Friday, May 31, 2013
On a social networking site of a cyberfizzog-oriented nature, I promised a sequel to a recent post — a sequel high on fluffy, cutesy pig action.
So here it is, wriggling and squeeing in the soiled hay of bloggerly interplay like the fulfilled promise of a kiss from a vampire invited ‘pon your lips — ’pon your neck — by virtue of your own witless stupidity.
Yes! I love you this much, guys!
You’ll recall from my last-but-one post that the recent Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK was generous with its sunlight, affording multiple days out in the non-rain for anyone interested in developing a suntan reminiscent of the Dulux Colour Wheel hue, ‘Ultra Bleach’. On day one, we hot-footed it round the grounds of Staunton Harold; on day two we greeted the relics of Shakespeare’s imagined past with the cheery smiles of mismatched lovers a-thwarted suddenly discovering new hope in the thoroughly ridiculous.
I don’t deny that Shakespeare was a genius — his ruminations-made-proclamations still hiccup loudly centuries after he wrote them — but for heaven’s sake, people who tend to the upkeep of Mary Arden Farm, I have no interest in the probable contents of his Elizabethan pantry, nor still the beautifully landscaped gardens flourishing where once there existed a not particularly interesting yard in which one of his many girlfriends might have posed half naked.
Ah — maraud ye not over my sensibility with your impatience, follower friends!
I WAS GETTING TO THE PIGS, OK?
Here’s one! Look!
Lodged, fluffy and cutesy (as foretold), in the handwashdispenser-rich sty in the grounds of Mary Arden Farm (along with the traditional multicoloured plastic play area and the goat-on-a-podium obsessed with rubbing its raw anus against stonework the bard himself might have bumped into in a drunken haze between penning the final lines of Hamlet and trimming his beard
you will find a selection of Perfectly Pettable Pigs!
Aaaaaah! Looookadum! All cutesy and fluffy and reminiscent of a failed genetic mutation experiment involving the DNA for Ed Sheeran’s hair!
But there’s more!
In the sty next to the overly enthusiastic faux Elizabethan musicians (with their tuneless strings, barking mad voices and bedsheets-cum-doubloons) there were more, EVEN FLUFFIER, cutesy pigs.
Blow-dried pigs on an Elizabethan farm? Like the ones groomed by hand by the Bard himself as he suckled at the breast of Mary Arden on a wheeled hammock?
Off, off, verily, must thou feck.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
As a nation, the British spend more time than most celebrating national holidays on rainy days.
Whether it’s the Queen’s official birthday, the mating season for any of her corgis, or simply a day when the banks are shut and ASDA closes at 6pm, the heavens are guaranteed to open for the event.
But not so today, with any luck. And not so yesterday either, even though it was a regular Sunday.
So I’m cheering whoopily in my pyjamas here, poised between the first two decent days out since my mum pushed me round a park somewhere in Skegness in 1967.
Today, I’m doing Stratford, hoping to take in a feast of Shakespeare and perplexed Japanese tourists. Yesterday, I did Staunton Harold, and it was splendid.
Momentarily, I rock.
Friday, May 17, 2013
like a horse
in a meadow.
like a chimp
in a stream.
like a hornet
on a sunset.
like a pelican
on a table.
like a fish
in a balloon.
like a stone
in a haystack.
Ilfracombe Primary School Koan Workshop,
Friday, May 10, 2013
I have no desire to blame the Coalition for the world’s ills, but right now I’m sitting in what was once a thriving bar (my favourite) in a thriving town (my home), staring into a vacuum of thin air.
Only a year ago, this place would have been packed, a crucible for a cocktail of adventure and sweat as some Kings of Leon lookalike band played Nirvana covers in Queen regalia ripped from a useless waxworks museum.
When the night club closed last year, it sucked the life out of the place, and though Friday and Saturday nights still boast the odd gang of lads out on the pull, the Thursday night pre-weekend throb of joy has withered to a cornified crisp.
I may have to pretend to give birth to an alien life form, just to break the mood of abject desolation.
Either that or I’ll operate the barmaid’s petrified corpse like a puppet and pop in a Specials CD...
Friday, May 3, 2013
It’s been a while since I’ve slirruped anything relishy onto a cheese sandwich (my recent penchant has been for onion and tomato, just in case you’re interested, sandwich fetish fiendikins) so today I decided to reacquaint myself with all things Branston Pickloid.
I have an odd working relationship with the old Branno, frequently blowing hot and cold while it blows cold and hot. Some days I can’t bear to be within a Neptunian moon width of this famed crispy crunchy slurry; other times, it’s as if I crave the services of a shrunken dwarven plasterer, lowered down into my gullet with trowel and bucket of Branno — and sufficient gusto to coat my stomach wall from fundus to pyloric canal.
Having done the whole distant planet moon thing for the better part of the last few months, I wondered whether the Branno would still be in the fridge. Girly of Whirly swears it works wonders on her skin and Son of Whirl always has some science project on the go involving miscellaneous projectiles (or maybe an imprisoned cat) so when I cast my hand into the fridge I was pleased as punch when it settled on precisely what I needed — a bit like when you throw out a hand to stroke an imaginary dog and there’s always one there.
I made to lift the jar, to convey it to my working top and gloopity gloop gloop its contents onto my sliced and ironed Edam, to whoop Yippee! Yippee! Branno! and perform the beagliest of Snoopy dances about the kitchen with the unrestrained glee of an easily pleased teenager blessed with his or her first pet hamster — when suddenly, unexpectedly, startlingly, I noticed another jar of pickle right next to it.
From the absence of label I knew right away that it was Mother of Girly of Whirly’s famed Marrow Pickle. Now, here was a conundrum!!!*
* ! (!)
Should I perform my Edamular sandwichiations with the aid of my original choice of Branno, or be swayed, almost zen monk on a swing-like, by the lure of pickle cultivated from marrows grown barely three miles down the road from where the remains of Richard III were unearthed?
In the end, the decision was an easy one to make: Behind both jars of pickle lurked a further jar of something clearly relishy and chutneyey whose screw top lid simply had to be unscrewed with immediate (wrench enhanced) gusto.
“Ah!” I yelped,* “this looks, smells and feels like the miscellaneous vegetable chutney given to me by my next door neighbour as a small reward for trimming her bush!”
* still kind of doing the Snoopy dance — the bit after the foxtrot sequence when he catches his tail in the door of Charlie Brown’s shed.
That’s when it came to me, the brilliant, brilliant idea. Why don’t I combine all three relishes? Spread them over Edam, over Hovis, in a layered spectacular to rival the Istanbul Rug Piling Festival?
I knew it was a brilliant idea because I got that whole lightbulb thing where the glow of synaptic perfection bursts through your skull and illuminates everything within a couple of feet of you — only it very quickly dawned on me that said glow wasn’t coming from my head but was instead pulsating from somewhere right at the back of the fridge behind a bag of cucumbers. I recoiled — a reflex all-body spasm I thought could only have resulted from figuring out that the main source of my chilled foods and beverages might be harbouring a miniature genius in the throes of post-eureka splendour. But it’s an easy mistake to make. What I saw when I pulled open my eyes was a tiny open doorway, similar to the portal to Narnia, only smaller (and, because it was close to the fruit tray, bananaier), in front of which a couple of elves were rolling out jars of all kinds.
“You got the Piccalilli?” shouted one (clearly the boss on account of his ridiculous stick-on moustache).
A voice called back from the rear of the fridge. “Two more to come, then a jar of pickled gherkins and some mystery jam with a rusty lid labelled, ‘proberbly blackcurrant, 1936'.”
I poked my nose between the glass shelves. “Is the Piccalilli going spare?”
“Might be.” The boss elf eyed my tri-layered Edam sandwich. “Going for the quartet of unbelievable flavours, are we?”
“Indeed — and the gherkins and the blackcurrant would be a bridge too far, I think, despite the absence of anchoring points presenting no kind of material problem.”
“As you wish,” said the elf, handing me the Piccalilli.
As I made — nay, constructed — nay, summoned almost magically — my sandwich, the elves worked on, rolling out jar after jar till my fridge was a-burst with more preserved vegetables than the House of Commons midway through a speech by Iain Duncan-Smith.
“Now you can go as crazy as you like,” said the elves, barbershopqueartetminusonely. The portal closed behind them and they were gone (with the exception of the boss elf, who was doing the post-foxtrot part of the Snoopy dance and caught the hem of his dungarees on a nearby cucumber).
I laughed, and chomped mightily on my sandwich. “Hey, don’t worry guys — I will.”