Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sex and drugs and Members of Parliament....

The above named chapess is named Louise Mensch - Louise Bagshawe as was until her recent marriage. She is Conservative MP for Corby, which - let the record show - is a dump. She attracted a certain amount of attention in failing to ask any seriously searching questions to Papa and Baby Doch when they were before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons (a failure she shares with the rest of the Committee with the partial exception of Tom Watson MP).

An 'investigative journalist' has been on our heroine's case. He goes by the name of David Jones but may be just about anybody. Feel free to drop him a virtual line if curious  - like so and ask. 'Jones' has failed to state what newspaper or magazine he was proposing to place the 'story' of our Louise's somewhat historic misdemeanours in. 'What misdemeanours?' I hear overseas readers - and no doubt some British ones - cry?


The Jones 'indictment' reads as follows... 'Whilst working at EMI, in the 1990s, you (Mensch) took drugs with Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham, including dancing on a dance floor, whilst drunk, with Mr Kennedy, in front of journalists'

Poor sentence construction there but I digress...

La Mensch's response? She said she couldn't remember but the incident 'sounds highly probable' .

Probably too stoned to remember.

Seriously, as  responses go that one has class. Warming to her theme, Louise confesses 'since I was in my twenties, I'm sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young. I am not a very good dancer and must apologise to any and all journalists who were forced to watch me dance that night at Ronnie Scott's'.

The rabbit trusts the apology soothes any distress experienced by the assembled reptiles.

Oh and it turned out that la Mensch was fired from EMI. In the rabbit's opinion, anyone who has never been fired by an employer is too much of a goody goody to be allowed out. 'Jones' alleges that she was fired for writing fiction with a sexual content (aka chick lit) in working hours. 'It (the writing) was all done after work hours. It was also not why I was fired by EMI. "Leaving work early"and "missing the odd day at work" along with "inappropriate dress" were the reasons quoted to me'.

The rabbit is not generally a fan of Conservatives but the more he learns of this person, the more he likes her. Tragically, no further details are given of the "inappropriate dress".

Given the investigations into tabloid hacking, a conspiracy theory can be created around these 'investigations'. The rabbit's hunch is that just some random idiot with no judgement is behind the non-story. In any event, one person comes out of the story with credit and his name ain't Jones.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Some Grateful Dead for the weekend...

Things a bit hectic as may be imagined after recent events but I was playing some Dead on YouTube while trying to catch up with work things and here are a coupleI don't think I've posted this version of Uncle John's Band - from the Radio City Halloween concert 1980 before, But if I have - enjoy again anyway.

I've certainly never posted this clip - New Speedway Boogie - Toronto 1970 as I've never come across it before. The film quality is a bit hazy but these things can't be helped. Note Pigpen on harp. The song is about Altamont yenno.

One more? Oh okay then - Sugar Magnolia Stanford University 9th February 1973. I think it must be sound only with assorted concert clips and stills added. If this doesn't get you moving then check your pulse. You are probably dead.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Knob of the Week 5

Just to show that grandparenthood has not mellowed the rabbit much, here is the fifth in what is turning into a more than occasional series - White Rabbit Knob of the Week. For snobbery above and beyond the call of duty and indifference to our liberties, this week's winner of the august award is John Beveridge QC (above). Our man is concerned about protests and has called on theresa May, a Home Secretary, to ban 'left-wing' marches in Piccadilly after damage to the Ritz at anti-cuts protests earlier this year.

Adding much to the sum total of human knowledge, he announced that such marches attracted 'ragtag protesters who 'become violent and urinate all over the place'.

Ermmm... Simultaneously?

Warming to his theme, Beveridge adds 'I have written to the Home Secretary, who has responded in the usual pusillanimous and ambiguous way, that these marches should be sent on routes that don’t take them past Fortnum and Mason and Cartier and the Ritz, that pass ordinary shops that won’t so inflame them. There’s no fun for them in attacking Safeway or Costcutter, but they love beating up the Ritz

The Home Secretary should have a bit more political guts and say that this type of march must be diverted elsewhere'

Asked if he was concerned such restrictions might infringe on some democratic rights, he said he 'couldn’t care less'.

The couldn't care less bit is the clincher. Consider yourself awarded Knob of the Week...

As an equal opportunity blogger the rabbit is pleased to award Deputy Knob of the Week to  the first female person to reach such distinction, namely U.S. Alternate Representative to the UN Rosemary DiCarlo for opposing Palestine's application to the UN for full membership status on the grounds that it is 'unilateral'. Putting aside the point that with 120 supporting countries, this a somewhat odd example of unilateral....

Wasn't the American Declaration of Independence just a touch unilateral?

The rabbit is a grandfather

Baby boy - no name yet - safely arrived at St Thomas' Hospital this morning!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Fat Freddy's Cat, Hawkwind and Deputy Knob

The rabbit has been asked, 'who is Fat Freddy's Cat'? A reasonable question, I am sure all will agree. There is a context, Namely that the rabbit's Yahoo identity is 'fatfreddyscat'. The answer is that Fat Freddy's Cat was a spinoff cartoon strip from Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers cartoon strips. Fat Freddy was the obtuse, dope addled Freak Brother (okay they were all dope addled but Freddy was particularly dim). His cat, on the other hand, was brighter than him. Not that this was difficult.

He was in the of habit of showing his contempt for the brothers by various tricks such as using their headphones as an - erm - cat toilet and clawing upon their black vinyl.

Beyond being a put upon subverter of human stupidity, Fat Freddy's Cat was constantly put upon himself by an array of feline nephews and nieces.

So that's about it. Save to say that so far as I know he didn't have a name apart from 'Fat Freddy's Cat' which is plainly nonsense (okay apart from apparently 'Uncle F' which doesn't count) as it is a truth universally acknowledged that all cats have names. Except for the feral ones and Fat Freddy's Cat was not a feral cat.  
The rabbit has been greatly entertained by the Friday night rock stuff on BBC4 of late. Friday before last was Kinks night which was huge fun and last Friday there was a documentary about stoned rockers Hawkwind who were really known for two things. Firstly, they had a dancer called Stacia who was 6 foot 2 and had 52 inch breasts. She used to take her clothes off and dance. She also painted herself blue in the manner of an ancient Briton. As you do. Secondly, Lemmy, later of Motörhead, was their bassist for a while - apaprently a difficult relationship (wrong sort of drugs on Lemmy's part).

The rabbit's favourite Hawkwind story is that they once turned off for a concert more than usually over-refreshed on assorted pharmaceuticals, stumbled onstage and came out with the immortal line 'we'd like to get it together but we don't think we can' and stumbled back offstage. They were part of the group who rejected the Isle of Wight festival on the grounds that music should be free and played outside the perimeter. They would reputedly often turn down paying concerts to play free ones. The rabbit was going to put up their only major hit Silver Machine only to find 'embedding disabled by request'. Guys! Guys! What is going on here? Pension fund to top up? Anyway, Hurry On Sundown makes an okay substitute.

Simply Wondered - who the rabbit has previously opined should write more - he does it very well, complains following last week's Knob of the Week to the effect that knobs in high places rather exclude the ordinary knob in the street. I suppose he has a point albeit that one previous winner of this prestigious award, 'Cranmer', is a mere blogger so there is hope for all. But in the interests of fairness, a new award namely Deputy Knob is awarded to the utterly anonymous bloke who spent the entire journey on the 7.58 Thameslink from East Croydon to City Thameslink last Friday snogging an overweight young woman. It's not so much the snogging that wins this prestigious award but the fact that every time he came up for air between snogs he made a snorting noise. Memo to Deputy Knob: this is really not nice. Do not do this in a public place.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Lucian Freud, overdoing it and Knob of the Week 4

The rabbit was sad to learn of the death of British artist Lucian Freud at the age of 88 last Wednesday. Above is his self-portrait Reflection. Freud's early works owed much to surrealism but started in his 30s to paint portraits, usually nudes to the exclusion of pretty much everything else.

Above is an early Freud portrait - Girl with a white dog from 1951-2. The sitter is in fact his first wife, Kitty. Freud had extraordinary rapport with his sitters - which is just as well as he took up a very large amount of their time - up to a year. 'You are the centre of his world while he paints you. But then he moves on to someone else' said one.

Many of his portaraits are nudes, both male and female. Above is Blonde girl on a bed from 1987. The portraits are intimate and never flattering. Some of the images are positively disturbing. Although not an outright recluse, he painted at home, never gave out his phone number and rarely left London. Among his better known sitters wer Kate Moss and fellow artist David Hockney (mercifully clothed in Hockney's case).

Below is Boy on a sofa from 1944. The boy, who was named Billy Lumley, tried to break into Freud's flat. Freud did a deal with him. If Lumlwey sat for him, Freud would not report him to the police. Unsurprisingly the boy accepted. The portrait was sold in the same year for £14. It recently was sold again - at Sothebys for £1.5 million.

A fascinating man and creative genius, grandson of Sigmund, brother of Clement and father of Bella. Talented lot those Freuds. Very much a man of his time. We will not see his like again.

Two stories caught the rabbit's eye yesterday, both of which seemed examples of the contemporary tendency to overdo it. Firstly, it is hard to keep track of how many Deputy Mayors London has but one is called Richard Barnes, it emerges. He is in charge of equality it transpires. Barnes is in hot water. The topic is rebuilding Euston station. Barnes as follows: 'are they like most Irish builders ... saying it's going to be roughly that' Whereupon our man licked his finger as if checking the wind direction.

Rabbit reaction. Witless Tory boy stuff. Nothing to get too worked up about though. Enter Labour Assembly member Murad Qureshi huffing and puffing for all he is worth.

'I was taken aback by the comment' pronounces our man. 'Given the huge contribution made by the Irish in building London, this is particularly offensive'.
'What is even more shocking, is that he made these comments as the Mayor's lead on equality and diversity policies. He should make an unreserved apology to the Irish in London'.

Burden has apologised. Albeit that the remark was better unsaid we are hardly in hate speech territory here. Perhaps the more highblown flights of condemnatory rhetoric should be reserved for really offensive pronouncements not the merely dumb and stereotyping.

For further overdoing it, step forward the TaxPayers' Alliance. Mervy King (above on bottom right) - of whom the rabbit is no fan - is Governor of the Bank of England. He was at the cricket at Lord's yesterday and thus incurred the ire of the TaxPayers' Alliance. Apparently King was also spotted recently at Wimblebore. 'Taxpayers might reasonably expect that given the very immediate crises in the eurozone, Mr King would spend a little less time watching sport and a little more time in the office' huffed and puffed TaxPayers' alliance campaign director Emma Boon. Give us a break (as it were). 'Man goes to sporting event' is hardly a dreadful dereliction of duty. What is he supposed to be doing? Locking himself in a vault at the Bank of England for purposes of self-flagellation? Maybe again the overblown rhetoric could be saved for something serious to complain about.

While on the subject of cricket (sort of) the rabbit is enough of a cricket anorak to notice that the USA Cricket Association is engaged in a tournament with the lengthy title of the ICC Americas Division 1 T20. He is even such an anorak as to have a look at the USA squad for the tournament. Two facts stuck out. Firstly, none of the USA squad is white. Secondly their countries of birth are as follows: Jamaica 4, Guyana 3, India 3, Pakistan 3, not stated 1. Oh and one player was actually born in the USA - the Bronx to be exact. The rabbit wishes them well in their missionary work.

Above is the winner of the fourth White Rabbit Knob of the Week, Lord Carlisle of Berriew for contributing to gagging a member of his own party - Baroness Tonge - for whom the rabbit has high regard - in the House of Lords. There is a bill going through parliament with the clunking title of the Police Reform and Social Responsibilty Bill. Tucked away in it is a clause (155 as you ask) on any sensible view originating with the arrest warrant issued by an English court against Israeli politician Tzipiu Livni. Sadly, she was never arrested on the warrant but a barrage of toys thereupon flew out of the Israeli pram. Connsequences could follow, they darkly hinted. Why being threatened by the international political equivalent of Billy No Mates is so scary remains obscure but the UK government duly rolled over and wagged its paws in the air. The right of a private individual to apply for an arrest warrant under universal jurisdiction was to go. The odious Livni and her ilk would be able to swan about the UK free of any risk of getting their collars felt for war crimes. Jenny Tonge has been one of the few to stand against this snivelling capitulation.

I copy and paste from Hansard...

Baroness Tonge - 'I will briefly run through once again the current right of a private citizen to initiate a private prosecution by applying to a senior district judge to issue an arrest warrant for such criminals as war criminals. We are
not talking about ordinary crimes, but about very big war crimes committed against international law. This ancient, common right has belonged to the people of England and Wales for many years. It is a valuable safeguard against political interference by the Government. This is why I have objected so strongly to the proposed change in Clause 155, which could delay an arrest, allowing the suspect to escape, and could introduce political interference from the Attorney-General...'

'...When we look at this issue, we begin to think-certainly, the people who lobby me in great numbers think-that the real reason for the change in the law was the incident relating to Tzipi Livni. The Foreign Secretary, for whom I have high regard, argued that in the case of Tzipi Livni, the law had been abused when an arrest warrant was issued against her ... but he did not criticise the evidence against her contained in the arrest warrant which had been obtained by a private citizen'.

Carlile sticks his nose in. Tonge lets him...

Lord Carlile of Berriew: I am grateful to my noble friend for allowing me to interrupt, and I am extremely surprised that we have not heard my noble friend on the Front Bench intervening in the way in which he intervened on my noble friend Lord Palmer of Childs Hill a few minutes ago. What my noble friend is saying is out of order, inappropriate and not related to the amendment. She is having a rant at Mrs Livni.

WR:Well she's expressing herself very moderately but so if she was?

He's trying to get her shut up on procedural grounds. He succeeds.

Baroness Tonge: I am not going to give way again. I must finish. We must contrast this action with what has happened in the past couple of weeks where Raed Salah, a Palestinian-

Lord Lucas: I beg to move that the noble Baroness be no longer heard.

Motion agreed.

At this point Jenny Tonge left.

Lord Carlile of Berriew: My Lords, I have only a few words to add. I am sorry that my noble friend Lady Tonge has chosen to disobey the normal rules of the House and has stormed out in a way which is not appropriate to noble Lords and noble Baronesses in this House. It is something that I, as a member of her party, feel very strongly about, and I hope that none of my noble friends would normally behave in that way. It is quite shocking.

Oh get over it you simpering ninny. Go play with your Knob of the Week award.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The hacker hacked...

The rabbit is shocked to report that disrespect has reached such a level that the News of the World lives on - but only by virtue of those naughty - well - class warriors at Class War who have produced an online spoof version featuring as agony aunt - the rabbit particularly loves this -  Madame Blavatsky - strapline YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT PROBLEMS? I'M DEAD!

A common problem indeed. And it gets worse - talking of being dead - the Sun website got hacked by more naughty people with a spoof claiming that Papa Doch Ruler of the Universe etc himself was - erm - dead! Do people no longer know their place? Namely obeying Murdoch? Mind you, the rabbit may have to accept a little - okay very little - part in the spate of insolence now afflicting Papa Doch in collaboration with Beau Bo D'Or going way back to last election time. I can only blush...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Tree of Life and Murdoch

The rabbit hadn't intended to see Tree of Life last night. He and companion had hopped off to Greenwich Picture House intending to see Potiche but discovered to our consternation that it was sold out. There were a few tickets left for Tree of Life - a film that had only vaguely registered at the margins of the rabbit's consciousness and as his companion was determined tos ee a film having thus far Tree of Life it was - via a quick Vietnamese meal.

To be fair, there are points to be amde in favour of Tree of Life:

The opening scenes suggestive of creation are visually very striking. Technically it's good - as in very good.
Some of the portrayals of stifling American domestic life in the 1950s are acutely observed with rather good little points of detail.
It's always good to see Sean Penn.

Beyond that? Errr....

It broadly goes like this. The opening quote from the Book of Job raises the stakes high. 'Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation...while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?' Then a strange flame like something appears - and reappears later in the film on more than one occasion. Now a good movie with a spiritual  - for want of a better word -  theme is, though difficult, presumably entirely theoretically possible. But if you're going to go into such problematic territory, you've got to be good. This is all over the place. In fact I can't think of an example of where Hollywood has really carried off such a theme, principally I suspect because they are too worried about offending anyone by making too clear a statement and the inevitable result is fudge. The ending - I won't give anything away - is pretty much incomprehensible except to say it involves Sean Penn going through a wholly un-necessary door to wander about with assorted relatives in various stages of life and God knows who else (so to speak) wandering about aimlessly opn a sandbank. Okay - that's a giveaway. Get over it.

The story really starts with the mother of the by then fractured family gets a telegram. Her son has dies aged 19. I assumed in Vietnam as it would fit in timescale terms but I'm now not sure. In fact I later learned that writer/director Terrence Malick's brother committed suicide at a similar age and that there is a strong autrobiographical element to the script. At pouint i felt a bit mean at having taken such a dislike to the film. I forgive myself. It's a ponderous, self-absorbed mess. We trudge througb a 1950s upbringing in Texas. The father of the family (Brad Pitt) is a controlling figure with a belief in his capacity to bend events to his will. Of course in the end events take their own course to his disadvantage and he is made redundant. The family move out of their home. What happened next is a potentially interesting sub-plot but not explored. The sub-text that we are not in control of our own destinies therefore be nice is just about a redeeming feature to the cinematic blancmange that flops around the viewer's ankles. Just about.
It may be gathered that a not very impressed rabbit left the cinema. Oh and being able to take a glass of wine from the bar into the cinema is a good thing (a large Rioja - what else* - in the rabbit's case). The prices - even with a member's discount - were not.

*maybe a Malbec but they didn't have any.

Of course I am frequently asked 'lay some truth on us O wise and all-knowing rabbit, what is your take on the Murdoch thing? You have been pretty quiet on the subject so far''.

Okay, I'm asked no such thing.

The short answer is this: I am of course suffering terminal schadenfreude at Murdoch's present difficulties and the more odium - and damage - heaped on his head the better. Essentially this is because he is the worst sort of bully - the sort that acts on the belief that they cannot be thwarted or checked in any way. They can do anything they like and there is no power on earth to stop them - they are above the law and above the constraints that make the rest of us more or less behave despite our own worst instincts. Anyone and anything that opposes them will be crushed - an individual expressing opposition will be browbeaten - usually by character assassination. A business opponent will be taken out by any means required. Political figures will be cowed and reduced to courtiers and supplicants. Public opinion will be bent to suit the Murdoch corporate interest - an interesting example is the rabid Europhobia of the Murdoch titles - a product of the fact that he plainly recognises the EU as too big and too unbiddable to bend to his will. The inevitable result - the endless torrent of abuse of the Murdoch titles.

The public probably views the hacking of celebrities' phones as naughty but not hugely reprehensible. But when the Murdoch press hacks into the mobile phone of a teenage murder victim, deletes messages to make space for more messages and thus gives her relatives false hope that she is still alive by virtue of the activity on her phone then phrases like 'low life' fail to begin to do justice to the repulsiveness of a culture that plainly - until recently wonderfully disabused - believed that it could do anything it liked and there was nothing and no-one to stop it.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Kray Triplets and chewing gum...

Above is of course the famous photograph of infamous East End gangsters the Kray Twins (I resist using the idiot word 'iconic' which seems to be all over everywhere like a rash - or more exactly substitute for thinking - at the moment). The recent dramas as regards News International has got the rabbit thinking that there is an eerie echo of the Kray twins in 1960s photos of Rupert Murdoch. The same air of menace, the same suit, white shirt and plain dark tie. Were the three seperated at birth and there were in fact Kray Triplets? Rupert's name begins with an 'R' - he wrote labouring the obvious - thus melding perfectly with Ronnie and Reggie. Spooky huh? -  as that other great Australian, Dame Edna Everage, would say.


More prosaically, an initial comment on living in Croydon. Earlier today, the rabbit hopped into Sainsburys in the Whitgift centre (big shopping complex in central Croydon for the uninitiated). Now since stopping smoking as exclusively revealed (like anyone else would care) on White Rabbit at the time, the rabbit has developed an addiction to Orbit chewing gum. Being down to 2 or 3 sticks the rabbit starts hunting the presumably obvious places in Sainsburys. No joy. I ask a staff member. 'We stopped stocking them' he explained. 'People steal them'. Huh? Another staff member intervenes and says they do in fact still sell them but you have to ask as they are behind the counter at the checkout. The rabbit eventually negotiated a pack of 3 blue Orbit from behind the checkout.

All very odd. Come to Croydon. Local sport: stealing chewing gum.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Murdoch, The News of the World and News International

Apart from recording the rabbit's utter glee at seeing the evil empire coming unstuck and his suspicion that unfortunately it will come bouncing back after a little cynical rebranding (why does the thought of a Sun on Sunday seem less than reassuring as regards an improvement in journalistic ethical standards?) what is there left to say?

Only that those naughty Downfall spoofers have been at it again! Oh and that Steve Bell has been on storming form as usual.

On a more pleasant note, below is a short film by a young woman of the rabbit's slight acquaintance from his sojourn in Birmingham named Rebecca Sloan. Quite nostalgic stuff here - at least for me... Filmed in Birmingham in April 2011.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Curiouser and curiouser...

The saga of Carolyn Bourne and her - erm - ideas as to how to conduct oneself continues. Above is a pic of Mrs Bourne in her kitchen wearing - erm - a somewhat oversized pair of bloomers. No. I don't know why either. Mrs Bourne also appears to be wearing her underwear outside her trousers in the manner of Superman. It seems to have reached the point where any such development in the saga is treated as quite normal. Who is the rabbit to disagree?

In a further - erm - development, six young men have been photographed in Mrs Bourne's kitchen without their trousers. Well okay with their trousers but with said trousers in a lowered state. Mrs Bourne is reported to have been photographed with the young men soon afterwards. This of course is also entirely normal and to be met with a knowing nod. 

On a more cheerful note, below is a track by the daughter of a lovely lady of the rabbit's acquaintance.Go buy (no 8). Do it today.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Fourth of July and update on the Carolyn Bourne etiquette show.....

It is traditional for the rabbit to wish his American readers a happy 4th July and the time to do so is upon us again. Above is of course Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze which equally obviously leads to Brad Neely's Washington and the immortal phrase 'spread, spread Delaware'. the rabbit has posted this - originally pinched from Earl - on at least one previous occasion but here is the link for those unfamiliar with this opus or who can't get enough.

Continuing the saga of Carolyn Bourne and her somewhat contentious opinions on matters pertaining to etiquette, above is a photo of the object of her ire, the splendidly named Heidi Withers. The troops have been rallying to la belle Heidi's cause. The would be groom's natural mother has rallied to her support. ‘Heidi is a charming girl who I have never found rude – not once' pronounces Penelope Godfrey. She is also Freddie’s choice and will always be welcome in my home' she continues, warming to her theme. Adding ‘I don’t think the wedding will be awkward but we shall see.’

Ermmm.... The rabbit would love an invite. And, yes, this is a hint to whoever is drawing up the guest list. Oh and contrary to the rabbit's last posting, the wedding is not in a castle. It's in a church. It's the reception that is in a  castle. So that's all right then.

Next in line for introductions is Alan Withers, father of the bride and clearly a man with strong opinions. Our man lives in a five-bedroom home in Aylton, Hereford, complete with its own coat of arms. As you do.

He had a pub lunch with la Bourne and her husband Edward. 'Edward was a jovial chap, but Carolyn was quite snotty' he records. 'She had a look about her which made us think she thought she was better than us... Some people may find my Black Country accent raw, let’s say, but clearly it made an impression on Carolyn. I don’t want to say what she said'.


Our man did give further details, though. 'Ever since that meeting we call her "Miss Fancy Pants". I think she has her head stuck so far up her own arse she doesn’t know whether to speak or fart'.

A common dilemma, I am sure all will agree.

The rabbit recalls that it is traditional for the happy couple to lead off the dance. The rabbit can only suggest the following as choice of music..

Friday, 1 July 2011

Carolyn Bourne's world of etiquette

The above chapess is named Carolyn Bourne and she has unwittingly caused something of an internet sensation by sending an - erm - somewhat testy e-mail to her stepson Freddy's fiancee - the splendidly named Heidi Withers - about to behave if she wanted to get on with the Bourne family (an odd aspiration but never mind). The e-mail goes as follows...

'Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:

'When you are a guest in another's house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat - unless you are positively allergic to something.

You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

You do not start before everyone else.

You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

When a guest in another's house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early - you fall in line with house norms.

You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.

You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why. No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.

I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters' marriages.)

If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes'.

Sensible stuff, I am sure all will agree. Especially the last three paragraphs. I'm sure in particular all will agree that getting married in a castle one does not own is indeed the height of vulgarity. Speaking personally, I've never done it and never will. The rest of the family have all weighed in - the natural mother of Freddy (who looks a bit of a muppet), Heidi's dad (who also looks a bit of a muppet) and no doubt many others. The rabbit suspects that this is a family that richly deserve each other.

On a completely different topic, below is a pic from the rabbit I-phone of a memorial on the wall of All Saints' Church Huntingdon - a town the rabbit visited for the first time ever today - it has an outpost of Peterborough Crown Court. It is a memorial to a former bankrupt named Thomas Jetherell who won much acclaim for paying back his creditors after discharge from bankruptcy and thus when under no obligation to do so. The rabbit apologises for the pic being side on but there is nothing he can do about it. Lie on your sides or something...

The rabbit also went to see French thriller Point Blank last night - no time for a rabbit review. Go see - it commands the attention. The word 'relentless' has been used a lot to describe the pace of the action and if you like being biffed in the face with sudden full on violence, this is the film for you. Say what you will about the French but they (a) have the right attitude to aristocrats (b) produce good wine and (c) produce good films. The rabbit also - for the first time in his lfe - went to see a musical this week. Not his idea but he actually quite enjoyed it - Betty Blue Eyes as you ask. And a good weekend to all the rabbit's readers.