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There is something funny going on here!  I have just remembered that Kate Middleton paraded down a catwalk at St Andrews University, wearing a transparent dress, possibly to deliberately attract Wills’ attention.  So should she turn on the coyness now?  Or is it suddenly immoral for journalists to intimately reveal her to the world since she has acquired an elevated status? Maybe it is all to do with the timing of disclosure being down to an individual’s personal choice.  (see Gottes Zeit below.)

Anyway, there is nothing worse than people becoming bored with your boobs.  Unless it is becoming incensed with noisy neighbours.  Now the two topics in this paragraph should be great tags for anyone’s blog!

I’m only getting round to discussing the latest Something Understood, presented by Mark Tully, on Radio 4, as it has taken me nearly three days to recover from the emotional wreckage and sleep deprivation inflicted by my noisy neighbours in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The theme of the programme was based on the quotation: Is Discretion the Better Part of Valour?

This struck a chord as I deliberated whether to simmer once again with suppressed rage at anti-social nocturnal activities.

Yes, dear readers, even in sleepy Suttonford where the local rag will report a missing budgie on the front page and scintillating evening classes may revolve around the crocheting of loo roll holders, there is still a serpent in Eden.

You’ll have heard it said that there is no rest for the wicked, but this has been amended to simply: there is no rest.

The rasping cackle of a female laugh which resembled the onomatopoeic rapid rifle’s rattle from the trenches, as described by The War Poets, cut through glazing and blinds and permeated the bedroom as noxiously as a gas attack.

I had been listening to Tully discussing whether Falstaff’s discretion was in fact comic cowardice.  This query was juxtaposed alongside the lyrics of a song:

You can stand me up at the gates of hell:

I wouldn’t back down.

I won’t be turned around;

Gonna stand my ground.

Thanks for that, I thought.  Go, girl, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Different camps had either criticised or praised Archbishop Runcie for being indecisive.  Sometimes, he had seemed to think, it could be helpful to nail one’s colours to the fence.  Compromise is not necessarily weak.

Personally, as I flew out of the back door into the garden, I must confess that I felt like nailing some people to the fence, possibly with a staple gun.

In the past I had been indecisive. I’d compromised. Okay, so President Kennedy had avoided a Nuclear Armageddon by masterly indecision.  Elizabeth I’s foreign policy had been marked by procrastination.  But one day she decided to cut off her cousin’s head.

Bing Crosby smarmily sang: I surrender, dear. I could still hear it in my mind.  I immediately repulsed the thought and replaced it with a reminder of the philosophy of Pooh and Friends. Even Piglet did not avoid confrontation and he was accorded the highest praise for his bravery.

Pooh:  Did Piglet tremble?  Did he blinch? [sic]

Piglet:  I-I thought I did blinch a little.  Just at first!

Pooh: You only blinched inside, and that’s the bravest way for a very small Animal not to blinch..

So, I went out into the garden and I tried not to blinch. I bellowed as if I was a very big Animal. I told them to behave themselves in no uncertain terms.

Dr Rowan Williams PC, DPhil, DD, FBA the 104th...

Rowan Williams spoke next.  No, not in my garden.  He wasn’t behind a bush, burning or otherwise.  He had been on the programme too.  I could still hear his voice:

Don’t lose touch with both sides in the conflict, so people keep speaking.

Would he mediate?  I couldn’t imagine him approaching the rowdies in his mitre and dalmatics.  Presumably, at that time of night even the Archbishop of Canterbury would wear pyjamas.  Mind you, they would probably take as much notice of him as if he was wearing the invisibility cloak we have discussed in previous posts.

Rowan had said that one should never be tempted to be seen to be doing something decisive in order to gain approval.

No, I think I am safe there.  Approval is not going to be an outcome.

Then The Archbishop chided with a caveat:

Who carries the cost of what I say or do?   

a)   Others.  Well, they don’t seem to be affected at all, so that is that.

b)  Myself.  Yes, the Husband knows that I won’t be able to sleep for the rest of the night as I will be emotionally wrecked.

But, Rowan is encouraging here.  If I alone am to bear the cost of any decision to stand up and be counted, then, what is there to be afraid of, so long as I can cope with myself afterwards?

I can cope.  I can cope.


Tully inserted an interesting little poem at this juncture about a cautious man whose relations made some kind of life assurance claim on his demise.  However, they were told that they were due no payout, as, since he had never lived, he could not have been considered to have died.

Vivamus, mea  Lesbia , vivamus.  Let’s live then, baby.


Rowan counselled that the fear of God was the beginning of wisdom.  There is a proper fear which acknowledges that you know to whom you are answerable.  So… forgive me, God, but, I mean it …  Shuddupayaface!

In Zimbabwe, eight years ago, a Harare bishop proved his loyalty to Mugabe.  Why hadn’t Archbishop Rowan DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

Ah, said Rowan, because if I had denounced him, it would have handed him a weapon.  So, instead I listened to J S Bach’s Gottes Zeit – God’s Timing.

Okay, I have listened to the noisy ones for twelve years, off and on, so now seems like a pretty good time, deo volente, of course…


Were they?  Yes, eventually.  After making the point that it was in their own time.

So, was valour the better part of discretion, or vice versa?

Ask me next weekend.  Otherwise I send in Piglet, aka the Husband.  That’ll make ‘em blinch.  (Not)

Husband is like Christopher Robin:

What I like doing best is Nothing….just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.


So, Husband, dear, what are you going to do?

Oh, nothing.

He is for Discretion and I am for Valour.

But I am his Better Half, so:


© Candia Dixon Stuart and Candiacomesclean.wordpress.com, 2012

Piglet (Winnie-the-Pooh)