Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Poem -Hertfordshire (John Betjeman)

In this poem Betjeman recalls his youth. His father tried to teach him how to shoot in the open fields of Hertfordshire. Now, much later in life, he visits those same fields again only to find they have since been claimed by the spread of urbanisation.

I had forgotten Hertfordshire,
The large unwelcome fields of roots
Where with my knickerbockered sire
I trudged in syndicated shoots
And that unlucky day when I
Fired by mistake into the ground
Under a Lionel Edwards sky
And felt disapprobation round.
The slow drive home by motor-car,
A heavy Rover Landaulette,
Through Welwyn, Hatfield, Potters Bar,
Tweed and cigar smoke, gloom and wet;
"How many times must I explain
The way a boy should hold a gun?"
I recollect my father's pain
At such a milksop for a son.
And now I see these fields once more
Clothed, thank the Lord, in summer green,
Pale corn waves rippling to a shore
The shadowy cliffs of elm between,
Colour-washed cottages reed-thatched
And weather-boarded water mills,
Flint churches, brick and plaster patched,
On mildly undistinguished hills.....
They still are there. But now the shire
Suffers a devastating change,
Its gentle landscape strung with wire,
Old places looking ill and strange.
One can't be sure where London ends,
New towns have filled the fields of root
Where father and his business friends
Drove in the Landaulette to shoot;
Tall concrete standards line the lane,
Brick boxes glitter in the sun:
Far more would these have caused him pain
Than my mishandling of a gun.
John Betjeman
A Ring Of Bells

Here Comes Summer

A heatwave warning has been issued for England and wales. with temperatures in some areas possibly rising as high as 32 Celcius in the coming days.

Louisa Baldini is in Northolt in west London, Alison Harper is in Bournemouth on the south coast, and Anthony Bartram is in Nottingham.

Watch their reports on this BBC video clip:

Gibraltar Airport

Gibraltar Airport is the civilian airport that serves the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsular. It is owned by the Ministry Of Defence for use by the Royal Air force as RAF Gibraltar. Civilian operators use the airport; currently the only scheduled flights operate to the United Kingdom and Spain. Passengers depart and arrive through the civilian operated terminal.
Gibraltar Airport has the distinction of being the closest airport to the city that it serves, being only 500 metres from Gibraltar's city centre. The following pictures illustrate just how close that is:

Today's Smile

Tired of constantly being broke and stuck in an
unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve
both problems by taking out a large insurance policy
on his wife with himself as the beneficiary, and
then arrange to have her killed.
A 'friend of a friend' put him in touch with a
nefarious dark-side underworld figure who went by
the name of 'Artie...'
Artie then explained to the husband that his going
price for snuffing out a spouse was £500......
The husband said he was willing to pay that amount,
but that he wouldn't have any cash on hand until he
could collect his wife's insurance money.
Artie insisted on being paid at least something up
front, so the man opened his wallet, displaying the
single £1 coin that rested inside. Artie rolled
his eyes, and reluctantly agreed to accept the £1 as
down payment for the dirty deed.
A few days later, Artie followed the man's wife to the
local Tesco Super Store. There, he surprised her in
the produce department and proceeded to strangle her
with his gloved hands, and as the poor unsuspecting
woman drew her last breath and slumped to the
The manager of the produce department stumbled
unexpectedly onto the murder scene. Unwilling to
leave any living witnesses behind ol' Artie had no
choice but to strangle the produce manager as well,
However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings
were captured by the hidden security cameras and
observed by the store's security guard, who
immediately called the police. Artie was caught and
arrested before he could even leave the store....
Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie
revealed the whole sordid plan, including his unusual
financial arrangements with the hapless husband who
was also quickly arrested.
The next day in the newspaper, the headline
Wait for it........
Get ready........
Here it comes.......

The Best Six-Year-Old Singer In The World?

In the 2007 series of 'Britain's Got Talent' a very cute six-year-old girl, by the name of Connie Talbot, stepped onto the stage and wowed the judges and the audience with her version of 'Some Where Over The Rainbow'. You may have seen it before, nevertheless, it is well worth watching again. Click the video link below to hear Connie sing:

Cat Nap

Church Signs