Thursday, March 29, 2018

Apologies, readers, for taking this 'sickie'

Apologies, appreciated readers, but your scribe has been very unwell and quite knocked out by an aggressive virus of the 1957 Asian flu sort, married up with 1968's Hong Kong flu pandemic bug - or so it feels.
Not at all well, in other words. Being an optimist, he hopes to be back in a day or two.
Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory on .

Friday, March 23, 2018

What's the most useless thing on Grandma?

An interesting piece in a newspaper had me exclaiming, Yes! The article in The Times - in the free online bit - followed some remarks by a high school head, a lady headmaster, or headmistress as the paper dares to term her in this crazy time of equality.
The head of a school for girls in the metropolis had this advice for her charges: In adulthood, don't infantalise your husband when you acquire one.
Ms Victoria Bingham refers to wives whose prompts, or orders, are offered in regular To-do lists. Don't, she declares, micro-manage your man.
It seems the wise lady refers to wives and picked-on husbands in younger years.
Orders are commands
We can only guess who gives the orders in a household of a young couple.
Not so at the older, pensioner stage, I'd say, where the orders are much more prevalent, and often issued - commanded - out in public. It's this senior lady bossiness that inspired my exclamation.
In later years, a more insistent version of micro-management takes over and is no longer confined to the kitchen or living room. It's out there in the high street, the NHS carpark, and in my overpopulated suburb, everywhere.
I don't doubt that the assertiveness springs from a well-meaning girl who almost suddenly has a household and little family to manage. Obviously, she needs help, and not all husbands are natural helpers at home.
The view at the supermarket
Look around your supermarket and you'll see the outcome of this earlier bossiness. The now retired fellow, usually portly because the wife wants to show publicly that she feeds him well, is instructed to get the vinegar.
He wonders, er, um, where will it be? With a loud admonishment or two, she dashes off to the shelf. Now he's to get the bread. Seeded, sliced, supersize or small? She defines the demand noisily as she hurries off herself to the bread counter.
As I contemplate a late marriage, I wonder if I want to be in their shoes - sneakers, it seems, to avoid unending nagging for applications of polish.
And it's the look of the poor devils. They're overweight, harassed - henpecked, used to be the term - and unfit. This physical state comes from a gramps' determination to win somewhere. The story continues on the home for my ocean adventure book, Sailing to

Monday, March 19, 2018

How slave owners shocked a #1 social mocker

Racial insults shouted by people short on vocabulary and humanity are not heard often these days thankfully. How different were social attitudes only eight or so generations ago.
How doubly interesting it is to see how it bothered that social mocker Charles Dickens, who used ridicule of region and age and more to amuse his readers. I don't recall reading a story where he made fun of race, but few other characteristics were safe from his observations.
How very interesting to find this social critic penning his shock at US attitudes to race when he toured America in 1842.
Some of the barbs are revealed in his book, American Notes For General Circulation, which is quoted on that excellent book-excerpting emailer, Delancey Place dot com.
DelanceyPlace reports, 'In 1842, thirty-year-old Charles Dickens, already flush with the success of such books as Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers, made a tour of the United States, and published his observations in American Notes for General Circulation.
'He encountered the pervasive and brutal realities of slavery, including advertisements for slaves published routinely in local papers.'
The book, reports Delancey Place, is a fervent condemnation of slavery and includes some published announcements he saw.
Dickens saw 'Cash for negroes,' as the heading of lists of advertisements in journals. He noted, 'Woodcuts of a runaway negro with manacled hands, crouching beneath a bluff pursuer in top boots, who grasps him by the throat, agreeably diversify the pleasant text.'
Continues on the blogs for my sailing adventure story, Sailing to Purgatory, at