Wednesday, 5 October 2022

The Tims by Eleanor Farjeon

From The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon via Eldrbarry

There were five Tims all told, Old Tim, Big Tim, Little Tim, Young Tim and Baby Tim, and they were all born wise. So whenever something was the matter in the village, or anything went wrong, or people for some cause were vexed or sorry for themselves, it became their habit to say "Let's go to the Tims about it, they'll know, they were born wise."

For instance, when Farmer John found out that the gypsies had slept without leave in his barn one night, his first thought was not, as you might suppose, "I'll fetch the constable and have the law on them!" but, "I'll see Old Tim about it, so I will!"

Then off he went to Old Tim, who was eighty years old, and he found him sitting on a gate, smoking his clay pipe.

"Morning, Old Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Old Tim taking his clay pipe from his mouth. "I've had gypsies in my barn again, Old Tim," said Farmer John "Ah, have you now!"said Old Tim. "Ay, that I have," said Farmer John. "Ah, to be sure!," said Old Tim. "You were born wise, Old Tim," said Farmer John. "What would you do if you was me?"

Old Tim put his clay pipe in his mouth again and said, "If I was you, I'd ask Big Tim about it, for he was born wise too and is but sixty years old. So I be twenty years further off wisdom than he be."

Then off he went to Big Tim, who was Old Tim's son, and he found him sitting on a gate, smoking his briar.

"Morning, Big Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Big Tim taking his briar from his mouth. "I've had gypsies in my barn again, Big Tim, and Old Tim sent me to ask what you would do if you was me, for you were born wise" said Farmer John. Big Tim put his briar in his mouth again and said, "If I was you, I'd ask Little Tim about it, for he was born wise too and is but forty years old which is twenty year nigher to wisdom than me."

Then off he went to Little Tim, who was Big Tim's son, and he found him lying in a haystack chewing a straw.

"Morning, Little Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Little Tim taking the straw from his mouth. Then Farmer John put his case again, saying, "Big Tim told me to come to you about it, for you were born wise". Big Tim put the straw back in his mouth again and said, "Young Tim was born wise too and he's but twenty years old. You'll get wisdom fresher from him than from me."

Then off went Farmer John to find Young Tim, who was Little Tim's son, and he found him staring into the mill pond, munching an apple.

"Morning, Young Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Young Tim taking the apple from his mouth. Then Farmer John told his tale for the fourth time, and ended by saying, "Little Tim thinks you'll know what I'd best do, for you were born wise". Young Tim took a new bite of his apple and said, "My son who was born last month was born wise too, and from him you'll get wisdom at the fountain-head, so to say."

Off went Farmer John to find Baby Tim, who was Young Tim's son, and he found him in his cradle with his thumb in his mouth.

"Morning, Baby Tim," said Farmer John. Baby Tim took his thumb out of his mouth and said nothing. "I've had gypsies in my barn again, Baby Tim," said Farmer John, "and Young Tim advised me to ask your advice upon it, for you was born wise. What would you do if you was me? I'll do whatever you say." Baby Tim put his thumb back in his mouth and said nothing. So Farmer John went home and did it.

And the gypsies went on to the next village and slept in the barn of Farmer George, and Farmer George called in the constable and had the law on them; and a week later his barn and his ricks were burned down, and his speckled hen was stolen away.

But the happy village went on being happy and doing nothing, neither when the Miller's wife forgot herself one day and boxed the Miller's ears, nor when Molly Garden got a bad sixpence from the pedlar, nor when the parson once came home singing by moonlight. After consulting the Tims, the village did no more than trees do in a wood or crops in a field and so all these accidents got better before they got worse.

Until the day when Baby Tim died an unmarried man at one hundred years of age. After that the happy village became as other villages and did something.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Letter to Anneliese Dodds on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia

Dear Anneliese Dodds,

I learn from the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/58888451) that "The UK is to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year" and "Russian imports account for 8% of total UK oil demand".

8% is a small amount and the end of the year is a long time in the future. We need immediate action to change Russia's course. Please use all your influence to this end.

Some suggestions, as a minimum:

  • Stop all petrochemical purchases from Russia, and requiring this of multinationals
  • Expulsion of all remaining Russian banks from SWIFT
  • Make it unlawful to insure a Russian enterprise
  • Seizure and forfeiture of all Russian assets within the UK and its dominions
  • Motion to remove Russia from the UN Security Council

There are many more things which could and should be done, by January 2023 there will be no Ukraine to defend.

Yours sincerely,
Tim Pizey