Saturday, 31 July 2010

Daddy or chips?

I am sitting on Scarborough beach watching a small child being buried up to his neck in sand. He appears fairly happy with the situation but if the same had happened to me at a similar age, I would have been traumatised for life!

We’ve had chips from Harry Ramsden’s and made turtles in the sand. Very shortly I shall be going for a paddle but first the children are going to have a ride on the donkeys. I've only just learnt the difference between a donkey and an ass. I'd always thought they were the same creatures, and that we only sing “Little Donkey” at school at Christmas time because the concept of singing “Little Ass” is too horrific to contemplate!

It rained last night and we were all forced to retreat into our tents. Trying to cook vegetarian sausages under a canopy is no laughing matter, although in the mayhem, I did manage to whip up a rather lovely onion and red wine gravy, before spilling all over a plastic sheet. After the skies had cleared, we were able to light a pretty impressive fire, which we sat around whilst toasting marsh mallows and staring up at the bright, full moon. Blissful.

It seems that a few people have been commenting on the symphony trailer on You Tube. The responses are almost exactly as I would have expected; a mixture of good and bad. You can’t please everyone. I was insulted, however, to see that someone has criticised the young lad who was featured rapping in the third movement of the film on BBC Breakfast yesterday. Say what you like about me, or the BBC, but there is NO excuse for writing that about a child. If he reads it, he’ll be devastated and that is not at all fair. I urge anyone reading this, who enjoyed the lad’s performance, to write something constructive to counter-balance the rude comments.

I was rather tickled by the chap who felt the need to point out that the bus company who provided the vehicle featured in the clip originally came from the south like it was some kind of devastating information that would cause a catastrophic amount of embarrassment for the BBC. You can see them now, can’t you? Rushing through the corridors and spending hundreds of pounds of license fee payers’ money investigating how a bus that was built in High Wycombe could possibly feature in a film about Yorkshire! I am sure that 50% of the instruments played by musicians in the film were made in China. Does that make them invalid? Surely the fact that 280 Yorkshire-based musicians bothered to take part is enough to validate the project? Heaven knows what this particular person would have written if he discovered, horror of horrors, that the composer was from the Midlands! Maybe he'd have done something like this. On that note, I was particularly thrilled to be described by one reader of this blog as "bridging the gap between southern fairy and northern monkey!" Now that's the kind of praise I respond to!

350 years ago, Pepys was in White Hall, having a crisis meeting with other senior figures about how money might be raised for the Navy, which was in a very sorry financial position. Ships lay in harbours, unable to go to sea because they were falling apart. Sailors were not being paid. The situation was getting worse and the King was diverting more and more funds towards his court. I always think a good, old-fashioned Bring and Buy sale works wonders, but this was in the days before Blue Peter, so maybe things weren’t quite that simple. Instead, Pepys returned to the Admiralty Office to do some calculations aimed at working out quite how in debt the Navy was!

That reminds me... Must sort out my expenses...


  1. Ben
    As a Yorkshireman born and bred who can trace his Yorkshire ancestry back to the eighteenth century may I say what an absolute delight it was to listen to The Symphony for Yorkshire on BBC Radio Sheffield today. I very much enjoyed it and you deserve enormous credit for both having the vision and seeing it through. Though you were born in Shropshire (my second favourite county) I for one would support any application you might make to become an honorary Yorkshireman.
    Best wishes,
    Mr Y. Pudding

  2. Hi Ben,

    I have been following this blog for a while through all the trials and tribulations and was thoroughly pleased to be woken up by the BBC breakfast news feature on the Yorkshire Symphony the other day. I have yet to hear it in it's entirety but what I did hear (and see) I very much enjoyed. If you're ever tempted to do anything in Scotland I would love to help.

    Kind Regards
    A Doyle