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lol england

Things spotted in back gardens that border footpaths.

This is no random assembly of cement chunks and garden sculpture. Oh, no. This here is art, friends. This is a thing here.

There used to be a house near us with a roof lined by concrete garden animals of one kind or another. They’re gone now. I have a sad feeling it was a house owned by some old coot who is no longer with us.

Hello, Monday. How was your weekend?

September 16, 2019 — 8:40 pm
Comments: 12

I don’t post on 9/11

Tradition. I’ve said all I want to say about it, but I don’t want to post junk like it’s not a thing.

Feel free to discuss whatever you like in the comment thread, though.

September 11, 2019 — 6:55 pm
Comments: 5

A barn owl in a bucket. That is all.

The last country show, as always, had the inevitable display of owls. I don’t remember seeing this before, though — each owl’s perch stood in a shallow pan of water.

This little’un was happily paddling around in it, which I guess is what it was for. If it were only for drinking, I would expect a bowl.

Look at that face. LOOK AT IT. In fact, look at it up close and in color. Zoom in. You can actually see us standing around staring, and the amazing cloudy sky we had that day.

September 10, 2019 — 7:34 pm
Comments: 10

Word of the day: yaffle

Uncle B saw one of these in the garden today. It is a European Green Woodpecker. Not his picture, though — the little peckerhead moved too fast.

I had a poke around the web, which informed me that the green woodpecker’s call is a liquid laughing yaffle.

Liquid laughing yaffle. Well, I never.

Only one document added ‘liquid’ to the mix, but they pretty much all say laughing yaffle. You might be forgiven for thinking ‘yaffle’ is a general term for a kind of sound, but no. It’s specific to the green woodpecker, which is also called a ‘yaffle’.

Pity. It seemed such a promising word.

You can make up your mind whether this sounds like a laughing yaffle to you. I’m torn.

Which brings us to Woody, who was not modelled after a European green woodpecker, but a pileated woodpecker, which also has a laughing call. The deep lore of Wikipedia tells me that the inspiration was an acorn woodpecker that pecked holes in Walter Lantz’s honeymoon cabin. He wanted to shoot it, but his wife suggested he make a cartoon about it instead. It became his most famous character.

Why don’t my life ass-aches ever turn into award-winning triumphs?

Aforementioned wife, Carol Stafford, became the fifth and final voice of Woody Woodpecker, though she asked not to be credited for some years. She thought kids wouldn’t like it if Woody was voiced by a girl. (I thought she was also the voice of Talky Tina, but I was wrong. That was June Foray, who also played Rocky the Squirrel).

And that’s it. Man, I hated Woody Woodpecker.

September 9, 2019 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 13

And that’s the end of that…

The circus. It’s the last thing on our social calendar every Summer, and every year we’re not sure if they’ll come.

It’s a little circus and barely squeaks by year to year. They don’t publicize their appearance near us until just before it happens, maybe because they’re not sure they’ll make it this far. And then one day the big top blooms out of the mown field like a gaudy mushroom.

It’s pretty good. They source their acts from Eastern Europe, for the most part, where circus is still a thing. They have a Mongolian acrobat I’m particularly fond of who always does several acts for them. And all the performers have to put on a jacket and sell popcorn and programs during intermission.

There may be a few little events after this, but the circus is always the end for us. I am so not ready for Winter.

August 29, 2019 — 8:20 pm
Comments: 5

It comes to an end…

Last day of the long weekend, last of the Summer fêtes. Still, I bought a neat leather satchel at the junk stall and got to revisit one of my favorite tombstones.

It’s totally normal to have a favorite tombstone, right?

August 26, 2019 — 9:05 pm
Comments: 9

Happy birthday, smartass

It’s Dorothy Parker (née Rothschild)’s birthday today. I confess, I have never read a word she wrote. I know her strictly from her pithy witticisms.

She hated that.

Also, it’s super fun to say “pithy witticisms”. Please try it for yourself. Enjoy this list of Dorothy Parker quotations, ranked in order of popularity. You will definitely recognize some of them.

p.s. that’s a terrific description of writer’s block in the telegram.

August 22, 2019 — 8:39 pm
Comments: 7

But can it pull a plough?

There were several of these tear-assing around the last country show. What they have to do with things rural I do not know, but the plough horse didn’t seem bothered.

I hate to think what it costs to run one of these in a country where gasoline is somewhere north of eight bucks a gallon.

Reminder: new Dead Pool tomorrow. I am still stunned at the brazenness of the Jeffrey Epstein murder.

I say ‘murder’ with confidence, because you can’t break bones in your neck with a jail cell hanging. Dude was manually strangled.

It takes a drop of approximately the height of the hangee to snap the neck. It’s more complicated than that – Albert Pierrepoint, long-serving British executioner, had a complex formula for working out the height of the drop, depending on the height and weight of the subject. Too short a drop, and the convict strangled slowly. Too long a drop, and his head popped off like a Barbie doll. Both very embarrassing for the hangman.

Anyway. You get the point. Somebody went into that cell and killed the man, and I’m sure we’ll never get to the bottom of it. Stand by for a bajillion speculative paperback exposés for, like, the rest of our lives.

But we don’t care about that. We care about Dead Pool Round 124. See you here!

August 15, 2019 — 8:58 pm
Comments: 9

This is my Not Happy face

It is August 14 AND WE HAVE THE CENTRAL HEATING ON. And not for the first time. Seriously, this is ridiculous.

We have had four whole days of weather in the 80s this summer, and the BBC keeps banging on about warmest month since records have been kept. I can’t even imagine how they’ve tortured the numbers to promote that lie.

I’m no meteorologist (and certainly not a climatologist, which I gather is what you call yourself if you’re a meteorologist who believes in global warmening), but it’s cold in here. And getting colder. The little I’ve read about sunspots and natural climate patterns leads me to believe we’re headed for something like a little ice age.

I’m not happy about this. I don’t like being cold and I certainly don’t look forward to being a cold old lady.

You know what, though? I wonder if there are deep state actors who are getting off on this. Not the grassroots true believers, but the shadowy bastards who make up our lords and masters: pushing the idea that the planet is burning up while we’re all shivering in our August cardigans. It’s just their sort of perverse.

Picture is a local beach today. Nicked from social media. You can nick things from social media, right? Don’t people relinquish exclusive rights when they post online?

August 14, 2019 — 8:28 pm
Comments: 9

Poor bird

The (British) National Gallery’s Picture of the Month this month is Joseph Wright of Darby’s “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump.”

I’m indebted to Uncle B for introducing me to this painter — and, in particular, this painting — years ago. Wright lived in the late 18th C and has been called the first painter of the Industrial Revolution.

Do click through and look at the painting in full, in color. He was famous for chiaroscuro and clever light effects, and the character studies are excellent. Whether the scientist sucks alllll the life out of the poor cockatiel is unclear.

And yes — Deborah HH has won another dick with Epstein. Even though it was the most predicted suicide in the history of predicted suicides, I’m still stunned by the brazenness of this one. But, you know — whadre we gonna do about it, eh? New Dead Pool Friday.

August 12, 2019 — 9:06 pm
Comments: 10