Ambassador Blues

It’s Monday morning, a dull Bank holiday and I am sitting cross-legged on the lounge floor drinking coffee and listening to ‘A Song for Europe’ by Roxy Music. How ironic, since just two days ago we watched the Eurovision Song Contest on TV from Vienna, whose lovely Conchita Wurst had triumphed last year in her black whiskers and long golden frock. Oh Mother of Pearl! And I find myself leafing through ‘The Ambassadors’, Henry James’ epic masterpiece about An American in Paris…such long, elaborate sentences and densely-packed ideas, moving at once in a straightforward but distorted narrative realm.
Ambassador Blues

“She told me you had gone to Paris
In search of purple shadows; it was
Raining softly when I left the station, with
No idea of who to ask or where to look.

The enemy turned out to be quite nothing
Of the sort, both languid and alert
The crowded bars performed seduction on my
Hungry soul as once again along that street I walked.

Eighteen or forty or a hundred times I made my way
Trying to locate the doorway where you had last been seen.
She could be lying, I suppose; but no two times
Did that street look the same to me.

Empty-handed on my return I didn’t let her know
That we had met. What use would be another shot of pain
Into a trusting heart? And anyway, the man I met
Is not the one who left five years ago.”


29 March: “Well, on Friday night went off to Truro after work, met up with Jean and Gaz, and we went off to a 70s/80s disco at the Crab and Ale House. Good fun, nice atmosphere.
Saturday went to jumble sale at the Youth Drop-In centre in St A, bought a copy of ‘Crying of Lot 49’.
Yesterday came back here & found that Debbie and Simon had split up (he got drunk and tried to wreck the house).
Today at work was making excellent progress on my silver lacquer. At about 20 to 5 Craig asked if I had a minute to spare.
We went to the conference room & he said that after 3 months my performance didn’t warrant their faith in me as a poss replacement for LT or Richard so I was being let go; ‘we’re not sure that you’re right for us or we’re the right firm for you…’
I retrieved all my belongings from cupboards and drawers, packed bike up. Craig watched like a hawk to make sure I didn’t sabotage the PC or steal my lab notebook.
Still, now I know why LT has avoided speaking to me for the past 2 weeks. And during our meeting last week Craig said that we’re very busy, and so he would not authorise any holiday requests for April.”

30 March: “Today I swooped down to my local Jobcentre Plus and got leaflet about signing on. Also found a job advert on their computer system for a Chemist (research in coatings and paints) at Fire Protection in Redditch.
Last night went down to Seven Stars, had 1 pint Heligan, watched a bit of Man City v Wigan and came back.
Pondering on my time at KC; a few weeks back, on St Pat’s Day, we used Machine no. 1 to coat some ‘Somerset Fine Arts’ paper. Going through the safety checks, we found that one of the machine stop pull-cords was not working, but LT said we would just carry on and get maintenance to fix it later.
Fortunately the firm has young Steph, a family friend of LT, to take over my job. And as I said to Derek, ages ago, ‘I feel as if they offered me the job on the understanding that I would decline it’.”


Small Business letter to the Telegraph; an attempt to defraud the electorate?

‘Thousands of small business leaders endorse Cameron and Osborne’…although some of them were so enthusiastic that their names appear twice or three times in the list. And some of them are suffering from amnesia, so that they neglect to mention that they are actually Tory candidates or councillors.


How the letter from small business owners to the Telegraph in support of the Tories fell apart

UPDATE 21:00 The list is back up. Scanning it for changes. It was down for a good twenty minutes, then briefly up then disappeared again and now it is back up. No possibility of mistaken http, as it was open on my desktop when it suddenly refreshed to this. What is going on?



UPDATE 20:30 on 28/4: The Telegraph has finally taken down the list of businesses which purported to have signed the letter. The link is now dead. The letter is still on their website, but the link to the signatories leads nowhere. No statement or apology has been issued as far as I am aware – from The Telegraph, CCHQ or Karen Brady.

The Charity Commission has become involved now, writing to charities it has identified from the list. A spokesperson…

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