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Deuteronomy 315/84: 'Tis true .... Godot Came .... April 26th in Scotland .....

… get on with it!. Alison Pearson, a regular columnist in the Daily Telegraph, has suggested we deal with the woke and the delayers by asking: What would Philip have said? As Boris' Road Map is prematurely vindicated by the data both Wales and Scotland have moved their action lines forward but not England. Well, even if Boris can't be proactive with the data sets, we here on this Blog can. It is with the greatest pleasure and foresight that we can announce: Godot Came! No more waiting in hope. The vaccines have broken the links between infections / hospitalisations/ deaths. Infections are reduced as are hospitalisations and even when admitted to hospital death is less likely as treatments to mitigate that outcome have emerged.
Waiting for Godot is Samuel Beckett's play written in French En attendant Godot in which two characters, Vladimir [Didi] and Estragon [Gogo], engage in a variety of discussions and encounters while waiting beneath a tree for Godot, who never arrives. To recap the tale …. Pozzo drags his slave Lucky past on his way for sale in the market later returning blind and his slave dumb. 'The Boy' comes twice to confirm that Godot is not coming but they stay waiting …… The original French text was composed between 9 October 1948 and 29 January 1949 with its premiere directed by Roger Blin on 5 January 1953 at the Théâtre de Babylone in Paris. His English-language translation premiered in London in 1955. In a poll conducted by our Royal National Theatre in 1998/99, it was voted the "most significant English language play of the 20th century".

Being in the face of it … …. A particularly significant production – from Beckett's perspective – took place in Lüttringhausen Prison in Germany. An inmate obtained a copy of the French first edition, translated it himself into German and obtained permission to stage the play on 29 November 1953. He wrote to Beckett in October 1954: "You will be surprised to be receiving a letter about your play Waiting for Godot, from a prison where so many thieves, forgers, toughs, homos, crazy men and killers spend this bitch of a life waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting. Waiting for what? Godot? Perhaps." Beckett was intensely moved and it marked the beginning of Beckett's enduring links with prisons and prisoners … In 1957 it was staged for one night only at the San Quentin State Prison in California, Herbert Blau with the San Francisco Actor's Workshop directing the production with some 1,400 inmates encountering the performance. Beckett later gave Rick Cluchey, a former prisoner from San Quentin, financial and moral support. He played Vladimir in two productions in the former Gallows Room of the San Quentin California State Prison which had been converted into a 65-seat theatre; and like the German prisoner before him, went on to work on a variety of Beckett's plays after his release. Cluchey said "The thing that everyone in San Quentin understood about Beckett, while the rest of the world had trouble catching up, was what it meant to be in the face of it." The prison productions were the subject of the 2010 documentary film The Impossible Itself. For us all, but particularly for the 65% of households with no gardens, we quite unexpectedly became prisoners. The Boy's first visit in summer 2020 suggested Godot had come to Milton but of course we were quickly re-imprisoned for another six months with promises of release for Christmas and Easter given then taken away. Are we now blind like Pozzo, dumb with Lucky or have we survived, physically intact but deeply frustrated by it all as were Estragon and Vladimir? Only time can tell ….
Ilkley sets a cracking pace out of lockdowns … Kathryrn and Mathew and Frankie led the charge with their immediate visit to Filey with Maureen of course; and a refurb of their gazebo! Then came the announcement that Kathryn was planning retirement as Deputy Head from the end of the school year doing some Supply work thereafter. But their momentum didn't stall. By the end of the week they were camped out in Richmond Park by Hampton Court, whole family reunited outdoors in celebrations including 'our' London based granddaughters Lorna and Natasha + Elliot.

They took in Kew Gardens to rival the barren grass at the Park which overnight metamorphosed into a Car Boot Sale area by 8am. They were able to share their saga with us in Milton over a hastily acquired apple tart and ice cream during stopover on their way back to Ilkley.

One for the Record Book. Natasha joined Unilever as a graduate trainee in HR last September. She's now got her second posting from Richmond to Leatherhead and has never yet met any member of her team. Something there for George Orwell?
Avril eventually resorts to green peas. Avril’s heart incident took us to breathe the finest if blustery sea air at Weymouth on Wednesday; she’d given her blood for the first set of post-hospital tests at our GP's surgery earlier in the day. We needed to be back in Milton by Monday April 26th, Scotland’s pub liberation day, but a 'new' incident arose; our digital health collapsed totally with statements from BT Broadband that it was going to be out of action until Tuesday April 27th. That to put it mildly was very inconvenient! The week's major digital event was the 1745 Battle Trustees’ Meeting to finalise the 5 year lease at the Town Hall. Martha was all set to issue the press release … but the only item still working was Gordon’s mobile phone from Tesco! Fortunately we could reach Sylvia and our WhatsApp kept working so the crew in Scotland were able to get everything done, Arran expressing surprise the ZOOM meeting lasted as long as ever even though I was absent. Not sure what that implies?

Avril’s discovered her medication facilitates heavy bruising…. … whenever she accidentally bumps into furniture with her dark glasses on; frozen peas do of course get the swelling down but when she accidentally scattered 100 green peas onto the carpet she was necessarily rebuked. Best news was that we had enough cold windcheaters to hand in Weymouth to enjoy the sunshine taking fish & chips and a burger at The Boat that Rocks at Portland Marina. Avril’s set to work increasing her walking distances as advised by the Kettering GH paperwork and found a great sunny spot out of the wind at Greenhill Gardens. For my part the main exercise was walking to the community shop each morning to buy the Daily Telegraph and of course the Dorset Echo.

Weymouth's big news is our new Beach Café. Gone is the iconic Aunty Vi's. Pete's lease expired and the hut was municipalised with prices increasing plenty and many a warning on plastics and health and safety added. Pete's longterm adversary Sarah from Somerset House 4 will surely be pleased at her new roof top vision of the café. We were expecting to rise at 8am on Saturday to queue for its Official Opening but Avril had other ideas. She wanted to return to Milton where not only the broadband worked and her phone but medical services if required were known and to hand. We'd already been to Morrison's so we had our Boiling Beef and carrots for Sunday lunch and a 'Ready Indian' for Saturday Dining In Night. And we mustn't forget to mention that Friday's Fish Night made use of our Royal New Year's Eve Cod Roast Supper we'd left in the freezer when Covid 19 restrictions prevented our return; and Yes, we also took down the Christmas tree. And Yes again, we read the gas and electricity meters as requested and brought home the elusive/ pandemic denied Census 2021 codes all to to upload once we had broadband again in Milton! Bonus at the Dovecote this month is the falling leaves from the Magnolia Grandiflora - what colourings.

Never to be overawed by P&O's Ventura still anchored with three others in Weymouth Bay, it’s one of the universally shared delights of the town that Morrison’s ex-Safeway store gives great service. It also got the diesel and car wash we need. Extraordinarily the town now boasts all the supermarket majors and several minors – except for Waitrose when you have to make your way the Queen Mother Square at Poundbury – she has a great centrepiece statue. Alas the car wash already had a queue of ten so we tried Sainsbury's which was equally cluttered. So we travelled home covered in sea salt and dust and guano; with worse to come! En route Avril noted a flapping sound before we stopped for a muffin and chocolate at Starbucks. It turned out to be some trim that had come loose between the doors which left unfixed would no doubt have snapped off. So we turned in at Brackley to our regular repair shop that happily was able to apply some glue and also take the polisher to an inadvertent scratch along the side.
By Sunday we were wholly determined to get the car cleaned …. … so we began at Shell at Grange Park but that was out of order. Fall back was the Bulgarians at BP opposite but their queue exceeded 10 so it was Tesco last; and their queue was only 7. Some 40 minutes brought me to front of queue when all I had to do was enter the code and drive forward until the robot said Stop, which I did. 2 minutes later nothing had happened. So I returned to the code entry board and saw that the first digit had not been accepted when I had touched that button. But the code docket was in the Maserati to which I now returned. Armed with the necessary code I returned to the entry board and found the Clear button and entered the completed number … and at this moment saw an obscured Green button that I also pressed. As I returned to the car which was of course inside the robot's domain the soap spray commenced as I scrambled to enter the car. Passengers in the six cars behind me sounded their horns in celebration; happily without further mishap the seriously overworked robot did as expected and I left with a well cleaned car.
St George and Anzac Days almost came and went without our notice but at least Milton Village Hall flew St George's Cross. And Yes, on the Battle Bing Arran remembered to raise the flag back to the top of the mast after commemorating the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh ….. Yes, life's getting back to normal. Politicians are squabbling over trivia and we are worrying about getting the car washed and next week a haircut beckons … office workers are keen to get back to their workplaces and we've set the date in June for our next Trustees' Meeting at The Gothenburg and/ or Town Hall. More importantly, Carol's spending longer in Northampton General Hospital for her wee cancer operation than expected or wanted and we're willing her recovery very soon now. She'll be pleased to know that our tapestries are going up for display in Inverurie and Dundee in the next three weeks …. and next Saturday Maureen will come to Milton to rendezvous with her son Ian and his family and we'll do a garden party if the sun shines with Mathew and Kathryn and Francesca who'll soon be back at Nottingham Uni for the last term of her second year … and there's garden furniture to paint with the mix we brought back from Brewer's in Weymouth … and whilst we bask here in the UK fretting about electing County Police Commissioners and Milton Parish Councillors on May 6th and the SNP campaign for Independence, the NHS is giving aid directly to India where their pandemic is rampant ….situation normal …. Godot Came!

Published Date: April 18th 2021

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