Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Please go here to read an excellent dissection of this summer's most annoying song, if you haven't done so already, with a link in the comments to a Guardian report explaining how the record companies have already quelled the idea of the internet creating stars "from the underground" and have used it to their advantage, hem hem.

I'm only linking to him because I'm married to him, mind.

Please bear in mind that Myspace is now Rupert Murdoch's Myspace. Fair enough. In a couple of years we will all be owned by Rupert Murdoch and blogs will have to carry advertising for Sky Movies and soft porn magazines.

This is Be Happy Wednesday :-D

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


ray's a laugh
In the absence of a photo of the ginger cat with beard/baby starling, and the Susan Herbert painting of a cat as the Laughing Cavalier, which I couldn't find on Google Images, here instead is the Laughing Cavalier imitating a cat that has nicked some fish from a stall on the indoor Bullring market, Birmingham, circa 1980.

The Cavalier was off to the Rumrunner nightclub to hang out with Simon Le Bon and Toyah Willcox a few hours later, as you might guess from the rig out.

He was a promising design student, liked a laugh and was a top man. Where IS he now??? as David Jacobs used to say.

Monday, May 29, 2006


I was upstairs opening the curtains at the weekend when I saw one of the plethora of local cats look up at me from the street with an expression of guilt.

It had a beard.

I was reminded of that Susan Herbert painting of a cat as the Laughing Cavalier.

Either life had begun to imitate art or I had entered a living nightmare.

I didn't fancy the idea of going out to deadhead any of my bedding plants in case it had turned into Mr Bosch's Garden Of Earthly Delights out there.

Closer inspection proved that the cat was actually carrying a baby starling it had murdered in its mouth.

For more stuff about baby starlings, go here.

* * * * * * *

About eighteen months ago I wrote about a goth couple who used to hang around the parking bay opposite our house. I haven't linked to that post because I couldn't be bothered to find it and it was so badly written that it is a source of embarrassment.

Anyway, on Saturday night, at around 8.45, the starcrossed lovers turned up at the parking bay for the first time in ages. They spread out a tartan rug and the contents of a couple of carrier bags and sat down.

They had decided to have a picnic, at twilight, intermittent showers and low temperatures notwithstanding, in a parking bay on a Wimpey estate.

We may be living in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars, etc., etc.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Well, that's the spring cleaning out of the way. What a pain in the *rse that was (please note the discreet use of asterisks in rude words that I use now, in case minors such as Richard Fleeshamn are reading).

I got through it all without too much physical damage, except for the housemaid's knee and the bruising caused by the fall from the stepladder, which is starting to fade now.

Anyway, a playlist of stuff I did the housework to:

The Very Best Of The Moody Blues (shout out to S & S!). Cleaning the bathroom tiles in time to Steppin' In A Slide Zone was very invigorating.
Showtime - Dizzee Rascal.
Public Image - Public Image. Managed to disturb a wasp's nest in the loft during Fodderstompf. Talk about hair raising!
Some of those cheap pop reggae compilations from Woolworths. Face it, there are few finer things in the world than Monkey Spanner by Dave and Ansel Collins or that Pluto Shervington song where he ends up having an argument with a butcher about sausages.
A compilation of early Cabaret Voltaire stuff.
The Burial CD. They are all on about this on the internet, apparently, and I'm a game old bird so I gave it a spin while doing a bit of sugar soaping.

Anyway, I'm off for a well earned rest. The World Cup is just starting and I'm settled here on the settee with a crate of Mackeson's stout . See yer!

Friday, May 26, 2006


Well folks, the show is over. The time has come for me to sign off from this blog for the very last time.

When I first started blogging, the penny farthing was still a common sight on the roads, along with horse dung and begging four year olds. Marie Lloyd was big in the music halls. When Father Papered The Parlour and Pop Goes The Weasel were at the top of the download charts and we all had rickets or hooping cough. Vicus Scurra was the stern headmaster of a ragged school. We were all dirt poor, but happy.

The Lumiere Brothers made some camp looking films where they were dancing with each other and that one of a train drawing up to a station. What would they have made of CGI?

Computers were big and unwieldly. Indeed, I used to type my blog entries wired up to a twenty acre "mainframe" computer powered by a number of burly men on bicycles wearing stripey bathing costumes. They looked like Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Lord Lucan.

Although I look back on those days with great fondness, and JUST LOVE everyone who has commented here and stood by me for all those years - I've come to see one or two of you as replacements for the friends I never had!! - the time has come for us to part (as Badfinger once sang).

You see, the "real world" seems so much more appealing. I have my gorgeous husband Melvin and my four darling children Serenity, Evergreen, Hope and Jean Claude as well as our lovely Wiltshire cottage and the smallholding to take up my time! Besides, I have a newfound love of knitting, macrame, needlepoint and a number of other female crafts that have been undervalued in the male-centred world!!!

Anyway, blogging is rather unfashionable these days, what?


* * * * * * *

Actually I'm only doing this because I want to f*ck off to do a bit of spring cleaning for a couple of weeks, to come back to hundreds of tearful comments from people whose blogs I don't even read and they haven't read this blog before either. Giving up your blog is just THE thing to do at the minute.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Another in depth round up of television related stuff: yawn.

* * * * * * *

Green Wing has finished, at long last. I have been watching this as if it is an anthropological study of What The Middle Classes Find Funny. I think I may have smiled a couple of times, and I don't know if that was by accident or due to a nervous tic. Probably the latter. Someone who claims to also be from a working class background left a comment on this site stating that Green Wing is "beyond awful" which says a lot.

As it stands, Dr Ian "Mac" McCulloch is apparently dying of some disease or other, while Caroline "Oh God, a comedy with Tamsin Grieg in" Todd has run off on a train with Peter Shilton rather than Dr Paul "Macca" McCartney, which has apparently annoyed a lot of women. Dr "Macca" is the one who looks like a statue of a Greek boy emperor. Did the Greeks have boy emperors? I'm afraid I didn't have a solid classical education and worked in a quarry for half of my life.

I have always suspected that Caroline/Tamsin is a Belle And Sebastian fan. I suppose someone has to be because their records always go into the charts at number 29.

Nobody seems to care about what has happened to any of the other characters.

I should put in a good word for the enormous dog that made a brief appearance in an earlier episode. A fine actor.

* * * * * * *

Over at Coronation Street, Craig the goth has of course flogged all of his Stench Of Death CD's and burnt his loooong black leather coat and has got into, ugh, listening to Jack Johnson and dressing in a way which mums would approve of, in preparation for his exit to become The Middle Aged Ladies' And Their Daughters' Favourite Pop Star in real life.

If this is the case, then I don't see why Dev Alahan's excellent, sarky daughter Amber can't follow in Craig's footsteps to become a Lady Sovereign-style MC. Debut single? You Ain't Neva Been No Dad To Me. That bloke from the Streets will have to appear in the video - it's obligatory.

* * * * * * *

Best television moment at the weekend was on World Cup Stories.

Emmanuel Petit* was lying naked in the French team dressing room awaiting a massage.

Ooh la la. This made an old woman very happy.

I may not need the HRT treatment after all, even if we didn't get to see how he measures up to the other guys in the locker room.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I have been mulling over those e-mail addresses that bloggers have.

Mine is separate from my non-blogging e-mail address where friends who Know My Real Name (Doreen-Marie Smedley) are able to send things like the attachment of that picture of the chocolate rabbit without any ears and the one without any arse, LOL.

In the blogging world I am fearsome, chainsmoking, enormous breasted Betty with the red lipstick, the mane of glossy black hair and masses of ferocious sex appeal.

In real life I am mousey Doreen-Marie, have a pronounced squint, rabbity teeth, wear beige BHS separates and have a frumpy perm. Plus I have one of those awful snorting laughs. Sorry to disappoint you, but we all need to overcompensate for our shortcomings, don't we?

Anyway, my blogging e-mail address occasionally sends me messages from a couple of nice fellow bloggers but is more usually a receptacle for masses of spam e-mails from the likes of, apparently, Mickey Rooney, Susan Sarandon and loads of people called Conrad or Alex who think I am an alpha male type who has a penis fixation, assuring me that I don't want to be the little guy in the locker room and asking me how I measure up to other men. Well, frankly, that's none of your business you cheeky scamp!

Plus there's the odd irate message from someone who "disagrees" with my opinions. These make me feel slightly disturbed.

I have a paranoid belief that all other bloggers are sending each other e-mails behind the scenes and are SLAGGING EACH OTHER OFF in a cloak and dagger way. In fact, they are probably slagging me off and possibly conspiring against me.

The lovely happy supportive blogging community full of stoner hippies, eccentric dropouts and frustrated office clerks with so much more to offer is just a facade. They all hate each other and they especially hate me. Boo hoo.

I just thought I would let you know.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Ik Zie Een Head LouseIt's about time I did one of those "fascinating" family history posts I was banging on about a month or two ago. Well, there's only a bit of family history in this one but it's fairly timely.

For some reason my parents always regarded the annual Eurovision Song Contest as an important event. This was probably down to my parents not leading particularly interesting lives and also in part may be down to my dad being Yugoslavian. Watching Eurovision was the one time of year when there was, like a big melting pot of different countries from mainland Europe on the telly at once, and perhaps it reminded him of the big, happy melting pot of peoples who lived in mainland Europe. Ahem.

It didn't, however, explain why he decided to tape the 1974 contest for prosperity. I should explain to younger readers that this was the age before video taping - it was a sound only recording.

As it 'appens, this was of course the year Abba won - the year of David Vine's utterance "and .... OH! IT'S NAPOLEON!" as their conductor walked up to his podium dressed as the aforementioned short arse emperor.

It is difficult to believe that there was ever a time when Terry Wogan didn't "do" Eurovision, especially considering that the commentator was David Vine, a man who made an art out of being devoid of charisma. His profile on the BBC site claims that in his free time he likes "relaxing and being at home". Blimey, human dynamo that one. How does he do it all?

Anyway, on the tape my dad made you could hear him say "they're singing in a Croat dialect, that's not proper Yugoslav" about the country's Fairisle tank top-clad band, which annoyed him profoundly, being a bigoted old git who went on to worship Radovan Karadzic. I remember that the Daily Mirror's punter suggested that the Yugoslav song was "too way out" to win which proved correct.

Abba came tops, of course, with "golden couple" Agnetha and Bjorn both sporting satin knickerbockers of the kind that would encourage horribly inflamed red genitalia. Ouch!

In second place was Gigliola Cinquetti with the wonderful "Si" followed by the hirsute Mouth and Macneal's perky Ik Zie Een Ster and our own dear Olivia N. Bomb singing some drivel about the Sally Annie Band which she hated.

I'd love to say that I kept the tape for prosperity and still give it an annual airing, but I probably recorded over it with Generation X or Homicide by 999 or summat.

Anyway, this year's contest is held in Athens, and Mike off of Troubled Diva is the Man On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown at the event. He recommends Germany's country und western song. No doubt there will be some stout lass in a black frock from somewhere along the Med who will do a "qualidee" ballad that will be Terry Wogan's favourite, ugh.

Our own Daz Wiggerley And The Barely Legal Schoolgirls beat off stiff competition in the British preliminary competition from the likes of Toyah Battersby Off Coronation Street, the former bass player from Northern Uproar, that Welsh hairdresser from Big Brother and that bloke who looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp who used to be in He'ea'rs'ay.

You go Dazza!

The Fins seem to be represented by a death metal band.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


In Britain, it is National Sandwich Week.

It is also Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Indeed, there is a stand in the mall in Bexleyheath presumably set up to encourage women to lactate. What a horrible thought. I'm certainly not joining in.

I'm sure there must be a joke to connect these two campaigns, possibly involving not being able to put your head between two pieces of bread, but of course this is a nice family blog written by a very nice lady, so I won't say any more than that.

* * * * * * *

Oh, alright, I'm not a very nice lady at all, as has been noted by one of my more astute readers, so I will have another rant: a cheap shot at someone in the public eye. It's very small of me, and proves what a sad lonely existence I etc., etc., etc.

It seems that Jamie Oliver's "middle class meals for skoolkidz" campaign has hit a few problems. Apparently, dinner ladies are reluctant to work the extra hours needed to prepare the poncey but healthy meals. They're not being offered any extra money for this. How mean spirited of them! Don't they realise that they should only work for the love of the job?

Well, bollocks, Jamie. You look like a pink faced two year old having a tantrum at the best of times. I have always been suspicious of you ever since I saw you interviewed in a primary school dining room suggesting that it was "disgraceful" to feed such awful food to children. "Look at them, look at these angels", you said. Or words to that effect. "????!!!" Do you REMEMBER being at primary school? Show me the average nine year old and I will show you someone who is nearer to Satan than Heaven ...

Anyway, as is often the way, working class women (dinner ladies) have to do all the donkey work to appease the middle classes, some of whom believe that by feeding their kids fresh, wholesome, organic school meals said children will immediately have brainpower increased to an enormous degree.

Perhaps they could let a child sit down and read a book of their own free will, or go out to play, BY THEMSELVES, rather than hothousing them, insisting on them going to cello lessons or hockey practice or some other displacement activity nonsense. Yes, allowing a child to USE THEIR OWN INITIATIVE or USE THEIR IMAGINATION might be more useful than stuffing them full of organic rice and broccoli. A long shot, I know.

Anyway, I'm obviously spouting rubbish here because the children are our future, we all have to get them into "decent" schools and it's only a matter of time before Sir Lord Jamie becomes Prime Minister. Won't that be nice?

Monday, May 15, 2006


After a complaint from a disgruntled reader about my comments in an ancient post I feel that I have to make amends by posting a picture of craggy, moody, otherworldly Dustin Hayworth of the Moody Blues to cheer up all you laydeez who are suffering from Monday Morning Blues.

Doesn't he look like that bloke out of the Lemonheads?

I'm a bit worried about that crisp bag in the foreground that says "John Barnes, NW3".

Here is another picture of Dustin with two of the world's most disturbing men:

Be careful, Dustin!

Anyone fancy providing a caption for the second picture (... or even the first one)?

Thought not.

Friday, May 12, 2006


R. Beryl and R. Sandra

My husband is the sort of person who talks enthusiastically about only one subject: football. Or, more specifically, West Ham United.

So tomorrow is a big day in our house, because West Ham are playing Liverpool in the F A Cup final. Sorry if this is parochial to any non-Brits, but it is of vital importance that all readers send their positive vibes to Cardiff where the match is being played. If West Ham lose, there will be a black cloud of malcontent over our house for several days.

To get you in the mood, a few awful things about Liverpool which you should think about (even if you don't know about them) to send their team negative vibes.

1. Any Carla Lane sitcom. Particularly the Liver Birds (pictured above). The most depressing sitcom of all time. Few things are worse than Nerys Hughes staring dreamily into the middle distance and saying "we're all God's creatures on this earth" in a sing song voice.

2. Carla Lane. Silly moo.

3. "Oh, you are a mucky kid, dairty as a dustbin lid ... you'll gerra belt from yer dad", a.k.a. R. Cilla's Mairseyside Lullaby, or something along those lines.

4. Stan "the Jairmans, the Jairmans" Boardman.

5. 1970's Liverpool football players ... Kevin Keegan ... Emlyn Hughes ...

6. Beardy Liverpool playwrights who start crying at the drop of a hat.

7. Tarby to Kenny Lynch: "can't you start a rain dance for us, Chicken George?" Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

8. Carla Lane.

9. The Scaffold. "We'll drinka drinka drink to Lily The Pink". No, we won't. "Thank you very much for yer Aintree Iron". No, thanks all the same.

10. Margi Clarke as that hard bird in Deirdre's cell in the nick. "I'll tell yer sumpin', you've gorra look out for yerself in 'ere gairl". Argg.

So, dear reader, take a few minutes somewhere between 3 - 5 GMT to send the Hammers your positive forces. We shall overcome.

Or, it you're reading this after the match and Liverpool won 7-0, bollocks to the lot of you.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I can't think of anything to post!!!

So, it's up to the ever reliable Mark Gamon, whose comments tend to be the inspiration for posts when I'm scraping the barrel for ideas ... sorry, Mark.

Anyway, he informed me that multi millionaire world famous blogger JonnyB has a guest editor called Betty this week: is it me?

Of course it isn't me: as I suggested in the comment, I am nowhere near famous enough to be a guest editor on JonnyB's Private Secret Diary (age 13 and 3 quarters). It would be like Sir Ian McKellen having an understudy from Barnehurst Amateur Dramatics Society in a major RSC production.

Instead, the guest editor is one Betty Ecclesfeckin - but she is an actress using a nom de plume! Anyone want to have a stab at the identity of this mysterious actress?

Still, it has at last prompted me to add some links for Blogging Bettys. Unfortunately I've only encountered 2 other Bettys on the internet so far. Any other Bettys who want to be bigged up (or would like to disassociate themselves from my blog) should inform me at the usual address.

In other JonnyB news, it seems his blog is to be the subject of a major forthcoming motion picture.

Gorgeous Orlando Bloom is to star as Jonny, with Keira Knightley as the love interest, LTLP, spooky Scientology baby Suri Cruise as baby Servalan and featuring Jack Black as Short Tony.

Rather than Norfolk, the film is set in the lush pastures of New England, so the "American demographic" are not "alienated" by the film. Huh!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Phew! Wot a scorcher! There is still time to enter the Great Shorts Competition (if you're reading this on Thursday). Come on! The box of Christmas crackers has to go, and they are all stuffed with gifts that "have parts which could potentially harm a small child" (Lynn Faulds Wood, 1994).

Anyway, I have been tagged by Tim Footman for another meme - the Seven Things You Didn't Know About Me meme.

It fills a bit of time, doesn't it, even if I'm never going to get in with those people on Dissensus. K-Punk wouldn't do a fucking meme, would he?

1. Tim Footman's dad, a Richard Stilgoe lookalike, was my geography teacher.

2. My tumble dryer has just broken down. Anyone who is a white goods expert who can offer their advice can do so by e-mail or in the comments box. Also, is it better to rent or buy a washing machine?

3. My GP once looked closely and quizzically at me and asked "have you got that syndrome?" "What's that?" I asked. "Er, no, never mind" he replied. I've been paranoid about it ever since.

4. I touched a dead rat behind a radiator pipe at school and when I told the teacher everyone started screaming and we had to evacuate the room for about an hour. I spent the rest of the day scrubbing and scrubbing my hands with that toxic School Soap because I was terrified I had got the Plague, which we had just "done" in history.

5. I am the "heir" to a bit of land and a house in Croatia which everyone tells me is a potential tourist haven, even though it's miles from the coast and I bet it's in a landmine-strewn postwar area.

6. I always mispronounced the word horizon until I got to my 30's.

7. I tried to read the Old Testament last year, but gave up after a few pages of "Bazalthar begat Gonorrhea, and he begat Noah, and he lived for 175 years, and his loins were fruitful, and he died".

Didn't have to make most of it up either ...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


In shocking news today, it appears that there will be a ONE DAY HEATWAVE in Britain tomorrow.

March and April were piddlingly below average in terms of weather, with cool temperatures, keening winds and grey skies.

Not only this, but there is likely to be a drought in the south of England during the summer, and soon in Kent where I live there will be all sorts of exclusions on the use of water. You will be forbidden to wash your car, bath or wash any body parts except the loathsome extremities. Men will have to grow beards and we will all have matted greasy hair. Does anyone remember the band Canned Heat?

Yes, it is going to be worse than the drought of '76, and I'm sure we can all remember the striking images of women wearing wedge sandals, peasant skirts and those off the shoulder cheesecloth "gipsy" tops with the bits of embroidery on queuing up at water stands with buckets.

Bloody hell, I do like to go on about the drought of '76, don't I?

So we British may as well REJOICE over the news of the ONE DAY HEATWAVE. Throw off your parkas and fleeces and get out your summer wardrobe!

Which brings me to my latest competition!

The first person on Thursday to e-mail, "texx", phone or send a comment to me stating that they have seen A Man In Shorts will receive a box of Christmas crackers from the ever reliable pound shop down the precinct.

It has to be a specific sort of Man In Shorts though. He has to be on the big side, with Queen Anne legs, be wearing those chunky, spongey sandals with the velcro straps and preferably have at least a 46 inch gut. Even better if he has the slow, rolling gait of a bandy legged out of shape bloke.

The shorts have to be those knee length baggy things with millions of pockets and concertina creasing around the crotch. They probably haven't seen the inside of a washing machine since they were bought 2 years ago and they're unlikely to this year because of the drought. Yeugh!

If a reader manages to see a man in snug Speedo trunks they will win the entire contents of the pound shop.

Fingers crossed that a member of the Wiggins family doesn't win this time. Best of luck!

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