Velocity, insane velocity. My boat travels at 2-3mph, I walk about a mile an hour faster than that. I haven’t owned a car for three years. I haven’t driven a car for three years. Have you any idea what eleventy-hundred and a half mph in a car on a motorway feels like to me now? This is why I left finger-marks in the dashboard and screamed continuously from Warrington to Leeds.
At Leeds I finally fainted.
I did regain such levels of consciousness as are normal for me just in time to appreciate this delicious-looking brace of Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertibles though. [Top photo and this.]
The Bro, I noticed, was hunched over the wheel with a red glow in his eyes, muttering ‘Parp, parp’ every once in a while and urging the car on to ever greater speeds.
They don’t let him out very often, and never, unless he shins down a drainpipe and escapes, on his own.
At one stage when a Porsche 911 Turbo and a small but perfectly-formed Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer were blocking our way he climbed halfway out of the driver’s side window and shouted ‘“Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!’ at them both, first in German, then in Italian and once again in English but louder still, just in case they really were foreign. All foreign types understand English if it is presented slowly enough, with clear diction and sufficient volume.
But I must stop myself before I run off at a tangent, the point is that we reached the city of Lincoln and found our inn, all without undue incident.
Is it technically possible to find an inn without inncident?
Close by to our chosen overnight venue, Previously-Fawlty-But-Mended-Now Towers, lies the hastily-erected, new-fangled (it’s only been seventy-four years since the war) International Bomber Command Centre. This is, according to the website, “… a world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command.”
If we decline to acquiesce to the snowflake ideology (if for no other reason than simply because it is being forced upon us) and add “b*llocks to reconciliation” (because reconciliation can only take place after a falling-out, and we ought not to have allowed ourselves even to fall out with one another), the place is, in fact, a magnificent – if, as yet, too new to be mature – museum of some of the rotten shenanigans of WWII. The main building is surrounded by freshly-planted (and as yet impressively unimpressive) “peace gardens”, within which is a dirty great one-hundred and two foot tall anti-paratrooper obelisk.
The point of the obelisk is apparently sharpened once a week by the caretaker.
This obelisk, flood-lit at night (well, it would be a pointless waste of electrickery during the day…), stands atop a hill looking out over Lincoln, and is apparently made of the same stuff as the Angel of The North by Antony Gormless.
I cannot confirm this, since I’ve never been fond of angels with square wings, but the Sis – who holds a Geordie passport by virtue of marriage and may visit it with some safety – has visited the angel thingy and assures me that it is most impressive.
Anyway, I’m drifting again.
[Comes back inside after re-tying the Cardinal’s ropes.]
The whole kit and caboodle is a very friendly place indeed, and has some extraordinarily intelligent displays.
Chief among these is a vast screen showing a looped ten-minutes time-lapse display of every Allied and Axis berming raid throughout the six years of the war (yes, WWII began in 1939, not, as reported by the latecomers, in 1941…). During the
indoctrination classes history classes at the (many) schools that I was thrown out of attended much brouhaha was made of the London Blitz and of the bombing of London in general. Watch this time-lapse display through even once and it becomes evident (well, highly likely) that the favoured-flavour version of events, with its “poor old London” and “gosh, cor blimey, didn’t we just bear the brunt of things, Doris” values is, like most taught and “official” history, utter twaddle with a frantically partisan spin. Quelle surprise, the thing takes on a very different light when viewed in a wider context.
The Axis powers dropped some 79,000 tons of berms on Blighty. Allied powers dropped just shy of 2,700,000 tons of berms on the Axis powers. Quite a disparity, eh? Average accuracy “achieved” was something on the order of within three miles of the intended target. Yep, three miles. Ridiculous numbers died on the ground, and incredibly ridiculous numbers of very brave young chaps died in the air – all for something that ought to have been nipped in the bud by a timely slap around the Reich-jowls, a knee in the Führer-goolies and a population that really ought not to have let itself slide down the slippery slope (especially so soon after the lessons of WWI).
The pure, unadulterated insanity of events – events in total, on both “sides” – is most evident indeed when you soak up these displays. Imagine all-out global war but in your mind’s eye replace the humans with rabbits.
The German rabbit leaders want more territory and more control. The English rabbit leaders decline to allow this because of agreements they’ve made with the other rabbits that live near to the German rabbits. Vast numbers of rabbits have always been engaged in manufacturing guns and bombs that rabbits will use to slaughter one another, and the rabbits that own these factories not only make vast profits but have the rabbit-governments entirely in their pockets (all of them, whatever nationality). Millions of peasant rabbits fight and die in the trenches, rabbits from both sides bomb each others burrows. Rabbits torpedo rabbit ships at sea. English rabbits, on the verge of annihilation, arrange for Japanese rabbits to attack the rabbits of the U.S.A., who then come into the massive rabbit-brawl and eventually nuke the Japanese rabbits back to the paper-house age. The peasant rabbits of all nations, the ones who didn’t want war in the first place but who were forced to fight it, then rebuild their own burrows as best they can and pay for all of the munitions used, so that the big fat rich munitions rabbits who own the governments lock stock and barrel get richer still. A binary selection of medals – “Winner” and “Loser” – are then awarded to the various rabbit leaders still standing after the slaughter and we give them a pension for life (while telling the sick and injured peasants to p*ss off and make their own arrangements). Then the peasant rabbits who don’t have tin legs all go back to eating grass until the next time.
Silly, isn’t it? Well, that’s war.
Forget changing our ways, have we so much as changed our politicians? Have we ‘eck as like. We still eagerly follow belligerent, war-mongering, power-seeking, self-serving morons – and, if you ask me, we still deserve all that we are, in the coming decades, very likely to get all over again, sliding down yet another slippery slope into the murky abyss.
Forget rabbits, and cast your beady eyes as a world population over the humans Putin and Trump and May and Corbyn and Sturgeon and Johnson and Merkel and Kim-J and all of the other intellectual, moral and philosophical giants such as Trudeau, Ramaphosa et al. Add in Huawei and Monsanto and all of the faceless arms corporations, and add in even the City Bankers. Sprinkle on the whole of the “Middle East” with all of its manifold nutters and garnish the dish with the Balkans. Then ask yourself whether this is really what you want, whether this is really the best that we can do. Honestly? The human species and civilisation peaks out with that lot?
My apologies, but while I am a great fan of individual and personal stupidity in everyday and domestic matters, and practice such myself at every opportunity (boing, boing boing boing), collective and global stupidity in more important matters do maketh my blood boil. You can’t really tell, can you? 🙂 It’s not rocket science (unless you’re talking about V1/V2 Flying Bombs), we just have to demand better and work harder to see that we get it. Putting a cross on a slip of paper once every few years is not the way to make democracy work. I’m not even certain that democracy in any form does “work”. When you see stupidity being formulated in your name you must kick it in the nuts.
[Mr Molotov came up with one bloody good recipe in his lifetime. I have plenty of empty bottles, I just can’t afford to buy the petrol…]
If you can form any sort of connection at all between our past, our present and what is almost certain to be our future, a visit to the International Bomber Command Centre (Memorial) is a sobering experience.
Anyway, sobering soapboxes aside, it was a splendid place for a visit, and I can highly recommend it should you be in the area.
There’s a vast but inoffensive “gift shop” and a similarly vast cafeteria. Once the “peace gardens” grow up a bit the IBCC will be a pleasant place to sit about on the grass and imagine aeroplanes droning overhead.
Tis but a shame that, especially high on Lincoln’s hills as it is, the place is not accessible by canal. Greek and Roman gawds alone know how many locks it would take to get the Cardinal up there for a visit. Not to mention that the tidal Trent is betwixt us.
It began our Tour of England very well, anyway, and set us up for later visits and later blog posts in re Duxford (Concorde, Lancaster, English Electric Lightning and many other splendid ooh big machines), and Bletchley Park (where the programmable electric computer was invented, a Tommy Flowers, Bill Tutte, Alan Turing pilgrimage; Colossus, Bombe).
Velocityraptures? A breed of dinosaur that ran at extremely high speed from cave to cave, shouting snippets of eschatological dinosaur scripture to Stone-age Man, hoping to save humankind from making the same mistakes as did the now-extinct Smokestwelvepacksadayosaurus et al.
No-one listened, they were too busy barbecuing rabbitodons and arguing about the various merits and demerits of the Cave-Woman World Cup.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to people I do like dogs.
Chin-chin for the mo.