Sunday, July 29, 2012

Opening Medicine

Everybody loved it. I had glowing reports beforehand from people who'd seen or been involved in the dress rehearsals and when the time came for the actual televisual feast, Twitter was awash with pride.

This was Britain at its best, the stuff that makes us all proud to be part of the greatest nation on earth. Boris Johnson was crying "hot tears of patriotic pride".

Frank Cottrell Boyce in today's Observer: "We shared the things we loved about Britain - the Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution, the NHS, pop music, children's literature, genius engineers."

Two capitalist revolutions, an underfunded health service, the Eurythmics, Mary fucking Poppins and Jeremy Clarkson's hero.

We are proud of our multi-culturalism, well some of "us" think it was right that we accepted people we owed something to, most don't think we owe "them" anything and would like it if "they" went back "home".

Great Ormond Street is a symbol of how we look after our people from the cradle to the pub. We love children more than any other nation and the image of a child in a hospital bed makes us weep with pride and empty our wallets. And all our Mary Poppins's, looking after our precious ones who will grow up to employ nannies of their own.

The night of the ceremony, Boris Johnson had a sweet dream, a sweet wet dream about Julie Andrews tucking him up in bed, bending over him, whispering, "it's going to be alright, everything's going to turn out right".

And he woke up laughing at Mr Bean.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Sea Air Will Do Us Good

Looking at the Jack Vettriano poster on the wall of the hospital corridor, just around the corner from the curled-up photographs of nurses, haphazardly arranged in a large smeared frame, I'm waiting for my mum to be made more comfortable three weeks after her life-prolonging operation.

I never used to tell my mum I love her. Now I say it every time we speak. It's not really a thing a boy of my generation and class does easily. It took me years to kiss her goodbye.

What the fuck are you singing? Are you a human vox-box of tricks, a servile Bobby McFerrin? Listeners can't help but dance? Don't worry, be happy?

Why are these beautiful young posh people dancing on the beach in the rain, in formal party clothes? Has the maid brought their medication? Or their booze? Is one of them ill and this is their last dance before amputation? What have you always really wanted to do? Dance in the rain by the sea, with a gruff-voiced butler and a silly fussing maid. One last dance before the hospital bed. Splash and move, more free than we've ever been. Darling, I love you and your unpredictable movement, the wet-dog animality of you. I'll miss your drunken larks when you've got no legs.