Friday, 24 July 2015

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here. 

I write during a lull in the hurly-burly of preparating for our Palace Summer Garden Party. As ever, I have been inundated with suggestions for new events to join evergreen joys such as the now sadly ageing Lambeth Country Dance Team and the ever popular Home Made Wine stall, which this year will offer an especially potent dock leaf and turnip brew. 

An individual called Kanye West came up in discussion several times. My research suggests that Mr West is a popular singer, although the young man with the wire in his ear- so often my guide through things contemporary -  tells me that Mr West’s music and persona may not suit our essentially English gathering. According to the young man with the wire in his ear, Mr West is an egocentric arsehole. Naturally, the young man with the wire in his ear immediately apologised for his earthy terminology, but I must admit that I myself met quite a few egocentric arseholes during my banking days. What would Jesus have done ? In the end, we settled for Mr Des O’Connor.
After the sad deaths of a pet dog and a tortoise, killed by herring gulls, I note that our Prime Minister seeks to have a “Big Conversation” about the depredations of these large and apparently aggressive sea birds. There are two camps here – one which points out that herring gulls are opportunist predators who make no distinction between Yorkshire terriers or day trippers’ ice cream cones and that we mere humans can do little to modify the their behaviour, and the other which recommends poisoning, shooting, sterilising and gassing in order to keep our small dogs and bags of chips safe. My lady wife allies herself to this latter grouping and has been spotted lurking, armed with one of my old cricket bats and a stale loaf, on the library’s flat roof.
Mention of cricket, especially in the wake of England’s recent comprehensive defeat by Australia, pains me somewhat. How can it be that after our outstanding victory in the first test match we can, as the young man with the wire in his ear put it, “roll over like a bunch of numpties” in the second? I know not. Perhaps during the third test, in the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Where two or three (English slip fielders) are gathered together….(many Australian wickets will be taken)“ Of course, the brackets are mine, but I live in hope.

Pip pip,


Friday, 17 July 2015

Packing Volumes

It's that time of year again. Once again we ask some of this country's leading writers to share with us what they will be taking to read on their hols.

Candice Thrubb:

This year I will be taking with me to Lombardy something very exciting. All About Me (5) is the fifth and latest volume of my autobiography, just hot off the press - so hot that I haven't yet had a chance to peek inside and check that all is as it should be. I will, of course, need to take with me as well the four companion volumes to check for consistency of reference and maybe just for old time's sake. Can't wait.

Lawrence O'Fegarty:

I'm looking forward to having with me in Umbria this year the fully illustrated edition of Unremarkable Objects, Norman Stiblet's monumental study of North Staffordshire drain-covers. I won't be going anywhere without also packing the 1962 edition of Pitkin Pictorial's Guide to Devon. Where would we be without bella Italia!

Antonia Pluke-Anstruther:

Anthony Quirke-Burke has been at it again and I won't be leaving any airport till I've got my hands on his much-acclaimed Plonker.

Benedict Crope:

No trip to Italy would be complete for me without a small book of verse to dip into poolside. My choice this year will be Another Garland by Amanda Crope. And I shall have And, Sigourney Hirschnackel's riveting work on the use of this small conjunction in Western Literature.

Anthony Quirke-Burke:

Can't help it, I'm a creature of habit. So it's back to Puglia once again and taking with me Antonia Pluke-Anstruther's much thumbed Nether Region.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Pangolin Science

Dr Oswald von Thyroid, a leading authority Bunt’s Syndrome (the study of really boring things for its own sake), and seen here looking at something unspeakable in a little glass tube thing recently proved conclusively that immersing a man of average height and weight wearing a pair of Dreadnought underpants of average height and weight in mole urine for twelve hours drastically alters the size and whiteness of said underpants.
Says Dr von Thyroid, "Collecting the mole urine was the difficult part. It took my team 14 years. But I am confident that here is proof positive of significant implications for the underpant industry worldwide."

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Ask Lady Violet

Dear Lady Violet,

I've been hired by a posh lady to strip out the filfy old bathroom in the house that she'd bought at auction as a repossession. Strip it out, and replace with mahogany units and gold plated taps, all that. I done it, and right clarse it looked too.

Unfortunately, I'd broke into the wrong house to do this and she's refusing to pay for the works done. Should I take her to court? And what shall I do about the eco-freak in the house what's got my work who's trying to sue me for breaking and entering, causing criminal damage to his conservatory (which I've turned into the mahogany bathroom) and is sending hate mail because the wood has not come from a sustainable source?

Yours sincerely,

Bingo Leadwilly
Lickey End

Dear Mr Leadwilly,
Unfortunately, you fall into an increasingly large class of relatively skilled but intellectually challenged people - often men - presently clogging up the nation's courts. What you describe is a mistake. To that I would add BSM - as in Bloody Stupid Mistake. In simple terms, it is your fault. I would suggest that unless you can show that the gold plated taps were acquired by you legitimately, you should go into hiding immediately.


Lady V

Dear Lady Violet,

My bloke insists on showing me the contents of the dustpan every time he's done a bit of clearing up. It's mostly dust. With the occasional hair clip.

I couldn't give a toss and I wish he'd fuck off. How can I explain this without hurting his feelings?

Yours in anticipation,

Euphoria Bentley-Potts

My Dear Miss Bentley-Potts,
There is never an easy way to end a relationship. Personally, I have always favoured a direct approach, but this will inevitably involve hurt feelings on the rejected one's behalf.
If I might suggest a middle way - why don't you collect together this person's belongings, pile them up in the street and when he appears saying, "Erm, have you seen my socks?" you point eloquently outside. When he goes outside to investigate, slam and lock the front door, then and only then, yell, "FUCK OFF!" through the letterbox.

My best wishes,


Lady V

Thursday, 9 July 2015


Has anyone seen my frisbee? It is one of the new-fangled, memory-foam types, all properly sprung and everyfink!

Last seen in the Poyndexter Park area, Glossop, in 1908. You can see from the expressions of these frisbee-playing bystanders what a very impressive piece of kit it is. Seemed to be heading off towards Mars.

Please contact U F O Pugwash, Prickle-Bottome, Herts.