Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Mr. YesBut has introduced an all-week caption competition which can only attract loonies as a jam-jar wasps.

Wasps? Verb? A friend of mine studying composition in Russia told me, his teacher suddenly broke down in fat-man mirth and said him, "Shostakovich understand orchestration like a pig oranges."

A pig, oranging. Everlasting delight.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Monday, 24 September 2007

XXX Spam

Urgent Rec'd 04:18

Chertiozhnik, we have 35 members near London that you're looking for! Adultfriendfinder.

Reply 04:19

Had 'em all already dear, and frankly they were rubbish.



Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov
is as dodge
ii as Mr. Berezov
skii, and that's one fukovalotovskii.

Time this verse form was revived and by better versifiers than I.

How did these ghastly crooks, who make the likes of Mr. A. Capone and Mr. B. Siegel look like respectable small-town businessmen, ever get here?

Nothing like a dependable krysha (roof, protector).



Update #1: Mr. Usmanov's closing down of Tim Ireland's and Craig Murray's blogs - and accidentally a few others in a fine example of collateral damage - not surprisingly has the blogosphere up in arms. All the news that's fit to print at Chicken Yoghurt.


Update #2: Up in arms? As at 02 October...

[Justin McKeating], Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry’s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric (who suggests dropping a line to the FA about Mr Usmanov), Mike Power (Mike has also produced this video), Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil’s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonko’s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murray’s articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graeme’s, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman (i, ii, iii, iv, v), Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, The People’s Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishman’s Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc, The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo D’Or, Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic, The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Lenin’s Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Day…, Kathz’s Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Senn’s Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone, Amused Cynicism, Clairwil, The Lone Voice, Tampon Teabag, Unoriginalname38, Special/Blown It, The Remittance Man, 18 Doughty Street, Laban Tall, Martin Bright, Spy Blog The Exile, poons, Jangliss, Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From?, Imagined Community, A Pint of Unionist Lite, Poldraw, Disillusioned And Bored, Error Gorilla, Indigo Jo, Swiss Metablog, Kate Garnwen Truemors, Asn14, D-Notice, The Judge, Political Penguin, Miserable Old Fart, Jottings, fridgemagnet, Blah Blah Flowers, J. Arthur MacNumpty, Tony Hatfield, Grendel, Charlie Whitaker, Matt Buck, The Waendel Journal, Marginalized Action Dinosaur, SoccerLens, Toblog, John Brissenden East Lower, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Peter Black AM, Boing Boing, BLTP, Gunnerblog, LFB UK, Liberal Revolution, Wombles, Focus on Sodbury…, Follow The Money, Freedom and Whisky, Melting Man, PoliticalHackUK, Simon Says…, Daily EM, From The Barrel of a Gun, The Fourth Place, The Armchair News Blog, Journalist und Optimist, Bristol Indymedia, Dave Weeden, Up North John, Gizmonaut, Spin and Spinners, Marginalia, Arnique, Heather Yaxley, The Whiskey Priest, On The Beat, Paul Canning, Martin Stabe, Mat Bowles, Pigdogfucker, Rachel North, B3TA board, Naqniq, Yorkshire Ranter, The Home Of Football, UFO Breakfast Recipients, Moninski , Kerching, e-clectig, Mediocracy, Sicily Scene, Samizdata, I blog, they blog, weblog, Colcam, Some Random Thoughts, Bel is thinking, Vino S, Simply Jews, Atlantic Free Press, Registan, Filasteen, Britblog Roundup #136, Scientific Misconduct Blog, Adam Bowie, Duncan at Abcol, Camera Anguish, A Very British Dude, Whatever, Central News, Green Gathering, Leighton Cooke (224), , Skuds’ Sister’s Brother, Contrast News, Poliblog Perspective, Parish Pump, El Gales, Noodle, Curly’s Corner Shop, Freunde der offenen Gesellschaft, otromundoesposible, Richard Stacy, Looking For A Voice, News Dissector, Kateshomeblog, Writes Like She Talks, Extra! Extra!, Committee To Protect Bloggers, Liberty’s Requiem, American Samizdat, The Thunder Dragon, Cybersoc, Achievable Life, Paperholic, Creative-i, Raedwald, Nobody’s Friend, Lobster Blogster, Panchromatica (251), Back off, man…, Dan Hardie, Krusenstern, Brendadada, Freace, Boriswatch, Fork Handles, Chris Applegate, Christopher Glamorgan, West Virginia Rebel’s Blog, Instapundit, Powerpymes, iDiligence Forum, Gizmotastic, Demos, Gary Andrews, Neweurasia , Never Trust a Hippy, sub specie aeternitatis, Bananas in the Falklands, The Sharpener, Virtual Light, Stu News, Scraps of Moscow, Danivon, As A Dodo, La Russophobe, PJC Journal, Mick Fealty’s Brassneck, dead brains don’t dance, A Comfortable Place, Bamblog, Robert Amsterdam, The Customer, No Longer at Ease, Rachel-Catherine, Humaniform, Mike Rouse, Chesus Yuste, anticapitalista, Aderyn Cân, Ulla’s Amazing Wee Blog (294), Ross200, Disruptive,, The Obscurer, A Lefty Down Under, Things I Learned or Made Up, Pickled Bushman, Persons Unknown, Gnus of the World, Postman Patel, Parburypolitica (ii) Miscellany Symposium (306) Omnium (ii), In the Café and the Station, James Cridland's blog, Small Beds and Large Bears, Christopher White, Rolled-up Trousers, Lynne Featherstone, ßench, (314)

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Darkness for Monday

When I was young I loved darkness and moonlight, cold and clarity.

Now I am old I only want the sun.

Today is the Equinox.

For a couple more days the refracted sun will outlive the night.

Works Outing

We've finished all the blueberries

22 July 1944, and the girls are on a day trip to the resort at Solahuette from their place of work, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

More pictures here from Karl Hoecker (adjutant to the commander)'s newly-discovered album.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Vote Early, Vote Often, Collect ££s

A "Citizens' Jury" at work : beggars belief.

Picture : Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall fame.

Via DK.

Things I Suck At (3):

I'm quite good at backgammon.


Anyway, I don't totally suck at backgammon.


Who cares? Who cares about what? Who's asking, who cares about what? Who cares, who's asking?

There isn't anything else.

Muskrat Ramble, 1926. Louis (tp) and Lil (p) Armstrong, Johnny Dodds (cl), Kid Ory (tb), Johnny St Cyr (bj).

Things I Suck At (2): Laundry

What was ever the point of having a disposable income? Or, indeed, may we say, of life itself?


Oh, yes.


It was always the laundry.

Who in life is or was ever nicer to you than your washerwoman?

Have to say, the laundry pictured here is not mine. I pfeh and pooh at it. I pisk and pshaw. And pfui.

If there is one thing I have sorted in my otherwise high-or-low-road Autobahn to Damnation life, it is the laundry.

Things I Suck At (1) : Parking

The only motor vehicle I ever had sole charge of was a giant motor mower the size and weight of a stretch limo. Green-painted wrought iron, hugely heavy and elaborate and with a seat and control levers that you might find on a Soviet tractor from the 1920s.

After two minutes of panic mowing I crashed it into a breezeblock building, having lost control on an unexpected slope.

We roll over and I die, or we go straight down the grassy knoll and take out the building. I went for the building.

The building contained about 300 low-grade civil servants who ended up going home an hour early (14:30, not the usual 15:30) and probably claimed millions of pounds in damages for shock, distress etc.

As for driving cars, let alone parking them, my approach is a straightforward military one: we break things and kill people. That's what we do.

I have yet to pass m'test and obtain a license.

Friday, 21 September 2007


The 1980s and homosexuality and alcohol and reggae and joy. So long ago, those sunny days.

Don't let me be alone / it's tearing apart / my blue heart.

Joy for Friday

Your Joy for Friday is - the Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

Take it or leave it.

I have begun a new book, on purpose that I might have room enough to explain the nature of the perplexities in which my uncle Toby was involved, from the many discourses and interrogations about the siege of Namur, where he received his wound.

Uncle Toby's wound? You want to know, as does the widow Wadman.

Movie? Yes. Bit curate's-eggy but very clever and funny.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Steam Punk

"The Difference Engine" by Sterling and Gibson.

Ada Lovelace. Charles Babbage. Nothing to do with another counterfactuals writer, Harry Turtledove, at all. Sorry.

Kids of today, don't know they were born in the 1930s when our Mystery Guest sat his g/f on a bench in a park and said, see those stars? I am the first and only person in the world who knows what they are and how they work.

She married him.


I'm too old and tired to care any more.

But, for our younger readers...

...maybe its a bit like Capture The Flag, nothing personal, it's just because they're on the opposing team.

I know that isn't at all the point, but then again, what ever is ?

Sensitive nipping.

Swimming out to sea and never coming back (romance).


Instead of sweets, his ample palate took
Savour of poisonous brass and metal sick...

Dr Roundbottom.

Via ~ Wasting Words.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Only Me

This week Mr. David at Authorblog asks

Hollywood's knocking on your door, to offer you top billing in a studio blockbuster, alongside any movie star of your choice. Whom do you choose?

My answer is - and I'm sure he's getting a lot of these - my dear, I already did.

"Diamond Skulls", a long-forgotten blockbuster, starred Gabriel Byrne as Hugo and... me as somebody else.

A scene in the movie was filmed on the trading floor of the stockbroker firm for which I worked. Just two shots of Hugo walking past the floor to an office, for a dramatic interview therein.

Things went wrong with the dramatic office bit, the schedule overran, and at around six in the evening the crew still had the two walking-past clips to shoot. All the 'real' people had gone home.

I was working late as usual, and got volunteered for promotion from computer programmer to stock trader.

As Stock Trader #1 I hunkered down in my suit, tapped a computer screen with a pen and mouthed my sales pitch silently into a telephone as Hugo walked by.

No jacket, a new (and itchy) shirt from Wardrobe, different camera angle, and I was Stock Trader #2, doing a quick cocaine-snortery nose-rub as Hugo walked by, still, to the fatal interview that he had already, in fact, had several times over.

I made a much better Stock Trader than the stock traders themselves, easy-peasy.

It struck me that the first rule of movie-making is that everything actually happens backwards or sideways, and always goes wrong anyway. It is only in the cutting room that somebody somehow splices the bits together and miraculously creates a Story.

See Truffaut's "La Nuite Americaine" ("Day for Night") for the difficulties of, f'rinstance, getting a cat to drink from a saucer of milk on camera. Or Cimino's epic "Heaven's Gate", where John Hurt does heroic things in an heroic gunfight in a log cabin in Wyoming in 1890, his hair cut and dyed for his stage role as Quentin Crisp, "The Naked Civil Servant", an extravagantly homosexual hairdo which was shocking fifty years later and in a different country.

Would I work with Gabriel again? Absolutely.

Will I ever? Nope, my movie career began and ended that evening in 1988.

Sure, I could go wait tables along Sunset Boulevard like all the other starlets-to-be, but I suspect that, given my age and sex, only the weirdest of Moguls would want to drag me off to his casting couch.


Hollywood here I come! Hope you're ready for me.

Many Rivers to Cross

Serenity and surrender for Wednesday.

Music, Jimmy Cliff, "The Harder They Come" (1972).

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Time Was

MadDog reminds me that sixty-seven years ago yesterday, Operation Sealion was postponed and the Battle of Britain was over.

Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Winston Churchill, 18 June 1940

A L'Outrance

This is your breakfast in Czechoslovakia.

Glad I started there and woke up somewhere else.

Prize Competition...

a) What is it saying to you?

b) Are you sure you are somewhere else?

c) [level 32 spoiler] Well, where are you and why is your breakfast? No cheating.

Kiss de Girl

Tonto: Kiss de Girl, Kemo Sabe. Smoov moov.

Lone Ranger: I'm not finding it here in Nancy Mitford's "U and Non-U".

Tonto: Try another reference volume, from your voluminous saddlebags.

Lone Ranger: Nothing about it in Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners.


Lone Ranger: Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians... nope, nothing here neither. And I'd say that was pretty dang authoratitive.

Tonto: Try her with your Barry White Complete Recordings on Vinyl hanging over your horse's ass, there? Walrus of Luuuurrrrrrrv.

Lone Ranger: Opp.

Tonto: Wha?

Lone Ranger: Drats. Looks like my Dansette Phonograph fell from my horse's other buttock a way back on the trail there.

Tonto: Is "Lone" really y'first name, or do folks just call you that?

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Grand Council of Ovaltineys

I used to belong to this outfit until somebody found a bottle of nerve tonic under my mattress.


Autobiographical details not guaranteed true.

Subscription Lecture

Blogista: And as concerns the Elf...

Readers: You're not confusing it with an Elfunt?

Elephant: Honk.

Blogista: No, I certainly refer here to the Elf. I admit, I was not aware that they make honking noises.

TS Elfunt: In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions that a minute will reverse.

Blogista: Thanks for your input, TS. Perhaps, then, this is indeed an elephant.

Readers: What do you know about elves, then?

Blogista (defensively): They like to be fed buns, which may be carried in a paper bag.


Blogista (decisively): The common cormorant or shag lays eggs inside a paper bag.

Readers: We want our sixpences back.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Exciting New Concept

A YouTube Poll!!!?!?!?!!?

Which gets more votes?

The Roches, "Hammond Song", live in 1983 (ignore the irritating trrrrrrr for twenty seconds at the start and six at the end)?

Or the Proom Mononster, speech to the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, 2007? Did you know there was one? Don't ask, one of what?

A newly new type of politics. Goody goody gumdrops.

Guess who is winning.

Celebrity Norks - a Health & Safety Toolkit

Let's bring ourselves gently back to earth.

And - breathe in.

And - out.


Blogista: Why yes, I am beginning to feel...

More... sane, perhaps? Grounded?

Blogista: I wouldn't go that far. Relaxed.

Sehr gut. Our radio broadcast -

Blogista: Radio???

New Post

If you have a sound system good enough... which you don't, gentle reader.

Age 17 this was the end of the world. Age 49?


Thursday, 13 September 2007

Enormous Bombs

King Bomb.

Looks like the bloke on the right is saying, Aloha.

Probably not. Just a bad Soviet suit choice (category: Fat Bloke). Pat him on the back, he says "Come in?"

Celebrity Norks, you're on your own.

The Father of All Bombs trumps the Mother Of All Bombs.


Elves have left the building



But not all of them



Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Suddenly in Focus

"A rose-red city half as old as time."

JW Burgon, "Petra", 1845

A carelessly Romantic line? No, by Archbishop Ussher's calculation, Creation happened and Time started in 4004 BC. So ancient Petra was understood (by Burgon) to be about half as old as time.


"Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust."

Shakespeare, "Cymbeline" IV 2, 1609?

Death the Leveller, vaguely expressed... until a scholar (I forget who or when... late-Victorian?) noted in his travels around Stratford-upon-Avon that "golden lad" was the local slang for a dandelion in flower,

and "chimney-sweeper" for a dandelion clock.

Adding an extra and precise dimension to the lines.

(Incidentally, you blow on a dandelion clock and the remaining seeds tell you the hour of the day. This works, but be sure you know the actual time by your watch, and blow carefully. Not like birthday cake candles and wishes: we are talking science here.)


I can remember my life clearly back to the age of two. My brother claims he only has memories going back to the age of ten.

My first memories relate, directly or obscurely, to my mother being pregnant with my younger brother.

Then for years my bro and I shared the same house, friends and gangs, schools. I had the duty of taking him to school and getting him back safely every day, whether by bus when we were both teeny (kindly Bus Ladies helped us along here) or by bicycle as we got older.

When he was ten I moved on to a different school and he got his independence.

Sibling rivalry and memory. Me, two-and-something, sharpening up my pencils to prepare for the arriving rival. He, free at last aged ten.


Many more hares than the above were started by Authorblog's question for the week, "which toy was your childhood favourite?". I'm just showing you some examples.

Out of the fog of memory, suddenly in focus - an axe handle was my favourite toy. Martini-Henry, Lee-Metford, Lee-Enfield, it could become any type of rifle. And the back garden and the plantation beyond, in turn, would then become the scree of the North-West Frontier, the Veldt, the jungle canopy of Malaya, the fields of France... (I am only just post-Imperial).

But in recovering from a blur to sharp focus the axe handle, I have also realised that I have forgotten how to do subtraction (((1845 + 4004) / 2) - 1845). You may drop me a note to crow that I have forgotten even the Common Dog of maths, if you like.

Oh the cardboard pennies, shillings and threepenny bits, that were always kept in the teacher's husband's empty tobacco tins, and so had their own distinct smell.

Is any of this true? I am not sure, which is why the question is a real poser.

Spavined Dog

A quick search on Google Images for "spavined dog" doesn't get any images at all.

A search for "spavined" takes me to (in first spot)


You, the audience, as always, decide.


One day I had a spavined dog.

I think this is about sunlight, and in some ways cleanliness, only the spavined dog wasn't about either.

Sad But Happy Post

JAQUES: Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

ROSALIND: Why then, 'tis good to be a post.

JAQUES: I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation, nor the musician's, which is fantastical, nor the courtier's, which is proud, nor the soldier's, which is ambitious, nor the lawyer's, which is politic, nor the lady's, which is nice, nor the lover's, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry's contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.

ROSALIND: A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men's; then, to have seen much and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.

Shakespeare (or Sir Bacon or Earl Oxford or Dame Jobsworthy CBE or whatever have you as long as he or she is not common or clever) "As You Like It" IV 1

Glossary: melancholy, emulation, fantastical, politic, nice, simples, sundry, humorous: alas poor Jaques, these words don't mean, any more, what you thought they meant. Did they, even then?

Alas poor Yorick, your skull (featured) and bones (not) were being dug up to make room for more, and nobody ever cared whether they really were yours or not.

Or whether the Play was "written" by somebody, once. By whom? Your opinions and more importantly feelings welcomed.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Bard to Tears

Who wrote "Shakespeare"?

The tiresome question has been raised yet again by a bunch of tiresome people (stick to the hamming, loves) in a tiresome "declaration of reasonable doubt".

Answer : William Shakespeare did (see also "the bleeding obvious").

Why then do generation after generation of cranks insist on sponsoring the 17th Earl of Oxford or Sir Francis Bacon or both of them together or anyone except Shakespeare?

"The 287-strong Shakespeare Authorship Coalition says it is not possible that the bard's plays - with their emphasis on law - could have been penned by a 16th Century commoner raised in an illiterate household."

Shakespeare's dad was a glover, d'you see? An alderman, married to a farmer's daughter, but still rather lower-middle. A tradesman made good. Whisper it not in Gath, my dear, but our greatest poet (after Chaucer) was a bit oiky.

What did some of his contemporaries' dads do?

Christopher Marlowe : shoemaker
Ben Jonson : bricklayer
John Webster : coachmaker
Thomas Middleton : bricklayer
Thomas Kyd : scrivener
Robert Herrick : goldsmith

The excellent Elizabethan system of grammar schools and the national curriculum had something to do with all of this.

So how did he pick up all the stuff he wasn't supposed to know about (law, geography, history &c)? The simple answer: that is what immensely intelligent people do.

But the English don't really much like that sort of chap, either.


Another answer might be, Shakespeare's editors wrote "Shakespeare" - most famously Theobald and Malone.


Update: Primrose Road has some excellent (and better-tempered than mine) comment on the question.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

P'Ting A Ting

Into the blackest and wrinkledest of hearts a little joy must fall. Here it is from WickedRed.

Now, back to evil dried prune mode.


Who??? He.
"Kay, this song's for Gabby"


The first were the simple, undivided natures, usually people without particular intelligence or finesse. These people were full of slogans and formulae from newspapers and magazines, of quotations from Hitler's speeches, Goebbels's articles and the books of Franck and Rosenberg. Without solid ground under their feet, they were lost [...] Like schoolchildren, they got together in little groups to mug up on Mein Kampf and to make precis of pamphlets and articles [...]

The second category were the intelligent cynics [...] In the company of friends they trusted, they were ready to laugh at most things - the ignorance of newly appointed lecturers and professors, the stupidity and lax morals of Leiters and Gauleiters. The only things they never laughed at were grand ideals and the Fuehrer himself. These men usually drank a lot and lived more expansively. They were to be met with most frequently on the higher rungs of the Party hierarchy; the lower rungs were usually occupied by men of the first category.

The men of the third category usually held sway at the very top of the hierarchy. There was only room for nine or ten of them, and they admitted perhaps another fifteen or twenty to their gatherings. Here there were no dogmas. Here everything could be discussed freely. Here were no ideals, nothing but serenity, mathematics and the pitilessness of these great masters [...]

The fourth category were the executives, people who were indifferent to dogma, ideas and philosophy and equally lacking in an analytic ability. National Socialism paid them and they served it. Their only real passion was for dinner-services, suits, country houses, jewels, furniture, cars and refrigerators. They were less fond of money as they never fully believed in its utility [...]

What Liss found most terrifying about Adolf Hitler was that he seemed to be made up of an inconceivable fusion of opposites. He was the master of masters, he was the great mechanic, his mathematical cruelty was more refined than all of his closest lieutenants taken together. And at the same time, he was possessed by a dogmatic frenzy, a blindly fanatical faith, a bullish illogicality that Liss had only met with at the very lowest, almost subterranean, levels of the Party. The high priest, the creator of the magic wand, was also one of the faithful, a mindless, frenzied follower.

Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate, 1959

Who is of course not only writing about A.H.


Nice to know that the fine principles of the Hitler Jugend and the Komsomol haven't been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Thank goodness for Greenpeace.

Or is this a provocateur? Who can say.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Joy for Friday

A pink tank (Stug III) the world forgot - until now.

It seems to be a meme - here's a pink IS2 from Prague, and a T34 in Bermondsey (!) and an M24 with a very fetching bobble on the barrel in Copenhagen.

Lots and lots of pink tanks!

And a pink 75 from MadDog!


You could just go out and buy some.

Now, tomorrow... up to you.

Or you could make your own.

Nobody need ever know.


Get some in.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Back on Tap

The very great Rhyme and Treason competition is back at Bart's.

Can you, this week, improve on Walt Whitman? Surely the answer must be, yes.


And this week I and Chewy won the YesBut caption competition! Sure feels like a good week for winning things.

2 + 4 Gina

Dennis Brain explains (briefly) the horn, and then plays the Beethoven Horn Sonata opus 17. Denis Matthews, piano.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Is there any occupation less sinister or better intentioned than that of the musician?

And if you have not heard Dennis Brain play Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings...

The day’s grown old; the fainting sun
Has but a little way to run,
And yet his steeds, with all his skill,
Scarce lug the chariot down the hill.
The shadows now so long do grow,
That brambles like tall cedars show;
Mole hills seem mountains, and the ant
Appears a monstrous elephant.
A very little, little flock
Shades thrice the ground that it would stock;
Whilst the small stripling following them
Appears a mighty Polypheme.
And now on benches all are sat,
In the cool air to sit and chat,
Till Phoebus, dipping in the west,
Shall lead the world the way to rest.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Harry Potter and the Moment of Truth

The Moment here at Achewood.

It's All About Milk

Turns out that the Chinese are not all that lactose intolerant after all.

And so as Mr. T. Worstall notes, the market for dairy products might well go (not his words) all weird.

We should really stick to selling our High Technology -

the Highest we have

to the Chinaman.

Monday, 3 September 2007

My Friend Too

When other helpers fail and comforts flee...

The Ladies Way says it lyrically.

I Think They're Appalling

For this one, we need someone more stern than the amiable and drunken Judge Roy Bean, self-styled Law West of the Pecos, who never hanged anybody.

We need Judge Isaac C. Parker, Fort Smith, Western District of Arkansas. Here are some of his Judgements. Hang 'em high.

In the Dock below is Tim Gunn, American "style guru", awaiting Judgement.

1) The hair is parted to the side. It is not worn en brosse. Except in Sweden, France during the Revolution, and Russia before the Revolution. You are a Robespierre, an anarchistical terrorist, or a Swede? No, I thought not.

2) The collar fits to the neck. Buying a size too large in the interests of comfort is unacceptable. Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson. These gentlemen, in their maturity, exhibited rolls of neck over a tight and starched collar ("Dick Tracy", "Chinatown" et passim) with insouciance. 'Nuff said.

3) Nobody wears a "gent's hank" in their jacket pocket, unless they are a Spiv or a Swede. Or Prince Charles, in which case there are the proper number of points on display.

4) Most Spivs don't wear a bright blue one. Those who do are invariably and deservedly gunned down in the sordid "washrooms" of Italian-American restaurants after a brief and unsuccessful attempt to "muscle in on the numbers racket".

5) A striped pink tie. The angle of whose knot approaches forty-five degrees from the vertical. People will think, "metrosexual" --- or worse.

6) A bright blue hank and a pink tie. Words fail me.

7) Iron grey suit, light grey check. In America they call it "gray". Either way, it would be better to walk abroad in yellowy-purpley striped pyjamas and a fez, with an elephant following on a leash. At least one could plead insanity.

8) Side pockets. Do not slope. When entering a room, think "flies, flaps, face"... and hope you don't have a pair of these flaps. If you do, feign illness and exit immediately.

9) On a two-button jacket only the lower one is buttoned up, unless you want to look like you sleep in, or worse, with, your suit.

10) Perfectly adequate trousers can be made up by a tailor, or purchased from a clothing store. Folding swatches of cloth round the lower limbs in the hope that they will resemble trousers, as in the nightmares of a schoolboy before the first day of term... you take my point, I hope.

BROWN SHOES with a --- BROWN SHOES with a grey (note to sub, pls finish, I must take my apoplexy tablets).Verdict: the Little Black Dress is of course a classic. I am not surprised that the former inhabitant has bolted, leaving Mr. Gunn to face another lonely evening with only a Pot Noodle Tikka Masala and a copy of "Your Fate and Fortune" magazine for consolation.

Sunday, 2 September 2007


David McMahon of Authorblog's question for this week - what makes you happy?

Anything that gets me out of my head (no, I don't mean drink or drugs, oblivion is a terrible habit).

Intent on someone or something else... but then, if I am not conscious of myself, how do I know I am happy?

I do know I'm no philosopher. Which also makes me happy. And no poet, which makes me sad...

Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
His mind moves upon silence

Yeats, "Long-Legged Fly", 1939.

Bedtime Story

Midshipman: Now! Blogista, we all depend upon you for our freedom and our lives!

Blogista: I can't really, because my putz is excessively weightier than federal.

Middy: Damn you.


From Elisabeth A. Crump. "My boyfriend's dick keeps slipping out".

Agony Chertiozhnik replies: Please stop writing to me. I am a professional "Agony Aunt". I deal only in genuine agony. That does not mean that I want to know about your personal problems.

Please stop sending me emails about replica watches and inexpensive pharmaceuticals. I will not respond.


From Elisabeth A. Crump. "Dear Aunty I know you have trouble to talk with all of the troubled people all of the time. But please do not be nasty on us also. We can give you only one Rolex and one penis extension now, due to technical problems. Remember that you did sent us simply a wank picture of naked pizza delivery situation, and a difficult puzzle. Please to answer our emails and send us your 'bank account details', by which we know you communicate."

now my putz is excessively weightier than federal

Virgins always srieked at me and even boys did in the municipal WC!
Well, now I giggl at them, because I took Me_ga. d_ik.
for 4 months and now my putz is excessively weightier than federal.
1815 - William I proclaimed himself King of the United
vanished last Thursday was found covered alongside a
game, Davidson only shot 34.3% from the field during the
expansion is expected to more than double the cruise
for the Future.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

The Quality of Henty is not Strained

: It doesn't get better than G. A. Henty.

Readers: Yes it does.

Blogista: But the illustration.

Readers: Lot of pooey old seamen.

Blogista: I can see we're a refractory mood tonight.