So much money to protect a joke

Why, with the nation’s economy like it is. are we going to the extremes detailed here to set up and police the visit of a failed businessman and total jackass, just because he claims to be the president of the united states? Almost any other world leader would be most welcome, but Donald Trump is a joke – an egotistical moron with no right to be where he  is. The longer America calls him it’s president, the more of a joke it becomes.  For  us to join in their absurd game, probably because we need to suck up to  America because we’ve completely screwed ourselves through Brexit, just makes the UK look even sillier.

When Dad (not mine) became Charlotte (not my friend charlotte)

Just to counteract the feeling that everything and everyone is sliding into bigotry, I think this is well worth flagging up. It’s a short BBC film about a family whose father transitions into womanhood.  The family are open, honest and accepting. At a time when social tolerance seems  to be becoming more and more rare, and  fools who decry political correctness are lorded for speaking  some sort of suppressed reactionary truth, it’s good to see that some pockets of open-minded  liberalism remain.

The film is called When Dad Became Charlotte. Since I nabbed that title for this entry, I better just clarify that that refers to neither my dad or my friend Charlotte, although if those  two somehow metaphysically exchanged places it would certainly be interesting. 😀

More Manchester exploration

Yesterday was quite a cool day, and what I tried to deride at first quickly became a welcoming, fascinating place. Manchester might not be a metropolis (but then,  compared to Delhi, neither is London) but maybe I’m tired of metropolises. Yesterday John and I explored the city a bit, meeting Charlotte for lunch before getting the tram to Media City to see a stage adaptation of Little Miss Sunshine. To be honest what I found most cool was the tram network: inevitably, perhaps, I found myself comparing it with London’s tube, but I found it brighter and cleaner, and far less hassle to get onto. All you have to do is go up a ramp onto a raised platform in the street and the tram can take you anywhere in town city. No lifts, no inaccessible subterranean stations.

Manchester, then, is a cool, bright, vibrant place , every bit as modern and outward looking as the sprawling southern maelstrom, but retaining a welcoming community atmosphere London seems to have at least partially lost. My life down in the capital may well be coming to an end, and I’m looking for somewhere new to explore. As much as I love London, there’s only so much of that kind of maelstrom one can take before you start thinking about other quieter places. At the same time I still want to be in the kind of vibrant artistic community where there are gigs to go to and fun to be had. Based  on my couple of days exploration here, Manchester might well be the new place I’m looking for.

Mancunian exploration

I seem to be getting all over the place recently: India one week, Normandy a few weeks later, and today finds me in Manchester. John suggested a trip up here when I got back from France last week, and I can never turn down a good voyage of exploration. Even though I was born and grew up in the north west, the truth is I don’t feel I have ever really explored Manchester; I don’t know it like I now know London. Moreover a further truth is I’m starting to think about places I can move to after London: almost ten years in a vast metropolis can be quite wearing. Thus I want to get a feel for how Manchester compares in terms of infrastructure, public transport etc. More to the point I want  to see how much fun there is to be had up here.

My first impressions are broadly positive. After just a couple of hours here, Manchester strikes me as quiet and clean. I’m eager to give  the tram system a try, but compared to the tube it’s probably a doddle. Yet what I am struck by most is the size the place, and how small and compact Manchester feels. City my arse!! Manchester is just a fairly large town with metropolitan pretensions. Or perhaps Manchester just still retains an intimacy and feeling of community which urban sprawls like London seem to have lost.

The worst PM

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse

hold my beer

Mind you, even in that photo, Johnson is obviously posing: he’s been told beer drinking is good for his image, so is trying to look as if he’s thirsty for it, but has obviously never held a beer or been into a pub in his life.

The dangers of wearing football shirts

I have got into the habit of wearing my charlton football shirt every Saturday. I bought it for when my cricketing friend James and I go to matches at The Valley, but it seems apt to don it every Saturday. While I don’t take any particular interest in the football scores, I like showing I’m part of the local community. The only thing is, from time to time it means random people- men usually – shout things like “come on Charlton !” at me as I’m going along the street. I suppose that isn’t too bad, but once or twice people have shouted abuse at me, I guess due to recent football results and where I am. It has never been too bad but it does take me aback, especially if it takes me a couple of seconds to twig why I’m being shouted at. I suppose it has to be expected if I’m going to wear a charlton football shirt, although I better not wear it if I ever go to Millwall.

One fool replacing another

Theresa May has resigned, it would seem. Given that way all knew this news was coming, I don’t think there’s much I can say on the subject. As happy as I am that the useless cow is going, the only thing which concerns me is who will replace her. Every candidate with their name down to get into Downing Street is even more of a scumbag: either they’re a self serving numpty, as in Boris Johnson, or they’re a fascist in all but name, as in Jacob Rees-Mogg. Either way they’re an outist set upon serving their party’s needs rather than doing what’s obviously right for the country. When oh when is the country going to grow up, get a grip, and call an end to this utter, utter farce?

Happy birthday Mithrandir

One of my favourite actors is Sir Ian McKellen. I loved his portrayal of Gandalf as well as his appearance at the 2012 paralympic opening ceremony. As he turns 80, friends including Derek Jacobi, Janet Suzman, Michael Sheen, Bill Condon and Stephen Fry pay a well earned  tribute to him here. Happy birthday Mithrandir!