Night has fallen, and the time has come to rest.
I shall remember this day as the tentative beginning of my slow climb to recovery. With the chemical confidence prescribed by the local doctor, I finally stepped outside with a feeling of slight assurance and happiness. The day was beautiful, bright warming sunlight filtered through the trees and bathed the houses of the city with a hopeful sping-time yellow. A cool breeze wafted along the streets as I strolled home, absorbing every drop of the day. As the local schoolboys took bets on whether I would let one of their number wear my hat, it seemed as if the people on the street had calmed, no longer reduced to striding home in cutting rain with heads bent and hands in pockets.
The evening was lightly illuminated as I escorted a good friend of mine to the city picture house. After the showing was over, orange evening had turned to inky night, and with my breath forming clouds in the cold night air.
As I write, I can hear the tolling bells of the Cathedral mark the hour, a chime that echos across the city. Sleep is encroaching rapidly, so before I rest, I realise that it is, for the first time in a while, a good time to be alive
A Fedora is classy as fuck. The Trilby is like it’s douchey younger cousin that is easier to get a hold of but still looks okay if you wear it with the right fucking outfit .
You have been educated.
This is a very important post
The people need to learn this
Nothing quite beats rushing across the country in a train. As I gaze out at the misty expanse of the North Yorkshire Moors, hurtling ever closer to York station, I think of the heyday of rail travel, to the Victorian and Edwarian passengers who would pile into locomotives with cases and hampers, bent on escaping the heat and noise of the city to the countryside or the coast, the men and women if leisure to whom the steam train was the means to find fresh air and fresh faces.
Why has no-one made a film about life in the Weimar Republic? You could delve into the political chaos, social degradation, economic collapse & hyperinflation, the Spartacist Uprising and subsequent Freikorps-supported counter movement, the street fighting and political assassinations, the effects of French occupation of the Rhineland, all of it leading up to the terrible events naive optimism of 1932 as the Nazi party takes control.
If we must make thousands of films on Nazi Germany, we could at least acknowledge that there was a period of 20th Century German history between 1918 and 1932 that doesn’t revolve around the NSDAP. You could show in the background their rise to prominence, subtle visual clues like flags or slogans painted on walls, but the primary focus could be on just how much of a roller-coaster life in Weimar Germany was. Think of the potential!
N.B.: If someone has made a film on Weimar Germany that isn’t Cabaret, please let me know
It happened before anyone could flee the city.
Ridley had been in Westminster at the time, and once the shots were fired he had joined the rout when the Red Militia marched across the Thames from Lambeth. The panic had turned into a crushing force, a screaming and shouting mob that added to the cacophony of sound that grew from the battle behind them. All Ridley remembered was the din of the crowd, occasionally drowned out by the rattle of hooves across the cobbles, the cracking of gunfire, the burst of mortar shells as they struck street and building alike. For one moment Ridley had glanced back, watching in horror as a mounted police brigade was cut down by a volley of fire from the militia, their helmets tumbling past blood-stained and torn uniforms, horses falling and rearing up as their riders rolled to the ground.
This hesitation saw him forced against a wall, the stampede yielded him a fractured humerus and a grimy cot in an overcrowded and icy hospital near Sloane Square. It was through the dark, collanaded entrance to this building from which he now limped, left arm bandaged and tied in a rudimentary sling torn crudely from the Hessian sacks in the hospital kitchen. He took a while to breathe the cold air, enjoying the breeze as a welcome relief from the haze and gentle moan of the ward behind him. After a few deep and quivering breaths, he began to trudge home.
The quickest route to his apartment was via Westminster, through the very streets and parks where the first great clash of the uprising had taken place. Upon reaching the bridge, he stopped suddenly, stunned by the carnage that lay before him. He leant on the wall along the bank as he tried to take in the sight that met this eyes.
Horseferry Road had been torn apart by the battle. Small shell holes dusted with snow dotted the street, the facades of the buildings were pockmarked from gunfire, and, all around him, the bodies still lay. The corpses of the fallen Red Militia had all been collected up at some point, taken to a park nearby and buried in lines, plots marked with a name on a rough wooden cross at the head of each grave. The police and guard corps had not been offered the same respect. Their husks remained, clothes frozen as stiff as boards on bodies now grey from their time in the snow, their vacant dark eyes staring with faint horror as their final emotion was forever preserved by the ice. Destroyed artillery pieces and broken, discarded weapons were slowly being engulfed by the growing white drifts.
Pulling himself together, Ridley pressed on, the snow producing an uncanny creaking sound with every step. He slipped and struggled through street after street, the destruction resplendent on every corner. With each site of battle, soldiers and policemen were dotted across the road, abandoned out of spite by the victorious foe. Ridley had never seen a cadaver before, and each scene made him feel nauseous, forcing him to stare intently at his shoes as he stode through the white banks. After fifteen minutes of walking, and with his face and hands numb from the cold, he finally arrived at his billet.
Clambering up the stairs to the thrid floor, he was nonplussed by the broken lock and splintered doorframe, his emotions dulled by the sights that had greeted him outside. Upon entering, he discovered that a loyalist sniper had used his living room as a vantage point, his street had clearly seen some action. The man was doomed never to return to battle. He was slumped forward against the windowsill, the glass had been shattered by a well placed round that had pieced straight through his hat and head, it’s journey termined by the dresser across the room. Several spent bullet cases and a scoped rifle lay on the floorboards atop a dark reddish-brown stain.
With his arm out of action, Ridley could not easily move the body, but he did grab the rifle, ensuring that it was loaded before lying it along his bed. Without undressing, and not even removing his coat, Ridley brushed dust off his bedsheets and clambered in, wrapping the cloth tightly around himself as a barrier against the wind whistling through the empty window frame and broken bedroom door. He spent at least five minutes starting at the wall, eyes unfocused, listening to the distant shouts of exaltation from the conquered palace at the end of the Mall. With great difficulty, he slowly drifted off into an uneasy and tortured sleep…