Wednesday 31 October 2012

June Wilkinson & The Bomb (Pt. 11)

There really had been a windmill here back in the days of Charles Stuart, the king of England who sired no legitimate heirs but a dozen (and those only the acknowledged) by his mistresses. That the Windmill Theatre continued to scandalise is perhaps a testament born by that thin thread of the years. You’ll know the theatre of course, if you know it at all, because of the tableaux vivants. With the Lord Chamberlain apt to close any show that to his opinion threatened public decency it was allowed for nude stage shows to be presented as long as the participants did not move. Because of statues no doubt, and therefore art. Old man Bittersweet told me once about the fan dance. There a dancer would be so undressed but teasingly behind her own and the fans of two others – only to still when at length they were taken away.
            During the big war the theatre claimed it never closed, and apart from those brief days when all were forced to then that was true, and even during the blitz. There were Windmill girls after that war too, and comedians, some quite famous once. But if the Windmill endured the years of the big war it did not fare so well in those few days that made up the little war.
            In the common room (when as a much younger man, having no particular vocation but a moderate degree, and so for a year or two thought to teach) the Latin master Hamilton was a regular here. He would take the train into London the moment he had served out prep and return a day later without any attempt at covering the reason for his absence, positively gushing over what he had seen. He was a fan in particular of one of the dancers, June Wilkinson, although by my time of suffering his tales she had already left for America where we were all rather aware of her being famously the most photographed of nudes. Hamilton followed her through every periodical and picture paper in which she appeared and even took to collecting those more colourful periodicals from across the pond. He spoke as if he knew her, had followed her since she had been young. I might say she photographed remarkably well, and certainly filled a frame since she was what my father would have called ‘statuesque’ and my mother ‘loose’. My mother thought that of almost any woman whose photographs went beyond family snaps and had once warned me that if I were not careful then in London positive armies of such women lay in wait for an unsuspecting young man. Age and experience were to alas prove otherwise.
                 “Do you still have the revolver?” Mme Roux wants to know now. I agree that I do and make to offer her the beastly thing. But she will have none of it and instead tells me to ensure I keep it handy. She’s standing on a box in what had once been a changing room, and before that a projectionist booth. The bricks that changed the one room to the other have loosened over time and she’s peering out to where on stage the Chelsea Hunt have appeared. Standing still as they listen for some scrape or scratch that will betray our presence I am reminded again of the vivants that once were staged there. I smother a chortle as I wonder if they will take their clothes off, though given the state of them in their torn hunting pink and the cut-off respirators I doubt that they’ll put on quite such a show.
            I step closer to whisper, “Where is Cecil?”
            She points, and she giggles.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Cumberbatch, Spall, Who, Creek, and Corsets

No one else is thinking about it yet, but don’t worry people – I’m on the case.
             Weeks before anyone else cares to even consider it I’ve delved deep into the corridors of the secret Christmas Radio Times and can reveal that yes, this year there is decent tele. Or one programme at least. This year (and to great delight) I’ve learned that Benedict Cumberbatch is to play Dr Who - alongside Timothy Spall as Dr Watson - in the two part story Jonathan Creek’s Christmas Ghost Story, based on the classic E. Nesbit book Dirk Gently and the Victorian Beowulf Zombie Dragon of Ripping Corset Lane.
            Shown on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself each two hour episode will go out exactly at the point lunch has gone down enough to reach for the delicious teatime spread.
            And I for one am just giddy with excitement!   

Saturday 27 October 2012

Jenny The Green

Jenny-the-Green as she appears near the start of King Fits (and later the driving force behind book two, Green Chief).
“Me,” she said. “That were a nice axe and all. You’d better be worth it.” About his height, Jenny was eighteen perhaps. Certainly older than he but it was hard to be precise so well hidden was she in her shapeless clothes.
Her face was round and when she smiled she resembled every child’s drawing of its big sister. Her knotted and braided hair would have been wild had it not been weighted down by dozens of wooden and silver bells, beads and tiny plastic toys. Pouches and pockets on the belt she wore over one shoulder were stuffed, taut - and it was a belt very crowded indeed. If she and Billy were in danger then clearly she recognised it, but delighted in it all the same. Jenny the Green had been called a force of nature, a spark of the sun, and a city nymph with a warrior’s soul – for she had many admirers. Billy knew nothing of that. Billy was fifteen and just thought she was fit. She looked like a tramp. She smelled of sandalwood.  

Thursday 25 October 2012

Memory Knickers, Viking Wine, and Tyranny!

Agent Provocatuer (the top-market lingerie not commonly seen garishly swinging in the rainy wind of a mid-week market in your local shire town between the faintly worrying donut stall and a clutter of ironing board covers stacked on two upturned milk crates) has denied any concern that US megabrand Victoria’s Secret has led to their new direction now to be found in Marks and Sparks.
            AP’s new range is set to appeal to the reality of every woman’s early relationships, whereby for exactly one month the latest lingerie will involve being high cut, push up, and flattering (and not as comfortable as pretended to be) before through the technology of memory fabric it will when draped on a radiator overnight turn into a baggy mass dotted with faded flowers and a t-shirt thieved from a previous boyfriend.
For too long, I am assured, women had been enslaved to the tyranny of having to wait until they begin to see the benefit of high cut, push up and flattering almost exactly six months after having their second child. There when shocked, harried and hair awry they stumble into La Senza simply because, in the first instance, it’s not The Early Learning Centre.  There too, with a returning memory of when a glass of wine wasn’t sunk on the sly like a Viking with a flagon of ale, they weep quietly in the wake of their first good night’s sleep. They realise that they might actually be able to wear a bra one day whose contents haven’t been mauled by the demanding, shitty little bastard that is at that very moment rubbing spitty chocolate on their coat. And this time it’s for them, to make them feel better.
Their husband whole-heartedly being both supportive and understanding crashes through three displays and a rack of fluffy socks as he makes a flying leap to get his visa card into the machine.
So down with tyranny!

Wednesday 24 October 2012


So I’ve just got in from doing the door-to-door for charity.
It’s not a sponsored thing although that would make a strange sort of sense. This time for Marie Curie who from memory was the first woman to boast super powers, but in her name for cancer. You’ve probably seen the adverts, and Kylie told me to do it. So I have. And it’s nice to spare a little time I do not have because ultimately time is the nicest, easiest contribution you can make to anything. Really it probably makes sense if smokers did the same, given the charity; although probably not on the hillier of streets.
It’s genius really, getting people to do their streets. People who know you, or at least recognise you are far more likely to give a little lose change. Being the north people are genetically friendly anyway. One thing I do like about up here is that everyone nods and wishes you well as they pass by. Everybody. I did that in Euston a couple of years back and got stopped and questioned by uniforms; truly. Oh, you scowling rascal London!
There’s a bit of a theme in the family for this. My dad always got involved in charity. Indeed he took them over. He’d be on the committee by meeting three and running the whole thing within a year. He’d multiply the takings by many times, drive it forward, upwards, better, more charity than ever! He spent years on the RNLI and they gave him a little statue for it. Good for him. And things like that are probably best kept as charities as let’s face it if the RNLI had been an official body every government (be it whatever party) would have cut it back to a lilo on Brighton pier by now.
All went well, all except number... well, can’t say too much. But number (we’ll call it X), X. I’ve no idea who lives there. Never seen him. I saw him today only by the top of his shiny head in the upstairs room – our street is on a slope. He was on the internet and maybe even being a bit adult at the time. Probably. But I knocked, and waited, and knocked, and eventually the downstairs light came on. And there were footsteps on the stairs. Then a long pause, then the light went off. And softly the footsteps retreated, and then the upstairs light went off.
I didn’t shout out ‘I can hear you wanking up there’ as I had my charity ID around my neck and that would have been rude. But I’ll pop out in a second - and it’s never too late, eh?

Monday 22 October 2012

Urgh Boots

Go back to hiding in nook and cranny
With goblins deep and spells uncanny
You look like someone’s dotty granny
And not one that steals dinosaurs with the nanny
You dozy, clumpy, ridiculous fanny
In your faux-fleece Ugg boots.

Sunday 21 October 2012

The First Taste Of Christmas

'It's nearly Christmas. It is.' 
I can taste Christmas now; goose, and cinnamon, pine sap, and a little whiff from where I’ll no doubt hide the bumper box of smelly things from Lush.
            That last for Q in case anyone was wondering? It’s a week until the letter to Santa has to be written, but some things (like fate) are inexorable. That first soft flavour came this week from the harvest festival in our local school where the sprouts in keeping with local tradition had to beat the bounds to keep the fields free from faeries. Bosswell the youngest being both brave, bold and a magnificent hunter had three in a rusted bird cage before Catnip, my eldest, freed them with shrieks and scolding and a well-wielded wooden spoon she took from the shed (and marked still with runes as a reminder of its purpose as a present from our last expedition). So the girls sang at the school and the wee one won (da-doo-ron-ron) the weekly prize, which I don’t normally see. She’d done well at classes, but also at learning her spells, and indeed as said for catching the faeries.
            So then soon and in rapidity it’s all hallows eve, then fireworks and then the swiftly-passing weeks before that most splendid of seasons. Q’s shifts mean that after the coming half-term I’ll have full days to work – albeit starting after the kid’s are in school, which is half the day gone and into the evening instead. So there’ll be much tappiting to do for work (praise Cope with... well... I might have mentioned Christmas?), and the blog, and a half hour squeeze for more writing, and an hour a day somehow with an instrument, music being this year’s evening class. Crowded, crammed, but that’s how it should be so that come Christmas it’s all the better. And then when I end for the year the traditional novella leading to the day itself to do, and planned, and looked forward to.
            For Christmas is three days, and I love them all. Others do not, and many have forgotten how, but since Christmas was pretty crap when I was young it’s dashingly smart now old. With the eve all excitement and games, with songs, and cider, ending when all else are asleep for a rare trip alone to Church for the midnight visit. Then come morning for the day all bright and bouncy, with parcels and paper and then a whole morning with me cooking the festive feast. Then the last of the three where presents are inspected more closely, and when the table groans with the all-day help-yourself of pies, and cold cuts, of many cheeses and pickles and a little rum come dark. Because it’ll be the midwinter, and whilst the wind batters the roof and the light runs nervously by it’s right and proper to sing and raise cheer, to play games and feast.
            Because Christmas comes but once a year, all three days of it, and I can taste it now; goose, and cinnamon.   

Friday 19 October 2012

Beatrice Dalle, Anna Friel, Maurice Thomas, Nicholas Sarkozy.

There’s chaos in the European Union ever since the Anna Friel has fallen sharply against the Beatrice Dalle.
            For years England has been propped up by the Anna Friel and even with emergency measures brought in consisting of Kate Moss in a pair of colourful wellies confidence today was left weeping, mascara in rivulets down its cheeks, hair awry, as the value of the Friel dropped to less than 2.4 on the Dalle. A late attempt to bolster things by Government skinny-chick tsar Maurice through the re-issue of the Darcey Bussell only led to the rise of the Kylie when the Bussell was learned to have been nurtured in Australia. Chick-tsar Thomas was left with egg on his face when new measures brought in by the EU to include secondary sexual characteristics scuppered his attempt; also someone threw an egg at him.
            Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is said to be delighted, sneering at his long time opponent on the issue and bringing up once again how reliant England is on America citing in this instance Thomas’ desperate attempt to bolster the Friel with an emergency loan of Uma Thurman.        
Personally I don’t have a clue what any of this refers to.
            So you’re in good company.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Lancashire Police Laser Blind Jedi

Almost relevant to the article, a bit, sort of.

Recent news articles have been quick to report that Lancashire Police used a taser on a blind man.
Early investigations have pointed out however that despite the widely quoted idea that they ‘believed him to be armed with a samurai sword’ they did in fact react entirely according to current guidelines when they arrived to apprehend a Jedi.
“I’ve honestly no idea where this samurai sword idea came from,” Superintendant Donald Sith is on record as saying this lunchtime, “Mr Farmer was clearly heard to say ‘but with the blast shield down I can’t see anything’ before tapping the ground with what footage clearly shows to almost certainly have been a light saber. And it’s laser not ‘taser’, or to be more precise blaster.”
A leaked SOCO report has confirmed that members of the Lancashire Constabulary were involved in the incident citing the evidence upon Mr Farmer as ‘only Lancashire plod can be this precise’.
In an entirely unrelated matter Lancashire Police are still baffled as to the disappearance of Alderaan and deny that the immense yellow and silver globe with the flashing blue lights seen in the vicinity is likely to have anything to do with it.    

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Holbourne Sketch: Oldman

At the wedding I attended this weekend gone Rob handed me a small collection of short stories from the early 60s, including one by G. D. Holbourne of which I’d never heard! This is not so very unusual as he never seemed to stick with a single publisher for more than one piece until they were briefly collected in the early 70s. Even then these reprints were heavily, some might say horribly, edited. The book doesn’t even have a cover, but still a Princely present and given the rarity I expressed my delighted surprise.
Rob had found it in the bottom of a suitcase at some book fair. He actually found the very same edition of the same collection in much better (but not apparently anything that would include words like ‘fine’) condition. Two Holbourne’s in one day, quite a find, albeit the same book.
The Holbourne story isn’t very long and not unusually seems to begin in the middle of a much longer piece that in all likelihood doesn’t (and never) existed. In the same post-never-described-catastrophe of some decades before, Oldman follows a sad old chap living out his days in picturesque rural England whilst all about him goes to hell. Life is starkly (if entirely corrupted) normal and Oldman reads old papers in strict rotation each day. As the stack runs out so it seems to count down his days remaining.
Oldman is the sort of retired civil-servant that features in all manner of later spy novels of the Freddie Forsythe mould. A wily old fox with his day regimented exactly the same this leaves him only twelve minutes each day to escape the routine and investigate what happened, or will happen, or is happening in the village.
There’s no exposition, typically. No grand reveal. I read it that he is either the cause of it all; or that where he worked was. He certainly isn’t troubled by the horrors alluded to. But time is running out as the newspapers do in this Groundhog Day story where every day is the same, albeit not repeated (but for that short twelve minute window). I suspect about half the clues are there, but you have to make your own mind up. This is fine as it means it’s something to discuss, even argue about. Not that you generally have that benefit since almost no one else will have even heard of the author it seems, let alone this particular story.
Holbourne as ever concentrates on atmosphere, allusion, and paints the pictures extremely well whilst not indulging in the purple prose. Oldman for example is described when seeing himself in the mirror as looking like a ‘hangover’ and that’s all you get, having to presume his age only through mention of his retirement from said civil service.
Ten minute sketches are the theme for these pieces. Ten minutes it was.    

Monday 15 October 2012


Pictured: Rob, Marc and Yvette, Saz 
Mme Roux wants to know where I’ve been. She was leaning against the front door on my return with her nose pressed against the glass like a somewhat annoyed hound. I so rarely go away that she was flummoxed on dropping by to discover I was not in. She’s disappointed to learn that I hadn’t been kidnapped. Not to rescue me you understand, and certainly not to meet with any ransom – rather so as to have the smashing fun (her words) of meting out some jolly revenge (also her words).
‘I have been,’ I try to explain, ‘At a wedding.’
She’s gone a bit confused. This reads rather like the ongoing & The Bomb story, which it isn’t. This is me, not an unnamed narrator set in some divergent past after the myth that always was a limited atomic exchange. I have a name; presently here at least that is mud. ‘When did you go to this wedding? And further, why was I not invited?’
‘Friday. It took us a day to drive there and one to drive back with a bit of time in the middle for the party. And they don’t know you, so you weren’t invited. And you always make a scene because you can’t imagine any gathering where it’s not to do with you.’
‘No,’ she brushes off the necessity of mere reality, ‘When?’
‘Oh,’ I understand now, ‘Mostly the 80s.’ For someone who loathes the decade I do seem to spend a lot of time there. It’s because I met the groom in the 80s, and indeed everyone else I knew there. Actually I met a guy there called Phil who I knew in the 80s but had not actually met until thirty years later, at the wedding, which was the 80s, (you have to keep up and get this sort of thing straight in your head or it all goes a bit wrong).
And a lovely do it was too. I’ve known Marc for the aforementioned thirty odd years now, just not seen him in a few of those. And all the gang were there that could make it; the gang that could make it being the Sundown crew, because it was back in the 80s and so a small amount of travel was needed (and not just on motorways). Marc being one of life’s nice people you feel happy because of his reflected happiness, and so great was that joy it almost blinded. Clearly rapturous (you can tell when Marc is happy because he looks faintly bemused - and I've never seen him look more so) we were all tremendously delighted for him. ‘Although it had a very strange effect on people there,’ I say to Mme Roux.
‘Go on...’
‘Well Simon having adopted a theatrical scarf became very theatrical. People assuming he was in the theatre were people he did not wish to disappoint. One of them insisted we must excuse her because she’s ‘like Sheldon off that Big Bang Theory if you know what I mean’.’
‘I know you love it when people say that, given your eldest daughter is bags-out autistic. You told her that of course, and then she quickly left?’
‘Of course. Jerry (a chap I know you used to approve of until you recalled the guillotine) not only danced to everything but everything else as well. He even high-fived the traditionally buxom bridesmaid who I’d last seen being escorted from the ceremony by the best man Rob. Given she was petite and Rob is actually a seven-foot preying-mantis the effect was striking. And Maurice...’
‘That great wet lump of a pacifist?’
‘If you say so, well Maurice was the only one to get into a fight, albeit with a parking meter.’
‘Who won?’
‘Strictly speaking the parking meter, but it didn’t get to go to a party. Sarah got to say ‘fuck off’ a lot to me (which always cheers her up). Rob having been made to wear full morning dress could scarce leave the mirror alone.’
‘So it was jolly good?’
‘All things are when chums are happy, and Marc perhaps most of all. And I’m sure he’ll make it his life’s work now to ensure the new Mrs Marc will glow with just that, only doubled.’
‘All is well then?’
‘Nothing I’d add here otherwise. There was a slight cock up on the catering front and an urgent need to suddenly put royal icing on a Bob The Builder cake but of these things is life made, and two lives now for the better for it,’ I say.  

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Windsor & The Bomb (Pt. 10)

It was in the Royal Observer Corps that Cecil first tasted the power of a uniform.
He had been a little too young for the big war. I can’t imagine him scampering about the craters hunting for bomb fins or shrapnel for souvenirs though he assures me that was the case. I know he was sent out as a refugee but like many ran away, ran home and (a shame though it is for the narrative of his story) to find his family perfectly well despite the blitz. He was excused his national service though he will not say why, only that it did not please him to do so. So he volunteered for the ROC which was as well since it was a volunteer organisation. Uniformed by the RAF they continued their work from the big war, watching for raids and waiting for the bombs and in his case his post was in the most extraordinary place; the Brunswick Tower atop Windsor Castle. The first time he reported for duty he says he jumped a mile when the bear-skinned sentry snapped a salute.
Our late Queen having been taken up there as a girl by King George still made sure that the little ROC post was kept supplied by the royal kitchens. Cecil claims it was the only post across the country that did not have to take in its own sandwiches. He tells me now that it was lucky that with the advent of V bomber and mushroom clouds the post was relocated, he to a much smaller affair on the outskirts of the town. There with two others in their tiny little cellar dug out of the ground they waited each night in shifts just in case... well, just in case what happened did I suppose.
“That night,” he says, “I was the second one in. There should have been old William too but he stayed with his family. We of course knew how tense things had become. But it was still a surprise to Larkin and me when the BPI meter went barmy. We couldn’t see a thing but had to ring in with the instrument readings. I can’t imagine how they couldn’t have known where the bombs had dropped but still it wasn’t official until we and others just like us read of the readings and telephoned them in.”
“It must have been very frightening,” I say.
“Not really. You were so removed down there and we weren’t very close. I remember my Maisie hadn’t put the pickle in my sarnie.”
“How did you endure it?” I say hardly bothering to keep the contempt from my voice.
“It was the smell that was the worse. We had this little toilet and it had never really worked. We were down there for days opening tins from the last war and occupying ourselves with ludo. Thing is, the telephone system went down during the first wave. So I suppose officially there was no little war. All rather pointless really.”
We’ve been waiting for the Chelsea Hunt to go by. Telling stories; well Cecil and I have been. Mme Roux is standing like a shapely Gog or Magog above the city and daring them to see her. There’s a bonfire on the building opposite and it’s making her tight little curls red in the night. Seeing her it is as if we are witness to Lucifer paying a call on his kingdom, only in a flying jacket and corduroy.
I say, “How long do we have to remain here?”
“Not too much longer,” says Mme Roux. “The Hunt has just entered the theatre below.”
“They saw us?” Cecil wants to know.
They ought to have done, I think to myself. The awful woman had been waving at them long enough.  

Monday 8 October 2012

David Blaine, says David Blaine

David Blaine keeps on stealing my batteries.
                          I’ve spent the weekend trying not to notice him. He was there on Friday standing at the end of the garden, and every hour that went by he would move a yard forward whenever I wasn’t looking. He’s all mysterious like that. Come Saturday morning and he slipped through the front door on the third go after knocking and running until I gave in. For the next couple of days he lurked, never making eye-contact, mumbling like a teenager, and making toast.
                          So, so much toast.
                          He’s been leaving magical messages for me so I know what he’s doing. I know what he’s doing without the mysteriously appearing soapy marks on the mirror whenever someone in the house takes a shower - he’s stealing all my batteries. The ones in the remote were first so we’ve been stuck on CBeebies. He stood with a lampshade on his head all afternoon until we got so bored pretending he wasn’t there that we began to think he wasn’t. He’s had them out of the camera and thought he’d hit riches when he found the kid’s room, but expecting plastic crap that makes noises he spent an hour trying to take the back off wooden blocks and badly shaped zoo animals. He sulked all evening afterwards. I only know that because of another eerie message that appeared inside a pre-slit orange.
                          David Blaine sulking is exactly like David Blaine not sulking, just with the slightly stronger whiff of Nik-Naks.
                          David Blaine is stealing all my batteries because like every David Blaine stunt his current David Blaine stunt it to do something that other magicians have done, just taking longer, so much longer, that no one know if he’s still doing it because no one wants to look any longer; just in case he is. He needs batteries because he’s playing with Tesla coils.
                          Like in The Prestige.
                          Or so I asked. I’ve not seen the film; only read the book. In the book two magicians battle and hate one another down the years until one beats the other by using a teleport machine made by Tesla to teleport around. The downside being that it’s actually a duplicator.
                          David Blaine says he’s never heard of the Prestige. I say he’d like it; just not a lot. He’s suing me for using his catchphrase. At least I think that’s what he said - mostly what I heard was mumble-mumble-mumble and a little note that esoterically appeared on my phone asking me to buy more Pot Noodles.
                          David Blaine says David Blaine pushes the envelope of illusion into realms never before shown by other, lesser magicians. Also, the chicken and mushroom Pot Noodles. Not the beef ones. Or the sweet and sour ones. He also likes crisps. He’s certainly been making them disappear.
                          He’s in the room now. Like a weeping angel from Doctor Who but without so much to say for himself. He’s just sort of a pair of trainers topped with confusion that never quite got over a growth spurt. And he just giggled because I wrote ‘spurt’.
                          David Blaine is stealing all my batteries.      

Friday 5 October 2012

Unearthed Ink: The Dead Tribesman

The second of two I’m putting up today unearthed from a folder I could not recall for the life of me what it contained. This too has aged but I like the composition still if so much of it (such as the metal) I’ve definitely moved on from.  

Unearthed Ink: The Wicker Goat!

Astonishing what you find and today a lump of inked pieces I’d completely forgotten about! These from a project about ten years ago; done, finished and rarely used. This is a shame as whilst they’ve dated there is some good stuff here still. I like still the way the wicker goat’s face is made from a captive and the various clutter about her.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

The Battle of Hastings

No you tool, there's no such place as 'Vikania'

A bunch of Germans first had a battle against some Danes (who had arrived there years before after going on a bit of a Viking) in Durham and who were all pretty much of the same nationality as the Germans. Quickly then the Germans went to Yorkshire where they had another battle this time against some Norwegians, some Swedes and a few Danes all of whom were very much on a bit of a Viking. The Germans won that one too but had to hurry all the way down to Pevensey, near to Hastings (which hadn’t yet developed miles and miles of crumbling arcades) because two battles wasn’t enough.
They got there in time looking for the hat trick because some French, who were really Norwegians (because they had been all for the Viking bit too) had landed there with some Germans who also were a bit French, and some Britains who had left Britain some time before because of all the people that looked quite a lot like the sort who would really enjoy a good Viking. There were Italians too amongst others, but they weren’t at all Viking, other than those that soon would be once the French (who were really Norwegian) thought they’d go somewhere a bit warmer for the Viking season. The rest of the Britains were Welsh, a lot of them being Cumbrian which was also Scottish, but also Cornish which wasn’t. But the British didn’t really get involved as they’d been so firmly kicked in the nuts by all the Germans and the Scandinavians some time before that they weren’t British any more, but Welsh as I say, which sort of mean ‘foreign’, a word coined by the Germans for the people they found in Britain. Which was by now England, named for the Angles, who were Germans.
And in this the third of the battles the French won, though they weren’t really French (who were Franks) but Norwegians who done the Viking bit and got into the smart haircuts and chainmail shorts.
And that was the Battle of Hastings. Though it took place at Battle, which wasn’t called that till afterwards, otherwise it would have been a bit of a giveaway.  

Monday 1 October 2012

Parliament, Darth Vader, and Suet Puddings

I refer my learned colleague...

Faced with reports last year that British politics is seen as being boring to the young, new guidelines have been revealed by the Speaker of the House of Commons to enable the British public to reengage with the process of democratic parliamentary government. The plans also seek to appeal to a significant proportion of idiots that having decided all politicians should be done away alongside bankers, dinner ladies, and Daleks have so far failed to realise the alternative that would be realised by a dictatorship based around cottage industry smart phones, packed lunches, and the dominion of time and space from rather humble beginnings on Skaro.
With the three most popular parties all sort of messing together in the middle the guidelines seek to address the core problem that no one knows who are the goodies and the baddies any more. To facilitate this then from 2014 the incumbent Prime Minister will attend press conferences and questions in the house wearing a Darth Vader costume and voice modulator; members of the opposition will in consequence all be required to wear Jimmy Saville masks whilst singing Gary Glitter hits. Further, given the shocking lack of any real scandal in recent years a minimum of 20% of sitting MPs in all parties will be required by law to have messy affairs, accept bribes, and get back to being caught emerging from notorious houses of ill-repute with a speciality in whips, discipline, and stodgy suet-based puddings.
The report also having highlighted the problem of a growing number of wives (seen on the arms of their respective politician husbands) having not only jobs and young children, but a distinct propensity towards being perfectly attractive middle-aged women that almost certainly earn more than they do. Ministers will thus be ordered to seek out someone suitably resembling a troll chosen for their ability to express political views so extreme as to make their husbands pass water every time they open their wet, gaping mouths.
Perhaps as a result of all this the latest Gallup poll puts Voldemort up six points on the Conservative Party with his popularist stance on death-hexing all immigrants, replacing the welfare state with ‘Europe’, and his upcoming marriage to the Borg Queen.