Monthly Archives: June 2011

Keep your mouth shut at the school gate

Sometimes it’s better not to say anything at the school gate. That reputed snakepit of gossip, politics, cliques and scrutiny. And if you are foolish enough to open your big mouth, then it really is best to shut it again as soon as possible.

 Because carrying on won’t help. Oh no. The hole will just take on cavernous proportions, the better to echo your indiscretion.

I don’t know if this applies particularly to fathers – women and other adults may be equally stupid. You tell me.

But this afternoon I had the pleasure of watching a dad’s foot accelerate towards his mouth. Rather than braking or steering away from trouble, he went into crash test dummy mode.

It was only a slight slip to begin with Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under In the village

Why Lady Di is worse than Stalin…

It’s true. Lady Di is significantly worse than Stalin.

This may seem perverse – especially after what I said about Uncle Joe last time around. But last night was a revelation.

He may be a contender for the title of world’s worst butcher, but just to be clear – when it comes to a choice between Stalin, Lady Di and something like a peasant – Stalin is by far the preferred option, with Lady Di in second place.

As for third place – that’s just unthinkable undrinkable Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under life

Uninvited guests – welcome and unwelcome

I've had some grief from Grannymar in the past about gratuitous swimsuitery - but surely this must count as editorially justified. And gorgeous. (Phoarr.)

It’s summer. It’s sunny. So the bad news is that it’s time to dredge up your swimming cossies.

Eek! I know.

I’m sure Well Done Fillet is not the only one battling with left over winter padding. But never fear, the Good Greatsby has a wonderful list of ways to overcome any embarrassment or shyness you may feel. There’s bound to be an answer that suits you.

But the good news is that it’s time for another guest post from Pam, who lives down the street from me in our village.

You may remember her first guest post about the rabbit lady, the evacuees, the rat catcher and how it was When no one locked their doors on my street.

Well, Pam’s back with a summery account of uninvited guests and how to treat them way back when- featuring foxes, hikers, horses and hunters. So, over to Pam, with more tales of a southern English village:

Although it was before my time, I was told by a neighbour, Mr Ben Batting who lived at No.37, that originally, before the road was built, the oak tree at No.17 used to be on the corner of three fields. When there was a fox killed by the hunt, it used to be nailed to this tree. Before World War Two fox hunting around the woods and fields was a common sight.

One day a Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under friends, history, In the village

When TV goes wrong…

Excessive pizza toppings transform Tibet's spiritual leader

Ever told a joke that fell completely flat? Happens to me all the time.

But at least I haven’t done it on live television.

Ever wondered what you’d say to the Dalai Lama if you met him? Well, here’s a tip. Don’t copy this guy coming up.

And have you ever mixed up a work colleague with a leading Nazi? That was a rhetorical question by the way. Obviously we’ve all done that. But probably not on Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under media

Sodcasting

Sodcasters... But they look so lovely. They're probably listening to Price Tag by Jessie J or Ave Maria.

Are you a sodcaster? Or have you been the victim of sodcasting? (Or even the beneficiary?)

Whaddaya mean – What is sodcasting? You’ll almost certainly have experienced it. Unless perhaps you’re American. Because it’s a public transport phenomenon. (So this post particularly goes out to the newly resurrected Exile Imaging, who works in city transit for Austin, Texas.)

So what is it? Sodcasting is the playing of tinny tuneless repetitive beats on your phone loud speaker, or more likely that the sound leaks from your earbuds – thus giving other passengers on the bus or train the joy of sharing your musical tastes.

The music will be bad. Because it has to compete with the rumble of the vehicle. It’ll be distorted because it’s turned up so loud. And it’ll probably be rubbish, because it has been specially made to suit the medium – lots of treble, little or no bass.

I have to admit, though I’m familiar with the phenomenon, I hadn’t heard the term until this week. It is derived from podcasting – combined with a “Sod You” attitude.

And this is the important thing. I heard it on a wonderful radio programme on BBC Radio 4 which Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under art, life

Competition – You set the rules

I have some books I’d like to give away – old (1947), new, mystery, thrillers, Irish,English, French & poetry. From Pepys and Proust to McGilloway and Haddon – via 1970s London Mystery paperbacks.

But how should I do it?

A competition maybe?

But what? Any ideas?

We’ve done embarrassing stories recently – Sorrygnat and WiseWebWoman came up with a couple. Anyone else fancy chipping in. Perhaps a prize should go to the most excruciating anecdote?

Or should it be something new? Best joke/story?

Like this one – Speeding in Wyoming

A young woman was pulled over for speeding. A Wyoming State Trooper walked to her car window, flipping open his ticket book.
She said, “I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the State Trooper’s Ball.”
He replied, “Wyoming State Troopers don’t have balls.”
There was a moment of silence. He then closed his book, tipped his hat, got back in his patrol car and left.

Or Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under blogs, life

Unfinished books

Paddy Leigh Fermor Paddy disguised as a German NCO during WWII, when he & fellow Special Operations soldiers kidnapped General Heinrich Kreipen.

This is about the books you will never finish reading. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under art, What I'm Reading

Are you SURE you want to take his name – PART TWO

Balls, bastards and all those other rude-sounding surnames… At least they raise a clear red flag. If you take his name on marriage, you know what you’re getting into.

He's an arse & he's got a tickler.

But sometimes something seemingly innocent can catch you completely unawares – and be devastatingly hilarious Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under life

Academicians, doxies, catamites and hangers-on take a savaging

This year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy feels brighter and more vivid than before – which is reversal of the trend of me feeling that each successive year was less thrilling tan before. Perhaps it’s the less dense hanging or the rearranged route through the rooms or the prominence given to photography. Or perhaps it was the transformed mood I brought in with me. Even the architectural models seemed more accessible than before.

But not everyone is happy. Notoriously cross critic Brian Sewell has been savaging this year’s exhibition -though he found some personal bright spots.

Aurora - lead - Anselm Keifer. I love it. But Brian says it's "a rare failure that could as easily have been made by a Namibian handyman or Uncle George in his garden shed.

So I’m posting his review as another little taster for Padmum. (By the way, when are you coming?)

So here’s Brian’s version:

Last week, on entering the Royal Academy’s courtyard to see its annual Summer Exhibition, I chanced upon a column of Academicians, their doxies, catamites and hangers-on Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under art

“Can I have a lolly and a 69 please?”

Your embarrassing stories please. There’s an absolute corker at the bottom that will have you weeping. But to start with here’s this one:

I once recorded a rather rude message onto my Ex’s pda and set it as his morning alarm call.
That isn’t embarrassing in itself.
What is embarrassing, is it going off in a packed school assembly when you are a teacher as he’s left his phone in your handbag.

Here’s another short one:

After working a double shift at my part time care home job when I was at university, I came home exhausted. Got myself a into the bath for a long soak before having to head into Uni that afternoon for back to back lectures. I was really enjoying relaxing, eating chocolate buttons, eye gel mask on. When I took the mask off I could see the window cleaner at the window, he’d had a full eyeful! I was mortified.

Ten minutes later, he’d finished and… he knocked at the door to be paid Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under life