*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 178 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

 

The Profumo Scandal

The unfolding scandal was big news in Australia.  My parents, along with many of their friends, followed the affair closely. It dominated the talk at parties and other social gatherings.

One of my parents bought a satirical record ‘Fool Britannia’ that sailed close to defamation.  Neither Macmillan nor Profumo nor any other person of interest was named but it was clear to whom the jokes referred.  The cast, including Peter Sellers, mocked Harold Macmillan, the British Prime Minister, with a caricature of his characteristic foppish accent pronouncing the hypothetical portfolio: The Minister for Whore

Ward was referenced only as: 'This doctor chappie'. 'Which doctor?'  'Witch doctor?  I thought he was a GP.'

One track was called: ‘Countess Interruptus’.  Another had some old duffers in a club telling a joke:

Q:   How many newspapers does this girl take?

A:   A Mail; two Mirrors; several Observers; and as many Times as she can get!

The record also featured a breakfast with the royal family that rather tangentially referred to the scandal in a question from the Queen to the Duke that he brushes off.

PP: 'And dear, you can stop smiling and waving now.'  ER: 'Oh, have they gone?'

The skit seemed to be about Charles hiccoughing after getting into the cherry brandy, a minor scandal at the time. But it had a hidden agenda that reduced my mother to hysterical laughter.  It had been revealed that Ward knew both Philip and Princess Margaret socially.

Charles is three years younger than me so the suggestion that he was drunk at breakfast was quite funny.  His adventure with the brandy was presented as a charming peccadillo confirming his humanity, not quite akin to his son wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party.

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Cambodia and Vietnam

 

 

 In April 2010 we travelled to the previous French territories of Cambodia and Vietnam: ‘French Indochina’, as they had been called when I started school; until 1954. Since then many things have changed.  But of course, this has been a region of change for tens of thousands of years. Our trip ‘filled in’ areas of the map between our previous trips to India and China and did not disappoint.  There is certainly a sense in which Indochina is a blend of China and India; with differences tangential to both. Both have recovered from recent conflicts of which there is still evidence everywhere, like the smell of gunpowder after fireworks.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

To Catch a Thief

(or the case of the missing bra)

 

 

 

It's the summer of 2010; the warm nights are heavy with the scent of star jasmine; sleeping bodies glisten with perspiration; draped, as modestly requires, under a thin white sheet.  A light breeze provides intermittent comfort as it wafts fitfully through the open front door. 

Yet we lie unperturbed.   To enter the premises a nocturnal visitor bent on larceny, or perhaps an opportunistic dalliance, must wend their way past our parked cars and evade a motion detecting flood-light on the veranda before confronting locked, barred doors securing the front and rear entrances to the house.

Yet things are going missing. Not watches or wallets; laptops or phones; but clothes:  "Did you put both my socks in the wash?"  "Where's my black and white striped shirt?" "I seem to be missing several pairs of underpants!"

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

Climate Change - a Myth?

 

 

Recently, an increasing number of friends and acquaintances has told me that Climate Change is a myth.  

Obviously they are talking about 'Anthropogenic Global Warming', not disclaiming actual changes to the climate.  

We don't need climate scientists to tell us that the climate changes. Our own experience is sufficient to be quite sure of that. 

During my lifetime the climate has been anything but constant.  Else what is drought relief about?  And the ski seasons have definitely been variable. 

In the longer term we all have to rely on others. For example on scientists who have themselves examined ice cores or tree rings or sea level records or other physical evidence that can be dated. 

So I'm prepared to believe the scientists who have determined sea levels showing that fourteen or fifteen thousand years ago a hypothetical Australian could walk from Tasmania to New Guinea or an Irishman all the way to Java.

 

Changing sea levels during the past 20,000 years
 Source Wikipedia: Early Human Migration & Sea Level change

 

This rise has not stopped.  During my lifetime the average sea level in Sydney Harbour has risen by nearly a foot, in keeping with long term trends.  More water in the Harbour on average obviously has temperature and therefore microclimate implications.  There are thousands of well documented examples of changes that have climate impacts.

But like the tides there is great variability that masks the underlying trends.   For example 2014 was a record warm year in Sydney.  But in mid 2015 we are going through the longest cold spell in 45 years.  It is snowing in Queensland!

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright