Archive for August 5th, 2006

I have my Silk Cut to the left, an espresso to my right. I also have Photoshop. The Swan will be open for Rioja later…England are doing well in the Cricket against Pakistan (I am watching it on a small portable television in my office at home as I write.)

The Lord Protector is hoping to solve the crisis in the Lebanon over the weekend so that he may join his family in Barbados next week without the tabloids pillorying him for fiddling around in the West Indies while the Lebanon burns with the bombs and rockets of Israel and Hezbollah. I will, if I may, leave political and humanitarian comment to the serious writers in the Press and others, far more eloquent – save to say this: that pictures of young children being carried, dead, from the ruins of buildings in both The Lebanon and Israel demean us and are testament to our failure to resolve issues and differences by talking. War resolves few things. It just leaves a lot of people dead in body and spirit. The Independent reports today that “Thousands are expected to march to Downing Street to demand an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon.”
And so… other matters

Bystander JP in his interesting blog: The Law West of Ealing Broadway (it provides an excellent insight into daily life in the the world of crime) notes that he didn’t receive any gongs for his blog at the New Statesman New Media Awards at which Peter Tatchell made a speech. Bystander comments wryly ( a comment which made me laugh) “I was tempted to tell Peter Tatchell that he looked different without handcuffs on, but I decided that he might take it the wrong way.”

Bystander JP also had the grace to comment pleasantly on my piece about the walk down Fleet Street (Infra) – but wonders whether I was pissed at the time (I wrote it). The alternative construction of course (must bring a bit of law into my blawg) is that he was suggesting that I may have been pissed in Fleet Street. I am not an american, so I cannot plead the ‘fifth amendment’ and, as I do not believe in incriminating myself (The Human Rights Act is so useful), I will pass over the possibility that I may have been pissed in a public place and therefore place myself in jeopardy of being visited by Police or Community Service Officers (who read his blog and, from thence, may visit my blog) and be cautioned for such behaviour.

I am conscious, after seeing Dan Hull’s kind write up of my blawg on his serious law blog “What About Clients? that I am getting some visitors from the US. “Pissed” has a different meaning in the States. It means angry. In the UK, getting ‘pissed’ , by which I mean, ‘mildly over refreshed with alcohol’ is a national past-time and we lead the world; even beating the Japanese, Germans and Dutch, at binge drinking. Our government, however, is trying to ensure that we continue to be world beaters by ensuring that pubs can stay open 24 hours a day. It is also exceptionally good for the Exchequer, now that the anti-smoking bores have got their way with smoking in public places. As Jean Paul Sartre said “I drink, therefore I am.”

Before I pass on – there are some serious and very useful articles and analyses on Dan’s blog which will repay careful study if you want an insight into practice and trends in the States or elsewhere. The blog is right on the button with practice matters. Have a look at “What About Clients?

And so… to even more matters

Revolutionary French farmer is arrested for driving truck powered by vegetable oil. (The Independent) French Customs plod descended on Monsieur Laine, 49, of Rouen in Normandy, because he was using ‘unauthorised fuel’ (i.e. no duty/tax) to power his truck. This is somewhat ironic, given that the world is heating up slowly because of the use of fossil fuels and… I quote from the Independent: “An EU directive passed last year instructs member states to encourage the use of pure vegetable oil as a form of fuel for diesel-powered vehicles. Paris has failed so far to translate the directive into law.”

Meanwhile over in tabloid land..The Mirror has this breaking news:

POLICE set up cordons after a severed finger theatre prop was mistaken for a real one in Heaton Park, Manchester.

Arthur Lee, 61, lead singer of Love is dead

I dropped into BoingBoing, as I often do, to learn that Arthur Lee is dead. This news immediately took me back to the days when I was incarcerated against my will, for an offence I did not commit, (to borrow from John Mortimer QC) in a remote Scottish public school (Glenalmond – which also held a young Charlie Falconer – now Lord Chancellor) in the late sixties. I used to listen to the album pictured. I also listened to Zappa, The Mothers of Invention, Led Zep, Captain Beefheart, The Stones, the Doors and many others…and dreamed of escape. I finally did escape, of course, after turning the system to my best advantage – and embarked on a strange life which has me, this day, writing ephemera for my blawg. Je ne regrette rien. I shall return, in another life – peut etre. I shall raise a glass to the departed Lee, this night.

Mon dieu… I am turning into an old git…reminiscing…. enough… of that. Tonight I shall march against the French again. Cry God for Harry, England and St George – The cricket is fantastic…and, so is the Rioja which I have just cracked open as a precursor to my evening of liberation and libation.

The Rioja which I am now drinking, shipped in 2000, after an unusually long journey, has held the nose well with just a hint of the taste of an old Gladstone bag at the back of the tongue as it slips down. Of course, I am getting rasperries, grass and, perhaps just a hint of Spanish sun. The aroma of the bullring seems to almost pervade the glass. It compares well to the earthy burgundies which I drank too much of in years gone by – but at a price which better suits my wallet. The trouble with Burgundian wines ( I am, of course referring to the reds – white wines are for amateur drinkers) is the noble rot which is talked about them… sorry..the smell of noble rot. Some say that it is essential. For my part… it just seems as if I am drinking a duff bouteille du vin. I hold my glass up to the light and swirl the wine to see the ‘legs’. Unfortunately, I am a little too vigorous with the action, and wine has just sloshed all over my keyboard. C’est la vie – the trials of a Rioja drinker.

I sip the wine…I am transported to Barcelona. It is hot, but there is a faint breeze. The sun is low on the horizon. A flamenco dancer is stamping up and down on the pavement near me. She is beautiful and appears to be wearing a Guardia Civil helmet on her head…I watch her dance… the phone rings and I am back at my desk – the dream shattered. It is someone from a call centre in India asking me if I want to change my mobile. I ask him if he can find a buyer for my present mobile – if I am prepared to do the deal – and, while he is on the phone, I ask if he is able to change my electricity supplier from British Gas to Thames Water. He isn’t able to help me with any of these things. I wish him well and drain my glass. Yes… the Rioja can do wonderful things. A piu tarde

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