29 October 2010


TOO ghastly.

Too cringe-makingly giggly.

When I was in Hong Kong working for Dragages et Travaux Publiques, there was a nasty brutish policier from somewhere oop t'north.

He'd toss his business card at people instead of the respectful hand-over.

One day, idly reversing PC Plod's card to read the Cantonese, I saw that the phonetic translation read 'Inspector Can't-Nab-Fuck All'

It Ain't What you Say

Chris Howse - need I say more?

My Renaissance Man lingo life-style guru.

27 October 2010


Vroom wroom.

KB's latest gymkhana clip.

Scariest yet.

25 October 2010

Stonewalling Stonehenge

~ Muscle Call ~


Red alert, Corfucian Expendables ~ heavy mob division.

Steel-capped Bovver Puppies support needed for my kinsman Gwyn 'Dai Libra' Headley.


Run don't walk to click here and everywhere else your righteous indignation takes you.

  • Follow Gwyn on twitter.
  • Opening up Stonehenge
  • Gwyn's Personal Blog

    Gwyn and his noble team received the following email from English Heritage:

    "We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge in your fotoLibra website.

    Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge can not be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage."

    Quoth Gwyn,

    It’s kind of them to think of us, but this raises a number of questions:

    1. Firstly, what legitimacy do they have for this claim?

      Is there any law that states that it is illegal to use images of Stonehenge for any commercial interest?

      Can someone direct me to it?

    2. Secondly, if an image of Stonehenge is so used, how could they possibly police the usage?

    A quick browse through a number of rights-managed and royalty-free online picture libraries produced the following:

  • iStockPhoto (a US owned company) has 513 images of Stonehenge
  • Fotolia (US) has 648 images of Stonehenge
  • Dreamstime (US) has 670 images of Stonehenge
  • Shutterstock (US) has 737 images of Stonehenge

    These are mainly rights managed.

    Rights managed images are essentially designed for a specific and time limited usage, and they’re more controlled and controllable than RF images.

  • Has every picture library with images of
    Stonehenge received this email?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    CORFUCIOSI ~ time to come out of retirement and do that thang you do.

    Tiptoe up to the attic, remove the loose floorboard.

    Lift out that leather chest you swore to the missus you'd never touch again.

  • The kwerty cutlass
  • The Strani Special kwik-draw laser-phraser keyboard.
    By the poignard of Penthesilea, it feels good to the touch!
    As if you've never been parted.
  • Kalamata-flavoured cyanide pill in case you fall into Heritage hands.

    Go to 't, lads.


  • Speedy response from Anon, pointing us here
  • Dumpedhenge: Damn my siren posts.
    I repeat it on facebook and in a trice my adorèd Cass comments, "Oh he's way funnier than you. I'm dropping you and picking him up."

  • 24 October 2010


    ~ copyright row ~


    GERRY DURRELL: born San Luca

    Charming tour guide Sophia calls up, apologising for interrupting our day but she is leading a flock from the UK including a gentleman who works as a Zoo Keeper on Guernsey.

    He comes with greetings from Lee Durrell and hopes to look round Gerald's birth home and take back a sod from the sacred ground to place before Lee as an offering.

    I can think of quite a few sods he can remove from the island but that is not the point.

    I ask Sophia to have the pilgrim call me direct so that we can clarify any misunderstanding.

    He does and we spend a few comic minutes in confused convo as I try to convince him that the house my parents built 40 years ago is not the Durrellian shrine to which he craves to pay homage.

    But still ... bubble bubble light bulb ideé - marketed right, there might be a buck in it.

    Holmes Le Guide:

    "Yes, madam, over by the Justine bower is indeed the great-grandson of the very same Sam mentioned in 'My Family' ~ opah! and there in traditional costume is Tassia, direct descendant of ... ah yes, the ancient folksongs the family sang around the campfire ... please don't touch.

    It's not that Tassia hasn't got round to dusting the Donkey Rustlers Rumpus Room ~ those scattered CDs of Dimitri Potts are exactly as they fell, dashed from Gerald's hand when he was discovered listening to 'the devil's own music'.

    Now, if you'll follow me through to the Specimen Room you'll see all the jars - now empty of their exotica - Jim Beam, Makers Mark, Absolut, Gevrey-Chambertin, Woodpecker and Strongbow - a reminder of when times were hard and it was only one chilled Fino before luncheon."

    Poh poh, giggle, twirl of twiddling fingers - bags of material for the marketing boys to play with.

    Pre-Poppy Alert

    Am I alone in wondering what the deuce politicians and interviewers on BBC TV and elsechannels are doing sporting poppies in such advance of Nov 11th's Remembrance Day?

    Can Christmas be far behind?

    Why not just wheel out be-poppied Kris Kringles and be done with it?

    Indignant of Ag Ioannis

  • Beeb critiqued
  • Poppy Fascism - bravo Jon Snow and a stentorian raspberry to the malaka who whined.
  • Disorder in the American Courts

    Funny quotes from 'Disorder in the American Courts', what people actually said in court, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

  • ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

    WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

  • ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"

    WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

  • ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

    WITNESS: Yes.

  • ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

    WITNESS: Getting laid

  • ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

    WITNESS: By death.

  • ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

    WITNESS: Take a guess.

  • And so forth ...

    22 October 2010


    Every darn'd detail online except the actual noshing hours.

    Not even the review in The Corfiot gave this crucial info'.

  • Every Fri and Sat, 7pm til 12 Minuit
  • Sunday: 1300 hrs - Minuit (or at least that's what the message seemed to say)

    OK OK, I take it back - it's dans le Grècque section.

    Quite right: keep honky xenos on the run.

    Τις Κυριακές θα μας βρείτε ανοιχτούς από το μεσημέρι έως και το βράδυ για ζεστές στιγμές μπροστά στο τζάκι!

  • Παρ, Σαβ, από τις 19.00

  • Κυρ, από τις 13.00
  • Flashmob

    - Notre Dame 2010 -

    Some nice touches here.

  • The policeman suddenly being part of it - is that allowed, him directing traffic and then bopping?
  • The choreography

    I liked this. Something very French about the whole thing.

  • Jus' like that!

    Cooper scores high in best ever one-liners.

    21 October 2010


    I keep putting off posting this piece on procrastination.

    It is interesting and will 'resonate' with anyone who's sharpened pencils or moved the furniture around or checked if that was the clack of postman at the letter box rather than facing the blank page.


    Comments and fotos to follow.

    I need to study this and come up with some bright ideas.

    I'm already working on my christmas hit for crooning round the salons.

    The trouble is, my Muse keeps wanting to hear snatches and keeps commenting "Oh, I like the way you took that melody for the chorus from my favourite Oasis song" or "So clever to make the instrumental from that Kate Perry song - it fits so well."


    Number 2 daughter cannot stand Mrs Muse and defends me fiercely:

    "My dad doesn't listen to Oasis. My dad's never heard of Kate Perry."

    "Oh I say, darling, don't make me out to be quite such a fuddy-duddy."

    "Dad! All I'm saying is you're cool and you don't have to copy from anyone."

    Muse: But he must get his ideas from someone, sweetie ... it wouldn't be natural if he wrote them all himself. People don't do that. Anyway, I know I've heard some of those chords from somewhere ..."

    "Dad - where do you get some of your chords from?"

    "OK - I take all my chords from Jimmy 'Joe' Potts - the Frinton years * Cherwell to the Cam * Post-grad Blues * Doc Potts sings the Best of Frankie 'Ray' Leavis - I take the first chords from track 1, second from track 2, 3rd from track 3, and so forth."

    "Yeh, that's what he does."

    Glare hiss spit.

    19 October 2010


    OMG OMG - that is like so Jimmy Lee Potts.

    Dude Alert! Yo! I thought it was NO cameras at this book signing.

    17 October 2010

    original buena vista

  • NPR review
  • "Call it in, babe"

    - Howard Jacobson wins Booker -

    Yes, I too would look like that if I'd finally won my over-due/deserved Booker Prize and then found my laggardly publishers hadnt even frigging subMITTED me.

    Wouldnt have happened on Liz Calder's watch, to use a ghastly americanism.

    Mr Jacobson writes exceedingly funny abrasive books and if youre reading this blog, you'll like him, too, so scan those boot sales and 3rd hand book sales.

    Booker deadline: When Dai Folly and I bestrode the land as contemptible colossi of the book publicity world, our goolies would have been on Madame Guillotine if we'd missed a trick like that.

    Of course, nowadays it's the know-all pompadoured marketing children who call these crucial shots.

    "Bloomsbury did not submit Jacobson's tragi-comic novel, The Finkler Question, as one of its two books for consideration.

    According to one of the judges, they had to 'call in' the book."

    Finkling disgrace.

    "Another member of the panel insists that it is normal practice to 'call in' books"
    and get this next bit of crap:
    "They [Bloomsbury] were so confident about the book they knew we would call it in."

    Let's hear that again in slow-mo:

    'So confident ... about the book ... they knew we would call it in.'

    Pass the sick bag, Alice ... no, just pass an extract.

    It's a little dull, out here in lotus munching land so i'll try to name and shame the boule-dropping Bloomsbury Privicity Department.

    Edward Lear - meanwhile, i hope on the Nereids' Knickers that Bloomsbury dont publish Eddie Lear because we have a Corfu lit festschrift on the bloke coming up and I will be tracking down the key publisher execs for support and dosh and suggesting they come over to Prospero's Isle for free bed at Pagoda Corfucius complete with hot 'n' cold Grecian goddesses in every nook and cranny and more caresses and lionising during the Lear gig.

    I've warned the organiser that Sod's Law might have it that B'bury are the ones to woo, in which case bets are off.

    Perhaps Howard might like to come as Edward - he's got the look.


    ~ Six subplots ~

    Bravo! What a triumph! If you wrote it as a movie scenario, the ignorant Hollywood stiffs would tell you to get stuffed for peddling feel-good fantasy.

    Now the deluge, now the crass publicity and vulture agents move in.

    I suppose the instant shrinks we heard endlessly pontificating about the dangers of the media suffocation to come are too young to remember the Andes crash on October 13, 1972, of the Uruguayan rugby players in the Andes, well documented in Piers Paul Read's Alive!

    "Read interviewed the survivors and their families for an extensive period of time before writing the book.

    He comments on this process in the Acknowledgments section:

    'I was given a free hand in writing this book by both the publisher and the sixteen survivors. At times I was tempted to fictionalize certain parts of the story because this might have added to their dramatic impact but in the end I decided that the bare facts were sufficient to sustain the narrative ... when I returned in October 1973 to show them the manuscript of this book, some of them were disappointed by my presentation of their story.

    They felt that the faith and friendship which inspired them in the cordillera do not emerge from these pages. It was never my intention to underestimate these qualities, but perhaps it would be beyond the skill of any writer to express their own appreciation of what they lived through' "

    I handled the publicity and UK author tours for that Alison Press/Secker & Warburg publication and I trust that whoever is promoting Piers' books now has the marketing savvy to be touting him as The Man to talk about the effects of the international attention to come.

    If I was in England, they'd be touting me.

    Of the 16 survivors, Nando Parrado and Roberto 'El Musculo' Canessa were the ones who came to promote the book in the UK and they were a joy to work with.

    Mischievous, over-confident, divinely spoiled, deadlines-skirting joys.

    Thank God for Piers' austere school-teacherly primness that kept them in line - just.

    I remember on a train journey up to Leeds for their Yorkshire Post Literary Luncheon gig, Roberto (it was always Roberto, the scamp) started to demolish the carriage, taking to pieces the seating and they eyeing the baggage rack.

    I was dreading the ticket collector's reaction and wondering if I had enough cash on me to pay for the damage when Piers looked up from his book and explained,

    "You see, Roberto thinks he's still up the mountain and is using what he has to build his protection."
    After that it was no fun, so Roberto settled down and regaled me with descriptions of being mobbed by 'cannibal' groupies during their New York promo.

    I'm sure Piers's cuttings agency will trace this posting in a trice so I'll stick to the bare facts in re the publicity fall-out.

    The miners came up, our boys made it down.

    Once safe, the talk was of a book and mega riches.

    Out of the question, of course, that they themselves were capable of agreeing on let alone literate enough to bash out an agreed account - but there were plenty of 'agents' to take up their cause.

    The Andes survivors were 16, the Chileans are twice that number and lambs to a meedja slaughter way more ruthless than 40 years ago. It will be ugly.

    The Andes survivors - and Piers will correct me on this - started with 16 differing accounts, each one showing the teller at his/her best and the others as grateful weaklings saved only by their companion's decisive leadership.

    Such was the pig's breakfast they made of their collective self-serving money-grabbing accounts that they agreed to appoint a single author to tell the truth.

    According to Barley Alison, when she put it to Piers he turned it down flat. The waters too muddied, the central characters too unruly and untruthful.

    Barley again: "It was only because Piers was a Roman Catholic and a rugby player [Indeed? Svelte Mr Read?] *and* so intolerant of their antics that they set out to woo *him* as the recordist.

    When I met them, they had conquered America and a prissy British publicity director for the puny UK market was a pushover.

    I can't remember how I did it but I was a martinet in those days and also knew how to drop to one knee and beg.

    One radio interview with Nando revealed that he was a keen amateur racing driver. By the end of the broadcast, a message had come in from Jackie Stewart that he was welcome to join him at Brands Hatch for a guided spin. I tell you, it took some persuasion to get Nando into the cab to meet his next media appointment. Good times.

    Meanwhile, from back home, mega-stardom was washing over everyone connected, yea down to the umpteenth generation, and jealousies and disinformation infecting everyone.

    The ridiculous amounts of cash being paid out for any tidbit - tipota compared to what the miners will face - was grotesque.

    These were simple honest humble types suddenly taken up the mountain and shown all the devil's largesse.

    Mario Sepulveda: The moment that eloquent mouther started shooting his mouth off about wrasslin' with the devil and family values (meanwhile his own family looking distinctly glum as he rambled on), looking in his shades exactly like a demented Stevie Wonder ... my spirits fell.

    You heard it here first, that man is and will be trouble and there will be a cat-o-nine tales backlash from his more modest fellows.

    Yonni Barios: He of the wife of 28 years and the mistress about whom wifey only found out while Yonners was down t'mine? Oh poh poh.

    Back in my precocious salad days I actually wrote a paper on careful handling of the publicity we drum up for our charges, and the responsibility that comes with placing the unwary in the spotlight. I laugh now at the small fry fame we conjured up, compared to the juggernaut maw today's 'stars' face - that dumpy singing Susan, those soccer saps ...

    I worked it out that my efforts had killed two marriages, suicided a daughter, and got a fox's head shot off as his highland keeper was down in London shooting his own wad with a cute TV researcher with whom I'd hooked him up to clinch a second interview.

    Nosh ~ The miners were sustained by expertly prepared meals cooked to fit in customised tubes and zoomed down to the 33. Nevertheless, everyone is surprised and impressed by what good nick they are in.

    When the Uruguayans finally descended after 90 days, the medics were astounded and not a little suspicious of their fit condition. They should have been badly lacking in protein. What no one knew and what the survivors had prayed would never emerge was the grisly truth that they had been reduced to eating slivers of their dead companions.

    Robert was the medical student and he was the one who put to his companions the blunt truth that there was only one way out. He was the one who cut slivers from the snow-preserved bodies and placed them on the fuselage to dry. When he passed the pieces out, he did not reveal from which body that particular snack had been sliced.

    The first question put to the lads by the ghoulish english press was 'what does human flesh taste like?" A bit like chicken was the reply.

    The Movie - or, It ain't over til the fat lady blogs.

    I'm just amazed how few people are cottoning on to the exemplary Andes crash as the best clue to what lies ahead.

    More psychologically fragile than was thought: what utter bilge. The miners are exactly as - and more - fragile as we've all known all along.

    Talk about the danger of repeating history.

    The Beat Goes On: When Marta met Susana - and, mining that seam as we knew they would, $100,000 to speak for cheats.

    It can only get better.

    16 October 2010

    New mammal

    - Salanoia durrelli -

    Oyez Oyez!

    New species of carnivorous mammal discovered in Madagascar.

    Friendly looking cove, the Sredni Vashtar lookalike has been called Durrell's vontsira (Salanoia durrelli) in honour of conservationist Gerald Durrell.

    I shall be on the next paddle steamer out, courtesy of Sally Travel ('Tears and a voyage to the gentry', plug plug), and smuggling back contraband salanoiae: a bevy to join Sam and Koutsi as guardians along the watchtower, the rest to let loose in the verdant pastures of the Bosketto Durrell - check out my soggy update as of Oct 17 2010.

    The gods are not mocked - not Maman, at least.

    Hoots, Mon - a goose loose aboot this hoose: My dad was meticulous about using the right word. He told me a good joke about Mesgoosae:

    Chap walks into a pet shop to buy two ... er, whatever the plural of those cobra killers is.

    Didn't want to show his ignorance so he asked for a mongoose, thought better of it and thumped the counter:

    "Dammit, give me a brace."

    15 October 2010


    The famous sexist interview where the divine Dame Helen Mirren slams that oozy faux Yorkshireman, 'Sir' Michael Parkinson.

    I dealt with his show providing authors for him to patronise in that hybrid ever-changing accent.

    He was horrid to his staff and I tried to deny him my more sensitive and classy writers.

    Dame Helen is gorgeous - still is - and I bet her new movie is spiffing.

    13 October 2010


    ~ postpone Alzheimer ~

    Do you read Kathryn Lukey-Coutsocostas in Athens News?

    You should.

    KLC is good and a welcome balance to the nutty letters that the editor has the grace and/or cruel sense of humour to print.

    One only has to read the opening line of many to feel the dread pen of some moaning minnie of a Blighty transplant mewling away on the same boring Brit moan.

    I shall be monitoring and printing the sillier ones for your delectation.

    06 October 2010


    Fuck off, you racist

    My tough landlady in Clapham SW4 had one of her properties be-squatted - could NOT get them out and even then the law was agin her.

    Drowning her sorrows in The Plough, she got in convo with Terry her carpenter who said he'd walk his dogs by her property later that evening. Big buggers, not always obedient.

    Terry had made the catches on the windows so he knew how to slip them. The three of us heaved the Shepherds over the lintel and let them cruise.

    Reminded me of the conquistadors who'd send their killer giants down to the villagers and then head down and pick up the pieces.

    "Now where them bleeding dogs gorn? Bloody hell, theyre in the house. Oh my fucking god! Come 'ere you bastards. Uh oh, dont sound they're being a bit friendly. Oy! Show them your occupants papers and they'll quieten down."

    Worked a treat.

    "Joe Carroll, 78, East Kilbride, Strathclyde had gone to the police station to ask officers to make routine checks on his £150,000 three-bed detached home.

    The retired electrician was concerned about a scam being carried out by migrant criminals in which people’s homes are seized and locks changed after they have gone.

    Chief Inspector Neil Kerr yesterday admitted one of his officers had given Mr Carroll some “advice”.

    He said:

    “Strathclyde Police can confirm that a 78-year-old man attended East Kilbride police office for home security advice, which was given by an officer.

    The man made comments the officer felt were inappropriate.”

    He said any complaint would be investigated but added:
    “We are not aware of anyone making a formal complaint.”
    Stupid effing EK filth and even stupider CI Neil Cur.

    His correct response would have been:

    "#@! - that stupid McWanker - i spotted him as a kilted cult when he first signed up.

    Right, he's out and I'm sending round a family of Serbs to making themselves at home and see how he feels about that.

    Racist that, you McBerk!"

    ANAGRAM FAIL ~ I'm using it as a sotto voce greeting salute for when I cruise the project.

    I'm pronouncing it 'Garmoo Nar Hengoo' like some Disney concoction for the Lion King.

    GahMoo NaHengu, brother.

    Hilarious last-ditch bid to pin Cheryl Cole with the racism tag simply for booting the lack-lustre anagram, Miss Gamu Nhengu, from the X Factor.

    Why can't people simply be sub-standard and not up to the competition? Why do nutters always come out of the woodwork and squeal on about race or colour or their silly voices - or even their non voices?

    By leaping around and thumping the cauldron, they only attract attention to the how ludicrous is their complaint.

    No one would have heard of Ms N'hengu or checked out for themselves her drab audition if these racialist berks hadnt started up their tom-toms. Now we all know why the failed the cut and stand alarmed that she made the bottom rung in the first place.

    Cowell versus Home Office: Simon steps in to save Anna Gramu from deportation.

    I can't wait to see the report of his squashing. Cheery bugger - playing the Almighty again.

    03 October 2010


    Some good stuff.

    "Sex is like rugby.

    Either you enjoy kicking and being kicked or your soul cringes away from the whole thing."

    God, I hated and feared rugby. Used to crouch in the upstairs lavatory as the game went on, then keep crouching to avoid the compulsory beating for missing the compulsory violence.

    02 October 2010


    Think It!

    Excellent Thought Crime Special in the 18 September Spectator that I've been quoting and passing off as my own beaux mots.

    Now Seattle pals beseech me to come clean and simply deliver the real stuff.

  • Melanie Phillips thinking, therefore she's guilty

  • Alan Rusbridger showing us a few tricks on how inconvenient truths are covered up.

  • Matt Parris hearing it for contempt

  • Hardeep Singh Kohli having a last laugh

  • Hugo Rifkind channeling Juicy Jeni Thompson on the craze for concubinationalising the Wayne Rooneys of this world.