Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Friday, June 5, 2009


This week’s quote:-

After the age of eighty, you seem to be having breakfast every five minutes. (Christopher Fry)



DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS some newspapers have been publishing clerihews.
Perhaps, like me, you weren’t familiar with the term. I’ve discovered that they were named after the novelist and humorist Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) who produced the first one. And this is it -

Sir Humphrey Davy
Was not fond of gravy,
He lived in odium
Of having discovered sodium.

It’s usually biographical with the subject’s name taking up all of Line 1. The 4 lines are irregular in length, line 1 rhymes with line 2, and 3 rhymes with 4.

Here are another two of Bentley’s -

George the Third
Ought never to have occurred,
One can only wonder
At so grotesque a blunder.

Sir Christopher Wren
Said “I’m going to dine with some men,
If anyone calls
Say I’m designing St.Paul’s.

Now, you’ll understand that I just had to have a go - so this is my effort -

Tony Blair
Didn’t care,
He caused ruction
With weapons of mass destruction.

If you’d like to try you hand at clerihews, let me have them. They’d be included in future blogs, anonymously if you wish.



THE CELEBRATION OF COMMUNION has always been extremely important in the Scottish Church, but I’ve been surprised to learn how it was conducted in the 18th century.

What is known as the Communion Season today usually begins with a Preparatory Service on Friday night, ending with a Thanksgiving Service on Sunday evening.

In the old days however everything began on the Thursday which was called the Fast Day. No work was done and church attendance was compulsory.

The following day essential work could be done, but at midday there was a church service which could drag on through the afternoon.

Saturday was the day when everyone was expected to prepare themselves seriously for taking communion, and the streets of the town were usually deserted.

On Sunday no work of any kind could be done, not even bringing water from the well. Church attendances were so big that often the service had to be held outside. Of course we’ve got to remember that many of the congregation would have come from outside the town, and there would be some, having travelled many miles, would make a day of it in Kirkintilloch.

In the 20th century the Scottish church was very much involved in anti-drink propaganda, and so it’s interesting to learn that two centuries earlier pubs did a roaring trade in food and drink at Communion time. Old records show that drunkenness over those few days was a big problem.


Sorrows of Werther by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

Werther had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
And a moral man was Werther,
And, for all the wealth of Indies,
Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter.


Abraham Solomon (1823-1862) was a painter who specialised in Victorian social scenes. Both his sister and brother were painters as well.

The first of the paintings below shows a young man chatting up a girl in a railway carriage, her father having fallen asleep. When the painting was shown, it caused quite a scandal, because it was improper for a young couple to be engaged talking together in such an intimate way.

So great was the row over it that Solomon painted the scene again, and, as you can see, everything is completely respectable.


I love this next clip, which takes me back more than 70 years!!!


Cartoons used to end with “That’s all, folks”, and that is all for today’s blog.

Don’t forget to visit my Quiet Corner -


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