Editorial – February 2023

I’ve come full circle with Valentine’s Day. I used to get right grumpy about things like Valentine’s Day. Being told what to do and when to do it. I don’t need Hallmark or Cadbury’s telling me when to be romantic. It’s like all those other days that have crept into the calendar, days that have different names  – Black Friday or whatever – but are all basically the same. Today is “Buy Stuff Monday”. I’ll decide when I want electronic things and I’ll decide when I want to give an expression of my love. It’s commercialised nonsense, it’s rampant capitalism exploiting our love. But then

“Have you forgotten anything?”

“No, not all at. I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but I’m not buying into that. We don’t need to be tol…”

“You forgot, didn’t you”

It was never a conversation that was going go well. What do you mean, the chances are she was probably right? 

Things change, we get older and different things seem important. Things that used to seem important… I don’t even know anymore. As I write there’s a bit of a kerfuffle because the Welsh rugby people have banned the singing of the Tom Jones song Delilah. Should they, shouldn’t they? Is it right, is it wrong? No idea. Sure the lyrics are seriously dodgy and no one – you’d hope – would write that now. But should it be banned? Instinctively, I’d say it shouldn’t be simply because I don’t like banning things. Apart from people who vote Tory. And Arsenal fans. And marmite butter which my fine wife has just started to make which is basically taking some perfectly good butter and rendering it inedible. So… shouldn’t be banned. But then, maybe it shouldn’t be sung either. Life’s not easy being liberal. 

Talking of Arsenal, wasn’t it a treat to see Brighton smile sweetly at their attempts to steal Moises Caicedo. Even in football, money doesn’t always talk. 

Anyway. Valentine’s Day. Let’s embrace it. Telling your loved ones you love them, there are worse things to be corralled into. So take it on and do it your way, and if you’re going to get a Valentine’s Day card, why not avoid all the corporate stuff and support local artists, and maybe head to FlyingCircusDesigns at http://www.flyingcirc.us – because if you can’t give your friends a plug, what is the point of life? 

We’ve given The Mighty Whistler a bit of a re-jig this month. There’s a new quiz page, recipes, gardening tips,  a murder story… Next issue we’re starting a new column with a local councillor to talk about all things local and councilly. And if anyone would like to get involved, we’re looking for someone to write about architecture and local history. Maybe at the same time. Think about it. The pay’s really good. 

Next time out we’ll have a feature on the hot new sport Pickleball, which is as good a link to Pickle, our new-ish pup, as we’re going to get. 

For Pickle, every day is Valentine’s Day. He knows he’s loved and he knows that even if he runs off and gets lost in the woods for two days and two nights on the coldest weekend of the year and worries mum and dad stupid, they’ll still love him unconditionally*. He’s not going to care if he gets a card. A treat he’d care about. Chicken, that’s the hallmark of love. Be more Pickle is, I think, generally a decent mantra for life. 

*Just don’t push your luck. We’ve still got the receipt from the rescue centre.

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