Friday, 23 August 2013

22 22

It's 22.22. I like this fact. 22.22 was always the time when Nathan emerged from Spamalot and called to  say he was on his way home...

Today's list of things to do was over-ambitious and I haven't managed to get through it. Boo! I must learn to be more realistic. Two of the things I thought I'd be able to achieve involved deep-cleaning the kitchen (I'm hugely partial to an Autumn clean) and reading 200 pages of a book about the war. I managed the 200 pages, but only cleaned a third of the kitchen. By the end of the month the house will be sparkling. I find it almost impossible to sit down and write properly when distractions like messy houses are floating around. 

There's a woman on the telly at lunchtimes who shows dowdy ladies how to look more pretty. She talks about things being bang "on trend" - a phrase I loathe - but she also has a nasty habit of talking about clothes in the singular form. Yesterday she put a man in a "trouser" and a woman in a "jean" and today, horror of horrors, she talked about how lovely a young girl looked in a black "tight." I nearly threw my spaghetti on toast at the telly! 

It's all suspiciously American and goes hand in hand with British people suddenly calling each other "dude" and using that ghastly phrase "you smashed it!" Smashed what? A precious vase? 

Does my hatred of these new-fangled über-trendy words make me an old man? I've already been told on several occasions that I'm the grumpiest old git on twitter. 

Well, the slippers aren't out just yet. Even though I've stopped listening to Radio 1, I still hate Radio 4 drama, poetry readings, Countdown and sensible shoes. 

I read a great deal more moving First World War testimony today and sat tutting and sighing throughout like my old Nana used to do when she watched the news. What hadn't really occurred to me was how difficult soldiers found it to process the information that the Armistice had finally happened. Whilst London and Paris cheered, soldiers on the front wept. Some immediately went to the graves of those who'd fallen along the way, others simply hid away and wept bitter tears at the pointlessness of everything. 

The most extraordinary account I read today of what happened at 11am on November 11th, 1918, was this:

"Nearby there was a German machine-gun unit giving our troops a lot of trouble. They kept firing until practically 11 o'clock. At precisely 11 o'clock an officer stepped out of their position, stood up, lifted his helmet and bowed to the British troops. He then fell in all his men in the front of the trench and marched them off. I always thought that this was a wonderful display of confidence in British chivalry, because the temptation to fire on them must have been very great."

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. 

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