Sunday, October 16, 2005

Chasing The Pink Pound

Chasing The Pink Pound, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

This sign begs so many questions that I had to photograph it.

But first some explanations: A Friend of Dorothy is defined by Wikipedia thus

In gay slang a Friend of Dorothy is the term for a gay man.
The term dates back to a time in the early 20th century when homosexuality was against the law in both the United Kingdom and in the United States. Saying at a social gathering that another man was a "friend of Dorothy" was a way of discussing sexual orientation without other people knowing what you were discussing. The term has been linked to the film The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland as the main character Dorothy, which is almost certainly the source of the term.

Lush, the company responsible for the A sign in question, is a shop that sells 'handmade', rather ugly looking, rough hewn bars of soap.

Until I saw this sign I had always presumed that washing was an activity that could be indulged in without reference to ones own sexual identity. Are they suggesting that gays are dirty and thus in need of soap or perhaps they mean that heterosexuals do not wash and thus have no use or need of soap?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Reflected Glory: Trowse Hamlet Without The Prince

Reflected Glory: The Earl Of Wessex did not come, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink. Norfolk Ski Club, Trowse. The Earl Of Wessex fails to turn up to open the new bits of the dry ski slope. October 7th. 2005. Prince Edward is thus NOT reflected in this locker room window.

So last week the menace brought home a letter from his Primary School. It read in part

"Dear Parents, On Friday 7th October, the Earl of Wessex will be officially opening the new extension at the Ski Club....As the children use the field nest to the Ski Club regularly in the summer, we have been invited to play an active part in this event.......All parents are welcome to join us".

"Which one is the Earl of Wessex?" asked Mrs Blink over the tea. "Is he the one who flew a helicopter and was married to Fergie or is he the one who bottled out of the army and organised Its A Royal Knockout?"

She is Irish and has only a shaky sense of our great and glorious royal heritage. In hushed tones I explained that HRH The Earl of Wessex KCVO was indeed Prince Edward. As one we decided we would miss out the chance to see him cut the ribbon or whatever he does at these things but we would happily wave our young menace off to view him.

The menace, however, had other ideas.

"If you come I will probably be allowed to leave school early that day" he explained.

He had seven days to persuade one of us to go along to the grand opening using methods that only an eight year old knows and in due course I found myself trooping along Whitlingham Lane to the Norfolk Ski Club in Trowse to watch The Earl Of Wessex open the new improved dry ski slope. Only he did not come because, we were told, he had been taken ill.

Instead we had somebody who was in the British Winter Olympics team who everybody recognised but could not place and Richard Jewson the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk and Chairman of THAT building supply company. Someone at the back said he probably was mixing his public duties with giving a quote on cement for the next extension which was a cheap joke but one worth making.

In fact the Lord Lieut. was a jolly cove, who went out of his way to talk to as many of the children as he could which was nice because they had been mostly ignored except by the Classroom Assistants who were acting as sheepdogs keeping them in order. Even the menace said a few words to him (and thank goodness for once without uttering vulgarity, blasphemy or treason). He earned his butt of wine or whatever the salary for being Lord Lieutenant is.

It occurred to me that the children were there really as rent-a-crowd; they were a neatly dressed (in their school uniforms), well behaved (with a little help from the sheepdogs), sober audience; something hard to find in Britain today. It is often said that the Queen must believe everywhere smells of new paint because everywhere she goes has been just been smartened up; well she must also believe that the whole country is populated by happy well turned out children. One wonders whether she realises that they are happy because they are missing double maths and well behaved because of the phalanx of heavily armed classroom assistants. The monarchy must depend on performing before such crowds of children and their parents who will not heckle or jeer them. Thus is the myth of Royalty kept alive.

But more importantly for the menace - he was allowed to leave school early

Saturday, October 01, 2005

If the sky falls we shall catch larks

From my bedroom window: sunset 1/10/05
From my bedroom window: sunset 1/10/05

Today's photo reminds me of an uncomfortable lyric from the days of punk and the parallel modernist (Mod to you and me) revival.

How are things in your little world, I hope they’re going well and you are too. Do you still see the same old crowd, the ones who used to meet every friday. I’m really sorry that I can’t be there but work comes first, I’m sure you’ll understand. Things are really taking off for me business is thriving and I’m showing a profit and. And in any case it wouldn’t be the same, ’cause we’ve all grown up and we’ve got our lives And the values that we had once upon a time, seem stupid now ’cause the rent must be paid And some bonds severed and others made.

Now I don’t want you to get me wrong, ideals are fine when you are young and I must admit We had a laugh, but that’s all it was and ever will be, ’cause the burning sky keeps Burning bright. and as long as it does (and it always will), there’s no time for dreams When commerce calls. and the taxman’s shouting ’cause he wants his dough and the wheels of Finance won’t begin to slow.

And it’s only us realists who are gonna come through ’cause there’s only one power higher Than that of truth and that’s the burning sky.

Oh and by the way I must tell you, before I sign off, that I’ve got a meeting next week, With the head of a big corporate I can’t disclose who but I’m sure you’ll know it and. And the burning sky - keeps burning bright. and it won’t turn off til it’s had enough, It’s the greedy bastard who won’t give up, and you’re just a dreamer if you don’t realize, And the sooner you do will be the better for you, then we’ll all be happy and we’ll all be Wise and all bow down to the burning sky.

Then we’ll all be happy and we’ll all be wise and together we will live beneath the Burning sky."

The Jam. Burning Sky. Lyric Paul Wellar.