Thursday 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

I found this chap reclining by the roadside yesterday. He said he had to be somewhere. I asked him where and a small carrot fell out of his mouth. I waited for a while and asked him again. He bent down, put the carrot back into his mouth and stared at me. I thought better of asking him again, so I said goodbye. As I turned to leave he asked me if I'd got a new bulb for the hallway light. I asked him how he knew we needed one, me and the wife. He said he'd done a lot of jobs in his time and could help me out. He flexed his bicep, making the leeks crack and the spring onions squeak. I said, no you're alright, we can manage. I smiled and walked off. As I walked off I heard him say 'We?' and then he laughed. Honest.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Down The Old Fug and Rembrandt

It's Summer - and here at between channels we like to spend most of the available holiday daylight in the pub! I recently purchased a batch of photographs which contained these three shots: three different pubs, all of them varying shades of beige, filtered through a honeyed fog of sunlight, Embassy smoke and the vapour that comes off old men's clothes when they start to get warm. So join with me and celebrate that refuge of the pale and bibulous - the British Public House! Incidentally, two of these pictures show how easy it is to leave things behind in the pub, although the striped canvas bag could be an explosive device left on purpose.

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night

Monday 3 June 2013

Rock Folly

OK Karen, first of all I don't dig how you're leaving me written instructions about how to look after the dog. I know what to do, and it also gives me this 'master/servant' -type vibe that I don't like. Secondly, I'd rather put him on his lead. 'Tie dog on rope' exudes a 'Mad Max-meets-Steptoe' feel that also isn't very cool, do you know what I mean? Thirdly, if he doesn't eat the meat, then he's not eating anything. Fourthly, 'Porridge (with milk and water)'? I mean, do you think I don't know how to make porridge? Do you expect to come home to see the dog coughing up oats with his muzzle dusted like Al Pacino in Scarface? And me with a big smile, pointing to the dog and giving a big thumbs up? And finally, all this written on my Rock Follies seven inch, Very Good Plus?? Let's sit down and have a talk.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Sheffield Fire and Police Museum Dummies Continued

More Autons - sorry, figures encountered in the gloom, I meanmannequins from Sheffield Fire and Police Museum. It is genuinely a great place, and ideal for children (apart from the murder room).

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Sheffield Fire, Police & Dummy Museum

Sheffield Fire & Police Museum is a proper museum - things to look at, things to climb on and all of it in premises that are in a genteel state of dilapidation. There is nary an interactive display or 'experience' to be found. There is a room full of murder weapons, some horrific photographs and a massive train set in the roof however. It is well worth a visit, if only to pay for the odd, crepuscular atmosphere and the wide range of uniformed dummies. Try to pick your favourite, but do it with a friend, and not just before bed.

Erica on Embroidery or Cosmic American Needlepoint

So it's a wet Tuesday afternoon, right? And you're looking for something to do, yeah? Someone taking the mick out of some well-meaning 70s interior design and craft? Well, I think the coolest people are the ones who make their own choices so put that reefer and can of Kestrel down and come with me. While Erica knits a flan, a ghastly profusion of needlework grows behind her, like the virus on the Andromeda Strain or a vege-monster on the wall of Westminster Abbey. Check out the Wikipedia entry on Erica (Why not? It's bound to be true). She taught needlework to Mrs. Procter of Procter & Gamble and Mrs. Watson of IBM Watson. Talk about infiltrating the establishment from within! Someone from the FBI was probably teaching the wives of the Firesign Theatre Company and Art Ensmeble of Chicago about buying stocks and shares. But enough of my rubbish ... ... let's look at some of Erica's. If in doubt, cover everything. Unseen in the corner of the room is what appears to be a draught excluder but is actually a man wrapped from head to toe in long, messy strands of wool (the inspiration for Ray Bradbury's 'The Embroidered Man'). "It's not just the mirror, it's the cushions." "Why they're just soft furnishings, darling. Whatever is the matter with them?" "They have .. faces." "Flowers darling! All flowers have a face." "They appear to be .. shouting." from 'Scratcher' by Nigel Kneale It's just chintz - the badminton racquet cover, the handbag, the, err, freestanding wool cylinders. But just look at the thing in the top right hand corner. A creased face of lime velevet, a scaly body and worst of all, a pair of thin, boneless arms ready to pull itself across your bedroom floor at night. She wants to be soft furnishings but you make her owls! You can't complain then, if the wool goes hunting. It's festival season soon so let's go glamping, needlework style. Listen to Mumford & Son whilst sat on the running board of your vintage car with your dog Rothko, your legs tied together like a giant embroidered maggot. Cosmic American Needlepoint (which, retrospectively, is a better name for this post. Edit!)

Monday 4 March 2013

The Methuen Phonic Workshop

More from the escapist world of Methuen phonic blends. It was imperative that 70s and 80s children learned prison slang. One teenager was injured in the making of this book (this image also features in the 'Ri-' volume, under 'rite'). Saint Jenny, patron saint of Rollerboogie, who was crucified on a giant radiator at Humberside Ice Arena. This picture kind of sums up why I like these books so much. Somewhat inevitably, more to follow ...

Sunday 3 March 2013

Fun with Phonics

These friendly books were made to teach youngsters the basics of phonics, with key words accompanied by cheerful and colourful pictures. Some examples: The rhyme at the end was rejected by Paul Giovanni for inclusion on The Wicker Man OST for being 'too disturbing'. More soon!