Friday, July 21, 2006

Last Post

The next post I make here will not be sarcastic, ‘negative’ or heavily ironic.
I may be away for quite a while now trying to get myself into an appropriate mood to produce such a thing
Look back at Christmas time if its going to happen at all it must be by then.
So for the second time I say “I am just going outside and may be some time”

Scott of the Antarctic “ Quick lock the bloody tent this time”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Encounter with a lady in a Victorian Spa Town

Yesterday went out to get a cold drink from JO’s and thereabouts came upon a young female built like a prop forward loudly effing and blinding as she marched down the street , her feet forming an obtuse angle between them in the most aggressive male posture. My father used to tell me I walked like a poof but Ann says I walk like Inspector Frost. I caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window and noticed she was right. Don’t look in her eyes, don’t look in her eyes I told myself.
I breathed a sigh of relief as she macho'd off at a fast rate round the corner effing loudly at some unseen prey. At least on this occasion I should not be tested/humiliated.
And then I imagined the six girls in our office as policewomen all armed with truncheons and attempting to arrest two ton Tessie Berserk. I could see her fling them right left and centre like so many kittens and then effing off into the sunset to the sound of ‘Born Free’.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Working from home today. Its 5pm and Ive done bugger all. Have just drunk a pint of John Smith bitter and pointed the camera out of the window next to the desk where I am supposed to have been working.

The Wye Valley Mysteries

Its the Royal Welsh Show next week and that and the hot weather reminds me of the events of just a few years ago. Events that would change our lives forever.
Ann was working at the Erwood Craft centre half way to Builth Wells.
The Craft centre, the remains , post Beecham, of a railway station including some railway carriages and an engine or two was adapted mainly as a workshop for the talented wood turner who owns it. Ann was working part time in the teashop.

One morning she came into work and put her handbag down in the shop and went behind the counter to put the coffee machine on. A young woman with child, about 6 or 7 entered the shop and engaged my trusting wife in happy conversation while the Artful Dodger removed the handbag from its secure location, on the floor in the shop on the public side of the counter.
She didn’t discover the missing bag until later and although to my mind there was no great tragedy , cash trifling, credit cards insured, junk in purse a welcome evacuation, Ann was devastated particularly about the contents of the purse and the lost forever telephone numbers, recipes, addresses, till receipts etc. So she called the police. A policeman did arrive and gave his opinion his, politically incorrect opinion with which we both strongly agreed, that it was probably a tinker, one of a great horde who turn up each year for the show.

He suggested they drive down to the camp and see if they could see this woman walking about. They did but found nothing. Ann insisted on me and her revisiting the camp in the evening but again we saw nothing and although I felt myself turning into a character from Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, Ann was deadly serious I am only thankful she wasn’t armed, ‘go ahead punk make my day’.

A day or so later we learned that the credit card had been used at a petrol station near Brecon and then the police turned up with a polythene bag containing the entire contents of the handbag, a pile of utter trash. Ann however was over the moon. Some workmen on the A470 had found the stuff in a ditch. The thief, being of the same opinion as me, had removed the good stuff and flung the rest. Ann went through every little slip of paper lovingly until she came to a piece that wasn’t hers. This turned out to be a social services form with the thief’s name and address on it. Hetty put her theory to the police and Ms Fagin was caught bang to rights. Ann , who earlier had been demanding the death penalty recovered her peaceful good humour and put away the magnum. The police were happy with a detection and a conviction.

Now I come to think it didnt change our lives at all.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


You know how you can find a piece of driftwood and without doing anything to it beyond displaying it turn it into a work of art? I think they call such things objets trouvés although that may refer to the bags of soiled nappies I find that are occasionally hurled over our fence from the pub car park next door. I suppose given the right institution and hype even these might have some artistic pretensions.
But I think you can 'find' poems too and not just by noticing the occasional sometimes Freudian rhyme that slips out. My favourite I heard while listening to the late night shipping forecast on radio four delivered in the deadpan voice of, I think his name is Perkins, Low ,heading west, slowly losing identity. Not much of a poem and maybe I am relying on the rhythm of his delivery to give it any claim at all but it sums me up.


Saturday, July 15, 2006


Here is an automated email Ive had from the Downing Street website in response to the message left below.

Dear Mr Mcleod

Thank you for your message to the Prime Minister which you sent through the Downing Street website ( need to confirm that we have your correct details and that the message shown at the bottom of this email is from you.
Click on the link below to confirm your message.Once you have confirmed your email, your message will be passed to Downing Street staff to read. Although the PM is unable to answer emails personally, all your messages are read and the PM is given a report on the issues raised, along with a selection of messages.
The Number 10 Web Team
Here is the text we received:
RE: The sale of honours
Dear Prime Minister,
Could you let me know the cheapest honour youve got - not counting your
own of course.
best wishes

Thursday, July 13, 2006

12 months extra time

7.25am last Monday in Llandrindod Wells. You cant quite see it in this picture but the monument is to the Great War 1914 - 1919. I wonder if there were pockets of German resistance still operating behind enemy lines in Llandod after 1918 or Is there a better reason for the extra time ?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Why is consistency a virtue?
A television programme must repeat the same elements it displayed last week in order to continue to be watched.
The supermarket requires all vegetables to conform to a consistent pattern.
The laws under which we live must be the same everywhere.
The decision of Judge B must be consistent with the decision of Judge A.
The untruths a politician told today must be consistent with the untruths he told yesterday. He can lie as much as he likes so long as he is consistent.
If Gravity or the other laws of nature were not themselves consistent then life would be impossible.
But life is not impossible without the same TV programme being shown endlessly, the same tomato being eaten again and again. Perpetrators of graffiti getting locked up in Surrey and it counting towards their GCSE coursework in London is inconsistent but not impossible and not undesirable. A politician occasionally telling the truth would be a novelty. No they are not unfairly criticised they are all, every last man jack of them consistent liars.
When I was about 7 I noticed at election times all the Labour and Conservative posters and the occasional Liberal poster. I asked my mother what it was all about.
She said; "Labour stand for the poor and the Conservatives stand for the rich - the Liberals dont stand for anything - your father votes Liberal"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday Lunch 9th July 2006

Today went for lunch with Ann's Aunt, on the left and her mother on the right.
The following conversation is in progress.
Aunt - Did you read about that man in Lyonshall? He jumped though the patio door and attacked another man. He bit off his thumb and ate it. Then he bit off his nipples and ate them too. They took him away and I think he is in a mental hospital somewhere.
Mother replies -The patio door cant have been double glazed


Called in at Leigh Delamere motorway service station on the M4.
A one litre bottle of still water to 'take away' was very finely priced at £2.07.
Obviously £2.00 was insufficient to provide a profit and required a careful balancing of the forces of supply and demand to get it right.
Meanwhile in Builth Wells yesterday the petrol station puts its price for a litre of petrol up to £1.01. I think though I can rely upon upon the thrifty spirit of the Radnorshire people to jerk quickly on the choke chain of demand and bring this impudent cur to heel.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Rien ne va plus

I didn’t pay too much attention to the news stories about the Government inviting license applications for a number of ‘supercasinos’ except to wonder in passing why a British Government would want to create these kind of monstrosities and putting it down to the general degeneration of life.
Now the answer appears simple they flogged the Dome to an American and in return for this they had to fiddle some kind license for a supercasino there. Hence the blind of seeking multiple license applications and Prescott the heavy putting the screws on Southend to withdraw from the special one.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Feng sui

We closed our Builth Wells Office and moved everyone to Llandrindod Wells - hence it's a bit crowded. So crowded that two days a week I work from home and a colleague occupies my desk. I think I can call it my desk as I am in it 3 days to her 2.
She now tells me that according Feng sui the state of my desk is not conducive to something or other and the same can be said for leaving the toilet seat up.
I am not sure whether FS requires that the lid be lowered as well as the seating facility although I can see a case might be made for leaving the lid up in the kamikaze position. kamikaze I recall meaning divine wind.
The position of objects may be significant in a real way. I remember sitting on the beach at Pendine and poking at the sand with a stick. I observed as three grains of sand moved a small distance from each other. It occurred to me that although they had only moved a matter of millimeters the distance of every other point in the universe to the grains in question had altered and immediately. Therefore no action however trivial has less than universal consequences. This sudden insight into the nature of existence occurred to me 7 years ago and I can honestly say that since that time it has made no difference whatsoever. Perhaps I should try closing the toilet seat?