Sunday, 15 November 2015

Call it McCarthyism

So, it would appear that the crown prosecution service have dropped all charges against my friend, the genius, Roy Harper. I feel incredibly proud to have conducted a couple of mini-tours of his music, the last of which was just before a series of ridiculous allegations were made against him. I'm not even going to dignify the claims by repeating them here. I knew they weren't true at the time, and was incredibly vociferous about the fact. Roy, you see, had been inadvertently sucked into the Yew Tree witch hunt which has destroyed the reputations and careers of so many innocent men. Call it McCarthyism. Call it the Popish Plot. Call it the Salem witch trials. It doesn't really matter what you call it. History never repeats itself, but man always does...

Of course the news that all charges have been dropped never causes the same sort of splash as news of the original allegations. In the meantime, Roy has been through hell (and incurred considerably financial cost) whilst clearing his name.

My personal belief is that we ought to honour the English principle about a man being innocent until proven guilty, which means keeping news of any "crime" out of the press until a proper trial has taken place and a genuine verdict has been found. Trial by media is sickening and grossly unfair.

I've been looking forward to today all week. We had a de-brief about our workshop week first thing in the morning before heading down to Catford for an afternoon blast of craft and cake. It was a delicious chocolate fudge cake today and scones which we had with cheese and home-made tomato chutney. Nathan knitted a crazy scarf. Abbie had an adult colouring-in book. They're all the rage at the moment. They're incredibly intricate designs of flowers, butterflies and extraordinary birds, quite unlike the great big Disney shapes that we used to colour in as children.

This evening, Julie, Abbie, Nathan and I went to Thaxted to take part in the annual tennis club quiz. We came third, which was a very poor performance by our standards. I guess the questions didn't quite tap into our collective general knowledge. The sports round was an absolute catastrophe, although, I never mind tanking on a sports round. It's almost a badge of honour. Like the fact that I've never seen a Star Wars film!

We were fed chilli for tea at the quiz, and, when the chairmen of the club stood up to deliver her obligatory inaudible and humourless thank you speech at the end, I discovered that the spoons we'd been given to eat the chilli with created a brilliant launch pad from which to fire pieces of screwed up paper incredibly long distances.

I aimed most of my missiles at the team who won, and was thrilled when a piece of foil from a Kit Kat lodged itself in one woman's hair. It'll be a nice treat for when she brushes it tonight. Nathan pretended to be well shocked at my rudeness, almost certainly because my parents were there. After ticking me off he whispered in my ear that he was secretly very proud.

Abbie won a fluffy penguin in the raffle.

We came back to my parents' house for a quick cuppa before heading home. My parents have been growing grapes on a vine in the garden, which have done brilliantly well. I was a little surprised to find them fruiting so late in November, but I suppose there are types of eiswein which are made by grapes which are harvested after the first frosts, so grapes must ripen very late in the year.

We looked at my Mum's dachshund calendar. My family are all fans of the little dogs, so my brother-in-law always gets her a calendar for Christmas. Most of the pictures are or very lovely little dogs, but some seem angry, mentally disturbed, demented, or damn-right evil, so my Mum has been known to doctor the photographs, covering dodgy eyes with strips of paper and things. This month's photograph had been entirely covered by an enormous poppy. We peeled it back to reveal the creature underneath which was somewhat shocking. Abbie thought it looked like a potato. My mum said she thought it looked like a pig. I'm not at all surprised the picture needed to be covered over. I'd have done the same!

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