A wry view of life for the world-weary

Category Archives: News

Christmas Crackers (4)

For those seeking their fix of up-to-the minute Christmas cracker jokes, here are ten of the best for 2017:

  • Why was Theresa May sacked as nativity manager? She couldn’t run a stable government.
  • Why don’t Southern Rail train guards share advent calendars? They want to open the doors themselves.
  • What’s the difference between Ryanair and Santa? Santa flies at least once a year.
  • Kim Jong Un will play Santa this year in the South’s annual pantomime. He said he fancied a Korea change.
  •  Why did Donald Trump continuously decorate the Christmas tree? Because people kept saying ‘moron’ to him.
  • Why was the planned Ryanair TV documentary scrapped? They were unable to air a pilot.
  • Which TV Christmas special is being filmed in Brussels this year? Deal Or No Deal.
  • Theresa May has asked Santa for a home makeover this year. First thing on the list was a new Cabinet.
  •  What did Bruce Forsyth say when the Christmas pheasant repeated on him? ‘Good game, good game’.
  • Why did Jeremy Corbyn ask people not to eat sprouts on Christmas Day? He wants to give peas a chance.

Statue Of The Week

In the South Australian city of Adelaide there has been a bit of a stushie surrounding a new statue erected at Blackfriars Priory School, I read this week.

The statue shows the Peruvian born saint, Martin de Porres, offering a bread roll to a boy kneeling by his side. What may have looked fine in two-dimensional form caused an uproar when the three-dimensional statue was unveiled. Instead of an image of saintly kindness and devotion, to those with a certain disposition it seemed to depict the tradition of a priapic priest offering himself to a bewildered boy.

The statue has now been fitted with a burqa until the authorities decide what to do with the statue.

Size, proportion and positioning is everything with statuary, I feel.

Performance Artist Of The Week

The courthouse of the Belgian coastal town of Ostend was the venue for an unusual piece of performance art, I read this week. The rules of what constitutes art are not set in stone but Mikes Poppe was, using a 10 foot long shackle to chain himself by the ankle to a four ton block of Carrara marble. |In the piece entitled De Profondis the stone represented the inescapable burden of history – of course it did, silly me – and the idea was that Poppe would chisel his way to freedom.

Unfortunately, 19 days after, despite constantly chipping away and eating and sleeping on the job, Poppe still hadn’t freed himself from the shackles of history and Joanna Davos, the curator of the courthouse, decided that enough was enough. In another piece of performance art a workman was sent for who, angle grinder in hand, cut the artist out.

Poppe claimed he had misjudged the strength of the marble – you don’t say? Still, undaunted, he claimed that his moment in the spotlight was a success. After all, you just can’t escape the burden of history. I could have told him that and saved him all the trouble. Artists, eh?

Bread Of The Week

I like a nice crusty loaf but this may be verging on the ridiculous. Finnish bakers, Fazer, taking advantage of their government’s decision to allow the sale of insects as food, have just launched a new bread, I read this week.

Made from flour ground from dried crickets – you get about seventy to a loaf – as well as wheat flour and seeds, it contains more protein than normal bread. A spokesperson helpfully added that the insects also bring good fatty acids, calcium, iron and vitamin B12, and a satisfying crunch, to the mix.

If you happen to be at a loose end in Helsinki, seek out Fazer Sirkkaleipa. Mind you, this gastronomic delight comes at a price, retailing at almost double what the humble loaf would ordinarily set you back

Will it catch on? Reports already suggest the loaves are jumping off the shelves. Anyone thinking about appearing on next year’s I’m A Celebrity may want to get a supply in!

Supermarket Of The Week

One of the highlights of my week now that I am retired is the trip to the supermarket. I am prone to the odd bout of sarcasm. However, things would be brightened up considerably if I lived within striking distance of the Morrison’s store in Guiseley, near Leeds.

To help shoppers endure the experience, particularly as Christmas looms, they have opened up a bar, located near the café, where shoppers and trolley pushers can refuel with Saltaire Blonde ale or, if they prefer, wine or a selection of bottled ciders and lagers. Helpfully, it is open from as early as 6 am so you can get your early morning hair of the dog.

Gets my vote but the aisles could be a bit dangerous if shoppers imbibe too liberally. Can you be done for being drunk in charge of a shopping trolley? A new definition of being trolleyed, perhaps?


Announcement Of The Week

I have been writing this blog for over five years now and I am beginning to find that the well of inspiration is running rather dry. In order to maintain what quality there is  I have decided to reduce the frequency with which posts appear on the blog. There will be a minimum of three posts per week and I will be concentrating principally on reviews (books, art and gin), etymology, and some of the features which from WordPress statistics seem to elicit the most views and/or likes.

I hope you continue to enjoy the blog and thank you for your support to date. You never know, I may get a second wind in the new year!

Market Stall Of The Week

One of the keys to success in business, I’m told, is to cover all bases. Wandering around a market near Benijofar in Spain last week – the lengths I go to to get a story for your delectation knows no bounds – I came across this stall which seems to be a perfect illustration of the aphorism.

Ostensibly selling security equipment, grilles and the like, it has a sign that sows the seeds of doubt into the shopper’s mind. It asks whether you are able to get out of your home in the event of an emergency, the implication being that the stall has the answer for you. What caught my eye, though, was a sign to the right of the stall holder which entreated you to buy a funeral plan there. Either way, the stall meets your needs.

Shame, the woman wasn’t exactly rushed off her feet, seemingly well on course to finishing off her book in time for a siesta.

Sculpture Of The Week

It is amazing what you can find when you take a hike in the mountains. A group, including Marika Roth, were approaching the summit of Mount Oetscher in south-western Austria when their attention was grabbed by an enormous (ahem) erection on the summit.

Someone, whose identity is at the time of writing is unknown, had carved and installed a giant phallic sculpture on the mountain top. If the artist’s identity remains shrouded in mystery, the authorities will have no option but to hand it over to the owners of the land – a religious order of monks.

It is a good job the land is not owned by nuns, methinks.

Bender Of The Week (5)

What would you do if you found yourself locked in a walk-in beer fridge around midnight? Help yourself to some of the contents, perhaps? Well, this is what Jeremy van Erl did when he found himself locked in at a Kwik Trip convenience store in Marshfield, Wisconsin, I read this week.

Finding himself in this pickle at just before midnight, he made no attempt to summon assistance, eventually being discovered by the staff the following morning, some six hours later. By this time, he had helped himself to a 500 ml Icehouse beer and three cans of Four Loko. On being released van Erl fled the store, knocking over three thirty-packs of Busch beer, before eventually being apprehended and charged with retail theft.

Van Erl may well have been unusually restrained in his drinking in what was far from a Kwik Trip as the convenience store’s fridge probably didn’t contain a convenience. A golden opportunity missed, I feel.

Waiting List Of The Week

What do you do when your horse has died? Buy a new one, of course. But there is the little matter of what you do with the dead one.

Well, the Danes, enterprising people that they are, offer the carcass of their beloved nags to Copenhagen zoo to feed to their pride of esurient lions. Better than feeding them giraffes, a practice that got the zoo into a spot of bother three years ago.

There is only one problem, though. So popular is this form of nag disposal – it is free, proponents claim that it puts the animals back into the food chain and owners find it more comforting than the horse becoming biodiesel and meat balls – that there is now a six month waiting list, I read this week.

The troubling aspect of this story is what do you do with your dead horse until such time as the lion keepers can fit it into their charges meal schedule? No answer is provided. I suspect, if you go to Denmark this winter, you may find mounds of rotting horse flesh.

Anyone got any spare lions, the hungrier the better, they can give to the zoo? That will solve the problem!