Sunday, May 20, 2018


This was a joyful occasion.
My heading could have been worded 'The day after that wedding' but, in an age of weird political correctness so far as words are concerned, 'that' might have been construed as a note of criticism which (though I am by no manner or means a royalist and the happy couple have probably, in one day, ensured the survival of the Windsor dynasty for at least another century) it is not. 
The world and his wife - her husband - its partner - whatever - saw this for the joyful occasion it truly was, not least because the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a truly likeable couple, artlessly embodied a refreshing farewell to protocol and a cheerful hello to modernity.
Of all the senior royals, Prince Charles came across as the most politely resigned to such change, Prince Philip the most cheerful - I think he's just glad to still be alive - and HM Queen Elizabeth (together, I'm sure, with no small number of hangers-on) the least happy. But HM seldom looks all that happy nowadays, does she.
C'est la vie.
For the rest of us, the show was hugely enlivened by Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry's sermon-like address.
Bless him, I think he may be a disciple of his fellow American Andy Warhol who sagely prophesied: "in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." By the time he reached 'fire' and was but a stone's throw from 'brimstone' I was starting to wonder whether, at my age, I had enough time left to hear him finish (boy, did he enjoy his time on the world stage) but, sure enough, I was there for his blessing, for the end of the service, and for a denouement which had the couple riding around Windsor in an open carriage to the delight of the public and, no doubt, the considerable concern of Special Branch.
Meghan and Harry may have to face none of the real world worries that beset most young people starting out on married life today, but it would be churlish not to wish them health, happiness, and a long and happy marriage.
Good luck to them and to all the others who took the plunge yesterday.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


I still can't find things I put away at Christmas, including family photographs normally lined along the mantelpiece in the dining room: they had to come down to accommodate the Santa Claus line-up that benevolently beams away there for a couple of weeks every December.
Well, it's only May now so I might still unearth them before it's time to repeat that notoriously sad mistake.
I won't hold me breath, though. 
From lunatics with beiief.
This morning came news that five people were attacked in central Paris last night - one of them fatally - by a knife wielding nutjob who French police promptly shot dead, and that a family of six indoctrinated idiots (mother, father, two daughters and two sons) carried out suicide bomb attacks on three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia today.
They and many of those they attacked, died.
Christ knows what these twisted barmpots are out to prove, but no religion or belief in the world is worth that sort of carnage.
Nephew Philip Butler.
This highly regarded younger son of Mo's late sister, Jean, had to undergo a re-route of blood supply (this time at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital) recently, will be returning there shortly for an operation on his liver, but was out and cheerfully optimistic in time for his birthday on the 11th of May.
All the very best, Phil. Youre a good 'un. As is...
Jess Daisy White                                                                                                 
our granddaughter (on the right), who completed her studies at Hertfordshire University this week and returned home in time to tackle the annual Walk the Wight event today. She, together with friends, Buddy the dog (who made it to Carisbrooke), and with lord knows how many more worthwhile walkers for Mountbatten Hospice charity, started out from Bembridge at 7am and, via Arreton, Carisbrooke, Mottistone and Freshwater, made it to Alum Bay at a little after 5 this afternoon. On a selfishly personal note, lovely girl, the one and only Popsy is very, very proud of you. Well done.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


I can't be bothered.
So if you regularly look in on these scribblings, dear reader, be prepared for more in the same vein.
I think the implication was clear in my last post but it does no harm to confirm there will be no outstanding change to this blog format now, nor will there be any gesture towards gender or race equality. I don't give a toss what sex, race or religion anybody is, they are either someone I would care to know or someone I wouldn't. I tend to avoid the latter, even on the television screen.
That's what the remote is for.
I am using the remote more often.
Perhaps it is age (last week my Leader gently reminded me I am only three years short of ninety) but I have a deal less patience with television now.
Programmers, under whatever title they currently pose, have dumbed down standards to the lowest possible level of viewer intelligence and presenters - with a few marked exceptions - are cheerfully complicit in this: well, the pay's good and you can go a long way if you are a television face. Look at Donald Trump (who I specifically mention only to honour a promise made in my last post). 
I don't watch even the British version of The Apprentice. If you do, I'm sorry.
 The kids are back at school and we are subject to a daily visit from Roz's dog, Buddy, who is lovely and jampacked with energy and unpredictable and everything an eleven month old puppy will invariably be, plus a bit more.
I think we are beginning to get used to each other.
I never did get the computer lifeboat captain's advice on blog change after his confinement with the heavy cold.
Things just got in the way.
He has now sailed off with Pauline for a week's holiday in the Cotswolds.
 Drive carefully. Don't trust other people's indicators!

Friday, April 13, 2018


So why change it? This, of course, refers to my blog format which is so old I now have no idea what it is called but do remember that it was free with Google and, gawdblessem, has remained so to this day. Right now I am trying my printing hand with Calibri 22. It's a self-help notion. We'll see.
Haven't rung to find out how the computer lifeboat captain is faring. I really must do so. I'd write a reminder on my cuff if I didn't wear short sleeved shirts. Meanwhile...
The Wright Stuff. (Channel 5)
Ol' Wright moved studio location a while ago and some bright spark decided that the change of venue was an opportune time to change the format.
Trouble is, it wasn't that broke.
Now, instead of two permanent panellists per week and one guest visitor each day, they have opted to change all the guest panellists randomly, like a weekly end of series edition of Would I Lie To You, or Mock The Week, or Room 101. I find myself thinking it has to be repeats from over the last few weeks.
Then there's the papers: the tried and tested routine of each panellist reading out three or four items of news of the day before passing the baton for the next person to perform, has been superseded by a willy-nilly bobbing up and down the panel of the camera as each protagonist presents a snippet in turn.
It should be preceded by a warning to anyone suffering from epilepsy.
To add to the confusion, whenever Matthew took one of his (fairly frequent) breaks from the screen, his replacement as host was invariably Anne Diamond or Richard Madely.
He was away for a week recently and a fresh female face filled the screen every day. Did no harm, but I do rather like Anne and Richard and have no time for token gestures.
Somebody at Channel 5 needs to get a grip and I do wonder if the bright spark who proposed these changes ever considered the likely viewing public of a morning programme. Aside from the housebound and the unemployed, the vast number will, surely, be retired people.
And oldies, like children, are at best small c conservatives who do not like change or, at worst, capital C Conservatives who only watch BBC news.
All for now.
If you are American and have no idea what this has been all about, I'll try to mention President Trump next time out.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Post 300. Index 6. Posts 251 - 299

Adni, Daniel: 263 Alibhai Brown, Yasmin: 262 Allam, Roger: 286 Allingham, Margery: 253 Angel: 273 Anne, friend (see Wilkening) Anonymous John (Appleton) 274 Ashman, Kevin: 278 Ayres, Pam: 292 Bacon, Jonathan: 259, 269 Bailey, Nick: 287 Barbirolli, John: 269 Barenboim, Daniel: 271(b) Barnden, Maureen: (My Leader) Barnden, Neil: 251, 298, 299 Barnden, Pauline: 251, 273, 299 Barnden, Roz: 262, 270, 273, 276, 285,293, 296 Barnden, William "Bill" 258 Beaton, M.C. 253 Beckham, David: 282 Berry, Mary: 275 Berthoud, Mollie Freedman: 279 Bjorling, Jussi: 289 Blaehr, Tommy: 261 Blethyn, Brenda: 260 Booth, Webster: 289 Bradbury, Ray: 255 Brandon, John G. 253 Brear, Hannah: 270 Brenda from Bristol: 264 Brocklehurst, Danny: 256 Buddy: 273,293 Burke, Tom: 275 Burke, Alexandra: 281 Burnett, Robin: 273 Butler, Jean: 286 Butler, Phil: 286 Butler, Steve: 286 Calman, Susan: 264 Campbell, Alistair: 262 Caron, Leslie: 290 Cassandra: 256, 279 Castle, Roy: 265 Chandler, Raymond: 253, 274 Charteris, Leslie: 253 Cheyney, Peter: 274 Christie, Agatha: 253 Christine (neighbour): 274 Clarke, Allan: 271(b) Clarke, George: 252 Connor, William (see Cassandra) Cook, Jason: 279 Cooper. Charlie: 296 Cooper, Daisy: 296 Coren Mitchell, Victoria: 274 Costello, Elvis: 252 Creasey, John: 253 Cumberbatch, Benedict: 276 Daly, Tess: 274 Davies, Alan: 274 Davis, Andrew: 271(b) Dawson, Peter: 265 Day, Doris: 284 Dayer, Ellis: 270, 273, 285 Derek next door: 293 Derham, Katie: 271(b) Dexter, Colin: 262 Diamond, Anne: 251 Dillow, Ian: 258, 266, 290 Dodd, Ken: 287 duBeke, Anton: 274 Duff, Oliver: 256 DVLA: 259 Ellis, Vivian: 290 Ellman, Daphne: 273 Eliot, T.S. 292 Fairbrass, Richard: 262 Farage, Nigel: 260 Faust, Isabelle: 271(b) Fielding, Noel: 275 Forsyth, Bruce: 274 Fowler, Daphne: 278 Galbraith, Robert: 271(a) 275 Gibson, Sian: 279 Gigli, Beniamino: 289 Gillen, Aidan: 274 Google: 294 Goose, Claire: 260 Grande, Ariana: 266, 267 Granddaughter Jessica (see White) Grandson Ellis (see Dayer) Gray, Berkely: 253 Gray, Dolores: 265 Grayson, Larry: 281 Guetary, Georges: 290 Gunn, Victor: 253 Haitink, Bernard: 271(b) Hammett, Dashiell 274 Harrison, Bill: 280 Harrison, Kath: 280 Hatfield, Stefano: 256 Hawking, Stephen: 287 Heath, Eira: 265 Hollies, The: 284 Horowitz, Anthony: 277, 279 Hughes, Chris: 278 Hume, David: 253 Hurley, Graham: 258, 268 Hussain, Nadiya: 274 Ingleby, Lee: 276 Johnson, Boris: 276 Keep, Joan: 285, 286 Kelly, Gene: 290 Kelner, Simon: 256, 264 Kuusisto, Pekka: 293 Kyle, Jeremy: 274 Lancashire, Sarah: 284 Lanza, Mario: 290 Leith, Pru: 275 Len (neighbour): 274 Lincoln, Andrew: 278 Macdonald, Kelly: 276 Mackintosh, Cameron: 270 Madely, Richard: 251 Mahmoud, Mohammed: 269 Malone, Gareth: 273 Margolyes, Miriam: 283 Marr, Andrew: 253 Marsh, Ngaio: 253 Maxwell, Robert: 256 May, Teresa: 267 McCormack, John: 283 McEwan. Ian: 276 McFadden, Joe: 281 McGee, Debbie: 281 Morgan, Jeffrey Dean: 255, 278 Morgan, Piers: 260 Munch, Edvard: 294 Murdoch, Rupert: 256 Murnaghan, Dermot: 278 Murray, Douglas: 271(b) My Leader: (almost everywhere) Nilsson, Harry: 284 Ogden, John: 263, 269 O'Sullivan, Kevin: 264 Parfitt, Judy: 262, 287 Parker, Robert B: 274 Parry, David: 283 Pay, Colin: 276 Pay, Linda: 276 Peckham, Beth: 270 Perkins, Sue: 271(b) Plant, Margaret: 273 Pratchett, Terry: 252, 268, 271(a) Pullman, Philip: 279 Rana, Beatrice: 271(b) Riggs, Chandler: 286 Robeson, Paul: 284 Robins, John: 266 Roth, Tim: 276 Rowling, J.K. 271(a), 274 Sargeant, John: 275 Sargent, Malcolm: 271(b) Sayers, Dorothy L: 253 Shadow, the cat: 292 + almost everywhere Shaw, Percy: 254 Shorrock, Steph: 270 Skellern, Peter: 260 Skripal, Sergei: 295 Skripal, Yulia: 295 Spike: 273 Street Porter, Janet: 256 Tauber, Richard: 284, 289 Thomas, Dylan: 257 Tizz, Ina: 296 Toase, Anne: 273 Toksvig, Sandi: 275 Tree, Bubbles: 286 Tree, John: 285, 286 Trump, Donald: 255, 260 Turnbull, Giles: 288 Vegas, Johnny: 279 Viney, Carolyne: 273 Virgo, John: 264 Vogt, Lars: 293 Watts, Susana: 273 Webb, Lizbeth: 290 West, Tim and Pru: 275 White, Jessica: 258, 273, 285, 296 White, Peter: 265, 266 White, Robert: 265, 283 Whittam Smith, Andreas: 256 Wilkening, Anne: 276, 277, 278 Williams, John: 271(b)Williams, Mark: 260 Winkleman, Claudia: 274 Wiseman, Rich: 270 Wonnacott, Tim: 260 Wood, Henry: 271(b) Wright, Matthew: 251, 264

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


I've lost track of the times we've tackled this enigma. I promise myself there will be a change in blog format after I've published the next index: I must have made that promise four or five times now. Then I bumble around reading blurb on the web and listening in as pretty young women with American accents (is there an 'expert' left in the world who doesn't have an American accent?) assure me, in terms my semi-educated English skull is quite incapable of absorbing, why their blog format is far and away the best thing since sliced bread (an always over-hyped product in my opinion).
I then seek local advice: this time I sought it from the computer lifeboat captain who said (Post 298) that he would think about it. That was last Friday.
On Sunday I phoned his home number and had a chat with our daughter-in-law, Pauline, who is currently recovering from a nasty bout of pneumonia that she simply refused to give in to: she's an Island girl. He was confined to bed with a heavy cold and sore throat. That's nasty, too.
It has been doing the rounds over here. My Mo is just getting over it. She insisted on getting up every day: she's a Pompey girl.
Anyway, I declined Paul's offer of a chat with Neil. There's a time for everything and I felt that wasn't the time. We'll get to talking again after blog index 6 has been published. Who knows? Before that, perhaps the faceless Silent Bobs at Google will break all their rules and offer me a solution - other than "fuck off" - in language I can understand.
Pigs might fly.
Oh, badgers do in The Badgers Of Deep Wood (my book for children aged nine to ninety nine) now almost completely revised and set to go.
Wish me the luck of finding favour with a pretty young publishing expert who has an American accent.

Friday, April 06, 2018


The Computer Lifeboat Captain.
Made sense to phone him. He's our son Neil (pictured) and, somewhat to his father's perplexity, he's been making his living on computers for years.
I told him of the problem I have experienced in transferring (copy and paste) my carefully crafted WordPad (duplicated on OpenOfficeWriter) blog posts from their source to the 'edit' page.
My first question to him was: "Should I buy a domain?"
He didn't actually say "Christ, no!" but his reply did leave me in no doubt that somebody else always owns your domain, paid for or not and, in my case, any alteration to the status quo would be a big mistake. So how to rectify the difficulty of my dancing print size?
He didn't actually say "Christ knows!" but he did say he'll think about it.