Wednesday, 26 July 2017


It’s not a takeaway when we do it, say middle class people
The middle classes have confirmed that they do not eat takeaways, even when buying food at an establishment and removing it to consume elsewhere.

Responding to concerns that the increase in fast food shops is fuelling an obesity epidemic, middle class people have explained that the Thai, Korean and street food outlets near them are different because they are fancier.

Museum curator Helen Archer said: “The news about these awful diets is so sad. I’m just glad it’s something that I’m able to avoid.

“I’m super busy so I’m always on Deliveroo – usually Szechuan, pan-Indian, or Five Guys – but it’s not really comparable, because when it arrives I put it on plates.

“It’s a simple matter of making healthy choices. Why let your children go to Pizza Hut when Pizza Express is available, and their pizzas have Italian names?

“I suppose there are surface similarities, but it’s like saying our summer travels around Moorish Andalusia are like a package holiday in Spain. Not the same thing at all.”

Archer also confirmed she has banned unhealthy crisps and fizzy pop from her home in favour of vegetable chips and smoothies which contain the exact same amount of salt and sugar but incur considerably less judgement.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Defects of spermatic humidity

New discoveries from a Medieval treatise The Trotula on the subject of infertility have been discovered:
“Defect of spermatic humidity”, or men with “excessively cold and dry testicles” could be the problem, and the Trotula included a test, reproduced by many later writers, to check whether the difficulty lay with the man or the woman. Both should urinate into separate pots of bran, which were then left for up to 10 days: the one in which the worms appeared indicated the infertile partner. If worms appeared in neither pot, neither was infertile and the couple could be helped by medicine.

Gilbert the Englishman, in his Compendium of Medicine complied in the the 1250s, considered “a defect in the operation of the generative members for the natural operation of the generative organs is lacking when the penis does not become erect or the seed is not emitted.” Three virtues were needed for the man’s organs to work properly, Gilbert explained: heat from the liver, spirit from the heart and moisture from the brain. “We have found others who have desire in the liver. These neither erect the penis nor emit seed.”
So now you know: don't eat liver, and watch out if you have a spirited heart, a wet brain or cold and dry testicles...

It could seriously affect your sex life!

The final word goes to Bernard of Gordon, who suggested an alarming remedy for a man with a short penis: “it should be beaten gently with rods, and plastered with pitch”.

Read the full article in The Guardian

Monday, 24 July 2017

Crooners, Turks and a swinging pirate

Today happens to be the 101st anniversary [I managed to completely miss his centenary!] of the birth of one Bob Eberly, Big Band crooner and dilettante performer of such romantic classics as Amapola, Green Eyes and Tangerine - mainly with the orchestras of the Dorsey Brothers, principally that of Jimmy Dorsey.

To ease our way out of bed and into work, here's his classic performance of the latter song (alongside the faboo Helen O'Connell):

However, while we're on the subject of Jimmy Dorsey, and it being a Tacky Music Monday and all...'s Jimmy and the boys incongruously dressed in cod-"Turkish" get-up [it's from an Abbot & Costello movie Lost In A Harem, apparently] playing a swing number about a pirate! Most odd.

If that doesn't wake you, nothing will!

Bob Eberly (24th July 1916 – 17th November 1981)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Golden boy

Our new garden ornament

Congratulations to the ever-gorgeous Tom Daley on winning gold for Britain at the World Aquatics Championships!

[Any excuse, really for more "Tom shots".]

Saturday, 22 July 2017


Who Do You Think You Are? Barbara Brownskirt - the debut solo appearance by our favourite "manifestation of bitterness, anger and lesbian cliché, railing against her lot through poetry" - was a marvellous evening out. But what of the question raised by the title itself?

Let's let the "poet laureate of Penge" do the introductions...
I am poet-in-residence at the 197 bus stop on Croydon Road, Penge, which is the epicentre between Peckham and Croydon. I have written 21 volumes of poetry mostly at and around the bus stop or on the bus. So far all the publishers have been ignoring my work, but not for long.

Every day is inspiring and thought-provoking in Penge, usually there's a row in the street outside the Conservative Club or some kind of casual racism down the Wetherspoons, but mostly it's just like any small hamlet of London, there's art being made and discount shopping taking place. Usually someone makes an installation piece outside the Travelodge from found objects which I like to look at when going home to my lodgings.

Is this art? Photo by Barbara Brownskirt.

People say Penge is on the up, but they've been saying this to my mother, Mrs Brownskirt, who was an unfulfilled actress cum lollipop lady, since the famous gold rush in the 1980s. We like it as it is: multi-lingual, multi-sexual, working class and real.

I have noticed people with money want to live here, but I'd rather they just stay up the hill in Crystal Palace, because if they move here where will all us poets of the people go next?

Vive la poetry!
The indefatigable Barbara is, of course, the comic creation of the multi-talented Ms Karen McLeod, former air stewardess, former female drag queen(!), stand-up comedienne, author and Polari stalwart. Through her be-cagouled, uptight, Judi Dench-obsessed eyes, however, a whole new world of pithy (and extremely funny) angst is channelled, to perfect effect, complete with her "Womb Words" and in her "safe spaces".

The audience at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was (as were Paul, John-John, Madam Arcati and I) in stitches, as she mercilessly sent-up po-faced feminists and talentless "performance poets" alike. Many of her familiar (unpublished) poems were present and correct, including Fabergé Eggs (Between Your Legs), The Publishers Are All Bent (But Not In A Good Way) and her excoriation of "her ex Susan" Cruelty-Free Shoes, plus [after a slideshow paean to her icon] the half-chanted Judi ["from volume 3, Furry Purses"]:

Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Dench!
10 hours I stood there
You walked past me (on the red carpet)
I was on the pavement not red but grey
I watched you go by with yet another sigh

Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Dench!
Your smile and crinkly twinkly eyes
Your little hairstyle, high on your head
Sexy Grandma
To me you are wife material

Denchy Denchy Denchy Denchy Denchy Jud-ie
How you make me want to clenchy
And I would like to travel my hand
Over your wobbly belly
To cup the young Denchy, Thirsty Drenchy
A cup full of Dench quenched. Time all spent.

Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Judi Dench!

Here she is at Polari back in 2013 [with at least one familiar face in the audience...]:

This was a superb show - and it seems that from Penge the world is now Barbara Brownskirt's oyster...

Friday, 21 July 2017

Is it Sex? Or is it Love?

It's been a loooonnnng week!

Now we're here, with a party weekend in prospect - we're off to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for an evening of low culture, courtesy of the lovely Polari regular Karen McLeod's comic creation "Barbara Brownskirt", and the weekend may be a bit stormy but (for London) is looks likely to stay dry and warm.

So what we need right now is something funky to get us in the mood. A few weeks ago, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder behemoth I Feel Love. Today, we have a more recent similarly-titled creation by a certain DJ Pierre to start our shimmying off in an appropriate manner - complete with an amusing [likely more so than watching the actual film, or indeed any film with Will Ferrell in it] clip from A Night At The Roxbury...

Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a good weekend, dear reader.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Meanwhile, in Michigan...

From the BBC:
A woman has been found guilty of shooting her husband five times in a Michigan murder case apparently witnessed by a parrot.

Glenna Duram shot her husband, Martin, in front of the couple's pet in 2015, before turning the gun on herself in a failed suicide attempt.

The parrot later repeated the words "Don't shoot!" in the victim's voice, according to Mr Duram's ex-wife.

The parrot, an African Grey named Bud, was not used in the court proceedings.

Not revealed in the article is when Bud will get his own television show as the world's first psittacine detective.

"Hercule Parrot", perhaps?