Saturday, 9 February 2019

Names, storms, posters and travel!

Listening to whatever the current storm is called raging around the house in the night, I found myself wondering who actually chooses the names of storms and hurricanes. I looked it up but I am not a great deal wiser. I found out that the decision to name storms was taken because it makes people feel that they are more real,and personal to them. Therefore they are more likely to listen to the storm warnings and tKe precautions. People are really odd! If someone told me an anonymous storm was on its way, I would still take note and not go and stand at the sea front. I also learned that names are retired after particularly bad storms. So Katrina will never again be used as the name of a storm or hurricane. But I still don’t know who chooses the names!

Just recently, at the end of January, Havana, Cuba, was hit by a huge tornado, killing some people and causing lots of damage. I travel to Cuba on Monday with a friend. Last October, just before Phil and I went to Figueira da Foz in Portugal, the coastal town was hit by a huge storm, blowing down massive, mature trees and causing millions of Euros’ worth of damage. I begin to feel I might be a storm magnet.

In today’s paper I saw news of plans to put troops on the streets to prevent riots (!!!) in the event of a no-deal brexit. Some wag commented that they wondered if this included the ex-soldiers already sleeping on the streets in cardboard boxes. greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham apparently donates a chunk of his salary every year to help the homeless.

Good for him, say I.

And good for the men putting posters up, reminding people of the broken promises and ridiculous statements made during the referendum campaign:-

 “At 5.55am, Talgarth Road, one of the major arteries into west London, is just beginning to clog up with early rush-hour traffic. A man named Dave, his white van pulled over into a loading bay, is putting up a billboard poster by the side of the carriageway. The previous one was an advert for Calvin Klein featuring the model Lara Stone. Over the course of 20 minutes, Dave covers Stone up, expertly pasting rectangles of paper over her, using a ladder for the high ones, then sweeping over with his brush.

The first rectangle, in the top left corner, contains a headshot of Jacob Rees-Mogg and the beginning of his Twitter handle. As Dave lines up edges, pastes and brushes, and Stone disappears, a quote emerges from Rees-Mogg. This one wasn’t a tweet; he said it in parliament. “We could have two referendums. As it happens, it might make more sense to have a second referendum after the renegotiation is completed.”

It all began, as most good ideas do, in the pub. They were talking about the infamous David Cameron tweet – “Britain faces a simple and inescapable choice – stability and strong government with me or chaos with Ed Miliband” – which was doing the rounds again after Theresa May cancelled the vote on her deal in December. And someone said: why don’t they slap it on a billboard, make it the tweet you can’t delete?

The next day, on the WhatsApp group, one of them said they had found someone who would print it out for them. They all agreed: “Let’s just f*****g do it.””

 And now I must go and finalise my travel plans - a stopover at my son’s house to celebrate his daughter’s fifth birthday and then on the Gatwick on Monday morning! Another adventure!

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