Those were the days

those were the days

I was thinking the other day about the times before we became European. Those were the days.

Or, as I like to call them, the bad old days (yes, I’m a Remainer) before we became Europeans. Sadly, I think we have conveniently forgotten the trials of tribulations of the dark society that we were then and the grim days we lived in.

The streets of Stratford upon Avon (not London) were very different before we became European. Before European sophistication set in,

I seem to remember that our pavements were knee-deep in (white) dog poop.  In those days if you saw someone picking up dog shit and putting it into a black bag,  you were more likely to call Social Services than thank them for being good citizens.

Then there was the strong unpleasant scent of the unwashed Englishman.

Remember, before Europe and the invention of the shower, there was the stoic ‘one bath a week’ Englishman. I knew him well.

Friday night bath. Out on the piss and the rest of the weekend to lie in his own sweat and stale beer/cigarette smoke until work on Monday. Eeee…them were the days.

There was litter everywhere.

You couldn’t walk down High Street without becoming entangled in the discarded week-old copy of the Stratford upon Avon Herald, flying through the air enveloping everything in its path.

In those dark days the Herald was huge (easily 6ft x6ft). An airborne copy was without doubt a danger to life and limb. I know people who were near suffocated to near death by the local paper just going to the shops. We don’t talk about it much but there were those who were simply swept away, never to be seen again, God rest their souls.

Sophistication.

If you were labelled sophisticated before we became European, it meant that you had dined in the local ‘foreign’ restaurant at least once (Wimpey’s didn’t count).

Always hidden away down a side street you could tell it was ‘foreign’ because it had what was once a brightly coloured canopy. Years of the British weather had put paid to any gaiety it might have represented years ago. There was always a rain-stained menu and plastic flowers In the window alongside faded nets. Strangely, the flowers were always in a water-filled vase?

The restaurant kept odd opening hours. But no matter. It was where you went for family celebrations like anniversaries, birthday parties. With entertainment that included shouting insults at the swarthy waiters (because no-way would they understand you), followed by the traditional and intentional mispronouncing of the menu which the elders of the family (uncles, fathers) usually undertook in an effort to prove their seniority and knowledge of other cultures. The truth was they really had no idea what it was they were ordering. Especially the wine. If it wasn’t Blue Nun, they were lost.

As for the pubs.

If you got home at 11.00 you called it a lock-in. The beer really was warm and the lager (if they had any) was too cold.  Whatever you drank, it gave you a headache.

So, here we are,  Brexit is according to our lunatic Prime Minister, done and dusted.

And I have no choice but accept the decision made by a British people who appear to yearn for a return to pockets full of dirty copper coins, handkerchiefs, vests, Y-Fronts and toilet paper abrasive enough to take a layer of skin off your good old British arse.

Last one to leave, turn out the lights.

The Stratfordian writes…

the stratfordian writesI’m sorry if you had just become a keen follower and were perhaps even enjoying what the Stratfordian writes (the last version).

You have been let down.

I’m sorry if this sudden change on the Website has reduced you to tears and left you distraught, but I’ve been having some trouble (Betty).

I’d tell you what it was if I could understand it myself but suffice to say it’s to do with the dreaded Internet and is very technical, therefore beyond this tiny brain.. In short I have lost the contents of my last ‘The Stratfordian’ website.

So forgive me if I’m a little testy and short with you (5′ 6″). At the moment, I’m very angry and pissed off because It’s way past my bedtime (2.55/05.05) and I’m still at it trying to retrieve what I can.

BUT, basically, and there’s no getting away from it, I have to face the fact that I’m going to have to start again…so…deep breath…

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So, what is The Stratfordian all about?

The Stratfordian is, for the moment going to be mainly about what’s going on in my life. It was originally supposed to chronicle Life in Stratford upon Avon the town, but as I’m sure you realise (if you have lived here for more that a year)…there is none (life). The truth is…NOTHING EVER HAPPENS HERE. (OK there is famous Stratford upon Avon Shakespeare but even that is off the agenda at the moment)

Yes, it’s very beautiful and somewhere deep down in my heart I love it. The thing is, when you love something and it’s not going the way that you want it to go it hurts, and I have been hurting as far as Stratford upon Avon goes since the year of our Lord, 1971. And no-one seems to care or listen. It’s been happening for years. To paraphrase The Who‘Here’s the New Boss, same as the Old Boss’ (something like that). How I see it is, ‘We have been fooled again’. But anyway enough of that. 

Where was I? Oh yes, nothing ever happens.

They do say that once a very long time ago a man’s hat blew off in Bridge Street. Apparently, women fainted (in those days that’s what women did), children broke out in spots and men took to punching each other. Town’s folk were in such a state of unbridled excitement that nine months later births in Stratford upon Avon broke all records. (Pause for laughter at joke I must have used at least ten times before).

Now none of this is to say that my life is outrageously exciting. But the point is I have an eccentric family who should without them even realising it, provide me and you with enormous entertainment. And as none of them have the slightest interest in what I do we/I should be quite safe (I don’t want you to worry about me). And besides, what with the plague that’s going around you should count yourselves lucky that someone (me) cares about you enough to try and keep you from going down with Lockdown Fever.

Right. I think that’s it. I hope you will make the effort to follow me. There’s a box top right where you can enter your email address and for no charge be notified when I have posted something important. And of course should something major happen in Stratford upon Avon (which it won’t) I shall let you know immediately. 

I ought also to say that there will be lots of fiddling about on The Stratfordian because I delight it changing the look, the colour etc of the site. I get very bored easily. But apart from that, unless I have another technical breakdown all should be OK. Oh yes…and PLEASE JOIN IN. At the foot of each post there will be a space to leave comments (rude as you like). If you don’t fancy insulting me in that fashion you can always send an email to thestratfordian@outlook.com

Oh, I ought to warn you I am a bit of a lefty, at least that is what some say. I prefer to think that I judge everyone fairly, so for example if let’s say our MP (and Vaccine distribution Head Honcho) Nadhim Zahawi were to….I don’t know….set up in these dark days, a firm run by his family called ‘Warren Medical’ , I would have no qualms about mentioning it.  And however unlikely it would be that he would say, something on the lines of, ‘it’s an unused property firm from some time ago’, I would still have something to say. But hey, that’s just an example and not likely to happen, and is just an illustration of how I would not necessarily caste the first stone.

OK? So there we are. That just leaves me to say to you my future friends, behave,  do what the government is telling you to do, stay at home and if you must go out wear a mask or a large galvanised bucket over your head.

message ends. The Stratfordian. x

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