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Bare Ruined Choirs

November 8, 2010



That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
Sonnet 73

It’s that time of year again, the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness/Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun…’ or, in plain tax-payer’s English, the season of short, grey, damp days and long damp nights, of runny noses and of almost having your eye put out by some bastard’s umbrella.

Still, any season that can inspire the incomparable McGonnagiggle to such glorious, erm, heights must have something going for it.

An Autumn Reverie by William Topaz McGonagall

Alas! Beautiful Summer now hath fled,
And the face of Nature doth seem dead,
And the leaves are withered, and falling off the trees,
By the nipping and chilling autumnal breeze.

The pleasures of the little birds are all fled,
And with the cold many of them will be found dead,
Because the leaves of the trees are scattered in the blast,
And makes the feathered creatures feel downcast.

Because there are no leaves on the trees to shield them from the storm
On a windy, and rainy, cloudy morn;
Which makes their little hearts throb with pain,
By the chilling blast and the pitiless rain.

But still they are more contented than the children of God,
As long as they can pick up a worm from the sod,
Or anything they can get to eat,
Just, for instance, a stale crust of bread or a grain of wheat.

Oh! Think of the little birds in the time of the snow,
Also of the little street waifs, that are driven to and fro,
And trembling in the cold blast, and chilled to the bone,
For the want of food and clothing, and a warm home.

Besides think of the sorrows of the wandering poor,
That are wandering in the cold blast from door to door;
And begging, for Heaven’s sake, a crust of bread,
And alas! Not knowing where to lay their head.

While the rich are well fed and covered from the cold,
While the poor are starving, both young and old;
Alas! It is the case in this boasted Christian land,
Where as the rich are told to be kind to the poor, is God’s command.

Oh! Think of the working man when he’s no work to do,
Who’s got a wife and family, perhaps four or two,
And the father searching for work, and no work can be had,
The thought, I’m sure, ’tis enough to drive the poor man mad.

Because for his wife and family he must feel,
And perhaps the thought thereof will cause him to steal
Bread for his family, that are starving at home,
While the thought thereof makes him sigh heavily and groan.

Alas! The pangs of hunger are very hard to hide,
And few people can their temper control,
Or become reconciled to their fate,
Especially when they cannot find anything to eat.

Oh! Think of the struggles of the poor to make a living,
Because the rich unto them seldom are giving;
Wereas they are told he that giveth to the poor lendeth unto the Lord,
But alas! they rather incline their money to hoard.

Then there’s the little news-vendors in the street,
Running about perhaps with bare feet;
And if the rich chance to see such creatures in the street,
In general they make a sudden retreat.

I think it’s fair to say ‘après McGonnagiggle, le déluge‘. So let’s have deluge poems.

  1. reine permalink
    November 8, 2010 5:34 PM


    “Soft out”, he says
    As he lifts the covers
    Slides his foot down my leg
    Covers me in a rain of kisses
    Wet, hungry, eager
    “Hard in” I reply
    Smothered laughter, gasping,
    I am flooded with love

  2. hic8ubique permalink
    November 8, 2010 9:44 PM

    Don’t Be Afraid Children

    Wet memory of a chocolate
    with little pink sugar roses
    before my third-born bikini
    accumulating a manic burst

    a thunder-storm bolting out
    to dance madly ululating
    smacking the patio barefoot
    to frantic wild clapping

    your copper tan faces bleary
    inside french-doors wondering
    as my drenched voltage dropped
    while the sky cracked and fell

  3. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:10 PM

    Food Fallout.

    First is a dish of slightly dodgy prawns
    dressed in a strange-tasting mayonnaise,
    and why not try this unusual wine, drawn
    from the dank cellars of Chateau Malaise?

    Mmm… your main course is curried horsemeat,
    with a raita of Dairylea cheese spread
    and a side-dish of deep-fried pigeons’ feet.
    To drink I suggest this English Wine (Red).

    For pudding there is rancid Crème Brulee,
    fresh fruit on which your waiter has just coughed,
    perhaps a stunning After Eight parfait,
    or cheese (slightly hard) and biscuits (quite soft).

    Your waiter, who is fond of self-abuse,
    will help you with your coats. The bill is huge,
    but money’s not all you’re going to lose.
    Wait for an hour. After that, the deluge.

  4. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:20 PM

    Nice work, ladies.

  5. reine permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:44 PM

    Thanks MM, see your nice and raise you hilarious.

    • reine permalink
      November 8, 2010 11:54 PM

      By which I refer to your poem not my second effort.

  6. reine permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:53 PM

    Noah, get the fuck in here
    Have you heard the weather warning?
    Yes dear, relax, it’s all in hand
    I’m just finishing the awning
    I’ll give ya awning Noah,
    We’re not going to a fete
    Herd in those blasted animals
    And make sure you close the gate
    I can’t believe you agreed to this
    A bloody floating zoo
    What’s worse, I’m feeling wretched
    Think I’m coming down with ‘flu

  7. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 12:11 AM

    I was going to ask what ‘soft out’ means, but it’s probably something I don’t want to know. Likewise ‘third-born bikini’.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 9, 2010 12:25 AM

      ‘soft out’ is Irish for mild weather, (approximately)…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 9, 2010 12:30 AM

      Thank God.

    • reine permalink
      November 9, 2010 8:39 AM

      Mild… with light rain, was keeping it in the deluge theme,

  8. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 12:15 AM

    Blimey, you’re on a Stakhanovite streak. Excellent stuff, too.

    • reine permalink
      November 9, 2010 9:03 AM

      This to me? Thanks. I just cast myself as Mrs. Noah.

  9. mishari permalink*
    November 9, 2010 12:16 AM

    After The Rains

    After the rains
    the frogs came out
    gleaming like jewels
    clicking and lurking
    like clockwork fools
    glad to be working.

    After the rains
    the earth’s exhalation
    fecund and mold-rich
    a promise of rapid
    green strangulation
    and heights to be scaled.

    After the rains
    the cat came home
    bright-eyed and gay
    and curiously dry
    discreet as a valet
    and blank as a spy.

    After the rains
    I swore I’d buy
    a good umbrella
    and somehow contrive
    not to lose the damn thing
    before the rains.

  10. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 12:26 AM

    Top poem, sir. Particularly appreciate those frogs, and ‘blank as a spy’.

  11. mishari permalink*
    November 9, 2010 12:31 AM

    Thanks, chief. Lovely work from all of you.

    I believe that contrary to all the James Bond-ian guff people are fed, a good spy is ‘blank’, a cypher, almost invisible and frogs, especially tropical frogs, really do seem like a cross between jewels and clockwork toys, I think.

  12. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 12:51 AM

    The frogs in our garden are dun-coloured. To match the uninspired colour-scheme around them, I imagine.

    Must hit the sack. Enjoying Blue Blood, btw. Thanks for the tip-off.

  13. hic8ubique permalink
    November 9, 2010 1:52 AM

    That is satisfying. I had been thinking I would relish some fresh poetry from Mishari, and there it is.

    Also thinking it’s time freep took a breather from laying in firewood and paid us the honour.
    I miss you when you stay away too long, freep. What cheer?

    I wasn’t sure about stuffing so much association into a bit of bikini, MM, but did it anyway. Typical hic, but then I’m rarely sure of any of it…

    My dad says ‘hit the sack’
    and so do you
    for a grand total
    of two.

  14. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 9:09 AM

    Mishari, love the frogs and “discreet as a valet”… love the whole poem in fact.

  15. mishari permalink*
    November 9, 2010 9:31 AM

    Tanks, gels–overly-generous as usual. Actually, hic, I say ‘hit the sack’ as well. Showing my age and long-residence in the US, I guess.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 9, 2010 2:41 PM

      You both say, ‘deaf as a post’ as well. Another favourite.
      I imagine it’s more attributable to temperament than age, perhaps a mutual taste for more flavour and texture in expression than the thin gruel of mass communication.

  16. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:37 AM

    I didn’t know ‘hit the sack’ was American. I can’t recall ever using it before. Saying ‘I’m off to bed’ is a bit dull, so I try to vary it a bit. I daresay there are some choice Irish expressions for the act (of going to bed, that is).

    Now I understand: the material of the bikini is chocolate with little pink sugar roses. I thought there was a wet chocolate involved in some mysterious way.

    Do you have your PP book yet, monseigneur?

    • mishari permalink*
      November 9, 2010 12:15 PM

      Are you kidding? I’ve got 6 copies. One has been bronzed and placed on a tasteful marble plinth by the front door (discreetly spotlit). The other 5 have been distributed to the wife and brats to carry at all times so as to remind them of my utter fabulousness.

      I know, I know…I’m being paranoid: after all, how could they doubt it? But still…I dunno…sometimes I get the feeling that the proper degree of awe is lacking. I’m probably imagining it.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 9, 2010 2:46 PM

      Reine has a wealth of vocab for the act.
      ‘Hit the sack’ may be Yankee, ie New England in particular.
      I’m often unsure where expressions come from~ many tangles in my language acquisition.

  17. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:53 AM

    Papa R. announces that he is hitting the hay, a variation on the theme. He waits for everyone to either express dismay or applaud and then shuffles off muttering about being unloved.
    If there is company and he does not wish to draw attention to the fact, he excuses himself saying he has to ring Tom.

  18. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 12:05 PM

    If I ever rang Dad when somebody was in his office with him, rather than not answer the phone or embarrass them by pointing out they were there, he devised a code to the effect that he would say “How’s Tom?” and I would say “ok Dad, talk later.” Unfortunately as I didn’t know a significant Tom and the code was not always called into operation, I was always thrown by the question and replied “who’s Tom?”, occasioning awkward silence on the other end of the line and a frustrated father saying “Ok Reine, I’ll be in touch”.

    Tom gets a lot of air time in Daddy’s world.

  19. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 1:55 PM

    Mind the roads, loveen
    They will be treacherous
    After the downpour

    And they said on the radio
    That there’s flooding around Strokestown

    Could you not stay until tomorrow,
    Take one of those force majeure days or whatever they’re called?

    Well, if you’re determined to go,
    Be sure to ring us when you get there
    … Do you have a torch in the boot?

    Bye, love. Bye

  20. November 9, 2010 2:51 PM

    Did someone ring?

    (It’s difficult sorting out the sounds, from here in the tank.

    • reine permalink
      November 9, 2010 3:17 PM

      Aren’t you adorable?

  21. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 3:16 PM

    That would be Seán, Tom. He just wanted to pass on his regards and express his hope that the weather isn’t too inclement in the tank!

  22. goldgathers permalink
    November 9, 2010 3:58 PM

    Aren’t hit the sack and hit the hay really the same thing, going back to the days when beds were sacks of hay?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 9, 2010 6:20 PM

      feathers, wool, horsehair…ugh horsehair

  23. mishari permalink*
    November 9, 2010 4:21 PM

    You’re probably right, Bill. According to (although just how authoritative they are, I don’t know):

    Hit the hay

    Meaning: Go to bed.

    Origin: The term hay was used in the USA to mean bed since the early 20th century. For example, from People You Know, by the American author George Ade, 1902:

    “After Dinner he smoked one Perfecto and then, when he had put in a frolicsome Hour or so with the North American Review, he crawled into the Hay at 9.30 P.M.”

    In 1902, mattresses were often sacks stuffed with straw or hay (hence the similar phrase ‘hit the sack’).

    The phrase ‘hit the hay’ seems to have originated in the US sports scene. The Oakland Tribune, July 1903, reported this:

    “‘Sam’ Berger, the Olympic heavyweight … was sleepy and he announced that ‘he was going to hit the hay.'”

    In 1905, Paxton Sport USA included this:

    [the baseball player] “has a language of his own. Going to bed for him is to ‘hit the hay.'”

  24. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 9, 2010 4:23 PM

    whaddya say we hit the hay?
    what the hey!

    whaddya say we hit the sack?
    what the heck!

    fancy an early night, chuck?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 9, 2010 6:15 PM

      Harald got a pain in the neck
      Hit the deck!
      William was tripped by reverse thrust
      Bite the dust!
      ( I know it wasn’t really his neck
      What the heck.)

  25. mishari permalink*
    November 9, 2010 4:31 PM

    Deluged By Offers

    Hit the road, bud
    Hit the bricks
    Don’t be slow, bud
    Play no tricks
    Mount shank’s pony
    Get you gone
    You’re not happy?
    Write a song.
    Get long gone, chum
    Don’t come back
    And when you get there
    Hit the sack.

  26. November 9, 2010 6:43 PM

    Saw “The Social Network” last night. It’s about the setting up of Facebook and how the guy who did so linked up with the bloke who set Napster up.

    Not a bad film but interesting because all the characters in it are quite repulsive especially Justin Timberrlake as the Napster man.

    Intentionally repulsive too. There’s one guy who gets royally shafted who you feel an iota of sympathy for but even he is a dick. Given that these characters are based on people who are barely 30 and are still alive I was amazed they allowed such unsympathetic portraits to be painted of them.

    The actual guy who set it all up is presented as an emotionally retarded weirdo ( speaking as an emotionally retarded weirdo myself of course ).

  27. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 7:00 PM

    I went to see Mike Leigh’s Another Year, didn’t think much of it, certainly not deserving of its 5 star recommendations everywhere. Overarching message seems to be if you’re not a smug married with an allotment, you are destined to be a lonely alcoholic. No happy medium entertained. I’m neither, why doesn’t he make a film about a twice married, allotment-less, 40 year old civil servant who appreciates most forms of alcohol, only occasionally to great excess? (Rhetorical, I think I know why…)

  28. hic8ubique permalink
    November 9, 2010 8:09 PM

    A Dedication Would Be Superfluous

    Never splash out on a fancy umbrella
    unless you are willing to give it fair play;
    the umbrella-go-round will certainly take it.
    How much were you planning to lavish away?

    A fool and his Swaine Adeney Brigg are soon parted
    the moment it’s left to dry out by the door
    of a bistro or office with crap ones surrounding,
    someone will trade up, and he’ll see it no more.

    If he’s lucky, a gent will come in with a Fox,
    pop it loose in the stanchion to air out and dry;
    by the rules, he may pinch it as some consolation
    better than empty-handed, exposed to the sky.

    More likely, he’ll find he’s been left an inverted
    spiked urchin in orange with kelly green text
    and the choice of cold drizzle in personal places
    or public embarrassment. He will be vexed.

    My sagest advice is this: Have no attachment;
    the umbrella-go-round will never run out
    if you stock up by dozens on Totes cheapest model
    use each once, like a toothpick, and leave them about.

  29. mishari permalink*
    November 9, 2010 8:12 PM

    I should be watching ‘Carlos’ the story of Carlos the Jackal, which got 5 stars from reviewers as diverse as The Torygraph, Rotten Tomatoes and The Graun, but it’s 5 and a half hours long and I haven’t found the time…so I watched ‘Inception’ instead, which I quite enjoyed, despite having to explain the plot so often that I ended up confusing myself…

    “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. “ —Matthew 5:45.

    …or as Charles, Baron Bowen (1835-94) put it:

    The rain it raineth on the just
    And also on the unjust fella:
    But chiefly on the just, because
    The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.

  30. November 9, 2010 8:30 PM

    I like many of Mike Leigh’s films especially his mix of OTT caricature and minutely detailed realism but had my fill after that one with Brenda Blethyn whose accent drove me up the wall and round the bend simultaneously.

    On an Autumn night when the rain has stopped and the wind has died down I can still hear that accent in the trees. shudder.

  31. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 8:39 PM

    Well, this has the caricature and the realism but it just didn’t quite meld for me. I love these kinds of films normally. Imelda Staunton (a namesake) does a brilliant set piece at the start, which gave me great hope but, alas, it came to nought.

    I can hear Brenda’s child screech now Ed… alternating with MM’s country and western version of the POTW.

  32. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:03 PM

    Tasteful gampage, hic.

    I liked Nuts In May, but the horrific Abigail’s Party left me feeling more than a bit uneasy, which Dennis Potter’s review crystallised. High Hopes was ok, but now I don’t seem to be able to stick more than about ten minutes before my mind’s wandering.

  33. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:05 PM

    Ten minutes of a Mike Leigh product, that is.

  34. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:37 PM

    Well, what interests me, is where your mind wanders – that’s probably a whole film I’d wager.

    gampage – of umbrellas? A new one on me and can’t find a definition. Be so kind as to enlighten me MM.

  35. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:47 PM

    A neologism, just coined by me, Reine. ‘Gamp’ – an umbrella, from Dickens’ Mrs Gamp – plus ‘age’.

    I’m tuckered, so I am going to hit the pit. Valete!

    • reine permalink
      November 9, 2010 11:51 PM

      Aha, much obliged. How clever.

      Bushed myself, hitting the feathery highway.

  36. reine permalink
    November 9, 2010 11:49 PM

    Hilarious quote just now on arts panel discussion from a female guest critiqueing a play. Male host blinking furiously to maintain straight face.

    “The climax took so long to arrive at one point I nearly wanted to go up and finish him off myself.” No deluge there then.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 10, 2010 1:07 AM

      Thanks MM, cheeryble of you to say so.

      Here’s my absolute favourite, best ever, failure to keep a straight face. Puts me in fits every time.
      ‘Good for what ails you’. Is that a Yankee expression as well?:

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 10, 2010 2:33 PM

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 10, 2010 4:20 PM

      Thanks MM. I wonder why the sound is off. Lovely of Cheryl. I can’t remember whether it was the film or the series that I saw back when, but I hated it.
      There was something nasty about The Singing Detective as well…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 10, 2010 4:38 PM

      The sound’s all right here. You did turn it on, didn’t… of course you did. Copyright issues, perhaps. No, I wasn’t very keen on either of the series. Nice music, though.

    • November 10, 2010 8:42 AM

      Reminds me of the famous heckle in a disastrous stage version of “Anne Franks Diaries”.

      When the Nazi soldiers search the house someone in shouted out “She’s in the attic!”

      In “Dancer in the Dark” I found myself hoping that they’d hang Bjork sooner rather than later.

  37. Sindy Stone permalink
    November 10, 2010 12:50 AM

  38. mishari permalink*
    November 10, 2010 1:26 AM

    I tried to find it for you, hic, but no luck: Charlotte Green’s best crack-up was on The News Quiz a few years ago. A news item had been read out concerning Indian demands that condom makers scale down the size of condoms to match Indian male dimensions.

    The late Linda Smith started speculating on the means of measuring male members and wondered if they used a plastic device like that used to measure quantities of spaghetti. Someone else asked if they’d measure men when, you know, they were…cough-cough…or…and Linda Smith said “…or al dente?”.

    Charlotte Green starting giggling uncontrollably and couldn’t stop. She has a infectious giggle and soon the whole program had come to a halt in a positive gale of giggles….pity it’s not on youtube.

  39. hic8ubique permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:20 AM

    Oh, it must be somewhere out there, like your hand photo shoot, in Nepal was it? But I can’t even read your decorously restrained account of it all without doing myself an injury.
    Just wait til Reine sees it…

    There’s something in CG’s valiant attempt to contain herself that makes this one all the more uproarious.(That on top of the sound of a cat singing Au Clair de la Lune.)
    I wish we had Charlotte instead of the horrible woman who drives me from the kitchen. I can probably find an example, but I’m being summoned…

  40. November 10, 2010 1:04 PM

    Here I go, off-piste-ing again, but, re: ET’s “When the Nazi soldiers search the house someone shouted out “She’s in the attic!” I was reminded of my all time personal favorite in the Pantheon of Heckles (perhaps apocryphal, I wasn’t there)….

    … the Royal Bono, onstage, in the spotlight, looking suitably gravid, auditorium hushed. No music. A consciousness-raising moment. He’s staring down the audience, snapping his fingers, dramatically, every two seconds. He finally makes the sobering comment that “Every time I do this, a child dies….”

    And someone shouts “THEN STOP FOOKIN DOIN’ IT!”

  41. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:25 PM

    I saw an excellent one on TV a while ago featuring Harold Wilson, speaking at one of those old-time political meetings, full house, attentive crowd, in the early 1960s. Some bloke suddenly shouts ‘It was your lot what let them savages in the country!’, to which Harold coolly replies, ‘Yes, we even let them come to our meetings.’

    Couldn’t happen now, of course. You need to be a party member and have a ticket to get in.

  42. November 10, 2010 3:14 PM

    I once saw footage of Gorbachev arguing with a Russian voter over the bonnet of a car with much angry slamming of fists down on the vehicle from both sides .

    I have no idea what they were saying but it looked the very epitome of “democracy in action”.

    No doubt as soon as the cameras had moved on Gorbachev’s security men rounded on the guy who had been arguing and beat him up.

    It was the early 90’s ( I think ) so they were probably arguing about the decline of Liverpool as a footballing powerhouse in the UK.

  43. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 10, 2010 3:36 PM

    Gorby was probably complaining about the price of the new fan-belt.

  44. November 10, 2010 3:49 PM

    I’m not a car man by any stretch of the imagination so this comment is a first for me.

    A friend of mine drove a Trabant for years and years – an amazing vehicle. It never went wrong. He junked it when the chassis was too rusty to be safe but the engine was still in prime condition and fitted into another vehicle carried on as before.

  45. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 10, 2010 4:30 PM

    I’m surprised; I thought all those East European motors were terrible. One of my mother’s bfs swore by Ladas until the engine in his Riva fell out on the M5. A colleague of Mrs M’s (I’m going back a bit – I think the newer ones are better) tried to economise by buying a new Skoda (rather than his usual secondhand Escort), which literally fell apart within two years. Mrs M was getting a lift with him one day, and pulled the seat belt to strap herself in. The belt’s anchor point came out of the door post and smacked her on the side of the head. A few days later he hit a ramp and the exhaust dropped off: getting out to investigate he found the door jammed, gave it a shove and it fell off. Then the key broke off in the ignition when he tried to restart the car. What do you call a Skoda with a sunroof indeed.

  46. mishari permalink*
    November 10, 2010 4:33 PM

    Punter: You’re shit!

    Jo Brand: Oh we have a comedian in the house.

    Punter: We fucking wish.


    Jo Brand walks on stage and says hello to the audience.

    “You’re a nice little crowd” says Jo.

    “So are you” shouts a wag in the crowd.

    (for the benefit of our American friends, Jo Brand is a large woman)

  47. mishari permalink*
    November 10, 2010 4:47 PM

    Never been improved on:

  48. November 10, 2010 8:35 PM

    Blimey didn’t see that coming. Well done the students. Of course it won’t change anything but good to see a bit of anger emerge and great that they didn’t take it out on the nearest shop but went straight to Tory HQ.

    The police seemed to stand back and watch them smash the windows. As they are getting cut back too let’s hope it was a deliberate policy.

  49. reine permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:57 PM

    A slow student Mexican wave; we were barricaded behind the gates last week but the only weapons in evidence were eggs and plastic bottles (considerate little Irish students).

  50. obooki permalink
    November 10, 2010 10:48 PM

    SA: “… the Royal Bono, onstage, in the spotlight, looking suitably gravid, auditorium hushed etc.”

    Laughed at the anecdote, but you do understand “gravid” means “pregnant”? – A strange image.

  51. reine permalink
    November 10, 2010 11:00 PM

    pregnant with emotion, I’m sure he meant Obooki…

  52. reine permalink
    November 10, 2010 11:03 PM

    I’ve met Bono (get me) and he was very gravid.

  53. mishari permalink*
    November 10, 2010 11:18 PM

    You mean the fucker was swollen with self-regard and on the verge of giving birth to a *gasp* thought? A historic moment, to be sure…

  54. reine permalink
    November 10, 2010 11:21 PM

    that’s about the size of it, an historic and histrionic moment all at once…

  55. mishari permalink*
    November 10, 2010 11:40 PM

    We, in our infinite wisdom, have decided that it is incorrect to say ‘…an historic moment…’; ‘an’ is correct if the ‘h’ is silent, e.g. an honour, an honest man, an hour etc. but it is a hotel, a historic moment, a hole in the head, a howl of pedantic disapproval etc.

    This conclusion received the seal of approval from Mills The ‘Tache, so there…it’s been a hoot.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 11, 2010 12:21 AM

      thus an owl of approval

  56. reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:08 AM

    I was taught it as “an” as the first syllable is unstressed in words like hotel and historic but far be it from me to quarrel with you or Mills the ‘tache.

    Are you just jealous I met an Bono?

  57. November 11, 2010 12:16 AM

    O’B I was being so archaically metaphorical (Bono pregnant with meaning and on the verge of delivering himself of it) that the connecting cord came close to snapping! But the image works… Bono on his back, legs spread, screaming… it moves me…

  58. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:16 AM

    You got me. Was it, like…y’know…a religious/orgasmic/mystical experience?

    I think we decided that it was an affectation that made for a foolish inconsistency–that a far more sensible rule was ‘a’ for an aspirated ‘h’ (i.e. it should be treated as a consonant), ‘an’ for an unaspirated ‘h’…but don’t mind me–I’m just yanking your chain.

  59. November 11, 2010 12:17 AM

    Oh fuck… wrong account open… (well at least it wasn’t a foul or otherwise unprofessional comment)…

  60. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:17 AM

    Logged in as the Missis again, Steven?

  61. November 11, 2010 12:17 AM

    Christ you’re quick, M!

  62. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:20 AM

    Yes, crystal meth is good for something….I’m very quick; usually wrong, but very quick….

  63. November 11, 2010 12:20 AM

    Thing is, I can’t log in as me because we’re uploading a massive performance video and I can’t be bothered to switch on the other PC (and I’m off to bed in a few minutes because it’s an early riser tomorrow… we’re making it official… marriage, I mean… 4-year-old daughter being a nice touch approaching, between us, the little German chapel with the bureaucrat on its threshold…)

  64. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:24 AM

    Hey! (you can tell I’m deeply moved by my use of an exclamation mark, usually anathema). Felicitations to you and The Harp Angel. May all your troubles be small ones. Kiss the bride for me…

  65. reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:26 AM

    No, not in the least mystical; he was beside us in a restaurant with his friends, Gavin Friday (of Virgin Prunes fame (kinda)) and Guggi, artist (equally gravid). He was quite ornery actually. He is a tiny man physically, in contrast to his ego.

    I was only yanking back; to be honest I would never say “an hotel” but in formal writing … like when I write to the Queen looking for a damehood … I would opt for the an form.

    “Congratulations Bono, it’s a debt free nation. What are you going to call it?”

  66. reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:30 AM

    Congrats Steven and nearly Mrs. Steven, have a wonderful day, rest of your life…x

  67. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:33 AM

    Waiting my turn…
    I married a musician, Steven, and am pleased to offer you my warmest… Congratulations. xx
    Also, four-yr-olds are my favourite. Write down everything she says.
    The Harp Angel is a lovely thought for a wedding day.

  68. November 11, 2010 12:34 AM

    Thanks M! (I’m with you on the “!”s… I usually use them for comedic purposes only). While I’m not one to grant the State’s view of my personal arrangements the meanest crumb of importance, if I *have* to make it official with *someone*, I’m happiest to do it with Her. Though how we could be any more married than we already are (raising a child and not spending more than 25 hours apart in 5 years)…

    No cake or any of that, though. (correction: Offsprung expects to stop off at Starbucks after…)

  69. November 11, 2010 12:37 AM


    already 2 pages of Offsprung quips. The latest (

    (Handling her toy gun)

    “I’m going to save some bullets for this gun so if you become stressful I can shoot you.”

    Nov 10, 20010, 4pm

    thanks, Reine!

  70. November 11, 2010 12:38 AM

    alright… off to bed i crawl… been luvly, all (posting as my wife makes me more good-natured, I think)…

  71. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:39 AM

    Oh, go on and let little angel choose what sort of cake and have a proper one. She’ll never forget it.

  72. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:44 AM

    Schlaf gut, SA.
    Here’s one I recall, consistent with this thread…
    Youngest (shaking head) tells keyboard player on verge of departure:

    “That’s not gonna be very good for the road, when you hit the road.”

  73. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:47 AM

    “I’m going to save some bullets for this gun so if you become stressful I can shoot you.”

    Priceless. That kid has her head screwed on properly. And fair warning…

    I should probably mention in passing that the woman I referred to as ‘my wife’ for, lo, these many years, didn’t actually, legally become my wife until 2 years ago (and 4 kids later). Like you, Steven, we didn’t really give a damn what the state made of us. However, for various practical reasons, it was the thing to do…

  74. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:53 AM

    Infant phenom. was 5 months in utero before we bothered.
    I hope you gave your 4 angels a nice cake after all that wait, M.

  75. obooki permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:03 AM

    hbh: yes, I knew you could justify your usage; – but there’s still a sneaking suspicion in my mind what you were really striving for was an inexpressible idea somewhere between “grave” and “avid”

  76. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:06 AM

    I haven’t progressed beyond March of 09 in the archives, but it may well be that Steven’s is the first Politely Homicidal wedding, with a heat-packing flower-child no less.
    I hope everyone will feel moved to eat cake tomorrow in celebration of the festive occasion.
    My thoughts are turning toward chocolate ganache…

  77. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 1:07 AM

    Cake? You mean I should provide them with shoes, training in the use of firearms, explosives and booby-traps (for the coming societal breakdown, doncherknow) and cake? If they want cake, they can rob a patisserie

  78. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:13 AM

    Konditorei in this case, I suppose, but
    yes, it marks the moment, so long as one doesn’t partake of it every day.

  79. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:31 AM

    I thought those devices were the instruments of societal breakdown.
    What’s needed is children who can provide cake. Teach them baking, Mishari.

    for Steven Augustine’s family, I would bake an Angel cake, with a pinch of cayenne in the dark chocolate ganache filling and a tangerine whipped Jersey cream frosting.
    For his flower-child’s gift I would send a copy of
    The High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake.
    Evol Evol Evol

  80. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 1:53 AM

    No, I think the instruments of societal breakdown are late stage capitalism and the accompanying mantra of endless growth (or what we fake doctors call ‘cancer’). Political power, real political power ‘springs from the barrel of a gun’ not the ballot box.

    Along with most people, Americans are, perhaps, waking up to this fact: whoever gets elected, it’s the banks and corporations that win and the vast majority of people continue to get raped, brutalised, exploited and dispensed with when their ‘usefulness’ as consumers is at an end.

    When I hear the word ‘democracy’, I reach for my revolver…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 11, 2010 4:49 AM

      I’m with you on all that with the exception of the revolver. I could entertain the idea of a metaphorical revolver. Do I understand you correctly, M? You can’t shoot a corporation.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 11, 2010 11:41 PM

      The Augustine wedding adventure is a good reason to do it EdT, an outstanding event!
      I agree, children are an excellent reason to go through with a legal marriage. Absent that motivation, I suppose any legal provisions, such as health proxy, can be specified. The national standards vary widely though, I suspect.

      I know of a case in France in which an elderly gent tried to do his wife out of her share of their substantial assets when he abandoned her for a 40+ yrs younger girlfriend, but French law provided for the wife to retain 50%, presumably because there is a cultural tendency for this sort of development…

      I appreciate the Counter Punch link, Mishari, but I’m more excited about the bat costume just now.

      Steven~ when Baby hic was 4 and 5, her televisual experience revolved around several videos. She would gather props and costumes and arrange the sitting room for the event, then act out the entire film as it played. There was a Royal Ballet Beatrix Potter and a certain Cirque du Soleil that saw tremendous production.

      She gave us ‘shows’ as well, which were not quite extemporaneous, involving some preparation, but they were original and made use of furniture in previously un- thought-of ways.
      My suggestion is this: if you were to provide a film version of Die Fledermaus, that bat costume might have a regular airing, or maybe Annie Get Your Gun would be more the Augustine tone?
      Infant Phenomenon is at the theatre this evening in a party with six other dancers to see their classmate play the lead in Hairspray.

      Oh, I’ve just remembered another good one…
      When she was 4, I took her to see The Sleeping Beauty by the Boston Ballet. During the Blue Bird pas de deux, as the dancers (in tights) turned to ‘fly’ upstage, she proclaimed in crystalline voice for all the surrounding patrons to hear:
      ‘It’s rude to show your bum!’

  81. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 5:12 AM

    I’m prepared to give it a go…

    However, for the time being, I’d settle for them paying their taxes; being properly regulated; banned from showering venal politicians with cash; and being held accountable when they damage lives and/or the environment…then we shoot them (and HERE’S why).

  82. November 11, 2010 9:24 AM

    I would be interested to know what the reasons for getting married actually are.

    I’ve been with my other half 29 years, we both come from broken homes and thus have considerable experience of extremely unhappy marriages ( my partner’s mum has had 3 disastrous marriages ) so ca

  83. November 11, 2010 9:30 AM

    Cut off in my priime! that’s a first!

    …..n see no reason to tie the knot.

    We don’t have kids though. Is it down to legal responsibilities? To ensure inheritances don’t go back to the individual families ahead of the children?

    I ask because in my mum’s will the fact I’m not married doesn’t affect any potential money going to my partner. But I suppose that’s because the will stipulates so in clear language.

  84. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 10:43 AM

    Ed, it’s primarily for the children, to ensure what my lawyer called ‘clarity’. Additionally, they’re entitled, through me, to Kuwaiti citizenship. I can’t imagine why they’d want it–I detest the place it’s become–but I think that should be for them to decide. To make that option available to them, I had to formally acknowledge them as mine.

    Now, I’m having second thoughts; they refuse to genuflect at the small but tasteful Poster Poems shrine that I’ve created. I have nursed a quartet of vipers to my bosom, Ed. How sharper than a serpent’s tooth etc etc…

    Porpoises rescue Dick Van Dyke

    Mary Poppins star feared death after apparently falling asleep on his surfboard but friendly sea creatures pushed him to shore–The Grauniad, today

    I thought porpoises were supposed to be highly intelligent?

  85. November 11, 2010 10:59 AM

    It’s a well known fact that porpoises are big fans of the Mary Tyler-Moore show – he writes thus proving why no woman would want to marry him.

    As we get older I think the pressure to get married will increase most notably if or when one of us falls ill. This is when the “next of kin” clause gets in the way. But at the moment – no.

  86. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 11, 2010 11:14 AM

    Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu Ihrer Hochzeit, Mr Augustine.

    Mrs M’s mother is a keen Christian, which is one reason we got hitched. Tradition has a bearing too, I think, as well as the legal issues. I didn’t really care either way, and in the event it was a memorable day out. My chief memory is back in the bedroom of the hotel that night, me dead drunk in an armchair, Mrs M semi-comatose on the bed saying ‘I demand my conjugal rights’. Match postponed.

  87. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 11:44 AM

    I can see where Babs Cartland cribbed her stories from, MM…

    “I think we have gotten to a good place on the rebalancing agenda within the G20,” Brainard said. “There was some conversation about how we now have a unified agenda on that and are moving forward.” —Lael Brainard, US Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs, at the G20 summit

    They have ‘…gotten to a good place…’, meaning, presumably, that they were in a less ‘good place’ before–perhaps an ‘OK-ish’ place? Or a ‘Y’know, meh’ place; and what happens in this ‘good place’? They ‘rebalance the agenda’–oh, no…wait…they don’t: instead, they ‘move forward’ (as opposed to moving sideways) with a ‘unified agenda’ (so much better than that weird all-over-the-place agenda of evil memory); a ‘unified agenda’ on…? Why, on ‘rebalancing the agenda’, of course.

    Gee, Lael, that’s swell…and people wonder why the US economy is so completely fucked.

  88. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 11:52 AM

    MM’s morning after:

  89. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:44 PM

    I should have pointed out that what the G20 need to do is have a re-alignment of an open agenda to test the viability of a transformative framework leading to a potential paradigm shift. I envisage a synergistic synthesis of the top-down model and the broad-spectrum mandate. Harmonisation of qualitative aims will ensure a clarified vision for the delivery of empowerment, leading to an equitable and flexible multi-agency cohesiveness in order to satisfy the underlying needs of the progressive object model. We must become proactive in delivering a coherent, multi-valent consumer experience that validates the on-going market model. While discipline is important, the rigid feedback-driven structure of past provider/user models should be open to value-determinant options.

    It’s not fucking rocket science.

  90. November 11, 2010 12:48 PM

    MM! Many thanks! And thanks for the virt-cake, Hic.

    The adventure in a nutshell:

    As we were dressing to make the trek to the enchanted Gingerbread Hobbit Hut (wherein the stony-faced Teuton dwells), our daughter made a pretty good case for dressing up in her bat costume for the ceremony (she’d only had one chance to wear it thus far!). This incapacitated both of the grownups for a solid minute, but when one of the two grownups could talk (and breathe) again, we decided it was too cold for her to actually wear the costume to the building, but that we could take it with us in her backpack and deploy it under favorable conditions…

    Which was not, as it turned out, an unnecessarily cautious caveat. Conditions were not favorable.

    The lady we went through first (a sort of receptionist with the responsibility of going through one’s sheaf of documents, looking for Je… I mean… checking that everything is in order) was nice enough (and the party sharing the waiting room, four very elderly Germans, one in a wheel chair, all dressed in black… an actual wedding tradition here and highly indicative… were as interesting as you’d like) …but the bourgeois cunt in the gray-check, polyester suit and vintage (pre-war) haircut, who was there to do the marrying, came *this close* to having my newly-shined Timberlands up (or down) his tightest eponymous part.

    Daughter made the mistake of asking me a question while Herr Eisenmushi was roboting his way through the spiel so the fucker actually interrupted his incantation to say “This is very annoying!” I got my daughter quiet and with masterful timing, my wife-in-becoming’s cell phone went off. In a room full of humans this would have brought titters. We got this instead: “Listen, I’m very close to calling this off!” verbatim (in the Fathertongue, of course).

    Not for nothing is the German Civil Servant feared. They can’t be fired. They stamp your fucking life-or-death documents. Piss one off at your peril.

    Had the pleasure of saying “N – – i” under my breath as we evacuated the chamber.

    I’ve now added another item to the list of things NEVER to do in the Fatherland (eg, “go to the dentist”). Well, it shouldn’t be an issue, anyway. We got it over with and it is a permanent seal.

    We’ve been over-the-moon for five amazing years and it takes more than Hermann Goering’s brief and unexpected return to Zehlendorf to cast a shadow over even ten minutes of the next eighty years.

    Can’t help wondering what would’ve happened if we’d deployed that bat costume…

  91. November 11, 2010 1:07 PM

    Hi Mish,

    I’ll buy that paradigm shite, er shift any time. Just blindfold me and head me to the polling booth for a gray-check.

    Actually, this visit is made possible by my finally having got up the nerve to tiptoe down into the boiler room of the inner sanctum of the ark of the covenant of the Blogger temple, and re-do your link.

    Henceforth you will not be able to shift paradigms without my noticing.

    Meanwhile you, Steve, et al. are invited to our imminent national holiday of great gratitude.

  92. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 11, 2010 3:37 PM

    Apres nous…

    After the levee comes the linen shift,
    a layer of zinc and two spots of rouge,
    only lightly blended into the skin:
    complexions should be white and red.

    Silk stockings, soft silk shoes with scarlet heels,
    stays drawn and knotted tight, the two pockets
    tied and laid over the bentwood hoops
    between the solid wads of panniers.

    Over and under-petticoats attached,
    the contouche is wrapped around the body
    and the embroidered stomacher applied
    to secure the dress and display the chest.

    Rings, the long white gloves, a mouche de passion,
    a moment with the pier-glass in debate,
    and then a dusting with scented powder:
    now the Marquise de Pompadour is dressed.

    Though tied in puffs, rosettes, feathers and frills,
    prisoner of the boutes-en-train and bows,
    this costly mannequin grasped the future,
    that the straining corset of France would burst,

    and all those colinettes and favoris,
    rayons, mousquetaires, postiches, bagnolettes,
    jupes, courcils, battans, falbalas and fards
    would vanish as though they had never been.

  93. Reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 3:53 PM

    Steven, thanks for highly amusing wedding account and congrats again. Hope your happiness goes from strength to strength.

    I can’t even come close to formulating an answer to Ed’s marriage question and am always amused to find that I, who swore I would never marry, am now my second husband’s first wife.

    MM’s anecdote reminded me of my first wedding night, wearing a very fetching silk number which I had chosen with great care only for my husband to have to hold my hair back as I got sick into the toilet. In between retches, I just kept crying “mind the nightie”, more to myself than him. I was a classy bird then.

    MM, I do covet your vocabulary. Great poem.

  94. Reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 5:34 PM

    Once gloriously coloured leaf fall
    Washed brown by heavy rain
    Makes a path up to the front door
    Our footfall leaves a train
    of bare and glistening pathway
    And this dun, deciduous apparel
    Escorts us into warmth and peace
    This night, we’ll have no quarrel

  95. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 11, 2010 7:13 PM

    Thanks, Reine, and top poem yourself. I lifted most of the vocab from 18thC costume sites – I read Nancy Mitford’s book on Mme de P years ago, but not much of it stuck.

    I hope you missed the nightie. I hear Prince Mishari was unlucky on his wedding night: his negligee had to be thrown away after a heavy session on the Babycham.

  96. November 11, 2010 7:44 PM

    Is any other kind of session possible with Babycham?

    It’s made in Shepton Mallet near where I used to mis-spend my youth. A bigger contrast to the ads ( this was the early 70’s ) you couldn’t hope to find.

    It was always the last thing to get drunk at any party. Even when roaring drunk you were sensible enough to steer clear and when it came to the crunch ( i.e everything including Brasso had run out ) you knew that drinking the stuff really did spell the end.

  97. reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:07 PM

    Thanks Melton, a “top” from you makes my day. I would omit the “up” on reflection.

    The nightie survived a while but, sadly, I outgrew it. Metaphorical perhaps. It is probably being used to clean windows somewhere. I dispensed with the nightie second time around, only because I was too exhausted after de-trussing myself.

    I never tried Babycham, seems I’m not missing anything.

  98. Solwing permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:39 PM

  99. Solwing permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:50 PM

    A video of Lord James Blackheath making a very interesting speech on November 1 (precised below), about an:

    ‘…organisation that wishes to make a great deal of moeny available to assist the recovery of the economy in this country. For want of a better description of their name I’ll call them foundation X. It’s not their real name but it will do for the moment.

    Foundation X was introduced to me 20 weeks ago last week by an eminent City firm, which is FSA controlled. Its chairman came to me and said, “We have this extraordinary request to assist in a major financial reconstruction. It is megabucks, but we need your help to assist us in understanding whether this business is legitimate”

    ….For 20 weeks, I have been endeavouring to do that. I have come to the absolute conclusion that foundation X is completely genuine and sincere and that it directly wishes to make the United Kingdom one of the principal points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinarily great wealth into the world at this present moment, as part of an attempt to seek the recovery of the global economy.

    …..Foundation X is saying at this moment that it is prepared to put up the entire £5 billion for the funding of the three Is recreation; the British Government can have the entire independent management and control of it-foundation X does not want anything to do with it; there will be no interest charged; and, by the way, if the British Government would like it as well, if it will help, it will be prepared to put up money for funding hospitals, schools, the building of Crossrail immediately with £17 billion transfer by Christmas, if requested, and all these other things. These things can be done, if wished, but a senior member of the Government has to accept the invitation to a phone call to the chairman of foundation X-and then we can get into business. This is too big an issue. I am just an ageing, obsessive old Peer and I am easily dispensable, but getting to the truth is not. We need to know what really is happening here. We must find out the truth of this situation.’

  100. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 9:18 PM

    Oh, for God’s sake, Des…the old imbecile’s been taken in by THESE GUYS or someone very like them. Senility is a sad thing; funny as fuck sometimes, though…

  101. reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 9:56 PM

    We’d need foundation whole fucking alphabet here. (sighs all round… Caitlin crying the poor mouth again … sorry)

  102. Solwing permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:12 PM

    I dunno, I’m just a daft conspiracy theorist at heart. It must be the dreamer in me. After ten years of online seeking, the first three places I go when I switch on the computer, is Icke’s Headlines, Ben Fulford’s English language site for the opening paragraph of his subscription only Monday post that you can copy and paste and find reproduced elswhere – then David Wilcock’s Divine Cosmos site.

    Icke’s Headlines are 90% ga ga, but in amongst the junk is information you wouldn’t find on the mainstream press outlets. It;s where I found this information very few people would know of.

    Fulford is interesting. A Canadian financial journalist and long time Japanese resident with citizenship there, who ended up Asian Bureau chief for Forbes magazine from 1998 – 2005, before opting out and doing a David Icke, making all sorts of wierd and wonderful claims; the central thrust of which is that an Asian group, The White Dragon Society, have the sort of money Blackheath alludes to, and who want to use it to overthrow the Trilateral-Bilderberg-Council-on-Foreign-Relations-Federal Reserve axis he claims are a cabal of bankrupt warmongers on the run now China has the upper hand.

    Not that I necessarily buy into all this, it’s just that, being a conspiracy nut, I find it interesting to read and when I heard Blackheath, thought of Fulford’s White Dragon Society.

    • reine permalink
      November 11, 2010 10:28 PM

      How are ya Des; I had typed a lengthy reply to your Coppers (shudder) sketch last week but was on a different PC and hadn’t logged in so lost it all. No loss to intellectual debate.

  103. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 10:19 PM

    Oh, don’t get me wrong…there are plenty of genuine conspiracies out there. What the fuck’s capitalism/corporatism if not a conspiracy by a minority against the majority?

    But loons like Icke, with his claims that the Windsors are shape-shifting alien lizards, get other perfectly respectable conspiracy theorists tarred by the same brush. But conspiracies are only too real. These days, if you’re not a bit paranoid, it’s because you’re not paying attention…

  104. Solwing permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:27 PM

    Sorry Mish, I didn’t realize These Guys was a link to the OITC. I only first heard of this group recently. Fulford said in a post from July on his blog, that this organisation is:

    ….a sophisticated con. The man who goes by the moniker of “Whistleblower” is none other than the criminal operative David Salle. CIA and MI6 sources with “level 5” security clearance have confirmed that the OITC has previously defrauded the governments of Fiji, Ecuador and the Solomon Islands. Their instrument was a fake bank known as the Melchizedek bank.
    We can also confirm that R.C. Dam did at one point have high level financial clearance but that this was rescinded long ago. We can also confirm that he was largely raised by the CIA. Dam, a Cambodian, now lives in the Thai Royal compound in Bangkok. He cannot go to his native Cambodia because he would be killed there, the sources say.

    The OITC will now be dismantled. The parties conned by Mr. Salle and Daniele Del Bosco are eager to have their day in court and will have that opportunity in the near future. We are calling you out Mr. Salle, let us meet in a court of law.

    Salle has also defamed me with false and baseless accusations of criminal behavior. My role has simply been to point out to the Asians that they now control over 70% of the world’s financial resources and that they thus had the right to spend that money on ending poverty, stopping environmental destruction and starting a new era of prosperity and progress for the planet. The criminal psychopaths who wish to keep the Western world on a path of endless war have been doing everything possible to prevent this from happening.’

  105. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 10:34 PM

    My role has simply been to point out to the Asians that they now control over 70% of the world’s financial resources and that they thus had the right to spend that money on ending poverty, stopping environmental destruction and starting a new era of prosperity and progress for the planet.

    He’s not wrong but I do think he’s being a bit naive. China acts in its self-interest, which is hardly surprising, but doesn’t really give much grounds for thinking that they’re going to go all cuddly and whale-loving and Bono on us. I’d love to be wrong, mind (except for the Bono bit, obviously).

    RIP shlockmeister Dino De Laurentis:

  106. reine permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:45 PM

    Happy wedding day clan Augustine.

  107. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 10:51 PM

    …the local plant in Westport, which is responsible for the world’s entire supply of Botox.–from a Grauniad story about Ireland’s economy

    So it’s not all bad news, then. You may be skint and worried sick but you’ll look fabulously relaxed.

  108. November 11, 2010 11:03 PM

    Nearly time for my annual re-telling of the Hockney gag about Auden.

  109. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 11:11 PM

    Is that the ‘they’re not wrinkles, they’re laughter lines’ gag? If not, then by all means, wheel it out…or wheel it out anyway. Maybe Reine, being sweet sixteen and innocent in the ways of naughty gay poets and painters, doesn’t know it…

  110. Solwing permalink
    November 11, 2010 11:23 PM

    The thing with Icke is, as he says, he doesn’t put his ‘information’ (thoughts) out there and think the audience must agree with them, but merely to ‘make what you will of them’.

    There’s a case to be made that he is just another ina long line of great British eccentrics. I contextualize what he says as coming out of a freedom of speech and belief principle, people being free to believe anything they choose, and if he chooses to believe the Windsors are shape-shifting reptiles, I see no difference between that and Bush and Blair believing in their God, that they aren’t as vocal about but, who, unlike Icke’s, they have no problem professing a belief in, even though they contradict their God’s fundamental tenets; as per their crucial role in unleashing death and destruction.

    I look at what he says as a spectrum, with the stuff at the extreme ends, the reason for him being considered a loon; but the stuff in the middle of the spectrum, is interesting, well researched and sounds logical.

    There’s a video of him at a public meeting for his campaign to stand for parliament in Haltemprice and Howden, that Conservative MP David Davis resigned from on the Big Brother State issue, in which he exposed the links between the very organisations tasked with introducing Big Brother technologies, and Davis’s supproters and sponsors.

    Ridiculed, as he says, he went from one day being a respected TV Presenter, to the day after Wogan, people pointing and laughing at him everywhere he went for many years, until the basic thrust of what he was saying, started manifesting itself. He says it was the perfect learning curve because it removed all concern of what people thought about him, and there was poetic payback when he appeared on Wogan twenty years later and had the last laugh, reversing the situation and showing up the pointless sucker up to celebs, by getting the better of him in the verbal back and forth. The audience started laughing at Sir Terry when Icke made his last crack in response to Wogan trying to make him look daft, and the Limerick fella immediately cut the interview.

    Jon Ronson tried to make him look a dickhead in his documentary about him, doing his usual duplicitous maety matey routine with the subject of his filming, but when voicing over the footage, showing he is two-faced. It failed though, I think, because Icke comes across as a fairly ‘normal’ decent person. A great British eccentric.

    And there’s the human tragedy in him too, getting ripped off by his American publisher and ex-wife. But fair play to him because now he can sell out the Brixton Academy and various other places round the world, and whatever we say, writing 20 books is no mean feat.

  111. November 11, 2010 11:32 PM

    Robert Anton Wilson is the man for conspiracy theories: Illuminatus! Trilogy. Recommended.

    As for China they do love whales and all other forms of marine life, on a plate. Even I got a bit squeamish when in one restaurant they bludgeoned a young alligator to death and cut the steaks in full view, but it was a high-class banquet and as fresh as possible is expected…

    • November 12, 2010 8:58 AM

      Simon – a friend of mine working in Japan ordered a dish where the fish arrives at your table still twitching despite having been gutted.

      Once he had got over that detail the raw fish was apparently delicious.

      As it sounded a bit far fetched I asked him whether the movement he saw might not be a loose eyelash fluttering in his field of vision but he said it was a recommended dish in this particular restaurant.

  112. mishari permalink*
    November 11, 2010 11:43 PM

    Did you have a glass of fresh-squeezed snake’s blood with that, Simon?

    I don’t disagree with you, Des–I saw that program and my sympathies were with Icke and God knows, Jon Ronson leaves me cold.

    It’s just that the shape-shifting alien lizards business (while, as you say, not really any more absurd than Catholic or Muslim or Jewish doctrine) is just so…I dunno…unnecessary.

    The Windsor’s and their ilk are repellent enough and for perfectly explicable reasons. There’s no need to drag perfectly innocent shape-shifting alien lizards into it.

    But as you say, in the same way that Isaac Newton’s crackpot beliefs in no way negate his insights into the nature of the world, Icke’s eccentric convictions on one or more subjects don’t negate his ability to dig up some truths as well…

  113. hic8ubique permalink
    November 11, 2010 11:43 PM

    Hm, I’ve inadvertently posted a reply out of sequence.
    I’ll have another go…

    The Augustine wedding adventure is a good reason to do it Ed, an outstanding event!
    I agree, children are an excellent reason to go through with a legal marriage. Absent that motivation, I suppose any legal provisions, such as health proxy, can be specified. The national standards vary widely though, I suspect.

    I know of a case in France in which an elderly gent tried to do his wife out of her share of their substantial assets when he abandoned her for a 40+ yrs younger girlfriend, but French law provided for the wife to retain 50%, presumably because there is a cultural tendency for this sort of development…

    I appreciate the Counter Punch link, Mishari, but I’m more excited about the bat costume just now.

    Steven~ when Baby hic was 4 and 5, her televisual experience revolved around several videos. She would gather props and costumes and arrange the sitting room for the event, then act out the entire film as it played. There was a Royal Ballet Beatrix Potter and a certain Cirque du Soleil that saw tremendous production.

    She gave us ‘shows’ as well, which were not quite extemporaneous, involving some preparation, but they were original and made use of furniture in previously un- thought-of ways.
    My suggestion is this: if you were to provide a film version of Die Fledermaus, that bat costume might have a regular airing, or maybe Annie Get Your Gun would be more the Augustine tone?
    Infant Phenomenon is at the theatre this evening in a party with six other dancers to see their classmate play the lead in Hairspray.

    Oh, I’ve just remembered another good one…
    When she was 4, I took her to see The Sleeping Beauty by the Boston Ballet. During the Blue Bird pas de deux, as the dancers (in tights) turned to ‘fly’ upstage, she proclaimed in crystalline voice for all the surrounding patrons to hear:
    ‘It’s rude to show your bum!’

  114. Solwing permalink
    November 12, 2010 12:07 AM

    Sorry Reen, I didn’t see your post.

    I am very well. It was a bit upsetting that the bastards won and slung me off the books blog, but when I left six weeks ago I felt it was the end of the three year roll. I’ve finished learning how to write there, can use all the punctuational tricks in the lit-kit and a few weeks ago, even began using the and & getting away with it. A great place to learn.

    We had the fourth year of the All Ireland Poetry Slam championships in Dublin two weeks ago, above in the International of Wexford Street, that Colm Keegan won. We have heats in each of the four provinces, that send in two poets to compete, in a rotating final, that began in Belfast 2007, Limerick 2008, Galway 2009 and now, finally the full circuit.

    I instigated it in 2007, to make amends to Gerry McNamara whose idea it was, and who used to run a weekly poetry night called Write and Recite, that had just started when I arrived in Dublin in 2004. It started in Brogans, where we had the hey days and for various comedic reasons, moved about a bit from pub to pub after we left Brogans because one of the regs went a bit doolally and started coming down reading very depressing doggerel about ‘certain people in my life who I do not like’ – ie, another, normal regular reader there.

    By the time we ended up in the Dukes, the fourth week there, I had become the nutter, by getting the night barred, for singing The Men Behind The Wire at top tilt, on the threshold of this august literary establishment boasting in oil and watercolour on their walls, of Kavanagh and Behan as being amongs their ex (barred) patrons. Gerry had to bar me from Write and Recite, and I was devastated because the weekly recital there had become my church, and so to make amends I put all my efforts into getting his All Ireland poetry competition idea, up and running.

    Now it has gone full circle, coinciding with finishing up at the books blog, my next project is poem of the week on Soundcloud. We are gonna get a different poet each Monday – ideally man woman man woman – round to Ingus, a Latvian musician mate who makes music on the computer, record a poem of the week in his home-studio – one version acapella, the other read over the music Ingus plays and does his DJ scracthing to – after which they are free to go, or stay and record whatever they want, for which we will give them 20 quid.

    An excuse to have a good time drinking a bottle of Bushmills, under the aegis of poetic play.

    • reine permalink
      November 12, 2010 8:50 AM

      Sorry I missed that Des, I was not far away getting caught up in oratory of another, far less interesting, kind. Happy all well with you and good to know the ampersand has found a new advocate. If I see you wandering around the mean streets I will accost you for an impromptu recital (or slip into the nearest shop doorway – ha). Hope you have settled well in your new home. I think of you as I drive by occasionally (en route somewhere as opposed to stalking you).

      Good morning Mishari, you are way too brain functional this early in the morning.

      Simon, if you pop in, I will work on my assignment today but have no access to Facebook today so will revert to you in due course. (Simon is initiating me in the ways of phonetics, it’s addictive).

      And, Hic, I finally got a chance to reply to your email earlier in the week.

      Later, darlings…

  115. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 12, 2010 6:48 AM

    Though I’ve not read all his books, I support David Icke the same way football fans support a lowly club like Blackpool. And if you’d put in serious time on the turnstiles on freezing February afternoons, loaded up to the gills with LSD, you’d be more than happy with his shape-shifting lizard schtick. Who knows, turquoise could become next year’s tangerine…

  116. mishari permalink*
    November 12, 2010 8:02 AM

    “The great thing is when you start seeing it in places like China and Afghanistan. It’s democracy. We’ve kind of given democracy back to the world.” —Simon Cowell on The X Factor

    The Scene–A cave in the mountains of Afghanistan. The time–Now.

    ALI is fiddling with a laptop, attempting to re-establish the satellite uplink. RASOOL enters, leans his AK-47 against the wall and sits down.

    RASOOL: What’s up, bud?

    ALI: I’m trying to get this TV program that looks really interesting. What have you been up to?

    RASOOL: Oh, you know…the same old same old…planting roadside bombs, burning down girls schools, driving the infidels from our rugged but backward homeland…

    : Cool…hang on…got it….yo, check this out, dude…

    : whoa…this stuff is the bomb…who is that guy? I love the trouser-waistband-just-below-the-nipples look…

    : That’s Simon Cowell and this is democracy…

    RASOOL: This is democracy…seriously?…dude, why wasn’t I told? This stuff is the business. I am, like, totally up with this, yo…

    : I hear you, guy…I mean, like, hello?…why are we fighting?…this democracy is some seriously good shit…

    RASOOL: Roger that, dude…say, let’s go talk to the infidels, invite them for a barbeque or something…

    ALI: Outta sight, dude….shall we take our AKs?

    RASOOL: Nah…this is a friendly visit…we’ll just wear the explosive vests, but in, like, a totally non-threatening way, you feel me?

    ALI: On it. You think these infidels can introduce me to Cheryl Cole?

    RASOOL: If they can’t, we’ll threaten to blow them up…

    They both laugh and exit.

  117. November 12, 2010 8:49 AM

    Hockney spent several days drawing portraits of Auden in the early 70’s.

    At the end he said “If that’s the state of his face I shudder to think what his ball-bag looks like”.

  118. reine permalink
    November 12, 2010 8:53 AM

    Thanks Ed, I love an old testicle image to start the day. That’s two (images) and counting…

  119. November 12, 2010 9:02 AM

    reine it’s a yearly tradition. What can I do?

    In Lewes they burn modern celebrities on Firework night, in North Allerton they parade with flaming tar barrels on their head.

    Politely Homicidal has the autumnal Auden gag and in mid Summer it’s “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” day.

  120. November 12, 2010 9:19 AM

    Re: Icke: could never decide if his thing is scripted or manipulated but he is a pretty high hedge (and a moat) between the average well-educated, rational person liable to vote… and the totality of “Conspiracy Theory Land”. He discredits almost every theory he touches. You have to wonder if they did a David Shayler on him (Shayler, you’ll recall, was an extremely persuasive, rational and articulate Whistleblower who, after a mysterious spell of re-education, returned as an Angels-and-Aliens-seeing Clown in a dress, undermining the credibility of all that damaging stuff he’d said about MI6 being assassin shops… and damaging the credibility of various Truth Movements by association… obviously with a gun to his head and, possibly, the heads of all his loved ones).

    I prefer my “Conspiracy Theorists” to be Old School and pre-Internet (when it really cost something to Push Against It); this guy was at it, against one of the most corrupt political machines in the US (Chicago), in the 1960s-2006:

    PS Hello Tom! Will dive deeper into your very interesting site…!

  121. mishari permalink*
    November 12, 2010 9:24 AM

    BTW, Ed, I meant to ask you, do you fancy Carlos (a 5 and a half hour docu-drama about Carlos The Jackal)?

    I’ve only had a quick scan but it looks good and received rave reviews. It’s a mainly French (Canal+) production in about 5 or 6 languages (all subtitled except English); it was a big-budget production and it shows…

  122. November 12, 2010 9:33 AM

    Sounds good Mishari. Winter draws in and there’s nowt like a long documentary on an assassin to warm the cockles.

  123. November 12, 2010 9:39 AM

    SA There was obviously something about Shayler that couldn’t resist the attention. Or having been cut loose from the MI6 pay-roll he needed to make money quickly and easily.

    He appeared on lots of chat shows and satirical quiz-shows on TV shortly after his revelations and as you say what he actually revealed became a side-show and eventually forgotten

  124. mishari permalink*
    November 12, 2010 9:52 AM

    I’ll pop that in today’s post, Ed. You’re right about Shayler though, Steven. His journey from credible insider to bad joke was suspiciously rapid, making his original claims all the more plausible, I think….

    Did you know that if you google the word ‘google’, you’ll break the internets? Not a lot of people know that.

  125. November 12, 2010 12:58 PM

    Mishari I suspected that the Afghan Taliban all spoke like Valley girls so thanks for confirming this.

    Will await Carlos. I emailed you a week or so ago to send something in return for all this downloading. Maybe I sent it to the wrong e-address???

  126. November 12, 2010 3:41 PM

    I was at school with David Shayler. In election year ’83 I stood as the Labour candidate in the school’s election while he stood as the Tory candidate (his platform, as I recall, was ‘hang ’em, flog ’em and send the bastards back to where they came from’). He won, with 125 votes; I was last, with 7 votes (one of which was mine). I have always been bitter about this, but seeing the state of him now I feel better.

  127. hic8ubique permalink
    November 12, 2010 5:35 PM

    Hi Simon~
    Here’s a page for you to have a look at:
    Varian is the largest employer on Cape Ann. They send their people to the far East frequently for month-long stints. No idea whether it’s an appropriate suggestion, but within range of PhD options if you were inclined this way.

  128. November 12, 2010 5:56 PM

    Congrats, Steve!!!!

    The late Auden may have to some degree resembled Simon’s bludgeoned alligator, I believe.

    Hereabouts the fauna have more to fear from the traffic than from the bludgeon… though one violent end is perhaps as bad as any other.

  129. November 12, 2010 6:42 PM

    Tom Henry Moore did a beautiful series of drawings of Auden’s skin making it resemble a churned up battlefield.

    If there hadn’t have been a label saying ” Studies of WH Auden” next to the drawings when I saw them years ago in London it would have taken a lifetime to figure out that they were details of his wrinkles.

  130. Solwing permalink
    November 12, 2010 9:37 PM

  131. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 13, 2010 12:24 AM

    Thanks for the discs, boss. Now I need to find a five-hour time slot. Shouldn’t be difficult.

    Now I’m wondering which party Simon stood for at his school election. 7 votes seems a little high for the Labour Party of Michael Foot, so I’m plumping for Democratic Monarchist.

    I’ve never seen David Icke at Tesco. Perhaps he’s a Sainsbury’s man.

  132. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 13, 2010 12:25 AM

    Sainsburys’? I suppose they are grocers.

  133. hic8ubique permalink
    November 13, 2010 4:18 AM

    MM, do you know what christophermarlowe is talking about?
    He has an amazing facility for making elegant statements that leave me entirely empty-handed. I reread three and four times and get Nothing.
    Maddening. Here’s his latest:

    “Perhaps the poem’s diaphragm – its breathing between two of many pairs of ages -feigns testimony and its truth like a child’s mask? The “unbroken voice” is here. There is no wardrobe. No dust. The reader, of a kind, is already abstracted?”

    This reader, of a sort, is driven to distraction.

  134. mishari permalink*
    November 13, 2010 10:36 AM

    Why Americans Should Be Hunting Down Goldman Sachs Partners And Hanging Them From Lamposts:

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 13, 2010 3:24 PM

      I’ve hung this from my lamp-post; ie. (despite its presentation) I’ve sent it to the dozen most vocal/viral people I know.
      There’s a local family who were exposed several years ago for receiving dividends in the several millions every year for ‘administering’ a trust designated for the aid of inner-city children. They seem to carry on unfazed, at least to outward appearances, buying more properties &c.
      Last year when a summer-camp experience for Boston neighbourhood kids to have a day on the harbour was in immediate jeopardy, they had a chance to drop a cheque for $25K and save the programme, but they couldn’t get off the phone fast enough.

      When such people are tolerated on a personal level in an island community, not hanged, is it no wonder the grand scale evil (beyond my comprehension) is played out unobstructed?

  135. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 13, 2010 2:07 PM

    I, too, am mystified, hic. It’s mindnumbing.

    This afternoon my plan is to watch the Boers slaughtering Wales at the Millennium Stadium. I can’t be there today (important TV to enjoy), but my heart goes out to the burly burghers in their battle against the hairy subhumans of the Dark Province.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 13, 2010 3:30 PM

      I hadn’t noticed y Cymro was particularly hairy, MM. Is that so?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 13, 2010 6:58 PM

  136. November 13, 2010 2:35 PM

    hic/MM it sounds like he’s complaining that the poem has no sense of any life lived or observed but does so using means of expression that would to appear to add his own writing to that complaint.

    I’ve noticed that my own vocabulary has reached its end-point. When I read a word I don’t understand, I look it up, get its meaning and carry on reading but the next time I encounter that word, I know I should know what it means but I just haven’t retained it in my memory bank.

    It could be that I’m getting on and my memory isn’t what it was but hic/MM it sounds like he’s complaining that the poem has no sense of any life lived or observed but does so using means of expression that would to appear to add his own writing to that complaint.

  137. November 13, 2010 3:17 PM

    I was going to stand for the Communist Party but no-one else was willing to stand for Labour so I was inveigled into it. I made the Foot manifesto much more radical but the electorate didn’t want it; can’t think why. One of my nicknames at school was Brezhnev; perhaps that was it. I do remember extolling the virtues of Albania as a workers’ paradise, which was a bit thin even for a 14 year old. You live and learn. North Korea on the other hand…

    Thanks for the job link Hic. What I know about semi-conductors you could write on the back of my ’83 voting slips, but I suppose I could try to bluff it.

  138. hic8ubique permalink
    November 13, 2010 3:36 PM

    I thought such a firm must need language specialists to, you know, do other stuff, Simon.

    EdT that’s the very problem! As I move from one phrase to the next, I’ve lost any sense of how each relates to its predecessor.
    He seems so earnest, I haven’t the heart to pursue it with him.

  139. mishari permalink*
    November 13, 2010 4:29 PM

    And now, the moment you’ve all been hoping and praying for: the death of Justin Beiber:

  140. November 13, 2010 4:31 PM

    “I’ve noticed that my own vocabulary has reached its end-point.”

    “In my end is the beginning of my end-point.”

    Hang on but a few more annums or autumns, Ed, and you’ll find yourself noticing this over and over again, on virtually a daily basis, and just as frequently forgetting it, so that when it then happens again, you’ll find that… (& c.)

    Extra time, this is perhaps called.

    Of course one ought to speak strictly within the limits of one’s own experience, but then latterly one has felt a dangerous universalist swelling up within one… perhaps this is how Sigourney Weaver felt when pregnant with the Alien.

    Speaking of strange fetuses, Melton, did you by chance happen, in betwixt dark passing daydreams of the rugger, to catch any bits of the Villa/United affair? Ged’s new Villa put out an array of strange young fetuses, and nearly did something they haven’t been able to do in lo these past thirty tries. But then didn’t. (Another feeling with which one is familiar.)

  141. November 13, 2010 5:07 PM

    Tom I’m hoping like Man Utd. I can stage a fight back in the last 10 minutes vocab-wise but it’s looking less and less likely.

  142. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 13, 2010 7:15 PM

    I haven’t seen it yet, Tom, but I aim to catch it on MOTD. How they always manage to escape defeat at the last minute beats me.

    You look more like a Beria to me, Simon.

    Who is this Edward Taylor person?

    • mishari permalink*
      November 13, 2010 7:27 PM

      It’s my understanding that Edward Taylor is a notorious art-pest, much given to touring Europe with a giant inflatable pig.

      He inflates said pig and places it in busy urban areas so as to ensure maximum annoyance and inconvenience to taxpayers and hard-working families..

      I think we should string him up: it’s the only language (ie melodramatic) that these ‘theatrical’ types understand…

  143. November 13, 2010 7:36 PM

    removes spent cigarette from cigarette holder.

    I’d say you’ve got it in one Mishari. Though notorious is perhaps an over-estimation. A legend in his own lunchtime is perhaps more accurate.

  144. November 13, 2010 7:46 PM

    I always quite fancied myself as Beria… Didn’t they shoot him though?

  145. mishari permalink*
    November 13, 2010 8:25 PM

    They did…but your time at the top hasn’t been forgotten, comrade. How moved we all were by MM’s speech:

    “Comrades, we have heard at our Eighteenth Party Congress a report of struggle….led by our Party and its Hunterist Central Committee, directed by the genius of our great guide and leader, Comrade Hunter…

    Our victory in defeating the fascist agents – all these despicable Trotskyite, Bukharinites, EdwardTaylorites, hic8ubiqueites and bourgeois nationalists – we owe above all to the personal efforts of our great leader Comrade Hunter..

    The Hunterist Party of the British Bolsheviks…stand solid like a wall of steel around the Hunterist Central Committee around its beloved leader — our great Simon Hunter.

    The devotion of the Bolsheviks of the UK to Comrade Hunter reflects the boundless confidence and devotion which he enjoys among the whole British people…

    The British people has…rallied closer than ever around the Bolshevik Party and around our great leader, Comrade Hunter…

    Under the leadership of Comrade Hunter, the Bolsheviks of the UK have achieved great successes…

    Only as a result..of the special attention paid by Comrade Hunter to the development of British culture, have we achieved such momentous victories in the development of culture.

    That is why the British people proclaim with all their heart and soul, with the utmost affection and devotion: ..’Long live our beloved Hunter!’…

    Throughout the UK the Bolshevik ranks are now more firmly welded than ever.. in their loyalty to…their leader and teacher, the friend of the British people, Comrade Hunter…

    Long live the towering genius of all humanity, the teacher and guide who is leading us victoriously to communism our beloved Comrade Hunter!”

    M. Mowbray: Speech at 18th. Congress HPGB, March 1989, in: “The Land of Hunterism Today and Tomorrow”; Ryde; 1989; p.381, 382, 383, 389, 390.

    BTW, Ed, as there was spare room on the DVD, I added City of Men, a Brazilian flick from the people who made City of God and Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, a documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now.

  146. November 13, 2010 8:30 PM

    It arrived today, many thanks. I wondered what Heart of Darkness was – couldn’t remember if there was a recent film made of the novel.

    Are you watching Apocalypse – Second World war on Channel 4? Bit of a daft title but the footage is eye-opening. Most film of that time tends to view things in mid-distance but this filming gets in close and gives it even more of an emotional kick.

  147. mishari permalink*
    November 13, 2010 8:47 PM

    I haven’t but I’ll play catch-up on your recommendation.

    I recently watched Vietnam: A Television History, an 80s documentary series made by PBS in the US (11 hours long, 6 years in the making).

    Although the commentary is a bit pro forma, the footage is absolutely jaw-dropping–talk about close-up. In fact, I’ll pass along a copy, if you’ve never seen it.

  148. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 14, 2010 12:06 AM

    I thought that speech had been suppressed after the completely fair trial of revisionist lackey Hunter. I shall have to institute enquiries through the NKVD (Newchurch and Knighton Village Deathsquad).

    I watched the game and all I can say is jammy United bastards.

  149. November 14, 2010 1:19 PM

    MM do you think it’s jammy? There’s no way I would willingly praise Man Utd. but they do seem to have a jinx on teams.

    Rather like Bjorn Borg ( a man dear to your heart ) at his prime. I remember seeing his opponents occasionally go 2 sets up only to crumble at the thought of having to win the 3rd set thus allowing him to prey on that indecision.

    Utd. strike me like that. Though they seem to be gradually losing that aura this season. Draws rather than wins seem to be the order of the day. But I think that aura definitely got to Spurs a few weeks back. Spurs have the better individual players but threw the towel in almost immediately.

  150. November 14, 2010 3:11 PM

    Has my photo been airbrushed out of the NKVD monthly newsletter following my completely fair trial for imperialist running-dog lackeyism?
    That was a fine speech you gave, MM, back in the glorious days when… (continues for 4 hours 33 minutes of droning tedium).

  151. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 14, 2010 4:40 PM

    I must confess (no, not the face!) that speech was in fact ghostwritten by ci-devant ‘Prince’ Mishari Al-Adwani, who, post-perestroika, bought up our country’s soft-furnishing plants and now runs his giant concern Snazzprom from his heavily-guarded mansion in East London.

    I suppose you’re right, ET. I just can’t bear giving Utd credit for anything. Of course it was Bjorn’s close-set eyes, with their hypnotic power, which did for his opponents and the legions of gorgeous girls who fell for him. They had quite the opposite effect for me.

  152. mishari permalink*
    November 14, 2010 5:15 PM

    Nonsense. I mean, who are you going to believe? A crypto-Trotskyite bourgeois revisionist splitter like Melton ( Rockefeller) Mowbray or a multi-billionaire soft-furnishings magnate/philanthropist? My ‘security team’ (Sasha, Igor, Dmitri and Crusher) will be round your gaff for an answer later tonight (expect a knock on the door at around 3 AM).

  153. November 14, 2010 5:19 PM

    Soft furnishings? I thought you were big in velcro?

  154. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 14, 2010 7:08 PM

    Yes, a rip-off merchant.

    I found that Justin Bieber thing up there a bit puzzling, since I had literally never heard of him (I’m thinking of applying to be a judge). When I finally get round to looking at the G Weekend mag he’s all over it, being interviewed by J Ronson. Seems a nice enough young chap, and shares my aversion to, or lack of interest in, a parting. So fucking lay off, yeah?

  155. Reine permalink
    November 14, 2010 10:55 PM

    Read that Justin interview on train down west last night, strange young man. Not as strange as the drunk fella who came and sat opposite me and asked me to borrow a piece of paper and a biro so that he could write down my address. Spookily, we are not to be pen pals.

    An entertaining journey on the whole, overheard and transcribed for my own amusement an entire phone conversation where a man said it was “mighty shtuff, you’d need to polish your one” (naturally I was curious, transpired it was tractor polish) and discourse on the man’s friend’s savage appetite …”those small bags of spuds wouldn’t do him at all, you’d need some of those long Records, the size of a small teapot or a big tit”. He caught my eye at that point, apologetically, can’t imagine why.

  156. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 14, 2010 10:57 PM

    I forgot to mention this story from the local paper:

    ‘A 72-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were arrested following complaints that they were involved
    in a sexual act on an Island beach.

    IOW police are appealing for witnesses after they were
    called to Shanklin Esplanade on Sunday afternoon following concerns expressed by members of the public about two people who appeared to be involved in a sexual act.

    A woman from Surrey and a man from the Derby area were both arrested on suspicion of being involved in an act of outraging public decency. Investigating officers would like to speak to members of the public who were on Shanklin beach on Sunday afternoon.

    One witness, who did not want to be named, said ‘No one could believe what they were doing. Someone called the police, but it took them a long time to come.’

    Not surprising at his age.

    • Reine permalink
      November 14, 2010 11:06 PM

      MM, my mother found your anecdote so amusing, she spat out her wine and said “could you imagine your father being caught in Old Head (our beach of choice)?”

  157. mishari permalink*
    November 14, 2010 11:26 PM

    So, let me get this straight: the filth have nicked some poor couple and are now appealing for prurient busybodies to come forward so that they can prosecute? Christ…what the IOW needs is a few Whitechapel boys to come down there and give them a serious job of work to do, the workshy hoors…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 14, 2010 11:42 PM

      It’s not exactly a quality force. A PC came round once to get some info on something or other one day. He sat on the sofa, got his notebook out and started asking questions. On the back of the notebook someone had drawn a large cock and balls with ‘THIS IS YOU’ scrawled next to it. I didn’t bother apprising him of the graffito.

    • November 15, 2010 9:06 AM

      Was that police constable Auden by any chance MM?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:02 PM

      He did have a wrinkled aspect. His questions, however, were prosaic in the extreme.

  158. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:35 PM

    Glad the story went down well, sorry the wine didn’t. Prince Mishari is very fond of trains. The chap who approached you wasn’t wearing eye-shadow, was he?

  159. Reine permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:40 PM

    Had it been the prince, naturally I would have written my details in lipstick on his manly chest.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 14, 2010 11:54 PM

      His chest doesn’t show in my picture,Re, ( how do you know?) but his eyes certainly are shadowy.
      Cap d’Agde problems are spreading to the IoW, MM…
      Maybe the couple were inspired by the GU article.

    • Reine permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:02 AM

      Oh God, Hic, I’ve been to Cap d’Agde (full of hope of raunching sightings after Atomised) but only lots of oldies walking their poodles. I won’t be returning.

    • Reine permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:08 AM

      As to his chest, I’m extrapolating.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 15, 2010 10:34 AM

      Just teasing.
      It was the lipstick and man-chest-hair united
      image that wasn’t working for me.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 15, 2010 11:58 AM

      I think you meant ‘mangy chest’, didn’t you?

    • Reine permalink
      November 15, 2010 2:32 PM

      I’m always confusing the g and l. Well, if the chest is too hairy, I’m an inventive girl, could write it on his cheeks.

  160. mishari permalink*
    November 14, 2010 11:42 PM

    Eye-shadow? In the daytime? Jesus, you are so out of touch…

    BTW, MM…I’ve just watched the first 2 episodes of a new series called The Walking Dead (from the same cable channel that made Breaking Bad).

    It’s very enjoyable if somewhat gruesome. Stars some fellow named Andrew Lincoln as a small-town American sheriff. Apparently, he’s English and used to play ‘Egg’ on ‘This Life’, which might mean something to you but didn’t to me as I’d never watched it. I’ll pass it along when enough episodes have been broadcast to make it worthwhile…

  161. pinkroom permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:43 PM

    A Wet, November Sunday

    The health and fitness club was full today.
    A deluge brought Mercedes’ full of brats
    to its indoor pool, like overfed rats
    drowned between car doors and their whining play.
    Sauna? Bearable, if too full I’d say,
    but the adult swimming lanes: full of twats,
    shaven headed scumbags, with Chelsea tats,
    thrashing briefly, then standing half the day
    talking shite, in their “diamond geezer” way,
    “Made eighty grand on those Gasworks Road flats,
    for doing fuck all, but since then… it’s slow.”
    Then in the hot tub, enjoying his stay,
    some pompous G.P. drones away and pats
    my arm, expecting me to listen. No.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 14, 2010 11:54 PM

      Finely drawn, pr. I can almost smell the ozone.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:52 AM

      ‘thrashing briefly’ is the best, but yes very fine.

  162. Reine permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:45 PM

    It was ten p.m. Mish but the commuters on the Westport train are not fans of eyeshadow by the look of them. I mascaraed for the lot of us.

  163. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:49 PM

    Thanks, good of you. I watched a fair bit of ‘This Life’ (Mrs M was a fan) so I’m familiar with Lincoln: he seemed a bit nerdy in that, but of course he was acting. I think he was in ‘Teachers’ as well (Mrs M NOT a fan). I must say I’m really enjoying ‘Justified’.

  164. Reine permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:53 PM

    Mammy thinks we are all mad, she might be on to something.

  165. Reine permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:54 PM

    And she’d like me to point out if anyone we know reads this that Daddy is neither 72 nor inclined to be having al fresco sex. She isn’t saying anything about in fresco.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:02 AM

      Sorry. The story’s already on its way to the Galway Inquirer.

      ‘Westport Woman Denies Husband Has Sex On Beach’

    • Reine permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:11 AM

      LOL. We are off to our virgin couches now to dream of windswept beaches. Goodnight all.

  166. mishari permalink*
    November 14, 2010 11:58 PM

    Yeah, I liked Justified a lot. Olyphant was just right in the role and it was fun seeing Walter Goggins from The Shield get to extend himself a bit more. There’s another season on the way. I’ll keep you posted.

    Lincoln is actually very good in TWD. I was surprised to discover that he’s English (although not as surprised as I was when I discovered that Jimmy McNulty was actually an Old Etonian from Sheffield: that really threw me).

    Fine poem, PR…ennui at the rec?

  167. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 15, 2010 12:12 AM

    Time for me to ascend the stairs once more. A bientot!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:43 AM


    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 15, 2010 12:05 PM

      All right, allright. I was tired, bit of a headache, back playing up a bit… I’m sure I’ve said this before somewhere.

  168. mishari permalink*
    November 15, 2010 12:23 AM

    “…the then business secretary Lord Mandelson expressed a dislike for the Lib Dems’ £2m mansion tax, asking “Haven’t the rich suffered enough?”–The Grauniad, today

    Sometimes, I think it would be nice to have Stalin in the saddle here in Britain, just for a week or so…he’d know how to take care of this unspeakable slime-ball….

  169. hic8ubique permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:32 AM

    I’ve been lying awake utterly saturated in pop music from the 80s. The time warp hasn’t let go since a party for a 30 yr old two nights ago. Took me a day or so to figure out why I knew all the songs, but I was a gym rat in the late 80’s, the only possible explanation. I have a new Arvo Pärt I could listen to today; that may be my antidote.

  170. November 15, 2010 1:53 PM

    Stalin! I must finish that sonnet to the great man in the hope that I can be reprieved from my entirely fair death sentence for imperialist run…

  171. hic8ubique permalink
    November 15, 2010 5:24 PM

    Compelling version of the PotW, Vicar.

    Be sure when you visit it, Reine, to have your boldest lipstick at the ready. Plenty of topography to choose from…

    (Need I mention here…? that the parallel is being drawn between admirable torsos without allusion to archaism, lest I soon be obliged to offer salaams and prostrations at the tastefully spotlit shrine.)

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 15, 2010 6:04 PM

      Yours too, Moon, if you’re about… I hadn’t seen it yet.
      ‘Get a life’ ha! and ‘pout’ is wonderful.

  172. November 15, 2010 7:05 PM

    Reine just say the word and I’ll get a Red Cross parcel over to you.

    There’s quite a bit of cheese in the fridge at the moment but I suppose you’d prefer something that didn’t remind you of government policy.

  173. mishari permalink*
    November 15, 2010 8:12 PM

    The coalition appear to be complete imbeciles. Not content with alienating the police (who they’re going to need with increasing frequency, you can bet), they’re now alienating the lawyers. Let’s hope the Cleggaron’s suicide note isn’t too drawn out…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 15, 2010 10:58 PM

      More and more you get the feeling they don’t really know what they’re doing. That thing with the banks was a classic. The tax is yielding more money than we expected. God, what shall we do? Oh, I know – let’s reduce it. WTF?

  174. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 15, 2010 9:09 PM

    Ta hic. But I bow as ever to the Rural Dean.

    I awake, annoyed, to find I have once more slept through University Challenge and have still to see the poker-playing daughter of Alan Coren in her game show. I know her only as a rather smug-looking avatar in the Observer. Perhaps others here, more worldly, could prick my mild infatuation if they think she’s not worth the trouble…

  175. Captain Ned permalink
    November 15, 2010 9:39 PM

    Victoria Coren’s voice, I assure you, is even more annoying than her face. I have watched no more than five minutes of Only Connect, and the only thing that could make it worse is Stephen Fry. The very presence of a game show, especially a ‘highbrow’ gameshow, on BBC4 is disheartening to me.

    On the other hand, she did write rather an entertaining article about her dad’s memorial service:

  176. November 15, 2010 9:46 PM

    If you’re not a poker player ( and I’m not ) her poker column for the Guardian is, bar the use of a few verbs and pronouns completely unintelligible.

    I read it every week and am no closer understanding any of it.

  177. Reine permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:20 PM

    That’s thoughtful of you Ed, I’ll pass on the cheese thanks. I’d welcome any kind of parcel really, I do love a big package.

  178. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:52 PM

    Thanks, hic. I cribbed from HLM’s superfine version.

    Mrs M is a fan of Only Connect (which is clearly a show for the more mature viewer, to judge from Captain Ned’s review) so I am in a position to tell you that VC is an attractive woman with fine embonpoint who wears exceptionally tight dresses. I must agree with Cap’n Ned on the timbre of her voice, which sounds like highly-stressed corrugated iron.

  179. hic8ubique permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:17 PM

    Re, I’ve never known anyone with your facility to turn any topic toward her pet fetish. You impress me daily.

    Moon~ good to have you about the place. Does your new moniker suggest you’ve sold the house, or that you’re still ‘away’?

    I’ve had a look/listen to VC and I’d say her GU avatar does not do her justice. Her embonpoint is confined to the appropriate regions (in the waist up version I examined)
    but her voice is indeed the sort one might acquire by staying up every night screaming as well as maintaining densely impacted sinuses.
    Oh well, here she is for you, Moon… a little something of Natasha Richardson about her perhaps:

  180. Reine permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:26 PM

    HIC-U-BIQUE! I beg your pardon. I have been positively saintly for at least a week now although I own up to my little fall off the wagon above.

    Lucky Victoria won’t be needing any parcels from Ed. I may take up poker.

  181. Reine permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:33 PM

    I forgot the 8 – apologies.

  182. mishari permalink*
    November 15, 2010 11:34 PM

    Cat Comes To Grips With Technology:

  183. Captain Ned permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:35 PM

    It’s like Joan Greenwood impersonating Gillian Taylforth.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 15, 2010 11:42 PM

      You’ve boggled my mind, Captain.

  184. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:40 PM

    I have a vague idea that she was involved in the making of porn films at one time.

    Shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I never thought her father’s work very amusing. That Idi Amin stuff was embarrassing even for an insensitive 16-year-old. My son, however, read and re-read his Golfing For Cats as a child. More insensitive than me, of course.

  185. hic8ubique permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:45 PM

    Sorry sorry, Luv, I recant, and genuflect most humbly at your (tumescent) shrine.
    Giving thanks for the thoughtfully provided prie dieu kneeler.

  186. Reine permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:49 PM

    A cushioned kneeler is most important, all that bowing down before the shrine can be wearing on the joints. I carry a collapsable one in my handbag for impromptu thanksgiving and intercession.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 16, 2010 12:07 AM

      Say it’s not so~ Not thanksgiving for cheese hampers!
      surely it hasn’t come to that.

  187. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 15, 2010 11:58 PM

    I rise from the sofa and go,
    with a pause to adjust my truss,
    my footsteps faltering and slow,
    to seek the arms of Morpheus.

    Will that do?

  188. mishari permalink*
    November 16, 2010 12:03 AM

    I must have a go at translating that Rilke poem; unfortunately, my brain feels like wet cement at the moment. However, unlike the comedy duo of Mowbray & Moon (‘a song;a joke;a pie in the face–reasonable rates, discounts for pensioners’), I shall stick to Rilke’s ABBA, CDDC, EEF, GFG rhyme-scheme…(he said, with a confidence he didn’t really feel)

  189. Reine permalink
    November 16, 2010 12:05 AM

    Oh God Hic, you’ve turned him.

    I rise from the sofa and go
    With a pause in the loo for a piss
    my footsteps faltering and slow
    to seek the arms of Iris (when Morpheus is finished).

  190. hic8ubique permalink
    November 16, 2010 1:17 AM

    I’m as lost as I could be, you two, what it is I’ve done?
    but yes, Mishari, you must have a go. Of that I am certain.

    • Reine permalink
      November 16, 2010 8:12 AM

      Hic, MM was trying to announce his departure to bed in a more scintillating way for you.

  191. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 16, 2010 3:38 AM

    Thanks for the research, hic. I must admit I did some of my own, but your clip is more compelling viewing, if only for the gurning host, someone else I’ve missed in my relative TV sahara. But I won’t be too quick to condemn; he apparently likes the Grateful Dead, for which I can forgive him practically anything. As for Whatshername, she reminds me of a seldom-seen friend whose voice, believe it or not, is her most engaging quality: a honeyed embrace of the common cold.

    I shall check out Victoria’s quiz next week, safe in the knowledge that her wit and charm pale alongside those of regular residents here. For my part, I am sleeping badly for the first time in my life, and today meet with yet more estate agents to decide the fate of Albatross Cottage. The process in France is a lengthy one, and that means I shall be living here until the spring.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 16, 2010 4:55 AM

      He did come across as Sponge Bob going for the prize without a horse-collar.

      “she reminds me of a seldom-seen friend whose voice, believe it or not, is her most engaging quality: a honeyed embrace of the common cold.”

      I’m just floundering in ambiguities tonight. Must be time to ‘turn in’. Your foregoing remark seems to mean either that you love her voice, or that the friend is an unmitigated nightmare.

      Perhaps your sleep will improve as the season settles in… and truly good to hear from you; you’ve been too scarce. I hope we do strive to keep everyone’s infatuations in house, insofar as is virtually possible.

  192. November 16, 2010 8:45 AM

    Which channel was this again? Politely Homicidal or Desperate Housewives?

    “Hic, MM was trying to announce his departure to bed in a more scintillating way for you.”

    Newly-minted imaginary aspects of that legendary hero which is Melton emerge with each titillating teddy-flounce.

    (Mish, great dramatist that you are, relieve one’s mind, please, and confess you’ve made these characters up.)

    Steady on, then.

  193. November 16, 2010 8:46 AM

    After a few years of telling all and sundry we live in a broken Britain Cameron is now attacking those who say the country is going downhill.

    What gives? Apart from the screamingly, bleedingly obvious.

  194. mishari permalink*
    November 16, 2010 10:33 AM

    Tsk-tsk, Ed…I do hope you’re not what the Blessed St. Tony of Basra used to call a ‘wrecker’? If Camaclegg says it was broken, then it was broken. I guess he must have fixed it. Why be so cynical?

  195. November 16, 2010 11:00 AM

    Don’t go too hard on the fellow, Mishari. A too close whiff of the perfumed stink of an upmarket cyberbrothel will harden the gentlest of souls.

  196. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:24 AM

    I was responding to your brutal comment of the 15th, at 12.43am, hic, as Reine says. Superlative poems from you both, btw, on the POTW. Always interesting to have the female angle, of course. When writing something for the last thread on PH and flagging a bit on the invention front, I asked for some ideas on on what might cause Mrs M not to like a chap (having read out some chunks I’d already done). She went through sweaty and smelly and then said ‘What’s all this about liking, anyway? You don’t have to like someone to have sex with them, you just have to fancy them.’

    I’m not sure which category I come into, but I can’t agree. In the very distant days (pre-marriage) when I (it happened occasionally) had sex, then fancying and liking were aspects of the same thing. Bloody annoying, in retrospect, that I didn’t pursue more women I disliked.

    If I’d been invented by Prince Mishari, Tom, I would hope to be better-looking, richer and more talented.

    • Reine permalink
      November 16, 2010 11:46 AM

      Thanks for the compliment MM, I thought Hic’s “inert wick” quite brilliant. We were merely following in the wonderful trail blazed by HLM and yourself.

      If you will pardon my impertinence, I’m sure you mean us to read the absent qualifier “with people other than my wife” above; you have surely had sex post-marriage?

      I see where Mrs. M is coming from but having done a quick calculation on the abacus, I don’t think I have ever had sex with anyone I disliked.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 16, 2010 1:44 PM

      Nor I, though in the case of my ex-spouse I found myself able to cultivate a refined distaste.

      Thanks Re. I thought your ‘demi-man’ an inspired choice.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 16, 2010 8:04 PM

      I don’t think she meant with someone you actively dislike, just that liking/not liking comes second to sexual attraction. I added my own spin to it, of course.
      Robert Graves wrote something about it:

      Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girls
      Married impossible men?…

      Repeat ‘impossible men’: not merely rustic,
      Foul-tempered or depraved
      (Dramatic foils chosen to show the world
      How well women behave, and always have behaved).

      Impossible men: idle, illiterate,
      Self-pitying, dirty, sly,
      For whose appearance even in city parks
      Excuses must be made to casual passers-by.

      Works the other way as well, I suppose, though in my experience it’s much rarer.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 16, 2010 2:02 PM

      I see now. So sorry, my dear, it was only meant as mild approbation of your whimsical flourish.
      I’ll appeal to my script writer to tighten up my hospital corners every morning and apply more antiseptic…

      I’m pleased you liked my effort with Stutt’s Rilke. It’s not meant to hold up on its own as a poem, but to disturb a complacent reading of her first version as it leads up to the last line.
      I’ll need a bit of time with the original to see whether I feel a similar ambiguity from Rilke.

  197. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:26 AM

    Joseph Vissarionovitch! You are
    deserving of the appellation ‘great’
    as Marxist-Leninism’s shining star,
    leader and symbol of the Soviet state.

    Great helmsman and controller of events,
    your shield protects the average punter
    from deviant hooligan elements
    such as provocateur Simon Hunter.

    Stalin! Father and master of our fate,
    how far does your compassion surpass
    the saboteur Trotsky, when we contemplate

    the many members of the working-class,
    grandparents, children, husbands and wives,
    relieved of their formerly wretched lives!

  198. mishari permalink*
    November 16, 2010 1:44 PM

    Orchestra Abuses Cat:

  199. hic8ubique permalink
    November 16, 2010 2:04 PM

    blast. my 2:02 is in reply to you, MM.

  200. November 16, 2010 6:48 PM

    Now hear the far-off rumble
    The horizon’s streaked with lead
    Something monstrous this way comes
    The luckiest are dead

    Rip out the wires, avoid the streets
    Destroy all televisions
    Stop up your ears with concrete
    Quiet your eyes with deep incisions

    There’ll be a storm of horror soon
    To cheer the glum and harried
    A deluge comes, beat muffled drums
    Prince William’s getting married

    With twenty-four hour rolling news
    We, thankful, have the time
    To properly investigate
    The smiles, the girl, the slime

    Goodbye to war, to poverty
    To cholera and plague
    They’ll still be there but replaced on air
    With speculation vague

    About Kate’s body-language
    When first speaking to the press
    Was she too bold, too shy, too cold?
    Ooh – will she wear a dress?

    ‘And will it be of satin, silk
    Brocade or Spanish lace?’
    Gok Wan will ask, his colour-mood chart
    Super-imposed on Middleton’s face

    The horsemen of apocalypse
    (called Royal Correspondents)
    Will beg for every rumoured cake:
    Rich fruit, goat’s blood or fondant?

    In an age of touchy-feely, post-Di
    Openess and all
    Bring on the live-cam wedding night:
    Bed, Will, Kate and McAll

    Perhaps it’s perfect timing now
    As riot’s spectre creeps
    Over Millbank, hospitals
    Whilst half the nation sleeps

    Perhaps a vulgar, garish spectacle
    Will scorch their bedding
    And Incite a revolution…
    Nah, we love a Royal Wedding

  201. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 16, 2010 8:06 PM

    TKO, Exit!

  202. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 16, 2010 9:40 PM

    Is that the latest variation in your “up the hill to Bedfordshire” series, MM?

    Kudos, Baron.

  203. November 16, 2010 9:44 PM

    What struck me watching the Channel 4 news ( apart from the sheer horror of it all ) was how William is starting to look like Alan Partridge.

    The only sympathy I could extend them was in having to pose whilst dozens of camera flash bulbs strobed away incessantly. Otherwise the revolution can’t come soon enough.

    good poem XB

  204. mishari permalink*
    November 16, 2010 9:50 PM

    I see that Mills & Moon (better known as publishers of romantic novels) have beaten me to the punch on rhyming that Rilke poem–the bastards (although Moon’s stripped-for-speed racing version was outstanding).

    I must pop over to Limerick and firebomb Mills’ moustache; then it’s off to Paris to pour quick-setting cement down Moon’s drains…but I’m not bitter…

  205. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 16, 2010 10:39 PM

    8.06 is a little early for bed chez Mowbray, HLM, though I’m usually ready for it by 4.06.

    Willy giving her his mummy’s ring seems a bit odd, since it wasn’t exactly a dream marriage, and Queen K/Catherines have had some very mixed experiences. He seems more normal than his father. I think I would have preferred a King Harry. Likely to bring the republic along a touch more quickly.

  206. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 16, 2010 10:41 PM

    2 seems. Doctor, I have the Taylor Virus. Help me! [It’s unseemlyEd.]

  207. mishari permalink*
    November 16, 2010 10:49 PM

    If it’s any consolation Ed, the poor sod’s going bald even faster than Uncle Eddie (briefly a Royal Marine, last heard of serving as a teaboy to Andrew Lloyd-Website).

    The Windsors (or as the Kaiser joked when they changed their name ‘…ah yes…as in The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg Gotha…’)…what a crew, eh? If ever there was a plausible argument for the hereditary principle (highly dubious), the Windsors stand as the perfect refutation.

  208. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:14 PM

    I remember that ring. In another life (or so it seems) I worked for a jeweller in Worth Avenue, Palm Beach back in 1982. We had the double of the ring in our shop. When commissions of such importance are taken on, it’s standard practice to make two copies of the piece of jewellery, one as the main item, the other in case of screw-ups. One of the finest sapphires ever to pass through my hands. It was bought by a guy who owned the concession at the Breaker’s Hotel, if I remember correctly…

  209. November 16, 2010 11:16 PM

    Willy giving Katie Mummy’s ring brings up all sorts of images, none of them very pleasant.

    Joe Stalin!
    To the workers you’re a darling
    Disrespectful renegade Mowbray
    must be sent to the gulag on a slow sleigh

  210. hic8ubique permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:30 PM

    More rhymes in heaven and earth, Mishari. Do make an effort;
    I’m all anticipation…

    Robert Graves is more wry than I’d realised, MM. ‘Self-pitying’ was a surprise though. I thought that was more or less universal, unlike the other faults listed.
    Maybe something to do with me and the effect I have…

    I remember a ring too, Moon, an oval sapphire with diamonds surrounding? I worked for a goldsmith in the mid 80s.

  211. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:41 PM

    The stone on the ring did look quite spectacular. Let’s hope it doesn’t carry mummy’s luck.

    What a lot of careers you’ve had, HLM (I suppose you slept through Blackpool On Film on BBC4). How prosaic my life appears when I read some of the autobiographical material here. Well, I suppose someone has to keep the home fires burning… oh, fuck.

    Well, I have an appointment in Bedlington. Good night to you.

  212. Zeph permalink
    November 16, 2010 11:48 PM

    William must have caught an unwelcome reflection of the top of his head in a palace mirror and realised that time was running out if he didn’t want the nation to spend his whole wedding saying “Ooh, inne bald!” Very unforgiving, those high camera angles.

  213. hic8ubique permalink
    November 17, 2010 1:11 AM

    Odds Bodkin, but I am pleased.
    What about this, just for argument…
    ‘the loins, a valley to support’
    might be
    ‘the loins a keel drawn to support’
    a devilish cheek, I know, forgive my enthusiasm, M, it just struck me that way and I’m exuberant this balmy mild evening, not unseemly I hope.

  214. mishari permalink*
    November 17, 2010 1:31 AM

    Either one works, I think..but I also think my version’s simpler…or rather, the imagery is simpler: valleys as the support of hills, sort of thing. Mind you, the keel is good as a complement to the ‘prow’ I used. Actually, I’ll give it a think. I might use that when I post it to perp walk, with your blessing of course… I don’t like posting revisions on POTW, though. It seems a bit too precious…let’s see:

    The head is gone, we’ll never know
    its eloquence or mute appeal,
    the torso, though, like burnished steel
    emits a timeless, knowing glow.

    Were this not true, not manifest
    he’d be mere stone, unloved, unsought;
    the loins, a keel carved to support
    the bold, hard prow that is his breast.

    And he would be misshapen rock
    on which the past had placed a lock:
    as dull as a dead lion’s mane;

    nor radiance burst from his pelt
    and star-like, burn with truth and pain
    and speak to you: go find yourself.

    …not sure about the ‘knowing’ in the first stanza, coming so soon after ‘know’…and does the alliteration of ‘keel carved’ work?…I rather like it and the fact that ‘carved’ is a near-internal rhyme with ‘hard’ in the following line…what do you think?

  215. hic8ubique permalink
    November 17, 2010 2:57 AM

    ok, if you’re willing to play with that…

    The head is gone, we’ll never know
    its eloquence or mute appeal,
    the torso, though, like burnished steel
    emits a timeless, spoken glow.

    bit of a crunch, but might work, in the sense of speaking and of radiance, whilst preserving your assonance?

    and I like ‘carved’ quite well, especially with hard, and the wooden boat motif.
    (‘drawn’ was sort of a play on the line drawn and a boat ‘drawing’ a certain depth, I suppose.)

    “the loins, a valley to support
    the bold, hard prow that is his breast.”

    valley is appealing in its “v-ness”, so
    how about:

    “the loins, a valley to support
    the bold escarpment of his breast.”

    ? it’s rockier and has the appropriate angle.

    Charming of you to ask my blessing, M, but I’m just tossing the salad. It’s all yours to determine.

  216. mishari permalink*
    November 17, 2010 3:23 AM

    Although I do like ‘escarpment’ (good call), I want to stick with ‘prow’; Rilke uses the word bug which means ‘bow’ or ‘prow’…going, I think, for the idea of cleaving or cutting a path through something: time? memory? illusion? I like ‘spoken glow’ but I think perhaps ‘spoken’ is too…I dunno…unsubtle?… for what (I think) is happening…but it gives me an idea. So:

    The head is gone, we’ll never know
    its eloquence or mute appeal,
    the torso, though, like burnished steel
    emits a timeless murmured glow.

    Were this not true, not manifest
    he’d be mere stone, unloved, unsought;
    the loins, a keel carved to support
    the bold, hard prow that is his breast.

    And he would be misshapen rock
    on which the past had placed a lock:
    as dull as a dead lion’s mane;

    nor radiance burst from his pelt,
    to star-like, burn with truth and pain
    and speak to you: go find yourself.

    By the way, how did you know it was me so damn quickly? Am I really so obvious?

    • November 17, 2010 8:56 AM

      It’s your use of avatars plus the self-effacing presentation of your work.

      I write as someone who, on the phone is recognisable before I’ve even spoken a work. Several people have mentioned this. This is on landlines not mobile phones obviously

      It ruined a promising career in MI6.

      Which is why this weeks PotW interested me. The sense of someone without recognising the face. We can all recognise someone from a long way away – the silhouette of their body, the way they walk,. More about a presence rather than a look.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 17, 2010 5:10 PM

      Heavy breather are you then, EdT?

    • November 17, 2010 7:10 PM

      I am mildly asthmatic hic but it’s more the rustle of the plastic mac.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:15 PM

      Somerset boy. Mouth breather.

  217. hic8ubique permalink
    November 17, 2010 3:41 AM

    I hope you are obvious to me, else I haven’t been paying attention. I know your voice.
    Murmured is beautiful, especially with burnished: a master stroke.
    Would you care for dun, instead of dull, I wonder?
    less unsubtle?

  218. hic8ubique permalink
    November 17, 2010 3:50 AM

    saw that. mind fuck.

  219. mishari permalink*
    November 17, 2010 4:15 AM

    No, because ‘dun’ is an actual colour (or shade of a colour) whereas ‘dull’ speaks directly to the absence of ‘life force’ in a dead lion…at least that how it strikes me.

    I’m not very happy with the last stanza but Rilke’s line “Du mußt dein Leben ändern” is interesting. The poem first appeared in a voume entitled Der neuen Gedichte anderer Teil or “New Poems: Another Part.” As Art Beck puts it:

    In German to change your life is to “other” your life. So there’s not a great verbal leap from the title page “anderer Teil” (Another Part) to “dein Leben ändern” (change your life). It’s not hard to imagine a poet mulling the frontispiece to his second volume by thinking: “You have to make not just a second volume, but a whole new start. You have to live another life.”

    It suggests, to me, the need to discover your ‘other’ self, perhaps your ‘better’ or more ‘genuine’ self, buried by a lifetime of ‘civilisation’ and conformity or fear or hesitation…hence my last line. I guess it’ll have to do.

  220. hic8ubique permalink
    November 17, 2010 4:30 AM

    I do like ‘burn with truth and pain’, and the continuity with steel and tempering, which is transformation of a sort.
    That seems crucial to me, the reconsideration of apparent reality.
    Have a fresh look at it after a sleep.

    The painter Carl Larsson had an internal window in his bedroom which allowed him to look down into his studio at the previous day’s work with fresh eyes as soon as he awoke.

    Good work. Thanks for playing.
    Get some rest.

  221. mishari permalink*
    November 17, 2010 4:37 AM

    Yeah…good idea. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, kiddo. G’night.

  222. reine permalink
    November 17, 2010 11:05 PM

    Quiet day on PH, just in from work ready to salivate over your collective wit and wisdom – I can only salivate over the image of Ed in a mac for a finite time.

  223. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 17, 2010 11:14 PM

    Cheating crapauds! Jesus, beaten by a crew of garlic-munching fancy dans. It’s too much.

  224. reine permalink
    November 17, 2010 11:18 PM

    And now football talk… how you raise my hopes only to dash them MM. De trop indeed.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:31 PM

      Stevie G pulled up. Him Indoors won’t be happy.

      Do they have a night shift at the Dail?

    • reine permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:36 PM

      I wish he’d tell me which of his grumps are soccer related, it’d save the exhaustive guessing.

      Yep, late nights every Tuesday and Wednesday during plenary session … Thursday and Friday too nearer buget. We may not get that far depending on what Olli and the boys decide. There may be some silver lining.

    • reine permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:36 PM

      budget evening, editing all day … short of letters now.

    • reine permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:37 PM

      budget even … Christ, I give up.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:39 PM

      Georgie Osborne says he’s got your back. Watch out for the blade. So you missed Mad Men… I’ll tell you what happened…

    • reine permalink
      November 17, 2010 11:43 PM

      Ha. It’s recorded, will watch it tomorrow. Hope Roger features large, he’s my favourite.

      Yeah, Osborne’s support is as reassuring as pair of gusset-less knickers. Of course, we had no knickers before we gained sovereignty and all manner of them during the tiger years. Feast or famine.

  225. November 17, 2010 11:26 PM

    Time to take the England flag bunting from this summer down MM. It’s even further over for Capello.

    I did enjoy the ITV commentators trying to make positive of Carroll’s colourless debut. It only took Crouch one touch to show him how to do it.

    Off to read Underworld. Steven A put the pointers on De Lillo. White Noise was a fantastic read and Underworld has started well. Though it’s dangerous when reading in bed. If you doze off and it falls on your face you’re at risk for substantial dental surgery.

  226. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 17, 2010 11:34 PM

    It was embarrassing. Again. Capello out! Errrr in!

    I’ve only read Libra, which was medium-weight if I recall correctly. I sustained minor damage to a toe on fumbling it.

  227. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 17, 2010 11:56 PM

    Plenty of Roger.

    I was going to ask what a Milne ungulate is when it suddenly clicked, unusually for me. It’s been a few years.

    Well, I must go. Madame Du Vay awaits me.

  228. reine permalink
    November 17, 2010 11:58 PM

    Et Monsieur Pilau me, ‘night.

  229. reine permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:05 AM

    In plenty of Roger
    I take my refuge
    When my head’s full of words
    Truly, a deluge

    In Roger of plenty
    I seek some solace
    When his balls hit so true
    Every point is an ace

  230. Habitation à loyer modéré permalink
    November 18, 2010 6:29 AM

    (yawns, stretches)

    I see MM and Reine were on duty last night. I dropped off during a football match of the most stultifying boredom. I rather think my sports dyke had been dangerously eroded earlier in the evening by the chummy, overbearing estate agent who insisted on talking international footie as if he were some kind of itinerant barber. What are these people like? He’s obviously trying to tempt me into giving him exclusivity, ’cause he brought round a charming piece of tottie called Blandine who said two words and smiled a lot.

    Took me ten minutes to remember her name. I’ll go for croissants (without me coat).

  231. mishari permalink*
    November 18, 2010 8:49 AM

    Oh, Christ…I see that tedious arsehole penilethingy has begun to infest POTW, spouting his endless sneering, de haut en bas psychobabble in the style of a 12 year-old.

    He’s a long-time irritant over on CiF. Initially, he deflected criticism by announcing his recent recovery from a ‘nervous breakdown’ so people went easy on him.

    But over time, he made himself so objectionable that the gloves came off. The man’s a fool and worse, a bore. All those tiresome and fallacious appeals to authority, my dear. Check his posting history: it’s like the history of a very unpleasant and disturbed child.

    Just thought I’d post a warning before good-natured sorts (I’m looking at you Reine) engage with the fool and are shocked by how nasty he turns when challenged.

    ‘Blandine’? Oh, dear:

    After having run through the gauntlet of whips, having been mauled by animals, and forced into an iron seat placed over a fire to scorch his flesh, Ponticus died. Blandina, having survived the same tortures, was at last tossed into a net and exposed to a bull. After being tossed a good deal by the animal, she no longer perceived what was happening… Thus she too was offered in sacrifice, while the pagans themselves admitted that no woman had ever suffered as much in their experience.–Eusebius of Caesarea, 3rd Century AD

    The things people will do for baby Jesus.

    • Reine permalink
      November 18, 2010 1:25 PM

      Yes, Daddy. I’m done extending the gloved hand. Pscyho babble indeed.

      Ten lashes ok? I’ve revving up the whip.

  232. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 18, 2010 11:25 AM

    Blandine? What a name. ‘And now, with this week’s Ask The Family, it’s Blandine Whitebread.’

    I can just picture those pagans hanging round stroking their beards, saying ‘Y’know, I haven’t seen anyone, let alone a woman, last this long since April 237.’ ‘You mean May 237, surely?’ ‘Do I? Oooh, that must have hurt! Yes, I think you’re right, actually. Pass the mead.’

  233. November 18, 2010 12:01 PM

    Binge drinking seems the very height of civilised behaviour after that.

  234. Reine permalink
    November 18, 2010 1:27 PM

    I’ve revved or am revving – I’m having a bad week.

  235. Solwing permalink
    November 18, 2010 1:28 PM

    Penilegobbledeblab is a ‘contributor’ to the Guardian blogs, so their real identity, like BM being GoldGathers, must be open and known. I went to their poster page…or rather, their 143 pages of comment, thinking I might discover who they are, but trawling through would be a days work…

    Your best bet is to ignore ’em, as they only want a row..

    In other news Jane Holland has just received a six figure advance for a trilogy of historical Tudor novels, after delivering the one she’s finished to her agent several weeks back. I saw it first on facebook, and already Sheenagh Pugh is leaving comments making it plain she is unimpressed. Fair play to her I say; if anyone deserves hitting the jackpot-lottery of creative endevour, it’s someone in her boat, on low income, with five kids.

    There’s deffo a bit of poetry in the air today, with the weasel Fiana Failures lying through their back teeth, even as they say there’s no bail out, the big-wigs gathering to finalize the details, and I’m just off into town to the finance dept, where the biggest tv crew ever is assembled from all over the world. Revolution, if and when it comes here, will be fast and furious. I think what we have now in the air of Dublin, is the quiet before the breaking storm of mass public demonstrations, that will need a very loud north west brit scouse-manc whine to lead ’em..

  236. mishari permalink*
    November 18, 2010 1:42 PM

    Allons enfants de la Patrie
    Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
    Contre nous de la tyrannie
    L’étendard sanglant est levé
    Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
    Mugir ces féroces soldats?
    Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
    Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

    Aux armes citoyens
    Formez vos bataillons
    Marchons, marchons
    Qu’un sang impur
    Abreuve nos sillons

    We’ll be with you in spirit, Citizen Des. Give the gombeen bastards hell.

    So La Holland hits the jackpot with a bodice-ripper, eh? Well, not my sort of thing but good luck to her…I wonder if now would be a good time to talk to her about shares in The Mowbray Perpetual Motion Corporation? The shares won’t stop going up (haha…little perpetual motion joke there)….

  237. hic8ubique permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:04 PM

    When I feel overlooked amongst the ‘good nature-sorts’, I begin to think of sending round a sortie of dangerously eroded sports dykes to convey my sensitive feelings to the offending party.

    • Reine permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:01 PM

      See, Hic, I was the eejit who engaged with penisthingy (story of my bloody life, eh?), that is why I was singled out for special mention. You were more judicious.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 18, 2010 6:26 PM

      You are most forbearing Re, and all credit is due you for it.
      I just couldn’t resist the chance of a little ‘sports dyke’ ostinato.

      (not saying a word about ‘story of my life!)

  238. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:05 PM

    Speak roughly to your little penileseismograph yeah
    And beat him when he sneezes
    He only does it to annoy duh
    Because he knows it teases

  239. David Dimbleby permalink
    November 18, 2010 6:52 PM

    A Humble Prayer to the Elemental Forces of Nature that they be Clement on the Approaching Day of National Jubilation and Monarchic Nuptials

    Blow, thou winds! Let not mercy check thy spite!
    Lash, thou rains! Let despair be thy delight!
    Let all the sky be cover’d up in clouds
    Which banish Day and bring in darkest Night!
    Let festive flags be turn’d to dismal shrouds
    And wan-hop’d woe o’erwhelm the wretched crowds!

    Ye rough tornadoes, come! Transport the groom
    In direful whirlings to some distant doom!
    Spare not his bride; she too must be carried
    By your ferocious gusts to fatal gloom,
    For ’tis just that they be killed, once married.
    Strike then the brother; ensure he’s harried

    By hellish hurricanes and grievous gales
    Till a fortunate branch his breast impales.
    Fall, hail, in monstrous crags of lethal ice,
    And to pieces pummel the Prince of Wales!
    Rage on, Heavens! E’en this will not suffice
    While Camilla lives, and has not paid the price,

    Therefore be stern; with Antarctic blasts freeze
    Her wicked veins and crack her wizened knees!
    Next, to old Phillip turn thy mighty ire.
    As he vainly shelters ‘neath barren trees,
    Send from thy sky-forge scorching bolts of fire
    Till serves his refuge as his fun’ral pyre.

    Douse the corgis, stewards, guards and horses!
    Sweep them away with torrential forces!
    Unhonour’d guests then swiftly inundate –
    O see with what brute pow’r the water courses!
    Panick’d priests, each a currish reprobate,
    Engulf in potent floods, and celebrate

    Their slaughter with clashing peals of thunder.
    Let the palace walls be blown asunder
    Exposing thus the fiend of fearsome frown,
    The tyrannick Queen, and dash her under
    Mount’nous waves. Let that damnèd villain drown,
    And to depths consign her accursèd crown.

  240. mishari permalink*
    November 18, 2010 7:03 PM

    Welcome back from the land of the television dead, Sir David (it can’t be long, surely?). If anything was capable of re-animating your muse, it was the prospect of royal nuptials. I don’t quite know how to put this, but…erm, the note of fawning obsequiousness (that I’m sure you were, going by past form, trying for) seems to erm, well, I dunno…seems to have come adrift…

    Cracking deluge poem Ned. From your lips to God’s ears…

  241. David Dimbleby permalink
    November 18, 2010 7:50 PM

    Paxman said it was a vile republican scribble, but then he’s always been an Establishment toady.

  242. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:18 PM

    Great work, David. Eclipses anything the Poet Laureate may come up with. Or any other sports dyke. Or surfing Dick, for that matter.

  243. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:54 PM

    Top work, Dimbers.

  244. Nicholas Witchell permalink
    November 18, 2010 9:02 PM

    That’s it! outside Dimbleby!

  245. William of Windsor permalink
    November 18, 2010 9:04 PM


  246. hic8ubique permalink
    November 19, 2010 3:59 AM

    Oh, not the corgis and horses.
    Surely there should be a disclaimer: “No corgis or horses came to grief in this poem”.
    Otherwise, breathtaking, Capt, in the Bay of Biscay-o.

Comments are closed.