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That’s illegal, surely


Weasel baiting. Okay, it’s only part of a weasel, but still.

Terrier races from a local village fete this Saturday. Third from the left — the long-leggedy one — won three out of three while we watched. I think they ought to have instituted a size class.

This fete is currently our favorite. Good beer, superior ice cream from a local dairy, some interesting stalls.

Uncle B bought me a coat that I may or may not have the courage to show you (or, for that matter, wear in public). I wouldn’t think of modeling it today, though — it’s what passes for super hot here (mid-80s, at a guess).

If they call it a fun dog show, why was everybody so serious about it?

June 19, 2017 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 33

Perfidious delphiniums


June 23rd to July 2nd is Delphinium Week at Godinton House! The sharp-eyed among you (I realize that’s not many) will note that it is, in fact, only the 16th of June, but nobody bought the delphiniums a calendar. They are early. They are likely to be all done by the time Delphinium Week proper gets here.

Also, those are not delphiniums in the picture. They’re tulips.

Never mind. We were tipped off and went today. We’ve been to the gardens many times, but this is the first time we’ve toured the house. It’s another one of these great old country houses that accreted centuries of new build around a Medieval great hall center. The carving throughout the house was spectacular!

Sadly, no photography anywhere inside the building, so I can’t share. I bought the guidebook, but it was a little light on reproductions of the paintings – my main interest.

All that and a proper cream tea in the tea room.

Good weekend, y’all!

p.s. I didn’t owe you a Dead Pool, did I? Nobody had Adam West this time, I know.

June 16, 2017 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 15

Night visitor


Did I tell you I got a four-camera surveillance system for my b’day? It’s essentially to replace the wildlife camera, which broke. I’ve had a high old time watching…moths, mostly. Oh, I’ve had fun, but this is the first really cool thing I’ve caught.


Last night. Only the second one in almost ten years. They’re getting rare, sadly. This one stuck his nose under a sack of coal and decided he was completely hidden and safe. I left him a tribute of cat food and came back to find him tucking in (pictured).

p.s. just went out and nearly stepped on him. Or another one. Hard to say, but this one might have been smaller.

Yes, we’ll probably stay up until the election returns start trickling in. Not with much enthusiasm. This is a choice between bad and really fucking awful.

June 8, 2017 — 11:01 pm
Comments: 11

If only it were true…


A giant scaffold bearing the image of British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared on the cliffs of Dover on Monday, complete with a Union Flag skirt and a rude hand gesture indicating to the rest of Europe that it should go away.

This thing appeared cliffside in Dover Monday. It was whisked away almost immediately and…that’s about all I can find out about it.

Which is weird. A thing that big — requiring specialist construction, scaffolding and a crane — should leave all kinds of paper trail. I couldn’t find much about it online. One article said they were filming it with a drone, which may have been the point. That’s public land, so I’m not sure why it was taken down — wind hazard? I have so many questions.

We no longer have a fifth estate, we have minders.

June 6, 2017 — 8:34 pm
Comments: 15



This from the country show on Saturday. Whenever it’s on offer, I always pay a couple quid to hold a raptor (that’s me on the left). Homeboy settled down eventually and let Uncle B snap some better pics.

Hope you had a nice long weekend, full of all the red-tailed hawks you could possibly desire.

May 29, 2017 — 8:38 pm
Comments: 20

Walt Disney shits up beach in Eastbourne


They snuck in under cover of darkness and planted these ugly statues at low tide at Eastbourne this morning. I gather it’s to promote the new Pirates film, which is out today. I’m about twelve or fifty films behind in that series, frankly.

Anyhoo! Rejoice! I have finished my work (including my guts homework), a long weekend stretches before us and tomorrow is the first of the big country fairs. It is time to par-tay.

Wait, do people still par-tay? Well, I’m going to par-tay like it’s 1837. Good weekend, y’all!

May 26, 2017 — 9:00 pm
Comments: 13

Dammit, Carl!


I was really hoping someone would win dick with Ian Brady. Carl picked him, but forgot he’d made a pick earlier in the Dead Pool, so no soap. Damn.

Brady was the driving half of the Moors Murderers, a famous and horrible British true crime from the Sixties. He dead. At last.

The reel-to-reel recording of 10-year-old Leslie Ann Downey pleading for her life is still regarded as the most upsetting evidence ever revealed in a British courtroom. (Don’t worry – the transcript’s been out there for years, but the audio won’t be allowed to escape until we’re all safely gone).

Of the two, Myra Hindley was always more a hate object. Brady was a sexual sadist and wannabe Nazi, but he was undeniably screw loose. Hindley, though — her only motivation was to stand by her man. She did those horrible things without having a taste for horrible things.

I don’t think she ever really understood what the fuss was about. She went to her grave complaining that the famous mugshot (upper right) was so unflattering. So I guess she clearly had a screw loose, too — she just seems more evil to his sick, somehow.

When she died in 2002, there were people who were and had been agitating hard for her release for years, including obligatory celebrities. And this, chilrun, is why I favor the death penalty.

Today’s gut fact: a NYT article on a guy who gave up soap in favor of deliberately colonizing his skin with beneficial bacteria.

May 16, 2017 — 9:36 pm
Comments: 8



Just LOOK at these woolly fuzzballs! Onkle B took this picture in our back yard!

Okay. Yeah, he had to use a fairly long lens. Our property line is an irrigation/drainage ditch, which is why the wildlife isn’t more spooked by us moving around and gawping at them. And it wasn’t a miracle shot, as these babies were sound a sleep and didn’t move while he took a whole huge series of identical pictures.

Just, SQUEEEEE! Have a good weekend, y’all!

disclaimer: blog not responsible for ovaries suddenly acquired by viewers of this image.

May 5, 2017 — 8:50 pm
Comments: 11

If you have to explain the joke…


Okay, last one from the miniature railway exhibit, and I don’t know if this joke will translate. Or work in black and white. Do they run Michael Portillo in the States?

He’s an ex-politician who has done series after series of TV programs of himself taking train journeys across Britain, accompanied by a Victorian guidebook called Bradshaw’s Guide. He’s an ugly brute with a comically bulbous nose, known for wearing improbably loud clashing jacket-and-trouser combinations.

Anyway, here he is in an assortment of colors (we all agreed that none was loud enough) clutching his Bradshaw’s. No modern diorama complete without its Portillo.

If you can catch any of his programs, do. I call them ‘England porn’ — though he’s done a few in other countries, as well.

We gave up on his American series after the first three. He was riding Amtrak down the Eastern seaboard and Every Single Program he brought the conversation around to the history of slavery or civil rights abuses wherever it was he happened to be.

You can only take so much scolding before you grab the remote.

May 4, 2017 — 10:00 pm
Comments: 15

Last layout


This scifi layout was the best in show, though I can’t convey it in a single picture. These chained dinosaur beasts were on the top, but there was a whole ‘subterranean cavern’ deal going on below, with a rocket and a plasma ball and aliens and futuristic trains.

We fell to talking to the man who lovingly recollected how he had smashed together model trains with model jets and toys and assorted household items and grunge-painted over the result. It worked really well.

That’s how I built models as a kid. I’d start off well enough, but I could never stick to the plan. Somehow, I couldn’t bear to end up with something ordinary. It seemed so boring. I’d start gluing bits where they didn’t belong and putting decals where they shouldn’t ought to be. I had a particular fondness for gluing on bits of leftover sprue to look kind of like clusters of tail pipes.

Only, my efforts didn’t work so well. They ended up looking like big messy piles of crazy.

You don’t even want to know what my paint-by-numbers looked like.

May 3, 2017 — 9:27 pm
Comments: 12