DeliquentArt has been getting wonkier and wonkier with time. Recently, it's been classifiying almost all my art as "not fit to be seen," even when it is as clean as a whistle. I should know... I'm a well practiced whistle blower ... or, in plain speech, a complainer! I'm tried re-setting the posted art, but it doesn't seen to take affect. Instead, one post after another of mine has been blanked out of view unless the viewer is an adult member. I don't know what gives, but it brings to mind an old saying, modified somewhat -- you get what you pay for... and DelightfulFart is free.
I haven't posted anything new in quite some time. For one thing, I'm not been doing art for a while. I start things, see where their going, then not bother to finish since it won't really accomplish anything that I haven't done, many times before. What doesn't help is that I see that downloads from Deviant art choose pretty much the same two dozen favourites -- mostly satisfying mud, petrification and restraint enthusiasts of one sort or another. I've long since lost any interest in those subjects. I would be keener on posting old art if there was a more obvious interest in something other than the same old "favourites." Well... I'm not quitting, at an event. I may get back into the swing of doing new art ... eventually. But if it isn't going to be more mud and statues, it may not be very popular.
I got up today to discover that the Queen was dead, God Save the King and all that... My first couple of years were under George VI, but of course, I remember nothing of that. All my life, the Queen has sat on the thrown, and – like that – history has moved on.
I feel nothing about the Queen, really – a lady who brought dignity and a sense of determination to the crown. I had a desire to see her live to 100, but 96 isn’t shabby – longest reign in British history, even all the way back to the Anglo Saxons and dark ages. Nor was her reign one free of debacle and tumult. There were wars on her shift, the enormous black eye that Diana’s death forced on the Royal family, the “Annus Horibilis” in which Windsor Castle was badly damaged in a fire, the assassination of the Queen’s uncle, Louis Mountbatten, by Irish terrorists, and recently the ignominious retreat from the European Union by the British Government. It’s a wonder all the crockery at Buckingham Palace wasn’t cracked by biting.
But there were lighter moments too.
My favorite is the Queen’s meeting with James Bond at the Palace before kicking off the London Olympic. It was done with perfection, and every moment as Daniel Craig escorted the Queen through the halls of Buckingham Palace to the waiting helicopter, and on to the Games, was absolutely believable.
It was on a much less serious note that the Queen had tea with Paddington Bear at the palace. The occasion was Elizabeth’s silver jubilee, the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne, and what could have been more appropriate than a marmalade sandwich shared from the Queen’s purse?
There was a lot of talk about the monarchy ending with Elizabeth, and indeed many British didn’t like Charles. But sensible heads knew that there would never be enough interest in abolishing the monarchy to overcome the inertia. On the whole, Charles will likely fill the throne well. But he is already 73, the oldest British monarch to assume the throne. But, even if he is as long-lived as his mother, he is probably not going to be around for another 20 years. In fact, as far as the male heirs of the Windsor live has shown, they don’t have extraordinarily long lives. The “Queen Mother,” who was Elizabeth’s mother, actually didn’t die until she was mid-101!
So after Charles III (the last one lost his head in the 1640s curing the English Civil War), there will be the new Prince of Wales, William V. William may not be a lucky number either. “King Billy,” hammered the Catholic Irish and ended the Catholic Stuart line after yet another English Civil War. William the IV was a retrospect a nobody who sat on the throne for about six years. At the very least, I think we can expect to see a much more modern, streamlined British monarchy -- similar to Europe -- in Williams time ... if not before.
I think I may have to buy the Gold Pressed Latinum commemorative coin when one is released by the Canadian and British mints.
Hypothetically, we will have all new bills and coins marking the change from the old Queen to the next King. But it is fairly likely that we will see the likeness of Charles III on our small change, one and two dollar coins, it isn’t as clear whether Charles will ever be reproduced on the face of the twenty dollar bill. Elizabeth currently graces our polymer plastic currently, and it seems likely that Charles will continue tradition. But politics has become remarkably sensitive to numerous political demands. Not long ago, our first Prime Minister and most prominent author of the acts that brought Canada into being, was successfully disgraced by native rights activists, and his likeness has been removed from our $10 bill. Yet his memory was celebrated on the $2 coin as recently as 2015. By 2018, his name was mud, his statues topples and schools all around the country renamed. What good McDonald did for Canada doesn’t matter compared to any harm anyone cares to charge him with.
Will the new King Charles fare well in the coming years? Who knows. This hypothetical bill found on line a few years ago may somewhat resemble reality soon … except that we don’t have a $25 bill. Then again, he may be as likely to find our new money celebrating a “two-spirited” Inuit kayak fisherman. I wouldn’t want to wager money on it.
For some time, now, I've been finding little "presents" around my apartment that tell me that a mouse has taken up residence. I've seen it a number of time, and more brazenly each time. Two weeks, I saw it saunter out into the living room, as confident as though it were the owner. It disappeared, as before behind a cabinet that I'm unable to move without a tremendous amount of trouble. So, I've ignored it, figuring that my place is clean, I leave no food around, and my groceries are all in jars or cans, or refrigerated. Eventually, the mouse would stop coming around here without finding food. Making a living is tough enough for a mouse, without wasting effort. So far, it seemed to be working. I hadn't seen the pest for those last too weeks. But I spoke too soon. Yesterday, I used the washroom and noticed movement in the bath tub. I looked and fund it was my mouse! I don't know how it climbed up the tub in the first place, but plainly it was unable to climb out. The presents suggested that it had been hiding in my tub for a couple of days, in fact. Once I was sure the thing couldn't escape, I went to the kitchen for a large, clear plastic jar that had previously held cashews. I clapped the jar over the mouse and scooped it in with the lid. That easily, I looked the wee beast in the eye and wondered what to do with it next. They have a poor chance of survival if removed from its native surroundings -- which happened to be my apartment. But obviously, I didn't want it to have the free run of my place, regardless of its chances. So I took it out in the hall and let it go... let it be some other apartment dweller's problem. The last I saw of wee mousie it was running hell-bent-for-leather down the hall and would likely run smack into the fire door at the end, if it didn't stop. Like I said ... no longer my problem. It was either that or down the toilet, and – while it may all be the same in the end – I didn’t have the heart for aggravated mousicide.
How did it happen? Another two months have gone by, and what have I got to show for it? Not much.
There has been a little news, but not much of it good. For instance, I saved up my pension for a number of months, meaning to order some interesting new coins. One was from medieval Florence, two from medieval Venice, one from the reign of Edward IV in the 15th. century, a fourth that was struck by the second son of Pompey the Great, after Caesar’s assassination, that would have completed my collection of both sons, and the end of the Pompeian dynasty. There were other, lesser coins as well, but what did it matter? Everyone of them was lost in the mail! The dealer mailed them and the coins never arrived in my mail box!
The “good” news is that I’m not on the hook. My dealer and I have a good relationship, and – trusting me -- he unfortunately mailed the goods before I authorized payment. When they never arrived, he began a postal investigation that he said would never likely find the missing items, and wrote off the entire loss himself. I’m happy personally, but I wanted the coins that I was willing to pay for. Also, the investigation showed that the package was delivered to the local post office, and then to the carrier. So what happened to the coins? That’s easily explained ... the moron put my package in the wrong mail box in my building, and some dishonest crook, who might live just down the hall from me, opened the package, read the itemized invoice and – even though they likely had no idea what old coins were worth – instantly understood what $1600 on the bottom line meant. He or she then took my coins to a pawn shop, maybe got $100 for them, the pawn show pocketed the rest, and my dealer and I got screwed. Right now I don’t feel kindly to my neighbors, one of whom knew full well that they were stealing from me.
I lied. There is no other news. Oh, except I lost my prescription sunglasses. It would cost me about $100 to replace them, unfortunately, so I’ll be doing without them. I’ll do without my prescription glasses, which I rarely use anyway, and use regular sunglasses that cost next to nothing. So the “good” news is only that I’m not dodging Russian artillery shells while living in the Ukraine.
Although I have no news to share, I have been working. I’m slowly progressing on some colour artwork that will be published in a British fanzine sometime in the Spring. I’ve also been writing quite a lot, working carefully on a new piece of Fraggle Rock fiction, the one that introduces the characters of Kiki and Darl, and explains how Darl starts as a Silly Creature yet ends as a Fraggle. It’s turning out to be a challenge, with subtleties of character I hadn’t suspected would emerge, and curious symmetries in the story-telling that I also hadn’t suspected where there. At the moment I’m around 17,000 words into the story, and I think it is unlikely to fall short of 24,000. It gets quite dark at times, too.
But it all works out in the end... which is more than I can say I feel likely to happen in real life.