This is - as the young people say - a bit random but I went to Shrewsbury today and further indulged my mild fixation with the monument to Viscount Rowland Hill. For the uninitiated, Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire - loosely speaking north of the West Midlands, east of north Wales and south of Cheshire. It needs to be defined in relation to other places as frankly it is a bit of a backwater - rather a pretty and historic backwater but a backwater nonetheless.
Shrewsbury has some rather splendid street names such as Abbey Foregate, Wyle Cop and - my personal favourite - Dogpole.
It also has the most over the top monument I have ever seen - okay I haven't seen the pyramids or the Taj Mahal but you get my general drift. By the Shirehall - the name may conjure up an image of a bosky old building but it is an overblown 60s or 70s monstrosity of a county council building with unprepossessing Crown Court bolted on the side - is the monument to Viscount Rowland Hill.
Now it's not as big as Nelson's Column. It just looks that way. And at least Nelson was famous and the surrounding buildings in Trafalgar Square are in proportion with his column. Hill was a sidekick of Wellington's and fought with him at Waterloo, did various other military things and ended up in charge of the British Army compliments of his old mate Wellington who by then had become Prime Minister. That's about it - in particular he's not the bloke who invented the postage stamp although I assume they were related.
As a monument it is just completely over the top. I wouldn't pull it down, though. It's so over the top it's quite entertaining.
On a completely different subject, I'm still just about resisting putting up the Ponting spitting blood pic. Here is Phil Tufnell - to be on Strictly Come Dancing - it has just been announced (almost but still not enough to make me watch it) together with the Wooden Urns and his Ashes Song. Daft or what? It's something to do with Marmite - can't stand the muck personally