Laud Nelson

by Quinn

This is my first post for over a fortnight, and I don’t really have any excuses for my absence. I have been a bit busy, but not that busy. Inspiration has been lacking, and when I have come up with a few ideas in relation to news stories and posts on other blogs, by the time I’ve got around to trying to write them they had become far from topical, so I haven’t bothered and they have bitten the dust. Also, I have thought of some brilliant posts to write whilst drunk, only to discover in the morning when sober that they are utter shit. So you have probably had a few lucky escapes there.

The erratic nature of my postings is likely to continue for a while as I have got a few short breaks planned over the next few weeks. It’s York at the start of November, taking advantage of Travelodge’s absurd deal of £26 a night for a family room; but for tomorrow the boy will be deposited at his Grandparents’, and my wife and I are off for a two night stay in Chipping Norton, “gateway to the Cotswolds”, apparently (although considering the size of the Cotswolds, I suspect it can be considered just one of a number of gateways). It will be our first nights away from our son for a good few months, and yet from previous experience our love for him will dominate the conversation during our stay. The reason for our trip? We have vouchers for a free room (subject to conditions) in a number of hotels throughout the UK, including The Crown And Cushion, handily placed halfway between the touristy meccas of Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon; and it is also the fifth anniversary of our engagement (well, any excuse really).

Yes, I fancy a quiet break away from things, but the other day in the pub I saw a poster that suggested my anticipated tranquillity may be breached; for it appears that today, tomorrow and Sunday constitute “Trafalgar Weekend”, and we are all invited to celebrate the Battle of Trafalgar by attending our local public house to partake in a pissy pint of lager or two, along with a pack of those weird Nobby’s Smokey Bacon coated nuts; or the food and drink of your choice I suppose.

Let’s celebrate the day of the battle itself if we must, but a whole weekend in the pub? That seems a bit odd, although no odder than those official celebrations in June this year which were presumably to mark the 199¾ anniversary of the event. The last thing I want is gangs of rural louts roaming around Chipping Norton High Street, singing sea shanties and punching French and Spanish passers-by; it could quite put one of one’s Tournedos Rossini in the hotel restaurant (Oh yes; Tournedos Rossini! I’m going to push the boat out a bit this weekend (no joke intended)).

I guess we will be alright though; I don’t think many people will be commemorating the battle in quite the way the pub chain’s marketeers would like (although you can’t fault them for trying). I suspect most people will think that celebrating Nelson’s ultimate battle by going to the pub on Sunday afternoon, 200 years and 2 days after that historic moment, is a faintly ridiculous idea; although perhaps no more ridiculous that celebrating your engagement anniversary when you are in your fourth year of marriage.