A few more small, but pithy items…

But first…
Dulltown,UK: Today’s Aspidistra is the over-the-top exuberant lush flashy one.

Excuses for being late. No. 327.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I found that someone had nailed my shoes to the floor.

A single overheard remark:
‘Peter, does it look big, in my hand?…’

An observation:
In town yesterday I saw an old man with an impressive white beard wearing a bright red winter jacket – he looked just like Father Christmas – you’d think he’d have avoided buying a red one wouldn’t you, having the beard and all? Of course he could have been the real Father C.

I see that the local bus company have posters inside their buses advertising for PCV/LGV Vehicle Shift Fitters. Doesn’t that roll off the tongue nicely? It sound’s very impressive too! If you had that job you could condense it a bit more, and when asked what you did for a living, you could say you were a PCV/LGV/VSF.

There was an item of spam in my comments box a couple of days ago; it was commenting on one of my Misheard Song Lyrics Over the Cafe Hubbub pieces; it was from someone called sunrox:
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about
this like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive message home
a little bit, but other than that, this is great
blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.
Well, thank you for your very kind and constructive words. What sort of pictures do you think would help me to ‘drive message home’ in this piece? I do look forward to hearing more from you in the future sunrox.

Yes, I’m thinking of changing my name to Fay Ling-Badley.

‘What’s that you have there? Is it a trinket?’
‘A trinket? I don’t believe so, it’s a bit big for a trinket, don’t do you think?’
‘Hm, too large… You’re right, perhaps it’s a trink?’
‘Yes, that’s what it must be, an actual trink…’

She had the shape of mouth that looked like it was continuously saying the word ‘plastic’…

A single overheard remark:
‘So it went straight down onto the concrete floor!’

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False mushrooms at Mr. So-and-so’s…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle quotation  is from The Adventure of the Dancing Men:
Holmes had been seated from some hours in silence with his long, thin back curved over a chemical vessel in which he was brewing a particularly malodorous product. His head was sunk upon his breast, and he looked from my point of view like strange, lank bird, with dull grey plumage and a black top-knot.
“So Watson,” he said, suddenly, “you do not propose to invest in South African securities?”
I gave a start of astonishment. Accustomed as I was to Holmes’s curious facilities, this sudden intrusion into my most intimate thoughts was utterly inexplicable.
“How on earth do you know that?” I asked.

It’s about an inch-and-a-half thick, about eight-inches by five-and-a-half, bound in a dull red-brown cloth; it’s rather bendy in the hand, not like a proper hardback at all – it is my copy of the Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934, one of my scruffy ‘junk shop books’.

Shall we thumb through and see if we can get a glimpse of the sort of things that occupied nice middle class people in Britain in the 1930s? There are several entries per page and at the head of each page there are a few words of wisdom, or an uplifting proverb – I will include these with today’s selection:

Page 45. (When in motion, to push on is easy.)
To Distinguish Mushrooms from Poisonous Fungi.
ii. False mushrooms have a warty cap, or else fragments of membrane, adhering to the upper surface, are heavy, and emerge from a vulva or bag; they grow in tufts or clusters in woods, on the stumps of trees, &c., whereas the pure mushrooms grow in pastures.

Page 348. (Great talkers are not great doers.)
Addressing Letters.
ii. When the person to whom you are writing or visiting is residing at the house of another person, it is considered vulgar to put “at Mr. So-and-so’s”, put simply “Mr. So-and-so’s”, at being understood.

Page 393. (Every man is the architect of his own fortune.)
Marking Ink.
Dissolve separately, one ounce of nitrate of silver, and one and a half ounces of best washing soda in distilled or rain water. Mix the solutions, and collect and wash the precipitate in a filter; whilst still moist, rub it up in a marble or Wedgwood mortar with three drachms of tartaric acid; add two ounces of distilled water, mix six drachms of white sugar, and ten drachms of gum-arabic, half an ounce of archil, and water to make up six ounces in measure.

Page 413. (That thou mayest injure no man, dove-like be, and serpent-like, that none may injure thee.)
Sweeping carpets.
Persons who are accustomed to use tea-leaves for sweeping their carpets, and find that they leave stains, will do well to employ fresh-cut grass instead. It is better than tea-leaves for preventing dust, and gives the carpets a very bright fresh look.

Page 347. (He doeth well who doeth good.)
Hints on Conversation.
Some persons have a Mania for Greek and Latin quotations: this is particularly to be avoided. It is like pulling up the stones from a tomb wherewith to kill the living. Nothing is more wearisome than pedantry.

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About the size of an egg timer…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like a seagull swooping onto a discarded Big Mac.

‘Excuse me…’
‘You seem to have been surreptitiously staring at me, for the last ten minutes.’
‘Oh, goodness me, have I? I am most terribly sorry.’
‘That’s alright, I expect it was my tattoo.’
‘Well, it was actually, I do apologise again, it is an unusual one though, isn’t it?’
‘No? But I…’
‘The tattoo itself isn’t that unusual, it’s the placement of it…’
‘Yes, yes, you are correct, one can’t really miss it, can one?’
‘No, I suppose one can’t.’
‘I mean, having the number 22 in the middle of your forehead like that…’
‘That’s true.’
‘Anyway, I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’ll get on with reading my newspaper…’
‘Don’t you want to hear about it then? Most people do you know.’
‘Well, I don’t like to pry into a person’s private, er…’
‘It’s very simple really, it’s the circumference of my head, in inches.’
‘Ah… Right… Of course…’
‘Oh, come on! Don’t be like that! It is surprisingly useful.’
‘When buying a hat?’
‘Well, that goes without saying.’
‘I suppose so, but what other use does it have, apart from being an excellent conversation starter?’
‘Of course I had to choose between having it in inches or in centimeters, when I had it done.’
‘…and you settled on inches then.’
‘Both – I have it in metric round the back, 55.9 give or take, but of course my hair has grown over it – however, I can always shave a patch off, in an emergency.’
‘An emergency?’
‘Yes, if someone from Euroland needed something measuring, they’re all metric over there now you know.’
‘Hm, I know… If they wanted something measuring?’
‘Is that what you do then, measure things… with your head?’
‘You’ve got it Signor!’
‘Yes Signor, suppose you needed a length of nice new floral carpet for the hallway of your château, perhaps to hide those old cracked tiles…’
‘Cracked tiles… Alright…’
‘I could sort you out straightway without resorting to searching for non-existent tape measures in overloaded kitchen drawers.’
‘Yes, what’s the matter with ‘straightway’?’
‘Oh, nothing… So, how would you go about measuring for a hall carpet then?’
‘Easy, I just lie down and roll my head along the length required – I have to keep count of my revolutions and then just multiply by 55.9 and divide by 10 to get it in metres – I’m assuming that we are in Euroland, you having a château and all?’
‘You must get quite dizzy.’
‘One gets used to it, over the years.’
‘Do you charge for this service?’
‘No, no, god forbid! I do it out of the goodness of my…’
‘No, heart… I have rolled on the floors of many famous people, celebs, sports stars, and even royalty.’
‘Oh yes?’
‘I did a decorative lawn edging mensuration for Her Majesty in 1996, it was at Her place at Sandringham Norfolk… She was very pleased.’
‘You don’t say.’
‘Oh, but I do, have you anything you need measuring at the moment? No charge of course.’
‘Well, as a matter of fact, I was wondering about the dimensions of this egg timer I have in my bag, it’s a present for my grandfather, I was going to buy an envelope of suitable size to send it to him.’
‘Easy, just pass it over…’
‘But it’s far smaller than your head, you won’t be able to… Oh…’
‘Three-and-a-quarter inches!’
‘But?… Oh, I see you have numbers tattooed on each of your fingers…’
‘See, my left hand ring finger is exactly three-and-a-quarter inches.’
‘But what if I wanted that in metric?’
‘Ah, I have that on another part of my body, see, if I just unbutton my…’
‘No no, it’s alright… That’s fine… Thank you…’
‘You’re welcome, and I do hope your grandfather likes his three-and-a-quarter inch timer…’

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Their Little Kingdom, with relaxing £1 massage…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s interesting album title is – ‘Intellectuals are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite’ – Killdozer (1984) (Killdozer)

Yes, it was last summer in a shopping centre here in Dulltown; my attention was immediately grabbed by these two colourful cuties. What struck me was that Ben and Holly don’t appear to be very happy in their work; to me they look rather startled, and perhaps a bit anxious, as if they are deeply puzzled by the drab humans with whom they share the shopping centre; I also notice that they don’t seem to have mouths, or do they? Is it a trick of the light? (What a very nice phrase that is – let’s say it again, a trick of the light… I suppose that’s exactly what photography is.) Maybe B and H gave up speaking a long time ago… They look as if they are thinking – Help us, help!… Get us out of this capitalist hell hole!…
Anyway, even though I spotted the man in the white baseball cap giving me a suspicious sidelong look under his peak, I quickly got my little camera out and… click!…
I do like this picture; it is funny, and also a bit depressing don’t you think? How about a relaxing massage then? Only a pound for five minutes; that sounds a lot of money for just five minutes… Me, I think that I’d be embarrassed to sit there being vibrated in public…
‘Hello Dave… Oh, I haven’t seen you since schooldays, how are you?’
‘Oh, hello… er… Tony… Look… just hang on a moment… I have two minutes left on this thing…’
I’m glad that woman stopped to look in the window of the second-hand phone and game shop, the composition needed something of interest just there on the left, to lead the eye into the scene…

Posted in brain, colours, composition, Dulltown, existentialism, Hull.UK., humour, music, observations, photography, seeing, serendipity, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Some song lyrics misheard over the cafe hubbub…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s American hero is Chuck Berry 1926 – 2017.
Come on, let’s listen to the words of Brown-Eyed Handsome Man.
‘Arrested on charges of unemployment he was sitting in the witness stand…’ Of course for ‘brown eyed handsome man’ you should really be hearing ‘brown-skinned handsome man’, but then, this was 1956!…

‘The year of the get-so-sweet girl…’
‘I in deeper sand, important…’
‘I deceive a kind E, weep deep.’
‘Turn your omni-seed, it is precious to me baby.’
‘I tell you everything Scotch.’
‘Til the day I die-e-eye-e-eye-e-eye…’
‘The very couch feels low, oh, oh, oh…’
‘All the words I na-na blossom…’
‘An inch injury, and creeping think-think.’
‘Celebrate my tunnel, basement phone talking, yeah.’
‘A biscuit real, and now a Mormon nice…’
‘Lord speak up, oh hey, oh hey, oh hey…’
‘A screw is on me all night long girl.’
‘Ha ha ha ha, a long long fool.’
‘Walking gnome, walking gnome…’
‘Sunshine and spume, straight-water boogie now!’
‘Crawl right to the Wednesday window…’
‘Don’t give up girl – I want wooden days!’
‘Dip a thing – hello, my pygmy britches…’
‘For a future thousand wheels!… Take ’em one sure!’
‘Where am I going, beautiful eye?’
‘Pretto biffam, the morning fall knee?’
‘Don’t feel the heat, adjust my pump…’

If you would like some information on how these lines are collected you could click here.

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This is not art. No.15…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s ancient Egyptian deity, who appears as a woman wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt, holding a shield and crossed arrows, is the goddess Neith. Her associations are: creator-goddess, warfare, and weaving. I’m glad she manages to find the time to do a bit of weaving too, considering all her other commitments… (Neith)

This subtle and intriguing large-scale work which incorporates paint and mixed-media is best appreciated outdoors in the city environment rather than in the often sterile rectilinear cold prisms of the gallery; the carefully controlled unyielding colour temperature of the lighting in these establishments would not give the vibrancy of the pigments used in this piece the chance to ‘breath’, as it does under the changes in natural light, as the day proceeds from dawn until dusk, as the sky shines and then dims, and will petulantly cloud at the whim of seasonal and serendipitous urban meteorology.
It is, without saying, a masterpiece of composition; the overwhelming horizonal (yes, this is a word) relentless stratified banding, the grey matt under-shadowed substrate for the playful and enigmatic golden text floats above the blue on its bed of darkness as a distant hard and possibly unwelcoming land beyond the flat, but gently rippling ocean – will we be welcomed with tropical fruit by the Vegeta folk, or will we be rebuffed, and our ship turned back to roam the seas forever in search of safe aesthetic harbour?… Oh, look, is that pale blue rectangle, floating, shimmering, caught by the sun, another rejected vessel forced back to sea, or is it a small Vegeta outrigger sailing out to greet us with garlands of flowers?… We don’t know…

Yes, this is the front of a closed down fruit and veg shop near where I live here in Dulltown – nice colours aren’t they?…

Posted in art, brain, colours, composition, creation, dreaming, Dulltown, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, painting, photography, religion, seeing, serendipity, style, surrealism, Uncategorized, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Mail Art Postcard No. 4643…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s alligator is the one arguing about the price of toothpicks in the queue for the supermarket checkout.

How about glancing at one of my Mail Art postcards dear reader?…

Yes, just another simple collage using snippets from that awful British TV listings magazine What’s On TV.
There’s not a lot to this one is there? A big bright shocking word juxtaposed (love that word!) with some unshaven chap with bruised knuckles having a rather bad day. I have no idea who he is, or what he is trying to do, and actually I don’t care…
Perhaps he is just on holiday? I do know that some people, mostly men I think, who have mundane desk jobs involving plenty of paperwork, phone calls, and staring at laptop screens for hours on end, feel the need to go out and suffer in a different way at the weekends.
I think if you are going to do a bit of intentional sweating and perform arduous (I don’t think that I have ever before used the word ‘arduous’) muscle-aching tasks, it is a lot more satisfying if there is something useful, or worth looking at, at the end of it – perhaps a nicely assembled set of bookshelves, a new garden gazebo, some big logs cut up for your wood burning stove, a well-painted garage, etc., rather than just finding yourself sitting shivering, rubbing at your chilblains at the top of an ice-covered mountain, in a freezing easterly gale, with hailstones bouncing off your forehead. Still, each to his own – who am I to scoff at such activities… Perhaps the point of it is not actually doing it, but telling like-minded people all about it the warm cheerful pub down in the valley later?…
Now… Ouch!… If I can, (gasp) just, get my hand, (gasp) onto this ledge… Damn!… The stone’s crumbling away as I… Hang what’s that funny scurrying sound coming from above?… Oh, hell, (gasp) I’ve never liked creepy-crawlies!…


Posted in advertising, art, composition, creation, drama, humour, information, Mail Art, observations, postcards, serendipity, surrealism, sweating, TV, Uncategorized, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments