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

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POSTCARDS FROM
MY SQUARE MILE
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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
 

Halloween, 2015  

 “I need to laugh more and drink more glasses of champagne ― even when there is nothing to celebrate.”  English actress Celia Imrie, 63, contemplates her next 20 years.

Yes, another outing for Celia’s splendid advice. True, I have no need to smile and giggle and laugh and chortle more, after all, my ho-ho-ho card is well marked.

However, I have a bottle of champagne in the fridge and this afternoon’s Rugby World Cup Final is as good a reason as any to open it.

Two reasons, really. First: Wales not involved (sadly), therefore that removes all the stress, so I can just lie back and enjoy with no prejudicial reason to celebrate or drown my sorrows.

Second: Australia and New Zealand are the two teams that probably deserve to be there and most likely to put on a good show ― Australia’s fifty-ninth-second escape against Scotland compliments of a refereeing error not included because the Aussies would possibly still have won in the seconds remaining.

So here’s lookin’ at you, chaps.

But before we get there, listening to BBC Radio Wales’s Money for Nothing (music from the Fifties through to the early Eighties) this morning, I heard this:

  “Demons are a ghoul’s best friend,” said a listener to host Owen Money, in celebration of the day ― to which he replied: “I shall use that tonight. After all, I am known as The Thief of Bad Gags.”

Well, the interweb declares both exceedingly old gags, but I had never heard them before ― and they definitely generated a smile.

Funnily enough, on the next programme along, comedian Rhod Gilbert in casual conversation, said this:

  “I don’t like Halloween ― Christmas, fine, but Halloween is not my thing. So, kids, DON’T call. And if you come round with flour and eggs I shall turn you into a cake.”

Which I thought was exceedingly funny.

And then this clickbait:

Earth set for near-miss with asteroid today

A ‘Halloween asteroid’ [a ‘Flour & Eggs asteroid’, perhaps?] will pass by Earth today closer than any other for nine years, according to Nasa


There was another so-called
‘near-miss’ mentioned in dispatches back on October 11. So it’s only a matter of time before one of those things has our number on it.

So, champagne and rugby, here we come...
 

   New Zealand 34 – 17 Australia


I thought the game a little bit flat, actually. Probably because the All Blacks were in charge from beginning to end and the Aussies were never really in it, apart from a brief flurry of action in the last quarter.

New Zealand worthy winners though.

Mind you, that Haka of theirs is getting more theatrical and OTT by the performance. At this rate there’ll be a drinks interlude before long.


PeeS: Yesterday I mentioned the underpants I’d spotted in Tesco with the curious ‘keyhole opening’ feature, along with the sticker attached which declared ‘new improved fit’.

Well blow me, this very morning in the Telegraph:

Fit to sit

SIR – I have just purchased a new pair of trousers. A label on them says “New and improved fit”.
     Surely this depends on what size and shape the wearer is.
Wendy Breese, Lingfield, Surrey

 


Friday, October 30th

From Keystone Cops to Keyhole Cocks


A COUPLE of Telegraph  clickbaits grabbed me by the short and curlies...
 

Nearly half of men in London feel like crying once a month

                 ☼     ☼     ☼     ☼     ☼

Lesbian couple search for ‘dream’ sperm donor: intelligent, kind and no desire to be a dad

Question Time

Have you noticed over recent times that men and women, in ever increasing numbers, are seemingly finding it more and more difficult to do what comes naturally and mate?

It is as if we homo sapiens are slowly but surely morphing into a third gender, turning asexual, androgynous, neutral, sexless, whatever...

Curiously, the fashion industry appears to have already latched onto this.

Last March I told the tale here on Look You of buying a pack of Y-Front-style underpants.

The fitting was fine, yet the stable door was tiny and it really was a struggle to get the old stallion out. And I have reason to believe ― straight from the mare’s mouth, so to speak ― that I fall snugly into the medium fit category in the work station department.

At the time I put it down to the garments being made in China, where I speculated that, perhaps, they swish about in Mini Coopers rather than Austin-Healey 3000s and E-Type Jags.

And then just last month, I featured a letter spotted in the Telegraph  from a Michael Cattell, who found it a relief to read that men’s chinos from Marks & Spencer had recently been sold with shortened zips and that ― phew! ― he was relieved his anatomy had not shrunk post-retirement.

Anyway, I have just been in Tesco’s looking for a further pack of pants ― or trunks, as we must now call them ― and I suddenly came over all faint...

All panic on the Western Y-Front

Note the service entrance: going for a pee is now a surgical operation

I mean, ‘with keyhole opening’? Do the nation’s men now have such tiny willies that a cat flap will do rather than a stable door? Hm, ‘new improved fit’ indeed.

Do you know, never mind my personal M for Medium handle, I suddenly feel myself coming over all XL.

God, no wonder that lesbian couple is searching for a sperm donor; and that half the men in London want to burst into tears.

  “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr Seuss (American children’s author and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991, born of German immigrants)

          You’re wrong as the deuce
          And you shouldn’t rejoice
          If you’re calling him Seuss.
         
He pronounces it Soice (or Zoice).

Party time

With the fancy dress party season now upon us, I heard a smashing story on Shân Cothi’s morning programme on Radio Cymru, the Welsh language station.

Shân and her guests were discussing fancy dress outfits for children, and one lady in the studio, Mari Gwilym, told the tale of once being a judge at a fancy dress.

There was one boy, about 12-years-of-age, tall, very thin and he was dressed all in green: leotard, leggings, shower cap ― and his face was also painted green. Stuck to his left ear was a green balloon; to his right shoulder another green balloon ― and all the way down his body green balloons on alternating sides.

“And what do you think he was?” Mari Gwilym asked.

Silence from the other guests. “Peas in a pod. He was fantastic, probably the best fancy dress I have ever seen. He was the runaway winner.”

You can actually picture him in that outfit. Very imaginative.
 


Thursday, October 29th

A SMILEY letter in the Western Mail  had me rear-view-mirroring the missive that had triggered the response...

Reporter’s poppy made me see red

SIR – Forget spotting the first cuckoo in spring. That is old hat.
     The new equivalent is what I call The Horatio Bottomley Award for False Patriotism, and it goes to the person who first wears a poppy on TV ... way in advance of the event.
     I want to claim it for the Channel 4 News reporter at 7pm tonight (October 16, for heaven’s sake
!) who determined me never to buy one again.
     He should take a leaf out of his leader’s book: Jon Snow commendably refuses to bow to poppy fascism.
Dai Woosnam, Scartho, Grimsby 

Which drew the following response ― oh, I also juxtapose a rather perfect image newly spotted online...

Early poppies ― and early Christmas gifts

SIR – I am saddened that Mr Dai Woosnam has decided that he will not buy a poppy ever again just because he happened to see a TV reporter wearing one three weeks before Armistice Day.
     Perhaps Mr Woosnam should tell his family and friends they will not be receiving any more presents or cards from him at Christmas time because shops have been putting up their decorations since the end of August
!
David Hullah, Lisvane, Cardiff

Indeed, David Hullah; and television has been running Christmas ads since the beginning of October, perhaps even before.

And then, by coincidence, this letter appeared in The Daily Telegraph:

Poppycock

SIR – I see that the television “poppy police” were out in force this weekend [October 24-25], with virtually everyone on the major channels wearing them ― or should I say, being made to wear them. They even got Formula 1 presenters in a storm-lashed Austin, Texas, to attach them to storm-wear.
     The most bizarre sights have been on BBC’s Countryfile, where farmers herding sheep and presenters in Colwyn Bay hauling in oysters wore a poppy. When presenters went indoors and took off outer clothing the poppy miraculously appeared on a shirt.
     Parts of the programme were clearly filmed weeks ago, so poppies were actually worn in August. I was surprised that sheepdogs, cattle and the sheep weren’t sporting poppies.
     It makes what is a serious charitable occasion seem farcical.
Brian Binns, Loughborough, Leicestershire

Put the Binns out. Well observed, Sir. I did respond to that in a slightly wider context ― it didn’t make the cut...

One man and his papaver rhoeas

Sir – It wasn’t so much that Countryfile’s informative and oh so down-to-earth presenter Adam Henson was wearing a poppy while he and his dog were rounding up the sheep, but the eye-catching nature of his buttonhole. I’ll have one of those, please, Countryfile.
     Be that as it may, what always makes me smile with Countryfile is the purple prose served up at the very beginning of every edition, including that deployed introducing each item ― before the presenters revert to their default common or garden lingo. It is both horrendously and hilariously jarring.
     It sums up the modern BBC to an *: a few highfalutin crumbs of elegance swept off the lowest common denominator table to help fight off the dumbing-down police banging on the door.
HB

Meanwhile, over at The Times:

Be more specific

Sir, Oliver Kamm (The Pedant, Oct 24) rightly reminds us that a word’s meaning is not determined by its etymology, but it can still provide a useful guide.
     Years ago our chief executive presented a document which contained the word “verbal”. I thought there was ambiguity, so I suggested using “oral” instead. He protested that the two were synonymous.
     Before I could explain, one of my colleagues intervened: “No they’re not. Try getting your wife to use a verbal contraceptive and see what happens.” My suggestion was adopted without demur.
Tony Lawton, Skelton, York

Which drew this response:

A simple solution

Sir, There is such a thing as a verbal contraceptive; it is the word “no”.
Michael Bird, London SW13

Ah yes, but every egg would not then be a bird, Michael.

And this, from the Daily Mail, spotted during last week’s state visit to the UK by Chinese President Xi Jinping...

Fair trade

The UK once had Hong Kong. Now China wants the UK.
D Williams, Colchester

And a tweet which juxtaposed perfectly...

@FraserNelson: This is starting to look less like a state visit and more like a landlord’s inspection.

Hm, not so much President Xi Jinping, more President XL Ginseng...

Spell-cheque corner: ‘papaver’, as in ‘One man and his papaver rhoeas’ (One man and his common poppy), came up as ‘palaver’. Indeed to goodness.

 

Wednesday, October 28th
 

X marks the spot … and the firing squad takes aim


WITH David Cameron having already announced that he won’t stand for another term as Prime Minister ― he has probably been offered a plum job in Europe should he keep Britain in the EU ― Chancellor George Osborne was the front runner to be the nation’s next dart board.

Favourite, that is, until the tax credits fiasco, as highlighted yesterday, when the Lords and Lassies of Parliament frustrated his gallop through time and space. And now it looks as if he has well and truly shat on his ambitions.

So that probably means Boris Johnson will come back into the running as favourite for the position of Chief Shitting Bull of the Tory party.

Which raises an intriguing prospect: Labour could well have Jeremy Corbyn leading his troops into the Battle of the Little Bigcommons, with Boris commanding the Conservatives and their scalping knives.

Looking forward to it already...

 

♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫♥♫
Daisy, Daisy, give me your vote please do,
I’m half doolally all for the love of you...

 

 

 

“There are some
things, son, if
you stare too
long at, you’ll
go blind”

Joe Public & Son, the sceptical
man’s Doubting Thomases
 

Jeremy Corbyn, the working
man’s Evil Knievel
 

Boris Johnson, the thinking
man’s Bradley Wiggins
 

☼     ☼     ☼     ☼     ☼


We do indeed live in interesting times.
 

Tuesday, October 27th

The overprivileged in pursuit of the overbearing  
(or, as David Cameron was later to, sort of, suggest)
The unelected in pursuit of the unelectable

THERE was definitely something of the schadenfreude about seeing that pair of familiar political spivs David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne having their balls felt last night.

Oh, and as a bonus, having a few sprags firmly wedged in their wheels following defeats in the House of Lords apropos something magical and mysterious called “tax credit spending”.

Don’t ask, but George Osborne, bless, has vowed to bring spending “under control” despite the government’s defeats.

Peers voted last night to delay the £4.4bn cuts and compensate losers in full. Whatever that means.

Conservative MPs, meanwhile, have continued to express their anger at the House of Lords, accusing it of over-stepping the mark in blocking measures backed by elected MPs. Something which hasn’t happened since man descended from the trees. Apparently.

Downing Street has signalled a review of Lords conventions to address what it says are “constitutional issues”.

It gets better and better.

But as always, the cartoonists sum the whole nonsense up in one. Here’s Adams in The Daily Telegraph, featuring George Osborne speeding into the House of Lords pit lane for a new set of slicks ― and boyoboyo, does this gem deserve to be shared...

Wonderfully smiley, that.

You know how the old saying goes: You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands. If they’re around your throat she’s probably a little upset.

Similarly, you can tell a lot about those in the House of Lords and Lassies by their hands. If they’ve got you by the short and curlies, they’ve definitely got your number, 118.

 “It becomes too confusing having too many houses. It is ridiculous ― you can’t remember where you left your mountain boots.” British violinist and violist Nigel Kennedy, 58, who has just shed one of his properties.

I know the feeling, Nigel. I can never remember where I’ve left things ― and I’ve only got four rooms, seven if you include the kitchen, bathroom and airing cupboard.

  “It becomes too confusing having too many houses. It is ridiculous ― you can’t remember where you left your latest important government policy papers.” Prime Minister David Cameron, 49, on the problems of running the House of Commons, the House of Lords, No 10 Downing Street and Chequers. Allegedly.

God, it’s tough at the top.
 


Monday, October 26th

The Shining example


YESTERDAY I featured the now celebrated IFO (Identified Flying Object), the jumbo ‘Ball in the Wall’ which landed in Old Cardiff Town, Castle Division, to announce the arrival of the Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament in Cardiff (the image is revisited below).

The original plan was for the ball to be taken down following the quarter-finals in Cardiff ― which marked the end of matches played in Wales. However, it has been such a hit that the tournament organisers agreed that it could stay up until the final on October 31, next Saturday.

There are apparently ongoing discussions about what will happen to it after it comes down.

The eye-catching creation is the clever work of South Walian Matt Wild ― no, not Matt the Telegraph cartoonist ― but Matt of Wild Creations.

That inspired flash of jollity has certainly not done his business any harm ― and good luck to him.

As you would expect of such a novel idea, there have been many Photoshopped creations of the ‘Ball in the Wall’ ― and I have just come across a cracker, compliments of a Dafydd Snelling, and it fully deserves to be shared, so here it is, juxtaposed with its inspiration...
 


“Please, can we have our ball back?”


“Here’s Johnny!

Brilliant.

However, and pondering on that marvellous thing we call hindsight...

What would probably have been even more amusing ― given England’s early exit from the tournament at the dreaded pool stage ― if the face of famous English rugby star and now pundit Jonny Wilkinson, the talented outside-half who kicked that last-gasp drop goal to win England the World Cup trophy back in 2003, had been inserted.

And the picture could then have been titled “Where’s Jonny?”

Love is all at the butterfly ball

Talking of the rugby, the World Cup Final is, as mentioned, next Saturday ― which brings me neatly to this newly spotted clickbait:

Now THAT’S a story! Mick Jagger’s model ex Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch ‘romantically involved’

The 84-year-old media mogul and Hall may go public about their alleged relationship at Rugby World Cup Final

Oh dear, I couldn’t stop smiling at the extravagant doolallyness of that clickbait. Who needs situation comedy when there’s stuff like this lurking out there in the bushes and ready to jump out from the shadows and shout “Boo!?

However, I made my excuses and left.

But hang on, what was it Jerry Hall once famously said? “My mother said it was simple to keep a man: you must be a maid in the living room; a cook in the kitchen; and a whore in the bedroom. I said I’d hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.”

Indeed. But always beware of the ‘Best before’ warning. In the living room, the kitchen and  the bedroom.

However, while we await the world premier of The Curious Tale Of The Dirty Digger And The JCB Who Stepped Offside At A Rugger Match’, I tell you what WOULD be a story and a half...!

Media mogul’s ex and ex British PM ‘curiously involved’

The 62-year-old political consultant and Wendi may go public about their tease of a dalliance at Rugby World Cup Third-place Play-off


Well, that  definitely would  be a story and a half.
 

Sunday, October 25th
 


Cardiff Castle’s eye-catching ‘Ball in the Wall’, which
announced the arrival of Rugby World Cup 2015

A you’re adorable, B...

OVER the weekend we enjoyed Rugby World Cup’s semi-finals, dominated by four southern hemisphere countries.

Yesterday, New Zealand defeated South Africa 20-18.

Today, Australia beat Argentina 29-15.

Two results that were a sub-editor’s dream, although I never did see the winners properly in print, so here goes...

               Blacks bash Boks

            Aussies ambush Argies

Yep, I quite like that, even if I say so myself.


Pee S: Apropos the hour change over the weekend, I forgot to mention it yesterday, but on the BBC Wales Today television news, Friday early-evening, the delightfully charming Sue Charles delivering the weather forecast said: “And remember this weekend the cocks ― clocks, go back...”

Now that’s what I call a Freudian slip: “Get back in your box, you beast!

And fair play to Sue, I had a look on her Twitter account and “D’oh!”, she’s taking it all in good part.

But what was she thinking about at the time? Answers on a clock face to BBC Wales weather office.
 


Saturday, October 24th

Click-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

PERUSING The Telegraph’s  online home page this morning, I was greeted by three frontline clickbait features stretched across the top of the page.

On the left was this lead story, awash with alarming consequences for anyone who puts their faith in the security of the love/hate interweb:

TalkTalk accused of ‘cover up’ over cyber attack as customers say accounts were raided before company admitted the hack


Then, on the right of the page, in his usual spot, MATT  the cartoonist:
 

Matt’s traditional gormless-looking husband turns from the computer screen in front of him ― on which we see displayed ‘TalkTalk’ ― to talk to his wife, standing behind him.
In the background the goldfish jumps out of its bowl, and at the man’s feet the dog puts its paw to its forehead in a “D’oh
!” moment. And the man is saying to his wife:
“My password has been hacked. A cyber-jihadi group now knows the name of our pets.”


And stuck in the middle, between the above two features:
 

David Beckham: ‘Of course I take the rubbish out’
Exclusive: Beckham talks parenting, how he handles his children on social media and how his strict upbringing shaped him


Well, well, so that’s why, all those years ago on the football field, our David petulantly kicked out at an Argentinian opponent and earned himself a red card and duly scuppered England’s chances in that 1998 World Cup tournament.

Are we really as gullible as this delightfully doolally Beckham nonsense suggests? Presumably, yes.

Meanwhile, back on the Spivs ‘R’ Us front:

There was a crooked motorist...

Clocking makes a comeback ― and this time it isn’t the car dealer but the car owner turning the clock back

Back in time: Shedding miles from a car’s odometer is simply a matter of plugging in a device these days

Of course, this is the weekend all car dealers traditionally look forward to with unbridled enthusiasm. This is the weekend when they are officially allowed to turn all their clocks back. Boom-boom!

And talking of the clocks going back, as they do tonight, at least here in the UK, I enjoyed this online comment...

Fall back

Eddy: Morning all.

I heard last night that in view of the fragile state of our electrical generating capacity, the clocks will be staying on British Summer Time this winter to give all the solar panels an extra hour’s worth of daylight.

Boom-boom, indeed!


Friday, October 23rd

Health & Safety watch ~ continued

COMING UP, a clutch of clickbaits spotted on the home pages of some of our leading newspapers over just the last couple of days...

Forget red meat ― you’re more likely to get bowel cancer from eating CHOCOLATE

EXCLUSIVE: Leading colorectal surgeon on why he eats meat regularly ― and how sugar is the true culprit

☼     ☼     ☼     ☼     ☼

Revealed: ‘Sugar tax report’ which was suppressed by Government

A secret report calling for a ‘sugar tax’ suggests 4,700 lives could be saved each year ― and £15bn saved by the NHS within a generation


Hm, immortality for 4,700 lucky people each and every year. Are we sure they will not die from something else? Whatever...
 

Jamie Oliver is a patronising bully: a sugar tax would not work

Alex Deane: “A tax on drinks and sweets would only hurt the poor. Politicians should ignore celebrities who want a nanny-state...”


Politicians should ignore celebrities, full stop. And slebs should certainly not appear on Question Time  and sound as if they possess the complete answers to life, the universe and EVERYTHING.

Today’s MATT  cartoon has a newspaper street vendor, and the message on his hold-the-front-page A-board:

                               MARY BERRY MOVED OFFSHORE

Meanwhile, on another front...

Bacon, ham and sausages as ‘big a cancer threat as smoking’, a new report to reveal

World Health Organisation reportedly planning to declare processed meats cancerous

Also, red meat expected to be listed as being probably carcinogenic to humans

☼     ☼     ☼     ☼     ☼

Cheese: the secret to a longer life and faster metabolism?

Scientists may have solved the conundrum of why the French can drink wine and eat lots of cheese ― and still remain slim and healthy

It appears that cheese is an important piece in this puzzle: when you eat cheese, the cheese affects the composition of the bacterial flora in the gut. Cheese also helps to increase your energy consumption...

The French may indeed be slim and healthy, but given how they rebel and demonstrate against anything and everything there is definitely something odd going on compliments of all that wine and cheese.

However, just a couple of clickbaits further down, on the same page...
 

Cheese is addictive as drugs, study finds

Research by University of Michigan finds love of pizza is largely because of cheese 


Ah, the French are drugged to the hilt. Of course.

Oh, and mustn’t forget this little beauty
!
 

Tesco launches Prosecco & Elderberry flavour crisps

Retailing at £1.59, the 150g bagful is said to taste like, Sweet, delicately fragrant elderberry with the festive fizz of Prosecco, according to the packaging. It is part of the Tesco Finest range

And as a wee bonus...

JokerHF of London: “Larks’ Tongue Crisps and Wolf Nipple Chips ... Get ‘em while they’re hot, they’re lovely.”

What was it Sir Thomas Beecham said? “Try everything once except incest and folk dancing.”

And you know my golden rule: everything in moderation, especially sugar, chocolate, bacon, ham, sausage, red meat, cheese, pizza, Prosecco and Elderberry flavour crisps...

Sorted.

The absolute doolallyness of life this side of the black hole continues unabated...

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Prosecco’ came up as ‘Prosecute’. And I guess anyone coming up with Prosecco & Elderflower flavour crisps does tempt prosecution.
 


Thursday, October 22nd
 

Where sheep may safely spend a penny

“I wonder who would want to live in Pidley Sheep Lane. I
photographed it while visiting Huntingdonshire.”
Mary
Hobhouse of Somerset, in a letter to the Telegraph

Piddly-squat

Anyone familiar with sheep will have observed that when you walk through a field of the creatures ― and you  are unfamiliar to the flock ― they spontaneously squat and have a quick pee before hurriedly moving away and handing over the security detail to the ram.

It is nature’s default territorial marker...

Observations from Llanpidley, deep in the heart of the Towy Valley

Mum arches and marks her territory while young Tommy, he
of the distinctively marked bum, figures out what 2+2 =

While this mum has seen it all before, the two young ewe
 lambs do what comes naturally and become pee artists

Away with you

So, perusing Exhibits A and B, as featured above, I take it as read that Pidley Sheep Lane translates from Ye Olde English as “Proceed with caution”.

Actually, the name of the village of Pidley, where said sheep strut their stuff down the lane, originally meant ‘Woodland clearing of a man called Pyda’  (according to a Dictionary of British Place-Names). Sadly though, the background and roots of the name Pyda  are lost in the annals of time.

Meanwhile a few more letters of interest apropos curious street names...

How Anita came to be born in Sanitary Street  

SIR – Proud of its sewers, the Victorian Manchester Corporation chose the name Sanitary Street in honour of a particularly grand water system nearby.
     In the 1970s the then local council decided that the name no longer reflected the glory of the city. So it cropped the name, fore and aft, and it is now Anita Street.
John Holland, Dovercourt, Essex

Say again

SIR – It should also be noted that there are many places which have names susceptible to mispronunciation.
     In the nearby village of Cromhall, where I lived for many years, there is Cowship Lane, a name that seems to be misheard by most non-locals.
Dave Winter, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire

Keep it clean

SIR – We have a Mucky Dick Lane. Any suggestions for a change of name?
Jane Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire

Well, remembering the old saying ‘Where there’s muck there’s money’, or more correctly ‘Where there’s muck there’s brass’ as they say in Yorkshire, I guess you could go with the name Richard’s Yellow Brick Road.

 

Wednesday, October 21st

Benchmark

Council officials remove a series of comedy plaques boasting clever subliminal messages fixed to street benches

Although the little signs ― as featured alongside ― were created to bring a smile to shoppers’ faces, the council are not amused

The plaques were put up in protest to Cheshire West and Chester City council’s plans to introduce a Public Space Protection Order, to address antisocial behaviour issues in the local area

This delightfully amusing little tale gave me extra pleasure because, back in the day, I spent a couple of enjoyable years working out of Chester, a handsomely distinctive city where I serendipitously befriended some exceedingly entertaining lads and lasses.

Life was indeed a laugh a minute. Often two.

Meanwhile, on the backbenches, another plaque which could so easily be spotted in Parliament, reads:

‘If you shut your eyes for more than ten seconds whilst on this bench, you may be deemed asleep, and risk facing an ASBO [Anti-Social Behaviour Order]’

A slightly more light-hearted offering says:

‘This bench is dedicated to the men who lost the will to live whilst following their partners around the shoe shops of Chester.’

That is quite funny because one of the things Chester is world-famous for is its shopping Rows.

Chester Rows consist of continuous half-timbered covered walkways or galleries at the first floor, behind which are entrances to shops and other premises. At street level is another set of shops and premises, many of which are entered by going down a few steps.

A double-decker shopping experience is how I would describe it.

The Rows, found in each of the four main streets of the city are unique; nothing precisely similar exists anywhere else in the world.

Wonderfully distinctive are the Chester Rows. I recall them with affection.

Final warning

While on the subject of notices, I stumble over this smiley caution, compliments of the interweb...

Sign Language: Douse rules

Spotted at Southmead Hospital, Bristol
 


Tuesday, October 20th
 

Fast reverse to the past

Amazon review of a novelty horse’s head goes viral after

customer posted a curious comment involving his wife

The plastic head ― pictured alongside and designed to be part of a Halloween outfit or pantomime costume, one of many similar items on sale on the Amazon website ― became a huge subject of interest after an intriguing comment left in the reviews section back in 2013 suddenly remounted and galloped down the home straight

The review of the horse’s head posted on Amazon has now been read by millions of people around the world, and here it is ― ta-dah...!


                                                  
 

Well, I think I have the answer: Ghoekstra ( Go the Extra Foot or So?) should only be allowed to wear a horse’s head naked if all the girls insist on coming round for a quick look and demanding a selfie ― oh, and a picture...

 

The angle of dangle, etc., etc...

“Honestly, Clarissa, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
“I know, I wouldn’t mind finding his head on my pillow in the morning.”
 


Monday, October 19th

EVEN though distracted over the weekend by the rugby, a clickbait did catch my eye...

15 minutes of infamy

Woman GP who caned tycoon lover in ’50 Shades of Grey sex game’ cleared of assault

Elvira Blakemore, whose lover called 999 after being left bleeding after spanking session, is acquitted by jury at Croydon Crown Court after only 15 minutes

And then, the following day:

Tycoon a ‘laughing stock’ after GP girlfriend’s spanking session left

him calling 999

I am hardly ever lost for words, but this tale with a twist in its tail comes pretty damn close.

What a wimp of a tycoon. I mean, if you can’t stand the welts stay out of the theatre of operation.

Many a time I was sent to the headmaster’s study for six-of-the-best, but imagine being sent to stand outside the doctor’s surgery for sex-of-the-best.

And goodness me, how Dr Blakemore must be having her leg pulled ― or whatever it is doctors and nurses do to each other behind our backs. And their backs.

While on the subject of sex, I laughed out loud at this reader comment spotted in the Telegraph:

Lights, camera, action!

Bob of Bonsall: I think the Daily Mail will have a few disappointed on-line readers today with their report of Dawn French’s admission that she’s never had sex with the light off: "Speaking to The Times Magazine, the 58 year-old star defiantly revealed that she has never had sex with the light off ... scroll down for video…"

Sadly, the video referred to is only of the interview.

Very funny, that. And sticking to today’s guidelines, here’s one for the road...
 

  “I reckon porn gives kids an unrealistic idea of what it’s like to be a plumber.” Lee Nelson, 38, comedian and serial prankster, whose real name is Simon Brodkin (perhaps he keeps his proper name for his plumbing duties).

Whatever, Lee Nelson was involved in what must come close to the picture of the year, when he stormed a Fifa press conference a few months back and showered Sepp Blatter with loads and loads of money.

Remember this?

Fi-fa-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of a Footieman;
Be he straight, or be he bent,
I’ll grind his cash until it’s spent...

(With apologies to Mother Goose, who laid the Golden Footie)


Lee Nelson later revealed that the cash used was REAL ― and police
gave it all back to him ... he may be charged with trespassing though
!
 


Saturday/Sunday, October 17th/18th


4.00pm, Saturday (the first of the weekend’s Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-finals is about to kick off): Did you hear the one about the Englishman who walks into a bar? I know, I know, he’s usually accompanied by an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman ― but they’re all still at the World Cup!
 

6.00pm, Saturday:
 

       South Africa 23 – 19 Wales

Turn out the lights, the party’s over ... well, it was fun while it lasted, but Wales, fair play, did put up a worthy fight, even if eventually they were out-gunned by a more physical Springbok side.

But if you can’t beat ‘em ― break open the champagne anyway. Oh, and at least Wales won’t have to face New Zealand next weekend. Phew².
 

3.00pm, Sunday: Ireland were surprisingly well-beaten by Argentina 20 – 43.

6.00pm, Sunday: Poor old Scotland, a magnificent performance against Australia ― but beaten 35 - 34 at the death by what looked like a truly dodgy penalty decision by the ref, which he surprisingly did not refer to the video ref for ratification given its critical importance to the outcome.

7.00pm, Sunday: An Englishman, an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman walk into a bar ... “What’s all this then?” asks the barman, who boasts an English grandfather and Irish grandmother on his father’s side, and a Scottish grandfather and Welsh grandmother on his mother’s side, “some kind of sick joke?”.

 

Friday, October 16th

TODAY, compliments of a Sign Language gallery, I stumble upon a couple of twin towns.

Well, I say towns...

A place where you should never rush to arrive

And you certainly shouldn’t be in a hurry to leave

 

Word foreplay – 1

The small village of Climax, Saskatchewan, Canada, is located just north of the U.S. border, and has a population of 82, at least according to the 2012 census.

The town features in the board game Trivial Pursuit, which asks what features on the reverse of the town welcome sign; the answer is:

                      “Come again!

Climax is found on latitude 49.20ºN.

Meanwhile, over here in Wales...

Barmouth, on the north-west coast, is found on latitude 52.75ºN.

In other words, you can hardly slide a condom between their laid-back latitudes and attitudes ― which neatly brings me to...

 
 

Service with a smile, a nod and a wink a speciality

If you see a ‘C’ near the sea at Barmouth ... Si?
Spotted in Barmouth by Charles Henshaw

 

Word foreplay – 2

The town centre eatery, originally named Carousel Café, shot to fame ― or infamy ― in recent years when the letter ‘C’ was stolen soon after the sign was put up. The owner attempted to replace the ‘C’ letter, only to find it missing again the following day.

However, the result generated so much interest and amusing comment ― not to mention free publicity ― the owner decided ... well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em ― and the Arousal Café became an immaculate conception.

Mind you, the original name, Carousel Café, was quite distinctive.

Do you suppose it was all a very clever marketing ploy in the first place? Full marks if it was.

Yes, you can’t beat the little things for putting a smile on our faces.

Oh yes, I was curiously amused by the sign in the window, bottom right: “NO PUBLIC TOILETS”.

Spell-cheque corner: ‘Barmouth’ came up as ‘Badmouth’. Honestly. It would never cross my imagination to come up with such a glorious first-choice alternative.
 

 

Thursday, October 15th

♫  My, my, my, Delilah

TOM JONES is currently touring the country to promote his new autobiography ― Tom Jones: Over The Top And Back ― and latest album ― Long Lost Suitcase.

Two intriguing titles to say the least.

Whatever, his third tour date was at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, and here is the opening snatch of the Western Mail’s review of that performance as penned by one Karen Price...

Sir Tom dazzles his home crowd

STANDING in the middle of the stage, Sir Tom Jones is in full flow as he recalls one of his recent transatlantic telephone conversations with wife Linda.

          Linda: “So you’re not going to do The Voice again then?”

          Tom: “I don’t have the option really ― I’ve been replaced by Boy George.”

          Linda: “I hope you didn’t go off on one.”

          Tom: “I said how much I liked his records.”

          Linda: “You didn’t have to go that far!


Taking the Mickey

Talking of reviews, last night the television series The Apprentice returned. Excepting brief snatches as I zap through the channels, I’ve never watched the programme.

Fantasmagorical

Baron Sugar of Tate & Lyle fires up an apprentice

Two Lumps or three?

Whenever I see the presenter Alan Sugar I am overwhelmed with a need to give him a good slap, metaphorically speaking of course. I mean, I don’t know him personally, and for all I know he’s a pussycat.

However, on television he exudes a persona that only a mother could possibly embrace and love.

Yesterday though, I read a preview of the show in The Sunday Times  TV & Radio Guide, a piece penned by Victoria Segal. So here we go...

PICK OF THE DAY

The Apprentice
(BBC1, 9pm)

“I want the cars, I want the girls, but most of all I want the power,” declares one of this year’s contestants, proving that Labour peer Lord Sugar’s boardroom is not yet a Corbynesque idyll of co-operation and compassion.

Another awakens every morning “with a surge of energy around my body because I want to be a global phenomenon”.

A third announces that they are “a captain at the front of a cavalry charge. I race forward and people follow”.

Merely describing yourself as “disgustingly ambitious” seems quite sweet after that. Once the viewer’s hate glands have been primed, the contest can begin, with the teams this week heading to Billingsgate fish market at dawn to buy seafood that they can turn into fast-food lunches for office workers and tourists...

Goodness, no wonder I never watch the programme. But how would I fit in?

Well I wanted the car (tick: I owned a series of sports cars from age 18 to 35); I wanted the girls (sort of tick: but serendipity was looking the other way because I never found one to settle down with ― but that’s okay, no complaints); and I wanted the power (tick: but just to plug things in to).

Apropos the rise-and-shine contestant, I awaken every morning with a hop, a skip and a jump (and as it happens, the only slice of school sports I was any good at), and I like to think there’s a little ball bouncing along above my head (but only others can offer up an opinion on that).

As to the captain leading the cavalry charge ... the first thing that came to mind was George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn ― and we all know what happened there. I see myself as more a Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull type than a Custer.

And I don’t think that would amuse old Sugar and Splice and all things Spivey.
 


Wednesday, October 14th

Yogi Berra bears his wit

A FEW weeks back, Yogi Berra, a famous American professional baseball catcher, manager and coach ― a legendary character with a memorable turn of phrase and quotable wit ― died aged 90.

Here are just a few of his many quotes:

         
You can observe a lot by just watching.

          In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

          You should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t come to yours.
               (I’ve repeated that myself, but had no idea where it came from.)

          I never said most of the things I said.

          You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.

          It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

          When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

And perhaps his most oft quoted sporting observation:

         
It ain’t over till it’s over.

Yogi would have been a wow on Twitter. But before leaving him to the worms ― or not as the case may be ― I thoroughly enjoyed this Telegraph  letter in the wake of his death:

Last orders

SIR – To add to your obituary of Yogi Berra, we should remember the great man’s response when, some years ago, his wife asked him if he wanted to be buried or cremated.
          “Surprise me,” he replied. Let’s hope he gets his wish.
Pete Clark, Brighton, East Sussex

Hence leaving him to the worms ― or not.

Talking of surprise...

Cameron will write to Saudis to plead for British grandfather, 74, to be spared 350 lashes after he was caught with homemade wine in car

Drug use, adultery, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable with death in the hard-line Sunni nation. Saudi Arabia’s human rights record attracts criticism for the hundreds of beheadings, mutilations and floggings it carries out every year

I happened to catch a slice of a radio phone-in about grandfather Karl Andree ― he has worked in Saudi for 25 years and is currently just coming to the end of a 12-month jail sentence for said alcohol transgression before being politely instructed to bend over.

The overwhelming observations from those Brits who have worked and lived in Saudi Arabia was that the rules are made crystal clear and you have to abide by them, otherwise it gives a whole new meaning to going out on the lash.

The feeling was that this fellow was actually making a delivery of his homemade wine (probably for profit) when he was stopped. Silly boy, was the general consensus.

One caller said that, like Karl Andree, he had worked in Saudi for many years, and strictly kept to the rules because of the well-documented consequences.

In fact, he added, there is one infamous location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, where the public executions, mutilations and floggings are carried out ― and everybody knows it as Chop-Chop Corner.

And folk still stick two fingers up at the law of that eccentric world? 

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice, grabbing a bottle with the words ‘DRINK ME’  beautifully printed on it in large letters. “Ah well,” shrugged Alice, “just one for the road then...”
 


Tuesday, October 13th

Bits and pieces

  “Go, if you believe that one beautifully, thoughtfully poetically created mouthful is worth an entire bottle of inferior quality. Above all, go if, like me, you believe that wine is the soul of every meal.” Actress Emma Thompson, 56, warns visitors invited to her home not to arrive with a cheap bottle of plonk.

Ah yes, knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Imagine the disaster if you turned up at Emma’s with a bottle from Lidl, the discount supermarket (which was last year, as it happens, crowned the best supermarket for wine).

Indeed, and as confirmed in this recently spotted headline in The Guardian: “Who’d have thought Lidl is the best place to go for Burgundy bargains?”

But don’t go to Lidl if you’re heading for Emma’s. And on that subject...

Every day a day at school spot

Novinophobia: The fear of running out of wine.

Emmavinophobia: The fear of inadvertently arriving at Emma Thompson’s with a bottle of Lidl plonk.

Going viral (compliments of The Sunday Times)

Imgur: Wall to wall humour

Clive the Carpet was the toast of cyberspace last week after a pun-filled exchange with a possible suitor on Tinder: “I’m just a carpet called Clive looking to get laid without being walked all over,” he told members of the dating website. (Likes: vacuuming, shampooing. Dislikes: red wine, dirty shoes.)

Matched with...

Carpet: “Oh hey, a match, sweet. I’ve just been laying around all day feeling flat so this is nice...”

Clive the Carpet: “So are we gonna talk about your flaws, or are we gonna sweep them all under the rug?”

Carpet: “Look, normally I’d be happy to but I’m feeling a little worn out right now...”

So I made my excuses and left them to get a grip and hopefully get underlaid.

Oh, and I enjoyed this quote found wandering in cyberspace...

  Elaine Ferguson: “The best thing about the new 5p plastic bag charge is that the cupboard next to my sink is now worth £672,348.05.”

Politics, especially Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn, still in the news. This snippet from The Sunday Times...

Argie-bargie

Only one truly international policy has emerged from the political conference season: the Official Monster Raving Loony party might hold its next gathering in the US. “Our American branch in Tallahassee has invited us there,” reveals party leader “Howling Laud” Hope.

Once in Florida, delegates can assess the impact of the party’s radical new ideas on defence: “Keep the Falklands and give Jeremy Corbyn to the Argentinians.”

Next, the Arab Spring thingy morphing into a Nuclear Winter problem solve-ed (as Inspector Clouseau would say): Hand over a gift-wrapped Tony Blair to IS.

Sorted.
 

Monday, October 12th

Just two of my favourite sayings

A BRACE of maxims regularly mentioned in dispatches came to mind today. Both are dictums that have actually been said to me in person, rather than something I’ve picked up in the media or overheard down the Crazy Horsepower Saloon.

And both feature in today’s smile of the day.

It’s a kind of magic

Listening to Vanessa Feltz’ early-morning Radio 2 show today, in particular ‘The dilemma is in the ditty’ spot where she invites listeners to respond to a line from a particular song ... well, today it was Queen and ‘Who wants to live forever?’.

Now there goes a ditty I can’t ever remember hearing before. Or if I have it never registered because, well, I can’t say that it leaves its mark on my hard drive’s jukebox. Which is unusual for a Queen song.

Be that as it may, I was unable to respond to Vanessa’s dilemma, but if I had I would have shared probably the most memorable thing ever said directly to me.

More moons ago than I care to remember I fondly recall one day this old boy, a local farmer, who I enjoyed having chats with at the Crazy Horse (as it then was), and he said to me as he left the pub: “May you live forever and die suddenly.”

Now how wonderful is that? To live to a grand old age, while enjoying good health, obviously ― and then when the time comes you simply plop off your perch without fuss or bother to anyone.

Now that would definitely be a kind of magic.

Seeing is believing

My second favourite saying also goes back a long, long way and involved yet another farmer, curiously, who told me: “Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see.”

Now what he was referring to was the idle gossip we hear in the pub or in the corner shop, not to mention what our politicians and the media say and show us.

Well, I have just spotted what must be one of the most revealing photographs ever.

Still living in the moment: Elderly woman pictured at a premiere becomes an online
hero ― because she was the only one NOT taking a picture of Johnny Depp


15/09/2015: Image captured in Boston at the premiere of Black Mass, an American
crime film starring Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch

Now doesn’t that say everything about society’s addiction to observing life through the lens of a camera rather than experiencing the moment in reality and relying on the brain to capture and relive the moment.

I was quite taken by this online comment:

Kate, New England, United States: Awww shucks. She’s so cute. It’s sad though, that a person savouring a moment first-hand instead of being glued to a smartphone is so shocking that it makes international news.
     I despise smartphones. My husband has one for his job (it wasn’t a choice, his boss makes him keep it for emailing clients), but he rarely uses all the ‘smart’ features.
     I refuse to get one. I’m 29 and the only other people I know who don’t have one are my grandparents and my father-in-law. If that makes me a Luddite, so be it.
     I think computers are great, but they shouldn’t be affixed to our bodies 24/7.


Hear, hear.

Oh, and then this comment:

Old School Woman, Elizabeth, United States: The picture is not from Johnny Depp’s premier. It was a picture of people waiting to see the POPE
!!

Many people said something similar about the subject matter actually being the Pope rather than Johnny Depp.

However, a look at a gallery of pictures from the Depp premier, including images where the celebs are talking to and taking selfies with the crowd, the background, and critically the railing on which the old lady is leaning, is identical to images at the premier.

My guess is that people have seen the words ‘Black Mass’ and have concluded that it was a visit by the Pope. Which I must admit deserves a special award for lateral thinking.

But anyway, back with ‘believe nothing you hear and only half what you see’. I first heard it long before the arrival of computers, digital cameras and Photoshop. These days it is impossible to tell whether any picture in a newspaper or online is actually what the camera captured, rather than an image that has been manipulated in some way.

Then there is the question of whether a seemingly spontaneous photograph has been set up.

For example, that marvellous picture up there ... to be totally cynical, an observant person or professional photographer would have registered that at any premier or event where celebrities gather, then everyone present in the madding crowd is going to have a camera of sorts. That’s the way of the modern world.

So possibly he or she could have told the old lady ― perhaps it’s the photographer’s mother or grandmother ― to just lean on the railings and, well, look all casual and laid-back ― click!

That doesn’t take away from the picture because of the message it so brilliantly conveys ― see what Kate says up there.

But you see where I’m going with this, that it’s now impossible to tell how totally genuine or spontaneous any photograph is.

Today, that farmer would probably have said to me: “Believe nothing you hear or see.” Which is alarmingly sad.

Here endeth the hopefully entertaining and enlightening lesson in cynicism.
 


Sunday, October 11th

Phew and not far enough between

LAST Wednesday we all shared a bit of a ‘Phew, that was bloody close’ moment when I reported, compliments of the Telegraph  online home page, this: ‘The end of the world ― live: Chris McCann, leader of the eBible Fellowship, believes the world will be annihilated by a great fire today. Stay tuned...’

Thankfully, God had clearly spotted what the Devil was up to and made sure he had his jumbo extinguisher handy.

Now I learn this:

Nasa confirms giant asteroid missed Earth in ‘near-miss’ ― at a distance of 15m miles

All-clear amid fears asteroid 8666 was headed right for us

Thankfully, God had again clearly spotted what the Devil was up to and had snookered him to make sure his little ball missed its target.

How interesting though that the asteroid number ended with 666. These things are getting too close for comfort.

Mention of 666 with its association to the Beast of Revelation, what a strange day Super Sporting Saturday turned out to be...

5/10

Wales lose 15-6 to Australia in the rugby ― a remarkable defensive effort from the Aussies ― but Wales are still through to a quarter-final spot, albeit against South Africa who probably exorcised their Beast in their hold-the-front-page loss to Japan.

And then in football, Wales lose 2-0 to Bosnia-Herzegovina ― but are still through to next year’s European finals in France because Cyprus defeated Israel 2-1 and so eliminated a significant ambush contender in the race for qualification.

Hence the 5-out-of-10 mark. After all, 5/10 is a 50 per cent score, and when I was in school, 50 per cent was a pass mark. Just.

It’s a weird but wonderful world out there. And as mentioned yesterday, much too stressful from a sporting point of view for my liking.

However, before leaving God and His so-far excellent all-round defensive work leading up to this fine Sunday morning...

@vodkaboris: “I divide opinion like Moses divided the Red Sea.” Robbie Savage [Welsh football pundit and former player] pulling out an excellent Accidental Partridge [A-ha!].
 


Saturday, October 10th

Day of the Dragon

IT’S one of those super stressful days. Yes, sport has a lot to answer for. To quote Carolyn Hitt in today’s Western Mail:

And in a potentially magical moment of sporting serendipity, the fortunes of one-time classmates Sam Warburton (rugby) and Gareth Bale (football) collide today as we gaze at the oval ball in Twickenham ― Wales vs Australia ― and then three hours later the round ball in Zenica ― Wales vs Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In rugby’s World Cup, both Wales and Australia have qualified from the so-called ‘group of death’ for a quarter-final spot (at the expense of England), but meet late-afternoon to decide who tops the group for a perceived easier route through the knockout stages (‘perceived’ being the operative word because in one-off knockout encounters, anything can happen).

And then in football, a draw tonight between Wales and Bosnia-Herzegovina will be enough to cement a place at next year’s European finals in France, the first time since 1958 that Wales’s footballers will have represented the nation at a major tournament.

And the Welsh soccer lads do have the luxury of one more home game against Andorra next Tuesday night to make their point.

In the meantime, I shall go and lie down in a darkened room until kick-offs/kicks-off(?).

 

Friday, October 9th

Oo’er missus, I know what you’ve been up to

Or rather, I know who’s been up to you, oo’er!

Tup-aware party time

YES, it’s that time of year when the rams have their wicked ways with all the girls.

During the tupping season the farmers use something called ‘Ram Marking Crayons’, these days an essential management tool (no pun intended, honest).

Harnesses are fitted to the rams’ chests, which are loaded with coloured crayons, so, if a ewe has been ‘covered’ by the ram it leaves its tell-tale mark ― as perfectly highlighted above (and I like the arrow on the ewe’s side which clearly says ‘THIS WAY’). 

Just occasionally, traditional raddle is still used as a marker but it tends on the messy side and has to be re-applied to the ram two to three times a week to be completely effective; crayons though, under average conditions, will last approximately two weeks. 

Several rams will run with the flock, so allocating a different marker crayon colour to each ram shows which of the lads are doing the business, and which of the ewes any particular ram has served.  If a ram has not marked any ewes this could indicate potential fertility problems.

Similarly, ewes not bearing a mark may not have taken to the ram and are possibly barren, and to cut the costs of housing and/or feed over the winter months these ewes tend to be quickly sold off.

By using crayon colours in sequence, it is possible to identify when ewes will lamb and group them accordingly, hugely helpful during the lambing season especially as these days lambing happens mostly indoors. 

The colouring book advice is to start with paler coloured crayons first, such as yellow ― and then darker crayons for subsequent cycles.

And here endeth today’s hanky-panky lesson.

However, just when you thought you’d heard the last of all this tupping and rutting and bonking business, and it’s safe to come out from behind the sofa ... a couple of online rut-baits spotted today, in the Telegraph  if memory serves...

 

Duchess of Rutland ‘falls in love with the estate manager at Belvoir Castle’

Emma Rutland is said to be in a relationship with Phil Burtt, who was originally hired by the duke and duchess as shoot manager

Clearly, Phil let her have it with his Burtt-Beretta 686 Onyx Pro Over & Under Trap Shotgun.
 

Millionaire hedge fund manager kicked out of home by ‘Slovakian gardener’

David Gorton, 52, carried out of Norfolk holiday home after he allegedly grabbed ex-wife Yalda Gorton by the hair

Hm, hair today, gone tomorrow.

God, it’s all happening out there, what? Do you suppose they all had harnesses fitted with coloured crayons inserted?

And where’s Lady Chatterley when you need her?
 


Thursday, October 8th

Once more unto the breach, dear friends

THANK goodness, all present and correct after yesterday’s scare, the end of the world and all that jazz.

Talking about the end of the world ... I have mentioned before a social conversation from many moons ago with a doctor pal, a chat which followed news of a poor fellow who had died of a heart attack in the back of his car atop a local mountain while hanky-pankying with his fancy lady friend.

I duly remarked that it was a rather spectacular, even agreeable, way to meet one’s Maker ― but my heart naturally went out to the woman caught in such a desperately embarrassing and impossible situation.

My doctor pal agreed ― but added: “Actually, you’d be surprised how many men do die while having sex, but the public at large never hear about it because it happens either at home or at a hotel where it isn’t obvious how all the drama unfolded. And it’s not something you discuss at a coffee morning.”

Funnily enough, and around that time, there had been a couple of such high-profile deaths in Cardiff. One was a politician who came to a sticky end at a massage parlour (nudge-nudge, wink-wink, know what I mean, chief ― and all that stuff).

The other was a man who died at his home following a visit from a lady of the night. As I recall the news story at that time, the girl had naturally panicked and ran away, but the police quickly established what had happened and traced her.

The police were not particularly interested in why she had been there, just the sequence of events, so nothing came of it as far as she was concerned, but it must have been a horrible experience for the poor thing.

Whenever I now hear of a relatively young and fit man dying suddenly, especially while on holiday, I can’t help but think along the above lines.

Anyway, I smiled when I read this letter in The Times:

Climactic ending

Sir, On the topic of sex and heart attacks (“Sex after a heart attack? Just what the doctor orders”, Sept 22) at my late stage in life I have long given up on sex, lacking confidence in my ability to distinguish an orgasm from a heart attack.
Professor Craig Sharp, Birmingham

Well said, Prof, I know the feeling.

Another curious story over recent days has been The Great British Bake Off reaching orgasm ― oops, climax. The final was last night, although I did not watch it.

However, a few days ago there was an intriguing clickbait ― all you need remember is that the series and the final were filmed several months ago.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes investigating BBC’s Great British Bake Off insider betting allegations

Great British Bake Off betting may be banned after suspicious activity over this year’s final

The Great British Rake Off

I never tire of pointing out what a truly doolally nation we really are. I mean, bookies complain about production staff and participants placing multi-bets on a television event where the winner is already known. God, I would plonk my shirt on it if I knew the winner.

Perhaps the BBC is correct with its all-embracing policy of dumbing-down and child-like obsession with chucking obscenity at everything that is not particularly funny, entertaining or informative.

Messrs Hall, Cohen and Yentob, the top three Mucketeers at the BBC, say so much more about the state of the nation and its soiled underwear that Messrs Cameron, Corbyn and McCluskey (Unite union baron Len McCluskey, known as Unite & Divide).

 

Wednesday, October 7th

A couple of Telegraph  clickbaits spotted today, juxtaposed rather perfectly, I thought, in this gloriously doolally world of ours...
 

The end of the world ― live

Chris McCann, leader of the eBible Fellowship, believes the world will be ‘annihilated’ by a great fire today. Helena Horton is on hand to live-blog the end---

Landlord refused a drink in his own seaside pub at

11.10pm returns to bulldoze it at 1am

Police say they are powerless to charge Mark Swistun, 45, with wrecking The Royal Oak in Penclawdd, Gower ― because he owns it

Yep, whom the gods wish to destroy, etc...

Well, I guess I’d better get a few quick smiles in before someone lights the blue touchpaper and we disappear in great balls of fire. Jerry Lee, where are you when we need you?

On the right wavelength

Listening to Vanessa Feltz on the wireless this morning, ‘The dilemma is in the ditty’ spot was Fairport Convention’s Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

Hm, I’m not sure. All I know is that, these days, it flies ― I know not where ― even when I’m not having fun, especially so with the end of the world looming live---

But the marvellous thing about the wireless is that spelling is an irrelevance. Hence this excellent response: “I know where the thyme goes. It goes between the parsley and the basil.”

Of course: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, compliments of Simon and Garfunkel.

Tory! Tory! Tory!

I mentioned yesterday London Mayor Boris Johnson’s speech at the Tory conference. Now Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn has come in for much joshing apropos his somewhat eccentric dress sense, in particular his love of vests.

Well, Boris described the London Labour party thus:

   “Trots and militants with vested interests and indeed interesting vests.”

Ho, ho, ho. As always, BoJo goes down a storm with the delegates. And I particularly enjoyed this quote about Boris (source unknown):

   “I am reminded of a line of Julian Critchley’s (1930-2000, a Tory politician) who said this about Tory grandee Michael Heseltine, another crowd favourite: ‘He knows how to find the clitoris of the Conservative Party’.”

What a glorious line. I must find a way to use a variation on the theme in conversation down at the Crazy Horsepower Saloon.

Before I leave politics, I enjoyed this Telegraph  letter:

Shares and share alike

SIR – I suppose the Corbyn line that “Tories are people who have a lot and want to keep it all” could be countered with: “Socialists are people with nothing who want to share it with everyone.”
Peter Stevenson, Poole, Dorset 

And one parting tweet...

@WillHeaven: Fairly sure now that Tony Blair will be voting Tory in 2020.

Yes, the end of the world is nigh---
 


Tuesday, October 6th

Health check watch ~ continued

Losing weight was easier in the 1980s than it is now

Scientists say people 30 years ago could eat more and exercise less and still keep the weight off

But curiously, nobody appears to know precisely why that is so. Personally, I blame the switch from Imperial to Metric. I mean, 12½ stone is so much easier to manage than 80 kilograms. However...

  “You live longer under the Tories my friends.” Mayor of London Boris Johnson told the Conservative party conference today that the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor is narrowing.

Trust old BoJo to come out with that great line (and statistically true during his period as Mayor, apparently ― but you know what they say about statistics). Meanwhile, back on the healthy diet front, this gloriously smiley tale, compliments of Mail Online:

Furious fast food customer posts picture of his KFC Rice Box
next to an ad showing what his meal SHOULD look like


♫♫♫  Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken ... the £6.09 meal should contain rice,
bean salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and said chick, chick, chick, etc...

 

Fantasy vs reality at KFC

The furious fast food customer, from the UK, posted the picture on image-sharing site Imgur to highlight the differences between the advertised meal and the version which he purchased.

Writing on Reddit, user ‘atheistlee’ said: “It cost me £6.09. I don’t expect it to look perfect, but I do expect more than a tiny scoop of rice and half a chicken breast.”

And looking as if the cat’s been sick all over it, I might add.

Also, that’s what tends to happen when you label yourself an atheist, dear Lee. God will invariably be looking the other way at critical moments, especially when ordering stuff at KFC.

However, here are a few comments that were rather tasty...

Kipper Harris, Leeds: Who goes to KFC and gets a ‘Rice Box’? Man up and get a bucket ― they never disappoint.

Spirit of Liberty, Sweden: Oestrogenic chicken, mash from flaked stabilized starch, hydrogenated palm oil kept warm under infrared radiation for a few hours before you buy. Bon appétit.

JAFGIB, Neverland, UK: Obviously it’s never gonna look like it does in the picture, but still, WOW, that really does look horrible.


Wonderful observations, especially that last comment. Indeed, few things in life, JAFGIB, are quite like wot it says and looks like on the box.

Except, I guess, the last box we experience. Then we can be as sure as sure can be that if your name is on that box...

Mind you, there have been a few tales of the unexpected over recent years of people waking up after being put in a coffin.

Oh dear, best not to think about it, methinks.
 

 

Monday, October 5th

Eliza and Ezra nip behind the stables for a quickie

You show me yours and I’ll show you mine
“I still prefer horses to human beings.” Steven Patrick Morrissey aka singer Morrissey

 

Lost in a list

“Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.”

A quick peep, a flash even, through slightly parted fingers from behind the sofa, at a snatch of 56-year-old singer Morrissey’s fictional debut in the List of the Lost.

“Without exaggeration, this is the worst novel I can remember reading,” writes Theo Tait in a Sunday Times  review. “Pretentious, but sub-literate, it is gibberish, from beginning to end. Morrissey’s disjointed, stylistically inept first attempt at writing a novel is a complete catastrophe...”

Hm, so Theo was not exactly impressed then. And I enjoyed this line from his review: “...a riot of free-associative riffs and unfortunate puns: ‘Whoever put the pain in painting had also put the fun in funeral’.”

Actually, I rather like that line. But, context is everything, as I once read somewhere. And what was it Miss Piggy is supposed to have said? Pretentious, moi?

 

If the photo fits

Well, I had a lot of fun looking for a picture to fit the Morrissey sex scene featured above, a fictional copulation which has already become an internet sensation ― and there it is, the photo on today’s welcome mat, a rather entertaining image I captured in the Towy Valley along one of my misty sunrise walks.

The filly was clearly in the market for a quick one-two behind the shed, and the young colt was obviously feeling his way around things, in particular seeking that “otherwise central zone”.

Looking at that colt ... God, it takes me back to my own learning curve behind the wood shed, I can tell you.

Oh yes, I noted online a line about the List of the Lost, this time from The Guardian:  “The publishers should be ashamed of themselves.”

And this by Michael Hann: “An unpolished turd.”

I think that is a posh way of saying; “A riff of diarrhoea.”

Or, as they say down the Crazy Horsepower Saloon: “A load of old horse shit.”

But I bet the novel sells like crazy. And why not?

Finally, a real life Morrissey quote: “I do maintain that if your hair is wrong, your entire life is wrong.”

Actually, my mother insisted that if your boots are wrong, your entire life is wrong. Yes, like all mums she insisted that we start at the ground floor and work our way up to the bedroom i.e. you need sturdy boots and a good firm bed: because, if you are not in one you are in the other.
 


Sunday, October 4th
 
             England 13 – 33 Australia

LAST night, Australia turned dragon and devoured England, which means Australia and Wales are through to the knockout stages Rugby World Cup 2015.

However, next Saturday Wales play Australia to determine who actually tops the group of death for what should offer the path of least resistance towards the final, the usual ambush game(s) notwithstanding, of course.

So, the champagne remains firmly unopened. And, whisper it, the tournament is sadly now less of a high-profile event without the hosts, England. The gloss has been removed.

Be that as it may, I did enjoy this line, just heard:

What do you call an Englishman with a bottle of champagne?  Waiter!

 

Saturday, October 3rd

Fee-fi-fo-fum!
I smell the fumes of a Volkswagen...

HERE at Look You it has all been about cars over recent days. Last Wednesday it was Vanessa Feltz and her new Mini Coupe, which prompted fond recollections of my first TR3 sports car, which was mine, all mine at the age of 18.

Then yesterday it was the ‘I AM HYBRID’ car I’d spotted in Llandeilo, and how it laterally suggested a link to the Iran women’s football team.

Well, today it will be a picture that has been all over the shop over the past week or so, and all to do with the car crash that has overtaken the German car giant Volkswagen and its admitted cheating in the toxic emissions tests of its diesel models ― an episode highlighted so comically by MATT  of the Telegraph, shared alongside.

Goodness, talk about the sky falling in on the giant that lives in the castle at the top of the German beanstalk.

For Jack, read Daniel Carder, the American researcher from the West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, who was responsible for uncovering VW’s high diesel fuel emissions.

Daniel duly nicked the giant’s goose, the one that laid the golden eggs that hid the emissions. Old Danny Boy duly discovered that the eggs, under the golden veneer, were an alarmingly dirty black colour.

But I tell you what, on a peripheral scale it is all relentlessly building up a dreadful picture of the world’s movers and shakers.

Just ponder the clues coming up...

Bob Diamond of Barclays had no idea that those directly under him were cooking the books on a grand scale to generate billions for Barclays and millions for Bob Diamond (clue A).

Rebekah Brooks had no idea that those directly under her were operating without ethics, morality and honesty to generate billions for News International and millions for Rebekah Brooks (clue B).

Sepp Blatter of Fifa had no idea that those directly under him were involved in a corruption scandal generating billions for Fifa and millions for Sepp Blatter (clue C).

And Martin Winterkorn of VW had no idea that those directly under him were secretly polluting the world on a grand scale while generating billions for VW and millions for Martin Winterkorn (clue D).

Now are all these people crooks on a grand scale? Or are they merely so incompetent that they possess zero ability to spot an ambush even when surrounded by ladders of exceedingly black smoke signals climbing high into the sky?

I have no idea because I do not personally know any of these people. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt and conclude that they are just plain old stupid. But I would enjoy meeting the people who interviewed all the above before offering them the top job.

Point of order: I learn from a Sunday Times  article that the individual who actually commissioned Daniel Carder of West Virginia University to test a range of diesel cars (including a brace of Volkswagens), the individual who is the joint head of the American arm of a not-for-profit organisation that looks into how to reduce transport pollution, is called ― ta-dah ― John German.

You couldn’t make it up.

Mind you, it gives a whole new meaning to the song ‘Ullo John! Gotta New Dirty German Motor?

Oh yes, here is the picture ― or more correctly the advertisement ― I mentioned earlier, and of which the media has been dining out on...


 

I like that final full stop after “Nobody’s perfect.”, a dated kind of punctuation you don’t see in modern ads. But very apt.

Final thought

With Australia playing England tonight in a crucial Rugby World Cup game ― literally a knock-out game for England, lose and they are out at the pool stage, unthinkable really ― it brings to mind John Eales, Australia’s popular and most successful captain in the history of Australian rugby.

He was given the nickname “Nobody” by his team mates. Because, they explained, “Nobody’s perfect”.

Ah, the magic of words. And context.
 

Friday, October 2nd

A change is gonna come

A QUITE extraordinary Telegraph  clickbait has just caught my eye:
 

Eight of Iran’s women’s football team ‘are men’ awaiting
sex change operations


There really is no answer to that ― except, I suppose, it gives a whole new meaning to the offside rule. Or indeed the call: “Off with his head
!

Curiously though...

Message massage
 

Just the other day I spotted a sparklingly new white car parked in Llandeilo ― here it is, pictured alongside ― a Nissan I think it was.

Anyway, given the green message displayed on the car ― a hybrid being a combination of a spark plug and an AC/DC magnetic field ― do you suppose that the Iran women’s football team jerseys should bear the legend...

 

I AM HYBIRD

 

PS: Yes, who was it that pointed out how badly designed the human combustion engine is? I mean, placing the ignition right next to the exhaust.
 

Thursday, October 1st
 
                 Wales 23 – 13 Fiji

YES, Wales just about managed a win against the wonderfully entertaining South Sea Islanders, but escaping the dreaded group of death is far from a done deal.

The England vs Australia encounter on Saturday night is the group changer.

Tonight, the champagne remains unopened ― but I did enjoy a glass or four, maybe more, of wine, and yes, an Australian variety...

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  Previously on Look You...
Smile of the day 2015: Sep
Smile of the day 2015: Aug
Smile of the day 2015: Jul
Smile of the day 2015: Jun
Smile of the day 2015: May
Smile of the day 2015: Apr
Smile of the day 2015: Mar
Smile of the day 2015: Feb
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)

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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Previously on LOOK YOU......


Smile of the day 2015: Sep
Smile of the day 2015: Aug
Smile of the day 2015: Jul
Smile of the day 2015: Jun
Smile of the day 2015: May
Smile of the day 2015: Apr
Smile of the day 2015: Mar
Smile of the day 2015: Feb
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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