Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nearer my God to Thee

100 years ago, on April 15th 1912, RMS Titanic sank with the loss of around 1500 lives. The hymn 'Nearer my God to Thee' would have been the last music they heard. This performance comes from the memorial concert in Maastricht, led by André Rieu. The following appeared in that week's edition of The Spectator:
The appalling loss of life in the 'Titanic' and the story of what is in some ways the most terrible wreck in the history of shipping have not only compelled the emotion of the whole world, but have turned both Great Britain and the United States to wide and solemn searchings of heart. The destruction of the largest ship afloat on her maiden voyage, of a ship reputed to be unsinkable, of a ship followed everywhere with admiring thoughts as the last word in ingenuity, in luxury, and in the impressive accomplishments of science, brings to every thoughtful person a deep sense of powerlessness, of smallness, and humility. Even in these moments of crushing personal sorrow one is conscious — perhaps only to deepen the sorrow — of the overwhelming reverses of human confidence. One thinks of the flattering tales of the immensity of this pride of the ocean, with her restaurants and cafes and sun-parlours and Roman baths and racquet court and private suites of cabins; one contemplates the ineffectualness of it all against the great hidden elements of nature and the sudden stroke of fate, and one feels inclined to sit in sackcloth and ashes.
As our boats sink, towers collapse and aeroplanes fall out of the sky, we are occasionally reminded of our impotence and fragility against the forces of nature. While many millions more lives are lost in earthquake, tsunami and famine, it is the few thousands which can be attributed to man's flawed ingenuity and industry which haunt the memory. Here we are, a century on from the 9/11 of the era, reading out the names of those who perished, just as we do every September 11th with those who died in the World Trade Center attrocity. Some will dismiss it as sentimental tosh: few know and even fewer care about the names which are recited, for they mean very little or nothing to most. But in the secular ritual we see humanity reaching out to cope with his own smallness and inadequacy in the face of evil and suffering, and to apologise for his own hubris to the face of God. And that, just occasionally, can be a healthy pursuit.


Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. The Inspector is planning to introduce a white paper with the help of a few sympathetic MPs. To be called ‘The Mentioning of the Titanic Act 2012’. It will make it a criminal offence to utter another word about that blasted ship, with a hefty fine as forfeit. It will also provide mandatory imprisonment for any film producer preparing to make yet another documentary on the subject...

15 April 2012 at 11:09  
Blogger Joe Daniels said...

I would say that the outbreak of WWI, rather than the Titanic, was "the 9/11 of the era"; Titanic was merely symptomatic of the hubris of the time, visited by a nemesis that had been warned of many times. And here we are again, iceberg at our hull, with many of our politicians denying even now that immigration and Islamicisation could sink Europe.

15 April 2012 at 11:14  
Blogger creditplumber said...

With the greatest respect, as a former underwriter of man-made and natural catastrophes, the term "flawed ingenuity" is understandable yet considerably demotes the role of the selfish gene that influences human behaviour and decision-making.

There are many lessons to be taken from anthropogenic (non-war) catastrophes of the last 100 years. The Titanic, Aberfan, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Bhopal, Piper-Alpha, Exxon-valdez and The Gulf of Mexico oil spill are a few of them, without forgetting the global financial crisis whose dangerous seas we are all trying to navigate. These are not outcomes which resulted from "honest" mistakes, though we like to convince ourselves, sanctimoniously often, that we're all driven by the highest moral standards. Rather they are "flaws" created by the opportunity, legal means and 'selfish' motives that can drive negative economic outcomes. Perhaps instead of calling them flaws (and wishing to avoid the use of the word 'blame') there is an important debate regarding the clear link between economic risk taking that creates individual wealth at society's cost. This is best seen right now in the debate taking place regarding executive remuneration. I recommend the book by Alexander McCall-Smith "Errors, Medicine and the Law" that addresses thoughtfully the "blame" boil that is damaging our society's ability to move on and which needs lancing. One hundred years after Captain Edward Smith went down with his ship, it is perhaps wrong to talk of economic progress without understanding its influence on the clear moral regression that has taken place over that time.

15 April 2012 at 11:33  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

It is right and proper that such events are recalled.

Mind you , we may also do well to put the sycophantic religious musings into perspective , by reminding ourselves of Rod Flanders("The Simpsons")prayer :
"Thank you God for sending Lisa to protect us from the moth WHICH YOU SENT".

15 April 2012 at 11:53  
Blogger IanCad said...

Truly a beautiful rendition YG, but I must confess Joseph Conrad's remark that it is, "Music to get drowned by," keeps springing to mind.

15 April 2012 at 12:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

Magnificent, Your Grace. The Titanic disaster was and is a superb metaphor for the human condition.

15 April 2012 at 13:06  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

You have become increasingly irritable in your recent posts. May I suggest you take a female companion? She will divert all your attention and relieve those insidious tensions.

As His Grace says, there are times we need to remember our frailty and that we are not in command of all that we see and do.

15 April 2012 at 13:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Inspector regrets you see it that way, Integrity old chap. It’s his unique style you see, plus a lot of ‘says what he thinks, likes what he says’. He does have a lady friend of late, which he regularly chases around the lounge in true Benny Hill style. Do you think that might have something to do with it ?

15 April 2012 at 13:55  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

It is an interesting debate as to why we expend such disproportionate amounts of our emotional energy on one particular human disaster more then another.

I would hope that when we learn of any other human being dying in unfortunate and often painful circumstances around the globe, our own innate sense of empathy with our fellow creations kicks in.

We now exist in a world of 24 hour news. A system that can bring us 'live' news of death and disaster around the world, that not so long ago we could only barely imagine taking place at all.

However we did not need to as a general rule, because back then painfully premature death and human disaster surrounded just about everyone.

Public collectivist displays of emotion are dodgy affairs at best. They do little else but remind us all of our own vulnerability to misfortune, and therefore reinforce our sense of fear.

As we know the only thing really worth fearing, is fear itself.

15 April 2012 at 15:02  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 April 2012 at 15:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The enduring image of Titanic is of the men who acted with selfless courage knowing full well their remaining life span was measured in minutes. It is the Engineers who stayed at their post and kept the lights on to the last. It is the Wireless Operator who kept transmitting until he waves were at the door. It is the officers and men who worked tirelessly to put as many people into boats as possible. It is the father who looked at his children and said "I'll be along on the next boat" and the mother who heard the lie and said nothing for the sake of those same children. It is the orchestra that played to the very end. It is a vision of men facing a hideous inevitable death with eyes wide open. That is why the ship still fascinates to this day.

It is an interesting counter-factual to wonder what would have happened if Titanic had hit the ice berg today. Feminists bleat about the patronization inherent in "Women and children first." Modern ship's crews seem disposed to take to the boats and leave the passengers to fend for themselves. It wouldn't surprise me to think that in these modern times strong men would push aside women and children and take the boats for themselves. As the king writes: "Better a living dog than a dead lion." One wonders what we have lost, and why we have lost it.

100 years ago as I write, there was still broad hope that the ship had not foundered; that all were still alive and the Titanic was under tow to Halifax. It was all illusion. The dead already littered the ocean floor, their private tails of private courage and private sacrifice never to be told. Except of course for the God who knows them and remembers the places to which they were scattered. How terrible for those who had no hope, but only the prospect of an icy forgotten grave at the bottom of the ocean. What must they have thought as they stood on the deck of that ship, and heard the orchestra play music that for them had no meaning at all?


15 April 2012 at 15:27  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Good on yer.

15 April 2012 at 15:30  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: As with prevailing present-day tragedy (euSSR, etc), this story recalls for me the desert, the fates of empires - and:

I met a Traveler from an antique land,
Who said, "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

(Shelley, Percy Bysshe; "Ozymandias." The Examiner. London, 1818)
[[Stone-Age Goat-herders' reality? ...]]

15 April 2012 at 16:11  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

For goodness sake it wasn't the only ship to sink with people on board. All this public weeping and wailing over long dead people and old tragedies achieves nothing. I'm depressed enough now as it is without sobbing over strangers' misfortune. The Inspector did make me chuckle I agree with him.

The ship was amazing for its time but didn't it spur engineers on to build better and safer ships. I marvel at the achievements of today thanks to the mistakes and tragedies of the past.

15 April 2012 at 17:51  
Blogger Penn's Woods, USA said...

Tomorrow, April 16, is the 67th anniversary of the sinking of the German troop transport and former cruise ship the Goya by a Soviet submarine with the loss of over 7,000 lives. Most were civilians escaping the approaching Red Army in East Prussia.The ship was full of civilians crammed into every available space in many areas standing room only. The greatest loss of life ever in a maritime disaster was the sinking of another German troop transport ship in the Baltic Sea, the Wilhelm Gustloff, on the night of January 30,1945. The Gustloff was also sunk by a Soviet submarine with a loss of over 11,000 lives, again mostly civilians. No Hollywood movies will ever be made about these two ships sinking in less than an hour in the stormy Baltic Sea because of the nation they belonged. I like to think a band was playing "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott..." while these ships went down. Sadly they both sank within an hour so I doubt this ever happened amidst the terror and chaos. The Titanic was a terrible disaster. It was, however, an "act of God" on a ship that was called "unsinkable". The Gustloff and the Goya were acts of mass murder.

15 April 2012 at 19:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Penn's Woods. Tragic events indeed. Regrettably, when analysing the casualty list of that war, those figures just get thrown in with the rest of the millions...

15 April 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger Roy said...

Carl jacobs reminded us of the heroism of many of the people on the Titanic and asked what would happen in similar circumstances today? I shudder to think.

Undoubtedly there are brave people in today's Britain. The performance of many soldiers (not just men but also women) in Afghanistan show that even though, thanks largely to politicians but possibly also to some careerist officers, the performance of the army in Afghanistan and Iraq has been disappointing in some ways.

I am sure that there are still brave people among British civilians. Unfortunately they seem to becoming rarer in occupations where courage might be expected.

What on earth would anyone who risked or sacrificed his life on the Titanic think of a fire service or a police force where people are not allowed to wade into a pond to rescue a drowning person?

There have been several cases of that sort in the past few years. In some the people on the scene wanted to go to the aid of the person(s) they should have rescued but were ordered not to by senior offices. Why the hell didn't they do what Nelson would have done and turn a blind eye to such despicable orders and simply do their duty?

The excuse only obeying orders was rejected by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Why was it brought back under New Labour and why on earth is it still being tolerated by the Coalition government?

Nobody wants members of the fire service, police etc. or members of the general public to risk their lives unnecessarily but in the cases I was referring to people would have been at greater risk swimming in a calm sea on a summer day than they would have been if they had tried to rescue the people who died.

In the Britain of even 30 years ago such cases would never have occurred. If some boss had forbidden his men to go to the aid of someone drowning in a pond the men would have thought the boss had obviously completely lost his mind and would have ignored him. Afterwards the boss would have been sacked and probably committed to a lunatic asylum.

Today the lunatics are running the system. Many newspapers and the BBC thing that is quite normal, and our politicians seem to agree with them.

15 April 2012 at 20:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Roy. To be fair to our emergency services, the Inspector suggests that the warnings about the staff risking their lives was more to do with these concerns obtaining insurance than any other consideration. Also, in the debts of his memory, was there not a case of a rescued individual who suffered brain damage suing his rescuers employers ?

15 April 2012 at 21:08  
Blogger William said...

I joined the police in 1965. At that time it was a requirement that all officers be able to swim, and the more accomplished were trained in lifesaving. I was already quite a strong swimmer and had the RLSS Bronze Medallion. During initial training I gained a bar to the Bronze Medallion, the Bronze Cross and the Award of Merit, the last probably being at the limit of my ability and very difficult, involving a simulated rescue of a struggling person in deep water whilst dressed.
I state this not in any sense of 'blowing my own trumpet'. About 5 years later, I was despatched one day to the (tidal) River Wear upstream from Sunderland where a 9 year old boy non-swimmer had fallen off a rope swing on the bank. He landed in the water but was fortunately able to scramble on to a large rock not far from the water's edge. The tide was coming in and the rock would have been submerged at high tide. The bank was very steep and it would have been dangerous to try to enter the water at that point. I went along the bank to a disused wharf and went in there. The water was waist-deep and I was able to get to the rock and lift the boy off. On the way back I dropped into a hole and went completely under. From the training I had,I knew what to do and that meant having to swim on my back with the boy supported on my chest in the approved fashion. I had taken off my jacket, boots and tie but was otherwise fully dressed. We both safely reached the wharf, but what I had assumed would be a piece of cake turned into a 'proper' rescue.
My point here is that without the training and competency I had, we could both have been in considerable danger.
So far as I am aware, police recruits are not now required to be able to swim and not taught lifesaving nor entered for RLSS awards.
We can deplore this, but that's the way things are now. Water is dangerous. You can never see what's under there, whether it be deep holes, strong currents, entangling weed, sharp objects or whatever. Drowning people will grab at rescuers too in desperation so you have to be prepared to be fairly forceful if necessary.
I know it can seem ludicrous when strong healthy men are told not to enter what seems to be an innocuous stretch of water and I'm not saying I agree with it, but there are two sides to this and an untrained person can get into trouble even in shallow water.

15 April 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

A terrible event your grace, a terrible event.

15 April 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

What utter rubbish!
"Titanic" was out-of-date when it was launched.
Triple-expansion compound engines & ONE low-pressure turbine.
As opposed to just turbines.
Look up RMS Aquitab=nia - whihc I was lucky enough to see, on her way to the breakers

15 April 2012 at 22:24  
Blogger Peter Melia said...

Your Grace has sparked off some interesting comments with this titanic post.
I notice that there appear to be some marine professionals, to which camp I add myself, who opine, firmly, that the Titanic sinking does not merit the attention it receives. Recently I read that the fellow who had discovered the wreck was now proposing that it be preserved as some sort of world heritage site!
As some of your excellent commenters have said, there are several ship sinkings with far greater loss of life than Titanic. There are also many cases of ships much, much bigger than Titanic, going down, think mv Derbyshire.
Not a soul has mentioned the Costa Concordia, which although having scarcely any fatalities (only{!} 29 dead!) was in fact technically a much worse incident than the “T”. The Concordia was the result of 100 years of international naval architecture safety research and yet it went down in a manner uncannily similar to the “T”, which was, a contact with a hard immovable underwater object, even to the extent that both ships struck on their port side! Reflect that if Concordia had sunk only a mile or two further off the coast, the loss of life could well have equalled or excelled the “T”!
Consider also, recently a complex technical study (SOLAS 2009 – “Raising the Alarm” Dracos Vassalos) was issued which concluded that modern passenger ship design was inherently unsafe, despite massive efforts at improving safety, by virtue of the huge increase in the number of small compartments formed by the subdivisions. This report was, of course, virtually totally ignored by the MSM.
So I think it fair to say that in the opinion of maritime experts, the Titanic commemorations have no merit, save for those interested in profiting from the incident.
It is time the “T” thing was switched off, having surely outlived it’s commercially useful life. Let us have no more of it. We should save our kindnesses for the Next Big Disaster, which will surely arrive soon. Perhaps if MSM could get themselves interested in the new report, then the NBD might not, mercifully, be a ship.
Peter Melia

15 April 2012 at 22:26  
Blogger Peter Melia said...

Oops, I had my ports & starboards mixed up!
Of course Titanic struck on starboard side, Concordia struck port side, (but actually capsized to starboard).
This is a poor excuse for sloppiness, sorry.

15 April 2012 at 22:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tingey, you lunatic. A web search by the Inspector has revealed you to be in the education sector. For Christ’s sake, you shouldn’t be allowed out alone !

15 April 2012 at 22:49  
Blogger Penn's Woods, USA said...

The fact that the White Star Line employees on the Titanic did not panic, cause alarm, and were polite and helpful to the passengers until the last moment of their lives that fateful night represents the very best that is the character of the British people.

15 April 2012 at 23:18  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

I think we have abandoned the concept of sacrifice in the modern world.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

There was a time people went into public service to serve the public.

15 April 2012 at 23:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Penn’s Woods Regarding you earlier post. Was on Baltic ferries on holiday a few years back. It was March and there was sea ice in the harbours even then. Anyone in the water would have had mere minutes before final unconsciousness took over...

15 April 2012 at 23:51  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Penn's Wood

You are right about the loss of life on the two ships torpedoed by the Soviets. Even so, there is a difference. Those ships were torpedoed in the course of a War. There was a much greater quantifiable risk associated with travel on those ships.

The pathos of Titanic is found in the contrast between the expectation of safety and the reality of death. There was no war. No one on the Titanic had any significant expectation of danger until early in the morning of April 15. There was no mortal injury save to the vessel that kept them all alive. And then the ship sank slowly enough such that those who would be left behind to face their fate knew time existed to save their lives, but not the means. This is the why people return to this story again and again. It is the image of 1500 people calmly watching rescue float away, all the while knowing that within 45 minutes they will be most certainly dead.

Ordinary people might not be able to identify with the tragedy of war, but they can identify with the helplessness of being trapped on a ship in the middle of the ocean with no way off. Of watching your wife and children disappear over the side knowing you will never see them again. Of sitting in a life boat, and hearing the awful moan of the doomed in the water, and knowing one of the voices contributing to that moan is that of your husband. It is hearing that moan slip into silence and knowing your husband is dead. It is the dreadful proximity of death that without warning presents itself in the midst of apparent safety that makes Titanic inescapable.


16 April 2012 at 00:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

G Tingey

"Titanic" was out-of-date when it was launched.

1. The sum total of a ship is not found in its engines.

2. A ship properly takes the feminine pronoun. She is never an 'it.'


16 April 2012 at 00:27  
Blogger Penn's Woods, USA said...

How far was the Titanic from the iceberg after it struck it and came to a stop? Could life boats have ferried people to it if it wasn't far and at least one side of it was not a wall of ice and had a "beach"? A long time ago I seem to recall a photo taken by either someone on the Carpathian or another ship of that murderous iceberg.It would be interesting to see if this photo exits and "if" lives could have been saved in this way. It's just a thought.

16 April 2012 at 03:25  
Blogger len said...

The 'real nature' of people comes out when under life threatening situations.

The were heroes and cowards on the Titanic as there are in similar

They were'all in it together'but some received preferential treatment.

Many parallels with our present situation?.

16 April 2012 at 07:22  
Blogger bluedog said...

Shiver me timbers, ‘tis our old shipmate Cap’n Tingey coming alongside to deliver a broadside.

At 22.24 he thundered, ‘"Titanic" was out-of-date when it was launched.
Triple-expansion compound engines & ONE low-pressure turbine.
As opposed to just turbines.
Look up RMS Aquitania.

So being a good seadog, this communicant did just that. Oh dear, just another detestable proposition, it seems.

RMS Aquitania, like her near sisters Mauretania and Lusitania was built with the same steam plant and power plant as the contemporaneous battleship HMS Dreadnaught. Why? So they could become Armed Merchant Cruisers in time of war. Indeed, these ships even had stiffened scantlings (belay there, Inspector) for the mounting of six inch guns. Titanic had no such pretensions and did not benefit from an Admiralty grant, unlike the three Cunaders who burned copious quantities of expensive oil rather than coal. No, Titanic was designed to turn a profit rather than cut a naval dash. Don’t you think it’s important to compare like with like, Cap’n?

16 April 2012 at 09:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ahoy that Blue Seadog, Inspector’s craft coming alongside....

The Inspector would like to know of a chandlers where he can purchase a set of ‘scantlings’. Would like to surprise and delight a lady in his life, don’t you know.

You’ve thrown that pirate Tingey in the bilge, one sees. Allow the Inspector to ready the yard arm...

Rule Britannia !

16 April 2012 at 09:56  
Blogger bluedog said...

Avast there, Inspector, keelhaul the scurvy varmint, and his confounded parrot Squawkin' Dawkins.

Be some fine scantlings in the boutiques along the waterfront in Port o'Spain, they do say!

16 April 2012 at 10:31  
Blogger Preacher said...

Much to ponder from the comments on this tragic event. One thought is that when we least expect it our end may come. Jesus spoke about the man who built barns & later sat back to enjoy his wealth but had no thought for his eternal destiny, "You fool, tonight your very soul is required of you!". It's a sobering thought, but one we can't dismiss by wishing it was not true. I believe that the last 'survivor' of the disaster has now passed away, it should cause us all to reflect on our own mortality while there is still time.
Most of the people of that time were raised with a strong Christian faith that enabled them to face the inevitable with hope & courage, at a time of crisis. I believe that the Christian faith is the only one to offer proof of survival after death by the resurrection of Jesus Christ after suffering a public execution at the hands of his enemies. This is what strengthened many of the heroes on that awful night.
How many of us know when or how our end will come? How many who have marvelled at the sunrise this morning will see it set at dusk?. Why do so many resist an invitation of a loving God to find an eternal life of light & joy instead of one of judgement darkness & loss?.
All those without assured salvation live in the fear of death.
Jesus has done everything necessary for us to be free of this fear, the choice is ours to make.

16 April 2012 at 11:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Penn's Woods, USA

There is a picture of an ice berg that many think caused Titanic to sink. Whether it truly was the ice berg is impossible to say.

Whether men could have actually gained access to an ice berg of that size is difficult to say. A boat might have been able to reach it, but then the survivors would have had to face the question of getting on it and staying on it. The berg itself was as tall as Titanic. It likely would have presented itself as a wall of slippery ice. Plus ice bergs are notoriously unstable. They roll and shift as they melt, and these were ice bergs in the very late stages of an ice berg's life.

Titanic couldn't move itself because the first thing the crew did after the accident was shut down the boilers to prevent a steam explosion from cold water contacted hot metal.


16 April 2012 at 13:49  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector, Bluedog and Carl: but isn't it strangely reassuring that Greg Tingey is consistent across all subject areas? He never lets us down, dear man. Brings a tear to a chap's eye it does.

16 April 2012 at 17:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

He’s a treasure Oswin. And not just consistent, but knowledgeable and insightful in all spheres...

16 April 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector: if I were younger, and faster on my feet, I'd love to share a night-out on the town with old Tingey. It would sure beat having to canoe up the Orinoco in search of adventure!

16 April 2012 at 17:53  
Blogger peggy38 said...

I think the reason Titanic will be long remembered is because of the circumstances of her sailing and her sinking. That combination of circumstances creates a powerful mythic story for this particular liner that other wrecks, however tragic they were, simply do not possess.

I don't think it is silly at all to commemorate the Titanic as long as one doesn't take it too far or too personally. It is a good stand in for all such wrecks on the seas especially those involving passenger ships. My personal practice is to add "and all who have been lost to the sea" to my meditations on the event.

Personally, if I had died in the pitch blackness in freezing temperatures hopelessly far from rescue, I would want someone to remember me and to value my life even if just in passing 100 years later. I would not want to be forgotten. The trajedy of a human death is not diminished by the frequency at which other humans die. The value of a human life is not diminished by time.

16 April 2012 at 17:55  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin said ...
"I'd love to share a night-out on the town with old Tingey."

Ummm ... DanJ0 would be jealous, especially after all the cozying up to him you do - not that I'm suggesting anything untoward, you understand. No, it's just a meeting of minds, I do understand these things.

And what about poor old len? Another little comrade of yours from timeto time. Ah, but then there's his cats. Besides, it couldn't be a Saturday night - the Sabbath, you see.

17 April 2012 at 00:26  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: given a choice, I'd much rather a night-out with Tingey, DanJo and Len, than with certain others. If nowt else. we might make a half decent 'Pub Quiz' team. :o)

17 April 2012 at 15:38  
Blogger len said...

Sounds good to me Oswin.

17 April 2012 at 18:34  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...


Oh how dull and boring! A pub quiz! That's for old men. A good hearty sing song, exchanging jokes and a bit of a jig would be my idea of fun. Followed by an Indian curry, of course.

17 April 2012 at 22:54  
Blogger Oswin said...

Does Mrs. Dodo allow that in your shed?

18 April 2012 at 01:38  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

Of course not! The shed is a place for quite contemplation, doing 'this and that' and tending to my home brew, not riotous celebrations.

18 April 2012 at 13:43  
Blogger Oswin said...

Tsk, you've got the wrong sort of shed old lad!

See, it's being in the garage, with a door onto your kitchen, that's the real problem. You need to remove to the end of the garden; with the fairies etc. ;o)

18 April 2012 at 15:27  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin, my double garage is my oasis! It's located well away from the house and has a shed inside for my 'home brew' - a still constructed by Irish relatives and kept under lock and key. (Do not tell anybody). It has running water, electricy and a stove when I need it; easy chairs, a HiFi and various bits of gubbings. It is my Castle and my private haven! Every man needs one; his den and santuary.

And there are fairies at the bottom of my garden; elfs too. They are charming and wonderful beings. They are sensitive,charming and selective about who they commune with. I speak with them regularly and they tell me fantastic tales.

I do have a normal shed - a boring and mundane set-up for garden tools and such things. It sits alongside the green house.

18 April 2012 at 18:02  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ok, I'm impressed! :o)

18 April 2012 at 19:26  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

My fine fairy friends and elfs are too. They often come in, put their feet up and we share a Guinness. Now thet are demanding I have satellite TV installed!

20 April 2012 at 00:28  
Blogger Oswin said...

Tut! Making free with faeries is ill advised. Remember what happened to 'Thomas the Rhymer'!

The hill range beyond my house is the haunt of the 'Duergar' who lure the unwary, to drown in fathomless mosses, or over limestone precipices.

Whilst the 'Sel' or 'Ainselnith' of the high moors, linns, rills and loughs, mostly avoid contact with humans, they are occasionally drawn to those who would mock them, or enquire too closely into their lives, with unfortunate results! Very rarely, they will reward those they favour; sometimes befriending lonely children.

There is a 'Faery Stone' rising from our burn, where children sit and play, but never alone!

20 April 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger The Way of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin: my little friends are far less complicated. A rather brash crowd. Sounds like you have some real dodgy characters in your neck of the woods.

So far I have seen no Queen of Elfland and, even if I did, I can assure you my wandering days are long gone. (I've known many mortal woman to turn into hags after sharing fleeting pleasure with them).

Have no fear, I have a special fairy appointed to guard me.

20 April 2012 at 18:42  
Blogger Oswin said...

Go on, admit it, you have the 'Krankies' tethered in your shed!

21 April 2012 at 01:54  
Blogger Longinquus Via of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin, now you're just being silly.

21 April 2012 at 14:14  
Blogger Oswin said...

Someone calling himself: ''Longinquus Via of Fais Dodo the Dude'' calls me silly?

21 April 2012 at 16:45  
Blogger Longinquus Via of Fais Dodo the Dude said...

Yes, I agree. I may have to shorten it.

21 April 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Oswin said...

Just a suggestion here, but have you thought of using 'Dodo'?

22 April 2012 at 00:25  

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