Sunday, 27 November 2011

Anarchy in the UK

Long time back I subscribed to an anarchist weekly called ‘Freedom’ and a theoretical monthly called ‘Anarchy’. I liked the ideas element in the monthly but found the weekly left wing nonsense. Alas in time the monthly lost its marbles the same way as the other. Curious to learn more I called in to the anarchist meetings held above The Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden. It was chaos, there were no rules of procedure, nothing was discussed, egomaniacs got up for no reason other than to promote themselves, everyone gossiped and squabbled, and much beer was drunk. Colourful and amusing in its own way but not inspiring. The London Collective of Anarchists couldn’t boil a three minute egg let alone lay the foundations of a new society.

The romance came to an end when their offices were burgled and the mailing lists stolen, Special Branch had taken everyone’s name and home address including my own. Alarmed I wrote to criticise their security and cancel my subscription. By return of post I received a crazed, vituperative and threatening reply. All the bile the writer had been saving up against the world was directed at me. At last he had a target.

I sent it back advising him to keep it to show his revolutionary friends as it would prove he was capable of attacking the innocent with no provocation. Bombing and mayhem was in the air and The Grosvenor Square Machine Gun Gang had just shot up the American embassy. In response he sent another mad missive in which only green and purple ink was missing.

So ended my days as an anarchist. In order to bring the correspondence to a conclusion I replied with Lord Sandwich's famous riposte. It did the trick. ‘Dear Sir, Your letter is before me, and soon it will be behind me.’

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Home Beautiful

I accidentally started to clean my sink yesterday and to my surprise discovered it wasn’t brown as I had always supposed. Then I did the plug hole which came up shining like silver. Amazing. An angel had alighted on my shoulder and I knew what it was to be house proud. There’s always something new. Encouraged I effected a similar transformation on the tiled floor, and in the process discovered the numerous marks were not holes and chipped edges as I had thought but trodden in food annealed with age. With my flabber ghasted I abandoned the Ajax and took a rest. I daren’t touch anything.

Dirty boy. But I keep my stove clean, it has a white top and I like to see it shine. I spend enough time bending over it. The same with the wash hand basin and the bath. I am also industrious with the toilet brush. Of all my wedding presents it alone has lasted. White surfaces demand to be seen. If the fridge light worked I would be in there as well.

And I vacuum the flat with every change of season whether it needs it or not. These things have to be done. I’m wall to wall carpeted and it’s fascinating to see grey turn red. Under the bed is best, fuzz and fur vanish in seconds along with a host of scuttling things. Then it’s into the machine with the sheets and pillow cases though it’s not summer yet. You can’t be too fastidious.

For light relief I periodically tidy the larder, it’s chock-a-billy with rusty tins, unreadable bottles and burst packets long forgotten, yet strangely as good to eat now as the day they were purchased. It's a proven fact peanut butter lasts forever. I'm chuffed to see my big Bovril only set me back two shillings and sixpence.

Writing this has been a bit of a bugger because the keyboard is so grimy. What it needs is a good scrub. I’ll do it later when I get my trainers and underwear out the bath.