Monthly Archives: January 2015

Wealth of the nation

Broadstairs775

I believe I read somewhere this week that 99% of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of 1% of the population… surely not ! Funny how they all meet up in Davos, Switzerland, such a sweet innocent little country, no corruption or things to hide there at all, except FIFA , Nazi gold, and plenty of dodgy bank accounts.

Letter from Vigo (or Vizgo as Martin calls it)

058Martin

If anyone would like a chuckle my dear chum Martin sent me his New Year thoughts. Have a look at the post “Rose tinted spectacles’ to see him in action as Kamrabuskaman. He is one in a million which is a shame because if there were more like him in the world it would be a lot more fun. This is Martin twiddling my camera and here are his words, an insight into the wonderful world of a unique man…….. love him to bits.

Some thoughts and Recommendations for the New Year. With just the odd blob of misogyny .

Communications Devices.

Scientists. Create small hand held computers that communicate messages to people so that people don’t have to lick stamps anymore. Alternatively and likely less disruptive, add curios synthetic and quite possibly carcinogencic flavours to stamp gum and use advertising to confuse the public into thinking they quite like the flavour. Memorandum Martin Towse: British Food Macerating Research Organization, somewhere  in Surrey, 1978.

Poor people, pretend you are not worthless scum by equiping yourself with an old tv remote control and talking into it as you meander aimlessly from one side of the pavement to the other, saying things like: ‘I’m on the bus’ or ‘I must download the app’. Be sure to obstruct everyone attempting to walk past you. A picture of some tasty young thing glued neatly over the battery cover will suggest a recently taken picture of your loved one and will fool the majority of viewers since they’re not really interested anyway. For special effect drop the device in a puddle and mutter on about being glad you opted for the over the top mobile phone insurance provided by your high street bank. Complete the deceit  and stand waiting at a belisha beacon for a couple of hours whilst staring at the device and stopping all the traffic from passing.

I phone users. Avoid the unecessary expense of obtaining the latest model of Apples new hand-bone by using ‘letraset’ to  change the model number displayed on your previous Iphone. Occasionally lobbing the device beneath the roller of an oncoming road repair machine will insure not only a larger display but a sleeker device to fit the pocket and will sort out those embarrasing bends caused by keeping the device in your back pocket.

Communications device manufacturers. Avoid wasting precious minerals that promote wars in Africa by making up your fucking minds about how  big a phone or tablet or laptop should frikkin’ well be.

Lifesyle.

People. Pretend you’re quite important by wearing boots.

Spanish people, avoid the worst effects of the economic crisis by not paying ridiculous prices for your shoes and clothing and expecting to be decked out in the same apparel as your dwindling  and corrupt royal family. Occasionally avoid the expense of the car wash by convincing yourselves that it is not a criminal offence to have a bit dirt on your car.

Evil old woman. Make people with emphysemia cough and splutter alot when you get on a bus by applying ridiculous amounts of face powder before you head off to the sales.

Woman make more room for your stuff in the marital home by insisting incessantly that your husband chucks all his stuff away or at least piles it up in the shed.

Heterosexual women, don’t waste time trying to be funny as long as you got tits  and a fanny the lads don’t mind. Butch lesbians, suit yourselves, you always do anyway.

I’m glad I’m not Spanish. If you have been brought up in Spain you will always feel a bit ikky (asco) about going to other people’s countries cos they would be mucky compared to yours.

Tourists. Annoy most people in Spain by having a bit of hair out of place.

Old bastards. Pretend to be happy by having a daft little yappy dog and talking to it all the time.

Miserable bastards. Name the stray dog that somebody offloaded on you ‘lucky’ as if to suggest that you are a responsible owner whilst feeding it with all the shit that you’re too mean to throw away until its too obese to even drag it’s back legs.

Proverbs.

The say don’t look a gift horse in the eye but if you’re only planning on making burgers out of it what’s the problem? It wouldn’t even matter if the teeth were really manky. Make sure it’s tail is intact cos they make great hair extensions and can be boiled up for a really beefy stock.

They say a watched kettle never boils but when my aged mother put our electric kettle on the ignited gas hob the other day loads of boiling water spilled everywhere as I watched the plastic casing collapse under the intense heat of the flaming gas.

Cat lovers. They say there is more than one way to skin a cat and indeed there is. However the best way I’ve found is to make a careful skin deep incision around the periphery of the neck with a scalpel and then pop the animal into a large saucepan of boiling water with a good pinch of salt added, five minutes should be sufficient. Allow the animal to cool and then simply pull the skin away from the carcass  from the incision. When sewing the two pieces back together again insert a small nylon zip to allow for restuffing with pot pourri. The re-assembled animal will then sit comfortably with any other fluffy animals that adorn your bed or alternatively pop it amongst your woolens to keep the moths at bay.

Talk about paint a kettle black. Surely all kettles in this day and age of global warming should by Europlean legislation be finished in matt black in order to absorb as much radiant heat as possible from their surroundings, be it a warm room or indeed a ring on the hob. In contrast the inside of the kettle should alway be polished to the highest possible shine in order to minimise heat loss by radiation (reflection) keeping heat loss by convection and conduction in check.

The Civil Service.

Civil servants. Make the most of a cushy job by never turning up to work on time and leaving early. Given that you have virtually nothing to do nobody is likely to miss you. Continue to go on endlessly about how busy you are to complete the deceit. Afterall, in the main  it’s only the money of hard working lower class people, who get dirty and injured at work, whose money you are wasting. Rich people generally tend to pay much less percentage in tax than poor people so you will not be offending them.

Candidates for civil service job interviews. Get a feel for the job by standing in the hallway at your family home and creating endless stupid discussions with family members concerning why  you should be entitled to be the one to dry the only damp fork remaining on the draining board.

Civil Servants. Stand in the corridor all day at work wishing  you could smoke a fag or two whilst trying to convince everyone else with the same job as you that you are really busy.

The Environment.

Middle class bastards. Voluntrarily contribute to saving the Environment like poor people are obliged to do.

We are constantly told not to leave bags unattended outdoors because of the terrorist threat. Imagine how I felt then after having stood outside my flat next to my bin bag for a whole week, day and night in only my pyjamas during February, it made me shudder, because the bin men didn’t fucking bother to show up one time.

Bored with the present disruption of climate change? Simply divert energy input to the earth somewhere else, for example lay out loads of solar panels and erect some molens. There’s some people somewhere in the world asking, ‘what happended to our water’?

Proponents of fracking. Find another way of living that negates your need to be violent to the earth.

Cold old people in Vigo. Nip into your local branch of the Cortes Ingles department store for a warm up, it’s at least 25 Celsius in there. Take the opportunity to wander around the same cosmetic counter several times whilst pretending to be interested in the stuff you can’t afford suggesting you may be mentally feeble, that way security will leave you alone or at least book you a nice warm taxi home again. Incidentally I was there earlier and managed to leave the shop prior to an attack of hyperthermia. While I was there I noticed an assistant in the cosmetics department sporting a hat just like Wacko Jacko used to wear. She looked really stylish with a definite emphasis on ish.

Toyota Prius drivers. Go to filling stations regularly  to download all the bio-fuel that your car has manufactured from carbon dioxide and water from the atmosphere whilst flitting  about town. Don’t forget to collect your divvy. For fucks sake, just get a bike OK.

When I was around at my Mates house the other new years eve, my mate responded to his beautiful girlfriends impatience to the ambient temperature by telling her that ‘a felt radiator never warms’. Sure enough after she quit feeling the radiator for about 17 seconds the room started to get so uncomortably hot that to avoid asphyxiation we had to let all the heat out again through some French doors.

Public Transport.

Bus companies, promote passenger equality and the elimination of obesity by installing  weighing scales in the floor of the bus by the ticket machine. Introduce a descending tarif that favours puny people and instruct drivers to inform passengers that; ‘work = force x distance’. That is, the quantity of diesel or biofuel used is directly proportional to the weight of the client. Colour code tickets so that overweight people are easily identifiable and can be readily humiliated. Create special merit badges for people suffering from anorexia, bulimia or vigorexia.

Bus companies. Discourage passengers from trying to get away with riding the extra stop for free by introducing a cacophany of intolerable electronic noises that indicate everything from turning right or left  to the gentle settling of the suspension when coming to a stop. Don’t bother to have any sonic indicator to warn the passengers that your’e about to make an attempt on the world’s double decker bus deceleration record with squeaky brakes.  Instruct the fitters to remove some screws from interior paneling and throw them away so that the panel clatters incessantly when the bus is in motion. Tweak the volume of noise until you hear at least one passenger admit ‘I gotta get off for some peace and quiet’ whilst muttering something about the lovely old sound of the tinkly bell which once informed the driver. Check it out for yourself in Britain’s upcoming city of culture 2017.

Bus companies.  Make things worse for the public by having at least two different bus operators in the town but prohibit anyone with a weekly ticket from one company using the other companies services. The public in waiting will have to cuss as an unavailable bus approaches but feel wholeheartedly reassured when the appropriate bus arrives. Increas fines levied by always making sure that the bus windows are so mucky that the passengers can’t see out readily to identify their stop and are vulnerable  to incur financial penalties for traveling beyond  their fare. Check it out for yourself in Britain’s upcoming city of culture 2017.

Can anyone come up with a simple word for people waiting at the bus stop because I don’t know any?

Bus companies. Make the most of Xmas time by informing all your staff that they can just do what they like cos everything can be blamed on the traffic, even at 6 a.m. when there isn’t any. Check it out for yourself in Britain’s upcoming city of culture 2017.

Retailing.

Supermarket till operators. Save your sanity, just go fucking mad. Peep, peep, peep, peep………

The supermarkets these days are constantly advocating the sale of their bags for life but what if you leave it on a train or some bastard pinches it?

Spanish supermarkets. Ban blokes from carrying rucksacks on their backs securely zipped closed whilst allowing woman to carry one or two large open handbags at waist level because only women bleed.

Health and Safety.

Drastically reduce NHS costs without taking away the beds by not giving all the profits of medication to drug companies just because they rename and package pharmaceuticals developed by public funding in universities. Instruct women that there is no need to pop to the docs at every opportunity just because they’ve got an itchy snatch.

Sexist fun. Domestic bliss.

I don’t think I will ever understand women. I have spent years sitting with my wife in her floral front room, with floral curtains, floral carpets, and floral sofa covers with matching floral scatter cushions and matching floral pouffe but when I suggested, the other night, that she come and sit with me in my shed for a change she point well damn refused.

Politics.

Spanish people. Draw something like an old blokes eyebrow or a sguiggley caterpillar above the letter n, in some words only, foreigners just wont get it so you will easily be able to identify imposters such as illegal imigrants, spies and early retirees that are no longer entitled to reciprocal health care in  a crumbling united Europe. Oh yer but you have the subjunctive mood, that’s belt and braces that is.

English people. Elect sequential systems of goverment that protect the outrageous division of wealth within the nation and then pat your self on the back for implementing the benefit system (that you first identified in Germany during the Edwardian period)  without which we would still be dropping like flies.

Science and Technology.

Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction said Newton and probably quite alot of other people said it but weren’t very good at promoting themselves. Indeed true, just the other day when my daughter was making a beautiful coloured flower for her mutha from a bog role and some antique crepe paper she smiled at me and I smiled back at her.

They say that Newton invented the apple, invented the cider. Other than being used on a boy’s head in the tales of William Tell and his crossbow, the apple was only considered as good for chucking at each other in the olden days. It wasn’t until Newton was looking for a metaphor to explain his theory of relativity that says that two bodies are attracted by a force that relates to the distance cubed between each mass and the matter contained in the two, that the apple began to be celebrated by getting itself included in pie and cider recipes everywhere. These days there are as many varieties of apples grown in the UK as there diferent words for particular types of household dust in Vigo in Spain.

English second world war people. Make sure the Germans don’t invent and build the world’s first semi-programmable computer, like you had the necessity to do, and continue making your military codes as difficult to crack as the quick crossword in the Sun newspaper.

They say you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear. I am living in Vigo in Spain where the pig is celebrated just as much as their wonderful mariscos, so it wasn’t difficult to pick up a couple of sows ears last time I visited Gadis, the cheapest supermarket chain in the land. When I returned home i removed some of the magic spiral from within the cells of the pigs ears and stored it under labortory conditions. These days it was only a simple matter to check out the complete genetic blueprint of pig, mulberry leaf and silk worms on the net. A minor set back was that I’d only got a couple of sows ears and in fact I calculated that I should have bought 3 tonnes. Fortunately having avidly followed every show ever of CSI and cold cases etc, etc, etc, I am well aware of the recentlly new technique of gene multiplication. Eventually I found I had more than enough of the four basic acids ACTH so I set about attaching them in the correct order to the magic spirals backbone. Not suprisingly the mulberry DNA and the silk worm DNA I created enjoyed  identical culture conditions for after all they are from the same niche within a habitat within an ecosystem within a biosphere. It wasn’t long before I had a huge aquarium full of silk worms munching mulberry leaves. Silk worms cultured on mulberry leaf  spin light coloured cocoons so at this stage I added a little LSD to the water supply and sure enough the cocoons that developed came in colours, ideal for the special project I had in mind for I am in love. Anyway the outcome is that I’ve got loads of different coloured silk thread and the woman downstairs is a bit of traditional lace maker so I reckon I’m looking good for getting a purse out of it.

Lead from Gold. I’m not up on what the alchemists were up to but they might find this interesting. I am presently engaged making a model of a yacht which I will operate by remote control and sail on East Park pond. I needed some lead weights for the keel and as I am working on a shoe string I wasn’t able to buy anything suitable at all from the ships chandlers for the pupose. Indeed even one tiny lead ball about 5mm diameter for weighting a fishing line was £6.99 + vat and they sold fishing line by the metre. I am beginning to think that ships chandlers shops these days are for snooty people. When I was a lad you could get a massive bar of real soap there for very few pennies, when there were 240 to the pound. Fortunately I remembered that we have a family airloom, a gold candlestick that belonged to some European royal or other and it has been a nuisance storing it all these years since it doesn’t sit well with the rest of our knick-knacks. Anyway as everyone knows the atomic number of gold is 79 and that of lead 81. It was only a simple matter of identifying another element in the periodic table to mix with the gold and bolster it’s atomic number up 2. By the simple law of averages its obvious that Bismuth with an atomic number of 83 if mixed with gold will result in an element of atomic number 81, voila lead. Following this logic I weighed the candlestick and added it with a similar weight of Bismuth into a crucible and put it into the microwave  on full power 850w for about 5 minutes, allowed it to rest for 2 minutes and then buzzed it again for 3 minutes. I quickly transfered the resulting molten filth to two plaster of paris moulds I had prepared earlier (I use an oven cooked pork sausage cut longitudinally into two equal halves for the patterns) and allowed the whole to cool. I have since constructed the keel with my lead ingots and by the way she behaves  a treat on the boating lake. Given my success I think it would be worth trying to see if it works the other way and make gold from lead. According to my theory equal weights of lead and Iridium when melted together will yield gold. Iridium is quite dense so expect to have to dig down a bit to find it. I haven’t got time to check it out myself since I am now working on a model remote controlled glider using a framework of frozen helium for lightness, although frozen hydrogen would be lighter it’s too dangerous to work with.

The Media.

Peter Cook as much as we loved him we resent him for apparently not fulfilling his great potential. Were he still alive today he could respond to his agents warning that he would never work again by appearing on any fucking kind of completely shit show such as Michael Mcyintre and at the same time enthralling us with some hastily arranged dance routine on ‘Tits on the ballroom’, partenered by Claudia Winkelwoman, whilst swimming the channel, completing a half marathon and lending himself to humiliation by wearing a red nose and telling some old jokes for charity. Then he could appear on a documentary investigating in a half-baked manner the disappearance of the charity money raised whilst responding with loads of tweets to loads of people that he dosen’t know and wouldn’t help him if he was moving house. If he’d packed in the drink he would then have been able to stay awake long enough to plan a climb up the North face of the Eiger with Matt Baker.  But no, he decided to enjoy his neighbourhood, visit his beloved Private Eye when he felt like it, smoke a nice fag, enjoy a bevvy, watch the telly and love his wife.  What a dick head.

Come dancing. I have never managed it yet but I am sure that in some disco, sometime, someplace in this naughty, dirty, filthy little world it must have happened quite alot.

Lying Bastard Pop Stars.

Bruce ‘the boss’ Springsteen once informed us in his song, ‘dancing in the Doric’, that it is not possible to start a fire without a spark. Clearly as a child he had no experience of burning ants or pieces of toilet tissue with a magnifying glass that his dad had given him. And anyway what about spontaneous combustion. I have never believed a word he has said since.

Also in the same song Bruce goes on to suggest that maybe he and another are ‘just dancing in the Doric’. I know the Doric pub near Waverley Station in Edinburgh, I used to meet lezzy Cath there and I certainly never saw him or his partner. Although I was there to witness the tv broadcast when Eric Cantona drop kicked that fan just for suggesting he smelt like a puff and was a cheese eating surrender monkey with a mouth like a cat’s arse. Count to ten Eric.

The late Brian Francis Connolly of the Sweet pop group informed us that ‘love is like oxygen, you get too much it makes you high’. Well I have been breathing air all my life which is approximately one fifth by volume oxygen and I’ve never had even the slightest buzz from it. He should have tried mixing it with marijuana smoke, that certainly does the trick. And anyway if oxygen did get you high how come that Marine boy with his oxygum never got to get it together with Aqua Marina from Thunderbirds? She was wagging for it.

Peter ‘midday’ Noon of Herman’s Hermits fame once sung ‘ there is a kind of hush all over the world tonight, who-oah, for lovers in love’. Well when I was listening to the anthem last night in Vigo in Spain an ambulance sped past wailing it’s siren, like it was announcing the beginning of the third world war, while a Spanish couple where busy going at it in a shop doorway. It may have been true in Pete’s day but things aint what they used to be.

Does anyone know what Hendrix was on about in Purple Haze. Was it scuse me whilst I kiss this guy, or scuse me while I kiss the sky. Until I find out for certain I’ll continue to use the two alternatives when I am singing it in my head all the time. Thankya.

 

Brilliant Martin, amazing what a bottle of Scotch and a spliff or two can do.

X Straggler

For Matt

100115-MATT-web_3160480a 130115-MATT-web_3162883a

In a week when cartoonists have been very much in the news for all the wrong reasons I would just like to pay tribute to the brilliance of Matt. His is a simple time honoured formula, take two news worthy items place them in a portrait format, combine them with simple sentence, no anger, no vitriol, just even handed, self effacing, gentle, perceptive humour that reduces the hum drum 24 hour world of news and current affairs to the level of ‘bloke’ in the pub. True genius.

Ordinary people

Morocco229

One of the many reports that struck me about recent events in Paris was a neighbour of one of the brothers who carried out the shootings describing him as quiet, sympathetic, polite and respectful, and these are the basic and laudable day to day teachings of Islam (along with most other religions) but in this case it disguised an underlying darker, angrier, intolerant and vengeful side. I have heard countless people over the last few years offering platitudes, condemning violence on all counts and iterating Islam, Judaism, Christianity are all religions of peace, the trouble is from where I’m standing right now the Muslim world is not looking that peaceful, not only does it have issues with the Western values it has it’s own incomprehensible (for me) factional infighting. Of course the West’s  self-serving involvement in guarding their ‘interests’ and their unwavering support for Israel has had a huge influence on the current global situation and has undoubtedly led to those who adhere to an extreme interpretation of the the Quran. But as the Khalid cartoon I put up yesterday showed as usual it is the men, women and children on the street that suffer the victimisation and violence whether it be in Paris, Peshwar, Nigeria, Gaza, Kabul or Kenya. No doubt one of the motives of the gunmen was to bring about an ‘us and them’ situation amongst the general populace hoping an ensuing backlash effects a war of civilisations and values, the only way to defeat that mentality is for ordinary people not to let that scenario happen and let hate and fear win.

The photograph was taken in Marrakech, on an ordinary street, full of ordinary people, doing ordinary things on an extraordinarily hot day in August 2013.

 

What you give is what you get

There was a programme on Radio 4 over the Christmas period which addressed the issue of why people write diaries and blogs and whilst in the workshop today  doing some mind numbingly boring repetitive wood machining I was reflecting on my own reasons for doing so, when lo and behold the iPod spat this through the headphones.

Ok you Beatles nerds I know it’s a rip from Taxman but it’s a heap better song.

Animal Farm

Crow, Westfield767

My nine year old son Barney is a firm vegetarian and looks appalled every time he spies any meat lurking in the fridge or as it arrives on a plate at the table. “Yuk that is disgusting, how can you eat an animal ? ” is his usual refrain, and the thing is I’m starting to agree with him. My latest photo project which is based on an A-Z of Noah’s ark involves man and his interaction with the animal kingdom hence I have been giving the subject a deal of thought while out on my wanderings with a camera, and the conclusion I’m coming to is that Barney is right. Eating meat is morally indefensible, economically it doesn’t add up, health wise it clogs your heart, the only thing it has going in it’s favour is that it tastes good and is a relatively quick easy way to put food on the table. The trouble is I have a freezer full of the stuff !  For the majority of us the only animals we come physically into contact with are our domestic pets or those that are served up on a plate. Here is a quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm which I know is a satire on another subject altogether and that ‘man’ in it I believe refers to capitalism but anyway it set me thinking.

“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”

I’m not going wholeheartedly down the veggie route yet as I’m somewhat weak and feeble minded but certainly my New Year’s resolution is to make a conscious effort to avoid meat and see how things go.

The photo isn’t of Barney it is my niece Sarah and was taken maybe twenty years ago.

Rose tinted spectacles

Southampton366

My dear friend Martin was in town last night in transit between Hull and his life on a shoestring in Vigo in northern Spain. As ever it was nice to catch up with him in the pub, plus a few other old faces that I’ve known since the mid 80’s and not seen much of over the past couple of years, for a chat over things past and present. Noticeably refreshing was that nobody sneaked a peek at their mobile phone to check whatever one checks, something which on occasion I find mildly annoying and rude as it suggests there is something better going on elsewhere. Anyway the evening took me back to those days of almost living in smokey crowded pubs, simply nattering over a table full of beer, and the only thing available to eat was a stale cheese roll, but maybe I’m just looking back with the old rose tinted spectacles on.

Martin and I met through our passion for photography alas he doesn’t do much these days but here’s a link to him in action in Hull, he has a very unique style !

 

and here are some of the results