Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction


A double dose of English Insanity

There’s always been an odd thread of eccentric insanity running through english, and probably british, culture. Two things over the past few days have served to remind me of this. Firstly was a trip to the Lord Mayor’s Show in London on Saturday, encouraged by the presence of one of my upstairs neighbours on one of the floats. The LMS happens once a year to inaugurate the new Lord Mayor of London. This is a ceremonial post, unlike the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the incumbent spends much of their time promoting London as an all round good place. It’s an ancient title, dating back to 1189, and the show dates back to 1535. It’s an opportunity for the various ancient guilds of the City of London and more modern organisations like banks, charities and the British armed forces to strut their stuff.

The variety of this strutting is quite incredible. The military bands do what they do very well, and give a formal, uniformed, gravity to the proceedings, but many of the other displays serve to wonderfully undermine this.


I’ve no idea what these guys were up to.


Or theres, but I like their style.


But the giant inflatable rib of beef from the butchers of Spitalfields was right out there!

Now you know where the people who came up with the London Olympics opening ceremony got their initial training.

My second dose of insanity was this evening, as I walked across Hyde Park listening to the first in the new series of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. People who know this radio show will know why I was happily giggling to myself in public. Those who don’t have something to look forward to.

I doubt this radio show would do well in any other country, or that it could easily be explained.