Sunday, October 30, 2005

Anglia Nights Part 2.

And as young teenagers we depended on these unreliable chariots to trundle safely around town. Those of us who walked to the trendy pubs ran the risk of unwelcome encounters with the local *chavs on the way.

These street hanging scruffs took exception to the decade's dandified style we observed: the feather cut mulletty hair-doos, the frilly shirts so tight,(this was the era of the pleat and double dart after all) we were made to look like ornate pipe cleaners, and trousers, with waistbands so high we could have been mistaken for Spanish waiters, the trouser bottoms, flared so expansively, once only circus clowns would have got away with them.

Making an effort made us into fair game. Even our average height, artificially enhanced by our posh shoes with heels that made us look like towering stilt walkers, didn't help. Tottering on heels of such elevation we all believed we were six inches taller than our dads. But the roughs were never conned.

Looking cute and whiffing of Brut, or Old Spice nicked from our dwarfy, flat-soled fathers, and dragging on miniature Number 10 weeds, weedily, we would pile into these old motors and seek out the towns entertainments. And hope that the driver cherished his license enough to avoid drinking too much alcohol, or that we wouldn't break down on the way home.

* Chav. I love this definition by Michael Quinion. And I rather like the words 'skanger' and 'scuffhead' as well.

PS. The golden statue that used to appear on Anglia Television is an Anglia Knight. I felt the need to share that because I gave myself a world class migraine attack trying to think of a title to that last post.

Anglia Nights

Seeing the photograph in the papers of that clapped out 1960s Ford Anglia 105E which may or may not have been the now missing Harry Potter car, has taken me back to my youth again. Even though this was the seventies - the decade that was more bile than style - these cars even then seemed pretty naff. That is unless you were able to step out in one of those cool cat Super Anglia 123Es - which packed a monstrous (wait for it) 1200 engine and was actually used, without irony, in rallies and motorcross. These could look quite sporty if there were numbers and extra lights fitted.

But the 105E, nah, you wouldn't want to go on the pull with one of those. The only pulling you were likely to be involved with would be on the other end of a tow rope; or with clumps of your own hair when once again, you found yourself slumped on the kerbside waiting for dad or uncle or mate to turn up to rescue you yet again from your broken car and shattered dreams.

To be fair this was the 1970s and I suppose these ugly, stunted Studebaker wannabees, these runts from the American streamline design with their sadly self conscious tailfins - how typical that the stylishness from across the pond was nodded to and then minimised to a mere suggestion - were getting old by then. And we were able to pick them up, if not the girls, quite cheaply.

And for a while they, these Anglias, were our mode of transport. Everyone I knew seemed to have one. Minis were more expensive for some reason. Hillman Imps lived up to their name and hardly ever started, their posh doppleganger the Singer Chamois: nicer seats, tidier trim, little bit plusher, was its engine stinker-equal, capable of starting but only running on the understanding that it could blow at least one gasket every five miles. A pact had to be made that all journeys had to end with the engine reduced to a watery-oil-mess; and your hands, trousers, shirt sleeves and wallet, ruined. I daren't start on the Triumph Herald. My first car a sublime looking convertible was so unstable through stealth rust, only the paint- work kept it whole. Thoughts of it make me shudder almost as much as it used to.

The Ford Anglia. For a while, probably between 1972 and 1974, for those with little money, they were probably the best of a bad crop.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fry's English Delight

Stephen Fry is one of my favourite famous people. I've just edited out the word hero as this seems slightly too grandiose a term. defines the word hero as: '...a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favoured by the gods. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.' And in the light of that, despite the fact that I revere this man as a god, try not to miss anything he says or writes or does (though a glance through his oeuvre on the IMDB is surprising and illuminating, and I've much catching up to do it seems) perhaps 'favourite famous person(s)' describes it best.

But then again, to hell with it, Stephen Fry is my hero. And he wouldn't mind me using that term. Not because he would rejoice in being deified - he'd probably fold his arms and chuckle modestly whilst leaning his neck forward as if to hide his facial ensemble of bendy nose and tombstone teeth, and tuck it all into a recently acquired quadrupled chin. He'd be happy for me to use that term because that's how I feel, and language as he so eloquently described on Tonight With Jonathan Ross, should be about the articulation of feelings rather than something overly prescriptive and obsessed with the rules of usage.

I wish I had a transcript of his 'seat of his pants' monologue that he rattled off to JR - who listened, as I did, open-mouthed and in awe of this funny, charming, gangly, insecure, polymath - why the English language is so rich and varied and how we should, as he has, learn to except it in all its varieties and rejoice in its shaping and development as a living, growing entity. It was good stuff.

But then again, Stephen Fry reading from the telephone directory would be entertaining. And I would happily go to bed with a to-do list as my night time reading if it had been written or recorded by him. Though this may not be necessary as his new book: The Ode Less Travelled, which has just been published, will be on my shopping list. The book is subtitled: 'Unlocking the Poet Within', which, he says provides a kind of everyman's guide to the mechanics of poetry which is "a primal impulse within us all of us." And going by what he was saying, if we could all read it and write it and relax more about language, we'd be happier. Though he didn't actually say that, and I'm glad because he'd have been straying too much into Alain de Botton,(another hero) territory if he had. But I think that's what he was getting at.

Interestingly (to me anyway) defines a 'heroine' as, amongst other things: 'A woman noted for special achievement in a particular field.' Which is a bit more closely related to my insistent use of the word 'hero' to describe someone I respect because I'm hugely impressed with them even though words like valour and courageous wouldn't feature.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

There's No-one In, Bugger Off!

It's with an audible groan that I'm beginning to realise that soon, the most awful kiddie celebration will be upon us. I absolutely hate Hallowe'en, the only celebratory date where everyone is expected to take an interactive role whether they like it or not. It was with this somewhat curmudgeonly frame of mind that three years ago, almost to the day - though obviously having just experienced it, I wrote this down...
November 1st 2002 (roughly)

"At any time in the last few months anyone with any awareness of my uneven working patterns combined with a knowledge of my peripatetic life would have concluded that the likelihood of my being in the house at six thirty on the evening of 31 October would have been remote to say the least.

Six thirty, I should explain seems to be the most active time period around here for youngsters celebrating Hallowe'en, or, as it should be renamed: 'that great annual fun and mischief-fuelled front door extortion racket'. Clusters of fresh-faced, theatrically uglified, pocket-sized ghouls ghosties and goblins gathered to celebrate in the only way they know how. Seemingly at six thirty precisely, troupes of whipped up, highly excited children proceeded to hoot and whoop their intrusive way to every front door, entrance, and window in the neighborhood: A granny's-chest ransacking of jaggy black gowns, remodeled hats and garish sequins.

This year, forces of randomness, happenstance, coincidence and bad luck conspired and compelled me to be in the house at that precise time. And I was going to have to endure.

Looking like stunted escapees from a cheesy fairground ghost-train or house of horrors, the little tyrants with their luminous skeleton and boggle eyed masks (from out of which peeped angelic though greedy eyes) shrieked, cackled, zombied and annoyed their way into the peaceful lives of everyone else. And then demanded money from anyone foolish enough to open an impatiently knocked door in an effort to show a good-natured, if pained interest. The justification behind the payment for their fun,( the film ET has much to answer for) the morally dubious convention of "trick or treat." The rules are simple, you either pay or you suffer the consequences. The price of not paying results in a messy car, window, house, or face hit involving a modern witches brew of eggs, shaving foam and crazy string.

Funny? Well it seems there can be no sympathy for a skinflint. Likely victims either hand out the dosh or run the risk of the tightwad and suffer a rude and unwelcome ' trick.' I paid. With handfuls of pocket wrecking and these days virtually useless coppers placed aside for the purpose. A strategy that seemed to work - the satisfying tinkle-rattle of fistfuls of coinage crashing together in jars, hats and other receptacles was sufficient to keep these mini, demonised entrepreneurs on side. But I still wish I'd been out."

And I'll make sure I am this year. Little shits.

NB. Hmm that was an easy blog to do. I'm turning into a lazy as well as miserable git.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Album Tracked

The Internet is indeed a wonderful thing. For years I have been trying to remember the name of the first album I ever bought as an impoverished school boy on child labour newspaper round wages: 17/6d a week, whatever that translates to in 'new' money. All I could remember was that it was by 'Tyrannosaurus Rex', as opposed to 'T.Rex', an important distinction as this was pre-fame days before Marc Bolan paired up with bongo playing Micky Finn, and that it had a picture of a fly on the label and was squared by bright colours on the sleeve.

For years I've been asking 'knowledgeable' friends and work colleagues what the name of the album, or LP as we used to call them was, offering them this basic description, so that I could answer the question: "What's the name of the first album you ever bought?" Just in case I was ever asked. No one ever knew so it's just as well I've never been asked.

The Electric Warrior would be suggested, (too late and too famously T Rex.) The Slider? (No No No I have that one still, with the blurred photograph taken by Ringo Starr of Bolan wearing a strange hat which barely contained his wild ringlets. "What about Prophets, Seers and Sages, The Angels of the Ages?"
Does that one have the squared colours?
No. A black and white photograph of Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took; Steve Peregrin Took: demon of the bongos, African drums, kazoo, pixiephone and Chinese gong.
Well it's not that one is it? Duh!

Hmm. And so life went on, me never knowing the elusive name of that album. But I've never until now tried an Internet search. Today I did, prompted by Mike at Troubled Diva who recently asked his huge body of readers to remember the first single they ever bought. Mine was Malt and Barley Blues by McGuinness Flint and I'm going to race over to his site as soon as I've finished here to tell him so and let him know what a wonderful memory I have.

Actually I have a terrible memory and a poor grasp of the facts in this case as they say in law circles. The album is - as can be clearly seen - by the diminutive 'T Rex' name as opposed to the full versioned 'Tyrannosaurus Rex' which means that they, Bolan and percussionist Micky Finn were both together and on the up and up on this one, and that Steve Peregrin Took, of Tyrannosaurus Rex, demon of the bongos, African drums, kazoo, pixiephone and Chinese gong was, for whatever reason, consigned to the pop history books as a nearly man.

Anyway at least I know now.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oo-er, It's The Talkies All Over Again

Recently, a well known blogger, (to bloggers anyway), was interviewed on the radio. His blog is brutally funny and crackles with amusing vulgarisms, original jokes, and hilarious, well told stories.

I twiddled the volume control up a notch as the guest blogger was about to be introduced, and nodded in recognition once his identity was made known. This will be interesting I thought. This guy will become a star right here, right now. His audience for his blog is immense, and it's about to go stratospheric. In fact, it hardly matters because he'll probably get radio work. Nicholas Parsons will demand his presence on 'Just A Minute', Humphrey Littleton will refuse to do any more recordings of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' without him. He'll be a shoo-in on the 'News Quiz.' And then there'll be the telly, and then, and then..

It made difficult listening. I'm sad to report that Monsieur sounded decidedly nerd like, hesitant, dull. I could not believe it was the same guy whose writing makes me laugh out loud. And my disappointment was complete when he wrote on his blog, post interview, that sadly he had neglected to utter any coded profanities and private mockery with which to leave the interviewer, fellow guests and other non-blogger cognoscenti, confused butts of the joke.

It was never going to happen. The impression left was that the non-internet savvy interviewer and guests were normal, balanced people; with the top blogger reduced to oddball status.

This frightened the Hell out of me, and started me thinking that - if he's, HE's a dull nerd, what does that make the rest of us? But then I remembered something. I remembered how disappointed I was when I first heard Tony Parsons speak following years of reading those gun-slinger, punk pieces in the New Musical Express in the 70s. And then later those elegant, 'cultural observations from the sideline' type articles in the Daily Telegraph. What did we get when he first appeared on the TV? An impish, glottal-stopper cockney sparra. A costermonger's scamp of a twitchy-talker. One of Fagin's little tea-leafers talkin' 'bout cultrul stuff.

And that was nothing compared with when I first heard his erstwhile wife Julie Burchill talk. Her journalism, despite her weird politics, her parental quirks, (which render her worst mother of the year every year), her confused sexuality and obsession with not being obsessed with her body (apart from her multiple orgasms), is superb. Acidly brutal, clever, and delightfully entertaining. And I could happily go on with the rest of the alphabet, I rate her that highly.

But when JB does a turn on the TV, it all just disappears. I'm looking for the she-devil of the acid tongue, the scourge of the older lads: Nick Hornby, Toby Young, Tony Parsons, Jeremy Clarkson, A A Gill, Tony Parsons, John Peel (RIP),Tony Parsons and many many more. (Did I mention Tony Parsons..? I think I did.) These are all regarded by Jules as middle-aged, balding, lad-men in need of rude, and sometimes crude, abuse.

But when she talks, she can't do it. What she does do is act the role of the fat, shy girl with an embarrassed, helium high, giggle-girlie, voice and say really quite dull things. The talker doesn't always fit the image of the writer.

And I shall continue reading this really good blog.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Royal Flush

I live in fear of being tagged with one of those " Tell the world twenty interesting things about yourself" tags. I cannot begin to think of two things let alone twenty things about me that would interest anyone: messy divorces, speeding tickets and embarrassing moments I can do, but nothing charmingly surprising like: I was once considered good enough at ballet to be short-listed for selection by Agrippina Vaganovathe to join the Mariinsky Theatre. Or, I am fluent in three of the Malay dialects. Or, I am tenuously blood related to, oh I don't know, a film star or sporting celeb. Can't do those.

Fear does concentrate the mind wonderfully though, and gallivanting through my life's history, obsessions,and quirks, a few ideas have come to me. One would be when I was introduced to HRH the Princess Royal. This was quite memorable for me, as - well it's not every day that you meet a major royal personage. It probably made less of an impression on the young Princess Anne (as she then was) as I was just a boy soldier dressed from head to foot in a (N)uclear (B)iological and (C)hemical warfare suit and respirator. I was effectively in disguise. I was an anonymous example of: "what the soldiers are wearing today your Highness." My star struck face, incidental; unimportant, completely distorted and completely out of sight.

The wearing of these face things is a dispirting experience. It feels like there's a giant rubber sink plunger attached to your face which can, if you don't make a monumental effort to compose yourself, make you feel as if you are suffocating. Big gulps of sweet air to fill your starved lungs of airy nectar are just not on the agenda. Staccato, shallow breaths - a little, often - no gorging - are all that's on offer. If you try for more you'll want to drag the rubber fiend from your face and gasp in huge drafts of air like a nearly drowned man finally breaking the water's surface. And if you do this, (so the thinking goes), you will suffer or die, or die suffering. But you wouldn't really want to be wearing one of these when being introduced to royalty. Not if you had a choice.

A by-product of the wearing experience is that they steam up inside. This leads to impeded vision. The glass eye windows start to resemble the inside of car windows cavorting couples end up with after damp-evening smolderings of in-car hanky-panky. Looking out of these... glass-eyes, things take on a misty look. Figures, vague and hazy. The Princess, no more than about 28 years old, dressed in white looked to me like a ghost floating in front of my face. Her hand was offered and her lips moved, mistily, revealing those famous white, toothy teeth. "I'm sure you're very hot in there," she suggested. "I am," I squeak-blurted. And that was it. Not a moment to cherish necessarily, but a moment, nonetheless.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Bit of Fry and Rory

At last I'm back, more or less where I started. Blogroll, duly dusted and mustered. Couple of ring links. And a bad case of mouse handler's cramp. I'm too tired now to do my piece on an episode of QI I watched recently. The one where Rory MacGrath acts as a kind of knowledgeable loose cannon and threatened to out smart Stephen Fry with a surprisingly well stocked mind and unexpected erudition. The one where he very nearly ruined the episode's balance, as the programme pretty much relies on polymath Fry to be about a million times smarter than Alan Davies, who's just a cuddly lisper, and much more knowlegable than all the other guests - including Rory - who are expected to fight over the odd crumbs of wisdom that Fry might forget to mention. It is then that Fry normally adopts a kind of oracle-like sage-wiseman persona who might or might not chuckle at the other guests strained for quips and incoherent snippets of knowledge.

Not with Rory though. He was there with a brainful of Latin bird names together with their habitats, habits and habiliments. Quotes about queens, quoits and quislings. He seemed to know everything. His Atomics had nothing to do with Roosters, Kittens or Blondies, his were all about numbers. Neither they, nor I, had a clue what scholarliness he spouted. He was clearly grandstanding, which frustrated Fry - this is his territory after all - and forced Sean Lock to act like a naughty school boy and attempt to belittle Rory as 'the class swot'. Alan Davies seemed to metaphorically curl up into a ball, dormouse style, and show the TV world a facial expression that seemed to suggest he was looking forward to the next, Rory-less show.

As I said, I'm a bit too tired to do it. Some other time perhaps.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Cast of Spellers

I watched an episode of Starspell. I haven't watched any other since. The contest was between pencil-thin and practically boobless lady-toff, Fiona Bruce, pulchritudinous, smarty knickers, Vanessa Feltz, overly opinionated ex footballer Mark Lawrenson, and stroppy show-off-chef Brian Wilson.

I was convinced that this would result in a straightforward head to head between the two bright ladies, with the two bone-headed blokes roasted, nutmegged, and kicked into touch pretty darn quick. Not quite so,though.

First up Fiona Bruce. Equipped herself well but the years of auto-cue cribs seemed to have blunted her ability to visualise the word configurations. One wrong.

Mark Lawrenson was next up. Ex footballer. A lot of footballers do short spells in cells during their careers, but these were going to be long spells in hell for the ex moustachioed one. 'Moustache,' was the first word up. "Ah! very fonny!" stuttered Mark still looking alarmingly bare-faced having dispatched his infamous 1970s trademark just a few years ago following years of painful mockery. Mark's percipient observation pointed up a theme that I'd missed until then. All the words used in the early part of the competition were words associated, however tenuously, with their 'celebrity fame.'

This was bad news for Vanessa who, having recently presented a programme on cosmetic surgery, was confronted with quite a few difficult scientific terms. It was however good for Brian Wilson, who eased his way to the three way play-off spelling words he must have read and written down into his recipes and menus millions of times. Vanessa, though showing surprising nerves, also somehow gasped her way to a full house. Vanessa's like Stephen Fry in these celebrity quizzes, everyone expects them to do well, and they usually do.

It didn't help Fiona, her ego became as deflated as her chest after she cocked-up on the number of 'o's in Ten O'clock News. First off. Fi could be heard muttering " And it's goodnight from me ... and please, please don't ever have spelling nightmares like mine." And all without the use of auto-cue.

Brian's up again and doing well. Hardly gets any wrong, though all those speed blurs you see from his hands and lips whilst cooking on Ready Steady Cook don't translate well into this arena - he's too slow and is losing points despite good effortful spelling.

Vanessa's up and her nerves are now into frazzled territory. Her fingers are recruited in the letter counting phase, her eyes wild and glassy. I found myself hoping there was no chalk and blackboard nearby as I'd seen that look before and the results were not pretty.

Mark's up and reverts to type and blows it. *Walks off shaking his head*

The final is between Vanessa and Brian. I find myself rooting for Vanessa, though she's looking scary by now, huge bosom, heaving like a hopeful 1930s movie star on a casting couch, head twitchy, eyes wide, frightened and scanning; Vanessa has written about spelling standards in her newspaper column and the pressure is definitely getting to her. Lots of frightened girlie looks to camera. Brian looks cock-sure. He looks less so when he realises that the cooking theme is no more and the words are now brutally random.

Vanessa sears into the lead with an eleven 'letterer' and an impressive correct spelling of haemorrhage. Brian will not play hard ball and goes for shorter and simpler, but muffs it all the same. Vanessa wins through. Strangely compelling. Note to self: 'Must watch more early evening crappy telly.'

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Black for Good

This is it then. This will be the new look. I rather like it and there are a few good blogs out there that I've always thought look spiffing in black, as well as being well written. I maybe tip-toeing around very exalted company.

I was never that keen on the red and grey, I was hesitant about sticking links in the text that seemed to disrupt the tidiness of the lines, see here in this otherwise excellent blog. And as for my second choice, it just looked washed out, unlike Geoff's observations. A quick switch to this one, again this is a fine blog, but the template is flawed. Words and details that should appear in the sidebar deteriorate on reloads and have to be wiped back with a hovering mouse. This puts me in mind of those children's paint books from the sixties which allowed you to transform a faint image outline into a radiantly coloured masterpiece by applying a watery brush to it. But without the pleasure.

So I went for black. And providing I don't tinker where I oughtn't I'm black for good.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Back to Zero

Just as well I'm not a stat counter(er). My technical difficulties have forced me to change template and (with the notable exception of the posts) the history of this site has been wiped in a trice. The joys of blogging eh?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Russians are Coming.

Revisiting, perhaps for the last time, my hols in Tunisia, I feel the need for one more purgative. One more observation. One more - there's a risk of adamantine strength boredom setting in here - holiday reference. And it is: The Russians.

Remember the Germans? Fat bellied, all you can guzzle 'bier' swiggers, and their plump husbands. The whole monopoly thing with the toweled - claim-staked - sunbeds and the loud talk noise of the middle-agers, and the proud walk poise and sophistication of the blonde teens making young Brits look vulgar, badly dressed cretins - even if they didn't need much help.

The Germans and the Brits. How uneasily they shared their holiday space - consisting of a hotel, its communal areas of dance floors and restaurants, pools and snack-bars; two weeks of sneering and jeering. The quiet contempt and the whispered accusations, the kälte and the schadenfreud. Old hatreds resurrected in a bad blooded memory of enmity, an intolerant brew of wars, manners and football.

Loading hotels with human cargoes - equally weighted - of two nations' holiday makers, could be viewed as some kind of crazy social experiment. Nerdy chaps with clipboards and pen infested pockets lurking behind every one of those horrible cat infested rubbish skips you have to walk past on your way to the beach, or embedding themselves into every hotel bar, or pretend-dozing on every beach.

If it were such a thing, it would appear they have collected enough data. The Germans seem to have been reallocated. I saw very few of them last year in Spain and none at all in Crete the year before. The findings and reports must have been written up. Perhaps the evidence was conclusive - the Brits and the Germans make poor holiday bedfellows.

Now, it seems, it's the turn of the Russians. Still blinking in the white light of democracy and stumbling their way towards a European style existence and with more choice and more money than they've ever had before, the Russians have abandoned the Black Sea resorts and are now sharing holiday space with us. Just as the Germans once did. I don't know where Herr und Frau Schmitt und ihre kinder go now, but it doesn't seem to be any of the old war-field hot-leisure spots, scenes of so many towel wars, queue jump battles, loud speaking contests and best table hogging. But I know where the assorted Mr and Mrs Rokossouskys, Malashenkos and Barabanschikovas and their hugely extended families are now going, and they're sat on a table, languishing on a sun bed, and chatting together like hyperactive Bond villains in Brit holiday world. With you.

Taxi drivers and pedlars of tawdry wares approach you with unsolicited 'privets' while you wander around, such is their expectation that you're more Muscovite than Marmite, more St Petersburg than Peterborough, the old 'eeeloow' now seems to take second billing. If you're a tourist, you're Russian - that's how it now is.

Most of the Russians I encountered this year - and I can only say it as I saw it - were greedy. They ate all the time .... and then they went for their meals. Buffet service and all-inclusive. Kids and sweetshops.
Each morning The Skis and Skas would present themselves and load their plates until they groaned under the weight of food plopped, slopped and ladled on to them.
Boxes, cartons,jugs and bowls laid out for a little dainty spooning onto plates and careful sloshing into bowls were dragged off wholesale to breakfast tables. Fruit was gathered up by the kilo and hefted back to the table nest. Whole loaves of bread, carried like brickee's mates carry breeze blocks: stacked one on top of the other, all transported in ant-line-mode causing traffic jams in every aisle.

Lunch was just a rumour as I wasn't involved in the midday meals - though tales of gigantuan quantities of burgers, chips and ice-cream, suggested that we were all witnessing gluttony on a grand scale. We all knew that this was only a prelude to the main meal affair, the real deal, the gorge-fest. This was a feeding-frenzy that made your average pirannah cluster look like good-natured models of sharing restraint; street dog yaps seem decorous in their road-table manners; lions, genteel morsel pickers.

In holiday world, the German's like their sunbeds and favourite tables, the Russians don't give a shit where they lie or sit as long as they have enough food in front of them to sink a small ship. But it's fun to watch, and God only knows what they make of us. Bunch of xenophobic moaners in all probability.

My Halo Has Slipped

Hmm. One shouldn't tweak where one has limited knowledge. In an effort to collapse Haloscan comments and reintroduce the Blogger comments box, I've ended up with no comments facility at all. When I have more time I will have to make a return journey to the drawing board and find out what on earth I've done and either return the Blogger comment codes that must have been removed, or go begging to Messrs Haloscan, beg forgiveness and, genuflecting, unctuosly ask: 'Please can I have my box back please.'

They'll probably consider me a Judas and suggest I go to Hell.

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