Friday, 29 February 2008

Pleasantly surprised

So Harry is on his way back from the Hindu Kush then.
I have to say that I think it was exactly the right thing to do for him to go and be part of the operational role of his unit. His credibility as a young officer would have been completely undermined if he had not taken part.
Some of the squaddies I heard interviewed on the radio seemed to have a genuine affection for the man. While I don't imagine that the army would put a soldier on the radio who was critical of Harry, those I heard sounded authentically impressed with him as a young officer.
In my experience, respect and professional compliments are not lightly, or easily bestowed by the British serviceman.

It's a bit of a shame that the cat got out of the bag early, but I am filled with a warm fuzzy glow that my former colleagues of the British Fourth Estate were not in this case culpable.
Given the current penchant for endless serial inquiries into the sad, accidental and ultimately wasteful death of his mother, I think that there may have been some less than altruistic motives behind the silence of the Red-Tops ............but it's the thought that counts.

The painting at the top has absolutely nothing do do with any of this, but I am partial to a nice arse.

Friday, 22 February 2008


Strange how things sometimes fall into place. Or maybe more accurately how, on occasions, events, senses and surroundings conspire to fit together in a way that seems designed rather than accidental.

This photograph was taken, early one morning last week, from the cliff-top at the edge of my home village.
I was up early to travel fifty miles in the fog and frost for a photographic job. In order to beat the weather, and because I am not hugely familiar with the marshes down towards Beccles I gave myself ample time, and could afford to briefly stop and enjoy the dawn.

Now, getting back into the car I decided I needed a change of music. The particular CD I had in the slot had been spinning away on shuffle for what seemed like weeks, I don't remember what it was, just that I needed a change.
I shoved my hand into the map pocket in the door, and without looking grabbed a home burned compilation, shoved it in and bimbled off into the freezing fog, happily singing along to bits of Led Zeppelin, The Kooks, Frank Sinatra etc.

To cut a long and fairly tedious journey short, I wound my way across country, creeping along Hammer House of Horror country lanes. Finally a bit too lost to keep driving I slid into a gateway to ascertain exactly how long I would be away from home, and whether I would have to eat my own leg........or the very old wine-gums under the seats.

Unfolding the map, and foolishly trying to orientate me with it/it with me, I looked up at the exact moment that an aperture in the freezing candy-floss slid silently open.
Eyes drawn, jaw open, I gawped down a marsh surrounded lane.
Willows like ranks of Grenadiers, their neatly pollarded Bearskins uniformly dropping to the misty limits of my vision, guarding the watery meadows left and right.

I think I said "Oh", just in time for the opening chords of "Cut my Wings", by a grizzled old Hobo called Seasick Steve to burst out of the speakers.

The view suddenly changed in my mind to an imagining of how the rural Southern States , where this music was born, ought to look. Weird, almost an out-of-body experience.
I was kind of staggered, moved to the extent that by the time I got out of the car with the camera to record the moment, the fog/mist/mog?/fist?, mocked me and dropped like a big bag of something heavy. Whump. Gone.

Makes you think.

interrupted transmission....

Sorry about that ! work work, good for the bank manager, not good for the thoughts of Chairman Knifepainter.

Now, the Poll, thanks for all your support. I'm not sure my opinion is any more worthy, but I think all of yours are.

I'm off to paint the bristles off some brushes now, but I'll be back with a proper post tonight.


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

I need a moment of your time

The cherub in this picture is variously referred to here as The Firstborn, or The Evil One, or occasionally I even use her name.

I'm fairly sure that this picture was taken in the summer of 1995, we lived inland at the time, and Herself was eight months pregnant with Laughing boy.

Now to the point of this rambling.
I need you to help me convince the now teenage Evil One that I'm right.........Okay, okay, I can hear the snorts of your derision from here. Oh ha ha you say, convince a teenage girl that her Dad is correct. Right after you cure the common cold and fly through the air using only your arms and the power of weeeeeeeee, you giggle.

Well, I think weight of numbers and the very fact that your opinions are not mine, could swing it.

The issue in question is this;

Girls look better Curvy than Boney.

The poll is on the right, don't let me down.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

oh dear.........

England, what happened ?

See how you force me to frighten my readers with a victorious Celt ?

(If you have a toddler, please feel free to frighten them with this picture...........
..........." If you're naughty, the Welshman will come and get you " ).

Friday, 1 February 2008

file under amusing but tragic........

I can't claim authorship of this, it was sent to me on an e-mail, from an old friend and former colleague. Thanks Phil.

British Army answering machine message :

Thank you for calling the British Army. I'm sorry, but all our units are out at the moment, or are otherwise engaged. Please leave a message with your country, name of organisation, the region, the specific crisis and a number at which we can call you.

As soon as we have sorted out Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, The Congo, marching up and down bits of tarmac in London and compulsory health and safety at work training, we will return your call.

Please speak after the tone or, if you require more options, listen to the following numbers:

If your crisis is small and close to the sea, press 1 for the Royal Marines.

If it is distant, with a tropical climate, good hotels and can be solved by one or two low-risk bombing runs, please press 2 for the Royal Air Force. Please note that this service is not available after 1630 or at weekends.

If your enquiry concerns a situation which can be resolved by a warship, some bunting, flags, a damn good cocktail party and a first class marching band, please write, well in advance, to the First Sea Lord, The Royal Navy, Whitehall, London SW1.

If your enquiry is not urgent. Press 3 for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

Thank you for calling and if you are interested in joining the Army (please, please, please, although retention is fine and we are right up to strength) and wish to be paid little, have premature Arthritis, put your wife and family (or gay lover) in a condemned hut miles from civilisation; and are prepared to work day and night whilst watching the Treasury eroding your original terms and conditions and promising a better pension, serving mainly in sandy climes, whilst picking up rubbish and putting out house fires all over the UK, while fireman and binmen have a little holiday; then please stay on the line.

Your call will shortly be passed onto a bitter, passed-over Recruiting
Sergeant in a horrendously fronted, yet grotty little office down by the
railway station.

Have a nice day and thank you again for trying to contact The British Army