Saturday, 16 June 2007

YesBut that was the second week of June

Last Saturday I mentioned the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall, London, after being closed for two years for refurbishment and re-development. Regrettably the crowds jarringly revealed the inadequacies of the South Bank Centre, which despite a £100 million refurbishment, the hall built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, is way, way past is best by date. The first problem the hall is sandwiched between the River Thames and Belvedere Road. If they had built the Hall backing onto the road, leaving an open area on the riverside, it would have been welcoming. Unfortunately they left a large unusable area behind the Hall and a restricted area on the riverside. Events on the riverside terrace were congested with the audience unable to see the performers and the normal flow of people walking along the river brought to a crawl. The main auditorium was notorious with musicians, as having the worst acoustics of any major concert hall. Despite computer aided design and acoustic modelling the acoustics in the auditorium remains harsh. What a disappointment.

I heard on the radio that more people inhabit virtual worlds such as Second Life, than live in Australia. I find that sad, that people think it necessary to escape the real world. Though I would surmise the Australian Aborigines wish Captain James Cook had restricted himself to virtual journeys.

Some months ago Primark, with much publicity, opened a store in London’s Oxford Street. It was overwhelmed with crowds with the doors having to be closed. Since then Mrs YesBut has been nagging me to take her to the store. Tried to explain to here the omens weren’t conducive - planets in the wrong alignment, wrong Feng shui and all that. I finally had to cave in under her pressure. I thought it would be reasonably empty on Monday afternoon. If there is that much crowd there on a Monday, on a Saturday it must have more shoppers than the combined population of Australia and New Zealand (including the sheep). Mrs YesBut didn’t buy anything, said it was only a reconasance visit, we have to go back next week . “We” I think not.

Tuesday Tony Blair gave a speech criticising the press, saying the “media is feral beast obsessed with impact”. I am no defender of either newspaper or television news reporting, but for the first time Blair shows his true colours. He wants a supine grovelling unquestioning press. Certainly not a press that questions why he lied to the British public about the reasons for going to war against Iraqi. And he certainly doesn’t want a press questioning the manner post invasion events have been handled. Less than two weeks before he’s gone - can’t wait.

Well that’s it for another year, no honour for YesBut in the Queens Birthday Honours list announced today. No Knighthood or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (C.BE.) not even a measly Member (M.B.E.). What has YesBut to do to get the recognition he duly deserves for his services to the preservation and welfare of second hand rubber-bands and paperclips.

Never mind about outdated honours; click here to enter the fun of YesBut’s Images “Caption of the week Award”, enter early and enter often, be the first to win the award.

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