13 February 2013


Cartoon: Claudia Ward
Getting through the winter: Joselyn Duffy Morton
Cover pic: Roger Morton
Editorial 13 February 2013
For the last few days, the news has been full of the horsemeat scandal. I should say the British news because in France, horsemeat is still for sale in the butcher or the supermarket. It is the British that are more fond of horses than they are of cows, sheep or pigs. It is horses they put their legs astride, that they gently stroke, that they feel deep affection for. Cows, sheep, pigs - not so much.
Vegetarians of course are not affected; they are once again squeaky clean. They don’t chew on the flesh of any of these big beasts.
The main worry of course is not the duplicity or disguising of one animal for another, the main worry is that horses often get administered powerful drugs, the most common seems to be Phenylbutazone, usually known as Bute.  This is an inexpensive anti-inflammatory drug which can cause nasty side-effects in humans.
So this horsemeat scandal is not just your run-of-the-mill bad taste scandal, it could be more serious than that. Then there’s the question of dosh because the Findus beef lasagne packets should have actually cost less as they were not beef but horse. It’s a shonky world all right.
Pope Benedict XV1 has resigned. I am trying to feel the shock-waves of this but the Pope’s doings don’t actually impinge upon my life. Though, given what has gone down already, I would not be surprised if David Cameron were to use him as an example of why the pension age should be raised to 85.
I continue to be sad for all the lousy stories and accounts that I read about the NHS – what a horror story it is becoming. I think nowadays none of us want to inherit the earth, we just want to die peacefully in our own beds Not however, starved to death and neglected as a pensioner in her 80s did recently in England, after 9 days on her own. This was because there was a raid on her care agency which was then closed down because illegal refugees were working in it. I hope, since then, someone has gone through the agency’s books to ascertain that there are no other clients to whom this could happen.
Meanwhile, I am hoping to rouse my lazy, latent inner self and go and see a few more movies before the Oscars.
I also know I desperately need to earn some money and yet the inner workings of the details of how this is possible, continue to elude me.
Hoping you are all keeping cheerful and warm. Best wishes, Joselyn Morton

Claudia Ward Cartoon


Getting through winter

My face has finally fallen
from grace, hamster cheeks around
my chin. Too cold to hang about outside
we watch the TV screen,
my husband explains (again)
the snooker rules. Murphy looks grim,
Wu brings balletic moves
with leg on table, back arched,
head down, bites tongue, smacks ball,
next shot lined up, mirror
mathematical precision,
sombre dress belies the red, blue,
green, pink, yellow of the balls.
Less flesh than rugby
(with that I can get excited
even scream at the screen).
Too cold in the kitchen
I chop garlic as I watch – carefully
I hate the pain of a cut.
(Already whacked my head 
stacking wood, home 
is where accidents happen.)
Unfinished tasks everywhere
the roaring fire warms 
my flagging spirits
I love the luxury of its heat
scrimping and saving is crippling
can’t afford to buy more books
must brave the ice and snow to drive
20k return to the library.
Watch more snooker
blue, pink, brown – have I got it down?
subtle dress code of waistcoats, bow ties,
shade range of greys and blacks.
Escapism gets us through the long days
disengages the mind from Kafkaesque
trials besetting our kneecapped lives.
Joselyn Duffy Morton ©

Cover caption

Roger Morton
Our nearest stream is roaring at the moment.