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So it’s the end of the summer and the end of the media’s silly season. And while it was quite silly, I’m afraid it simply doesn’t compare to some of the personal silliness I encountered this summer. This included…
Sand in the shoes: silly children
Leading the 7-9-year-olds on a two-week Jewish summer camp yielded so much silliness it’s hard to decide which instance was best. Could it be the girl who insisted on seeing the medic because she had sand in her shoes?
Could it be, “I’m going to do the vowels in red and the continents in blue,”? Or the child who claimed that Orthodox Jews were the ones wearing black headcoverings that only showed their eyes?
The girl who didn’t have a hat so put suncream on her hair? “This is my bin and I’m the only one eating from it,”? The boy who answered the question, “What do you want most in the world?” with “£25.50”?
Who knows. But it was all quite silly.
Losing the thread: silly tapestry
On holiday in Normandy, in the aptly-named Bayeux Tapestry Museum, in a darkened room, an English voice provided audio commentary (suitable for the blind and those who’ve had their eyes poked out by arrows) to the 70-odd metres of embroidery.
From the start, when young ‘William the Bastard’ asked Harold to swear an oath of loyalty (dad asked why he distrusted Harold and mum replied, “They were always stitching each other up,” – no pun intended…), to the end bit when Bishop Odo rode a green horse into battle holding a mace (clergymen were forbidden from drawing blood, but “knocking people senseless,” was entirely acceptable), the tapestry was a real precursor to Tintin, and featured a few scenes set in Sussex which was nice. Though William’s Sussex servants seemed more astute than their modern-day successors.
But there’s still one thing I don’t understand, Inspector…
Shape up: silly jobs
One intriguing business I came across while on the continent was:
Hydrotherapy my foot: silly places
Bagnole is not a spartan spa town. Full of ludicrous spa architecture (‘sparchitecture’) and garishly-painted fairytale towers, its main feature is, surprisingly, a spa. For those people unfortunate enough to be mere visitors, at 6pm every Friday tours are held, so we duly turned up alongside about 60 octogenerians considering treatment.
The whole place was very, very creepy. It looked like a mental hospital, and throughe very door there was a different piece of sinister apparatus: in particular, the “hydrotherapy table,” surrounded by taps and pipes and sluices, looked suspiciously well-suited to waterboarding.
The tour was led by a woman who explained that most of their business came from people who’d been prescribed a spa break by the French national health service – the welfare state meets Jim’ll Fix It – definitely an idea worthy of Jeremy Hunt’s consideration.
Back to the grindstone: silly Sussex
Wot no riots: silly squatters
In August, the government controversially made it a criminal offence to break into someone’s house and live there without the owner’s permission (SO harsh). Unfortunately, this means that the Sussex Politics school’s plans to squat in the shiny new building and keep the Business school out – echoes of 1066 again – are now illegal.
(Although on reflection, it wouldn’t have mattered since Sussex has been known to take out injunctions against its students anyway.)
G dot Campbell
I wasn’t the only one on holiday in France: an old (read ‘ancient’) friend of mine was also there. Though Sir George Campbell has never been too keen on the French; he’s not even impressed by the way they run their Empire:
Sir George was especially pleased to see a strong presence from the Lib Dem Students Society at the Sussex freshers’ fair held on Tuesday. However, he was less than impressed to discover that their massive membership fee of £1 is “payable in twelve monthly installments” (how is that even possible?!) and that they were unable to display a balloon on their stall for more than three minutes without accidentally bursting it.