Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Had to...

...use this picture but never when driving or considering it and certainly not when I'm trying to shed a few pounds of ugly middle-aged fat tissue. I could of course walk but driving these days and at these prices is such a modern and sophisticated pleasure.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Minis are OK

Once the golden shower of nuggets are over I retire to the back seat to concentrate on a dessert of sorts. The fruit corner pot has been with us in various guises since about 1993, often copied, cloned or replicated but never bettered than by the efforts of the good people of Euro-dairy giants Muller. What an idea, taking a pot of fruity yoghurt and removing fruit from it, placing it in a separate compartment and then expecting the consumer to mix it up within the free space of the larger part of the tub. I wonder if anybody doesn’t get that and mixes the yoghurt, spoon by spoon with the tiny fruit portion. Perhaps some people consume both parts separately, at different times. That would be odd.

The trick is to get the lid pulled back from the container in one smooth move and leave no trace of silver sealant on the white plastic base. The worst disaster that can befall the fruit corner and it’s consumer is to have to eat it through the shredded remains of a yoghurt spattered lid. This scores close to zero points for food hygiene and les than zero for satisfaction. You have to take your time, treat the flimsy pot with respect and pull the lid back so that it all comes free in one piece. You may then lick the underside, if only to bolster up the Muller advertising campaign of a few years ago. Having said that, sometimes, even after sever tilting or prolonged upside down storage or carriage no yoghurt sticks to the inside of the lid. How can that be? Next thing will be an instant porridge review.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Bucket of nuggets

At first it seemed like a good idea. I was hungry and the bucket of chicken nuggets was available. I prised the lid free and began to eat and dip; three kinds of dip, tomato ketchup, barbecue and garlic mayonnaise. I sitting in the front seat of the car so the hot bucket was on my knees and the dips, all carefully opened in the well by the handbrake. A simple manoeuvre allowed me to pick up a nugget, bury it in the sauce tub and then eat it. The problem was, being right handed I wanted to dip and eat with my right hand so the nuggets were travelling too far and the risk of a sauce drip in my lap was a real possibility. This added a stress dimension to the meal that frankly I could have done without but the nuggets tasted fine. In fact the first twelve were pretty good, the next four were OK, the seventeenth and eighteenth were more laboured and nineteen and twenty were very difficult indeed.

I put the bucket, now three quarters empty onto the passenger seat and exhaled in a steady and controlled fashion. I took a slug from the Diet Pepsi, returned the cup to the cup holder and set my head back on the headrest. One more nugget I thought, this one, still warm would be eaten without any dip. I awoke, still in the drive through car park, surprised to be there, at least four hours had passed. During this time I’d had a vivid dream about New York, helicopters and donkey rescue centres. I had seriously underestimated the narcotic and soporific powers of the chicken nugget.

The wind must have blown the bucket away and two crows bickered over the remaining nuggets. For them it was a feast.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Dark Reflections

I like the distortions in this, particularly around the rear wheel, in fact a little more would be good. It's what happens when you reflect a Cougar in an Audi. An unlikely style marriage. Other ways of seeing things, things that don't really exist; reflections.

Friday, 8 April 2011


Where is the sun on the sunny side of the street?

A woman in a long figure hugging dress with shoulder straps. The fabric is a black and grey geometric print. A silver fringed scarf is hanging lazily across both of her elbows as her arms hang in space as if holding an invisible tray of drinks. Her shoulder length dark hair is brushed backwards, strands held and clipped at the back of her head. Her jewellery is gold and dangly. Her shoes are black stilettos.

Another woman with a flared purple top and black leggings, black ankle boots and too much make up. She has a black handbag that she is continually looking into. It doesn’t really go with the outfit. She’s probably headed out to do a grocery shop.

A third woman has a silver suit dress on with a neat matching jacket. She has those shiny tights on and grey stilettos. Her hair is dark and cheer leader style. The necklace and earrings are costume silver. Potential to be haughty and likely to be huffy.

A forth woman in a calf length brown straight skirt, beige top and light brown cardigan with a tie belt. Her shoes are brown with heels and peep toes. Her jewellery is a fussy, peasant style. Mousy hair overdone.

A fifth woman with a peculiar gold floaty kind of top, about the length of a mini dress, she also has black leggings and ballet pumps. Her bag is big and appears to contain everything she has ever owned in her life. Hair back in a clip.

A middle aged man, hair turning slowly from ginger to silver. Jeans a little large due to weight loss and an unironed checked shirt in a brown and black tartan. Dirty white Dunlop tennis shoes on his feet. A chunky sports watch on his wrist.

Younger slack jawed man, football top, grey baggy training pants, hair too short. Common in a Victorian way.

A black Labrador dog with a jumping fixation, too excited to hear or obey any human instruction. Silver saliva at the corners of the mouth and a tongue that refuses to stay in the right place for any length of time. A good natured look hangs back in his eyes.

A bored policeman rolls his eyes and listens to the sparkle of his pocket radio. A stream of incoherent messages, none of which is for him. He’s tempted to roll back on his heels, feet apart like a cartoon copper but he doesn’t do. He feels that at 5’ 7” he is just a little too short for this job.

In a line of stationary traffic man sits in his car scratching his nose and searching up and down the radio channels for a song he likes or an interesting news bulletin. He then suddenly realises he cant remember how he got here from the last set of traffic lights.

A woman in the car behind looks at her face in the rear view mirror. She really wants to touch up her mascara but isn’t sure how long this line of traffic will remain still. Then she wonders if it’s an offence to apply make up in a car caught up in thick traffic. Then her mobile phone rings.

A cyclist does juggling type stunts, staying upright while threading through the traffic. He has a flashing light on his helmet and it’s starting to rain.

A woman sits down carefully on a café chair, she tucks her hand under her bottom, pulls her skirt down over her knees and then pats it, as if it was an obedient pet of some sort. Half of the coffee in her cup has ended up in her saucer.

In the queue of traffic a guy in a silver Cougar inches along the street, the engine burbling. The bollards, excessive street furniture and pedestrians combine and conspire to annoy him. He doesn’t really see anything and nobody really sees him.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A short history of masturbation

Delicate subject as it is you have to realise that there are certain words and terms and images that attract search engines like a magnet. Fishing for hits if you will. There may be few bites expected but at least I have a boat that floats. For your pleasure:

a) A (short but) complete history of masturbation.
b) The other Adolph Hitler.
c) Your car (Ford Cougar) for cash.
d) Big, blond and illiterate.
e) Cheese and wine made easy.
f) Turn your garbage into cash.
g) The secret thoughts of Sarah Palin
h) Whistleblowers blues.
i) How to read the classics.
j) Homemade porn and sponge cake.
k) Religious zealots guidebook to Disneyland.
l) Tibetan pizza recipes.
m) Cool looks for the over 50s.
n) Lists that require nothing entered after n.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Back to being a boy: for a long period of time I had lived as a raven, a black, brooding crow that sulked and hovered, perched squinting on fences and picked at whatever bones and carcases I could find. I existed more comfortably than you might think because there is a great deal of unnoticed death in the world and as a bird that feeds on carrion I quickly realised that my nourishment was to be found everywhere. The key thing is, as a raven you are never too picky or choosy. Food is food and the tragic or otherwise circumstances of your meal’s ultimate end are of little concern as you consume and convert the protein. So I lived freely as a feathered parasite, nodding and blinking, avoiding those who considered me to be ugly or unlucky and I got on with my job of stealing the meals of maggots, ants and insects and the great dark crows that showed only contempt from the lesser species they saw as rooks. I was myself and my other occasional rook colleagues as community servants, clearing and cleaning in pursuit of some possible higher but unseen purpose as we kept our part of some celestial bargain made between Mother Nature, the many gods and the lesser and more stupid beings known as men. In all this time I never did realise that I was under an enchantment, I was to busy to think of these things, that is until I felt the breath of a dream on one dark November night.

In the dream I was human, more human that raven, dark haired, dark eyed and walking upright looking across to the setting sun and the great coal black clouds that rolled across it’s path. The dream, the first I had ever experienced lasted all night and as I walked, as a man across what seemed like an entire continent. So as this journey unfolded I realised I was not alone, hopping and flying beside me from hedge to fence post to bush was a raven. He would catch me, then fall back, then catch me, then glare at me, always out of reach. Every so often he’d tap his beak against a branch or a stump, tapping three or four times then carrying on and keeping up with me. The rhythm of the tapping began to form a regular beat and I realised that he was trying to communicate with me. I concentrated and listened to the taps. I heard the tap sound clearly but as I focused in on the pattern I heard another sound, a sound hardly there but formed at a lower level on the spectrum. A dry, delicate sound you had to listen hard to and almost squeeze like water droplets from the air. The sound was muddy, indistinct but, like the tapping it formed a regular rhythm and bit by bit the more I listened the more detail I was able to draw out. I listened hard for a long time, I worried that my dream time would be used up and the sound would be lost as I awakened, but I dreamt on and the sound built itself together as the raven kept pace with me.

“Edgar Allan Poe”, it tapped, “Edgar Allan Poe”. I spoke the words out loud, the first words I’d ever spoken either as a man , boy or a raven, “Edgar Allan Poe!”. As I heard the detail of the name and said it aloud the raven gave an appreciative “Caw, caw!” and hammered it’s beak on to a branch in a flamboyant, exuberant way, flapped it’s wings and flew away across the fields, over trees into the distance and out of sight. I never saw that bird again and I never did wake up from the raven dream and my name (once I had discovered it and that is another story altogether) is not Edgar Allan Poe.

Deep end

He described the experience as being a bit like diving into a swimming pool. There was that awful nervous tension before hand, a tightening in the stomach, the inability to think straight and the feeling of time both rushing by and crawling past. The edge of vision was blurred and concentration was gone and wiped clean like a memory. Once that had passed a steel like determination set in and from the edge of one element the dive into another took place. It felt like a punch hitting hard into the abdomen and passing straight through. The thing was it wasn’t a dive and swim and out again into a dry and welcoming towel, it was complete immersion, staying under the water, breathing, surviving and living a fractured model of normal life in that foreign environment. Moving and breathing in this strange constricting world deep below the water, starved of oxygen but still at peace.

Moving was odd, all slow motion and reflections and crashing images from bits of the imagination. The breathing eventually settled while staying still wrapped up in the water seemed the best thing to do, to steady the nerves and allow a settlement, allow the waters to cover over and as far as you can in deep water, breath normally, slowly, in measured lungfuls that would allow some type of progression to take place eventually. Allow yourself to be this other self for the time being. This other self in this other world, in at the deep end.