Partnership Disobedience

It is often said that the devil makes work for idle hands.  On the whole, with the clear exception of my attempts to play a musical instrument, I like to imagine my hands are under my own executive control (assuming that idea has any meaning) and the infernal realms have an indirect influence, at best.  My mind, when idling – whether it is supposed to be or not – is a very different matter and generally appears all too able to slip off the yoke of local management and wander off on its own (or at the whim of any, or all, available supernatural agencies).  These digressions take a wide range of forms, but this post will only tackle one of the common themes: projects I could only consider tackling if I had significantly more time and money to devote to such foolishness than is, in fact, the case.  As those who know the author will attest, I am already possessed of substantially more money than sense, but this is more a comment on my shortfall of sense than on my fabulous wealth.  I suppose I could re-define projects of this type as conceptual art, rather than mild lunacy in search of a weak joke, and see if this would attract grant-giving agencies or a wealthy sponsor – but I’m not hopeful.  Let’s see how the world at large responds to the modest proposal which I shall now set out…

A number of professional bodies corporate have a tendency to exist as partnerships – I am thinking of accountants, lawyers and the like – which tend to be named as a list of the partners involved (or originally involved). Despite the fact that When We Were Very Young was published in 1924, no-one seems to have formed the obvious partnership suggested by the poem Disobedience contained therein.  I view this as a sad indictment of the level of ambition in the English-speaking world and would rather like to rectify this.  When the lottery millions come rolling in (only very slightly inhibited by my failure to participate in the lottery), I shall be seeking a set of solicitors with the following surnames to form a new partnership:

  • James:          2 off
  • Morrison:    2 off
  • Weatherby: 1 off
  • George:        1 off
  • Dupree:       1 off

Their names will be used in the order listed in the formal name of the firm and on the associated brass plaque and letterheads.  The firm should probably specialise in family law.

I am keen to arrange a series of events to mark the third year of my new partnership: perhaps a move to the end of the town as a prelude to dissolution.  I’m certainly keen to hold an event with golden gowns in the dress code: if possible, involving a trip to the palace (ideally with an Alice) – perhaps at breakfast time (butter would, of course, be provided).  Should the firm somehow survive to reach its sixth year, I will insist that they take on a silent partner with the name of Binker.

I did consider an alternative partnership honouring the brave men of the Trumptonshire Fire Service but decided that inspiration from A A Milne would have a broader reach.

Before signing off, I feel we should all take a moment to admire the (relative) brevity of today’s exposition: it came within a gnat’s crochet of fitting into a Tweet!

Cartoon Canonisation

Earlier, I found myself thinking about the television of my childhood days – I think this form of nostalgia is an occupational hazard (along with presbyopia) of my advancing years.  At least I haven’t started telling complete strangers my age… yet.

In common with, I assume, all generations, I believe the television of my youth was vastly better than that produced in these debased, modern times.  Though there are some honourable exceptions, for example, I would heartily recommend Shaun the Sheep (despite the sub-optimal spelling of our hero’s name) to any comers.

Almost everything I know about herbs, I learnt from the Herb Garden – and I have now eaten most of the characters, though have yet to try (Constable) Knapweed (I’m not even sure what you might serve him with – a writ of habeas corpus?).  To this day, I tend to sing the relevant song to myself when chopping each herb – though I grow increasingly shaky on the words (but, this is one area in which the internet is a real boon).

Much of my knowledge of society came from the folk of Trumptonshire.  I well remember my disappointment on starting my first job – which was in an office above a factory – to discover that at knocking-off time there was no siren and the staff did not dress up in period costume to dance whilst accompanied by the local lord on his “Dutch organ” (which is a lot less dodgy than it sounds).

I would say that Oliver Postgate was (at last partly) responsible for getting me a job.  The interest in Norse myth, engendered by the tales of Noggin the Nog, paid off many years later.  A talk on Egil’s bones (he of the saga, combative nature and Paget’s disease) as my interview “party” piece won me the job in education from where I was later able to muse about various gerunds to such great comic effect (see previous post) – but you really shouldn’t blame Mr Postgate for that.

But, finally, we come to the main subject for tonight’s symposium.  Mary, Mungo and Midge – an animation produced by the makers of Captain Pugwash – tried to convince us of the joys of living atop a tower block with a large dog.  I fear it was not wholly successful in this brief, but it did move children’s “drama” away from the boarding school or countryside for the first time.  (By the way, for a good laugh – and an indication of how times have changed (or at least, children’s fiction) – I thoroughly recommend the recent Good Show Clarissa on Radio 4.  It contains vocabulary that even I have stopped using!).

Many a time I have found myself inside St Mary’s, or more recently, Great St Mary’s (I refer here to churches, there has been no tupping with the canonised deceased, I can assure you – though I suppose it might count as one of the obligatory two miracles were it to happen).  St Mungo is the patron saint of Glasgow – not bad for a dog!  But, even after 40 years, no St Midge – not even a Venerable or Blessed Midge!

The time has come to campaign for poor little old Midge.  Our exact tack will depend on whether he was martyred or not – but the first step is a recommendation to the Pope.  Thereafter, we are probably looking for miracles performed through Midge’s intercession.  It is 40 years since I last saw MM&M, but I do remember he would stand on Mungo’s muzzle and press the buttons on the lift to descend (or ascend) – so perhaps we should be looking for miracles within the works of Messers Otis or Schindler?  (Certainly, through the entire TV series, the lift never once failed – which I think would make it unique – and miraculous – in tower-block based TV drama)

Please feel free to report your lift-based miracles here, and let’s get Midge the canonisation he so richly deserves.