Friday Follies

After yesterday’s mostly sombre post I thought I should do something a little lighthearted.  But what?  My mind is a complete blank.  I look around the study for inspiration.  My eye sets on a card with this comment:

“I HAVE OFTEN WISHED I had time to cultivate modesty…But I am too busy thinking about myself”  Edith Sitwell.

Edith Sitwell

Portrait by Roger Fry 1918

There is a very stern photograph of Dame Edith that accompanies this comment. Nothing much lighthearted to say about this Dame.  She didn’t like her eccentric parents and lived most of her life with her governess; she never married and became passionately involved with the homosexual Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew.  When her mother died in 1937 she didn’t attend the funeral.  She fell out with Noel Coward after he wrote a skit on her and her two brothers for a revue and only reconciled with him after her 70th birthday.  She ended her life in a wheel chair having suffered with Marfan  Syndrome for most of her life.  According to Wikipedia (and what would we do without it?) “Marfan syndrome (also called Marfan’s syndrome) is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. People with Marfan’s tend to be unusually tall, with long limbs and long, thin fingers.  The syndrome is inherited”.  Looking at Dame Edith it is easy to see that she fits this description.  Not a happy life.

Andy and the jelly beansAnd now Andy is eying the jelly bean jar that has been replenished.  He is a greed y little armadillo.  I must remember to warn Patti when he goes there to stay next week.

I really shall have to think of some great adventures for him in his last weekend in New Zealand.Perhaps his friend Lotte can come up with some suggestions.

Lotte at the fireBut perhaps not.  It is a sunny but chilly morning and having been outside for a few minutes, Lotte is back in her usual place in front of the fire.She doesn’t like mornings; doesn’t like the cold but loves warm fires and long walks.

And aren’t some politicians daft foolish?  We have a situation here where the leader of one of our political parties is in hot water because of a couple of cheques he received in support of (an earlier) mayoral campaign.  Under the Local Electoral Act a candidate must declare if he/she knows the source of any donation over $1,00.

The cheques are identified as coming from the internet millionaire Kim Dotcom but they were recorded as anonymous.  These cheques were for $25,000 each and were deposited by a Dotcom employee who is quoted in our newspaper today as saying that Mr Banks (the politician) had phoned to say thanks for the donation.  Banks denies phoning to say thanks as he didn’t know who made the donations.  We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch and Dotcom is on record as saying that he thought Banks could help him in his desire to purchase a $NZ30million mansion.

We know that power corrupts but how foolish is this man to think he won’t be found out.  And it looks as if he might be asked to stand down from  his ministerial portfolios pending an enquiry. If you should be at all  interested to read the coverage by The Guardian in the UK click here

For the record the United States is trying to extradite Dotcom on charges including internet piracy and money laundering.  Watch this space!

And browsing through the newspapers online,  I came across an article in 24 hours Vancouver describing how a man, Nik Wallenda, will walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.  “The walk should take 35-40 minutes but if the weather is good I may spend more time out there.” he said at a news conference on Wednesday.  I heard this man being interviewed on the radio yesterday and asked myself – Why?

And in the  Calgary Herald I read “Canadian woman flushed with pride”.  Canadian stunt woman Jolene Van Vugt sped into the Guinness Book of Records by riding a motorised toilet at 75 mph in Sydney, Australia.  Again I ask myself – Why?

And The Boston Herald has a front page story on the wedding reception from hell.  Apparently the groom’s brothers were denied a drink at the bar.  this incensed the groom who punched a wall and set about destroying the venue’s coat room after being advised to calm down by another guest.

Apparently when the police showed up it was mayhem with guests rolling around the floor fighting and then the  mother of the groom attacked the mother of the bride.  We are told that the happy couple took off to the  Dominican Republic to enjoy their honeymoon and I guess hope, forget the unfortunate start to their married life.

A headline in Singapore’s The Straits Times reads “War room challenge for Japan begins in bedroom”.  I leave you to work out what that is all about.  Hint – the deal between Japan and the US over basing arrangements for Okinawa and manning the bases.

And the scandal rocking the Catholic Church continues.  The Belfast Telegraph has on its front page the refusal by Cardinal Brady.  Brady is the Catholic Primate of all-Ireland and  it is claimed has been proven that he knew of child abuse amongst priests and did nothing about it.

In an expose on BBC’s This World programme he said  he  accepted he was part of “an unhelpful culture of deference and silence in society, and the Church”.  Should you wish to read more of this click here

Glasgow’s The Herald has an article headed “Rain Blamed as Fewer Scots Beaches Pass Quality Test”.  Did you know there was a Marine Conservation Society’s Good Beach Guide?  No, neither did I until I read this article.

I couldn’t resist this heading in Britain’s Independent – “Rain stops asparagus festival”.  Apparently the recent rains and flooding have resulted in the seasonal vegetable being almost dormant.  So the annual Festival has been cancelled.  Adding to the problems of no asparagus, the venue that was to host the festival, in the Vale of Evesham is under water.  So no product plus no venue equals no festival.

And The Church of England Newspaper has this heading on its front page – ‘Conference – It’s time for us to elect chairman of the Primates.”  Are we to understand that monkeys and apes will now rule the Church?  Well of course not.  But editors should pay more attention to the headlines.

So are you bored with my run around the newspapers of the world?  I just love reading what is going on and being reported in other countries.  This has become a bit like a drug and I find myself going back again and again to read the papers.

“”If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

And here endeth this rambling Friday blog.

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24 thoughts on “Friday Follies

  1. wonderful headline selection, thanks for sharing! yes, the hubris of John Banks will be his undoing! and I like the contrast with the beginning of your blog (about Dame Edith), what a waste of a life about somebody who could’ve done more, albeit she was handicapped 🙂 take care Judith !

    • Well Banks seems to think he is unsinkable – but history tells us otherwise. Dame Edith was a well recognised poet but lived such a miserable life from all accounts. Her two brother Osbert and Sacheverell were also recognised poets but they have all faded into the morass of history.

  2. You share such interesting “ramblings” with us, Judith. Thank you.

    I can’t help giggling whenever I see “Primate” as a leader in the church. 🙂

  3. Judith, you have managed to muddle my mind with all the global idiocy. The only ones who make any sense are Andy and Lotte! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the lighthearted post. After the lighthearted part about the lighthearted life of Dame Edith, I was about ready to kill myself (lightheartedly).

    Things picked up considerably with the around-the-world news, though – fascinating!

  5. Love your “but why” comments. I often ask “but why”. There is a lot of weirdness in the world…I guess that’s what makes life interesting.

    • A lot of weirdness and people doing things just because they can. I agree that it makes for interesting reading but I still don’t know why.

  6. I wasn’t bored in the least. Lots of interesting stuff happening around the world. Thank you for the heads up about the asparagus festival, or the lack thereof. That’s a terrible shame about the asparagus, but worse yet is the town being underwater. Yikes!

    I’ve been enjoying your adventures with Andy, too, but have not had time to comment.

    One other thing that springs to mind: A little trivia about the apostrophe s in diseases named after people. Last year, as a favor, I proofread a medical textbook (long story, long and sometimes dull work). I noticed that the editor from the publishing company had removed all the apostrophe-s’s from the names of the diseases named after people, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Marfan’s. I red-penciled a couple of chapters before finding out that the medical establishment (not sure who They are) has decided and made a move towards removing all of the pesky apostrophe-s’s. That’s why you found Marfan and a notation that it’s also known as Marfan’s. I suspect it has a lot to do with the dotcom era in that an apostrophe probably can’t be used in an internet address (url). I’m not positive, though, so don’t quote me on that. 🙂

  7. Thanks Robin and thanks for the info on the apostrophes. It is confusing to us lay people. I hadn’t heard of Marfan until I read a biography on Edith Sitwell which is why I Googled it. I wonder just how common this disease is and if her two brothers also suffered from it.

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