I was a bit peeved with Leonard Cohen for quite a while. I had set Lord Byron’s poem So we’ll no more go a’roving to music, and was quite pleased with myself for it. Then, a few years later, our Len did the same thing. I am not suggesting, of course, that he copied me. The problem was that people might think I had copied him.
Anyway, it is the local dog park concert today, and I was being encouraged to sing and play something. So I have set a Rupert Brooke poem to music. I discovered Brooke when I was 17: there was a copy of his collected poems in my grandmother’s house. It was a surprise to me, because like most 17 years olds, I imagined all parents and grandparents, agreeable as they were, as a bit lacking in the poetic passion department. He was of course then – in the swinging sixties – and still is today, deeply unfashionable, but in his own day, and at the time of the Great War, he was huge. Born in 1887, he was academically brilliant, good-looking, charming and much admired by other literary figures in the pre-war years. Commissioned as a navy officer having been brought to the attention of Winston Churchill, he was on his way to Gallipoli when he died of septicaemia following an infected mosquito bite. He was buried on the Aegean island of Skiros. He was 27 years old.
He is best known for his patriotic stuff:
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.
But it is his dry wit and his sense of fun which allows him to venture Continue reading
The Millennium Bug scare was fairly easily dispersed. When the 2000 moment came and went, aeroplanes did not fall out of the sky, the banking system did not collapse and life carried on pretty much as before. Meanwhile, a lot of software companies had made an awful lot of money doing not a lot.
The Global Warming scare had taken longer to go away. It is now 18 years since there was any global warming, so we (or any rate, those of us who have troubled to look at the issue) know beyond any reasonable doubt that the models on which the IPCC and others based their predictions of doom were quite simply wrong. Man-made CO2 continues to be produced unabated – in tiny amounts by planet standards, but much more than mankind has ever produced before – and the effect on the climate has been – well – pretty much nothing at all.
There are indicators all over the place that the heat has gone out of the scare campaign. I notice that the BBC reported the other day that thicknesses of floating sea ice in Antarctica are much greater than Continue reading
Some people in Australia feel uncomfortable with the fact that the Minister for Foriegn Affairs, Julie Bishop, is a bit of a looker.
Personally, I think it is great.
A little while ago I was waiting for my bags at Adelaide airport. Julie Bishop was waiting beside me. The photographs do not do her justice: in real life, she is a serious looker.
The important thing, of course, is that Continue reading
We had roast chicken the other night. There was quite a bit left. The next morning, we could not find anything left at all. Had Perdita got it? She can and does reach up onto the kitchen bench the days. And she looked VERY guilty.
But it turned out that she was innocent. Someone had had the foresight to hide the rest of the chicken in the microwave oven, which is one of the few places that Perdita cannot reach.
I regularly walk my dog in the park, and of course many of the owners know each other. They also know that I am a lawyer.
Yesterday evening, there was discussion about an event the previous day, when a few owners were berated at length for some supposed offense by an obstreperous woman.
PETER: We needed you!
ME: Why? Do you want to start a war in the Middle East?
Someone (I will not say who) posted this on Facebook, on the basis that it is quite a good joke.
I agree. Not side splitting, but droll enough and perfectly harmless.
But he has been asked to take it down by a lady who described it as “misogynistic porn” and says she has “constructed my social bubble so as not to be confronted with stuff that makes me feel sick, or powerless”.
Almost everything that is funny is likely to offend someone in the world. It would be a great shame Continue reading