Monthly Archives: January 2011

White Stadt

Decades after World War II, it seems the Germans are trying to take over again.
This time, it’s by subtly renaming English places on Google Maps.
This afternoon, I had to look up White City in London (where BBC TV is based) and discovered it’s been renamed White Stadt by Google.
Thankfully, Hertford’s still Hertford and not Hirschfurt. Don’t mention the Ware.

Sdrawkcab Gnimmiws

There I was, at the pool, minding my own business, when I noticed a very old man swimming in the slow lane and realised he was going backwards.
At first, I thought I was imagining it. But, no, he was doing breast stroke – but heading in the wrong direction.
Next time, he went past doing back stroke, backwards again – with his feet going first.
It was extremely odd.
Did he do everything backwards? I wondered. Did he have a peculiar neurological condition?
A few minutes later, I’d finished and headed for the sauna.
And there he was, on a sun lounger – upside down – head right at the bottom, legs going up the slope for your back, feet up where your head should be.
I considered actually lurking in the foyer later, to see whether he walked out backwards, but thought better of it.


I woke up in a panic this morning, realising I was out of coffee. And Waitrose doesn’t open till 10.

Then, caught in a shaft of heavenly sunlight (metaphorical), I espied it on the kitchen bench. My coffee jar. Full. I’d forgotten about buying fresh coffee on Saturday.

It was a bit like when you think you have to go to the cashpoint then discover a £20 note in your pocket. Or you wake up convinced it’s Monday, then realise it’s Sunday.

Sorry to sound like a vicar, but such moments make life worth living I feel.

There’s no word for them though. Are they Microblessings? Nanotreats? Paradigm Shiftettes?

Genetically Modified Moggies

I was shocked to see these genuine photos of controversial genetic species blends, such as this catpanda and duckmogg, on a disturbing GM Pets website

All Rah Cuckoo

I was in Tescos earlier and overheard a yoof on his mobile.
‘All right, cool cool,’ he said. Only it sounded more like, ‘All rah cuckoo.’ And he said it again.
All rah cuckoo.
And again –
All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo.
A few minutes later, I walked past him again, on the aisle where they keep the Battenbergs and Mr Kiplings Cherry Bakewells. And, yes, you’ve guessed, he was still on his mobile, saying –
All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo. All rah cuckoo
(fade, with reverb)

Boiled as an Owl

An elderly relative recently referred to people getting squiffy after a few drinks, which I imagine to be tipsy with added staggering.
But it’s not as bad as pallatic (which, as far as I know, is a Geordie mispronunciation of paralytic).
There are some great terms for ‘drunk’. The ‘on’ ones are quite good –
on a bun
on the turps
and the splendidly British
on a campaign
I like some of the similes too –
drunk as a Plymouth fiddler
drunk as puffed up pigeons
boiled as an owl
The celeb terms weirdly don’t refer to famous drunks, but they sound right, which is the important thing –
Thora Hirded and
Merle Haggard
As for terms derived from place names, well, they’re pretty obvious I’m afraid –
Lutoned and
Over-served is one of my favourites, as it’s so understated, in a Maggie Smith sort of way.
Other terms I like include –

As P***ed as a ****

Another expression for drunk is, of course, ‘as p****ed as a newt’. But, oddly, newts aren’t noted in the amphibian community for binge drinking in newtclubs.
The simile is actually derived from ‘as p***ed as a mute‘.
Mutes were professional mourners, who operated in the UK from about 1600 to 1914. They were hired to stand around silently at funerals with gloomy, pathetic faces. In Victorian times, they wore black cloaks and top hats.
A character in Dickens says of young Oliver Twist, ‘There’s an expression of melancholy in his face, my dear, which is very interesting. He would make a delightful mute.’
Presumably they also attended post-funeral drinks and became notorious for getting p***ed.

funeral mutes

an actual newt