Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Excerpts from recent conversation. We were both sober at the time.

Geoff: "Have you ever slept in a hammock?"
Me: "No. Have you?"
Geoff: "I don't THINK I have, but I can't be certain."

* * * * * * *

Me: "Blancmange seems to be some sort of Arabic pudding originally. It's a pretty pointless sort of dish really."
Geoff: "Yeah, it is boring."
Me: "Mind you, it's one of those bland foods that my parents said are good for people who have stomach upsets."
Geoff: "Oh, come on, that's bollocks, it's sweet and sickly."
Me: "Yeah, but it's bland. They also thought steamed fish is good for anyone who's ill."
Geoff: (pulls face)
Me: "Just the smell of steamed fish makes me feel sick, it probably reminds me of being a child and having to eat it when I was ill. The other thing they said was that you could cure diarrhea by eating chocolate."
Geoff: Yeah yeah yeah, you've said that before a million times."

* * * * * * *

Geoff: "So, is it common knowledge that Jimmy Savile is a necrophiliac?"

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You only need to look at him -
Jimmy I mean.

Geoff's conversation skills are awe inspiring.
Yeah but - wasn't he anointed an honorary Marine? I don't think I'd say it while he was looking.

Jimmy. Not Geoff. That I know about.
That's truly rivetting stuff Betty. I'm surprised you have the energy to blog after such intellectually challenging conversations.
Because of the title, I imagine all the conversations above to take place with a thick Glasgow accent. In Kentish Town.
Kaz - that's why I ended up marrying him (Geoff that is, not Jimmy Savile). He looks like Omar Sharif, but he also has a towering intellect.

Mangonel - I think Jimmy could be a bit handy with his fists, even after the quadruple bypass (or whatever it was). I shall draw a veil over Geoff's encounters in the local cemetery.

Tom - I know. That's why they filter through to the blog. Everyone needs to know that blancmange is some sort of Arabic pudding. In the next post, I'll be sharing my thoughts on Baudrillard.

Billy - that's exactly how it sounds, with me playing some mournful sounding harmonium occasionally.
what are your views on
1. duck buouyancy relative to size, waterproof qualities and height of fall
2. mountain goats vs. field goats and the footwear required by each to effect a silent approach on the other's defensive positions?
my daughter and I have come up with no clear resolutions on these two issues. thank you in advance.
FN : -

1. I've never witnessed a duck drowning, so I suppose they all have a pretty good inbuilt bouyancy level, regardless of size or plummage. Unless we're talking about dead ducks thrown off a bridge. They would undoubtedly sink like a stone, with the heaviest and greasiest looking falling more quickly. Mind you, do they all rise again like Jesus though?
2. The success would depend on the terrain. A mountain goat would be more at home in, say, an Afghanistan mountain range and would be able to move more sure-footedly and with more stealth. This would prove difficult for a field goat which couldn't negotiate narrow, rocky paths (I can identify with the field goat actually). However, your mountain goat would perhaps be confused by a field in Belgium (this would probably be full of cows which would be obstacles in between the field and mountain goats).

The only solution is to hold the competition on some sort of neutral ground - say, a slightly hilly region with plenty of clearings - Dunstable Downs perhaps? You could further balance out the differences by getting the field goats to wear fell walking boots and the mountain goats to wear flip flops.
I've never had blancmange. Is it kind of like Angel Delight?

I didn't taste that till I was an adult either. Missed out, me.
Spinsterella - blancmange is more, erm, custardy than Angel Delight (I just asked Geoff for his opinion and that's what he said). Angel Delight used to play a major part in my diet because I grew up in the 1970's. This probably means I'll die in about three years time.
Some Angel Delight must have spilled over into the 80s as I definitely remember having it as a kid.

Butterscotch. Makes me go funny.
They still make it!! I spotted a whole shelf of it in that skanky Sainsburys by Waterloo station last time I was over. Butterscotch and banana were my faves. We weren't big on Instant Whip, though - my mum said that was "common". I've had that Jimmy Saville conversation at work in fact, while trying to explain to non-Brits the entire concept of Jimmy Saville. Not easy.
We actually had the Jimmy Saville and his "Duchess" conversation at work yesterday...

Did you know that there is actually a block of flats somewhere in London (can't remember which part) called Sir Jimmy Saville House? It came up as a client's address the other day and I had to verify it with Royal Mail to make sure it was real. WTF?
Boz - "Some Angel Delight must have spilled over into the 80s". That was probably true - literally. I wouldn't be surprised if the manufacturers swept up the leftovers in their factories and repackaged them in the 1980s to save costs. No one would notice the difference.

Rhino - I wasn't sure if Angel Delight was still on sale because Birds had been taken over. Maybe there's a public demand for it - the underground secret army of Angel Delight lovers ...

Kellycat - yeah, he keeps all her old clothes in pristine condition in her wardrobe, with the secret door behind it where the refridgerated body of The Duchess is in storage (actually, I made that bit up ... or did I?). Jim'll Fix It is back on television so those necrophiliac conversations are going to be happening more and more.
I would've thought that Jimmy Savile was a victim of necrophiliacs.

He is dead, isn't he?
Istvanski - no. All those fun runs and Marathons from John O'Groats to Land's End have meant that he'll enjoy a full and active life of grave robbing until the age of seven hundred at least.
Blancmange mix was in my last emergency supply parcel from England; a variety box of assorted flavours. Took the sister ages to track down.
Imagine my disappointment when it came out all lumpy.
Which reminds me - I'm completely out of Nairns.
blancmange was always pink wasn't it? although that dog Murph said it was always yellow. My Granny used to put Dream Topping on Angel Delight but she did come from oooop north and couldn't say bath or grass properly either.

Even dead ducks don't sink - well not straight away, or seagulls, or pigeons even - goats probably would, both types.
and, where do necrophiliacs get their eh 'partners' from? You don't see that many really dead bodies just lying about the place do you? - I take it they have to be more than just brain dead or terminally dim?

I've never stopped to wonder this before . . .
Since your TV is obviously on the fritz here are some other conversational bon bons:

The blood pressure of a giraffe is 280/180

Bush is technically only the 42nd President because people incorrectly count Grover Cleveland’s two non-consecutive terms in office as two separate presidencies

Monotremes (the platypus and 2 species of echidna) are unique among vertebrates in possessing a complex of several unpaired chromosomes that form a chain with the sex chromosomes at male meiosis.

Arabella - I was wondering if it was possible to buy some sort of blancmange mix (it's not something I've actively looked for) so it's not surprising that it was difficult to find. As for the biscuits - nairn problem (ho ho ho).

Ziggi - blancmange was definitely always pink. Murph probably thinks it was yellow because dogs see colours differently to humans - sorry - bipeds. I've no idea which ducks, swans, geese or pigeons sink or float, not having lived near a river.

Ziggi again - perhaps there's some Burke & Hare figure who provides necrophiliacs with partners. If the brain dead and terminally dim "count", then loads of necrophiliacs must hang around outside the studios of the Jeremy Kyle Show looking for potential dating material.

HE -
(1) Is this something to do with the giraffe having a long neck which puts a lot of pressure on the neck veins and arteries? Do they all die of strokes at an early age?
(2) Yes. Ahem. I'll take your word for it. Is Bush the first primate President though?
(3) Absolutely, unless anyone can prove otherwise. The only surviving examples of monotremes are all indigenous to Australia and New Guinea.

I'm going off to have a good cry now.
You would remember if you were in a hammock as you would still have the marks from when you fell out of it.

Hammock balancing is an Olympic skill not for amateurs.
Flirty something - hello and welcome. I doubt I'd survive for more than a few minutes in a hammock anyway with my dodgy back. It takes me about ten minutes of getting rid of the aches and pains after a night spent sleeping in a normal bed these days. Oh, the joys of old age.

(no, not for THAT reason ...)

Back to the world of Saville, I'm not sure about his "dead boring" habits but I do have a transcript of an outtake from Have I Got News For You in which Merton storms off in a rage after Saville said he once threatened to break a 13-year-old girl's legs! No doubt Jim would have fixed 'em for her afterwards. Saville is what is known in fundraising, television and radio circles as "a complete and utter twat!"
As to conversational classics, how about these two from the weekend just passed:
"I was the first person in this town to hate Timmy Mallet, you know?"
"Says 'ere that every time you scratch yourself you lose 2 million cells. It's a miracle I've got any bollocks left!"
By the way, viva Angel Delight - and Wagon Wheels, Sherbert Fountains and Nesquik! Hurrah!
....did I really spell "past" "passed"? Oh dear, too much Angel Delight when I was a kid - not to mention too much Scruttocks Old Dirigible ale as an adult.
Reg - hello. I was always suspicious that Jimmy had quite violent tendencies. No doubt he's broken a few kids' legs in his time, which is why they end up in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which is why he's done so much fundraising for the place - guilty conscience, you see.

Angel Delight, Wagon Wheels, Sherbert Fountains, Nesquik - if Jamie Oliver was aware of what people of our age used to eat as kids he'd have a fit. Using his logic, it's a miracle that any of us made it past thirty while still having more common sense than he'll ever possess.
I haven't had blancmange for about 20 years. Nan used to do blancmange and jelly for us when we visited. It was usually a synthetic strawberry flavour. I think the last one I ever had was chocolate flavour. They were a mainstay of primary school puddings.

Blancmange, junket, egg custard, individual mousses in those pots with cartoon characters on the base (bought 10 at a time, frozen, in Bejam) .... nostalgia. Now everything's gone instant - Angel Delight, Dream Topping, Instant Custard.
Llewtrah - Everything in the age before instant desserts turned up seemed to involve cornflour as an ingredient from what I can tell.

I can remember my nan getting enthusiastic when Bird's Instant Custard was first on the market - "there's nothin' to it, you just add barlin' wehta!" she said excitedly. Still, there isn't much to look forward to when you're that age I suppose.
I used to live on Angel Delight. And instant mashed potato. And beer.

You don't want to know what it did to my bowels.
Billy - my diet when I was in my late teens used to comprise that sort of stuff. Mind you, I was only a size ten. These days I have a more healthy diet and ... I'm not a size ten. Go figure.
In the sixth form we were allowed a kettle in the form room. I lived on instant custard, instant semolina, instant soup, instant tea (Lift) and coffee and just about anything else you could make in a mug with boiling water. Except for instant mash which I didn't like.
Oh, all those perks and privileges of being in the sixth form and having a "common room" (as if you were at Eton!). Because of the Sixth Form Kettle I learned about Pot Noodle for the first time - how you'd have to break up all the bits with a fork before putting the water in ...
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