28 April 2009


Dear Blog,

Have gone to Planet Chaucer. Ascended through the atmosphere by way of Eagle Airways, and staying at House of Fame Hotel. Run by this dodgy bloke who goes by the name of Geoff. Think he's ripping me off to be honest. An empassioned couple, Troilus and Creseyde, have the Honeymoon Suite - though not sure how long this honeymoon period will last... Met a few drinking buddies down the local tavern. Some right characters - the Wife of Bath and Pardoner drank me under the table! Don't think all this ale agrees with me as having some very vivid dreams. One might even call them 'visions', and they are always in verse...
Weather currently stormy, but am hoping that the clouds will clear, the mist will rise, and that I shall soon see the light.
Maybe I should have just gone on a road trip to Canterbury instead...

Hopefully be back soon,

P.s. Cancel the papers for the forseeable future (and the future is always forseeable on Planet Chaucer - according to the sponsors, Boethius and Fortune, at any rate) as unfortunately I cannot read them whilst on this holiday from hell.

15 April 2009


Brother the Younger and I are going into business together. We are going to set up The Great Mangle Tour of Britain.

Mangle enthusiasts (and who doesn't love a mangle?) can travel the country, mangle to mangle. Simple as that. Why hadn't we thought of it before? How has it not been done before?

Coach trips will run throughout the tourist season, taking in Beamish, Kirkhaarle (where there is a beautiful specimen within a cosy cafe), Robert Burns' House (which has the added charm of chattering old ladies, eager to inform), and the piece de resistance of Arran Heritage Museum.

I would be most grateful for suggestions of any other mangle-centred locations, especially in the south, as this is a decidedly northern-based venture at present.

As a sideline to this business, I am going to produce souvenirs. Based on mangles. Obviously. Tea towels, fridge magnets and mugs will bear such legends as 'You can wring my bedsheets anytime' and 'Can you handle my mangle?'. These will be targeted towards those mangle-loving dirty weekenders, of which, I am reliably informed, there is a rather large market.

I may also manufacture some mini working models of mangles. Pocket-sized so that you are never caught short without a mangle. They will come in multiple colours, and will surely appeal to the young manglophile, those still new to the growing national obsession and who will be receptive to the dinky dynamism of these nifty collectables.

Me and Brother the Younger will split the profit 70/30.

Is it just me or is the word mangle beginning to lose all sense and meaning...?

4 April 2009

Though the East End (or Hexham Massive, East Side, as I like to think of it, with gangsta hand gestures and rapper gesticulations) is not quite a suburbia of Desperate Housewives proportions, it isn't far off. No white picket fence borders our abode - we only do twee ironically, and would definitely not be able to cope with the upkeep of such a wholesome garden accessory - yet a dark, secretive past lingers around these parts just as it does on Wisteria Lane. Apparently.

Back in the day (and I am not sure as to the exact date of this legendary 'day') the residence of Woodside Villas were known, rather wittily, as the Woodside Villains. Which adds adventure and theatricality to our somewhat reserved street.

The divulger of this information (written in blood on thick parchment by way of a scratchy quill, folded and sealed with ruby red molten wax, and arrived through my window attached to the leg of a carrier pigeon) did not care to elaborate as to how we were villainous however.

I like to think it was due to the nightly raucus flapper parties, wild drunken orgies, the rampant espionage, blackmail, and cloak and dagger goings on, and the enthusiastic twirling of our dark moustaches.

Of course, it could be nothing to do with the rather disastrous shindig of five years ago, when rivers of vomit ran in our drives, paint splattered the walls and carpets like the aftermath of a gory murder scene, windows were smashed, and high heel shoes spiked through table tops. Heaven forbid.

Alas, I feel the heyday of the notorious Woodside Villains, when they reigned supreme over these dark and shadowy parts, may be over. Though the banter over constructing the herb patch can border on villainous when the heat of the sun burns through the gathering clouds. Boos and hisses follow Ma and Pa as they swish their dark velvet cloaks, and scheme over fennel seeds.

I hope the villain is merely lurking, hatching evil and dastardly plans, and plotting an epic return to these mean streets in the near future. The Villas were meant for Villains!