Friday, 29 February 2008

What The Wallström

Does Margot Wallström

- Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy
- Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders Ministerial Initiative
- Member of the European Commission for the Environment

and so forth, actually exist?

Mr Devils' Kitchen calls her a cnut at least bi-monthly, which proves nothing.

Margot's blog collects a half-hearted crop of anti-EU comments with each post, which are half-heartedly poohed at in turn.

We all(?) hate and fear "Big Brother", who does not exist either, and whose image is ubiquitous.

Not Fucked Again

Did the earth..?


Computer dating, feh.

Only something intravenous is going to work for me. Training my email spam filter - it's Bayesian! - is just not hitting the spot.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


The range of possible gestures has been tidied up a lot since: the hard sign (ъ) for instance has mostly gone.

I am no expert - old daun Nabokov tells me it is a beautiful language. French, English, Russian - Chinese, Japanese?


Mandel'shtam's voice

Нет, никогда, ничей я не был современник,
Мне не с руки почет такой.
О, как противен мне какой-то соименник,
То был не я, то был другой.

Два сонных яблока у века-властелина
И глиняный прекрасный рот,
Но к млеющей руке стареющего сына
Он, умирая, припадет.

Я с веком поднимал болезненные веки --
Два сонных яблока больших,
И мне гремучие рассказывали реки
Ход воспаленных тяжб людских.

Сто лет тому назад подушками белела
Складная легкая постель,
И странно вытянулось глиняное тело,--
Кончался века первый хмель.

Среди скрипучего похода мирового --
Какая легкая кровать!
Ну что же, если нам не выковать другого,
Давайте с веком вековать.

И в жаркой комнате, в кибитке и в палатке
Век умирает,-- а потом
Два сонных яблока на роговой облатке
Сияют перистым огнем.

Osip Mandel'shtam,
"No, Never, To No-One Was I Contemporary"

Monday, 25 February 2008

Where Did You Get That Hat

TrusTECH is an NHS organisation and part of the NHS Innovation Hub network.

Which is why it is so wonderful that they have come up with the Inter-Faith Gown.

"It is made up of five pieces – three head garments, a gown and trousers."

Only one "gown and trousers."

Plus - the Ned Kelly (for modest Australians), the Mother Mary (for bashful Virgins) and a third which seems to consist of offcuts (for the shy but Parsimonious).

The task of the NHS is to liquidate the poor and the maimed and the halt and the blind. A choice of three fancy hats to go with the cerements seems extravagant.

When I go, I want to go in straight-laced shoes, a box-back coat and a stetson hat - with a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch-chain, so the boys'll know I died standing pat.


Tip of th'tiplo to to Samizdata.

Sunday, 24 February 2008


Old head water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my clothes
Old head water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my clothes

I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and johnny-cakes
I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and johnny-cakes

There's a brown girl in the ring...

Are you Jamaican? Try this simple test...

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Moonshine Sonata

According to the New Scientist (23 Jan, p. 33), Robert Schneider and "The Apples in Stereo" are doing something very pleasing musically and fascinating mathematically with logarithmic scales - "to play [them] on a piano would require an instrument with an infinitely long keyboard, not to mention a pianist with infinitely long arms."

Scientists have discovered that the octaves go straight up our neural pathways, we are hard-wired to do the octaves. But we just have to learn to get used to the notes in the intervals, evenly spaced or not, which anyway vary between times and cultures.

Imagine a leprechaun who knows for sure where the rainbow starts and ends, but cannot easily make his (or her) way between these points because she (or he) cannot comprehend a bus route map - or, who would, should he (or she) try to hire a taxi, end up being brutally raped, beaten and slung into a ditch by a minicab driver who used to be a Colonel in the Nigerian army.

Imagine being in a Cornish pub at closing time, when the yokels stop yarring and break into "Goodnight Irene".

That is why "The Apples in Stereo" sound like a really bad Beatles tribute band.

On Message

I really don't like old people.

For instance.

There's this one who smells of stale whisky coal tar soap and cigarettes.

Hair sprouts from his nose, eyebrows and sideburns in ridiculous clumps.

His arse is as flabby as his mind.

Friday, 22 February 2008



That's what this blog is about from here on in. That's where it's at.


Oops. Did I say that? Hiccups.


Thursday, 21 February 2008


You may get to touch her if your gloves are sterilised
Poly Styrene & X-Ray Spex 1978

readers: you sully auld foool
bloginionator: "do the standing still" still speaks to me
readers: not in the same way tho, you're just standing still

bloguclear reactor: i give you that
blogexual pervert: but
blass blurderer: i haint finisht yet (thinks: blogitler, blenin, blalin, blao... blastro..?)

I'll head down to the Blog Centre. I'm bound to get a blog. Blog Cleaner, I can to that.

Authentic Street Cries of Old Blogdon:

Won't you hire, won't you hire a sad old toper?

Won't you buy, o won't you buy my sweet tulip pies?

God has smelt me.

Britain In The Olden Days

Long cast list (Derek Jarman, Jubilee, 1977) all of whom I saw play live (well, those who played) one time or way or another - from The Great Orlando to Little Nell and back up the scale.

Okay, I never saw Adam Ant but my mad and multiabortifacient girlfriend Deirde took her one surviving child Abigail to see him when he was working the scampi-in-a-basket circuit in the mid 80s.

And for those of you who don't have broadband, serves you right for mentioning the B52s. Sets things off, y'know?

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

World on the Move

Picture from the BBC Radio 4 website for a series called "World on the Move".

I lost my patience with animal programmes decades ago.

I just don't care where these, for instance, Wildebeeste came from, or where they are going to, or why.

I haven't for decades.

Probably Radio 4 will boast some sound footage of Wildebeeste clomping around. And a commentator saying, in hushed tones, "these Wildebeeste are moving from somewhere to somewhere else - it's a world on the move."

Cloppity cloppity clop.

It's done with coconuts. A river of fire ants crossing the jungle floor; a wolf spider digging its burrow; why! here's a pantomime horse suffering from a demarcation dispute which may effect its breeding chances. All coconuts.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Fuck It

When the world is too dark and I need the light inside of me
I'll walk into a bar and drink fifteen pints of beer

Mr DK, you don't have to be pissed all the time to do damage - just occasionally, when it matters. Operational until not.

Sarbanes Oxley

Crazy names, crazy guys.

Nothing like compliance and regulatory models in beige - but where's the avocado bathroom suite?

Just a pointless grumble, but then pointless is what I do best in life.


Flecks of gold were washed down the Rhine from the Aar region of Switzerland. They were deposited along with quartz, mica and feldspar as sediment in the gravel banks of the river[...] Sifting the sand and gravel for gold was one of the oldest occupations on the Rhine. The Celts had done it in the third century BC. Strabo reported on the river's riches around the time of Christ's birth, and the Romans supposedly shipped so much Rhine gold back to Italy that they depressed the price[...] The new hydrological conditions made it impossible to continue extracting gold from the gravel: the high waters came and went too quickly to leave anything other than tiny and irregular deposits.

David Blackbourn, "The Conquest of Nature", 2006.

Gottfried Tulla's efforts to straighten the meandering Upper Rhine had taken effect by the time Wagner's "Rheingold" opened in 1869. Yearly output of gold had dropped from several kilos a year in the 1840s to a couple of hundred grammes, and the state treasuries of Baden and Bavaria stopped recording the take.

Salmon, for which the Rhine was famous, disappeared too, and eels (which breed in the Sargasso Sea and so were unaffected by the engineering) colonised the river.

Malaria ceased as the river marshes dried out.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

On Not Having Had Any For A Year Now

"Cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on Earth, certainly greater than sex, although sex isn't too bad either."

So says Mr. H. Pinter, who is married to Lady Antonia Fraser, authoress of "Love and Louis XIV" and other tomes, was married to Vivien Merchant, and has also possibly had Joan Bakewell and Malcolm Muggeridge.

I am told that England are 112 for 8 in their second innings against Mauritius. It's a fast sun-baked pitch that should favour our left-handers.

A Mad Old Fool Rants At The Skies

Yes, tomatoes.

They are not... native.

And like syphilis, buggery, treachery and the Opera, they came to us by way of Italy.

Or was it Portugal? No matter.

I don't like them, and I hope you don't either.

They ripen at our expense and grow fat, absorbing our sun's rays, taking nutrients from our soil.

They are laughing at us, even as we ask the sandwich bloke for a BLT - but without the lettuce, which comes from Welsh Patagonia; the Danish bacon; the unspeakably alien tomato. No butter please! - it's from Denmark. Nor the bread, which is baked in Wales or somewhere.

And the sandwich bloke himself - you may think: tattoos; moron; mouth breather; can barely speak and certainly cannot write his own language; cannot count up to 10 - has to be echt English!

But I tell you, only 12,000 years ago or less, his ancestors in the Pyrenees or in the Ukraine broke out of the refuges in which they had dodged the last Ice Age and swarmed across Europe!

With their onions, berets and bicycles.

God help us.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

It Smells of Pianos

Phantasmal mirth, folded away: muskperfumed.

For you and your sweetheart...

Following from WickedRed, Tom Lehrer brought back the shades of Bob Newhart

and Gerard Hoffnung and Victor Borge and Flanders & Swann and the gramophone (smell of) and uncles and aunts and warmth, food and cigarette smoke and watching from the top of the stairs.

As James Joyce put it

Her secrets: old featherfans, tasselled dancecards, powdered with musk, a gaud of amber beads in her locked drawer. A birdcage hung in the sunny window of her house when she was a girl. She heard old Royce sing in the pantomime of TURKO THE TERRIBLE and laughed with others when he sang:

Phantasmal mirth, folded away: muskperfumed.

or as Ez sez

And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us onward with bellying canvas,
Crice's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.
Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,
Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day's end.
Sun to his slumber, shadows o'er all the ocean,
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,
To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities
Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever
With glitter of sun-rays
Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven
Swartest night stretched over wreteched men there.
The ocean flowing backward, came we then to the place
Aforesaid by Circe.
Here did they rites, Perimedes and Eurylochus,
And drawing sword from my hip
I dug the ell-square pitkin;
Poured we libations unto each the dead,
First mead and then sweet wine, water mixed with white flour
Then prayed I many a prayer to the sickly death's-heads;
As set in Ithaca, sterile bulls of the best
For sacrifice, heaping the pyre with goods,
A sheep to Tiresias only, black and a bell-sheep.
Dark blood flowed in the fosse,
Souls out of Erebus, cadaverous dead, of brides
Of youths and of the old who had borne much;
Souls stained with recent tears, girls tender,
Men many, mauled with bronze lance heads,
Battle spoil, bearing yet dreory arms,
These many crowded about me; with shouting,
Pallor upon me, cried to my men for more beasts;
Slaughtered the herds, sheep slain of bronze;
Poured ointment, cried to the gods,
To Pluto the strong, and praised Proserpine;
Unsheathed the narrow sword,
I sat to keep off the impetuous impotent dead,
Till I should hear Tiresias.
But first Elpenor came, our friend Elpenor,
Unburied, cast on the wide earth,
Limbs that we left in the house of Circe,
Unwept, unwrapped in the sepulchre, since toils urged other.
Pitiful spirit. And I cried in hurried speech:
"Elpenor, how art thou come to this dark coast?
"Cam'st thou afoot, outstripping seamen?"
And he in heavy speech:
"Ill fate and abundant wine. I slept in Crice's ingle.
"Going down the long ladder unguarded,
"I fell against the buttress,
"Shattered the nape-nerve, the soul sought Avernus.
"But thou, O King, I bid remember me, unwept, unburied,
"Heap up mine arms, be tomb by sea-bord, and inscribed:
"A man of no fortune, and with a name to come.
"And set my oar up, that I swung mid fellows."

And Anticlea came, whom I beat off, and then Tiresias Theban,
Holding his golden wand, knew me, and spoke first:
"A second time? why? man of ill star,
"Facing the sunless dead and this joyless region?
"Stand from the fosse, leave me my bloody bever
"For soothsay."
And I stepped back,
And he strong with the blood, said then: "Odysseus
"Shalt return through spiteful Neptune, over dark seas,
"Lose all companions." Then Anticlea came.
Lie quiet Divus. I mean, that is Andreas Divus,
In officina Wecheli, 1538, out of Homer.
And he sailed, by Sirens and thence outwards and away
And unto Crice.
In the Cretan's phrase, with the golden crown, Aphrodite,
Cypri munimenta sortita est, mirthful, oricalchi, with golden
Girdle and breat bands, thou with dark eyelids
Bearing the golden bough of Argicidia. So that:

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

The Polish Plumber

No surprise that Polish Plumbers have become such figures of contempt in our fine country.

Why, they are paid more than Members of Parliament!

Polish Plumbers can claim £22,000 a year from the taxpayer to pay their mortgages on a little place in Dolphin Square while our MPs often sleep on the street in cardboard boxes between sessions of Parliament.

Polish Plumbers can claim £20 a day from the taxpayer in expenses for food without providing any receipt. MPs have to pay their own way.

Polish Plumbers, if they prove to be unusually incompetent and corrupt, are moved off to fat jobs in the European Commission. Our MPs have no such recourse.

Polish Plumbers have no actual plumbing to do, it is all done for them by various agencies of the European Union. That is why they are constantly breaking into your home and making trivial and damaging changes to your plumbing. MPs are fully occupied in great and useful tasks.

Polish Plumbers have an average IQ of 37, no honesty at all, and display a complete lack of common sense. They have no loyalty whatever to their own country and people, viz Poland and the Poles. They are liars, knaves and timeservers. MPs are cut of a different cloth.

Švejk is Czech, but it is a nice drawing.

Monday, 11 February 2008

No Sense Here, Please, We're British

It would be of lasting value to the world if Stupidity, like Phlogiston or the Luminiferous Aether, could be proved to exist as a substance.

I insist that it does, and that Britain, despite the feckless potlach that has gone on in the past few decades, still has immense and untapped reserves of the stuff.

Here on this blog I shall not cease prospecting, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand &c &c.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

I Want a Referendum

I Want a Referendum!

So far 37,576 people have signed.

There will be a mass lobby of Parliament on 27th January.



Hi {generic} guys and hi to all my other friends who wrote me tonite -

Rocky Franklin!
Adrian Bailey!
Annie Joe!
min vernen
Dorthy Morrow hi Dorthy you're special
Sophia Lopez
vaigar hey v howya hangin? heh
lveitra viagar
Cynthia Robles!
Connie Meg!
Logan Muller!
Dwayne Winstead!
Norma Morgan!
isodor axel hello isodor
Hilary George!


Thursday, 7 February 2008

Nice of Ya

There isn't much of a buildup or anything, a "quiet launch" and all that, but we'd like to big it up a bit and say thank you for taking us back into your bosom.

Obviously you've got kids and so on, and we did too. So we all understand what really matters.

It's for the kids, isn't it?

Magda would like to say a few words now.

No, to th'microphone there, Mags.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Fireside Chat

See? Almost nobody gives a shit.

Toldja, buddy.


I would tell you who I am
But I have alread
Y run out of syllables

Readers: Haikuld you.

Blogizen Journalist: I said, I am a blogger. I did not necessarily wish to have anal intercourse with you.

Readers: Ohhhh. We should get our ears syringed out. You mean you are natural and live.

Misunderblog: I didn't say I was a yoghurt.

Readers: You are a felt tent, smeared with yak fat?

Under Milk Blog: I am not a yurt.

Readers: No. We already knew you were an Old Person. But we appreciate that everything you write is deeply felt.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Chirk Chirk

I don't mind locusts getting uppity, that is all part of the multicultural package, but sexism is not acceptable.

Not sure about this POPClock business either. Keep it clean and decent, says I.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Woof Woof

What do you mean, "never tested in combat"? Just what sort of a chap d'you think I am?
Oh. I see.

You can find what sort of military aircraft you are here. If you are one at all, and can be arsed.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Slow Tide

The Long Man of Wilmington.

The terracettes, horizontal ripples in the turf, change constantly as the soil is rolled downhill by weathering and animal activity.

Hope for Sunday

Spem in Alium, Thomas Tallis (1505-85), sung by the Tallis Scholars (I think).

Patio Heaters

First Officer
: It seems we have struck an iceberg, Sir.

Captain: Better arrange the pencils on the chart table into nice orderly rows, then.

First Officer: Hm.

A ban on patio heaters, the latest proposal being from a "Liberal"-"Democrat" MEP called Fiona, will certainly help to reverse Gloobal Warning, but only in Νεφελοκοκκυγία.

The real world? Hm.

Gentleman Ranker

"Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier" said Samuel Johnson.

I don't know what Silas Tompkyns Comberbeck made of his service.

Saturday, 2 February 2008


I was feeling right as rain but then all me appendages fell orft. "Well, that's appendagitis for you" said the Doctor.

I've got this sound of the Cure singing "Close To Me" coming from me stoma. "Have to fit you with a closetome bag then" returned the Medic.

I went on holiday to Llandudno, and got this whale growing on me leg. It's never barked and I'm certain it isn't blue. "Dead Right", snapped the Doc.

Do whales bark? "What for? I've lived and worked here all my life, bach" riposted the Quack.

Do Docs quack?