Welcome to Peacockshock - my house on the internet. I'm Ian Peacock.

I’m based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, but I’ve lived everywhere from London to Cambridge to Austria.

I’m mad about animals and have an adorable Jackapoo, Eddie, named after the dog in Frasier.

So don't dither on the doorstep. Have a wander round. You can either just scroll down this page, or you can mouse around the house and click on the rooms. Do keep coming back for new stuff. I update my witterings regularly

Enjoy your stay.

Ian

Bollinger Court

bollinger court ealing london

Thank you to Ally for alerting me to the existence of Bollinger Court, North Acton, West London – clearly named after Bolly.

London to Hertford fare shoots up

‘A single to Hertford North please,’ I said to the man at Euston (19 miles from Hertford). ‘That’s H.E.R.T.F.O.R.D.’

I always say that as no-one can spell anymore.

‘No, there isn’t a Hertford North,’ he informed me.

I decided to humour him. ‘Ah. Maybe the ticket says Hertford Stations?’

‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘That’s £123.50.’

‘But it’s just a few miles away and it was only £17 yesterday.’

‘No. It’s definitely £123.50. It must have gone up.’

Suddenly I twigged.

‘How are you spelling it?’

‘H.A.R.T.F.O.R.D.’

‘But it has an E. I said it had an E.’

‘No. That’s HURTford.’

‘No. I live there. It’s pronounced HARTford but spelt HERTford.’

‘OK. That’s £17.’

‘Sorry I confused you.’ (Yes, I actually said that but I am English).

‘That’s OK.’

hartford cheshire

The wrong Hertford – I mean Hartford. In Cheshire. In the north. A long way from London.

Half Gardeners

I like gardeners; I like non-gardeners. But there’s one thing I can’t stand: the half gardener. Half gardeners deserve to be sprayed to death with cheap weed killer.

‘What are they?’ I hear you ask.

Half gardeners are people who garden furiously either (1) once a year or (2) on bank holidays.

They garden like maniacs for a day. Then they ignore their garden for months on end or even a whole year.

They have a penchant for weed-resistant membrane, as they believe it will cover a multitude of sins. But it doesn’t. And your typical half gardener fits it but then fails to cover it properly. ugly garden weed resistant membrane They have a thing about bark chip. But, before you know it, it gets dry and bleached and full of weeds. Bark chip is the very devil. hideous bark chip And, as they only garden once a year, they prefer ready-made turf to grass seed, but they leave enormous gaps and only water it once. So it dies dry turf They then add pot plants. They water them once. Then leave them to it. Like the bits of turf, they die. dead pot plants As do the hanging baskets. I detest hanging baskets. But I loathe dead ones even more. dry wilted hanging basket Half gardeners beware. I’m watching you and your hideous dead twigs.

Awwff

Carl Orff, who didn't say orff

Carl Orff, who didn’t say orff

I watched Bargain Hunt the other day, presented by the flamboyant Tim Wonnacott. Much as I like his colourful, well-scripted voiceovers, I do find myself fretting about his dipthongs. He occasionally sounds almost normal. But when it comes to the word ‘off’, he suffers from a weird sort of Poshness Tourettes. More orften than not, his offs turn into aawffs.

No one says ‘aawff’ nowadays. Not even the Queen. Deborah Dowager Duchess of Devonshire does, but she is a real Mitford and she’s 150 so she’s allowed to. Brian Sewell says it too. And Jacob Rees Mogg. But they’re both fictitious.

Tim Wonnacott’s aawffs do match his pink bow ties and camp specs on chains. But they do sound aawff-ully forced to my ears. I’m hoping his producers will eventually wean him aawff the habit, exclaiming, ‘Going, going gaawnn. I say, he’s lawwst his aawffs.’

Adlestrop – by Edward Thomas, written in June 1914, before the outbreak of the First World War

adlestrop

Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop – only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.