Peter Rhodes: Don't blame Satan
REWRITING a prayer, a prince's fashion sense and the rebirth of steering-wheel locks
WILD sea bass could be wiped out by over-fishing, according to scientists at an EU fisheries meeting a few days ago. I plead not guilty. Over the past 40 years or more I have tried, Lord knows I have tried, to catch the elusive bass and failed miserably. I have caught and eaten just about every other fish in our coastal waters but never had even a nibble from a bass. It is a mystery.
ANOTHER mystery concerns what chefs do with bass. The fish has the rarest and most delicate flavour. So why is it that so many restaurants serve it smothered in wincingly piquant sauce?
INCIDENTALLY, while all angling tips are welcome, please spare me the ones about live-baiting. Sticking a hook through the eyes of a living prawn and waiting for a bass to attack it has never struck me as sporting, or even civilised.
POPE Francis wants to drop "lead us not into temptation" from the Lord's Prayer, on the grounds that God does not lead humans to sin. His Holiness suggests replacing it with "do not let us fall into temptation," explaining: "It's Satan who leads us into temptation, that's his department.”
HANG on a moment. The only reason that Satan can tempt humans is that the Almighty made us so very temptable (remember that unfortunate business with the apple and serpent?). Most of the Old Testament is about God creating sinners and then punishing them for sinning. It's a bit daft which may explain why the priesthood kept the Bible in Latin for so many centuries and had a plentiful supply of firewood to deal with any peasant heard uttering the words: "It's a bit daft."
TRAVELLING in a mate's smart new car the other day, I noticed a steering-wheel lock on the back seat. Remember those? There was a time, in the days when car locks were dead easy to pick, when a bright yellow disc bolted to your steering wheel was a deterrent. Next, for a few years, car locks became really hard to crack; then they got too keylessly hi-tech for their own good. Today, thanks to the magic of the microchip, any scally with the right electronic gizmo can drive off any limo he chooses. Hence the re-birth of the humble steering-wheel lock, the ultimate deterrent against crooks who are experts on computer programming but don't know how to use a hacksaw.
HE is 53 and presumably allowed to choose his own clothes. So whatever possessed Prince Edward to pose for a formal photograph at his home, Bagshot Park, wearing a bow tie, velvet smoking jacket, tartan trousers and monogrammed slippers? Most odd.
STRANGELY, while Edward, a prince of the blood royal, looks less distinguished with the passing years, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, born of humble stock and a former PR girl, looks more serenely regal every time we see her. Maybe there's only one dressing mirror at Bagshot.