sick as a dog

I don’t know what the ideal length is for a blog post, but some weekends I seem to spend a heck of a long time writing.

Today, though, I’m going to settle for posting this screen shot, taken from a local pub website. There’s definitely something about those last two words that makes me wonder what they put in the biscuits.

Text from pub website "dog biscuits on the bar and plenty of water bowels"


It’s summer and the park is knee-deep in meadow flowers.

It’s also the end of the academic year – time for sports days and garden parties, which explains the following notice, tied to gates of the local school:
Continue reading “picky”

forbidden favourites

Although most people agree that autumn starts with the equinox, which doesn’t fall for another week, it seems that Christmas is already looming, with cards on sale in the shops, and gift catalogues dropping through the letterbox. I never sign up for printed catalogues, but they arrive unsolicited, and offer temptations in the form of all sorts of trinkets and knick-knacks I never knew I needed.

Of course, once you start to buy gifts, some sort of wrapping is required. The latest catalogue offered this interesting set of gift bags:

Gift bag description: "sprinklied with irredecent glitter"

It’s not a charity I had ever thought of supporting, but if I had more time, I might be tempted to offer my proof-reading skills at a reduced rate.
Continue reading “forbidden favourites”

snail mail

 brown snail on leaf
This morning I went to the local post office to send a book to a friend. There are two separate counters, one for general goods, and one for official post office purchases, so, since I had to buy a padded envelope, I had to get receipts from both tills. The envelope cost me 70p.

Years ago, I worked in a school where the secretary kept a box with pens, glue, scissors etc; it was labelled stationary box because it was not to be moved from her desk under any circumstances. My father had taught me that stationery was what was sold by the stationer (the -er- matches) so I understood the joke.

Today when I got home, I checked the till receipt. Now I am wondering whether the parcel will ever arrive; I think I bought an envelope that is going nowhere:

"stationary" receipt

men at work

The local pub has scaffolding up and their noticeboard invites customers to “bare with us” while external decoration is undertaken.

Sign: Business open as normal. Please bare with us while external decoration is being undertaken
The words stripping, cladding and frieze come to mind.




Seen through old sash windows, a crinkle of brickwork
and ripple of wrought iron remind me that glass is liquid:
cool and viscous, it creeps earthwards through the centuries.

This thought occurred to me when looking out at the buildings in the picture. Then, of course, I felt obliged to go and research whether glass really is liquid or whether that’s just an old wives’ tale. The idea is discussed at some length and technicality in this paper.

I think the conclusion is that, although glass can be considered a super-cooled liquid, the variations in thickness of old glass are nothing to do with the pull of gravity. Still, I was trying to write poetry not science, so I’m leaving it as it is and will blame any inaccuracy on my fallible narrator.

*oops: I really did spell it that way and publish it without checking. I’ll blame the fallible writer for that; and the fact that it’d be distorsión in Spanish.

the writing on the wall

Enjoying the luxury of a real paper-and-print newspaper this weekend, I came across an article with the headline: “Mural supports English teachers’ favourite poet”**, and was surprised to see the piece was illustrated with a picture of Carol Ann Duffy. She may be the poet laureate, but I didn’t think she was that popular. Reading on, I think it must specifically refer to the teachers at Leeds West Academy where the mural in question was unveiled this week.
Continue reading “the writing on the wall”