31 March 2010


When they won't deliver

OK, chaps - let me end once and for all these questions about "mewl moan waah your Amazon won't send me my stuff ... waah."

Listen - there's Amazon and there's 'Marketplace' where freelancers can place their items alongside Amazon items.

Imagine maman has a weekly yard sale right here in the grounds of Pagoda Corfuchsia and it's so popular and everyone knows where it is - whereas your hovel in downtown Nimfes is impossible to find - that you ask to set up your own little stall.

We say yes, have that corner in the shadows so you don't spoil the view and people don't think we're having a Homeless Day ... and it's 10% of anything you make from trying to flog that useless tat.

So along come the punters and they buy from us and they buy from you and they offer credit cards and cheques as well as cash.

Still with me?

Later that week the bank tells you that the cards were stolen and blocked and the checks worthless, too.

You come wailing to us and we say, none of our business and you say so why doesn't the same thing happen to you?

Like, the same guys who bought from us bought from you - so how come you dont have the same hassle?

"Oh we do.

As soon as it happens, we send Kutsi and Sam and a coupla da boys from the Telesilla out on the trail.

Rip their fucking arms off [see foto].

Rarely happens twice."

So you go,

"Duhh - I get it. Roight, lads! No more cheques or cards from anyone toting a korakiana address.

Dem bums allus cheatin' me and getting in first on the parking and queue barging in Marinopoulos and ... "

That's what the MarketPlace squatters have to do because they can't follow up on a dud card from a low life place like Corfu or wherever.

Listen up:

"Countries Covered

So far, Marketplace items can only be purchased by buyers in these countries:

  • UK: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales

  • Europe: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

  • US: including US protectorates

  • Rest of World: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa

  • If your country is not yet covered, you cannot make a Marketplace purchase.

  • However, you may be able to purchase the item directly from Amazon.co.uk.

  • Sellers may also choose to not deliver internationally.

  • See International Delivery on Marketplace Orders."
  • Glad we cleared that up.


    I can sit thru all the Clint Eastwoods I can handle, but something like this just puts a smile on mu face.

    I saw it first when it came out and that idiot black man .. you could from the shape Tom was in that he didn't fuck around, but that black dude just kept asking to be owned.

    Boy, when that black mf got up to mess with Tom, I could not believe it, and old beardie gave him what he came for.

    Whoo! Great video.


    I used to think of Link-wallah Wells as a decent chap - reliable cove, readable blog ... no longer sure.

    The villeyne sends me this hilarious Jones' Big Ass Truck Rental Clip.

  • Watch the hell out at the 1-minute mark when Bubba owns up to being a li'l flamboyant and emotional in holding a 'drunk discount sale'.

    I had been savouring a little sippin' VSOP at which point a large amount of it went on irrigating the Axminster.

    Baad boy, Ricardo.

  • 30 March 2010

    The Lysistrata Ploy

    ~ Lady 2-Jags versus Sofa John ~

    How I laughed.

    What? Pudding-face Prescott pretending he doesn't want a gong?

  • Fatso Two-Jags?

  • Croquet-pokay and hoist a secretray

  • The People's Partying Lard Lad?

    I laugh. I laugh.

    Actually, she wasn't just a secretary, was she?

    Blubber and the Blonde "began working together when Ms Tracey Temple was appointed as Mr Prescott's assistant private secretary, responsible for organising his diary."

    That's when the world first heard about the sensitive post of 'Diary organiser' and fancy woman fluffer.

    Got it.

    I can do no better a razor job than the public press.

    Camera. Lights. Action.

    "The curmudgeonly former deputy prime minister is being coaxed by Pauline Prescott to join the ermine-clad peers when he quits the Commons next month, despite his long-standing antipathy to what he calls “flunkery and titles.

    According to a senior Commons insider, his wife

    'loves the idea of being called Lady P'.

    Yesterday the glamorous former hairdresser made little attempt to deny she has her sights set on a title, saying coyly:

    'We’ll just wait and see what happens.'

    FFS. It's also a reflection on the ignorant boys and girls who run today's press but you cannot imagine how crassly non-U such utterances sound.

    We're talking about honours conferred for a life well lived and deeds well done, and all these plebeian creeps can come up with is that they

  • 'Love the idea of being called Lady P'

  • Little attempt to deny she has her sights set on a title

  • Saying coyly, 'We’ll just wait and see what happens.'

    You stupid common slag - how dare you talk about honours like that?

    Prescott’s arrival in the upper house would cap his rise from a ship’s steward on Cunard liners to some of the highest offices of state.

    According to Commons insiders, he will top the list of a relatively small number of peers that Gordon Brown will create if he leaves office this spring.

    Well, that's pretty depressing for starters but that's not what I'm here to discuss.

    Miss Pauline wants El Lardo to be ennobled so that she can be ladiefied in reflection.

    Fatso is putting up token protest.

    Unbelievable, I know, but Prescott has been reported as getting his leg over certain femmes other than his wife (ouch yaroo, crush smush blush).

    I reckon he's on a shorter leash since the reptiles busted his rutting with the diary biatch so the very fanciable Pauline has him by his diminutive balls.

    All she has to play is the Lysistrata Λυσιστράτη ploy - no ermine, no squirmin' (and that woman looks like she knows her squirm from her Volvo) - and Jag Fag will fall into line.

    Wossa problem?


    Why I love living in Greece.

    The singer's pretty smokin' too

    But what I love is the louche living, then the musicians, then the singer

    .... and when that Mitropanos comes in ... oh, man ...

    Ohh ohh ~ this whole clip makes me want to run to the guitar and just sing and compose, compose and sing ...


    Glam clip from youtube of that hot hot Laila Rue-Ass I drooled over yonks ago (I think 'paki' will find it in the search panel).

    Also included in the clip is the glam straight-jawed chap who started the fuss and publicity by drawing incorrect attention to sizzling looks and sexeh tan.

    Much too good looking for his own good - reminds me of Jim Dale with those gnashers and kleen look.

    Bet he has his white ass kept warm at night.

    Chicks like those looks and they can take the blighters home to mummy - a bit of spray-on tan and they're away.

    Speaking of which, here comes the weather so it'll be me out nu around the pool on the paki peau trail.

    [Yes, loadsa posts at the search stop for paki]

    "Horrible Heather Mills"

    I know the ex-Mrs McCartney behaves like a wild-eyed lunatic and is a loose cannon at every media opportunity, but why do the press have to choose those exact photos that conjure up reminders that we are dealing with a wild-eyed loose-lipped harridan-come-careening loose cannon.

    Who can forget Mills's shrill performance on breakfast television when she sent Macca's chances of a good settlement soaring.

    Just look at the fragrant Sara Trumble (a delicate 26) against the flared nostrils of Mills. You can *feel* her inner anger and imbalance.

    Worse for Mills - no one likes her. She managed to alienate everyone by managing, thru fame by marriage, to intrude on our precious TV and tabloid trolling time and shove her peg-legged midnight hag daftness in our faces.

    We all hate her. Whatever the verdict, the press will pay attention only if they can doll it up to show Heather at her screechiest and cast her as the villainess as per usual. Not hard.

    Camp and Ridiculous

    Scientology movie

    I always delight in any thwarting of that vicious cult that calls itself scientology.

    Of course, we in Corfu share the isle with a true hero in the fight against these scoundrels, Major John Forte, whose praises I cannot over-sing.

    In my publishing days, I had several clashes with these people and learned how to negotiate the streets around Soho and Tottenham Road without excess drama or needing outside help.

    My good friend, multi nom-de-plumed Elleston Trevor, best known for his Adam Hall/Quiller canon, once mentioned some good news: the office of none other than John Travolta had expressed interest in one or other of the Quiller novels.

    I told Elleston that I had no love for Travolta's game because of his connection with scientology. Elleston was shocked he had not been warned of this and there and then picked up the phone and instructed his agent to cancel all dealings with that bunch.

    Dept of Ego trip in a million: my publishing days were as a street-wise PR hack. I like reading but I missed out on the years 10-18 through being locked away in a spirit-killing prison.

    I met a few dandies in the book business and even invited some of them to our Sunday parties.

    One such - famous for patronising with faint praise - plucked a Hall from the bookcase and expressed sulky pleasure that I was a fellow reader, ramming the point home that he had come across ET as far back as 'Quiller Memorandum'.

    "And when did you discover Mr Trevor?" he inquired silkily, his expression freezing as he flipped thru 'Scorpion Signal' and came across the dedication.

    29 March 2010


    Zelda Sayre FitzgeraldWell, cool for me.

    Groucho-like, if I find any readers of this blog are naff enough to be signing into e-radio UK, I'll get Ashley to write a tool to detect your Midian thump of the keyboard from 6 clicks and boot you into seditious hell.

    So, if I catch any of you lot loitering around these parts, best pretend you'd lost your way looking for the likes of here.

    Photo: Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. Courtesy theft [like a CS 'courtesy call' in the middle of dinner) from Jazz Who's Who via Sedition.

    Did you ever see such a fox-vixen? Blimey, no wonder he needed the sauce to pen those PE posers.


    For considered comment later.

    Some crap about yardwork fending off depression.

    24 March 2010

    "Thick and rich"

    Do note the quotes around the title. I would hate it to be thought I was describing the fierce-looking gentleman on the right who bears such an uncanny resemblance to Alan 'Zorba' Bates's brigand younger brother.

    What a perfect example this is of how I've been brought low by Professore Baddeley of Democracy Street: he sends me a link to the "internet home of Corfu's first internationally available Extra Virgin olive" and up I shove it as if I was one of those gung-ho friendly supportive types, eager to support and nurture each and every local concern.

  • Faugh! As everyone knows, my default stance on these nouveaux arrivés is to write their name on a hit list and spend all day bad-mouthing them and throwing darts at their appallingly cheerful pics - not that yon Aristotle is exactly falling abaht giggling his knickers orf.

    On closer scrutiny, Mr A's granite-jawed steely 1,000-yard stare is my kind of grimace.

    Oh what? I bet he doesn't have to ask too often, "You looking at my bird?" (altho' I bet they are).

    And quelle cute Katie she is with that peek-a-boo dazzling smile down there.

    Do check it out.

    His blurb has a ring of sincerity and I will earn brownie points galore from maman for uncovering a "Thick, rich oil that tastes utterly unlike the insipid yellow oil you're used to."

    Loipon, Aris [no last name, as I can see, despite Maman's endless questioning] is:

    "Taking the biggest gamble of my life. I'm returning to my Greek roots, living the peasant lifestyle ... with my fiancée Katie.

    I'll be growing my own food, keeping animals, turning a derelict ancient house into a family home and producing the first ever commercially available Corfiot olive oil.

    [My emboldenment]

    It's a romantic dream, justified by a kernel of hard business sense: Corfu's 6 million olive trees produce 3% of the world's olive oil, but it's impossible to buy outside of the Ionian.

    Well, that's not entirely true. Big producers buy Corfiot oil at rock-bottom rates, and market it as Italian.

    That's how Italy exports three times as much oil as it produces, and sells it with Northern European fantasies of happy Tuscan peasants.

    We're going to change all that. If you've ever seen Corfiot olive groves, then you've seen our majestic 400-year-old trees, but until now, you may never have had the chance to taste it ..."

    Yadda yadda bli blu bli ...

    But the chap talks a good game and he sounds exactly the sort of person I would want to read about in the new-look soon-to-return Island magazine [plug toady hint grovel].

    I was going to write a glowing anonymous article about that Marjorie Holmes's noble makeover of the Bosketto Durrell Garden but ... well, the description pear-shaped comes to mind.

    But back to Aris:

    "Thick, rich oil that tastes utterly unlike the insipid yellow oil you're used to. Now, for the first time, we're going to sell it in the UK."

    If that doesn't have Island writ large all over it, God didn't make those Little Green Apples and crumpled brown envelopes don't get shuffled to and fro on park benches or passed under desks or slid practisedly into shirt pockets. Loipon.

    If I play my cards right, stern madam editrice will allow me to do my usual dispassionate write-up which means I get to meet peeking cutie Katie and fearlessly swoon under her spell in the cause of delivering a hard-hitting journalistic probe.

    A tough scribble but someone's got to do it ... anything to keep me off the streets

    Well spotted Badders. Extra gold star on the noticeboard for you.

  • 23 March 2010

    Combat Barbie

    No idea why this popped up in my babe-ometer so many years after the fact:

  • Wait a minute ~ a new link, La Hodge trying to ban swimsuits. Swizz spoilsport chizz.

  • So how would we scope killer cleavages like Katrina's if she got her way? Don't make no sense.

  • Here's the CV Stuff: Katrina Hodge, 21, honoured for saving lives of members of her regiment.

  • Represented England at Miss World 2008.

  • Awarded bravery commendation in 2005 after members of her regiment were threatened at gunpoint by a suspected Iraqi insurgent.

  • Quoth Hottie Hodge:
    "I was in complete shock at first.

    The force of the accident caused our vehicle to roll over three times and threw us off guard.

    As I came round, the Iraqi suspect was standing over us with the rifles.

    I knew if I didn't act fast then our lives would be in danger.

    I punched him and the force startled him enough for me to retrieve the rifles from him."

    Phwoar! Is that sexy or whut?

  • Sickening sad sacking via Facebook

    Too late to moan about the way things are going vis-à-vis online behaviour, but do you know what?

    Reading that lazy illiterate message from 'manageress' Elaine Sutton has woken me up to how far I myself have sunk in sloppy writing and I intend to do better.

    I mean, Chelsea's sacking was positively Molesworthian, except that's being insulting to our Nige.

    22 March 2010


    Actually, I'm not sure it is a nightmare, albeit inspired by the Bonomo farce and certainly featuring PC Pudding Jowels.

    If only I could 'wake up' and realise it was a dream I could have a bit of Fun on the Filth.

    It's a recurring dream that I would not be bothering y'all with except a favourite "Aunt" has just called with a very similar story.

    She's not a real aunt and I fancy her rotten and have told her so.

    She looks like Eileen Atkins ~ Dame Eileen to you 'n' me, and did you know she was married to Julian Glover RIP?

    No? Well, you could learn a lot from this blogue and Sharon is taking details over by the wee-wee boy fountain.

    "Nuther one coming over, Shar'.

    'S right, the white-haired geezer wivva Sturmey-Archer sulk.

    She'll look after you, guv."

    Yes well 'Auntie' Jess is the spitting image of Dame Eileen and would you look at the young version over there?

    Oh Em Gee. OMG. OMFG.

    That's Eileen, but I've squinted at early Jess and ... well.

    Anyway, she phoned up to recount 'an amusing encounter in the metropolis'. She doesnt really talk like that but she does to me because I've been in the colonies and now I'm amid titian-haired temptresses and she's worried I won't want to watch 'Cranford' with her when I get back.

    Loipon, she had her camera with her and wanted to snap some flower or viney things scrabbling up some mews cottage. Even as she squeezed the shutter, out sprang burly gents squeezing triggers on their Taurus 'Public Defender's.

    Turned out she'd picked on the très anonyme love-nest of some high-up pol.

    The Filth made her show them the fotos she'd snapped,

    "And the only one they reahlly got peeved over was a shot I'd taken outside Molly's in Windrush.

    Would you believe they were conVINCED it was a back terrace of Scotland Yard?"

    I did believe it and here is my silly rêve.

    I'm back in London and I want to snap my old haunts ~ Swiss Cottarje * Baker Street/Marylebone pedestrian subway ('minstrelsy to the gentry') * Clapham (here comes Charlie) * Kennington * Red Lion Square * Poland Street * Carlisle Place (say hello to Tony Rushton et PE pals * Queen Street, et al ...

    But each time I make to click, there's something wrong with the shot.

    (I know what it is but I don't 'fess up in the dream)

    There's nothing but youngsters in the viewfinder and where DID all those tanned faces come from?

    Oy? I'm walking down Memory Lane, yeah? Not filming some spurious 'multi-cultural' propaganda.

    So, there I am in the dream going from 'iconic' spot to iconic spot in my past life and natch the Filth pounce and demand to scrutinise every foto I've taken of terrorist-prone sites.

    Except I haven't, have I? I mean, I raised the camera to my eye and got ready to click but just then some foreign berk swims into view, or a bunch of kindergarten execs on their Blackberries, and I say sod it and lower the camera.

    But the Terrorism Fuzz don't know that and I'm snapping all sensitive areas so their top lamplighters follow me around and when I've got a ton of pics under my belt they pounce.

    Like, I am one busted Islamist trouble-maker.

    So they flip thru my fotos and, my dear, their expressions. I have not actually been tempted to click once, nor did I remember to download the stuff already on the card from Corfu:

  • Close-up of my new €200 Bausch & Lomb microphone

    Verry suspicious, you seen this, Kev? Looks like that new sniper scope Sarge was showing us, very hush hush

  • Pics galore of farewell party at U2

  • Seaweed at Kondokali Bay that Mater needed to be sure was pukka stuff

  • Achilleion statue

    Ullo ullo, bit of gay porn if you ask me, Sarge, check this pooftah out

    And so the dream ploughs on - each Ionian snap happening to match an ultra secure 'iconic' address in Londres.


    Oh dear, there'll be some long faces down t' Stavros Skipper Self-Navigating Bucket of Beer, I'll be bound.

    Might give the A1 section of the Marina a miss until they've sorted out their £ shekels and rupees.

    Stop Press Commentaria: As regular readers know, contributions from Oi Polloi that pass muster are instantly elevated above the salt into the body of the text,

    "This doesn't apply to EU countries," believes Anon.

    Good one.

    Πιστεύω ότι αν διαβάσετε τα ψιλά γράμματα, θα διαπιστώσετε ότι αυτό δεν ισχύει για τις χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.

    21 March 2010

    The Lurve issue

    Goodness what a crop this weekend from my Torygraph reading.

    • Quite interesting Facts about dating:
      • First date
      • Kissing (saviolum is what we've been after all these years)
      • Agony Aunts
      • Nude weddings (I thought that would wake them up in the back row, except we're all married into oblivion around here)

    • Married couples - Keeping the Romance Alive ... and other folk tales from the Twilight Zone

    • Body language - Another 'He's just not that into pretending he doesn't want into your knickers' piece.

    • Dating after 40 - Improve Your Prospects
      • Sorry, I don't go out with anyone older than 35, so they can improve their prospects all they like, but not here.

    • Don't be so picky - No, dear, not about being partner-choosy.

      This time it's about nail biting, nose picking, knuckle cracking, and all that.

      • Anna! I heard that one from here!

    Blogs: The new newspapers

    See? I go with a title and nix text and into my net swims a killer comment.

    OK, yes yes, Branestawm Badass don't count but he is part of my master plan towards world blog domination.

    One day a UR-Leavisite will point out that the trick is to see past the corfucian nonsense and turn it on its head and read the *comments*.

    Muah ha ha .. no, type this way, Master.

    Here is exactement what I'm talking about.

    The bait went in less than an hour ago and look at the whopper I've landed.

    "Lord Northcliffe's genius was a dramatically expanded application of the methods of fiction - plot and narrative - to newspapers.

    The older format of small print front-to-back left the reader room to choose their news.

    Northcliffe provided stories; reduced choice.

    The internet restores the buzzing blooming confusion, erodes authority, requires me to do the work..."

    Dept of You will, Oscar: "News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising." - Lord Northcliffe

    20 March 2010

    The New Commandments

    • The Ten Commandments were set in stone

    • It may be time for a re-chisel.

    • Hitch takes on the job:

      • Pruning the ethically dubious

      • Challenging the impossible

      • Rectifying serious omissions.


    ~ Corcyra Gassings ~

    Cook boss: Quoth Manny Fontenla-Novoa:

    "If it means that proper justice can be done, then that is fine and we will do everything we can to make sure it is done. But I mean proper justice must be done, not just political justice.”

    How it works out in straight cash.

  • Neil Shepherd ["youngsters’ grieving father"] ~ £2.6 million compensation

  • Sharon Wood [children’s mother] ~ £2.1 million "for trauma"

  • Both sets of grandparents ~ £1 million

  • Also in that £1M, Neil Shepherd’s beautiful new 'partner' - and I don't know why they can't call her his new wife, FFS

    Her name now is Mrs Ruth Shepherd - got it? - née Beatson.

    That's her over on the right looking serene and glacial.

    That's also her on the left, even glacialer which is what this blog is all about - that and any name calling such as dubbing the docking of the reps a farce [see below].


  • A Greek court is hearing criminal charges against two Thomas Cook reps and a number of Greek nationals connected to the hotel.

  • Richard Carson, 28, and Nicole Gibson, 26, the two Thomas Cook reps, are accused of manslaughter by negligence, a charge that carries penalties of up to five years in prison.

  • According to lawyers, the family “from the children’s grandparents down” have their names for parallel civil proceedings.

  • Neil Shepherd has launched civil proceedings against Thomas Cook and the Cypriot owner of the Louis Corcyra Beach resort where the accident happened in October 2006.

  • The safety issues: The hotel’s licence was revoked after the accident but reinstated a few months later after the gas-fired boilers were replaced.

  • Thus spaketh the Beak: According to the presiding judge, Petros Molydvas,
    “This is one of the most difficult cases ever heard in Corfu ... It is such a great tragedy.”
    By 'difficult' I presume Hizzonner means agonising heart-tugging tear-welling anguishing, not Gordion Knot difficult from the legal niceties point of view.

    Tragedy and Farce: Leading travel wallahs brand this whole brouhaha a farce.

  • Cosmos overseas director Hugh Morgan: "The hotel rather than Richard Carson and Nicola Gibson should be held accountable for the deaths."

  • Abta chairman John McEwan: "The blame for the tragedy is in Greece, not with the reps."

  • Check out the 'Support Richard Carson and Nicola Gibson' facebook group started by TTG.

    Previous posts passim

  • Worst installation in 50 years ~ Outside mechanical engineer said the leak was caused by a wired-out gas valve, a bypassed thermostat, the lack of a flue and chimney, and a gap between the family's bungalow and the outhouse where the boiler was contained.

    "The parts that should have been fitted were on the floor - the flue that should have been fitted in the top of the boiler was on the floor."

    The Personal Injury Blog - Well, there would be one, wouldn't there?

    Kim Harrison oozes in to the subject in 'Industrial Disease Claims', reminding us of 'the horrific deaths of two children killed by carbon monoxide poisoning' before reassuring us that she is

    "a solicitor who acts for victims of carbon monoxide poisoning [and was] extremely shocked and saddened by this story."

    A bit more schmaltz about hoping "that no family has to go through what this family has over the last few years" and then zap to the money shot:

    "If you have suffered similar illness / sickness recently then we would be very interested to hear from you.

    Call our travel litigation/disease solicitors during business hours and a specialist holiday accident, holiday illness or holiday sickness claim solicitor can review your compensation claim for free while you are on the phone."

    Thos Cook's "Duty of Care" ~ Thus the mother in this tragedy. Sounds like a cooked-up term from a wordsmith legal beagle.

    What I wonder is, if in the children's room "a chimney to bring in oxygen and remove carbon monoxide had not been fitted and was lying on the floor, along with a piece of rock propping the boiler up" - what, just lying there on the floor? - why FFS didn't the father and step-mother-to-be kick up some kind of fuss, if only to protest at the junk just lying around and hindering the children's scampering.

    you know, I'm the sort of person who reads reports and feedback closely and with an assumption of accuracy. The moment a story starts unthreading, I wonder at the accuracy of everything else and then I start wondering at the veracity.

    The beat goes on: In the red corner, Catalogue of Failings in Installation and Maintenance ~ Worst installation in 50 years ~ Wired-out gas valve, bypassed thermostat, lack of flue and chimney, gap between bungalow and boiler-container outhouse, gaps in unfinished air-conditioning pipes VERSUS "Unique and unforeseeable” accidental, not the fault of Carson or Gibson.

    The honest stalwart who pronounced on the installation was Harry Rogers, Englishman and retired mechanical engineer. All that 50 years quip tells us is that Mr Rogers hasn't spent much of his retirement outside the UK. That cocktail of errors and omissions read rather routine to me, which tells you how much of my retirement I have spent *in* the UK.

    Well, that doesn't look too friendly for the reps.

    Catalogue of deadly errors ~ Now MSN reports this 'catalogue of errors' line as put out by Harry Rogers.

    And I ask you again, how on earth were Neil Shepherd and his beautiful Ruth able to enter the doomed children's bedroom without wondering why the boiler parts "that should have been fitted were on the floor [and] the flue that should have been fitted in the top of the boiler was on the floor."

    That is a lot of floor space being taken up by boiler parts and any parent should have questioned their very presence on the floor as a hazard, let alone their absence hampering the performance of whatever machinery they should have been safely in. It does not make sense and therefore I call in question everything else being trotted out.

    April 21 adjournment - the beat goes one and mark yer calendars for an après-Easter front seat at the stop-start-er-hold-it-everyone-no-here we go again trial of the season.

    I like the bit about worst plumbing in 50 years but I still say:

  • If there were bits of boiler strewn around the room, wouldn't the maid have made some effort to have it cleared away?
  • Why wasn't the first thing Neil (dad) and Ruth (beautiful girl-friend now wife) said "Oy! The view out the window's not bad but WTF is all this crap on the floor? The kids could cut themselves. Very dangerous."

    It seems the complicated questions about water flow and jammed thermo-stats and diameter of access of telephone wires is being addressed in every language but not the basic common sense small questions.

    This report seems to brand all concerned - adults in the party included - unobservant culprits whose lack of common sense questioning allowed visibly defective equipment to stay in place, thus leading to the death of the innocents.

    Crazy Law in re Tour Operators ~ How come Tour Experience is coming up with such shrewd reportage of the gassing and who're they anyway to be whupping everyone else's ass on the case?

    I was going to summarise their best points but the whole article is best points so let me just save you clicking:

    • "Unfortunate that at least one major news org has changed Richard and Nicola’s job title from Holiday Rep to Health and Safety Inspector. Bit like calling a student w/ Saturday job in Clark’s a Podiatrist
    • Wood [the mother] was clearly briefed by her lawyers to come out with the emotive statements she did, yet it does highlight how crazy the law is in relation to tour operators.
    • So Thomas Cook are responsible for the safety in a property they don’t own or run?
      • Strictly speaking, under the EC Package Travel Directive of 1993, the operator is legally responsible for the components of the package.
      • However, how can an operator be responsible for safety at a property when it has no control over staff employed, maintenance carried out and in most instances is probably not even informed of any reported problems.
    • You could argue that all the above could be covered in the fine detail of contracts, but these are the same contracts that allow operators to counter-claim for any liabilities.
    • If the EC directive was more specific and more realistic, both sides would have less opportunities to abdicate their responsibilities and the consumer would be offered real protection.
  • Whew - thorough stuff. I look forward to TourExpi's take on the April 21 resumption of this tragi-farce.

    19 March 2010

    Carbon monoxide ~ City morgue

    ~ PSA ~

    At last, a tasteless college-coarse public service announcement to which I can 'relate' au sujet de carbon monoxide poissonerie.

    Nota bene: the entrancing jeune allows no junk around her floor.

    Nor does she purr,

    "Come on in, big boy - but watch out for the all them rusty cogs and pipey things on the floor.

    Dunno what they's for but they been every which way there ever since I moved in."

    Repair man:
    "Those need to be somewhere else, ma'am, and I can show you where."
    "Well, aren't you the Mister Fixit?

    Sit right here next to me - I can tell you're not Room Service or with that Thomas Cook setup.

    You know wayy too much about boiler spare parts and where they should and should NOT be.

    [Cute squeal] Cheeky! Yes, indeed, that's my gas alarm and from the way you're pressing it, it seems to be working just fine."

    Le bon, la brute et le truand

    To tell you the truth, I don't usually waste such top grade stuff on a blog but this is so charming and effective, I make an exception.

    At least hang on 'til the 1:40 mark where cool whistling kicks in and the whole performance takes off.

    18 March 2010

    Stranger in the Shrubbery

    I have to say that this whole Bruschetto in the Boschetto brouhaha will all have been worthwhile thanks to Doc Baddeley's unsurpassable comment about The Stranger Gardener.

    • I repeated it to Maman as an anonymous comment from a first-time blogger in Keynesham and we had a good old laugh.

    • Mum has this fixation about how well dressed he was.
      • "So, mother - did you notice if his raiment, like, shimmered?" (Oh do shut up)... did He perchance let slip that in His Father's greenhouse are many mansions?"
    • Next, there he was droning on about the money at his disposal when Mum had been told it would be easier to spoon feed 5,000 municipal jardiniers through the eye of a camel ... "
    • I could just picture her there on her stool, digging and hacking as this urbane gent rabbited on. Every now and then Mum snapping at him until he finally murmured,
      "Marjorie Marjorie, don't you recognise me?"


    "I'm terribly sorry but my memory isn't what it used to be. Look if you're just going to stand there chatting, perhaps you could make yourself useful and- goodness! How did you do that?"
    "Marjorie - it's not your time yet, so don't waste it here. Dad knows I've tried to make sense of what goes on in that Municipal building."
    Mum: "You're probably not the gardening Son

    [terribly in joke, prolly not worth keeping in]

    but next time you're having a word with Your Father, I've always wondered ....

    WONDERED WHAT? At this point Baddeley's Blague had us laffing too much but we stopped at a wonderful point: With only one question, what WOULD a gardener put to the Lord High Loamist?

    Maman is now walking around thinking up the mother lode source-of-the-Nile question, the answer to which would open the most doors for the trowel brigade.

    Me, I'm the wrong person to ask but I've worked out the exact spot where Mr Shining Raiment stood and I shall be organising guided tours with authorised souvenirs.

    So bravo Badass for distracting her and bringing merriment to the day.

    Dept of How Did You Do That? - I joke about Kyrios Simmering Raiment, but stap me if he didn't go right ahead and work his wonders.

    Look at this photographic report of March 21 showing how, overnight, all the good work done by my mother was dug up and cineraria popped in their place.

    As my mother said to him, "But these die off" and as he replied, "No problem - we just buy more."

    Seriously, we both just scoffed at such optimism:

  • Maman had from the start been told that there was no money for buying plants

  • When she asked for a little help, she was told that not a finger can be lifted without authorisation from senior management - the officer who visited her on the Mayor's instructions to woo her expertise.

  • Et voilà! All that planting wasn't dug up and the cineraria in its place without a slip of paper.

    All I can think of is ... the explosion there would have been if we'd rolled up to find a gang labourers tossing the turf. Cunning blighters - we'd been going regularly and seen no one and been offered no help, and here they are timing it perfectly to perform this major operation at the very time we are absent.

    Malfetto in the Bosketto

    I vowed never to defile these pages with time-wasting blather on that treadmill of futility, "gardenry".

    But my mother's March 12 visit to the Mayoralty was an eye-opener that transcends distaste and good manners.

    I have seen maman's March 16 follow-up, inspired/provoked by her encounter with a curious and curiously powerful gent who, if true, sounds to be usurping on the exact same brief she herself had been handed - albeit sans €.

    I had written:

    Blah blah blah ... the workings of the Municipality, about which Mama has had countless warnings from well-meaning pals of exalted local standing and power ... very touching single-minded approach my mother has taken to this task from Day One.

    She can connive and swive with the best: no single woman survives for 20 years out here on her own without street wisdom - a foreign woman, to boot, than whom no lower form exists ... fascinating to see how guileless she is when it comes to beloved gardening, almost as if Mother Nature has plenty of tricks of her own without mere humans thinking they can steal a march with their petty politicking and maneuvrings.

    She's spry but she's old, damn it, and the job she's been asked to do requires help, not that she can be bothered to wait for slackers or dissemblers to get on board. Plants and daylight (and Maman) wait for no man.

    The staff she's met are typical of clock-watchers everywhere - name a chore and you can see their brains ticking over excuses why it can't be done or how to get out of it ... the very fact that they are on the job makes it a doomer from the non start.

    Something very sad about her March 12 report.

  • All that trust and assumption of professionalism in return. Anything else, she's as Greek as the rest, but when it comes to gardening and being asked to apply her skills, all she sees is the purity of Nature and the fun of botanical combat. If someone asks her help, she assumes a level of seriousness and responds accordingly - otherwise she rolls with the punches and keeps her own counsel.

    Look at me - No time for this drudge hobby, loathe it. But my mother takes it in her stride. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

  • david bellamyBut back to Boskers. I have to laugh ~

  • Mum is asked to 'advise', agrees, the Mayor appoints a senior official, a date is agreed for him to visit two days hence, he doesn't turn up at the appointed hour.
  • Finally, with Hizzonner prodding, everyone *does* meet here at the house for a tour of the garden.

    Mama lays out photo albums of the building of the house and garden, walks them round ~ no one seems very interested. I lie, one nice bloke - Gianni Dallas catches mum's eye. Never seen again. I joke that he made too good an impression for the prefects' comfort.

  • ... Mum loses no time starting work on the Bosketto - even before the Toff Tour of San Luca, maman had made 3 visits to the Bosque and ideas were bubbling.

  • It's in her report but you had to be there from the off to savour the true lack of backbone:
  • No one there to introduce her to the [invisible] staff
  • No contact name or number to call
  • No one thought to mention that she need not worry about the Playground which is under Rotarian care.
  • Nil reaction to her regular blog-reports emailed to key names at ever step ... but bleagh, enough of my moaning.

    I just feel bad for her, taking all these fine municipal words at face value and receiving nothing in return. Exactly what pals had warned her would happen ~ zilch.

    Yesterday I went round the Bosketto with a camera, snapping old pals and surprising myself with how intimately I knew some parts and my mother's vision for them.

    Looking glumly at all the spots she'd got her stool out and got stuck in - mostly dead, of course; unwatered - it struck me that after San Luca, the Bosketto will also be a sort of memorial to her, a memorial to her indomitable spirit and love for gardening that recognised not the dead hand of bureaucracy or clockwatching, of suspicion of authority, of short-sighted politicking.

    But fie on such impotent grizzlings - Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu'un long discours, as Boney quothed.

    Late breaking news: Suddenly, my mother is talking about a man she bumped into on March 12 as she was trolling around looking for her 10am date.

    It sounds as if she came across him around the south gate.

  • Dressed in suit, so clearly not one of the regular garden staff.

    Read all about it from MH herself.

    Baddeley Comment: "Strangers mistaken at first for a gardener. Easter approaches."