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Take up our quarrel with the foe

27 Mar
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
                                              John Keats
As cultured folk you’ll be aware how for millennia the poppy has signified sleep and forgetfulness in European culture. From the poppy we get opium, morphine and all those other lovely “ines” that make us fall through a hole in the carpet when life becomes too much… 
Whoah! whoah! stop all this liberal thinking right now! For the Royal (& sycophantic) British Legion, for hosts of hoopleheads and fellow travellers, for the whole UK indeed (or so it seems) and even for level headed Canada or at least those parts that love to dwell on the horrors of the last century the poppy has become The Symbol Of Remembrance. Well ha! So much for culture. This craze started in the 1920’s as a merchandising scam to sell cloth poppies to help ‘rebuild war torn France’ (a likely story) or perhaps it was inspired by that really bad and militaristic poem  “Flanders Field” (which at least had the idea of poppies meaning sleep). Whatever, it’s too late and the genie is out of the proverbial glass container and you can’t tell anyone that this is cultural illiteracy else they look at you as if you have two heads (which I suppose is two more than they have). 
So it comes about that, two years after the celebration (no better word) of the start of WW1, Hull gets a teeny portion of the crazy poppy themed thing that took over the Tower of London.  It’s an unimpressive, tawdry splash of  red down the side of the Maritime Museum. Puts me in mind of a slit throat or perhaps a some overly enthusiastic menstrual flux. Certainly does not inspire any thoughts of ‘remembrance’ despite it being blessed by vicars and cooed over by the hoi polloi (“Oh isn’t it beautiful!” ‘it’, by the way, is supposed to represent the deaths of thousands of men from high explosives, bullets, poison gas and general military incompetence so … well I just give up!) and idiots in WW1 uniforms standing in front of it like dorks!
Still it attracts folks to town to take piccies (guilty as charged) and of course selfies. Oh the name of this thing? … Weeping Window


On Newland Avenue the poppies blow …

11 Nov

It will not surprise you to learn I’m not one for poppy wearing or remembering past wars and all the dead and all that business. My old grandad  joined up to fight in the first European madness; he fancied wearing a kilt so he and his brother joined a Scottish regiment just for that reason! His brother didn’t come back. (let’s hope insanity does get passed on) Any hoo he would say he had no time for the sycophantic Royal British Legion and their revelling in the horrors of the Somme and so on. So what was good enough for old Joe is good enough for me. Strikes me that every year there’s more and more of this enforced, dare I say phoney,  ‘remembrance’ of past hostilities (for example, everyone on TV has to wear a poppy or face obloquy from the self-appointed arbiters of public decency) when a bit, nay, a large dollop of forgetfulness might be in order. Enough of this dwelling on the past.
What we have here is part of a grandly insane scheme by a local lady to knit or crochet over 3000 woollen poppies and plant them in all the flower boxes on Newland Avenue. I suppose it’s impressive if that’s the sort of thing that impresses you. With the inevitability of the sun rising in the morning some toe rag stole a set of poppies. Go take up your quarrel with the foe …

A strange day

24 Jun

I took this on my way to vote in the referendum (voted ‘Leave’ since you ask because, as is well known, I’m a delusional, knuckle-dragging, xenophobic, racist, piece of shit; yes, the eloquent insults of the losing ‘Remainers’ still flow …). Appears even the weeds have UKIP’s colours … It’s not every day you have a vote to leave the EU and the PM resigns with a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his foot … interesting times.

Summer meadow in the heart of town

23 Jun

On Blackfriargate a patch of land has been left to sort itself out and that is just what it’s doing in a colourful way, of course. This mad mix of poppies, clovers, teasels and grasses is all free and could be available across town and country if councils parked up their grass mowers until Autumn. 

Tall poppy syndrome

21 Jun

Even in these austere days the Council sees fit to go round with herbicide and clear any green growing thing from the base of every roadside post. Further they go round every fortnight with mowers trimming down all the grassy verges. It something they do because they’ve always done it, an utterly pointless waste of money. Does long grass threaten civilisation or do flowers portend a revolution? What harm would it do to leave things be and let a billion flowers grow?