Monday, 23 January 2017

The great leveller


Nine out of ten people in England are currently suffering from the same viral head-cold at the moment, including Queen Elizabeth the Second.

For most people, it began just before Christmas, then pretended to go away shortly afterwards. It then returns within a couple of days as something similar to bronchitus, and it is still making everyone cough right now. It is not so severe as to justifiably stop you from working unfortunately, it just makes your job that much more unpleasant.

I was walking up near our hospital recently, when an air ambulance came into veiw and landed on the grass pad about 50 yards from where I was passing, to deliver a patient who must have been critically ill, so I stopped to watch it settle.

The helicopter pilot saw me looking, so waved at me, making me feel as though I was about 6 years old. I waved back with some embarrassment, as it would have been churlish not to.

I once had the same experience in reverse when I landed in a light aircraft in Dorset. A small boy was standing at the perimeter fence with his mother, and when we taxied close enough to make eye contact, the boy waved and I waved back with a smile.

People don't normally wave at strangers from a distance of 100 feet, but there is something about descending from the heavens which turns ordinary people into the sort of gods worshipped by primitive tribes on remote islands, and turns the ordinary people on the ground into the sort of tribal worshippers who are impressed by anyone who does. It is 'Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines' syndrome, I suppose.

The Queen waves at her subjects from behind the glass of her ancient Rolls Royce limo, but that is more understandable. When her sister, Princess Margaret, spent a lot of time in a farmhouse near Bath, I knew some of her house-mates. The place was a sort of upper-class commune, made all the more upper-class by the arrival of the Princess.

After a couple of weeks, the small group of permanent residents began to get a little fed-up with Margaret not doing her share of the washing-up, and told her so one evening. She responded by saying - and I quote: "I don't have to do the fucking washing up. I am Princess fucking Margaret."

Nobody is so famous that the rain does not fall on their heads when they go outdoors.

55 comments:

  1. Touch wood, I very rarely get a cold or cough but even I have succumbed to it .... I got it just after Christmas and it went and, blow me, I'm back coughing again today !!!!
    I always wave at anyone who waves at me .👋XXXX

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    1. You are generous with your waves, Jack@.

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  2. I came down with the Queen's cold on New Year's Day and am now finally well again. No cough yet. I will always wave back -- if I notice... Sometimes, I even wave first ...

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    1. You are even more generous than Jack@. Good like with your bronchial tubes.

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  3. Thank god margaret is not around here this morning...i would have busted her right in the chops!
    Ive had enough of queeny behaviour for one day!
    ( and i include my own in that statement)

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    1. Someone not doing their fair share of the washing-up?

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    2. Before leaving the house without the right documentation?

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    3. .......dont get me started...

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  4. Replies
    1. Growing up in dirt on a farm helped.

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    2. I haven't had a cold in 30 years. I also credit it to growing up on old farm dirt and not using hand sanitizer. Or anti-bacterial soap. This current generation will be doing a lot of sorting out for their germ phobia.

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    3. Your general states of mind may have something to do with it. People get ill when they are generally down, so - combined with a positive attitude to life - I can only think that wading around in shit during your childhoods had a very beneficial effect on your later life.

      Many people - myself included - can see no further than a month or two ahead without catastrophe. These sorts of people tend to bring on the onset of death quicker than many others. When you lose your fighting spirit, there is nothing more downheartening than someone saying, 'Oh, I NEVER get ill.'

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    4. You all are an interesting sort of people. I vividly recall the last time I was sick, and it was horrid. I intended never to be that ill again, and I've stuck to it.

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    5. I would like to die without being ill, but it isn't going to happen.

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  5. 1 cupful of Manuka honey plus 1 drop of essential thyme oil stirred into it and take 1 teaspoonful twice a day and Bingo ! All germs rapidly destroyed.

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    1. Do you add hot water to the Manuka, or do you just drink £25 worth in one go and one cup?

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    2. Read it again please ?
      It says One teaspoonful twice a day - that means straight into the mouth off the spoon.
      But look I don't particularly care wether you heed the advice or not... a CNUT is always a cnut in my book mate.

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    3. "1 cupful of Manuka honey plus 1 drop of essential thyme oil stirred into it and take 1 teaspoonful twice a day and Bingo ! All germs rapidly destroyed.

      '1 CUPFUL of Manuka noney plus one drop of...' blah blah, you humourless and offensive person. I don't particularly care if you go away completely as I have asked you to do many times in the past, so just read yourself carefully before calling me a cunt.

      Also, I would not believe all that your shaman tells you about 'germs' being destroyed using fucking honey, let alone virus'.

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    4. I have been thinking about you, Heron, and I have decided that it would be unfair to take down Ursula without applying the same rules to you.

      So I will leave this up to let everyone know what an arse you are, then I will take down any further comments from you - always. Go away.

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    5. You are making a mistake TS. Sorry.

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    6. Tell me what mistake. You clapped for joy when I deleted Ursula's comments and thanked me. Heron calls me a cunt when I make fun of his poor description of a silly folk remedy and say I am making a mistake?

      It is people like you who make me stop putting up posts like these because of your humourlesss obsession with how bloody DIFFERENT you are and how bloody SPECIAL you are, that make me lose my sense of humour, and I will not put up with your self-obsession.

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    7. A cnut is part of bicycle you clown.

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  6. I always wave to trains. If I'm lucky I get a toot in return.

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    1. I accidentally mooned at 6 passing carriage-fulls of commuters once. No toot - I didn't hear them coming.

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  7. William Douglas-Home lived opposite the end of our drive in West Chiltington Sussex. We never saw him, but I believe he used to 'entertain' Princess Margaret there.

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    1. She used to drop in on all sorts of people - another here in Bath before R.L. I once had to do some emergency work at a house in Freshford, because she was due to arrive the following day. Because it was a Sunday, I was not vetted by security, but luckilly I am a good boy.

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  8. I had a chest infection that laid me low before Christmas and I do not want it back, all the coughing wore me out. As for Princess upherself ...she was no lady. As a council house kid, it was not the norm when I was young for the men in my life to stand when I entered or exited a room, and once a gentleman did exactly that when I was 17...I asked the people I worked for why he kept bobbing up and down everytime I entered the room (I was a nanny at the time to a military family) and they said his surname was Bowes-Lyon and it was good manners for him to behave this way....I have never forgotten it, and admired him for doing it even though I have no great admiration for the royal family (although I respect the Queen and will be sad when she passes). I do wave at children on coaches that wave at me if I am in the car, and I'm glad you waved back at the pilot....a wave or a smile or a nod of the head is communication and manners and a brief display of acknowledging that we are all here, together, and doing our best.

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    1. They locked a Bowes-Lyon away in an institute for life in case she displayed bad manners. They kept her a secret.

      I drove down to Southern France in a Volvo, when Volvos were rare there. In the distance, I saw another English Volvo heading my way, and when when met the driver flashed his lights and waved. I did not want to set a precedent in case I had to do the same thing 80 times a day in Britain, so I did not respond. I feel guilty now.

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  9. I enjoy smiling and waving, particularly when I see a baby or toddler. Usually, they will smile back and sometimes even blow me a kiss.

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    1. Yes, I always wave at babies under the right circumstances. It's great when they respond.

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  10. I wave thanks when I tuck The Dog to the inside of the road when cars go by. Sometimes drivers wave back. I like that.

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    1. People on horseback make a great show of appreciating careful drivers too.

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    2. I think it helps everyone have a good day when we're civil to each other.

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    3. Tell that to the fake Irish druid up there.

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    4. Now, that's why you might catch a cold. Wave to him. A salute across the sea. You'll know what to do.

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    5. I do know what to do, and it doesn't involve stupidly expensive honey.

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    6. Apparently a lot of "Manuka honey" isn't the real thing anyway!! There are not enough of the bees or flowers or whatever makes it " Manuka" in the world to produce the amount being sold!

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    7. Anything that will fetch those sort of prices is going to attract fakery. On the other hand, anything which is in glut is going to be deemed a 'superfood' in order to shift stocks too.

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  11. And the AA man on the motorbike and sidecar used to salute those cars showing the AA badge and we waved back. I still wave to people lots.

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    1. My father loved it when the AA man saluted the badge, even though he had never paid the subscription.

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    2. They used NOT to wave/salute if there were police and a speed trap ahead! That was back in the good ol'days.

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    3. Oh yes - that was true. A good pre-radar service.

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  12. Is that last sentence an old English proverb or have you just coined a new one?

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    1. It sounds Irish (or more Irish than that fool Heron, anyway) but I had never heard it before it popped into my head.

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  13. Me and O/H got waved at once when we were crossing the air ambulance pad at the Royal Shrewsbury. The helicopter was attempting land and the ground crew were shouting Tourettes at us.

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    1. That's a great story, but were they shouting, 'TOURETTES!', or proper swear-words? I like the idea of the former - much more surreal!

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    2. Oh well, I expect it was just your safety they were concerned about!

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  14. I came down with the Queen's cold on New Years Day, still dealing with the cough and laryngitis.
    Sarah in soggy California

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    1. That will teach you to kiss the Queen without gloves.

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