Google+ A Tangled Rope: 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

On Not Mentioning Pert Nipples


Now not only do we have the infestation of diversity-outreach co-ordinators in the wainscoting, there is – apparently - a swarm of local authority five-a-day officers trying to build a nest in the corner of the attic, as well as reports of human resource managers in the drains.

Still, however, we are free of waste-recycling diversity officers making sure that our recycling contains the requisite amount of coloured glass and white plastic in order to meet the latest EU guidelines, so it is not all doom and gloom, despite us seemingly caught up in the doldrums of this eternal winter of our global warming. Despite that, it is always best to look on the bright side of life, that way people seem to think you are some kind of grinning imbecile and that way give you a wide birth, especially on public transport, which often means you get left alone and get a seat to yourself.

Now, I seem to have got this far into the New Year without mentioning the thing I decided not to mention, and – as you can see – I still haven’t mentioned it, despite this broad allusion to it, so that is all for the good. However, I don’t seem to have mentioned pert nipples at all this year, and that would never do… so now I have, and so now all is for the best in this the best of all possible worlds… well, nearly.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Infiltrating Undercover Banjo Players


Even though the banjo is within a five-mile radius of where we are about to attach the small tracking device to the left hind leg of this rather annoyed badger, there is still time to disarm any incipient banjo playing. This can be achieved by threats of first use of the sherry trifle, even though UN agreements on the use and deployment of sherry trifles explicitly ban first use.

However, there is a codicil to the UN agreement that explicitly allows first use of the sherry trifle if a state of incipient banjo playing can be detected, especially by undercover banjo players that may have been inserted into a country by a hostile power.

Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that several terrorist organisations have been working on a banjo-playing capability in order to bring fear and terror to the streets of several major western powers, and Belgium.

However, because of the dangers of first use of sherry trifle, especially if the more powerful fresh cream version is being considered for deployment, it is essential to know the precise location of the banjo players themselves.

Hence, the need to attach the tracking device to the specially-trained banjo seeking badger.

You couldn’t make up.

The Demons of Advertising


Once upon a time, you dressed so fine and went on holiday to Aberystwyth with your special friend from the accounts department of your local crime syndicate. It was there at the now almost legendary Aberystwyth Stoat Collective you began you long slow decent into Business Studies and other such perversions of all that is natural and good about sex between man, woman, and several small furry mammals liberally coated in the lubricant of your choice.

Now, having said that (and I did check, it was – indeed – me speaking), it is time to move on and examine the compatibility of our nether regions, for today is that special day when we must take a firm grip on our grouting trowels and head off into the sunset. Fortunately, sunset is still quite early at this time of the year, so you will have no feeble excuses about the immanence of your bedtime… again.

Once we arrive at the appointed place, we must anoint ourselves, and any nearby recalcitrant badgers, with the appropriate unguents. Then we must fasten the mystical devices to the special places with the holy pliers. Only when all this is done can we begin the ceremony of Exercising the Demons of Advertising from all our favourite television sets, satellite receivers, cable boxes, digital set top boxes and other such devices.

The Demons of Advertising are such wily beasts, capable of insinuating themselves deep within all the technology we hold precious in order to subvert our very thought processes into channels they can control and direct in order to encourage us to fill up our already o’er brimmed lives with even more unnecessary stuff.

Unless we do our solemn duty and regularly disinfect, fumigate and protect our precious things of the electronic entertainments then they, and hence - then we, will once more fall under the spell of these evil demons.

Thursday, January 27, 2011



Place the Wensleydale cheese next to the mime artist and step well back before the sex weasels catch the scent, otherwise you could be in serious danger of having your choice of trouser ridiculed by the assistant librarian as se goes about re-shelving all the hardback political thrillers.

However, we didn’t come all this far along the ring road for me to impart such words of wisdom to you, especially at the price you are paying. No, it is about time, my little artist’s sketchpad we talked of such manly things as creosote and the length of your drill bits.

I know I have seen you hanging around in the car park of our local DIY Emporium trying to muster the courage to seek out some rawlplugs of your own, but such a heady experience is not for one so young as you. DIY is for a person of much more mature a cardigan than you possess, my young man….


Are you sure…?

Hang on… could I… just for the sake of accuracy….

My… my….


As I was saying, young lady… er…. Would you mind if I had another look… just to….

Accountancy Man and his Faithful Sidekick Audit Girl


We have the banana, but that is not enough, not any more. We once thought that these days would be filled with fruit and some of the finest sandwiches known to mankind. Alas, though, it is not to be. You have worn the hat now and so we have to leave this place with our heads bowed and promise never to look upon these tadpoles again.

At least, not while anyone is looking, anyway.

Still we have our pogo-sticks and we know the way to Llandudno, so let us tarry no longer. It is time once again for us to don our Auditing Superhero costumes of Accountancy Man and his faithful sidekick Audit Girl and head out to do battle with those heartless super villains of the black economy. Those lawless brigands who hold all proper accounting techniques in contempt, along with the dire thereat to civilisation – and biscuits – as we know it that such an attitude entails. We are all that stands between them and their evil lax accounting techniques and the safety and security of the civilised world, so we’d better take some spare batteries for the calculator and fit a new blade to the pencil sharpener, for I fear there will be some mighty accounting to be done ere this night is over.

However, before we go we should see about making a nice flask of tea and – maybe – selecting a few choice examples of those sandwiches to take with us for the journey into the cold dark heart of the un-audited underworld.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tory Action Outrages the Left


It emerged yesterday that the current Tory Defence Secretary came to the aid of a pregnant woman whilst on a flight from Istanbul to London. Immediately there were demands from left-wing blogs and on Twitter for an urgent investigation into his behaviour.

As one prominent Left-winger said on Twitter:

This isn’t the sort of thing we expect from the Evil Tories. There obviously must be some kind of cover-up.

Speculation continued on Twitter with many of the Left coming to the conclusion that the Evil Tory must have been attempting to either buy, or steal, the woman’s baby so he could eat it.

AS one leftwing blogger, Rainy Sundial, posted on the Leftwing blog Incoherent Gibberish:

We all know that the evil Tories are unreconstructed baby-eaters, and this is just a foretaste of what will happen when the Evil Tories eventually privatise pregnancy so that they can have an unlimited supply of fresh babies for them, the just-as-evil bankers and their Public school cronies to eat.

It’s either that or else he was threatening to throw her out of the plane without a parachute unless she immediately signed up for private health care.

It is an absolute fact – in my mind – that the Evil Tories are forcing through these massive cuts to public services just to make everyone unemployed so that the Evil Tories can force decent ordinary hard-working squeezed-middle people’s to sell the Evil Tories their babies cheaply, just so that the Evil Tories can eat them.

After all, we all know the rich and privileged of this country don’t stay rich by paying over the odds for the babies they want to eat.

A spokesman for the government issued this statement:

We would like to make it clear that the Defence Secretary – a former GP – was asked to come to the aid of a pregnant woman in distress during the flight. We would like to stress that at no time did he make any request to eat the woman’s baby, offer money to buy the baby to eat later, or suggest that she take out private health insurance of any form.

Furthermore, I would lie to stress that David Cameron, Nick Clegg and the rest of the coalition cabinet – since winning the election… er… nearly - have hardly eaten any babies at all.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tinned Soup – A Warning from History


Oh, well, but we had all the cheese we could tabulate, and our very marmosets throbbed with excitement at the thought of the TV schedules that we would peruse, ere the day’s light grew dim and the night’s blankets wrapped around us.

Not forgetting the fondue set, though, of course.

Those were young, adventurous days though and we had the bicycle clips to prove it. Sometimes, back in those days, we would sometimes – when we felt brave enough - open two tins of soup, possibly Oxtail and Cream of Tomato. However, we were young then and we had no idea that tinned soup could be such a heady cocktail when wantonly mixed like that.

Eventually, though, our luck ran out. It was on the A38, just south of Derby. There we were surrounded by rampaging natives on the warpath, all escaping from the central reservation to run amok along the dual carriageways of all our hopes, dreams and, yes, our fears too.

It was there we were caught, in the lay-by, with out even a tin opener to come to our aid.

Sometimes, I wake in the night screaming... still, even after all these years.

I haven’t touched a drop of tinned soup since, and Petunia can no longer spend more than a few seconds in the close vicinity of a bread roll.

Such times always take their toll.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Compulsory Quiz Programmes


Do goats really exist?

I have seen you naked, and I liked it - a lot. Maybe one day I will be granted permission to touch your elbow once again. Maybe when all those bad memories have faded.

Do you keep donkeys on your patio? Do you ever make sketches of the Norwegians queuing in the dry-cleaners?

You laugh now, but wait until you see the bill.

This Smoked Weasel Cheese is deadly to Peruvians, who must smear it across the bare chest of the first stockbroker they encounter on the first day of spring, if they want to avoid contracting the fatal rash all over their thighs.

These are true facts. Learnt them well, my little hubcap, and your soul will be saved when the time comes for us to all appear on compulsory TV quiz programmes; where we are forced to win luxury all-expenses paid holidays of a lifetime, whether we want them or not.

Ah, the holy holiday. People used to dream of a better life than this: a heaven, a paradise, a utopia.

Now they just dream of going on holiday instead.

Entities of the Political Collective


The very tinned peach segments (in light syrup) of all we hold dear seem to tremble with foreboding as it now becomes clear that despite a recent General Election we still end up with a bunch of politicians almost indistinguishable from the last lot, except maybe their suits seem slightly better made. We look from pigs to men and back again and we find we cannot distinguish one from the other.

However, what did we really expect?

Vote for clowns and you get clowns. Vote for politicians and you get mendacious self-serving entities of the political collective whose answer to overwhelming invasive, inept and inert bureaucracy is more invasive, inept and inert bureaucracy heaped upon itself until the ship of state creaks at the gunwales and ships water as soon as it heads out into the sea. That is providing, of course, that it has filled out the necessary embarkation forms, journey plan, health and safety survey and the crew have completed all their diversity-awareness and cultural sensitivity training courses. Not only that – obviously – they will have to have the EU-stipulated cohort of the essential five-a-day co-ordinators necessary for the voyage to advise on what fruit and vegetables the voyage planning committee should have allocated some of their budget for to avoid the unforeseen outbreak of scurvy.

Then, all they have to do is wait for the Voyage Direction-Taking committee to produce its report and they can be off.

Only then, just out at sea, they will find they suddenly need to set up an inquiry committee to advise on what lessons can be learnt from the way the ship seems to be already sinking, less than a mile from the port.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dark and Secret Joys of Tiddlywinks


But now all our banjo players have become Systems Analysts and ridden their donkeys off into the sunset. We are left bereft, but we learn to make jigsaw puzzles out of our modest collection of Chameleons. But time and tide wait for no stockbroker.

You may think - quite often - of The Dark and Secret Joys of Tiddlywinks, but I hold all the kitchen utensils you have ever desired in my grasp. I will reveal to you both the garlic press and the tea-strainer when we again meet at midnight at the very top of the highest tower in Ludlow. I will speak gently of these precious utensils and allow you to compare our knees by moonlight once again.

It will just like that time, so long ago now, when we first met on the beach that fine February morning. I recall you wore just the be-sequined cape and day-glo wellies of an Assistant Bank Manager and I wore the deerstalker hat and spats that are the one true sign of the Professional Naked Person.

Oh, how we laughed, how we sang, how we pointed at the clothed people and sniggered, how we met that nice policeman, how we were arrested, charged and then, oh... how we were fined and bound over to keep the peace.

Such happy, happy, times!

The Relative Nature of Time


Put the Smoky Bacon crisps next to the wallaby, Matilda, then come over here and help me sort these tinned foodstuffs into alphabetical order in the cupboard of all our dreams. We have seen the supermarkets of the gods and now it is time to tabulate our dried goods too.

However, I feel that sometimes it is necessary to wonder about Brussels sprouts. But not all that often and, especially, not now.

So, anyway….

Time and tide wait for no man; however, time to women is entirely a different matter. Take, for example, the simple question: ‘are you ready?’ which to a man, the dismal male of this species, a reply of ‘yes’, means you are either in your coat ready to go through the door or in a situation immediately prior to being in your coat ready to go out the door.

However, to the woman a reply of ‘yes’ means that sometime in the next hour or so, she will be at a point where she is almost ready to consider the tricky problem of which coat she is going to wear. It is also possible that decision will mean a completely new change of what she is already wearing, and just how warm or cold is it out there – only roughly, to a tenth of a degree or so. This may mean that she will be too hot, or too cold in the almost tentatively-decided upon coat and will need to reconsider the whole situation, and ‘why didn’t you say it was raining?’

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Unresolved Oscillations


As the hopscotch nightmares of your indifferent sausage procurement device fade with the coming dawn and all the semi-permeable membranes of the alien cell structures of politician's brains slowly evolve into something even more mendacious, we find our own particular oscillations have been left unresolved.

Still, you do get a lot of that at this time of year, don't you?

So, anyway, let us see what we can do on this far from fine morning as the bare narrow winter entangles its wintery talons deep into our pubic hair.

Shall we play that game again?

The game where you dress up as a figure from my most cherished fantasies of rude and naughty ladies and I endeavour to play the part of someone you could find almost interesting, if not quite tolerable?


Oh, well. It was only a thought. The best I can do at this time of year.

Just hang on a bit until the weather gets a little warmer, my little pencil case, and then you will see me bud, blossom and bloom into… well… into what remains of my - once-splendid - glory. It is all faded now, of course, after all these years of spanner abuse and pointlessly incautious substitute geography teacher stance adoption….

But, it is all I have… apart from the devices, the pomegranate… and the lotions.

A Media-Infected World


So anyway, there she was holding the parakeet as if she meant business, so what could I do, except pretend to take a sudden deep interest in my A-Z of Droitwich? I know it is a bit of a cliché, but these are the times we live in, where everything we see or do seems to carry with it the traces of some film or TV programme we have slept throu… watched.

Still, though, I thought the bit about the contents of that tin of mandarin slices and the bath full of lukewarm custard was a nice touch, even though that episode of Doctor Who was probably only watched by committed fans of the programme. As for the flippers and the adjustable wrench, well… I’m sure we’ve all seen our fair share of Hitchcock for me not to need to elaborate on that.

Furthermore, what with porn now part of the mainstream, I’m sure that what she did with that apprentice arc-welder from Bridlington will come as no real surprise to most readers of this piece, especially if they recall the infamous jar of piccalilli scene from Deep Throbbers 27.

Although, having said that, I’m sure my life is beginning to resemble the 7th series of Midsummer Murders, especially when it seems that everything I do and everywhere I go, somehow, no matter how deeply improbable it is, that Joyce Barnaby always seems to be involved somehow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lightly-Buttered Hippopotamus


Together we will go, hand in hand, to watch the dawn rise over the elbows of your local illicit marmalade dealer. Then we will breakfast on anchovies in cardigans at that delightful little café where the waitress sneezes into your green tea with all the charm and subtlety of a lightly-buttered hippopotamus exiting a Reliant Robin.

Then we will go on to the shopping mall of all our nightmares. A place where even the stone-clad faces of the make-up sellers will shatter into thousands of tiny pieces of long-destroyed skin as they see us riding, naked and freshly-perfumed with the essence of stunned weasel, on our tandem across their burger-carton strewn mezzanines whilst singing a medley of Lithuanian folk tunes.

Still, those were the days, eh? You could tell because they started early in the morning, carried on through midday into the afternoon, followed closely by the evening and then, finally, the darkness of the night.

Oh, how we laughed. Once. But that was the first time you'd seen me naked and proud. Since then I have learnt to appreciate your pity. So, now I no longer blush as we ride our tandem past the vegetable stalls and you gaze longingly at the cucumbers.

Make Do and Mend


Haberdashery – that is something you don’t see much of these days, even between consenting adults. It seems Make Do and Mend has gone the way of the electric valve, hippies and tramlines. Still, you can’t have everything as you’d have trouble finding a box big enough to put it all in, as well as the danger of Russell’s Paradox leaking out all over your nice clean floor.

Still, or – if you prefer - having a slight twitch every now and again, that is the way the cookie crumbles, or even the way the apple crumble cooks.

Don’t forget the custard though. Apple crumble with fresh hot custard is – I believe – guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore to serve it on its own – without even the mitigation of – say – ice cream would be a very serious criminal offence, punishable by Death by Chat show in several European countries (and Wales).

Anyway, moving on, I see that today is – again – Tomorrow Eve, yet another one of those days that comes before the day after it, a bit like all our yesterdays in that respect, but without the dubious fashion choices. Although, as I get older I do believe something can be said in defence of the tank top – although, whether that defence should be a plea of insanity I leave to finer legal minds than my own, which – to be honest – has a habit of wandering off on its own, leaving me here feeling like a bit of a git.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

But, Pigeons?




This is a chinstrap for your diversity co-ordinator irritating device.

Use the detector, Nigel. But don't eat all the chips.



Three times a llama.

Here we are, standing in the standing place. But there is nothing here and there are no goats in the goat-finding place. It is a mystery - possibly.

Once we had the Helicopters of Desire, now we only have these hats. However, we refuse to wear the wearable things now there are giraffes in our vestibule, each having a dinner of Southern-Fried Hamster Chins.

But, pigeons?

I don't ask because I don't know.

Why are all these things the things that are all these things? Answer me that, my little paperclip.

We do not know. We only itch, slightly, above the left knee.

But this is not the one everyone thought it was. If you ask, I will not say, because we should be silent - always - in the presence of the Holy Tea-Strainer of Shrewsbury.

Fondling Bubble-Wrap

Even then, despite the small problem of the VAT Inspector being secreted amongst the vegetables over in the corner near the wishing well, it is not all that easy to consider how come we are here without the requisite receipts and with one of us caught red-handed holding the badger in a way that is not quite a north-easterly direction. However, since the use of a scientific calculator is expressly forbidden by the rules of Strip Ludo, especially when on a triple underwear score square, therefore we will have little alternative but to take an elderly relative to Nuneaton… yet again.

This time we can only hope that she is too befuddled by the bus timetables to find her own way back… again.

But if we were daring enough to start a sentence with ‘but’, then we would not fear that dread knock on the door in the middle of the night when all we have done is use a slight excess of sellotape on our birthday gift wrapping paper, which is – normally – not a matter for the police.

However, since the latest EU directive on Excess Citizen-Applied Packaging came into force at the beginning of the year, some of us are beginning to fear that we will never fondle the delights of bubble-wrap again in our lifetime.

The sound of slight popping noises is fading away all over Europe.

Monday, January 17, 2011



The fearsome chinstraps of Norwegian goat-herders haunt our dreams and nightmares. We have used our final spanners, and now the dark days are upon us. What else can we do, except alter our clocks back to Badger-Implicating time once more and cower in our fearful riding boots? The world must never again know such dark days as these.

I shall walk away now, and I will forget your knees and the precise way you would lay various seashells on them just for me, only for me.

We could have become lovers, if only I had held my copy of the Karma-Sutra the correct way up. Instead, we became a specialist contortionist act performing at Intimate Private Parties For Consenting Adults Only.

It all went quite well, up until that evening when a retired colonel mistook you for a chandelier and tried to change your light bulbs. I must admit, though, I was quite impressed by your response. One would have thought that a military man, even a retired military man, would be prepared for the possibility of a surprise attack.

Apparently, according to one of the maids I met later, he was still rolling around in agony on the floor nearly three hours after you had disabused him of his error, and even now, he cannot bear to be in a room containing decorative light fittings without a chaperone.

One Of Those Lives


So what then?

I did not want to be here, doing this. I wanted one of those lives that made some kind of difference. Not in a big way though, I didn’t want to be one of those people we blame for changing the world, one of those who takes it upon themselves to grab hold of history and twist it out of shape, taking the lives of so many people and scattering them on the winds. I didn’t even want to be one of those who oppose the tyrants of history, one of those souls,- sometimes named, sometimes nameless – who take a stand and go down fighting to the last tattered shred of their honour and humanity.

I most certainly didn’t want to be one of those empty-headed, empty-lived, celebrities that fill up the tabloid world with their egocentric existences, living out on the far edge of the consumer dream. To be some entity for brand-names to hang themselves off in their fevered screaming for the fickle attention of those that think that the brand is some kind of fairy godmother that will make all their dreams of being noticed, not for what they are, but for what they pretend to be, come true.

No, I wanted to be one of those quiet ones who stand on the edge. The one you see walking along the early morning beach, or sitting on the park bench, not forlorn, but at ease with the universe. One of those who knows how to set small worlds going and how to populate them with people that seem more real than this shadowland we walk through like lost and forgotten ghosts. I wanted to be one of those who looked at you with eyes that knew, and when you asked answered ‘yes.’

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Trousers of Earnest Pontification


Still, we do not always have to speak of these things. We may laugh at those who willingly don the trousers of over-earnest pontification, or snigger at those who yearn for the crazed stare of the zealot freed forever from the torment of existential doubt and the fear that their taste in politics, woollen jumpers or pop music is no longer at the cutting edge of where it is at.

Instead, we should do other stuff, what that stuff is, of course, is not for me to say, because that would force me to don those very same trousers of earnest pontification, and I do not want to do that. After all, a blog is not the sort of place for that sort of thing, now, is it?

It is not my place, or my purpose, not even my plaice or my porpoise, to offer you designs for living, or offer blueprints and stratagems to assist you though your life, or offer nostrums on what to think, believe, do or say. That Socrates bloke said all you need to do a while back now, when he reckoned that 'an unexamined life is not worth living', and I've not seen else that improves on it, except to add 'and mind how you go.'

A Dead Gerbil


So what will become of our spectacular arrangement of steak and kidney pies once the 2012 Olympic Games is over and we have nothing to show for it but a plethora of branded ‘souvenir’ items for which there is no really discernable use?

Shall we like the accountants of the times of legend and auditing mount our trusty (and tax-deductible) steed and just ride off into the sunset in search of the next lonesome audit?

Or, shall we take a stand against pointless frippery and say this I the last time that something allegedly ‘tasteful’ yet manifestly awful will ever be inflicted upon those who suffer such a wide disparity between their financial status and their sense?

I don’t know, I don’t know anything, so there is no point asking me. I used to think I knew things, but then Reality TV is still being produced, politicians still get elected, the religions still go about contradicting the real, the obvious and the true, so what do I know?

You’d be better off looking for advice, understating, wit and wisdom from a dead gerbil. At least, with a dead gerbil, rather than a once over-opinionated blog-wrangler who it now seems has nothing left to say, but still insists on saying it, there is some deeply-profound satisfaction to be gained from poking it with a stick.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Chiropodist Incident


The goats of all our lives are spread out now across the open fields of possibility, whilst the adjustable spanners of all our hopes lie discarded and forgotten at the bottom of our toolboxes. Still, we do have a pogo-stick, and Welshpool is not all that far away, although we promised to never darken their doors again after that incident with the chiropodist out on the ring road.

We have stood like the guitar heroes of destiny out on the supermarket car parks of what was once the shopping mall of all our dreams, but not we can only play hopscotch and laugh at the knees of those celebrities we once – so cravenly – envied for wide selection of cheeses made available for their cheeseboards.

You used to laugh, so carefree and easy, as we did naked bookkeeping together, but now the sight of my invoices leaves you cold. We could have sorted these receipts out together as the sun set over the stock control assistants, but now it is time for you to return to that place you came from, all those years ago. We grow old and tired and our knees will no longer allow us to tango until half past three every Thursday afternoon, not now the traffic lights mock us so blatantly.

Still we will always have Cirencester.

There Ought to be a Law


Even if we both hold our tambourines in the officially-sanctioned most efficacious manner approved by the dread Health and Safety borgs there is still no guarantee that either of us will suffer some tambourine-related injury, or, even – perhaps during some vigorous agitation of the aforesaid device – an actually fatality.

For it should be obvious, except to the most rule-bound and rule-obsessed, that procedures, rules and even the almighty legislation are no proof against mishap. For even as the last ignoble and meddlingly mendacious Labour government of all our nightmares discovered to – we feel – its absolute aghast shock – that making something illegal does not stop it happening.

This does seem to come as rather a stunning revelation to those who would give us rules for living, right down to the most niggardly and inconsequential. The sort of personage - we would not be too surprised to hear - who would wish to introduce government legislation on the correct way for us to put on our underwear first thing in the morning.

A set of formal rules and regulations to ensure that our donning of such apparel does not conflict with the latest EU directive on underwear, whilst at the same time significantly reducing our underwear-wearing carbon footprint and not conflicting with any culturally-diverse manners of underwear wearing. Such legislation would also make illegal – with threat of imprisonment – any gender-stereotyping of underwear in any form whatsoever by making men wear bras, panties and stockings (or tights) and women to wear y-fronts, a string vest and socks with holes in the toe and heel for at least 3 days in every week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Traffic Calming Measures


One never knows where to put the small rotund devices that somehow litter the asparagus beds of all our nearest and dearest town planning departments of the soul. We have played hopscotch over the dreams of your most-treasured fossilised hamster chins whilst sorting out our more than impressive string collections into alphabetical order. Meanwhile the tadpoles have learnt how to tango once more. We shall not be free of them ere the spring comes, my little fully-qualified glockenspiel polisher. Still we will always have Prague, especially if we keep it in that shoebox at the back of the wardrobe of our forgotten hopes and fantasies.

Even now, though, that purple reindeer keeps watch over the road junction that lies at the centre of all our sexual longing and yearnings. How, in the deepest dark heart of the night, we whisper together of those erotic traffic lights, and the sensuous Keep Left signs as we build our desires for zebra crossings up to the peak of our most yearned for longings. and then, later, the quiet satiation as we whisper of small humpbacked bridges we have stroked and the Give Way signs we have known, before falling asleep together, arms around each other, as we dream of mini-roundabouts, dual carriageways and slip roads.

A Place We will Never Find


These winds blow cold and we do not have a place to hide from them. We are out here on these bared hillsides looking down at our valleys of memories, knowing we can never return to those places we have left behind. The past always lies behind us, too far out of reach, too far back ever to return. We can only ever move onward, looking for a place we know we will never find.

We have no homeland, we have no homes. All we have is movement and distance. We do not stay in any place beyond the time it allows us, we move on, always searching and rarely – if ever – finding.

We no longer really know what it is we look for. We have stories, told late at night around our campfires – of a land we once knew generations ago, that our people called home, and we wander these roads, paths and trails seeking some kind of clue as to where it lies, but deep down we know it only ever existed in those stories.

Now the night grows dark and the fire dims too much for us to see each other’s faces. We have told all the stories we know, so now it is time to sleep in readiness to move on tomorrow.

Soul Kitchen


There are clouds on the horizon that forebode ill, either that or your glasses probably need a bit of a wipe. Anyway, what harm can befall one so adept in the ways of the steak and kidney pie as your very self. A person who has walked all the aisles of your local DIY emporium and not felt that shiver of fear that lesser mortals feel when approaching the grouting implements, and that great weight of existentialist dread that lies so heavy on the human soul when forced to contemplate the sheer terror of the fitted kitchen displays.

Could, should, a human life ever face such levels of idealised perfection, should we be forced to bear witness to something so ideal, so perfect, that our own kitchens look so tawdry and inadequate in comparison. A vision that lays bare for us all our inadequacies and failures that have allowed us to fall so far short of culinary engineering perfection.

In simpler times, humanity comforted itself with the illusions of heavens and paradises to come after this nasty, brutish and short life was brought to a close, mostly likely in a excessively violent and bloody manner. These days instead we have these displays, adverts, for the ideal – and idealised – home. A paradise here on Earth that could be ours if only we were deemed worthy – credit-worthy, even – for entry into such a heaven.

Indeed, we are blessed to be alive in such an age.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adept in the Art of Sensuous Undertakings


While it is somewhat true that I may have – indeed – revealed details of your illicit activities with a brace of cheese and onion baguettes to a chiropodist in Cirencester, this does not mean that your overnight dalliance with a small cabal of Lithuanian semi-professional chin-strokers has gone completely unnoticed either. For it now seems inevitable that that night when you all spent up until the small hours unsuccessfully attempting to attach small electric motors to the hind legs of dormice in order to invent some new kind of eco-friendly pencil sharpener, will soon become a matter of public record.

It does seem fashionable, especially amongst media pundits and others we habitually don their trousers of pontification nowadays to profess that privacy is dead. However, there are some amongst us for whom certain confidences are sacrosanct. That is, unless the tabloids come up with a generous offer, including several evenings spent – at their expense – in the company of certain ladies of negotiable affection, who are more than adept in the art of sensuous undertakings.

Anyway, all that I am saying is that you should rest easy in your bed – providing you can get comfortable with that many firemen sharing your sleeping space, and the local rugby team has an away match that day - because my price is quite high. Furthermore, not only do I promise never to sell your secrets cheaply, I also, hereby, solemnly promise that the photographs will – only ever - go to the highest bidder who promises to publish them in only the most tasteful manner possible, considering the subject matter.

A Wonderful Life… Sort of


And so as the aardvarks of all our hopes and dreams fade into the misty dawn of yet another bloody day, dragging its leaden way towards us. No doubt intending to inflict upon our poor over-burdened heads yet more pointless bureaucratic meddling, political mendaciousness and a completely overwhelming selection of unhealthily rich, over-sweetened and poor-quality shop-bought cakes, we again wonder to ourselves if this is really all there is.

What happened to those dreams of a wonderful life that we used to have? Those dusky walks along moonlit tropical beaches with equally dusky maidens who would gaze in wonder upon the wit and wisdom we so casually dispensed before taking them back to our grass hut to give them a night of passion, fulfilment and contentment they had never known before?

Here we are sitting in a cold and damp brick box, contemplating spending ages using a tin box to get us to another distant concrete box. A place where the futility of our lives will be played out against the background of some pointless task involving moving a boulder of data up a virtual hill only to watch it roll all the way back down again like some computerised parody of the trials of Sisyphus.

Only later to trudge back home to a small grey life that seems as endless as the cold damp drizzle that seems to surround us no matter what the alleged weather or nominal season.

Having said that, though, the cakes were surprisingly tasty and moreish.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fields Of Rampant Mango Chutney


The Spanish donkey spanners are once again massing on the borders of our once so-proud car parks. The indifferent traffic wardens of our dreams dance tangos across the fields of rampant mango chutney that were once the homes of all our most cherished daffodils. Yet, you dare to ask what has become of the petunia you kept in the cupboard under the stairs, for just such emergencies as this? Frankly, Gloria I have to wonder at your priorities. After all, do we now – at this time of straightened economic circumstances - have to keep paying the blackmail payments to the Latvian air hostess, after all it was not our tin of peach slices, was it?

At least, not at the time.

Anyway, where shall we go now, my little paperclip dispenser, now that the shopping malls of our nightmares, haunt our waking hours too with their promises of so many consumer goods at prices we could almost afford, but do not want to clutter up our lives with?

Even when the days grow long and warm, you still wore the cardigan of one who has loved and lost and the slippers of one who would wish for so much more than this thin world can offer, beyond the splendid luxury of beans on toast five days a week.

I know your dreams lie lost and broken amongst the discarded Weekend supplements, but what can I do... having only these bagpipes and that tin of anchovies to offer?

Philosophy-Ready Trousering


Even when the cardboard of all our dreams lies sodden and crumbling in the puddle of reality that lies at the very heart of the car park of all our most cherished hopes and desires, we do not entirely despair. At least, not if we find ourselves – at the time – residing in a form of trouser suitable for such an august and significant occasion of impromptu philosophising, or spur-of-the-moment pondering.

Times of such existential crisis should – at least – be prepared for by giving serious consideration to the form of trousering that one will be residing in on such occasions. Such times of profound philosophical inquiry cannot even be considered whilst wearing shorts. At least a sturdy pair of pontificating trousers should be worn, possibly with a matching cardigan of profundity, or – at the very least – some kind of philosophising-ready shirt.

Deep thought of the kind that is necessary when all that we have lived by lies like Christmas wrapping paper at our feet. Moreover, such sturdy trousering is vital when what we so avidly longed for now looks more akin to one of those cheap presents given to us out of propriety by some distant relative. A relative who sees us only as a name on a list to be crossed off down at the bottom of the awkward buggers to get presents for, then it is easy to understand why a suitable pair of philosophising trousers should become vital for all our deeper ruminations.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Dark And Secret Arts Of Advanced Piccalilli Application


The spaniels of your loquacious irrelevance are once more gambolling across the lawns of all we once held so dear. Every the very cheese biscuits of our souls are a tremble with desire at the thought of your Double Gloucester, with or without the addition of chives and onion.

Yet, we still dream of Cleethorpes and how you once held that deck chair supervisor in the iron grip of your will, as well as tightly by the throat, as you explained to him the error of is assumptions regarding the hire period of the aforesaid article of beach furniture.

However, these are less moist days and the pickling factory of your desire is once again on shorter working time as the pickled onions of our needs wax and wane with our advances years and the concomitant decrease in desire for rampant pork pie misuse.

Still, though, once you have learnt the dark and secret arts of advanced piccalilli application. There is thenceforth no upper limit on the erotic uses of such condiments, allowing all the license that imagination allows, except – obviously in the case of pickled eggs and that now familiar case of Regina Vs Puddleduck.

So, if you wouldn’t mind helping my remove the lid from this jar, we can begin.

A Bit of a Picnic


Sometimes it seems as though all our scotch eggs are not quite what we expected when we first set out on this trip to the places of interest in the nearby locality of all our hopes and dreams. Not only that – quite possibly – some of our more… er… shall we say ‘individual’ matters of sexual fantasy and desire, even though we have never been able to look at a brace of warm butter-melting kippers in quite the same way, since ’the incident’, could be construed as a little out of the general run of things as decreed by the tabloid newspapers that are the stout unwavering guardians of today’s moral climate.

As for any return to Bridlington in the immediate future, or – indeed - in living memory, shall we just say that would not be a good idea, at least until after the arrest warrant is well-expired.

Now, you and I are both persons of the world, well-versed in the way of the re-usable shopping bag. Furthermore, with not – either of us – liable to blanch at the thought of a politician being mendaciously self-serving, maybe we could – one day – when you are feeling both brave and strong enough, perhaps, possibly, we could consider opening a tin of mandarin segments together in the privacy of our very own fast lane of the M6. Then – as fully-consensual adults – engage in all that is wanton and lewd in that perversion that is spoken of – in hushed whispers – as the picnic.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Almighty Gods Of The Allen Key


If we put the spanners out in the car park, then we can re-tune the ukulele without any of the usual chafing around the edge of the fishpond. That is, of course if you have remembered to oil the weasel racquets, my little quantity surveyor.

Anyway, if you have already assembled the wardrobe by this time, without recourse to cursing the almighty gods of the Allen key, then we will move on to take a look at what we can do with the petunias. That is, once our rather interesting lady-friend has weeded the herbaceous borders whilst wearing only the thigh-length black leather boots and a Tyrolean hat.

We then place the wardrobe slightly to the left of the petunias so that the door opens out into the herbaceous border in such a manner as to leave most of the waterfowl unperturbed by any excessive gestures made by the weatherman as the unseasonable cold spell bears down on his unprepared weather maps.

Then, of course, once our rather underdressed lady-gardener has managed to screw her courage to the sticking place, using the remaining sellotape if necessary, we can then move on to see if we can interest the waterfowl in ordering something from the mail order catalogues. Then, and only then, we will have to make our way back over the car park towards where we left the shopping trolley.

Supermarkets and Existentialism


So, anyway, sometimes it seems that even the very marmosets of all we hold dear are gambolling across the wide-open fields of this – what was once - our own supermarket car park of eternity. There were days when it seemed this car park was o’er-brimmed with vehicles of all shapes and sizes, each one conveying a bevy of customers all eager for what two-for-the-price-of-one delights they could cram into their ever-eager trolleys. Now, though the car park is deserted and the last special offer advertising fliers blow forlornly in the wind that blows through these wide-open spaces.

Once it seemed the supermarket could – on its tightly-stacked shelves – answer every existential question we could pose for it. The meaning of life could be found somewhere within the seemingly endless choice of different brands of tins of baked beans from the straightforward simplicity of the cheapest own-brand right up to the luxury finest gourmet collection.

Oh, yes, what use had we for philosophy, literature, even science when we could choose between so many different brands of toilet paper, each with its own special fluffy animal brand name and logo. Why spend so much valuable potential shopping time pondering the eternal verities when there was such a good discount on the South American red wines and specialist small-brewery beers.

Oh, back in those halcyon days we had the product that could answer any question we could ask of this cold immense universe, and still get bonus point on our store loyalty cards.

Yes, those were truly the golden days.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Vital Custard Usage Calculations


The tadpoles are laughing at us, my little strawberry punnet, and the large unwieldy device you used to organise the arrangement of our store of pickled onions lies slowly rusting at the back of the garage.

What has become of us?

Where has the magic gone from our lives?

Once we used to stay up late into the night, sometimes as late as seventeen minutes past nine, talking passionately of the uses for home-made rhubarb crumble and tabulating the amount of custard we used each week.

But now we sit here, each in our own chair, silently watching the TV muttering its own peculiar inanities to itself. Neither of us able to overcome the inertia long enough to curtail its empty ramblings.

You sit there quietly knitting woollen VAT Return covers while I carefully lubricate several of the smaller accounting grommets in readiness, but both of us know - deep down - that the auditing poised so artfully upon the custard-stained dining table in the far corner of the room waits in vain for us to begin the calculations.

Soon the clock will strike nine and it will be time to put the light out on this forlorn scene once again.

A Sticky-Backed Plastic Life


Well, now the time of gaudy baubles has come to a close. Here we are left with the woolly jumpers we did not even realise we ever wanted. All else that remains are those odd sweets left forlorn in the bottom of the tin that no-one in the known universe seems to like, what else is there to do but comfort ourselves with the memory of the sprouts and how we will not look upon their like again.

At least, not until next year when the whole business rolls around again like a politician seeking votes at election time.

However, until then we have this thing we like to call life that we need to get on with, even though, little of it seems to bear any tangible relationship to that offered in the brochures and the advertising pages. Has, for example, anyone ever leapt out of bed with deep overweening joy and alacrity just to get themselves on the outside of a bowl of cereal? Most of which seem to have any distinction in taste between themselves and the cardboard carton they come in.

Anyway, life is what you make it. This is – I suppose – why most of us seem to have lives that resemble one of those items they used to make on Blue Peter. A strange ungainly construction made out of sticky-backed plastic and empty washing up liquid bottles, and even then a poorly-made facsimile of that which appeared on the programme, that – unlike our feeble attempt – did bear some resemblance to the real thing, no matter how optimistically tenuous.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Unnatural Thoughts About Sherry Trifle


If the cardboard implication of all our cheese-flavoured accounting techniques fails to impress the reindeer, then I do not know what will happen to all those discarded blackboard easels that lie behind the steamer trunks of all our forgotten Tuesdays. You may think the same too, for I can see by the way that you have adopted the indignant stance of a MP, whose mendaciousness has been suddenly uncovered in a tabloid exposé, that you may be having unnatural thoughts about my sherry trifle, once more.

But, still, we had times, many times together in the stationery cupboard of workaday dalliances, and spent many hours together deep in the bracken patch of outdoor naughtiness, where the wine flowed like treacle and the treacle bound our shared nakedness together, at least until that day of the wasps.

Then there was that long dark Wolverhampton of the soul where the days passed like ponderous marching tower blocks grinding us deep under the town planning nightmares that always haunted our nights until one day we broke free of it all and took up mutual naked string arranging, deep in the forests of Walsall.

But now….

But now, I have seen you staring at the tambourine again and I grow fearful for my castanets.

Undertaking Modern Dance Whilst Holding a Tin of Spam


Sometimes it is all a bit sort of thingy. Other times it is all a bit whatsit, especially when the doodah has gone all oohjamaflip. However, if the thingy has gone all doodah, than the wassername can get a bit howsyourfather, as I’m sure a person of your wit, sophistication and erudition must be supremely aware. You can’t, as the old saying goes, teach your grandma how to suck off sailors down around the back of the docks, so therefore I will not trouble you further with what now seems obviously a rather trivial observation.

However, and I feel this could be the important point; it is not always obvious where to put the butter, especially if the hippopotamus is somewhat nervous around ballet dancers. Which is, I suppose, rather straightforward. After all, who can honestly say they are not nervous around ballet dancers, especially if there is some doubt about the full integrity of the corned beef tin at the time? I know there have been too many times when I have felt a certain amount of trepidation when in the vicinity of those who are about to undertake certain terpsichorean endeavours while I have had some tinned of meat on, or about, my person. Modern dance whilst holding a tin of Spam is always – I’m sure you will agree – somewhat problematical, especially when the wind is North-easterly.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Cheese Mitten Recalibration


Put the eggcups back in the gazebo, Henrietta, there is marmalade afoot and we’ll need all the spaniels, come teatime. Still, at least the digestive biscuits are not on the rampage, now that our bus timetables are all back on the mantelpiece and that string you once had an affair with is safely back in Llandudno, living as a semi-professional chocolate diviner.

Oh, how I remember the azaleas and how we would taunt the social worker with them as we rode our tandem down to the chip shop, even though the stock-control assistant did not know how to recalibrate the cheese mittens without the instruction manual.

Now, putting all that to one side – slightly to the left of the semi-bewildered assistant supermarket manager - let us go out and butter our own albatrosses this evening as the sun sets off across the far end of your bookcase. Then we will talk deep into the night of lupins and stockbrokers like any couple who were so deep in love their thighs ached and throbbed as though they had run three marathons through ever-thickening treacle whilst being chased by a pack of rabid wolves keen on selling them double-glazing.

But still the stoats will howl at the moon, until we – once again – read to them more engrossing stories from Des O’Connor’s autobiography.

The Ancient Tales of Hansard


Ah, yes, those were the golden days of all our pork scratchings, we ran through those green fields as though there would be no week next Thursday, and we would live lives free of asparagus and strangely-coloured drinks that tasted of Airfix glue and had small umbrellas incongruously placed in them for little or no apparent reason.

They were the long endless days of summer and how we laughed at the mendacious politicians and their bare-faced witterings as though we knew we would grow up into a world where their like would never be known of again, except as stories from The Ancient Tales of Hansard, told to frighten the children into behaving.

Little did we know, or even dare to stroke our pondering chins, that there were still politicians ready to still be born, that there were people even younger than us who would not scorn too the inanities of the religions. It seemed so hard to believe that somehow such stupidities would, could, continue, especially in these days of the corned beef and sweet pickle sandwich. Such mindsets see to need to belong to the dark days of the past, a time before the wonders of speciality ales and fine small breweries, a time before knickers became optional in the centrally-heated wonders of this technological age. This should be an age that should entail the necessities of science and reason over such inane tribalistic ideologies that can only belong to darker unreasoning ages of the distant past.