Monday, March 26, 2007

I am a camera.

I remember a film of this title which I have forgotten but the title lives on.
Having spent my life first listening to the radio, Dan Dare, Journey into Space, The Goon Show , Round the Horn etc and then graduating to television, ‘I love Lucy’ , Quatermass etc and then films, Jason and the Argonauts, American musicals etc etc I found myself sitting in the window of a Chinese restaurant watching the street while recorded music played through concealed speakers. I soon noticed that what was happening in the outside world was being beautifully choreographed in response to the music and that it must have been me that was doing it. Around the corner limped a fellow his awkward movements perfectly in time. My eyes subconsciously choosing the right beat cut to a woman who circled once as she walked to call out to a friend . I found my eyes moving naturally from one rhythmic object to another and sometimes I moved the whole head. But always there was never any difficulty in keeping the music and movement together.
So all those years of sitting down in front of the radio, the TV and the cinema were not wasted they have turned me into a sort of artist.

More refined than Rab C

Alan Johnston sent me these - I couldnt even find a picture of Chick Murray with Google image

Chic Murray (glasgow legend from the 60s) - just for douglas:

'I was in London the other day and this man came up to me and asked me if I knew the Battersea dog's home. I said that I didn't know it had been away.'

'So there I was lying in the gutter. This man stopped and asked '"What's the matter? Did you fall over?" So I said "No. I've a bar of toffee in my back pocket and I was just trying to break it."

I made a stupid mistake last week. Come to think of it, did you ever hear of someone making a clever mistake?

So I gave him a wave. Actually, it was more of a half wave, because I only half know him.

What use is happiness? It can't buy you money

If something's neither here nor there, where the hell is it?

I had a tragic childhood. My parents never understood me. They were Japanese.

I won't say I was slow developer, but our teacher was quite pleased to have someone her own age in the class to talk to.

If it weren't for marriage, husband and wives would have to fight with strangers.

After I told my wife that black underwear turned me on, she didn't wash my Y-fronts for a month.

Kippers- fish that like a lot of sleep.

The boat was so old; it must have been launched when Long John Silver had two legs and an egg on his shoulder.

It was a pretty posh place. They were so used to fur coats that two bears strolled in and ordered lunch and nobody even noticed.

I felt as out of place as a left-handed violinist in a crowded string section.

I drew a gun. He drew a gun. I drew another gun. Soon we were surrounded by lovely drawings of guns.

There's a new slimming course just out where they remove all your bones. Not only do you weigh less, but you also look so much more relaxed.

The police stopped me when I was out in my car. They told me it was a spot check. I admitted to two pimples and a boil.

I first met my wife in the tunnel of love. She was digging it at the time.

I dreamt I was forced to eat 25lbs of marshmallows. When I woke up, my pillow was missing.

I got up this morning. I like to get up in the morning; it gives me the rest of the day to myself. I crossed the landing and went down stairs. Mind you, if there had been no stairs, I wouldn't even have attempted it.

We were so poor; the ultimate luxury in our house at the time was ashtrays without advertisements. It was all the wolf could do to keep us away from his door. A luxury meal was prairie sandwiches- two slices of bread with wide-open spaces between them. There were so many holes in my socks I could put them on seventeen different ways.

My mother was so house proud that when my father got up to sleepwalk she had the bed made by the time he got back.

I went to the butchers to buy a leg of lamb. "Is it Scotch?", I asked. "Why?Are you going to talk to it or eat it?". "In that case, have you got any wild duck?". "No", he responded, "but I've got one I could aggravate for you".

I rang the bell of this small bed-and breakfast place, whereupon a lady appeared at an outside window. "What do you want?", she asked. "I want to stay here", I replied. "Well, stay there then", she said and closed the window.

There are two rules for drinking whisky. First, never take whisky without water, and second, never take water without whisky.

My wife went to a beauty parlour and got a mudpack. For two days she looked nice, then the mud fell off.

My father was from Aberdeen, and a more generous man you couldn't wish to meet. I have a gold watch that belonged to him. He sold it to me on his deathbed. I wrote him a cheque for it, post dated of course.

I went to the doctor and he told me I only had three minutes to live. I immediately asked if there was anything he could do for me, to which he replied, that he could boil me an egg.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Murder he wrote

If he does turn out to be strangled then I think the chances are it was a spin bowler as they would have the necessary power in their fingers.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Replace wife with mechanical woman for only £119.99

About 5 or 6 years ago we were visiting an émigré from the village who had gone to live in Sleaford , Lincolnshire. I was driving and Ann was navigating with her usual reluctance. After half an hour of driving without seeing anything that looked at all reassuring to me I stopped the car and asked Ann if she was sure that she knew where we were. She showed me the map and pointed out the thin, meandering road upon which we were set and assured me that soon we would arrive at Pinkies. When I pointed out to her that the road was meandering because it was in fact a river and this might have been guessed to be the case even by the inexperienced map reader because it was coloured blue she did not seem at all ready to accept the necessary sarcasm but rather threw the map at me and refused to go on.
Last Thursday I bought from Aldi a satellite navigation system for £119.99 and it works beautifully. It has a female voice. Apart from calculating the route accurately, should I make the occasional error she does not say “You should have turned where I said – I dont know where we are – youll have to go back. This is the last time…..etc etc”. Instead of all that stuff the mechanical woman quietly recalculates the route and tells me the way in a voice that bears no recriminations and does not humiliate by forcing me back to face the precise point of my error

Monday, March 19, 2007

Grocer menace

Just popped down to the Spa for a sandwich.
There is a chap there normally whose name I do not know and with whom I have never had any kind of a conversation who always greets me with; “ Yall right?” I used to find this very disconcerting and wondered what he knew about my life.
I have just returned with my sandwich having been served by a new one who saves his little dose of paranoia until the end of the transaction when he closes with “Take care now”. Its all very worrying.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

British First

I have deliberately kept this film of me dark so as to avoid identification.
I now make public my discovery which advances human kind and gives justification to my life.
Since the dawn of time if somebody wished to make a popping sound they took their index finger or that long one in the middle of the hand the name of which I do not possess although I am sure it has one and placed it inside the mouth flicking it from inside to outside to produce the pop. I have discovered, and up until now kept it secret, that placing the finger on the outside of the cheek and flicking inwards produces a much more satisfactory sound. I should say that to produce the best sound you do need to inflate the cheek and this is done by blocking the mouth with the middle finger. It is well worth the effort of practicing this technique.
It is only fear of publication in America that leads me to rush ahead with this announcement now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sharper than a serpents tooth all round

Back to the Black Prince. There was just one child among the passengers aged 3.
She was called Regan. Didn’t her mother research the name before bestowing it upon her? Cordelia I can understand but Regan? I like to think though that in later life she might be grateful for not being called Goneril.

There was one real disaster on board though, more horrific than the already reported near sinking and the non-exploding Muslim. One day I misread the ‘dress code’ for the day and took it as ‘informal’ when in fact it was ‘casual’ and not even ‘smart casual’. I was devastated to find myself in a jacket and tie when all about me smirked in open necked shirts. The shame of it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Greenwich Park

I just bought this postcard of the refreshment Pavilion in Greenwich Park - posted 1910. It was still there and operating in 1960, 70 years later. I hope it is still there.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The non appearance of toast makes the idea of God more plausible

Leibniz said in effect that out of the infinite number of possible universes that God could have created he chose the one that produced the greatest good.
This makes sense. If everything were ‘perfect’ , no pain, no death etc then apart from the fact that we wouldn’t be human in the way we have been up to now, apart from that, we would soon invent new trivia to get heated over. On this Black Prince the service is fantastic and the meals excellent, by my definition of the word it is a perfect eating experience and provided by Philipinos . For some reason though the other day at breakfast the toast did not turn up on cue. I would guess the period of uncertainty between its absence being noted and its actual arrival was less than 3 minutes. However in this plane of perfection the miniscule ripple of ‘no toast’ seemed to cause tremendous waves of panic on our table. ‘where is the toast’ , ‘he hasn’t brought the toast’, ‘my eggs going cold -I cant eat it without the toast’ ‘Excuse me toast here please!’. Gradually the panic and aggression seemed to mount and Ann and I wished we were not sitting there. Had these people forgotten what the service was like in England ?
I draw the conclusion that Leibniz’s contention is therefore tenable. If as human beings we have the capacity to suffer pain then in a universe where perfection reigns except in the matter of the regular appearance of toast at breakfast people will begin to feel real pain when they don’t get their toast on time.
We do not know what the output of good would be under any other possible arrangement of the universe compared to the present one but there is no reason to suppose for example that the removal of all pain automatically increases the good

Big bang didn't happen

There were about 400 passengers on the Black Prince and practically all of them/us were British, white , over 50 and by nature conservative. After we left Liverpool there appeared among us a young Muslim couple, the wife wearing black and the burqa, only her eyes visible in the exposed slit. When I was very young, too young for it’s rating, I managed to get in to see the cult film ‘The Day the Earth stood still’. This involved a Robot called Gort who was capable of destroying the world by activating a slit in it’s face and this silent unsmiling couple came with a similar kind of alien menace. They spoke to nobody and remained in their cabin. A few days later we were walking along the narrow corridor of cabins from fore to aft when the brighter light at the end of the corridor illuminated the figure of the woman leaning with her back against the ships side and I could make out from her silhouette that she appeared to be pregnant. As we approached I kept thinking to myself, ‘please don’t let her explode, please don’t let her explode, please don’t let her explode’. She didn’t .

Friday, March 09, 2007


I lay on my bed with my body running from port to starboard.
On my left hand side was a window with a curtain which I could see edge on. The window was secured with great bolts and could not be opened. Ahead of me just beyond my feet Ann’s Jacket hung on a hook.
As we began to cross the Bay of Biscay the jacket moved on its hook. More correctly the jacket remained where it was and the whole ship oscillated about it. The instrument of Ann’s jacket recorded the pitch of the ship.
Out of the corner of my eye I observed the curtain move into the cabin or rather the whole ship moved away from the curtain. The instrument of the curtain measured the roll of the ship.
Round about two O’clock in the morning Ann said she had had enough and was going collect her life jacket from the bottom of the wardrobe and go and wait in the ‘muster station’ for the inevitable call. I shouted at her to get a grip of herself and felt much better for my little bout of nastiness.
There were not many for breakfast the next morning