Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prince Harry, Doctor Who and Fun in the Snow....

It's been over a week since my last blog here, although not elsewhere, so I guess I'd better keep things going in case you all lose interest if you haven't already switched off or over to those other tame Tonbridge blogs. Stuff in the news at the moment? Now there's a topic if ever there was one. Any thoughts on the diplomacy of the lovely Prince Harry?! I enjoyed watching his candid interviews on BBC and Sky News but couldn't help thinking that his reference to X Box games, and him being handy with his thumbs, when talking about killing the enemy was more than a little tactless. Those were my thoughts but what about yours?
More local issues: did anyone attend the Jane Austen talk last night at the Angel Centre? I intended to go but couldn't make it in the end. Did they prove beyond doubt that Ms. Austen lived and breathed in our town? Or does it remain just frustratingly highly likely that she was here but no actual proof? If only I had a time machine!
And speaking of which I received my 11 ft Doctor Who style scarf yesterday in the post just in tie for another cold walk home. So if you think that you've seen Tom Baker walking along Tonbridge High Street, looking 30 years younger, it's probably just me. The best thing about this scarf, other than the sheer quality of it, is the supplier's name is Timelord Knitwear! Actually they supply lots of Doctor Who societies around the world and generally their scarves are 15 ft but I thought I'd go for a more manageable length.
The snow can be fun as I witnessed on my Sunday walk over to Lambs Bank near the back of Mabledon Farm. The sledges, boards and even sheets of cardboard were out in force as children and quite a few grown ups hurtled their way to near death collisions with the fence and stile at the foot of the hill! My kids are far too cool and teenager-like to bother these days so there was a side of me that felt quite sad and nostalgic as I watched the fun. I've pretty much had enough of the snow though now. Well not so much the snow as the slush and ice which go hand in hand with it. You see we just don't seem to be able to cope with it not being used to the cold weather and all. I for one feel very nervous driving anywhere in these conditions as most places off the beaten rack are like driving on an ice rink. The main roads are pretty much clear but what's the use in that if you glide into a neighbour's car while trying to get out of your own street?! Think I'll stick with Shank's Pony for a bit longer....


sebfox said...

It's very strange...I find it gets cold at this time of year. In fact it seems to happen every year around December, and January. Anyone else notice this phenomenom? I notice the media seem to be worried about it to, so it's not just me.

Paul Bailey said...

Yes sebfox, the media work themselves up into a frenzy every time we get a few snowflakes. Don't remember there being such a fuss back in the winter of 62-63, but then I was only eight years old at the time. Still they didn't shut the schools back then - we went in every day and made a fantastic slide on the school playground - no daft 'elf 'n safety rules to stop us having fun! Us kids even ended up helping the school caretaker clear the playground when the thaw eventually set in, weeks later.
No central heating at home either, just a couple of open fires downstairs, and ice on the inside of the windows every morning! People are too soft these days - God, I sound like one of the moaning Yorkshiremen in the classic Monty Python sketch.

As for Prince Harry, well he's in the army and, unfortunately for some, soldiers sometimes have to engage the enemy and yes, sometimes people get hurt, even killed. It's what happens in wars! If he feels the need to talk about what's happened then surely that's better than bottling it all up?

Finally, Jane Austen. What's the big deal about whether she stayed in or visited Tonbridge, for heavens sake? I hope this isn't going to turn into another Kelly Holmes type obsession for you, TB.

sebfox said...

I agree Paul Bailey, and no, I don't think you sounded like something out of a Monty Python sketch. It's true, we got a lot more snow back then, and there was no chance of ever getting a day off school because of it. I'm 52, so I'm talking about late sixties to mid seventies. I suppose I was unfortunate in that we lived within about a mile of the school, so we just used to walk in, whatever the weather.The heating was oil fired, and there were huge storage tanks, so it never seemed to break down. We also used to create lethal, or at least limb-breaking slides on the playground during breaks, but it was fine,since all the teachers were in the staff room having a fag and a cup of tea.
Prince Harry? Did'nt watch the interview.I don't see why his opinion should be any different from any other helicopter co-pilot involved in that cock up. What is he? Second in line to the throne. Just don't try and tell me that he was exposed to the same risks as other men of the same rank. It's insulting.
As for Jane Austen breathing the air of Tonbridge, I daresay she did at some time. I'm more impressed by the fact that Joseph Turner used to stay here, and he even left paintings as proof. Charles Dickens almost certainly breathed Tonbridge air, even if it was just a few gasps as he passed through Tonbridge at a blood curdingly 40mph!