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June 20, 2006 > Across the Pond

Across the Pond

The fireworks are over for Newark's Civil War festivities but not for Britain's Government; they're still flashing and exploding all over the place. Fireworks or fun? It depends on one's perspective. There was however a universally shocked reaction to the news that Deputy Prime Minister Prescott was to be relieved of all responsibilities following his rather too colorful behavior, but would retain his big fat salary and bigger fatter official residences funded by small struggling tax payer. Nice work if you can get it. Anyone read "Animal Farm?" As I said, fireworks are still exploding.

Here in Newark we've just come through the wettest drought in history. Constant warnings about stand pipes in the street, water retaining plants and "How to save your lawn from drying out" advice has fallen on deaf ears as we've waded through flooded roads and gazed at sad sodden plants from under our brollies, resisting the temptation to throw a wet Wellington boot at the TV screen. But now we, the rest of Britain (meaning not London), have been vindicated with the news that it's official; we have just splashed our way through the wettest May on record since 1978. How the Romans could transport water all over Europe via aqueducts and we can't move it from one part of Britain to another in this high tech age is beyond me.

The roads of England are looking particularly bright at the moment as cars and lorries are literally flying the flag as World Cup Football is about to begin. Whole packs of "gubbins" based on the red cross with white background of Saint George's flag can be purchased as World Cup fever escalates. The Scots however are generally not joining in the hysteria as their team didn't qualify and they still remember the Battle of Culloden. So here in England, as cars race around like chariots, banners streaming, the killjoys are falling over themselves with warnings of gloom and doom and a loose flag taking someone's eye out or frightening the horses.

During the wall-to-wall screening, the rest of us (women and gay men) will be watching "Friends," going to health spas and shopping. How's that for a sweeping statement? Apologies to all women and gay men who will be downing beer and lager, shouting "Come on England!" with the rest of them.

Generally people are feeling patriotic, so perhaps here in Newark the commemorative arch to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee will finally be erected. Four years ago a stained glass arch was commissioned. This large structure was to stand in Newark's historic cobbled market place. I wasn't the only one to have visions of Newark's youth swarming all over it under cover of darkness and disappearing as it crashed down on top of them. So another site had to be found. This search has continued for four years as the artist/sculptor has become increasingly grumpy, showing his feelings in a whacking great bill he's sent to the Council for storage of said artifact. So it's already cost us loads and we haven't even seen it yet!

So as the sun finally makes another appearance, I, along with half of Newark's adults, will rush out with the lawn mower to scythe my way through the lush long "drought ridden" grass, and bid you all farewell until next time.

PS. What about Paul McCartney's marriage? Couldn't see that coming. (Can you sense irony in the written word?) How we all miss the lovely Linda... now he's 64.

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