Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Monday, July 19, 2004

The answer is probably only 42 if you can eat it.

Battersea Park looks beautiful in the sunshine. A car enters. This squeaky sound: "Drink! Chocolate!"

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Bernard Matthews Wafer Thin Turkey Ham
It's time to out this stuff. My stepdaughter eats it by the ton: I think it's horrible and very suspicious.
What do we know about it (for our Canadian visitors, that's "what do we know aboot it")? What does it really consist of and how is it made?
I used to be a vegetarian but I'm 'cured' - har har- now; I have a horrible feeling I could easily get un-cured by too much information, but I'll risk it. So many of us are in denial about food production because we like 'Value' products too much. Sometimes the stone is lifted and we look away before we see what's underneath.
Having opened the can of worms (BOGOF offer at ASDA this week), it's fair to point out that said stepdaughter would starve to death without Bernard Matthews Wafer Thin Turkey Ham and The Captain's Chicken Dippers, so I owe these people a great debt.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Goats, Bricks and Melinae

Do you have children? Do any of them talk, like, like this, right? It's, like, off the telly, innit, like? 'Coslike* if they like, do, you are now entitled to visit, like, reasonable chastisement upon them, right?
"I'll tidy my room tomorrow, right?" Yeah, right.
The Goat is Got. Discipline them with Bricks.

At a time like this I like to revisit old and trusted friends. Like a fine wine, or a familiar poem, this both sooths and inspires. I include this link because I suspect that somewhere on Planet Earth someone has not experienced it, and that is wrong. It improves and deepens with each visit, but nothing will match your first exhalation of joy. Ladies and Gentlemen:- Badgers. Play Loud.

*"coslike" is one word.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Why we blog, and international relations

Why we blog: Haddocktwat's angst and this piece come together nicely, and now we know part of the reason we do it.
A lot of the American citizens I come across in the streets of London and in other tourist spots are the stereotypical ignorant fat loud midwesterners in appalling red and yellow check trousers and "USS NIMITZ" baseball caps. "Where are you from?" I might ask, interested in which city or state. "Well boy", says he, winding himself up to full imperial height, "I'm from the [b]YEW - NITED STATES OF AMERICA[/b]". My God, I think, and there was me thinking you were Belgian :-). The combination of this experience and the horrorshow that is the US presidency at the moment (mis)-informs a lot of UK and European opinion of the USA. It's valuable to be in touch with normal humans who just happen to be Americans. And, of course, Yorkshire Canadians.

Monday, July 12, 2004


It has come to my attention that I have an irrational hatred of hardboard. There you are: I'm out. It's not like the horror I have of the squeak of Expanded Polystyrene, to which years of therapy are starting to make me resistant, it's a kind of low-level dislike which I am only now beginning to fully realise and express. Yes, I know that hardboard is both VERSATILE and USEFUL - I have a good deal of it in my house: but it has a loathsome quality, hard to put into words. I hate the smooth side, and I hate the rough side. I hate the stuff that comes off it when you saw it. I hate its unique hardboardy brownness. I hate the special hardboardy noise it makes when you tap it with your fingers. I hate the way it goes all manky when wet. Am I unique in my lonely madness?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Against Ignorance

Today I pushed a letter through a doorway. Wouldn't normally blog a thank-you letter but as there's enough ignorance and prejudice in the world (in my town, in my street), this is my (very) little stand against it.

To The Council and members

Masjid E Noor

Dear Sirs

A short note of thanks for your kind help in providing access and parking for our guests at our wedding on 26th June. It was a neighbourly act which was of great help to us. I hope all our guests treated your premises with respect.

Once again, thank you.


The " Masjid E Noor " is a little mosque 3 doors down from us. Some weeks ago a gentleman from there knocked on our door and offered access for our garden workers via their car-park, having seen that the only other access we have to the back garden is through our own front door. Our conversation led to the offer mentioned above. We are not Muslim, nor ever likely to be. We may even have issues with the Muslim world-view. That doesn't stop us looking-out for each other. "How very When Saturday Comes", to quote my brother in a different context.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Man At Work

This is a list of all the search items I've entered into Google on my work PC these last few months. At least 4 of them appear to be work-related...what on earth does it signify?

Alec Guinness
Alex W******h
Arnold Bennett
Arrow gif
Ascension Island
Bad Movies
Bagel toppings
Barton Rovers FC
Being Present
Bible text on-line
Books in 25 words
Brothers Grimm
Car hire Slovakia
Channel Tunnel Rail Link
Charles Dickens
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Composting tips and hints
Convert fluid ounces to metric
Duke Humphrey
Edward Lear
Flan Turbot
Flash Gordon
Framley Examiner
Free sms
Gates MacFadden
Grainne W*****y
Handley Page
Harry Graham
Hendon Aerodrome
Index On Censorship
Italian phrases
Jimmy Pursey
John Westlock
Journey to The Centre Of The Earth
Jules Verne etext
Lane Miller
Lemon Curry
Light switches
Lollop greaves
London Eye
Lord Godolphin
Map Of Slovakia
Martin D***y
Menace wobble
Measurements of liquid
Midland Mainline
New Opportunities and Horizons
News sites
Nonsense poetry
Nonsense poetry Hoskyns
Old grey Poet
Ornella Muti
Passport check and send
Passport renewal
Payment buttons
Paysandu ham
Peace Hospice
Posh art critic
Precious Ramotswe
Private Eye
Punch Magazine 1888 Grossmith
Purtle Sline
Quotes by Fielding
Quotes by Swift
Samantha B*****s
Siemens A60 ringtones
Simon Dupree and the Big Sound
Spaceship 1
Spaceship One
Speedy Motors
Spizz Oil
St. Swithin
Stewart Pearson Wright
Swift, Obituary
Swift, Quotes
Swiss Centre
Terry Gilliam
That nice Mr Pillai
The Book Of Obadiah
The Galaxy Luton
The National Gallery
The Queen
The Song Of Solomon
Tobias Smollett
University League Tables
Vicar Of Trim
Voltaire etext
Word Games

... wuti??? wot, me sober?

Monday, July 05, 2004

Wedding Day: That Speech In Full

It was a great great day: I think everyone enjoyed it a lot. What follows is the script of my speech in the garden - I digressed a bit, but only a bit.

" Ladies and Gentlemen - this won't take long - those of you who know me well know that I don't do this.. at least 3 of the others standing to speak this afternoon speak publicly for a living whereas I avoid it like, well, the plague.
I'm just going to say a few thank-yous, which I've written down in case I get seasick here:

-1st, thanks to all our friends and relatives for coming (sorry we couldn't arrange the weather better for you). The further you've come the more impressed I am.
- personal thanks are due to my new father- mother- sister- and brother-in-law, who've unfailingly made me feel welcome to their family right from the outset.
- thanks to Tracey, my "best man" - I've said it before, but she was a tower of strength a few years ago when I needed one, and her devious machinations played a big part in bringing me to this time and place, deny it though she may.
- To Sioux and Dan, who hosted my and Sam's first sudden skirmishes - Sioux, I know, has been a stalwart and loving friend to Sam in her dark days and since, for which my thanks are due.
- I know that, strictly speaking, the best man is supposed to say this but I think the bridesmaids look gorgeous. Well done girls. (I think that's what they call a "scripted ad-lib")
- Top marks too to William for giving his mother away. Don't worry, you'll get her back...
- There's a host of people who've helped out with everything from drain rods to flowers to cars to extension cords to chairs to fridges - too many for me to name but thanks to you all, old friends and new.
- 3 more:
- To illustrate our thoroughly modern and inclusive relationship, can I say a big thank you to a lady, and she's here today, who, as well as being a fine, fine mother to Kate and Heather has been immensely supportive to us, when she really didn't have to be? Ali, please continue to accept my respect and friendship, and Thank You.
- Nearly finally, the man who stepped into the breach when others let us down, who's spent more time here than I have lately, working until dark for not much more than a can of Stella and a smelly bed to get this garden and patio area ready for today, many many thanks to Buster, who said he'd be "staying in the background today, getting slightly pissed" - you do that, 'cos you're a star.
- Finally thanks to the beautiful woman who transformed my life, whose love I breathe every day. May I make you happy for the rest of our lives - Sam.

Can I get a beer now? "