LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
21 May 2015
Your Number's Up
            

The numbers add up – to 533 – the combined ages of the alleged Hatton Garden
burglars. It has been the literal ages of the gang that the media has been
obsessed with. Enough puns to wish English was your second language. I
should think the efficiency, cleverness, ingeniousness of their plan might be of
interest. No? They abseiled down the lift shaft to the basement for god’s sake!
Age an issue? Really? Retirees? Really?

The ages: 74, 67, 59, 58, 50, 48, 42

The houses: 12 houses in Kent, East London, North London - a 5 bed-room
£850,000 house hidden behind high walls and trees, a semi-detached £500,000
house in Enfield.

The jobs: a plumber and a second-hand car dealer,

The job: £10m worth of jewels and cash (although ‘experts’ quote £200m) from
72 safe deposit boxes

The charges: nine have been charged so far

The neighbours: Doyle was described by neighbours as “always willing to lend a
hand”. “He has two lovely kids.” “They were always building and working on their
houses, so it was horrible to have to live so close to them. There would be
constant banging, all day and night”. “Filthy rich”. Two days before the police
raid, Brian Reader and son were in a “stand-up row”. “They were shouting and
swearing at each other really loudly. I could not believe it because they are
supposed to be father and son. But whatever the argument was about they were
going crazy with each other – with lots of swearing and shouting.” Oh dear.
Trouble in paradise.

What’s curious is that the stolen cash/jewels were not hidden as cleverly as the
crime plan. The plumber, Hugh Doyle, admires Arnie and Stallone. Arnie and
Sly…possibly not the brightest.


You Can Bank on It

Meanwhile, the £20 note is looking for a new face. Members of the public have
been asked to nominate creative figures whom they believe should appear on
the next note.

The Bank of England said that the new note will “celebrate Britain’s
achievements in the visual arts”. These include artists, architects, sculptors,
printmakers, designers, craftspeople, ceramicists, fashion designers,
filmmakers, and photographers of historical significance.

The rules: the person must be British and dead. Those already in the frame (I
know) are: Hogarth, LS Lowry (no), possibly Freud (no), JMW Turner and
Constable as well as Richard Attenborough and William Morris. Alexander
McQueen is a popular choice (yes). I’m thinking Barbara Hepworth. 40 percent
want Banksy. Yes, they know he’s alive. But seriously, what a great choice. The
image would be blank. Admit it. You did smile didn’t you.

Nominations for your chosen artist is on the Bank of England website until 19th
July. You will have to wait for possibly five years before the note is in circulation.
Not exactly immediate gratification. Think about favourite artists who might be
dead by then….


Flat Out

So the argument, backlash, protest continues? Seemingly. To be a misogynist or
not be a misogynist. That is the question. Curious? Probably not, however, the
Cannes argument persists.

“It is obligatory for all women to wear high-heels to red-carpet screenings”. Flats
on feet were simply not acceptable even if they were on the red carpet for the
only the three allotted minutes. Gender inequality at Cannes? No. Really? Oh
those old French men. Pathétique fascist flat faux pas. No referencing centuries
of bound feet though. Just saying.

Women were denied entry to the world premiere of the hit of the basically boring
festival,
Carol, staring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in a lesbian relationship
in 1950s New York which was adapted from the book by Patricia Highsmith. It
has been mentioned repeatedly that the women were ‘over 50’. And the point
exactly? Oh you so know what it was.

When asked if this was her first lesbian encounter, Blanchett apparently smiled
a coy knowing-smile: “On film — or in real life?” Naturally pressed for details
Blanchett responded: “Yes. Many times,” she had “relationships with women”.
Not transparent at all. She has since denied any relationships. Tut tut. Losing
respect here….

Online, ‘men’ have taken to compare weaving and wobbling in agony on
stilettoes with wearing a bow tie. A  b o w t i e! Does that mean their little bow
ties are tied so tightly that they are losing oxygen to their small brains? Not easy
to comment on such utter idiocy.

Just when you were getting weary of seeing every actress naked on all fours
grimacing, moaning, bouncing in sexual ‘ecstasy’,
Enter the Void ‘shock
director’ Gaspar Noé has offered up 3D sex scenes. Oh joy.

Noé thinks 12 year olds should be able to see the in-your-face ménage à trois.
He says the film is about love and genitals are a necessity to convey the
message. Hmmm. So it’s not gratuitous porn then. Be prepared; ejaculated
outcomes (so sorry, but what word would you have used) are included in the 3D
effect. Ew. Yuck. Aurgh. I’m blocking out any possible images – now.

Do despair. He promises: “guys will have erections and girls will get wet”.
Despair and be disgusted. As it happens
Guardian’s film critic, Peter Bradshaw,
gave it three stars and called it: “a raunchy vaudeville with a surreal streak of
despair”. His word – and apparently mine as well.

So where does that leave women on the red carpet you may wonder.  Still in
stilettos with fake-tans, fake nails, fake hair extensions, fake breasts, fake bums,
dieting and waxing to look like they are available, attainable, on call – so to
speak. So boring. So not fun. So get a job as a physicist.

It’s been reported that Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t have a problem with stilettoes.
He busied himself ‘hand-picking’ women for his after party. “All the ones he
chose were models, naturally.” As men do at Cannes.

Still thinking about flats? Of course you are. Taking a non-sequitur detour; “Sir
Paul McCartney will be living in the sky with Nancy. The couple just bought a
trophy $15.5 million penthouse duplex at 1045 Fifth Ave. While the building is not
iconic, the penthouse, with its wraparound balconies, boasts glamorous Central
Park views.” US rappers need to be alerted.


Idiots All

Marie-France van Heel. Never heard of her? Well, she’s married to front-runner
Labour leader hopeful, Andy Burnham. There’s more.

The best bit is that she has labelled the Tories “idiots” and “bloody awful”. Ah.
Life can be so good.

The Dutch Ms van Heel is a brand consultant. Perfect. In 2013 she described
the smarmy multi-millionaire (who last year alone raked in more than £1m from
an educational company) Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, as looking “bloody
awful” during a TV appearance and “Not surprising, he is feeling haunted about
the totally mismanaging of the NHS.” She called Boris “an idiot”. “Can’t we have
a military coup to get rid of our democratically elected government?” Oh yes
please.

You must have new respect for Andy. Who knew?
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