Complaints have been made recently about a ‘straight’ actor
being cast as a ‘gay’ character. There are ‘so many gay actors, why couldn’t
one of them have been offered the role?’This is political correctness, or sensitivity, or equality, or whatever
else one could call it, gone stark raving bonkers. Using this argument, one could insist that
only straight men should be cast as straight men, or train drivers as train
drivers, soldiers as soldiers, paedophiles as paedophiles.
Aren’t they all actors? And isn’t the whole point of being an
actor that he or she should inhabit and symbolise the character being presented?
I don’t know what letter of the alphabet represents you –
there are so many nowadays – L,G,B,Q,T for example. How about adding a few
more? F for Fed up, D for Disinterested, HTWIWB for Happy The Way I Was Born,
GINGUITCW for Glad I’m Not Growing Up In This Confused World.
While on the subject, or one associated with it, there are
people being given gender assignment or reassignment surgery on the NHS, the
much loved and now elderly and creaking public service available ‘free at the
point of delivery’ in the UK. I have some issues with that surgery being
offered although I appreciate there is a very small minority of people truly
troubled by the belief that they have been assigned the wrong sex at birth. See this fascinating TED talk by Paula Stone Williams.
what I really cannot stomach is the complaints that have been made by a few
that they are unhappy with the results and want them reversed (!) or improved
(bigger breasts, for example, because the recipient is suffering mental stress.)
I will write a post about the NHS another day.
For now, I will finish this by stating that I will never call
myself ‘cis’. I am a female (and yes, I am
becoming a Grumpy Old Woman, but better to be a GOW than a COW!)
From Wikipedia: Cisgender (often abbreviated to
simply cis) is a term for
people whose gender identity matches the sex that they
were assigned at birth. Cisgender may also be
defined as those who have "a gender identity or perform a gender role
society considers appropriate for one's sex". It is the opposite of
the term transgender.
Entropy Gang’s August 2018 blog (Clicking on the photos enlarges them . . . usually)
Herschel: It’s more than a year since Zula joined
the family. She’s still tiny but very determined. She loves the GARDEN. To our
sorrow, not many birds venture into the GARDEN these days.
Jellicoe: The MASTER calls me the assassin. I’m the smallest
of my brothers but probably the quickest. This year I’ve caught a rat, a mouse
and a young blackbird. I was told off for the blackbird but the MASTER and the
MAID were quite pleased with me for keeping down the rat population.
Jellicoe up high on the arch and watching . . .
Isambard: I’m still not very interested in hunting, though my
attention was attracted by a fly the other day. Lenny is the hunter of
butterflies and dragonflies. He eats the butterflies.
Herschel: The butterflies have been coming into the
conservatory. They laid eggs and the caterpillars from the eggs ate the plants.
Jellicoe: Lenny spends a lot of time with us. He’s still a bit
frightened of Zula. He sleeps next to the MAID’S pillow and I sleep between her
and the MASTER.
Isambard: I always sleep on the MAID’S feet and Herschel lies on
the MASTER’S legs but he spent all night in the gymnasium the other night.
Herschel: Yes, I went to keep the MASTER company
while he was exercising. I must have been asleep when he left and he didn’t see
Jellicoe: The MAID was in the garden (not hanging out the clothes) when she heard him miaouing and
rattling the door handle, so she let him out but he wasn’t cross or hungry.
Isambard: It’s a good thing it wasn’t during the Very Hot Weather
but the MASTER didn’t go in the gym then.
Herschel: No, he concentrated on swimming. We like
to join him in the pool, not in the water, you understand, just watching.
Jellicoe: Solomon and Zula spend long days in the garden. Zula
drinks from the pond. When she was very small she trod on the water weed,
thinking it was grass, and fell in and got wet. She hasn’t done that again.
Isambard: Solomon and Lenny have been scratching a lot. Poor
Solomon had to wear a body suit to stop him scratching. Then he went to the VET
to be tested for things that might make him itch.
Herschel: They’re called ALLERGIES and it turns out
he’s allergic to NINETEEN different things.
Jellicoe: Now he has to go to the VET for injections to
DESENSITISE (that’s a long word!) DESENSITISE
Isambard: Then Lenny will have to be tested. We don’t have to go to
the VET. We’re strong Ocicats.
Herschel: Oh, oh, I had to go to the VET recently. I
cut my back foot. The VET said I had severed one tendon and half-severed
another. The MASTER and the MAID don’t know how I did it.
Jellicoe: They think he might
have done it in the garage. He likes to go mousing in there.
Isambard: But now he’s only allowed in there for short periods and
Lenny isn’t allowed at all.
Herschel: That’s for a different reason. (whispers) It’s because he uses it as a litter
tray, even though we’ve got lots of litter trays as well as the GARDEN.
Jellicoe: We still love the dogs, especially Bertie and Roxy.
Zula loves the DOGS, too, but I don’t think Solomon and Lenny are quite so
Herschel sleeps on Bertie
Jellicoe shares Roxy's bed
Isambard: I’ve seen Lenny rubbing round the DOGS sometimes, but not
Solomon. It’s us three brothers who love them the most. It’s funny to remember
how frightened we were when we first saw them.
Herschel: Time to go now. The DOGS are going out for
a walk soon. How funny! WE don’t have to be taken out for walks.
Jellicoe: It’s been very quiet at home. Frankie, the small SERVANT,
has been away on holiday. He’s coming home on Friday.
Isambard: I like Frankie. I like to scramble onto his lap and he
likes that. Zula is his little cat and she sleeps under his bed every night. TTFN.
Barry is usually to be found behind a camera whenever we have a family gathering or go
out. This means that for most of their young lives our children, grandchildren
and now our great grandchildren, were only able to recognise him if he had a
camera in front of his face.
As the curator of the family archive, spending hours
cataloguing the hundreds of photos Barry takes, it began to bother me that
there were very few photos of him.
However, there are occasions on which it is possible to
extract an image of him. The first one here is taken from an image caught in Callum's sunglasses on a recent sailing trip.
The second is taken from Kat's sunglasses. Kat is Callum's girl-friend.
Sometimes, though, he is the subject. iPhones can be very useful! Thank you, Callum.
This is my
retelling of a story in our local community magazine. Clicking on the photos will enlarge them - usually.
Walking along a quiet road I passed a house which had a sign
tacked to the tree by the path. It said, ‘Talking Dog for Sale.’ I was
intrigued so I rang the bell. The man who came to the door told me his dog was called
James and he was in the back garden. He invited me to go and see him.
I found a beautiful Dalmatian sitting on the grass. I said, ‘I
hear you can talk. Is that right?’
‘Yes,’ said James and wagged his tail.
I was very excited and asked him to tell me his story.
James yawned and scratched his ear then said, ‘Well, I discovered
I could talk when I was just a pup. I wanted to help the government so I asked
my owner and he approached MI5 for me. They were very interested and in no time
at all I was travelling all over the world, sitting in rooms with world
leaders, eavesdropping. No-one took any notice of me, other than to give me a
few titbits. After all, who would suspect me of being a spy, even though my
name was James?’
I could hardly believe my ears but James had more to say.
‘I was MI5’s most valuable spy for eight years but I was
getting tired of being on the move all the time and I wanted to settle down so I
applied for a job at Heathrow. I did undercover security work there, observing
suspicious characters and listening, always listening. I thwarted some major
plots and alerted the police and customs to some serious crimes. I was awarded
many medals, for bravery, for initiative, for being the best in my sphere of
expertise. I was very proud. After I left Heathrow I met my wife and had some
puppies and now I simply enjoy my retirement.’
I was amazed and decided I would love to have James. I asked
his owner how much he was asking for the dog.
I was astonished when he said, ‘Ten pounds.’
‘Why are you selling him so cheaply? He’s an incredible dog.’
The owner smiled and said, ‘He exaggerates. He’s never even
been out of the garden.’
The story, of course, is not true, but it gave me an excuseto post some photos of the late, great Frodo the Faller, my velcro dog.
While walking in Simons Wood one day last week we noticed a coloured
pebble in a tree. Clearly it had been placed there deliberately. We examined it and were curious but thought little more about it. A few days later we saw a few
more painted pebbles and then met a fellow dog walker and her little girl. They
told us about Wokingham Rocks.
On their website they say, ‘This is a 'just
for fun' community art activity where you can paint what you like on rocks and
hide them around Wokingham.’
has added a new dimension to our walks! It is fun for children and adults alike
to paint and hide their works of ‘art’ and I think it’s something Frankie might
like to try. We shall see!
Some have been painted by children, others by adults. On the back they have 'Wokingham Rocks', the date and a link to the Facebook group page.
I never complain about the cold weather when the sun shines for
surely everything and everyone feels better then? Our weather can and does
change very quickly some days and behaves in contrary fashion to the meteorological
prediction. We can set out in bright sunshine, believing that because rain has
not been forecast there will be none. On many occasions we are caught out.
On this occasion it threatened but did not deliver
It makes little difference to the dogs. They may not care to venture into the garden when rain is falling but the woods and forests are a different matter.
We regularly walk in Simons Wood.
It is full of ancient trees, some gnarled and twisted, some ramrod striaght.
Silver birch bark
Which way is North?
The dogs often find a ball., thoughtfully left behind by another dog. Here Bertie is holding it and Gus and Roxy want it . . .
Bertie drops it and Roxy gets it!
Bertie says, 'Which way are we going now?' Jenna waits patiently.
One might be forgiven for feeling one is being watched. Can you see the faces in the following photos?
Fungi are abundant and often very colourful.
Almost the first thing Roxy does when we reach the woods is to pick up a stick. Sometimes, as below, she finds a ball. A ball outranks a stick every time . . .
In the following photos she is brandishing a fair-sized branch and her hackles are up though no strange dog is near her.
Back to the car and then home and - eventually - supper!