Monthly Archives: June 2012

Strictly Pensionable


I’m of pensionable age, you know

1500 views on the blog, peeps! This is something to celebrate. Perhaps with a little dance. I shall hand over to the capable feet of an old lady I dreamed up a couple of years ago. Take it away, Great Aunt Wilhelmina.

Great Aunt Wilhelmina has class. Style. Panache. Silk cami-knickers and a handful of warts. All the things to which I aspire as I grow older. Enjoy.

The Bognor Regis Tea Dance was a very quiet affair,
With muted little waltzes and a foxtrot here and there,
So imagine the kerfuffle and the maitre-d’s despair,
When Great Aunt Wilhelmina danced the tango.
She stalked across the polished floor as everybody watched,
The orchestra was forced to take the tempo up a notch,
She dusted off and straightened out her stockings at the crotch,
And raised her arms in honour of the tango.

Get with the groove

With wrinkled lips in fuchsia pink and curled into a moue,
Great Aunt Wilhelmina cried “Ole!” and stamped a shoe,
Then whirled until her twinset and her box pleats went askew,
You never saw the like of such a tango!
The plasterwork resounded with arthritic finger clicks,
The customers were gasping at the drama of her kicks,
Her teeth were clenched and snarling in their bed of Dentufix,
And Bognor felt the passion of the tango.
* * * 
Now sad to tell, that tango was the last she danced on earth,
The rigour proving fatal to her age and to her girth,
But every day I pray and plead and hope, for what it’s worth,
That God will smile on Great Aunt Wilhelmina,
And Heaven will resemble Argentina.

Pearly gates dead ahead, señora


Deep Sea Racing Mullets a go-go


I am enchanted by the random brilliance of those heat-seeking missiles of the web, those vehicles the apparent size of Mars that pluck stuff from the ether at the press of a button and deliver it to a screen near you: SEARCH ENGINES.

Let’s take some examples from the rich tapestry of search terms directing folks to phraseandfable, shall we?

No one said it was supposed to be an OXYGEN mask


This delicious collision of words conjures something fabulous and possibly Venetian. But why would someone type it in? Are they actually going to a breathless banquet and urgently in need of facial equipment? Is it a quote? Has Fifty Shades of Grey met Casanova on the information highway? And what on earth has it got to do with my ramblings here on phraseandfable?


Spinal Tap instantly springs to mind, but their album was of course Smell the Glove, which is quite a different matter. ‘Spelling glove’ is therefore a WikiLeak. The government is investing billions in the secret development of special finger hats that will allow civil servants to spell liaison correctly! Will it ultimately be rolled out to schools? I shall be looking at the Queen’s white silk gloves in an entirely new light. “One shall now spell… diarrhoea.”

I’m a kighnt. A nikght. A knitgh. A guy with a sword.


This has some connection with my blog entry of 23 February 2012, but it’s tentative to say the least. Men’s French gauntlets. Ooh. Slinky chain mail, obtained on the Rue Saint-Honoré, the accessoires du jour. Do they come with a sword? Must one be called Jean, or Pierre, or indeed Jean-Pierre, in order to carry them off? Is this searcher in cahoots with the spelling glove enthusiast?



I can actually make sense of this one. Strange but true (see 18 April 2012). But I do still wonder at the combination. Has the consumption of iron-rich comestibles been proved to conjure religious ecstasy while napping?

Fetch me a snorkel and I’m yours, babe


This is unquestionably my favourite in an I’ve-eaten-too-much-cheese kind of way. Is having a head like a deep sea racing mullet an advantage? Is it an Olympic 100m Butterfly tactic? Does it have anything to do with hairstyles? Or are there simply squadrons of hi-spec fish belting around the Atlantic with John West sponsorship tattooed on their fins?


Good. I’m done. I can now rest easy in the knowledge that should these terms ever be typed into a search engine again, the result will be 100% accurate.

The great joy is that we shall NEVER KNOW the logic behind the random. Only the search engines know this, and they are, for once, keeping schtum on the subject. So all you bloodhounds out there, looking for jobs? Get back to your Bonios. Search engines have it covered.

Is Pinteresting?


There’s a new bird in town. It’s making the book hide its face and the twits stop cheeping. It’s Pinterest and it has nothing to do with savings accounts.

However, I hold up my hand and admit: it’s not for me.

That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the pictures. I do. There’s a smashing one of Portugal that took my fancy immediately – see left. You will notice that it is made primarily of words.

I have thus reached the conclusion that Pinterest is for the VISUAL creatives out there, not the wordy nerds. You know who you are. Yes dear artist friend, I’m talking about you. I’m not sure I can visually create anything, short of a special-occasion gurn for my newly minted nephew.

Are you a visual creative or a wordy one? Take this test to find out.


Here, kitty kitty kitty

A) You see a picture of a little girl crying her eyes out on a fabulous beach. Do you:

  1. Report the photographer to Social Services
  2. Get Google maps to locate the spot so you can go there on holiday
  3. Attempt to paint it but struggle with finding the right shade of cerulean
  4. Write it down

B) Someone pins a picture of your book TIGER TROUBLE. Do you:

  1. Celebrate with a large Pimms
  2. Try to repin but forward it to the Venezuelan Embassy by mistake
  3. Attempt to crayon a version of the tiger on a tablecloth
  4. Write it down

C) You find a mystifying swirly image that you can’t figure out. Do you:

  1. Ask for clarification from the person who pinned it
  2. Rush for the acrylics and design a sarong based on the same colour principles
  3. Decide it reminds you of sick
  4. Write it down

Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m off on a hunt for a decent collective noun.

The Ribbons of Wrongness


Vengeance is mine.

These imbeciles in their jubilee red, white and blue. Pageants, fireworks, madness. Literally. Madness. And all this for a lady who keeps dogs. Have I taught them nothing? Yet still they fawn and celebrate, dance and daub their faces like fools. They tie ribbons around my neck.


They are but kibbles in my jaws. I shall chew them like mouse toffee. Suck the marrow from their bones like salmon gobstoppers.

I shall arise and go now, to claw their favoured standard lamp, to shake my tail and drop tapeworms upon their draining board. Defecate upon their shingle driveway. I shall laugh in the face of their dismay.

The ribbons lie eviscerated beneath the kitchen table. Oh, for the chance to erase the memory of my humiliation with equal savagery.

Let us speak no more of this.