Thursday, 30 July 2009

Gamping it up

Here I am, back in the land of blog after a bit of a gap. I have been, quite literally, gamping it up at a festival. The great British weather means that any outdoor entertainment/camping combo offers unrivalled opportunities for brolly spotting and so I took myself off to Dorset last weekend. Although the Friday and Saturday were disappointingly sunny, my patience was rewarded and the Sunday was satisfyingly damp.

There were some splendid brollies on show (click here and here) and some of these crazy festival goers sure know how to stand out in a crowd (click here). However, as with any large gathering of folk there are always some unsavoury characters who ruin the event for everyone with their gamp abuse. Those easily offended should not view this pic.

The trip did give me chance to reflect on one of the big debates currently playing out in the umbrella sector. Prisons. Previously I have struggled with the notion that umbrella manufacturers should be involved with incarceration. I am all for extending remits beyond what is reasonable and sensible, indeed have made a career out of it, but this seemed a step too far even for me to justify even though I have had a stab at it. But then it came to me. Do not prisons provide shelter? Both to the unfortunate crook who has overstepped the boundaries of what society has decreed bad behaviour and needs a place to rest his weary illegal head at great cost to the taxpayer and reflect on the error of his ways so he doesn't do it again. And to the law abiding citizen who needs sheltering from the despicable criminal out to ruin their day.

People such as Dylan Twirley at the National Association for Visor and Canopy Action (NAVCA) have kicked up a stink and roped in the Umbrella Commission questioning the legality of the whole thing, for no other reason that I can see than that he hasn't been mentioned in my blog before. I have chosen my usual dignified and diplomatic approach to such things and will publicly condemn him with some vague accusations in my blog rather than going through any official channel of debate.

It is a bit of a Catch 22 situation and the turning point as I see it is that it all comes down to interpretation of umbrella law, which has evolved from the 1601 statute on what constitutes an umbrella. I don't understand any of it so any legal points I make are plagiarised uncredited from elsewhere in a tribute to Raj Persuad.

And if all of the above sounds like a load of bullshit, then that is fine as I can stick it on my garden. It will help the croissant plant I have purchased grow.

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