I have a pair of blackbirds in my garden. One’s black with a bright orange beak (the male, remember that) and the other is a sort of brown, speckly colour (the female, very important). This weekend I spent many hours in the spring sunshine pottering in my garden being watched by the black one. He’s very inquisitive and stands on any one of several high vantage points watching me turn over the soil, paint a fence, down a beer etc etc. It’s nice, in a rather odd sort of way to have a relationship with him, and I’m not really sure whose garden he thinks I’m tending, mine or his. Maybe I like it cos, thus far, he’s the only bird I know who doesn’t moan at me (or maybe I just don’t understand Blackbirdese yet)
In the past I’ve been in the habit of greeting him with ” Good morning Mr Blackbird, how are you today”. Dunno why I do that. Something in the back of my mind tells me it’s good luck, or something. It follows that when I see his GLW hove into view I follow with similar: “Morning Mrs B, how are the kids? ”
Whatever the reason for this idle persiflage, I’m glad I don’t live in Brussels. Yes, you’ve guessed it: The European Parliament has banned the terms ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ in case they offend female MEPs. It’s all part of their “Gender-Neutral” campaign, according to The Telegraph. Now there are many things I say which offend women (see above, and below), often as part of my loveable-rogue persona. But I really do think anyone who gets offended by being called “Mrs” shouldn’t have got married in the first place. And “Miss” is used purely as an act of politeness. I suppose we could use “Madam”, or “Woman” or “Old Bag” but surely “Miss” is merely trying to be polite, and recognises that ancient practise by women of pretending to be younger than you really are? So don’t blame us, we’re not trying to pigeon-hole you, honest.
Don’t let it happen to you
For what it’s worth (and these really are beyond me) officials have also ordered that ‘sportsmen’ be called ‘athletes’, ‘statesmen’ be referred to as ‘political leaders’ and even that ‘synthetic’ or ‘artificial’ be used instead of ‘man-made’. Just pass me a bottle of scotch and a Service-issue revolver, I know what to do. (I blame Harriet Harperson)
In other news, the French really are having it bad: sales are down at the “Big Eropolis” in Paris, apparently the biggest erotic fair in Europe. The turnover is down 30% on last year, according to Reuters. If the French aren’t sticking it hard to their mate’s wife (sorry, significant-and-equal-other) cos of the economic crisis, you know we really ARE in trouble. It’s practically compulsory over there. Presumably the rubber-clad mistresses (or Whip-wielding-more-confident-and-sexually-demanding-females, as they’re now known) are feeling the pinch. I suggest some extra talcum-powder.
Back in Blighty, if you did catch your partner looking through the rubber section of the Littlewoods catalogue, or he returned from his weekend ‘business trip’ in Paris covered in crème fraîche and whip-marks, you could have attended Britain’s first Divorce Fair, at a hotel in Brighton.
Coping with divorce can be upsetting
Now I enjoy a good divorce as much as the next man, but under the pretence of ‘helping people start over’ a whole collection of services were available to those who are finding a recent separation tough.
The list of help available, according to The Times tells you all you need to know about this con-fest: “There were lawyers and psychic healers, financial consultants and shoe retailers, chocolate makers and probate solicitors.” as well as four”colour psychologists” to advise you on changing the decor at home. Hmmmm….. NOW do you wanna join my gang????
Mr and Mrs (there, I said it!) Blackbird have no need for such a gathering. They’re too busy watching me dig up worms in my vegetable patch. She looks older than him. And fatter.