Overheard and misheard snatches of train conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s instruction is to leave it in a cool dark place until it quietens down, then give it bowl of soup, and gently ask it what it did with the front door keys.

‘Walking out, hand in heat…’
‘Yamma sorts!’
‘Chewing on the season.’
‘It’s a wild wugg!’
‘Sack! A difficult punch.’
‘Newport, Brough?’
‘An R-barber?’
‘Troffy race-worn?’
‘Cop you Westers!…’
‘See high penchant.’
‘Oh, my God!’
‘Jus tryna elpa…’
‘Last August, short twas…’
‘Never even warned me, you liar!’
‘I really want a sloping hat.’
‘She had domblurt…’
‘One of them eyeball thing…’
‘Tubby just walks off!’
‘Five weeks ago, five!’
‘Spoiler night…’
‘The thing about Dobbin is…’
‘Tangled suds?’
‘An appetite survey?’
‘He went, “Errr…”’
‘A money nest-feed.’
‘A now-wire? – I’d buy that!’
‘Tie colour? No, I’m thinking…’
‘Always change, always change Sarah.’
‘Just flick it back out again George.’
‘A wooden yeff?’
‘All like sweeps on the road…’

Why not print this out and keep it by the phone to read out to the next person who cold calls you?


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Nuclear fusion, clever riffs, and punctuation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s letter of the alphabet is the capital Z – chosen for its forthright swan-like spikiness.

It was mid-afternoon on a hot day last week; all the cafes in town were full of noisy sweaty fat customers, some with their yowling running-wild toddlers, so I decided that I should postpone my tea and cake treat until later in the day when the ambience might be more relaxing.
I drifted into a nearby remainder bookshop to pass the time, and also to get out of the naked glare of the sun’s persistent nuclear fusion. The shop wasn’t really very interesting in the way of books; there were plenty showing pictures of shiny handguns, tanks and battleships for the chaps, and lots with romantic flesh-pink and gold embossed covers – ‘ladies’ books’, as my mother used to call them. I did pick up and thumb through a copy of Perfect Punctuation – all you need to get it right first time, by Stephen Curtis though; the chapter on the semi-colon was interesting, as you can see from the sprinkling I have added to this piece of writing… (ellipsis…)
There was music playing over the shop’s loudspeakers; it seemed to be a compilation of 1970s/1980s pop music. Just starting, was a track with a vaguely familiar thumping drum beat, now what is that song? Oh, an extended riff comes in; it is slightly bluesy, but drifts momentarily into an eastern sounding scale with a nice flattened fifth in it… Oh, yes, of course, it’s Donna Summer doing her hit song Hot Stuff from 1979! I’ve heard far worse pop records than that – especially in the last ten years.
I was about to pay for my punctuation book (only £2.50) and leave the shop, when I remembered that Hot Stuff had a rather nicely inventive and unusual guitar solo in it towards the end (I have subsequently looked this up and discovered that the guitarist was someone called Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter from a band called Steely Dan) and I decided to hang around for a while so that I could listen to it…
Ah, not yet… another vocal verse and chorus coming up, I’ll stand here and admire the bright energetic covers of the Marvel Comics on these shelves… they are really quite… Damn! the staff behind the counter have started having a loud bubbling conversation about someone’s recent wedding… and guess what happened later at the reception!… and are drowning out the music. I’ll move further into the shop where it is quieter – ah, this is fine down here by the Sudoku books… here comes that solo – I really like the bit where he does that little… Oh, bugger!… On this compilation they obviously thought the track was a little bit too long and they fade the solo out after the first few notes…
Still, I did buy a nice punctuation book…
(Hot Stuff)

Posted in blues, books, brain, Dulltown, guitars, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, music, observations, serendipity, style, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheat and pavement…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s existential angst is centred around the shape and sound of the word ‘cuddle.’

DSCN3370Whoa! Look out! Here it comes!
No no, it’s alright, it’s just a poster… Or is it a poster? It looks like it’s printed on a sheet of something, possibly plastic, and hung up rather than being made of paper and glued to a hoarding. I’m not sure if it is actually advertising anything; I took the picture a month or two ago and I can’t recall if there were any words printed above the image. Perhaps the picture is hanging there just to be pretty and to hide an area of ugly waste ground from the eyes of passing visitors to our fair city? Maybe it serves the same purpose as the large pictures of colourful shop interiors that the council stick on the windows of the closed down shops around the city centre?…
Anyway, here is another of my recent photographs. How do you like my deliberate flouting of the rules of composition by dividing the frame right across its middle? Born to be wild, me!
It had to be done; that is the point of the photo. Aha, I think that wonderful word ‘juxtaposition’ can be cheerfully slipped in here; the juxtaposition of a fairly ordinary view of a wheat field (is that wheat?), and a pretty dull view of an area of pavement, produces, I think, a fairly interesting, and possibly slightly surreal, picture.
I’m glad there are a couple of wrinkles in the poster, it ‘gives the game away’ and stops the wheat field being ‘too real’ if you see what I mean… Also, I think the real plant life sprouting from the cracks between the paving slabs adds a bit of charm, and possibly a hint of irony too…

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High finance…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s expletive is ‘Myst all critey’ – a spoonerism, apparently popular in Australia and New Zealand.

‘Yes dear?’
‘Mummy, suppose I had five thousand pounds…’
‘Alright then dear, suppose you had.’
‘…and I decided to put it in the bank so that it will be safe.’
‘Well, I’d be sort of lending the bank my five thousand pounds, wouldn’t I?’
‘Yes dear, that’s right.’
‘So, what does the bank do with my money? Do they look after it, and keep it in a big safe?’
‘Well no, they might lend it to someone else, and charge them a lot of interest on it, or they might gamble with it on the stock market to try to make more money.’
‘Oh, I see… So, as I’ve lent the bank my five thousand pounds, do they pay me some interest on it?’
‘Well dear, they might, but if they do it will only be a little bit.’
‘Oh, that’s not very nice is it?’
‘No dear, it’s called banking…’
‘The idea is to keep the rich people rich, and the rest of us poor.’
‘Yes dear?’
‘Shall we have a revolution and put a stop to all that?…’
‘Yes, alright… why don’t you get your paints out and start making some posters…’
‘Thanks Mum!… I think we’ll have a lot of nice red on them…
‘Yes dear?’
‘Can I use really bad swear words on my posters?’
‘Of course dear…’


Posted in brain, dreaming, expletives, humour, information, irony, learning, money, Rioting, thinking, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh, those crazy artists!…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s heraldic term is ‘stain’ – a heraldic colour that is not one of the primaries.
I once had a ‘stain’ on my escutcheon, but happily it came off with a bit of light scrubbing with an old toothbrush and some washing-up liquid.

Here is a recycled post from the time a few years ago when I was blogging on something called Myspace.

When I first went to art school some time ago, one of the things that surprised me was that most, if not all, of the tutors were nutty. I should, I suppose, have expected that. Artists are famous for nuttiness.
One of them, a sculptor, or perhaps an ‘object maker’, but in any case a person who took great pride in ‘working with his hands’, was a good example of this occupational trait.
He was one of those ‘truth to materials’ types who needed to expend emotion and sweat in everything they did; he extended this into his personal life and of course his relationships, which as a result were spectacularly turbulent; there was often public shouting, swearing, and screaming from both sides. People like this seem to think that suffering is an essential part of existence; they just don’t feel as ease when things are running smoothly – there’s nothing like a bit of misery to let you know that you are living life to the full – as a hobby they go rock climbing in the cold depths of winter – ‘Oh, I had a fantastic time – there was snow, ice, freezing gales, chilblains, and I lost two toes to frostbite – it was brilliant!’
Anyway, one day this chap was pacing about, in a bit of a state, out in the college car park; he had somehow locked an urgently needed piece of work, or some vital papers, in the boot of his shiny Jaguar Mark X – the key was, of course, inside the locked car. It was great fun to watch. He ran off into the college workshop and returned grinning and snarling with a lump hammer and a cold chisel, and, in front of an appreciative crowd of us students, started laying into the lid of the car boot with great noise, swearing, and passion… A marvellous performance… Ah, happy days!…

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Grumpy Stella pops round…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s snapshot is the one of me punching Salvador Dali on the nose in a Paris cafe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA‘de Chirico Copy’ 2009 – pencil on paper, about 24″ x 17″. (G.d.C.)

‘Get the kettle on David, I’ve got a hangover… Bigtime!’
‘And good morning to you Stella my dear! – Here, let me take your broomstick and hang it up for you…’
‘And, ‘Ha!’ to you too!… I happen to have a can of Guinness in the fridge, if that would be of help?’
‘Oh God, no… just a nice big steaming hot mug of Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea, if you don’t mind.’
‘How about a cup of refreshing camomile instead my dear? It is very ‘settling’ you know…’
‘Don’t be stupid David! You can be so cruel sometimes! Just get that bloody kettle boiling!’
‘Could you perhaps manage a couple of custard cream biscuits to go with your beverage?’
‘Put three or four on a plate for me, I’ll see how I feel after I… What the hell is this?’
‘I call it ‘de Chirico Copy’ – because… well, that’s what it is…’
‘I can see that! – It’s his ‘The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street’ – he painted it in 19…’
The street…’
The‘ Street, not ‘a Street’ Stella…’
‘Shut up, you pedantic oaf!… God, this tea’s nice!… You couldn’t manage to come up with anything original, so you pinched one of his iconic surreal images, and put some of your rather wishy-washy shapes around it and…’
‘Giorgio de Chirico wasn’t a surrealist Stella.’
‘What the hell is up with you today David!… Alright, he called himself a ‘metaphysical painter’, not a surrealist – Aha! I get it now!’
‘Do you?’
‘Yes, you are just miffed because you didn’t get invited to Tony and Simon’s party last night, which incidentally was very lively and stimulating and went on late into the…’
‘Even if I had been invited, I wouldn’t have gone! – Tony and Simon are both idiots!’
‘Yes David, they are, but they do have very good parties… It’s serialism!’
‘What is?’
‘What you are doing here – a picture, within a picture, within a… Any more custard creams David?’
‘Hell! Have you eaten those already? You great greedy gannet!’
“Aha!’ what?’
That redeems the drawing a little!’
‘What does?’
‘That’s almost clever!… The little girl with the hoop has escaped ‘the’ street without mishap, and has appeared on the distant hillside on the right, safe and sound… I like your drawing now…’
‘Good!… More tea and biscuits Stella my dear?’
‘Yes, thank you David… Don’t mind if I do…’

Posted in art, brain, conversation, cool, Dulltown, existentialism, expletives, humour, information, mind, painting, serendipity, style, surrealism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Small, but pithy items…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s instruction is to tiptoe up to it, stroke its snout, and, whilst humming Paul McCartney’s ‘Mull of Kintyre’, feed it handfuls of broken biscuits.

Excuses for being late. No. 217.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I needed to polish my maracas.

An item of spam from ‘weight training lifestyles’ appeared in my comments box yesterday:
‘Wow, superb blog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.
Thank you ‘weight training lifestyles’ – I shall bear what in mind you have said.

An observation:
‘All the people in town today had mouse faces.’
‘Wearing masks?…’
‘No, they had mouse faces.’

A single overheard remark:
‘It’s a chicken and egg spoon…’

Sitting in front of me on the bus the other day was a fluffy-haired youth wearing a black leather biker jacket and an Hawaiian shirt. I watched him on his smart phone looking through pictures of ancient ornate swords for sale. I imagine that he couldn’t quite decide whether to go for the ‘Mighty Blade of Thangaha’, or ‘Elf-Slayer Mystico of Gongi the Magnificent’.

A single overheard remark:
‘What? The performing clerics?…’

No, I’m sorry, I don’t want to go in this cafe – it seems to be full of alpha males in expensive grey suits and ties braying at each other.

‘All you artists and writers are just the court jesters for the kings of capitalism!…’
(Professor Mouldie)

Another item of spam in my comments box. This one from ‘codex':
‘all the time I used to read smaller articles which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph I am reading at this place.’
Thank you ‘codex’ – I will bear in mind what you have said.

The bus driver on the No. 15A yesterday was loudly whistling ‘When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing Along’ alternatively with snatches of John Denver’s ‘Take me Home, Country Roads’. It was very nice!



Posted in advertising, brain, conversation, cool, existentialism, Hull.UK., humour, information, music, observations, people, serendipity, style, surrealism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment