Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking a stand for the words that stand for something else

A: "There's a hole in your soul if you give in to LOL
And ROFL is just piffle-poffle,
As well as WTF and TTFN
Not to mention BATBYGOBSTOPL."

B: "But what about OMG? GSOH?
Is IMHO a no-no as well?
Does your heart sound no oompah for lovely GBRMPA?
Does your love for EBITDA not swell?"

A: "We must defeat DFAT for once and for all,
From VB as from VD we must flee -
I am peeved by the TV we must leave it forever
And shut down the ABC."

B: "But EG! IE! And please note NB!
And FYI, DIY, see?
What's MYOB is yours, and MYEFO is too -
M and M's, CC's - etc.
My argument's done - QED."

(This is just a little I tossed together over the holidays playing with the way we pronounce acronyms. Not up to much...)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Embarrassmental disorder

The other day, I was at an amusing dinner party with my friends A, B and C.
A said: "I caught an elephant in my pyjamas the other day. How it got in there I don't know."
B said: "I often shoot lions with my glasses. My glasses have lasers in them, you see."
C said: "I went mountaneering with my book yesterday. It is a very big book."
I said: "I eat underpants frequently."
I had mistaken their witty exchange of dangling modifiers for a series of true confessions, and had attempted to join in! What an embarrassing mistake!

The following day, we were all walking in the park and another sparkling conversation followed.
A said: "My new French clock loses time frequently, thanks to chocolate."
B said: "I hear that Mars is coming closer to the Earth in its orbit, but then again, I blow my nose frequently."
C said: "My mother is quite fond of cake, so I have taken up juggling."
I said: "I shot JFK. No, really."

I had done it again - not realising that they were merely exchanging delightful non-sequiturs!

How embarrassing!

TimT's book, 101 Awkward Social Gaffes and what you should do to avoid them will be out just in time to miss the Christmas and New Year rush in all bad book stores.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Communitarian communing, communitarianistically

Here in Bright, the Baron and I have been communing with Nature. Nature is a lovely lady who lives round here with mud on her feet and branches in her hair and birds building nests under her arms and rivers running this way and that across her chest and men with pedometers on their wrists and lycra around their glutes hurtling through her at a breakneck pace. Nature, being Nature, seems to accept it all with her customary aplomb. "Hello, Nature," I say. "Hello Tim! Hello Baron!" cries Nature, and rain clouds burst over her, and rainbows shoot hither and thither from her eyes, and everybody ducks for cover. Oh, and plus she drinks camomile tea and eats burdock root ice cream every evening.

The other thing that people seem to be doing with Nature is sticking things on her. They put a sign up here, describing an interesting thing about the local environment, and pointing your way to another sign over there, which describes another interesting thing about the local environment, and probably points your way to a third sign somewhere else, and so on. Not to mention busying themselves putting fences up all over Nature, and handrails, so you can clamber all your way around her, cutting stone stairs all over her, popping a little cafe here, a visitors bureau there, and an attractive green seat just about everywhere else. No matter how far you walk with Nature, you always seem to be discovering little men and women doing little things on her, and oh-so-willing to sell you things or shove glossy little pamphlets in your hands telling you about attractive things to find in attractive places conveniently located nearby, or the importance of sustainability in rural and regional areas, or where the best place is to go for a swim, or other helpful (in other words, bloody irritating) advice. I can't imagine how much worse it would be if all those irritating little men and women were sticking signs or fences or helping other people to clamber up or over me or, for heaven's sake, hurling their sweaty bodies through me with all their might. Nature, though, doesn't seem to mind. She just waves her 10 billion year old hand carelessly and goes on her merry way.

That's the thing with Nature, though. She's everywhere, or at least it seems she's everywhere. Going back down the main street of Bright, I found her there, too, where I saw that people had taken carbon compounds out of the tip of one of her fingernails and had turned them into tables, on which they served little slabs of Nature from her other hand, and had turned some very interesting creatures that had been roaming up and down her back, along with some rather fertile plants that had been growing exactly where you think they'd been growing, to customers. To complete the scene, I suppose, it would have been handy to have one of the plants in the kitchen suddenly evolve (in that way Nature has, of suddenly evolving into other things) into a boogeyman and lumber over to the customers to gulp them into its ravening maw. But no, Nature didn't oblige.

... And, when I got home, Nature was there, too, when I sat down on the couch. "Afternoon, Tim!" she announced brightly. And I looked around, and there she was - Nature - being all protonic and neutronic and atomic and stuff, with a couple off billion neutrinos and sub-atomic particles and electromagnetic radiation and Higgs Bosons being thrown into the mix.

You want to try communing with Nature? You can't get away from her!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Two people, one day: a Christmas couplet

1. Today is mince pies, presents, puddings too.
2. Today is walkies, wee-wees, rolls in poo.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas dirge

Oh gosh, who would have thought, what do you know, this one (pausing dramatically, while someone rolls the drum, and someone else draws the curtains and someone else pops outside to get a quick cigarette and everyone else taps their fingers impatiently) - this one is from Badger's Dozen too!

A Christmas Dirge
My CD will not play!
My CD will not play!
I’ve tried and tried all day
And I suppose that I could try another one but then again the CD rack is much too far away -
Jingle all the way.

My pencil will not go!
My pencil will not go!
And when it does it’s slow!
And also plus I’m pretty sure I will not get another as a present but of course you never know.
Ho ho ho ho ho.

I have lost my chocolate bar!
I have lost my chocolate bar!
I weep and wail and wah
Perhaps but I could buy another at the store that’s half a block away but then again that half a block is half a block too far -
Fa la la la la la la la la.

My brother drank my beer!
My brother drank my beer!
I left it sitting here
I just left it for one minute when I came back it was gone and his whole face had a leer -
And a happy new year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nopinion column

Christmas ‘tis the season merry gentlemen good will to all star of wonder fa la la et cetera.

Right, now we’ve got that out of the way let’s get down to business, because the newspapers and the magazines and the periodicals and the circulars and the shows and everyone else certainly have. Did you know that Christmas is actually a pagan festival and Santa Claus actually doesn’t exist and St Nicholas probably didn’t either and he’s actually based on the Germanic God of War and what’s so Christian about the whole thing anyway and by the way how does Santa get around the world so quickly with all these presents anyway what’s with that? These undoubted facts, and other opinions like them, will be filling up all the publications at the moment. And also, did Jesus Christ ever really exist and if so he definitely almost certainly probably wasn’t the son of God and he certainly definitely almost probably wasn’t born on Christmas Day and he might not even have been born on 0 AD either so take that Christians?

It certainly is a merry and happy time of the year for newspaper columnists all over the world, isn’t it? What with the ostentatious disproving of this, and the self-satisfied deconstruction of that, it seems more or less the tradition amongst this lot to dispense with other traditions, the longer-held the better. You might think, of course, that people have always adapted traditions for their own ends, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but another tradition held by opinion columnists the world over says that that other tradition that you hold makes you an idiot.

But anyway, let’s not worry about that because did you know Christmas was actually meant to be a winter event and it was actually based on the Roman event of Saturnalia and actually it was a seasonable celebration of the winter solstice but what would Jesus say and by the way have you seen what comes out on TV at Christmas isn’t it boring oh heavens the pain why are they doing this to us? And you shouldn’t forget that isn’t Christmas shopping awful why are we spending so much money anyway isn’t this all about Mammon really it just proves how horrible capitalism really is and the Christmas office party is horrible and you won’t go and here is a list of 11 and a half tips of things to avoid at the party that you won’t go to probably involving the guy from IT and the photocopier that’s one thousand words thank you good day now please to pay.

News is the thing that distinguishes a newspaper from a toilet paper. And most of the time it’s fair to say they actually do have news to run with. The trouble is that, over Christmas, the news, or the people that are involved in the news, or the people that the news happens to, tend to pack up and go home, and all the newspapers are left with is a lot of space, and a need to fill that space.

But it’s not all bad, because did you know that in America they’ve started using the festive greeting happy holidays and isn’t that taking all the meaning out of Christmas but why should we celebrate Christmas in the first place and did you hear about the store that banned the nativity I am horrified and actually I think there’s nothing wrong with it I am so disgusted I think I might go and pass a pair of fully grown reindeers antlers and by the way did you know that Santa Claus is actually a Buddhist Ninja wearing a pair of magical underpants which he got from Atlantis and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was actually a communist spy that’s the significance behind the red nose bet you didn’t know that either did you no you didn’t?

I could go on and I suppose the newspapers will but in the meantime, good readers, Merry New Year, Happy Christmas, live long and prosper, and may the force be with youse all.

"Something something something something something something bah humbug!" - illustration from Dickens

Monday, December 19, 2011

Most-purpose thought

"It is important to maintain a regular flow."

This thought, it seems to me, could apply to just about everything in life, be it philosophy, writing, music, the weather, or matters relating to a persons urinary tract. Especially matters relating to a person's urinary tract, but all that other stuff, too.

I suppose it's not an all-purpose thought. But it's definitely a most-purpose thought.

Asking important questions

Why are so many people driving puce cars? And why does every puce car in Melbourne seem to be of the same model as every other puce car in Melbourne?

Or are they all the same puce cars?

Am I being shadowed by a spy in a puce car?

And doesn't this really raise troubling concerns about the taste in colours and preference in cars of the spy concerned? If they think it is appropriate to drive in a car that is coloured puce, what other crimes might they be capable of?

These are all important questions that I am asking myself this Monday evening.

Boldly Badgering on

It's been a bit quiet here on the blog front in the last month. I suppose you could blame lots of things (me, for instance.) My parents and brother visiting (or maybe it was just me). The need to buy presents (actually, no, I pretty much let the Baron handle that one, so you might be able to blame me for two things on that front).

Personally, though, I prefer to blame this blackguard.

Him. Badger. That's the one. He has been hogging the computer*, enveloping the whole house in clouds of smoke from his pipe, while touch typing articles with his paw for our latest issue of Badger's Dozen. It may not be the world's best zine, but it certainly is the world's most-spiffing-smashing-and-really-quite-very-capital-one. (Badger agrees).

And - you know what? - I reckon you just might want a copy. Yes, you there with the face (or snout, or pseudopodae, or whatever it is your species specialises in). It has, amongst other things, the exciting conclusion to Nottlesby's tale of terror on the high seas, and an amazing 13th century Latin map of the Ergonomic Office!

Go on, chaps! At three dollars it's the cheapest most-spiffing-smashing-and-really-quite-very-capital publication around! Hit us up at timhtrain - at - That's my email, and also my paypal address. Badger will mail it out pronto!

*Bet you never thought a Badger could be a hog, did you?

Present mild, past tense

Last night, after presenting my brother with his, well, present, (a box set of early Dr Whos), he announced that he had already got this particular boxed set, and presented his present back to us.

This morning, after toddling down to the JB Hi Fi, he presently found a, well, what do you know, another present, a boxed set, which he presented to us. I presented this present to the people behind the counter, and presently was able to present this present back to my brother. Which he is presumably presently about to enjoy (after he gets back off the flight to Newcastle with my parents, I mean).

I've heard Christmas is supposed to be about the giving, not the taking, but, you know, having a fancy, shiny new DVD box set sitting on my table, I can't see anything wrong with it - at the present.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You Jason? You Jason? You want some Christmas cheer, very cheap?

The Parental Unit is in town, and today it was off to the city centre with them to avoid the Myer Christmas Window Event in Bourke Street. It seemed a pretty easy task at first; all along Flinders Street and up Swanston Street we managed to avoid it, and for about an hour after that, while we performed various tasks in the vicinity of Russell Street (dodging the chap who unsuccessfully tried to sell us 'very cheap' Christmas cheer on the corner of Russell and Bourke). We successfully avoided viewing the Christmas Window Event during lunch at the Shanghai Dumpling House, and continued this avoidance for another three hours at Melbourne Central shopping centre. It all came to a horrendous end, however, with everyone converging on Bourke Street, mid-afternoon, right in front of a certain window wherein could be found hideous plastic figurines, leering manically at the children outside, both figurines and children gurning at one another in a manner quite terrifying to behold, while a hollow voice boomed repeatedly from somewhere, 'You'd better watch out... you'd better not cry... HE KNOWS WHEN YOU'VE BEEN SLEEPING... HE KNOWS WHEN YOU'RE AWAKE... HE KNOWS IF YOU'VE BEEN BAD OR GOODSOBEGOODFORGOODNESSSAKE!'

We fled as soon as we could.

Such were the Christmas decorations in the city: in Lalor the Christmas decorations were of an entirely different order, consisting of:
- One (1) Garage lined with flashing lights in our street;
- Three (3) giant inflatable Santas in a backyard, tastefully several blocks away from ours;
And that's about it really. It is an entirely different place out here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Things in point form

Chicken point - Daisy got clucky. She laid an egg and sat on it and sat on it and sat on it some more. We stole the egg from under her and gave her a golf ball. She rolled the golf ball under herself and sat on it. Griselda laid an egg. Daisy rolled it under herself and sat on it. We took Griselda's egg and gave Daisy a wooden egg. She rolled that under her, too, and kept on sitting on it. What's the fun in a clucky chicken? Now instead of walking everywhere and pooing everywhere, all she does is sit still and make cranky noises at us.

Bridesmaid point - Today we saw Bridesmaids lining up to get icecream. It was impressive. I was impressed. There is something fundamentally right about bridesmaids eating icecream. It is written into the order of the universe, it is just, it is the way, it is ordained. I observed as much to the Baron as we walked on and she pointed out that the Bridesmaids may just have been waiting while the grooms got icecream. I sincerely hope this is not the case; what is the point of a universe in which bridesmaids do not eat icecream sometimes? (Though personally, I think bridesmaids should eat icecream all the time.)

End point - .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Delightful dunny deities

Voltaire, in a passage of his Philosophical Dictionary devoted to changing conceptions of deity, alludes to a number of real or alleged Roman deities of a less exalted status:

La déesse des tétons, dea Rumilia ; la déesse de l’action du mariage, dea Pertunda ; le dieu de la chaise percée, deus Stercutius ; le dieu Pet, deus Crepitus, ne sont pas assurément bien vénérables. . . Il est sûr que deus Crepitus, le dieu Pet, ne donnait pas la même idée que deus divum et hominum sator, la source des dieux et des hommes.
"The goddess of breasts,
dea Rumilia; the goddess of the marital act, dea Pertunda; the god of the toilet, deus Stercutius; the god Fart, deus Crepitus, were surely not quite objects of reverence. . . It is certain that deus Crepitus, the god Fart, did not give the same sort of idea as deus divum et hominum sator, the creator of gods and men."
— "Polytheism", entry in the
Philosophical Dictionary of Voltaire.
Send thy thunder,
Great Pertunda,
In rolling waves about the land:
It shall defy
Great Zeus on high
Who doth with thunderbolts enforce his dread command.

At thy grumble
All are humble,
To thee both Prince and Pauper squat;
The strong are weak,
The brave are meek,
All duly sacrifice unto thy hallowed pot.

Mighty closet
Of deposit,
We pray thou holdst our piss fart shite
Snot spit and chunder,
Great Pertunda –
Accept these offerings we tend to thee tonight.

Dedicated to - who else? - that chap Diogenes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Having disposed of my paper towels and my thoughts in the toilet where I found them

The sign in the toilets read, "please dispose of your paper thoughtfully."

Thoughtfully, I thought. But what am I supposed to be thinking of? What if in the very act of being thoughtful, and maybe even of thinking about being thoughtful, I would distract myself from the other important task of disposing paper towels that I had just used to wipe my hands? Are there other toilets around Melbourne that ask you to dispose of your paper brusquely, judiciously, hastily, grumpily, ponderously, sleepily, thankfully, jauntily, merrily, gloomily, or expeditiously? As I stooped over the bin and placed the paper towel in, I thought of myself wiping my hands and furrowing my brow in concentration, and formulating great philosophical theorems while doing so. (Though in fact I was merely thinking about being thoughtful). Or did they just want me to have some idle passing notion, a cheap used ponderance that anybody could have? Just exactly how thoughtful did they want me to be?

And so, having disposed of my paper towels and my thoughts in the toilet where I found them, I wandered off into the world to let the rest of the day have its way with me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Talking literally, laterally

This is an intelligent poem: it regularly tops all the exams, and often appears on chat shows with other sonnets and ballads, talking about highly complex subjects that you do not understand.

This is a lively sentence: it ran from St Kilda to the city this morning, and plans on going to the gym this afternoon.

This is a full stop: it doesn't want to go on.

This is gluten, free: it escaped from the gluten prison last night and is hiding out with its other gluten buddies planning another bank heist.

This meal is vegan friendly: it says 'hi' to vegans when they walk by, and gets into chats with them about movies.

This is a full stop: it just wants to end it all.

This is a one-track mind: council plans on putting in the second track next February.

This is an erotic chapter: but maybe it should start by asking you out.

This is a full stop: it ate too much muffin before lunch.

This is a late train: it's late. Almost midnight.

This is an early train: it's late too.

This is conscious chocolate: it is alert and aware of its existence in this world, and is fully cognisant of the fact that you are about to put it in your mouth, thus ending its brief life.

This is a full stop: this is a full stop.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The old sock theory of television presenting

David Attenborough is a figure of such beaming benevolence that I believe he could talk at a funeral and leave everyone feeling happy and serene. Indeed, that is what he has been doing for most of his working life - providing a sunny and cheerful voiceover to documentaries wherein owls swoop down on mice, wolves hunt down bunnies, and lions commit various reprehensible acts on various smaller species of wildlife. Just imagine that familiar Attenborough voice, commenting, "A lion disembowelling a leopard." I can hear it as cheerful, matter of fact, perky, or instructional - but I just can't imagine Attenborough actually sounding horrified.

Maybe it's because I've grown up with Attenborough, somewhere, in the background, that he seems so nice and cosy, like a pair of old socks. (Okay, maybe less wooly, and with better elocution skills, and slightly more malarial than your usual pair of old socks.) But you have to wonder whether Attenborough's not also partially responsible for the dolphin-whalesong-flowers-and-loveliness generation.

Aside from funerals and charnel scenes of nature being red in tooth and claw, Attenborough can also narrate the most frightful bollocks and still seem all lovely and cosy. I heard him commit the following line on air just the other day:

Until such time, the question of whether it is too late to save the ocean will hang in the balance.
My first thought on this - well, my first thought was "aw, it's David Attenborough, he's like a lovely pair of old socks!" - but my second thought was, "huh? How can a question hang in the balance?" The line was from a scripted documentary - but I'm still not really sure what it means.

It's disturbing to think this lovely old fellow could have been going about all his life reciting lines like this, and making people feel all warm and lovely about the most absurd nonsense.

On the other hand, who else could narrate nature documentaries like him? Terry Wogan? I suppose Kenneth Branagh, who's played a number of Shakespearean tragic heros, and Frankenstein's monster, could really add that touch of gore and terror to nature documentaries. But really, the very thought is unthinkable. Nature documentaries without David Attenbourough? That's like imagining the Bishop of Canterbury without his beard. Or a cosy pair of old socks without, er, the old socks.

Hey look, there he is again! Awwwwwwwwwwwww.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Roof pants

If you just happened to catch the Epping line into Melbourne's north, and you just happened to get off at Lalor, and you just happened to come to our house, and you just happened to look up, you might just happen to see a pair of pants on the roof.

And if you just happened to see that pair of pants on the roof, and just happened to ask, 'why is there a pair of pants on the roof', well, then, I would not be in the least bit surprised.

Why are there a pair of pants on the roof? Well maybe we thought the roof was naked and it needed a pair of pants. Maybe its legs were getting cold. Of course you might go on to wonder whose pair of pants those are originally, but they're mine actually. And you might continue to speculate, if the roof is wearing my pair of pants, then what am I doing? But we're not talking about me, and besides, I think this chimney suits me very well indeed. Hey, maybe I thought Santa could do with an extra pair of pants, and since he's going to land his reindeer on the roof that's where he's going to get the extra pair of pants from. Pants, on the roof. Could there be anything in the world that requires less explanation? I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. And also, why don't you stop asking these questions and go and put a pair of pants on your roof, hmm? Hmm? Don't you do anything like this, like keep a haystack on your teapot, or a telephone in you pelmet or a Gutenberg bible in your orange peels?

AndactuallytherewasaholeinthetilesontheroofandourcatHarrietgotintotheroofandstayedtherealldayandwedecidedtoblockitupbecausewedidnt wanthergoingintherebecauseitmightbedangeroussoIputmypantsintheholeinthetilesontherooftTheEnd.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Chocolate! Everyone loves chocolate!

By clicking on a link found in a search on a wikipedia page that I'd opened for some reason or other for some person or other, I landed upon this rather interesting entry:

Wazoo (candy)
Wazoo (often known as the Wazoo bar) is a candy bar manufactured by Topps incorporated.... The name "Wazoo" was under debate because of the Australian slang word of anus. But the title was considered appropriate since it would only be sold in the U.S.

Well, since Frank Zappa released an album called 'The Grand Wazoo' I had rather assumed that the slang term was American in origin, but whatever.

It made me think of that other chocolate bar. What was it called... pofflewoffle... pollywofter... that's right...

Polly Waffle
Polly Waffle was a 50 gram Australian chocolate bar that was manufactured in Australia by Nestlé. It was a waffle wafer tube filled with marshmallow and coated in compound chocolate.

Now a quick search of Urban Dictionary will tell you that this is not the only use for this elegant, multi-faceted term.

Chocolate! Isn't it amazing what comparisons it brings to mind? I can think of a few other brands with similarly evocative terms that, with a little tweaking, could refer to something quite different...

Violet Grumble

Snickers spatters thighs!

You're welcome.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Department of redefinitions

Retail therapy - a form of veterinary surgery in which the tails of animals are sewn back on, after them having fallen off, with disastrous effects on the animals' health.

Polyunsaturated poetry

Great afternoon at the Dan yesterday listening to a poetry group calling themselves 'Poly Poetry' - which is to say, 'poetry of many possibilities'.

As for myself, I practice 'Polly Poetry'. Named after Polly the proverbial parrot: it's a weak imitation of the type of poetry that has been written at other times, by other poets, who are better, smarter, and older than me.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

News on the booze and the screws

I was watching ABC News 24 the other day. (Well, I don't watch the television, as I told you, but let's just say it happened to be on and I happened to be near it when it happened to be on.) They were talking to federal Labor pollie Richard Marles, who's from around Geelong. Marles was banging on about the usual stuff the pollies do in the usual manner they do - not typically an incitement for listening - outside of the ALP National conference, one of those love-fests were all the Labor pollies get together and bang their collective heads together as an exercise in policy development, or something.

Anyway, Marles started talking about the importance of getting people into work. And all of a sudden, there were people in high-visibility work vests on the telly, doing things which looked very much like work. Then Marles went on to talk about the importance of an economic surplus, and how it was really important to have a strong economy. Lo and behold, images on the television appeared of a board in the stockmarkets, and people in the stockmarkets going back and forth doing important things which looked like they had something to do with money. (Then again they might have just been talking about their lunch, or just hanging out at a stockmarket party, or something, who knows.) Soon enough the subject turned to gay marriage, and - surprise - all this footage of men kissing men, and women joining hands with other women appeared on the television, almost as if they were getting married just as Marles spoke about them. After that the conversation turned to that favourite subject, 'global economic turmoil' (whatever that is - sounds to me like a kind of washing machine). What do you know, quick as a flash the ABC pointy heads displayed images of a big building with a gigantic Euro sign out the front of it, and then cut to another image of a big building with European-looking people walking outside of it (you could tell they were European-looking people because they looked just like other people).

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it struck me as being all a bit strange. Doesn't the ABC like the idea of a politician standing in a room and talking about stuff? Do they feel the need to embellish every topic with standard stock images that they could have been running in news stories for decades? How much more literal could they have been? If Marles started talking about politicians 'sifting through the issues', would the ABC have run the image of flour running through a colander? If they could have found an image to illustrate the concept of 'conscience' they would certainly have gone with it, because the 'conscience vote' issue came up again and again.

Admittedly I'm biased. But really I think the ABC could have settled with this image of the whole conference:

Someone's got a screw loose? Or are we all going to be screwed? Either way it sums up affairs nicely.

Pounces and ounds

My head has been swimming lately with ounces and pounds and grams and baking powder and soda and hops and pounces and ounds. I have been confounded by questions about how many volumetric US kilograms are in a measured imperial thimbleful of beaten eggs, confuddled with abstruse questions such as how many dessert spoons are equal to a half of a third of four times of seven eighth of a pinch of a volumetric tonne of active years, and positively befounded with the problem of what to do with a bunch of egg whites once you have used the yolks if no-one wants meringues and you are sick of pavlova.

I have, in short, been cooking and brewing, planning further brewing and cooking, and preparing for the further excesses of Christmas. Or at any rate I have been doing a great deal of thinking about it and planning for it, which is almost as much trouble, and possibly even more angst-ridden. (What if it doesn't work? What if it explodes? What if nobody wants it? What if I'm leaving it too late?) It's that last one that's really starting to get me...

The other day, in preparation for the gourmet excesses that were to come, I went forth into the city on the grand and important task of collecting vegetarian suet. Vegetarian suet doesn't exist, of course - suet is a fat they collect from around the hearts of animals - so as you can imagine my investigation was made somewhat difficult. Eventually I found a store in the centre of town which stocked something called 'suet', and vegan to boot, which is to say it was probably made out of plastic. coincidentally, almost everything else in that store seemed to be made out of plastic as well, including the plastic wrapping on the buns, the plastic chocolates, and the life-save plastic monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, sitting in a homely manner in the chair on the opposite side of the store, kindly surveying my purchase of said plastic suet.

Will it work? Will the pudding explode? Who knows, but I'm certainly looking forward to giving it a red hot go tomorrow, with extra lashings of anxiety and brandy to boot.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Hobbitat - that place wot a hobbit lives in. (Not, as was previously speculated by certain now-discredited theorists, a mere hole in the ground.)
Email: timhtrain - at -

eXTReMe Tracker

Blog Archive