5/28/2008

Famed Authors Outshining Each Other. By Uncle Monty.

Famed Authors Outshining Each Other.
Story and Photos By Uncle Monty.
Part 2 of 3.
..
Going within a couple of hours from listening to Gore
Vidal to then Salman Rushdie, much like I did, was
like observing famed authors outshining each other.
Gore Vidal is the "American Tower of Confounding Wit,"
while Salman Rushdie is the "Anglo-Indian Seer of Pure
Intellectuality." They outshined each other by their
famed positions of noted authorship, yet they are
equally renowned around the world for their stark
differences of writing style and personal thought.
And, their sharp and differing life experiences
..
Salman Rushdie went into years of hiding after the
Ayatollah Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini of Iran issued
the ill-famed “Fatwa” on his head for having written
the rivetting book of his called “Satanic Verses.”
..
Only recently has Rushdie felt safe enough for him to go
public again after the fatwa was finally lifted off his head.
In deep contrast to him, Gore Vidal has lived a life of utter
freedom to write, do, and say what he thinks without
fear of his life being put at stake.
..
I felt enormously privileged to see and to listen to
both of these world famous authors very up close at The
Hay Festival or THF. The difference between them was
like a kaleidoscope of intense colour, glad joy, and trem-
bling emotion for me. Yet, at the end of the day they had
one thing in common with each other and such is also
overwhelmingly true of all authors no matter from
where they come from, no matter their written use of
whatever their native language, no matter their complex
and individual lifestyle, no matter their fame and fortune
or conversely their ill-fame and misfortune, no matter
their social, political and belief system, and no matter
their gender and their sexual proclivity.
..
And what is it that they have all in common no
matter what? They all write the written word.
If you cannot write the written word, you’re a
no god damn author – period.
..
Some authors are extraordinary, others are
lousey. Others are unknown, while others are very
well known. Some have good luck to be published,
but many don't. Some are prolific scribes, others
only produce a rare work or two in their lifetime.
Others are fleeting, along side those authors who
are long lasting. But in the end all authors, sooner
or later, must come and go. Some are then mourn-
ed, but only a very few are. Such was the living life
and is the final death of having once been an author
of whatever shade and calibre. The written words
on the tombstone may not even reveal a dead
author now lies therein.
.
1.
Author Naomi Klein
.
.
2.
Author Philip Kerr
.
.

3.
Author Julia Donaldson

http://www.juliadonaldson.co.uk/

4.
Author Tom Rob Smith

www.child44.co.uk/

Instead of writing my own sketch about the
shown authors I photographed at The Hay Festival
or THF, I thought on second thoughts that I’d simply
link you to their own websites and/or blogz and you
can then check them out yourself for their own views
and writings they themselves present online.

..
Below: A few of the Hay crowd
..
I took perhaps well over 150 photographs
at The 2oo8 Hay Festival and in and around
Hay-on-Wye at Powys, Wales. I’ll include some
of those in my third and final series on my stay
at Hay. I'm now delighted that some of my
festival images have already been purchased by
two media outlets in the U.S. My next images
will include Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Economist
Linda Bilmes, Neal Young, and other famous
characters like Yogi Bear
..
Take care, Uncle Monty.
+Trophy Day, 2oo8.
..
Sidebar: I spent last evening at the BBC-TV studios
for the television recording of Who Dares Wins -with
gameshow host Nick Knowles. I'll be writing a story
about that, too. Got to chat with Nick himself after
the show and to get some awesome photos of
him and the studio sets.
..
Please note that I have now unblocked the moderated
access to my blog. Earlier, I'd received several disturbing
and truly threatening e-mails to me about some of the items
I have written about. All is now clear and so folkz who may
wish to publicly comment on whatever I written, may do so
for the forseeable future. You may as usual write to me
privately and confidentially at anytime, like so many do,
if you so want to at thebiggerissue@k.st
..

5/26/2008

Standing Among Some American Giants Was I. By Uncle Monty.

Standing Among Some American Giants Was I.
Story and Photos By Uncle Monty.
~~
-- Three-Part Series on The 2oo8 Hay Festival --
~~
A very wet Sunday morning at a small Welsh village
in Wales is, I think, a most unlikely setting for most
folks to personally bump into an ex-American president
like did Jimmy Carter and me. It took me a long moment
to suddenly realise that indeed he was standing right in
front of me. I then instinctively took my hand to warmly
shake his and he promptly reciprocated toward me.
~~~
Addressing him politely and properly with my “Yes, Sir”
and “No, Sir” as we chatted, I then told President Carter
of how we had first met more than over 30 years ago at the
then nationally-televised 1976 Presidential Debate with U.S.
President Gerald Ford at The College of William and Mary.
Jimmy Carter’s face just lit up and beamed happily at me
as I told him of our last encounter. Aside from the presence
of his private presidential secretary and his discreet and pro-
tective four or five U.S. Secret Service agents, I felt like we
were standing together all by ourselves like some old friends
meeting happily again after such a long time. He and I were
attending the same 2oo8 Hay Festival. He was there to speak
as an invited and important American giant that is, while I
myself was there as little more than an unimportant
and nondescript observer.
~~~
I then asked the former president if I could take a photo-
graph of him. He neither answered verbally "yes" nor "no,"
but simply stood there with consent written all over his
Dixie face of 83 years of age that looked far from that with his
healthy disposition and physique. As I got my camera ready
to “Polaroid” him, it suddenly wouldn’t work. I must say I
felt abit nervy anyway and I told him so, but the president
stood there patiently without a fuss or a word while I then
got my photographic act together.
~~~
His personal secretary and his security detail stood silently
and respectfully next to me as I then focussed my camera
again carefully to get my first exclusive and prized image
of Jimmy Carter since I had last photographed him at
William and Mary more than three decades ago.
~~~
So my delightful encounter with him at Hay-on-Wye
was in some ways almost surreal, yet so completely real
as shown here above in my story’s photo caption of him
with his broad Georgia smile and his natural, Born-Again,
Christian warmth. How the Good Lord works always
amazes me. For if I had tried to meet him to arrange a
chat and to photograph such a world famous man away
from all the clamour of the public and press, I’d have
surely fallen flat right on me bedight face. Instead,
there was he with his name of Jimmy Carter standing
right in front of me from seemingly out of nowhere on a
very wet Sunday morning in Wales and with his true
rank of the 39th President of the United States. And,
let it be remembered that this same American
gentleman is also the esteemed winner of
The Nobel Peace Prize.
~~
So there with my cameras and my wordy mouth
at the ready first standing among some American
giants was then I at The 2oo8 Hay Festival.
~~~
My only image of wheelchaired Gore Vidal.
~~~
If ever there was a total mismatch -and mishmash
between an interviewer and an interviewee, then Sky
News anchor Adam Boulton should never have been
matched or mashed as the interviewer of the legendary
wit Gore Vidal. Who, in all his own right, is an American
giant of the novel, and of course, of wit. So British plastic
was Adam, I almost wanted to throw a large wet custard
pie right smack in his prig face to just shut him up and
his big gob and stop his ever squeaky questions to the
wheelchaired Gore Vidal at THF. It would have been best
to have just wheeled in Gore Vidal on stage and then
put a mic in front of him and let him run his own show.
He didn't need to be interviewed per se by anybody,
I don't think. He could manage on his own with his
erudition, skilled learnedness, and brilliant wit.
~~~
Gore Vidal belongs not only to the American literati
-for he has also long belonged to the golden mansion of
world literature that is well beyond his own country's
birth and life-long domicility. He, therefore, doesn't
need a Timpano -interviewer that's for sure.
~~~
Whatever, youngish Adam seemed at times to
almost lurch over his octogenarian intervewee as the
poor devil was stuck in his own wheelchair and could
find no escape without creating some kind of nasty
Anglo-American incident. I watched the exchange with
Adam and Gore (no, not Adam and his Eve) for over an
hour at the THF’s venue No. 61 at 10 quid per ticket holder.
Several hundreds packed the sold-out venue with those
like me just thrilled at the chance to finally see and hear
Gore Vidal in person for the first, and probably for the
last, time at these shores of Great Britain.
~~~
Vidal’s wit was absolutely inimitable and despite Adam
Boulton being like an old wet dish rag that should have
been first rammed down his gravel throat by somebody
at Sky News. Pity they didn’t, is all I can say.
~~~
Two other things: First, I was stunned to see Gore Vidal in a
non-motorized wheelchair and being pushed by his wheelchair
bus boy. I wasn’t aware he was wheelchair bound to start with.
So that’s why I was so surprised and I suspect so many others
were, too. Plus, a man with his money could surely buy a good
quality mobility or motorised wheelchair instead of being
pushed like a penniless old bugger who cannot afford such
things. And secondly, within only seconds of finishing his witty
appearance at THF, his wheelchair bus boy then rushed him
off stage as quickly as he could so that nobody even had the
slightest chance to get to speak to Vidal personally or to even
get a posed photograph of him. Not to mention, no
autographs were offered or given at all.
~~~
I ran upto the stage like a madman to get to Gore Vidal and
managed somehow to catch the last glimpse of him just has
he was being exited from the outer stage that resulted in my
only picture (shown above) of him has he was deliberately
rushed from out of public view and probing cameras like mine.
Obviously, it was all pre-arranged by the festival organisers to
avoid public contact with Vidal himself. They’ll take your money,
of course, but then only give you three-quarters of the goods it
sold to you it seems to me at THF. As for Adam Boulton,
he can go and screw himself at Sky TV …
~~~
Next, I'll write here about the not-so-giant Episcopal
and Yankee gay cleric Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New
Hampshire, who I finally and unexpectedly got to meet
face-to-face and to then photograph him (shown below)
at The Hay Festival or what I call at “THF.” I must say,
he was quite impressive to hear him speak at The 2oo8
President's Lecture at which I attended and also so sur-
prisingly did Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter who then sat
themselves down right in front of me during Gene
Robinson's pretty hypo and robust lecture.
~~~
My First Photo of Bp. Gene Robinson.
Let me now turn fully to Gene Robinson, the gay American
cleric who I have previously written about in a forthright
and critical manner here on my blog. The bishop made some
interesting comments on a number of aspects relating to his
situation within the Anglican Communion, which he stated
was the third largest religious body in the world at over
77 million of the Anglican/Episcopal faithful.
~~~
Clearly, he has a big bone to pick with Rowan
Williams, the present Archbishop of Canterbury, who
ruled that Gene Robinson was barred from joining some
other 700 bishops at this July’s tenth-yearly Lambeth
Conference. He, the American cleric, will be permitted
to attend any or all of the public events surrounding
the ecclesiastic gathering at where he will be like any
other member of the public wishing to visit such events
that for the first time in the history of Lambeth will be
open each day for public activity at what the church des-
cribes as "The Marketplace." He plans to pitch his tent,
so to speak, right there for any or all to hear him freely
speak about himself, his gay situation, and his disbarment
from the inner sanctum -of the Lambeth Conference.
I myself will at Lambeth, if I don’t have to first
undergo some needed heart surgery before then.
~~~
My personal impression of the New Hampshire bishop
was a lot more favourable since meeting him in person
here at The Hay Festival than when I first critically
wrote about Him. But needless to say, I still be-
lieve he should step down or better still drop dead.
Why? Because I think the man is so consumed with
his own sense of victimology and quack martyrdom.
There is a sense of self-masochism by him in all of
this it seems to me. He’s more a manipulative actor,
too, than a truly good bishop for the today’s church.
~~~
I think he’s living in a world of his own Pollyanna.
And, he loves the most those who are his most
ardent distractors. Gene Robinson blames every-
body but himself for his own situation of being "in the
eye of the storm," which is the title of his new book
adventure. He created the storm himself and no-
body else did it for him. Again the damage he has
already wrought on the Worldwide Anglican
Communion is almost diabolical in nature.
~~~
But let me put aside for a moment my
own personal opinions of the world’s first openly
gay bishop and tell you some of the things he said
that I thought I’d pass on to my blog readers for
them to decide whatever they want to decide
about Gene Robinson. I have taken the core of
some of the things he said and presented them
here in my own words and not as direct quotes
of Gene Robinson himself. Herein, I broadly out-
line some of his core thinking and statements:
1.
We Anglicans have become admirers of Christ,
instead of disciples or followers of Him.
2.
Push first for women to the ordained ministry
and the episcopate, if success is to come later
for openly gay men and woman being granted
equal rights and status within the church.
3.
Unlike Roman Catholics, Anglicans
don’t have a Curia that tells them what they
can and must do under the confines and
teachings of church authority.
4.
To treat a man as a woman was the gravest
insult for a male in olden times. In fact, men
were raped and not women by victorious
soldiers of ancient wars. It was done to inflict
shame and stigma on the losing soldiers.
5.
To spill and waste male seed was outlawed
to ensure the growth of the population at
where masturbation was thus condemned as
a mortal sin. Wasted seed did not produce
children to enchance the need for increased
population.
6.
Being in the eye of the storm I find
calm and stillness has it rages around me.
Be thou not afraid,” he repeats to himself
in his gay battle with the Church.
7.
At the time of the prophets, the question
of homesexuality didn’t exist because the
thought was that everybody was hetersexual
and behaved the same.
8.
Even his most anti-gay critic he still sees
and wants as his brother in Christ.
~~~
As the Episcopal bishop ended his Hay lecture,
The Carters didn’t stay to hear the questions
and answers at the closing session. I wonder
what they must have thought about what they’d
heard from Gene Robinson. If I’d have bumped into
President Carter again while we were both at THF, I
would have enquired of him what he may have thought
as a Born-Again, Baptist Christian, a committed hetero-
sexual, and a former U.S. president, to such a gay
Episcopal agenda by the homosexual cleric from old
New Hampshire of the Granite State. That would be a
presidential story I would love to tell. So aside from the
cleric, I think I can safely say I've been standing among
some American giants right here at THF. Right on ...
~~~
Coming next are
Part 2: Images of the Festival Authors.
Part 3: Incidental happenings in and
around the festival and the village of
Hay-on-Wye.
~~~
So I'll be back later with more stories to tell.
Please have a good day, everybody.
Your's, Uncle Monty.
America's Memorial Day, 2oo8.

5/23/2008

Make Hay While The Sun Shines. By Uncle Monty.

Make Hay While The Sun Shines
At The 2008 Hay Literary Festival.
By Uncle Monty, reporting from Wales.
_
Thousands of folks from around the world have already
arrived here at the first weekend opening of the 11-day
2008 Hay Festival that is set at Hay-on-Wye in Powys,
Wales. The village of Hay was itself first mentioned in
Welsh writings some 1,060 years ago and its native
name is called Y Gelli Gandryll.
_
Literary fans from around the world trek yearly to this
"village of books" that sits neatly on the border of Wales and
England. Hay-on-Wye is known as the "used and old book
capital of the world" with an estimated two million
books for sale right here at where I myself now stand.
_
I'm gazing happily at all I see and I plan to see and do
alot more in the next three days during this my first
visit to the quaint village of Hay-on-Wye at where, iron-
ically, this world event is taking place at what it truly is.
_
Famous names attending the festival also roll off the
tongue like The Who's Who -of modern world literature,
of the arts, of the media, of politics, of classical music,
of dance, and of song. And, also, of roaring comedy
and slap stick.
_
Let my tongue now roll off a few famous names for starters
at The Hay Festival: Gore Vidal, John Irving, Jimmy Carter,
Martin Amis, Boris Spassky, Salman Rushdie, Judith Kerr,
John Wesley Harding, Roy Hattersley, Ian McEvan, Philippe
Sands, Siri Hustvedt, Cherie Blair, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Carl
Bernstein, Kathleen Turner, Jools Holland, John Prescott,
Francesca Simon, Gene Robinson, and Jean-Efflam Bavouzer.
-
If you don’t know the names of at least 7 out of the 21
names presented herein, then you shouldn’t be at The
Hay Fesitval at all. If you know 14 out of the 21 names,
then you're pretty well read. If you know the names of
all the 21, then you should be a noted writer or a national
news reporter if you’re not already. Ah, yes, I know all the
names myself and that’s just one reason why I’m already
here at The Hay Festival. But sadly, I'm still not a noted
writer or a national news reporter. Well, not quite yet.
-
_
There are many other not-quite-so-famous names here,
too. There is one man called Bird with John being his first
name. Of the 472 venues (or "items" that the organisers
insist on calling them) at The Hay Festival, John Bird is
listed as the 202th and 310th venues at the festival at
where he’ll talk his head off for five quid per person.
That's if you want to hear him talk about climate change
(yep, that's right, climate change) with Andrew Simms
and Tom Hodgkinson on May 27th or hear what John’s
got to say about his practical 10 Keys to Success
on May 29th at Hay-on-Wye with Paul Blezard.
So while I’ve arrived here at the opening week,
John Bird of The Big Issue -will arrive instead at
the closing week of The Hay Festival. So it’s unlikely
we’ll bump into each other here like we have in
the periodic past around London.
_
Other noted names at the 2008 Hay Festival include
Charlie Higson, Jimmy Carr, Sir Mike Jackson, Kevin Brooks,
David Crystal, Willam Nicholson, Joanne Harris, Orlando
Figes, Bruno Ganz, Jo Brand, Karen Armstrong, Rose Gray,
Owen O’Neill, Jamie Oliver, Julie Donaldson, Garry Kasparov,
Hanif Kureishi, and Patrick Marber. So of the 18 additional
names now given, if you don’t know at least six of the names,
then again you shouldn’t be here at Hay. I suspect those who
don’t know whatsoever any such names aren’t here anyway …
And, thank goodness they aren’t …
_
I have tickets for about 12 different venues or “items”
with many others already long sold out before I even
hit the festival website. At all the venues I'll attend,
I’ll take my notes, ask my probing questions, talk up-
front to the folkz involved at the venues, and hopefully,
above all else, get some great photographs for whatever
stories I may later write on my blog about my stay here.
_
In the meantime, I’ll make hay while the sun shines …
I hope you do, too, whether you're here at Hay or
checking out one of my almost 125 online stories
written specifically for you ...
_
Best wishes, Uncle Monty.
+Memorial Day Weekend, USA.
_

:: A Worthy Word of Public Thanks ::
Just before leaving for Wales, Nick Alfrey kindly printed
some 500 quality “blog cards” or business cards as an un-
expected gift to me from his top-of-the-line printing business.
He also said I was now eligible for a free re-order at whenever I run
out of what he’s already printed for me. Thank you again so much, Nick.
Everybody loves the cards, the design and fonts, since giving them out.

Many cheers to my good friend, Nick ... From Uncle Monty.

::

5/18/2008

Is This An Harbinger of What's To Come To England and Europe?

Is This An Harbinger of What's
To Come To England and Europe?
Edited By Alex Albion
***
South Africa anti-foreigner
violence spreads, many flee.
Sun, May 18, 2008 8:03pm EDT
***
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Hundreds of foreigners living
in South Africa took refuge in police stations and churches
as week-old violence against them spread further across
poor townships, local media reported on Sunday.
***
Numbers of casualties since the attacks against Zimbabweans
and other immigrants began a week ago varied, with some
reports on Sunday putting the death toll at around 10.
Some South Africans, especially those living in poor areas
of high unemployment, accuse Zimbabweans and other new-
comers of fuelling the high crime rate and taking scarce jobs.
***
The attacks have renewed the authorities' fears that xenophobia
is on the rise in a country which was once known as one of the
most welcoming to immigrants and asylum seekers, especially
from Africa.
***
Local radio said angry mobs had at first attacked houses
owned by immigrants from neighboring Zimbabwe,
Mozambique and other countries in Alexandra township.
But now these attacks had spread to other settlements
and Johannesburg's city centre. Properties had been
looted and destroyed.
***
"There have been some incidents in the Alexandra area
where police opened fire using rubber bullets to disperse
crowds," police spokesman Govindsamy Mariemuthoo
said on local radio.
***
"There've been problems also in the East Rand. In the
Boksburg area some shacks have been set alight," he
added. Mariemuthoo was not reachable for further
comment.
***
The anti-foreigner violence has rattled authorities and the
business community, and President Thabo Mbeki urged
police to move quickly to find the instigators. "It's necessary to
move as quickly as possible to establish all the causes and the
players in all of this, so that we can then deal with the matter
more effectively," he said on national broadcaster SABC radio.
"The communities ... should act together with the police and to-
gether we should say this is very, very wrong. It is unacceptable
that there should be this kind of violence." Medical rights group
Medecins Sans Frontieres -said the situation now amounted
to a humanitarian crisis.
***
"I have been to many refugee camps and situations
and this definitely is along those lines," spokesman Eric
Goemaere told SAPA news agency. "This reminds me of
a refugee situation. I have treated bullet wounds, beaten
people, rape victims and the people are terrified."
***
The violence has also affected businesses owned by
immigrants from Asian countries like Pakistan. An
estimated 3 million Zimbabweans have fled to South
Africa as a result of the political and economic
crisis at home.
***
(Reporting by Reuter’s correspondent Stella
Mapenzauswa; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
***
:: NEWS UPDATE ::
At least 42 people have been killed since the
anti-foreigner wave has taken place in South
Africa at where the army has now been brought
in to take control of the spreading protest.
Thousands of foreigners have flee for their
lives since the anti-immigration riots first
began more than 2 weeks ago. Here's the latest
report from the online worldpress reporters:
< >

5/16/2008

So Gothic, Yet So Gibberish. By Uncle Monty.

So Gothic, Yet So Gibberish.
Story and Photos By Uncle Monty.
~~
Harrold, King, Nixon and Charlesworth isn’t the
legal incorporation of some law firm, but rather
the surnames of the four vocalists (shown above)
that comprise of the world famous "Gothic Voices"
of the fivesome, or in this case the foursome, that
I saw right upfront. Their fifth vocalist Julian
Podger was a dodger on this occassion it seemed.
~ ~
For close to two hours, "Gothic Voices" performed at
The National Festival of Contemporary Church Music,
which I eagerly attended with much glee until I heard
them do their combo of medieval and modernistic
songs from Plainchant to Antiphons in their pre-
sentation of “New Light on an Ancient World.”
~~
Much of it was so gibberish that all I heard were
meaningless sounds, mumbled tones, and mostly
unintelligible words that the more I tried to figure
out the more I felt so utterly stupid, which some of
my more catty friends would readily agree that I
can be so utterly so, anyway.
~~
Stupid or not, I was also disappointed to see that the
three males of the foursome were dressed more like
Indian curry waiters than vocalists with their all-drab
black shirts, black trousers, and black shoes and with
no dress ties. The lovely Mezzo-Saprano Catherine King
was, however, the most nicely and befittingly dressed of
the foursome and was perhaps the most talented, vocally,
I’d say. I had expected the males to have been dressed
in colourful replica costumes of the medieval period and
since they were not I was pretty peeved at them for
that, too. There was a colourless presence about
"Gothic Voices" that bugged me no end.
~~
My picture (above) of Mezzo-Saprano Catherine
King at the close of the Gothic Voices performance.
~~
No musical accompaniment did "Gothic Voices" have
since such was not then used, I gather, in the Plainchants
and Antiphons then expressed at the Medieval period and
of the Dark Ages. Nor did they make use of any musical
instruments in the modernistic piece of “Gloria – Messe
de Nostre Dame” by Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, who per-
sonally attended the festival at where I did not get
to meet him nor to photograph him in person.
~~
In his lengthy and scholarly 1,800-word programme notes,
Leigh Nixon, who also sings as a Lay Vicar at Westminster
Abbey aside from his vocal role in "Gothic Voices," used so
many esoteric terms I wasn’t sure if I needed to be a musical
archmonk to first grasp the meanings of some of the things
he wrote. Words like organum, ars antiqua, conductus, iso-
rhythmic motet, cantus firmus, duplum, clausula, cauda,
and what have you made me feel like an Anglican ignor-
amus after all. Again, some of my many friends might en-
tirely agree, but wouldn’t say such to my pretty face …
~~
I also discovered that "Gothic Voices" suffers abit from
paranoia of sorts as they first thought I was digitally-
recording their stage performance, which, of course, I
was not. They thought my cameras were some how
audio recording devices, which again, of course, they too
were not. Frankly, to have tried to record them would
have been a waste of time for they have no mass com-
mercial appeal that is quite fine to those of us who share
no taste, like me, for mass appeal anyway. Other than
that,"Gothic Voices" was absolutely so gothic, yet so
gibberish, it still would have also been a waste of time
for someone to attempt to illicitly record them at such a
public festival. The acoustic sounds of them was enough
to have frightened away hungry rats and little contem-
porary Church mice, let alone innocent humanbeings
like me.
~~
For those who loved "Gothic Voices," then I bid them
only well. But for me, I cannot wait to hear instead the
Festival’s upcoming "Closing Concert by The Choir
of the Chapels Royal" under the fine direction of the
noted conductor and composer Andrew Gant. The
concert is set for the Eve of Trinity Sunday, 2oo8.
~~
Faithfully, Uncle Monty.
+Friday of Whitsun, 2oo8.
~~
:: An After Post-Thought ::
Perhaps it was all so anti-climatic for me to then
see and hear "Gothic Voices" just the day after I had
witnessed the extraordinary ceremony of The Festival
Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. No four individuals im-
mediately after that – except, if I had seen together
the next day say The Holy Father, The Dalai Lama, The
Archbishop of Canterbury and The Supreme Ayatollah -
could have possibly competed for my undivided admiration
and public kudos that "Gothic Voices" had no chance
of getting from me no matter how good and talented
others may declare them to be. Timing is everything,
isn't it? Yeeeeeeeeeeeep. So hearing "Gothic Voices"
for the first time the day afterwards was so ill-timed
for me even though it wasn't their fault after all.
Whatever, I was still some how bugged by them ...
~~
:: Festival Logo of Contemporary Church Music ::
~~
Below: Myself, Uncle Monty, with the Lutheran
Vice-Bishop of the Faroe Islands at The Cathedral
of Torshavn at the Faroes.
~~
Here are some of my upcoming new stories:
1: Making Hay While At Hay-on-Wye.
2: Now Ghettoised -and Foreignised
Is My English Homeland.
3: School Discipline at Caddo Mills.
4: Got Dye So That I'll Soon Not Die.
5: Washed In Him at Holy Walsingham.
6. South Africa's Anti-Foreigner Stance.
Such stories will come periodically and in no
specific order when I decide to post them.

5/14/2008

Needy Members of Corpus Sanctum. By Uncle Monty.

Needy Members of Corpus Sanctum.
Story and Photos By Uncle Monty.
+
Platoons of neatly combed grey-haired lords and ladies
arrived on the dot at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral on
Whitsun Tuesday to help celebrate the 354th Festival Ser-
vice of the Anglican Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy.
Such is the ancient clerical charity that was founded in
1655 by some sons of the clergy for needy members
of Corpus Sanctum.
+
During the Commonwealth period under Cromwell,
those clergy who remained loyal to the English monarchy
were deprived of their benefice and thus oftentimes were
left plainly destitute. It was some of their son who then
founded the first Anglican clerical charity and for each
year since then the Festival Service has been held to raise
needed funds to help generations of needy clergy. The
Service itself is considered to be the oldest of its kind
in the Anglican Communion. As for the Catherdal
wandsmen or ushers directing us to our seats, they
came attired in formal morning coats and dark fitted
waistcoats with the Cathedral medallion held around
their Anglican necks by fine crimson ribbons.
+
I sat for the first time in the Nave with my guest ticket
and I saw everything at elbow's length as the awe-inspiring
Cathedral processions and ceremony got under way with
thousands of others watching it has I did. St. Paul’s has been
known to hold as many as 22.000 people on such important
occasions as this.
+
The English have always had the natural gift to make ceremony
despite our otherwise rather plain taste in so many other things.
The Festival Service was full of ancient ceremony and far from
plain. Historic symbols of high office I could have easily touched
as the illustrious company of Masters, Prime Wardens, High
Sheriffs, and Upper Bailiff of the Liveries of the City of London,
ceremoniously carried them by me as they moved between the
aisles from the West End of St. Paul's Cathedral. The fanfare had
already sounded as the combined cathedral choirs of Ripton, Truro,
and St. Paul's sang the Introit with the blessed words from Psalm
47 and the magificent music by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625).
+
Then came in State The Lord Mayor and the Archbishop of
Canterbury in their full plumage of ancient office as some 13
or so bishops of the Anglican and Scottish Episcopacy had
gone before them. Held high was The Cross of Canterbury
for all to see at the beginning of the Festival Service.
The Ceremoniarius, along with the Dean and Chapter
and the Lord Bishop of London, added fullness to the
stunning processions as the Crucifer and Acolytes had
also given of their best.
+
The 24-page Festival Service guide excited my deep sense
of occasion upon hearing the Dean, The Rt. Rev’d Graeme
Knowles, welcome us all along with the biblical readings from
The Chancellor, The Rev’d Canon Edmund Newell and The
Venerable John Morrison, and with prayers from the Succentor
of St. Paul’s, Rev’d Jason Rendall. Last, but most certainly not
the least, was the closing blessing of His Grace, The
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams,
who was resplendent in his ochre archiepiscopal vestment.
His fifth year as the 104th ABC was recently marked
in our Church history, too.
+
At this year’s cathedral collection for the Corporation of the
Sons of the Clergy, it was expected to raise about three-quarters
of a million American dollars or about £375.000 English pounds
from those present at the annual Festival Service. So far this
year, the corporation has already raised over £1 million well
before the assembled service at St. Paul’s began. But such is
only a drop in the ocean for the ever growing financial needs
of the needy members of Corpus Sanctum. The public at large
don’t always realise that say the retired vicar or the clerical
widow may need urgent help like others in our modern society.
All too often, they’re isolated and forgotten as they struggle to
cope with mounting pressures of their neglected situation.
Thankfully, the Sons of the Clergy is there to help them at
where secular society otherwise fails to provide them help.
The clergy serve the people at many levels over many years
of service and thus it is our bound and duty and right to help
them whenever it is our turn to provide them with some of
their urgent needs. I was more than glad to give my little
bit towards such a worthy clerical charity as a devout
and determined Anglican that I am. Bravo …
+
Among the Stewards of the Festival, who actively
contribute to the Corporation and who therefore retain
the ever-significant and rare title of Church Steward,
the names of some of them are herein marked: Sir
and Lady David Brewer, Baroness Byford, Sir and Lady
John Chadwick, Sir Christopher Clarke, Viscount Churchill,
Sir and Lady Robert Craufurd, Sir Robert Finch, Sir Brian
Jenkins, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Sir Idris Pearce, Sir Michael
Savory, Sir and Lady Lawrence Verney, Sir Christopher
Walford, and Sir William Wells. And seated next to me was
Professor Michael Moss with his Westminster Abbey neck-
tie, his rolled-up brolly, his shy hearing aid, and his heavy
brown briefcase, and who sang like the once Luciano
Paroratti at times with the hymns he knew so well off by
heart. We also had a nice chat together, we did. Thus,
ended the astounding and memorable service.
+
The next 355th Festival Service will be held
at St. Paul’s on Tuesday, May 12th, 2oo9.
+
For more info on the corporation, check out:
+
Bless you all, Uncle Monty.
+St. Pancrastide, 2oo8.
+
My picture (above) of the Lord Bishop of London,
Right Rev’d Richard Chartres, shows him standing on
the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral after the end of the
Festival Service to which he helped officiate among the
other Anglican bishops so present. I had previously met
him at St. Martin-in-the-Fields and elsewhere, although
this was the first time I was able to get to photograph him
just as I wanted him without the stiffness of his bishopric.
I have also added design to the background of my
photograph of him to make it more attractive, visually.
+
This is my first picture of St. Paul’s Cathedral
that I took just moments before I entered the
interior to attend the 354th Festival Service.
+
My picture (above)
of the stone sculpture, in memory
of the 7/7 London Bomb victims, is that of the
Archangel St. Michael that I discovered at Upper
Woburn Place at this St. Pancrastide. I have added
design to the image to highlight the moving power
of the memorial sculpture so beautifully sculptured
in white English stone.
+
A rare brass medallion of perhaps c. A.D. 545 of St. Benedict,
who is also the modern Patron Saint of Europe, that I recently
found in a tiny tattered box of old trinkets at Lewisham’s
weekly car boot sale held outside the Anglican Parish
Church there.
+

5/11/2008

Pretty Close To A Public Lynching. By Uncle Monty.

Pretty Close To A Public Lynching.
Or the cold-bloodied police killing of the once rising-star
that was the British Barrister Mark Saunders.
By Uncle Monty.
.
Had they put a raw rope around his English neck and
hung him from the nearest tree, Mark Saunders couldn’t
have been treated much more badly than he was on The
Feast Day of St. John, The Apostle, by Scotland Yard’s elite
firearm squad known as CO19. What they did to him was
pretty close to a public lynching as they wounded him and
finally slaughtered him in a deliberate volley of at least five
deadly police bullets at his £2.2 million rented home off
the famed King’s Road at London’s fancy and chic neigh-
bourhood of Chelsea. And despite all his piles of money and
his professional success as a top 32 year-old British barrister
and with all his privileged life still well ahead of him, it
would not save him from the savagery of the CO19 bullets
that penetrated his heart, his liver, his head and his legs,
from those cruel and callous CO19 marksmen, who always
shoot to kill and then ask questions later.
.
The police besieged him with their own overkill at his home
as they started their showy siege to disarm him. They
came to kill as trained killers did CO19, after they’d been
called by a fearful neighbour of Mark Saunders. He was then
shooting erratically at nearby buildings, into homes of residents,
and lastly at the confrontational cops themselves. He was us-
ing his licensed handgun while drunk that was no match against
the fierce gunpower and deadly force of the killing machine that
is CO19. The cops declared the young man was “out of control
and they soon took steps to “neutralize” him by their cold and
cunning decision to kill him at all costs for such squads are
essentially given carte blanche--authority to be an absolute
law unto themselves. They can kill anybody and get away
with it pretty much. Such grows from their constant sense
of "seizure mentality" that was so recently acted out
again at their besieging of Mark Saunders.
.
Shows Where The Police
Bullets Have killed Their Victim
.
It didn’t matter to OC19 whether he was a barrister or a baron
or a beatitude or a banker or a baboon, they intended to kill
him to bring their five-hour Markham Square siege to an end.
Despite the silly shooting by Mark Saunders, nobody was actually
hurt by what he did. Yet his death sentence was all but a foregone
conclusion as the trigger-happy British cops then “acted out”
much worse and more deadly than anything the young barrister
did with his own gun in a emotional fit of all his own after perhaps
some domestic tiff with his wife. He'd simply gone haywire after
he’d also been drinking heavily. Did that mean he should be
sentenced to death by OC19? Or coldly slaughtered by them?
Apparently, the answer from them was bloody "YES."
+
So they slaughtered him like as if maybe he was in Iraq at
where it is said he'd served his country with the Territorial Army.
Ironically, he was not to die a gruesome death at the hands of
some Iranian-backed Iraqi militia or be some notorious and
blind act of US so-called “Friendly Fire,” but rather at the
deliberate and dirty hands of his own country’s elite firearms
CO19 squad. Mark Saunders' killing speak volumes of the
kind of society England has increasingly become of police
killings against her citizens in all parts of the country. It's
almost like dejevue-with such British killings mimicking
the American propensity for its police to regularly kill all
manner of citizens and especially street African-Americans.
.
Scotland Yard’s OC19 squad is just a glorified version of
all that is vile about the American SWAT teams. For that,
Mark Saunders is yet another dead victim of such “out of
control” police powers and tactics that also earlier saw their
outrageous and mindless slaughter of innocent Jean Charles
de Menezes of Brazil by the same gun-toting CO19 squad.
And so, they've now killed yet again in the name of
“protecting” Londoners from Mark Saunders and Jean
Charles de Menezes. What utter rubbish!!! Rather, Lon-
doners may need to be protected from their so-called
police protectors like OC19.
.
The look and feel of today's aloof British police.
At one time, the British Bobby was seen as a friend
by many. But today, all that’s changed with today’s
cops always screaming down the street at killer speed to
answer yet another seemingly urgent crime call. When the
government started to arm the police in England, that
also irrevocably changed the nature and relationship of
the local citizen to the bobby and the bobby to the citizen.
For the bobby we once knew was no more, anymore.
Instead, he or she is now just another variety of cold
cop who spends little or no time with the people he
or she polices. The only time they speak to you now
is when you are an alleged wrong doer or a crime victim.
Other than that, we are ignored or pretty much told in un-
spoken terms to go to hell. British policing at the community
level has lost its homeliness and closeness. For the £2 Billion
spent annually on policing in London alone, the money
seems to be going to equip and empower the British Police
with every known lethal gadgetry under the sun and to arm
itself against the general public it always claims to serve.
Next, we'll see an armed cop standing at every street corner.
.
British Police scene at Markham Square at where they
would eventually slaughter Mark Saunders dead.

.

The very existence today of such armed police units like
CO19 tells me that the loving and friendly soul of England that
I once knew has also long since been throttled and killed by them.
We’ve now become a clinical and detached society that we never
was in the past until now. Just look at the British police killings
over the last couple of decades for such tells us the answer
of where we’ve come from and what we have now turned
out to be of everything that we once was not.
.
In America, the police killings of African-Americans is an
ever present and historic pasttime and practice, while in
England the opposite seems to be true in which whites males
are more likely to be killed by OC19 than blacks. I’m told that
such armed response teams in England are overwhelmingly
multiracial and multiethnic in their composition. I think it is true
after I saw by chance such an armed unit last year entering
Covent Garden’s Bow Street from their three unmarked parked
and brand spanking-new navy blue Ford vans with black tinted
windows parked at Long Acre. I saw how armed to the teeth they
were and the multiracial composition of the guyz and galz
making-up the unit. I also couldn’t help but notice the sheer
vulgarity of the physical muscles the guyz showed off like some
West End club bouncers ready to kick you in the head at the
least provocation. They also all looked so unEnglish - to me
in their physical and racial appearance as they arrogantly dis-
played their hungo -presence. Who in heaven’s name first devised
and approved of such a motley group of mostly unEnglish-born -
thugs like them to impose their mafioso-style upon us in the
name of modern day British law and order? The Bobbies of old
must be turning in their graves at what England has now become
as I, too, was turning sick in my stomach at what I saw of that one
London armed response unit dispatched from Scotland Yard.
.
No wonder Mark Saunders is now laid out in his coffin and
his family totally distraught by what OC19 has not only
done to him, but also to them. Their deep anger is well
and truly justified against those anonymous markmen
who, I suspect, are quite chuffed and chuckled at their
latest slaughterous killing.
.
The inquest into the young barrister's untimely and vile
death began at Westminister Coroner's Court three days
after he was police-slaughtered. The pathologist stated he
was still alive when the cops finally got to him after their
five hour siege of him and despite his multiple shotgun
wounds from those armed police. Amazingly he was still
alive, but the battle to save him was in vain. He was
now a dead police trophy that they could display for
all the world to see. His lifeless body and his ended life
was quickly shipped off to the city morgue. The inquest
has now been postponed until September 9th, 2oo8.
.
In the meantime, the Independent Police Complaints
Commission (IPCC) is to investigate the circumstances
of young Mark Saunders’ murder, which seems pretty
close to a public lynching by the British police, if you
ask me.
.

Above: IPCC Photo of Mark Saunders.

Statement of Mark Saunders’ Grief-Stricken Family
http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/pr090508_mps.htm
.

Sadly, no matter whatever the inquest or IPCC determ-
ines, no amount of talk or money or remedy will resurrect
the life of the once up and coming British barrister whose
gifted life was so brutually and callously snuffed out by armed
members of Britain’s police squad called CO19. Perhaps now,
Her Majesty will give them all a nice, big shiny, individual medal
for their latest sickening deed? After all, anything is possible in
today’s broken England. And one thing is certain no matter what,

that more Mark Saunders will be killed by our police thugs. I
would not trust my own life with them … they’re too dangerous
for their own good or for the good of our society.
.

The Independent on Sunday
Death in Chelsea:
How did Mark Saunders come to die in a shoot-out with police?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/death-in-chelsea-how-did-mark-saunders-come-to-die-in-a-shootout-with-police-825843.html
.

British Police Killings Since 1985
http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/index/resources/research/reports_firearms/shootings_statistics.htm
.

So for now, Uncle Monty. +Whitsuntide, 2oo8.

< . >

:: :: NEWS UPDATE :: ::

Mark Saunder's Anglican funeral was held on May 16th,

2oo8, at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. His wife Liz,

also a barrister, led the mourning cortege. News reports

now state that the OC19 cops behaved like the "shootout

at the OK Corral." To me they were also like Yankee

keystone cops in what they did to such a fine English-

man and fine Anglican. I almost thought those cops

who slaughtered him should have been made to attend

his funeral so that they could see with their own eyes

what they have really done. But then, their presence

would be an insult to all of Mark's family and friends so

present at his sad and sober funeral. I do believe now

that more questions are going to be raised about the

callous OC19 murder of Mark Saunders. It appears,

too, that immediately after they had committed

their slaughter of the young barrister in question,

the British police marksmen so involved then colluded

together to come up with their own story as to why they

shot him to death in one of London's most swanky

neighbourhoods at his £2.2 million Chelsea rented

residence. The whole killing to me of Mark Saunders

seems to stink more and more by each passing day.

+Corpus Christi, 2oo8.

5/08/2008

Demagogy's Far Left Mentality. By Uncle Monty.

Demagogy's Far Left Mentality.
By Uncle Monty.
<>
Being against further mass immigration to Britain,
seeking to have the Union Jack hoisted over London’s
City Hall, demanding a ban on burkas in public buildings,
opposing inter-racial dating, courting, and intercourse;
discouraging multi-ethnic marriages, and supporting the
tightening-up of rules to prevent further abuses by so-
called “asylum seekers,” does not, in and of itself, make
a person who seeks or supports such crucial remedies a
fascist. Yet, those who express such views are easily and
quickly branded as fascists by those who are themselves
caught-up in their own demagogy’s far-left mentality.
<>
A good example of such a mentality is what is going on right
now with the loud-mouthed organisers and riff-raff members
of “Love Music Hate Racism” (LMHR) and “Unite Against
Fascism” (UAF) that wants now to force out the lawful and
openly-elected Richard Barnbrook of the British National
Party (BNP) to the London Assembly.
<>
Neither the far-left nor the far-right represents me as an
independent voter and I would not vote for neither. But if such
a representative from any political extreme is duly elected by
the votes of the people then nobody and no organization should be
allowed to try to unlawfully and undemocratically unseat the duly
elected. That’s precisely what the LMHR and UAF are trying to
do against Richard Barnbrook because they don’t like his views
and/or the organization he represents. Some 130.000 Londoners
voted for him and his organization whether we like it or not
and whether or not it fits neatly into the LMHR and UAF
political mindset and its demagogy’s far-left mentality. Not a
single representative of LMHR and UAF is duly elected by the
people in any assembly that I am aware of. So who are they to
rant and rave about someone who is elected? And, who are they
to try to also dangerously thwart the will of the people by
acts of intimidation and affront against Richard Barnbrook?
It matters not if he is a fascist or not or a bleeding heart
liberal or not or a blue-blooded Tory or not or an anarchist
or not, for it matters only if the person was democratically
elected under the rules in place for all manner of views
and ideologies to be voted in or out by the people.
<>
Richard Barnbrook was voted in, not voted out-like
was the daring of the far left called Ken Livingstone.
Perhaps that’s why the far left’s LMHR and UAF wants
to now protest the certified election of a far right cand-
idate like Barnbrook because their own shyster and
jackass candidate Red Ken lost badly? Whatever, the
casted votes of The People must stand no matter what.
<>
Those who don’t like the positions and beliefs of the
British National Party, or any politicial party for that
matter, should run against them and get themselves
duly elected by lawful means such as at the next national
British General Election to be held by 1210. Or the next
local London Mayoral Election set for 2012 or at some
by-election. If then duly elected to office, would they
expect as far left members to be forced out of office by
organised protests against them by the far right?
I think not – period.
<>
The problem with all extreme political parties, be they
from the far left to far right, is that they thrive on, and
revel in, their own kind of flapdoodle fascism and didactic
demagogy that they always, at some point, accuse the other of.
The commonality of extreme parties is that they are always
extreme-and no matter what their political posture and stated
aim may be. I trust no extremes to guide me or to give my vote
to at any given election. But if the people choose otherwise to
override my vote by voting in a representative of some
extreme party or ideology, then so let it be ...
<>
:: Mark Saunders ::
And so let’s forget for now Richard Barnbrook and BNP,
for if you want to see the real rise of modern day British
Fascism-
then look no further than at the latest police slaughter,
just days ago, of top law barrister Mark Saunders at age 32
by the dreadful and trigger-happy firearms squad dubbed
CO19. They’re the same police thugs who also last slaughtered
the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at age 27. If
you look at the police outfits of CO19, they could best be
described as modern-day Nazi Storm Troopers. Their para-
military outfits and their lethal equipment are American-
made, by the way.
.
:: A CO19 armed cop ::


In fact, the global rise of more and more police killings
against civilians from Britain to Burma, from China to America,
from Zimbabwe to Iraq, and from the Occupied Terrorities to
Parkistan, is a growing menace like classical fascism at which
the individual is killed at the slaughterous hands of their own
local or national police. Oftentimes, such killings are based
on the pure whim or made-up pretext of the gun-toting cop.
Lawless are they who make their will their law,” said William
Shakespeare. Police killings are exactly that in all too many
instances. All I am waiting for is to see a black kid killed by
our armed British police and then all hell will probably be let
loose by other protesting blacks on the streets of London or
elsewhere at Albion. So far, eight whites have been police-killed
in England since 2005 and by the police thuggery of CO19.
<>
The police killing of the young British barrister Mark Saunders
in the swanky neighbourhood of London's Chelsea carries all the
vile hallmarks of American police behaviour and their SWAT
teams, which I believe Britian's CO19 is strictly modelled on.
Their attitude, like their American counterparts, is to kill first
and ask questions later. They have absolutely no empathy
towards those who they kill in cold blood. They probably
gave themselves "High Fives" after their latest killing of
Mark Saunders. That's how cold and brutal they are.

http://www.eliteukforces.info/police/CO19/
<>
Like US SWAT Teams, Britian's CO19 is fundamentally a
law unto itself. And all police killings against civilians are an
expression of that and no matter the rationale given by the
authorities for such lethal and fatal police acts. Armed police
members of squad CO19 may grow into a kind of unofficial
British “Death Squad” as they prowl the streets of London
looking to see who they can “lawfully kill.” That's if steps
aren't quickly taken to curtail and contain their powers
to shoot to kill and to do pretty much what they want
under British anti-terrorism laws that New Labour has
inflicted on the British people. No doubt we’ll be told all
kinds of bad things about the dead Mark Saunders to
help justify yet another police killing by CO19. Once you
arm the police, nobody is safe from them. Because they’ll
kill you as readily as Jean Charles de Menezes and Mark
Saunders and those others they've been allowed to
kill. It matters not whether you’re innocent or not, if
they decide to kill you for whatever reason they want.
<>
So let us also now forget those riff raff adherents of demagogy’s
far left mentality and focus instead on the real rise and spread
of police killings in Britain that was once a nation without such
armed police. As the police are more widely-armed, then
civilians also get more guns to "protect" themselevs from the
police. Thus, we're already like an American state where
we cannot move for those with guns either from the police
or criminal elements at the street level. What the present
government needs to do is to take urgent and concreete
steps to immediately curb the free license and firepower
of the British police to kill in the name of modern law en-
forcement and security. Such smacks so often of little more
than violent and open fascism in what they are allowed to
do against others by just killing them out right like Nazi
Storm Troopers of the far right. Or at the opposite extreme,
like gun carrying members of the far left cadre that I saw

with my own eyes while I was inside the old communist
dictatorship of North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang.
<>
With the unfolding story of the tragic slaughter by
CO19 of young Mark Saunders, I shall probably write an
in-depth piece on what they tell us of what supposedly
happened. We can be sure of patent untruths about him,
just like what the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir
Ian Blair first stated about the reasons why his armed
police killed innocent Jean Charles de Menezes. Police
killings are far more important to the downgrading of
the quality of our life and freedom than all the talk and
squabble about BNP, LMHR, and UAF. Beware of de-
magogy's far left and far right mentalities, along with
watching very closely what our police do in reality.
<>
Regards, Uncle Monty.
+Thursday before Whitsuntide, 2oo8.

5/04/2008

Near Gate 7 at Mayflower Park. By Uncle Monty.

Near Gate 7 at Mayflower Park
Story and Photos By Uncle Monty
.
For those catching the Red Funnel ferry boat from
Southampton to the Isle of Wight, they must invariably
pass near Gate 7 at Mayflower Park. The park itself
is located at Southampton’s West Quay at where I
happened upon a local goth in the ugly shape and
disgusting form of 25 year-old Alan Crow as shown
above by my caption picture of him in all
his gaudy taste and grand galumph.
.
He said he’d served in Iraq with the British forces
at Basra and had returned home rejected by the
community and was now living on Disability Living
Allowance (DLA) and the occasional free handout.
He prefers to be simply called “Crow” from his
own legal surname. When five or six white ladz
whizzed by on their bmx bikes shouting at him, Crow
was none too pleased. He shouted back at them with
the loud gusto of an irate sargeant-major along with all
the obscenities he could throw at them. Whatever he
could muster against the young cocky ladz, they only
sniggered more at him as they came peddling back in
full force and at dizzy speed to taunt him even further.
Thus, my strange introduction to Southampton’s
Mayflower Park was quite something else. Next, I
almost expected to see the pilgrim ghosts gathering
for their intrepid voyage to Colonial America on The
Mayflower to Plymouth Rock. The park is dedicated,
of course, to those historic souls who sought religious
and social freedom from the then oppressive and
“straightjacketed” England by going to seek their
open liberty in New England.
-
Southampton is England’s world maritime city. And,
the last time I had seen the place was when I came
back for a brief visit to my British homeland on The
Cunard's QEII in 1972. It then took 5 days to
cross the pond … How I so remember it well ...
.
What surprised me the most about this maritime
city was how old it was. I never realised its age until
after seeing such 13th and 14th Century structures
still actively preserved and used like the 15th Century
Round Gateway (shown above) at the centre of town.
Plus, St. Julian’s or God’s House from the 13th Century
that is today still an active English Church and it was
once used also as a Goal House and Debters Prison.
.
.
I was in Southampton for the May holiday weekend to stay
and visit with my close London friends The Stoddards at
their lovely 19th century summer home at nearby Shirley,
which is full of local charity shops including one for, of all
things, the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocelphalus.
I’m sorry, but no charity shop should have such a 42-letter
name like that. I can manage ASBH alot better, thank you.
I struggled to find something to buy in the ASBH shop,
but it was in vain and in the end I couldn’t find anything
of use to buy. I’m sorry, again … While by chance at
Andrew Payne’s East Street SPM jewellery shop in
downtown Southampton, I found the best selection of
ancient and rare world coins in a very long time and at quite
reasonable prices, too. Although in some cases the prices were
much higher than current US coin prices. The quid price is
now almost twice the value of the American dollar, so that
doubles the purchase price for most collectiable coins when
buying them in England. Nevertheless I found some pretty
good coins like the Nurenberg hammered jeton dated 1572.
How the coin dealer got to sell it to me for just two and
half quid I don’t know. Yes, it’s in very poor grade but any
kind of coin or token at where the date can been seen and
read of the 16th century is obviously worth more than two
and half quid or at least to me. Other than that, I also got
from Andrew Payne a fine-grade George III (1760-1820)
fourth laureate head Gold Half-Guinea dated 1797 and shown
above that I photo-scanned for my personal records. I found
a number of old American coins, too, including the 1866 three
cent nickel and three or four excellent Canadian Provincial
coins from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland of the 1870's.
Better still, when I left Andrew’s shop, I’d only spent just
over 14 quid or $US25.00 for what I got. I can easily get all
my money back by selling just the half-guinea and make
some profit even more beyond that. Alan Payne is a stand-
ing member of the British Numismatic Trade Association
(BNTA) that is by far the best in the UK.
.
.
Sunday Brunch with The Stoddards at the De Vere
Grand Harbour Hotel was a lovely treat for me from
them. The De Vere doorman Alan Hillman was there to
greet us and to park our car and to open the grand doors
for us. He was a gracious and humble fellow all by himself.
We chatted together and he told me he’d been a doorman
for 10 years and simply loves his work after he’d been a
lowly factory hand since he was then a 17 year old boy
and at now he’s aged to 54. “You can never be in a bad
mood in this job,” he told me with his perpetual smile on
his kind face. He loves wearing his doorman’s uniform, he
told me. "It gives me respect," noted Alan. When I asked
him if I could take a photo of him for my blog, he was more
than delighted to oblige. Alan is a native Southampton son
and so proud of it … Compared to the other Alan, the goth,
the Alan at De Vere’s was the human prize of the day.
.
Being the international maritime city that it is, it
was Southampton’s fantastic replica of a 14th century
English cargo vessel (shown above) that confirmed for
me its just place in British maritime history. I just
happened upon the replica vessel at some side street
near the West Gate of the city. Earlier, I also seen the
permanently grounded trawler called Calshot Spit,
shown below. It was an ugly looking contraption …
.
.
So as I left the goth called Crow at Mayflower
Park, I saw some other young people having a jolly
good time on the swing and being pushed from behind
by a friend so that they could swing even more freely
and much, much higher. They were enjoying the free-
dom of their May holiday weekend in simplicity
and earthliness. Good for them …
.
.
Here then are few parting photoshots of Southampton
(shown below) for you of the classic customs building at
the Royal Pier and one of several luxury boats I saw with
the one here so registered in the Bahamas, I noticed,
and was moored at the Ocean Marina near Gate 4.
.


.
.
So goodbye Southampton and be of good cheer.
Truly, Uncle Monty.
+Sunday after Ascension, 2oo8.