Thursday, 28 May 2009

Neighbourhood Watch

Just got back from a boozy watch meeting, which was mostly about fending off invaders who take the form of predatory property developers. (Details on application, but rather you didn't.)

Anyway, we were sitting outside in Sarah's garden, discussing how we might get our locale listed or protected, to fend off said etc etc, when suddenly these huge insect things start dive bombing us. Stag beetles? Mayflies? Nigel, who's a professor of this sort of stuff, reckoned stag beetles, because they're the rarest and so most protected - we can get some kind of 'site of special scientific interest stag beetle' status and so fend off the predatory house-building invaders ...

At about this point Clare and a few others announced that they were getting insect bitten and so had, reluctantly, to leave. I hope the stags didn't get them on the way. I stayed on for a few more reds, as you can see.

Off to Sandbanks tomorrow, for some reason.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Battle of Britain

I have just watched my resident blackbird couple seeing off one of the local red kites. The enemy didn't stand a chance - blackbirds coming at him from every dimension, noise guns firing, swooping up out of the setting sun ... You could smell the cordite. Kite slunk back home, dripping feathers. The whole thing took about thirty seconds.

A couple of magpies were stood on aerials, observing from a safe distance, watching for any spoils, like black marketeers in their zoot suits and sunglasses.

Meanwhile, my robin persists in turning up and perching on the handle of the garden fork, eyeing me quizzically. 'Come on, keep digging', he says.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Paranoia time

Did you know that your IP address can pinpoint the exact geographical location of your computer, using GPS technology which I certainly don't remember ordering or installing? It's true - try it. I did, and as a result I now know that I am, in fact, either crawling around the Yorkshire Dales or perched on the railings of Holborn Viaduct in London EC. Or I may be somewhere in Southampton. They're closing in on me ...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

MPs expenses, blah blah ...

If you haven't already, you must hear this one, from Anthony Steen MP (that's Member of Parliament for short, but not for long, ha ha - HAH!) for Totnes, Devon (Con):

He was quoted verbatim, with incisive cruelty, by Dimbleby on tonight's wonderful, possibly constitution-changing, Question Time; and I sensed a shift, or perhaps focus, in the mood of the panellists and the audience as we heard those words, and the insufferable arrogance they welled up from. (I gather he's since apologised, and is of course standing down at the next election - like, not now? - so that's OK then.)

As an aside (asides often interest me much more than the main road) I am intrigued as to how Totnes, a town I'd always pictured as one of the country's convergences of matted-hair bead-weaving alternative new age ley-lines, came to get this Tory landlord as their MP. Weird, man.

I once visited an artist in Totnes who made, and tried to sell, miniature sculptures constructed from the fluff you get out from the filter of the tumbledryer, an idea I'd have liked even better had it been suffused with even the merest hint of irony. Actually, now I remember, that was in St David's not Totnes. But hey, same difference.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Eurovision Song Contest

Hah! I bet you thought I was going to post some kind of ironic commentary on this: how Graham Norton is soberer than Tel; how all the songs are exactly identical (chord sequence Am/G/E/F) except for Lord Webber's variation on his usual C major arpeggio; how Armenia wins the 'most-exposed female skin' prize, or was it Estonia ... well, sorry, but I haven't watched a single pixel of it. I've spent the evening editing my contacts list, defragging my hard drive, surfing Spotify in a desperate quest for something, anything, to draw me away from that vile, vengeful, visceral ... Sorry, just had to switch it on. Norway have won. Great result - that'll put global politics into correct perspective.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Westminster trough

The more or less unanimous (not to say orchestrated) reaction from MPs caught, let's say, optimising the expenses/allowances system they themselves devised - 'we haven't broken any rules' - reminds me of one of Alexei Sayles' old jokes:

'People say to me: Alexei, why do you drink so much? I reply: because I can afford to.'