Britain's Queen Elizabeth is photographed at Sandringham House to mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee Year in Sandringham, Norfolk, Britain February 2, 2022. Picture taken February 2, 2022 and obtained by Reuters on February 6, 2022. Chris Jackson/Buckingham Palace/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. THE PHOTOGRAPH SHALL NOT BE USED WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM ROYAL COMMUNICATIONS. THERE SHALL BE NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER OF THE PHOTOGRAPH, INCLUDING ANY USE IN MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING OR ANY OTHER NON-EDITORIAL USE. THE PHOTOGRAPH MUST NOT BE DIGITALLY ENHANCED, MANIPULATED OR MODIFIED IN ANY MANNER OR FORM AND MUST INCLUDE ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH WHEN PUBLISHED. | BUCKINGHAM PALACE

0

One reason that this time of year is my least favourite of all, is that it signals the start of the film, theatre and entertainment awards season. Indeed, this is the season that deeply needy and spoilt actors and the like, spend weeks in the best sanatoriums that money can buy so that they can appear before TV cameras and the world’s media, brushed, buffed and back-combed to perfection - and that’s just the blokes.

The women ‘actors’ on the other hand get kitted out in frocks that would cost the average working woman a years wages and then proceed to tell them what they should think and who they should vote for - enough already. Swishing about on red carpets can’t be the easiest job in the world, nor should be reading out an acceptance speech, but why do some of them insist upon becoming political, or even worse - deeply, yet selectively, humanitarian, on such a well publicised event as a televised awards ceremony? Oops, silly me - I think I’ve just answered my own question.

God preserve us, Boris Johnson is not the hardest target in the world to mock, but, and here’s the big but, he did actually win a general election a couple of years ago; not just pretend to be someone else for 100 minutes in a less than popular movie that earned the actor in questions millions. Anyway, whatever the year, whatever the particular award ceremony, there I’ll be - laid prone on my sofa, cheese sandwich in one hand, an indifferent glass of red in the other, haranguing self-regarding luvvies as best as I’m able, until told to shut up by a woman that has heard it all before and will no doubt hear it all again!

Don't worry - you can divorce him soon

It seems that Covid-19 and various lockdowns have had at least one possible knock-on effect upon society. It seems that divorce rates have plummeted which is the opposite effect that many speculated would be the case with marriage under strain as couples sat staring at each other 24/7 for months on end. However, before we all get carried away it may well be that couples are just biding their time before they attempt to get rid of old misery guts when the pandemic is past its worst.

In fact, it could be that unhappy couples could all of a sudden head for the divorce courts in the next few months and totally skew the carefully monitored figures. It also has to be mentioned that same sex couples seem to have held-their-fire over potential divorces as well, but as this institution was only made legal seven years ago and coincided with the onset of the pandemic statisticians will be waiting for evidence of a gay ‘seven year itch.’

Nevertheless, it does appear that couples by-and-large have been more content during various lockdowns than was thought possible almost two years ago. I suppose that you could be very cynical and make the point that since March 2020 there would have been very limited opportunities for extra-marital hanky-panky as the all the usual places for secret assignations have been closed to the public and those - ahem, seeking a wider social life than usual!

Lovely Jubbly

Favourite story of the week? That will be the one regarding souvenir sellers who are struggling to sell thousands of pieces of crockery made by a Chinese manufacturer, commemorating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee because they carry a misprint that reads “Platinum Jubbly.” Nearly 11,000 sets of plates and teacups with the error are being pitched as “unique” and “limited edition” collectors items.

The company seeking to try and clear the stock have been reduced to suggesting alternative uses such as crockery-smashing contests and plate-spinning. It also claims that it is trying to make the best out of a bad job and said that it intends to invoke Only Fools and Horses to clear the stock. In a bold and positive statement it admitted the stock had a slight - “translation error in terms of a typo mistake” and was selling this “finest crockery” at 90% discount.

Mr Karl (Del Boy!) Baxter, the firms boss went on to say in regard to the crockery - “These are the real Creme de la Menthe - what could be more unique? Wow your friends with this lovely jubbly set.” Triffic!

Be my Valentine - No thank you!

As I am swerving around all over the place in todays column, I though I would leave you with a new and bizarre parenting fad i.e. Valentine’s gifts for children. It seems that with February 14 approaching, companies from Marks & Spencer to Joules and Next are offering presents and gifts for sale for kids.

For those of us who think the whole concept to be disturbingly weird, there are others who can’t understand some of our reluctance to join in. Critics seem to fall into two distinct areas - those who find St Valentine’s Day re-branded for children odd in the extreme and those who believe that “We’ve just marked another Christmas, marred by gratuitous consumerism, and are careering towards a similar single-use packaging fest at Easter, can people just reign themselves in please?”

Others argue that the day could provide much needed cheer in the midst of winter and may also be a touching way for parents to show their children affection. I still think it more than a little oddly inappropriate, although I suppose you could make the argument that post Covid (we hope!) retailers need every opportunity to make up for the sales disaster of the past two years.

As for me, perhaps this is another example in the way that society has become so infantile in almost all means of human expression.