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Tuesday, 24 December 2013


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It may have been Guido who pointed out recently that this is the third(?) zero base review that Labour have announced recently. In other news, Labour announces that they will cease shredding old envelopes...

Good morning, Decnine, and welcome to D&N. Perhaps they have taken up shredding their old zero-base reviews instead!

Xmas Eve, and I have to report that the cheese elves are still at work. A roulade has vanished, and a Brie and a Stichelton are looking the worse for wear.

To accompany dessert this evening we're going to sip a 1979 White Jerepigo, a drink that we've never had before. Fingers crossed.

You do know why your Queen chose this precise timing to pardon ,er, Our Queens in only the way allies can figure out these days?

We did zero-based reviews every now and then. Nothing ever changed.

Interesting, DM, I've just looked it up. Can't remember the last time I tasted a desert wine. Here, we are more Plebian. The Memsahib only drinks white so we are having a glass (or so!) of a white Languedoc which, for reasons of past pleasures, we rather enjoy - although you never quite recapture those old memories, do you? Then I shall switch to a simple 'Bordeaux superiere' which, following a wee dram with my coffee, will see me off to beddy-byes! A new 'Midsomer' on tonight and as usual I will have to ask the Memsahib who 'dunnit' in the morning!

I'd hang the lot of 'em, JK!

Oh, very witty, Wilde, er, I mean, JK!

Only white, eh? Try the 2005 McWilliams Mt Pleasant Sémillon, from the Hunter Valley, at Tesco: top drop. I bet it'll keep too.

DAVID. My eldest brother now deceased. Served with the 1st Btn Cameronians in Malaya 1951-1953. He was a jolly person and played for his company fitbae team. I have a good photo of the team. Probably all of them are now dead. But they were the poisoned dwarfs.

Nice choice, DM.
I am currently drinking a rather lovely drop called Two Little Ducks, made by Baily & Baily. It's just a dry white. I'm drinking it mostly because a dear friend of mine has a duck fetish and I've caught a touch of it.
What am I talking about.
ALL Australian wines are good and that's all there is to it!

As L. P. Hartley once wrote, "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there." Yes, Alan Turing broke the law by committing gay sexual acts back in 1952, but I think you'll agree that the sex drive - whether straight or gay - is a very powerful one which often dictates a course of action. Essentially Turing (whose relationship with Arnold Murray was consensual)was prosecuted, simply for being the way he was. Remember that he had harmed no one. It was the law of the time that was unworkable and just swept homosexuality under the carpet. Turing's pardon is a belated acknowledgment of the fact. One has to ask though, is it always wrong to break an unjust or un-workable law (as you imply) just because it IS the law? The real paradox though is that given the (then)law of the land and the accepted social mores of the time, such an absolute genius was stupid enough to admit to gay sex in the first place! Please however, let us not forget that this particular man probably shortened the war by two years! By the bye, he is also one of my candidates for the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square.


DM, you may have heard the fuss and furore that arose in frightfully posh Sherborne when it was mooted that Tesco might move in. I was the only one in favour because a) they would have supplied cheap petrol and b) their wine departments have an excellent reputation.

Jimmy, I certainly didn't wish to insult *any* Scottish regiment, let alone the Cameronians, apart from anything else I wouldn't dare! It was just their curmudgeonly attitude that amused me - and as it happens I think they were right!

"Two Little Ducks", Andra? Did you float away in bliss . . . ?

Richard, I nearly went back to rephrase that post because I did not wish to convey the impression that I was anti-homosexual. We are all subject to the way in which the genetic dice fall and provided it's private, consensual and does not include minors then I truly do not care what people get up to 'behind closed doors'. What irritates is the silliness of empty gestures which allow even sillier people to strike absurd postures. We apologise to the shade of Alan Turing, a truly great Englishman, and then we apologise to the likes of Mugabe for running his wretched country much better than he does, and then we apologise (and possibly pay damages!) to West Indians for sending them in slave ships to the Caribbean where their lives have been infinitely more prosperous than if they had stayed in West Africa, and so it goes on. The past is the past and futile gestures are just that - futile!

Just rescued you from the spam box again, Michael, is it your after-shave, I wonder? To be serious, thank you for your seasonal wish and I hope you and yours enjoy the day.

"A game of football in no-man's-land was offered by the Germans but flatly refused by the Cameronians"

Nah, being a Scots football team they were knocked out in the qualifiers - and in the England / Germany final they cheered for the Germans!

xox Merry Xmas

"You might say that, I couldn't possibly comment!"

Well, not with Jimmy as a regular commenter round here!

To All

Merry Christmas or holiday of choice


Thank you, Hank, and Christmas greetings to you and yours.

I have not shaven in forty years.

With the goose: Wirra Wirra Church Block. Wotcha think, Andra?

Well, why the hell not, DM? Wirra Wirra, as I recall, is a very good drop.
Michael Adams, I'll send you a razor blade if that's all that's holding you back.
You people are so slow in having your Christmas. We're already organising the New Year's doings.
Off to Bernie's Jazz Cafe tomorrow night and again on Saturday night.
So much music to listen to, so much wine to imbibe, so many laughs to be had, move the body a little bit and all. Ah, it's the good life.
Best wishes to you all.

Forty years?!!! Blimey, Michael, that makes you a bit of a fire hazard!

Wirra Wirra Church Block! It must be fairly decent because they sell it at Tesco and Waitrose!

Andra, you're such a live wire I feel quite exhausted and I may have to return to my bed!

It would frighten the grandchildren, to see my appearance so thoroughly altered. Also, the beard camouflages the fat on face and neck, ample evidence of forty years of good living. So, I trim. I don't shave. I resemble neither Pajama Boy nor the Duck Boys. I did hate aftershave, back when I used it, another good reason not to revert.

I tried a beard back in my early 30s. Trimming was more of a pain than shaving so it did not last more than three of four months. Mind you, I kept a 'tache for several years.

Lawrence old Chap. The silent majority of Scots cheered on the English. After all they were still playing the Hun. I know exactly where I was during the 1966 final. I had just left school that summer and was in a friends house with a team of ex school friends. My friends mother was making a multitude of chips and passing them into the room to us. We were hiding the Kerry oots!
If you watch old footage of the match you will note it was mainly the Union Flag being flown. The political petty nationalism followed later fuelled by the media.
On another note many nasty Nats are happy to accept immigrants into Scotland while real Scots leave. They consider potential immigrants will be anti English and monarchy.

In fairness to the Cameronians, their territorial 1/5th battalion did take part in the fraternisation. It was attached either left or right of the 1st, I think on the left. That would probably put them opposite 9. Kgl. Sächs. Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 133 (9th Royal Saxon infantry) from the mining town of Zwickau, home of some of my German relatives at the time. This is the same regiment which fraternised with 2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and (according to the vivid eyewitness account of one Ltn. Johannes Niemann) beat them 3-2 at football. The Saxons were greatly amused when it was accidentally revealed that the Scots were wearing nothing under their kilts!

Sadly in the vicinity of 1/5th Cameronians a trigger-happy fool in the vicinity started a very brief exchange of shots which led to at least one death (see link below). According to one Rifleman John Erskine it was 'one of the regulars' who was responsible, disobeying a direct order not to fire. The Saxons apologised for shooting back, but claimed that a Prussian was responsible (which is implausible given the unit dispositions at the time, unless they meant a Prussian serving in the Saxon Army rather than a Prussian serviceman).

There were other units present on both sides who declined to become involved, even one Saxon regiment on the southern flank of the corps. This was apparently due to the non-arrival of their relief on Christmas Eve putting them in a foul mood, after which they switched from singing carols to cat-calls at the enemy.

As may be apparent I'm currently writing a book about the Royal Saxon Army in Flanders in WW1. I hope to be out there in uniform next December for the centenary commemoration (the one organised by reenactors not the state-sponsored malarkey)...

Andi, that was a truly fascinating comment. No time now to discuss it but, if I am not 'walking wounded' tomorrow, I might return to it.

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