Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Flicking today through the small ads of a local paper to get to the sports news, my eye was caught by a picture of a scantily-dressed lady who was inviting men [I suppose] to call and ‘Show me something new’. Quite a challenge, I’d imagine.

The same paper carried a report that the police were interviewing an employee of a brothel near Barcelona who’d had not just one but two men die of a heart attack while she’d been easing their tension. Albeit at different times. I should imagine that, if she stays out of prison, she’ll be able to raise her prices.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the battle of Trafalgar was the rewards dished out afterwards by a grateful but cynical government. Much of the ‘prize money’ was lost when a horrendous hurricane shortly after the battle sank most of the captured French and Spanish ships but, nonetheless, the officers did pretty well. The ordinary sailors, however, fared abominably, even those who’d been badly injured. In sharp contrast, Nelson’s brother was given a title, a capital sum equivalent to 8 million dollars and a massive annual pension. His sisters didn’t do too badly either. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Worst of all, despite Nelson’s final wishes, Lady Hamilton and their daughter got zilch and Lady H later died in poverty.

An even more fascinating detail – to me at least – is that Nelson’s body was placed in a stone sarcophagus that had originally been meant for Cardinal Wolsey. It ‘d been hanging around St Paul’s for a few hundred years after the Cardinal had fallen out of favour with Henry VIII and been denied his due.

Finally on this theme, it’s interesting to note that Nelson’s French opponent later committed suicide by stabbing himself 7 times in the chest. Apparently, there was a Europe-wide joke during the early years of the 19th century about how lucky Napoleon was that his failed officers kept killing themselves and saving him the trouble of court-marshalling them.

Back to the here and now, the cacophonous Catalan kids have arrived next door for their July holiday. So it’s a very good job that nice-but-noisy Tony is back at sea. At least I don’t have it in stereo.

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