Sunday, 26 October 2008

What dream may come

I’m not a great one for dreaming or at least I don't remember them if I do. I can only recall a few in my life. One while I was at school, which was a recurring one, and I guess says a lot about my feelings towards school. I would wake up in a cold sweat when In my dream I realised that I had arrived at school wearing my pyjamas. Eeeekkk! My school was never the place you wanted to stand out in. Just a haircut was enough to leave you ostracised for weeks on end so you can imagine what arriving in pyjamas would have done for my less than stellar school existence. The only other dream that I can remember was even worse and occurred just after my Dad died. I dreamed that he was in the garage and was convinced that if I could only get him into the house everything would be fine. I have a horrible feeling this was partly down to my Grandmother. She had a tendency to lock herself in the very same garage when she did not get her own way (I was often of the opinion that we should have bricked up the door and left her to it). I'm not sure what this says about anything other than as a confused 17 year old I really wanted my Dad back. So much for the power of dreams and maybe it was my failure to save my Dad (leaving him no doubt to the mercy of my grandmother)that put a stop to my dreams altogether.

I can’t say from my previous experience that I have ever missed dreams, which does not mean that I don’t enjoy hearing about other peoples. So imagine my delight when I found out my friend’s recent dream. She confided at a recent dinner party that she dreamt she was having an affair with David Cameron. There was a ripple of interest in this, particularly from another friend of ours, hence forth known as "Jilted boyfriend". It gets worse - a little while later she admitted that the affair had led to her having David’s love child. Another body blow to Jilted Boyfriend but he took it on the chin and said he was prepared to stand by her and the baby. It was only at the end of the evening that my friend admitted that David and his wife took the baby off her and adopted it as their own, stating that my friend was an unfit mother. I’ve been trying to interpret what, if anything, my friends dream meant, but to be honest it’s beaten me. However, having seen my friend’s attempts to plough down children on a recent bike ride (aside 1) I can’t help but think the Cameron’s made the right decision. As for Jilted Boyfriend I hope these words will give him some comfort “It could have been worse, imagine if she had been having a fling with Gordon Brown or even John Prescott…….” If anyone else out there would like me to fail to interpret their dreams for them, feel free to send them to me.

Quote from my big sister
“Reading the BlackLOG makes it like we almost know you, Mrs B and the cats” – so much for the 43 years of being related to her. I think she is just trying to get a mention in the Blog as she has been missing for a while. Way to go Sis - you made it….

Breaking news
I’m at last ready to launch the BlackLOG historical – The blogs that I wrote before I started publishing on the web. The plan is to publish the BlackLOGHistorical on a Wednesday evening and continue to publish the current BlackLOG on Sunday evenings.

Don't forget to tune in to BlackLOG Historical on Thursday morning, otherwise Mischief is coming around to demand why not!!!.

----------------The end of another BlackLOG----------------------------

(1) This can be put down to bad eyesight and my friend asked for a number of similar child abuse instances to be taken into account. Including hitting a small child with a toy bone during a puppy training session that she attended. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was attempting (girly fashion) to throw the bone to one of her dogs rather then actually aiming at the small, soon to be wailing, child. (Return to text)

I'm trying to work out if they are
dreaming or they have been left
unconscious from badly thrown bones.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Half a dinary for my bleading life story!

Let me introduce Mrs B's new found friend, despite only three emails between them she already feels like she has known him all his life.... For the record Mrs B was just doing her job and was as helpful as she is to everyone. (Except to me when I'm in the bad books and any occasion that Sian Lloyd appears on TV. I think Mrs B might be allergic to Sian, the frothing of the mouth and chuntering being a bit of a giveaway).

Apart from changing the name of the addressee and he didn't actually address it to "Mrs B", this is the actual email received. Some of the spelling makes even me look almost literate. Teach - this should make your week, go ahead, get the red pen out and knock your socks off....

Dear Mrs B
This was such an unfortunate happening, I thought all my problems were over!!!!!!

Oh - well, say-la vee (whatever that means)!!!! I'm afraid I'm not a French person, although I AM Canadian 'cos I was born there, my Mum went and marrid one of those Canadian guys that she met during WWII when she was in the R.A.F. and he was in the Canadian one. They went to Edinborough for a weekend in Sept. '44 (and I think that's when I got started, 'cos I jumped out on June the 27th '45.) In March she started "showing" and got slung out of the R.A.F. "You can't have your soldiers giving Birth now, can you? Supposin' she killed somebody !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(She actually "talked the bomber pilots home" in the middle of the night). Then the Canadian Diplomatic Office stepped in & said "We don't want our kids born in a war zone", and "floated" her across the Atlantic to his Parents house in Toronto. My "male parent" was floating down the St. Lawrence at the time, and walked in on July the fourth. He'd known she was pregnant in England, but now I was a "complete mystery", and he denied anything to do with me, to the extent that he'd bash the hell out of me every chance he got. By March '47 she begged my Grandpa for inuf loot to get back to England, and we were just about to get on the ship in New York harbour when it caught fire & sank!!!!!!! So I grew up in Hanger Lane (on the Central line, one stop west of North Acton), and at the age of 16 1/2 I joined the R.A.F. myself and "did" almost 14 Years service!!!! Any more of this will bore y'all to tears, so I'll simply say Thank-you again, and wish you the best.

In the meantime, I'll remain, Yours Sincerely, Strange Canadian gentleman

Those of you who have ever suffered some of my more lengthy email replies should count yourself lucky, I have always stopped short of actually pouring out my life story. I don't know about you but I would like to know, after the ship caught fire in New York harbour how did he get to Hanger Lane? I tried to convince Mrs B to follow up but she point blank refused to contact her new found friend. Wow, I just had a thought, now you guys know our friend as well as Mrs B (I can't do it, the emails would get way too long and probably bring the network to a halt). Any volunteers, with a couple of days to spare, who are willing to email him and request some further details.......?

What Dreams may come
Don't worry Joe, Kirsty's dream revelation is currently on the back burner, simmering away waiting for an opportunity to emerge in an inappropriate moment, during a future BlackLOG. Kirsty - being a fair sort of chap - I am open to bribes and (don't worry Joe)counter - bribes. Feel free to open the bidding....

Monday, 13 October 2008

When the magic of TV crashes into the reality that is real life

I was watching “Tash of the D’Urbervilles ” the other day (was it just me or did anyone else notice the moustache that Tess sported for most of the program? This had the unfortunate effect of making her look far more butch than her wimpy husband Angel. I hope and prey that she is not the first Bond girl in history to have a Tash. That just wouldn’t do at all). I was not totally engaged with “Tash”. Mrs B was ready to ditch it after the first episode - like most of Hardy’s output, it was very downbeat and depressing. Fortunately, we stuck with it, I guess mainly through my mild fascination with what other inappropriate facial hair might make an unwelcome appearance. I’m glad I did, as just at the end of the second episode I spotted some very familiar sights to me – parts of Newark Park in Gloucestershire. Newark is a 16th Century Hunting Lodge built from the stones of a local Abbey, after Henry VIII got a bit antsy with the religious fraternity (better known in the history books as the “Dissolution of the Monasteries”). This is a National Trust property that my family and I have had the good fortune to be associated with for over 30 years. My mother and father were friends with Bob Parsons, a soft-spoken Texan, who became a sitting tenant of Newark in the mid 1970’s and he and Michael Claydon, who joined him in later years, managed to save this wonderful building from falling into ruin. For my sister and myself it became like a second home during school summer holidays and despite the rumours that Newark was haunted by Friars from the Abbey, we never actually saw any ghosts. There was a rather trouser-staining moment for me one night, however, whilst I was watching a Dracula movie. What should pop in through the open window but a rather large and, I am convinced, particularly tooth-laden bat. I can’t actually confirm the part about the teeth as I was too busy hiding under a cushion and, I suspect, out-screaming even the most vocal of heroines in a hammer horror movie. The mixture of sound and obnoxious smells was enough to drive the wee beastie away.
As there were no bats available, at such short notice, the
agency sent a couple of substitutes instead. I'm not sure
they quite convey the same sense of menace as the bat, but
if one of these had flown in through the window I would
probably still have had to replace my underwear.

As we grew up our association with Newark continued. My sister held her wedding reception there. I had the honour of giving my sister away (after I failed to find a buyer) and, with her permission, I proposed to Mrs B during my Brother of the Bride speech at the bottom of the stairs. (There can’t be many people who see the spot where they proposed during a BBC Drama.) Mrs B often reminds me that she never actually accepted my proposal because she was so emotional -after all, I had kept her waiting for over ten years. I then counter that if I had aimed my proposal a couple of degrees to the left I would now be married to a 90-year-old lady in a wheelchair. I have a horrible feeling that whilst Mrs B may not have replied in the affirmative, the old woman actually did say yes. I chose to turn a deaf ear. Is it wrong to ignore old people like that? After all, I had known the former Miss C for a considerable length of time but I hadn’t even been formally introduced to the befuddled old dear. For all I know she may have been a gatecrasher.
While Mrs B happily posed for this photo at Newark, The
befuddled old dear was having none of it. I fear she may
never forgive me for rejecting her.

Mrs B and I had dinner with the Duchess of Westminster at Newark. I suspect the Duchess never mentioned to anyone that she had dinner with us, how rude… In short, we know Newark very well. I would even go as far as to say that it is one of my favourite places on earth. This is how I now know that what they call “TV magic” ,with clever use of locations, really plays with your head if you happen to have a little knowledge about the location used:-

The murder of Alec by “Tash” took place in the very bedroom that Mrs B and I use when we stay at Newark. This is a trifle troublesome to us - I do hope that Michael manages to remove the bloodstains before our next visit. When the blood dripped through the floor of the bedroom it appeared on the ceiling of the drawing room, which in reality is on the other side of the house. My mind kept screaming “That’s not right!” (There may even have been some chuntering.)
That's the door to our room on the
right. If it wasn't haunted before.....

When Tash walked out of the front door, she walked onto a busy Victorian street, instead of the real gravel drive and open countryside. “No, No, No, No!” That just felt so wrong - more chuntering (even leading to some monobation). Fortunately, Mrs B did not join in and thus manages to keep this week’s BlackLOG just about respectable.

Oh the memories! It certainly made Tash of the D’Urbervilles far more interesting than it would otherwise have been for the Black household. I’d even go as far to say it made it watchable…
Some of Newark Parks neighbours, looking forward
to having them for dinner, next time we visit.....

Follow up from last week
Much excitement when I was informed that you can Googlewhack * last week’s post.

Just type “Monobation” into Google –

*Well almost. Monobation doesn't quite adhere to the proper rules of Googlewhacking ** but it's close enough so I'm going to take it (Thanks to Martin for finding that out for me - I think he was checking that I had not stolen Monobation in a Shakespearean-style raid on literature.)

** in that the google search only uses one word instead of two and that word does not appear in a dictionary ***. After all, if Monobation already existed in a recognised dictionary I could hardly make the claim that I had been its creator and guardian, could I? Give it time, I’m sure it will make it into one.

Rustling of paper as I look it up in the Oxford English dictionary

....... “Not there”....

More rustling of paper

......”Damn - Still not there”....

“Obviously these things might take a bit longer then I had hoped….”

*** Since I have now added it to my Word dictionary,technically it does.

I'll leave you with some other shots of Newark Park. If you are in the area you should drop in, it truly is a unique place. Who knows, in the unlikely event that Mrs B and I become famous and you ever happen to be at a dinner party where the conversation is dying on its feet, you could always put it out of its misery by telling people that you have been to the spot where Mrs B almost said yes.... With an anecdote as uninteresting as that you are sure to be requested to leave. No need to thank me, just write to any publishers requesting them to commission me to write the best selling novel "101 ways to get out of dull commitments". Please note that this publication will not include tips on how to get family and friends out of their commitment for reading the BlackLOG.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Creating a new word

I got excited the other day when I thought I had managed to create a new word. After all, how hard can it be - Shakespeare created hundreds of new words (or possibly stole them, depending on your view of history). This is no mean achievement particularly, when you consider that this was a man whose only six authenticated signatures are all spelt differently (according to Bill Bryson in his book Made in America, which I can highly recommend). Unfortunately, a very rudimentary investigation not only uncovered the word to be already in use but my interpretation of the word was not that far off the dictionary definition (which is unusual for me). The word in question is chunter. I use it to describe when I talk at the TV (normally aimed at a politician, referee, so-called expert who has been dug out from under a stone and has no idea of what goes on in the real world etc..etc….) or when I’m looking for my keys which have decided that what would really make my day complete would be to play hide and seek with them. Quite frankly they are rubbish at it and in all the years that we have been playing, it has always been me that does the actual finding..... I’m conveniently excluding the times when Mrs B finds them for me, as I feel that this is irrelevant for the purposes of this Blog, so moving swifly along...

Chuntering is OK in the privacy of your home and just about OK in a car. (People will probably think you are posh and have a hands-free phone system, unless you are in a BMW in which case they probably guess that you are chuntering as any Bluetooth system installed in a BMW is a bit like an appendix - you might have one but it serves no real purpose). However, you should never chunter in public. People, think you are mad and there is a good chance you may find yourself sectioned. This, of course, does not apply to the extremely rich or people of ancient aristocratic stock. They are considered merely eccentric and can get away with almost anything, up to, and occasionally, including murder.

The problem with chuntering is that left unchecked it can often lead to bouts of monobation. I’m fairly confident that monobation is a genuine BlackLOG creation and I use it to describe a situation where a conversation with an inanimate object has gone beyond chuntering and has worked its way up to a very heated discussion with said inanimate object. This can include items such as TVs, in-car navigation systems, even something over which you have just tripped. It can, at a stretch, even be used to cover attempted conversation with deaf elderly relatives or politicians who continually fail to answer the questions they have been asked.

When you have a number of people monobating in close proximity the practice is described as massdebation. Please note that the BlackLOG cannot condone the practice of massdebation , especially if it is done in public or even in your own car. It is even worse if the car happens to be a BMW (BMW drivers already have a bad enough reputation, without leaving themselves open to any misinterpretation that this massdebation might cause).

McG gets a new career
Good news for the household funds, McG appears to have a new career.

We are still waiting for his first rental cheque though. I just wonder what career Mischief will take up.