Columnist Di Wade writes about the political correctness of sheep and gingerbread men
TS Eliot might have reckoned April the cruellest month, but I was rather looking forward to it.
Besides the Grand
National, boat race, marathon, Masters and a spot of European gymnastics, (I’m not a complete sports nut, honest), a friend had been waxing lyrical about little lambs gambolling, (one only hopes responsibly), and I’d seen for myself evidence of spring in Avenham Park to suggest golden weeks ahead.
There was also Easter – provided no one decided there shouldn’t be..
April 1: Arrived at work to be instantly parted –via an unceremoniously snapping strap – from a handbag which proved not to contain my lunch or door-pass:
Prior to this, my favourite Welsh taxi driver had also promised to take me anywhere I wanted – then just dropped me at my office as usual.
En route, however, we’d got from Welsh rarebit to Duffy – of whom I remarked I had heard nothing lately, so wondered if she had relocated to a Welsh valley to commune with sheep. I couldn’t say that, he said, it was racist.
He was joking (I sincerely hoped), waiting for a card-carrying colleague to admit me to my office, but it’s the sort of innocuous remark for which you can find yourself pulled up faster than an erring novice at Becher’s these days.
As a lifelong plain-speaking northerner, I confess I don’t get it – from anyone’s point of view.
I was recently identified to a taxi driver outside work as ‘the blind lady in the corner’, of which I’m sure by current lights I might have made much.
I could certainly have preferred, if not ‘yonder babe’ then just ‘the woman in red’.
But then I had a ruddy great white stick stuck up like Blackpool Tower before me, so what else was the guy going to say?
I doubt any of us could have waited while he found the courtliest alternative to ‘as blind as a bat’, while ‘the woman with the big stick’ stood simply to have the driver looking for a dominatrix.
More to the point, however, if I’d had a penny for every less than insightful conception of myself to which I’d become privy,
I could easily retire to that Welsh valley etc, but none of these have come from anyone important in my life, and anyone else can… but it’d probably be too offensive to say...
April 15: Ensconced in Costa with a friend after work, I remarked that it was here I’d learned that there must now be gingerbread women as well as gingerbread men (and thereby probably snowwomen built alongside snowmen, and who knew, whole families of green people at road crossings).
That was nothing, said my friend, she’d read of objections to Father Christmas and Mother Earth now.
So I can but trust to the seemingly going rate for exits applying here, as I can’t begin to see the problem.
However, a belated Happy Easter and St George’s or Georgina’s Day, and at least my favourite Welshman’s still speaking to me.