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Come Fly With Me

November 19, 2011



I watched the first 5 or 6 episodes of the new US TV drama Pan Am but gave up on it because, frankly: it’s absolute crap. Glossy soap-opera for easy-to-please nostalgics and the credulous young.

This sort of infantile, trolly-dolly romance was being written in the 40s, 50s and 60s —Shirley Flight: Air Hostess was the British version; Vicki Barr: Flight Stewardess, the American– and the genre hasn’t improved with age.

The premise of the series is that the 60s were the ‘golden age’ of air travel but this is arrant nonsense. If anything, the 60s were the end of a golden age of air travel–at least, to anyone who values the civilised pleasures of comfort, good food, legroom and headroom. Although, to be fair, the 60s trolly-dollys did look rather good, in that primped and coiffed, girdle-strangled, sheer-stockinged way that they had.

The truth is, the 1960s weren’t even the ‘golden age’ of Pan Am; that was the 1930s and 40s, when Pan Am had its ‘Clipper’ service of flying boats:

While Pan Am’s flying boats generally came to be known as Clippers, the planes, themselves, were actually comprised of three different models: the Sikorsky S-42, the Martin M-130, and the Boeing 314. Luxury was the common theme to all three planes. In the 1930s, Pan Am founder Juan Trippe believed in providing his customers an extravagant travelling experience, one which rivalled the comforts of a grand luxury ocean liner. Passengers enjoyed the finest food, drink and amenities while traversing the seas.

The largest of Pan Am’s flying boats was the Boeing 314, which entered service in 1939. Not until 30 years later with the arrival of the 747 would a commercial plane surpass the 314 in size. It could carry up to 74 passengers during day flights while offering sleeping accommodations for up to 36 passengers. Unlike today’s commercial planes, the 314 – as well as the other Clippers – were divided into several luxurious cabin compartments including a stateroom, dressing rooms, and men’s and women’s restrooms. The 314 featured a separate dining room where passengers were served full-course meals. —

But to see really luxurious air-travel –room, comfort and service to match an ocean liner– you have to go back a little further, to the age of the airship. Have a look at these photos of the interior of the Hindenburg: now, call to mind your last flight. Depressing, isn’t it?

I took my first flight in 1958, on a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) Vickers Viscount: it had propellers. I remember being excited as a 7 or 8 year-old, to fly on a BOAC Comet, the first jet-powered commercial airliner. I became blasé about flying at a very young age and only expressed mild interest when I first flew on BOAC’s latest jet marvel, the VC-10 with its rear-mounted quartet of engines. Jaded at the age of 12: mine has been a sad life.

Flying from Boston, Mass. to Beirut, on my way back to school, I had the Pan Am stewardesses in stitches at my urbane 15 year-old ways. Asked if I wanted a drink, I’d place an unfiltered Lucky Strike between my lips, raise a quizzical eyebrow the way I’d seen Cary Grant do it in the movies, and ask for a highball: then I’d set fire to my nose. After they’d stopped laughing, they’d ask me if I was serious: I was.

“Rye whisky and ginger-ale”, I’d explain; a friend of mine, the son of a prominent Boston restaurateur, had introduced them to me over the summer and I thought they were the height of sophistication. Previously, what we’d drank had been the most gag-inducing combination of spirits that we’d stolen from our parents’ drinks-cabinets and mixed together: vile stuff but it got you drunk. In a way, the highball was a step into young adulthood.

The stewardesses would all come over to gaze at this modern marvel–the boy who smokes and drinks–and they spent more time with me than was entirely proper. In truth, they weren’t much older than me and compared to fat, drunken businessmen grabbing their bottoms, I must have been quite refreshing: I wasn’t a ‘grabber’, I had nice manners and I listened to the same music that they did.

But it wasn’t a ‘golden age’. I missed that. I fly as little as I can now: I much prefer trains–more civilised. There’s been talk for the last few years of bringing back the airship. I hope they do. In the meantime, let’s have poems on air travel. Up, up and away…

  1. Reine permalink
    November 19, 2011 11:55 PM

    Hemmed In

    Unhand me Sir, please, if you would
    We’re not in any danger
    Really, please, I must insist
    You know, you’re just a stranger

    Here, would you like to suck a mint?
    It might get your juices flowing
    You say your mouth is dry with fear
    Well, you’re stopping my blood flowing

    Yes, thank you, you have nice eyes too
    Narrowed, you say, with stress
    Dear man, there is no palliative
    Hidden up my dress

    Never mind what Freud said
    Just get lost, I need the loo
    No thanks I don’t wish to supplement
    My mile high club with you

    Oh God, please put that thing away
    Like a good man, let me pass
    And I’ll chop it off I promise you
    If you dare to touch my ass

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 20, 2011 12:56 AM

      Ha, I was thinking of something along those lines about
      an anxious Texan
      in the
      long-legged section.
      :) but you did it better.
      Then I was briefly onto Christmas reindeer, but somehow…

  2. hic8ubique permalink
    November 20, 2011 12:57 AM

    Flown in Holy Week

    Lovingly joined, a cube
    of butternut wood from a
    singular tree, that once
    had clung in hillside scree,
    now a box, held the ashes

    of a heart, it seemed,
    too great to fit contained
    where now all remaining
    of his rubble and fine dust
    bones of Nantucket pavers
    radiated warmth still

    in the chill cockpit: the father
    who buried a son, the son
    who lost both holding on,
    and the nephew, grave
    his burled giant hands

    sensitive at the controls;
    so these kin flew, low
    from river-side funeral now
    to green mountain memorial
    and thence a piney peace.

    Only hours before, the great
    full weight had been borne up
    shoulder-high by eight paired;
    the strongest grandson
    fresh cheek by ancient jowl
    had held his tears until

    faced, far at the back, as all
    stood bowed in the organ’s
    thunder and cry, by slow
    a Black man erect, alone
    who clapped deliberately
    weeping proudly awash
    with love.

    • Reine permalink
      November 20, 2011 11:06 PM

      I meant to say earlier how lovely this is. The first verse is particularly beautifully wrought. (Although I confess to a slight smirk in the last verse which interrupted my tearing up).

      My niece, Charlotte Mary (an ecumenical project in herself) was christened today with a very cosmopolitan crowd in Westport – a Chinese girl, a Polish boy of two – who wore a cape and screamed at the priest throughout – and twin boys from a house on the very edge of the Atlantic. Satan renounced, I am momentarily virtuous again.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:04 AM

      Thanks for your kind thoughts, Re. I’m not sure it’s done yet. I’d say it was a quickie, but …

      The Polish boy reminds me of myself at 4 being forced to learn to swim by ‘Duke’ in a frigid pool. Duke had black hair, which was terrifyingly alien, so I screamed throughout as well.
      That’s the spirit, Januš!

  3. hic8ubique permalink
    November 20, 2011 1:18 AM

    …and! noting the hour… may I be the first among our congenial cohort to express heart-felt best wishes to Mishari, our beneficent host, for a very happy Birthday.
    Your excellent heath, dear friend, and many happy returns of the day.
    Grateful you were born; grateful you have survived and are among us still.
    Now, I shall go refill my glass, so I can raise it accordingly, yet with a wistful mistiness that we aren’t all toasting from the same bottle…

  4. mishari permalink*
    November 20, 2011 2:54 AM

    Why, thank you, sweetheart…how the hell did you know it’s my birthday? Frankly, it’s something (what with increasing decrepitude) that I try to ignore…but your good wishes and kind thoughts are, of course, most welcome.

    57 years old…Jesus…I still feel like I’m 17 [and act like it-Ed.]

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 20, 2011 3:09 AM

      Still up? glory. Decrepitude is to be abjured and birthdays embraced. Of course you’re still 17, and more as well.
      We all told our birthdays at one point. You didn’t take notes?

  5. InvisibleJack permalink
    November 20, 2011 10:49 AM

    Mish, Happy Birthday and a Day

  6. November 20, 2011 2:16 PM

    Happy birthday indeed.

  7. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 20, 2011 2:27 PM

    To those who say it is better to travel than arrive
    I say

    Have you ever travelled to Australia by second class?
    The least of your problems is a sore arse.
    I’m a regular traveller, not difficult to please
    But who determines the ammount of space for the knees?
    Flying over Pakistan is when I suffer from cramp
    In an overheated cabin my leatherette seat is now damp.
    The airline meal at least breaks up the routine
    But what passes for food is gastronomically obscene.
    A pot of salad dressing is a regular fixture
    Open the lid, it contains quite a mixture
    Of industrial effluent, several banned glues
    The taste of which can’t be hidden with booze.
    The “fresh fish” saw the sea about six months ago
    The vegetables push your mood swings to low.
    The sharpness of the pudding makes you lose your voice
    But at least you don’t have to eat the diabetic “choice”
    The movies are edited with the family in mind
    There’s nothing to help a teenager go blind
    The version of Scorsese’s Goodfellas that I saw
    Made them healthy, wholesome upholders of the law.

    Still you eventually land, the long-haul is over
    Now it’s only the jet-lag to get over.
    Not only is it tougher on your purse
    But travelling to New Zealand is worse.

  8. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 20, 2011 7:14 PM

    Happy 57th Mishari and thanks for watching these TV shows so we don’t have to.

    My 55th soon but of course you all knew that.

    The Liverpool to Belfast ferry used to have an extremely eccentric silver-service meal which came with the ticket price ( this usually only happens if you travel freight which we often do ).

    For some reason this lunch was served as soon as you got on the boat. Not a problem for the evening crossing but the daytime one meant that you ate at about 11.30 in the morning. Bizarre and if you didn’t eat then there was no other opportunity to eat on the crossing. It was an extremely civilised affair with soup, a roast dinner, a pudding and cheese and biscuits. I once saw a pissed Tom Paulin crawling around on the floor whilst his wife and son put on a brave face.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:12 AM

      Naturally, EdT, but give us til tomorrow to begin preparations
      [ *ahem*ahem* for 10th December ]
      Baked ham is on the menu and we’ll complement that with…
      ?… Oh, yes, Reine; of course you may have pork instead.

      I have The Wind Dog by Tom Paulin, which I’ve enjoyed. He and I share the 25th January, so I’m favourably inclined.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 21, 2011 9:43 AM

      Good lord! I have NO recollection of ever giving this date out. Must be what happens when the 50’s kick in.

      I have more than several experiences of seeing a completely drunk Tom Paulin. He must have had a media or university job in Manchester in the late 90’s. He certainly does a good swaying in the non-existent wind routine.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 21, 2011 11:04 AM

      hic don’t forget a sprinkling of cheese with the ham.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:22 PM

      I was thinking of a honey mustard for the ham, and gruyere in the potatoes savoyard.
      Must you abstain from honey?

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:32 PM

      I should do and I usually do but I can balance the books if I exercise. Which I do.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 2:00 PM

      That’s sad about Paulin. I hope he’s been able to dial it back somehow.
      Per your birthday, I’m always surprised to see the things I’ve said when an old thread is flagged up, but they’re not usually as mortifying as I’d have imagined.

  9. Reine permalink
    November 20, 2011 8:16 PM

    Mishari, may the generosity you show to all of us return to you a thousandfold. Happy birthday big boy. x

  10. henrylloydmoon permalink
    November 20, 2011 9:45 PM

    May you have fifty-seven more (57 more than Heinz)

    and may age never blunt your RLW



  11. mishari permalink*
    November 20, 2011 10:31 PM

    Thanks for the good wishes all. A pleasant day of sluicing and browsing and thoughtfully selected presents: the complete 8-CD Miles Davis Live At The Plugged Nickel (to replace the set I’ve played to death) and a nice 1st edition of Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy from the boys; an old sterling-silver Zippo engraved with ‘jump wings’ (I was, long ago and far away, a paratrooper) and antique Sulka silk-scarf that’s as lovely as it is impractical from the girls. Inez says I can’t see her present until tomorrow (very mysterious).

    So, I light another cigar, pour another Calvados and think of you all fondly…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:23 AM

      Silk scarves are very warm for their weight. It sounds appropriately raffish; I do hope Papa will make it a point appear in it on special days.

  12. Reine permalink
    November 20, 2011 11:14 PM

    A paratrooper? Of course. You might say you were a dancing girl at the Moulin Rouge; nothing would surprise me. I saw a magnificent calf skin weekend bag today that would suit you down to the ground. Alas, I did not have your poste restante address to hand and was late for the church. Happy you have had a joyful day.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 20, 2011 11:46 PM

      I wasn’t always the silk-kimono clad poltroon, sprawled on a chaise longue reading decadent French poets, that you see today…

  13. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 21, 2011 9:48 AM

    Were your kimono-wearing proclivities the reason why you are no longer a paratrooper?

    Poltroon – an excellent word.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:24 PM

      inextricable from Captain Haddock and his ‘billions of blistering blue barnacles’ tirades.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:34 PM

      My experience of the word as well. My only experience of the word save for our host.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:53 PM

      I don’t doubt he was exploiting its comic association.
      Kimono-wearing is ok, not quite as impressive as a man who can pull off a sarong.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 21, 2011 2:26 PM

      My uncle who was a health officer in the South East Pacific for several years had sarong wearing down to a tee. Much to the consternation of his neighbours in Chorleywood when he returned to live in the UK. He also did that thing of snorting up salt water and spitting it out in order to cleanse out the sinuses which he picked up from that part of the world.

      Our family 8mm movies were of us visiting a Dorset tea-room. His family movies were of his kids finding the skulls and helmets of Japanese soldiers in New Caledonia and discovering psychedelic sea cucumbers in the Pacific ocean.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 3:00 PM

      [subtitle from the Taylor family super-8 archive]

      Little Eddie: (sobbing)
      “But I wanted coloured cucumber samwidges!”

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 21, 2011 3:11 PM

      No time for sobbing hic. Four boys – I’m the youngest. We could pick a dinner table clean in minutes. I wouldn’t have noticed what colour the cucumber was and would have only felt the merest of touches to suggest it even was a cucumber in between the bread.

  14. InvisibleJack permalink
    November 21, 2011 12:16 PM

    Is the kimono made from an old parachute? We should be told the truth.

  15. mishari permalink*
    November 21, 2011 12:42 PM

    Singer Robin Gibb has reportedly been diagnosed with liver cancer. In recent photographs, Gibb looks frail. His condition is “not good”, a close family friend told the Sunday Mirror, and Gibb’s wife, a druid priestess, has suggested alternative therapies.

    “This incredible Indian tribe introduced Robin and I to something called ‘spider medicine,'” Dwina Murphy-Gibb told Sky Arts. “[It] apparently contains properties that can help you get well from certain untreatable illnesses.” — The Grauniad, today

    Ah, yes…’spider medicine’ as recommended by a ‘druid priestess’; he should be right-as-rain in no time.

    I’m always amused by this ‘alternative’ notion. If it worked, it wouldn’t be an ‘alternative’, it would be the treatment.

    My silk kimono is made from the petticoats of Marlene Dietrich.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 1:30 PM

      ‘If it worked, it wouldn’t be an ‘alternative’, it would be the treatment.’
      Not always so.

  16. November 21, 2011 1:01 PM

    The airship!
    That would have been a fair trip,
    Pity they were favoured by the Kraut,
    otherwise they might have had a shout.

    A belated Happy Birthday, Mish. If I hadn’t been wrapped in this paper I would have been less tardy.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 21, 2011 2:07 PM

      Your link is broken, Si.

      Though air-ship rooms may have been fair
      I’d climb the walls for want of air.

  17. November 21, 2011 2:35 PM

    <a href=""A broken link?

  18. November 21, 2011 2:41 PM

    Too much 55% 烧酒, perhaps. Time for bed.

  19. hic8ubique permalink
    November 21, 2011 3:04 PM

    Good Heavens, Si, you’ve sent the whole thread ‘swaying in the non-existent wind’ on the strength of the stuff..

  20. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 21, 2011 3:58 PM


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  21. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 21, 2011 3:59 PM

    No birthday poems? Hmm…

    • Reine permalink
      November 21, 2011 9:26 PM

      inspirational as ever…

  22. Captain Ned permalink
    November 21, 2011 5:27 PM

    Many happy returns, Mishari.

    I am no admirer of Hugh Grant, and I doubt he’s a figure of any great popularity on this site, but I think he’s done a great public service by implicating Associated Newspapers in the hacking scandal. If anything he does helps cause serious discomfort to the deplorable Paul Dacre, then I might just forgive him for Notting Hill.

  23. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 21, 2011 7:51 PM

    57 years it has taken non-stop
    From boy to paratrooper to indolent fop.
    The use of far from slender means
    To reach the age of a tin of baked beans.

    A diet of op-eds, fascist poets and blues
    Stimulate,enrage and often amuse
    Our country-hopping host you could mistake for a slouch
    Seeing as how long he spends supine on the couch.

    The hints of child servants could enrage
    Everybody above the legal voting age.
    In fairness for these hints there is mitigation
    I have to say this he’s got me in litigation.

    • Reine permalink
      November 21, 2011 9:01 PM

      Very good Ed… pass the gauntlet

      Al Adwani, Mishari
      A man of the world
      Dapper and devilish
      Hair slightly curled
      When o’er long

      Friend of catus domestica
      Pen pals all around
      The girls, they adore him
      The lads think him profound

      All admire his beauty
      Though few will admit
      That they’ve practised the smoke rings
      And theirs turned out shit

      Most men think Céline
      Is a girl in a bar
      But Adwani knows better
      The boy has come far

      He’s a demon on wheels
      A whizz at the Aga
      Connoisseur of jazz
      Renaissance man, gaga

      Gargantuan gaucho
      Greater than God
      He’ll teach you the tango
      Flexing sinewed bod

      You wouldn’t guess 57
      If you saw his lapiz
      You’d just up your colgada
      In an aim to please

      You’d give up a kidney
      For a kind word or two
      From Mishari, the maestro
      The orchestra, you.

  24. Reine permalink
    November 21, 2011 8:36 PM

    Knock, Knock…

    On a brackish bog in Mayo
    Where many a poltroon
    Had walked his dog
    Or kissed a girl
    While staring at the moon

    There stood a brave monsignor
    A visionary type
    Who banished demons from the dancehalls
    Long before they went on Skype

    Said he to Charlie Haughey
    “We’ll build an airport here
    For our diaspora, not Dublin based
    To their homesteads they’ll be near”

    “My dear padre, no one gives a fuck
    About your mucky hill
    Nothing’ll ever fly in here
    Bar a windchat or crossbill”

    “I’ll wager you a Charvais shirt
    This’ll be no apparition
    And we’ll make sure to guard against
    Extraordinary rendition

    Mark you sir, on the Virgin’s breast
    The birds who’ll fly with zeal
    Before I’m dead ‘ll be made of lead
    Their bills of glass and steel”

    “Right oh, sure if you bless my yacht
    I will your palm anoint
    With silver such to cut a swathe
    And a runway to appoint”

    And so it is it came to pass
    That where the Virgin revealed
    Strange birds with numbered names
    Now land where once was field.

  25. November 21, 2011 9:03 PM

    Just read this post with genuine pleasure, M! Have been deep in the bowels (pay attention to word-choice, here) of the “music” business (suits on the phone for lunch, even). Still wish you’d publish these recollections in a generously-illustrated, hardbound volume… I’d buy them as XXXmas presents!

    (very happy to see MM’s dignified avatar on the right column in clusters, again, too)

  26. November 21, 2011 9:07 PM

    Happy B’day, too?

  27. mishari permalink*
    November 21, 2011 10:15 PM

    Thanks, Steven…I was just thinking about you today, not having heard from you in a while and wondering if I should come looking; but I figured you were just knee-deep in work. Glad you’re well and busy.

    Good pomes, kids…you embarrass me, Reen; I’ll remedy your good opinion of me by telling you about my years as a heroin addict/professional criminal…one of these days.

    • Reine permalink
      November 21, 2011 10:24 PM

      *gasp* I’m all ears Marcello.

  28. mishari permalink*
    November 21, 2011 11:19 PM

    It’ll have to wait until I’m feeling especially shameless; it was an utterly disgraceful (albeit interesting, in a hellish sort of way) period of my life.

    Inez’ surprise present turned out to be a new bike to replace the one I smashed into little carbon-fibre splinters last Feb. So it was over to the Republique end of Boulevard Voltaire to get measured for a new Pinarello. It’s a bit like being measured for a suit: shoulder-width, arm-length, spine-length, leg-length etc etc…I wonder if she’s trying to get rid of me?

    • Reine permalink
      November 21, 2011 11:21 PM

      She’s a gas ticket, that Inez.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 22, 2011 1:50 AM

      ‘I wonder if she’s trying to get rid of me?’

      Of course not. That’s a stiff bike, not a stiff-bike; metaphorically, a material compliment.
      A chromoly connotation would be far less sexy. You’re clearly a keeper.

  29. mishari permalink*
    November 22, 2011 8:11 AM

    It’s official: Rupert Murdoch kills brain cells.

    A new Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll finds that the Sunday morning political shows on television “do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

    Among other topics, New Jerseyans were asked about the outcome of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East this past year. While 53% of New Jerseyans know that Egyptians were successful in overthrowing the government of Hosni Mubarak, 21% say that the uprisings were unsuccessful, and 26% admit they don’t know. Also, 48% know that the Syrian uprising has thus far been unsuccessful, while 36% say they don’t know, and 16% say the Syrians have already toppled their government.

    But the real finding is that the results depend on what media sources people turn to for their news. For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.

    “Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

    Beautiful. Fox News is the opposite of a news channel: it doesn’t merely misinform–it actually uninforms. There’s some kind of perverse brilliance about that…or something.

  30. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 22, 2011 11:38 AM

    We appear to have been taken over by a SlimFast club.

    Are the dilithium crystals in the blog engine room playing up?

  31. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 22, 2011 11:13 PM

    عيد ميلاد سعيد

    Many years ago, on the desert sands,
    in a humble, though well-appointed tent,
    erected on the Al-Adwani lands,
    occurred a most remarkable event.

    A child was born, and seemed a hopeless case,
    it was never expected to survive,
    cross-eyed, puny, with a hideous face,
    nothing so ugly could remain alive.

    Yet, despite the Almighty’s solemn curse,
    that child grew and became some kind of man,
    lived, loved, wrote the occasional decent verse,
    still looks like the inside of a butcher’s van.

    So, in your face, God, fuck off back to heav’n,
    Prince Mishari has made it to fifty-sev’n!

    • Reine permalink
      November 22, 2011 11:29 PM

      You had me at the title. Wondrous work.

  32. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 22, 2011 11:14 PM

    Vol De Nuit

    While flying over London
    in their Heinkel 123,
    Heinrich said to Herman,
    is that the City I see?

    Then Herman said to Heinrich,
    why yes, I believe you’re right,
    let’s release a stick or two,
    give the Englanders a fright.

    The bombs rained down on hedge funds,
    the Exchange was blown to bits,
    Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch
    took several major hits.

    RBS went up in flames,
    Hambros and Barclays were razed,
    Schroders was a smoking ruin
    and the Bank of England blazed.

    All the bankers and dealers
    ran squealing on to the street,
    they cut them down with tracer
    like a farmer cuts his wheat.

    We don’t want Adolf Hitler,
    or those nasty chaps in black,
    but one day it might be nice
    if the Luftwaffe came back.

  33. Reine permalink
    November 22, 2011 11:47 PM

    So I finally tackled the hall press and among other things found assorted shoes, a raffia mat, picnic baskets, phone chargers, photographs, Christmas wrapping paper, a shower curtain, old copies, cushions, a Christening candle, door knobs, bulbs, cool bags, a chef’s hat, a briefcase, curtains, faux fur, a joke book, several hundred newspapers and a lump of coal. Most of it is gone straight back in again because you never know…

    Hope y’all have had more exciting evenings.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 23, 2011 1:28 AM

      The collective female family trees resound with the phrase:
      ‘Might come in useful!’

      This afternoon/evening I have paid bills, made soup, walked one dog, bathed and clipped another dog, shipped a parcel, laundered linens, made up a room for a mil (the easy one), and (most dangerously) have excavated the room of the collegiate child to render it sufficiently habitable for one night only. Spouse and IP at a rehearsal.
      Furthermore, I have enjoyed Mowbray’s poems and your closet whilst partaking of the soup…

      Glory! The boy just walked in early! in advance of the storm. Make that two nights.
      He’s just gone back out to haul in more laundry. The dogs are beside themselves.
      What greater joy is there to be had on this planet than a son come home?

  34. hic8ubique permalink
    November 23, 2011 1:59 PM

    I’m sorry, EdT. I remembered your backpack landing at home with no fanfare, or a sort of anti-fanfare, but not in time to curb my enthusiasm.
    Youngest of 4 boys; were you the hoping-for-a-girl baby? I was the eldest, save-the-name-in-case-we-get-a-boy-next-time baby,
    which probably explains my belief in a hearty welcome.

    I think I made a poem about a flying-house dream, but it’s flown away, probably posted somewhere in the meandering train of PH~~~

  35. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 23, 2011 3:47 PM

    I was the illegitimate one hic born from an affair my mum had. The full story is elsewhere on these blogs, can’t remember where exactly.

    My non-dad who I thought was my dad for 30 years bought me up as if I were his which must have been extremely difficult and it eventually ended in bitter, messy divorce and alcoholism.

    We’re a one-family soap opera plot.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 23, 2011 5:11 PM

      I would insist that a child cannot be illegitimate. It’s terribly unfair that this bogus stigma be attached to an innocent party. But, so it was then.
      No wonder you had such a painful time of it, fraught with the over-layers of your parents’ unhappiness.

      I wonder, recalling the WRAS have been together for many years, whether you consider this troupe you’ve created and sustained to be your family do-over?

  36. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 23, 2011 5:22 PM

    For the most part I had a fairly normal childhood. It got messy when my parents split up and was not helped by the fact I was 13/14 and an extremely awkward teenager.

    I’ve run the WRAS with my other half all this time so not so much a family just something that has glued us together.

  37. hic8ubique permalink
    November 23, 2011 6:51 PM

    Mishari… pardon me but…do you have blue eyes?(!)

  38. mishari permalink*
    November 23, 2011 6:57 PM

    Nope…dark-brown. Why?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 23, 2011 7:36 PM

      Sorry, just an LFD hallucination.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 23, 2011 7:50 PM

      Ah, that…it’s Celine (whose real name was Destouches). He had blue eyes.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 23, 2011 8:04 PM

      He looks like you, albeit on an unflattering mug-shot sort of a day.

    • reine permalink
      November 23, 2011 8:47 PM

      But what does Mishari look like?

    • reine permalink
      November 23, 2011 8:49 PM

      All sons must be cherished and waited on hand and foot it seems. Having grown up with only sisters, I am amazed to discover the lengths a mother will go to for her son. Edward, I’m giving you a big old Mammy hug whether you want it or not.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 23, 2011 9:04 PM

      According to my wife, very like Marcello Mastroianni. Well, we’re both swarthy, I suppose…

    • reine permalink
      November 23, 2011 9:28 PM

      There are worse fellas to resemble…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 24, 2011 12:49 PM

      She should have gone to Specsavers.

  39. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 23, 2011 7:23 PM

    Ad break

  40. mishari permalink*
    November 23, 2011 7:30 PM

    Dali…what a whore.

  41. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 23, 2011 8:38 PM

    Indeed but it’s not as surreal or plain wrong as this one

  42. reine permalink
    November 23, 2011 8:47 PM

    Damn you Edward, I knew that ad would come back to haunt me. I’ve gone downhill badly since then.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 23, 2011 9:39 PM

      I can’t even imagine what the “reasoning” was behind that one Reine.

      Dylan isn’t a bronzed adonis, I can’t think that anyone fancies him in that incarnation and Dylan + feminine lingerie don’t go together like love and marriage, a horse and carriage perhaps or more accurately a horse and a young model.

  43. Captain Ned permalink
    November 23, 2011 9:19 PM

    Now here’s real artistry…

  44. Captain Ned permalink
    November 23, 2011 9:23 PM

  45. Captain Ned permalink
    November 23, 2011 9:24 PM

  46. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 23, 2011 9:45 PM

    I’ve got a German theatre programme somewhere with Phillip Glass advertising whiskey. It’s a photo of him with text ” After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.”

    It’s pity it doesn’t get more Glass-like

    “After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt.After a hard day composing systems music there’s nothing I like more than cutting back with a glass of Seagram’s Irish malt. etc. etc”

    But you can’t have everything

  47. November 23, 2011 11:07 PM

    When was the last time I posted something here that was utterly wrong?

  48. hic8ubique permalink
    November 23, 2011 11:08 PM

    So, I totally abysmally failed to recognise Marcello M, despite an arsenal of other Mishari film avatars.
    I know Moon’s is Nick Nolte.
    I thought ‘oh this is a friendly blog where we’ll just post our own pics’…
    JBC is himself, Simon and Re and I are, but why would I think Mishari, who never leaves a return address, would post his own picture?
    Egad. I must be the most credulous neophyte who ever blundered onto the internet.
    I’m beginning to miss my lioness disguise.
    Now (dawn breaks on Marblehead) I understand why ‘you’ look like no Arab I’ve ever seen.

    • reine permalink
      November 23, 2011 11:26 PM

      If it’s any consolation Hic, I was sitting beside David the other night and says I “here is Mishari” and he laughed and said “Mam, that’s an actor, nobody has a photo like that of themselves”. “No” said I “it is he”… cue more mirth and a QED dropping and searching of the image revealing Marcello (whom I would recognise any other day of the week) in all his glory. “Didn’t you say he was from Kuwait… ah look … I thought you were an intelligent person?” He left the room laughing and I had a good old chuckle myself at not seeing the artifice staring me in the face. He’s a devil, that Marcello.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 23, 2011 11:47 PM

      Thank you, ReGina, it is indeed a salve that you were fooled as well,
      But my godfathers! I am so suggestible! If I walked into a shop and saw that ‘Stephen Augustine’ doll, I’d probably introduce myself.
      I don’t know anything about image searches either. Maybe I’ll go back to knitting; I’m quick at that.

    • reine permalink
      November 23, 2011 11:56 PM

      Mishari, we may need counselling to get over this. Send the money to the usual address.

      I sent my first Christmas package today … I’d send you all a Christmas trinket had I the relevant details. (“my share in the thanks” as the saying goes)

      That is SA’s wife as a child if I recall Hic .. (SA now responsible for dodgy search history on this machine … )

  49. mishari permalink*
    November 23, 2011 11:42 PM

    Actually, although the photo of Marcello is pure show-biz, I don’t think it’s all that far off.
    My Italian-American wife (No.2) used to tease me by calling me ‘Marcello, daaarrrling…’.

    Kuwaitis range from black as the ace of spades to green-eyed blondes and everything in-between, so the fact that I’m a Kuwaiti is indicative of exactly nothing. Most people assume I’m Italian or a Spaniard (including most Italians and Spaniards).

    • reine permalink
      November 23, 2011 11:48 PM

      It was a generalised extrapolation, I accept. We’ll have to work up an identikit.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 23, 2011 11:53 PM

      Never mind, M. I don’t fault you in the least.
      My grandfather (the Anglo-Bavarian one) did many portraits of North African Arabs, and ‘swarthy’ doesn’t begin to describe my early impression of those faces.
      I’d never knowingly ‘met’ anyone from Kuwait before you.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 24, 2011 9:48 AM

      I look like a regional entrant for the 1988 John Malkovich look-alike competition coming 7th overall. SA likened me to bloody Michael Stipe of REM and although he didn’t compare me to the inside of a butcher’s van MM found a resembllance to a Posy Simmonds cartoon character.

      So my avatar is remaining defiantly abstract.

    • November 24, 2011 8:12 PM

      A) Well-remembered, Reine! That is my Beloved, age 5, in ’79 [as painted by her demen… I mean, utterly sane… mother] B) Ed, remember, I said a *young*, virile, magnetic Stipe… not the new version and C) Mish, I can’t post non sequitur porno here as long as that angelic kid is your avatar…

  50. Captain Ned permalink
    November 23, 2011 11:58 PM

    That photo had been bugging for a while. The best guess I could come up with was Patrick McGoohan; there’s some resemblance, I think – at least in this particular picture – but McGoohan could never emulate Mastroianni’s cool. Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi, Alberto Sordi, Nino Manfredi – what a generation of Italian actors that was.

  51. mishari permalink*
    November 24, 2011 12:08 AM

    You can view a wide selection of Al-Adwanis HERE, all of them relatives of varying degrees of closeness. They range from the genuinely hideous to the tolerable. I’m somewhere in between (and do not appear amongst them).

  52. reine permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:13 AM

    I think I might pass as an Al-Adwani myself although I am even pale for an Irish person. Princess Reine Al-Adwani bids you all goodnight.

  53. mishari permalink*
    November 24, 2011 12:13 AM

    And HERE is a photo of my Uncle Ahmed (Kuwait’s national poet) and his brother (my father, on the right).

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 24, 2011 1:06 PM

      They are beautiful. Were they twins?

    • mishari permalink*
      November 24, 2011 7:03 PM

      @hic, No…a year apart.

      I see that Jonathan Jones is back to busily demonstrating why he’s Britain’s worst art critic. Jones is to critical rigour what Ivan Grozny was to compassionate leadership.

      Why the fuck doesn’t a Grauniad editor take Jones aside and explain to him that breathless hyperbole is not the same thing as rational evaluation. He always ends up sounding like some simpering gallery PR twerp. Christ…

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 24, 2011 8:37 PM

      The current Jones one is very silly ( he appears to genuinely like Hirst ) but I don’t find it as ridiculous as his claim that Franzen’s last book “Freedom” was book of the century.

      It was highly entertaining seeing some of the book blog regulars migrate over to give him a thoroughly good kicking.

      My partner who has a voracious reading habit hated it with a passion. She would have abandoned it about a third of the way through but carried on because she’d read a few people ( Franzen’s parents probably ) say it has an amazing twist in it. It didn’t.

  54. reine permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:14 AM


  55. mishari permalink*
    November 24, 2011 10:03 AM

    God Moves In Mysterious Ways, Part 97:

    On the plus side, there was the moment at the Family Forum when Rick Santorum explained how God had arranged his come-from-behind win of a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania. “And I really felt blessed that I knew at that moment, when I won, I had a constituency of One,” he burbled.

    Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster who served as moderator, asked Santorum what message God was sending when he then lost the seat — by what I believe was 17 percentage points. — Gail Collins, The NYT, today

    • November 24, 2011 10:33 AM

      A one-off, God doesn’t normally condone the come-from-behind win… sorry, sorry..

  56. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:43 PM

    Maybe it’s the late 50’s/ early 60’s haircut and the standard studio lighting but you looked almost the spitting image of my brother Matthew at that age. You certainly have that same ” when I’m older I’m going to take lots of drugs ” look about you. Psychedelics were his drug of choice.

    But I really did double take severely when the new avatar popped up on my screen.

    Family snapshots – the great leveller.

  57. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:50 PM


    It’s a way of getting from A to B
    as far as I’m concerned, and in my case
    that’s from the rubbish dump to Melton’s place,
    and back. Sometimes I’ll go down to the sea,

    but it’s just not the draw it used to be.
    I suppose it’s what you might call my base,
    but to stay in the evolutionary race
    garbage is a much better fit for me.

    Whatever, but that Melton, he’s a star!
    I love to see his cheery morning wave
    and greeting, though he doesn’t need to shout,

    and I’m not sure what the swearing’s about,
    but what a top bloke! That’s why I like to leave
    a mark of my appreciation on his car.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 24, 2011 12:59 PM

      Damme, two ‘whats’. Should read ’em first, what?

  58. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 24, 2011 11:20 PM

    Let’s Fly

    Come fly with me, let’s fly away,
    it’s getting tight, the lights are red,
    it’s better if we go today.

    We’ll head for Ac – apulco Bay,
    we’ve made the score and got the bread,
    come fly with me, let’s fly away.

    You know there’s sense in what I say,
    my gun’s not pointing at your head,
    it’s better if we go today,

    they’re going to get us if we stay,
    llama-land’s one-man band is dead.
    Come fly with me, let’s fly away

    if we leave now we’ll be OK,
    Fat Tony’s guys are still in bed,
    it’s better if we go today

    hit the airport traffic and pray.
    Just like our good friend Frankie said,
    come fly with me, let’s fly away,
    it’s better if we go today.

  59. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 24, 2011 11:23 PM

    Starting to feel like the man in the HM Bateman cartoon…

  60. mishari permalink*
    November 24, 2011 11:34 PM

    You mean ‘…the man who wrote a poem..’? All around you, people gasp in horror and point but are too polite to actually tell you what a horrible faux pas you’ve committed…

    Actually, you’re making me feel guilty. Sadly, my Muse (such as she is) is uncommunicative, probably because it’s been an exhausting week. I shall revive at the weekend, inshallah.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 25, 2011 2:06 PM

      The Muse stuck waiting
      In imaginary airport queues.
      When asked
      “Have you anything to declare?”
      It sighs
      Throws its hands in the air.
      Returns to its latterday blues.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 26, 2011 9:15 AM

      dear Editor – things have moved on overnight but if you cast a glance backwards could you change “customary” to “latterday” ?


  61. Reine permalink
    November 24, 2011 11:36 PM

    Poeming post the gloaming… no better man.

  62. Reine permalink
    November 24, 2011 11:57 PM

    Seagull foe extraordinaire
    Sends words floating on the air
    Chinese lanterns of his mind
    Foment laughter on the wind
    Nothing will their light extinguish
    Master crafted witty English
    Testament to green tile presence
    Which needs must rhyme with Donald Pleasance

  63. Reine permalink
    November 24, 2011 11:59 PM

    Pleasence… soz

  64. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 25, 2011 9:27 PM

    I see Michael Gove is planning to send a Bible to every school in Britain complete with a foreward by…. Michael Gove.

    Mishari I hope your children are safe in the hands of the French system. I don’t know what it’s like but it can’t be worse than what’s happening my side of the channel..

    • mishari permalink*
      November 25, 2011 11:11 PM

      “We should recover something of that Victorian earnestness which believed that an audience would be gripped more profoundly by a passionate, hour-long lecture from a gifted thinker which ranged over poetry and politics than by cheap sensation and easy pleasures.”

      The most unintentionally amusing thing about Gove’s pious drivel is that until he managed to slither into Parliament, the odious Gove earned his living working for that well-known enemy of “…cheap sensation and easy pleasures…”, Rupert Murdoch.

      The French, I’m happy to say, practice laïcité (which is difficult to translate exactly but is cognate with the English word ‘laity’ and basically refers to the concept of secularism). Article 1 of the French Constitution states that France is a secular republic (“La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale.”).

      In fact, France has a law requiring separation of church and state, prohibiting the state from recognizing or funding any religion. Schools directly operated by the national or local governments must not endorse or promote any religious dogma. So, no Bibles.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 26, 2011 10:51 AM

      I hadn’t read that Gove quote which is somewhat contradictory given how “hands off” and “big society” the government said they were going to be.

      Of course they didn’t mean anything of the sort but bibles in every school?

      As the secularists said in response bibles are one thing the government don’t need to spend money on. If you want them there are tons of Christian groups who’d be only too happy to donate them for free.

      So back we go to “basics” and as in Major’s term in office back comes the daily evidence that those advocating this stuff are the last ones to follow their strictures. same old shit.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 26, 2011 11:05 AM

      Ed, this lot make Thatcher and her gang of pin-striped stoats look like Pericles…

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      November 26, 2011 11:53 AM

      There’s an article Cameron “answering” questions put by a variety of celebs and public figures in the colour supplement.

      The whole thing is a masterclass in PR. Not just from callmeDave but the questions from some are carefully calculated in order not to lose a wide fanbase.

      I can’t believe if you were offered a chance to ask a question to the PM which he will answer that you’d ask such witless drivel and witless drivel is my middle name.

  65. Reine permalink
    November 25, 2011 11:29 PM

    I’m just trying to decide which hat to wear to Leah’s and Parisa’s civil partnership ceremony.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 25, 2011 11:51 PM

      It’s a hippy love-in…so, something rainbow-hued

  66. Reine permalink
    November 25, 2011 11:57 PM

    Can I be your Mammy?

  67. mishari permalink*
    November 26, 2011 12:04 AM

    Thank you, but I’m already adequately supplied with, erm…’Mammies’. A generous offer, though…

  68. Reine permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:09 AM

    Ha. You are terribly cute though.

  69. mishari permalink*
    November 26, 2011 12:19 AM

    The operative word here is ‘was’…it’s been a very, very long time since anyone thought I was ‘cute’ (except in the sense of ‘cute hoor’, which is rather different).

    • Reine permalink
      November 26, 2011 12:23 AM

      (except in the sense of ‘cute hoor’, which is rather different)…..

      Who are ya telling? A nod and a wink me oul segotia… see you down Mulligans for a pint in ten.

  70. mishari permalink*
    November 26, 2011 12:24 AM

    Make it five…I’m gaspin’…

  71. Reine permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:28 AM

    I’m here. Johnny has one on for you. Would you like a pint as well?

  72. Reine permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:33 AM

    Just got an email from The Book Collectors Library if anyone has any loose change lying around…

    • Reine permalink
      November 26, 2011 12:48 AM

      Thanks for the url trim.

  73. mishari permalink*
    November 26, 2011 12:42 AM

    $2500 for Leonard Cohen’s poems? Are they having a laugh?

  74. Reine permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:47 AM

    Big window on that shop as we say in these parts…

  75. hic8ubique permalink
    November 26, 2011 2:37 AM


    Frank attained great
    age of ninety-five
    though deaf, near blind,
    and bowed; habits
    methodical, he had enjoyed
    his glass of wine
    or two at dinner still, until

    deep file drawer long-
    locked sustained a slow
    controlled dying out;
    his final year silent, slight
    shadows of intelligence
    to be espied behind
    paled dark-lanterns’ lost
    scope of borderlines.

    He’d kept a box:
    contained not a silk scarf,
    though so it draped, a tube
    of fine cream twill (so fine
    tumbling out) short fringed;
    it was a length
    of parachute

    contained two maps
    parti-colour inked
    on silk to crush
    expediently tucked
    into a sock’s ribs,

    contained one large spoon
    for hope of food, and
    his War Department
    ID card 1945, indomitable
    sight photo laminated,

    contained no more;
    among mementos
    Frank had not kept
    his cyanide pill.

    • Reine permalink
      November 26, 2011 10:56 AM

      Hey, Hic, will we ask that little boy if he wants to play?

      (Poor Frank)

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 26, 2011 6:59 PM

      Oh, poor Frank was well looked after. I’m pretty sure he’s happily soaring about the Alps.
      Curious though that paratroopers should come up twice in a week.

      I thought I’d get in on the adorableness, while I think about avatars…

  76. mishari permalink*
    November 26, 2011 10:57 AM

    It’s the all-new baby-blog…

    • Reine permalink
      November 26, 2011 10:59 AM

      Well, if I can’t be your Mammy, I’ll be your cousin.

  77. Des permalink
    November 26, 2011 3:15 PM

    I am on the last few pages of the Terence de Vere White biography of Kevin O’Higgins, the architect of the Irish state in the immediate post-civil war period. He was a very eloquent statesman, who was assassinated on his way to church in Booterstown in July 1927 by anti-treaty republicans. Here he is writing from the General Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva in September 1926, where the Imperial Conference for prime ministers of the new Dominions of Great Britain was fixed to be held in London in November, following the Blafour Declaration which established the principle that the dominions are all equal in status, and not subordinate to the United Kingdom.

    “Lord Robert Cecil is the finest flower of Geneva. He has an episcopal manner, he exudes High Church morality, his eyes look through you into a better world. He is a useful type to the British – the ‘sword and Bible’ type. His sanctimonious exterior conceals an utterly cynical, ruthless, cold-hearted imperialism. He is the High Priest of Humbug and Hypocrisy.”

  78. mishari permalink*
    November 26, 2011 9:44 PM

    Went to a terrific exhibition today: Diane Arbus’ first major retrospective (I think) in Paris. The Jeu de Paume had collected about 300 of her best images to show.

    Afterwards, we crossed the river to have a late lunch at a small, Auvergnois restaurant that we’ve often visited over the years. The family who own it also maintain the family farm and herds back in Gévaudan and they produce much of the stuff they serve themselves.

    I enjoy listening to them chattering away in Auvergnat (a variety of Occitan) almost as much as I enjoy the potatoes fried in goose-fat, then tossed with braised leeks, cubed lardons of smoked bacon, parsley and garlic.

    Anyway, what struck me was how very quiet and thoughtful my family all were. From the time we exited the Arbus exhibition, we had stopped at a cafe for a coffee, stopped in the park so Papa could smoke a cigar and then sat down to a long, leisurely meal, almost all of the foregoing conducted in silence.

    Perhaps the reader comes from a background where chatter is suspect (I know people who have) and sees nothing odd in this; but my family are not, as a rule, given to long periods of silence–not when in company, at any rate.

    So, I asked the girls and the boys what had rendered them all so pensive. Or rather, because I already knew the ‘what’: why had the images rendered them so thoughtful?

    A fascinating conversation ensued that had me marvelling at just how perceptive the children are. They all made the point that, (I must paraphrase here) at first, the viewer feels that ‘pity’ is the appropriate response to the many images of people who appear to have been dealt a really crap hand; but after a while the viewer begins to realise that most of the subjects have a great deal of simple dignity and more: many of them are proud; defiant even. This had led to thoughts on discreet courage, dignity and playing the cards you’re dealt.

    When we got home, I went hunting for an Arbus quote that I could only remember a fragment of but seemed to me to explain the ‘proud’ air of many of the subjects (often labelled as ‘freaks’) and eventually, I found it:

    “Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” — Diane Arbus

    That’s it, just what the children had caught and what I had, in the main, missed until they pointed it out to me.

    Their mother’s looks and brains…thank God. I am content.

  79. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 8:53 AM

    Sanctuary Much

    This is the departure lounge, hear the jet;
    the dulcet tones over the PA, “passengers leaving
    for Ibiza please go to gate 2
    “, while you fret
    about metal-fatigue and who’d be grieving.

    Set each bag of resort wear on the carousel,
    curved and snaky, slow to deliver;
    thank your foreign hosts, they played merry hell
    on your vows of chastity and your liver.

    Full as a duty-free bottle of over-proof rum;
    skin as raw as a newly-flayed lamb;
    belly as tight as a fire-warmed drum;
    how did you leave? With bag in hand.

    While I was digging up the foregoing @arturopimiento special, I came across an old thread, on how changing a single letter in the title of a work might bring out hitherto unsuspected aspects. Here were mine.

    The Kine Flyer– Man invents flying cattle.

    The Prisoner of Zonda– Man trapped in exotic sports car.

    No Country For Old Hen– Chicken has a hard time in Texas.

    Brood Méridien– Chicken nests in a luxury hotel.

    The Cunt of Monte Cristo– Bill Clinton’s guide to adult fun with cigars..

    The Tome Machine– Inventor creates device that retrieves very heavy books.

    Bowl– Long American poem about toilets and cricket.

    The Goon Soldier– More Milligan war memoirs.

    The Welt of Loneliness– Memoir of lesbian self-flagellation.

    The Moog and Sixpence– Build your own synthesizer for almost nothing.

    Lust For Fife– Van Gogh conceives a passion for Scotland.

    The Charterhouse of Dharma– A young Frenchman seeks enlightenment.

    Across The River and Into The Tree– The story of a car crash.

    A Farewell To Arse– A former libertine takes vows of celibacy.

    The Topic of Cancer– Miller’s guide to oncology.

    Vole Bodies– Small mammals in the Jazz Age.

    The Naked Lurch– Guide to nude volleyball

    Swann’s Wag– Frenchman marries noisy bottle-blonde.

    Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Map– Borgesian fantasy.

    The Tin Dram– A history of canned drinks.

    The Sale Of Two Titties– A plastic surgeon botches a job and is prosecuted. For reasons too convoluted to go into, his doppelganger takes his place in the Bastille.

    The Mills On The Floss– Poet Billy Mills on the importance of oral hygeine.

    Within A Budding Gove
    – A proctologist recounts the removal of polyps from a Tory politician.

    Lucky Jif– A novel about cleaning fluids.

    King Solomon’s Mites-Cheese problems in antiquity.

    The 39 Stops– A history of London Underground’s early years.

    The Horse At Pooh Corner
    – A heart-warming tale of an insufferably twee and saccharine bear being trampled to death by a cart horse.

    Your turn.

  80. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 27, 2011 10:09 AM

    Laughterhouse 5 – the Nazis use light entertainment instead of blitzkrieg to achieve their aims

    The Big Sheep – a classic whoknitit

    The Miracle of the Hose – Genet’s guide to erotic gardening

    The Red Sea Snarks – Tintin uncovers a network of Middle Eastern bloggers

    Infinite Pest
    – a biography of Peter Pan

    London A-B
    – a rip off

    The Berk Tree – some berks in a tree

    The New Routledge Hutch Dictionary – how to understand your rabbit

    The Pickwick Pagers – updated story set in a hospital

    Harry Shitfacefuckwit and the Prisoner of Askhaban – what was I supposed to be doing again?

  81. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 27, 2011 10:21 AM

    Mills & Boon – Irish experimental poetry with heaving bosoms.

  82. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 11:09 AM

    Recline and Fall – A history of deck-chairs

    Ben Hut
    – The early years of a Roman property developer

    Racket To The Moon – The muffler problems of early astronauts.

    The Jungle Boom
    – The boy Mowgli joins Al Qaida.

    Eyelash In Gaza
    – Huxley’s tale of passions run riot in a beauty salon.

    The Wimp in The Willows – A timid Mr. Toad is terrified by motor-cars.

    The Lord of The Rinks – The rise of an ice-skating magnate.

  83. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:30 AM

    The Canterbury Talcs – essential hygiene for pilgrims

    Rocket to the Moop
    by George Costanza

    Grime and Punishment – the confessions of a Dizzee Rascal fan

    Wife a User’s Manual – controversial book by George Perec

    Enduring Gove – sadly something we all have to do in the UK

  84. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 11:33 AM

    The Loneliness of The Wrong Distance Runner – self-explanatory.

    In Gold Blood – Receiving a transfusion after a car-wreck, Paris Hilton decides red is ‘like, so over…’

    War and Pease – A military cook-book.

    Do Androids Cream on Eclectic Sheep?
    – Robo-porn.

    Huckleberry Fink
    – An orphan boy turns state’s evidence.

    The Gropes of Wrath – Failing banker takes it out on lap-dancers.

    Hard Tines
    – A history of Sheffield fork manufacturing.

    Sinbad the Soiler – A young man’s battle with incontinence.

    Terminal – Zola’s magisterial study of a railway station.

    Claudius the Mod – The adventures of a young Roman scooter-rider.

    The Da Vinci Cone
    – The great inventor turns his attention to ice-cream.

    The Borrows of Young Werther – A young German goes into debt.

  85. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:52 AM

    Little Red Riding Hoods – the tale of a girl with bad taste in lovers

    Bleak Horse – Black Beauty’s battle with depression

    Charlotte’s Wet – (pay per view)

    The Unbearable Rightness of Being
    – Maggie Thatcher’s guide to Conservatism

    Animal Form – David Attenborough’s forthcoming biography

    The Night Glistener – a cleaning lady spills the beans

    Moon Rover – Armstrong banging on again

    Finnegans Cake – for those who like convoluted recipes

    At Swim Two Bards – the Brownings on holiday

  86. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 11:53 AM

    The Habbit – A grim portrayal of The Shire’s heroin problem.

    The Moopstone by Wilkie Collins & George Costanza

    The Big Bleep
    – Philip Marlowe battles censorship.

    To Have and To Have Nits
    – Treating head-lice.

    The Sound and The Jury – A wrenching tale of a juror who breaks wind at a crucial moment.

    The Turn of The Crew – Nautical porn.

    Keep The Aspidistra Frying – An impecunious poet turns vegan.

  87. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:54 AM

    Very funny Ed and Ed…. I must try harder

  88. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 11:56 AM

    Nonsense…you done good. Charlotte’s Wet (pay-per-view) made me LOL.

  89. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 12:14 PM

    The Man With The Golden Bun – Bond faces a deadly pâtissière.

    Thunderbell – 007 battles a mad campanologist.

    – Bond must prevent George Costanza from conquering the world.

    The Spy Who Loved Men
    – Bond comes out of the closet.

    The Ministry of Rear
    – Erotica from Graham Greene

    Travels With My Ant
    – Insect jape-fest from the urbane Greene.

    A Rivet Runs Through It
    – Chevrolet repair handbook.

    Emil & The Defectives – A German schoolboy investigates shoddy workmanship at the local Mercedes plant..

    Now We Are Sex by A.A. Milne – Little-known erotic novel from the late Punch editor.

  90. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 12:23 PM

    The Handmaid’s Tall – one woman’s battle against subservience

    Rabbit, Fun – Ladies, DIY was never this enjoyable

    A Good Banging – Rankin’s advice to those who are allergic to rabbits

    The Tense of an Ending
    – an essential guide for grammarians

    June Eyre
    – why your name matters

    Piddlesex – for the aficionado of the golden shower

    The Groat Gatsby
    – a tale of wild oats and scattered seeds

  91. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 12:29 PM

    Rabbit, Fun it should be… sorry, forgot to read over.

  92. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 12:51 PM

    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Rover – Heart-warming tale of canine affection.

    The Empire Strokes Back – Inter-galactic massage saga

    Mr. Norris Changes Brains – Weimar Sc-Fi

    On The Roan – Jack Kerouac sees America from horseback.

    Tinder Is The Night – Scotty and Zelda battle wildfires…within and without!!!

    Bernice Bobs Her Head – Flapper over-does it.

    The Sum Also Rises – The young Hemingway starts to make real money.

  93. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 12:56 PM

    Mess of the d’Urbervilles – Kim and Aggie clean up in Wessex

    Angela’s Rashes
    – how one Limerick woman confounded Harley St.

    War and Peach
    – a biography of Nellie Melba

    The Shipping Mews
    – tales of stowaway cats

    The Mikados – a history of Ireland’s favourite biscuits

    The Book of Kills
    – tips on abattoir inventory

  94. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 1:00 PM

    I forget how to bold things, apologies. “On the Roan”, excellent.

  95. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 27, 2011 1:01 PM

    Grave New World – Huxley gives up mescalin

    Gove in a Cold Climate – if only

    Moopintroll in Midwinter – Costanza goes Scandinavian!!!

    The Billing – Sarah Lund buys a new jumper.

    Avoid Moon – Michael Connelly takes offence against HLM

    Gear of Living Dangerously
    – a guide to buying second-hand cars

    Jamaica Tin – No I made a clay pot

    I’ll get my coat.

  96. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 1:56 PM

    Stringing Up Baby – Cary Grant lynches a leopard.

    Those Magnificent Men In Their Frying Machines – Kentucky Fried Chicken documentary.

    Braising Arizona – Cannibal shocker.

    Kiss Me Dudley – Mike Hammer comes out.

    Finian’s Rainbot
    – Irishman creates weather-manipulating android.

    The Ladykippers – The fecundity of herring.

    The Godfarmer Pt ll
    – Italian-American grows deities.

    Scabface – Tony Montana: the early years.

    Gone With The Wand
    – Scarlet O’Hara marries a wizard.

    Reservoir Digs – Harvey Keitel rents an apartment with a water-view.

  97. hic8ubique permalink
    November 27, 2011 2:09 PM

    Hoyles Rubes of Games ~ social effects of Nintendo penetrating the Ozarks?

    Holy Libel~ compendium of justifications for publishing even the most toxic self-interest

    The Agony and the Ex Stays ~ starving artist couple’s cohabitation post-divorce

    Waterslip Down ~ How to install gutters and drainpipes

    Prude and Prejuice
    ~ standoffish love story with no sex scenes

    Pinocchion ~ sequel in which the wooden child becomes a real teenage boy

    This is good calming therapy. Instead, I should be preparing breakfast for the eldest and her fiance who became engaged last night. It’s not a surprise, so I’m bemused to notice how agitated it’s made me.

    Sounds like you had a perfect day, Mishari.
    I know what you mean about contentment. Just having my three all in the same place at the same time is the only spectator sport I enjoy, and happens only occasionally now. Your teens might be interested in Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. I thought it a fascinating story.

    Some blurb here:

    Stones from the Liver ~ a galling account of painful atrocities

    • Reine permalink
      November 27, 2011 3:31 PM

      That’s happy news although bound to be a bit disconcerting I suppose.

      Congratulations to the affianced. x

  98. Captain Ned permalink
    November 27, 2011 2:31 PM

    The Dour Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Conquest, War, Famine and Death go about their mundane business with barely a smile.

    A Pin to See the Neepshow – A tale of murder and adultery set against the backdrop of a horticultural fair in Scotland.

    Dairy of a Nobody – Insignificant story of an insignificant man and his insignificant cows.

    Goodbye to All Chat – Unusually sombre memoir of retirement by Sir Michael Parkinson.

    Shit of Fools – Memoirs of a misanthropic proctologist.

    A Season in Hello! – Rimbaud’s dark fantasia on the theme of celebrity weddings.

    Treasure Inland – Adventures of a Swiss pirate.

    The Naive and Sentimental Glover – Guardian political columnist becomes infatuated with the leader of the Conservative Party, with tragi-comic results.

    The Golden Pâté – Verse novel celebrating savoury spreadable pastes.

    In a Freep State – Northumbrian poet becomes dictator of an East African state.

    Norwegian Wool – Haruki Murakami’s guide to Scandinavian sheep and their produce.

    The Aga of Innocence – Kitchen appliance attempts to clear its name after being accused of murder.

    Newts from Nowhere – Utopian Socialist tract by Ken Livingstone.

    Bong of Solomon – Stick-in-the-mud Biblical king lets his hair down.

  99. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 27, 2011 2:41 PM

    Mild at Heart – Lynch goes anti-Lynch

    The Elephant Mag – complete with jumbo crossword

    Bore Free – nuggets of “wisdom” from the taproom

    Aguirre Wrath of Mod – Rocker searches for gold on Brighton beach

    The Bing and I – Mrs. Crosby’s biopic

    Godzilla vs the Smug Monster – Godzilla wipes the smile off the face of Oxbridge educated toxic slime

    Chariots of Dire – sums up the film quite neatly I thought

    King Dong – I didn’t make this one up

    Voyage to the Moop – yes yes that’s enough of that

  100. Captain Ned permalink
    November 27, 2011 3:48 PM

    Shakespeare in Hove – World’s greatest playwright enjoys a seaside holiday.

    The Asphalt Jingle – Puttin’ on a show musical set in the criminal underworld.

    The Feckless Moment – Foul-mouthed Irish priest is lost for words.

    Tweet Me in St. Louis – Heart-warming adventures of a young girl and her forays into social media.

    The Pubic Enemy – John Ruskin runs amok with a pair of scissors.

    Perms of Endearment – Kevin Keegan romances Shirley MacLaine in a hair salon.

    Dude, Where’s My Carp? – Hilarious comedy involving a couple of hapless amnesiac fishermen.

    Porn on the Fourth of July – Big-breasted ladies deliver a scalding critique of the Vietnam war as they indulge in naked wrestling.

  101. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 6:31 PM

    Of Mace and Men – a must for late-night female commuters

    Lord of the Floes – an Arctic adventurer boasts

    Fright Club – aka Potw

    Revolutionary Load – Ulrika Jonsson reminisces

    The Voyage of the Dawn Threader – a seamstress gets a good run at the day

    The Green Tile – tales of Melton Mowbray

    Madame Ovary – one woman’s painful story

    Around the World in Eighty Lays – Hugh Hefner’s coy account of his travels

  102. hic8ubique permalink
    November 27, 2011 7:12 PM

    Lady Chatterley’s Plover ~ epilogue: the couple settle down to a bucolic life of fowl husbandry producing gourmet eggs

    To Perve Them All My Days ~ Fr. Pedro’s memoir of his career at a boys’ school

    Anna Karen & Ina ~ the desperation of three women condensed into one novel

    Kon-Tipi ~ Across the Great Plains with a tent

    Nobby and Big Ears ~ Jonathan Jones finds a Friend

    The Screw/Type Letters ~ the Secretary and the Boss: an office Romance

    Northwest Massage ~ Cryotherapeutic Theory and Technique

    The Princess Bribe ~ or: how we got her to elope…

  103. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 7:19 PM

    Lady Windermere’s Fab! – The steamy world of super-models.

    The Critique of Pure Raisin – Dried-fruit philippic.

    The Carefaker
    – Pinter exposes the seedy world of social work.

    The Lizard of Oz – Ray Harryhausen spectacular.

    The Ploughboy of The Western World
    – Irish farmer bites off more than he can chew.

    Borstal Bog – A survey of sanitary arrangements in Irish remand homes.

    Madame’s Ovaries – Gynaecology in 19th-century France.

    To The Lighthorse
    – Virginia Woolf joins the 17th Lancers.

    A Stoat For Danny Fisher
    – Tough New Yorker puzzled by gift of mustelid.

    Room At The Tip
    – The spectacular fall of a pushy Northerner.

    The Man In The Iron Mosque
    – A life of O. bin Laden.

    The White Moddess – Robert Graves examines 60s teen culture.

    To Kiss A Mockingbird – Lurid tale of inter-racial bestiality.

    Bury My Hearth At Wounded Knee
    – Recycling that old fireplace.

    The Man With The Golden Arp – Collector finds unusual work by the German artist.

  104. hic8ubique permalink
    November 27, 2011 9:05 PM

    Withering Heights ~ a tree dies in Brooklyn

    Finnegan’s Hake
    ~ and other chowder favourites, with a foreword by Mistress Murphy

    The Decamoron ~ what? I already told this story? oh.

    Fence and Fencibility ~ conflicts of the Enclosure Movement

    The Book of the Corsetier
    ~ stays in style

    Kidnappied ~ True story of parents held hostage by a six-yr old potty-refuser

    The Princh Who Stole Christmas ~ Machiavellian strategies for getting all the presents for yourself, with appendix of recipes for your competitors.

    Fart from the Madding Crowd ~ Al Sharpton speaks for the Occupy Movement

  105. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 9:12 PM

    I read out some of our collective funniest to my husband who said we are like a crowd of smutty teenagers. This from a fellow who sometimes honks my breasts in greeting. I rebutted that he just wasn’t sufficiently well read to appreciate our wit. The Naive and Sentimental Glover got the best reaction… well done Ned.

  106. Captain Ned permalink
    November 27, 2011 9:21 PM

    The Interpretation of Creams – Dr. Freud presents his survey of recommended beauty products.

    All the Pretty Hearses – An undertaker’s coming-of-age.

    A Christmas Carrot – A shortage of poultry leads one Victorian family to economise one yuletide.

    Flaws in the Grass – Embittered Australian novelist launches tirade against sub-standard lawns.

    The Whipping News – Light-hearted nautical sado-masochistic romp.

    Ways of Peeing – Urology for Marxists.

    The Da Vinci Cod – Trawlerman exposes centuries-old conspiracy.

    Revolutionary Toad – Ratty, Mole and Badger look on in bemusement as Toad Hall becomes a hotbed of political subversion.

  107. hic8ubique permalink
    November 27, 2011 9:28 PM

    One Can’s Meat ~ making do with Spam in the new economy

    I’m having trouble stopping. I can become obsessed with this sort of thing. There was a period I needed to do a crossword puzzle before bed every night. Spouse gave me a book: The Joy of Crosswords.
    I’d nearly finished them before I got the hint…

    • Reine permalink
      November 27, 2011 9:45 PM

      Ha… was there a picture of a bearded man wielding a pen?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 27, 2011 10:04 PM

      No, unillustrated. It sort of had the colour scheme of the Joy of Cooking,
      which I own, as it’s a topic I actually needed a book to apprise me of.

  108. henrylloydmoon permalink
    November 27, 2011 9:58 PM

    Snakes on a Plate – Jamie Oliver drops acid and makes spaghetti bolognaise

    Light Club – How many disenchanted, violent twenty-somethings does it take to change a bulb?

    6ix – Early Brad Pitt vehicle (straight to DVD)

    Forrest Gimp – Idiot savant limps everywhere at top speed

    Boy Story 2 – Sequel to the CGI-paedo classic

    Eternal Shoeshine of the Spotless Maid – The story of Cherry Blossom’s rise to fame

    Chinktown – Racists call in the only plumber who works weekends

    Inglorious Bastards – Band of dyslexic warriors reek havock in Nasty occupied France

    Princess Monopoke – Cartoon tale of one-night stands

    Blade Gunner – Indiana Jones transfers from Sheffield United to Arsenal

  109. mishari permalink*
    November 27, 2011 10:00 PM

    Is it true Salvador Dalí once asked you to masturbate for him while he took photographs?

    Yes it’s absolutely true [laughs]. Well, you do things because you can. He took me into the garden at the house at Cadaqués. He said: “I want to show you my Christ [sculpture].”

    And his Christ is an extraordinary thing: 60 or 70ft long and it’s made of bricks and broken rubble and motorcar tyres. It’s really quite clever.

    Um, and you step over it and walk about in it and then he just said: “I want to take a photograph. Lie down.” Which I did in all my clothes and he said: “It might be better if you took your clothes off.” And from there… And you know, I’m convinced I wasn’t the first.

    I certainly wasn’t the last and there was no film in the camera but it seemed grudging to refuse [My italics-Ed.]. — from an interview with Brian Sewell, The Grauniad, today

    Say what you like about Sewell but by God, he takes courtesy to a whole new level…

  110. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 10:09 PM

    It’s a Wonderful Fife – one man’s love affair with his small flute

    My Fast Duchess – a romp with a royal

    Oh God, please put a stop to it…

  111. henrylloydmoon permalink
    November 27, 2011 10:26 PM

    Sonny Sarko – French President’s son hit by random Rolls Royce jet engine

    The Drapes of Wrath – Big Ed struggles to deal with curtain-crazy wife

    There Will Be Flood – Daniel Day Lewis plays Noah in Oscar-winning damp squib

    Avajar – Blue regulars stay after hours at the pub

    Shitter Island – Ibiza

    Train Man – Another idiot savant in an anorak with a notebook

    Randhi – Advocate of non-violence populates India singlehandedly

    The King’s Peach – Stammering monarch with downy arse suffers unspeakable horrors

    Gladiater – Cannibal in Ancient Rome shows no remorse

  112. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 10:30 PM

    Lawrence of Alabia – a cunning linguist battles a speech impediment

  113. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:40 PM

    In October 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. Eventually the survivors turned to cannibalism to survive.

    Once they’d landed on the mountain
    what was available to eat?
    When the barley sugar was gone
    a buffet of human meat.

    Rugger players were not designed
    to feature on a dinner-plate,
    tough, fatty, with a chewy rind
    as a dish they just don’t rate.

    Carpaccio of tender youth
    sauced with a jus of melted snow,
    perhaps: prop forward’s arse, in truth,
    is a gastronomic no.

    Richly lager-marinaded,
    scrum-half, hooker or full back
    are probably best evaded,
    even in a casual snack.

    If you’re planning a longish flight
    and you need emergency stores,
    take my advice and do it right,
    pack a couple of Labradors.

  114. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:42 PM

    Still mumbling away in the corner.

    I’ve been trying to remember when I first went on a plane. 50s/early 60s about as likely as going to the moon, but when I was conscripted into the cadet force at school we seemed to be airborne every other week. One day (1967?) I remember being coached to a local RAF station in the morning and flown, via jet (VC10,I think), to RAF Leuchars in Scotland, where we had a brief lecture on the advantages of joining the Air Force, a very good lunch, and then were flown back to the south of England, arriving in time for tea. No wonder they had a balance of payments problem in those days.

  115. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:43 PM

    Where’s it gone?

  116. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:46 PM

    I don’t know where my comment went.

  117. Reine permalink
    November 27, 2011 11:51 PM

    I can see the poem, if that’s what you mean

  118. mishari permalink*
    November 28, 2011 12:17 AM

    I see your Uruguayan rugby team poem perfectly well, MM (good poem, BTW), Probably your browser…[My apologies. Found the missing comment in the spamtrap-Ed.]

  119. hic8ubique permalink
    November 28, 2011 12:34 AM

    Reading through again, I find I missed some great ones at the first run.
    I had to look up Moops; not a clue about that.

    “Recline and Fall – A history of deck-chairs” just about killed me.

  120. mishari permalink*
    November 28, 2011 3:51 AM


  121. ONN permalink
    November 28, 2011 11:16 AM

  122. mishari permalink*
    November 28, 2011 3:06 PM

    ‘Crime’ reports in Kuwaiti newspapers over the last 2 weeks. You might notice a ‘theme’ emerging…

    Police arrest 3 Kuwaiti women for running a prostitution den

    Two Indonesian women, three teenagers caught having ‘fun’

    Couple caught getting ‘cosy’ in car

    A/C technician in rape attempt; KD 1,000 in bra

    Court shelves case of young couple caught having sex

    Gaddafis lover

    Filipina escapes Egyptian molester in lift

    Couples making love shock Sharq beachgoers

    Four Asian men, woman in orgy of sex

    Two policemen abduct, rape 14-year-old Kuwaiti female

    Boyfriend lures, sexually assaults girl

    ‘Leave me alone, I don’t love you’

    Kuwaiti youth nabbed in kidnap, rape attempt on British woman

    Teenaged girls report sexual assault by father over 5 years

    Youths held for raping old woman say they did it for fun

    Kuwaiti man spots wife kissing American lover

    3 Kuwaitis caught with 3 expat girls having ‘fun’ on beach

    Indonesian maid hangs to death in Ahmadi police station

    Husband home early finds wife in bed with stranger

    Girl admits sex

    Customs foils bid to smuggle ‘sex toys’ by Kuwaiti woman

    Expat finds wife with Kuwaiti in his apartment

    3 Pakistanis held kissing teen girls

    ‘I took revenge’ – Ethiopian maid who murdered Kuwaiti woman

    Two ‘young women’ seen making love on beach

    Rowdy youths harass, strip 3 girls naked in Hawalli mall

    Arab expat, Asian woman held for committing adultery

    Asian woman jailed for adultery – Kids not mine: Kuwaiti husband

    Maid’s sponsor catches neighbour’s driver heading for date

    Baby delivered as Indonesian maid points finger at street cleaner

    Sponsor finds Kuwaiti youths with his Filipino maids in outhouse

    Lovers caught in act

    American, Kuwaiti & Indian trio caught doing drugs

    Youth in hunt for sex – Kuwaiti woman harrassed

    University owner, ex-top officer, running ‘sex-booster’ business

    Drunk boys, girl picked from stables, chalets

    70 young men and women held in ‘party venue’ raids

    Lover ‘faints’ as Husband home early finds his wife in strangers arms

    3 men and 2 women caught in Salmiya for ” Merry-making”

    Love at seaside; Porn for sale

    ‘Indecent’ query Kuwaitis and expatriates face

    Kuwaiti girl’s claim she was ‘violated’ while drunk probed

    Call for probe as rape of maid ‘buried’ in MP, police scheme

    Mystery woman’s bizarre actions

    Asian maid raped by Arab man

    Men, scantily dressed women held partying in wee hour raids

    Famous actress drives away seized car from police station

    ‘Obey husband’ – Go home’, woman told

    Egyptian couple getting ‘cosy’ in car held; ‘It is haraam’

    Asian housemaid held for having baby out of wedlock

    ‘Girl who conceived out of wedlock deported’

    Dead chicken leads to Indian practicing magic in his home

    Girls coming from late-night party found drunk

    3 abduct , rape Filipino maid

    Police imposters kidnap, rape Asian woman in Jahra desert

    Alleged affair with Bedoun’s wife is linked to attack on male nurse

    Lover suspect as maid perishes in delivery

    70 young men and women held in ‘party venue’ raids

    Wanted Filipino Women arrested

    Loose character mom forcing 3 daughters into prostitution

    Kuwaiti woman molested on road

    Ethiopian maid pours boiling water on Indonesian colleague

    Ethiopian maid held on suspicion of slaughtering Kuwaiti girl

    Police hunt boys, girls dancing drunk on road

    Lovers caught in act

    Asian man ‘stoned’

    Pregnant Saudi woman comes back from dead to tell ordeal

    Marriage annulled, wife left for 2 days alone in hotel room

    Over 4,000 bottles seized as liquor peddling gang nabbed

    Young Kuwaiti woman found dead in her car

    Drug pills found in meat packets

    Midnight-caller tries to rape ‘home-alone’ Indonesian lady

    Woman ‘disrobed’

    Cheating for wedding vows

    Woman trying to save friend abuses police

    Bedoun and Kuwaiti’s Asian maid ‘trapped’

    Kuwaiti father, son teach Egyptian eve-teaser a lesson

    Fingerprint system traps four ‘Europeans’

    Ethiopian woman caught ‘dancing’ on road

    Hospital incharge stabbed 4 times

    Maid ‘raped’, robbed; Lebanese woman kicks policeman

    Early morning raids net ten for prostitution

    Hunt launched for shrewd Iraqi sorceress

    Top Kuwaiti officer bags 18 months pay without going to work

    Police imposters robbing Asians

    American, Kuwaiti & Indian trio caught doing drugs

    Drugs, liquor, sorcery and black magic tools fill Kuwait market

    Mystery as whisky-laden truck taken at gunpoint, abandoned

    Son forges father’s signature, transfers residence of his maid

    Drunk ‘party-goer’ urinates on police officers

    Man beats dad, tries to kidnap daughter

    ‘Yoga’ at roadside; Liquor ‘knockout’

    Bangladeshi beaten, bites off sponsor’s ear in retaliation

    Police nab 2 young men dressed as women

    Eve-teasers beat up police

    8 bottles of liquor seized from youths going to party

    Arab man beats up Asian woman for refusing to flirt

    Afghan Peeping toms arrested

    Municipality dept seizes 600-kg fish unfit for human consumption

    …and that’s just two-weeks worth. Either Kuwait has become a damn sight more puritanical over the last 30 years or the spirit of Caligula is abroad.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 28, 2011 4:51 PM

      ? maybe the culture has become less taboo-bound , such that the papers can cater for the prurience market?
      but that theory wouldn’t account for you surviving without being stoned.
      … um, with rocks.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 28, 2011 11:38 PM

      They may be obese, but those Kuwaiti chaps have got some energy.

  123. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:10 PM

    Excess Baggage

    No-one expected you to blow them to heaven
    With excess baggage pre 9/11.
    When I think of the crates, the tool boxes,the cases,
    The look of bemusement on baggage checker’s faces
    As a casket containing a mannequin confection
    Passed through the scanners for their inspection.
    Two puppet heads mounted in small bird cages
    Stayed under the X-ray machine for ages.
    They peered at the inner structure on the screen
    To see if it was made out of nitro-glycerine.
    Trying to explain what they were was a bit of pain
    But they always let the stuff onto the plane.
    Now that previous freedom we’ve had to lose
    Now they are paranoid about things like shampoos
    Now even the stuff that has hardly much weight
    Has to travel in a different plane labelled as freight.
    Now terrorism is obviously not that funny
    But this is more an excuse to make more money.

  124. mishari permalink*
    November 28, 2011 11:18 PM

    Nice one, Ed. Customs are probably keeping an eye on you, along with all the MIs (5,6,7 etc). They’ve got you down as some sort of Surrealist/Abstract/Expressionist terrorist gang. Paralysed by your collective decision-making (Buckingham Palace…no, no: The Bank of, no: that Turkish cafe that gave us food-poisoning etc etc), the spooks have marked you down as ‘no immediate threat’.

    And speaking of terrorism, I see that Des is back to planting landmines for the unwary over on POTW.

    . is where the poem comes alive in analysis and our shared understanding thickens and deepens and, though not serious exactly, in a semi-state of a pervasive absence and profound reality…

    I have a feeling that I know who the first person to step on one of these is going to be…..

  125. MeltonMowbray permalink
    November 28, 2011 11:30 PM

    Through the EasyWindow

    Here it is, the belt of off-white surf
    which defines and limits this island,
    my single residence and place of birth,
    relic of a long-dead empire. England!

    The towns, roads, the fields and villages lie
    an elaborate, beautiful device
    planned purely for the pleasure of the eye.
    Yes, from up here it all looks very nice,

    but every lane and street is crawling
    nose to tail with anxiety and fear,
    through psychotic cities and their sprawling

    suburbs of uneasiness, with alarm, with
    neurotic dread, with Iain Duncan Smith,
    Jesus, Stelios, please don’t leave me here!

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      November 28, 2011 11:41 PM

      Last one in the toothpaste tube, I think. And about time.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 29, 2011 3:15 AM

      Dear MM~ what’s happening? It sounds, so sadly, as though you’re leaving us. I’m alarmed by your remarks, and hope it’s just been a trying day.
      May we all somehow send you a hamper for Christmas? It’s been really lovely to have you back among the Pol Hommes, as your voice was much missed.
      There’s only one like you, Vicar. Is it so very dire? Please, is there more to tell? …any way we can help? …
      Love~ hic

    • Reine permalink
      November 29, 2011 10:20 AM

      Hic… if it eases your mind, I think (and hope) he just means he is done with “flying” poems. There must be a poste restante in the Isle of Wight to which we could send feathers and other fripperies.

  126. November 29, 2011 7:16 AM

    Yeah, I was on a roll Sunday/Monday, and started wanking on Alison Flood’s Pippa Middleton advance blog as WonkyHat, defending this fragrant flower from the British commoners and their prurile comments dweling on the superficial aspect of her fit ass.

    Within 1 hour it had 120 recommends, none by me. I dunno what was going on but it looks like, for the first time, a genuine flock of readers were recommending my post in large numbers. WonkyHat’s first post really wound up the ranters who were trying to engage in er, ‘conversation’ with me. along the lines of saying what a royalist wanker I was. Now it has 262 recommends. It seems it is a genuine event (unless someone was playing games) because I haven’t recommended myself, only once or twice have I played that game, with melt a while back.

    I was wanking a lot all over the net Sunday/Monday and breezed into Carol’s spot under FosterJen.

    I forgot to sign out of FosterJen when writing again on Flood’s thread and they copped onto me and disabled Foster’s ‘posting privileges’, but left the WonkyHat post up, probably cos it has so many recommends.


    She may be a very talented writer. Middleton may be more talented than all who have contributed this far to the debate on a truth we do not know. It’s unrefined to judge an author with Middleton’s potential on appearance alone. She is beautiful and has a fit ass, but this doesn’t mean she will not write a best selling party plan book that not only recoups the advance for her publisher, but launches Middleton’s career as an international writer with a unique and unifying voice around which we can rally as people who just love good literature.

    It’s ungallant to assume an author with Pippa Middleton’s possible writing talent and earning power, must somehow be eclisped by a literary news blogger contributing gossip to the cultural conversation on Her Highness’s sibling, just because she has a more attractive face and backside than we do.

    It’s mildly crass to defend the argument she is no more than just that bridesmaid’s outfit. She might be an average English person, but she has style, glamour, poise, grace and an enviable intelligence that comes from a very respectable lineage of the decent, honest and hard working middle class.

    Middleton’s sibling’s child will be queen or king of England at least, and hopefully a United Kingdom.

    Prince William married a commoner for love, it seems, which is a massive leap forward in commoner-royal relations. We feel far less confused and manipulated since his father married his mistress, who adores both princes. The closest we have come to a commoner who will be King, than anything thus far in the royal history that forms our English speaking people who share, in Britain at least, Her Highness Middleton’s background and identity.

    She should be an inspiration, not a figure of envy.


  127. November 29, 2011 7:39 AM

    I had a good run. I have noticed with the Guardian that you’re ok staying out for a few weeks and bombing back in because, let’s face it, the gaffe has gone off the boil since they made the changes that resulted in shifting off the blog all the non, not in-house fem-bot gossip pieces that form the staple fare of shit on Crown’s patch.

    And having enough time off there to have got over the human rights violation of not being able to wank at will there, away from the emotional quotidian cut and thrust of fulkl time appearances, it’s like a facebook addict being weaned off their poison. That three year exercise is over and the slow consolidation of all the poetry social network sites have resolved themselves into what is clearly now the mainstream picture. The main sites now for AM ‘n’ UK po-biz are the facebook walls of the Poetry Foundation and Poetry Society. Both recently opened there walls and it’s a non-stop rolling news show anyone can dump onto.

    99% of what does get deposited are ads and other unreadable blurbs, very little genuine experiment. In fact you amatuer tossers wanking off at Carol’s for the love of it, are about the most authentic lot doing summat original and honest, of all the fuckers pretending on online poetry social network sites.

    All the volunteering has paid off. Having worked out of myself by spamming millions of self-indulgent words online, getting banned from every reputable outlet on the planet and having assured the reputation of a right wanker in global poetry circles, it’s as though all the posturing there was merely a rehearsal for the facebook revolution. Imagine the corporate rolling walls of adverts without any real tossers like us in there, ripe for weirdos with my skills, to exercise what little I have learned as a full time lout with incontinence of the keyboard.

    This is all in the last few weeks, this sudden opening of doors previously closed, in the form of facebook walls and so the game moves on.

    I can now curate potw straight onto the PS wall, editing the best of you untalented fuckers directly onto it.

    Have a gander at yourselves performing directly on the stage of Your Highness’s Society wall

  128. mishari permalink*
    November 29, 2011 9:08 AM

    Yeah, I figured @WonkyHat was you as well…you made a lot of not-very-bright Royalists very happy.
    Is it just me or does the relentlessly mediocre Pippa Middleton look like tax-dodging shopkeeper Sir Philip Green in a wig? Have they ever been seen together? I rest my case.

    So, what’s the deal with Facebook? I don’t use it so I’ve no idea what the SP is. Do they delete naughty comments? Do they have mods? Or (let joy be unconfined) does anything go?

  129. November 29, 2011 10:00 AM

    Facebook is, if you get your facts from David Icke/Alex Jones/Above Top Secret, is a CIA friendly information gathering instrument all us sheeple happily give away our personal info to, for the benefit of the Inustrial-Military complex, and so one should treat it as such. A disposable site for these throw-away times.

    When facebook came out around the apex of Myspace’s popularity, I stayed off it, joining only to read what others said and purposely not sending out or accepting (not that there were many) ‘freinds requests’. This was because I had 278 myspace friends garnered in a game with self, where I sent out a few freinds requests and let the bulk of the rest ask me. On principle I never ‘rejected’ any requests. The one’s I didn;t want to accept I just ignored, doing nothing, leaving the bastards in a state of limbo in my freinds request folder.

    Over the following several years, I observed with interest a majority of ambitious networkers fashion there walls into what they currently became. A place that inherently discourages more than one sentence debate, encouraging instead smilies and recommends, with a, now obvious, inbuilt jealousy and head-game playing quality to it, with the de-freind and ‘bar from wall’ buttons designed to facilitate the Machievelian side of its members.

    Then, a few months ago, after years of blah blah blah, facebook started going the same way as the rest of the social network trailblazers, with accusations of Zuckerburg brazenly treating the millions of members as little more than cunts, after changing some of the small copy in the unread ‘terms and condictions’ that set out the legal relationship between you and facebook, that extended the sites claim on what appeared there. Anything you write there, I think they own it, or as good as, and Zuckerburg had to back down after even the most fanatcial facebookers copped on he was taking the mick by adding summat like eteranl claim on what you wrote.

    After the poetry society’s very public near implosion over the summer, since the reshuffle, the previous snotty silent air of impenitrable mystery and bollocks has gone. They opened their wall to anyone and you can also remove the posts you put up. The same thing happend at the Poetry Foundation of America’s facebook wall. This is after most tasteful, intelligent curaters of poetry’s premier social network sites, turned off their comment facility two years back during the height of the commentariat wars, where a few weirdo troublemakers with incontinence of the keyboard, found ourselves wanking non-stop over everywhere’s carefully curated and achingly meaningful online ad-sites.

    I removed the edited highlights I cobbled together 20 commnents in this potw, as I am having fun posting on the PS wall, trying to keep my avatar appearance sparse. It’s the fifth all ireland slam next week, in Derry and advertizing you lot got sacrificed to make way for this. This was what got deleted, by me, feeling that fucking power you dirty little commoners


    Judy Brown

    A Discussion Thus Far.

    This poem does have the mundane made strange that Kafka’s work has – the surrealism and oddness behind everyday life. But whereas Kafka has a nightmarish quality, here the effect is quite benign….or is it?

    We are drawn by the tone of the poem – very strange events told in a perfectly universal, matter of fact manner. It has a quality of direct address to the reader, in ordinary, unpoetic, speech.


    I must say this is the kind of poem that appeals to me. The cheese room is wonderfully evoked. The woman in a state of hysteria/ near religious fervour mimicking cheese, well perhaps she had too much to drink or perhaps she is highlighting her consumable nature, her value as a product with a price tag on her head.


    How sharply silence
    cleaned the palate of the room:
    Cutlery tinkles, conversations fissured
    at the sight of her returning to the womb.

    For she had doused
    herself in buttermilk, sari soaked:
    now both blanket and placenta,
    it drips into the silence it provoked.

    Before one hundred
    diners’ bulging eyes she pauses:
    Will any of them understand this passing;


    thank you for a wonderful poem – with its own cheese-structure


    this week’s poem

    ‘…is one of those bar/café/hotel poems that Brown has raised almost to a genre, capturing in casual-seeming but exact strokes the alluring glow of interiors devoted to the simplest pleasures of the human animal. With the very first line, though, the reader feels unsettled: “Here it is on the back of the menu.” No, not the Cheese Room, of course, the logical mind retorts – just information, a picture, perhaps – but it’s enough to have tickled a few dormant fantasy tastebuds.

    You could read the poem as a feminist satire, and perhaps it glances in that direction. In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Edible Woman, Marian felt devoured by her sexual and social roles. Most of us – new mothers, especially, but not excluding the domesticated male – have at some time felt reduced to little more than a food source. Cheese begins with milk production, after all, and good magic realism simply nudges the ordinary a few steps further.

    The poem asks that permission of its readers. We know that people can’t become cheese, but, to enjoy the fantasy, we suspend our disbelief. Or we invent symbols or analogies. The poem is not at all coercive, but the concluding lines touch on a metaphor of death and resurrection. The woman, like the Egyptian mummy she probably resembles, is entombed. And she is “happy/ to wait, passive like milk, for the birth,/ for the journey from death into food”.

    Magic realism is by no means the only mode in which Judy Brown writes. Whether exploring the naturalistic or fantastic edges of the spectrum, she works from tangible facts and detail, finding the extraordinary incident or angle particularly appealing, as in “The Cheese Room”, but not dependent on the bizarre – a poet who instinctively sees the possibilities of defamiliarisation wherever she casts her penetrating, colour-loving eye.

    Carol Rumens.


    • Reine permalink
      November 29, 2011 10:24 AM

      I have appeared (fleetingly) on the PS wall? God, Des, I’m (un)flattered…

      Good luck in Derry, knock ’em dead (by peaceful means).

  130. November 29, 2011 10:25 AM

    The other thing that happens is your account can be mysteriously removed and when you try to get in touch asking why, they will not reply because you are just a cunt to them. It’s still a grey aread where, officially, only ‘real’ names are allowed, but this is obviously very difficult to do now. I do know long standing accounts advertising their open mic nights, have just vanished and when the owners tried to get them re-instated, were ignored.

    If another user ‘reports’ your site for whatever reason, then, I assume, the moderators will check it out and so it’s on their whim. There’s little rhyme or reason tot he decisions they make. Salman Rushdie the other week joined and they suspended his account immediately and it took several emails by him to convince ’em it was him.

    Whatever you do don’t fall into the trap of givng them your mobile number. After three years my (more or less inactive) account, suddenly wouldn’t let me in unless I gave them a mobile number they they send a text to and you validate from your phone. I thought that was it, not giving them one because I read that by giving them your number, they have software that basically goes into your phone, harvests all the data and facebook then out it on your site and you have to go through some Byzantium bollocks to turn it off from being displayed. After as few weeks I miraculously was allowed back in. But don;t give em any data coz that’s what all the fuss was about a few months back. They are craft fuckers and really underhanded how they go about getting as much info as they can, all by burying what they are up to in the terms and conditions no fucker reads.

  131. mishari permalink*
    November 29, 2011 10:48 AM

    Even google is pulling that mobile number scam. Everry 3 or 4 weeks, my gmail account asks me for my mobile number, their rationale being that if I need help, they can send advice/new password etc to my mobile. Well, fuck that.

    My mobile number goes to family and friends: that’s it. I have a separate mobile number for everything else (not that I’d give that to google either, the cheeky fuckers).

  132. November 29, 2011 11:09 AM

    Cheers Reine. I don’t think I’ll be there because Sue comes back from her exhausting trip to Malaysia today and will need three weeks of full time attention for her to get over the hell of hotel life.

    I am thinking of going to Cork though on 12 December, for OBheal’s last in the series Monday open mic/guest night, where Her Highnesses’s personal poet laureate, Lady Carol Ann, will be gifting the citizens of the republic’s true capital, her innate class, breeding and verbal beauty. I want to meet her, in the flesh and ask her why, why Lady Carol are you not writing more about the fabulously fit arse of all the younger royals in your poetic charge who can learn so much about the commoner life from boggers like us?

  133. mishari permalink*
    November 29, 2011 9:16 PM

    This is fucking priceless: it went viral last week so you’ve probably seen it but if not…

    At first, all that’s apparent is some deer relaxing in Richmond Park and some fellow off-camera unaccountably shouting his fool head off.

    Then, a herd of deer enters stage-right and proceeds to sweep majestically across the plain, with a crazed Lab hot on their heels, the whole shebang pursued by the dog’s cursing, knock-kneed owner. Comedy gold.

  134. reine permalink
    November 29, 2011 10:04 PM

    Aw, one of the lads at work was telling me about this except I didn’t catch the Richmond Park bit and the guy is from Cork so I thought the dog’s name was Fintan. Yer man was doing impressions of “Fintan, get back here Fintan, Jesus Christ”, which in a Cork accent is very funny indeed. Or I thought so.

  135. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 29, 2011 10:44 PM

    Frome rhyming with home? Good Lord..

    • reine permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:17 PM

      Beggin’ your pardon Ed, I knew it was wrong but too late…

  136. mishari permalink*
    November 29, 2011 11:00 PM

    Yes, honestly, Reen: everyone knows that ‘Frome’ rhymes with ‘Frum’ as in ‘John Frum’.

    In fact, Frome is the HQ of the John Frum Cargo Cult, as Ed well knows, traipsing around the back-of-beyond and dazzling the natives with his giant electric pig and predicting eclipses and removing his glass-eye to polish it…no wonder the natives (people from Southwark, Bermondsey and The Elephant and Castle) worship him…the cute hoor.

    • reine permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:45 PM

      I can proudly say I know how to pronounce “Southwark”… if that makes any amends.

  137. hic8ubique permalink
    November 29, 2011 11:04 PM

    He is knock-kneed. Not Fintan? what then Fenton? StJohn?
    and… most importantly… is this the actual Pongo making his avatar debut?

  138. mishari permalink*
    November 29, 2011 11:10 PM

    It is he, @hic…the poor quality of the shot is due to hasty camera-phone execution. I think the Lab’s name is Fenton, although the interwubz has apparently decided that it’s ‘Benton’.

    The only Benton that comes to mind is the American painter Thomas Hart Benton, who was either a senator himself or the son/father of one; memory ain’t what it used to be.

  139. hic8ubique permalink
    November 29, 2011 11:16 PM

    My memory says that Fenton is from Cymbeline? which is a more likely source.

    At a Chihuly exhibit last summer, I discovered the artist has a glass eye, and my first thought was: Well, does he make wild abstract ones to select from in the morning in order to provoke and inspire his admirers?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:18 PM

      …and Pongo is looking first-rate; please to be introduced… reminds me of Old Poss.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:19 PM


  140. mishari permalink*
    November 29, 2011 11:24 PM

    There’s also the contemporary English poet James Fenton, whose finest hour was when he accompanied naturalist Redmond O’Hanlon on the journey related in O’Hanlon’s book Into The Heart of Borneo, a must-read, if you haven’t.

    A few years afterwards, O’Hanlon was planning a trip into Amazonia (it became the book In Trouble Again, another recommend).

    He called on Fenton at his Cambridge home and invited him to come along. Fenton said: “Are you sitting comfortably, Redmond? Are you sure? Can you hear me properly? Are you sure? Good. Then hear this: I WOULDN’T GO ON A BUS TRIP TO MILTON KEYNES WITH YOU…”

  141. reine permalink
    November 29, 2011 11:29 PM

    It’s Fenton alright, possibly named after Irish demi-god DJ Tony Fenton. (

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:41 PM

      Meant to say… I appreciate your support , Re and never really suggested the happy couple elope( although I entertained it as an expedient for myself)
      The bride-to-be wants a smallish garden wedding at home, so I’m feeling calmer.

    • reine permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:44 PM

      Just think of what my poor parents had to endure – their first born’s weddings at 22 and again at 38 and their unsettling feeling that I may not be finished yet!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 29, 2011 11:59 PM

      Poor Sam Eagle; how cruel you are!
      Which reminds me… we went to see ‘The Way’
      (for which I had modest hopes since it features Mishari’s (?) Camino de Campostela.)
      It features the lead-singer girl from The Muppet Show!
      She’s certainly one of the characters along the Way. There is also some prominent product- placement from The Northface; otherwise a slender film with pleasant vistas.

    • reine permalink
      November 30, 2011 12:02 AM

      I need to keep him on his toes. ;)

  142. hic8ubique permalink
    November 29, 2011 11:32 PM

    Ah, yes, travel companions attain an formerly unimagined relationship.
    I’ll add the Heart of Borneo to the next Amazonia order. The Black Obelisk one just went out, as they didn’t have it at my favourite nearby second-hand bookshop: Manchester by the Book.
    I hope it has orangutans.

  143. reine permalink
    November 30, 2011 12:01 AM

    One of my colleagues keeps two chickens, Winnie and Agnes, and he brought me in a box of their eggs today. I got home at ten and made meringues just for the hell of it. I never make meringues but somehow having eggs from chickens with whom I am acquainted made me want to honour them.

    He says Winnie has laid her egg every day by the time they get up but Agnes doesn’t give hers up until midday. Perhaps a devotee of the Angelus, she goes up the ladder into the hen house at noon and “screams her head off” (his words) for fifteen minutes. Thank you Agnes. Thank you Winnie.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 30, 2011 12:12 AM

      How did you honour their yolks?

      My Gram had a seagull called Angus who visited after dinner. She’d whistle between her teeth: psssss~ pssssss~ psssss
      and in he’d come, defending all his left-overs there on the sea-wall.
      At her winter home, the ducks had the left-overs. She never kept anything for the next day.

    • reine permalink
      November 30, 2011 12:13 AM

      I’ll make lemon curd tomorrow night. And then I’ll never want to see an egg again.

  144. mishari permalink*
    November 30, 2011 12:10 AM

    I’ll be very interested to hear your opinion of The Black Obelisk. It’s almost 30 years since I last read it but I thought it was a wonderful book.

    You’ll love Into The Heart of Borneo but a book you absolutely have to read (if you haven’t already) is Robert Byron’s The Road to Oxiana.

    I recommended it to our friend XB and it has subsequently taken its place on his list of 10 Favourite Books In The World.

    In the mean time, I know how much you all appreciate a bit of sophisticated artistry:

    • hic8ubique permalink
      November 30, 2011 12:20 AM

      ok , so that’s three books I solemnly promise to read and report back, since wanting my opinion is always alluring.
      I had planned to give The Black Obelisk to Dad at Christmas, but there’ll be a time to borrow it in due course. I’ve ordered The House of Silk, Death at Pemberley, and The Book Thief as gifts as well.

  145. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 30, 2011 8:41 AM

    200 pages of Infinite Jest to go ( I did say I’m a slow reader ) then it’s Ulysses next.

    So realistically I should get round to reading The Road to Oxiana in 2014/15.

    • mishari permalink*
      November 30, 2011 9:08 AM

      I urge you to read ‘Oxiana’ between IJ and U. It’s a short-ish book but wonderfully rich. I’m hoping that idle bastard XB will come along and back me up…

      HERE is a review (by Wm. Dalrymple, another fine writer) of a new biography of Byron, that gives you some idea of Oxiana‘s glory.

  146. Edward Taylor permalink
    November 30, 2011 10:21 PM

    Since you put it like that I’ll look out a copy.

    He looks more than interesting.

    • reine permalink
      November 30, 2011 10:37 PM

      If you are on commission, there is a copy of each coming my way for Christmas.

      It is violent weather here – just dropped the “kids” to the next town over for a house party. The girls’ going out look, even when staying in, pays no heed to the monsoon rain and gusting winds. My head is ringing with “OMG Reeen, it was like so deadly; unbefuckinglievable, soz, just like wild ya know” “Yeah, I know, look out the window”. I am taking comfort in Crianza. Sadly no cheese to like fucking go like with it… soz.. and a meringue just won’t cut it.

  147. reine permalink
    November 30, 2011 11:20 PM

    Take me firm by wickered band
    Inflate me with your gaseous wand
    Climb into my woven womb
    And pray to God it’s not your tomb

    • mishari permalink*
      December 1, 2011 1:18 AM

      Love it, Reine…fuck Santa and his dwarves: that’s what I call Christmas-y.

      In other seasonal news, The White House has released the details of this year’s ‘Christmas theme and décor’. That this theme changes annually was news to me.

      Maybe it’s an Obama innovation, all part of his Kenyan/Mooslum/Trotskyite plot to undermine Christmas and institute Sharia law in the US.

      Whatever the real agenda is, the pamphlet (which includes directions for building your very own ‘East Garden Room mini-tree out of paper, gluestick and toothpick [optional]’ can be downloaded by clicking HERE. Enjoy!

      The pamphlet includes a little history lesson:

      Since 1835, when President Andrew Jackson created an indoor winter wonderland for children—complete with a cotton ball snowball fight—the East Room has been part of the White House holiday tradition. —

      What a charming tale of more innocent times and a heart-warming reminder of a gentler era in America’s history…erm…wait a second…remind me: who exactly was picking all those cotton balls back in 1835?

      The White House should have stuck with Disney: history can be kinda, y’know…embarrassing, and you end up with all kinds of stuff just whirling around in your head.

      Meanwhile, The Hermanator’s ongoing war against the English language enters a new phase:

      “They want you to believe that with enough character assignation on me, I will drop out!” he said. “The American people have a different idea.”

      “The American people are going to raise some Cain in 2012,” he said. — The NYT, 30.11.11

      ‘character assignation’…now that’s what I call below-the-belt.

  148. reine permalink
    November 30, 2011 11:33 PM

    Sorry title, homage to McEwan, Enduring Love…

  149. mishari permalink*
    December 1, 2011 7:08 AM

    Just when I think that The Hermanator AKA The Hardest Working Man In Ho Business (sorry; I couldn’t resist; this is no reflection on his lady ‘friends’…or should that be ‘victims’?), has run-out of steam, the comic genius that is Herman Cain bounces back into the Spotlight of Ignominy.

    Another woman (what is this? the 4th? 5th? 6th? Is anyone even keeping track anymore?), Ginger White, 46, has come forward to tell breakfast pukefest Good Morning America that The Hermanator was her Butter-and-Egg-Man for 13 years.

    According to the BBC:

    Mr Cain has not denied he was friends with Ms White, or that he helped her financially, but has denied they had any sexual relationship.

    Mr Cain, a former head of the National Restaurant Association, wrote to supporters on Tuesday: “I have helped many friends and acquaintances throughout the years… Ms White has made it apparent that she was abusing the friendship.”

    Apparently, all those motel stays (Ms. White has receipts etc) were platonic in nature, as motel stays with an attractive woman who is not your wife tend to be: ask any man. Now Ginger has abused that friendship by alleging that The Hermanator has a penis and knows how to use it. No wonder he’s hurt. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are all kinds of thoughts whirling around in his head.

    And then came the cruellest cut of all:

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he was praying for the fellow presidential hopeful. — HuffPost, today

    Yup: prayers from Porky Gingrich–liar, serial cheat, fraudster, blowhard and jackass: the amoral prick who dumped a wife who was undergoing cancer-treatment because he’d taken up with his secretary.

    I think the US is going to need a new wiki entry.

    The United States: ” A large land-mass south of Canada. The population mainly consists of women between the ages of 18 and 80, all of whom have spent time in motel rooms not having sex with Herman Cain. There are a number of minority populations (statistically insignificant), such as people who like Godfather’s Pizza, women who have not charged Herman Cain with sexual assault and immigrants from Uzbekbekistanstan…”

  150. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:27 AM

    Bill Clinton did not have sex either.

    Perhaps these high-flying 24/7 politicians simply don’t notice when they are having sex.

  151. hic8ubique permalink
    December 1, 2011 2:52 PM

    I might have enjoyed a dirigible
    had the choice of fuel been less derisible.

    I might have gone up in the Hindenburg or
    a Zeppelin using gas from a Lim((()))burger.

  152. Reine permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:16 PM

    Tenuously on theme…

    I pass it daily, the oriental rug shop
    Its apparent despondent owner
    Leaning against the door jamb
    Or some patterned pile
    He chain smokes, but looks always immaculate,
    No evidence of his laboured
    Hoiking around of floor wear for flush feet

    I long for a kilim
    Partly to give him the turn
    But mostly that their ingrained jewels
    Conjure for me a time when I believed it entirely possible
    That I would one day ride a magic carpet
    Click my jewelled fingers,
    And gather my windswept hair into a hasty bun as I floated
    On my adventurous course

    Now, were he to cut me a deal
    And I to be a lithe creature
    In my Ali Baba trousers of old
    I would set sail on the breeze
    Towards you. To touch your imagined face,
    Whisper words of love and grant you three wishes
    To bring you infinite happiness.

  153. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 2, 2011 11:36 AM

    Heaving Heaven,

    The journey up there made me feel ill
    When I got there the place was bursting with krill,
    Ants, flies, bees – mites, ticks and fleas
    Creatures who don’t understand ” Excuse me please”.
    The guardian angel looked at me ” You
    Will have to wait with the others in the queue,
    Sorry for the delay, it’s just that we
    Are waiting for someone who speaks flea”.
    Being dead is one thing but heaven is sodden
    With things upon which you’ve happened to trod on.

  154. hic8ubique permalink
    December 2, 2011 12:58 PM

    Reine may be charging you with false advertising after that title, poor girl.

    It seems I’m not the object of your passion, Re*, since you have indeed seen me in ah… full recital capacity, but I do love ‘laboured hoiking around’. Hoiking is perfect.

    (*nevertheless, I’m dabbing on a few pulse points of Amouage, just in case.)

    • December 2, 2011 1:25 PM

      Hic, what must you think of me? Heaving heaven (nice one Ed) is far from my thoughts at the moment. Nevertheless I have dabbed on some Black Orchid and will gladly kiss all comers. (In a turn of phrase sense, rather than a qualification criteria one).

      I remembered you liked “hoike” or “hoke” from before…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 2, 2011 2:32 PM

      Black Orchid… whooo… you’ll be getting a hand-me-down sample of that in your Christmas box then; it packs a wallop too rich for my blood, but that heady sweet is true to the real flower. I could imagine it being a sensuous plummy winter scent for you.

      I don’t remember ‘hoike’ from before, but glad to know I’m consistent…
      I’m just climbing out of a bout of flu (cancelled three days of work) and a bit concerned I may have posted some delirious nonsense in the midst of it.
      Oh well, most likely no one will notice the difference ;)

    • December 2, 2011 3:16 PM

      Well, I look forward to that. It is a winter scent right enough and not to everyone’s taste.

      Hope your recovery continues apace – you are always a wise and eloquent owl, to wit, no fear of nonsense.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 2, 2011 10:31 PM

      I’m better today, all the more for good company. Not sure I dare provoke Carol et al further…
      there’s been alot of my oaring in on PotW.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 2, 2011 11:27 PM

      I shouldn’t waste any more breath on that half-wit Parisa, if I were you. God almighty, that woman is the fucking limit. I really have to bite my tongue sometimes, so great is the temptation to mock.

      The other day, she delivered such pearls as : “Wine and cheese go really well together” and “Underneath, (Princess) Diane was just a flawed human being” etc etc..that and her incessant use of baby-talk: “my ‘pooter’ and…

      No, no..I can’t go on; I’ll start throwing things. Never have so many words been expended in the service of so little reflection.

    • Reine permalink
      December 2, 2011 11:42 PM

      I confess to a little LOL at the cheese and wine comment. I usually have cornflakes with my wine.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 2, 2011 11:54 PM

      Don’t get Reine started on the pooter and peeps/ppl, M.
      What is that… self-infantilisation? perhaps a (mistaken) facet of approval seeking?

      I imagine Parisa as the sort of woman you see talking to the asparagus in the market; she just gives a running outpouring of everything that occurs to her. Something amiss in the ego’s self-reflection…

      “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” ~Proverbs

    • Reine permalink
      December 3, 2011 12:08 AM

      It just mystifies me that anyone who professes an interest in language would abuse it so liberally. I can’t be doing with abbrevations, I amn’t joking!

    • Reine permalink
      December 3, 2011 12:11 AM

      “abbrevations” – an abbreviation of abbreviation… seriously.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 3, 2011 12:26 AM

      Stop the presses! Hold the front page! P ‘lurves’ clogs; but she ‘totally hates’ platform shoes. Thank fuck: a platform-clog shaped hole in my infosphere (whatever that is) has just been filled…but the startling observations keep coming: ‘it’s a funny ol’ world!’ P. reveals. And then, in a searing piece of self-revelation that leaves St. Augustine looking like Benny Hill with a hangover, P. opens her sartorial heart:

      The shoes I favour come from a little boutique & are way above my price range but they are at least real leather & twice a year – I wait for their sale! In fact I bought a pair in there when I first came to the US & they are still wearable – sixteen years later – amazing. I would never buy “couture” dresses. My fave shop for clothes is Anthropologie – but only at sale time – I love their designs but they are way too pricey!

      The shoes I favour are especially designed so that one fits the right-foot and the other fits the left. They are made from animal skins..but I lurve animals and I buy them from a little boutique that i just invented called Norah’s Ark. I bought a pygmy hippo there when I first moved to Whitechapel but it died so I had the hide made into flip-flops and a whip that I use to flagellate myself, which I lurve!!! :) The hippo was delish, though!!! Yummy!!!;) I lurve hippo sausies, they’re my fave ;) even though they turned out to be pricey!!! :(

      Toodle-pip, peeps! Love ya!xxx See ya in the morning (that’s when I eat brekkie!!! I lurve brekkie!! I usually have ostrich burgers and…(KABOOM!!!) Oops!!! I think my fave ‘pooter just exploded in embarrassment. :( XXX

      I will sleep like a fucking baby.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 3, 2011 1:01 AM

      Per clogs… I nearly asked: ‘The better to kick him when he snores?’ but
      I restrained myself lest I open another sluice.
      PH is, in times like this, a highly therapeutic venue, but I repeat myself…
      You sleep, Tushie.

  155. hic8ubique permalink
    December 2, 2011 1:03 PM

    Don’t Tread on Me

    The Carpet Hoiker
    reclined on a Qum
    once safely dead
    for his ride home.

    ‘Heavens!’ cried he
    in Gothic wroth
    as he, blinking, perceived
    they’d let in… the moth.

    ‘Let me out!’ the demand
    ‘This is worse than sin;
    is there space in Hell
    they can’t Peter in?’

  156. mishari permalink*
    December 2, 2011 10:09 PM

    More evidence (as if you needed any more) that the BBC has become a safe haven for illiterates and half-wits:

    “There will be no formal inquisitions,” a BBC insider said. “There’s only so much you can do on live TV. There is a feeling he [Clarkson-Ed.] went further [than advised]. He knew where the line was and overegged it.” —The Graun, today

    He ‘overegged’ the ‘line’, did he? Even if they had used the word ‘overegged’ its proper formulation (e.g. ‘…he knew where the pudding was and he overegged it…’) it still wouldn’t mean anything; morons.

    Every day, The Slough of Despond broadens…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 2, 2011 10:28 PM

      It must have been an egg&spoon race…
      reminding me of the slippery Freudian Slope… I loved Cain’s ‘character assignations’.

  157. Captain Ned permalink
    December 3, 2011 1:45 AM

    Surely if you’re going to invite an idiot onto a TV show and ask him about a subject on which his thoughts are likely to be idiotic, you can’t act too surprised when said idiot goes ahead and says something idiotic? Double morons.

    As for crimes against the English language, the continual misuse of the word ‘refute’ by Jonathan Caplan and the Daily Mail during the phone hacking inquiry is getting to me. It’s high time that Leveson intervened and pointed Caplan towards a dictionary.

  158. mishari permalink*
    December 3, 2011 3:42 AM

    Ever see a film called Idiocracy, Ned? It was ham-fisted and about as subtle as a chain-saw, but it had its moments. If I remember correctly, the plotline was stolen directly from a great Sci-Fi short story by Cyril Kornbluth called The Marching Morons published in the 50s.

    Man of average intellect travels to the future to discover that homo sapiens has mutated into a species exclusively compromised of imbeciles. By comparison, he is a towering genius. Hi-jinx ensue.

    I now see that Kornbluth was eerily prescient. This article from Der Speigel is a highly entertaining look at the US Republican race and gives off waves of incredulity, alarm and hilarity.

    The world over, people are shaking their heads and muttering ‘…this is the world’s superpower?…how is that even possible?…’

    Meanwhile, Newt ‘I dumped my wife while she was being treated for cancer so I could marry my secretary, who I’d been banging for months‘ Gingrich, the stern moralist, was asked what he would say to Herman ‘I spend a lot of time in motels with women who aren’t my wife because I’m a friendly guy‘ Cain:

    GINGRICH: Well, I mean, my advice to Herman having lived through a lot of different experiences is he has to stop and open up his heart and he has to think very prayerfully…

    ‘think prayerfully’? What the hell does that mean. Is The Hermanator going to ask women to get down on their knees? That kind of thing has already cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. That Newt; he’s a card…

  159. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 3, 2011 9:19 AM

    Newt has definitely crossed the pudding with that statement.

    Clarkson is an attention-seeker, the Unions have given him the attention he was after which was a bit stupid of them to say the least.

    But one interesting point emerged. My partner’s niece knows the boy who back in whenever it was got convicted of inciting a riot on Facebook which it turned out, never actually happened .

    She says he’s an idiot who no-one takes any notice of whatsoever. Except the police. Now he’s in prison.

    Kind of similar to this Clarkson affair – moron mouths off except this moron doesn’t get banged up for his idiocy.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      December 3, 2011 10:23 AM

      ….and knock me down sideways if Marina Hyde hasn’t written a better version of what I just wrote in today’s Guardian.

      wise minds think alike, fooolish seldom differ blah blah.

    • Captain Ned permalink
      December 3, 2011 10:44 AM

      Ah. Is the Twitter guy mentioned as well?

      I see he is.

  160. Captain Ned permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:41 AM

    It’s a sign of the utter rejection* of intelligent debate by Republicans that Mitt Romney, formerly a man of some reasonableness if not exactly outstanding intelligence, has had to divest himself of all traces of sanity just in order to stand a chance of winning the nomination. If Gingrich’s fortunes continue to rise, just what level of cynical craziness can we expect to see from Romney in response? Compared with the other candidates, even the stolid Jon Huntsman can look like another Eisenhower.

    * or refutation – after all, Cain originally ‘refuted’ allegations of sexual impropriety, and perhaps refuted all knowledge of Obama’s policy on Libya.

    @ Ed, there’s also the case of the guy who joked on Twitter that he was going to blow up Doncaster airport if delays persisted. So, to be clear, if, on your personal social media platform, which few people will follow, you joke about riot or terrorism, you get sent to the slammer, whereas if, on national television, you joke about mass summary executions, the Prime Minister (especially if he happens to be a friend) says it’s all a bit silly and the likes of Littlejohn and Delingpole leap to your defence. Seems fair to me.

  161. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 3, 2011 11:34 AM

    I agree Cap’n. Usually these flair ups are an excuse for columnists to bang on about PC trying to stamp out freedom of speech and wasting public money in doing so.

    The twist is that Clarkson is a public employee and with his massively inflated BBC salary is ripping the public off far worse than a hospital middle manager.

  162. MeltonMowbray permalink
    December 3, 2011 12:50 PM

    Oh dear. As a sophisticated boulevardier, flitting between Maxim’s, Crazy Horse and er, the Eiffel Tower, you’re probably unaware of the once-widespread West Country practice of ‘egging the line’. Local figures of fun, disabled people, oldsters, northerners, literates etc were chained to a line of metal stakes hammered into the ground and pelted with eggs, cabbages, jazz records and other rubbish. Falling short of the target used to be known as ‘underegging’, overshooting as ‘overegging’. Doubtless this is what the BBC spokesman had in mind. Sadly, the activity was proscribed by the Marxists of the Somerset County Council in the 1970s. Another fine old British custom sacrificed on the altar of political correctness!

  163. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 3, 2011 1:26 PM

    MM One caveat to your essentially accurate description.. There was only ever one Marxist in the Somerset County Council. The others were Conservatives who had either had been rude to William Rees-Mogg or who had overly generous ideas about who should be allowed to attend Harvest Supper.

  164. mishari permalink*
    December 3, 2011 3:40 PM

    Tom Joyner, the popular syndicated radio personality, asked his listeners Friday morning to suggest the first thing Cain should say to his wife when he arrived at their suburban Atlanta home to have that talk.

    “Don’t shoot!” was one of Joyner’s favorites. Also: “Why are my bags packed?”

    Stewart Lee being very amusing on the Top Gear twerps:

  165. mishari permalink*
    December 3, 2011 5:19 PM

    By the way, MM. I remember you mentioning the Lee Child/Jack Reacher books some months ago and I finally got around to reading them. I read about half-a-dozen of them in a week; and even though I don’t much care for Reacher (unlike, say, Harry Bosch or Philip Marlowe or Chili Palmer or Elvis Cole), I found the books compulsive, like pistachio nuts. Thanks for the tip.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      December 4, 2011 10:23 PM

      Glad you liked the Reachers: not, as you suggest, books to build a philosophy of life on, but most diverting all the same. I’ve just read a book by Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, featuring the inelegantly named investigator Harry Hole. Wildly implausible plot, but most… etc. I spliced it into my steady trudge through the foothills of Mantel’s ‘A Place Of Greater Safety’, her enormous doorstop about the French Revolution. My feeling at the moment is that the work isn’t out-of-sight superior to Denis Wheatley’s fabulous sequence on the same event, which first spurred my teenage interest in the original terrorists. It’s remarkable how the stirring of the stodgy pudding of pre-Revolutionary France brought so many extraordinary characters to the surface.

  166. hic8ubique permalink
    December 3, 2011 5:22 PM

    Reine will, I anticipate, be utterly slain by your 12:41. I’m not a swooner, but you got me good and proper. Haven’t needed to clip a comment in a while, but… ruefully
    one for the archive.

  167. mishari permalink*
    December 3, 2011 7:22 PM

    I don’t see a comment at 12:41, @hic, so I’m rather at a loss…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 3, 2011 8:22 PM

      Oh, sorry; on PotW.
      I must’ve been a bit, y’know… flustered.

  168. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 3, 2011 7:38 PM

    How can you spot a Finnish extrovert?

    When he talks to you he looks at your shoes rather than his own..

    My name’s Edward Taylor, you’ve been a great audience, I’ve been stealing other people’s jokes. Look out for my DVD released in January. Yes okay I’ll get off the stage etc. etc.

    Mishari.We watched Uncle Boonmee a few nights ago. I enjoyed it a lot so thanks to you and C. Ned for the heads up. For some reason it reminded me of David Lynch but without all the physical and mental violence obviously.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 4, 2011 12:22 AM

      I think that many people react to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work in that way, Ed (that is, see similarities with Lynch). As well as sharing Lynch’s taste for saturating the screen with colour or leaching it of colour at other times, there’s the shared idea of the importance of the ‘soundscape’ and the shared taste for ambiguity and mystery. Great stuff.

      Since I first mentioned Uncle Boonmee, I’ve seen two more of Weerasethakul’s (known as ‘Joe’ to his friends, according to Ned): Tropical Malady (Sud pralad) (2004) and Syndromes and a Century (Sang sattawat) (2006), both of which I can enthusiastically recommend.

  169. mishari permalink*
    December 3, 2011 10:07 PM

    Herman Cain Suspends His Campaign

    G.O.P. Presidential Candidate Says That He Will Not Go Away

    An unapologetic and defiant Herman Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday and announced what he called a “Plan B,”The NYT, today.

    Translation: Herman Cain announced he’s dropping out of the race to spend more time sleeping on the couch.

    Pity. I was looking forward to at least another few months of his sublime comedy capers.

  170. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 12:26 AM

    Just watched a terrific Irish film called I Went Down. Highly recommended by a pal, it stars Brendan Gleeson and is great craic. I second my pal’s recommendation.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 4, 2011 12:50 AM

      Christ I’d better queue it up before I rip @leahfritz a new one.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 4, 2011 12:58 AM

      Whenever I find myself getting irritated by leah fritz and her prescriptive, de haut en bas nonsense, I take a deep breath, count to 10 and remind myself that she’s in her 80s; then I ignore her. I use the same method with that idiot Parisa, who keeps addressing fatuous remarks to me. I ignore her studiously and will not respond at all; what’s the point? She’s a bubblehead.

      I hardly need add that P. and leah get on like a house on fire…like calls to like.

    • Captain Ned permalink
      December 4, 2011 1:16 AM

      I Went Down was a favourite of mine when I was 15 or 16. My friends and I used to quote a couple of exchanges fairly regularly for about a year, particularly:

      – No goods, no black pudding.
      – That’s not an argument!

      They’re the only lines I remember now, which is probably for the best. A very entertaining film. Gleeson’s one of the best actors around these days; he was especially good in another Irish crime flick, John Boorman’s The General, which also has a great performance from Jon Voight (this was before he became a professional reactionary idiot).

    • mishari permalink*
      December 4, 2011 1:50 AM

      Ned, it’s a hugely entertaining film with terrific performances all around. Gleeson’s a wonderful actor and he was one of the things that made In Bruges one of my favourite films of the last few years. Did you see The Guard? Gleeson carried the whole film and he was gas. As you say, one of the best actors around.

  171. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 1:11 AM

    Saved in the nick. I’m going to say it here for therapeutic purposes…

    Oh dear! What do you mean leahfritz? :

    ‘Are we going to have to start consciousness-raising all over again?’

    You mean about how pointless the 60s protest movements were?
    Do I need to buy your book to know what you’re sighing over? or did you want to participate?

    Or, were you hoping to say something overarching about Poetry instead?

    I was under the impression that we were pursuing the psycho-social milieu of the woman in the poem, or are you just so over that?
    That being the case, the laurel resting settee is over there =>>>>>

    Furthermore, my consciousness is way the f88k up there as far as you’re concerned, but thanks anyway.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 4, 2011 1:13 AM

      So is in her 80s.
      You talked me down.
      Now… I’m going to run around the house.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 4, 2011 1:14 AM

      She she she she.Fuckity fuck fuxck

    • mishari permalink*
      December 4, 2011 1:38 AM

      @hic, I couldn’t take any more of leah fritz’s ignorant babble so I put a shot across her bows. She won’t like it and that idiot Parisa will doubtless give me a savage gumming but fuck it, it had to be done. Lets see how long the mods take to wipe it.

  172. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 1:50 AM

    Let them, I’m putting it here… huge improvement over my rant (Mishari’s rant follows):

    ‘Oh, dear. Are we going to have to start consciousness-raising all over again’?

    “Frankly, if it had worked, if consciousness had been truly raised, we wouldn’t need to talk about it…but it didn’t and we do.

    Women are still exploited and objectified; bloated, venal, spineless politicians still send young men off to die for some arms manufacturers profits and there is a significant movement in the US to have the fertilised egg declared a human being (making any woman who takes a ‘morning after’ pill liable to a murder charge).

    And you don’t think consciousness needs raising? Or is it that you’ve had your run and what my generation and my children’s generation face is of no interest to you? After all, you ‘wrote one of the books’. Job done, eh?

    Contrary to what you appear to think, you and the 60s crowd didn’t write finis to the subject or even write the definitive text. There are plenty of scholarly texts that examine the era and draw different conclusions. Part of the problem is the attitude of people who think that what they and others did was ‘enough’; that they ‘succeeded’. They didn’t and we’re living with the consequences.

    You don’t want to ‘re-write it (your book) here’; fine; then don’t. But I’ll decide what I want to write here, not you and believe it or not, consciousness-raising is more urgent, more vital than it’s ever been and poets should be as involved in it as much as anyone else.

    But you feel free to rest on your 60s laurels; the rest of us are facing a world that’s going to hell in a handcart (in large part due to the selfish stupidity of the baby-boomers, who waffled on about ‘consciousness-raising’ but were actually more interested in acquiring a nice downtown loft and getting that publishing contract with Simon & Schuster).

    Your lot failed. That doesn’t mean that my lot shouldn’t try.”

  173. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 2:06 AM

    Weirdly, it’s quite possible I know her editor at Beacon, also in his 80s. They published a wide range, including the most extreme vituperative stuff (such as Mary Daly); some seminal works and some absolute bumpf.

    So… so much for counting to ten. It’s a good thing I’m not always convalescing; I’d become one of those crazed ‘Someone is Wrong on the Internet’ types.

  174. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 2:16 AM

    Are you convalescing, my dear? What ails you?

    pace leah fritz, most of the time I resist taking pot-shots at her but my God, that woman is irritating. There’s that overweening smug, teacher-knows-best, do-as-your-told attitude that she trots out in post after post. I don’t even think she’s an especially good poet, which makes her lecturing and finger-wagging all the more infuriating.

    Gotta laugh, though. There I am lecturing you on maintaining your cool with the woman and minutes later, her latest comment makes me see red and has me posting a rant on POTW. Ah, well…do as I say, not as I do, eh?

    PS: Do you type all your comments into some application and then copy-and-paste it into the comment box? That would account for the weird formatting that so often plagues your comments. Use Wordpad (comes with wWindows) and you shouldn’t have that problem.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 4, 2011 2:31 AM

      Is it the teacher thing that sends me over the wall? Very likely.

      I definitely haven’t cared for her poems, but that’s not enough to provoke me. Probably that complacent Last Word tone as you suggest. Glad it’s not just me. Parisa is a more sympathetic figure as I apprehend them. (I don’t even trust myself to speak to Iamnothere.)

      I’m fine, thanks, just getting over a flu that has kept me sedentary for a few days.
      Good company much appreciated throughout.

  175. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 2:39 AM

    Oh no. Am I giving you reformatting trials? I don’t have Windows. Will you still love me on a (shhh…’mac’). I promise, it’s just what I was given by my devoted fanboy.
    I can type (badly) into the box, though I sometimes inadvertently lose things (poems!) that way, or I have um … a ‘function’? called Pages. There’s alot about my technology impediments, trust me, you’d rather not know.
    …an ‘application’?… a ‘modus’? …a formatty option.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 4, 2011 3:10 AM

      @hic, so bizarrely formatted are many of your comments that I feel compelled (purely out of a sense of aesthetic responsibility) to open the comment in an ‘edit’ window and fix it. But the solution is at hand.

      As long as your running OS X 10.4 or later (which, as OSX 10.4 came out in 2005, I’m fairly certain you are) then this is what you need : a freeware Wordpad for Mac.

      Download it HERE.

      Wordpad is all the word processor that most people need. I hardly ever use anything else. It’s fast, light and reliable and I’ll bet it sorts your formatting problem (which, I’m guessing, you don’t actually see on your machine because an Apple machine renders Apple protocols just fine) but most of the world runs on Windows and Linux (me for example) and your comments often appear in an almost unreadable state.

      I’m not complaining, mind…it’s just that it might be appearing that way on other forums or blogs where you contribute, while you’re unaware and others are too polite to bring it up.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 4, 2011 3:23 AM

      Blow me down. Well, that link says it’s temporarily unavailable, but I promise to remedy the problem somehow. The system I have is Snow Leopard… ‘I’ll have my man look into it.’

      So, for the better part of two years you have been politely repairing my posts.
      I can’t imagine what they must have looked like. Far too polite on your part. The things I post on the GU look alright, don’t they?
      I don’t want to keep you up though. Lets check in about it tomorrow.

  176. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 2:53 AM

    Oh, Christ…bloody @Iamnothere. She used to send me long emails, many of them bleating about my attitude to religion as exhibited on this blog. Finally, I snapped. It was bad enough trying to make sense of her quasi-mystical mumbo-jumbo and weird non-sequiters; but getting emails criticising my blog from someone who doesn’t contribute was too much.

    I told her to fuck off and leave me alone; that if she had anything to say, say it on the blog, like everyone else. But get this. she still bombards me with emails. Of course, I long ago classed her address as a source of spam, so they all go straight into the spam folder, which I empty once a week. It’s baffling. I don’t read the emails, let alone reply and made my position plain long ago, yet still she persists. People, eh?

    I suppose the creepy @ellymiranda is due to visit soon, to complain about the ‘gang’ that she can’t join and about the ‘social media’ conspiracy that’s robbing her of her rightful place in the sun. Is it that there are more damaged people around nowadays or is it simply that the same ratio exists but they now have a platform, the internet, on which to perform their weird, inexplicable acts?

  177. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 3:02 AM

    Now I’m laughing too helplessly to type in the box…

    The winky hinty thing Iant does makes me want to give her a Heimlich Manoeuvre. So she lurks around here? why?… why?

    *helpless* but as you know *wink* I have my meanings and philosophies *nudge* mmm hmmm. damn straight you do.

  178. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 3:37 AM

    The link works fine for me, honey. No matter…try this link instead.

    By the way, don’t be alarmed if the blog goes all dark. It’s just me experimenting. I’ve added the ‘snow falling’ option but, obviously, it doesn’t show on this white background. We’ll see how it goes…

  179. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 3:56 AM

    The snow gives a lovely subtle effect at the top of the page, even on white, and especially over Hawaii.
    The new link thanks me for downloading, but doesn’t seem to actually do anything else, but I’ll get help from this end in the morning, and then check with you to see whether it’s sorted.
    Night x

  180. December 4, 2011 9:51 AM

    I am disconcerted by the black.

    Gleeson is a great actor, far better in my opinion than the ubiquitous Colin Farrell although they do a good twohander in In Bruges.

    Just up, have to go to PotW now to see the hi-jinks there.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      December 4, 2011 10:14 AM

      re: Parisa. I stopped bothering when I discovered that what I thought were her thoughts on Robert Rauschenberg ( who we were discussing at the time ) were in fact copied and pasted direct from Wikipedia with no mention of the fact.

      God knows I bore myself with my opinions on things but however right or wrong they are at least they are mine Or my friend next door’s, or the critic from the Manchester Evening News’s ( cont.p.94 )

  181. December 4, 2011 10:03 AM

    Good God, it’d drive a body mad(der) over there – I loved your Edward Taylor sign hic.

    I do love the snow. It reminds me of the days before pooters when peeps had to make their own fun. I well remember putting on my built-up snow boots and throwing balls around – a theme that has followed me throughout my life (sorry, slipped out of character there).

    I have to stop now, mockin’ is catchin’.

  182. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 10:19 AM

    Yeah, the black is a bit disconcerting. I shall experiment with other themes. I’m also not happy with the pale, almost unreadable typeface in the comments (I can’t change it in this theme).

    I’m busy on an orbituary/appreciation of Christopher Logue (an artist I admired greatly) at the moment (to go up today) but in the meantime, don’t be alarmed if you see the blog morphing and changing everytime you visit: i have to tinker to get it right. ya!!! Byee:) Gotta play with the ‘pooter!!! ;0 !!!

  183. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 4, 2011 10:55 AM

    Am I better off NOT knowing what an Edward Taylor sign is?

    • December 4, 2011 11:28 AM

      Ah, just a reference to an “alarming” sign Ed … just brand recognition.

  184. henrylloydmoon permalink
    December 4, 2011 12:20 PM

    “The heart of Apple is ppl”™

    Just practising. Been away for a week in a third-world country without internet (France). Catching up on technological advances is time-consuming. Looking forward to seeing my avatar in a bauble…

    • December 4, 2011 1:00 PM

      “And ppl sometimes end up in A & E if their hearts give way…” (Rubbish, Reine) Hey Henry

    • mishari permalink*
      December 4, 2011 1:55 PM

      We lurve ya, hank!!! Coz we’s ppl persons!!! LOL! :) You woz away frum your pooter?!? Wow…I was away from my pooter once. It was about 6 months ago…no, actually, it was about 5 months ago…I ‘member coz it was when I got my new clog!!! Which I lurve!!!;0 Oh, wow!!! Gotta dash! There’s sum guyz at the door wearing white-coats. What can they want. See ya!!!:) xxxxx!!!;~>

      (I swear, if this doesn’t stop soon, I’m going to fucking kill P.)

  185. December 4, 2011 1:38 PM

    I heart this one (the burgundy background).

  186. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 1:50 PM

    Tell me, honey: do you see a black rectangle (I know; it’s black on black) obscuring some of the lettering in the Pol Hom title/header? I was seeing it and I ad-blocked it and now it’s gone. However, if it’s actually ad-blocked, then everybody else (or those not using adblock) will see it, which is no good.

  187. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 2:11 PM

    From here, the entire Pol Hom title/header is blacked out.

  188. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 2:15 PM

    It should be alright now, no?

  189. hic8ubique permalink
    December 4, 2011 2:23 PM

    Yes. I actually read ‘Santa’s Grotto’.
    It’s awfully ‘black-tie’. I feel I should get dressed and mind my manners.

  190. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 2:36 PM

    We are always go to formal for the season, carissima..I am feeling sure you are knowing this. Ah…but of course: Io sono così stupido! You make the tease for poor old Marcello, isn’t it? You minx…I peench your cheek, bellissima yanqui.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 4, 2011 4:48 PM

      Marcello! Caro! why did I ever stop letting you cut my hair?
      I squeeze you LovelyFirmDesToches.

      ( This is my word processing mode, any better? Haven’t had a chance to work on the other.)

  191. Reine permalink
    December 4, 2011 9:49 PM

    oh … Many happy returns… I’ve only been here for just over one but very happy to have met ye..

    Is it my imagination or is the snow getting heavier?

  192. mishari permalink*
    December 4, 2011 10:28 PM

    It’s not your imagination, Reine.. the speed and size of the flakes seems to vary from theme to theme…and I’m not done experimenting yet. Just over a year? Jaysus…it seems like forever (in a good way, o’course).

    @hic, that looks good so far, properly balanced, wrapped and formatted…fingers crossed.

  193. Captain Ned permalink
    December 4, 2011 11:55 PM

    All change here, then.

    I’ve just seen an outstanding documentary on BBC4, The Interrupters, directed by Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame. Dealing with a movement aimed at reducing violence on the streets of Chicago, it blends anger, sorrow and lyricism to riveting effect.

  194. mishari permalink*
    December 5, 2011 12:11 AM

    I read a long piece about it, Ned, in (I think) Vanity Fair. It sounded very good. I read parts of interviews with ex-gang bangers who were now working to divert kids from that life. I’m sorry i missed it; maybe it’s on i-Player.

  195. hic8ubique permalink
    December 5, 2011 12:53 AM

    This selection is a bit Black Hole of Calcutta for my taste. The one (unfortunately named Elegant Grunge) with a Griffin&Sabinesque spaciousness was easier to linger in, but the grey silk twill topper and tails one was good too.

    (If this method formats well, it’s a victory for Occam.
    P l e a s e tell me straightaway if my posts revert to a part-time job for you.)

    ‘properly balanced, wrapped and formatted’
    … it almost seems worth embossing that on a CV
    or emblazoning a personal escutcheon.

    • mishari permalink*
      December 5, 2011 2:08 AM

      I just told your admirer @getlost to follow the advice of his/her username. Called him/her a ‘smarmy little creep’. I don’t expect that comment will last for long. I suspect it’s that paranoid lunatic ellymiranda…she appears to have any number of usernames and uses them on rotation. I abandon the old one when I move on, but then, I’m not a paranoid lunatic.

  196. hic8ubique permalink
    December 5, 2011 2:18 AM

    You went for my bait, ah well. It is certainly one of that puppet coterie. Probably the original wordnerd having propagated through asexual amoebic reproduction.

    You will be a paranoid lunatic if you don’t get some sleep, love. What’s to be done about that? and have you settled on this theme?
    I develop an affection for each of your usernames, as I reluctantly release each previous one.
    (quietly: *miss you Poss*)

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 5, 2011 2:19 AM

      …that is to say the bait intended for me.
      Hope you appreciated my Yiddish twist .

  197. mishari permalink*
    December 5, 2011 2:24 AM

    Yes, I’m off to bed. This theme stays. It seems alright. The dark themes just seem hard to read, plus funny things happen to the link colours on the dark themes and you can’t select a different link colour. This theme allows me to select background colour, link colour, layout etc…so i think it’s a keeper…for a while. Sweet dreams, kiddo….Sincerely, Your Friend Marcello.

  198. hic8ubique permalink
    December 5, 2011 2:27 AM

    Sweet dreams and bon anniversaire a toi.

  199. Edward Taylor permalink
    December 5, 2011 12:50 PM

    I’m off until the new year.

    My genuine thanks to our host for keeping a stimulating blog going despite having most of his limbs in different post-codes and I hope everyone here enjoys [delete where appropriate] seasonal celebrations/ a sackcloth and ashes self-righteous purge/ knitting socks for our boys in Afghanistan/a 5 day mescalin binge/ tortured attempts to write a state of the nation novel/ hoarding tinned goods in a bunker in the back garden.

    Until 2012.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 5, 2011 4:07 PM

      Safe journeys, EdT~~~
      Look in around the 10th if poss, that we might fete you just a wee bit… nothing effusive… the merest nod sort of thing.
      (I might wave a pig bladder on a stick.) x

  200. Captain Ned permalink
    December 5, 2011 1:37 PM

    Do I have to delete any of those options? I plan on indulging in all of them.

    See you next year, Ed.

  201. mishari permalink*
    December 5, 2011 11:14 PM

    See you in the new year, Ed. Here’s a kicking track off the latest ep. of Sons of Anarchy:

  202. reine permalink
    December 6, 2011 8:42 AM

    Good morning cool cats and other creatures… we are on the second day of our two day budget here, which was preceded by a state of the nation address about how screwed we are … which came as news to everyone of course. Anyway, send me prozac, jokes, flowers, champagne … anything to dull the pain (primarily at people telling us what we already know with what they perceive to be rhetorical and oratorical flair). Spare me.

    Happy Christmas Ed – may the road rise to meet you wherever you go.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 6, 2011 2:30 PM

      In that order? champagne last?
      I wondered what was up.I send you lulling thoughts across the waves~~~~~~~~~

      I have a very interesting squidgy parcel here… No sign of whether it’s meant to be saved til Christmas Eve. I have no tree yet to put it under, since the Bride’s birthday celebration has been postponed, and I always stave off Christmas til we’ve given her her day.

      I’m getting a delightful snow flurry (which is most welcome since we have 55F here); let it be an ***effleurage*** of snowflakes to soothe you.

  203. December 6, 2011 2:38 PM

    You may save it if you wish but I don’t hold with pleasure postponed myself. It is nothing very exciting. An Post, our national provider, panics everyone into posting early to America (you’d think it was going by fish)… I feared it would arrive over early. Never mind.

    Thanks for the effleurage… they are melting on my bosom.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 6, 2011 3:03 PM

      But it is very exciting, because it’s from you.

      A little
      postponement …
      for my…


    • December 6, 2011 3:14 PM

      Oh postpone away, I don’t mind at all. x

  204. mishari permalink*
    December 6, 2011 3:03 PM

    None of us will ever be this happy.

    • December 6, 2011 3:12 PM

      No, indeed not. I wonder if he is humming the national anthem.

  205. hic8ubique permalink
    December 6, 2011 3:13 PM

    Aww, Hi, Honey.
    I don’t believe she picked those all up herself.

    This will cheer you up, Reine…
    You were wondering what Mishari looks like, so I’ve made a portrait:


  206. December 6, 2011 3:25 PM

    Gorgeous, as I imagined. He is smoking in mine.

    ~~ ~~

  207. December 6, 2011 11:47 PM

    Jeezis… I go away for a few days and…!

  208. December 7, 2011 12:07 AM

    PS M. Celine: whiplash-inflictingly-good work on that POTW thread; this may be the most elegantly-funny thing I’ve read thereabouts:

    “My wife would greet a group of friends, I’d carry her over, set her down and she would stand, looking sexy enough to make the Pope kick a hole in a stained-glass window. When she wanted to circulate, she’d whistle me over (she’d been a tom-boy as a child and could shatter lightbulbs with her two-fingered whistle) and I’d carry here wherever she wanted to go.”

    …and the pome beginning with this:

    “It’s Chiese, known as the Province of Brescia…”

    (kisses bunched fingers and blows a fat chef’s garlicky tribute)

  209. hic8ubique permalink
    December 7, 2011 2:23 AM

    Here’s a remarkably hideous piece of prose, appallingly, written by a native English speaker:
    The word ‘among’ has somehow eluded the writer’s notice (imagine a disagreement ‘between’ hundreds of scholars), as has the difference between renown (n.) and renowned (adj.)

    Evidently ‘loth’ is a legitimate variant of loath, which I did not know, but the whole piece is an illiterate hotchpotch.

    I’m venting here rather than there, so as to be a bitch among friends rather than, well, just a bitch.

  210. hic8ubique permalink
    December 7, 2011 2:57 PM

    Saint! It cheered me up last week, and now it cheered me up again.
    (I’m usually an easy mark for cheer.) I sent it to my sister and to my favourite keyboard dude. They have that certain sort of appreciation.
    Look! I found him for you:

    • December 7, 2011 4:55 PM

      (I should have known that Onion vid was old news to you, HIc! Erm… wait… who’s the feller in green?)

    • December 7, 2011 5:00 PM

      PS Speaking of Jazz… if anyone should care to see Stan Getz crap his panties in the sublimest of circumstances…

  211. mishari permalink*
    December 7, 2011 4:47 PM

    Thanks for the kind words, Steven…it’s readers like you and the gang here that I’m aiming to amuse when I write, over there or here. Over there, it’s mostly pearls before swine, but what the hell: they may not appreciate caviare but it doesn’t hurt to give them a taste now and then…

    Sorry about the incessant theme changes..just restless. Hope this one is alright. I wasn’t happy with the lay-out of the last one.

  212. December 7, 2011 4:53 PM

    New theme looks lovely enough, M, but I *was* slightly disoriented when I stumbled back here, for the first time in days, last night. Snow’s a nice touch. And cat-head avatars always a winner.

    (Though it’s weird that Hic is a Cat Head over here yet a New Wave Princess on POTW… and wasn’t Reine a Baby over here, last week…?)

  213. mishari permalink*
    December 7, 2011 5:06 PM

    Reine was indeed a baby. There was a very brief craze for baby avatars…you blinked and so missed, the infant me, and the infant hic. But too many baby /child avatars gave the blog a bit of an…I dunno, potentially unsavoury vibe; next thing you know, you’re attracting all sorts of deeply undesirable sorts.

    • December 7, 2011 5:15 PM

      You mean the type of people who might subscribe to something you can imagine being called “H_T T_DDL_R” might… you know.

      (Ugh… just had the terrible thought that I’ve actually used a validly pervy search term in this joke; will now bowdlerize)

    • December 7, 2011 9:19 PM

      “Hat tiddler” made me laugh out loud; in my pic, I was a bit too Electra leaning against my beloved Daddy… so I ditched it. I think I need a new look though… something princessy.

    • December 7, 2011 10:00 PM

      By “princessy” I obviously meant wicked stepmother…

  214. hic8ubique permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:05 PM

    Should I brace myself for an influx of Hat Twiddlers?
    The leprechaun is Ben himself, earning a living as he has done for forty-odd years.

    Perhaps I should go cat all the way around? because I am strictly an Old Wave Princess; just the slightest obliging ulnar-deviation as I swish by in my barouche-landau. [ takes cover under the dining-table ]

  215. hic8ubique permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:13 PM

    …and meant to say, ducking out for a moment, that this theme is lovely, M;
    feels like home, and the black confined to the bottom is no trouble. I love this:
    “You are following this blog (manage).”
    Yes, I can… just about.

  216. December 7, 2011 9:36 PM

    Happy 4th anniversary to me and HI who salute you all with a toast from a bottle of 30 year old Tawny port (very good indeed). Notwithstanding that I left his side in the middle of the night and called him an unloving name… I have come over all romantic after wooing by wine and candlelight. Hysterically yours and yours and yours…and especially yours.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 7, 2011 10:27 PM

      Oh Frabjous Day! Cheers, Reine and HI. May the vintage of the tawny port cast an auspicious port-ent over your celebrations.
      Here is a wooing song, followed by… dramatic developments.

  217. December 7, 2011 10:18 PM

    I must warn off or alternatively commend to you all the painkiller, Tylex, which I took last night on going to bed for a bad headache. Well, it caused a very peculiar trippy sensation and I had dreams even the most skilled of interpreters would not interpret… here is a flavour; in one I was a man (looking aghast at my newly grown penis) obliged to have sex with Jerry Hall. I remember distinctly looking at her bits with great trepidation. Answers on a postcard please to Deranged of Dublin PO Box (not Jerry’s) 0712.

  218. hic8ubique permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:47 PM

    I do like these little portholes; quite smart.
    That is a disturbing dream, so I hope I won’t be needing any of that Tylex then.

    In my dream last night, the coherent bit I remember was unusual in that I was driving through a warehouse district in which there were so many wide lanes, that vehicles, large ones, were coming up and down the lanes so variously that it was impossible to tell which lane was the correct one to travel in. (I’ve had that problem during the day as well.)
    I turned left and followed several busses fashioned to resemble giant gliding blue elephants, which led me to a dress-rehearsal which was in an open air loft/theatre, so I was able to look in. The show was a sort of updated Noel Coward theme (as I took it) with a NYC style too aggressive for me to settle into, and I couldn’t follow it, but I knew the stage manager and chatted with him instead of going next door to the place I was supposed to be.
    Should I not talk about my dreams? I realise it may be tedious. The blue elephants were the best bit.

  219. December 8, 2011 8:34 AM

    I am fascinated by dreams although mine seem to point to a frenzied mind. I often dream of tigers whatever that might signify. Dreamless last night; I hope Jerry is gone for good. I’d take the tigers any day. Elephant buses sound impressive.

    Thanks for anniversary wishes.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 8, 2011 8:37 PM

      Oh, here is this… To me, your tigers signify your fierceness, and your stamina.
      And passion, of course, your passion. Also, there’s something about how the tiger melds fluidly within its proper environment, but appears dramatic when removed from it. Maybe it visits you to reflect those sorts of qualities. Have you seen the photo series of their different faces? If not, I’ll look for it later… baking&c…

    • December 8, 2011 11:24 PM

      Fierce complicated, as an Irishman might say. Passion, certainly – I’m not sure about stamina but I may hire you full-time to dream read for me…

      Baking for S’s birthday I presume? Happy times all around for her. We put up our tree this evening – the thought of battling the crowds at the weekend to buy it was offputting so we went around eight and there was nobody there but the woodcutter man. I love the smell of spruce. Pineliness next to Godliness or something like that. The greatest achievement was in not killing each other unravelling lights. In an act of lazy sacrilege, Jesus is already in the “stylish open plan” crib, primarily because I intend to be too tipsy on Christmas eve to deliver him.

      Mistletoe will be the next purchase – I hope to lure that Augustine fellow under it. I hear he’s a great kisser.

  220. December 8, 2011 8:44 AM

    I heard this on the radio on the way to work yesterday, written in late 1800s… don’t ever hope to lose your cats. I love the unexpected “they thought he was a goner”.

  221. December 8, 2011 8:46 AM

  222. December 8, 2011 12:59 PM

    Offsprung prefers this one!

    • December 8, 2011 11:34 PM

      Yeah, that’s a good one but I rejected it on the grounds of being too long…

  223. hic8ubique permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:22 PM

  224. hic8ubique permalink
    December 9, 2011 3:31 AM

    The girl seems happy; she has secured her candidate and is keen to discuss the table decorations for an year and a half from now. Her brother expressed some misgivings, (to me only) and I had to tell him that I’d spoken of my concerns early on, when it was safe, and his sister had assured me that after two prolonged ‘bad boy’ relationships, she was ready for a less exciting partner. He’s a stolid reliable good egg, and that seems to be the bargain she’s made.
    Someone the other day said I’d be a mother-in-law, and that struck me as a bit of a comeuppance. Hadn’t dawned on me yet.

    Now, let me speak with you about fairy-lights, Re. I favour a balsam fir, and having struggled tediously for years to rehab light strands, without ever considering that they might be replaced for a mere $5 each, I now, like a hero of past wars, have retired from the exercise.
    The good Spouse does the heroic bit: hauling/wielding sharp implements/stomping about. Then, knowing he wants nothing to do with the even more fiddling decorative business to ensue, he gallantly undertakes to do the electricals.
    After that, all I need do is look in later on to withhold my approbation, suggesting that the hapless lower branches need another strand, or that somehow it all wants starting over.
    He’s gone for most of the month (larking about on stage) so guilt hangs like fruited swags about the homestead. I might run temperamentally amok, were I so inclined.

    Not really; as the emancipated mother of no more small children, I’m overstating for effect, but I really do completely abdicate responsibility for the tanglemanglestrangle lights. If it were left to me, we’d have Christmas Eve with clip candles and a water bucket.
    I never hang mistletoe (lovely name though). It seems not to grow here, so they sell a kitschy plastic version, but who wants that? Maybe I’ll sugar dust a sprig of juniper berries.
    Tipsy… yes, probably, but we uncorked some decent champagne for this evenings festivities.

    • December 9, 2011 11:36 AM

      The pattern is much the same chez nous – HI has not a single decorative impulse in his body save one to paint fences and sand wood so he hauls the tree into position under my direction and is in charge of unravelling the lights. When they are in position, I take over the decorating, else we would have six apples in a row, six stars in a row, six angels in a row…. you get my drift. My own approach is more scattergun chic.

      I do hope S doesn’t ramble this way to see what Mama is writing about ;) There is much to be said I imagine for opting for solid and predictable. For one, it might obviate the kind of situation where one partner orders the other out of the car mid-journey and the other only accedes to the request having ascertained that a bus is coming behind or where one climbs into the back seat while the car is moving at high speed because the driver won’t stop to let him/her out and it is the only means of registering protest at something the other has said about his/her family. All to the backing track of gloriously colourful language. The road not taken is often exhausting, not to mention littered with traffic hazards!

      I am sure she will be very happy. Better this bargain than a more Faustian one. Anyway, she has a year and a half to be sure, to be sure.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 9, 2011 11:29 PM

      It’s so true; where festive decoration entails deployment of a caulking-gun or power-washer, they will shoulder their way to the front; otherwise, we are left to our own contrivances.
      The likelihood of the elder girl taking any notice of what the Mumma is writing about is exceedingly slim, a snowflake’s chance in the ocean, but even in the most extraordinary circumstance, it’s nothing I’ve not said point blank.

      Must search out those tigers as the day dwindles…

  225. mishari permalink*
    December 9, 2011 5:51 AM

    I just discovered that Mickey Rooney, who starred in his first Hollywood film in 1926, and who married Ava Gardner in 1942 (when Rooney was voted America’s most popular film star and Gardner was an unknown) is not only alive (which was news to me) but starring in panto this Christmas (Cinderella, in Sunderland of all places). My mind is reeling at this information.
    I take my hat off to the man.

  226. December 9, 2011 10:41 AM

    Ava was the first of eight or nine … He will probably marry the hat.

  227. mishari permalink*
    December 9, 2011 5:12 PM

    In an excellent article on the utterly craven Nick Clegg and his worthless party’s expected reaction to Cameron’s EU rejection, (the Lib Dems, you’ll remember, made being a more integral part of the Union a manifesto pledge) Marina Hyde says:

    The mere fact of something appearing as a Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge has come to symbolise that it is terminally doomed as an idea. Perhaps the best way to eradicate poverty would be to draft up a Lib Dem manifesto commitment to perpetuating it.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      December 9, 2011 11:36 PM

      In the antepenultimate paragraph, I’d change ‘debate’ to ‘speculation’, but other than that minor quibble, yes, an excellent article.
      Marina is savage, but as befitting her position, thank goodness.

  228. reine permalink
    December 10, 2011 11:06 AM

    They are amazing; incredible expressions. Thanks for finding them for me. I had a kind if instant recognition with Matsu, No. 5. I’ll see yer puny cats and raise ye my doppelganger.

    • reine permalink
      December 10, 2011 11:09 AM

      “a kind of” as opposed to a kind, if instant, recognition… me flattering the tiger.

  229. hic8ubique permalink
    December 10, 2011 2:22 PM

    It’s just possible that The Alarming Edward Taylor will look in today, his Birthday (or at some other convenient moment) and note that he was remembered…

    Sentimental Hogwash from One with an Appetite for the Soppy Trough

    Let’s celebrate this truth: that Ed
    who once was born, is not yet dead.
    He is a self-depreciative chap;
    would benefit from rounds of clap
    -ping friends whose verse might bring him cheer
    as he depreciates through the year.
    Ed claims to scribble ‘witless drivel’
    with modest mien, without a snivel;
    though his wit is sharp! his mind is keen!
    as critic of the boards and screen,
    and if his poems sometimes don’t scan all that well or rhyme,
    one overlooks such charms amongst hearty companions… ahem…
    Ed’s verse is full of pith and vigour
    [That’ll do, Mowbray– I heard that snigger.]

    EdT was once a bullied kid…
    … I’m sorry for the things I did;
    although I did them not to you,
    perhaps, between us, as in lieu,
    I could say ‘Sorry’ for the toys
    I barricaded from those boys
    in Kindergarten, and the time
    I outed (such a heinous crime)
    a kid for drawing comic-strips
    in which he featured, hands on hips,
    as a Superhero; that was cruel.

    I’m better at the Golden Rule
    than I was then, so please forgive
    with Birthday Grace and grant me live
    in absolution for the slew
    of  teasing things I got up to.
    No matter now; push came to shove…
    What was it I was speaking of ?…

    * ting* ting* ting…*Skoal*
    Let us raise a glass to dear EdT:
    of wit endowed, though scansion-free.
    He brings The Arts to park and town,
    attired in a dressing-gown.
    Life’s taught you, Ed, I’ve little doubt,
    to have your sweet from the inside out.
    We drink your Health. We bid you Joy.
    (Let’s just forget those Tonka toys.)
    On this day, you wear the crown;
    your sweetness, Ed, is all your own.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      December 11, 2011 10:33 AM

      Scansion? that doesn’t ring a bell.
      I’ll have to look that up – what the bloody hell

      Thanks hic your verse corresponded with a particularly good birthday ( last year’s was spent stuck for 6 hours in Schipol airport blogthemetastically enough ) and was one of many cherries on many sugar-free cakes.

      And thanks to everyone else.

      Now off to a town at the foot of Mont Blanc for 9 days to ( possibly ) bring art to the people. Xmas will be spent in a rented appartment with a microwave on the Swiss border.

  230. hic8ubique permalink
    December 10, 2011 2:33 PM

    I seem to be formatting myself tidily into the spam bin… Let’s see if this works.

    I’d have chosen Ganga for your expression, Re, but Matsu is indeed a glorious beast.

  231. reine permalink
    December 10, 2011 2:51 PM

    Ha, you will be happy to hear D also chose Ganga from the 18… She seems a bit alarmed but perhaps true to me on opening my credit card statement.

  232. mishari permalink*
    December 10, 2011 6:00 PM

    I’ve no idea why that went into the spam bin…very odd. Sorry about that. Anyway, here’s a nice relaxing groove from Count Basie…put your feet up, pour a drink and enjoy. Happy birthday, Ed:

  233. December 10, 2011 6:25 PM

    Happy birthday Edward T
    On this anniversary
    Of your birth
    Your fall to earth
    From a wat’ry galaxy

    Have a blast.

  234. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 12:14 AM

    The Guardian has sunk to new lows of shabby dishonesty in a transparent attempt to placate Lib Dem supporters, livid at Clegg’s support for Cameron’s EU veto.

    Yesterday, ‘Jellyfish’ Clegg stated publicly that Cameron had been “modest and reasonable”. Today, The Graun, under the headline ‘Angry Clegg turns fire on Cameron over Europe veto’, published this mendacious tripe:

    Nick Clegg and senior Liberal Democrats have turned dramatically on David Cameron over Europe, accusing the prime minister of endangering the interests of the British economy.

    Just 24 hours after appearing to back Cameron, sources close to Clegg made clear that the deputy prime minister believed the PM had been guilty of serious negotiating failures that risked damaging the national interest, British jobs and economic growth.

    Clegg’s fury puts the coalition under the most severe strain since its formation 19 months ago, with Europe now seen by some MPs as a potential “deal breaker”.

    One source said Clegg “couldn’t believe it” when he was woken at 4am in his flat in Sheffield to be told that talks on how to save the euro at the Brussels summit had “spectacularly unravelled”.

    Accusing Cameron of failing to play the diplomatic game effectively, the source added: “He could not believe that Cameron hadn’t tried to play for more time. A menu of choices wasn’t deployed as a negotiating tool but instead was presented as a take it or leave it ultimatum. That is not how he [Clegg] would have played Britain’s hand.”

    The source said Clegg feared Britain would now be the “lonely man of Europe”, with less influence, not more, for the City of London, less influence with the US and less foreign investment. “It leaves us isolated in Europe and that is not in the national interest.”

    The stinging rebukes reflect Clegg’s recognition that he can no longer take the hits for the coalition and defend policies with which he disagrees. Instead, he has criticised Cameron in a way that will raise questions about the government’s ability to last its five-year term.

    You’ll note that at no point is Clegg quoted directly. It’s all ‘sources close to’, ‘sources’, ‘the source’.

    Also note that not a single other news organisation is reporting what would be (if true) a very big story…but they’re not. Not a single one; not the BBC, not The Times, not The Telegraph, not The Independent, etc etc…

    The Guardian‘s contempt for its readers has long been known; but do they really think that Lib Dem voters are so tragically cretinous that they’ll be taken in by such blatant horseshit?

    The Guardian has become a truly despicable rag.

  235. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 11:26 AM

    Enjoy Switzerbland, Ed, one of my least liked countries on the planet…unless you’re on the French side of Mont Blanc, that is. Mind you, I hear that they’ve not been getting any snow in the Alps, so perhaps you’ll be the only game in town. All Hail, The Conquering Inflatable Pig!

    I see that the BBC is helping to spin the Lib Dem attempt to have it both ways, but (of course) it’s another ‘sources close to Mr Clegg..’ piece of shit. My God, what a crew…pathetic.

  236. mishari permalink*
    December 11, 2011 12:03 PM

    I’m closing this thread because, with almost 400 comments, it’s taking too long to load. There’s a new thread to move to, though. Sorry for any inconvenience. We hope you will bear with us. We value your business. Please hold. One of our customer service operatives will be with you shortly. (repeat 10,000 times and cue: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on an endless loop)

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