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(I know, I know, but it's the way we diarylanders have done it for generations.)

2014-03-05 20:43

Over-annotated verses


On Facebook, AJP Crown posted a photo of a Nebelreif ("fog bank"). "Grumbly" Stu Clayton remarked:

Es ist ein Nebelstreif what ? Am Waldesrand erschienen ? Der unseren Blick versperrt ? What is this Nebelstreif up to ?

Which we took the liberty of versifying:

Er ist ein Nebelstreif,
Der unseren Blick versperrt,
Am Waldesrand enschienen -
Sein Zweck ist unerklrt.

(We insist we are not poetically sensible, but there are times when the urge really cannot be helped.)

2. Without apologies to G. H. MacDermott, on hearing of a proposal to exclude Russia from the G8 in reprisal for its adventurism in the Crimea.

We may not want to fight
And we're not going to
But next time we put on a slap-up feast
We're not inviting you!

3. On the warbloggers getting their war on, and the energy security issues that make it a priori unserious

They're talking up war in Crimea
They're talking a load of crap
'Cos the lamps will go out across Europe
When Putin turns off the tap.

(Incidentally, our Varied Reader will appreciate the irony that the pro-technology Informationist school of poetry, which allegedly blossomed in Schotland in the 1990s, prefers to go undisseminated in out-of-print treeware rather than trouble itself with the making of e-books. We're sure they're all vastly more poetically sensible than ourself, but for the foreseeable we will be continuing to take it on trust.)

2014-02-24 09:05

Push it real good

So our latest toy is an Android tablette, which we sometimes even succeed in tearing from the hands of our grieving children, and on which we have installed a variety of news-pushing apps from reputatble providers.

So that whenever anything happens in, say, Ukraine, we get beeped about it from the BBC, Spiegel and Soaraway Aftonbladet.

We quite like it really; it makes us feel important. ("Quick! To the Batcave! Mr Yanukovitsch has fled his palace, pursued by a posse of aggrieved transliterations!")

2014-02-17 11:19



Ra ra Rasputin
Have you any wool?
No sir, No sir,
Don't be a fool.

None for the Tsarinna,
None for the Tsar,
And none for the peasant boy
Who glowers from afar.

(Trad., arr. Pushkin)


That night it was difficult to sleep because an armoured car was patrolling on our roof and checking the documents of the cats which always prowl there. I was told that only one cat had his papers on him but he too was arrested. After all, an ordinary cat carrying authentic personal documents is enough to arouse justified suspicion.

From "The chronicle of a beseiged city" in The Elephant by Slawomir Mrozek (more-or-less).

(A collection of lugubriously didactic whimsey from reluctantly communist Poland. All of the stories are exactly like that.)

3. McMafia, Misha Glenny

The multi-billion-dollar enterprise includes politicians, gangsters, businessmen and large corporations, who all work relentlessly to sate both their unquenchable avarice and the global consumer's equally rapacious demand for mobile phones and things that sparkle.

He writes like that all the time.

2014-02-17 09:55

An ambivalent attitude to chicory coffee

Chicory coffee (we drink this one) is basically horrible. It was invented by masochists who found the taste of coffee too easy to acquire, and has been a staple of French culture ever since; the French being a people largely unmoved by alimentary pleasures.

On Moondays we are home with assorted children, including such of ours as happen not to be in school at various parts of the day, and we spend the day drinking pots of coffee. When it is time to stop, we make a cup of repulsive chicory coffee and drink that instead. It gives us the shivers, and if we can't face the thought of any more coffee after that.

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