Archive for the ‘humour’ Category
I have just spent most my morning admiring the sporadic flocks of migrating birds on their way north in the early spring (while at the same time catching up on Radio 4 podcasts of The News Quiz).
The birds winter in North Africa (lucky them) and then rendezvous in the environs of Algeciras in Morocco to await to their turn for streaming funnel of avian life crossing the Dire Straits to Gibraltar and beyond. My particular contingent then wheel west along the Algarve coast until they reach the Cape of Sagres before turning north and eventually crossing in front my bedroom window – left to right using the narrow corridor of pine and eucalyptus forest between the village and the ocean.
later they will build their nests in the bosky fields of Hampshire (lucky them).
A miraculous cycle of nature, a spectacle laid on just for me. The message is clear – relax and be in harmony with nature. Go with the flow.
The view from my bed in the morning
After lunch (stewed chicken with pasta – a culinary mésalliance in my opinion) I return to my room for a nap/siesta/snooze/40 winks from I wake 30 minutes later. I then dutifully carry out my physiotherapeutic exercises. First an isometric routine for beginners (even I, handicapped as I am) can do them in my chair followed by a lurch/stomp/stumble on my walker/Zimmer frame down the corridor outside my room.
Up the corridor to the right is a bathroom into which I enter/slip/pop to lean back against the radiator for my straighten-the-back-to-improve-my-posture exercise (with some deep breathing thrown in). After a while I get tired/bored with the straighten-the-back-to-improve-my-posture exercise and put my hand into my pocket where I encounter my mobile phone (not a «smart» phone but-pretty-intelligent-for-the-price) and take a rather eery picture of myself, taking a rather eery picture of myself, taking a rather eery – OH JUST SHUT UP WILL YOU!
I return back down the corridor to the end and turn right to admire the fine view of our local church (I don’t mean that the church per se is particularly fine – just the view of it).
After tea (the old dears can’t be doing without their tea, you know – it’s a lifetime habit, useful survival skill as well in case they starve to death between the twin fueling stations of lunch and early dinner. They dunk (good word) their bread or biscuits into heavy outsize cups of tea or milky coffee made from turnips (you have to be a weightlifter to be able to raise them to your lips) instead they crouch devotionally in front of the heavy cups and spoon the resultant pap into their mouths) so after tea, I spend time in my atélier working on my lastest painting.
Back in my room I’m beginning to run of steam.
«… Fragments, that I have shored up against my ruin»
And at the end of the day the sun sets at the orbiting rim of our world.
There are lots of odd and surreal things about this place which lead me to think I have already arrived in that twilight zone between dream and reality.
Take the case of people tapping their head significantly (but medically dismissively) and jerking their chins towards some of the poor souls who get up from their places while a meal is still in progress and start to meander in slow motion between the tables as though exploring a maze to which they have forgotten the way out.
Logically we are facing a scenario whereby one half of the oldsters are tapping their heads significantly and jerking their chins towards the other half.
(Ironically there is only person here about whom they could validly tap their heads significantly and that person is me, with my recurring brain tumours, the fourth of which I’m about to have surgically removed any time now).
Tap tap they should go
We are all just
Minnows in the shallows
An inspirational book (for my generation at least) was CATCH 22 by Joseph Heller.
Wicked and hilarious this book with brilliant wordplay brings paradox to an inevitable Zeno-like absurdity. Published in 1957 it dazzled our generations and spread across the Anglophonic world like a wildfire.
(Now, of course, we have spawned a generation which, not only has not read CATCH 22 but also hasn’t read much else either – poor them, so many lost conceits, so much lost irony).
Anyway there is a scene in the book where everyone on the base is issued with a pill to throw away into the bushes.
So it is in this place. Sometimes we are distributed with green pears so hard and unripe that those of us who still have our own teeth, should we actually attempt to bite into them … but not to worry the pears are not to be eaten but to be put into our pockets or bags and consumed in a couple of days when they are ripe.
That same impulse, the same força de vontade, which is so good for my physical improvement, impels me to be difficult about the pear situation.
I enter the dining room for dinner at 7.00 sharp and notice the small rock-like green projectiles – what’s this, I think, are we going to have a window-breaking contest after dinner or have some of us been distributed with uneatable pears again:
– Excuse me, I don’t want this fruit because it’s not ripe, is it? I’ll have the fruit pap, please.
– There is no fruit pap left.
– No fruit pap left!
– You have to warn us in advance if you want fruit pap instead of a green pear.
I’m entering The Twilight Zone again.
– Can’t you just assume that I will prefer fruit pap to unripe fruit …?
Meanwhile someone else has tactfully produced one of the apples that they keep in the kitchen in reserve for difficult cases like mine.
My wife has gone to the West Indies
No, she went of own accord.
My brother went to Eastern Europe for a holiday
No, I went with him.
I’ve been learning a Scandinavian language
It’s not the jokes that count, it’s how you write them.
I’ve got Togo
The police are looking for this this man in connection with his last blog:
The general public is warned not to approach him directly but to get in touch with the local authorities, as he is dangerous and armed with a scathing, acerbic and mordant wit.
He has been known to use the following (banned) literary devices:
litotes, metaphor, paradox, paronomasia, periphrasis, epizeuxis, episthrophy/antistrophy, antithesis, oxymoron, cacophony, scesis onomation, assonance & alliteration, brachylogies, anaphora, satire, irony and even sarcasm.
Sometimes he ventures trenchant and pithy observations on the Human Condition.
He quips puns & one-liners;
Cracks jokes & jibes;
Banters & jests;
He’s a wise guy.
And lastly he looks a bit creepy.
I would suggest nabbing him after lunch as he is nodding off for a post-prandial snooze in front of a TV show featuring a woman who makes her own pumpkin-jam according to special secret recipe from her village … yawn … yawn … snore … snore.
I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything till noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Dateline London 5th November 1605
COUNTER-TERRORIST SQUAD FOILS PLOT TO BOMB PARLIAMENT
In the early hours of this morning units of the special anti-terrorist squad rounded up and arrested three men suspected to be connected in a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The three, Thomas Wintour, Guy Fawkes and Robert Catesby are believed to belong to the notorious Al Guido network – Papist extremists with links to Al Vaticano in Rome. The police are searching their homes and more arrests are expected.
Our special Westminster correspondent takes up the story:
… Wintour introduced Fawkes to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they had stockpiled there. Prompted by the receipt of an anonymous letter, the authorities searched Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and found Fawkes guarding the explosives …
A government spokesman declared that the war on terrorism was not over and the public should maintain their vigilance …
My brother and I like trading etymologies.
Glamour comes from grammar;
Silly from holy
He always held that the word idiot originally meant non-conformist. I thought before going further with that one I should check it out on good old Wiki and sure enough learn that the word idiot does indeed come from the ancient Greek idiotes, which refers to a person disinterested in participating in democracy and public life.
Such people were viewed as selfish, contemptible and stupid as they were more concerned with their daily personal affairs than they were of the good of the society.
Later in the middle-ages the word took on additional connotations associated with being stupid or mentally incapable.
Mark Twain. Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress.
But I repeat myself.
Blackadder and Baldrick
Baldrick: I nearly won the village-idiot-of-Wimbledon contest but I was disqualified at the last minute.
Blackadder: Really? What happened?
Baldrick: I showed up
Me: I won the village-idiot-of-Maceda contest.
Lunch today was roast dinosaur
Primordial chunks of meat
Inexpertly hacked from
Some monstrous haunch
I guess that such creatures
Thought to be extinct
Are still reared for meat.
Bred in dark satanic pits
In the primitive hinterland
Of countries such as this one
And secretly distributed to
Mental asylums and
Old folks’ Homes –
Institutions with minimal
Culinary ambitions and
Blunted by age
Yes, I suppose that’s
The only possible explanation
For today’s lunch.