Monday, July 04, 2011

Why bother?

I mean it's not as if I blog regularly anymore. We have, afterall, smashed the filthy socialists and will soon be on our way to the glorious sunlit uplands.
Also all the great and the good have quit. Dizzy is almost no more. Mr Eugenidies has vanished and the Devil has paying job, Guido is a shadow of his former self now we have eliminated them and all the left can offer is blandishments from their filthy union paymasters is People's Revolutionary pronouncements in the home style of British Leyland circa the Maxi1000 era.

Oh well I thought. I am now married, on the bench workwise and seeking to drag The Dere Northerner back to God's country and try and occupy the day while I furiously tout my body south if the 52nd parallel.

Thought it would be worth spouting daily news-inspired bollocks here for a change.

However - I may gloat first. I'm buggering off to Ibiza for a week's sailing and sitting about. Crikey. I sound like an UnNamed Union Boss. The working class can kiss my arse, I have a Public Sector backed gold plated pension at last. All out brothers! (except not me the trust fund for my three trustafarian daughters needs topping up....)

Right I'm off to spunk my money up the wall on expensive London dinners while keeping a homeless family who don't grease their money out of the Public Sector gravy train  out of my council flat. Nothing is too good for the party connected eh? Wankstain.

Solidarity eh, Reg?

Outraged? I promise to ignore any public protests regarding the fact I have been creaming it off your backs for yonks and have an overinflated sense of intitlement. Now fuck off an enjoy proper communism. Drop me a line when the chloroform has worn off and you have woken up in a ditch somewhere outside Pyong Yang ready for punishment duties.


Picture removed as the bastard will sue me.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Tarka and the Bilge

Warning. This is a bit nasty.

Shortly after I met the Dear Northerner she came and me and chumrades to Sardinia for a spot of yachting. Being a lady of delicate sensibilities and somewhat vapourish we decided to practice our nautical wit upon her and suggest that as it was a nature reserve there would be no using the heads for solids at all. Not just wipeage, but jobbies as well.

On her arrival I presented her with dutifully labelled freezer bags and six squares of Mr Andrex's shiniest and said there you go dear - this is your very own personal collection for the week.

Poor dear was so traumatised she was astonishingly constipated for a whole week. A feat she bettered in India mind you - with events coming to a grisly conclusion in a deserving Hotel in Munnar. (Another story - but it took a double Tarka Dhal and three Senokot maxis to dislodge it......)

So Her next sojourn upon the ocean wave was to require a more wholesome methodology for relief.

A plan was hatched.

Now the marine facilities are small-bore by comparison to the British Standard Bog. They tend not to account for neither the modern diet, not the fact they may be needed in a seaway.
A stance must be maintained such that one does not fall off the throne, yet ensure one doesn't feel the effects of one's remains accidentally and at the same time cope with any pitches and rolls, without falling off at the wrong time and Tarka making a break for the bilge to join his mouldering chums below the decking.

Hence was born The 'Tip and Grimace'.

Just think - using grab-rails over-head and wedging the feet against the door one can accommodate all eventualities and not have any embarrassing accidents at the same time - whilst encompassing all the actions and outcomes and grisly nature of it's failure.
For some strange reason we both found this highly amusing (her humour clearly dragged down to my schoolboy level).

The word has now morphed in to merely requiring the bath-room.

Tip and Grimace.

Kind of a ring to it too, eh? Think of it next time you are caught short in the Dog and Duck and need to void yesterday's curry.

I did say this was a nasty post.... :-)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Petroleum Spirit

It will please old readers to know that I am the owner of a new chapmobile. Well - new compared to the old Alvis. It is actually coming up on her third birthday and her first with me.

It is NOT green. Oh No. A throbbing 3.2 litre hippy thrashing V6 petrol guzzling non-green car.

The tax now costs me as much as my first car did.

Also probably why I don't drive it very much.

The Life Aquatic 1

A busy Greek Supermarket, yesterday.

The privations of the life aquatic tends to suit a chap. One can cheerfully eschew the drawing room, unlimited real ale and access to the new chapmobile for a few weeks bobbing about on the briny, taking potshots at the French and a god-given right to drink rum for breakfast. Sodomy is optional, the lash essential.

Not the usual scumsail flotilla life for us in the Aegean, either.

Rampant individualism oft flying in the face of folk wisdom or marine training calls the day.

And it is as thus one flew out t’other week off to the Cyclades to introduce the Dear Northerner to a life on the ocean wave - a ruse to the idea that we should retire to a marine existence – sort of a pensionable version of water-world, sans avec Kevin Costner.

I have taken two prior Miss Chaps to this place with limited success. They prob don’t read this anymore which is just as well. Neither were suitably amphibious to cope.

Now there is a separate post coming about her appreciation of the marine facilities known as the ‘heads’ however it is worth reflecting previous and recent experience on the daily privations of life afloat.
Namely:  supplies.

I have known a couple of girls get through fresh water at ludicrous rate. Now, every chap knows the trick for making his pants last a month – and lets face it – most of the time one can spend the time in one’s birthday suit as there isn’t a soul about. Add to that baby shampoo to wash in the sea (it really works) and shaving the head to keep the worst of the weevils at bay then one can settle into pelagic squalor with joy.

Previous Miss chaps have tended to guzzle fresh water – but they have neglected seamanship duties normal to a fellow afloat – such as tidying up after themselves.

Dear Northerner is the complete opposite. Like a good Yorkshire lass, she is exceedingly house proud and if the boat had a front step, she would have scrubbed it. Now admittedly she had a Yorkshire taste when it came to the local food....nothing ‘dirty’ , ‘greazy’, 'garlciky' or ‘oily’. (That excludes almost all Greek food)...
But she took it upon herself to supply a level of 'tween decks cleanliness that would make an Admiral proud. However she did tend to use a lot of the valuable fresh water for this - and .....a lot of 'products'.
Now, a chap tends to sluice everything out with sea water, pump out the bilge and then set about a large Aubreyesque dinner of sea-pie, moussaka, baklava, salad, fish, baked chicken and spotted dog, washed down with ouzo, retsina, metaxa and liberal quantities of mythos.
The Greek Islands.
They are somewhat remote, pleasingly non-commercial and backward and ideal for basic comestibles. Sun baked, whitewashed Choras reveal little but tomatoes, salt fish and grizzled old widows scowling over their fly-blown laps. Sea-miles away from Blackberry reception and modern conveniences. And I might add - Tescos super store.
I had provisioned our little ship with all the kit we needed for a fortnight afloat. Undaunted I was dispatched when first we touched ashore (Skhinoussa, as it 'appens) to acquire some 'products'

It is indicative of the dear gel that I got this as a shore-going shopping list.

Rubber washing up gloves
Antibacterial wipes
Antiseptic gel
Floor cleaner
Toilet cleaner
Stainless steel cleaner
Washing up liquid
Tin foil
Pan scrubbers
Metal scourers
Brillo pads
Sponge cloths
Kitchen Roll

To her ongoing horror I returned with Anchovies, Ouzo and Coca-cola.

PS: Ouzo + Coke is a particularly astonishing tipple. Heartily recommend it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Indian Vibes 1: Luke warm in Ooty

It all seemed like such a good idea at the time. Skinful of Ale, sit through Slumdog, wistful memories of being there as a child - and plenty of travel shows on the box - with the Clarkson trio galavanting across Indochina on motorbikes. I mean, to a chap-about-the-empire travelling around the sub continent ought to be child's play.
So with heady dreams of walking the trail of the mutiny and chuffing steam trains, punkah-wallahs and palanquins, Dear Northerner and I strolled into the Leeds branch of a well known flight brokerage and bought ourselves a couple of return flights. Into Bombay and back home from Madras.

There are many tales of this trip - all quality blog fodder so I am shall reminisce of them from time to time to share with my readers - and I hope both find it entertaining.

The South of the Sub-c appealed to us both. I could swelter in linen suits and a pith helmet while DN wafted in and out of scented bazaars regaling herself in Ill Fitting Ethnic clothing and acquiring a taste for curry a life in Leedshire inexplicably deprived her.

We had been in the true tropics for about a week and were plotting the break-out into the ghats. The brochures all waxed lyrical about cardamon scented groves and chirpy tea stalls - but after a week away from the more cosmopolitan Bombay the image had been corroded away into the filthy grime that is, frankly, the third world.
As both in our 40s, and reasonably well travelled, the sort of gaffs that would appeal to the average wide-eyed gapper or earnest Guardian reading teacher desperate-to-prove-how-down-they-are-with-the-desperately-poor (Ill fitting ethnic clothing again) would certainly not do. No sharing of rooms in railway retiring rooms - inside loos a must unless in some tree house or boat and a source of bottled water or a container I could sterilise was a must.
This part of the world does back-packer or four star - not a lot in between.
So we had abandoned ideas of strolling into towns and finding clean and tidy accommodation and had to do some serious planning in Ernakulum.
Our destination was Ootacumund - Ooty for short. Weeks poring over the guide books had told us of a fine hills station with classical architecture, pleasant parks and lakes and the like. All sounded a bit like Sussex in the tropics.

The problem was getting there. With Christmas fast upon us we had a reservation in the hills and we really had to get there.

Ernakulum station dealt us the sort of arranging one has to make with the lesser spotted station guard in Penge we found - except rather than sullen ignorance, the fellows here are only too eager to please. They will assess you for what you want and tell you precisely what they have calculated you wish to hear - with no relevance to mere reality. Which is why buying a train ticket in India is worse than getting your name off the Reader's digest mailing list.

Desperate questioning and refusing to accept the first head waggling answer giving to us by railway staff revealed a new horror to add to the amoebic discomfort.
Our route to Ooty was not there.
Ceased to be - Doctor Beeching's revenge on the empire and all that.

The rains had come and washed away the railway and the fast coach route to the station.
No steam trains for us. No canteen bearing char-wallahs to while away the hours bartering with.
We had to negotiate a way from Ernakulum via Munnar across Via the road-head at Coimbatore to Ooty itself.

I shall share with you the delights of Munnar another time - suffice to say what lay ahead was not the genteel rail journey to the junction across into the Ghats and across the nature reserve and finally up to our end destination but 300km across the most dangerous roads in the world.

The last 90km was forecast to take 4 hours with the roads open. More as we couldn't go the direct route.

So after a five hour drive to Coimbatore (losing camera on the way - another story) we sound ourselves at the rat infested sewage spotted eastern depot in Coimbatore looking for an Ooty bus.
The journey may have cost us 50p each but the ramshackle vehicle and bus driver urinating against the wheel said we may be getting value for money.

Oh how us mighty have fallen!

However we took heart from how they drove. Buses in India are notoriously dangerous - mostly as their drivers drive extremely fast. They over-take on blind bends and race each other in the face of oncoming traffic fearlessly.
It's only 90 odd K we said - surely we will be ok.....!

The bus was busy - DN and I were separated. A fruit seller cam about selling sliced pineapples - a sure source of worms but we were hot, and thirsty. I chanced it having already suffered at the hands of Shiva's Revenge and therefore reckoned I was used to it. Two minutes later fruit wallah is back demanding more money.
I damned his impudence and sent him on his way. Blasted wallahs cant be trusted.
He came back immediately - white lady sent him. Turned out DN had bought herself some too and sent the boy forward for me to pay. She didn't want to get her money out as the old lady next to her was coughing and eyeing up her watch. No doubt hoping diphtheria would flatten DN and she would have the watch away.
Oh well - I handed his coins over.

And so in 32 degree heat we bounded and crashed and hooted our way off the road to Ooty.

It was all going swimmingly until the climb up the hills. Unable to read due to sheer terror the hilly landscape proved a welcome relief to watching the repeats of one's life every five minutes.

A road sign! Ooty 65KM....looking good.

It was now getting dark  - not that seemed to indicate to the driver we needed any lights.

Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.
Hairpin bend....over-take tuk-tuk.

It started to rain and get cold. The bus heaved and groaned and I was marvelling at the strength of the chap throwing the wheel around - arms like popeye.
Two buses stuck on hairpin - neither giving way, much hooting anf shouting.

Half the road gone - much hallooing and hooting shouting and comings and goings.

Another sign: Ooty 65KM

And another: Ooty 70KM.

We had already learned the numbers on the road signs are merely there for the amusement of the sign writers and bear no relationship to actual distances, directions or locations.

Ooty 55KM

Police Check point. Lady behind me is sick into hanky, tries to hurl it from the window - rebounds and covers window with a fruity tang. Shivaite next to pees himself. Women weep, men curse, children sob and still we climb on into the deepening night.

And lo five hours into the now freezing night we round a curve and we see lights in the valley to our left - not miles away but close - could this be Ooty at last? We get stuck again. This time going down hill for the first time in the journey - so near yet so, so far.
We speed up into brighter still lights....bone shaking terror as we scream past goats and pariah dogs.
All desperate for the loo as we bounce and shake into a town ahead - it's now 9pm - we have been under way since 3.

Now Dear Northerner had arranged this part and after all manner of woe in the Munnar Fawlty towers we had a reservation at the Taj. Comfort, safety and civilisation would be restored at some point. The challenge of course is getting there in one piece.
Our experience of the Taj in Bombay was one of genteel elegance, refined civility and all very pukka and up our street.
We had had enough of rip-offs, dirt, filth, rickety transport and appalling roads and driving.

We were deposited at Piccadilly Circus in Ooty. The rain was leaving rivulets in the dust and brake grime on our legs as we shivered to extract waterproofs from our packs. It felt very much like Yorkshire in November. We were supposed to have escaped this. Garish neon winked through the stinging drops as tuk-tuk drivers hawked inflated prices. When we first arrived in India we laughed up our sleeves at rickshaw drivers ripping off prickly-heated coated indignant Sahibs for a pennies in our money. After a week since Aleppy being charged a pound still felt expensive - but we paid it all the same.

This was a chap reduced the status of some awful back-packer. No howdah to carry me forth, just rain, shit and slowness. Not to what I was accustomed at all. But resolution is all in these matters and a stiff upper lip and a stern resolve works wonders with the natives I have found.
So spattered we were as we chugged up into the mist past lights and cows sheltering from cold in doorways.
Down a dark unmade road. We read of tourists being taken up back roads and robbed - and fearing the Northerner's life and my manly virtue we clung to one another - mostly for warmth mind.

The road opened up to a gate house and a uniformed and turbaned guard peered into the back and stood smartly up and lifted the barrier.
Dropped by a door way in a car-port from the rain we collected our things and trudged into the reception. Soothing yellow lights and a huge vase of lillys adorned the desk. Mustachioed white jacket at the desk looked up and beamed.
'Mr D? We have been expecting you.'
We suddenly felt dirty, ragged and not at all well heeled in such salubrious surrounds.
'Welcome to the Taj, sir - please I will get a boy for your bags - you needn't carry anything here, sir."
A warm glow not unlike peeing yourself on a wetsuit came over us both.
'Table for Dinner sir and a drink at bar first perhaps while the boy runs you a bath and lights a fire in your room?'

Civilisation indeed. After the tribulations of even getting alcohol at all in Kerala let alone any without formaldehyde preservatives - a wine list at all had me soaring to elysium. A cigar humidor with burning embers to light it, a half decent red, a soak and a fire with which to warm DN for bed and you know - it might even have been worth it. The very mention of a bath had the Dear Northerner pink with delight.
Oh the water wasn't as hot as she would have liked - but it had a plug, some salts in a glass jar and our suite really did have a fire. Christmas at last............

Ooty, through a hole in the clouds

Friday, June 04, 2010

From the shadows he will rise

Okay, okay.

It has been two years since I have written anything here largely because I have been frightfully busy.

Busy with the Dear Northerner.

Busy with cleaving myself twain from the yoke of Big Grey, setting up my very own boutique consultancy dedicated to earning filthy lucre.

Busy moving house to North of the 53rd Parallel and inveigling myself in James Herriot country.

Busy acquiring suitable tweeds for hearty strides across the moors.

Busy buying 'gay' car but with a whale skin interior, baby seal eyes for headlights and huuuge V6 engine.

Busy not knowing what to write and finding out that the Dear Northerner was reading this with alacrity and searching the archives. Not Good. Especially when I said things about her

Anyway - my dear readers have spoken and they want more.

Better get cracking hadn't I? And there is so much to go on now..........

Friday, May 30, 2008

Trawling the Net

Claiming her 'find love, your money back' from

Some of you know that a while a go Chap went 'net dating. It was pretty paltry clench, if you ask me.

One recalls that the vapidity of the things the 'gels 'put of there.

Is it the medium, one wonders? Or those driven to use it? There seems to be an ongoing air headed cheeriness of those that use this - the saccharine smile of the end of pier beauty queen transcribed into two hundred easy words.
If you are considering it - here's a handy primer to help you decipher the sinister wiles the phillies use to try and convince you that they are not desperate heifers who's clock has gone off:

Translation into chap in italics.

I'm an optimist

The pills have kicked in.

I like to treat my glass as half full

or I would cry

I love life!!

I'm desperately boring

I love my alone time!

I have three-alarm PMT

I enjoy everything life throws at me!

The most interesting part of my day is reading the Metro over someone's shoulder

I have a colourful character

I will cook your pets when you leave me

I love Yoga,

Every woman puts this in her profile - they will think I'm weird if I don't

And Pilates,

I have no life

And Keeping fit,

I really have no life

And going to the gym,
save me from the interminable boredom of my own company

And going out for coffee

I have no imagination to invent a lifestyle beyond last night's Sex in the City

I'm active in Politics,

I voted Labour last time and regret it now

I Love environmental issues,

I once signed up to Greenpeace at Glastonbury

I love live music

I listen to Chris Moyles

I love seeing my friends

to cry

I have a travel bug

I went to Australia once

I enjoy my food

I weigh 16 stone

I have a few extra pounds
I am the walrus

I enjoy a drink or two

I will drink lighter fluid

I'm a social smoker

Fag-ash Lil.

I don’t do recreational drugs
My face is on the Bolivian banknote

I'm considering children

I will use a turkey baster if you are not careful.

Any others from my readers?

A blatant attempt....

The Northerner has stated publicly that she will convert me into being a Northerner such as herself.

Tricky, as you know you can take the Chap out of the Colonies, but not the Colonies out of the Chap.
My moral aversion to whippets runs deeper than a Cornish tin-mine and no matter what she may wish to persuade me is the done thing north of the 53rd parallel - the bathroom is no place for Amyl Nitrate.

Watch this space, reader. If 'Eckie-thump' becomes currency, let me know, what?

Two weeks since I posted?

Criminal I can hear you say, dear reader.

But why?

Well the Northerner has been keeping me chained up in the Frozen Wastes and away from my usual sources of inspiration.
In fact, inspiration has been a bit dry of late - I have been doing a fotherinton-tomas and skipping about going Hullo Clouds Hullo sky.
The only thing worthy of any kind of comment was the my espying a bottle of what appeared to be Amyl Nitrate next to the candles in her bathroom.

Turned out it was aromatherapy bath oil - sparing my imagination the joys of juxtaposing said believed content with limitless hot water and 'wet-room' fittings.

The aviating has been a bit pants of late too. No decent thermic activity leaving me desperate to do my Silver distance - despite having picked up my licence to fly to the scene of my own demise at a field other than mine own.

Got some Uncle Chap requests to deal with - but they are pretty thin stuff, frankly.

Friday, May 16, 2008

More Uncle Chap

Dear Uncle Chap,

I have increasing begun to notice that some of my circle have not been able to find new jobs (after redundancy). The credit crunch has rendered others unable to re-mortgage & are presently selling their properties.

All & all, I am find my life depleted through their sudden lack of means to socialise. I was wondering if you could advise how I can begin to quickly generate some new friends?


Dear Anon (I know who you are AND where you live...)

I have found the following to be most advantageous:

1. Improve your personal hygiene routine.

2. Give away vast amounts of recreational pharmaceuticals and lascivious sexual favours.

3. Never mention the pustules.

4. Avoid underwear and especially in your case, admitting that your are (or have been) a socialist.
Such admissions draw derision outside of a few remaining pockets of idiocy in Hampstead and student common rooms.

Follow these simple rules and your will find yourself popular at Yacht clubs, Rubber Balls and opium dens all over London.

RIP Plumbo Jumbo

Students of Chapsticks and my existence will be vaguely aware of my rather cynical take on the world of drainage.

As the recently-promoted-from-prospective-paramour-to-status-of-Miss-Chap once bemusedly asked of a chumrade - 'Why give him a drain-rod for Christmas?'
Chumrade commented - 'you haven't known him very long have you!'

My drains have been a source of both material for this blog, modern art coverings for parts of my house and a regular pensionable income for the likes of Plumbo Jumbo.

But this would now appear to be at an end.

I have recently reached into my pocket and shelled out for some horny-handed sons of the soil to re-lay my patio and block pave my drive.

No small feat this - and a Augaen stablesque task beyond the means of the local pikeys.

In the removing of the 40 tonnes of concrete and rubble form the old drive I received telephone call from my clerk of works who was somewhat excited by his find. In true Augean fashion they had discovered the source of all my drainage woes.
My main drain had collapsed a while ago. rather than a clean hygienic flow into the sewerage there was a festering pit of quicksand revealed from 'neath the concrete crust.

I arrived home at high speed and in a state of what can only be called High Dudgeon.

There was a spongey depression in the middle of what was my drive. A glance down the hades pit of a man hole cover revealed horrors beyond description. All backed up and oozing away.

There then followed a two-day long rant at insurance company, loss adjuster, drainage contractor, driveway contractor, more loss adjusters and the insurers again.

Best thing to do? I slunk off to stay on a yacht for a long weekend.

Instead of running around fretting about things in the 'danger area', I spent the time gunkholing on a boat - tiding oneself into a pool off well named Brownsea island getting 'anchored and wankered'. Instead of sitting at home surrounded by sewage, I decided to sit on a boat in a tidal pool. Surrounded by sewage.

And now a full week later I can report that all is done.

My builders? Honest and good workers.
Workmanship? Excellent - everything is done.
Drains? Flowing freely for the first time in years.

What will I write about now?

Oh - forgot - I'm off to T'Races soon. Expect essay on 'The Glory Of Debt'.

Sigismund is in Thailand. He will doubtless come back with a rash and a sore bum.