Two interesting snippets of information that caught my eye in last week’s Athens News. ‘More than 2000 Orthodox Christian fundamentalists converged in Syntagma Square in central Athens on February 6 to protest the government plans to issue new electronic ID cards which, they say, includes the number 666, the “Number of the Beast” as described in the Book of Revelation (Shades of “The Omen”). The demonstrators were joined by a far right group!’ Of course, naturally, only to be expected, anything for the chance of a dust-up. I’m only surprised windows weren’t broken and a few cars vandalised or set on fire. That’ll show them.
‘All purchases over 1500 euros must be made using a credit card, a debit card or a personal cheque, according to new measures included in the new tax laws which will take effect as of April 1. The new law also provides that in cases of companies or professionals the measure will be effective for transactions above 3000 euros.’ The question I ask is, suppose you want to buy a car, minimum price about 9000 euro, and you do not have a credit or a debit card and the banks are no longer accepting cheques, what happens then? Greek banks have always been more than bit dubious about handling cheques. Such a thing as a personal chequebook is unknown. Presumably the bank might issue its own cheque on your behalf. I read that banks in the UK are now being just as stupid, expecting payments to be paid electronically. They never take into account there are those who simply might not have this facility.
Christopher’s cousin has sent us (well to him actually for his birthday) DVDs of ‘Sunday Night At The London Palladium’ so we’ve been having a rare old time watching those, going all the way back to the fifties and weren’t there some simply naff acts around including pop singers of the day? Adam Faith, Cliff Richard, pretty boys with charming personalities and simply no talent. Adam Faith had the most peculiar way of saying ‘baby.’ It came out as something like ‘boybai!’ Of course with Faith all the girls in the audience screamed themselves hoarse and with Richard all the elderly ladies creamed their knickers. He was to elderly ladies what Judy Garland was to gays. ‘This can’t be Kansas, Toto!’ Douglas wants to know what would have happened if Dorothy and friends had followed the red brick road instead of the yellow. Apart from the dancers and the singers and naff comedians whose jokes went down like lead balloons there were any number of what can only be called tumbling acts, two to five people doing unbelievable things with their own and other people’s bodies, especially the poor girls being thrown about like so many sacks of potatoes. What happened to all these acts when shows and venues like the Palladium were no more? Of course amongst the dross there were some real entertainers. Larry Grayson is still a hoot to watch and there was a marvellous evening during the Equity strike at the time when Bruce Forsyth and Norman Wisdom did the whole evening on their tod. That took real talent. One young pop artist who did impress was Allan Stewart who I see on the internet is still going strong. As a soloist he is fortunate enough to be able to perform at private functions.
And so to my news – my novel “Angel” that Douglass entered for the Commonwealth Literature Competition 2010 got absolutely nowhere, not even making it to the short list. I can’t say I am all that surprised. I have never in my entire life won anything from a competition and I see no reason why my luck should change at this late stage of the game. They say you can’t win ‘em all. With me it’s a case of you can’t win ‘em at all.