Friday, August 1, 2008


I haven't written anything on this blog for well over a year, chiefly because for the longest time I had the feeling that I didn't really have anything of interest to write and that cyberspace is full enough with self-indulgent and tedious bullshit without me adding to it. But now I've recovered.

Which is more than I can say for my plaster bust of Klement Gottwald, the so-called 'Stalinist Butcher' who was the first communist president of Czechoslovakia and who died shortly after returning from the funeral of Uncle Joe himself in 1953. Some say he was poisoned, but the theory most people I've talked to seem to prefer is that he drank himself to death. Whatever. No one greatly misses him.

Anyway, I had this very tacky plaster bust of 'Klemo', which had been painted gold, although that had come off in various places. I used it to keep open my office window on hot days, of which, believe me, there are plenty here. It fitted just perfectly and enabled cooling zephyrs to wash over me as I worked. I was very pleased and it was nice to think of him doing his bit for the proleteriat. But during a recent storm it was tumbled base over apex and fell to the floor, where its plinth was sheared off by the contact. The head is intact, just about, though his nose and eyebrows are a tad battered, but, being wobbly at the base, is now useless as a window-holder-opener.

By one of those quirks of tumbling chance, however, I have found the perfect replacement in the form of a hard cover copy of 'The Downing Street Years' by Margaret Thatcher, which fits like a glove and is much more intrinsically stable. So now the two of them can stare at each other to their heart's content through the aspidistra which separates them and I can work in peace and comfort. And I do draw a great amount of satisfaction from the fact that Thatcher, who never did me any favours when she was in power, is finally doing so now, the vicious old bat.