A friend told me he once found himself camping in a remote location with a veritable United Nations of companions. For reasons I can’t quite explain except perhaps through the excessive consumption of alcohol around a campfire, they all took turns standing up and singing their national anthem. And it was decided that the Australian anthem was the Worst Ever, hands down.
I mean, the Icelandic national anthem – for example – might mention something about a small flower of eternity “with a quivering tear that prays to its God and dies”, but it doesn’t go anywhere near the Australian anthem and its “joyful strains” which makes us sound like a nation who simply enjoys having a good shit. And in any case, the Icelandic national anthem (for example) also has a beautiful and rousing tune to recommend it, and not one that’s jumping all over the scale like a seven year old high on E102 colouring like the Australian anthem .
Anyway, they often say that children allow you to look at the world anew, and listening to my (then) six year old Mr Justice singing his nation’s song certainly did that. He transformed the following lines:
“With golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea”
“With golden soil in Welfington
Our home is good by sea”
Before I knew it, I had shared his improvement with the twitterverse. The Sharpest Pencil, not being called The Sharpest Pencil for nothing, was the first to pick up the Welfington scent by tweeting:
“Ask your six year old to take you with him. Sounds like an incredibly good place by the sea.”
And before I knew it, I had announced:
“So @sharpestpencil & I are moving to Welfington. We will write loving, moving blogs about our children back home. And drink margharitas.”
“Anyone else want to join us? Welfington, though entirely fictitious, has much to offer. For example, four-for-one Cocktail Thursday.”
Before I knew it, the concept of Welfington started to take off and the twitterverse began to buzz with excitement. Here is a (small) sample of what people were saying:
“No nagging spouses in welfington, well I do have a spouse in welfington but it is Hugh Jackman.” (@AngelaPJ)
“Ahhhh, Welfington. Where the drinks are on the house & the bar staff are ridiculously good looking” (The NDM)
“NO KIDS on the Welfington Express & the bar serves hangover-free-mojitos ALL DAY.” (@AussieWaffler)
“There’s no such thing as a hangover in #Welfington and the calories in alcohol don’t actually count!!!” (@M3lizza)
“I’ve heard tell that the township is mostly comprised of attractive, semi-clad young men who “dig” older women.” (TheNDM)
Welfington, Welfington. Such a powerful concept: a place where mothers can go – albeit only while on a mini-break of the mind – where they can forget about the kids and the laundry and the housework and that unidentified puddle in the hallway. Many men already have a place like that in real life: it’s called “The Pub”.
Over the ensuing months, mention of Welfington was made in quiet, longing whispers on the twitterwaves. The dream was kept alive… until a recent exchange between myself and friend Muliercula about daiquiris and beautiful young men fanning palm fronds, caused me to refer her to previous Welfington tweets.
But when I did a search for the hashtag #Welfington on twitter, there was only an ominous message that said “Older tweets are temporarily unavailable”. And indeed, those older tweets have continued to not be available for weeks now. Weeks! It’s almost like Twitter likes the concept of Welfington as little as any husband who, say, came home to a wife who said “ ”Sorry, sweetheart. I haven’t fed, bathed or dressed the children today because I just couldn’t stop sipping gin cocktails through twisty straws in Welfington.”
Which is what has prompted this post. Help keep Welfington alive. I need it, people. I need it so bad. Future posts will show why. If you believe in Welfington, clap your hands! Clap them really hard! Clap! CLAP I TELL YOU!
And then, when you’re done clapping, pass me another calorie-free mojito will you, love? I could really do with one.