Alistair’s “Random Rambles” (35)


kathy-newBy Kathy Martin…

Written October 2014

This part of my ramble is about naked women! However, to the relief of my more puritanical readers, and (possibly) to the disappointment of those with raunchy imaginations, there will be no explicit details or images! I am going to start with Lady Godiva, who is probably the most (if not the only) famous “naked” lady in English history.

Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva was a “real” person who lived in Mercia (modern “middle England”) in the 11th century. She is mentioned in the Norman Domesday records of 1067 as being the widow of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. Incidentally, she is the only female Anglo-Saxon landowner to be recorded in the Domesday Records.

There are no documentary records of Lady Godiva’s famous “naked” ride through the streets of Coventry until the 13th century, some 200 years after her death. Undoubtedly, folklore tales had been verbally handed down through the generations by bards, no doubt being embellished at each and every re-telling.

However, even the 13th century documentary records differ somewhat. In one version Lady Godiva pleads with Leofric, her husband to reduce taxes, when he doesn’t she threatens to (and then actually does) ride naked on a horse through the streets of Coventry.

In another, Leofric says that he will reduce taxation if she rides naked on a horse through the Coventry streets, perhaps not realising that she actually will! Or, maybe, he was just a “dirty old Man”!

The cautionary tale about a “peeping Tom” who is struck blind by God because he bores a hole in the shutters of his house, so that he could spy on Lady Godiva, doesn’t appear until the 17th century!

If God was so concerned with the welfare and propriety of only one lady in the 11th century, where was he on the night of 14th November 1940 when the German Luftwaffe fire-bombed large industrial and residential areas of Coventry, not only killing 800 people but also leaving thousands more wounded and homeless in what was probably the most devastating air raid on Britain during the Second World War?

What alerted me to Lady Godiva was a news article stating that the City of Coventry is very upset and that its “rich heritage is under threat” because seven years ago a Belgian confectionery giant registered the legal ownership of her name for use on a brand of chocolates!

Coventry

Coventry

Personally I can see nothing wrong with Lady Godiva’s name being registered as a product brand in a foreign country. I would like to point out to the harrumphing “historic Coventry” society that this is a superb marketing or advertising ploy that has been ignored by entrepreneurs in Coventry for decades, if not centuries!

Lawyers acting for the Belgian confectionery company have apparently threatened legal action over the use of “Lady Godiva” to a businessman. This businessman doesn’t live or work in Coventry, or even the United Kingdom, but owns a British themed pub in Geneva, Switzerland! According to press reports, the owner of the pub, a Briton, who opened the “Lady Godiva”, also seven years ago, has been told that the Belgian confectionery company hold the name “Lady Godiva” as “intellectual property” and that customers may become confused at not being able to buy their chocolate products at the bar!

Despite carrying out extensive research, I can find no evidence (apart from the final sentence in the paragraph above) that the Belgians have an “April Fools Day” in the middle of October!

  • Firstly, to have a naked lady as “intellectual property” seems incongruous. When I and my school chums were into “girlie” magazines, what we admired about the (then) semi‑clad (naked-ish) ladies were attributes that were, well, er more visible than their intellect!
  • Secondly, although the pub is called “The Lady Godiva”, does this imply that only “Lady Godiva” products can be sold there? If this principle is applied throughout the pub industry how many people have been disappointed and frustrated at only being able to buy a drink, but not a yacht or cabin cruiser in a pub called “The Ship”?

While on the subject of naked ladies, a modern “situation” has arisen. Apparently female stars and “wannabees” of the entertainment industry have been using their phones to take intimate photographs of themselves and then either send them to a friend or store them on an “i-cloud”! Once they are on the cloud, hackers have been able to retrieve them and subsequently publish them on “the web”.

A number of questions arise.

  • Firstly, why? I am not a prude by any means, but why do these women take exhibitionist photos of themselves? One of the recent “victims” said that she had sent her pictures to her boyfriend so that he wouldn’t have to resort to pornography! Presume she had no objection to him resorting to pornography, providing it was with her, and not a “stranger”!
  • Secondly, once having been sent to a recipient, why not delete the photographs? Why send them to an “i-cloud” (apparently this is techno-speak for “filing cabinet” for those with an android ice cream jelly bean sandwich) where the photos can be hacked and then distributed worldwide?

OK, people’s personal filing cabinets shouldn’t be burgled and their lurid contents displayed to all and sundry, but the existence of hackers who specialise in this sort of “crime” has been known for some time. I think it was a few months ago when one of the actresses in the TV series “Downton Abbey” complained in the popular UK press that this had happened to her.

Since then many other actresses have had their names in the paper claiming that they too, had suffered the same treatment! Did they really, or was this just a publicity stunt to get their names brought to the attention of the public?

cloudHaving mentioned the word “cloud” in one of the paragraphs above, we have had a few rain showers in our village recently, some heavy and some refreshing, but no flooding (yet!). However, some areas were not so lucky; areas in the capital, Lefkoşa and the major commercial port of the TRNC, Gazi Maḡusa, were flooded over a period of 3 days!

Fortunately both the national and local governments have reacted with great alacrity. They have …well….er….um…er…..set up committees to evaluate the situation and initiate projects to ensure that flooding  doesn’t occur anywhere in Kibris again!

rainOne of these projects is that natural stream beds and man-made ditches and sewers will be cleared of rubbish and other detritus. Phew, that’s a relief, now we can all relax, confident that insurance premiums for both residential and commercial properties will diminish. Commuters, both business people and tourists will no longer be stranded or inconvenienced by floods and Turkish Cypriots will be able to vocalise to “Singing in the Rain” without a care in the world!

But hold on!

This is exactly what the same governmental departments (although possibly staffed by different people) have said that they would do in 2013, 2012, and possibly for decades before! The headlines and articles in the local press and media have been almost identical year after year at the start of the rainy season, certainly since the year 2006 when we emigrated here!

It is tempting, and indeed somewhat justifiable to blame the authorities for the failure to ensure that their (or their predecessors) projects aren’t being carried out before the start of the rainy season but they are not the real culprits. Inadequate drainage systems in the infrastructure of roads and buildings have been blamed, but the real culprits are some (but probably not all) of the people who live here, as well as (possibly) some of the tourists.

People must be educated to realise that drainage channels, whether natural or man-made, are not rubbish-tips, however convenient they may be!

Turtle in plastic can holder

Turtle in plastic can holder

Two weeks ago I rambled about the plastic pollution in our sea and oceans and this horrific image appeared on our Facebook page.

The power of plastic! This turtle likely crawled through a discarded plastic ring of a 6-pack of beer or soda when it was a baby, and now is being forever strangled in a plastic hangman’s noose!

Please dispose your rubbish responsibly!

Try to avoid plastic products, if at all possible! So many defenceless animals die or are injured like this poor turtle because of someone’s reckless carelessness!

Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles

These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum