reason:
That can be applied to religious, political and artistic Utopias, which quickly become dystopian, if they survive long enough. And while specifically referring to art and architecture, these points may also be applied legitimately to a wider range of human creations:
Meades is a master of irony, as in this ridiculing of the anti-Semitic, deeply dichotomous Vicar of Thaxted, Conrad Noel.
The above quotes merely provide the briefest of flavours of the whole program, which I can thoroughly recommend if you see it in a future schedule for BBC4. I thoroughly enjoyed the history lessons, the artistic lessons, the architectural lessons and the beautiful photography of the Essex countryside and particularly the coast, so much so that I feel that my next road trip may well be to Essex.
I read an astonishingly solipsistic interview of Sir Jonathan Miller on the BBC this morning. The main tenor of his grumbling was that at 79 many in the theatrical world consider him past it, his lack of employment being further exacerbated by his having accepted a knighthood for services to the arts.
Jonathan it’s easy, renounce the bloody thing and the offers of work will surely come flooding in.
One of the main points of the watch buying ban for 2013 is to assist with the “big save.” I’m going to save hard to achieve “a nice round number” by the end of this year, which I will dump onto the mortgage. With interest rates being pathetically low, any savings one might have attract nothing, so there’s little else to do but reduce debt. I’m in the very fortunate position of having only one debt, the mortgage. So in a rare display of probity and prudence, I’ve decided to try to reduce it by a sizeable (for me) amount.
I’ve added a “big save” thermometer to the blog to keep track of my progress. As you can see, with only one month passed, I’ve achieved a decent percentage.
However it will now become harder, since I’ve realised most of my little used assets and cashed in a few premium bonds, which returned precisely nothing in the three years I held them. Hard monthly saving is now the order of business and there’s a way to go. They do say that saving is good for the “soul” – if sadly not the wider economy.
International reaction is positive to the news of Chris Huhne’s impending imprisonment.
This poem also applies: William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697:
As you’ll answer it, take heed
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