The Archive 2004
I’m done with my Christmas shopping for this year! Well, not
that that’s any great achievement, I only had two gifts to buy.
But I managed to snap them both up without so much as breaking a sweat
and we are continuing the deBondt tradition of eating out on Christmas
day so there is no need to purchase the necessary truckload of groceries!
What the hell is the matter with today’s television programmers
… or is it the audience… or is it the contestants? Whichever
it is there seems to be an intolerable amount of bug eating, cockroach
infested, worm crawling, grotesque sexual innuendo making – did
I mention the bug eating – two-timing, wife swapping stupidity
passing as entertainment these days!
Perhaps I’m wrong but isn’t the first impeachment action
brought against a serving Prime Minister for almost 200 years news?
Tony Blair is finally being asked to account for his gross misconduct
in the run-up to the war! Surely that warrants bold headlines.
Having long finger nails makes you stupid! It’s been reported
that the craze for keeping your talons long (acrylic or natural) can
cause you to lose your intelligence.
“A C of E school has been told to drop the word "saint" from its name in case it offends other religious groups. The practice of calling schools after saints or bishops alienates people from other faiths and non-believers, say officials and councilors in Islington, north London.” One can only guess how long it will be before other public traditions or religious customs are terminated because they represent a personal or spiritual principle. I suspect that next on the hit-list is to stop ringing the church bells on a Sunday. You know, lest it reminds other non C of E factions that they don’t get to ring a bell! And perhaps there should be a ban on using Christ in the word Christmas so as not to alienate the atheists who just want to celebrate the season for commercial purposes. Wait, but eliminating Christ from Christmas would leave us with the word Mas which might conjure up the word mass, which is still connected to the Sunday service. Ok, so the word Christmas is out all together. How about Commercial Gift Day? There can’t be anything even remotely offending with that title. Well, unless of course you happen to be of the minority who still respect the original intent of the day. But obviously you don’t count for anything anymore. And since we’re being ridiculous, what about getting rid of the phrase “bless you” when someone sneezes? Surely it’s just as offensive as the word saint or Christ to have someone wish you such a sentiment … therefore the immoral salutation should be outlawed. Incidentally, when I worked for a firm in the States a few decades ago, I made the unthinkable mistake of “blessing” a sneezer who sat across from me – And for my kindness I was promptly reprimanded by my boss when the said sneezer complained. Evidently she was of a faith that frowned on my being arrogant enough to think that I could bless her or anyone else …. Needless to say, for the rest of the day, I made of point of loudly blessing anyone and everyone who even looked as though they might be about to sneeze. You know, because of my belief that it’s good to be blessed! And obviously, this many years later, I still find the practice of dumbing down a public display of faith or good intention pompous and egotistical. Anyone whose feelings are so fragile that they can’t tolerate alternative lifestyles is a whiny, self indulgent baby who shouldn’t be encouraged or rewarded by successfully banning anything. They should be treated as the juvenile tantrum thrower they are and threatened with time out in a corner somewhere!
Tessa Jowell, the Gambling Bill MP, has eloquently defended the government’s
decision to allow an influx of local gaming houses because
we are adults and it is our personal responsibility whether we risk
it all on high-class casinos or pay the rent.
There has never been an American President so unable to form a coherent sentence as George W. Bush (hence the need for an earpiece when delivering speeches), and yet the Americans have amazingly elected him to a second term. There has never been a world leader so obviously incapable of leading (resulting in many fellow Presidents and Heads of State declining to support the war effort). Nevertheless the Americans felt that somehow ole George might be more influential on the universal political stage the second time around! But what's more I can pretty much guarantee that this means another term in office for President Blair unless the voting public in this country come to their senses. Or maybe, just maybe, unlike the American’s, there’s a glimmer of a chance that we decide to oust a leader that has let his people down so very badly. Because Tony Blair may well be able to speak in public without the need for a two way radio system. And he may well be able to rouse other leaders to his cause with charm and personality. But there has never been a British Prime Minister as anti Britain as President Blair. Another four years of Bumbling Bush is bad enough. Combined with a further term for Toady Blair and his henchmen and I fear anarchy – no, wait, that’s I pray for anarchy!
I am sorry to be saying farewell to Ann Powell. I will miss her Riverside
commentary immensely. Her affectionate musings and knowledgeable local
history was also a firm favourite with my family in the States. Until
reading her column I am must confess that I had little knowledge of
the goings on down by the Riverside. But now I fear that as much as
I look forward to reading the inheritor of Ann’s space, it just
won’t be the same if the Muskogee ducks aren’t given a frequent
I dislike filling out questionnaires or applications because I’m
never satisfied that my information won’t fall into unsanctioned
hands once my details are employed.
with Anne deBondt
Is it me or is gambling (more the growing availability of
it) becoming a bit of a concern? At a time when pension funds
have dwindle down to a worrying and almost unliveable level and the
economy looks to be headed in the same direction, is it a coincidence
that placing a bet is now being upheld as a credible way out?
Beckham did apologise, Blair won’t apologise and Bush is … well … just plain ole sorry. What a week! Shame footballers don’t run the country … or is it a shame politicians don’t get yellow carded for their bad behaviour?
Sir Richard Branson aims to “Bring space
travel within the reach of ordinary people by pioneering space flights
at affordable prices.”
I’ve always said that I would have been a failure
as a 1950’s housewife – hell, I’m barely passable
in the new Millennium!
When is a protest unacceptable? When
is the issue urgent enough to justify us taking “matters”
into our own hands and demonstrating?
About three weeks ago a taxi driver flippantly joked
with me that we Americans might just vote Arnold Schwarzenegger into
office in the upcoming presidential elections, such is his popularity.
Although I enjoyed the amusing edge to the accusation, and as capable
as some Americans are of such an idiotic move, I quickly assured the
driver that he was wrong and that we would be spared the possibility
of a bodybuilder, movie star, Governor of California, President because
Arni is barred by the Constitution from even running as he wasn’t
born in the USA.
Apart from all the ridicule that will rain down on us,
despite being the butt of all political jokes, aside from having to
get used to a player with his finger on the proverbial button …
Oh wait, there really won’t be much change from how things are
at present, will there!
Fashion trends are a fickle thing.
On the one hand we have A-list celebrities sifting through the racks
of charity shops looking for classic discards or suitably tattered
and worn out little numbers despite that they can afford the finest
couture (or probably get it for free with a good endorsement deal).
I always thought it was a bit of a cheek for
zoos or animal keeping facilities of any kind to have pet food vending
machines near the animal cages or pens.
It’s that time of year again …
No, not the time of year where the Beckham’s stage their annual
attention-grabbing ploy. I mean the post holiday blues advice time
Team GB? What the heck is that? When did that sort of
sloppy jargon sneak into our phraseology? It must be a “new
thing” to cut the reference to Great Britain’s Olympic
Team short because I don’t ever recall hearing another sporting
event introduced in such a naff manner before. As far as I know the
British Wimbledon tennis players have never been referred to as Team
BLT (British Lawn Tennis) or the Manchester United Football players
reduced to the MUF Side! So why this odd expression?
I deliberately avoid subjects that hover around religious
issues. I am all too aware of how tetchy some people can be when questions
are raised concerning their beliefs or should a certain celebrated
and sacred event be doubted – no matter how valid the query.
Is it bad timing or are we just lucky that two very
vociferous factions get to fill the newspapers with their version
of events at the same time?
It's so good to be back. And not just for the obvious
reasons. After two weeks of enduring temperatures of over 100 degrees
Fahrenheit, I was also impatient to land in cloudy London so that
I could once again take a deep breath without the air scorching my
Sadly, upon our return from the States, my husband and
I learned that a very, very dear friend had passed away.
We are a lazy lot and the multinational conglomerates
know it! The latest business to add yet another service to their catalogue
of services is Starbucks Corp.
Ever a pessimist and far from being impressed, I had
a good chuckle at the news that electronic information displays are
to be installed at certain bus stops in our area.
By the time you read this some of you might have been
to the Cambridge Corn Exchange to hear Lulu sing.
Of all the things I am, persistent, determined, and
single-minded; I am first and foremost a campaigner of value for money.
Whether you're in a restaurant, on the shop floor or making a purchase
as large as a house, if you are not satisfied, protest. If you didn't
receive what you were expecting, return the item. And if the shop
or business you are dealing with is reputable, they wouldn't want
it any other way.
What is the bizarre fascination television programmers
seem to have with Reality TV? If we're not being offered half-witted
jungle troupers eating spiders, we're watching a salon full of stylists
doing everything but styling hair. And don't even get me started on
the obsession with the tone-deaf wannabe's of this world. Weren't
the Spice Girls enough?
I know snow can be hazardous. I am fully aware that
driving, walking and just getting about should be done with care when
the weather comes hard. Furthermore, there's no arguing that the elderly
need special consideration this time of year.
I would like to send my condolences to Mr. Ken Gibson's
widow and family. I was saddened to read that the fine gentleman and
WWII veteran had passed away.
clinic, which has centres in London, Glasgow and Hampshire, has opened
its doors to help people who cannot stop sending text messages.
was perplexed by the recent drug allegations levelled against tennis
player, Greg Rusedski.
Have a Happy New Year!