You know what it’s like when you’re just leaving the changing rooms at Wimbledon to go on to Centre Court?
Er …. neither does the Ed (though if you do know what it’s like, the Bluffington Post’s readership is even more distinguished than we thought – if such a thing is possible – Crawler Ed)
Apparently above the tunnel there’s a quotation from Kipling’s great peom If – “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same ….” (with “impostors” spelt right, I bet – Pedant Ed)
Success in sport can be an infuriatingly fleeting thing. Less than a fortnight (for readers on the other side of the Pond, this means two weeks) ago England’s one day cricket side (ranked #1 in the world) lost their first ever match to Scotland, falling seven runs short of what would have been the second highest run chase of all time (372). On Tuesday England beat Australia by 242 runs (!) at Trent Bridge, scoring an astonishing 481/6 in 50 overs, and breaking the previous world record (of 444) (set by …. England at …. Trent Bridge two years ago). Sweet success indeed – a) against the Aussies b) giving the home team a 3 – 0 lead in the series c) setting up the prospect of beating the Baggy Greens by 5 – 0 for the first time ever d) England’s greatest ever winning margin e) Australia’s heaviest ever defeat f) at Trent Bridge (the finest Test ground in the country – Unbiased Ed) and g) with devastating centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales (of Yorkshire and Notts respectively – Ed (born in Nottingham and living in Yorkshire)). Hurrah and huzzah!
The fleeting nature of success or failure is not confined to sport, though – it applies to business (and life) as well. When things are going badly it can be hard to remember that – and at such times it’s as well to remember the wise words of Mr Willie Whitelaw, to the effect that nothing turns out quite as bad (or as good) as you expect (if you don’t know who Willie Whitelaw was, ask your mother — or maybe, your grandmother)
Hard times are easier to cope with, too, if you’re a member of a TAB Board – your fellow members will help you keep a sense of perspective. If that sounds attractive, you know where to come!
Moving on to some of the odds and sods in this week’s news –
• two odd crime stories this week – Mr Ken Dodds (69) carried out two daring raids in Newton Aycliffe (in County Durham), using a replica Colt 44 revolver to rob Café Pronto (presumably saying “hand over the cash pronto” …. I’ll get me coat) and a nearby newsagents. He then made a slow exit (using his walking stick) towards the bus stop, where he waited for his getaway vehicle to give him a ride home. He appears to have been surprised when Durham Plod pinned him to the ground at the bus stop and hauled him off to the nick ….
• …. while Scots Plod are scratching their heads after a thief managed to steal a 7ft claymore (= bl**dy great broadsword) from a collection in Canna (total population 18) – and smuggle it off the island. It is not known if Scotland’s finest are looking for a very tall sword swallower (walking ve-e-e-ery carefully) or someone with an extremely large kilt (walking even more carefully)
• the birds have struck back at H Sapiens this week – a church in Norfolk has had to be closed after blue tits were discovered nesting in the pulpit, while work on the Houses of Parliament has been interrupted after drone flights (to assess the damage) had to be suspended after spotting that peregrine falcons are nesting there
• and in another drone good news story (sorry, Mrs Ed) Mr Peter Pugh (75) had a lucky escape after getting stuck in the marshes (up to his neck in water) on the north Norfolk coast – he was missing for nearly 24 hours before being spotted by a police drone (prompting his wife to give him a good telling off on air)
• the health research wars continue – studies published this week tell us that moderate drinkers live longer than teetotallers (hurrah (hic) – Ed), and that “marriage cuts your risk of heart disease and stroke by almost half” (hurrah again – Married Ed) ….
• …. meanwhile the boffins are engaged in the ceaseless search to create healthier white bread (using modified starch)
• motorcycle sidecars are the latest thing to come back into fashion in the retro trend
• couples who spent up to £100 on a day trip event (sold by Railroad Events) which promised a refined 45-mile train journey through rural England sampling local gins were not happy, complaining about poor organisation, carriage windows which wouldn’t open, and (worst of all) small measures ….
• …. and Bristol architects are also unhappy, after Mr David Martyn (who works for Bristol Council, and describes himself as a “guardian of civic virtue”) posted a series of inflammatory posts on social media, including describing his job as “destroying dreams and standing in the way of progress by saying old stuff is nice”, posing with a stuffed lion on his head with the words “conservation sheriff of the wild west”, and brandishing a unicorn glove puppet with the caption “Mr Grunwald considers your listed building application invalid”
• researchers at the Uni of Salford are attempting to decode the language of dogs, and have reached some stunning interim conclusions, including that if your pooch rolls over on his back he wants his tummy tickled, and if he puts his paws on the front door it means – he wants to go out (who knew??)
• Mr Donald Trump (who he?? – Ed) has set a new standard of unconscious irony after withdrawing the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council, describing it as “a cesspool of political bias”
• on a happier note, Mr Desmond Morris (who wrote The Naked Ape and virtually invented the science of body language) had a splendid interview on Radio 4 on Wednesday morning (worth listening to – shortly after 08h20). The unmistakeable voice is just the same (at the age of 90), and he is working as hard as ever (he has written 30,000 words in the last month and regularly stays up writing until 4am) ….
• …. but sadly Mr Peter Thomson (who won the Open five times) has died, aged 88
On to Columbo Corner, and the Heart-Warming Tale of Fred the tortoise. Fred, who is thought to be more than 100 years old, went AWOL a week ago, to the distress of his owners Mr Terry Phelps (86) and his wife Sue (73). He (Fred, not Mr P) was spotted making his way down the middle of a lane near Southampton by a motorist, who luckily had seen a newspaper article about his disappearance and was able to return him to his owners. In his runaway (?) bid he had travelled one mile at an average speed of 0.006mph
Have a great weekend – and if you’re an unmarried teetotaller, be careful ….
I presently run three Boards –
Dark Blue (for people who run large businesses) – one spare seat
Light Blue (for people who run large businesses) — two spare seats
White Board (for people who run fast-growing businesses) — two spare seats
“Harold Wilson is going round the country stirring up apathy” (Willie Whitelaw)
“It is never wise to try to appear more clever than you are. It is sometimes wise to appear slightly less so” (Willie Whitelaw)
“I have the thermometer in my mouth and I am listening to it all the time” (Willie Whitelaw)
“Every Prime Minister needs a Willie” (Margaret Thatcher) (who could not understand why the attendant Press corps doubled up with laughter)
By Tom Morton – TAB Harrogate