Monday, November 17, 2014

10 Years of Ramblings – a review by The Editor

This is a landmark day. It is the tenth anniversary of the first post to this blog. Moreover, it is the first time that I, until now merely an editor,  have been requested to write my own post, and I am grateful, and not a little humbled, for this scintilla of recognition from the columnist whom I have served for so long. Our roles have been reversed. Sadly, I assume that various snide comments will be inserted in italics by way of puerile revenge for the many essential and invigorating notes that I myself have been required to make over the years, to correct vague or unsupported assertions, to point out contradictions or to raise, in a diplomatic way, the problem of writing about matters of which the reading public could hardly be expected to be cognisant. [Jeepers - and he complains about my long sentences: AG] Behind the scenes I have fought the long struggle on behalf of English grammar and clarity, doing my best to whittle down many a long and rambling (ha, ha) paragraph into manageable and meaningful sentences. I think my little contributions have been appreciated by the readership. [Dream on, brother: AG]

It has not always been easy. Sometimes references to obscure teams playing association football or to icons of popular culture have passed me by [This says a lot more about you than about me: AG].

I find the derogation of certain, perfectly worthy, commercial enterprises, demeaning and unnecessary. If an advertisement offends by its crassness, untruths and grotesque mental images then surely a quiet word with the persons responsible would be so much more productive than emblazoning the offence here for all to see. [But writing about it here is so much more fun, do y'see?: AG]

When the transport authorities of this great city fail to run a normal service, or issue utterly misleading or unhelpful information when problems arise, there again there are certain channels where a disgruntled commuter might, in a civilised and constructive manner, evince his dissatisfaction. There is no need to embroil the general public in such matters.

 I deplore the misuse of the internet space so kindly and generously donated by Messrs. Google for the venting of the personal vendettas and, yes, spleen of an individual. [You just don’t get this whole interweb business, do you?: AG]

Fortunately, there are moments of delight that outweigh the brutish savagery sometimes displayed. Who can be unmoved by descriptions of the beauty of Ruislip and the glimpses of other parts of our metropolis afforded by vantage points on public transport? Each spring our hearts are in our mouths as we wait for the latest bulletin on the frogs in the pond. And the slow-burning but ever-popular feature on trams of all cities is a cascade of wonder. We are the richer for such musings.[Gosh, thanks. I feel warm all over. Or is that the central heating?: AG]

And what of the future? I am assured that the Ramblings will continue, albeit with considerably less
commuterial content than before. I fear this may presage even more attacks on the foundations of our civilisation than we have hitherto been accustomed to digest. Nonetheless, green eye-shade pulled well down and red pencil to hand, I shall continue to review, to annotate and to correct. I give you my pledge.


 [Well, that’s that for another 10 years. Back to normal with the next despatch, folks. Keep the faith: AG]

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