Auntie Doris’s Tarot Card of the Week #53: The Five of Swords – 3rd – 9th November 2014

Swords05I’m sure you know what it’s like with men and their hobbies. They can’t just take an interest in something, they have to go the whole ruddy hog and spend a fortune getting all the right equipment, and the proper clothes, and magazines and books about how to do it properly. It doesn’t matter wether it’s golf, fishing, photography or ruddy well tiddlywinks, if a bloke gets “the bug” for something, it’s never going to be cheap.
My Raymond’s brother Cyril once fancied himself as one of them snooker players. So he joined one of them clubs where they had the full sized tables, and had a few games, but he never managed to pot many balls. So he reckons that all the snooker sticks in the club must be warped, and goes out and spends fifteen ruddy quid on one for himself. And that was in 1970s money. That’s more than £150 in today’s money, probably. Alright, so it was a three quarter split with “two detachable extension for those hard to reach places,” and it was made out of Canadian Maple with an Ebony butt, but Fifteen Ruddy Quid! I would have expected it to come with its own balls and a jar of lubricant for that sort of money.
And then of course he had to have a case for it. And a waistcoat with a little leather lined pocket to hold his chalk in. I don’t think that him and April may managed a week in Scarborough that year. They had to make do with a few coach trips instead.
And the thing was, he never got any better at playing the ruddy game for all the money he spent, and ended up selling the gear to a bloke down the club for a fraction of what he paid for it, to raise some money to buy himself an accordion with. And you can imagine how long that fad lasted an’all.
Any road, the five of swords is telling you that there will always be someone who benefits when you give up on something that cost you an arm and a leg to get into. Those poor blokes on the beach have come to the realisation that war is a bad business, it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker, friend only to the undertaker. So they have decided to leave their swords on the beach. Huh! Good God, y’all.
But along comes ginger, grinning all over his face and pinching them, no doubt to turn a profit on them. I just hope that he is going to melt them down and turn them into ruddy ploughshares, or something. Them blokes won’t miss the swords, but their ruddy wives will have a few questions to ask about what happened to the money that they paid for them. And there’ll be a few red faces over the breakfast table, I can tell you.

Four things that you might do this week. (i) if you are thinking of starting a new hobby, borrow the equipment until you are sure that you are going to keep it up. And even then, don’t buy the most expensive equipment, you’ll just be paying for the ruddy name. Having said that, don’t buy the cheapest either, it’ll be shite. (ii) When you are sorting out your finances, make sure that you have enough money for a decent holiday. Nobody really likes coach trips. You spend too much time on the bus getting cramp and dying for a wee. And even if they have got a toilet on board, you can guarantee that some filthy so and so will have pittled all over the ruddy seat, and there will be no paper left. None that is dry, any road. (iii) Go beachcombing. It’s great fun at any time of the year. My Raymond once found a bottle of rum that was half full. It had probably fallen off a ship in a storm or something. I wouldn’t let him drink any though. You don’t know who had had it. some ruddy pirate with bad teeth had probably had his lips around it. I took it off him and hid it at the back of the gas cupboard. I tried it while he was out. It wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t worried about my teeth, they are all ruddy false any road. (iv) Make a stand against war. Put all weapons down. And walk away.

Auntie Doris’s All Things Must Pass #2: Steve Davis

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They used to say that Steve Davis was invincible. Well, Invincible at playing snooker any road. He was the world professional  champion six times in the 1980s. They used to say that if anyone could pick a ball out of baulk by going around all the cushions and finish up kissing the pink whilst avoiding the brown, it was Steve Davis. He was a more than competent potter, but his strength was in his safety play. He liked to play it safe did Steve. Some people used to go as far as to say that he was boring. The snooker world is well known for its irony, so they used to call him “Interesting Steve Davis.”
He was a completely different kettle of fish to that Hurricane Higgins, who would go smashing his balls around like a bull in a ruddy china shop, with no sense of caution at all. Higgins’s balls might have dropped, he was no choirboy. But he took it too far, he did drugs and booze and snapped the filter tips off his cigarettes. And that lifestyle caught up with him. All his teeth dropped out and he ended up as thin as a rake. He lost all of his snooker money and dropped dead in poverty, to be buried in a pauper’s cue case. All things passed for the Hurricane Alright.
But I almost feel sorrier for Steve Davis. At the height of his powers they thought that he would go on and on and on, competently potting his way to world championships well into his sixties and seventies.
After all, until Steve came along, snooker was an old man’s game. All the world champions before him had been old men. Like his dad, Freddie “Parrot Face” Davis, his uncle Joe Davis, and his uncle’s brother in Law, George Davis (who was innocent) Steve was a child prodigy of the snooker world, an enfant terrible, who took his fist world championship at the tender age of 23 and a quarter. They said that he had an old head on young shoulders. Whatever that was supposed to mean.
But in the end, he became a victim of his own success. He had made snooker fashionable, Even people like my Raymond’s little brother Cyril had bought themselves cues. There were younger men than Steve queuing up behind him. Or cueing up behind him, or something. He had to be looking over his shoulder. And when you are lining up a tricky shot at a snooker table, it is fatal to be looking over your shoulder. Well, if not exactly fatal, it doesn’t do your game any good. It wasn’t long before Steve would end up with egg all over his face whilst he was trying to kiss the pink. Brown egg an all.
And now he is reduced to being a television “expert”, giving his opinion whilst other, younger spottier men play snooker even better than he does. Like that Stephen Hendrix, from Scotland, and people from even more obscure countries than that. Like China, and places, where they had never even heard of snooker when Steve Davies was the champion. Poor Steve. He is just a talking head. An old head on old shoulders. A man who understands more than most that… All things must pass.