National Poetry Day


“It’s National Poetry Day,”

I heard a lady say

     On Radio 4, so

     Instead of my torso

I’m putting this verse on display.


Seriously, why do we have so many ‘Days’? Some are National, some are International; some, perhaps, are Solar Systemic or Galactic and we haven’t heard about them yet.

I’m sorry this is such a short blog, without a lot of intellectual meat. But I’ve been taking photos around Kyiv, each of which tells a story or at least implies something about this ancient, modern, busy, beautiful city. I’ll share them with you very soon. No, really, I will. It’s in my diary.



I know, I know. It’s high time I made a pronouncement on the US presidential election. On this occasion I defer to another deep thinker, because he expresses my own thoughts more eloquently than I can express them myself.

Philip Welsby, my relation-by-marriage, has drawn my attention to a 10-minute talk by Sir Roger Scruton that was broadcast by the BBC and may still be heard at the BBC website. Sir Roger (pictured below) explains, dispassionately and succinctly, what went wrong for the US political class and why Donald Trump is President Elect. I found myself agreeing with everything in his talk and I recommend it.




That’s a new word: Intrusic.  It means ‘intrusive music’.  I’m getting increasingly stroppy about musical accompaniments to television programmes that do not need them – documentaries for example.

It’s often difficult to understand what people are saying anyway because of their different accents; or their insistence on sprinkling their speech with redundant words such as “So”, “Like” and “Y’know”; or the distraction of their waving their hands about (see randomly selected photos below).  Adding music to the mix just makes it harder still.  If anyone from the BBC or CNN or some similar organisation reads this – please stop it!

Handwaving1 Handwaving2

It’s mainly broadcasters such as the BBC World News channel that I have in my sights because they are specifically targeting an international audience.  If I have difficulty understanding what people are saying in my native language, what must it be like for someone listening in their second, third or fourth language?

You get my point.  Stop it.  Now.  All of you.