Peter Rhodes on hurricane horror, Dame Kiri's retirement and Teddy Boys – 60 years on
OUR changing language. I loved the term Kiri Te Kanawa used to tell us her professional singing career is over: "It is in the was."
AND because her performances are not only a thing of the past but she lives on the other side of the world, they are presumably in the Oz was.
STRANGELY, The Guardian reported her words as "It is in the past." We heard her. We know what she said, thanks.
I WAS in St Paul's Cathedral for the wedding of Charles and Di in April 1981 when Kiri Te Kanawa performed Handel's aria, Let the Bright Seraphim. We hacks were tucked away in a corner and I vaguely recall catching occasional glimpses of something feathery (her hat) bobbing up and down and a beautiful sound many yards away. Like everyone else in St Paul's on that memorable day, you saw only a slice of what was happening. I couldn't wait to get home and see it all properly on telly.
IN the ruins of his beloved Necker Island, Richard Branson declares: "We must get more help to the islands to rebuild homes and infrastructure and restore power, clean water and food supplies.” To what end? If climate change is real then what is the point of repairing the damage caused by one hurricane, apart from giving the next hurricane something new to demolish? Maybe it's time to accept that some remote, low-lying islands governed by Britain are unfit for human habitation, and offer the islanders a new home.
THE warnings have been issued. Britain could be heading for the worst flu-epidemic winter of all time. Mind you, can anyone recall an autumn when Britain was not heading for the worst flu-epidemic winter of all time?
OWN up. How often have you picked up a book with a puzzling title and flipped a few pages to find out what it's about? There's no need for that with the new book by an American psychologist, Jean Twenge. His work is entitled iGen - Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy - and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood - and What That Means for the Rest of Us. No confusion there,eh? However, if you still have questions, talk it over with a member of the iGen generation, someone born between 1995 and 2012. Or rather, text it over with them.
TALKING of generations, is anyone surprised that it's old folk who have caused the cancellation of an open-topped coach on the so-called Jurassic Coast of south Devon? The Jurassic Mule has carried about 20,000 passengers this year but has been targeted by pensioners along the route who have hurled abusive language at drivers, blocked in the buses with their cars and - allegedly - loosened some wheel nuts. This is the sort of behaviour you associate with what used to be called juvenile delinquents. But then if you do the maths, you discover that today's 70-plus folk were teenagers in the days when "juvenile delinquent" was coined. Show me an old bloke loosening wheel nuts and I'll show you a Teddy Boy on a pension.