Monday 18 April 2016

I name this ship . . .

Boaty McBoatface.

Hooray for the British public - and what do the persons suggesting such a naming competition expect from an island steeped in Monty Python, Reggie Perrin, Armstrong and Miller, Eddie Izzard, Reeves and Mortimer, and the like?
Ice queen, The Majestic, Red Prince, Great Explorer? No - rather, Notthetitanic, What Iceberg, and the superb, Boaty Mc Boat Face.
Something has certainly changed in the 'general public', not just added absurdity in humour, but a general mocking of authority - and is it any surprise after the all the money scandals of the past decade or so? People would once believe their pension to be safe because they were told it would be; people at the top of huge corporations who earn bloated salaries must be right, yes? Seems not . . .
I vaguely remember the naming of the sleek, white aeroplane in the 1970s - Concorde - a sensible enough name, but I don't remember any huffing and puffing from the organisers over names such as Plany-plane-head, or Mr Pointy White Thing. Did anyone suggest anything wonderfully stupid? Maybe not; maybe it was before super-ironic comedy hit our screens, or maybe we just believed everything we were told back then . . .


                                                                 Mr Pointy White Thing

Sunday 17 April 2016

REAL concert

After playing all local bars, our son's group, The F.E.W, stood/sat on a REAL stage with proper lighting, miked up-everything, even dry ice!
I hadn't really heard them since their morphing from punk/rock to funk - interesting and I think they have found their niche, for the moment anyway . . .




Friday 15 April 2016

Fast Food

This really is . . . fast and simple; in fact, so much so that I've stopped any other form of cooking apart from stirfry and salad and an occasional egg on toast.

One pan, sauté onion, throw in any veg you like (if potato, thinly sliced) stir it about a bit, add a chunk of fish or an egg, if desired; add some water/soy sauce/seasoning/ put lid on and go and do something else for about twenty minutes.
Voila - a single pan to wash up and a plate/fork/spoon.


Wednesday 13 April 2016


While driving towards HOME yesterday, although still in another country, I glazed in and out of a programme on Radio 4 with regard to what people term as home. It was interesting but as I was on the fourth traffic diversion, very tired and really quite lost - certainly as a human, not necessarily as On The Planet, (it was only Surrey, after all) I afforded it only my partial concentration.
Young people in California were earnestly talking about living in communal 'pods' - no curtains, no stuff, everyone logged in, charged up and information freely flowing about everything they had ever done, were doing and would be doing.
I suddenly felt very old; old and attached to my Home full of pictures and objects, dust, dogs and us - a place you can go and draw curtains, or clack back shutters and batten down for the evening. Less so in the summer of course when The Home is more for basic necessities like sleeping when the light finally slopes off for the night.
Maybe being young in California, there is no need of the shackles of cosy, your familiar book collection and favourite awful pyjamas; they may have never had to wait for a delayed train on a drizzly evening on Clapham Junction station platform, pining for tomato soup and the four walls called home.
A new style of living was talked of by several people on the programme - a life decluttered - wherever I hang my air-book case, that's my home; no need of stuff, everything on The Cloud; books, objects, photos, photos of things you once owned - gone.
I like stuff; not all of it - there will be another point where we precis down and hand on to Oxfam or the French equivalent, many, many black bags, but things that hold real memories seem valuable to me: the stuffed crocodile my mother bought me as we couldn't have a real one, things that we took on when Mark's parents died that had been treasured by them; their books, objects, instruments and photos.
There is nothing like a book of photographs as opposed to the endless screen-stored mass. Mark's sister recently gave him a beautifully made book of images gleaned from the family library of his father - a precious thing.
I'd like to make this blog into a book, just to have it a tangible object, everything encapsulated in paper and card, forever (whatever that is . . .) and then there's always the possible demise of The Web of course; the eventual point where the storage of seven g-zillion images of people grinning inanely in front of the Le Tour Eiffel becomes too much for the rugby-pitch-size storage units and it all suddenly implodes.

Wikipedia - The Digital Dark Age is a possible future situation where it will be difficult or impossible to read historical electronic documents and multimedia.

A few objects and books might become rather interesting then . . .

Anyway, I ramble - maybe one day we will see the beauty of No Things, decide to give it all away and occupy something tiny, such as an airstream caravan, but even then the caravan, roulotte or small shed would soon become full of dried flowers from walks, rocks of special significance, books, photos, dogs . . .

                                                               dogs, books and instruments

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Total Crap

Those are the words I thought I saw in red type spanning the front of a magazine in a post office in Dorset. That's what your brain does - tries to make sense of words and images all the time, even when rushing to see if you have acquired a parking ticket after installing your car in a twenty minute space and then daydreaming in a WHSmiths for an hour.
Total Crap?
I stepped back and saw the image of a grinning man holding a fish the size of a small, bloated pig. Forgetting, again, the car, I perused the shelves and was amazed to find, not just Total Carp, but Advanced carp, Carp world, Carp Fishing, etc.
Before I got obsessed with what the female version of all these wasted trees might be, I left the shop, drove home and Googled more about Carp.
In France, I don't think the magazine world is quite so in depth about subjects - hunting perhaps, wine, certain sun-blessed regions of the country, but not fourteen or so, different weekly or monthly editions about one subject, in this case a species of fish . . .
Other titles included: Carpoholics Anonymous, Crafty Carper, Carp Talk and Carp Sex - obviously not, but the way that some of the successful trappers were holding their trophies did look dangerously like lust to me.

         Indeed . . . 

Most of the covers show pretty much the same image: man in woolly hat, large grin, huge slimy fish surrounded by copy such as: He Who Dares, Maggot-Caught Cracker, Mastering Maggots, Bait Secrets Revealed, Big Wacker (!?)
I will have to buy a copy of Total Carp to see what actually happens to the mega-fish when it has been ensnared - I presume, eaten? Stuffed?

       I tried . . . tried to save you . . . we could have been so happy together.


                                . . . it's just you and me, darling - so long have I waited for this moment


So, what of the pink magazines: something for the ladies? Yes, I know, the sexes should merge in reading material, but sadly the shelves are still, and probably will be, while paper pulp continues to be fashioned into A4 leisure-time fodder, severely divided on the whole.
What might be the equivalent of Total Carp?
There are about a thousand titles covering fashion, beauty, house-decoration, food, and so on, but what about something as specific as hunting one type of fish?
Cross stitch, entered my mind - do people (women, I assume) still do this? I had a look.
Yes, they do: Cross Stitch Collection, Cross stitch Gold, Cross Stitch Formula, Cross Stitch Favourites, Cross Stitcher, Cross Stitch Mania - or crazy, I forget, Just Cross Stitch, Cross Stitch Sex.
Actually, none of the covers appeared to feature a woman clutching a cross stitched portrait of George Clooney to her breast, or a needle-worked phallus, or even just a woman displaying a finished piece of work with the same manic pride as any of the fishermen.
I will return, this time to a really big paper shop and look in more depth through the pages of other magazines. I haven't bought one since I had a brief flirtation with Interiors Magazine years ago and realised that after a quick peruse they became floppy, shiny wads of paper to be stored somewhere along with everything else. Perhaps it's different if you are gripped by a single obsession, fourteen titles or so, a joy to surreptitiously glance through in Smiths, or buy if you can afford them all . . .


Friday 1 April 2016

And above all, don't fuss them too much

This is what we read when first adopting our greyhounds - feed, walk, bit of a pat on the head, etc.
Oops, a couple of years on or so . . . this is Bali, waiting in the kitchen for 'Crust Time' (breakfast) where we sit at the table, surrounded by salivating dogs waiting to be hand fed bits of toast, after which they will have walkies and collapse onto all available living room furniture for the rest of the morning, to be disturbed only by Lunchtime, further walkies and much, much stroking, whispered words of endearment and kisses on the head.
Not bad, eh? But then having escaped from terrible lives of beatings and bare concrete pens as hunting dogs, I suppose they deserve as much fuss as they can extract from us and other fellow greyhound worshippers . . .

          Hello, are you waiting for crusts? (squeaky voice)

              Having to share the sofa