Monthly Archives: January 2009

Bag Puss

Boll loves bags and often gets ridiculously tangled up in my Cannons rucksack. She also makes a beeline for paper bags and sits on them, even if there are comfy chairs and cushions nearby.

Dancing Cranes of the BBC


I took this pic of Broadcasting House on my mobile this week. I’m working in BH and surrounding buildings most of the time at the moment, and I’m rather fond of the cranes which perform a slow dance from dawn till dusk. Every morning, they assume a different pose. Sometimes, they look as if they’re actually holding the building up.

The Great Flood


And lo it came to pass on the 25th day of the first month in the year of our Lord 2009 that a great flood did smite the room that is called the bathroom and behold the waters prevailed and did rage. And there came about great weeping and gnashing of teeth. Thus in his iniquity did Ian turn off the stopcock and cry out to an plumber that abideth round the corner, that was registered (thanks be to Corgi).
But the plumber did tarry awhile in his Ford Transit, for his Satnav was sore distressed. And in the room that they call the bathroom, noisome sparks and grievous buzzings did rend the air and there were three loud bangs, and Ian was sore afraid. And the beast that is called Bollinger did hide under the bed. And Ian did switch off the electricity at the mains.
And it came to pass that the plumber cameth eventually unto the bathroom and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither. And the waters did abate and did cease their raging.
And an electrician that was named Danny did isolate the lighting circuit that had occasioned the explosions and did switch it off. And darkness was upon the face of the dwelling place.
And Danny shall return unto Hertford upon the seventh day, once the bathroom’s dried out, and will cry unto the circuit: let there be light!
And Ian and the beast that is called Bollinger will wax exceeding joyful and repair forthwith unto the place they call B&Q and get a new bathroom. Amen.

Football – Parrot Fashion


Me-Tu – Celebrity Hertford Parrot
Hertford has finally made it into the national (and international) press, thanks to … football hooliganism.
A match in Hertford Heath had to be dramatically halted this week when a pet parrot on the sideline caused chaos by randomly imitating the referee’s whistle and shouting ‘pretty boy’ at the players.
Me-Tu – a nine-year-old Senegalese – lives in the village and regularly attends matches with his mum Irene.

Six Degrees


I walked past Clare Balding on Portland Place today. She was having a jolly chat with someone and looked friendly. I estimate that she was roughly 4.5 feet away from me.

Presidential Pets


Boll and I are disappointed that President Obama is getting a White House puppy rather than a kitten. But at least he’s not planning on inaugurating an alligator.
President John Adams had one. It lived in a bathroom. According to some reports, he used it to frighten guests he didn’t like. And he had a dog called Satan.
Benjamin Harrison had two oppossums called Mr Protection and Mr Reciprocity – and a goat called Mr Whiskers.
Calvin Coolidge had two lions, a wallaby, a pygmy hippo, a goose called Enoch, a bear, and a Duiker (very small antelope).
And Theodore Roosevelt kept a badger.
Boll and I feel that President Obama should adopt a llama. But he probably won’t.

Chesley B Sullenberger III


Congratulations to Chesley B Sullenberger III. In his honour, I’m going to name my next garden plant after him. As you may know, my larger plants are all named after celebrities – notably my olive tree Nana Mouskouri.
I’m assuming MacDonalds are already producing a Mac Chesley B Sullen Burger.
One naturally feels sorry for the goose which caused the crash, but it no doubt died very quickly.
It’s somewhat alarming that a successful landing on water is so unlikely that it’s become a news story. But air travel is still by far the safest form. You’re more likely to be killed by lightning.
There’s a one in 12.5 million chance of being killed on a UK plane. This compares to a one in 10 million chance of being killed by a lightning strike.
And sitting at the back of the plane is safer than sitting at the front.

Six Degrees


Continuing Peacockshock’s occasional series of pathetically indirect namedrops, I was in a lift with Dawn French this week. I didn’t actually see her. She was behind me. But I recognised her voice. She was talking about places she’d like to visit.
I’ve actually met Dawn French before, at an independent voiceover studio in London W12, where she expressed an interest in my baguette. And my friend Amina was once sandwiched between French and Saunders on an escalator, which means she gets two points.
I’ve also been working with Radio 2 people this week, so I’m one remove only from Dale Winton (who I frequently walk past in the street in Marylebone), Chris Evans (who I once bumped into in a bar at 1am when he was doing Radio 1 breakfast) and Steve Wright (who I’ve seen smoking outside the BBC).
I hope you’re impressed. I was probably only five inches away from Dawn French, which gives me an extra half a point.

13th January

I’m still working at 10pm and Bollinger has hiccups and is in a huff. Isn’t life jolly? We’re hoping to cheer ourselves up in a minute by watching Breakfast at Tiffanys on DVD.