The Monday Mess – Pah, Search terms – 4 Feb 2013


Humor me here if you will. Try the following Nonet:

The internet is full of knowledge

Of that we can all be so sure

but do I try improve my brain?

check sports scores? or erm, porn?

no, there is another

question to answer

Oh Google

here I


And in the spirit of a cheap ass monday post here is some ways the search above found its way to my blog over the last month or two.

Continue reading


The Monday Mess – When I moan about U.S. food, I moan – 4 Dec 2012

Once upon a time I lived in a quaint old place, old enough to have history. Oh hang on, I opened with this line a few posts ago. Anyhoo, said place wasn’t the greatest place for food until loads of europeans, and people from Bangladesh moved in, bringing good food with them. Spoiled with this, and the Brits ability to make decent snack chocolate, moving to the US provided some, we shall call them “annoyances”.  Your average American who is more tuned into simple, easy to understand food and beverages, like Hamburger, Cola, Burrito and Hamburger just doesn’t see what they are missing. Um I used a variation of that line a few weeks ago also. But joking aside, where I live in Southern California is good for a lot of foods, and most of it good. There is choice and plenty of it. But I am a Brit, and I do need to find something to moan about, because I sure cannot moan about the weather here. Furthermore, my grievance is more to do with snack foods than meal foods, but I kind of liked that intro so I kept it. On the snack front, and using an inappropriate metaphor in line with the introduction, here is a few “choice cuts”:

Avoid this thing or use it as a frisbee.(image courtesy of microsoft clipart)

Avoid this thing or use it as a frisbee.
(image courtesy of microsoft clipart)

  • Pretzels – In one of my sons books, Sesame Street’s Cookie monster is out of cookies and goes on the hunt for some. Big Bird offers him some Pretzels, and rightly so, Cookie monster complains about them being too salty. I always have to add the line “Uurgh, Pretzels are the worlds most overrated snack”. What? Best teach them early eh? Unless they are the tiny pretzels they serve on the Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow to LAX, those are the exception to the rule. But otherwise, what a piece of crud. I cannot think of a single redeeming quality on those large ones, having neither good flavour, or texture, and erm, taste. Cover them in chocolate? I say why? I now also say, Big Bird is not to be trusted.
  • Cheese – This is where I know I’ve been out of the UK too long when the cheese is starting to grow on me. We complain the US cheese is tasteless, which it mainly is, but that is because they prefer their cheese to be creamy with a vague hint of cheese. The Brits prefer cheese to taste of something. Sharp cheese in the US. About as sharp as a rubber door stop.
  • Salted Caramel – Me I love caramel and toffee. I f**kin love it. (Thats two “O”s there). Here, what is the obsession with adding salt to it? If I wanted salt I would add it. Caramel is supposed to be sweet. And while we are on the subject, why does toffee always have to arrive with nuts on it? I don’t mind nuts, I would just like some toffee without it from time to time.
  • Fudge – Something else I love but slightly ruined in the US by it adding chocolate to the mix. Now chocolate with many things, except Pretzels obviously, is a good thing. Fudge, it just doesn’t mix like it should. The fudge has its own taste, it can live without chocolate. But then it is also somewhat ruined as described in my next point.
  • Chocolate – Generally speaking, US chocolate is pretty ropey. Hershey chocolate has a slight waxy texture, a slight soapy taste. Licensed Cadbury’s chocolate isn’t bad but not quite the same, I cannot put my finger on why. But it isn’t called chocolate here because of some rule I don’t recall, or have no wish to look up on google, about what ingredients are considered to be chocolate. Still I am addicted to Cadburys Creme eggs, and partial to a bit of the old “fruit and nut”. Oh, Trader Joe’s caramel chocolate bars aren’t bad either.

And this being monday, annoyance in Nonet:

If I were religious, I would ask

for a cheese with a mature taste

or chocolate that does not

taste like washing dishes

or caramel not

been seaside dipped

I’m not. Still



And that concludes my tongue in cheek wishes for this week.

Have a nice week, and tune in at a later date, for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: rollick.

The Monday Mess – Odd English slang part 1 – 26 Nov 2012

Once upon a time I lived in a quaint old place, old enough to have history. The island has a surprising amount of different regional accents, given the size of it, most likely somewhat unintelligible to your average American who is more tuned into simple, easy to understand terms, like Hamburger, Cola, and taxes. Anyhoo, I digress, said place has some interesting slang terms which might sound a bit odd if you’ve never heard them before. Here is a selection:

But what does it mean?
(Click to see)

  • how’s your father – Something I heard my old man say a few times when I was younger, and he was referring to other people. Well hopefully not my mother and him. It means getting your leg over, or er, giving her one, you know, sex. According to the Urban Dictionary its origin can be traced back to several places, but it is basically about covering up the deed with polite language. I would often hear it as a teen in the context of “I think they went for a bit of how’s your father”.
  • “getting your leg over – See above. It’s about having your way with a lady. The phrasing would imply more that it is for a male conversation.
  • “feel a right tit” – Not literally to feel a woman’s right breast, which was once taken that way when I used it to comment on Mr Faulkner’s blog. Or on this T-shirt link here. It is more along the lines of “I felt like a complete idiot” or more slang like “I felt a right idiot”.
  • Taking a slash – Not whipping your knife out, and thrusting it across a smooth surface causing a tear, but actually to whip something else out, no thrusting required, in order to relieve oneself. Yes it means you are off to urinate.
  • “bloody nora” – is one I still like a lot now. Where I grew up you would sometimes hear the variation “Chuffing Nora“. It is used in a situation where something bad is happening but not panic / really awful bad. Like a pile of papers you have stood up three times, slides down again. You deal with it in a relative calmness, like the whole thing is a joke, hence “bloody nora”. You could also use it when someone is asking you to do something for the 15th time as a way to register some annoyance, without making it a big deal, and more of a joke. An interesting explanation on the potential origins of the phrase can be found here.

And this being monday I have to try cram it into some form of poetry. This week Nonet:

Bloody nora! I felt a right tit

Looked at her, said How’s your father?

she said he’s in hospital

that aint good then, said I

no leg over then

so off I went

to take a

big long


And that concludes a short story of a caring individual. Well I crammed all the phrases in so “jobs a good un”

Have a nice week, and tune in somewhen further down it for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: ameliorate.

Poem – Unemployment, interview (6)

(Source: Microsoft Clip art)

This poem belongs to the batch referred to previously, for example last week’s poem “Unemployment, number(11)“. This one was inspired by ideas from the earlier batch, and also a piece of artwork in the current edition of Poetry Magazine. Feel free to enjoy, or not, and to comment below.

Unemployment – Interview (6)

When the woman was asked
she craned her neck a little
and took a quick glance
the man could not tell what she saw
it didn’t matter
she was wearing a red jacket
it hung like meat on a rack
yet it faintly smelt of perfume
it distracted from her smile
which she did when she answered
she seemed to know
what was right to say
and when to pause
and when to glance
but her neck was slightly too long

Lexicon word of the day: Lugubrious.

Poem – Unemployment, number (11)

(Source: Microsoft Clip art)

Soon I shall be posting something relating to the weekend post “The blog post trail game aka the other map of blog“. In the meantime, with a poem I posted last week called “Unemployment, number (4)“, I discussed how that and several others had appeared in an hour session one afternoon. This is the third one. It is a quick read.

Unemployment – number (11)

I am not a man
I am a piece of meat
you do not know me
I give a snapshot to you
that isn’t what I mean
I am tied to the slide
to match your needs
I am not a man
I am just a lump
sat in a chair
whilst you poke with your intuition
hook a morsel of my mind
that may feed your notepad fish
I don’t know what you mean
I saw that stifled yawn

I am not a man
I am just your 4 pm

Lexicon word of the day: tithing.

Poem – Unemployment, number (4)

the view is not a mirror image

With a poem I posted last week called “Familiarity“, I discussed how that and several others had appeared in an hour session one afternoon. This is the second one. I didn’t mention before, but I am going to post them in the order that I wrote them. I pinched the title from Mark Levine’s work in the current issue of “Poetry“, but I already had the subject matter.

Unemployment – number (4)

I’ve been here before
like a bad dream
but a daily reality
I spend a lot of time in the house
building a lot of nothing
in the void between my ears
I suppose I could write a book
but the vacuum of my imagination
draws in but not out
at least when I’m surfing the net
all those ones and zeros
not making their way to my wallet
I suppose I should apply for a job
get used to rejection
then I suppose I could write a book
and get used to rejection
or try again tomorrow

Lexicon word of the day: presage.

Poem – Familiarity

(image by Girts Gailans, Copyright Red Edge / Girts Gailans – click to see more)

Sometimes I can sit in our back room, maybe have some music on, and imagine some new stories, or write some new poems. One recent afternoon a bunch of poems came out, some better than this one. I will post some of those soon. That isn’t a good appetiser for reading this one though is it? Well I can tell you this about it. Some parts inspiration came from this months (bi-monthly) “Poetry” magazine. More on that publication on the weekend post. It isn’t a long one, so should not take up more than another 30 seconds of your time. I chose it first because it loosely fits in with the olympics, although it is not about the olympics itself. That might put you off if you are all Olympic-d out and sick of water polo (what is NBC’s obsession with showing that?), but ought not to as it is linked to the Olympics in the loosest sense. So enjoy, laugh at, think it is crap, or whatever, but either way, here it is:


You were like an old shoe
once worn all the time
now stored in the cupboard

stenched, stale, and over familiar
beauty drenched in cynicism
time has been and gone

till one day I noticed
as I walked clouded summer streets
character is just a point of view

you may be crooked or quirky
but still have a secret
till I pull back the curtain and see

oh to grin and bear it
why, when I can wear it?
do travel those streets again

where many stories etched
but build a new verse still
even a small mark makes a difference

it made me laugh
seeing new from my old eyes
discover what makes a fool

take you out
one more cute trip
old Blighty, I love you

Lexicon word of the day: proselytise.