A Big Tidy Up

Hello fellow piglets (and those who identify as human)! I’m off work this week, and since we’re in lockdown I haven’t got a lot to do but play around in my garden and with the Internet. I might clean the flat at some point, but I don’t want to rush into anything drastic.

Anyway, to fill the time I’ve been organising my blog by creating proper categories for it, instead of listing almost everything under ‘blogging’ out of laziness. This means that I can find things here when I want to, and more importantly, so can you! All those brain-searing posts from the past you might have missed. Like when I found a penguin! Or spent days watching foxes play football and piss in a shoe. Not to mention loads of weirdy and short tales, dragged up from the days when I still wrote proper stories. (Note: I don’t understand the phrase ‘not to mention’, because it is always followed by mentioning). You can find them all with the squeak of a mouse, just to the right of the page there >>>>

Today I’m sharing with you the delightful journey of the Inspirational Quotes category. Including both Inspirobot wisdom (which, now I’m looking back, is quite harsh!) and my own take own motivation. Honestly, these snippets of insight might change your view of the world. Nay! Even your whole life!

Remain indoors

This Mitchell and Webb sketch Remain Indoors has been on my mind since all this coronavirus nightmare happened. Just in case you missed it, or fancied watching all the sketches in order…

Video from Mr Tobyck

I hope you’re all doing ok and time is passing for you in a healthy way. Stay safe, people!

It’s raining it’s pouring, Inkbiotic is boring

Andrew Android 2

Andrew Android Jones

Today has been a day of rain, paranoia and headaches (I don’t fair well when I’m stuck inside). So this just going to be a hodgepodge of happy pictures, funny things and interesting words.

19C jobs

Several words of the day

Blague – humbug; pretentious nonsense

Xanthippe – ill-tempered woman

Chasmophile – lover of nooks and crannies

Wappend – tired, incontinent, unchaste

Silverb’s The Icon of Hecate

The Trouble with Meeting Any Old Tom, Dick or Harry

This story is from one of my favourite bloggers, Colin McQueen and his site, Getting On. It made me chuckle!

via The Trouble with Meeting Any Old Tom, Dick or Harry

Note: this is just the first bit, cos the reblog didn’t provide an excerpt…

The Trouble with Meeting Any Old Tom, Dick or Harry

There is, apparently, an epidemic of loneliness amongst the middle-aged and elderly. Opportunities to meet other single people in an ‘organic’ manner are vastly reduced as we get older and for some people, many of whom may have been in a stable relationship for many years, the whole business of meeting new people can be a bridge too far. It is with some surprise, therefore, that I learn that Speed Dating, the most synthetic and pressurised mode of social intercourse that humankind has yet devised, has, for an increasing proportion of ageing singletons, become the preferred manner of meeting people and, perhaps, finding a partner. I tried to imagine how this might work…

Mary: …Are you alright?
Tom: Yes, it’s these chairs. What’s the point of the arm rests? It’s a bugger of a job to get into them without popping the front of your shirt out of your trousers – not ideal when you’re trying to make an impression; especially when you’ve not really had time to change your vest since last Sunday’s gravy incident – also, could put your hip out; twist too far trying to get your knees under these tables…
Mary: Right… well… I see. Yes. Well, I’m told that the best thing to do, because we’re obviously time-limited, is to get the personal details out of the way first, so, I’m Mary, I’m a retired teacher. I like walking on the beach in the early morning. I love music and books – clichéd I know, but true – and I’m allergic to cats. You?
Tom: I’m… ooh, excuse me. I had beans for lunch. Always do that to me, beans, still, better out than in eh?
Mary: Well… I suppose…
Tom: Tom. I spend my time in the pub mainly. Don’t have many friends, that’s why I’m here: thought that I might be able to get a bit of… well, you know, woman of the world and all that. Teacher. Don’t just learn about such things, if you catch my drift, eh…
Mary: Er… well, I don’t really… Oh, there’s the bell.
Tom: Bell?
Mary: Yes, the bell. Time to move on I think.
Tom: I didn’t hear a bell.
Mary: Really. I definitely heard the bell.
Tom: Nobody’s moving.
Mary: I am…


To read on>>>>

via The Trouble with Meeting Any Old Tom, Dick or Harry

Frieze! Or I’ll shoot!

A handy scarf hugging a tree

Alien Resort was asking about the picture I put up yesterday. It was one of the sculptures from the outdoor art Frieze at Regent’s Park (I turned the picture upside down because I liked the way it messed with perspective). Anyway, I thought I’d put up the other pictures from there, since it was an interesting exhibition.

Quite annoying though, despite cordons around most of the art and signs saying Please don’t touch, people were lifting their kids over the ropes and letting them climb all over the art. I like that the public feel less intimidated by art and rules now, but it seems like only the intimidation was stopping us from trashing everything.

Ivan Argote – Bridges (We Are Melting)

^ This is part of the sculpture that I used in yesterday’s photo, there were four of these bridge-like structures with words that didn’t make much sense on them.


Jaume Plensa – Laura Asia’s Dream

I thought this was beautiful, so peaceful ^

Tracey Emin – When I Sleep

^ I’m not usually keen on Tracey Emin’s art, but I thought this captured a feeling well. And I liked the way she was just lying on the grass, as if she’d collapsed there and didn’t want to get up.

Barry Flanigan – Composition

^ A rabbit, leaping through the air on the back of four elephants. This looked like the penultimate scene in a kid’s book.

Huma Bhabha – Receiver

Well, this disturbing hunk of chunk looked like it would step down and start thumping people. Just looked up the artist, and she’s great. May do a blog about some of her art soon, it’s the stuff of creepy dreams.

There were other sculptures too, which I’ll probably post up at some time. I hope you enjoyed these!



















Sunshine questions for everybody!


A wise man can learn more from a foolish question, than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

Bruce Lee

Land Manatee nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award and it’s always nice to have a bit of sunshine, so thank you Land Manatee! He writes highly entertaining blogs, so worth having a look if you fancy something to read.

I like the chance to answer and ask questions –  to an almost pathological degree – but I’m a bit wary of putting pressure on others, so I won’t nominate anyone else, I’ll just link to a few blogs I think are great. I’ll add some questions too, and anyone who feels like it can answer them.

That means YOU!

if you want…

My questions for you

  1. What recurring dream do you have? Do you know why?
  2. If you could choose any name for yourself, what would you choose?
  3. What’s the weirdest fact you know?
  4. What’s a secret about you that no one would ever guess?
  5. Do you prefer to stride or amble? Why?
  6. Name a small thing that made you smile today?
  7. What made you want to write or keep a blog?
  8. What was your best decision ever?
  9. What could have gone wrong today, but didn’t? It can be as serious or ridiculous as you want.
  10. For a week you can have any job you want and be good and successful at it, what do you choose?
  11. What’s the most inexplicable thing that’s ever happened to you?

Some of my favourite bloggers (although, certainly not all)

Darnell Cureton Fictionista – he’s always writing great stories and playing with ideas. His latest, about a psychic crime fighting squad, is great.

Boo Surviving this thing called life – a bitter sweet blog about losing the one you love and keeping hope

Colin McQueen Getting on – always funny, a master of the metaphor

Questions Land Manatee asked me to answer

What would your dream job be and why?

In the world of my head, my dream job would be something adventurous and dramatic, like plant hunting in the jungle or an investigative reporter uncovering corporate wrongdoing. In reality, I know I’d find those jobs stressful and exhausting and they’d give me no time to write or be with friends, so I’d end up hating them. Probably the best job for me is the one I do – gardening – it’s hard work, but rarely stressful (where I am now, anyway), gets me outside and the people are ace. It lets me spend hours daydreaming too, which is essential or I go strange.

How would you describe your perfect day?

In the jungle, photographing colourful birds, plants and insects.

What inspires or influences you as a writer or blogger?

Blogging – life. It’s filled with bizarre little details, funny people and odd mysteries.

Writing – the same as above, but with the chance to let my imagination do ridiculous things too.

If you decided to move to a new country or city, where would you want to live and why?

Iceland, maybe. I’m curious about the politics and people and I think the environment would be drastically different to what I’m used to, and I love that.

What famous person or celebrity at any point in history would you like to meet and what would you want to talk about or ask that person?

Someone who’s done something huge and terrible, Hitler, Pinochet or Pol Pot. I’d want to understand why they did what they did, if there is a specific course of events that shapes someone like that, and if there is any way to divert that course

In what fundamental way have you changed over the years?

I had a real life-changing event about fourteen years ago when I got brain damage and PTSD, and that changed everything in many ways. These days I’m a lot calmer, less confident, less manic, more aware of others than I was before the accident. I get on a lot better with people, but I worry a lot more if I don’t.

What do you like about your writing and what frustrates you?

When writing books, I like that my writing tends to be imaginative and unusual. However, my last book ended up kind of intense, and I really didn’t want that.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog or be a writer?

To start a blog – make sure you’re writing something that you’ll enjoy writing, so it isn’t a chore

Writing – get the ideas out, splurge; then be your own harsh editor. Create with abandon, select with care.

What is a pet peeve of yours?

In writing it’s stereotypes, when the writer hasn’t really thought about anyone beyond their own peers/gender/race and so bases all characters outside of that on characters they’ve read before.

What’s your favorite book, movie or TV show and why? (answer any of them you feel like)

Books – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because it’s joyous, funny and ridiculous, but still has some profound ideas to it.

TV – Community, because it’s joyous, funny and ridiculous, but still has some profound ideas to it. And it also has a diverse cast that avoids insulting stereotypes.

If you were to be sent back in time — at least more than 75 years ago — when and where would you want to be sent to and why? Would you be an observer or a participant?

I’d go a few billion years, I want to see early life. The first forests, the bizarre sea creatures, to discover the climate. I definitely shouldn’t be a participant, I’ve seen that Simpson’s episode.



Curmudgeon Avenue and an update


I’ve been a bit absent recently, I’ve been wildly busy dancing with aliens and building underground tunnels ready for when the Earth’s surface turns to fire. Today I have a fever, so I’m taking a break from all of that to introduce to any of you who don’t subscribe to Samantha Henthorn’s blog, a chapter from her just released book, because I thought it was great. I love its energy and strangeness. For some reason I couldn’t get it to reblog, so I’m just going to post an extract with a link. Go and have a look at the whole chapter, plus the new one that’s just  gone up, they’re ace! Or just buy the book, go on! Note: any incoherence in this post is due to the fever, and not due to incompetence, for once.

Curmudgeon Avenue Chapter 10: ‘Todger’ wanted

Things were really not going well in Edith and Edna’s search for a todger. I mean a lodger. Wantha and Toonan were the first of a long line of unsuitable potentials. First, there was the woman Edna was convinced she had seen on the reality eviction programme. Then there was the man Edith thought had a liking to one of the mug-shots of local ‘wanteds’ from the local paper. Then there was the family with all their belongings squashed into checked launderette bags. It took all of Edna’s posh-voice-strength to explain that the room was for single occupancy only. ‘For goodness sake! Please stop unpacking your chattels!’ She had screamed.
Of course, Ricky Ricketts heard on Wantha’s grapevine that his mother had a room up for rent. He appeared in the vestibule of number one, Curmudgeon Avenue on a day where the sky looked like porridge. Skies, of course, do not really look like porridge. Unless we are talking about the sky on one of Edna’s pieces of art, a painting that she painstakingly continued with when she heard Ricky Ricketts’ voice.
‘I need you to transfer two hundred quid into my account, otherwise, I’m gonna be overdrawn. I can’t tell them it’s my mum’s fault can I?’
‘Right… I’ve told you, stop looking over my shoulder when I’m on the internet banking Richard!’ Edith’s shaky little voice was observed by Edna upstairs. She would not come down, she hated her nephew and scolded her sister for being so soft with him. She carried on painting her picture of lumpy sky in cheap acrylic (white paint is most likely to run out first, and Edith had Edna on a strict budget because of the roof don’t forget). Yes the sky painting would not be finished until Ricky had left, exiting with the roof fund transferred into his current account. It was too cold for naked self portrait painting, unless she put the heating on. But that would mean more expense, and more risk of bumping in to her horrible nephew downstairs. Edna continued painting. She opened the skylight out wide to take in inspiration of the outside world of Curmudgeon Avenue, Whitefield on this miserable Saturday. She observed two cars passing each other on the road below. Sliding around like the sausages in a tin of beans and sausages, gliding and almost colliding slowly. Slowly enough for the drivers of each car to glance recognition at one another before speeding off in opposite directions…

Continue reading here

To buy, click here!

Samantha Henthorn copyright 2018.

Curmudgeon Avenue; The Harold and Edith Adventures’ will be released later this year.

Weekly Horrorscope

The most accurate horoscope I have encountered, from The Story Hive…



You woke up today, congrats.  One down, thousand fifty-two to go. You will fall asleep, and wake up in Paris – for a month. Don’t trust a word what the cats say. There is no truth in a cat’s answer.


Yep. That’s a grizzly. Nope, it’s not the Yeti. By the way, those berries you ate half an hour ago, those weren’t huckleberries. Yep. Pretty much.

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Brilliant Video: I’ve lived as a man & a woman

I don’t normally like TED talks, they often seem corporate and bland. But this one affected me for many reasons. It’s one woman’s experience of presenting as a man for many years and then transitioning. However there is a greater message about how little we know of the way other people experience the world. Let me know what you think, this is a huge topic.