17 October 2020

Once


As regular visitors to this humble Yorkshire blog will recall, I am going to be a grandfather for the first time very early in the new year. I have already bought a couple of granddad outfits including a beige cardigan with leather elbow pads, braces, a flat cap, brogues and gold-rimmed  John Lennon glasses. I am also growing a paintbrush moustache which I plan to dye silvery white.

There are lots of things one needs to do before a new arrival in the family. Another thing I have done is to write a story for the baby. Let me share it with you:-

⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳⺳

Once upon a time there was a lovely world. It looked rather like our world but it was different in lots of ways.

In that lovely world nobody needed to wear horrid face masks because the air was not filled with the scent of death. In supermarkets, people would mingle happily, gaily filling their trolleys with all manner of nice things to eat - pineapples, sausages, cans of soup, chocolate ice cream and kale. There was no tension amongst customers and no big stickers on the floor reminding shoppers to keep two metres apart.

Out in the streets, the jolly townsfolk would hug, kiss or shake hands when they met and you knew when people were smiling because as I said before - nobody wore masks.

In the lovely world of which I speak, there were buildings called theatres where people would go to watch plays enacted on stages by actors and actresses. The actors were men and the actresses were women. There were also other nice buildings called cinemas where people went to sit quietly in darkness watching films shown on big screens. They ate popcorn in silence, not wishing to spoil the enjoyment of other cinemagoers.

People did not have to wash their hands all the time - nor did they have to see graphs about infection and death on their TV screens every night. Instead, there were stories about rescuing cats from trees and men and women reaching the ripe old age of a hundred. They smiled into the camera before blowing out candles on their big iced cakes. They looked so happy.

In that lovely, lovely world, everybody had a job and a home to live in. There was no starvation, no murder and no suicide. Leaders were universally respected and countries helped each other out as much as they could. Rich people did not evade tax. The seas were filled with cod fish and the air was graced with all manner of birds. Elvis Presley still lived. In the jungles of South America, members of indigenous tribes trod silently along ancient forest pathways, never seen by outsiders and like the rest  of humanity, they were so happy to live upon this Earth that their hearts might have burst with joy.

Yes. That is how it was. Once upon a time before...

The End

42 comments:

  1. Will there be posters saying: "Grandad what did you do in the Covid War?"

    I remember 2019 when I went to a Rock Festival in Kent, saw some great Rock bands and drank some fine ales. Those were the good old days.

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    Replies
    1. Aye, them were the days. Halcyon days. I remember when I went to Wembley to see Hull City victorious. I am not kidding when I say that I was amongst thousands. Look at the football grounds now. They might as well be playing in the local park.

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  2. My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky:
    So was it when my life began;
    So is it now I am a man;
    So be it when I shall grow old,
    Or let me die !
    The Child is father of the Man;
    And I could wish my days to be
    Bound each to each by natural piety.

    Piety does not resonate with us today; Wordsworth may have had the idea of Pi in mind.

    Our country was disfunctional long before Covid-19; remember Mrs Thatcher's contempt for consensus politics? She hated British Rail, and her successor, John Major, now a multi-millionaire, ruined it through privatisation. After Blair's criminal war in Iraq, against the wish of our people, no one trusted politicians again.

    We must return to consensus; and some form of social democracy that addresses the economic injustice of neo-liberal economics, where in-work poverty is the norm.

    The rainbow is a sign of hope in any mythology.
    Your grandchild will grow up in a better Britain.

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    Replies
    1. I shall cling to your last sentence like a lifebuoy John. As Cilla Black sang, "What's it all about, Alfie?"

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    2. Off piste, Cilla was a tonic, the Gracie Fields of our generation.
      See her clowning with Dudley Moore (YouTube) singing the Beatles song *If I Gave My Heart To You*.
      I love jazz piano (listen to Bill Evans on YouTube) and I wish I could play as Dud did.

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  3. Neil your tale is too grim for me today.
    In the words of our re-elected PM Jacinda Ardern I'm staying "relentlessly positive" about the future. I refuse to believe that it's all over . Why? Because there's a new photo frame on the shelf above me and it holds the image from the 3 month scan of our much longed for first grandchild due in April 2021.
    My hopes had been up ever since my daughter Sarah declined any alcohol at the last few gatherings but I had not liked to ask. Today when we were invited for an Election Day lunch there was a casual suggestion to look at what they had done with the spare bedroom. There, centre stage in the room was a crib and baby clothes!!
    It's a very emotional moment learning that at last you will become a grandparent. It links the past and the future and I so wish my own parents were still here to hear the good news.
    Tonight the happy parents to be are sharing the news with Dan's parents and family in Devon. The news will be bitter sweet as Covid will prevent them being present for the birth . I feel so lucky that this baby will live here in NZ
    I haven't got any special Granny outfits stored away but I do have a few cupboards full of baby gear ready and waiting, a small library of books to read aloud and virtually every puzzle and toy our two girls had in childhood.
    Can't wait to free up all that space in our loft and spare rooms as we hand them over.
    Your very happy blog follower, Adele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How beautiful! Congratulations Adele. I am sure you will make a wonderful grandma. To look the part you must dye your hair grey and tie it up in a tight bun at the back of your head. Half moon wire glasses and an oversized beige cardigan with chunky carpet slippers and wrinkled stockings will also halp to make you look like a proper grandma. If it's a girl they should call her Jacinda and if it's a boy, they could not do better than choosing Neil which is a solid, manly name.

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  4. I was with you man until you became silly with this, "Leaders were universally respected and countries helped each other out as much as they could". Sorry.

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    1. Yes. That is when I veered into the kingdom of fairytales Andrew.

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    2. In my youth P.M. Harold Wilson and Chancellor Denis Healey were demonised by The Daily Express, their cartoonist portraying them as Kremlin stooges.
      No one now doubts that both men always thought, *Is policy this good for the country as a whole?* And the trades unions would never have allowed zero-hour contracts.

      Wilson was being bugged by MI5; while the CIA, whose Counterintelligence Dept. was run by James Angleton, was convinced he was working for Moscow. Angleton never got over the fact that the Stalinist agent Kim Philby fooled him for years.

      Healey was a war hero, and devalued the Pound because there was no alternative. Wilson, our best premier after Atlee, ended a broken man. Read Ben Pimlott's biography.

      Now we have Bumbling Boris. Boris ought to have remained at The Spectator where all he was good for was (forgive my language) shagging silly wee girls.

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    3. My sentence should read, *Is this policy good for the country as a whole?*

      In those days we had one-nation Labour men and one-nation Tories.
      Harold MacMillan, who fought in the trenches in WWI and was shell-shocked, accused Mrs Thatcher of selling off the family silver. That is what she did when she privatised our public amenities, and set about dismantling the Welfare State.

      Delete
  5. So a fairy tale then...

    I tell Miss Katie that there are lots of sick people in the world and she looks at me like I'm full of shit. One day this will be over, not one day soon, but one day, god willing.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a song: "One day this will be over..." Hope so.

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  6. Oh, is Elvis not still alive then? I'm sure he works in our local chip shop. Well, that's what Kirsty says anyway.

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    Replies
    1. And another thing both Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain reside in secret in Heysham. They did not die.

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  7. I want my old world back.

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    Replies
    1. Me too! Stop this ****ing nightmare!

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  8. Not sure why this brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations on the grandchild. They are a wondrous delight.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure why? I guess you are a sensitive woman Debby.

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  9. That was quite a fairytale, Mr. P.
    I'm sure that one day your granddaughter will look at you with her big, wide eyes and say, "Really, grandpa? There was a time when there was no murder or suicide? And by the way, the roots of your mustache need touching up. I love you."

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I see it is my grandchild saying that last sentence and not you Ms Moon!

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  10. Come on YP. Pull yourself together. Your grandparents thought the same. Now, get out and buy a packet of Werther's so you can demonstrate pure happiness. You don't have to wear a mask while eating which means baby will be able to observe and learn appropriate facial expressions.

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    Replies
    1. All granddads are supplied with lorry loads of Werthers by The National Trust. Lord knows where we are going to store them all.

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  11. Personally I feel there is a sinister meaning behind this covid 'so called pandemic'
    Am I the only one who questions all the figures etc?
    As for your Granddaughter, she will know no different and accept whatever world she grows up in and be happy I'm sure.
    You'll love your role as Grandad.
    Briony
    x
    I remember my Mum and Dad talking about how things used to be and moaning about how things were and wanting the old days back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crafty Cat Corner, you are not the only one. I do more than question the figures. I question full stop. And I am NOT given to conspiracy theories. Yet something stinks - and not only in Denmark (Hamlet).

      U

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    2. Thank goodness for that, I begin to think I'm alone. It all reminds me of 'The Kings New Clothes' Han Christian Anderson.

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    3. I believe every word that our great blonde leader tells us. After all, he is continuously advised by his superhuman adviser Lord Cummings of Barnard Castle who knows everything.

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  12. Dear YP, I wrote you a comment I took the "cut" button to before pressing publish. Enough of controversy to explode your comment box; possibly scandalize some of your readers.

    You may now congratulate me on my new found self restraint. Thanking you in advance,
    U

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Self-restraint? Somehow I do not think that this condition will endure with the great Ursula von der Leyen!

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  13. I make no comment on your letter; the world is what it is, and your darling grandchild will pick a way through it, finding the positives and eschewing those that are not, in the same way that every human being has had to do since the beginning of time. What I do know, is that that process is made all the more easier when a child is wrapped in the love and warmth of those around them, and that love is apparent through you every post you write regarding your whole family and this already much adored grandchild. You and Shirley are going to be fantastic grandparents, and this little one is going to be well equipped with all the support needed to negotiate all that awaits.

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  14. Sadly, we have never had a world completely as you describe although it would indeed be a dream world. My greatest hope is to see covid cured or at least go away to a rare illness and to see improvement in the politics of our world. I think we stand a better chance of dealing with covid than the politics though. Too many politicians allow greed to guide their decisions.

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    Replies
    1. Greed and self-importance when they should be seeing themselves as servants of the people. John Lennon said it all in "Imagine".

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  15. Here's a thought, Sir Yorky.
    Imagine Russia with Putin safely retired.
    Watch YouTube: *From the 60 minutes Archives: Alexey Navalny.*
    October 14, 2020.

    No sooner was he out of prison, for the crime of exercising his democratic rights, than Alexey started campaigning again. *These are people who are trying to steal my country,* says this heroic man.

    I hold him as a hero of hope as much as I do Julian Assange. It was a shameful day for British democracy when London police stormed the Ecuadorian Embassy, where Julian was entitled to political asylum, and grabbed him violently. Our government just can't say No to our American masters, can they?

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    1. I am with you on the Julian Assange issue. He was and remains a truth seeker - shining light in the murky shadows. In the so-called free world that should very much be allowable. Instead he has been treated worse than a dog in a scrapyard.

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  16. *Worse than a dog in a scrapyard*: And his health is declining rapidly, a man with two little boys who need their father, and a supportive wife.
    I am not anti-police; every protest march should thank and uphold the police, but in the case of the Assange grab-and-assault, the Police Chief was as much a puppet as Putin's armed thugs.

    Putin was selected by the filthy rich oligarchs who run Russia: they chose him because all he wanted was power, and he knows how to hang on to it, and how to destroy the opposition.

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  17. I think the days of Covid restrictions will be long gone by the time your grandchild is old enough to notice, Neil. And no matter what's going on as we begin 2021, your life will be changing for the better with the arrival of the little one. :)

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    1. Current restrictions mean that our now very pregnant daughter cannot come to our house and we cannot go to hers. She is quite a tough cookie but our regular support is something that she really needs if she is to move happily to the end of her pregnancy.

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    2. If you're all properly limiting your interactions with the public, can you not be part of the same "bubble"? I didn't realize your restrictions had become so strict again. :( I'm sorry, that really sucks.

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  18. I was with you until your last paragraph, when it really DID become a fairy tale!

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    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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