Of Storm Ciara, Cat Play and David Copperfield

The path of the old Surrey Canal, now filled in, is fairly sheltered, so the first part of my walk home from Peckham yesterday afternoon was gusty but not unpleasant. I was pleased with my decision to ignore the bus which pulled up at the stop just I was passing. Once I reached Burgess Park I wasn’t so sure. The wind was blowing strongly and in my face. It was a bit of a trudge. Storm Ciara didn’t affect London as much as other parts of the country, but the trees still thrashed about impressively, and the Thames had a particularly low low tide, as Storm Ciara effectively sucked the sea water away, with a negative surge of around a metre. I’m hoping there’s a bit of drying wind left tomorrow when I hang out my washing.

Still, I got home in one piece. Moments later it began to rain heavily so I holed up for the evening, reading my book and enjoying indoor play with an energetic MasterB. A bath mat makes a very effective play rug. This one belonged to Aunt. I am sure she’d be pleased to see its current use.

Ready to pounce

It also makes a pretty good protective covering on a sofa cushion when the play ends.


Continue reading

Looking for a Hero(ine)

Armando Iannucci got me through the last general election with a number of sharply observed and very funny https://isobelandcat.wordpress.com/tag/aramndo-iannucci/ in The Independent newspaper. But last year he said that British politics had become too bland for humour.

With a general election not due until May, you may be wondering why I am thinking about this now. Well, there’s been a change. We now have fixed term elections. So as well as being so legislation-lite there almost wasn’t a Queen’s Speech in 2014, our politicians started their election campaigns yesterday. Heaven help us, we now have four months, four months, of posturing, bickering and oneupmanship to look forward to with neither Armando Iannucci or Simon Hoggart to leaven the dough. It’s a pretty dire prospect.

Hoggart, easily the most entertaining political sketch writer by several miles, died a year ago yesterday from pancreatic cancer. A friend of mine interviewed him once and found him modest and courteous. He used her surname in a piece published the following day in The Guardian. An ex-neighbour worked with him and admired his wit and intelligence, and loved him as a friend. John Crace is alright, but he isn’t the must read that Hoggart was. Though give him his due, they were hard shoes to fill. Here‘s some more of Simon Hoggart’s writing, this time for The Spectator, in case you are not yet convinced. Continue reading

Yes Wi-gan

I bought The Independent yesterday after a certain amount of deliberation and reading of front pages in the paper shop over which newspaper was least likely to annoy/inflame/bore me with its pre-election coverage. My choice was decided by the fact that Armando Iannucci does an opinion piece in the Indie and his sharp-eyed, sharp-eared, sharp-tongued, and sharp intellect always add up to a sharply humourous read.
And I wasn’t disappointed. It was worth the cover price just to see the YES WI-GAN poster.
So I hope this link works, and even those of you who made the mistake of buying another newspaper yesterday can enjoy it.


PS If you don’t enjoy it, you may assume that you and I have very different senses of humour.