Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Sunday 27 September 2009

Martinet (n.) Any small Martin

I had another quiet day at the Celebrity Sauna. There were no celebrities in evidence, sadly. I was half-expecting Russell Crowe to turn up, but no doubt he heard that I was going and decided against it. He still hasn’t returned our Slo-cooker and is, I suspect, loth to face me.
The Masked people I met up with last week have posted some links on my entry of 19 September to some anti-scientology sites, which you would be well-advised to check out.

Friday 25 September 2009

Gormandiser (n.) A device patented in the late Eighteen Nineties, purported to be the only machine capable of curing people of gormlessness.

On a whim we decided to order Chinese food, which, when we finally delved into it, had arrived with half the wrong dishes; all the Ugly One’s.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Thursday 24 September 2009

Alcove (n.) Archaic term for a rum-smuggler’s bay

I had to attend a Plain English course today, which was OK as far as it goes. I am sure. however, that most of our staff could do with a preliminary term of adult literacy before dealing with plain English.
The trainer was very good, but had a cold and was coughing over her students. It did not inspire confidence. The refreshments were basic to the point of being Spartan and the blinds were broken which meant that the morning sun was shining directly into our eyes.
‘I’ll get the Facilities people to sort it out,’ said the trainer, between coughs.
A man came in some fifteen minutes later and announced ‘The blinds are broken!’ without even looking at them, and then departed as suddenly as he had appeared.
It isn't like this in 'Spooks'.

Monday 21 September 2009

Mystagogue (n.) A steamy Jewish sauna

The ghastly Jordan now fears that she will be attacked by an angry mob of mere mortals following her recent claim that she was raped by a celebrity in 2003. Let’s hope so.
Are there any depths this woman won’t plumb to keep herself in the news?

Sunday 20 September 2009

Technophile (n.) A list or database of Nineteen Nineties dance tracks

I went for a soujourn down to the Bush of Shepherds where I bumped into Robert and his new dog, Henry. Henry attempted to get into my Morrisons bags to eat my sausage rolls.
Morrisons now sell venison burgers, which are lovely.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Arcadian (adj.) In the manner of one who frequents one-armed bandit parlours.

Having picked up my spectacles in Tottenham Court Road I came out to be confronted by a crowd of young people in V for Vendetta masks. They were holding up a sheet which read ‘Scientology is corrupt, sinister and dangerous’ which is, apart from being undoubtedly true, a quote from a member of our judiciary.
At the risk of being mistaken for a scientologist, I took a photograph of one of the masked protesters who was in the process of texting someone.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Friday 18 September 2009

Telephony (n.) The sister of Cacophony. In Greek mythology she was abducted by Persil and carried off to the Underworld, to be eventually rescued by Radox.

I had a hospital appointment this morning at 10.15, but was eventually ushered into the consultant’s presence at around 11.45. I went through the usual procedure of undressing, being examined, and getting dressed again, a process to which I am becoming frighteningly accustomed. Things are improving, it appears, and from now on I will be the problem of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and not St Mary’s.
I returned to work for a couple of hours and then, finding myself at something of a loose end, I headed for the celebrity sauna. As far as I could see there were no celebrities in attendance, although it has to be said that the lighting in the steam room was so low that I could, in theory, have been sitting next to Duncan from Blue. Yes, I realise it could just as easily have been Paul Daniels, but I reserve the right to select my imaginary celebrities in alphabetical order.
When I got home there was a card, letting me know that my new spectacles are ready for collection.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

epiphenomenon (n.) The alleged spontaneous appearance of phantom strips of cloth on one’s shoulders.

It is rather unfortunate that the death of Felix Bowness at 87, a veteran TV comic actor, was eclipsed by the deaths of Patrick Swayze and Keith Floyd. Although the name of Felix Bowness will not be that familiar to people these days, he was well-known enough to have received the big red book in ‘This is Your Life’ back in 1985.
Bowness is perhaps best known for playing Fred Quilly in the BBC sitcom ‘Hi De Hi’, although he also played alongside Benny Hill in his TV shows of the 60s.

Monday 14 September 2009

Skanky Ho! (interj.) A phrase which Captains of British marine vessels are obliged to shout when leaving dock.

Feeling a tickly beast lurking in my throat, and not in a good way, I rang in and was promptly told not to come in, for fear of having the pernicious swine flu.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Sunday 13 September 2009

Glamour (n.) see GLIMMER

I took a trip to Southall with the camera to try and capture some of the wildlife. I had intended to meet up with my mate Amin, but it seemed he was determined not to answer his phone.
On the way back I stopped off at the giant Morrisons in Acton.
Some years ago I started collecting the names of shops with tacky names, which were for reasons unknown to man, mostly hairdressers. ‘Charles’N’Dye’ springs to mind.
Outside Morrisons is an Acton based florist called Act On Impulse. Sheer genius, I was thinking, while waiting for the 207 to take me home.
A woman in front of me was talking to a group of her friends very loudly.
‘I don’t think I’m a racist. People have told me I’m not a racist, but I have to say, they come over here, and then they start popping babies out, right, left and centre.’
The bus arrived at that moment, so I was not able to determine exactly which community she was so eloquently describing.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Glimmer (n.) A man who is employed to glim his female customers as a preparation for full-blown glamming, carried out by one or more glamours.

Went to work. Came home. Saw the X-Factor, and the last episodes of ‘The Wire’ which depressed me far more than I thought it would. I had come to rely on The Wire as my comfort in times of need, and now it is no more.
I need some form of closure.
This afternoon I had to go to Morrisons to pick up some food for dinner. In the normal course of events I try to avoid Saturdays as inevitably those who have nothing to do during the rest of the week decide that they will take their children with them for a weekly shop.
Luckily I got a free till almost immediately. Opposite me, a woman was complaining that a large packet of frozen meat she had picked up was showing up as four pounds ninety-nine
‘It was one nineteen last week.’
‘It’s four ninety-nine madam,’ said the very patient checkout man.
‘I know, but I’m sure it should be one nineteen’
The vpcm called for someone to go and check the price. In the meantime, the lady behind had chipped in.
‘Yes, I’m sure I had one for about that price.’
‘One nineteen?’
‘Yes! They were never four ninety-nine!’
‘No.. and I’ve got two of them. That’s nearly ten pounds. My heart was going all a flutter.’
‘You don’t want to pay four ninety-nine for them, do ya?’
‘I don’t. They’re one nineteen.’
‘Yes… one nineteen. I’m sure.’
After another three or four minutes of this mutual parrot-fashion price-checking, the man returned with the bag.
‘It’s four ninety-nine!’ he said.
‘Noooo!’ the ladies said in unison. ‘Four ninety-nine?’
‘Four ninety-nine.’
‘Oh, I’ll leave them then. I’m not paying four ninety-nine for them.’
‘No, you don’t want to do that.’
I could still hear them as I walked out into the precinct.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Friday 11 September 2009

Pollard (n.) A noisy bird, common to the North of England, noted for its incessant raucous calls and gaudy plumage. It is reported by Northern twitchers to be on the decline as it has not been spotted as regularly in recent years.

I had to go back to hospital today for a CT scan. It wasn’t as scary as I thought, although I had to drink a litre of water beforehand and then get injected with iodine, which gave me an odd warm flush.
Later, I met up with the Ugly One and we hightailed it to the Vue at Shepherds Bush to see ‘District Nine’. I was very impressed with this film, which attempts to break the mould of the mainstream SF film. Stylistically it looks very different to other contemporary films, beginning as a collection of Tv media clips showing the arrival of a space-ship above Johannesburg which is housing a population of dispossessed aliens. In some senses very similar to Alien Nation, this movie goes further, demonstrating a xenophobic attitude from the outset where the aliens are settled in a segregated township, where their superior technology is milked by Nigerian gangs who pay them in catfood.
It is, pretty obviously, a thinly-veiled comment on racism and segregation, made all the more chilling by the complicit attitude of the media and the government.
It is not, surprisingly, a depressing film, and rattles along at a fair old pace, mixing action with comic moments, following the transformation, both physical and ideological, of the central figure, Wicus, a kind of South African Rob Brydon.
Refreshingly, the cast are all ‘unknown’ actors and without exception do a sterling job. No doubt, had Hollywood taken this on as a major project we’d have had it set in Nevada with Nicholas Cage as Wicus and William Hurt as his evil father-in-law. It would have been all the worse for it.

Thursday 10 September 2009

Diastrophism (n.) A mental affliction in which the sufferer demonstrates an inexplicable obsession with Welsh astronomers.

then secrets emerge
like invisible ink warmed
by curious flames.

The reports of the giant rat came from a new TV programme which is looking at the flora and fauna of Papua, New Guinea. Apart from the giant rat, there was also a giant stick insect, a pygmy parrot and a tiny bat.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Minatory (n.) A small Conservative

Also on my mp3 player at the moment is a motley selection of Latin-American music which ranges from the classical tango music of Astor Piazzolla to some Latin jazz, Mexican Rap (which is oddly addictive, given that I can’t understand a word of what tattooed rapper Jai-P is banging on about) and The Buena Vista Social Club.
It Salsas up my mornings.
Nigel Slater has a new series on TV. I can’t say I’m a fan. Yes, he’s very good at what he does and he’s in the pantheon of British Food Gods, but there’s something fundamentally irritating about him. He’s like some younger, less charming Alan Bennett, stripped of any personality or wit, trying to convince us all that eating a raw courgette within seconds of it being plucked from its mother plant, is the most orgasmic experience one could have, short of pushing Katie Price off the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The problem I always have is that although the food is filmed exquisitely, having Nigel munching away on his own and telling me that it tastes ‘really really good’ doesn’t really do it for me.
He should stick to the books.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Indeterminate (v.) To wilfully slay or murder a grunge band.

I took the Ugly One to my optician to help me choose some new spectacle frames. I get thirty percent discount on designer frames but whether it is still better value than Specsavers remains to be seen. I eventually plumped for some Diesel frames, and, with the cost of a family size box of contact lens solution, there wasn’t much change out of four hundred pounds.
We made a small detour to Heals, but couldn’t afford anything. They have dog bowls for thirty-nine pounds. It’s an outrage.
I recently changed some of the music on my mp3 player, which, on an average day, has approximately seventeen hundred tracks which it works through at random. I was surprised by David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ this morning, as I didn’t realise it was on there.
My friend Fil posted a note on Facebook last week, with a list of under-rated albums, which made me reassess some of the CDs either sitting on my shelf at home, or uploaded to my magic silver box of voices.
The first has to be The Electric Light Orchestra’s first album, with its seemingly unmanageable mix of classical, rock and medieval, although the finished result is a sublime testament to the gestalt genius of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne.
Roy left after this album and went on to form Wizzard, leaving ELO to evolve into a mainstream pop combo. This album, however, remains their best, their most experimental, and possibly their most perfect.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Monday 7 September 2009

Indelible (adj.) Not of sufficient quality to be sold in a posh food shop.

After nearly three months, my friend from hospital, Amin, rang me to ask why I hadn’t rung him.
‘You didn’t give me your number!’ I said.
‘Didn’t I?’ he said.
It seems that since then he has been on holiday with his family and has only just got back to check his e-mail. I’m hoping to meet up with him for a drink soon.
And a new species of giant rat has been discovered in Papua, New Guinea, purportedly the size of a domestic cat.

Sunday 6 September 2009

I went out to Whitechapel this morning to take some photographs. On my way out of the house, I espied a giant moth sitting, minding his own business, on the ledge where we normally place the household post.
I whipped out my camera with its spanking new macro lens and got in close.
I have to say that I have now captured my first macro insect picture. The moth has come out with quite a lot of creepy hairy detail.
I have been asked to read my work aloud, in public, at the Arts Centre in Swindon. next stop, Carnegie Hall.

Saturday 5 September 2009

It transpires that the cretin-like operatic star of the Go Compare ads has a name; Gio Compario. Oh, what genius! Can you see what they’ve done, readers? They’ve taken the name of their company and turned it into a pseudo Italian name, the very sort of name that a cretin-like operatic singer may actually possess.
I sincerely hope that the originator of such peerless brilliance is recognised with some sort of award, one for originality and freshness. I can’t believe how funny this idea is. My pants are literally awash with chuckle-induced urine.
I may drown, seriously.

Friday 4 September 2009

As the Ugly One forgot to switch on the slo-cooker before he left for work, we could not have his promised Italian sausage and bean casserole, so I had to pick up some pasta instead.
Big Brother Ten finally finished with a surprise win by Sophie, the likeable but gormless blonde.
The BB psychologist was pulling no punches with her rapier-like insight.
‘As this year,’ she pronounced, ‘Big Brother had contestants who were more attractive and more intelligent than in previous years, David had to work hard to win his place in the final,’ because, presumably, he is so ugly and stupid.

Thursday 3 September 2009

I went to Holborn
to collect some scale rules
and my jumbled thoughts

I managed to escape from the secret government bunker for an hour or two in order to make a trip to Holborn to pick up some scale rules which are vital tools in the fight against international espionage and map-nobbling.
On the way back I popped into Blackwell’s bookshop to escape the rain, and was taken by their 3 for 2 classic book offer. I’d have liked to have bought ‘The Communist Party Manifesto’ and Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’ but I was torn on the third option, and didn’t have the time to stand around pondering and dithering. I am an inveterate ponderer and ditherer. I put it down to being Libran.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Wednesday 2 September 2009

In my quest for a diagnosis I was sent to the Dermatology clinic in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Across the road an off-licence had a notice in the window which read ‘A recession is no excuse for drinking bad wine.’
A consultant, who looked oddly like a chubby bald Hugh Firmly-Wherewithall, whisked in like a whirlwind, followed by an attendant doctor with a clipboard, took one look at me and pronounced a diagnosis.
He then sent in a photographer to take copious pictures of me, and whisked out again.
The photographer got me to sign a form and I asked jokingly, if they were going to turn up on Facebook. He grinned nervously and backed away out of the room.
This hospital is a little odd, since it runs in number allocation fashion. I was sent for blood tests and had to take a ticket from a machine which I swear used to be on the old Safeways deli counter.
Waiting for my prescription they had an Argos style number screen and a voice-over in the manner of ‘Will patient 237 go to collection point C please?’
I was number 254 and had to wait another hour until my medication was dispensed so I had a walk around, and watched the fish in the fifteen foot long tank in the lobby.
I’ve had another acceptance of publication and my work will be appearing in the next issue of ‘The South’.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Lisa, the Brummy lesbian was evicted from the BB house, not to anyone’s real surprise.

Monday 31 August 2009

I did not leave the house today. I spent the time sorting out some of my writing and organising my old documents, after which I made a Thai curry which, although very nice, had far too much lime juice in it for my liking.
The Celebrity Omen portended by Right Said Fred was undoubtedly one of disaster.
Hallmark are having a disaster weekend and we watched a movie featuring Mr Bennett from ‘Heroes’ who had to save the world when a fragment of comet hit the US and (we’re not quite sure how) initiated a process of pole reversal. While the North and South poles were swapping places mini-poles were popping up all over the place and producing EMPs which (again, we’re not sure how) electrocuted people who had electrical equipment switched on.
As a mindless bit of drivel it passed the time and did exactly what it said on the tin, with the added bonus that we never have to watch it again. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of the new ‘Go Compare’ adverts which feature a comic operatic tenor in a coffee shop singing ‘Go Compare! Go Compare!’ to the tune of the wartime hit ‘Over There!’
The result is a disaster of Poseidon-esque proportions.
I can understand that Go Compare would be keen to find an advertising campaign to rival the popularity of ‘Compare The Meerkat’ but sadly, this is not it. I am baffled that a successful company, presumably in collaboration with an equally successful advertising company, could have come up with this, arguably the most annoying and irritating advert since… I can’t think of anything worse at present.
When we got to bed the Ugly One found a black ladybird on the wall above his bed and had put it out of the window before I had the thought of getting my macro camera and taking a picture.
Damn you, Right Said Fred singer, omen of disaster.

Sunday 30 August 2009

I went to the Celebrity sauna again today. I was hoping that no celebrities would be in evidence today, and for a while everything was quiet and uneventful. Most of the clientele looked like one of our shorter engineers, which gave the steam room the look of a cloudy bald hobbit convention.
However, some time later, who should walk in but the singer from ‘Right Said Fred’, who squatted in the TV lounge singing under his breath ‘I’m too sexy for this sauna… too sexy for this sauna… I’ll sit here in the…… corn---er!’
It all went downhill from there, so I got dressed and went to Waitrose.
This was, I imagine, a celebrity omen
The UO made us a nice pork and potato casserole, and we watched the new ‘Wuthering Heights’ with the sexy but scary Tom Hardy as Heathcliffe.

Saturday 29 August 2009

I spent a couple of hours at work catching up with some classified work, after which I went round the market with my camera, using my new lens.
The X-Factor, as usual, had to feature a true-life tragedy sob-story. Towards the end, a man came on stage with a tear in his eye, and Dermot O’Dreary began to narrate his tragic tale over a VT clip of lip-trembling relatives kneeling to pray in front of Simon Cowell’s trailer..
It would appear that contestant had developed an Afro so huge that it had begun to affect his spine. Nothing, it seems, could save him apart from a public audition and a decent haircut.
There was a man whose brother had died as well, but his tragedy wasn’t half so interesting.