THE PACHYDERM IN THE VESTIBULE

The Pachyderm in the vestibule

Regular readers (Both of you) will attest to my healthy disdain for superstition and pseudo-scientific knowledge in place of hard fact. Not only that, but my steadfast and unbreakable determination to grab the bull by its whatsits, avoid all sorts of squeamishness and lily-livered cowardice when it comes to writing about feelings and suchlike.

As my old great grandmother used to say

There’s no fool like an old bird in the hand when it comes to beating it about the bush.

Now, I feel I should offer some sort of explanation for the almost year long hiatus. It all started with a bump. A bump on the head. A quite sizeable bump it has to be said. I was falling a lot at the time; legs just washing out in front if me and down I’d go. I usually though some sort of instictive reaction for self preservation, managed to avoid head injury, praise the Lord.

Yep. Nothing more serious than a trip to local A and E .The top and bottom of it was I was booked into Queen Square for a second insertion in July 2017. It was always on the cards that I would have a fresh insertion at some point, when I felt that I was getting no more from the original DBS (Deep Brain Stimualion) set up as it was. And so it was.This time, they used the Boston Scientific hardware a new generation of kit, which allows the ends of each electrode to be moved to focus the therapy and means it is much more accurate.

The surgery itself was…. ‘uneventful’ I think is the correct term.

And then spent the next month in hospital. And do you know what? It seems to onl y to have worked beyond my wildest dreams!

and now, bizarrely,I find myself increasingly reluctant to talk about it for fear of’Jinxing it’. (I know ). So, i will just collect my stuff, my lucky rabbits foot. My four leaf clover and stick my head down for a little while.

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One Word Book Review

Here we are! for one week only, due to public demand, the return of the One Word Book Review.

Julian Barnes: The Only Story

Heartbreaking

John Irving: Until I find you

Long

John Irving:  A Widow For One Year

Longer

Danny Baker: Going on The Turn

Motormouth

Ken Follett: A Column of Fire

Shite

Joseph Heller  Catch 22

Unfinished

Alan Johnson: The Long And Winding Road

Moving

Kent Hartman: The Wrecking  Crew:

Suprising

Rodigan: My life in reggae

Roots

Fredrik Backman: A Man Called Ove

Irritating

The lore and language of schoolchildren

We used to sing some funny little rhymes when we were at school didn’t we?

Remember this one?

‘Yellow belly custard, green snot pie

all mixed up in a dead dogs eye

spread it on a butty, nice and thick…’

I’d like to see what fucking Jamie Oliver would make with those five ingredients.

Trainspotting

I love trains don’t you?

Ever since Robert Louis Stevenson designed the first train, the iconic Flying Scotsman they have got faster and faster. The train speed record was set by the Mallard with its modern looking sleek lines on its qway to the city of Truro. Some enthusiasts wear anoraks, hang around stations and copy down the train numbers. They are called trainspotters. But be warned, many trainspotters are actually out of their heads on heroin, crack cocaine, crystal meth. Or all three.

Not ‘arf

The Car Is The Star

I love cars, don’t you?

The first car was invented by Bob Marley and the Wailers, hence the BMW roundel and logo that all modern cars have today.

Originally, cars had two wheels and were called motorcycles

Cars have a dashboard and a steering wheel, where you will find all the instruments, such as the horn.
One of the most iconic cars ever was chitty chitty bang bang who starred in “The Italian Job” along with Herbie the love bug, otherwise known as a De Lorean
To drive a car, you need a road, which is bit like a railway made out of Tarmac. Some  cars have a dipstick, which can be found behind the wheel. Not ‘arf.

SWEARING

God I love swearing, don’t you?

There’s nothing like getting your tongue round some pithy gutteral ancient Anglo Saxon to relieve stress and tension.

But did you know that swearing was introduced to these shores by the Normans, who invaded in 1492 in attempt to steal back their Danegeld?

Or that a ‘minced oath’ is where you use a flippn’ alternative to the flppin’ curse you were going to flippin’ use and to not mince your words, therefore means you are forthright in expressing your views.

Note: only one of the above is true.

Confused? You will be …

Will Tall ever choose between Our Lass and Karen? Will Jill stick with Buggles? Will Keith and Sheridan Small have a joint wedding? Has Greasy John has his hands down Debbie’s Knicks? Will Tim ever grow back his moustache? Will Jane ever return? Will Phil ever go to sleep? Will me and Murphy  ever get a job? and what’s happened to Harry? Will Wiz ever sell his TR 6? Will Chawkey ever finish his breakfast? Will Mo the Header turn out for our 5 a side team next season? Will Suresh ever get out of hospital? Will Dinks ever get to see his own a. hole?

Ah, we are all going to Helena Handcart.

 

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Beyond The Grave

For reasons which were never adequately explained to me, when we had our extension built, Building Control forced us to have a soak away dug in the back garden rather than simply cut into the existing surface water pipe. The Soak Away’s job is to collect and disperse the run off water from the house and garden.
So we did what we were told and built a Soak Away as required. This meant digging a pit about 6 feet (182cm) deep and backfilling with shingle and stones.
One of the young labourers was tasked with the job and went about it with gusto. He did not use any power tools only a spade, a shovel and a pick axe, but by the end of the afternoon he was standing in a neat 6 foot square hole. The edges were lovingly finished, crisp, and the sides plumb.
I went out to have a natter with him and to take him a cup of tea. I praised him for his speedy work and in particular his tidy finish.
‘Ah yes’ he says. ‘I was grave digger in Poland’

© Andy Daly 2017

Slap happy

Warning. Early 1970’s sexism, and graphic scenes of violence which those of a nervous disposition may find distressing.

May contain nuts.

l have said before that my schooldays were a kind of ‘Kes’ in real time. Examination of Ken Loach’s treatment of former teacher Barry Hines’ book ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ reveals a cast of teachers and pupils captured with just the right amount of lunacy and pathos. A snapshot of life in all its absurdities, which mirrored  our experience with uncanny accuracy.

Among the psychopaths, nutters and loonies at my school I was fortunate enough to find two sane lads who were into the same things as me, and who just happened to be the funniest people I’d ever met: namely Baz and Teck. Like me, a fan of Milligan, Baz is possessed of lazer-like wit, with which he is quite able to reduce his audience to pulp with his no-nonsense view of the world and razor sharp comments. Teck is far more lugubrious. His speciality is ‘The Rant’ along with silly words, sound affects and accents.

Thanks to the Interwebthingumybob we are still  in contact today. Apart from maintaining our friendship the beauty of this is that we are sometimes able to remember events jointly as they actually happened, and even describe what took place from a different viewpoint or perspective.

When looking back and all your instincts tell you ‘That can’t be true … I must have made it up …’ all it takes is a quick Facebook message.

Let me give you an example. I remembered a comical (well not so much for the girl involved) incident from 1972. We were in the second year  ( Year 8 ). The bell had gone for the end of break and we were all milling about in the Languages corridor. In theory we were lining up outside our respective classrooms, when in fact it looked more like a scrummage, complete with Scrum Half about to feed the ball (somone’s school bag) Through this melee of bodies walked Sarah one of the prettiest girls in the year with a group of freinds. In what must have been a catastrophic rush of blood to the head, because it was so out of character, a class-mate by the name of George, casually put out his hand and as Sarah and her friends passed, he cupped her left breast.

A horrified silence descended on the corridor, the two packs disengaged and looked on. You could hear a pin drop. Calmly and without breaking her step Sarah wound her arm back and with a confidence that suggested she was more than a dab hand at unarmed combat adminstered the mother of all slaps to George’s chops. It sounded like hitting a pound and a half of liver wth a cricket bat. The corridor was in uproar again until our French teacher Russell O’ Callaghan arrived on the scene and sorted us out.

Some 40 years later Baz,Teck and me are discussing the the incident in The Regal Moon pub and it transpired we had each been in the corridor, but in different places. Yet on inpection, our accounts of what happened matched perfectly.

And the thing that we each remember most?

That slap.

I bet on a quiet day if you listen carefully down at the bottom of St. Wilfred’s Drive, the estate of new houses built on the old school site, you can still hear the echoes of Sarah’s Super Slap today.

40 years on L-R Self, Kath, Angela, Teck. Baz, Mike

© Andy Daly 2017

Broken English

Shakespeare. No longer fit for purpose.

Shakespeare. No longer fit for purpose.

So. why is it effortful to understand what people are saying these days? I fear English is broken. No longer fit for purpose, going forward.

For sure they will say

‘It is what it is’ and

‘yeah no yeah’

which is true, but I think it’s a whole nother ballgame. For example actual ‘Breggzit’ what the fuck does it mean? Is even a thing?

as for ‘Breggzit Backstop’?

Its even not in my Uxbridge English Dictionary .

Confused of Ruislip