Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 27 October 2012
What a gas
There is a general air of depression about today, despite the local sunshine and the wonderful news that Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison even before he has been tried for having sex with under aged girls. Nobody is holding out much hope for his actually serving any sentence for any alleged or proven offence however, because he probably owns all of the prisons in Italy anyway.
Also, I believe the age of consent is a little higher there than it is in most parts of the world apart from Cuba, where I believe it is 21, and consequently pretty much unenforceable against anyone other than tourists. I think I am right in saying that in Spain it is 14, but check before you are tempted to do anything rash on your next holiday. References to any information gleaned from Wikipedia will not stand up in any court in the world, but Jimmy Savile seemed to have got away with it.
Anyway, this post seems to have gone right off-track at the very first paragraph, so what is it all about? Something much more uplifting than Russell Crowe - cushion covers.
No, only joking. Having said that, does anyone remember the craze for making American style, patchwork quilts back in the 1970s? Here in Bath, it seemed like every woman between the ages of 18 and 60 were spending every spare moment they had, stitching randomly chosen pieces of scrap material around hexagonally shaped bits of cardboard, and promising each other that - one day - they would all be sewn together to form a beautiful heirloom for their grandchildren.
Some of them even formed syndicates to cut down on the arduous burden of work, but since the finished article was never actually produced, the inevitable arguments over whose grandchildren would inherit them never took place. I bet there are drawers full of brightly coloured shapes waiting to be thrown away by those grandchildren who will - one day - be the executors of all those last wills and testaments.
Maybe it was just Bath that went through the quilt craze, because we have a rich source of reference material right on our doorstep - the American Museum at Claverton Down. This was the house where Winston Churchill gave his very first speech, and has a collection of 19th century quilts worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds, all hanging up on racks to be flicked through, one after the other.
The 1970s were strange and paradoxical times for the womenfolk of Bath. At the same time as all these feminine and domestic pursuits were being slavishly practiced in houses right across the town, the Feminist Movement was at it's most militant and belligerent, changing minds and attitudes from the ground up and forging the way ahead for generations to come.
For some reason which I still do not understand, I became a sort of mascot for the Bath feminists, and I often attended their meetings which were then conducted in a house off Johnston Street, not a million miles from where I now live.
Thankfully, I was never allowed to be present when they used medical implements to get to know each other's and their own nether-regions, but I was once formally invited to put my own on display for the advancement of scientific knowledge. I politely declined the group invitation, but suggested they could all form an orderly queue outside a locked room instead. This suggestion was also declined, but not so politely.
They often had wild parties at which I was the only male guest, and these dance-orientated events always ended up with the Rolling Stones playing at full blast and the women throwing themselves around just like Mick did to 'Jumping Jack Flash'. Like I said, these were paradoxical times.
When I asked why hardly any music by women was played, the general answer was that you simply can't let rip to Joni Mitchell, and - besides - 'We don't actually HATE men - well, most of us don't, anyway'.