Broadband package on bright green…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s adjectives are: flippant, doughty, rubiginous, Heracleian, diaphanous and bumpy.

4434 DSCN3296Yes dear reader, here is another from my very long series of one-off collage postcards; this one is number 4434 and was glued together two or three weeks ago.
‘But what does it mean Dave?’
Well, it doesn’t mean anything, I…
‘No, but who is this man, and why does it say ‘broadband package’ underneath his…?’
It’s all part of the game you see…
‘The game?…’
The surrealism game – it’s a bit like the titles that Rene Magritte would often give his paintings - words which apparently have no connection with the image you are seeing… but somewhere back in the dimly lit, seldom walked, corridors of your mind, there is, propped up against the greasy wall, an old dusty cardboard box with the connection, wrapped in soft tissue paper, nestling inside – and then you think… oh, yes… I get it!… of course!…
Rene Magritte.
‘Well, I don’t get it!… Is he an actor form a British TV soap opera? You’ve cut him out of a copy of ‘What’s On TV’ and stuck him there… and you are just making fun of his fine acting skills? Just look at his powerful expression of…’
Yes, alright then… and don’t worry I won’t post this one to you… By the way, a clue… it all hinges on the word ‘package’..
Only kidding…

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Some snatches of overheard and misheard cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s outside temperature is 296 degrees Kevin.

Note: Today’s snatches are from just two people, a middle-aged couple, at a nearby table.

‘No… the chair!’
‘Sand too, everyone…’
‘No, I don’t want it!…’
‘It sounded lighter.’
‘Yes, but understandably loud.’
‘What? Your mother’s page?’
‘So… you needed some help?’
‘Hm… okay, four-hundred pounds…’
‘Go ahead, go ahead!…’
‘Say that again!’
‘Crumble that folder!’
‘Maybe we can… hold that position!’
‘Knee high?’
‘Oh my god!’
‘Let me down easy, then I’ll go right home.’
‘It’s chemical… the only thing is…’
‘Would you like me to…?’
‘Just because you haven’t actually made anything…’
‘Maybe for you!…’
‘I’d like to rearrange it – a wild card!’
‘I just think I’m in the middle of it.’
‘You do! You do!…’
‘What? You meant – Go now?’
‘Everything you wanted!’
‘Every single… every single time!…’
‘One, two, three, four…’
‘Double concerned…’
‘You embarrassed me three times!’
‘A brother all your life!’
‘You embarrassed me three times…
Yes, you embarrassed me three times…’
‘But that’s your problem!’
‘Then what he said was…’
‘You embarrassed me… with the chair
That’s just what happened…’

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Parallel Movie Time…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s expletive is ‘By St Loy!…’ – A very specific oath (according to my little book on swearing) used in the C15th to C16th by blacksmiths when the horse they were shoeing kicked them.

It was a bad night for television; I couldn’t decide which film to watch, Surrogates with Bruce Willis (2009) or The Bandit of Sherwood Forrest with Cornel Wilde (1946).
I decided to flick between channels and watch both of them:

‘The people of England face a grave crisis!’
‘Something for the anxiety?…’
‘It’s the full council of the barons!’
‘I have an idea.’
‘Friar Tuck?…’
‘It’s really bad in here.’
‘A horseman approaches, open the drawbridge!’
‘What? Living through a puppet!’
‘They’re not fit to rule themselves!’
‘Until we get that weapon back…’
‘Lord Frederick!… Your Majesty!…’
‘This is the human condition.’
‘Will Scarlet – in skirts?…’
‘May I offer you a ride?’
‘I know, I was listening… Go to Robin!’
‘It’s different when you feel the pain isn’t it?’
‘Dash through the gate!…’
‘Your own personal desires?’
‘I like… the flowers, the trees, the water…’
‘Very nice… sexy!…’
‘Woodsman, we owe you a great deal…’
‘Ha ha ha!.’
‘Be gone! I want no thieving vagabonds in this house!…’
‘You look terrible!’
‘Wine?… For scullery maids?’
‘The overload device!…’
‘Aha!… With all my heart!’
‘I feel like I’m going crazy!’
‘You great tub of lard! Ha ha!…’
‘He’s disabled my unit!’
‘Shame on you Friar!’
‘Look for the access codes!…’
‘The Queen… Your Majesty!…’
‘FBI!… Get out of the car!’
“till all England is free!…’
‘I need a remote shutdown!’
‘Yes, I have prepared a proclamation…’
‘Over here officer – this way!…’
‘Come, let us watch from the balcony…’
‘Lie on the floor, face-down!’
‘Not while my mother’s away!’
‘It’s a perversion, an addiction!…’
‘Put him in the west tower!’
‘Buffer the operators!’
‘Tomorrow, after the changing of the guard?’
‘Shift and enter! Shift and enter!’
‘An arrow is a slender mark Robin.’
‘Press the freakin’ button!…’
‘Arrange for disguises – you’re in love with me!’
‘This is unbelievable!’
‘Bring us some ale, and be quick about it!’
‘They are all reporting the same thing Tom…’
‘Into the bedchamber, quick!’
‘You look smart in a uniform.’
‘To hold you in my arms…’
‘It’s over… We are now, all on our own…’
‘Rise, the Earl of Sutherland!’

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Rene, Robin, and the apple…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s existential angst is centred around the idea of dandruff.

Shall we open, and poke about in, the files of digitally scanned negatives from the days when I used to do old-style black and white film and darkroom photography? Aha! Look, here’s one! Let’s pull it out and have a good look at it.

EPSON scanner imageThis is from a long time ago; was it taken the late 1970s or the early 1980s? I don’t know, I’m hopeless when it comes to history. This is my friend Robin in the scruffy back room of the second-hand book and record shop here in Dulltown where we used to work.
The picture is, of course, an homage to my great hero the surrealist painter Rene Magritte. (R.M.)
He often had things hovering in front of people’s faces, and as there was an apple, someone’s lunch, handy I thought that I’d make creative use of it.
It was very simply done, no hanging it on thin nylon threads, or even resorting to photo-montage; I stuck a teaspoon into the side of the apple and said to Robin, ‘Here, just hold this in your mouth for a minute while I get my camera out.’
‘Hurry ump…’ he mumbled incoherently, ‘theez is reably unconfortamle!…’
But ‘click’ and it was done. I expect when the person later picked up their lunch apple they wondered why it now had little slit in the side of it…


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Cheese dream… cheese dream…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s random dictionary words are: moggan, epideictic, bugloss, samshu, kistvaen, and kippage.
Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. Mrs Mouldie may be present and dressed as a slutty barmaid – you must pretend she is not there.

Ordinary supermarket cheese before bedtime doesn’t seem to make me have dreams, but I find that Marks & Spencer’s rather expensive ‘Vintage Cheddar Cornish Cruncher’ certainly does the trick.

‘See, I’m glad we’ve come here… It’s a funny little town isn’t it?… Alright then, you wait here and I’ll go inside and pay for the tickets for the flight.’
The sandy-haired brown-suited head teacher (was it Mr Stubbs or Mr History?) was sitting on a child’s chair at a very low shabby office desk; a clutter of files, blotters, jars of pens, a stapler, a hand-cranked pencil sharpener, and two cream telephones were on it. He looked up and stared at me, light bushy eyebrows over the top of his bright glasses. I placed our two cheques for the tickets in a space on the desk in front of him and immediately noticed that although the ‘amounts in figures’ were filled in, the ‘amounts in words’ were still blank.
‘Look, you can’t fill them in with that pen,’ he snapped, ‘the ink colour won’t match!’
He continued to look at me over the top of his spectacles – his complection and hair had suddenly turned rather grey…
Walking back towards the town centre in the sunshine we passed a side street, and in a quick glance down it I thought that I saw a fleeting image of a double fronted shop with curved windows displaying a wall of neatly stacked ancient TV sets, their small round-cornered, slightly bulging, glassy screens glowing a pale flesh in the sunlight. We stopped.
I said, ‘Hang on, I’ve just got to look down there…’
I peered around the corner into the street, but it wasn’t a shop front at all; there was a tall man, he looked a bit like Kevin Costner, holding a rosy-cheeked small child. They were waiting at a bus stop. The little boy was holding a brightly coloured triangular cardboard box which had the TV sets represented on it; the grinning child was painted on the box too.
Further down the street was a brightly lit small shop selling electric guitars – the inside of the shop was narrow, more like a long corridor than a normal room. There were guitars in glass cases down each side. All the instruments were in reds greens and blues, except for one white bright white Fender Jaguar. I was very surprised to see it there…
The corner of the bus shelter was crammed with people trying to get out of the howling wind, some of which was buffeting through a dirty triangular hole in one of the plastic windows. The information board said that all the buses stopping there would be yellow, but half of them would be old ones, and half would be new. Having recently seen the TV documentary on them I knew that we should try to get on one of the new ones.
‘But wait though, there’s no point in going home yet, we haven’t visited the great second-hand shop down the winding descending cobbled alley!’
‘Do you need anything from there?’
‘No… not really…’
‘Those blackbirds are very loud this morning…’
‘I know.’
‘Are they waking you up?’
‘Yes, I think they might be…’

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Rammed with shims…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s joke is the one about the two bishops and the stolen bucket of eels – Oh, how we stifled our guffaws as we knelt in prayer!

Last week a couple of my friends whizzed me off in their car to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park about an hour’s drive from Dulltown; we didn’t know what was currently on show there, but we went anyway; it was very nice weather too!
After some rather good sandwiches and tea in the YSP’s surprisingly badly designed cafe we went and had a look at the main indoor exhibition, which was of work by Ursula Von Rydingsvard – she’s not really my cup of tea isn’t Ursula. Most of her stuff seems highly labour intensive, but without a great deal of substance to show at end of it; she does a lot of large works made from smallish pieces of what looks like scruffy reclaimed wood, cedar I think. There was a video showing her making the things too; she came across as being a rather intense person, and perhaps a bit of a humourless one too. (Ursula V R)
As you may have noticed when browsing these pages dear reader, I like to collect extracts from ‘artist’s statements’, the printed sheets which are often pinned to gallery walls in an attempt to explain what the hell the stuff you are looking at is all about. I couldn’t resist copying down a couple of bits of text from Ursula’s show:
‘Droga’ is low and ground-hugging with latent energy of a breaking wave. The ‘head’ – a fractured ring rammed with shims that was the origin of the whole sculpture – leads into a dark cavernous belly…
‘Line’ There is a sense of some seismic event having taken place and a pervasive emotional darkness…
No, sorry Ursula, I don’t think it is necessary to tell us what we should think when we look at your stuff, all that should be the job of the work itself. If it doesn’t do that, it’s not working.
After that we wandered off to have a look at a new outdoor piece by Tracey Emin called Roman Standard; it was a pleasant ten minute walk across the grass, but when we found it it turned out to be just a small model bird on top of a thin metal pole – you could easily miss it if you didn’t keep your eyes peeled, it didn’t really jump out at you and drag you into it’s fabulous birdy world…
However, we did then spot four or five large bronze sculptures by Joan Miro. (J.M.) Oh, they were wonderful – they were full of playfulness, style, humour, humanity, confidence… and yes, class!… Here is a picture of my friend John photographing one of them. I wonder what it’s thinking?…


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So what is it that those TV ads are trying to tell us?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s weather will be composed of atmospheric blue sibilants, framed by a backdrop of sprouting grey nouns, which are lording it over a scattering of warm earthy consonants below.

It sooths in three minutes – let’s make it happen! – full LED headlights! – a flavour sensation as you chew! – write their future – the advanced formula – unlock the world! – unmissable mortgage rates! – get more from less! – never been lower! – the most recommended insurer – it’s fun-food! – talk to our lovely people today – 100% protection! – yes, start today! – more and more people – I saved £5,000! – digital displays! – ultra long life! – we do things differently! – a family problem? – your favourite TV shows? – spectacular cool! – lost or stolen? – peach and passion smoothie – all the thrill of casino! – the simplest idea – two years free! – are you really ready for the challenge? – the quality is the important thing! – a surface cleanser – all the power you’d expect – quality taste or price? – we are really proud! – younger looking! – a great time to buy! – deep down relief! – the hair you were born with – expect perfect! – the world of granola – right to my door! – a healthy protein source – where ever you wipe! – soft world, you win! – no bleach, no odour! – an intense pain – new fragrance! – a knotting sensation? – perfume experts – active foam! – perfect against irritation.

Please print this out and read it to your hairdresser next time you go in for a trim.


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