Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Warm welcome

What is this?

I will have to ask the nearest Expectation Management Operative.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Monday, 4 September 2017

This is just plain wrong

What were they thinking? 

This can't be right. I bet if we went to France and tried to sell English champagne they would be all over us like a cheap suit.

Saturday, 2 September 2017


This weird modern right of passage has finally reached our town.

You and your betrothed engrave your names on a padlock, attach it to a bridge and (I assume) you throw the keys in the river as a sign of undying commitment.

If you don't have that sort of  commitment, then the humble cable tie is equally acceptable.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Hipster belt

Well beyond Uranus and Pluto, we find the Hipster belt where the planets orbit in eccentric circles and are more in touch with their inner beard.

Monday, 21 August 2017

We happy few

Ah, we English. We happy few, we band of brothers.

While Trump winds up a nutcase in North Korea, we are Morris Dancing in the street. 

In August. 

In the rain.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

On progress and beverages

Alas, progress has brought us the modern coffee shop and every high street is full of them. 

We gladly join the back of the inevitable queue to be served slowly and overcharged for strangely named coffee and a foreign biscuit by an intense young man with a Captain Haddock beard. 

I fear this same progress will ruin the lovely British tea shop soon.

Pictured: A Butter Betty with Grimshaws

That will be eight pounds seventy five pence please.

Monday, 14 August 2017

The vital peg

Once upon a time it was difficult to start the average family car. There was a special procedure in winter and a different method in summer.

You needed to pull out the Choke knob just so far and no further. You also needed to have a plan if this method failed to start the car. You needed to know when it was safe to push the choke in, because doing this too early could cause the car to stop in the middle of the road.

Worst of all, you would not wish the choke knob to spring back into place before you were done with it. The safest approach, and the universal one, was to pull the choke out, and fit a peg behind it to prevent any such problem.

It is nice to see these old traditions still upheld at classic car shows.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Mobile Home

Watching the canal as the narrow boats go by - at slightly less than walking pace.

Monday, 7 August 2017


I always suspected the neighbours were up to something in their garden shed with its smoking chimney and strange nocturnal smells . 

One day it exploded and all that was left were these part filled bottles of moonshine. Naturally we didn't say anything. Were British.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Back in the fiftes

Back in the nineteen fifties Britain was in the grip of post war austerity. Everything was in short supply and the government tried hard to raise the national morale in every way possible.

Clearly the 1953 Coronation was a great opportunity to lift the people's spirits, and this was the ideal event to showcase the new Television network. So the Coronation was the first National Event to be televised. 

However there was a problem. 

Industry was instructed to turn all the melted down Spitfires back into aluminium saucepans and wrought iron railing. Thus there were no materials left over for the emerging TV aerial business. This is why many of the earliest aerials were in fact made of wood.

This is a rare remaining example located close to Alexadra Palace.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Look out

To appreciate architecture, you must first learn to look up. To capture some forgotten nook or cranny you need to keep your camera with you.

So if you spend your time looking down at your smartphone and staying connected, you may actually be missing a lot of the world, actually.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Down tools

Lord and Lady Ordure faced a rebellion when they sacked Old Seth the under gardener. The remaining staff downed tools and went on strike.

Monday, 10 July 2017

After the party

The morning after Bill and Ben's* coming out party.

*You need to be a certain age...

Friday, 7 July 2017

Oh dear

Lord and Lady Goat-Botherer were devastated when Seth the much put upon gardener finally had enough and left without warning.

His parting comments written to his employers on the old wheelbarrow full of manure were not, however, repeatable.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Hove too

This is Hove. 

Not Brighton.

I am told that the proper name for this town is Hove-Actually.

"So you live in Brighton?" 

"No, Hove actually"

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Brighton observed

The bandstand on Brighton sea front attracts attention almost all day long. 

People get married there in the morning. People take selfies at sunset. And after dark, it lights up. Good value for money, all in all.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

All going wrong

So. We had a general election. Again.

And by all indications we will need another one quite soon, Democracy.

This is what keep Britain strong and stable.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Long road

We are all walking towards the great Tea Shop in the sky. Will it still be open when we get there?

Friday, 26 May 2017

It's two of those things

Aah, the old black background and backlit trick. It works on blondes, cobwebs, cats - and these things as well.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

So close and yet so far

In the 1940s and 1950s Britain led the world in scientific research. We gave America the secrets of Radar and supersonic flight. We received a sizeable bill for World War Two in return.

In fact Britain had advanced plans to set up a colony on Mars and had produced its first rocket by 1958. We could have been the first country in space but we bowed to political pressure from the other side of the Atlantic, and the project was scrapped. (This pattern would repeat itself a dozen years later with TSR2, the supersonic fighter).

Against this background it is heartening to discover a small reminder of our glory days. 

Here is all that remains of launch tower Delta 3 at a secret location in the West Midlands. The whole area is derelict and flooded now, but imagine the activity in those heady post war years as we laboured to make Dan dare a reality.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


.. I would work out something witty to write, but this picture is worth a thousand words.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Age discrimination

I have a feeling that old people are under-represented in our prison population. This amounts to an ageist discrimination and should be addressed with some urgency.

So, I propose that it should be made illegal to be old

If you are found to be old when stopped by the Police, you will be given a warning. If you are still old when stopped a second time you will be sentenced to five years in prison and all your ill gotten gains will be forfeit to the Government. 

This means that there will be a steady stream of houses to sell which will bring in useful revenue and also stimulate the economy in difficult times. 

Furthermore, old folks in prison will no doubt exert a calming effect on the young criminals, so the system as a whole will benefit.

You will be eligible for release if you can prove to the parole board that you are no longer old. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Bank Holiday

There was very little left at Milton Keynes IKEA after the Bank Holiday sale finished.

Monday, 24 April 2017

The empty chair

Back in the days when pubs were full of cigarette smoke (remember that?) you could get pictures with "atmosphere" like this from around 1990.

These days they seem to think that a stage performance needs "atmosphere" adding from hidden smoke machines. I hate to think what is in the atmosphere.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Earliest convenience

The Earl of Keynsham planned to keep ordinary people out of his toilets by introducing a stiff one penny entry fee.

Eventually there came a time when even a common journeyman Hedge-Scrounger could command this sum for a day's light Birch weaving, so the Earl had to adopt stronger measures.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Medieval warfare

It is a little known fact that Leonardo da Vinci's ideas did not always work.

Extensive secret archaeology has uncovered this early siege engine experiment. Leonardo was attempting to make a big hole in the castle defences by gathering a large number of small holes together.

The unfinished nature of the works indicates that on this occasion, better counsels prevailed.

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Oubliette

Imagine having a place where you could put all the stuff you want to forget about. An Oubliette.

Imagine having an estate so large that you had a choice of Oubliettes...

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Country Pile

We had a holiday at Tyntesfield recently. When the hoardes have gone home, you have the place to yourselves and can get a people free picture of the property at sunset.

How must it have been to have owned all this?

Friday, 31 March 2017

Moth and Rust

Well, here is something you don't see very often. This is corrugated iron that has rusted through in the valleys* which must have been a disappointment to the owner.

*Apparently you can't take the iron out of the valleys, but you can take the valleys out of the iron in this case.

Thursday, 30 March 2017


Now we are on the way to a Post Europe Britain, a brave new world awaits us. We can forge ahead leaving the jolly old foreigners on the continent in our wake as we thrust towards the bright new tomorrow. 

If we ask them nicely, America may lend us some paraffin.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Real News

The Monopod civilisations of the Androgynous Nebula are endlessly fascinated with bipedal monocephalous cultures like our own.

They arrive on sightseeing tours every year and are drawn to domestic and office environments.

They are curious by nature and they try to blend in to their surroundings and observe our strange ways.

Thursday, 23 February 2017


Lovely colours, perfect form, and the essential black background.

Ah, what's not to like?

Saturday, 18 February 2017


"Hey guys. I've got a great idea for a reality TV show.

We put a buffoon in charge of a superpower and then video the hilarious consequences. 

By the way, we can get funding from Moscow."

Monday, 13 February 2017

That day

Oh dear. That day again.

That day when you see men doing an impossible, almost Herculean task.

They are buying flowers and carrying them down the high street.

Here's one, hiding in a doorway. Working up his courage.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A nice tea break ruined.

Confined to home for several days with man-flu, I have been reduced watching daytime TV.

I recently found a documentary on the Japanese Tea Ceremony. O dear. They're not like us. It looks like a nice tea break ruined. 

Two things you won't hear at a Matcha tea ceremony:

"Eee, hurry up lad, I'm gasping"


"Is there another one in t'pot?"

Monday, 30 January 2017


Let's extend our house. It's cheaper than moving home.

If we do it in a sympathetic manner, no-one will ever know.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Past Tense

This fifty year old scrap of FP3 is lasting well. The image is still there, locked away in its tiny silver crystals.

I wonder if our treasured digital images will be safe in a half century?

Where is this cloud? Can we trust it?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mostly empty

My researches show that the average densiity of the universe is about one atom per cubic meter. 

That isn't very much, is it? I mean, there's an awful lot of atoms in a galaxy and there are an awful lot of galaxies. In that case there must be awful awful lot of very empty space.

Then I got to thinking, how do you measure the density of the universe anyway? 

Oh yes. First you measure its volume then you weigh it. Simples.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Art of Electronics

I am always pleased when I see the noble art of electronics put to good use. Observe how realistic this plastic LED indoor cherry blossom tree thing is. 

I was so impressed I nearly bought two them.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

That critical moment

The tea shop*. Oh, what a wonderful creation, far from the madding crowd, we hope.

But now we reach that critical moment. The future lies before us and the choice depends on the answer to a simple critical question.

"Is there any more tea in the pot?"

*To my many American robot readers:  You cannot replace "tea" with "coffee" and expect to understand this concept.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A brisk walk

A brisk and bracing walk to start the new year.

Also a cold and muddy walk, with no tea shop at the end.

I hope this is not a sign for the rest of the year.