Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shadows at midnight

Merry New Year to all!!!!

And now, a fillum...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I don't know why Morrissey didn't do more Rudolf Friml covers

A Chrimbo singalong...

Rather despite myself I like this. Partly because the tempo's fast enough for Maria Carey to sing properly and not do those ridiculous arpeggios. But mostly because it feels like a Phil Spector Wall Of Sound number.

And to keep up the tempo...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Many a slip

As sure as eggs…

The onset of the first serious frost and light smattering of snow is guaranteed to be the signal for half the drivers down our way to park their cars on the pavement to give them their Sunday afternoon jet wash, ready for the Christmas hostilities.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The spirit of thingy

We got worrying about what Morrisey does for Christmas.

We'd come to an inconclusive point in the debate about the gender of the Roadrunner (my argument that Wile E. Coyote was a metaphor for an America struggling to come to terms with it's sexuality depended on the Roadrunner's being a ladyboy). And The Small Object of Desire was determined that not only was Aled Jones not Pinocchio ("he's made out of wood: that's why he's got varnished rosy cheeks that don't move when he talks." "No. He's just Welsh.") but his name was on the list for the firing squad come the revolution.

That's when she started worrying about what Morrisey does for Christmas.

I tried to reassure her that it would be business as usual and he'd have tea with the chimps in the monkey house at Bristol Zoo, giving passers-by a running commentary with a selection of the unconvincing voices out of the corner of his mouth that used to delight us when he was on "Animal Magic."

"I expect he just goes round his mam's for a nut cutlet," she muttered.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Give us a blob

a blob with a fireman's helmetThe acting profession is a hard one. Spare a kind thought for Fireman Blob, one of British animation's fallen by the wayside.

You see, originally, it was Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Blob.

There they were, all kitted out and helmets freshly-polished when the nice men from Camberwick Green took themselves off to BBC Television Centre to sell the idea to children's telly. And all went well until... Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Blob.
"What the hell is that?" asked the Commissioning Editor.

"Fireman Blob," replied the animators.

"Get rid of that. It looks like you got that far and couldn't be arsed."
And so it came to pass: after a heated, but ultimately futile, discussion poor old Fireman Blob got his marching orders and was replaced by the felicitously-named Grub.

The rest is history. Embittered, Blob turned his back on the industry and went back to provincial repertory theatre, touring the West Country with Joan Littlewood's production of "No Sex, Please, We're British." When last seen, he was playing "unpleasant thing on the bathroom floor" in Robin Asquith's seminal "Confessions of a Sagger Maker's Bottom Knocker," a pale reflection of glories that might have been.

Such is the hardship behind the glamour of showbiz.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The delights of the hedgerow

One of the treats of these late Autumn mornings is the sight of people out and about taking Rover and Fido, or Fang and Tyson, out for a constitutional. The doggies frolic hither and thither, all agog with the smells of the day while their owners follow behind collecting little lumps of dog shit in their little carrier bags. I'm told it makes for a cheeky little country wine.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Oh, it's all very well for Ed Millipede to decide to jump onto the Occupy Bits of Pavement to Piss Off the Daily Mail but I'd be more amenable to this attempt to co-opt the protests for political advantage had we heard or seen much of the outrage at the Labour party conference.

The speech I would have wanted to hear would have included something like this:

"There are those in the financial sector who say that the time for atonement is over. These are the people who said that the good times shall roll forever and whose mistakes are hurting ordinary people every day. Vulnerable people who find their care needs being ignored because of cuts. Children and families who find that their playgrounds and libraries are no more. Companies that can't find investment capital when they need it. Small businessmen who find their markets have vanished because their customers have shut up shop. These are the people who are being hurt and for them there is no easy taxpayer-funded return to Business As Usual.

"There are those in the financial sector who say that the time for atonement is over. I think of the bank clerks and the teachers, the nurses and the builders, the overworked and the unemployed and I say to those in the financial sector: no. I say to them: boys and girls, some humility is called for.

"You fucked the economy.

"You don't get to say when the time for atonement is over. Ask the people of Britain when they've stopped being hurt by your actions."

Monday, November 07, 2011

The intellectual rigour of the English sabbath

The quiet English Sunday is an opportunity for sober reflection of the big issues of life and the prolonged digestion of the issues and outcomes of our current affairs media.

Today we have mulled over:

  • The merits — or not — of the lamb chop, roast potato and minty peas smoothie;

  • Queen Victoria's moustache cup; and

  • Cats' bottoms.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Birthday honours

We are slightly out of sorts, we are, by the concept of Sir Bruce Forsyth. Nothing against the man, please understand me, but not an easy one for my household to get its head round. We are actively outraged by the idea of Sir Tom Jones and the cold grim reality that in five or six years' time it'll be Dame Lulu.

I've long argued that it's more than time that Nicholas Parsons got a knighthood. The Small Object of Desire objected on the grounds that Peter Shilton hadn't got one for "being lovely." Even she had to admit that he couldn't have one before Gordon Banks. We agreed to disagree, eventually, over the merits or not of Sir Nobby Stiles.

John Inman and Roy Barraclough should both be made Dames of the British Empire for their services to pantomime.

As should Jeremy Paxman.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tramlines of the mind

My dad used to work in Norbury's Printers in Old Trafford and although that, and all the other small factories that lined Elsinore Road, have been gone this past twenty years it still seems strange to see the place converted into a tram depot.

It's a changing world and I'm conscious that I'm slowing down. The first signs that the world was getting a bit fast for me came in the aftermath of the bomb in Manchester. All of a sudden, my lovely old city with the Lino a bit tatty round the edges was having facelifts and makeovers and whatnot. These days you can't move for designer doodads and footballers' danglies. 

Then they decided to turn the Pomona Docks into a small Manhatten skyline of empty offices and renamed part of Salford MediaCityUK. Where once was the U.C.P. tripeworks now there are sharp young men tweeting in CamelCase.

It wasn't all better in Th'owd days, no of course it wasn't. But I could keep up with it all.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On hearing the first fieldfares of Autumn

It's been a long week and I found myself waking up at twenty to ten. The Small Object of Desire was already awake, which was even more unusual.

"Hello you. Do you want me to make you a nice cup of tea?"

She said, snuggling up to me.

"Yes please," I replied.

"This is the bit where I usually go back to sleep, isn't it?" she asked.


"It's good to be predictable."

An hour later, I'm fighting the urge to put the kettle on.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Apologies for going quiet again. Some time this weekend I'll get back to that post I'd half written before my mum took bad (she's fine, thanks, but still in hospital eating grapes). Between that, work and my natural capacity for insomnia The Small Ibject Of Desire had started enquiries with her veternary friends as to the appropriate dosage of horse tranquiliser.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Always some Helm there to remind me...

Hannigan's Truss Boutique suffers fatal collapse

A few people have been kind enough to ask about the folk left unchronicled in The Other Place. The good news is that there have been, as yet, no fatalities. Some people have, sadly, lost their jobs. Others have jumped before they are pushed. The story is dispiritingly common. The good news is that no libraries are to close in the old town, which begs more questions than is sensible or safe for me to ask here.

But for those of you who wanted, nay needed, to know, the people are much the same. God help them. Frog has his collection of disturbing children's pop-up books and there are stories that T.Aldous may have finished clearing out his garage. The Monkey's Arms is still Mecca on Friday afternoons. As is the rollmop herring counter in the horse meat shop.

And that old lady on the Milkbeck bus still drinks Old Spice.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A lapse

The Small Object of Desire has a question.

"Did I really just hear you tell that cat that he'd like sardines because they taste like pilchards by sing better?"

Might have done.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Damson days

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness came along early this year. Near all that is palatable has been picked, the rest for the wasps and last-lingering butterflies.

The swifts left a couple of weeks ago. Unlike the swallows and martins, which make a performance of gathering together on the telegraph wires shouting: "we're off now, see you next year!" the swifts disappear like the dew in the morning. One day you realise you haven't seen them for a while and the wind's a little colder than it has been. It's all a little furtive and sad.

The onset of Autumn means that playtime is over and we get back to the illusion of everyday reality. Some of the early consequences of parts of that illusion have been keeping me away from the blogosphere this past few weeks. Apologies for neglecting you all yet again. Luckily, all the awful stuff is at work. Unluckily, it has a knack of following us home.

Ah well…

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summertime Seaside Spcial

It's been the typical English August Bank Holiday Monday, so...

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My favouritest game on the penny arcades was the one where you put 50p in the slot and you get five shiny 10p pieces.

I never won the big jackpot but I always managed to break even.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Among my souvenirs

Some more post titles from the "Pending" file...

  • Nose-mottling excitement
  • Show them a real pas-de-bloody-deux!
  • The squeak of old clogs
  • Tangible benefits for stuff
  • An infinity of catterpillars
  • Concertinas at half mast
  • Backlighting my youthfulness
  • Isn't it disappointing when you stop noticing your plug-in?
  • He wrote as a Byzantine Neoplatonist
  • Her little fur brassiere caught on a glacier just to remember her by
  • Educating Marmalade
  • One dare not step back till the last pterodactyl is safely back home in it's nest
  • A mardy-faced gorilla
  • His punishment is to see the Dawn before the rest of the world
  • That five minutes in the bath when the football season isn't happening
  • It's barely Spring and salt and vinegar

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ah... would that it weren't, would that it weren't

Sadly missed already. R.I.P. Robert Robinson

And an affectionate tweak of the whiskers:

Friday, August 12, 2011


Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a kid, the school nature table was arrayed with objects found, all grouped under the headings: " Alive," "Dead" and "Never Alive."

I may do the same with the contents of this fridge…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A la recherche de stuff perdu

Anyway, I found the razor. It had somehow fallen to the back of the bookcase, behind the Giles annuals.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

No more Colin Firth for a week

We were watching telly the other day when The Small Object Of Desire said:

"Hasn't that Mick MacManus let himself go?"

It was Jenny Agguter.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Pausing to take a photograph of the Duke of Wellington, a passing drunk congratulated me on my choice of subject.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Apologies to all of you lately.

I've spent the past three months writing long and detailed business cases, project initiation documents, project plans, all that Prince2 stuff to get things off the road, for a bunch of big library projects that may yet never happen, given the nature of the beast.

Consequently, my creative writing juices are pretty much all burned out at the moment and all I'm fit for at the laptop is playing card games.

Keep well, all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A nation of shopkeepers

Strolled through T.J. Hughes at lunchtime. Very depressing, not much left except kitchenware, which probably says too much about the locals.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Show us yer plums!

I'm almost wondering where Summer went: the Michaelmas daisies are in bloom and already swallows are congregating on telephone lines ready for the off.

My garden is a riot. Quite literally (I suspect foxes, though the goldfinches have a guilty look about themselves). The blackcurrants and boysenberries have performed nicely and the rowan groans with fruit. Yet again the cherry disappoints, which is entirely my fault, the tree's doing its best in the circumstances. My dad's trees have provided enough fruit for every beggar and his dog for miles around and I spent part of yesterday picking for the freezer. It still looks like nobody's bothered. The plums and damsons are the same: my brother's Victoria plum is absolutely weighed down with fruit that's starting to go coppery purple and my dad's damsons are also colouring up nicely. My garden's at a higher elevation (well, I'm just up the road) so mine are usually a week or two later. It's looking like the makings of a bumper crop, so we'll be giving the jam-making kit a bit of a pacing this year.

Bad news: no figs. I think the tree needs a lot of TLC after the past two winters.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Playing the averages

I got quite cross the other day reading an article banging on about that old canard about the average public sector worker now being better off than the average private sector employee.

I get very impatient with averages. Especially when they are the mean figure for a whole host of variables that aren't self-explanatory.

The fact that the average public sector worker is better paid is scarcely surprising and owes nothing to the efficiencies of the market and the private sector's ability to keep down labour costs. It's simple, really; the public sector has been haemorrhaging low-paid jobs for the past three decades.

Most of the front-line workers; all the school caretakers and bin men and traffic wardens and street cleaners; the swimming pool attendants and men what paint the white lines down the road: they don't work for the council any more. The municipal departments that once employed them are replaced by two or three people whose job is to manage the contracts. Less than half of my colleagues at work are actually on the council payroll.

And so it will continue. With The Big Society, The Localism Bill and wholesale cuts in public sector budgets the logical end point is for each council to have outsourced all those services that have survived "we're all in it together" leaving just a chief executive and a handful of contract managers.

And the journalists will then complain that the average council employee is paid almost as much as a hack writer on a national daily.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All gas and phasers

Every so often it really hits me that The Small Object Of Desire and myself are a pretty good fit. Like the other night...

It was the end of a very long day at work and we were both too tired to sleep or do anything other than loll around talking rubbish. Which is my default setting anyway.

"I was thinking about Derek Nimmo," she said.
Like you do.
"Except I got his name confused and kept thinking: 'Derek Nimoy'. And somehow I couldn't get the idea out of my head. Derek Nimmo as Mister Spock, with pointy ears and a dog collar. And Captain Kirk saying to him: 'What's our position Mister Spock?' and he'd say: 'Oh golly gosh.'"
I am utterly beguiled by this who idea. I can see it all now: Mervyn Johns as Captain Kirk, John Barron as a Klingon, Robertson Hare as Scotty...

The younger generation may be wondering what I am blathering on about again...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Playing to the audience

It's all very well Alan Gibbons telling a library conference that "A library without a librarian is just a room." He doesn't have to work with some of the buggers, let alone try and deliver services despite them.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Family homes

The Small Object Of Desire is settled into her new house and it's started to feel like a home (leastways, she's leaving her socks in the dining room). It's a nice Victorian terraced house; discussing it the other day we found we'd both come to the conclusion that it was like an old auntie. Much beloved and slightly disreputable in her way.

I asked what she thought of my house, which I've always seen as a barmy old uncle (perhaps projecting my own personality to the building). "Oh, it's a cheeky nephew," she said. "Its face is a bit dirty at times, but it's one of those nephews that you just have to love. You just roll yours eyes and think: 'bless'."

How nice.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Ladies, look away now

The new workplace (oh yes) has room in the gents for more than just the one lavatory bowl and a sink and it's a reminder to me of the etiquette of Office Gents'.

There are those people who will occupy a cubicle, with the door open, as they stand and have a pee. This is because they are Scared Of Somebody Seeing My Willy. Which is bad news at busy lunchtimes for those of us Scared Of Somebody Seeing Our Bottom Because We're Having To Shit In The Urinal.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Detective rules

"in all the detective stories I've read there is usually a good-looking and highly educated young officer who falls in love with a rich and beautiful girl and, after rescuing her every ten pages from a fate which is popularly supposed to be worse than death, marries her on page 366 and lives happily right up to the end cover."
— Edgar Wallace
"The House Of The Candles

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Random acts of kindness

I live near a big shopping mall. Walking over there involves taking a short cut through an industrial estate and then nipping through an underpass to get to the approach road.

Walking through the underpass this morning I noticed a brilliant grafitto. There, in bright lemon spray paint was:

" Hello! I hope you have a really lovely day!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More most we pissed...

Part the second of a very occasional series...

  • The parting of the gravy
  • It's not your birthday yeti
  • You can tell it's real, it's got plastic fingers
  • Sometimes the only solution to organisational failure is Dale Winton in a tutu
  • The funeral was a gay affair and everybody laughed
  • Thus do the wives of great men help save their husbands' modesty
  • Two shakes of a lamb's doo-dah
  • On hearing the first bunyip of Spring
  • Waggling their MBEs
  • The head of the herd was calling far, far away
  • I have a spontaneously-combusting log
  • A Corby Viking press
  • A bed full of pamphlet pokers
  • Bringing up "that clear thing"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ties that don't bind

I have a red-and-white tie. It is a rather fetching red-and-black tie and I like it very much. Unfortunately, it doesn't go with any of my shirts. It doesn't even go with black or white shirts...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jumpers for goalposts

Apparently, "Hurray For Santa Claus" isn't a good choice of bathroom serenade on a cold, wet June morning. Aside from that and the fight over the duvet and The Small Object Of Desire's too-strong protestations of innocence of the charge of lusting after Jeremy Clarkson (one of the subsidiary dangers of partnering a petrol head), Railway Cuttings' transition into sultry love nest is going remarkably smoothly. This is remarkable for two reasons: it's been more than a decade since I last shared any space with anybody at all (and quarter of a century since my last foray into co-habitant); and we're both natural curmudgeons of a high order.

There is, however, one dark shadow in this Elysian splendour. It is the matter of sex.

Luckily, we are both still capable in the arts of making love, with the aid of a walking frame and a box of safety matches. Unluckily, there is an issue about foreplay. Round these parts foreplay consists of a beery nudge after "Match of the Day" and the magic words: "How about it lass?" unfortunately, neither of us are beer drinkers (I don't drink at all, come to that) and we're not overly struck on "Match of the Day." We're both quite struck by how much Alan Hansen looks like Captain Scarlet but it's not enough to get the libido going.

We'd quite like the cry of: "Oh He'll, Mark Kermode's on the telly again! Switch it off!" to be the signal for romantic manoeuvres but we worry that this may be beyond the pale societally.

Ambition thwarted

It's a shame "Britain's Got Talent" is on before the 9pm watershed. I reckon my impersonation of Jimmy Durante could have been a contender.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Because it's Sunday

And because I've not gotten round to writing all that stuff I was supposed to be writing...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday singalong

There is a view in this household that Joan Jett should be commissioned to rehabilitate the whole of Gary Glitter's back catalogue, this giving us back the excuse for a lot of road journey singalongs.

Lessons unlearned

You'd have thought I'd know better after the episode with the quilt, but oh no…

Much to my — and the blue tits' — dismay, I've temporarily put a clothes line up in the garden so that I can dry a bed cover which has been drip-draining into the bath for the past 20 hours after I had a fit of bank holiday domesticity.

For those of you struggling for pub quiz questions, it turns out that a quilted blanket can hold eighty litres of bathwater.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

28 Days Later...

The Small Object Of Desire And Moon Of My Delight woke up with a start.

"I've had a horrible dream," she said. "I dreamt that I was being set challenges. If I got the challenge right then a small disaster happened and only a few people died. If I got it wrong there was some sudden huge disaster and thousands of people died. And we were running round like mad trying to round up everyone we knew so that if anything else happened we'd know where they were and we could look after them and we wouldn't be having to keep going off to look for them.
"And you kept telling me off: we only had so much time to find everyone and if we didn't get back soon we might never get back so we might have to leave some people behind."

It's awful when work intrudes into real life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Déjà vu

I think I need to start writing a blog about my workplace, to get some of the stresses out of my system…

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The uncallings-for of Summer

There's no call for that, Summer days in Helminthdale or no Summer days in Helminthdale.

We spent ages trying to work out whether the elderly chap making his way to the bus station was wearing particularly disreputable Bermuda shorts or had forgotten his trousers.

Monday, May 09, 2011

One swallow doesn't make a relationship

We've finally(!) had a drop of rain. OK, then, a torrential downpour, but it's the first we've had since the beginning of April. We've been lucky with the bank holiday weather and took advantage to loll around the garden awhile. Taking care to ignore the neglects of Winter, when I was a bit preoccupied.

The damson, cherries and pears have all flowered and the scent of the rowan has gone over from fishy stickiness to bletted wonder. By the looks of things we'll be well-stocked with blackcurrants and cherries and the first few figs are happily swelling up. The borders are chockablock with hardy geraniums and iris and the shrubs are thick with sparrows, goldfinches and dunnock. We also seem to be hosting nestboxes full of great and blue tits and a blackcap has taken ownership of the sycamore on the railway embankment.

So there I've been, sitting around on the patio, sipping tea and reading The Hotspur. Meanwhile, the Small Object of Desire and Moon of My Delight has been chopping up the firewood and the garden is full of birdsong.

Life is pretty good at the moment.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bunting is compulsory

Bunting and frolic abounds in the nation as Royal Wedding fever grips one half of the population and a virulent mood of "sod the wedding" grips the other. This is all too evident in Helminthdale Town Hall where many of the offices are ostentatiously undecorated by Union Flags while some mad enclaves are packed to the gunnels with Franklin Mint figurines of West Highland terriers with flags and roses in their mouths.

Street parties are compulsory, especially outside The Monkey's Arms where this is business as usual most nights from eight in the morning when the chemist's shop starts selling meths and Night Nurse. Lubianka Avenue will be hosting the gala parade featuring, inevitably, Year Six of St. Barrabas' Free School And Call-Me-Dave Academy, who will be providing a picturesque tableau float representing "The Rôle of the Cold Sore Through The Ages."

A good time shall be had by all. Especially me 'cos I'll be staying in bed well out of it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some posts we missed

Madame De Farge was asking about the whereabouts of the post titles I haven't used in the other blog. I may be using some of them for the secret history, but I thought I might share a few from the lucky bag once every so often. Here's a random selection.

  • Plagued by spider kittens
  • A flash of masculine idiocy
  • Just like Nelson did at the Battle of Waterloo
  • Could you give a loud whistle just in case anything cracks
  • If this works I'll be known as somebody with healing feet
  • In the line of duty I've had to put things up people's noses
  • Did he actually say: "Ahoy there!"?
  • On passing lilac urine
  • Prince Philip said: "Get your finger out!" and that cut us to the quick
  • The Jane From Hell's Kitchen
  • Kindly Omit Flowers

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things what grown-ups do

An occasional series. Part one of the list:

  • Have a "who can do the dance from 'Tales Of The Unexpected'" competition when they should be getting ready for work.
  • Missing the traffic lights changing because they're having an eyebrow wiggling contest
  • Sulking after being accused of eating the last of the Tangfastics even though it's absolutely untrue and somebody else entirely ate them and passed on the blame.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

All things have their season?

The advice for story tellers was to start at the beginning and carry on until you get to the end and then finish. The more I read the last post in the other blog the more it feels like the last post in the other blog. It just feels right.

In many ways this is a good time to stop it. The story's become harder to tell, for reasons I've outlined before, and to be honest my heart's not in it any more. These are dangerous times, as usual, but whereas in the past the taking of the risks added a frisson to the game, these days it's just another layer of boredom on top of the same old same old...

I think that's the top and bottom of it: I'm bored shitless with it all. There are fresh new challenges, which look all too much like the same old challenges not even dressed up to disguise it a bit. And the deathless dramas are the same old deathless dramas we've repeated oh so very many times before. There may be a different number of people chasing a different number of chairs but when the music stops it's still the same old parlour game.

So I think I'll stop it there. I may change my mind but until I do I'll put those energies into making a better fist of keeping in contact with the blogosphere than I have been doing.

I'll still be posting to this blog; it serves a different purpose again.

A grand day out

A day at the seaside. Liverpool's full of characters going to Aintree. It's a poor do when I fancy a Merseyrail driver, though to be fair, he's the spit image of Sophia Loren.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Nostradamus of the 'phone

Fighting a losing battle with the predictive text on the 'phone.

Apologies to anyone startled by references to "nuts warmed gently in love oil."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Passing mists

As I was changing into my clerical greys the small object of devotion eyed me coldly:

"There's 'loveable rumpled eccentric' and there's 'I've just walked away from a train crash.' You're not looking rumpled."

Friday, March 25, 2011


You know how it is, dearie, any well-wisher would let you a morsel of Christopher Isherwood, Dryden and Beckett and de Beaudellaire, Muir and Norden and Robertson Hare; the rhythm, the timbre, the metre, the beat - it ends with some Herbert composing a tweet.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How are you, then, this fine morning?

One of those mornings where the front garden is full of the smell of new pine fence panels and primroses. I have decided that I need to make the time to enjoy these things while they are available.

As we join the motorway the car in front of us is a pretend sports car: a four-door saloon with a drop top and pretensions. It's such a nice morning that we forgive the driver the coat hangers on the backs of the seats. If we ever get a sports car we'll have a Corby trouserpress in the back.

Monday, March 21, 2011

In memoriam

Just a very brief, and sad, note to mourn the passing of two of the splendid people on my blogroll. Kaz and Gerald will both be greatly missed for their friendliness and wit.

Sympathies and best wishes to their friends and families.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking home the bacon

My dad's got the habit of picking up a 5lb bag of bacon from the butcher's every Friday, whether they need it or not. Because it's a bargain. Weekends are spent farming rashers out to the rest of the family. He called on my brother...

"Do you want any bacon?"

"Yes please."

"How much do you want?"

"How many can I have?"

"How many do you want?"

"Can I have twenty-seven?"

"Can I talk to somebody sensible?"

The brother turned and shouted to the small girl niece.

"Come out here, your grand-dad wants to talk to you."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

And breathe...

A bad couple of weeks for catching up with things. Mostly job-related stuff: both I and the small object of desire and moon of my delight have been negotiating written submissions for our jobs (I'm sorted for now; she, alas, is still on tenterhooks). Add to that a few calendar commitments and Things That Cannot Be Avoided and I'm a bit time-poor and preoccupied at the moment.

Luckily, all my news so far is, touch wood, good. I hope I find you all in fine fettle.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today's mystery picture

mystery objectmystery object

So there I was, walking through the park when I noticed a couple of these things in the children's play area. I have no idea what they are. Essentially, they're a funnel on a stick a metre and a bit high (four foot in old money). Inside the funnel is five holes; I can't work out why or where they go. There are two of these; one at each end of the park but don't face each other: they're oriented 30° to each other.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Questions a gentleman must not answer on a Sunday morning:

"Do you think I need a new saddle?"
"Would those boots make my legs look short?"
"That would look better in pink, wouldn't it?"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Of all the gin joints...

As if working late on the first St Val's day in ages where it mattered a hoot wasn't bad enough (the loved one was on late shift), Stockport Plaza had a special one-night-only screening of Casablanca.

I've spent the day trawling through the schedules of The Human Rights Act to see if I can claim compensation for this twist of fate.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Confused metrics

I've mentioned before that mine is the last generation to be able to get its head around the concept of rods, poles or perches. The Small Object Of Desire And Moon Of My Delight tells me that hers is the confused generation:

"I know how long a metre or a mile is but I've no idea of yards or kilometres."

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Still here, honestly

Sorry, I've been neglectful. Stuff. You know how it is. And some other stuff. Yes, I'm surprised, too. I'll catch up this week. Meanwhile...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cats don't like the rain

I'm not going to write this post. Things are good. And I could worry for England.

Here's some music instead...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A child's garden full of intimations of mortality

The small niece child is pondering the mysteries of life, death, God and what not and isn't any too impressed by the big feller's manner of getting things done.

"If everybody dies there'll be nobody left in the world. I don't know what He thinks he's doing..."

Saturday, January 22, 2011


You've got to feel sorry for King Kong...

A friend and I were talking the other day and it occurred to me that if King Kong went to a waxing salon for a back, sack and crack he'd look like he'd put a mohair suit on back-to-front.

There's always someone worse off than yourself...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In memoriam

R.I.P. the sublimely beautiful Susannah York. Sigh...

And also to football legend Nat Lofthouse.

Susannah York had the nicer legs.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Now, where was I...?

You know that New Year's resolution I made about making a better fist of keeping in touch with people...

One of my other New Year's resolutions is keeping me a bit occupied at the moment. In the mean time, let us reflect on interesting times...