EDitorial ± 28-Jun-2011

Cardinal Wolsey of Ipswich: The Facts

Where do scholars look for the essential truth about Cardinal Wolsey, local boy done good? Granted, there are some fine books by the likes of Gwyn, Fletcher, Creighton and Ridley. Rifle through their references and trawl through their table of contents and you still won't find the one true source, the wellspring, the fountainhead that's at the core of a grand conspiracy of historians.

What these learned folk will never admit is that almost everything we know about the son of Ipswich comes from one place: the definitive portrayal of Wolsey by the late Terry Scott in that 1971 classic, Carry On Henry.

Note: you may find it helpful when reading this dialogue to also picture Sid James as Henry and Kenneth Williams as Thomas Cromwell.

Wolsey was ... enigmatic:

This film is based on a recently discovered manuscript by one William Cobbler which reveals the fact that Henry VIII did in fact have two more wives. Although it was at first thought that Cromwell originated the story, it is now known to be definitely all Cobbler's ... from beginning to end.

Wolsey was ... compassionate:

(WOLSEY, escorting Katherine to her execution) Nice day for it, your majesty. Hardly any wind. Good crowd, too.

Wolsey was ... sensitive:

(KATHERINE, being helped up steps to executioner) I can manage, thank you, Cardinal.
(WOLSEY) Don't want you to trip and hurt yourself, ma'am.

Wolsey was ... pragmatic:

(WOLSEY) Do you, Henry, take this woman to...
(HENRY) I do, and so does she. Right love, that's it, through there.

Wolsey was ... diplomatic:

(HENRY) She has got to go!
(WOLSEY) Go? But why?
(HENRY) Why? Because it turns out that her most gracious majesty, Marie, Queen of England, wife of the defender of the faith, is also a biter of the garlic!
(WOLSEY) Garlic, what is garlic?
(CROMWELL) A small bulb bearing plant of the onion family, used extensively by the French.

Wolsey was ... torn:

(HENRY) What did she say?
(HENRY) No?!
(WOLSEY) She refuses to give it up.
(HENRY) Refuses? That settles it! Get her annulled!
(WOLSEY) An old what, sire?
(HENRY) Annul the marriage, you fool!
(WOLSEY) Oh, I'm afraid that would be out of the question, your majesty. The Pope would be livid.

Wolsey was ... wise:

(QUEEN MARIE, locked in the Tower) Oh Wolsey, what is to become of me? Will I ever look up to see the clear blue of the sky again?
(WOLSEY) I really couldn't say, the weather report isn't too good.

Wolsey was ... hard-working:

(QUEEN MARIE) Dear Wolsey, you have always loved me, haven't you?
(WOLSEY) Devotedly, ma'am.
(QUEEN MARIE) Enough to do me a service?
(WOLSEY) What would you like, a matin or a quick vespers?

Wolsey was ... astute:

(WOLSEY) And your master has given permission for it?
(CONTE DI PISA) He has requested me to say that he is most morally shocked... but under certain conditions, he might be prevailed upon to overlook his deep seated and inviolate sense of duty.
(WOLSEY) Alright, how much this time?
(CONTE DI PISA) 5,000 pieces of gold.
(WOLSEY) 5,000?! Come off it, that's double last time!

Wolsey was ... virtuous:

(CROMWELL) Can I be assured this 10,000 is all for Rome?
(WOLSEY) Are you suggesting! How dare you! Know well that I am an honourable man!

Wolsey was ... betrayed:

(HENRY) My dear, beautiful wife. To lose her at such a time. And it's all your fault, you cardinal!
(WOLSEY) Me? What have I done?
(HENRY) What haven't you done? I entrusted her to your safekeeping and you betrayed my trust.
(WOLSEY) Me? I've been trying to get rid of her for the last year.
(HENRY) Enough! There's only one cure for traitors. To the Tower with him!
(WOLSEY) Oh no! Get your hands off me. Sire? Mind me hat!

Wolsey was ... loyal:

(HENRY, stopping Wolsey's beheading) I have urgent need of your services.
(WOLSEY) Well, of course, how splendid, only too happy to serve your majesty!
(HENRY) I want an immediate divorce.
(WOLSEY) What? Carry on, executioner, carry on!

One final point: early proofs of Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall" were said to include this dedication:

To Every Reader: Remain Yourself, Seek Clarity, Observe The Truth

Although later removed, we now know the meaning of this simple acrostic.

EDitorial ± 24-Jun-2011

Felixstowe Light Lunches: McDonald's

Culmination of what's officially called Team Green Britain Bike Week. Andy's pulled together a loose team of 20 or so regular cyclists and encouraged us to record as many "commuting" miles as we can this week, the aim being to score more than other competing companies. However, we've both worked from home one day so we're looking to top up our tallies with a pre-work breakfast meeting. Which is why, as I'm cleaning my teeth at 7am, Andy calls to say he's now passing Woodbridge.

  • 7:05am: leave house, sun's out, guy on snazzy white bike zooms past and turns right down Chevallier St while I head through town centre
  • 7:20am: crawling up Bishop's Hill, same white bike guy overtakes and queries my superior route
  • 7:40am: past Suffolk showground and onto the Levington Road alongside A14
  • 7:45am: Trimley sausage shop roundabout and there's Andy: what timing
  • 7:50am: right turn past Trimley station and follow path to docks near
  • 7:55am: past unlovely Anzani House to behold the golden arches of McDonald's outside the Port of Felixstowe

Bless those McJobbers for being open (and smiling) at this hour and also for providing ample outside seating in the seaside sun: tres continental. Briefly inside to survey the wide ranging Falling Down breakfast menu. Simple brekky bagel for him, pancakes for me. With a patty. And hot maple syrup. Plus butter. Hey, I've worked for these calories. Yum-yum. Bottle of Tropicana goodness too.

Here's friend Rene, albeit in his motorised car. And here's mutual friend Chris fresh from trying to buy some Olympic tickets at 6am. And here's another keen cyclist who's also made the journey from Ipswich. Final swig of coffee and off goes the peloton up the infeasibly steep Peewit Hill. Only another nine miles to Martlesham. Farewell to McDonald's: affordable, open all hours, free newspaper, free WiFi (yes, Burger King, I'm looking at you) and more than acceptable coffee.

If it was a car -- Chevrolet Corvette.
If they were passing by -- Graham Taylor.

EDitorial ± 15-Jun-2011

Ipswich Lunches: Cafe Marina

Flip me a silver dollar, if it isn't my favourite be-dreaded Canadian sitting outside Colours enjoying an English scone. Ex-cafe proprietor and current wedding snapper, it's a cut-short chat before I'm on my way past Theta and Coffeelink. You'll never catch me, Coprolite Street, and right along Duke. Pound to a penny that Andy's Brompton is already chained up.

Spotted over the road from Something Yummy, Cafe Marina has been open for all of one week. Note outside says "Muddy Boots and High Heels Welcome": a good sign, literally. Floor to ceiling windows yield a clean and bright and airy interior. Next time Johnny Depp comes in here, he'll find it hard to go Hollywood and order off-menu since everything is on it:

  • set breakfasts 1 to 8
  • ordinary breakfasts A to C plus veg. option
  • light breakfast
  • panini
  • soup
  • sandwiches
  • jacket potatoes
  • hot lunch, eg spag bol, chilli, lasagne
  • burgers
  • chicken
  • grills
  • pies
  • roasts
  • salads
  • fish
  • omelettes
  • plus kids' menu

Miraculously, mind's made up: gotta be the classic EBCB (previously). Milkshakes are at half-mast before Andy settles on the gammon grill. Helpful young waitress gets him on to the in-house WiFi and fetches our food, plates to please. With a soupcon of squeezy sauce, mine is soon gone. Ah. Open 7am to 7pm Mon to Sat and from 8am to 6pm on Sun, and with competitive prices and not-half-bad coffee, they deserve to stay and thrive.

If it was a car -- Morris Marina 2 Door Coupe.
If they were passing by -- Gerry Anderson.

EDitorial ± 13-Jun-2011

Top 10 Reasons To Fix The Broomhill Road Pot Holes

Top 10 Reasons To Fix The Broomhill Road Pot Holes

  1. becoming awkward to drive around all those abandoned Smart Cars
  2. spotty Westbourne teenage boys cry when called "Broomhill Face"
  3. Borough Council employing extra interns to ignore all those calls and emails
  4. on wet days, a diving board mysteriously appears next to the largest hole
  5. took ages to persuade NASA to remove that Mars Rover
  6. those Ordnance Survey boys demand not just tea but cake too
  7. plumber's mait, kiln-dried sand, heavily salted porridge: all tried, all failed
  8. residents worried by proposed alternative music festival featuring Passion Pit, The Ruts and Hole
  9. more than one child claims to have spoken to The Crater Creatures
  10. parking won't be easy while they're filming that remake of Capricorn One


Seriously, go to FixMyStreet.com -- highly recommended.

EDitorial ± 10-Jun-2011

Light Lunches: Teapot Tea Room, Wickham Market

Some small centres of population don't know they're born, what with a Co-op, butcher, Indian, gift shop, newsagent, chippy, Seagers hardware, fabric store, even one of those hard-to-find libraries you hear about in the news. This is one busy little market town.

The original Gang Of Four (me, Andy, Grenvyle and Kev) wound their way to Wickham Market three years ago to take tiffin at the Teapot. Transported in Rene's carriage, two of those plus Herr Schumacher have now returned to CTRL-Y. Why? It's moved. Was in a prime spot on the square, now been shunted off the square.

Not off to the best of starts when Rene asks after an English breakfast and gets a response in keeping with today's chilly weather. Free tables inside but we head out to seek the elusive sun and flick through the EADT. None too peaceful sitting by the through traffic. Here's their toasted sandwiches and my plainly presented beans on toast. Let's assume that sauces were available though not offered.

Plenty of punters (regulars?) here today; it's a few miles to the next nearest cafe. Back in for cake, and Rene once more fails to connect with his request for half a portion. Not exactly service with a smile. Nice slice, coffee a bit ho-hum, ditto the overall experience. 'Cos it's important to end on a positive note, there's a cool mirror in the loo and a Keep Calm Eat Cake sign. We look forward to coming back once the new cafe is open at their old location.

If it was a car -- Reliant Scimitar.
If they were passing by -- Jacqueline King.

EDitorial ± 6-Jun-2011

Arty Cull

Sounding ever more like Young Mr Grace, ten years ago saw our 10th wedding anniversary. Working forwards, no need to carry or borrow, brings us to our 20th (thanks) this year. Cue Carol Decker: it's china, before you look it up. If we hadn't both already read The City And The City, that would have made a fine Roland gift.

Thanks to one of the Nanas, we were able to escape for not one but two whole days and nights. Q: What do we do without the kids? A: Anything we want! Down to that there south coast to a posh B&B. Let's get arty:

(1) De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (website)

On the front of an unassuming seaside resort sits the Pavilion, a destination in itself. All very lovely. Current exhibition by John Cage -- apparently not the bloke from the Velvet Underground -- didn't do it for us. Much more taken with the black and white pinhole photos and letters upstairs. Tranquility of the venue somewhat undermined by the drainage work out front, but their cafe has to be THE place for a Thoroughly Modernist Illy.

(2) Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (website)

Serendipity struck when we discovered that (a) Chichester was home to a large gallery and that (b) it was open until 8pm on Thursdays. Wandering in, it was clear that An Event was going on. Drink, sir? Canape? Ooh, results of a local art competition. That's good, like that, not sure, etc. Moving on, the building unfurled and seemed to go on and on like Ariston, with fresh delights in each room. Here, some superb illustrations by Mervyn Peake. There, an absorbing Sickert or two. Above, a startling neon chandelier. Below, etchings by Hockney and Rembrandt. And up there, top notch Pop Art with that man Richard Hamilton, including "Hers Is A Lush Situation" -- best title ever?

(3) Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood (website)

Ten minutes north of Chichester and you're not out of the woods. Pay your tenner in the space age office and you're following the trail around "an ever changing display of 80 new monumental sculptures". If you don't like that one, there's another one just behind the next tree. Personal highlights, besides the outdoor loos, were the It Pays To Pray vending machines ("...I am willing / I am able / I am little / Look after me"), the glass stairway to heaven, the exotic tree, and the towering orange tubing. Plus the unsettling Time Guards and the funny tricycle creatures. Stupendous place.

Postscript mention of the Clayton Railway Tunnel, well worth the hassle of a Hassocks detour.