Whose Lion is it Anyway?

I always forget about Radio 4xtra (I think that’s how you spell it, though that looks as if it ought to be pronounced ‘fourkstra’) when I’m thinking about stuff to listen to.  I find myself longing for radio shows of yesterweek and forgetting that they are probably all there on Radio 4’s sister station.  Radio 4, for all its faults, is the best of speech radio and on long wave it has the best-loved programme of all, the shipping forecast (this makes it into one of my ‘Brexit Quartet’ of poems which I’ve written this week):


That’s a link to the shipping forecast, not to my poems – but I have to say, writing four poems in two days takes some beating.  Anyway, back to the title which came to me in the middle of the night.  I’ve learned from repeated experience that it’s important to write these things down when they come otherwise a) they will repeat in your mind for ages and b) you won’t remember them in the morning – which is the worst of both worlds.  So, whose lion is it anyway?

Of course I am in the same position as whoever-it-was who, when asked about a comment they’d written, said ‘when I wrote that only two people knew what it meant – God and me.  Now, only God knows.’ 


Well, perhaps god knows what the lion meant, because I sure as hell don’t: all I have are some associated thoughts.  Let’s see where they take us:

First, some bright yellow chevrons outside a primary school in Leicester with lots of signs saying ‘Don’t park on the yellow lions.’  I think this is a great idea and much more likely to succeed as seeming to come from the children rather than a remote and ineffectual authority.  A similar idea can be seen by the crossing outside Avenue School in a different part of the city where life-sized models of children are standing by the road, and it brings you up short – every time.  Because adults are guilty of forgetting what it’s like to be child-sized; and as Dumbledore said, ‘Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.’  We have all been children, yet how easily we forget and park on the yellow lions!  So I think it’s clear – the lions belong to the children.

There!  That did take us somewhere.  I shall call it ‘taking a lion for a walk’:

Image result for paul klee taking a line for a walk ks2

Oh!  and, duh! the thing that started it all off was thinking about the show ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’


Kirk out

I Know When I’m Mrs Beaten…

I’ve gone and done it – I’ve gone and taken out a M C Beaton from the library.  Normally I avoid these like a dark alleyway because they seem to be at the terribly twee end of crime; but people in the crime reading group seem to enjoy her, so I thought it was time I caught up with her work.  People at the crime reading group often refer to her as ‘Mrs Beeton’, which means I think that they are confusing her with the Victorian cookery writer.  Not that they can’t tell the difference between crime and cookery (though this series couldn’t:


but that there’s an echo in their minds which, whenever a writer named ‘Beaton’ is mentioned, activates the title ‘Mrs.’  I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on.  Still, a number of them seem to like her and to be honest I’m ready for something lighter after the dark stuff we’ve been reading.  The Nicci French (‘she’ is actually a pair of writers, one male and one female, who alternate chapters) was quite disturbing, being about a pair of snatched children – and whilst there was some redemption for the child who was found in time, the child who had been assigned a whole other identity and brought up as someone else, can never come home again to the self she used to be.


I can’t think of anything worse than losing a child in that way – and Madeleine McCann is still missing.  Here’s where you can support:


Sheesh!  Now I’ve made myself very depressed.  Let’s think of something cheerful – for as someone pointed out, in the midst of the most horrific line in all world literature, the inscription on the gate of hell in Dante’s Inferno, there is a ‘tra-la’:

per me si va tra la citta dolente…

So even in the darkest corner, as Dumbledore observed, there is something positive, if one only remembers to put on the light:


Kirk out

PS  Mark’s quote of the day: ‘I am going through a mid-life opportunity’.