Time Gentlemen Please

Some things have inadvertently improved due to the Chinese eating bats; children now have to sit in rows, spaced out, facing the front. Most teachers, even those purporting to teach history don’t know that this was once the norm and worked well for hundreds of years. Pubs are now going to close at 10pm. Many have forgotten, but from 1914 until November 2005 that was quite usual, giving rise to wonderful publican banalities such as; ‘Time Gentlemen, Please!’ ‘Haven’t you got a gnome to go to?’ and, ‘We’re not running a night-club here you know.’

The licencing law was scrapped to allow the healthy, wholesome habit of twenty-four hour drinking,  vomiting, littering and defaecating in our streets.

Apart from those good points it seems we are on a downward slope with Covid again, which is obvious to anyone who still goes out shopping. Most people have held onto their on-line delivery slots which was probably wise. This week I noticed with dread, yawning gaps where toilet-rolls in all their clean white purity used to be stacked. As the threat of a new lockdown looms all cleaning products will probably disappear too. No one wants to get caught out again.

Although retailers insist that there will be no shortages this time, that only happened because the last lockdown happened so quickly, hoarders will soon start stacking their chest-freezers. My ‘unconscious bias,’ or as I call it, ‘reasonable mistrust’ of fellow shoppers is adding to my distaste for shopping.  

I now wear a visor as I peruse the emptying shelves. It looks ridiculous but is an improvement on masks. When it’s clean I forget it’s there and take swigs of tea which splash everywhere, it bangs into things,  steams up and often gets smeared so I wander about barely able to see, but it’s a lot better than wearing a paper mask which gave me a frenzy of itching, or a cloth one which dragged my ears out of my head.

I also shop for a neighbour aged 94, who has been shielding since l March. A lot of old people get thin and spindly but he must weigh about twenty stone, and has recently been in hospital for high blood pressure and complications with diabetes.  Doctors do not go in for ‘fat shaming,’ and the only thing they seem to have suggested is that he should take up eating jelly babies. Perhaps they  meant him to choose them as a low sugar alternative to his usual two bags of toffees, but the message he’s brought home is that he now has to eat them as well as the toffees.

His diet is like one of those documentaries about how we lived in the 1950s; tins of rice pudding,  custard, minced beef, those Frisbee shaped containers of steak & kidney pie and canned peaches. Also bumper bags of crisps, and gallons of lager.  

I’ve now got a problem of getting his shopping into my car because I attend art groups on Mondays and on Fridays. They used to be a simple matter of going along with paint, palette, turps and packed lunch. Now you have to take your own ‘virus free’ easel, painting board, table, dust-sheets, lashings of hand sanitiser, and your own coffee.

I bought a folding table from Halfords. Like this whole wretched situation it came from China, with no instructions about what to do when you’ve got it. Instructions on Google made no sense.

My little car, back seats flattened down, is bulging with stuff like an old donkey or miniature builder’s yard, and it disturbs me to see it like that as even the small details of ordinary life are changed.

This is the way of the future and only now can we start to see what we’ve lost; people no longer go to their orchestras, theatre groups and choirs. Some of us are now allowed to get together to paint a live model, at least for now and as the PM said, we have to accept the new circumstances as a fact of life for at least the next six months.

People had worse to contend with in the last war, but on the home front a great deal was provided, people were better fed and clothed than ever before. That was a time of intense social cohesion, strict rationing, community singing and communal canteens. Unlike the effects of Covid the last war was the antithesis of loneliness with people of all classes encouraged to come together, to share and bolster each another up. This virus is about being selfish and isolated in an already deeply materialistic society, where people live in their own bubbles, with the generations particularly estranged. For years we’ve heard that the old have stolen everything from the young.

Just before Autumn set in, I cancelled a self-distancing pub lunch with a friend and threw myself into the river, not a final act of despair, but my last chance to swim about in something like a dirty salad before it gets too cold. Despite all the pollution local councils have allowed to pour in to our water-ways, people unable to use regular swimming-pools, and desperate for exercise have been taking to the river, rowing, paddle-boarding and swimming like never before. Not since Lewis Carroll rowed up the river with Alice and her sisters has there been so much leisure activity on the Thames. So there is  another good thing to thank the Chinese bats for!

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17 Comments on Time Gentlemen Please

  1. So now I know why last Saturday I saw three teenage girls pass me and an oldish man going the other way pass me on the River Dove near to Tutbury Staffs.

  2. Para 1, line 2: children sitting in rows ‘spaced out’. There’s a thought, now.

    It would make a good cryptic crossword clue too. Any ideas what the answers would be?

  3. The bat story doesn’t convince me, I believe it’s far more likely to be from the American funded Wuhan laboratory.
    The Chinese are very clever people but they do things quick quick quick as they say.
    Having worked with them for many years quick quick quick means cutting corners.
    Not what you want in virus labs.

  4. Say the obvious:

    Boris Johnson is no saviour.

    But then, no saviour is coming, bank on that.

    It’s all too complicated for a saviour to handle.

    Speaking of the current Prime Minister:

    I see that his consort, the mother of his most recent child, is now holidaying on Lake Como, Italy -yes, with the child.

    Once was a time when those who lorded over us took pains to hide their non-herd vacations and times-out, and sometimes even bore tribulations in similar fashion as the plain folk.

    Anyway, perhaps it is true PM Johnson is down on his uppers due to non-recovery from the effects of the virus infection, and there are those in Tory Circles who are considering what to do should Boris’s condition not improve, or perhaps worsen.

    All best wishes to Boris Johnson for better health, of course.

    But Jeepers -what a mess there is all ’round.

    But I do believe that it’d be as bad/worse under a Labour Govt because as limited as the Tories are, the Labour people are fully anti-empirical and entirely BLM/Muslim-bound, and Totally/Destructively Greenist to boot, and as such would deliver us to Nothingness pronto, were they to become the government.

    • Bungee-jumping Boris is flailing and failing….

      A national-unity triumvirate to deal with the plague, the slump, migration, crime, defence, and foreign relations, that is supremely competent, the absolutely top pick from both houses parliament, and also “diverse” – step forward Chris Grayling, Diane Abbott and Layla Moran!

  5. What came first?

    Elites who gave up on the masses-

    -or masses who could not be bothered to contribute constructively to the social order?

    Does not matter I suppose.

    Because now both conditions pertain.

    Add to that the unsolvable problems presented by blacks, various other non-whites, and Muslims from everywhere, and white criminals of all varieties which the courts let free to roam, and the Anglosphere is KAPUT, FINIS, well beyond resuscitation.

    Oh and always remember that agents of the Chinese Communist Party work tirelessly to infiltrate and control all institutions of all countries.

    How else are they going to ensure the necessities to feed and control 1.4Bn Chinese.

  6. In the WW2 and the 1950’s, Britain was a Society which was pretty much homogenous racially and culturally / religiously. ( The latter terms are inextricably linked according to TS Eliot, Sorokin and other top-line thinkers).

    People came together in a supportive way because it was a genuine community built on solid foundations of family relatedness and a common Christian morality.

    We are now expected to show the same kind of group sentiments when the people living in this country have none of the binding affinities of the past; when indeed these are actually despised and stamped on.

    It’s no surprise then that community feeling is weak. Some of the worst affected areas are those with heavy Muslim populations. Of course, this is rarely if ever mentioned in the media, except when the disparity between the rates of infection between the native British and the immigrant population is put down to ‘racism’.

  7. It says a lot for government productivity that the “emergency” licencing laws as set out during WW1, passed through parliament in six minutes.

    By bypassing full parliamentary oversight, governmet has ensured that ridiculous and dangerous curbs on liberty can be introduced at the strike of a pen… Just a few seconds!

    At least some areas of productivity are improving….

    • The cause may well be rather more sinister than bats, pangolins or civets, all of whom have been blamed.
      Dr Li Meng-Yan (see link below) confirms that the paper by Sorenson and Dalgliesh (amongst other papers), which stated there was a manufactured element to the virus, is on to something.
      For non-virologists like me, the fact that the virus started in a town which had a laboratory capable of manufacturing viruses (of which there are only thirty or so in the world, including our own Porton Down) seems worthy of, at the very least, an investigation.
      The lack of interest by the main stream media, in this story, remains the dog that didn’t bark.


        • Dear Iain,
          Thank you so much for posting this link, I have forwarded it to many friends of mine. The question that remains is why the silence from the MSM?

          • Raven, we must be realistic.

            Answer to your question is:

            The MSM, nett, and in total, do not engage in empiricism in the kinds and degrees required to deal with Reality and therefore do not constructively serve Western Civ.

            Meanwhile, rather than ask a question, I will assert two points.

            1. Those who stand and gawp do not serve.

            2. Those who would save Western Cib, even in its bits and pieces, must now Go Forth, and figure out how to retrieve said Western Civ.

            With all best wishes,


          • Dear Harry – howsabout being a little less cryptic? Who are you asking to get themselves on the next slow boat to China with a view to sightseeing in Wuhan?

            Stay well

          • Dear Harry,
            It is the figuring out quite what to do, that is difficult, I have a pitchfork with sharpened tines, but the opportunity to stick it in the correct target, is not a common event!
            Writing to one’s MP is only useful, if said MP is of independent mind.
            Certainly ensuring that as many people as possible are aware that there is something very rum going on, is a first move.

          • Dear Raven,

            Yes, we are in hard times, most rum.

            My view is this:

            To re-establish a proper/workable social and economic order, working within the existing political system, several million individuals would have to join their local branch of the Conservative Party, team up with like-minded others, and work, work, work to take power at that local level.

            This work would require the right kinds of people to gain office in the local branches, and to identify the right kinds of candidates for MPs and council members.

            And then to push and shove and support and provide succour to those elected politicians as they do the front-line public work and in the Commons or at local council level.

            All of this will require those millions of new members of the Conservative Party to devote, at minimum, an evening and a weekend day per week to work in their branch to find and herd the right kinds of candidates for office, and to organise squadrons of others to do the necessary local work to get the plain folk to vote Tory at the elections.

            And to put their own money into this never-ending campaign.

            I am certain that spectator democracy -yelling at MPs from the side-lines- will not save us.

            And I am certain that no new start-up political party can be successful in forming government. A political party requires nation-wide infrastructure -something that no start-up can create. Must use the existing set-up , but must re-make it.

            And yes, current branch office-holders and MPs will fight to retain their positions of power -all part of the challenge.

            But either we sacrifice our own time and our own money to save Western Civ, or we lose it.

            Bit like 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 actually.

            Well Raven, that’s my view.

            All best, Harry.