Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 3 March 2014
You can take the man out of prison...
Em has just belatedly commented that it is a shame that Germaine has lost a follower with her recent ill-informed foray into the world of eco-bollocks, and her massively helpful comments directed toward all the floating voters currently watching the Levels being topped up on a daily basis in the flattest part of Somerset.
Well, I have never really been a follower of Germaine (surprise), and I responded by saying that she has always been a deeply silly person, and age hasn't improved her. In a nutshell, it takes a combination of colossal silliness and similarly sized egocentricity to come out with the sort of fatuous and half thought-out ideas about really serious issues that she has been specialising in for over 40 years now.
I used to imagine myself mellowing with age, but the only wisdom that age brings - in my experience - is the knowledge that the worst personal traits that we all possess to one degree or another, will always be magnified through backward telescope of time, though they look smaller to us as we peer down the wrong end of the objective lens, and we look even sillier when we do this in public.
I have a friend who is proud of being set in his ways, but the trouble is that he stopped thinking about things at the very point of his early retirement. He stopped listening to other people too, and pretends to be deaf if he is challenged when formulating his response to a sentence put to him by someone else, long before the sentence is finished. His mother did him no favours all the way through his upbringing, but the most damage she ever did to him was to die and leave him enough money to stop thinking for the rest of his life.
I had a brief role-model at the age of about 50, and he took the form of a huge and benign country gentleman who doted on his grandchildren, taking them for long walks across the Somerset Levels (yes, them again), all the time feigning utter enthralment with every tiny discovery or event in their little lives.
Freddy had suffered the most appalling torture under the Japanese during WW2, having been captured in command of a mountain gun-battery on the North West Frontier. As an ex inmate of Changi Gaol, I couldn't believe how well adjusted he was to ordinary Somerset family life in the years of peacetime, but after he died, his children hinted at a darker side to him which he kept well hidden from his adored grandchildren.
His wife went looking for him on the morning of V.J. Day, and not finding him in the house, suspected that he had just wandered off on one of his usual walks, possibly to feed a pet pheasant which had adopted him, not knowing that he quite often shot his brothers in the air if they happened to fly over him when he had a gun in his hand.
When he didn't return within the usual time he spent on these walks, his wife looked a little harder for him, and found him hiding in a broom-cupboard beneath the stairs, which was roughly the same proportions as his solitary cell in Changi.
Some prisons are self-made, and some song-birds will choose a cage when faced with the insecurity of freedom in the vast, outside world.