The Indomitable British Spirit

People dressed in warm clothing sit at tables with their drinks outside a cafe on a snowy day.
Come what may, we’re eating outside today.

Now that non-essential shops have reopened the desperate public have been unleashed onto pubs, restaurants and cafes en masse. It’s like we’ve all been doing a long stretch in prison and are finally tasting sweet, sweet freedom in the sunshine.

Well, I say sunshine but even with the thing gleaming away it still seems to be unrelentingly cold at the moment. Did you see the snow falling the other week? Eating outside is a joyous experience… in the south of France or Spain for example, but in the cold, wet and windy island of the UK it’s a battle of wills between diner and the elements of nature themselves.

You end up being stuck in that rather unfortunate situation where you want to make the most of a rare opportunity to eat out, but at the same time you’re also inhaling your lunch at break-neck speed before it goes completely stone cold. Still, if that’s what we’ve got to do then by jove we’ll do it with gusto!


We’re So Lucky

Cartoonist, News

You’ve got to admit, despite whatever petty problems we may have in our world at the moment, you know, things like petrol prices, the dishwasher being full of clean things when you want to load it up, governments being a bit annoying – that kind of thing. At the end of the day, it could be so much worse. For instance, take Iran, they do a variety of things that give one pause. For example, only the other day Mahmoud Shokraye drew conservative MP Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani as a caricature playing football. It didn’t look any different from something you might get street side in a holiday destination.

Apparently though, Mr Ashtiani took offense at being depicted as a chubby football player and he complained, as a result Mr Shokraye was given 25 lashes.

25 LASHES! They flogged a man for drawing a cartoon?! Good grief, we’ve got political cartoons in the newspapers all the time, we had Spitting Image for goodness sakes and they scourged a man for drawing this:
Iran cartoonistIranian MP Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani by cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraye

What kind of a world do we live in where countries are allowed to flog political satirists? That must be so terrifying, living in a place like that, being utterly terrified of expressing yourself creatively for fear of reprisal.

It certainly makes me appreciate the liberty in which we live right now, for all of our problems, at least we can draw pictures of whomever we like and take the mickey out of people if we want to without breaking the law. I’m grateful for that.