Oh for goodness sake, what now. Round here, we are just about back in order after the recent storms, although some poor sods are still without power after all this time. Taking a wider perspective, the country is still knackered by the pandemic (and I have to say I don’t agree with the sudden abandonment of all restrictions when cases are still so high) when, next thing we know, there’s a bloody war underway in Ukraine. Here on Plague Brexity Island we are well stuffed. We are isolated from Europe, and clearly that meglomaniac gangster Putin doesn’t give a flying fart about anything our bog-brush headed Poundland puppet Johnsonovich and his sycophantic followers might do or say. It is really, totally, all we need, a government of corrupt cretins when we are facing a genuine international crisis.
Come on now, Battleaxe, the weather is sunny, the daffs are coming out, we had a good day up in London last week to see Shaun McKenna and his latest play, and went to a very enjoyable concert on Saturday night.
But we’ll soon all be sitting in the cold eating thin gruel (or maybe not even eating that, as apparently a large proportion of our wheat comes from Ukraine). What about all those poor devils in Ukraine though… sounds terrible, and I guess it is only a matter of time before Russia overcomes them. Now one thing puzzles Battleaxe. Why do the media pundits go on about this being the first War on the Continent of Europe for donkey’s ages (like in this piece from Laura Kuenssberg). What about Yugoslavia… have they forgotten Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo etc? That war only ended in 1995. Do the Balkans not count as Europe? Well, look at the map, folks. Or maybe it doesn’t count as a war. It seemed pretty grim to me. Here is a piece about it.
As ever, with the media you don’t know what to believe, and you can’t trust a word any government spokesperson might say. However, it is alarmingly apparent that Russian roubles and influence are embedded in key parts of our government and economy. Putin has built our feeble attempts at sanctions into his planning process, quite likely Mad Vlad has got Kompromat on Johnsonevdev, our actions are more likely to hurt us than Russia, and clearly it won’t make a shred of difference to the dreadful Ukraine situation. All we can hope for is that the Russians don’t plan to set foot in a NATO country… now, that would really, really be bad.
Oh less of that. It is really all too awful to think about. Here’s our Buddha statue enjoying the afternoon sun, with its usual early clump of mini-daffodils in attendance.
Let’s talk about the play, one of Shaun’s frequent adaptations of the Peter James Roy Grace novels. This one, ‘Looking Good Dead’ was on at the Richmond Theatre, and as Philosopher had never seen Shaun’s dinky little house in nearby St Margaret’s, we decided to go and visit him, and then go to the play. The journey up to London was very unedifying. Our brief trip to Portugal showed us a glimpse of better ways of being, so being crammed onto a half-term rammed train with people crowded in the aisles, most of them unmasked, was not good at all. I felt quite panicky – it felt so out of control. But we survived, had a nice lunch and a catch-up with Shaun, and then went to the theatre.
The reviews of the play have been mixed – here is one from its run in Brighton. Clearly, every time Shaun has a struggle to condense the books into a workable stage play, but we felt that this time his efforts were not helped by the cast, some of whom were a bit wooden. Two cast members had gone down with Covid, and the key part of Roy Grace was played by someone who had to read his lines from a book – but surprisingly, that worked quite well. We have never been to the Richmond Theatre – it is a lovely place, and on this occasion was absolutely packed – the audience for these plays is older Middle England, who had rolled up by the coach-load. The audience also clearly loved the play, which was nice for Shaun. The play is currently on in Birmingham, and has yet to go to York.
Concert? Indeed, it was the Hastings Philharmonic String Quartet, in Christchurch St Leonards, postponed from January due to Covid. Sounds unpromising, but it was lovely – they played a classic programme – Haydn’s Emperor String Quartet, Dvorak’s American Quartet, and Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. All performed with considerable energy and commitment.
So, to finish up, in case you might wonder, did those storms affect us at all? We had a power cut for about three hours. Needless to say I was just looking for the candles when it came back on again. We lost one or two bits of garden fence, and the rose arch/trellis that goes across the middle of the lower garden got very wobbly, but we propped it up before it could fall. Didn’t take any pictures, but I liked this one, also from the Sussex Express site, of a trampoline on someone’s chimney. Those things are a menace.