Tuesday, 18 October 2011

In which I am puzzled by cufflinks

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

The day started wild with sun, and then turned into darkness and rain and buffeting winds. The Pigeon and I took one look and said: no, thank you. So I made some watercress soup instead.

There are things in the world, I keep thinking, that I can now contemplate and write about. I keep thinking: I must have something useful to say about Dr Liam Fox and the spike in inflation and why no one will rein in the lobbyists. But it turns out that my brain has undergone one of those special Dr Evil scientific wipes that you see in futuristic thrillers. Nothing there. I think: if I sit very still, will cognitive function return?

Actually, the only thing I have really taken in about the whole Fox debacle is that apparently the erstwhile Secretary of Defence wore Union Flag cufflinks, and that this was something the Prime Minister would not do (according to my newspaper) even for a joke. This, in the eyes of some observers, makes Dr Fox more patriotic than Mr Cameron. Even allowing for the whole last refuge of a scoundrel thing, and Forster’s enduring I would rather have the guts to betray my country line, and accepting for the sake of argument that high patriotism is an unalloyed good: can you really tell from cufflinks? And I love that this is reported in a newspaper of record with some solemnity.

The awful thing is: I think I’m going to be puzzling over the cufflink thing for the rest of the day.

I am rather fond of my country, although I know this to be slightly irrational, but I never understand the thing of showing it. Do you remember that moment when all American politicians had to wear little flag brooches? There was a frightful fuss when Barack Obama neglected to put one on, at a debate or something, and all the cross Foxy people said oh, it's because he's a secret Kenyan Muslim who hates America. All because of a tiny brooch. They don't seem to wear them any more, as if someone sent out a secret memo saying: it's all right, you may now admire America without interpreting it through the medium of jewellery.

Well, that's all I've got for you, I'm afraid. I feel a bit battered and anti-climactic today. I suppose I've been getting up with deadline adrenaline for so long that I feel the lack of it as a bit of a shock. I have a vague, plaintive feeling, the old What's it all about, Alfie question. I'll eat the watercress soup and butch up and make a bit more sense tomorrow.


Today's pictures, a little random autumnal mash-up, with added sheep:

18 Oct 1

18 Oct 2.ORF

18 Oct 3

18 Oct 4

18 Oct 5.ORF

18 Oct 6

18 Oct 8.ORF

Moody black and white Pigeon:

18 Oct Pigeon.ORF

Hill, from slightly different angle than usual:

18 Oct 10


  1. I think you are quite hard on yourself. I haven't had a coherent thought about Fox or lobbying, or inflation all day and I definitely haven't just written and delivered a manuscript. I'm afraid it's all about crab apple jelly over at mine.

  2. Lucille - crab apple jelly sounds absolutely wonderful.

  3. Red leaves + blue sky = pure delight.

    And that's one of my favourite photos of the Pigeon. Beautiful.

  4. You are definitely too hard on yourself. You've just FINISHED A BOOK, for goodness sake. In a time of grief. And you've continued to write lovely words and post beautiful pictures for us, the lucky Dear Readers (could we have a t-shirt, I wonder? With the Pigeon on the front and The Hill on the back?). Thank you very much indeed. x

  5. Fox axed himself because of a way too up close and personal relationship with Adam Werritty, who traveled thither and yon with him on official Ministry of Defense visits. (Even I know that this is inappropriate! Werritty also apparently lived in Fox's apartment which Fox renovated to the tune of 180,000 pounds, claimed as expenses as am MP, of course...)
    At least that's what I learned from my British sources -- Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You...
    I get a lot of my U.S. information from the very lovely Jon Stewart and co. on The Daily Show.

  6. Great, great post! It’s something I have never thought about, really, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for sharing

  7. Well this is good info for me. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. i know i’m a little off topic, but i just wanted to say i love the layout of your blog. i’m new to the blogegine platform, so any suggestions on getting my blog looking nice would be appreciated.

  9. Wedding Cufflinks = the only thing I can really suggest is to go onto Blogger, get to the design section and fiddle and fiddle and fiddle. It took me ages to decide on this format, and it is not quite as I would like even now. I think you need a slightly perfectionist stubbornness, which is not something I would recommend in any other area of life. But to get your blog looking good, it does help. Also, I find if you put up photographs, make sure they are as good as you can get them. Good luck.

  10. This is my Second visit to this blog. We are starting a new initiative in the same niche as this blog. Your blog provided us with important information to work with. You have done a fantastic job


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