Look out!… Sliced onions!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s Vlad the Impaler lookalike twins are Maureen and Steve Mudberry. Come on up and take your seats on the sofa – my my, how convincingly evil you both look! I see that you have brought a couple of your impaling spikes with you…

In my posts I don’t usually get into the details of my domestic life, but on this occasion I think I must. How do you manage your kitchen chopping boards dear reader? Do you have more than one, different ones for different foods? Me, I just have the one, it’s made of glass for easy cleaning, and it has, for some dubious aesthetic reason, pictures of sprigs of herbs and vegetables printed on it – this is annoying when one is chopping one’s stuff, because one tends to mistake the printed items for the real thing – but that’s just an aside, and it is not the subject of today’s piece.
Yes, if you chop the buggers up on a traditional wooden chopping board the juices soak in and the board becomes ‘tainted’ and can even develop a lingering odour if you don’t keep an eye on it. Me, I use my glass board for cutting everything culinary, including onions, but in order to avoid the onion-ness sneakily cross-contaminating say, a couple of slices of toast, that have been placed on the board ready for buttering, I always cut up my onions (apparently onions are really good for you) with a piece of paper laid on top the glass surface. The piece of paper is usually a page folded in two, oneĀ  that’s been ripped from an old copy of that dreadful TV listings magazine What’s On TV, that I keep in the kitchen for this very purpose. Are you bored yet? I will get to the point soon!
So, last evening, I was preparing my meal and attacking a couple of small peeled onions on my piece of paper – the piece was the glossy cover from the magazine. As I looked down I became aware that I was being stared at by a pair of wild eyes from between the chunks. I pushed a couple of the chunks aside a little to reveal a really anguished-looking chap advertising some TV soap…
The image was so striking and dramatic, and serendipitous, that I though I should get my little camera out and snap it…
Pretty good eh? He’s got a little piece of my onion in his mouth – and look, you can see the marks on his face caused by the slashing of my knife!…

I recall now that I think I have shown you one of these onion-slicing-on-magazine-image photos before, but I don’t think it could have been half as dramatic as this one!

Posted in art, celebrities, composition, cool, food, humour, information, observations, photography, seeing, serendipity, style, surrealism, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

You see, it’s a question of wings…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s lost plectrum is the one recently found orbiting in one of the rings of Saturn.

‘Excuse me, I think you’ve just dropped something.’
‘Oh dear, so I have! It’s the little velvet pouch with my aura crystal in it.’
‘Oh, you wouldn’t want to loose that would you?’
‘No, certainly not. You are most kind.’
‘You’re welcome.’
‘You have an old and very nice spirit – I can tell…’
‘Have I really?’
‘Oh yes… What time is the next bus due?’
‘Quarter past.’
‘Oh, it’s that now.’
‘My aura crystal likes you.’
‘Yes, it’s glowing. Would you like to feel its vibrations?’
‘Well, not just at the moment.’
‘Yes, but thank you all the same.’
‘My GA thinks that the bus will be a little late.’
‘Your… GA?’
‘My guardian angel, Troglan.’
‘Oh yes?’
‘He’s a angel, he’s never wrong about things chronometric.’
A angel?’
‘A good timekeeper eh? That’s a handy skill.’
‘Isn’t it? We’ll have about four-and-a-half minutes to wait… and chat, if you like?’
‘Oh, alright, why not? What’s he look like?’
‘Who? Troglan?’
‘He looks like a angel of course!’
‘Right… Is it possible for me to see him?’
‘No, no, it doesn’t work like that… Only me…’
‘Can you see him right now?’
‘No, there’s no need, but I can feel his presence.’
‘Of course you can…’
‘You sound, er…’
‘Yes, sceptical…’
‘So, Troglan, is a ‘he’ then? Are there female angels too?’
‘Of course there are!’
‘How tall is he?’
‘Tall? Oh, he’s tall, but I’ve never bothered measuring him, of course.’
‘Of course… But I think you will guess my next question.’
‘I don’t think so…’
‘But you must get asked it a lot…’
‘No…? What is it?’
‘Yes, is Troglan equipped with a couple?’
‘Of course he is – he’s a angel! That’s what makes angels stand out…’
‘From the crowd?’
‘Yes! That’s right!’
‘Well let me ask you this…’
‘If you don’t mind?’
‘No, no, you can ask me anything, go ahead!’
‘You are most accommodating – you see I’ve never met anyone with a GA before.’
‘No… Is Troglan unusually muscular around the shoulders, and the upper chest area?’
‘Eh?… Not particularly, he’s rather handsome, and he’s nicely proportioned.’
‘I see, it’s just that…’
‘Just that what?’
‘Well, I mean, wings big enough to support his weight must take a lot of vigorous flapping to get him off the ground… I’d imagine he’d have pretty impressive pectorals, as well as a well developed…’
‘Troglan just hovers gracefully – with ethereal levitation!’
‘Ah, but why then does he bother having wings at all, if…’
‘They are traditional, you see, they are things expected to be seen on a angel! If you look at ancient frescos and oil paintings, they are always depicted as hovering, and never…’
‘Flapping away furiously?’
‘Exactly!… Oh look, my crystal is throbbing now!’
‘Oh, so it is! May I reach over and, touch it…? Oh… look, here comes the bus, bang on four-and-a-half minutes late!’
‘See, Troglan is never wrong…’
‘Well, I am impressed…’
‘Shall we three board then?…’

Posted in brain, conversation, drama, dreaming, Dulltown, humour, information, physics, religion, science, serendipity, sex, story, style, surrealism, thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mail art postcard No. 4672…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s carefully selected colours are: blazing blue, reticulated red, goofy green, yesterday yellow, ontological orange, vacant violet, and that funny pink that red guitars go when they are left displayed in sunny music shop windows.

Yes, another of my mail art postcards – a simple collage on bright card using clippings from that gaudy, but dreary UK TV listings magazine What’s On TV.
These clippings are from the page that shows images from some of the more exciting programmes that will be shown during the coming week – gosh I’m on the edge of my seat in anticipation!
Let’s have a look at these three in turn dear reader.
That’s a hell of a fortified tower isn’t it? Look, there seems to be a person standing on the top of it – don’t think I’d go up there and show off like they’re doing though – it looks far too bloody high! Me, I quite like castles and ancient churches and stuff like that. I always feel sorry for the folk in the USA, they don’t have any decent big fat castles to go and look at do they?
Now, this copper in the middle clipping – I don’t think he’s a real one – he definitely has the look of an actor about him – I could be wrong though. The camera has managed to catch him in an instant where his mouth is open and slack-lipped, and dare I say, it makes him look a bit on the stupid side. He’s probably saying, ‘God! Haven’t you got enough snaps by now? I’ve got to get out of this bloody uniform – I’ve an important audition at the Old Vic in twenty minutes…’
And the final clipping. I don’t know if these two are actors as well, or maybe they are presenters of some popular afternoon documentary series – but they do round off the the sequence nicely don’t they?
It almost as if a narrative is to be played out over the three days. Perhaps you could make up a plot for it? You’d have to tie in the way the copper’s helmet (I do think they look stylish, and I like it that the chaps still occasionally wear them after all these years!) echoes the shape of the castle’s great tower, complete with the feature on the top. I imagine that some grisly crime has been perpetrated in the dungeon of the place, and that one or both of the ladies on the right have had a bloodstained hand in it…

Posted in adjectives, advertising, archeology, architecture, art, celebrities, colours, composition, drama, history, humour, information, postcards, puzzle, serendipity, style, surrealism, theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Some song lyrics misheard over the cafe hubbub…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s financial forecast is for the markets to show remarkable and unprecedented gains as the world’s wildlife dies out.

‘You are in the samey samey now girl!’
‘I don’t wanna be there babe, it’s all just gloves now!’
‘Now icebergs! You can take me, nuthy nuthy.’
‘You know it’s chiffy chiffy, da da da da!’
‘Since I found out about the gym soap… ah ah…’
‘I’m on my way to lino-cool baby!’
‘Silent grey, I go wild, and then I feel gold…’
‘Oh oh oh, pie-e-eye, pie-e-eye, you kindly beautiful.’
‘A cheery lantern does spark my eye.’
‘Hold it… Farn… Please, yes, farn, farn!’
‘The violin turns baby, and keeps are just maybes now.’
‘A camp puller? Whoo whoo whoo!’
‘I’m panting on the side – I told you! I told you!’
‘We could hide a writer so…’
‘Transit, transit – keep the sheep a-walking.’
‘I did a diddy-diddy – well, a bonga-bonga…’
‘Whoo whoo, a tempty paw, coal coal coal!’
‘Oh baby, you use your honey shoes on me.’
‘Humming a steel-ray, you be curling now!’

For some information on how these lines are compiled, you could click here.

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That drawing successfully rescued…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: broiling, wowf, reboant, meconic, rhyparographic, compital and bouncy.

Hm, yes… so, going back to my rather rambling post of a few days ago which was entitled Bins, ne-er-do-wells, charcoal and pencil, I thought this morning that enough time had elapsed for me to possibly revisit the subject of the drawing which played a key part in the tale.
I pointed out in the post that the photograph was taken quite early on in the drawing’s, er, what’s the word? Rendering? Creation? No, that sounds too pompous – er, execution? No no, I’ll just rephrase it… The photograph was taken quite early on in the drawing’s drawing… Yes, that sounds stupid, but I will leave it at that…
My idea was to include, behind those streaky random carefree stripes, ribbons, of (rubbed-on with a rag) charcoal, done some days earlier, something to contrast with their fluffiness – something crisp and clean and defined. I decided on a rectangle with with some nice chequerboard squares on it, it could hang at a jaunty angle to balance the jaunty angled streaks going the other way. If you look carefully at the original photo you can see the pencil outlines of them showing behind the wispy things.
So, as I waited for the bin chaps to turn up, I carefully shaded the squares in with a 4B pencil, carefully leaving the alternate white squares nice and clean and white. Then I drew some good straight black pencil lines around the rectangle to enclose it…
‘There! Doesn’t that look great?’ I said to myself.
‘No, it doesn’t!…’ I responded. The idea didn’t work at all! It looked nothing like I thought it would. Yes, the drawing was ruined, you can’t erase all that heavy black graphite! Better make a cup of tea. It’s very good stuff is tea!
Well, I thought, can this thing I’ve spent so much time on, be rescued?
Rather than ripping the thing up, in desperation I tried quickly blacking the whole rectangle in to get rid of those awful chequerboard things. There! How’s that look? A big black dangling rectangle hiding behind some scruffy stripes…
Whoa! I loved it!
I then included some scattered dots and small planets around the edges of the rectangle in order to… well, I don’t know why. Whoa! See, it’s even better!
Me, I do like this drawing… Oh look, here come the bin chaps… What a day it’s been!

Smudges with Rectangle. 2019. Charcoal and pencil on paper about 22″ x 15″.

Posted in abstract, art, brain, composition, cool, creation, drawing, humour, information, learning, seeing, serendipity, style, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Oh, those Crush characters!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s confused film star is Bevin Kacon.

And speaking of names, before you even make a start on your novel you should have a good think about what names to give the characters that will inhabit it. If you come up with some good and memorable ones you don’t have to spend so much time and effort on the plot, and all those adjectives that you have to sprinkle in to try to liven the thing up.
P G Wodehouse was great at making up names: Bertie Wooster, Gussie Fink-Nottle, Oofy Prosser, etc. and when he thought he might use the most ordinary surname, ‘Smith’, he quickly glued a ‘P’ on the front of it – Psmith. And then of course there’s Vladimir Nabokov: Clare Quilty, Humbert Humbert, Vivian Darkbloom, the Vane sisters, Timofey Pnin…
And then there’s… well, there’s Veronica Crush (writer from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League, now living in New York with tall tree surgeon and heir to a multimillion dollar fortune, Monty Tick) – I’m sure she won’t mind my saying, she isn’t quite in the same league as the two gentlemen mentioned above, but she does come up with some corkers. As you may already know dear reader she thinks up so many that she can’t use them all in her work so she sends a pile of them to me to give away free of charge to any budding writer who is a bit stuck on such things.
Here is the latest batch – as usual she has sneaked just one real name into the list – see if you can spot which one it is. (A link to the solution of this puzzle can be found at the foot of the page.)

Jade Creldtz
Dr Charles Dipthong-Foote
Harry Barry Jarry
Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
Sam Boddy-Else
Lady Prunella Disch
Count Fritz Von Eulenspeigel
Nancy Flaps
Ricky-Joe Corsass
Colonel Ralph C Sumper
Detective Inspector Ron Smetler
Ellie Fantz-Trunx
Sarah-Jane Spotoon RA
Lord Barrelnose of Thannet
Rose Brimming-Sewers
Bonzo Crackles
Lloyd Boyd QC
Martine Knickers
Bradley Waggley
Countess Barleycorn of Shoes.

(Real name)


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There’s something jolly fishy in that parcel…

But first…
Dulltowm. UK/Europe: Today’s dictionary words are: calumba, nematophore, skyre, lazzarone, wuther and lenocinium. Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. You must be fully alert tomorrow as the professor will conduct the lesson speaking only in Ancient Attic Greek.

The pages aren’t white any more, they are a light speckled beige, fading to a true brown at the edges where the sunlight of sixty-three years has penetrated. If you stick your nose very close into the open book, it smells like – an old book…
Yes, it’s my rather battered and defaced cheap junk shop copy of Lion Annual 1956 – here’s a picture of the rather impressive and colourful front and back covers.

Today dear reader, we’ll have a look at a nicely drawn panel on page 3. It’s from another of those stories set in a posh boys’ boarding school. Back in the 1950s you’d never see a story in a book for lads set in an ‘ordinary’ school, where ‘ordinary’ kids went. I suppose the people who wrote these stories, and drew the artwork for stuff like this all went to nice posh schools in their younger days, and of course that’s all they knew.
Goodness me!… No, but really, who would be interested in the lives of lads at a school in a run-down working class area of some godforsaken dirty industrial town hundreds of miles from civilisation! Nothing of interest could possibly happen there!…

This panel is from a story called Guardian of the Secret Chimp by Barry Nelson. I think the plot revolves around a couple of the most popular pupils smuggling a cute and lively chimp into school – drama and hilarity will surely ensue! But who is this, hiding, watching from the bushes in the spacious grounds? Yes, it’s the perennial fly in the ointment ‘Bossy’ Bates!
Whoa!… Just a minute! I see it all now!
This story must depict the childhood of one Boris Johnson, probably soon to be the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister – whoa! And how the hell could that have come about?
See, it’s him! Bossy Boris, I’m sure it is! Look at that profile, that hair, that look of smug confidence and self-assured stupidity in the face…
I almost feel like scrapping and deleting this post and writing something more optimistic instead…

Posted in archeology, art, books, drama, drawing, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, politics, reading, school, story, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments