Monday, April 07, 2008

The Tumult and the Shouting Dies...

Well, that must have embarrassed the hell out of the Chinese authorities - so let us quietly rejoice as the torch leaves our shores and crosses to France, where the government has rather startlingly declared that the flame will be treated as a head of state - let's hope, for the hardworking torch's sake, that this includes dinner with the lovely Madame Sarkozy - it will certainly involve a massive French-style motorcade and no doubt some broken heads among the protesters.
But enough of that - it's time to return to Birdsong, one of the running themes of this blog (or my thread of it). This gratifying report caught my eye, confirming that I am not alone in my affection for this in its way perfect radio station. Sadly it appears to be doomed, as it can't make money - it needs 'an eccentric millionaire' to save it. Come on, Appleyard - here's something useful you can do for a grateful nation...
Here, in another story that caught my attention, is how Alan Titchmarsh is doing his bit for his part-time home, the Isle of Wight. Are the locals grateful? Of course they're not. I once spent a holiday on that island, when my children were small - and spent is the word. The whole island is one massive engine of extortion, sucking the money from visitors' pockets with awesome ruthlessness. Most of the island's attractions seemed entirely bogus too - impossibly cute villages (crammed with moneygrubbing attractions - I remember a laughably appalling, jawdroppingly expensive wax museum). Even the churches have a theme park air to them. My only fond memories of the place are of the salvaged London Underground trains that rattle up and down the east coast - and of the countryside, which is indeed very fine. Every prospect pleases, and only man is vile... Allowing for inflation, that Isle of Wight jaunt is probably still the most expensive holiday I ever had. I bet they charge Titchmarsh for the uniform.


  1. Alan Tit (sorry, Titch) marsh, the end result of a one night stand between Gertrude Jekyll and Barry Bucknall.
    Alan is to the rake what Knappersbusch was to the baton and he did for the plebs what Capability Brown (a true Geordie) did for the toffs.
    Famous, of course for introducing the nipple to television, before the watershed.
    His literary genius is on a par with the old lags.

    Give him his due though, he appears to have set alight the knickers of an awful lot of burdz of a certain age.

    Knows as much about real gardening as I do about thermodynamics.

    Flycatchers said to me this morning that the reason for their early arrival was that they left that little bit sooner, because of the problems with T5

  2. Hoho canny birds those flycatchers...