Sunday, November 30, 2008
Yes, mes chers potes, the Old Scrote has successfully bottled his first five bottles of home-made Cabernet Sauvignon! My neighbour Andy came round this morning to help me transfer the plonk from the demijohn into the bottles and thereafter to bung in the corks. We sampled it, of course, and found it good. There should have been six bottles, but you know how it is once you start sampling....So impressed was I with the quality of this Chateau Scrote 2008 that I immediately went online to order another batch of syrup.
A note for my son Jeremy
Your dad's plonk may have tasted like Ribena in 1975, but the 2008 variety is the dog's bollocks. Come home and taste it sometime, but hurry: wine doesn't hang around long du cote de chez Scrote.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
"You pervs! It's all bloody nooky with you now, isn't it? Have fun today and sod'em gomorrah."
And then the Omnipotent One heaved a great sigh, regretting that he hadn't made it an eight-day week with TWO Sabbaths in it, and caused a great Flood to cover the earth. But, being soft-hearted, He got Noah to save two of everything, but with a strict injunction: no nooky on the Ark, keep them occupied with quoits and other deck games, bromide in the soup and get rid of that condom machine in the gents, etc.
And it came to pass that the waters receded, except in the Cambridgeshire fens, and the Earth was repopulated, but with the disappearance of quoits, bromide, etc, the lads and lasses fell back into their old wicked ways, doing it just because it was fun to do it, anywhere, anytime and with anyone.
It was then that God called to His Servant in the kitchen, saying "Mohammed, never mind the dishes, I've got a job for you on Earth............"
Thursday, November 27, 2008
On 31 January 2009 the St John's College Choir will be singing Evensong at Sidney Sussex, our sister college in Cambridge. The Fellow for Alumni invites you and a guest to join him at the service and afterwards for a champagne reception and fork buffet supper in Sidney’s Old Library. Evensong will be at 6.00pm, with drinks following at 6.45pm and supper at 7.15pm. You are welcome to join in all or part of the evening’s activities. Regrettably, numbers for the supper have to be limited to 48, so we will be filling these spaces on a ‘first come first served’ basis. We do hope that you will be able to join us at our first ‘St John's in Cambridge’ event. With best wishes The Alumni Office
The things these people will do to lure an Old Scrote back into the fold....
..., erm, of course I will go.
So, today, my dentist filed down the tooth to keep it free of contact with Lower Left 5, repacked it with antibiotic filling, and then put a temporary cap on it. It will take dynamite now to shift it.
The thing is this, amici miei: I only have the one life and the one set of teeth, so, crooked as they may be, and recalcitrant as Upper Left 5 may be, I am committed to throwing money at them till they settle down and agree to keep chomping.
And I pray that you never find bones in your pizza.
So I counted my blessings and found I had seventeen, which might seem a lot for an unpresumptive Welsh widow, but it does include such items as not suffering from varicose veins and having an unopened bottle of medicinal sloe gin in the cupboard.
You're a good man, even if you are Jewish, when you could easily have been a Primitive Methodist, and no snipping. The only other person of your faith that I know of is Rabbi Burns, who wrote incomprehensive poetry and lived off haggis.
If you are ever in Llanfairpg, do call in and we can have a nice theophysical chat over a plate of kosher Welsh Leek Soup.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Starting at the back of Aldreth Hill, I again watched beaucoups of Redwings and Fieldfares busily feeding in the hedgerows and on the field, and periodically coming down to puddles on the track to drink and bathe. There were other species too: a pair of Bullfinches (they always seem to come in pairs, quite romantic really), Blue and Great Tits and Greenfinches and Chaffinches. Oh yes, and Robins, spunky little birds they are, too. Then I went on to Aldreth Fen, along Dam Bank, where I flushed Pied Wagtails from the concrete, and later watched a flock of about fifteen Corn Buntings on the wires, one of them giving little snatches of their distinctive tinkling song. Down to the Haddenham Engine, where I had good views of Water Rail, not a bird you see every day, for sure.
I paused for coffee and a snack, and began to wonder if I would ever find a Little Egret on the fen (two have been reported this year). More ambitiously, I thought Flat Bridge farm might finally yield a Great Grey Shrike. Never mind, I enjoyed visiting the reservoir there anyways, and clocked a pair of Gadwall and about sixty Wigeon, which took flight – wonderful sight! Back to the corner of Dam Bank and Long Drove, where I had my sandwiches while watching a pair of Stonechats together with about eight Reed Buntings. It always amazes me how much wildlife can be found in a scruffy patch of brambles in the middle of a tidy arable landscape. Birds demand so little....
Going along Long Drove, I decided on a detour up to Clayton's Bridge, where my attention was caught by a distand raptor being mobbed by corvids. It was falcon-like and it was bloody bulky. My guess is a juvenile Peregrine, but it was too distant for me to be sure. Coming back to Long Drove, I came upon a small flock of Goldfinches feeding on teasel, and a flock of about fifty Linnets feeding on the ground on goodness knows what, seeds of some kind presumably. Before leaving Long Drove, I spotted another male Stonechat, a bird that's always worth stopping to look at. As usual, a couple of Kestrels were hunting along the drove verges – I swear they hover because they know they look good when they do it.
Over Hillrow Causeway and straight into Fowlmere Drove, which at this time of year is a nightmare of viscous mud and deep ruts. I made it, but only just, to the firmer ground of Back Drove, which turned out to be very quiet, possibly because it was the siesta time of day. I decided to go along the track which parallels the New Cut Drain, in the direction of Ces Burton's old house, hoping for maybe an owl or two. In fact, I didn't find any owls, but I was rewarded with more flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings, a party of five or so Yellowhammers and a little flurry of Long-tailed Tits. After another walk in fruitless search of owls, I decided to call it a day.
But what a day! Nothing to cause a bishop to kick a hole in a stained-glass window, as my old colleague John Andrews used to say, but a memorable day all the same, and further confirmation that the fens are not the barren waste that people often think.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The first time I ever tasted Martini Rosso, a fortified wine if ever there was one, I was in Naples, a beardless youth of 22, eager for adventure, and all the etceteras that follow from that eagerness. With friends, I seemed to spend my non-teaching hours in my room in the Pensione dei Mille sipping Martini Rosso and trying to impress a Scottish girl who taught in another school in the city.
I left Naples and after that didn't drink Martini Rosso again until this evening, thanks, as I say, to Tesco's. I really believe Tesco's have my welfare at heart. Why else would they gorge me on nostalgia like this?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I am sure you appreciate that when a man starts writing about his kitchen, he is getting desperate...
Misfortune, so far, seems to have passed me by. On the contrary, a few good things have happened: I just received several Premium Bond wins, a tax refund, a winter fuel allowance (you gotta be OLD to get that), and even British Telecom gave me £17 back when I left them for TalkTalk.
OK, so my house is worth maybe 20% less than it was a few months ago, but as I ain't selling it, it's just a paper value.
Unemployment? Hell, I have been practising unemployment for years now.
So, as far as the Old Scrote is concerned, God's in his Heaven and all's right with the World.
Yes, I accept that a lot of people are headed for difficulties, but we have this Gordon Brown person who is going to make everything ok again.
So, let's get the cork out of another bottle and celebrate the fact that we ain't dead yet! Not by a long chalk. I hope.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Dear Hillary Clinton, she writes, I read in the papers that the darky fellow, whatsisname, you know, the foreigner, Origami or something, well, that he was going to give you a job in his new government. You know your own business best, dear, but if I was you I would precede with extreme caution. Mr Trellis, my late husband, did his National Service in Libya, where he learned to chainsmoke Woodbines, and he always reckoned that you couldn't trust them, you know, them bedwins: they were forever trying to sell you djellabiyahs and other dodgy underwear.
So, you be careful. I always liked you and the way you coped with your hubby's infelicities (the cross all we wives have to bear, dear!), and I wouldn't like to see you transgressed by this Origami person, even if he is President of the Untied States.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retired.
I told you how a grateful barnowl box erectee gave us a couple of bottles of wine each. Well, tonight I sampled the posh one. The label reads: Domaine du Sauvage LIRAC Appellation Controllee 2000.
My oenophile colleague will probably cross me off his Christmas card list for this, but I have to say that I found it flat, tasteless, unappealing, lifeless and forgettable. It's the kind of plonk I would pour on rusty bolts.
So, that's me relegated to the ranks of the bloody philistines.
Mind you, I still drank the whole fricking bottle - we were taught during the War never to waste anything........
But the main reason I am posting this is to ask a question. You know how before you play the movie, you are given options, such as Special Features, Scene Selection, etc? Well the first and most important option is Language. When I clicked on Language, the choice offered me was:
That's it. No other choices.
But why Islenska? Why have the good folk of Iceland been picked out for this special treat?
And why have so many much more populous nations, such as France, Spain or Germany, been excluded?
Weird or what?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
At the time after I came back from Angola, I was writing for Penguin publishers, whose editor was a great and wonderful man called Van Milne. He had been a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain, was the ultimate Scottish gentleman, a great dinner companion and a wonderful editor. I knew that he had spent years in West Africa, so I steered the conversation round to a query about his intestines. No, he said, unlike most other white men on that foetid coast, he had never had any problems. And then he explained why.
"When I was a boy, my mother took me to a Temperance Meeting, where a fierce lady railed against the evils of the Demon Drink. To prove her point, she showed us a glass of water which she had taken from the local burn (stream). The water was alive with wriggly little things. She then poured a tot of whisky into the water, and every living thing in it died in seconds."
At this point, you, my brainy readers, know where this is going.
"So," said Van, "when I was posted to West Africa, I reasoned that all I had to do was to drink whisky every evening, and I would kill any nasty organisms that might get into my system. So I did, and I never got ill."
Listen, I wish I was clever enough to make up something like this. Now, where did I put that bottle of Glenfiddick....?
Friday, November 14, 2008
Anyway, apart from being very nice to look at and very nice to listen to - she has one of those velvet voices that soothe even the grumpiest old scrote - she has two wonderful assets:
1 She is a mathematical genius, she can do things with numbers that amaze you
2 She has the best bum I have seen on a woman in many a long year's ogling.
Two causes for ungrudging admiration. And not necessarily in that order.
"This wine is not for drinking. This wine is for laying down and avoiding."
In fact it's not bad at all. Fermentation is complete, stabiliser added. According to the instructions, I need to shake the wine for 3-4 minutes 3 times a day for 4 days, that is 48 minutes. Then, after adding the finings, I must shake the wine for 20 minutes. That's over an hour of exercise, so I can now see that wine-making is also good for the cardio-vascular system.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
On one memorable Sunday afternoon, shortly after I had arrived in Brescia, I was taken to two casini, and though - you have to trust me on this - I did not avail myself of the services on offer, I was mightily impressed by the civility, indeed the normality of it all. And then; suddenly, they were no more.
I was just watching Fellini's Amarcord for the nth time, and switched off after the moment in the film when the new consignment of "filles de joie" arrived in the town. I am neither for nor against legalised prostitution, I simply don't have a view, but remembering my friend Guiglielmo's angst, I couldn't watch any more.
Thank god for the joy I get from watching birds, and I am not talking about ladies of the night.
At this point, the dentist's Dental Nurse, Penny, spoke about her childhood enthusiasm for beetles and other small creatures, and ended up boasting proudly about her collection of snails, each one with a number painted on its shell to give it an individual identity. By this time the dentist was back in my mouth, if you will pardon the expression, while Penny sucked the liquid out, if you will pardon the expression. When the dentist commented adversely on her practice of numbering her snails, Penny came back vociferously, saying how she looked after them, cared for them, fed them, housed them and made sure that they had plenty of fresh air and exercise. Exercise?!
It's not easy to laugh while you have a dentist and his assistant in your mouth, but I collapsed into hysterics at the mental image of Penny as a little girl taking her snails for a walk every morning. In no time, the three of us were helpless with laughter.
The dentist's chair is not a place where you expect to have fun, and to be honest, it was a painful session, but God bless Penny and her snails. I would have kissed her but the whole of the left side of my face was frozen. Also, she's unmarried, and I know better than to kiss unmarried women.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
You couldn't make up a story like this:-
EU to allow 'wonky' fruit and veg on supermarket shelves
EU nations on Wednesday gave the green light Monday for bent cucumbers and other 'wonky' fruit and vegetables to be sold in supermarkets and elsewhere, as part of a drive to cut red tape.
"This is a happy day indeed for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot, and other amusingly shaped fruits and vegetables," said European Commission spokesman Michael Mann.
"Rules governing the size and shape of fruit and vegetables will be consigned to history", the commission said in a statement.
In all, marketing standards for 26 fruits and vegetables are being scrapped, paving the way for the return to shopping trolleys of forked carrots, onions that are less than two thirds covered with skin and the bent cucumbers among other deviant vegetables.
The rules had been derided as "bonkers" by the likes of major British supermarket chain Sainsbury's, while major agricultural nations such as France have argued that scrapping the restrictions will lead to a fall in prices and thereby hit farmers.
"This marks a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot," said EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.
"It's a concrete example of our drive to cut unnecessary red tape. We simply don't need to regulate this sort of thing at EU level. It is far better to leave it to market operators."
She added that in the current climate of high food prices and economic woes "consumers should be able to choose from the widest range of products possible. It makes no sense to throw perfectly good products away, just because they are the 'wrong' shape."
Representatives of most EU countries voted against the rule change, but not by the overwhelming "qualified majority" required to stop it going through, a commission spokesman said.
The rules are to be scrapped for apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocados, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons, and chicory.
Standards are kept in place for 10 others, including several of the most popular items in European kitchens; apples, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, lettuces, peaches and nectarines, pears, strawberries, sweet peppers, table grapes and tomatoes.
Mann explained that these were being maintained as a compromise to opposed member states, while assuring that there was "practically no difference" between the two categories.
Vendors will be able to sell deviant versions of the still proscribed items as long as they are labelled as a "product intended for processing" or similar.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, must formally adopt the changes which, "for practical reasons", will be implemented from next July.
Rules for straight bananas are not affected.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I don't deny that you get those frissons in your you-know-where, after all you are a man, and therefore unable to control your baser nature, but I do think, as a public figure, you ought to curb these "urgencies". I am talking about Sarah Palin, Margaret Lockwood (whoever she may be, not a relative, I hope), Sandra Bollocks, and now four adolescent virgins - what ARE you thinking of?!
I do understand your weakness, believe me, I had the same struggle with the late Mr Trellis, God rest his soul, the bastard. He had an obsessive passion for Shirley Bassett, a nice enough Welsh girl, and used to eat KILOS of Liquorice Allsorts in her honour, poor man.
But, while, as you will appreciate, I don't give a shepherd's crook for your obsession, I do think that, as a public figure, you ought to set a good example, ie, act your age, stop lusting after young girls, and maybe settle for an elderly excommnicated nun. Just be careful, though, that you don't catch anything, like catholicism or other communicable diseases.
There is something SO unfriendly, so uncompromising, about that gesture that it turns my blood to ice.
Hell, it's not even as if I cut them up at the traffic lights......
And then I heard a Robin's plaintive autumn song. And felt better. Good old Robin Redbreast, Britain's National Bird. God's in His heaven, all's well with the world. I felt a real affection for Erithacus rubecula at that moment.
Till I realised it was singing in an Edith Piaf accent. Is nothing sacred?
But it's not just the mess on the kitchen floor, it's not just the constant glerp-glerp of carbon dioxide bubbling through the air filter, it's not even the weird taste of the stuff when I inadvertently swallowed a mouthful as I sucked a sample through the syphon.
No, it's the instructions that accompanies the kit. First off, written in insurance policy type so small you need to employ an ant to read it. And when your ant finally tells you what it says, you go gaga trying to conform to the rituals of sterilisation and measurement. Damn, it's so complicated, it's almost religious.
But, whatever the oenological outcome, there is one piece of added value - I have finally understood what "specific gravity" is. That is something that our nerdy physics teacher, Mr "Gobbler" Holmes, never managed to explain during all my years at Wellington Grammar School. To which, if you are so inclined, you could add Archimedes' Principle, Boyle's Law, Avagadro's Hypothesis, the moment of a couple, refraction, Ohm's Law, the Wheatstone Bridge (which didn't seem to span anything) and much much more.
But Specific Gravity I now got. Finally.
Like I got a hydrometer to measure it. Not that I understand the hydrometer.
Can't wait to pour this lot down the sink and get back to my regular supplier.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
For example, I loved the old red public phoneboxes. Solid, dependable, a good place to get out of the rain or enjoy a quick knee-trembler, so why did British Telecom replace them with flimsy draughty see-thru cloches with a logo reminiscent of a ganymede trying to avoid the attentions of a randy satyr?
I loved the insignia of British Railways, but look at it now. Mind you, it's made no difference to the service, just as random as ever, but that's not the point.
I loved the insignia of British Airways, an honest Union Jack, not that psychodelic fruit macedoine they now have plastered on their tails. Mind you, it's made no difference to the service, just as random as ever, but that's not the point.
Oh, did I say that already? I won't go on, I am sure you can supply examples of your own, what they call re-branding, and what I would call acts of desperation to cover up the fact that they can't solve the REAL problems.
But, decades after the event, I am still irritated by the elongation of the last pip of the Greenwich time signal. Since the time of Alfred the Great, or thereabouts, it had been six equal pips: PIP-PIP-PIP-PIP-PIP-PIP, followed by Stuart Hibbert's baritone, reassuring the country that the end of rationing was in sight. Or whatever.
And then, some tight-arsed nebbish in Whitehall decided to elongate the sixth pip, so ever since, it goes: PIP-PIP-PIP-PIP-PIP-PEEEEP. I bet the bastard got an OBE for that stroke of pointless innovation.
I know what you're thinking: does it matter? The answer is: only if you are trying desperately to keep a grip on reality, which is Mein particular Kampf these days.
- railway stations,
- the centres of foreign cities
(Oh yes, and loos, but that's indelicate, usually a signal from my bladder that it is time to point percy at the porcelain again, regardless of the hour)/
So, I am trying to catch a train, but I can't find the ticket office, and I don't know which train I need.
Or I am trying to find my way back to my hotel in a strange city, and can't find the way. In fact, I always end up in a rural area with lots of mud.
Or I am trying to find my room in a hotel, but I can't find the room, or indeed the key to the room.
Worst of all, I have recurring dreams about my years in Academe, mostly but not exclusively Eurocentres. I am late for class, or I don't know my timetable, or I am a teacher in a school but nobody recognises me.
I really don't want to bother Him, but if he can't fix me up with Margaret Lockwood, could He at least spare me all this Insecurity crap? And if you get the chance, tell Him I would settle for Sandra Bullock if ML, being seriously dead, is no longer available.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
So, what I am saying is, Barack Obama almost certainly owes his victory to me. I don't really mind, although I shall miss the sight of Sarah Palin's mouth opening so wide, it is the spit of the entrance to the Mersey Tunnel that I used to scoot through every day on my way to Liverpool Uni to learn about teaching. I put her photo here because this is the last time you may see her until she is chosen as Republican presidential candidate in 2012.
Funnily enough, Barack Obama has not asked me for advice on how to proceed, and, let's face it, he's taking on a rotten job right now. I would perhaps suggest to him, though, that he avoids driving in an open-topped car anywhere where there are grassy knolls.
Today, November 6, out on Barn Owl business with my colleague Peter, we had a day when not only did everything go right, but we also had a couple of moments that were truly memorable.
The first was meeting a feisty lady who is now effectively the boss of a 1000-acre farm. She and her family have done amazing things to make the farm wildlife-friendly, a gorgeous mix of copses and hedgerows and ponds and beetle banks and field verges and headlands: without doubt, an ideal place for Barn Owls. We surveyed the area with her and found sites for three boxes. I have no doubt that within a mere lustrum, she will have twenty boxes up.
The second was a meeting with a man who wanted us to put up a Barn Owl box for him. We had not met him before, but were glad we did, because he has an enterprise to introduce some wonderful Cotes du Rhone wines to Britain, wines that are not available elsewhere. After inviting us to taste a couple, he then gave us two bottles each, plus a very interesting looking white wine for Peter's wife. Such a generous act.
The third was the beauty of the Autumn landscape as we drove through the fens, a riot of coloured leaves and rich red berries. We stood for a while after putting up a Kestrel box on a Poplar and watched the leaves raining down around us. Good karma.
I hope Joseph had a good birthday down there in Auckland NZ, and I know that my lovely Turkish friend will be happy that I had such a good day today despite her own personal sadness.
Not much else to say: every day of our lives is like this, good moments and bad moments, and we have to learn to expect neither and cope with both.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
One: I went to Minsmere to meet up with my old Ringwood mates, Mike and Martin, partly because they had told me there was a "Semi-palmated Sandpiper" there, a real rarity. I arrived, sat next to them in the hide and followed their directions to the bird, a diminutive creature on a far sandbank. In fact there were a lot of "diminutive creatures" on the far sandbank. "Sorry, which one's the Semipalmated Sandpiper?" "The one that's limping," came the reply.
I located the limping bird, but as far as I am concerned, I have not seen a Semipalmated Sandpiper.
Two: I was at Radipole in Dorset with a young and excellent birder called Bruce Carswell. We approached a group training their scopes on a gull flock.
"Ring-billed Gull," says the senior guy in answer to our query. So we look, we follow the directions, we find the bird, and...to us it looked like an immature Common Gull. Neither Bruce nor I disputed the senior guy's identification. It was just that we couldn't see what distinguished it. So, Bruce and I decided to go on our way into the reserve and look again later. When we looked again later, we couldn't find the bird in question, at least, nothing that was different from the several immature Common Gulls that were there. So, I have not seen a Ring-billed Gull.
In my early days of birding in Christchurch Harbour, I, one spring, found a WoodLark on Warren Hill. I submitted a written description (you always have to do that with rare or uncommon birds). And it was rejected. I was indignant. Some twelve years later, I agreed that I could not be sure it was a Woodlark.
The moral of this story is simple: if you want to avoid the searing of your soul, the first person you must be honest with is yourself. Kid yourself, and it will come back to haunt you. Mind you, I still think it was a Woodlark. I saw that black and white primary covert bar. Honestly I did .........
But for me, the jewels in the crown are the old barns we come across. We visited one, for example, that had housed Italian POWs during WWII, and there were still graffiti on the walls from that time. Another, known locally as the Black Barn, has some fine timberwork. But the barn that took my breath away the other day is an Elizabethan Tithe Barn, huge, majestic, with internal timberwork that is just wonderful. The farmer told us that the barn would originally have been thatched, and also that if it had to be rebuilt (after a fire, say, god forbid), it would cost £4.5. Best of all was the information that the timbers were salvaged from ships taken during the failed Spanish Armada. I don't care if it's true, it's such a delicious notion that it's worth believing anyway.
And for your delight, and with thanks to my barnowling colleague, Peter, here are two more pics of the barn interior - note the partial old scrote on the left of the picture.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Today I got a lifer: a Red-flanked Bluetail. And all thanks to my anonymous friend, D. I was, as you can imagine, very happy. And then, two things happened to make me even happier. First, as we were driving back towards one of our favourite birding spots, Titchwell (They also make an awesome sausage and onion baguette, and we were hungry), we came upon a field where beet had been lifted, leaving a mass of "tops". And on that field were, who knows?, maybe 8000 Pink-footed Geese, so close we could almost touch them, and so wonderfully noisy, a medley of the most musical notes that any geese can utter. Magic, unforgettable. Not a "lifer", but one of those birding moments that you never forget.
And then, somewhat later at Titchwell, we got into conversation with a lady who was SO excited because she had seen several new species that day, bringing her "life" total up to maybe 50 or 60. Oh my, that was a wonderful moment for her, but also a wonderful moment for me and for D, because we both relived our first days in birding. She has so many lifers still to come. Me, I bumped my total up today by one bird, but hell, that's not what matters. What matters is that every encounter with wildlife is an enrichment, a chance to realise that we are all part of something much bigger and more beautiful than ourselves.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Anyway, as my contribution to this worthy endeavour - listing the presidents in order of merit, not electing another one - I have decided to recall the anecdotes relating to each one, anecdotes which somehow encapsulate their character and achievements.
Old Mr Washington looked out of his window and saw to his horror that his cherry tree had been chopped down. He grabbed his son by the collar and asked him if he had done it. Young George stayed calm "Sir, I cannot tell a lie. A big boy did it and ran away." His father gave him a good hiding anyway, on the grounds that all boys are wicked.