Thursday, 29 October 2015

Alas Poor Todger

So many have written to me asking after "Roving Cocksman" Ron Todger and shared their warm memories of him: a younger Ron's way of slapping his muscular belly and exclaiming "Marine body!"; of his starting an evening getting the pints in, summoning the barman with a suave "I say, Bar Stuard!" - a gentleman of the old, the Errol Flynn, school. "In like Flynn!"

Alas, decrepitude comes to us all and Ron passed two years ago after a long and debilitating battle with a veritable encyclopaedia of sexually transmitted diseases. He was a gamecock to the last, as the epithet of his declining years, "The Rohypnol King of Catford", attests.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian

Six hundred years ago today a crew of Englishmen (as they then were) gave a crew of Frenchman (as they then were) a shoeing. 

This was a temporary best foot forward in a 116-year war which eventually saw the English get thoroughly leathered (see map below and this excellent website).
Who do you think you are kidding Mister Dolphin?

Faced with this the English started the Wars of the Roses instead: they could hardly lose as long as they were giving each other a kicking.

Saint Crispin is the Patron Saint of cobblers.

Monday, 19 October 2015

That Chinese State Visit in Full

Jazz in the Key of Blue

He builds a U-shaped bower of sticks on the forest floor into which he hopes to lure a female, but brown twigs on a brown floor aren't very eye-catching so he jazzes up the scene with an array of objects, from berries and bottle-tops to clothes pegs and even ballpoint pens. All have one thing in common: they are blue. This penchant for blue objects develops as the birds mature. Younger males will include other colours in their displays.

The male dances around his bower to attract the greenish females, often holding something blue to impress her. As he poses he calls enticingly to advertise his prowess. Researchers have found that young female Satin Bowerbirds are more likely to be impressed by bowers whereas a more experienced female tends to choose the best dancer.

Radio 4 "Tweet of the Day" Ptilonorhynchus violaceus the Satin Bowerbird.

This is where I am going wrong. "Woss all them twigs for. Scritched me ankle they done." Thus many a lady on entering my - ahem - bower, as 'twere. I need to strew around some blue things, but also a few red or green ones so she won't think I'm positively ancient.

Dancing; my elastic went a quarter of a century ago, so it will have to be the young beginner, la giovin principiante, that I attempt to lure. Mostly.

The chap up top has also a ten-dollar bill to display, in all circumstances a winning strategy. "Never mind the chit-chat, flash 'em the wedge" as my old mentor "Roving Cocksman" Ron Todger used to say. His surname was often an élément clé de la conversation, as indeed was his todger. But I digress.

Could be Ron himself at work here and, yes, the females always did look a little greenish after one or three of his Sex Up Yer Bum, a gin cocktail of his own devising. Here's another entry for the old catalogo quesco.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Jeremy Corbyn on Five Live (h/t The Grauniad):

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction that take out millions of civilians. They didn’t do the USA much good on 9/11. The problems in this world are not huge wars in that way. The problems are much more fairly random acts of terrorism.

Jeremy Corbyn on I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue:

Blogista: They weren't much good for liquidating the kulaks as a class either. Right tool for the job and all that.
Readers: Why don't you be leader of the Labour Party instead? You have a mental age of at least four, at a guess. You'd be much better at spouting childish twaddle.

Monday, 21 September 2015


Нет, не луна, а светлый циферблат
Сияет мне, и чем я виноват,
Что слабых звезд я осязаю млечность?

И Батюшкова мне противна спесь:
«Который час?» - его спросили здесь,
А он ответил любопытным:

Osip Mandel'shtam from "Stone" 1913

No, not the moon, but a bright clock-face
Shines on me; in what am I to blame
That I feel the milkiness of the faint stars?

Batiushkov's loftiness repels me:
"What time is it?" - they asked him here,
And he told these intruiged: "Eternity".

Мы с тобой на кухне посидим,
Сладко пахнет белый керосин.
Острый нож да хлеба каравай...
Хочешь, примус туго накачай,

А не то веревок собери
Завязать корзину до зари,
Чтобы нам уехать на вокзал,
Где бы нас никто не отыскал.

Osip Mandel'shtam, Leningrad 1930
Let's you and I sit awhile in the kitchen,
The white kerosine smells sweet.

A sharp knife and a cob loaf...
If you like, pump the primus full,

And don't collect away this string
To tie our basket up at dawn,

For us to make for the railway station
Where no-one should come looking for us.

Friday, 18 September 2015

When the Sun Goes In

Blogista: Ya ta ta when the ya ta...
Readers: You're bored, aren't you?
Blogista: Yes.
Readers: So you've posted a fillum which will vanish for ever with its YouTube account and leave your readers perplexed as to what the point was.
Blogista: Ahem... 
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.

Home Hominid Hunt

FossilFinder: search the Turkana Basin for hominid bones and other fossils from the comfort of your own home!

Silliness aside (well, what did you expect?) the site is sponsored by among others the Turkana Basin Institute and the Fragmented Heritage Project: seems legit.
Readers: Stop being silly and get on with finding out what a stromatolite looks like.


Waited with bated breath for the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, then went and missed all the awards action, can't imagine how...
...and now the live feed video has been taken down.

Rumour has it that:
  • mammals weighing more than 3 kilograms take about 21 seconds to pee;
  • a chicken with an artificial tail attached will walk like a dinosaur (as far as anyone knows);
  • every human language has an equivalent of "huh?"; nobody can say why lol.
Having given this post a title universal in its significance, sympathy, and application, I expect my hit count to go through viral to netblattering and beyond at any moment now.

Googled for "huh?": around 112,000,000 results. I gotta be in there somewhere.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sandwichgate: Maduro Speaks Out

Heremy Corbyn, he har veterano, also! El veterano to strogle on Americano Hobama y imperialista élite! El veterano to strogle on Británico gridibanker y imperialista Reina! He har no disservés dos sándwich, he har disservés dos millónes sándwich!

Heremy, you har senting me soon som rolles Handrex soft quilt con "natural caring touch" aloe vera y vitamin E?
Poor my harse she har crying!