Sunday, 30 December 2007
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Those employers can be most unsporting in the run-up to the winter pagan holiday.
This is a blue-arsed fly, according to google images. I know what he feels like.
If my seasonal drunkenness and irrascibility goes unpunished, I will post again in 2008 for the three loyal posters on this site.
More wealth, health, happiness and less imbuggerance to you all next year.
Friday, 16 November 2007
Idle planned to be far too busy to post this weekend, but if I tell you that I am marooned in the Executive Lounge at Heathrow Terminal One, you will begin to catch my drift.
It's a long story.
Last time I travelled with my shotgun in its splendid, burnished leather case, battered but beautiful, I was told that the lock was insufficient and that next time I should expect to have it refused entry to the plane. The cheek! Vintage guns come in vintage cases, c'est tout. But the jobsworth made it clear he was planning to obstruct me at the next opportunity.
So, this week, I planned ahead and googled for airline-friendly cases. Being of Aberdonian stock, and owning, as I have said, a burnished beauty of a case, etc, I opted for the *oh dear* bottom of the range. It appeared at my office yesterday, a limp-wristed and poofterish excuse of a shotgun carriage case, barely able to withstand the negligence of a trotskyite BAA baggage handler, let alone a determined Mozzie with evil plans for the denizens of Slough. And did it have any locks? Did it fuck.
Instead, there were holes through which padlocks could be attached. Three of them. So, rushing from lunch at the Savoy, I espied Mr Robt Dyas' emporium and summoned the manager. In broken English, he advised me on the quality of his padlock collection. A budget pack of four small-but-strongs were purchased.
Of course, I got back to the office and discovered they didn't quite fit. Furthermore, the hinges along the spine of the case were so easily jemmied as to be worthless.
So Idle, discovering this just as he was about to head to Heathrow, had to make a detour to the architectural ironmonger near Piccadilly Circus. Took me an age, heavily laden with guns and baggage. But reasonably strong chain-link was provided (£1.50 a metre), and the padlocks could be affixed, and a circumference of chain round the whole shebang, to boot.
Now the pressure was on. The Bakerloo got me to Paddington alright, but the Heathrow Express was expressly NOT express, if I make myself clear. In fact it was suffering"congestion", and my journey time was nearly doubled.
I sprinted, Alan Wells-like, from the train at Terminal One, cunningly leaving a small case holding my work papers on the train. I arrived at the check-in, sweating like the Chief Stoker of the Great Britain, and was offered seat 2F. But wait! Production of the shotgun caused much discombobulation. Magically, seat 2F disappeared, and the flight was "closed". Why? Because the trotskyite baggage handlers will not commit to less than an hour to walk a WW Greener 12 bore approx 300 yards to the plane, despite my having booked the gun onto the flight a week earlier.
Some fucker is sitting in 2F right now doing my crossword and drinking my BA bloody mary, and I hope he bloody well realises it.
Me? I'm booked onto the 1940 (expected 2020), and my whisky-drinking is taking place not on Deeside but in the Exec Lounge. The company is commercial folk, I believe. Thank god granny isn't alive to read this.
My papers? Not yet found by the Heathrow express guards, or cleaning staff. I have been advised by a nice skinhead on the desk at Terminal One to manage my expectations lower, as it were.
Have my Three Bad Things happened? Or was the loss of work papers a mere inconvenience, and I shall be prised out of a mangled fuselage somewhere in the Peak District tonight?
It's a bastard, the whole thing. Plus I exchanged short sentences with a plutocrat this afternoon and will have to pretend he was right and I was wrong when I see him next week. Oh, woe. Another whisky, please, Manuel, and is there an update on the delayed 1940 to Aberdeen?
Friday, 2 November 2007
One such official made a visit to Chatsworth and spent a morning counting the number of gardeners, footmen, gamekeepers and chefs. Before lunch, he had an audience with the Duke.
"We thought" began the chap from the county council, "that you might be able to reduce the number of gamekeepers, Your Grace".
"Bother" said the Duke. "Oh, very well"
"And perhaps one less man in the kitchen garden" said the official.
"Has Birtwhistle said he could spare one? I suppose so, then"
"And one less pastry chef, we thought" said the public servant.
"Dammit all" said the Duke, "can't a chap have a biscuit?"
Monday, 29 October 2007
Plimpton knew Muhammad Ali, warts and all, and thought him exceptional. The Tuscan has a low opinion; perhaps he's seen When We Were Kings - if not, see it - but read this book and you might see Ali in a different light. Possibly the best book ever written about sport.
Friday, 26 October 2007
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Letter to the Torygraph from the usual suspects
Sir – Today a statue of David Lloyd George will be unveiled in Parliament Square. Lloyd George was Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922. During this period Britain used planes to bomb: Mashud, on India's border with Afghanistan; Dacca, Jalalabad and Kabul; Egypt; Enzeli in Iran; Trans-Jordan; and, of course, Iraq. Today these vicious policies continue unabated. [Blah blah yadda yadda]. All of which makes today's celebration of Lloyd George's legacy highly topical and disgraceful. Harold Pinter, John Pilger, Denis Halliday, London N1
Dontcha just love these pompous, sanctimonious, humourless twats? As I remember, 1916-22 was a slightly unsettled time for the world and our empire. Bombing by plane had just caught on as an offensive and defensive tactic. Gold medal winners in wrong-headedness almost all of the time, these fools. They have spent much of their lives revering Stalin and Castro and the other evil bastards who arrived at dictatorship from the left rather than the right. I think they wrote this letter simply to show off their triffic grasp of the early history of aerial bombing.
Dunno who Halliday is, so no dartboard picture of him. Maybe Johnny's pa. What we do know is that he is a fellow-traveller of The Pint and The Pilge.
Friday, 19 October 2007
Monday, 15 October 2007
The butler refused and felt it his duty to offer his resignation immediately. "Of course you can't resign, Hargreaves", exclaimed Lady A, having recanted her suggestion, "if you go, I go".
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Sunday, 30 September 2007
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
The little fags were in a pickle
'Twas Monday and it was my luck
But sorrow soon became my lot
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
So obviously, there must be fireworks. And obviously, we behave foolishly, since our little darlings are banned from the weekend. Apart from the usual mortars and big rockets, we all have to launch those mini rockets from the hand after they have ignited. You get about half a second to do this successfully. Used to freak the wives and girlfriends out, now they ignore us.
What gets their attention and gets us a very stern talking-to is the simulated nuclear explosion. This really ought to be a doddle, but we never seem to get it right. An oil drum, with the correct mixture of petrol and diesel, once ignited by a thunderflash (which sinks to the bottom before going off), should propel the whole lot into the air when the petrol ignites and can only go up; the diesel, taking longer to ignite, and being heavy, should cause a mushroom effect and provide us with the nuclear explosion simulation.
One year we really buggered it up, used far too much diesel, and barely propelled the mixture out of the drum. But it did start igniting, quite slowly, as it drifted DOWNHILL off the 45-degree hillside on which the cottage is built.
How we laughed, until it bounced off one end of the roof of the next cottage down the hill. How we sighed with relief, when it appeared to have burned itself out without setting Myfanwy's house on fire, until we noticed that a telegraph pole slightly upwind and uphill from the drum was burning. How we got the girls back onside, I do not know.
Still do it, of course, just re-located ground zero.
Monday, 3 September 2007
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Jonathan Yeo got a commission from the White House to do the Prez. The commission was then withdrawn. Yeo went ahead anyway, a cut 'n paste job from top-shelf publications. Check the detail, probably better by going to the Brogan blog and following links to the gallery. Click "news" and enlarge if you can. The right ear and left temple make themselves clear, but further inspection might reward the forensic mind. He's good, Yeo.
His recent abstinence from all solids and liquids of unhealthy nature has clearly paid dividends as well.
This is Tony, snapped by a passer-by in Lucca. Benvolio, the barber and part-time goat-shearer, has just finished his handiwork; the Tuscan clearly approves, but has got his tackle caught in the machinery that makes the barbers' chair go up and down.
Sadly the passer-by was unable to record how this bio-mechanical conundrum was solved. Lubricant and that piccy of Cherie on the beach probably did the trick.
Monday, 20 August 2007
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
The poem below is the best example of the style of poetry where the third and fourth lines finish with words that do not respect the rhyme scheme of the first two of each verse, and you have to guess the 'real' word that would have rhymed. This "As I was Walking by St Paul's..." style was much practised by schoolboys at my prep school, often with the approval of the English teacher. This was first published in the New Statesman, of all places, in its weekly poetry comp many years ago. Basil Ransome now calls himself Basil Ransome-Davies and wins prizes in the Speccie comps at least once a month, it seems.
Idle is now departing for his low-carbon-footprint, high-cordite-footprint holiday in the highlands. I hope one or two visitors (more!) might try their hand at one of these poems in my absence. The best effort, if worthy, wins a prize.
I dreamed I dwelt in marble halls
Of ample airs and sumptuous tinge,
While odalisques caressed my cheeks,
Each with a moist and willing palm
I dreamed I sauntered on the front
At Cannes, where I had moored my yacht.
The movie stars! The lavish cars!
The fine display of Gallic charm!
I dreamed I discoed at the Ritz -
The evening warm, the music cool -
And gorgeous girls who tossed their curls
Admired my sleek and well-hung clothes.
But then I woke, and cursed my luck;
My heart relapsed, my spirits sank.
No yacht in France, no girls, no dance -
No option but to have a doze.
Monday, 6 August 2007
I discovered him late, but thanks to the elder even-more-idle sibling, I got there early enough to see Lee perform the last two concerts he did in London.
Any fule kno he wrote "These Boots.." for Nancy Sinatra and made her a superstar. But he was a big influence on loads of others as well.
Newcomers might as well buy the anthology, (obviously) called These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
My favourite album was a really quirky concept album called Trouble is a Lonesome Town, where he introduced all the tracks with droll monologues about the characters in this fantasy western town. Fantastic, if you like a voice as thick as molasses which starts from somewhere near his boots. An iconoclast. An idle favourite, now freed from the life that often seemed to hang quite heavy on his shoulders.
Sunday, 5 August 2007
Friday, 3 August 2007
Monday, 30 July 2007
Sunday, 29 July 2007
You may say that this post is barely worthy of comment, and you'd be right. I just wanted to see if I could master the method of posting something on my own blog. If you want to say that labradors are a bit thick - well, I already know that.