ben nevis in flip flops, and other stories

1. i yearn for the days when i would mainly get irate about some idiot having to be rescued from a mountain in scotland having gone hill walking ill prepared, things are so damn evil in politics just now. i daren’t ever listen to the news. i only know about current events through the media of comedy, twitter, and facebook. interspersed with laughs, trivia, funsies, and kittens it is almost bearable. al. most. but given that a bill has just been passed that allows the govt to force people on disabled benefits to work for nothing or starve, i’m not sure how much more news i can take.

2. things got a bit better in the UK when labour last got in, after what felt like 300 years of tory rule. but we didn’t get the leader we should have had. john smith would have been an actual left wing prime minister, but he had a heart attack before he could stand, and we were left with the rising star that was tony blair, whose main gift is for kissing himself in the mirror. i also wonder if michael portillo, batting for the other side, might have been good. at the time he was ready to stand though, he was batting for the other other side, and britain was, sadly, not ready for a gay prime minister. well, i say sadly, he might have been awful. i have noticed that politicians who are no longer running for office seem to often be quite sane and sensible in a way in which they weren’t when they were in parliament. he might have been one of those.

3. in other news, tweetmate ken, aka @lahikmajoe is smuggling us into berlin via social media. this blog post lays the groundwork for a week of vicarious excitement. i have been to berlin IRL but only for two nights and one day, and that day was spent ‘under the knife’ so it wasn’t a regular trip. considering i was there for an operation i was still beyond excited to go to a city which has all the glamour of a celebrity crush for me. so imagine seeing, say, timothy olyphant or the hearthrob of your choice, through a window or something, it’s still exciting, right? even though you didn’t actually meet him. that was a bit what it was like. even the taxi ride to the airport in the morning was fab – when i got out i said auf weidersehen and the cabbie said so long which really tickled me.

i mean, look at this signage

cosy wasch! teh cutes!

4. ah, me. NOW for the serious stuff. television.

i know that everyone in the multiverse is watching downton abbey. we have to. it’s like a kind of pornography of luxury. with good dialogue and enough plot to keep us going. and downton (we are on first name terms, natch) treated the issues of class and the first world war rather well, i thought. and considering that it is all about the toffs, it didn’t seem too fantastical.

because it is THE LAW to watch downton and we miss it, we, in the UK are also tuning in to upstairs downstairs but if you are not getting it where you are really don’t fret. it’s not as good. it’s got a chandelier, but isn’t anywhere near as fancy as downton. it is currently ahead in time,  limbering up for the second war (or ‘european civil war’ as mao tse tung fashioned it).

the thing that bugs me most is the revisionism that it subscribes to. in the last episode the upstairs ‘maiden aunt’, blanche, gets involved in bringing jewish children into the uk. now, somebody had to have been doing that kind of thing, it did happen. but i am concerned about what kind of message it gives out about what britain was actually like at the time, and what the real reasons for going to war were. widespread knowlege and understanding of what the concentration camps were and what was happening there really wasn’t available until after the war. britain was as susceptible to antisemitism as anywhere else, and it wasn’t part of the reason for fighting. it just wasn’t. and it seems to me that since it would be both NICE and EASY for us to think that the war was always and inevitably about liberating the camps we could easily be seduced by the logic offered here. but it would be entirely DISINGENUOUS. revisionism is not a good thing. it is lazy and wrong. so stoppit.

/end rant.

5. i’m going to end on this handful. but i warn you now that the tradition for numbered posts is 10. @thebustocrookes is currently on a bit of a blogging haitus due to being a new parent and only having a 140 character attention span at the moment. but he trailblazed the ten pointed post and i have copied it many times and there have been others. it’s a tried and tested formula, but i note that these four previous points are a bit windbaggy, so i will let you off this time. but i will be back with ten points blazing, and so, i hope will busto.

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12 responses to “ben nevis in flip flops, and other stories

  1. 4. [whispers] I’m not that keen on Downton. It’s fun, but I don’t think it’s worth the carry-on about it. I’d prefer it to be an hour of Maggie Smith, just drinking tea and giving quizzical looks.

    We haven’t got the new season of Upstairs, Downstairs yet, but that sounds like my thoughts on the first one. Sir Married-to-Keeley-Hawes seemed too much like a modern SNAG and a bit wimpy (if that’s not saying the same thing).

    When I was at school, part of our study of WWII included that there were camps in Australia where Britain sent people living in Britain whose names and accents were suspiciously German, in case they were spies. A lot, if not most, of these people were Jewish refugees, so the British and Australian governments were kind of missing the point there. So, yes, I agree. Making shows that say different is just a comforting lie to make us seem super-awesome and enlightened.

  2. I have yet to start “Downton”. I didn’t find out about it until too late, and now I’m too far behind. SOMEDAY I will catch up. Sigh.

    Is the Berlin trip with Ken not the best thing in all the land? I am seriously having the best time. I can’t wait to take you all to Florida with me. We’re going to get seriously sunburned and drink many margaritas with retirees. Hooray!

    • i feel that i am quite unreasonably excited about our berlin trip. can’t wait for cakes for breakfast. german cakes are the bees knees.

  3. I enjoy your perspective on things. I haven’t started “Downton” either. Not sure which channel it is on, for one thing!

    • thank you!

      it’s definitely *somewhere* because i know people are watching it. i watch it on iplayer – if it helps to know, it’s a bbc offering.

  4. I seriously LOVE Upstairs Downstairs. Why I am sad. I also bought a book about tiaras to nurture my inner debutante. Pornography of luxury indeed.

    • a whole BOOK about tiaras? awesomesauce!

      there’s a kid who goes to the school here who i see in the morning. she wears a beehive with a tiara wedged in the middle. she looks amazing.

  5. I do think Downton has one up on new Upstairs Downstairs, especially thanks to Dame Maggie being arch; that said, Alexis Kingston is very enjoyable to watch. Can’t wait for the next series of Downton and the Shirley MacLaine versus Dame Maggie face off! I’ve been watching old Upstairs Downstairs on ITV player and thoroughly enjoying that!

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