Visit to Dorcheter yesterday, looked on the tourist guide like a place full of wide open spaces, nice walks and plenty to see. Turned out the ‘green’ spaces were in fact representative of buildings…. my error, my assumption. Place was very much taking advantage of it being a Sunday – almost everything was shut or on limited functionality. Hard to imagine Hardy’s characters wandering the streets here – though of course they are only characters and only occupy our imaginations anyway.#Imaginationfail!
Drove via Cerne Abbas – smaller than I’d imagined – and Sherbourne – now that did look like a nice place. Ended up having lunch (substantial) in a nice roadside pub on way back to Shaftesbury.
Started reading Crete by Antony Beevor. Wow, drop yourself into the 1940’s. Before my time of course (by not much more than a decade) but it reads like something out of a spoof absurd film – and its not, its a serious treatment of the Crete campaign and its precursor – the Greek campaign. The whole thing (well I have read up to page 30 of 343) is peopled by craziness.
The appointment of University lecturers as secret agents because they could speak ancient greek – and then flying them out to Greece with an hour or so’s training. The head of the Greek military intelligence establishing his HQ in a hotel bar, and shouting down numerous phones so people were able to listen to what was going on as they had a drink. The reliance on anyone with a ‘double-barelled’ name as being good at what they were asked to do. The main source for our information coming from a guy who always believed most optimistically what he was told rather than ever going and having a look. The ‘agents’ sent to commando training in the West of Scotland who took their ‘batmen’ with them to look after them. A life in Egypt where officers had cocktails every day from 3 followed by a good old english roast in full uniform…..
You have to feel for the poor Greek soldiers, relying on local villagers to give them a coat to wear in the middle of winter….having to walk everywhere, and not supported by us because our planes could not fly very close to the front line in case we ‘annoyed’ the Germans……
Thankfully this is a thing of the past, no way could anyone except in their most mischeivous moments, ever draw any paralllels with modern day……
NO we don’t work in a world of prejudice, of hanging on to ‘they way its always been’, of application of rules and rituals, of not wanting to ‘rock the boat’……….. of trusting that those in authority, by the nature of being in authority, must be right.
The world changes, but does human nature change at the same pace?