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Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of…erm

October 4, 2011


I will try to return to ‘ball-of-fire’ status (putative) this weekend and put up a proper new post. Until then, this is just to refresh the page.

  1. October 4, 2011 11:18 AM

    “Howya love” (cat)

  2. hic8ubique permalink
    October 4, 2011 6:51 PM

    Mishari~ I’ve found No Further Questions and returned to it several times with relish. There is such richness in the meditation, so beautifully formed, and so lucidly meandering; I find I love it more than anything for a long while.

    *This* is why I keep poking around reading things, because sometimes I do win the jackpot. I’m perfectly satisfied; it’s fully realised, doesn’t want for anything, which is both a contentment and an impetus to return and enjoy it again.
    I never knew the Picts got that far south, and I’d never learnt what woad was made from.
    I could go on about the poem too.

  3. hic8ubique permalink
    October 4, 2011 6:53 PM

    (Egad, that sounds like poetry sex)
    and I meant ‘in’ a long while.

  4. hic8ubique permalink
    October 4, 2011 6:57 PM

    Shall I go further? The poem speaks in the way I experience places, as if everything that’s happened there is available to infiltrate the moment with me and does.
    It reaffirms for me that the effect of your PP History poem (3 yrs ago?) was not a fluke. It hit me then (I’m not too abashed to say) in that most rare love-at-first-sight way. Thankyou again, BottleRocket of the black tile.

  5. hic8ubique permalink
    October 4, 2011 7:05 PM

    It seems I’m not done… No Further Questions is fanciful and fateful, eternal and immediate. The speaker, perhaps, seems to make a poignant cameo in the prospect of being the ‘elderly man, respectably dressed’.
    The tide-turning moment is, I think, the most potent estuarial phenomenon and gives a late infusion of energy to the poem. Then it doesn’t whimper out (as do scores of poems) but closes stunningly.
    (Okay, I’ll stop the superfluity :) Well done, you. Really really well done.

    • October 4, 2011 7:44 PM

      Beautifully put superlativeness, Hic. A luminous tribute.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 4, 2011 9:06 PM

      Thank you, my dear indulgent friend… and you concur then?

    • October 4, 2011 9:14 PM

      Ah he’s ok I suppose…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 4, 2011 9:21 PM

      About the poem!

    • mishari permalink*
      October 4, 2011 9:21 PM

      I wouldn’t go that far…

    • October 4, 2011 9:22 PM

      I’m winking furiously.

  6. mishari permalink*
    October 4, 2011 7:16 PM

    You’re too kind, hic, but I’m very pleased that you like it as I wasn’t sure it worked, myself.

    The Picts, did not, as far as I can tell, range this far south. It’s more the case that (according to Flavius Eutropius, Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Pomponius Mela, Caesar’s Commentaries et al), colouring the body blue with woad before battle was common amongst many of the tribes of pre-Roman Britain, including here in the south.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 4, 2011 9:02 PM

      Ah, that’ll teach me; reading secondary sources.
      (No, it won’t really.)

  7. mishari permalink*
    October 5, 2011 1:12 PM

    R.I.P. Bert Jansch:

  8. October 5, 2011 2:47 PM

    Yes, I’m fine thank you, Mish. Beijing’s a vibrant city and I am lucky enough to be on a green and quiet campus 30 minutes from the centre. The only hitch is that Internet control is even tighter here than it was down south, so I have had to fork out for a VPN (if I’m not wrong, WordPress thinks I am writing this from Los Angeles.) $50 a year worth it for uncensored content and fast downloads.
    And there are many compensations:

    • mishari permalink*
      October 5, 2011 7:55 PM

      Glad you’re well. Actually, your IP address says that you’re in Yonkers, NY (2 miles north of Manhattan)….close enough.

  9. October 5, 2011 6:15 PM

    Mishari, Simon asked me to let you know that he replied to your earlier greeting but his comments are being swallowed by the spam detector, he thinks probably because he is using a VPN – a very pretty network?? Anyway, I think the upshot is he says hello. R

  10. hic8ubique permalink
    October 5, 2011 6:31 PM

    Re! I’d have thought you’d make something of the bong-tree verse…, no?

    SiHunt is being scoffed as spam? He should have this song:
    (Though, I think, Moon will appreciate it best.)

    • October 5, 2011 9:51 PM

      I never saw you, too, had written one – you must have thought me crass to seem to compare.

    • October 5, 2011 10:29 PM

      Here ya go…

      The owl and the pussycat rented a house
      In a so-called holiday village
      The two of them fought for the corpse of a mouse
      Their screeches were piercingly shrill-age

      The owl to-whitted and whooed his disdain
      At the pussycat’s drooling demeanour
      Told her he disliked her ‘tude in the main
      And had seen many pussies much cleaner

      “Ruffled your feathers mate, eh?” miaowed the cat
      “Fuck you and the breeze you swooped in on,
      Stick your ring up your ass, you just ain’t that phat
      Less wise owl, more Strigiformes cling-on”

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 5, 2011 11:16 PM

      Of course not, we’d never venture to write anything if it had to measure up to the Maestro.

      Stringiformes? is that a sort of knickers?

  11. October 5, 2011 7:19 PM

    I couldn’t have come close to the maestro’s Hic.

    Can’t access that link here… was it this by any chance?

  12. mishari permalink*
    October 5, 2011 7:51 PM

    Thanks for the heads-up, Reine. Simon’s comment retrieved. (VPN = Virtual Private Network; it’s a way of getting around censors, like those in China).

  13. October 5, 2011 7:54 PM

    I’m more concerned with VPL…

  14. mishari permalink*
    October 5, 2011 8:00 PM

    Very Private Legwork? Very Pretty Labia? Viciously Pedantic Lesbians? OK, I’ll stop there, I think…

  15. October 5, 2011 8:20 PM

    I am familiar with a least one item on your list but I was referring to this…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 5, 2011 8:34 PM

      she has Barbie-leg

  16. mishari permalink*
    October 5, 2011 8:27 PM

    Ah…the nightmare that is Visible Panty Line. Not to worry…do what I recommend for all women…no underwear…problem solved.

  17. hic8ubique permalink
    October 5, 2011 8:31 PM

    Nope, scratch that
    once more:

  18. hic8ubique permalink
    October 5, 2011 8:32 PM

    and this is the one I posted for Mishari on the last thread, which probably didn’t work either?

    • October 5, 2011 8:45 PM

      Much better. Are you in commission cahoots with Mr. Gorka?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 5, 2011 11:13 PM

      Not at all, just hadn’t caught up with him in a long while (ie. since the advent of YouTube) until recently.

  19. October 5, 2011 8:37 PM

    But then where will I keep my miraculous medal?

    • mishari permalink*
      October 5, 2011 8:42 PM

      I’m not going to say it…I won’t…I’m going to be strong…

  20. October 5, 2011 8:46 PM

    Don’t…. it’d get lost.

  21. October 6, 2011 4:50 AM

    Jonkers, eh? I’ll connect to the Swiss server tomorrow and see where the IP address is -Oslo, perhaps.

    I am not, you understand, criticising the controls the Party puts on the Net: there are a good many workers and peasants whose level of education is not yet sufficient to allow them to discriminate between good information and bad, and whose passions could easily be inflamed by irresponsible running-dog imperialist propaganda. On the other hand I, who have been exposed to said propaganda for most of my life, have a healthy immune response to it. I note that both Facebook and Twitter have been deleting or delaying information related to the Wall Street protests; they just aren’t as honest about it as the Politburo.

    Didn’t you mention an afternoon with E.B. White a while back? A cautionary tale of a good writer straying into unfamiliar territory.

    • mishari permalink*
      October 6, 2011 7:53 AM

      I did. Elements of Style was not White’s finest hour. Happily, White ignored all that prescriptive nonsense in his own writing.

      You’re right. The comrades are perfectly candid about their censorship. Running dogs and capitalist jackals like Zuckerberg are more insidious and a greater danger. They drool on about ‘freedom’ and ‘communication’ and ‘openness’ until it threatens their bottom-line. Scumbags. Death To Facebook! Reject The Revisionist Reptiles of Twitter!

  22. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 6, 2011 11:35 AM

    The grandfather of one of the team for our new show this summer was the original illustrator of Charlotte’s Web. He’s one of those people who’ve grown up in the company of artists of all hues.

    I come from a distinctly non-Bohemian bunch, An aunt on my dad’s side once told me ” I really don’t see the point of music, I don’t know what to do when I hear it ” which at the age of about 11 struck me as incomprehensible.

    I’m sort of glad I grew up in a situation like that as doing art means something to me rather than being something I’m comfortable having all around me.

  23. hic8ubique permalink
    October 6, 2011 2:08 PM

    Whatever gets you there, EdT…
    Not until his third year at university did my son discover his passion for art.
    Last Sunday, I went to see him and deliver supplies. He showed me the projects he’d been working on, and said ‘I never realised you could make art seriously for a degree.’
    I told him his two aunties and his grandmother (who were in creative pursuits all around him, and including him, as he was growing up) each had a BFA, and he was astonished.
    On the walls of his room at school, he has two paintings by his Auntie M, and one by my grandfather: an experimental three-dimensional piece in black and white (too weird for anyone to have bought it, I suppose).

    L-E had stopped making things from about the age of 13, when the computer captured his attention. He was keen on CAD, had begun playing computer games, and lost interest in reading.
    Visiting him now is like being reunited with someone who’s been sleep-wandering for 8 years. He’s over the party-animal phase, getting up to row every day at 4am, and receiving enthusiastic commentary from professors for the first time.

    He’d burned through sound-tech, physio, and psych, when about a year ago, utterly miserable, he articulated for the first time that it was all too prescriptive, and then had to make his case for reprieve from academic suspension. At last, he escaped from having sensibly conceived plans to following the hunger in the belly.
    (His truck was impounded yesterday, but it was ever two steps forward-one step back for this boy.)

    I’ve always felt that the arts are such a punishing way of life that the only people who should pursue them professionally are those who must because they are inwardly driven to it and can’t be content otherwise; those are the ones who have a hope of making a go of it. I think L-E was born to it, but he still had to flounder around to find that out for himself.

  24. hic8ubique permalink
    October 6, 2011 2:16 PM

    and on that note…

  25. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 6, 2011 2:25 PM

    Indeed hic it’s the end result that matters above all else.

    But sometimes with artist’s kids especially I’ve noticed a lack of that fire in the belly as regards artistic drive and wondered if that was mixed up with a kind of entitlement or familiarity with that world rather than inner need.

  26. hic8ubique permalink
    October 6, 2011 3:06 PM

    Could be. I’ve heard that said of the children of successful entrepreneurs as well.

    Speaking for myself as an ‘artist’s kid’, I was having nothing to do with what my mother did or wanted me to do.
    My grandfather was old-school-Polytechnic-trained, had been a draughtsman’s apprentice, and would actually draw over what I’d done to show me how it ought to be!
    ‘You’re working in a bad light!’ he’d say and prop my work up at the ‘proper’ angle.

    It’s sad really. He meant well, and wanted nothing more than to play piano duets with me, but he was so over-bearing that I veered away from it. There were several artists on the other side of the family as well, rather prominent ones, and I think kids with my temperament tend to look for their own turf.
    But I did learn to work with my hands one way and another, and that means a great deal to me.

  27. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 6, 2011 3:36 PM

    There’s a pen and ink drawing by one of Rembrandt’s pupils of Christ preaching to the great unwashed. Rembrandt has drawn over it in brown chalk and the improvement in the picture teaches you just about everything you need to know about composition.

    It was Rembrandt doing this however and I can totally understand the difficulties if it’s one of your relatives doing it on top of everything else.

    Between the ages of 16 and 25 I became a master of minimal information as regards my parents. In retrospect it was probably entirely unreasonable of me but I obviously needed to carve out some distance. .

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 6, 2011 7:28 PM

      Unreasonable? At fourteen, I’d have given everyone an argument, up to and including Rembrandt.

  28. October 6, 2011 6:27 PM

    Got a link to an image of that drawing, Ed? My knowledge of composition is ≤0, so any pointers would be useful.

    Just returned from a feast of donkey burger, beansprout pancakes and whitefish in chili, topped up with plentiful 55% ABV 白酒, which the two young ladies who accompanied me insisted on topping up at every opportunity. Confucius knows how I managed to get home, or write this. Classes in the morning. Night.

    Oh, I knew there was something:

    Why the hell can’t BHO grow a pair? Or is he really owned?

    • October 7, 2011 11:40 AM

      I imagine BO has done exactly what he was put in office to do. Why we would ever expect good from him, I can’t fathom; we took a total stranger’s description of himself at face value and clung to that image long after every actual action (or inaction) on his part rendered that image absurd. And isn’t that what “hope” is really good for… to cripple our faculties for a clear-eyed assessment of the shit we’re in? I prefer an actual working plan to “hope” any day of the week.

      Very interesting (from 2008, before the election) in which the remarks on Pakistan (and the “color revolutions”) are eerily prescient:

  29. mishari permalink*
    October 6, 2011 8:21 PM


    Will Barack Obama break his GM food labelling promise? — headline in today’s Grauniad.

    Care to take a bet? Hint: Mr. Yes-We-Can’t has broken every single pledge he made…oh, except for health care reform; he ‘reformed’ it, alright–to the satisfaction of the insurance industry and big pharma.

    The man’s a fucking charlatan and worse: he’s taken to executing US citizens by decree, making a joke of the Constitution.

    Sadly for America, the alternatives are too grisly to contemplate. Perry the Thunderbird puppet who takes a gun jogging? Romney, a man so dim that he once drove from Boston to Canada without noticing that the family dog was tied to the roof of the car? Poor America….

  30. October 7, 2011 12:36 AM

    My friend Paddy told us this joke today: “We don’t serve your sort in here.” Two neutrinos walk into a bar.

    You probably had to be there.


    • mishari permalink*
      October 7, 2011 8:05 AM

      I’ll see that and raise you:

      A Florida state legislator has found yet another example of government regulation getting in the way of job creation.

      So Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, filed a bill this week to bring back “dwarf tossing,” the barbaric and dangerous barroom spectacle that was imported from Australia and thrived briefly in Florida before it was outlawed in 1989.

      “I’m on a quest to seek and destroy unnecessary burdens on the freedom and liberties of people,” Workman said. “This is an example of Big Brother government.

      “All that it does is prevent some dwarfs from getting jobs they would be happy to get,” Workman said. “In this economy, or any economy, why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?” —

    • October 7, 2011 8:44 AM

      You win.

  31. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 7, 2011 8:49 AM

    Whten I lived in Manchester they used to toss dwarfs in a pub down the road. It’s not what you think …..depending on what you’re thinking of course.

    Same argument about gainful employment too.

  32. October 7, 2011 10:35 AM

    Positive discrimination eh, Ed?

    Outrageous behaviour.

  33. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 7, 2011 10:42 AM

    Tossing in Mancunian can mean one of two things as I’m sure it does elsewhere.

    As it should do it raised an almighty stink in the local newspaper. The owner went as far as to say that his dwarfs were grateful to be hurled. The pub was one of those that had alsations on the roof.

  34. October 7, 2011 11:03 AM

    Ah, I thought you might have meant there was employment to be had in personal services Ed.;) Always on the one track to smutville, me.

  35. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 7, 2011 11:33 AM

    I didn’t leave that out as a possibility Reine. Was just thinking that you’d never have described it as dwarf tossing in Manchester or if you did…………..

    Perhaps Mishari or hic could enlighten us as to whether tossing has a similarly lewd meaning in the US or perhaps it’s better to forget the whole thing.

  36. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 7, 2011 11:55 AM

    Blimey that’s a new one.

    If rumour around the Wizard of Oz set is to be believed wouldn’t my version be more the Judy Garland version?

  37. October 7, 2011 12:00 PM

    The hills would be alive with the sound of something… good God, I’ve come over all faint.

    • October 7, 2011 12:27 PM

      (Arr! Got you all exactly where I want you, then…! Pass the Vinaigrette, Reine!)

    • October 7, 2011 2:27 PM

      Give me a minute Steven, I’m just giving it a vigorous whisking.

  38. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 7, 2011 12:02 PM

    I’m planning toasted cheese and tomato for lunch. The Julie Andrews rather than the Robert Mapplethorpe recipe

    • October 7, 2011 12:29 PM

      (Googles “toasted cheese and tomato”…hasn’t the stomach to paste results)

  39. hic8ubique permalink
    October 7, 2011 2:07 PM

    Toasted cheese and tomato *yum* falls under the household designation of ‘Strange Things Only Mum Likes’.
    I also liked this sentence: ‘There’s no need to further fellate the man’s memory.’
    I call that elegant.

    ‘Tosser’, for the longest time, I took to be the same as ‘toss-pot’. Wrong again!
    The only masturbatory slang I hear regularly here is ‘frigging’, which is used euphemistically as in, for example: ‘Would you just get out of my frigging way!’, or alternatively, for fiddling:eg. ‘The switch is busted; I just need to frig with it.’
    I get the sense that those who use it aren’t aware of its lewd provenance.

    (‘Busted’ ~ as a corruption of ‘burst’, and used colloquially for ‘broken’; I seem to recall that’s both US and UK…)

    Oh, there’s also the US usage ‘tossing ones cookies’ for
    vomiting, but that may have faded away since I was at school.

  40. October 7, 2011 2:53 PM

    We, too, use “tosser” in the same sense as toss-pot or idiot Hic so you’re not wrong there. It’s the verb really that has the double meaning when paired with the word “off”. “pulled” has the same connotation. Of course, I am never so coarse.

    The US usage of “fannies” is liable to cause a snigger here being that we understand it to be a very particular part of a lady’s bottom.

    HI lived in Boston for a couple of years and so “busted” has crept into his usage as has “sneakers” otherwise known as “runners” here.

  41. hic8ubique permalink
    October 7, 2011 6:32 PM

    Of course, the other use of busted for ‘caught out’ will be familiar to viewers of American television.
    I think ‘fanny’ for bum (or bottom) may be regional SouthernUS, and/or baby-talk. New England kids say ‘butt’, both for bum and cigarette.
    Ha, so they can bum a butt, but they can’t bum a fag…
    no no no, don’t say that.

  42. October 8, 2011 12:18 AM

    I have a terrible headache (that’s where all this talk of tossing gets me) and am now in a delightful Tylex-induced lacuna (I had to break the emergency tabernacle to retrieve it) between waking and sleeping. Mmmm, yummy codeine.

  43. hic8ubique permalink
    October 8, 2011 2:17 AM

    ‘Tilex’ is something to spray on mildew :)
    Highly toxic, not for ingestion.

    Hope you’re fully recovered in the morning. We’ll have cousins arriving from Virginia in their little Cessna … ‘Cain’t wait t’see y’all!’

  44. October 8, 2011 10:06 AM

    A little Cessna no less? No flies on tham thar hillbillies.

    I was abandoned at the crack of dawn for the rugby and served a cup of tea with a very long face some hours later. Congrats to Captain Ned and his countrymen and women.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 8, 2011 4:09 PM

      Virginia, different to West Virginia.

  45. mishari permalink*
    October 8, 2011 11:57 AM

    Speaking of colloquialisms for the human haunch, I came across this passage while reading Tim Butcher’s Chase The Devil (in which he re-traces the footsteps of Graham Greene through 1930s Sierra Leone and Liberia as recounted in Journey Without Maps):

    One day I limped into the house in obvious discomfort as my trousers had become shredded where my legs rubbed together and the chafing left me tender. One of the nurses tossed me a tube of ointment from Canada where mothers use it for their babies’ nappy rash. It was called Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.

  46. October 8, 2011 12:48 PM

    From Welltoverse, eh? Cruel, but bloody funny. And the poor dear swallows it whole…

    • mishari permalink*
      October 8, 2011 8:06 PM

      I must confess, Simon, your comment went right over my head when I first read it this morning….however, I’ve just taken a look at Poster Poems…oh, dear…as you say…cruel but very, very funny…

      “Have we not all lost a friend, a partner or even a pet…”

      That Des…he is a wag.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      October 8, 2011 8:44 PM

      I hadn’t the foggiest what Simon was on about either so thanks for the heads up.

      After all that fuss about criticism on PotW last time round with Parisa leading the fight against those of us who weren’t impressed it’s ironic that she demonstrates precisely what an artist needs to survive that kind of criticism i.e you plough on regardless of what anyone says. Though I’d hate to have her ability to completely miss most forms of humour and lack any sense of irony.

      Anyone else’s house infested by large spiders? They don’t even bother scuttling away to hide behind things in my place.

    • October 8, 2011 9:24 PM

      A) I always knew Des was Clare Quilty B) ET, the only useful course of action is for you and partner to put all your things in the street, burn the place down, wade chin-deep through a river (just to make sure there aren’t spidery eggs or hairs or extremities on your garments) and move into a stainless steel cubicle (with no hidden corners) for a month (while your things are being fumigated). I won’t mention my other phobia.

    • October 8, 2011 9:27 PM

      Salad dressing on your bottom?

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      October 8, 2011 9:45 PM

      I’m not macrobiotic Reine but thanks for the offer

      I rather like our eight-legged guests. Although I’m not sure what they are eating to grow that large. My other half went to the shops this morning and hasn’t returned.

      My phobia is sand on my feet. The thought more than the actual sensation – not that I will make a habit of running barefoot on the beach.

    • October 8, 2011 9:56 PM

      Ha, Ed. That Mr. Augustine, what can his phobia be??

      My phobia is maggots. The wriggly wiggly nothingness of them… revolting. I’d sooner do battle with a grizzly bear.

    • October 8, 2011 9:58 PM

      Reine, Dear, I said “phobia” not *mania*

    • October 8, 2011 9:59 PM

      Ed, apropos of your River Frome PP but completely different… have you read Ethan Frome? I loved it.

    • October 8, 2011 10:01 PM

      “Reine, Dear, I said “phobia” not *mania*”

      Noted SA in Reine’s little book of fetish.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 8, 2011 10:09 PM

      I’d not yet read Welltoverse. Spoiler!
      How about a spider reeling up a maggot?
      …showed me where the grain moth was breeding in the breadcrumbs bag, eewwww
      Thanks Spidey.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      October 8, 2011 11:37 PM

      A few years back we’d just finished a show and were sitting on a patio by the performance space. As we talked there was this strange ball of activity flying about between us which then suddenly dropped onto the ground by my feet.

      It was a wasp wrestling with a large fly. The wasp proceeded to pull the wings off, then the legs, then it seperated the head from the body and flew off with it.

      The wasp was ruthlessly efficient in its dismemberment and the whole spectacle was repulsively compelling to watch like Bunuel filming a David Attenborough documentary.

      Reine I’ve heard of Ethan Frome but haven’t read it. The only Edith Wharton I’ve come across is Scorsese’s film of Age of Innocence which I think was one of hers and which had its moments.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 9, 2011 1:22 PM

      Other phobia, St A? Being in a stainless steel cubicle for a month, perchance? That would do for me by day two.
      You’ve mentioned phobias before… we have a rule at our house: No bringing up what you’re not going to mention.
      Out with it then!

      EdT~ As I recall, The A of I did have its moments, and they were Michelle Pfeiffer.

  47. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 8, 2011 12:59 PM

    Accurate it may be but Anusol is still an unusually frank name for an ointment.

  48. October 8, 2011 8:54 PM

    Very very cruel Fromwelltoverse … all the exclamation marks should have given the game away. I’m not sure two (insert number of choice) wrongs make a right. I cringed when I read it this morning. Oh well, all’s fair in love and poetry I suppose.

  49. mishari permalink*
    October 8, 2011 9:06 PM

    I know, I know…it’s almost too cruel. Poor Parisa is so literal-minded that it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. This bit had me laughing like the insensitive hyena that I am:

    Three very different poems and yet with a sublime affinity one to the other. And even if they are quite able to stand each for itself, it is clear that together they constitute a whole so much more than the sum of three. I’d say that together they represent a hundred and fifty percent rather than a hundred.

    Haiku is the form for the mature poet or so I gather. Don’t mean to be name dropping here; I’m sure you understand when I say that I know of nothing worse than when people do namedropping in every possible and impossible situation. However, I came to think of Transtromer who won the Nobel Prize today. I’ve heard that he writes exclusively in haiku nowadays after fifty years of a more ‘wordy’ poetry (there’s a pun in there, haha!). That must mean something. And the highest chairman of the EU commission, Herman Van Rompuy, is a passionate ‘haikuist’!

    That ‘Herman Van Rompuy’ crack is a stroke of evil genius…Des doesn’t take any prisoners, does he?

  50. October 8, 2011 9:12 PM

    The HvR made me LOL. I gave myself forty lashes. In fairness, having met the guy, he is incredibly funny and, though it may surprise, I think very sensitive. Wickedly clever. A burden I do not have to bear…

    I have been out on the town with the old ball and chain celebrating his birthday. I wore a green dress in homage to the rugby boys. Nothing if not patriotic.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 8, 2011 10:12 PM

      Angelically clever?

  51. mishari permalink*
    October 8, 2011 9:18 PM

    “…having met the guy…”…who? Des or Herman Van Rumpy-Pumpy? Of course Des is sensitive; I think ‘insensitive poet’ is a contradiction in terms. However, ‘sensitive’ is not the same as ‘sentimental’…dunno about Rumpy-Pumpy…

  52. October 8, 2011 9:24 PM

    I meant Des although I have met Herman in passing – he spoke in 17 morae clauses. Get moi.

  53. hic8ubique permalink
    October 8, 2011 10:58 PM

    Really, Des. Making sport of a sitting duck.
    I suppose the saving grace is that the poor girl probably won’t notice anything amiss.

  54. October 8, 2011 11:08 PM

    The problem is, Hic, we’ve footnoted it for her should she look in. Maybe she was playing him at his own game? (No, I didn’t think so either).

  55. October 8, 2011 11:13 PM

    Imagine if all our comments on the matter were to disappear into a black hole (generic). It might be a small mercy … or a curtailment of free speech. I am just thinking aloud.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 9, 2011 3:53 AM

      Nej nej nej, I fear such an action would contravene the Pol Hom charter.
      It must not be.

  56. October 9, 2011 11:00 AM

    No, I know it must not. No censor here, thankfully.

  57. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2011 1:28 PM

    I received a bizarre letter the other day, from ITV, of all people, inviting me to participate in Come Dine With Me. I had to google it. Sounds like an absolute nightmare: the premise of the show is that you invite 12 complete strangers into your home, cook for them and invite their critique.

    Where in God’s name did ITV get my name from? And why would I (or, indeed, anyone) participate in this imbecility? To win the £1000 first-prize?

    A £1000? Christ, I spend more than that every week on panda testicles preserved in ginger and ginseng aspic.

    Our friend Simon ships the stuff to me by Federal Express, which is damned decent of him, considering that the Chinese authorities will put him up against a wall and shoot him if he’s caught. He’s a sport, isn’t he?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 9, 2011 3:12 PM

      Come Blog With Me.

      I had to google it.
      Sounds like an absolute
      nightmare: the premise
      of the exercise is
      that you
      invite 12 complete
      into your parlour,
      write for them and invite
      their politeness.

  58. October 9, 2011 4:11 PM

    ‘Fraid I have to up the price for the next load of bollocks, squire. The Customs official I’d been bribing has been er… reassigned and the new chap’s a greedy bastard. Tell you what, I’ll throw in a tiger prick as extra. Can’t say fairer than that, n I bet the missus’ll be chuffed, innit?

  59. Captain Ned permalink
    October 9, 2011 4:40 PM

    Mishari, it might be worth your appearing on Come Dine With Me if you were to deliberately give your guests a bit of food poisoning.

    I saw these guys playing on the street yesterday. Pretty good, verdad?

  60. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2011 5:12 PM

    Fair enough, Simon. I have to be able to, erm…rise to the occasion. Try not to get shot.

    Good stuff, Ned. So, are you in Rio now?

    • October 10, 2011 12:06 PM

      Oh, I don’t know, Mish; I’ve often thought that being shot would be something of a catharsis, or at least a validation. Lung cancer, dribbling my life away in a soiled bed, the bullet…

      Apropos, there was a fascinating interview with a man on death row the last time I was here (they showed it on the TV screen in the back of a taxi I was taking). He had been convicted of forging tax discs for cars and the bullet was due imminently. Seemed quite phlegmatic, ‘Yeah, I did it. It’s a fair cop. Sorry to my family for the shame…’

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      October 10, 2011 3:10 PM

      Forging tax discs is a crime punishable by death? Ye Gods.

    • mishari permalink*
      October 10, 2011 7:24 PM

      The Chinese are savage…but fair. Crimes punishable by death include:

      Failure to ring your bicycle bell at an intersection.

      Spitting in a public place.

      Possession of an unlicensed cat.

      The sale of sub-standard ping-pong balls.

      Baking cakes without official authorisation.

      Playing a musical instrument in public without a permit.

      Possession of a giant, inflatable pig (no appeals considered).

      …and many other sensible measures to ensure public tranquillity.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      October 10, 2011 9:07 PM

      The pig has been in Taiwan as well so it’s probably being shot and hung at the same time as the electric chair

    • hic8ubique permalink
      October 10, 2011 10:09 PM

      However, China does permit its citizens to donate their vital organs even when they are not yet eligible to do so, in recognition that they will very shortly, by virtue of their ‘generosity’, be rendered eligible.

    • October 10, 2011 11:10 PM

      Speaking of China, ish, I had to get some bloods taken this a.m. by my GP, an irrepressibly upbeat Chinese woman prone to laughing hysterically as one relays one’s symptoms and then stopping abruptly to deliver a diagnosis. (I am having my electrolyte levels checked as you do). Anyho, as I waited patiently (boom boom), along came a Chinese man who obviously felt his ethnicity trumped mine and jumped the queue to see Dr. Lee. There followed an amusing exchange where it sounded like they were beating the shit out of each other, one more high pitched than the other and lots of clattering and banging. I was considering whether to intervene with a song from The King and I (it was that or The Mikado which is even less geographically accurate) when Mr. queue jumper came out, still shouting, and giving me a sly eyed “I know you were before me, I’ll buy you some dim sum some time” kind of a look. In I went, summoned by a rather dishevelled Dr. Lee, who explained, laughingly, that he spoke Cantonese and she Mandarin so the consultation involved a deal of mime. I believed her, thousands wouldn’t. Then she laughed all the way through my symptom recital before gravely sticking a needle in me, then relieving me of sixty quid by which time she seemed very upbeat again. Then, re-enter stage left, shouting man waving a tube of cream and pointing at his bottom. I’m beginning to think I am trapped in a musical.

    • China Law and Order permalink
      October 12, 2011 3:00 PM

      Of course the disc forger should have been shot! The People’s revenue is not an arbitrary sum: it is schools, hospitals, roads and missiles for the development and strength of the Motherland. Those who steal from the People are traitors and must be dealt with in the harshest possible way.

      Your expression of horror is, if I may say so, yet another example of the decadent Western liberalism which allows your financiers to loot your treasuries at will. We, the People of China, do not intend to allow that to happen to us.

  61. Captain Ned permalink
    October 9, 2011 5:22 PM

    No, still in BA. El Metodo are Buenos Aires-based, I think, but the video must have been shot while they were on tour.

  62. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 9, 2011 6:24 PM

    I usually see the last 2 minutes of Come Dine With Me with the sound down before the Simpsons comes on.

    Even in complete silence the body language looks like it’s been set up by the producers in order for conflicts to occur.

    Go for it!

    Lidl do very cheap hamster nuts.

  63. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2011 6:47 PM

    I know this sounds like a stupid question, but: what is a ‘hamster nut’? I have a hamster (well, the children do) and he’s rather a sweet little creature who’s formed a deep attachment to Pongo and snuggles up to him at every opportunity (i.e. when he’s out of his cage, something I frown on owing to his rather cavalier toilet habits…the hamster, I mean, not Pongo).

    If you say, ‘it’s a nut for hamsters’, I swear, I’ll break something…

  64. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 9, 2011 7:05 PM

    Panda testicles – hamster nuts – Lidl pet food for small rodents was the progression of “thinking” on that one. Hope there’s nothing valuable in your vicinity.

  65. mishari permalink*
    October 9, 2011 7:29 PM

    Oh, right…sorry…a bit slow this evening…must give the opium pipe a rest…valuable? that 17th century Meissen shepherdess will be right as rain with a bit of superglue…

  66. Edward Taylor permalink
    October 9, 2011 9:40 PM

    If the gag had been better it wouldn’t have needed the explanation.

  67. mishari permalink*
    October 10, 2011 8:36 PM

    At last…I think I’ve found a team England can beat.

    SAN MARINO — This is Europe’s smallest recognized soccer nation, population 30,000, and victories in the tiny, mountaintop republic are as rare as the coins and stamps that make it a collector’s haven.

    The language, cuisine and Apennine range are shared with Italy, which entirely surrounds San Marino, but cultural similarities do not extend to soccer prowess. Italy has won four World Cups. San Marino has yet to win four games. It has won one, to be exact, in 22 years of official competition.

    On Tuesday, San Marino will travel to Moldova for a final, undoubtedly futile, qualifying match for the 2012 European Championship. Make that disqualifying match.

    In nine games so far, San Marino has conceded 49 goals and has yet to score one of its own. In fact, it has not found the net in any competition since 2008.

    Of 109 matches played since 1990, San Marino has won 1, tied 2 and lost 106, scoring 17 meagre goals while surrendering 468.

    “Every time we score, it’s a bank holiday,” said Walter Giardi, a liaison with visiting teams for the San Marino soccer federation. — The NYT, today

  68. October 29, 2011 9:21 AM

    Will surely recommend this site to some friends! Very interesting site and articles. Really thankful for sharing. Regards,

  69. November 1, 2011 3:29 AM


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