Monthly Archives: October 2012

Halloween – Should I stay or should I go now?

Scariest pumpkin I’ve seen. Not – I repeat NOT – at my house. If you’re visiting this blog from outside the British Isles, just google Jimmy Savile and BBC, or… I dunno… much loved national treasure, knight of the realm, papal knight – any of those – then you’ll understand.

Halloween – it’s tonight. But I have no children at home.

So – should I get the hell out of Dodge? Or sit waiting for the doorbell to ring? (The latter feels a bit lurkish.)

Last year I was thinking of three-headed dogs. Usually I’m out with the door knockers. Feels odd to be lying in wait. (See? Sounds dodgy, doesn’t it. And lying in wait with sweets sounds even worse.)

It’s time to lighten the mood, pep up the tone. A banana should do it, huh? A Halloween banana…

What have you dressed up as for Halloween? I was a Grim Reaper once – eerie but not really pushing any boundaries. Though I was a carrot one Christmas. I began as one of a bunch – but the others faded. It was a good night out in Dublin.

Anyway – time is passing – I’d better make plans. In case the little beggars start turning up early. (See below.)

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Classroom rule number one: Never smile before Christmas

Two excellent short films. The first is clever and imaginative. The second may induce feelings of vertigo or unsettled stomach – IT”S THAT EXCITING!

So – first – The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway’s book and John Sturges’s film starring Spencer Tracy – now an animation drawn by Marcel Schindler.

I saw this film on the excellent Brain Pickings website. My only quibble with the animation is that the role of the boy is omitted – though, to be fair, he doesn’t board the small boat on the trip depicted.

Next – short film number two. Some of the camera shots may make you queasy. Here’s the film called People Are Awesome.

It’s the going over the edge skiiing shot that has me holding on to the table for balance. Though I suspect it’s the sort of thing Lesley “Get” Carter does every morning before breakfast. I presume they used the same crew as this Carling Black Label advert (based on cameraman Graham Henry’s exploits with Anneka Rice in Treasure Hunt).

The nearest Continue reading

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Best answer to the question: “Does my bum look big in this?”

It’s the question no one – man or woman, but especially man – ever wants to be asked: “Does my bum look big in this?”

Finally – here’s the answer.

But to appreciate it, I’d better give you some context.

You have to imagine that your partner has arrived home with a new dress. Or has maybe dug an old one out of the wardrobe, having not tried it on for a while.

“I want your opinion on this dress,” says she. “I’ll just nip into the bathroom to try it on, and then reappear and you can give me your verdict.”

It’s no good. You’re trapped. No escape.

So she’s in the bathroom. Dumps what she’s wearing on the bathroom floor. Pulls the dress over her head. Wriggles and shimmies it down. Jerks the hem to get it straight. Smooths the lines. Ready.

The door of the bathroom opens. She stands framed in the doorway.

“Now be honest,” says she. “Does my bum look big in this?” Continue reading

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Secrets

Don’t click on this because it’ll reveal where we’re going.

Will Knott wants to know my secrets. Nosy, isn’t he?

But given that a secret is – Something you only tell one person… at a time.

I suppose I can reveal this secret just to you.

Tomorrow I’m off to a place where Google Streetview does not function. It’s a place where, to paraphrase U2, the streets have no surface at all. In fact you’d need to be Jesus to cross to the shop opposite. Jaywalking is not banned – just laughed at.

You can slip your suggestions into this cute letterbox. Looks like C3PO’s postal cousin. But don’t click on the picture!

Shhh! Don’t say it.

Don’t mention that the Continue reading

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Don’t forget your shovel…

Man shovelling. Shhh!

Aah… the weekend. Time to relax. Recharge. Rejuvenate.

Re… reach for a shovel. (Wasn’t that an S Club 7 song?)

Lift the sewer access hatch.

And start digging.

Through packed “sludge”.

There’s nothing like blocked drains to remind you of one of the essentials of civilisation – good plumbing Continue reading

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But why?

Acceptance can be over rated.

Ask John Gurdon.

Before the scientist began his experiments on frogs Continue reading

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Scary and shocking times with Buzz Aldrin

Steve Dodds (THE Steve Dodds) and an astronaut called Buzz Aldrin. You might have heard of him.

Quick! Give me something to calm me down! I can’t cope with the excitement – the surprise – and the fear! (Not to mention the exclamation marks!)

First it was Buzz Aldrin – I encountered him through work today.

Buzz Aldrin. THE Buzz Aldrin. Buzz Aldrin!

Buzz Aldrin in his work clothes. Yup. He’s on the moon.

He was charming, chatty, understated and interesting – as you’d expect. He was supporting the Aerobility charity effort to raise funds for a flight simulator for people with disabilities.

So he talked about that a bit. But I have to admit I was thinking the whole time – but what about space, the rocket, THE MOON!!!    We did get on to that Continue reading

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