Showing posts from May, 2010

Reasons why one should really make the kids take all their toys with them when they leave home

This is Rat, who has just embarked on a new career as a Travel Writer.  If you'd like to read Rat's early history before you read his first travel article (and it may be wise ....) it's here at Here's Rat's first article, written especially for this blog.  In fact, I think he's my first guest blogger.  Don't say I don't ask the top guys. SHORT BREAKS FOR RATS (and advice about who to avoid ...) by Rat I never intended to go to London for a short break via someone's coat sleeve.  Yeah, I know.  Most people travel via car or bus or train.  But coat sleeve travel is good, folks.  I recommend it.  Warm.  Cosy.  Nice and dark to snuggle down into if you get bored of watching all the green and brown and green and brown and green and brown rushing past and pretending you're loving nature but really you're bored out of your tiny mind with it, and just want

Evidence that a little bit of updating does nobody any harm

Some old novels need bringing up to date, methinks. Ta-DAH!  I bring you ....  Techno-lit! Cyber with Rosie ... in which a Gloucestershire lad in very baggy trousers strolls through a field with a young girl with plaits and a gingham dress.  The sun is out.  They can hear cows.  They discuss life at the village school, the cooking smells in his mother's kitchen, and his new Apple iMac with its 27-inch LED backlit display and widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio.  They kiss. Orange is Not the Only Fruit - A well-known mobile phone company brings out a new range of apple and banana shaped handsets which they market primarily in a depressing Northern town.  A repressed teenager with rhetorical skills honed in the Pentecostal church abandons her ambitions to go to Oxford, leaves home under a cloud, and joins the phone company as their main Northern rep.  There is a touching reconciliation with her mother after she contributes an idea for an organ music ringtone which proves surprisingl

Evidence that the words 'fashion' and 'sense' don't always go together so well

RSI or no RSI, I have to speak out. I saw someone wearing a pair of these today in my local High Street ... and I'm very sorry if it's high fashion and all that, but  .... surely nobody who's been a mother and dealt with kids in nappies (diapers if you must ...) can see this and think anything other than what I was thinking - Lie down on this plastic mat, dear, and we'll have you sorted in no time.

Reasons why you should try never to get repetitive repetitive repetitive repetitive strain injury

Hey, you guys. RSI's Gripped my arm An' done me harm. Too much typing Loads of tripe in Has caused twinges Hence these whinges. So, my pals - Guys and gals. Post I may But much more? Nay. For the moment I can't coment (?) On your own blog - I must lone blog. I 'pologise. This RSI's Come right between us. Oh, what meanness! If it mends Then, sure, my friends I'll recommence All my COMments. (Hope the capitalisation helped in the last line with covering up a blatant lowering of standards where rhythm and stress are concerned.)

Evidence that giving blood could leave you with little energy for entering your own competitions

I had a text earlier.  It said, THANK YOU SO MUCH, FRAN, FOR GIVING BLOOD TODAY. YOUR HELP WAS MUCH APPRECIATED. I smiled.  I felt really virtuous, glad that I'd been able to help, happy that my sacrifice would perhaps save the life of someone else, pleased that because of me, because of my willingness to lie there and have a pint of life-giving fluid taken, because of my philanthropic ideals and my desire to help my fellow man, I could rest easy, knowing that I'd done my bit. Then I thought ... Hang on.   WHEN DID I GIVE BLOOD? As far as I know, I haven't given blood today, nor have I ever. Or ... do they know something I don't? Have I been visited?  Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh! Having not given blood, and therefore having plenty of energy, I feel the need to run a caption competition to accompany this picture.  There are no prizes.  Not only are there no prizes, but I am going to enter my own competition lots of times.  Here

Evidence that you should make sure you have the right animal in your title before being published

Beoslug – A breathtakingly exciting Anglo-Saxon tale in which a creature slithers from the earth, after undergoing some 'be an instant literary hero' training, and silently creeps up on a green monster, who then slips on Beoslug and brains himself on the edge of a table made from real oak, measuring forty feet by eighty feet and holding thirteen pigs with apples in their mouths and some tankards made from Celts' teeth and thigh bones.  Beoslug is rewarded for his endeavours by firstly being scraped up by a buxom maiden (although he is not in a state to notice this) and then being immortalised in a long, long poem in a form of English no one can understand but which doesn't stop everyone from swearing blind they've read the whole thing from start to finish. L ord of the Wasps – a group of boys land on a desert island and immediately begin to hate each other.  One of the reasons for this is that some of the littluns swear they’ve seen a man in a yellow and black st

Things I learned about why you should just ask a neighbour for help in the first place

1. When a smoke alarm's battery has gone, and it starts to beep loudly at intervals of 23 seconds, while you are nicely settled in front of the TV, there is no point hoping that it will stop.  It will not.  This is the point.  You are supposed to change the battery immediately because, if you don't, it will be that night that an inferno begins in your wardrobe.  (Don't ask ME why.  But it MIGHT.) 2.  A sans-battery smoke alarm beeps surprisingly loudly, considering. 3. Common sense tells you that the beeps can't possibly be getting louder and louder and louder and louder and louder, so there's really no point getting irritated .  But stuff common sense. 4. A smoke alarm's favourite time to run out of battery is precisely one hour after the person who is tall and brave enough to reach it has left the house for a Northern city. 5. There is no point wishing that smoke alarms were positioned conveniently half-way up a wall so that you could change its batter

Reasons to get a good dictionary if you want to set the literary world on fire

Welcome to the world of homophone literature.  A homophone is a word which sounds the same as another word but which is spelled differently, like 'bear' and 'bare'.  So, homophone literature is what could have happened had some famous authors (or their editors) had spelling problems.  We might have had ... Grate Expectations … in which a young, orphaned boy visits an old lady still dressed in her wedding clothes who makes him clean out her fireplace and, because he doesn’t do it properly, forces him to re-do it many times until he gets it perfect.  The novel ends with him hand in hand with a young lady called Estella, although she is hesitant because of his blackened fingernails and grimy palms, forcing a somewhat ambiguous ending. Around the World in Eighty Daze … in which an octogenarian, confused and reeling from the fact that he has reached such an advanced age, embarks on a world tour, spurred on by a wager from his gentleman’s club.  He does complete the jour

Evidence that I too can write about Nature.

Living the wild life in Tenby Wild life in Tenby Wildlife in Tenby Many of you fellow bloggers compose beautiful posts about trees or your cats or your horses or the plants in your garden, all of which enrich the souls of your readers.  You include photos, vibrant-coloured and demonstrating the startling beauty of the natural world.  You are true nature-lovers, and plebs like me, who think a long walk is going to the corner shop for a can of Pepsi, and who prefer libraries to lilacs and fish and chips to floral gardens, cannot hope to compete. But I can at least try.  I'd hate you to think I had no appreciation of nature at all. So here is an account of an encounter with the fascinating and uplifting world of nature which I had in Tenby. THE DEAD MICE The dead mice in the picture above are not actually the ones we saw in Tenby, but are a special type of mice called 'Miceus Googlus Imagus'.  They are, I have to be frank, very u