Monday, 15 September 2014
Our gardening expert writes:
I've been brought up to believe that statuary can bring a touch of class to any garden. Classical nudes are usually the best (providing they have all the right bits in the right places) and can be handy for hanging your jerkin on if things get hot while busying yourself in the undergrowth. I've got Aphrodite round the back, clutching a conch shell (which is where I keep the Slug Death). Artemis, in another corner, has a prominent right nipple on to which Mrs Dibstick hangs her bag of clothes pegs.
They're a funny lot, Greek gods and goddesses. If you're thinking of having one in to your garden, it may be worth spending just a few moments looking up details and background to see what you are getting, before you install in the shrubbery. Dionysus (or Bacchus to the Romans) was god of wine, parties, chaos, drunkenness, drugs and ecstasy, which makes him an ever popular choice for the patio. But he was also the god of wild vegetation, meaning that may not be such a wise addition to the Cotswold flagstones after all. Apollo, with his long hair and ideal physique, was, among other things, god of manly beauty. On the head of our Apollo, out the front, is where I often place my gardening cap and, I have to say, the resemblance is remarkable. But he was also god of plague.
Not everyone is interested in what happened long ago, of course, regarding it all as old hat. If that kind of person is you, then take another look at some of the latest things now available from the catalogues of garden ornaments. Statues that move! It's marvellous what they get up to these days thanks to solar power: winking cherubs, Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, flexing her come-hither finger, young Ganymede getting rather excited. It's a lovely way to transform a quiet corner and to set the neighbours talking.
Next month: easy ways to keep your garden lit to daylight levels throughout the hours of darkness, such as every responsible homeowner would wish to do.
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Any invading cybermen are instantly shrunk to the size of a Barbie doll, where they can simply be disposed of by means of a car boot sale, or eBay.
"Well there was I, attempting world domination as is my wont on a Sunday afternoon - when all of a sudden there's this daft bint waving around a secret weapon and swearing.
I've never heard language like it. My Auntie Lucy would have been dead shocked, I tell you.
Then my world got suddenly and terrifyingly bigger. I just need to get out of this place. It's giving me warts and they'll be expecting me back for tea back home."
If you think you can help Ashley get back to Earth's twin planet, Mondas, please get in touch.
Monday, 8 September 2014
With Philippa Phinch
Dr Anselm Furtling. 1764pp Published by Lockjaw and Crowsfoot. £130.00
This is a startling book, not only for its weight – flimsy coffee table owners beware – but for its often technical explanation of the true nature of dust, for example, “Dust is bits of stuff which float about the place and needs to be got rid of in case relatives see it".
Dr Furtling tackles dust head on. He has a carefully catalogued collection at his home in Glossop. He takes no prisoners, saying “I have a tea-caddy full of dust from Buckingham Palace. Thorough analysis reveals it to be identical to samples taken at the local homeless hostel. Which is why I am a lifelong socialist.“
Elena Throat 82pp Published by Flabbre and Ghast £7.99
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Despite the grievous and dreadful things happening all over the world, I have felt the need recently to preach about the ordinary, the mundane, the everyday. It seems to me obvious that a Churchperson of High Office such as myself is bound to call for world peace, and indeed, most do, but often, I think, great sins oft spring from tiny transgressions.
And so I determined to do what many millions of people do every evening and watch television. This is not as easy as it was, bearing in mind my lady wife’s recent obsession with Sky Sports – rugby league in particular – so I did my viewing via the far smaller set in my study. I was undisturbed for quite some time because the young man with the wire in his ear also favours the league version of the violent game I was forced to play at school.
So I settled back in the early evening with a comforting cup of Bournvita and tuned to a popular channel showing something called “The Great British BakeOff”. This programme boasted a delightfully simple format. Two professional bakers, one a chubby bearded fellow called Holyrood, and the other a very old lady whose name I forget, gave baking contestants difficult things to make. Now, my lady wife used to be an excellent baker until last Christmas when the seasonal cake she produced nearly did for the Bishop of Chelmsford. He had three slices. Fortunately, the young man with the wire in his ear, sensing that something was not quite right when he saw Chelmsford in conversation with the hall hat stand, ran and fetched his breathalyser. My Lord Bishop turned out to be four times over the limit, having drunk orange juice all evening. He stayed in the guest room.
However, the bake-off programme seemed comparatively innocuous and involved contestants having to make a Baked Alaska pudding. Initially, there was much scurrying about in an outdoor tented kitchen with two presenters making passably amusing comments at the contestants’ antics. Apparently, Baked Alaska features an ice-cream centre and the outdoor kitchen was very warm. Consequently, a place in the refrigerator for one’s ice cream was vital.
You can imagine my surprise when one of the contestants, a young bearded man with surprised-looking hair, found that HIS ice cream had been unceremoniously REMOVED FROM THE FRIDGE!
Worse was to come. His ice cream had been removed BY A FELLOW CONTESTANT! This turned out to be an hitherto very pleasant older lady. The upshot was that the young man with surprised hair threw his hopelessly melted ice-cream into the bin and walked away.
I found this all mildly disturbing. But only mildly so. It was only the following morning when I scanned the newspapers and listened to the BBC news and found that apparently the entire nation was up in arms about this incident. The older lady had received death threats and is now under armed guard at a secret location. The young gentleman with the surprised hair has had his name put forward to be the next Pope.
I was staggered. Staggered and saddened that in the face of the world’s real troubles, so much anger could be caused by a ruined Baked Alaska.
Nevertheless, I shall continue to base my sermons on common or garden day to day events for a little while longer, beginning next Sunday with a few words about someone called Simon Callow refusing to change his own child’s nappy for less than £10,000.
Goodness knows what Jesus would have done about that !
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Breeding season's over for now, so I've had to look for further diversions and those human beans never disappoint. You get such a good reaction if you just hover gently over them, following them wherever they go. They may try and bamboozle you by going into one of the bogs, in which case you continue your gently sentimental hovering and resume when they reappear.
Cheers 'em up no end!
It has come to my attention that some of my smartass colleagues - to wit, Denzil and Gertie from No. 62, and Shitface from West Hill, have come across a jolly good wheeze to trap fish. It goes like this:
Hang around burger bar on the sea front.
Nick a burger from an unsuspecting tourist.
Drop it in shallow waters.
Watch fish gather to eat it.
Catch biggest one, land on someone's car and beat fish to death for ten minutes.
Now, there's no denying that this is an engaging, productive way of utilising one's time, but I had this strangely persistent feeling that the approach had more POTENTIAL. I therefore modified it as follows:
Enter into bar on sea front.
Nick dish from counter, the one containing tips, and fly off.
Spot outdoor restaurant with best looking grub.
Drop dish of coins a few yards away from table.
Watch people gather round it.
Nick temporarily abandoned meals whilst they admire coins.
Having a quick 'blip' is optional, though you may hit six targets with only one drop using this method.
Hope you all had a great Bank Holiday weekend!
Saturday, 23 August 2014
Dear Lady Violet,
I keep trying to discuss things with my husband, but to no avail. He just won't listen. I mean, I do try to vary my subject matter - from 'How on earth are we going to pay the mortgage on this 18th century minor stately home this month?' to 'Would you prefer leather or rubber for our "fun" outfits tonight?'
You'd think something would grab his attention, wouldn't you? But he just doesn't seem to be listening. I get no response from him at all.
My neighbours think that a private ouija board might be more effective than holding séances. Do you think the fact that he passed away fifteen years ago may have some bearing on the matter?
Meredith Bamboo, OBE
My Dear Mrs Bamboo,
I see you play the oboe. This could well be the root of your problem. Its a long accepted fact that the sound of that instrument drives the spirits of our loved ones from our hearths. Indeed, the Bishop of Glossop, the Right Reverend Alvin Stubby, a time-served spiritualist nutter if ever there was one, goes so far as to claim that the very appearance of the oboe is anathema to our dear departed.
So my advice to you is to get real and stop farting about with the Great Hereafter, flog the manor house and seek some sort of sheltered housing.
P.S. Ghosts hate trombones too.