Somme Ab Fab Men

Disappointed not to get a call from Jennifer Saunders to appear in the Ab Fab film along with three stars of the greenygrey world, Kate Moss, Barry Humphries and Stella McCartney. Apparently Benedict Cumberbatch got the call, but said he was busy for the next five years, so I think Jennifer Saunders got what she deserved for her classism.

Benny, as I like to call him, actually called me to ask if he could appear in XaW Files, but I said he wasn’t legendary enough; yes, that’s ironic parody.

Ab Fab Foughts (Thoughts)

Joanna Lumley’s Patsy character is the only really consistently very funny thing in the series anyway! Yes, that was being a bit bitchy, and no, I didn’t really expect to be asked to appear in it, being a simple chav philosopher, and my classism claim was mostly ironic parody.

I know Queen Kate of the greenYgrey world started off poor too. And yes, it is too late for Kate, to have a relationship with me. She’s still the Queen though.

Somme Centenary Anniversary

Princess Kate of real Britain looked lovely at the Somme centenary anniversary service, as usual. The British army lost nearly 20,000 soldiers on the first day of the battle, July 1st, 1916.

I’ve seen a lot of dramas about it, read a lot of books about it, seen a lot of news about it, travelled through the north-east of France, visited a WW1 battle site in the Dolomites and wrote an article about it, and had some uncomfortable times travelling etc, but I know I have not come close to knowing the true horrors of what it must have been like going over the top to almost certain death, or living for long periods of time in the trenches.

If Britain could harness the Somme spirit now, hopefully we can overcome any hardships the Brexit brings. Britain was not alone at the Somme, but we were pretty much alone in Europe for a while at the start of WW2; governments-wise anyway, after most had fallen after invasion, but there were still resistance and partisan groups active. If we can survive in terrible wars such as those, then we should be able to stand alone, working with trading partners, in peace.

It was mostly men who lost their lives, young men cut down in their prime (without being at all gay… or homophobic), not living to fulfil their dreams and potentials, as shown in Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

Hearing the whistle this morning reminded me of one of my WW1 poems, one of my favourite short ones, which I hope contrasts the joys of peace, and horrors of war; I think it captures it as well as I can poetically anyway.

I think it was also one of my most creative, using the Pop Goes the Weasel nursery rhyme, as I wrote this week about musical groups using unusual accompaniments to make songs stand out. The used material is in green below, and my poem is in grey.

Sorry, if it sounds like it’s getting a bit ‘me’, but I can only do it my way, as the royals do, and the news media do; and probably most similarly like Blackadder did it.

Some people reading this might not have seen or heard anything about it, and hopefully it will spark interest in some who had none… to remember, if they can imagine.

If you are reading this for positive reasons, and believe it is anti-war rather than pro-war, and you are going to watch Ab Fab tonight, when you sit in your nice comfortable seat, maybe spare a thought for the soldiers on the Somme a century ago: probably cold, wet and muddy; maybe injured or bloodied, and traumatised from losing their friends forever. Maybe they’d make it through the next day, week, month or year; and maybe they wouldn’t, as 17 million others didn’t.

Then enjoy the movie…

The Whistle Cried Heavy

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

waiting in the purgatory
of trench hospitality
dead dreams of peace
vermin, mud and disease
a date with destiny
is awaiting me

peep goes the whistle
Up and down the City road,
In and out the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.
my comrades carry me

over the top
amongst the deadly crop
bullets, wire and metal
please god cry heckle
an enemy’s greeting
our hell’s garden meeting

All around the cobblers bench
the monkey chased the people;
The donkey thought ’twas all in fun,
pop goes the weasel.

Pop Goes the Weasel explanation and nursery rhyme.

Battle of the Somme


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