Archive | September, 2014

“Illegitimi procul ‘Subscriptio Domus’ non carborundum” – Finally my Latin is useful!

23 Sep


OK – so it’s possibly not the best headline for enticing hoards of eagerly expectant  blogees to ponder over any words of wisdom that I may inadvertently project onto this presently blank and virtual page. But our current dire legal situation calls for  perspicacity, extreme caution and wily cunning.

It also calls for a code that that is easily broken by the educated and informed, and by those willing to be challenged cryptically. But will deter the impatient, the ill-informed and those too busy to care.

So a touch of Latin fits the bill nicely. Well, maybe there is another more telling reason – maybe I feel the need to return to a time in my youth I felt somewhat in control. After all, I was pretty good at Latin – to a B+ or possibly an A- level. And no, contrary to popular belief, it has not proved in any way helpful for my medical studies, and  totally useless for my later attempts to study Traditional Chinese Medicine.

At school, so attracted was I to this mysterious long-time-dead language, that I voluntarily studied Latin verse – Ovid, Virgil and various other ancient poets whose names I completely forget. Beavering away alongside me all those years ago was a true A + classic scholar. His name was Michael Fallon, now Defence Secretary for Cameron’s UK government.

The Rt Honourable Michael Fallon’s current adversaries are Vladimir Putin, and the Conglomerate known as ISIS.

The marginally less honourable Robin Kelly’s  current adversaries are the New Zealand Conglomerate known, to this minor Latin scholar, as ‘Subscriptio Domus’. (To help those who wisely avoided misspending their youth on such a useless subject google it on

“Cometh the hour, come the men” comes to mind.

I have tried many times to convey in suitable prose the agonising horrors of the case known as ‘The Kelly Family vs Famous Nationwide Building Conglomerate’ – but have hitherto been unable to set the creative juices aflow.

You see, if I mention their names, or describe their dastardly acts of deceit, not only does it induce instant nausea, it could well land me in big trouble with their very smart lawyer.  Like all smart lawyers, she is expensive, and strange though it seems to us, the Conglomerate the Kellys face has hoards tucked away to pay her handsomely (but nothing we are told to fix our house.)

Just as it seems to have no trouble at all finding funds for those glossy prime time advertisements on our two major free to air TV stations. In our house, and I gather in many similarly afflicted households around the country, adverts that are met with frantic searches for the elusive remote and its even more elusive mute button, and for any spare cushions from behind which we can hide our eyes –  while deliriously and crazily screaming in unison “Illegitimus, illegitimus” (or words to that effect).

In the early days (our conflict is now over 4 years old – only 3 months shorter than World War 1), a traumatic ad-attack such as this could strike suddenly, out of the blue, like a sniper’s bullet to the heart .

But battle-hardened we have become wise, and we have learned to predict when the enemy is due to launch their attack. ‘Subscriptio Domus’ it appears has also sufficient funds to be the proud sponsor of the world’s longest running TV soap opera  ‘Via Coronatarium*.’ (as you can see, so old it dates back to Roman times.)

Our home in North London in the fifties still had an air raid shelter which had been converted into a coal cellar (remember coal?). As a small boy I imagined the air raid siren triggering a mad dash to the shelter, where the family before us waited in trepidation as the V bombs passed over head.
Over seventy years later, the doleful sound of Via Coronatarium’s theme tune causes similar panic in our home. Thank heavens for the pre-record button.
But fear not, we have not let the ‘illegitimi’ grind us down. Far from it. As we enter our 5th ‘annus horribilis’, we do so considerable wiser and still remarkably light of heart. Despite our four long years of ‘subpoenas’, ‘affidavits’ ‘ex gratias’, ‘quid pro quos’ et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Come to think of it we’ve got to be careful – those lawyers know more Latin than I thought!
* not a real Latin word. So who cares?