Is it right to stand up to bullies?

When Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag alter ego of Austrian Tom Neuwirth, won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 it was a very clear two-fingered salute from the rest of Europe to Russia.

The harsh way that Russia has been applying their law to prevent “the promotion of homosexuality to minors” – effectively banning any public show of same-sex affection or tolerance – has caused outrage across the rest of Europe and the world. The situation in Ukraine has won them few friends to the west of that area either.

On the night of Eurovision it seemed that if their own country wasn’t going to win then almost everyone wanted Conchita to win. Her song was good by Eurovision standards, and well-delivered, so there was certainly every reason to champion her, but the strength of support inside the arena and out clearly showed that it was at least partly what she represented that was being supported.

Continue reading

Situation Vacant

Maid
A pile of filing on a table creaks.
A crumpled bag of washing reeks.
An unused Hoover round a corner peeks.
An unwashered tap in the bathroom leaks.

An abandoned sock on the floor’s alone.
An unironed heap has hidden the phone.
Unchecked moss on the decking has grown.
Oh won’t someone come help me clean this home?

One of the cats has just been sick,
So I’ll have to rush and mop it quick
Or I’ll find that the other has eaten it.
Oh. Too late. The little sh..kitty kit.

I don’t ask much, just a wipe or two
Over the smear of spilt Irish stew
That has now congealed and turned to glue
And gained a beautiful rainbow hue.
Continue reading

Cooking up a minefield

cookbook

Graham has decided that I should grade everything he cooks from 1-10 as he’s got a new cookbook and wants to know what’s best. This can only end in tears. Mine.

I tried saying 10 for everything and was told off. I proffered a 7 for the Thai beef noodle soup and now he isn’t talking to me.

Why not, asked Knot

Knot Telling

Why everyone should like my friend Knot Telling’s blog at tellingknots.com¬†and facebook page at facebook.com/tellingknots30.

 
Have you not liked Telling knots?
Asked Knot and if not,
Why not? Asked Knot.
For this site knocks the spots
Off other pages and blogs
Turns leopards into springboks,
Said Knot.

Didn’t you know, asked Knot,
That this site knocks the socks
Off cheer-leaders and jocks
Makes wannabe Hitchcocks
Push “snooze” on their clocks
Turns ordinary hacks into laughing-stocks,
Asked Knot.

Yes I do, replied Tim,
For the chances are slim
That it couldn’t charm cherubim
Fill a half-full glass to the brim
Mechanise kibbutzim
Captivate, fascinate, and infatuate homonyms.
All should like Telling Knots, replied Tim.

A smelly wait

perfume

Waiting for the bus and the woman standing next to me had really sweet, sickly perfume. “What smelly perfume,” I thought to myself.

Or rather, I thought I’d thought to myself. After a second I realised with horror that I’d said it out loud. And the bus was delayed.

That made for an interesting, awkward, resentment-filled wait…

The hidden costs of free services… Matron, take them away!

Kenneth Williams shocked
I have managed to create a new ring-tone and text-tone for my iPhone! You can hear the text-tone below if you wish. It would have been easier to buy one but, as people tend to, I like something for nothing.

 
Indeed I often expect it. I expect my social interaction on sites such as Facebook to be free, I expect sites such as Youtube to pander to my whim to hear childhood TV theme-tunes for free, and I expect large corporations such as Microsoft to provide my email for free. In the case of my bank I not only expect them to safeguard my money for free, but also to provide me with a free online service to manage that money and pay me interest for the privilege!

Continue reading

Early morning amusement

hot drink

 
One of the advantages of waking up early on a Sunday is that you get to see all the scurrilous and amusing drunken status updates from the night before, before people wake up and delete them.

Well poor show, people, I say this Sunday! Were you all just drinking ovaltine? Where’s the scandal? Where’re the embarrassing photos? Where are the indiscreet comments?

I’m expecting better next week, so go away and practice!

Cat-echism

Cat with church behind it

Early one Sunday Yasmin,
With the meows of the street-cleaner outside
Calling the faithful to morning,

I swept up to find the bed-covers woken down:
A church on my chest,
Its whiskers tickling my matins cold.

Protesting its breakfast call
For a chin of tuna or an earful of biscuits,
I prayed it would let me wake on just one more bowl.

But the tinny sermon of fishy pleas
Lightly drove me from my breath
And I rose down to find the day had taken me.

Bedded open, the curtains loudly showed
The netted calling of passers-by
Proceeding up for salvation below.

I laced the bowls with hope and donned my dream,
I buttoned my questions and my coat,
I shod my gloves and joined the stream.
 

In Jerusalem there is a street

A mural of Jerusalem
In Jerusalem there is a street
Where two points of the compass meet.
And though carnivals there dance aplenty,
And demonstration a modus vivendi,
It is a place of quiet retreat.

For at the end of the street is a cave,
Where lizards will never behave.
Though spiders send a soul yelling,
It’s there brave translator, Knot Telling,
Surfs the electromagnetic wave.
Continue reading