LOOK YOU ~ a rolling scrapbook of life, the universe and nearly everything...
ARCHIVE 2015 - FEBRUARY

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POSTCARDS FROM
MY SQUARE MILE
click... Smile
Updated: 11/08/2013

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for a taste of life on the wild side of my square mile, click...

400 Smiles A Day
Updated: 08/06/2013



                                                                                        Design: Yosida

 
                                                                 ♫♫♫ TO SELF                            
It seems that the artist Leonardo da Vinci kept a notebook, Notes to Self, a list of “things to do today”: buy paper; charcoal; chalk ... describe tongue of woodpecker and jaw of crocodile...
     These are my Notes to Self, a daily record of the things that make me smile and which brighten up my day no end, whether read in a newspaper, seen on TV, heard on the radio, told in the pub, spotted in the supermarket, a good joke, a great story, a funny cartoon, a film clip, an eye-catching picture, a memorable song, something startling that nevertheless generates a spontaneous smile, curiosities spotted along my walks through the Towy Valley...
     This is a snapshot of life beyond the blue horizon...

    
                                                                               ...and everyday a doolally smile of the day
PS: The shortest distance between two people is a smile ...
                                                                             
Contact Me
 
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
 

The Caped Crusader lifted higher and higher

MY beautiful cape was tied too tight. But nothing can stop me, and love really lifted me up. Thanks for your good wishes, I’m fine.” Madonna, 56, after falling backwards off the stage at last Wednesday night’s Brit Freefall Awards.

Poor Madge. I only caught up with it on the Thursday. Yes, there are conspiracy theories that it was all part of the act. However, if you observe the clip carefully you can sense her left hand struggle under the cape to get the knot holding the cape in place undone.

What is surprising, though, is that she still allowed the cape to be yanked, knowing what was coming. Perhaps she is not all that bright, hush my mouth.

Anyway, once a watching world realised that she hadn’t seriously hurt herself ― incidentally, top marks for carrying on as if nothing had happened because she did fall with an alarming thump ― then social media and the Twitterati went to town.

Can you tell Madgearined from Battered?
  
Madonna in free fall  > > > > > > > >  & the morning after the night before, on the stairway to, er...

Yep, that Twitterati naughty is wonderfully funny. Sadly, I have no idea who it is that has actually been busy on Ye Olde Photoshoppe, but top marks.

The sky at night

Anyway , and as I have flirted with hereabouts afore, Vanessa Feltz on her early-morning Radio 2 show has a regular spot, ‘The dilemma is in the ditty’, where she selects a questioning line from a popular song and invites listeners to answer that question.

Yesterday’s line was this: “Are the stars out tonight?”

My instinctive response was this: Well, yes, as indeed they were last Wednesday night ― but inexplicably, one of the brightest stars suddenly disappeared over the horizon.

Whatever, back with social media, here are some comments that tickled the Look You smileometer...

     @NickMolyneux:  “Have you fallen at work and it wasn’t your fault?”

     @sarajcox:  “Madonna was nearly a Magonna. What a trouper.”

     MelanieB2:  “The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.”

     Snotcricket:  “Be fair ... even John Wayne fell off a stage.”


And my favourite?

    
Orson Cart: “Fallen Madonna with the big bruises.”

Very witty. But why are we surprised that Madge got her comedowndance? She is 56 after all ― no longer a spring chicken, not even a broiler ― and when we get ahead of ourselves old Mother Nature has a habit of sticking a sprag in our wheel to bring us back down to earth with a bang.

Last word

Personally, I think Madonna should have first sought the advices of Bucks Fizz...
 

What’s done can sometimes be undone

How to get ‘em off, with style
 

Isn’t it astonishing that that Bucks Fizz winning routine from Eurovision 1981 remains vivid in the memory. It must have been the unexpectedness of it. However, unlike man landing on the moon, I can’t remember where I was when it happened.
 

Friday, February 27th

                          Take me out to the ball game

TALK about coincidence. Yesterday I featured the ‘Arsenal’ football I stumbled upon near Llandyfeisant Church.

Well, this morning was one of those picture-perfect efforts: frosty start, still, blue sky, clear air, beautiful.

Once in the valley I took a slightly different route, along the banks of the Towy ― and lo and behold, another football, this time definitely the result of a previous flood.

In the next field were the horses I’ve befriended along my walk, and which I feed with the occasional bag of carrots. As soon as they spot me they come for their titbits, which they clearly enjoy ― so I took my ball with me...

 

Team photograph

Sweep the centre-back (the sweeper) stays at the back – then that’s Black Beauty,
left (midfielder and captain) and Brown Sauce (winger) at the front
 

I then took the ball into the field and had a bit of a kickabout, which the girls were not all that enthusiastic about. Actually, they were quite baffled by it all. But they did throw up one great shot.

However...

Offside, ref!

Winger Brown Sauce shoots off the mark a shade too quickly as
Black Beauty prepares to take a free kick
 

Then I thought, hm, there’s that standard picture of a footballer in full kit, standing, looking at the camera, arms folded across his chest, with one foot resting on the ball...

There was a cartoon I once saw, back in the day, and the ball had been erased from the image ― and it was headed ‘Irish Spot the Ball’. Or was it AA Gill’s vision of a ‘Welsh Spot the Ball’?

Whatever, there was no way I’d get one of the horses to rest a hoof on the ball, so this is the nearest I could come up with...

Chin up – or rather – Chin down

Brown Sauce plays the game, fair play – and I’m
a happy bunny manager, unlike Arsène Wenger
after last Wednesday night

Last word

All this talk of horses leads me neatly to horsepower.

There’s been much talk of late about driverless cars, which has thrown up the question about who precisely will be held responsible should an accident happen.

So I enjoyed this thread of letters in The Times:

Circular argument

Sir, When three cars arrive simultaneously at a mini roundabout their drivers are supposed to wait for the car on their right to move first.
     This circular deadlock is only broken when one driver takes the initiative and drives on. Which of three driverless cars will be programmed to take the initiative? Will they all just sit there for ever?
     Or, after some shared electronic signal, perhaps they will all move together ― in which case who will be responsible for the multiple collision?
Richard Clayton, Salisbury

Look, no hands

Sir, Richard Clayton wonders who would be responsible for the collision of three driverless cars at a mini roundabout. If they all started together they would negotiate the roundabout with efficiency and elegance.
Frank Grenfell, Oxford

I like that response. You can’t beat a bit of elegant lateral thinking. And of course, Frank Grenfell is spot on.

However, there was one other, equally elegant, point of view:

Sir, The answer to Richard Clayton’s question is simple ― the BMW will just not wait.
Peter Reynolds, Woodford Green, Greater London

 

Thursday, February 26th

Arsenal manager Wenger is running out of ideas and excuses

                    A truly wretched night for Arsène Wenger’s men was without redeeming features...

Now I am not a soccer man, albeit I enjoy watching a good game of footie now and again, but I mention the above clickbait because last night, in a European Champions League tie, Arsenal, playing at home, entertained Monaco (not exactly a side to set the pulse racing) ― and lost 3-1. Disaster.

So? Why does that rate on my smileometer?

Well, a week or so back I shared with you some images of those curious things I find washed up on the Towy Valley fields following a flood.

In particular, balls. Balls of all sizes. Lots of ‘em. What I actually showed you were some of the smaller balls i.e. tennis size balls.

Well blow me, the other morning, returning from my walk and passing the little old church of Llandyfeisant, nestling in Castle Woods on the outskirts of Llandeilo, and looking for all the world as if it is part of the landscape itself ― I came upon a football clear. I mean, a proper foot ball.

It was puzzling. After all, the church is well away from a flood line. So how did it get there?

Well, someone could have picked it up somewhere along the banks of the River Towy at the bottom of the field below the church; or perhaps some children had been playing with it along the paths that meander above and behind the church. But why would they not have retrieved it?

Whatever, there is a delightful twist to this story. I decided to take a picture of it in nestling in the grounds of the church...

A graveyard of footballing clichés

“He put the ball in the back of the net at the end of the day.” A pundit
comments on a late, equalising penalty in a recent Spurs-West Ham encounter

Yes, you can see the irony of it all. And precisely why I featured that particular clickbait on today’s welcome mat.

I mean, an Arsenal ball? How totally supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Oh yes, I left the ball where I found it, nestling in a gala of snowdrops (Galanthus – snowdrop – Greek gála  ‘milk’, anthos  ‘flower’).

Last word

“Performing in front of a crowd is the best two hours of any day for me, although I remember telling Eric Morecambe that I was doing a one-man show and he replied: ‘Let’s hope two turn up.’” Entertainer Des O’Connor, 83, English comedian, broadcaster and singer.

“I need to laugh more and drink more glasses of champagne ― even when there is nothing to celebrate.”
Actress Celia Imrie, 62, contemplating her next 20 years.

Hear, hear, Celia
! A perfect note on which to end. As long as you’re not Arsène Wenger. Or an Arsenal supporter, obviously.
 


Wednesday, February 25th

TWEET of the week...

“Sometimes, only local news can truly unveil the tragic”

James Hinton @hintonblogs

DAVIS DRIVE? Hm, Ivor the Search Engine  found one in Western Wake County, North Carolina, and another in Mount Eliza, Victoria, Australia ― but I note that Guilford is in North Carolina.

Curiosity satisfied.

Last word

Listening this morning to Bore Cothi on Radio Cymru  (the Welsh language station), local girl Heledd Cynnwal was standing in for usual presenter Shân Cothi.

Heledd had a marvellous interview with a Lona Jones, a lady celebrating her 90th birthday.

Now living in Llandudno, North Wales, she was visiting family in Cardiff as part of her birthday celebrations.

The first thing I registered was the smiley youthfulness of her voice; I could sense the little ball bouncing along the top of every word she uttered.

Heledd asked the standard question “So tell us the secret of your continuing energy and enthusiasm?”

“Well,” said Lona, “I make a point of never quarrelling with anyone.” Some laughter. “Seriously though, I’ve always had a great interest in singing and choirs. Not just the joy of the singing itself, which always lifts the spirits, but the socialising that goes with being part of a choir.”

Her first answer instantly took me back to a tale I’ve told here before, of John Evans of Swansea who died on June 10, 1990, aged 112, and up to that point the longest-lived man from the UK whose date of birth could be authenticated.

On his 110th birthday, John Evans visited London for the first time in his life. And I’m pretty sure that that was when I caught him on television being asked what he put his longevity down to.

I can see him now. He closed his eyes and pondered, as if he had never been asked that question before: “No smokin’. No drinkin’. No cursin’.”

I always remember it for that last bit, “no cursing”. It is a point of note that people who live long and active lives all sound very laid back and cheery, as if they refuse to allow themselves to get upset and stressed about things. Which means they don’t end up effin’ and blindin’ at everything and everybody.

So it was interesting that 90-year-old Lona Jones’s intuitive response was “never quarrelling with anyone”.

Very telling.

Incidentally, what is  the secret of living to a grand and cheery old age and forever remaining young at heart? Well, and without exception, long-lived people crucially chose the right parents. And at the very moment of conception they were dealt a royal flush of genes. A magic hand. A magic moment.

Anyway, here’s the most memorable part of the interview between Heledd and Lona. “A little bird tells me,” said Heledd, “that you’re enjoying a special treat tonight, you’re going to the pictures.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And may I ask what film you’re going to see?” At this point I sensed something of a surprise coming up.

“50 Shades.” Much laughter all round. “Mind you,” Lona added, “the reports about the film have not been particularly good ― but I have read the book, which was okay...”

How about that? No wonder 90-year-old Lona Jones remains young at heart.

Spell-cheque corner: My computer is starting to get a grasp on Welsh words. ‘Cynnwal’, as in Heledd Cynnwal, came up as ‘Cynnar’, which is Welsh for ‘early’, as in, ‘it’s the early bird...’. 

As far as I can tell, ‘Cynnwal’ is a sort of corruption of the words ‘chief, who sat on a wall’, as in ‘Margaret Thatcher-Cynnwal sat on a wall, Margaret Thatcher-Cynnwal had a great fall...’.

As for ‘Heledd’, the actual meaning is unknown, but it was the name of a ‘semi-legendary’ 7th-century Welsh Princess.
 

Tuesday, February 24th

Time for a quick plug

HERE’S a smiley thread of comments spotted in response to a ‘list’ that appeared in the media apropos ‘things a man should know’, in particular the historical frustrations of wiring electrical plugs...

Our Grizz: I’ve got a whole box of dozens of British 13amp plugs (moulded and unmoulded) that I had to cut from the cables of countless electrical appliances in order to affix the dozy little plugs (of at least three different types) that are in use here in Sweden, where I now live.

Bill Thomas: The more you say about Sweden, the more I wonder why on earth you chose to live there
!

Blue-eyed blonde and tanned females, Abba, Saab, Volvo ― and dare I say IKEA? ― excepted, of course.

Our Grizz: My mega great-grandmother (Boadicea Grizwold), was ravished by Viking invaders. I’ve invaded Sweden as a token of revenge for her honour
!

That made me smile because I must have some Viking blood in me. While the default Welsh people are, according to journalist AA Gill anyway, “loquacious, dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls”, I happen to be “...fair, handsome (sic) and a peaceably tallish imp”
!

Anyway, on with the thread...

Handsome Jack: There is a saga of a Viking who came to Britain to plunder and pillage. His wife, who was blind, had asked him to bring her back a stainless steel sink.
     Not sure quite what it was he was looking for, he found a hod lying abandoned on a building site, from whence the builders had fled, so he took it back home and presented it to his wife. She was delighted with it.
     And the moral of this tale is ... a hod’s as good as a sink to a blind Norse.

z3ddie: That ‘list’ of things a man should know?
                How about:
                Use a chainsaw
                Sharpen a chainsaw
                Know the difference between an axe and a maul and how to use them (and sharpen them)
                Fire a gun/rifle
                Clean a gun/rifle
                Siphon petrol
                Decant Port
                Wire a plug? Know the correct fuse rating for a plug
                Change a tap washer
                Plumb a washing machine
                Use power tools without reference to the operating instructions ― only read them
                after blood has been drawn
                Know whose round is next in the pub

                Feel free to add your own...

I must say, I was greatly tickled by the juxtaposition of ‘Siphon petrol’ and ‘Decant Port’. Knowing me I would probably end up decanting petrol and siphoning port. Anyway, a few of the added suggestions...

               
Alan Douglas: Know your arse from your elbow.

                One Last Try: That when a man gets married, engaged or cohabits, it is with a woman.

                Bill Thomas: [And the bambino is] ... the product of only two people.

Which brings me back to a letter in The Daily Telegraph:

Three-parent children

SIR – GM crops, bad; GM children, good. How very strange.
David J Cooke, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Last word

After my dispatch of yesterday about the lambs encountered along my morning walk, here is a letter spotted in the Daily Mail:

“AFTER a grim week dominated by 50 Shades, A Casual Vacancy and Eastenders, thank goodness for Shaun the Sheep.” David Grace of Bourne, Lincs.

And I enjoyed this, too:

“SEX education in primary schools? Let’s hope the pupils aren’t given homework.” Paul Kent of Hastings, East Sussex.
 


Monday, February 23rd

                           Catching up with the lambs

LAST Wednesday, along my regular morning walk, I encountered my first lambs of the season, in particular one mum and her twins.

Well now, over the weekend I spotted the very same family again ― handily, now that lambs, especially of the early season variety, are mostly born indoors, in sheds, the farmers number each family unit to avoid any confusion while they remain in the shed (I presume).

This particular mother and lambs were obviously the 16th delivery of this lambing season, so the numbers make it quite useful for someone like me to easily identify them.

Come in Number 16...

A misty early morning in the Towy Valley

An interweb star is born

Curiously, as I edged nearer and crouched down to capture a ground-level shot, the nearest lamb held its ground ... I could easily have lunged forward and grabbed it ― but I decided against. Why destroy the innocent trust the lamb displayed? As indeed its mum in the background who clearly accepts that I am no danger.

Well blow me, yesterday morning, what caught my eye was a sunbeam of lambs, along with a few mums, surrounding a feeder...

Fast food outlet on Dinefwr Park Estate

...and there’s Two Lovely Black Eyes, the individual I also featured last Wednesday

However, something quite odd happened next. Note above, the two lambs to the right, looking at me ― well, one of them slowly approached me ... how odd, I thought, because it clearly would not have been a pet lamb, an orphan familiar with being handled by humans.

I mean, it was just a few days old, and it was there with its mother anyway.

And then it came right up to me...

Hello sunshine

♫♫♫  When will I be famous?

I even reached down to tickle the top of its head ― and it didn’t move. Such familiarity has never happened to me before. Extraordinary.

However, after a few seconds it turned and slowly returned to its mother.

Now I can only presume that as the lamb had been born indoors it would have had contact with the farmer right from the off; indeed the farmer may well have helped deliver the lamb if its mother was finding it a struggle.

What I’ve also noticed about the stock on these particular fields ― both sheep and cattle ― is that they are always quite happy with people around them, allowing someone like me to pass right up close.

That is always a sign of a good farmer, lots of TLC has clearly been showered on the stock. Indeed their physical condition confirms the same attention.

On the other hand, where animals are highly nervous around people, and quickly move away in an anxious state, then my instinct tells me that the animals are not treated and cared for as well as they should.

At least, that’s my theory. After all, people and animals behave in precisely the same way. And we intuitively know right away when we meet a stranger as to whether we feel comfortable or otherwise in their company.

Last word

Seven ways to appear more intelligent than others

You will be reassured to know that I did not click. Indeed, I have a feeling that the list would start thus:

                 1) Only less intelligent people click on silly lists like this - now read on...

 

Sunday, February 22nd

“IF YOU smile and laugh a lot, then as you grow older all your wrinkles will be in the right places.” Broadcaster Roy Noble handing over to fellow presenter Jamie Owen on Radio Wales this very Sunday morning.

Now that slice of wisdom made me wrinkle up, obviously ― Ivor the Search Engine  tells me that the original observation belongs to American businessman and entrepreneur Andrew Mason, 34 ― but it reminded me of something spotted in the Mail Online  website...

How far would YOU go to look good on your wedding day?

Woman spends £6,000 on bride-to-be beauty treatments ...
and defies anyone to say she doesn’t look better

Claudia Waterson, 36, the deputy editor of Brides magazine, imagined she was a bride-to-be to test the treatments promising to help women look picture-perfect on their big day...
 


Claudia, (left, before her makeover, and right, after) wanted to address a few key areas:
a broken nose, neglected skin and her ‘wonky’ teeth. She spoke to her beauty journalist
 friends and compiled a list of the must-have products and procedures...
 

What I found particularly memorable about the story was that the Daily Mail,  bless, thought it best to mark the pictures ‘before’ and ‘after’ ― as they also did in the write-up.

I mean, are we, the readers of the Daily Mail  and Mail Online  so gloriously, delightfully doolally that such things have to be pointed out? Please, don’t bother to answer.

Oh yes, I also liked the fact that she is smiling in both photographs. Traditionally, in a ‘before’ snap, she should be looking all sort of miserable, as if the sky has just fallen on her head; mind you, Claudia’s ‘after’ smile is definitely more controlled, and seemingly shot in soft focus...

Anyway, she looks fantastic, a perfect smile of the day ― topped only by today’s...

Last word

A letter spotted in the Telegraph:

Queen’s highway

SIR – The traffic was very bad on the night of a cocktail party I attended some years ago at Buckingham Palace (“Queen caught in a jam”, report, February 20).
     “We were stuck in it too,” said the Queen. “But someone with flashing lights and a police escort overtook the whole line of traffic on the wrong side of the road.
     “It must have been someone frightfully important.”
Michael Begg, Muir of Ord, Scottish Highlands

Honky-Tonky suggested that it must have been the American Ambassador. Or perhaps the French, for they specialise in being late and making a grand entrance.

Personally, my money would have been on the Italian ― with a shedload of Ferrero Rocher for the Buck House party in the boot. “You really are spoiling us, Mr Ambassador ― and it isn’t even your party.”

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Ord’, as in the Muir of Ord, up there in Ross-shire, came up as ‘Rod’. Hm, the Muir of Rod, of the Stewart clan, obviously. Perfect. My computer grows cleverer by the day. Oh, the Muir of Ord translates, very roughly, as the swamp at the bottom of the hill.

 

Saturday, February 21st

YES, doolallyness expands to fill the space available inside the human brain.

And here’s a telling little something, compliments of columnist Rod Liddle ― oh, and it gives a whole new meaning to the expression gobbledygook:

Governor fails her oral exam

What a pleasure it is to see Zenna Atkins, 49, back in the news. She formerly chaired my favourite organisation, Ofsted [Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills].

The “busty blonde” (her description, not mine) rose to prominence when she said: “One good thing about primary school is that every kid learns how to deal with a really shit teacher.” This worried those who thought the body charged with auditing our education system might have, as its boss, a semi-literate halfwit.

She has now discomfited parents in her new role as chairwoman of governors at a school in Brighton.

“Just offered a very handsome man a blow job,” she posted on Facebook recently. Not a fitting statement for a woman in such a position, some parents suggested.

The handsome man, incidentally, declined her offer, saying that he would rather watch television.

Now if you are pure of thought, the handsome man was obviously a plumber working at her home. And being a willing, if
semi-literate halfwit, she offered to do the blow torch bit to help him get the job done post-haste.

Yep, sold.

Incidentally, since all the fuss Ms Atkins has made her Facebook profile page private.

Talk about closing the stable door after the stallion has been blown away.

Last word

A personal favourite viewer and listener comment column is You say in The Sunday Times.  

I just enjoy the CinemaScopic nature of the comments, and how they swing wildly from Zero to 5 while discussing the very same programme.

On today’s main television page, Saturday, were the following four contributions.

Incidentally, there’s a reference to a television series called Spiral,  a programme I have never seen, which adds to the joy of the comments. (Ivor the Search Engine  tells me that Spiral  is a French television police and legal drama series set in Paris; the show follows the lives and work of Paris police officers as well as the lawyers and judges...)

Okay, off we go:

Spiralling out of control

It’s Saturday night ... having perused the listings available across Freeview, 140+ channels, in the age of the internet, iPlayer, Netflix, etc, my wife and I are watching an old Stars In Their Eyes (Challenge). Sadly, the best on offer on Saturday night in 21st-century Britain.
Toby Crewe

Spiral (BBC4) is superb: utterly absorbing, compelling, magnificent. What a standard to set for a crime (or, indeed, any) series.
Graham Folkerd


Brilliant ― the only programme worth watching on Saturday.
June Davidson

Is Spiral a comedy? It’s certainly a farce. I’ve never seen such an incompetent lot of detectives. The raid on the hotel with about 30 policemen dressed to kill was priceless: they all went in the front and the fellow ran out the back.
     That would never have happened in Jack Regan’s day ― [The Sweeney] ― he was for ever saying: “Round the back, George.”
Linda Mays

I read that over breakfast this morning, just before setting off on my morning walk.

I laughed my way along the Towy Valley thinking of those incompetent French police, dodgily led by the one and only Inspector Clouseau (one presumes).

Indeed, why is modern television drama (and comedy, come to that) written by people who are completely lacking in imagination?

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Ofsted [Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills]’, came up as ‘Ousted’, which, given that Zenna Atkins once chaired the organisation, is brilliantly perceptive on the part of my too-clever-by-half computer.
 


Friday, February 20th

Tweetie Pie Corner

   Matt Buckland @ElSatanico: “Karma ― the guy who pushed past me on the tube and then suggested I go F myself just arrived for his interview ... with me...”

Yep, you should never swear at strangers anyway, let alone on the train. Mind you, I notice that Matt Buckland ― Head of Talent [?
!] at venture capital firm Forward Partners ― uses the Twitter name @ElSatanico, Spanish for “The Satanic One”. So what exactly did he do to the stranger on the tube to make him react in such an aggressive way?

We should be told. After all, there are two sides to every story.

Oh, and Matt Buckland calls himself ‘Head of Talent’. Gosh, I remember something called Personnel Manager, which morphed into Human Resources Director (which sounds like the boss of an abattoir), and now we have Head of Talent.

I wonder if there’s a Shoulder of Talent? Abreast of Talent? A Bollocks of Talent?

Hark! I am reminded of an intriguing tale.

Heaven or Hell?

Walking down St Mary’s Street in Cardiff, a Human Resources Director at BBC Wales was tragically run over by a bus and died from her injuries. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates Hotel (Transit Wing) by St. Peter himself.

“Welcome to the Pearly Gates Hotel,” said St. Peter. “But it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, you are the very first Human Resources Director to make it this far and we’re not really sure what to do with you.”

“No problem, just let me into Heaven,” said the woman.

“Well, I’d like to,” replied St. Peter, “but I have higher orders. What we’re going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in.”

“Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind, I prefer to stay in Heaven,” said the woman.

“Sorry, but we have rules...” And with that St. Peter accompanied the lady executive to a transporter, that clever teleportation-type thingy used in Star Trek ― and off she went down-down-down, to Hell.

Suddenly, and much to her surprise, she found herself standing on the putting green of a beautiful golf course, which she recognised as part of The Celtic Manor Resort at Newport.

As she made her way towards the hotel itself, there in front of her were familiar and dearly-departed acquaintances and friends ― including fellow executives she had worked with down the years, and they were all dressed to the nines and cheering her approach.

They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks ― the way luvvies do ― and they chatted about old times. Later they played a round of golf and that evening dined at the Celtic Manor where she enjoyed champagne and a quite excellent lobster dinner.

She even met the Devil, who was actually a really nice guy (“cool and kinda cute”, in luvvie talk) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing the night away. She was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave.

Everybody shook her hand and waved good-bye as she stepped onto the transporter and shot up-up-up and back to the Pearly Gates Hotel, where she found St. Peter waiting for her.

“Now it’s time to spend a day in heaven,” he said. So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds, playing the harp and singing in angelic choirs. She really and truly enjoyed it ― but before she knew it her 24 hours were up and St. Peter come to collect her and they both teleported back to the Pearly Gates Hotel.

“So, you’ve spent a day in Hell and you’ve spent a day in Heaven. Now you must choose your eternity,”

The woman paused for a moment before responding: “Well, I never thought I’d say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell, what with all my friends and colleagues there.”

So St. Peter escorted her to the transporter and again she shot down-down-down back to Hell...

When she materialised she found herself standing on a desolate beach which was covered in garbage and filth. She recognised it as the beach at Port Talbot with its giant steel works and petrochemical works in the background belching out smoke and steam and all sorts of dodgy stuff.

She spotted her friends, who were now dressed in rags and were picking up flotsam, jetsam and unspeakable stuff off the beach and putting it into regulation black bags.

The Devil came up to her and put his arm around her: “Welcome.”

“I don’t understand,” stammered the woman, “yesterday I was here ― and there was a golf course and a glorious country club and hotel and we ate lobster, drank champagne and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is ... is a wasteland of rubbish and polluted air and all my friends look miserable.”

The Devil looked at her and smiled. “Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you’re staff..."

Actually, between you, me and the Devil, the bloke on the train had a narrow escape from being recruited by the Head of Talent...

Last word

A Mail Online  headline spotted today:

   
Eastenders’ 30th Anniversary: Dramatic murder storyline comes to an end

Up to 11.9 million viewers watched last night’s double bill

Youd have to be a space colonist on Mars to have missed all the build-up, as The Shouting Cockney Show got set to celebrate 30 non-stop years of sex, shootings and scandal in Albert Square…”

Sigh
!

Now I want you to imagine a Richard Burton voice (with added apologies as I marginally paraphrase The War of the Worlds):

“No one would have believed that in the last years of the 20th century, human affairs in the shape of doolally soap operas were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.

“No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water... ♫♫♫

“The chances of anything coming from Mars are 11.9 million to one he said... ♫♫♫

Yep, I guess I must be a space colonist on Mars, me and some 40 million other Brits who never watched Eastenders last night. Actually, and apart from bits and pieces as I zap through the channels, I’ve never  watched it. It’s all that shouting and nastiness that puts me off.

Not that I have anything against it as part of television’s background wallpaper. Each to his or her own, I say.

But why is it that such a minority interest is impossible to escape from when entering the portal labelled ‘media’?
 


Thursday, February 19th


 

Are you lying comfortably? Then we’ll begin...
“I LIKE being someone who caused a generation of men to have their first erection.”
                                  Jane Fonda, now 77, referring to a film she made about a sexually liberated space traveller.


Jane must be referring to the 1968 film, Barbarella. However, what springs to mind is the 1965 film, Cat Ballou, a comedy Western where she stars in the title roll.

You ride ‘em, cowgirl!

Actually, the woman who caused me to have my first erection was Kim Novak, now 82. When negotiating puberty the charms of an older woman were irresistible. As it happens, the delightful Kim kept perfect company for I was to learn later in life that she was also the Duke of Edinburgh’s favourite actress. Allegedly.

Having said that, the woman I most wanted to cwtch and take home to meet mother was Grace Kelly.

                                                            Grace personified, in both upper case and lower case.

But I digress. Talk of erections and all that jazz leads me perfectly to a headline in the Telegraph:

                  
‘Woman on top’ is most dangerous sex position

Scientists have found that the ‘cowgirl’ position is responsible for half of all penile fractures during sexual intercourse

A penile fracture is a painful injury that’s often accompanied by an audible cracking sound...

God. How to turn an exceedingly good craic into a unspeakably bad crack. I felt quite faint at that point ― so I made my excuses and left...

However, I must share with you this letter spotted in The Times:

Reverse cowgirl

Sir, With reference to Suzi Godson’s well researched article on the dangers of penile fracture, in my experience ― as someone who operates on the poor unfortunates ― it is “reverse cowgirl”, the woman facing away from her partner, that carries the greatest risk.
     As such, unless there is a good reason not to look at your partner, it is probably best to have your partner facing you.
PAUL CB ANDERSON
Genito-urethral reconstructive surgeon, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust


I know I shouldn’t, but that did make me smile. It gives a whole new meaning to bareback riding (while facing in the wrong direction). Or perhaps it should be barebuck riding.

Goodness, who though that something so basic as sex could be such a Little Bighorn. Or Custer’s Last Stand, as it’s called down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon.

And this letter, again from The Times, seems to fit the bill, in a sort of agreeably obtuse way:

TV subtitles

Sir, “Girls, don’t give up on that sex offender” read a subtitle during a rowing event in the last Olympics, while the commentator said: “Girls, don’t give up, don’t surrender” (“TV subtitles turn toddlers into ayatollahs”).
     Weeks of family rivalry failed  to top it.
Jennifer Laing, Yaxley, Cambs

Last word

Talking of sex, the Duke of Edinburgh and all things peripheral, Prince Andrew has been much in the news of late. Again The Times  rides to the rescue:

Belated promotion

Sir, I note that Prince Andrew has been appointed vice-admiral, “the rank the duke would have reached had he stayed in the Royal Navy” ― a service that he left in 2001.
     I left the Army in 1957 with the rank of bombardier. It seems that the letter informing me that I am now a field marshal has been lost in the post.
Trevor Osbourn, Saffron Walden, Essex

Wonderfully witty. However, it took the Daily Mail  Letters page to tackle Andrew’s promotion head on:

“VICE-ADMIRAL ANDY? The title suits him. Nice to see the Queen still has a sense of humour.” R, Martin, Halifax, West Yorks

Over and out. And no more of this reverse cowgirl nonsense.
 


Wednesday, February 18th

‘Pipe a song about a Lamb!

So I piped with merry cheer
William Blake, The Lamb

WELL, spring had really sprung this morning, much milder than of late, indeed it was exceedingly pleasant. And I spotted my first lambs of the season, above.

They looked a good few days old so presumably the farmer had brought a batch of first arrivals down from the farm to the lower ground.

Before coming across the lambs, though, the valley had been awash with the sound of songbirds.

The blackbirds have been singing around the garden at home for a good few days now ― it adds to the joy of watching them hopping across the lawn to a paved corner where I throw some seed for them. The males are also now starting to quarrel amongst themselves, a sure sign that sex is in the air.

However, this morning along my walk the most noticeable songbirds were the song thrushes singing atop the tall trees. Astonishing music they make, too, both the song thrushes and the mistle thrushes.

To quote the informative Derwent May in his Times  Nature notes column:

The song thrushes seem to shout out their clear, ringing tones, often repeating them three or four times before switching to a different phrase; on a still day they can be heard a quarter of a mile away.

Mistle thrushes produce more of a rallying cry, a burst of rich, trumpet-like notes that ends abruptly, then returns. Both birds are early nesters, with mistle thrushes beginning in February and song thrushes in March, and both will be singing from now until July.

Well, they were all on stunning form this morning.

Meanwhile, back with the lambs.

You are not going to believe this, but after all the jolliness of yesterday with tales of the black-sheep-of-the-family ― what did I spot out of about 20 lambs? Yes, one black one...

♫  Two lovely black eyes

Last word

But here’s the best bit of all ... as I turn to leave the sheep and their lambs in peace ― I notice something watching me intently, from across the field, just at the edge of the wood...

...or a fox from his lair in the morning

The image is not as sharp as I would like because old Basil Brush was a fair distance away and my little camera is not best equipped for long shots.

Still, it’s an agreeable photo ― with a perfect pose ― which captures rather perfectly the inquisitiveness of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Incidentally, the lambs he was observing me observing would not have been at risk from Basil. True, a fox might take a newly born lamb if its mother was distracted ― but as most sheep farmers will endorse, they will only take the sick or dying. Indeed, the survival of the fittest. 
 

Tuesday, February 17th

Close encounters of the curious kind ~ 2 (updated)
(See January 31st down to January 28th – click here: Smile of the day 2015: Jan)

AT THE back end of last month I did a series of ‘Close encounters of the curious kind’, pictures featuring the more unusual and off-beat things spotted along my early-morning walks through the Towy Valley.

One of the pics featured a couple of balls and a light bulb, curiosities I’d picked up along a short stretch of the rubbish line that you will find on a field or river bank following a flood, something similar to a strandline on a beach.

Well blow me, just the other morning, along the same stretch of rubbish where I’d picked up the aforementioned bulb and balls ― there sat a black one, invitingly waiting to be picked up.

Now there’s been no recent flood ― hardly any rain at all, actually ― so obviously I’d missed the black one first time round.

So I thought it only right and proper to update my encounter...

The black ball of the family turns up – late, as usual

More proof of the extraordinary number of balls grounded following a flood

Last word

Talking about the black ball of the family, what with its black-sheep-of-the-family connotation, obviously, I’ve told this tale before.

When, many moons ago, I did my University of Life degree while working behind the bar at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon ― it was the time when I’d switched from being a paid slave to an unpaid slave i.e. self-employed, and I needed some extra income to tie me over ― anyway, it was the local farmers’ market afternoon, and a group of farmers were drinking and gossiping at the corner of the bar.

When it’s not particularly busy and fairly quiet, from behind the bar you can often pick up on what people are talking about. So I overheard one of the crowd ask: “Who’s this chap behind the bar then?”

“He’s Bill Big Slope’s brother,” informs another.

“Wel-i-jiw-jiw,” said the enquirer, “I didn’t even know Bill had a brother.”

“You don’t hear much about this fellow,” responded another. “This one’s the white sheep of the family.”

Lots of laughter. In fact I think they knew I could hear them. And it did make me smile XL. Yep, you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Incidentally, whenever I worked behind the front bar at the Crazy Horsepower, and strangers called, or indeed someone I hadn’t seen in a while, I would greet them with “Welcome to the well”, which always went down rather, er, well.

You know how in the film Dances with Wolves, the hero, John Dunbar, is so called by the Indians because he befriends a wild wolf and the Sioux observe him and the creature chasing each other in playful mode, hence the Indian name Dances With Wolves.

Well, there was one Asterisk Bar regular down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon, no longer with us, sadly, who always called me Warden Of The Well, which I quite liked.

Anyway, back to farming: down the years many sheep farmers have traditionally kept a black sheep or two in their flock ― a bit of a curious convention as far as I can tell.

Whatever, over recent years there’s been a surge in encouraging the survival of threatened breeds of sheep ― Adam Henson of BBC’s Countryfile  undoubtedly has much to do with it ― and a few of these rare breeds are found in Wales. In fact quite a few breeds are black, or at least a variation on the theme of black.

So quite often these days I will spot farmers with 10, 20, 30, sometimes even more, blackish sheep running with a flock of several hundred traditional and essentially white sheep.

Normally the different breeds will stick together in the fields ― tribalism is everywhere in nature ― but last summer I captured something eye-catchingly unusual…

The white sheep of the family returns to the fold

Speaking as the white sheep of the family (sic), it certainly made me smile
 

Incidentally, you can see just a few of the traditional ‘white’ flock in the next field, at the top. It goes without saying that those black sheep shouldn’t have been in this particular field ― see the black balls of silage indicating harvest time, last August, actually...
 

Monday, February 16th

“I AGREE with what he says but I disagree with his right to say it.” Rephrasing Voltaire, the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker says Prince Charles shouldn’t dabble in politics.

Clever quote ― which in turn took me back to The Sunday Times Atticus column from a couple of weeks back...

Honour all men ... Honour the future king

It’s reported that Prince Charles wants to overhaul the honours system when he takes the throne, because he believes honours are handed “to the wrong people for the wrong reasons”.

We call him the Prince of Wales for short, of course. He is also Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland...

He’s a Knight of the Garter, a Knight of the Thistle, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath and a member of the Order of Merit.

And he has a Blue Peter badge.

You might think that people who live in glass palaces shouldn’t throw stones.

Wonderful. Magical smile of the day material.

Also, and given Prince Charles’s connection with, and enthusiasm for, the farming industry, this letter spotted in The Times seems to fit the bill just perfectly:


Bullocks

Sir, When I was a young executive in the food industry I was told about a pre-war Bovril advert which read: “Bovril represents the goodness of bullocks.” It was followed in smaller type by: “Anyone defacing this message will be prosecuted.”
Frederick Marsh, London SW6

Last word

What else but this Sign Language classic from the Telegraph’s  giggle-laden gallery.

If you don’t want to know the score...

Aussie rules, OK?: Spotted in Castlemaine by George Topfner
 


Sunday, February 15th


Saturday, February 14th

Sing something simply curious

LAST Wednesday, Vanessa Feltz on her early-morning Radio 2 show introduced a new ‘The dilemma is in the ditty’ spot, where listeners are invited to answer a philosophical question posed by a line in a popular song.

She began with Human, a song by American rock band The Killers, in particular the line “Are we human, or are we dancer?”.

Well, Vanessa asked: “Are you, dear listener, human? Or are you dancer?”

It’s a catchy song, but I must say I have been intrigued by the line since I first heard it, so Ivor the Search Engine went on the prowl...

Unsurprisingly, there’s been much confusion about the line: does Brandon Flowers sing “dancer”, “dancers” or “denser”?

On the band’s official website, the biography section states that Flowers is singing “Are we human, or are we dancer?”; it also says that the lyric was inspired by a disparaging comment made by American author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005), who stated that America was “raising a generation of dancers”.

In 2014, it was voted the “weirdest lyric of all time” by a Blinkbox survey.

Anyway, Vanessa received many responses, but only one lingers in the memory: “I am both human and dancer.” But no explanation as to why, as I recall.

So, and for posterity’s sake, here is my effort (unsubmitted!):

“Are we human, or are we dancer?” Well, I became human when Dancer, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen ― and of course Rudolph ― stopped calling at our house.

On Thursday, the line was “Why does it always rain on me?”, the song by Travis, which is also the title of the song.

Well, it doesn’t always rain on me because, fortuitously, I was born on the sunny side of a Welsh mountain ― and, whisper it, the sun even shone when it was raining.

And yesterday, Friday, yes, Valentine’s Day Eve: “Where is love?”, also the title of the song from the British musical Oliver
!

Well, while affection is all around, love is generally rather ephemeral and somewhat lightweight (how many individuals did we think of as, at last, real and proper love, yet in due course we wished they had been sold to the gypsies when they were young).

Proper love is invariably found hiding under a stone, and most of us never get round to lifting that stone.

With Burns Night  still just about there in our rear-view mirrors, what about a word from the man himself, Rabbie Burns:

          But pleasures are like poppies spread―
          You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed;
          Or like the snow falls in the river―
          A moment white, then melts for ever.


Last word

A letter in The Daily Telegraph:

Lonely hearts

SIR – Every time Valentine’s Day comes round, I am reminded of a letter sent to me many years ago by my French pen friend.
     She told me that her sister had got engaged, and that the engagement ring was “a lonely diamond”.
Catriona Picken, London SE17

Intriguing. Did she mean to write “lone”? Perhaps “lovely”? Or indeed “where is love”?!
 


Valentine’s Day Eve
(Today, as heard described on the wireless first thing this morning – well it beats Friday the 13th)

A quick point of order

TitBits magazine (or to give it its full title: Tit-Bits from all the interesting Books, Periodicals and Newspapers of the World) was a British weekly magazine published between 1881 and 1989...

Issue of January 10, 1970

Never mind Page 3, what about Page 4!?!
 

Do you know, when Channel 4 eventually gets round to the ‘100 Worst Lovers In The History Of Humanity’, I’ll be on the list somewhere ― hopefully though not in the Top 20 ― so it’s somewhat reassuring to know from the TitBits Page 4 story, above, that it wasn’t all my fault.

Be that as it may, I guess it would be fair to suggest that Look You is a page straight out of TitBits, except of course that this website uses an even broader canvas for its tits and bits and pieces.

Anyway, here’s a Telegraph  clickbait ― and very TitBits ― which I duly fell for hook, line and sinker:

     27 things we learned this week

As I perused the list I was beginning to curse myself for being so effortlessly seduced by the clickbait ― then I came to this...

22. People who use emojis have more sex

A survey by online dating website Match.com found that people who flirt using emojis have more active sex lives than those who don’t.

The site’s annual Singles in America study (which polled 5,675 people) found that 54 per cent of users who used emojis in their messages found it led to sex, as opposed to just 31 per cent of non-emoji types. The poll also found that women who use kiss-related emojis are more likely to have orgasms. Food for thought.

Well you have to laugh. But what really pushed me into LOL² mode was an online comment:

                             Orson Cart: Why is the Telegraph  morphing into TitBits?

                             Very Funny. And hence my point-of-order piece about TitBits up there on the welcome mat.

                             Incidentally, Orson Cart: excellent handle.

Oh yes, one last little gem about TitBits...

In All Things Considered  by G. K. Chesterton, the author contrasts TitBits with The Times, saying: “Let any honest reader ... ask himself whether he would really rather be asked in the next two hours to write the front page of The Times, which is full of long leading articles, or the front page of TitBits, which is full of short jokes.”

I rest my case, look you.

Last word:
What’s up, Doc?

GPs told to prescribe SEX as an exercise. Guidelines say family doctors
                            
should also recommend dancing or mowing the lawn

Hm, 50 Shades of Dodgy Prescriptions.

The next time I go to the surgery to book an appointment with my GP, and the cheery young thing at reception clicks onto her screen, I shall show her the above headline from the Daily Mail  ― and then ask her if we can cut out the middle man, Dr Williams, and the two of us can sort out my exercise regime directly.
   I know she’ll laugh. She always laughs at my silly little jokes, love her.

Spell-cheque corner: ‘emojis’ came up as ‘emesis’(?): ‘the action or process of vomiting’ ― but that’s enough about my jokes; followed by ‘enosis ’(?): a movement for securing the political union of Greece and Cyprus, the word comes from the Greek ‘henõsis’, meaning ‘union’.
That’s more like it, we’re back with just what the doctor ordered.
 


Thursday, February 12th

A punny thing happened on the way to Look You

THE search for the 2015 UK Pun Champion has been launched by TV channel Dave  as part of their continued support of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.

So if we’re talking puns, where better to start than with the Telegraph’s  Sign Language gallery...
 

Roll up, roll up for the magical, mystery tour

Spotted in Hong Kong by Richard Hartas

Toasted pun

So what better way indeed to acknowledge the 2015 UK Pun Championship  than a nod and a wink to the Carry On films, which of course were dedicated to the art of the pun and the double entendre.

While we await today’s result from Leicester, here are just a few glorious business/shop names and slogans to be getting on with:

                         Bits & PCs – computers, London

                         Easy PC – computers, here in Llandeilo

                        Turn’em Clean – dry cleaners near Turnham Green tube station, London

                         “Your Roof Never Felt Better” – KJM Roofing, Bournemouth

                         Fishcothèque – fish & chips, London

                         Nincomsoup – fast food outlet, London

                         “Cheeses of Nazareth” – Calandra’s Italian Cheese, Nazareth

                         Amazing Grates – fireplaces etc, London

                         NautiBuoy – boating goods, France(?)

                         The Brick Shirthouse – men’s clothing shop, Toronto

That last one really made me smile because I fondly remember Brick’s Outfitters, here in Llandeilo. Mr Brick, sadly, has long disappeared into that huge changing room in the sky.

Last word

Apropos the Pun Championship itself, here are three of the efforts that will be on parade today...

“Marvin Gaye kept a sheep in my vineyard. He’d herd it through the grapevine.”

“In Iran everyone’s scared of spiders, but in Iraq no phobia.”

Both of the above compliments of Leo Kearse, 38

“According to the BBC, sheep were spotted wandering round Chelsea wearing silk headscarves. Must be a Sloane ewes day.”

A really clever Chelsea Tractor joke cum pun, compliments of Rob Thomas, 42

We await the winner...

Spell-cheque corner: ‘NautiBuoy’ came up as ‘Antibody’, which, given that by definition the company will sell safety equipment, is a sort of lateral pun in itself, I guess.
 


Wednesday, February 11th

Radio times

TIME for a few pearls as overheard on the wireless over recent days.

Return to sender

It was last Friday that Vanessa Feltz on her early-morning Radio 2  show invited listeners to tell her about their personal lost-and-found stories. Over to Vanessa...

“This from David, somewhere in the North Sea: ‘My father, when he was young, had a pet tortoise that went missing ― he had painted his name and address on the shell. It was found two years later in the next village, four miles away, and brought back to him by the postman [posties did that sort of community thing back in the day].

‘Imagine how annoyed the tortoise would have been,’ says David. ‘Two years to get that far, then picked up and taken back to the start line, just like that.’

“Remember Blue Peter?”, adds Vanessa. “They taught us to paint our name and postcode on the shell with a special paint, a lead-free paint. I used to have a tortoise as a child and we called it Vasco de Gama. He was such an explorer...”

Chuckle, chuckle.

Incidentally, I bet that the hare, too, had a jolly old chuckle when he spotted the tortoise being unceremoniously returned to sender, the starting point.

Oh my beloved...

Last Sunday morning I was listening to Roy Noble on Radio Wales.

“I tell you what I did after the programme last Sunday,” says Roy. “I nipped down to St David’s Hall and met my beloved, Elaine, and we attended a Strauss concert ― I do love a bit of Strauss.”

A perfectly straightforward sounding statement of fact ― but when Roy delivered it, and just after “I nipped down to St David’s Hall and met my beloved,-” there was a brief and noticeable pause (where I have inserted a comma).

It was as if Roy had suddenly realised that if he did not mention his wife by name ― he regularly mentions Elaine anyway ― Twitter would be rampant with all sorts of scurrilous rumours and nonsense about the identity of his beloved.

It was a marvellously funny moment, and proof that live broadcasting is one potential ambush after another.

A nice cup o’ tea and a chat

Then this morning, on Radio Cymru, the Welsh language station, I was listening to Shân Cothi and her Bore Cothi magazine programme of chitchat and music.

Today Shân was out and about, doing a live broadcast from the vestry at Rock Chapel, Pwll-y-glaw, Cwmafon ― that’s a place just north of Port Talbot, Richard Burton territory, really.

Oh yes, Pwll-y-glaw: a small village with a glorious Welsh name, which translates as Pool-of-rain ― well, it is located in mountainous territory, and clearly it does always rain on the residents.

Be that as it may, the place is full of characters. On the show there was Lyndon No 1 and Lyndon No 2 ― and then Shân met a local lady, Margaret Rees, and they got around to chatting about the unbeatable joys of a nice cup of tea.

The conversation was in Welsh, obviously, except for Margaret’s nickname.

“There’s nothing better than a cup of tea out of a china cup,” insists Margaret. “And I won’t drink tea out of anything else ― ‘round ‘ere everybody knows me as Margaret Cup & Saucer...”

Shân laughed out loud ― and I joined her. It is a perfectly memorable nickname. And so very Welsh.

Last word

This afternoon I was listening to Thinking Allowed on Radio 4. Truth to tell I do get around that old radio dial: Radio 2, Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, Radio 4, Radio Carmarthenshire ― oh, and Classic FM completes the circuit (there is clearly a slice of landed gentry hiding away undercover in my default genes).

Whatever, back with Thinking Allowed: host Laurie Taylor was  going through some of the responses to the previous week’s show. Over to Laurie...

Last week I mentioned an economics professor who famously used to shout out “Shelley & Keats” whenever a questioner in a seminar failed to directly address the speaker’s topic. I rather like this from John Ledbury:

“Laurie,” he writes, “my old physics teacher used to scrawl ‘The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra-la’ across any homework that hadn’t grasped his gist.”

And I really couldn’t resist this from Richard Rolls ― a well known tale, apparently, but I can’t say that I’ve heard it before. Richard says:

“Your fellow lecturer who declaimed ‘Shelley & Keats, Shelley & Keats’ reminds me of the experience of the distinguished music and theatre critic Philip Hope-Wallace as he was sent to enlighten British troops in Cairo waiting to be demobbed in 1945.

“Facing 2,000 of them the Regimental Sergeant Major introduced him thus: ‘Mr Hope-Wallace has come all the way from London to give you a talk, you’re very lucky to hear him. His subject is Keats ― but I bet none of you bastards out there know what a Keat is...”

How wonderful.

Coincidentally, only yesterday I was smiling at the world of the phantom apostrophe. Of course we don’t use it in the spoken word. Yet increasingly people use fingers to indicate something ironic or someone else’s words.

So should we start using our index finger to indicate a singular apostrophe? And should it be the pinkie to indicate a plural apostrophe?

Finger or fudge?

So when the Sergeant Major said “His subject is Keats...”, should he have used his index finger to indicate an apostrophe before the “s”? Or indeed his butch pinkie to place the apostrophe after the “s”?


Spell-cheque corner: ‘Cwmafon’, the small village north of Port Talbot, came up as ‘Cameron’ ... well, I have picked myself up, dusted myself off, stopped laughing ― and pondered on the notion that there can’t be many places in the country less likely to vote for David Cameron.

Probably the most delightfully ironic alternative spelling suggestion yet. Well done, computer.
 

Tuesday, February 10th

I feel an apostrophe coming on

WHEN I first saw the above ee-card, my lateral view of the passing parade spotted “Granma” rather than “Grammar”, which is quite a suitable tease, really, a variation on the “If your aunty had balls would she be your uncle?”.

Whatever, The Times  Letters page entered into the spirit of things:

Cornered

Sir, To demonstrate the wonder, usefulness and downright necessity of the apostrophe, consider the sentence: “Those things in the corner are my husband’s.”
     Try leaving out the apostrophe and you have an entirely different image of what is in the corner.
Ruth Scott, Abingdon, Oxon

I am reminded of a Mail Online  headline from last October...
 

Mr Loveman: Arrested bigamist Sonko Tijan, 28, sets Austrian record with
FOUR wives, SEVEN fiancées and FIVE girlfriends after latest
wife spotted him with another woman on Facebook

Old lover boy was finally caught after police arranged a honey trap ― what else? The extraordinary article finished with this:

The youngest of his women was 22, and the oldest 44; there is also another woman he is married to in his home country of Gambia, where he also has children.

Sonko Tijan, eh? More Bonko Titan, I’d say.

Anyway, back with the apostrophe:

Feline diet

Sir, Once while away on holiday I received a message from my teenage sons at home, declaring: “We have completely run out of food and are so desperate we are going to have to eat the cats.”
Adrian Brodkin, London N2

It took me a while to untangle that missive. For those as slow off the mark as me: “We have completely run out of food and are so desperate we are going to have to eat the cat’s [food].”

Ahh, the apostrophe, missing presumed dead, died of starvation.

On the other hand...

Last word

I shall let the Telegraph  provide the final smile ― which is particularly apt given our friend Bonko Titan...

Sign Language: Here & Over There

Spotted in Thailand by Alun Price
 

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Sonko’, our bigamist friend, came up as ‘Sunk’. Indeed. ‘Tijan’, his surname, came up as ‘Titan’, which is what I plumped for (obviously great minds think alike).

Finally, ‘Bonko’, the alternative first name I blessed him with, came up as ‘Bunko/Bronco/Bongo/Bonker/Bunk’. You pays your money...
 

Monday, February 9th

Distressed of Welsh Wales

SINCE Friday evening, that Welsh flag up there, in the shape of a rugby ball, has been flown upside-down. Not that I fly it as a distress signal every time Wales lose a game of rugby, you understand. but there was something odd about Friday night’s encounter.

This was a contest where Wales were really fancied to do well, indeed I’m sure they were favourites. The opening exchanges went true to form and the Welsh found themselves 10 points up in no time.

Suddenly, though, they only had three wheels on their wagon ... but they were still rolling along; true, those pesky Cherokees and their sweet chariot were chasing after the Welsh wagon ― but the crowd were singing a higgity, haggity, hoggety high (or the Welsh version, anyway).

Then the Welsh were down to two wheels ... one wheel ― grounded, with a capital F!

Ah well, upside-down flag it was ― and it did quite reasonably seem that it was pretty much in the laps of the gods as to when the flag would right itself, perhaps next weekend against Scotland, fingers crossed.

However, over the Saturday and the Sunday, something remarkable happened.

Last word

Joyous of Welsh Wales

On the Saturday evening the Wales Under-20s kicked off their own Six Nations campaign with a riveting 21-15 victory over their English counterparts.

And in the 10 years that this age group has been going Wales has never beaten England. Indeed the English are the current world champions at this level, even toppling mighty New Zealand and South Africa along the way.

Curiously, the game followed the pattern of the Friday night ambush, except that the English took the initiative: the huge, athletic and focussed young England lads shot into an early lead ― indeed I felt that they would have given the senior Wales XV a game ― but then the Welsh got amongst them with some great attacking play and found themselves ahead.

Mind you, in the final 10 minutes Wales were down to just three wheels on their wagon ― higgity, haggity, hoggety high ― but they did hang on for that famous win. Oh the joy on their young faces.

And then on Sunday, the women set their own Six Nations alight as they beat the world champions England, only the second time the Welsh girls have succeeded in their history.

All is well with the world. And the flag has righted itself.
 


Saturday > Sunday, February 7th > 8th


Friday, February 6th
 

   I WAS going to have a break and have another Kit Kat couple of days ― but, perusing The Sunday Times  TV guide for today, I couldn’t resist this as a smile of the day contender...


One for all ... ?
Six Nations Rugby
(BBC2, 7pm; BBC1, 7.30pm)

One again The Musketeers are kicked into touch to make room for sports coverage, but this time the event’s status justifies the disruption.

Wales v England is the eagerly awaited opening fixture of the annual rugby union tournament, taking place under the lights of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and under the gaze of commentators Eddie Butler and Brian Moore.

Kick-off is at 8.05pm.

In the studio, John Inverdale, Jonathan Davies, Jeremy Guscott and Clive Woodward are tonight’s substitutes for D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

Brilliant last line and well worthy of a smile of the day spot.

No wonder that these days when I watch endless talking heads going on and on about the players, the game ― any game, any sport ― I feel myself morphing into Cardinal Armand Richelieu.

Last word

Weeeeell, it’s only a game (Wales 16 England 21), hence the upside-down Welsh flag, up there.

Be all that as it may, during the week I heard a brilliant wireless interview, in Welsh, with a characterful West Walian rugby player from yesteryear, and known to everyone as Lyn ‘Cowboy’ Davies: 85 years of age, and sounding wonderfully sharp, eloquent and funny.

Here are two of my favourite moments.

“These days players spend about half-an-hour before the game warming up on the pitch. In my day, if a player said he was going to warm up he’d light up a fag.” [Back in the day ― and for the benefit of those in faraway places etc, etc ― fag equals cigarette.]

“Have you ever wondered why we West Walians have such a reputation for superior footwork, especially the art of side-stepping? Well, we trained on fields which we had to share with cattle, and when we were running full pelt across the field and we spotted a cow pat ― the only way to avoid it was to sidestep.”
 


Thursday, February 6th

            “Hello, I must be going.”

            “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

            “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

            “Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that.”

            “I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

            “A woman is an occasional pleasure but a cigar is always a good smoke.”

            “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

Yes of course, just a few of Groucho Marx’s famous one-liners.

It seems that his quick wit was for real. Indeed, he was sometimes given the credit for quips he hadn’t uttered: “I got $25 from Reader’s Digest for something I never said. I get credit all the time for things I never said,” he remarked in 1974.

But his off-the-cuff remarks to strangers were celebrated. Once in Montreal, a priest put out his hand and said: “I want to thank you for all the joy you’ve put into this world.” Groucho shook his hand and shot back: “And I wanna thank you, for all the joy you’ve taken out of this world."

So on that note, I shall join the Groucho Club with my little effort: “I was once invited to become a Freemason. I declined. I refuse to join any club that insists I work for nothing.” It has doubtless been used before ― but hey, great minds, etc.

Oh, one more Groucho quote:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

And on that note, yesterday I chuckled at David Cameron’s put-down to Ed Balls: “Bill Somebody isn’t a person, bill somebody is Labour’s policy.” Groucho would have nodded his pleasure at that one, whether it was Cameron’s own or the work of his spin doctor.

Meanwhile, here is Cameron on a television documentary, Inside the Commons, giving his take on Parliament:

            “Half a church, half a museum, half a school.”

Hm, when I next call at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon I will ask for a pint of half and half and half.

Many have taken the Prime Minister’s quote as proof positive why the country’s long term economic plan looks anything but secure.

But was he making an ironic, Groucho-type joke? Indeed, is his quick wit for real? Is he a Boris Johnson in pantomime disguise? You pays your money...

Last word

Yesterday, I smiled at the “blonde who passed wind at Mountain Ash train station”. I know, I know, that little juvenile gene of mine insists on rearing its head now and again ... and again...

Well, today the following was spotted in The Sunday Times  Going Viral column. The short piece was actually headed YouTube: Neigh, neigh, it wasn’t me ― a tale about ‘My Flatulent Little Pony’.

However, I have paraphrased it ever so slightly away from the farting pony and to reflect the lady in red at the railway station in Mountain Ash...

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the worldwide web so scientists could exchange information. And what do we use it for? To laugh at a blonde breaking wind at a Welsh railway station, that’s what. Sir Tim, we are all very sorry.
 


Wednesday, February 4th

I SMILED and smiled and smiled at this Twitter thread...
 

Great British Train Journeys

(...and so nearly the Heart of Wales Line!)
 

                          @MyLightison: And who said romance is dead.

                          @bimadew: Get your coat, love. You’ve pulled.

                          @Rosbif65: “Stylish Mullet Guy” ― the icing on the cake.

                          @LyndonRosser: An everyday tale of Mountain Ash folk.

                          @TomChivers: Magnificent. I so hope it’s true.


Last word

The forthcoming UK election battles are already well under starter
s orders, and mostly they all add to the joys and the doolallyness of the passing parade:

Labour’s not working, just forgetting

“Which business leader supports Labour?” asks interviewer Emily Maitlis of Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls on live TV last night.

“Well, um ... the, um ... er ... Bill ... um...” Poor old Mr Balls, age 47, has a senior moment and is forced to admit that he can not even remember the surname of Labour’s Small Business Taskforce Chairman, despite talking to him minutes earlier.

“Okay,” responds Emily Maitlis. “So we’ve got, frankly, we’ve got Bill somebody ― have we got anyone else?”

Now I mention the above exchange, not because Ed had a blank moment ― talk to me about it, I have a diploma in blankness ― but rather because of what happened in the Commons, today, at Question Time.

To much laughter, Prime Minister David Cameron looks across at Ed Balls on the opposition benches and jokes:
“Bill Somebody isn’t a person, bill somebody is Labour’s policy.” 

Now that is very clever and witty and fully deserving of a smile of the day spot.

It would be nice, though, to think it was Cameron’s own work, but I guess it was one of his script writers. Still, I’ve seen it on the news and the Prime Minister did deliver it with some style.
 


Tuesday, February 3rd

A WEE piece in Rod Liddle’s column from last weekend’s Sunday Times  took me first to the dictionary ... then to a book of famous quotations ... and finally to the Bible ― before once more returning to Mr Liddle.

Right, here we go...

              
Boris takes jihadists in hand

It is important that all of us, in the West, try to understand what motivates the young men who became Islamic terrorists and extremists. So a big thank-you to the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for his considered and insightful analysis.

They are all, he opined, “literally wankers” [“literally w******”, in the article]. They spend their days watching pornography, Boris insisted, because they can’t “make it with girls”. And so they are reduced to being “severe onanists”.

I am not sure how a severe onanist goes about his business different from, say, a lenient onanist, but there we are...

Now here I have to temporarily abandon the Liddle ship.

Indeed, you may well have anticipated what I am going to say next: “onanists” is not a word you hear in the Bible or in the Asterisk Bar down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon ― but this time, no, I am not going to include the Bible, as you will appreciate in a moment as I come to my regular ‘every day a day at school’ spot.

So off I toddle to my Collins Concise Dictionary:

Onanism n  1 the withdrawal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.  2 masturbation.
                   C18: after Onan, son of Judah; see Genesis 38:9 › onanist n, adj  › onanistic
adj

Hm, Genesis 38:9? So, Dictionary of Famous Quotations,  here I come, so to speak ... actually, my quotes dictionary stopped at 37:19 ― before jumping straight to 42:1.

Oh, 37:19? “Behold, this dreamer cometh.”

No, I am not joking. Look it up.

Anyway, Ivor the Search Engine:  Fetch!

Genesis 38:9 New International Version (NIV)

9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother.

Goodness, it was all happening back then, eh? Anyway, let’s allow Rod to finish his article about Boris Johnson, The Shake of Onan.

Boris was speaking while on a visit to Kurdistan, a region that has been so plagued with severe onanists of late that Kleenex should set up a factory there.

Last word

All that talk of Kleenex brings me back to yesterday’s smile of the day, the article by Carolyn Hitt informing us about Gwyneth Paltrow instructing women that they need to steam-clean their nether regions. “And just when you thought feminine wipes were excessive grooming,” added Carolyn.

Only today did I catch up with The Sunday Times, and in their GOING VIRAL column, namely this:

                        Twitter: Gwyneth’s steamy scene

“Here’s something I could have lived without knowing,” says Twitter user Luke Leal. “Gwyneth Paltrow steam-cleans her uterus.” Luke, you speak for all of us.

The actress, who seems to be consciously uncoupling from planet Earth, last week suggested women copy her and steam their lady bits. Twitter scorn hit record highs, although some users gave helpful suggestions.

Dai Lama (@WelshDalaiLama) tweeted: “Save money ... sit on a kettle spout.”

LOL². Oh, and have you noticed how Gwynnie finds it impossible to escape the expression “conscious uncoupling”, that slip of the computer mouse (or whatever) when she split from Chris Martin.

In fact she recently said this: “I made a mistake. It is a goofy term.”

But she doesn’t help herself, does she? Witness Dai Lama’s glorious tweet.

Incidentally, I was called Goofy when I was but an innocent pup on the farm ― which I never quite understood because I never had protruding teeth.

Spell-cheque corner: ‘onanists’ came up as ‘oneness’ ― ho, ho, ho ― followed by the suggestions ‘botanists’, ‘unionists’ and ‘animists’ [? - Animism (from Latin animus “soul, life”) is the worldview that non-human entities (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or phenomena) possess a spiritual essence].
     Oh, and ‘Onamism’ came up as ‘Romanism’. Another reason to stop immigration?
 


Monday, February 2nd

FIRST things first: let’s call up a brace of quotes from last December:

“You are so handsome that I can’t speak properly.” A gushing Gwyneth Paltrow, 42, on meeting President Barack Obama, 53.
 
 
“I think that when anybody criticises anyone it really is revealing more about where they are in time and space, as opposed to where you are in time and space.”
An enigmatic Gwyneth, still 42, and still struggling to overcome the moment she consciously uncoupled her thought processes on meeting President Obama, still 53.

Now I like Gwyneth Paltrow. Whatever your point of view, she adds hugely to the joys of the passing parade.

So much so...

So near so spa

Spotted in Carolyn Hitt’s column in today’s Western Mail, a tail end piece to make you smile ― and I trust you are sitting comfortably...

Never give a Mugworth V-Steam thingy an even break

Consciously uncoupled Gwyneth Paltrow is at it again. Not content with convincing the world that divorce can be quite a painless and enriching experience, rather than unmitigated hell, she’s now telling us we need to steam-clean our nether regions.

On her Goop website she has described the eye-watering process of the Mugworth V-Steam. Though it sounds as if it might take place on the set of a Harry Potter film, the treatment is available at an holistic spa in Santa Monica.

“You sit on a mini-throne,” explains Gwyneth, “and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam-cleanses your uterus, et al. If you are in LA, you have to do it.” Blimey.

Just when you thought feminine wipes were excessive grooming.

Sorry, Gwynnie love, you can do what you like with your passage but the only steam-cleaning I’m doing downstairs is the hall carpet.

Oh, dear, I haven’t stopped laughing. Celebrity insanity (in-sanitation?) is alive and well and sitting on a throne, somewhere in LA.

Mind you, Carolyn, I’d be very careful doing the downstairs hall carpet otherwise people will think you’re sorting out your piles.

Last word

The following makes a perfectly felt underlay to the above, spotted in a preview of BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read (Tuesday, February 3, 4.30pm):

Paul Donovan quotes two great lines from actress Maureen Lipman. First, she explains why people dislike critics:
         
“You only remember your bad reviews.”

Hm, a bit like childhood, really; indeed a lot like life itself.

As for the second great line, it comes while discussing Joseph Heller’s Catch-22  sequel, Something Happened:
         
“Women are laid like carpets.”

So Carolyn, as I cautioned above, be careful when steam-cleaning the downstairs hall carpet.

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Goop’, Gwynnie’s website, came up as ‘Goo’, which, given today’s smile of the day context, is rather splendid.
 


Sunday, February 1st


 

A couple of exceedingly entertaining missives spotted in the Telegraph:

Peacocks crossing

SIR – A hand-painted sign outside a farm on a busy 50mph road in Oxfordshire reads: “Slow down! Don’t kill more peacocks.”
     I have never killed a peacock and I don’t know the speed below which an impact with a Land Rover would be non-fatal. Less signage, more fencing?
Tim Soar, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire

Which drew this witty online comment...

NoToNanny: Tim Soar --- “Less signage, more fencing?” As your surname implies, peacocks can fly so what use the fences? Unless you mean taking an epée to them
!

Last word

Jamais vu  

SIR – Is the recent excessive use of the word unprecedented, unprecedented?
Dr Tony Bentley, Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire

First things first: Jamais vu? Definitely not a word heard in the Bible or in the Asterisk Bar down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon. This, compliments of omgfacts.com:

Jamais vu: As you probably know, ‘deja vu’ (French for “already seen”) is a strange feeling of familiarity with an unfamiliar experience.

The opposite is also true, though we doubt you knew that there was a phrase for it. ‘Jamais vu’ (French for “never seen”) is when a person temporarily cannot remember something they are well acquainted with. An example of this phenomenon is when an individual momentarily cannot recall a common word.

There is also a phrase to describe the feeling that something is on the “tip of your tongue”! ‘Presque vu’ (French for “almost seen”) describes the experience where a person can almost, but not quite, remember something!

Truth to tell, both jamais vu  and presque vu  sound very moi.  Whatever, talking of excessive use of a particular word, as Dr Tony Bentley was, before I was distracted by ‘jamais vu, now here’s a funny thing...

Ever since rumours grew that Premier Foods, which owns the Mr Kipling brand ― you know, the fellow who makes “exceedingly good cakes” ― was going to drop the exceptionally famous ad slogan (which has been going since 1967), I have found myself using the word “exceedingly” all the time, all over the shop, both in speech and in my writing.

However, it seems that Premier Foods will continue to make “exceedingly good cakes” after bosses agreed not to drop the instantly recognisable catchphrase.

Thank goodness. An excellent and extraordinary word is “exceedingly”.

Spell-cheque corner: ‘NoToNanny’, you know, the online contributor apropos the peacocks, came up as ‘Hootenanny’, followed by ‘Not Nanny’. And ‘Jamais’, as in ‘Jamais vu’, came up as ‘Jamaica’. I feel a joke coming on...

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                                                                   Previously on Look You...
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2015: Jan
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Dec
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Nov
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Oct
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Sep
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Aug
                                                                   Smile of the day 2014: Jul
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Jun
                                                                   Smile of the day 2014: May
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Apr              Smile of the day 2013: Dec
                                                                  
Smile of the day 2014: Mar              Smile of the day 2013: Nov
                                                                   Smile of the day 2014: Feb              Smile of the day 2013: Oct
                                                                 
 Smile of the day 2014: Jan           Smile of the day 2013: Sep
                                                                                                                                       Smile of the day 2013: Aug
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Jul
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Jun
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: May
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Apr
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Mar
                                                                                                                                      
Smile of the day 2013: Feb

                                                                                                                                       Smile of the day 2013: Jan
                                                                                                                                       Smile of the day 2012d (Oct-Dec)

Previous 2012 smiles: Smile of the day 2012 (Jan-Mar) .. Smile of the day 2012 (Apr-Jun) .. Smile of the day 2012c (Jul-Sep) .. Smile of the day 2012d (Oct-Dec)
Previous 2011 smiles:  Smile of the Day 2011 (Jan-Jun) .. Smile of the Day 2011 (Jul-Sep) .. Smile of the day 2011 (Oct-Dec)
                   Home

 Previously: Smile of the Day 2010
Home   2010 (Jan to Jun)   2009   2008   March to May '07   June to Aug '07   Sep to Dec '07


Reception

You are here, way out west,
at Llandeilo

aka Llandampness
aka Dodgy City

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Dragon again firing on all cylinders
(28/02/2015: France 13  Wales 20)
(15/02/2015: Scotland 23  Wales 26)
(14/02/2015: Scotland Women 3  Wales Women 39)
(08/02/2015: Wales Women 13  England Women 0)
(07/02/2015: Wales Under-20s 21  England Under-20s 15)



Dragon in distress


(28/02/2015: France Under-20s 27  Wales Under-20s 5)

(27/02/2015: France Women 28  Wales Women 7)

(13/02/2015: Scotland Under-20s 36  Wales Under-20s 34)

(06/02/2015: Wales  16 England  21)


***************************************

Previously on LOOK YOU......


Smile of the day 2015: Jan
Smile of the day 2014: Dec
Smile of the day 2014: Nov
Smile of the day 2014: Oct
Smile of the day 2014: Sep
Smile of the day 2014: Aug
Smile of the day 2014: Jul
Smile of the day 2014: Jun
Smile of the day 2014: May
Smile of the day 2014: Apr
Smile of the day 2014: Mar
Smile of the day 2014: Feb
Smile of the day 2014: Jan
Smile of the day 2013: Dec
Smile of the day 2013: Nov
Smile of the day 2013: Oct
Smile of the day 2013: Sep
Smile of the day 2013: Aug
Smile of the day 2013: Jul
Smile of the day 2013: Jun
Smile of the day 2013: May

Smile of the day 2013: Apr
Smile of the day 2013: Mar
Smile of the day 2013: Feb

Smile of the day 2013: Jan
Smile of the day 2012d (Oct-Dec)
Smile of the day 2012c (Jul-Sep)
Smile of the day 2012 (Apr-Jun)
Smile of the day 2012 (Jan-Mar)

Smile of the day 2011 (Oct-Dec)
Smile of the Day 2011 (Jul-Sep)
Smile of the Day 2011 (Jan-Jun)

Smile of the Day 2010
2010 (Jan to Jun)
2009

2008
Sep to Dec '07

June to Aug '07
March to May '07

As it was in the beginning:
ST DAVID'S DAY, 2007

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Postcards from my Square Mile @
smile
Updated: 11/08/2013

Here's lookin' at you @
400 Smiles A Day
Updated: 08/06/2013


What A Gas @
400 Smiles A Day
Updated: 17/05/2009

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