I write during a lull in the hurly-burly of preparating for our Palace Summer Garden Party. As ever, I have been inundated with suggestions for new events to join evergreen joys such as the now sadly ageing Lambeth Country Dance Team and the ever popular Home Made Wine stall, which this year will offer an especially potent dock leaf and turnip brew.
An individual called Kanye West came up in discussion several times. My research suggests that Mr West is a popular singer, although the young man with the wire in his ear- so often my guide through things contemporary - tells me that Mr West’s music and persona may not suit our essentially English gathering. According to the young man with the wire in his ear, Mr West is an egocentric arsehole. Naturally, the young man with the wire in his ear immediately apologised for his earthy terminology, but I must admit that I myself met quite a few egocentric arseholes during my banking days. What would Jesus have done ? In the end, we settled for Mr Des O’Connor.
After the sad deaths of a pet dog and a tortoise, killed by herring gulls, I note that our Prime Minister seeks to have a “Big Conversation” about the depredations of these large and apparently aggressive sea birds. There are two camps here – one which points out that herring gulls are opportunist predators who make no distinction between Yorkshire terriers or day trippers’ ice cream cones and that we mere humans can do little to modify the their behaviour, and the other which recommends poisoning, shooting, sterilising and gassing in order to keep our small dogs and bags of chips safe. My lady wife allies herself to this latter grouping and has been spotted lurking, armed with one of my old cricket bats and a stale loaf, on the library’s flat roof.
Mention of cricket, especially in the wake of England’s recent comprehensive defeat by Australia, pains me somewhat. How can it be that after our outstanding victory in the first test match we can, as the young man with the wire in his ear put it, “roll over like a bunch of numpties” in the second? I know not. Perhaps during the third test, in the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Where two or three (English slip fielders) are gathered together….(many Australian wickets will be taken)“ Of course, the brackets are mine, but I live in hope.