Well, here we are again, happy as can be, all good pals and jolly good company. I wonder how many times that catchy little ditty was heard in the good old days at Britain’s popular seaside resorts with their Punch and Judy shows, still there but cleaned up by the politically correct so as not the alarm or put violent thoughts into the heads of little kiddies, concert parties, bands, deck chairs, buckets and spades, sticks of rock and candy floss, penny arcades and saucy postcards, and which are evidently becoming popular once again as Britains take stay at home holidays rather than venture to Costa Packet and other exotic places. Air fares now being what they are that is the first hurdle to overcome. Once upon a time you bought your ticket and that was it. You boarded your plane and flew to your destination. Now when bargain flights are advertised watch out for the hidden extras. There are airport taxes, fuel surcharges, payment demanded for luggage and no more free food and drink. Ryanair is even thinking of charging you to go to the loo.
Anyway here I am, wise, witty, and urbane… that’s a god word I wonder what it means… back by popular demand as they used to say, might still say it and whoever they are. My sabbatical has been cut short by my millions of fans worldwide insisting I start writing again. Well, when I say millions that’s not too much of an exaggeration, it’s three actually: one in Germany, one in the United States and one in England.
So what has been happening in the world during my cut-short vacation? (Only kidding, guys. I’m flattered really that you should miss me so much). Well why not start with the weather? That a very good place to start as Julie would sing. The summer has been the hottest I can remember, truly uncomfortable and dangerous and, as I went down with heatstroke in the beginning through my own stupidity I have left the cool of the house only when necessary. It was an experience I would not want to repeat. But in smog bound Moscow evidently, due to the one hundred or more peat fires surrounding the city and which seem impossible to extinguish, since the start of the heat wave the daily death toll has virtually doubled, from about 350 to 700 and the morgue is getting dangerously full. The wheat crop is failing and that is not good news as the price rockets and bread etcetera gets more expensive. The tornado season has hit the states, in China there was been the worst flooding for years and in Pakistan half the country is under water and still the rain continues. So what’s it all about, Alfie? No doubt someone somewhere will put it down to global warming and would it be beyond reasonable doubt to think that human beings swarming over the planet like ants with no thought for the future might just have something to do with it?
But enough already. Next time on to more pleasurable subjects… hopefully… though I am quite sure I will find something to rant about starting with the Greeks shooting themselves in the foot.
Urbane… characterised by wit and sophistication. Isn’t intuition wonderful?