Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Happiness Is a Warm Bum; Full Chat

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Happiness Is a Warm Bum; Full Chat

Article excerpt


YOU may not have noticed as you took them down but Christmas cards tend to have fashionable themes that change with the years.

Once it was all glitter dust, shirt fronts that Liberace would have been proud of and Elton John still is. Then charity cards which helped fund many an African outside toilet.

This year it was snowy pictures from the past.

Now, I'm not quite sure what this black and white nostalgia is all about. Possibly it is a subtle green dig: "Ha, matey boy, mend your ways now or you've seen the last of winter wonderlands like this." But then environmentalists don't do subtle - they do rabid.

This would be strange. Bearing in mind that Britain immediately goes to defcon three if a child's plastic snowdome breaks, what on earth would be so attractive about another 1962? The Beatles, maybe. But 1976? Surely not the Bay City Rollers.

It seems unlikely that we really long for the days when milk froze on the doorstep and pensioners had to be thawed out with a blowlamp.

Do you really want Harold Wilson's Gannex on the news every night and to own a car that won't start from November to April? Most were no better equipped to deal with winter than is a hedgehog.

Oh yes, you had to know how to drive. And a nodding acquaintance with the Common Book Of Prayer was also an advantage.

Because in a crash you might very likely die.

These were the days when Britain was gearing up to lead the world in factory gate brazier production. When a heater was called a coat and, with the exception of VW's Beetle, hardly anything on the road was German.

How times have changed. In a snow scene today there would be any number of Mercedes, BMWs and Audis along with representatives form the Health and Safety Executive checking your journey really is necessary.

Bringing us slip sliding up to the cool disposition of the coupe Audi A5 TDi Quattro. …

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