Thursday, 20 December 2007

The Worst Christmas Carol Ever...?

I have just attended our staff Christmas carol service (don't worry, the pub comes later!), and was yet again struck by how godawful the words of this old chestnut are (see below), completely falling apart in places.

Observe if you will the complete absence of scanning in the highlighted verse (to the extent of being embarrassingly impossible to sing in fact!). In addition it is utter nonsense, aside from being offensive to any singing virgins! I firmly suspect John Francis Wade was rather drunk when he penned it in the mid-18th Century. Thank goodness someone tacked a decent enough tune on, though you would have thought they might have edited the lyrics while they were about it (Mr Wade being deceased beyond litigation by then).

O Come All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, Joyful, and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! He abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens, of heaven above!
Glory to God, in the highest!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing.

O come, let us etc

O come, let us adore Him with better words than these!

Or can anyone think of a worse one?

Merry Christmas to you all incidentally - I'll be taking a blogging break for a week or so now, as I suspect many of you will too. Some people still insist on communicating in the old-fashioned way it seems, and they all want visits at Christmas!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Christmas Tags

You win, Bloggertropolis, here goes!

When People Say 'Christmas' You Immediately Think

Oh no! I can't handle this again. It's too soon. People will expect me to do stuff. I'm a girl!

Favourite Christmas Memory

Watching '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' starring James Mason and Kirk Douglas when I was about seven. My presents were unusually decent that year as I recall and I spent most of the Christmas holiday wearing my new unconscionably fluffy dressing gown over my clothes in our freezing cold house, cradling one cat hot water bottle after another (we seldom had fewer than three fluffies on the go)

Favourite Christmas Song

Sorry but Mariah Carey's version of 'All I want for Christmas is You.' That woman's got a 'rare paira lungs on her' as we Irish would say and she gives it all the welly she's got, which is at least two. Anything I have trouble singing along to impresses me, and the bigger and more OTT the number with bells and whistles, the better.

Favourite Christmas Movie

Another cheesy choice. Would have to be a tiebreaker between 'The Sound of Music' for all the breathtaking scenery and my childhood crush on Christopher Plummer and 'Whistle Down the Wind'. It never fails to make me cry when the children on the remote farm discover the fugitive hiding in their barn is not Jesus, but 'just a bloke'. The disappointment on their little Northern faces is more than I can bear. Surprisingly John Mills' wife Mary wrote it and their daughter Hayley starred in it and no one was from Yorkshire, except a few extras. I also ADORE The Return of The Pink Panther, but don't get me started as I'm a hardcore Clouseau fan.

Favourite Christmas Character

Absolutely all of them from A Christmas Carol! Surely the most perfectly crafted Christmas story ever. Unusual for a commissioned piece, but Dickens got it so pitch perfect. Every sentence is lush as a rich slice of fruit cake and all the ingredients for the perfect Christmas story are there - the misery, the ghost, the fear and suspense, the moral, the revelation, the transformation. And the Christian moral is obvious without being laboured or overty signposted. Dickens was wise enough as an arch storyteller to get the message across via the subtler vehicle of power of plot & employing the 'spirit of Christmas', where many Victorian writers of the time would have used a righteous sledgehammer to crack this particular nut!

Favourite Christmas Object

I adore decorative Christmas lights! To the extent that I have decorative lights in my house all year round as I find them so mood-boosting. I can't believe all the angels and stars and dragonflies and flowers you can buy nowadays. And I love the ice cubes and lights that change colour too. In fact the only lights I don't particularly care for are the standard boring ones.

Plans for Christmas

Once I get the last of my Christmas post out the way, I like to just sit back and relax. I don't go too crazy about stocking up on food (the shops are only shut for three days after all). I do like to have plenty of films and choccies in the house though. This year I will spend half the holidays in the Midlands where my partner lives and half in Oxford, barring a couple of days on the south coast to catch up with relations there. I never fly at Christmas and can't understand people who do. Far too much of a flightmare and you'd need another holiday when you came back! Also doing a spot of cat-sitting for a friend who will be away and having a crack at writing a comedy script.

Is Christmas your favourite Holiday?

I don't know. It's a funny time of year as my birthday comes three weeks before it. It's a sad time to reflect on everything I haven't achieved that year, but a hopeful time when New Year comes round and you start thinking about how to make the next year more successful. In some ways I find Christmas Day a bit of a damp squib after all the ridiculous build-up and over, almost before it has begun! The best thing about Christmas is the long holiday off work (for those lucky enough not to work in the retail industry or emergency services) and opportunity to catch up with old friends and relatives. I love the way that it's the best excuse to get in touch with people you have been embarrassingly remiss about keeping in touch with, or they with you. So many dinners and catch-up drinks lately - it's great! I'm also starting to really welcome just about the only consumer-free day we have all year as we enjoy so few of them. When I was growing up and everything was shut on a Sunday except the Newsagents (which also closed at midday), no one even thought about shopping for that one day a week. Life was lived outside the mall. Now there is hardly ever a break from consumerism and thinking about what products we need to buy next and it gets very wearing, even if it is occasionally useful.

I now pass the Christmas quiz posting baton on to;

Small Beds and Large Bears
Oliver's Poetry
Henry North London

Friday, 14 December 2007

More Tales from Northern Ireland

Every afternoon at around 3.45pm, our town bus station became a hub of Protestant/Catholic relations as we all disgorged from our respective school buses to await our destination buses home.
As a rule we tended to separate into our little cliques, the odd elastic band-powered missile or bit of abuse hurled from time to time between brick bus bays.
As a timid first and second year I didn’t tend to stray from my ‘tribe’, no matter that I was just there to make up the numbers as far as they were concerned with my grey, red and white school regalia standing for what was right and good/god.
The moment the 105 to Martinstown swung in, there would always be a mad dash between we Prods and the Catholics to get on first. When the driver finally opened the doors, whichever faction managed to scrabble aboard first commandeered the back of the bus, lording it over the losers, and for the next half an hour the ‘Troubles’ were won.
As time went on, and I often failed in my personal battle to sit anywhere other than in the middle, between the two, I noticed that the ‘Fenian bastards’ were really not as bad as I’d been led to believe and didn’t often tie ones’ long hair to the back of the seat rail either.
Further time elapsed and I found myself slowly gravitating towards them and joining in with the odd Fenian joke or bit of banter.
Naturally I suffered a few sneers for my treachery, but since my ‘tribe’ didn’t exactly like me anyway (what with my being all these things beyond their ken such as English, athiest-familied, vegetarian etc), I wasn’t about to lose too much sleep over them. Or at least, no more than usual.
One day I found myself idly gazing at dreamy-eyed Josephine with her long shiny hair in her St Patrick’s uniform, sitting on the bench seat facing me, as the bus huffed up a particularly large hill, and realisation slowly dawned. She and her friends had glowing cheeks, bright eyes, glossy hair, no braces, no spots, laughed a lot and were markedly nicer than us. I then looked round at my fouler-mouthed Protestant brethren (still crowing at their back-of-the-bus victory that day). Braces, spots, pallid skin, lank hair and NHS glasses abounded.
Suddenly it all clicked into place. Catholics were the chosen ones!
Of course I kept this profound revelation to myself, and from then on found myself proud to consort with ‘Fenian bastards’, ignoring all jeers and catcalls, and even secretly hoping that some desirable Fenian qualities might rub off!
Over the years since I’ve been amused to note my Catholic boyfriends have tended to outweigh any Protestant or CofE considerations, though sadly one or two didn’t turn out to be such great tributes to their creed.
About five years ago I was reunited with one of the few friends I retained from my Protestant school. During the course of my visit I asked K about a mutual friend whom I had also lost touch with after moving to England as a teenager, and was shocked to hear ‘Oh, no one speaks to Angela anymore. She married a Fenian.’ I was genuinely aghast that such prejudice would still exist in 2002 between two factions which were supposedly both Christian. Not to mention now adult! And this from an individual who’d just been out to Africa to help at a mission for the poor, (albeit a Protestant one of course!)
Naturally I didn’t let on to K that I’d been out with at least four Fenians and nearly married one myself!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Old England in the Fall

With Christmas a mere two-and-a-half weeks away and the cold snap growing worse, Winter denial is getting harder, but here's some Autumn I pickled earlier...

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

If you go down to the Sudan today...

With all the fuss over British teacher Gillian Gibbons (left) being initially jailed for 15 days and threatened with 40 lashes for allowing her Sudanese pupils to name their class teddy bear 'Mohammed', I wonder why the pupils themselves were not jailed and threatened with 40 lashes for actually choosing to NAME the bear 'Mohammed', since it was not Ms Gibbons' idea - she merely sanctioned it.

Surely these children must know their own Sharia law better than a Liverpudlian teacher ever could, including the stipulation which states; 'Thou shalt not name thy teddy bear 'Mohammed', or else'

Makes you wonder, did the kids do it deliberately to get their teacher into trouble...?

Though why the Sudanese should need a Liverpudlian teacher MORE than the mean streets of inner-city Liverpool beats me.

And it's very odd that it's ok to name human beings 'Mohammed'. I mean suppose they grow up to work in HR! Notwithstanding, could any mere mortal possessing all the failings and vanities of a mere mortal ever live up to being named after a godhead?

Monday, 3 December 2007

Tales from Northern Ireland

It was the week before O-levels began. Arriving at school unusually early I was propelled into assembly by a teacher who evidently neither knew nor cared that I was excused assemblies on account of my parents being devout atheists.
A hymm was duly mumbled through as we stared at our scuffed shoes before the 'special guest' ascended the stage to deliver his address. Some ilk of protestant minister who evidently idolised the Reverend Ian Paisley down to the horse hair suit and hanger-left-in-his-jacket shambled on and commenced in hectoring Londonderry monotone.
'Good morning boys and girls'
The Headmaster motioned frantically behind the Ministers' back to elicit an obedient chorus of;
'Good morning Minister'
'Now your Headmaster tells me that you are all busily preparing for your O-level examinations'
We nodded unenthusiastically.
'But have any of you given any thought to the biggest examination of all, which could happen to any one of you at any time?'
We looked up at him expectantly.
'Yes DEATH. It can strike any one of us at any time. Are YOU ready for it? Are YOU ready for the greatest examination you'll ever face? Will YOU pass? Or will you be condemned to the eternal damnatory fires of HELL???' he thundered, with what sounded (in hindsight) suspiciously like relish.
We shifted about uncomfortably, our polyester uniforms suddenly even clammier than usual. For some reason I now forget, the Minister had a stuffed crocodile about his person to illustrate his point, which went on for some length.
Six sleepless months obsessing about death, morning, noon and night followed, where I trudged about with unsmiling frozen features (doubtless looking like the living dead myself) as I was plunged into my first near-breakdown at the age of sixteen. Every human being from the Breadman to my mother I recall busily calculating how long they might live, and wondering how they could be so calm about their impending doom. Each morning I awoke with a sense of surprise, but with no appetite for life, or indeed food, except we didn't obviously have such exoticism as 'anorexia' in Northern Ireland in the late 80s.
Sometimes I wonder how many other pupils' O-level results this Minister affected with his motivational addresses as badly as mine (well what was the point if we could all drop dead at any moment?), multiplied by the number of Northern Irish schools he was invited to. Though to be fair, an unwise Stephen King phase at around the same age probably made me more susceptible to suggestion than I should have been.
Notwithstanding, is it too late to sue my old school for never having become that nobel-winning scientist my parents bred me to be..?

Friday, 30 November 2007


You know how sometimes in life a friend introduces you to a singer/songwriter who seems to capture your exact mood or near-as-dammit exactly what's going on around you at that time. Well this was my experience when my friend Dan introduced me to the works of the late Elliot Smith (left). Needless to say it led to a poem or two as echo after echo of certain tracks began to reverberate.

Anthem for a Doomed 21st Century Youth
(Elliot Smiths’ Waltz No. 2)

'In the place where I make no mistakes,
In the place where I have what it takes'

I think I fell in love with your sentence structure
The bleak beauty you forged of the disassociation all around.
Dreams still flickering, under the inadequate crush
'Tell Mr Man with impossible plans
To just leave me alone.'

Simon & Garfunkel crossed with surfer dude and bite
A strange hybrid with an offbeat four-track heart
You took the fading of successful failure hard
'I'm never gonna know you now
But I'm gonna love you anyhow'

Yes I will. Gentle voice. Grand orchestral finish
Enveloping in your wavewall of intimacy.
I cruelly play you again, at point blank range, with a laser
‘You're no good, you're no good, you're no good'
Can't you tell that it's well understood?'

I would like to write these words in music notes
Share the melody with a page of rising, falling prose
Move others as I am moved.
'First the mike, then a half cigarette
Singing Cathy's Clown’

That sinister touch. Those hairs. The back of my neck.
There’s no rest, no life outside of music
As you knew, before life consumed art consumed you.

© LS King 2005

Photo by

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sorry to Dredge This Up

All the heavy rain recently has reminded me of the Oxford floods earlier this year.
Here's one I wrote earlier for a competition, but I guess the copyright's still mine!

Charge of The Water Tight

We need to be shorter of water if you won't do what you oughtta
You expect us to save you, then what do you do?
Try to drown us in our own homes, beach our bones.
Water be good, you never do what you should
You p*ss a monsoon in June, when we wanted sun and moon,
Shanghai July, will you ever say goodbye?
For it's hard to find the high land on Osney Island.
Land Ahoy! Uh-oh, false alarm, a lifebuoy...
Water get it right, we'll let you rain each night,
But when it's light, it's the turn of bright.
The sun is sick of keeping his hat on.
The sun wants to put some self-screen (and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go) on.
So stop putting the ark into architecture
Gimme a break from paddling my furniture.
Rivers are for boats, fields are for goats
Houses are for people, the end of this line is quite feeble...
But you get the picture while I fetch the pitcher
Fill it from the bowser, 'cos I'm worried about the sewer.
Now I don't want to water you down, diminish your vitalness to my town,
But remind me again why I'm saving you when I'm 70% water, and this world is too.
Convection rainfall ensures you're re-cycled, sewage plants that you're re-cycled
Frankly I think you're weir-ed and wonder why you're metered.

© LS King 2007

Photo by

*For those unfamiliar with Oxford, Osney Island is a residential area surrounded by rivers near the city centre, notorious for flooding! Naturally it's also where OU are planning to build the new book depository for the Bodleian Library...*

Friday, 23 November 2007

Passionate about Having it Large!

Having overtaken a lorry on the ringroad the other day emblazoned with the legend; 'Robinsons - Passionate About Dry Cleaning!' in some state of disbelief, I've decided that it was right.

Henceforth I shall throw myself into this life experience business in a whole new full-on, up for it, no holds barred way. No more caution for me. Hah! I laugh at caution! No, not only am I going to obey the dictates to be 'fanatical about film' and 'passionate' about a certain chain's food, I'm going to become loopy about loans, hysterical about holidays, ecstatic about energy, orgasmic about insurance, whoopy doo about work! Doollally about debt. I'm going to believe that a breakfast cereal which tastes like rubber can change my life and that a new iPod mobile can make me look like the happening babe on the excessive packaging it comes in. And I'm going to embrace my drycleaning and every other sex-substitute daily.

To swim against this tide any longer is futile and I've lost my water wings. You win, hypemeisters. Advertising works.

Just bear in mind that if your product doesn't make me successful, stunning, deliriously happy, sexy and the funkiest being on the planet/your packaging, I will sue!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Obesity in Cars

Are cars getting fatter,
Or are parking spaces getting thinner?
Are parking spaces anorexic,
Or are cars eating too much dinner?

© LS King 2007

Friday, 16 November 2007

New Car

Sadly I had to say goodbye to my 11 year old Swiftie this week as it was literally on its last legs/wheels and getting more unreliable by the day.

However my new car has some rather alarming features. For example I pressed 'Cruise Control' and a bank of missiles rose up from the boot. I then tried 'Climate Control' and the road in front immediately transmogrified into an ice valley.

I thought I saw a mammoth in the distance.

To everyone who lost their homes as a result of my thoughtless fiddling with these buttons, I can only apologise. I promise I'll take it back to the garage.

Photo by

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

God Botherers

I mean how DARE they assume I'm not saved. What a flippin' cheek! And where is their moneyback guarantee that they could save my evil soul anyway? Not to mention the 70 dusky male virgins I really must insist upon, awaiting me in the hereafter! I mean most of these people don't even look like they can hold down jobs, let alone gods! Their sheer arrogance (or delusion) is breathtaking, although to be a bit charitable, maybe there is a case to be answered for having some sort of moral presence on the streets in this increasingly ammoral & godfree world of ours - of a hue that citizens of any creed could respect and respond to. Notwithstanding, we did used to have the Police.

To wit, one of my stock replies to street evangelists used to be (accompanied by a sweet smile) 'Thanks but I'm happy as a Satanist.'- since that is evidently what one must be in their eyes if not saved by them.

I often think about the big G and wonder how much respect he has for the snivellers and grovellers of this world, terrified to blow their noses without a celestial 'sign' of approval, as oppose to those who try to work things out for themselves and live according to their own inner moral compass (God-given, presumably). Then there's all the representations of His word and what His Will might be - all filtered through the vanity of multifarious fallible human egos with their own personal agendas. Oh dear.

Hereth ends my lesson in Sanctimony (my new religion wot I've just invented) for the day folks...

Big answers on small postcards (and all your money to Her Holiness, the Saint Laura-eate please.)

Monday, 12 November 2007

Remembering Our Glorious Dead

Earth Memory

Peppered with red
You can see the formation
In which fell the dead
Each poppy, nature's marker

© LS King

The other weekend I was struck by how many children (a couple of them borderline hoodies!) seemed to be collecting for Poppy Day in place of old men in my local precinct, and found it very sad that even World War II is evidently rapidly passing out of living memory. There is nothing like having people around who were there as the most powerful reminder of the horrors of war/warning to succeeding generations.

One of the most moving WWI memorials I saw was at the Imperial War Museum a few years back where someone had constructed a large wreath out of white leather gloves which held each other's hands all round the wreath. Devastatingly effective, and it looked a bit like a large white poppy flower from a distance.

For a completely different (and some would argue equally valid) outlook on war/remembrance, here is minimalist poet Paul Birtill's take on it; -

Why I Never Wear A Red Poppy

Men love to fight
Men like action
half of them lied
and loved every moment of it -
best years of their lives -
the camaraderie, adventure,
heroic letters to their girls back home
not to mention the killing.
Men will always fight - in pubs
at football matches - beat up
their wives and children,
and that's why I never wear
a red poppy in November -
it just encourages them.

© Paul Birtill

Photo by

Thursday, 8 November 2007

A Conundrum

Whilst not a fan of Haiku (Die ku, I say!), I still think that sometimes the best poems are mercifully short. Here's one I prepared earlier...

Layman's Thought

Maybe only 20% of our brain is useable
'Cos we only use 20% of our lung capacity
To oxygenate it.
But - deprived of the other 80% -
I'm unable to expand on this theory...

© LS King

Amazing photo by

Monday, 5 November 2007

2-4-1 Poetry Deal!

What the Juice!

Slushie, smoothie, Spritzer, breezer, cooler
Cola, Shake, Drench, Quench, Juice drink.
I'm not cordial to any of you.
Keep out my shopping basket
I don't care if you're three-for-two.


I used to have respect for you
'Til I espied you with six
In the five or less queue...

© LS King 2007

**Of course I now reward M&S with my custom for using the semantically-correct lane dividers proclaiming 'Five items or FEWER'. **

For all you supermarket watchers out there, here's my previous poem on the subject; Bananas

Photo by

Friday, 2 November 2007


Having gone through a period of Michael Moore 'fatigue' following Fahrenheit 9/11, it was with some trepidation I went to see Sicko last weekend, not least with so many contrasting reviews either slagging it off as pretty much his worst film to date or praising it to the hilt as his best!
And how interesting was a film about the US medical insurance system likely to be anyway?
Surprisingly so, as it turned out, once I'd finished hiding under my jacket during the opening scenes of uninsured patients performing unaffordable surgery on themselves, that is.
While I'd heard of US citizens having to re-mortgage their homes in order to continue cancer treatment once their insurance had run out, I had no idea of the myriad of other outrageous injustices that were exposed in turn before my appalled eyes.
And yes there was a certain amount of gratuitous gimmickry involved as there always is in a MM film, such as the trip to Guantanamo Bay with some let down 9/11 heroes to demand access to the same free state of the art medical services that the 'evildoers' were entitled to, followed by the astonishing trip to Cuba to seek help for them there.
The trip to Hammersmith hospital to see how the Brits were treated by comparison was pretty amusing too. Not a single patient clogging the waiting room and sparkly floors and jolly (and rich) doctors galore! Evidently the hospital had had some weeks notice of MMs' visit! And while we Brits may receive medical care for free, there was no mention of the malnutrition or MRSA we risked after surgery. Or indeed the lengthy waiting lists before. And what about how they re-charge through exhorbitant TV/telephone facilities for patients and visitor car parking fees! But once our laughter at these scenes had subsided, my companion and I agreed we were still luckier to live in Britain than the States after some of the horror stories of sick patients whose death warrants were effectively signed though being refused insurance, or who were ejected from hospitals when their insurance ran out, if marginally luckier. The film also made the sobering point that even we Brits shouldn't take free healthcare for granted as political threats to it would never be far away.
Having followed Michael Moore's career since Roger & Me exposed the late 80s shenanigans of General Motors, of which he himself was a victim, like most people, I am torn between appreciating the fact that MM makes films that need to be made and getting just a little bit sick of that baseball cap and 'I'm just a regular guy, even a bit of a schmuck' routine. I think it's high time he changed his image and felt safe to dress in clothes that fit, not leastways now everyone knows who he is anyway, so disguise is futile! (remember our own undercover-meister Roger Cook?)
And this film had so much horrifying true-life material, there was really no need to dress it up as well, though the price tag graphics bobbing over the politicians taking the stage at a rally were inspired and I like the fact Michael Moore doesn't get bogged down in the spaghetti of politics, just boils it all down to each politicians' kick-back 'price' and the telling information of where they went to work next once they got the useful-to-their-future-corporate-employer legislation through.
So for all the carping that MM's a one trick pony who's running out of steam, I came away thinking - wow this is actually an amazing film which everyone needs to see - one of his best yet! A feeling I haven't had since his last masterpiece 'Bowling for Columbine'. And his philosophy is essentially right - the ways of the world shouldn't be some mysterious thing that only politicians and people with economists' degrees can understand, not least if they are supposed to benefit we the people who tax-finance and vote for it all, largely trusting the outcome will be in our interests.

Monday, 29 October 2007

*EXCLUSIVE* - McCanns to Split!

If the media has anything to do with it.
The psychological warfare they are waging against this couple, alternately sympathising with their plight one day and casting aspersions upon their presumed innocence the next, is disgusting. Time was when reporters reported the news not wrote it! Not made a story fit the 'exclusives' they sought, no matter what the truth or human cost. And what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Notwithstanding in the unlikely event charges are brought against the McCanns and made to stick, trial by jury, rather than by the media?
As for the Portugese police, for a force not permitted to comment on a live case, one bizarre theory after another has emanated from their ranks - one suspects, if not in collusion with the media - just to get rid of this nuisance British couple blighting one of their tourist hotspots with the worst economically-disastrous scandal that can befall a tourist hotspot. Arresting them certainly did wonders for the McCann departure from embarrassing Portugese shores.
While I cannot claim to have read every word printed on the story, from the sizeable chunk I have read and McCann interviews I've seen, I cannot think of a single reason why the McCanns would want to kill their much wanted (IVF) eldest daughter. Had they done so accidentally, why on earth would they not have admitted it? However stupid it might be to (allegedly) drug your daughter to make her sleep, it still would've been manslaughter, rather than murder. But the sudden death of a young daughter from whatever cause is hardly a thing a couple can fail to blame each other for or otherwise hide - particularly a couple expected to behave entirely normally at dinner with friends who knew them well that night. As for launching an international campaign to find her (which mushroomed into a phenomenon that neither of them could have predicted), hardly the act of a guilty couple either, albeit unusual, but then they are both unusual people as I detailed in my earlier posting.
So the question remains, what do the media WANT from the McCanns aside from lots of newspaper sales? A marriage split is obvious, as the McCanns cannot be seen to buck the trend of 80% relationship breakdown following the death/disappearance of a child, but do they want mental breakdowns as well? Suicide by one or both? Some kind of 'confession' perhaps?
Kate and Gerry McCann may not fit the demographic of the usual parents of a missing or murdered child, but I'll eat my hat if they turn out to be guilty of anything other than not fitting the usual demographic.
One can only hope they get some sort of closure (good or bad) before the media takes things one step further and pays someone to frame them up for Maddie's disappearance

Thursday, 25 October 2007

What's an Environmentalist to Do...?

When she actually finds fast cars and planes (worse still, evil planes) rather sexy?

But perhaps I should content myself. Have I not done my best for the environment by never having succumbed to the temptations of driving an Aston Martin Lagonda or piloting a Stealth Bomber?

Monday, 22 October 2007

A Walk Round Autumn


August October

Crunching across the beech
Another leaf fall each wind tide
The dog days of summer
Turn a thousand shades of earth.
Eddying whirls of russet crisp
Sweep themselves into heaps
Just right for jumping into
When no one's looking
Save a tree dappled low-slung sun.

©LS King 2007

Beautiful sunrise over Adderbury, Oxfordshire, 7.20am this morning.

Friday, 19 October 2007

The Ladders (& Snakes) of Housing

To The Lighted House

'Five hundred pounds a year
And a room of ones' own'
Was Virginia Woolfs’
recipe for happiness.
Then she saw the small ads
For rooms among the Spires
Worthy of writers.
Five hundred pounds a month,
(excl, and broadband extra)
Filled her pockets with stones
And walked into the nearest river.
Perhaps God had a room going
In one of his many mansions
A little bit cheaper…

© LS King 2006

Photo by

Monday, 15 October 2007

All I Wanted Was a De-Tangle Comb!

I had to ask an assistant where the brushes and combs had gone to as all I could see was a sea of unidentifiable pink packaged 'goods' of no recognizeable use to man, woman or beast.
Someone should get this 'Chemist' under the Trades Descriptions Act. And where are the Packaging Police when you need them, if we're remotely serious about saving this planet? The contents of these gifts seemed to consist largely of packaging! Which begs the question, how much disposable income do they think we earn, proportionate to our intelligence in disposing of it?

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

I Was Locked in a Cupboard For Longer Than You!

I thought I'd share with you a sneak preview of my forthcoming misery memoir - 'I was Locked In A Cupboard For Longer Than You!'

In it I will shockingly reveal how my parents abused me by;

.Forcibly strapping me to a 'pushchair' and restraining me with 'baby reins' until I was three, not to mention unlawfully imprisoning me in a 'playpen' whilst they abandoned me, to do the washing up or make a phone call.
  • Force-feeding me liquid carrots and other disgusting mushy foodstuffs between the ages of six months and one year.
  • Deliberately humiliating me in that ridiculous garb known as a 'nappy' and dressing me in embarrassing home knitwear with mittens sewn onto the sleeves, topped off with mismatched bobble-hats.
  • Forbidding me from running around in restaraunts and annoying other diners.
  • Forcing me to potty train and take baths while they watched, claiming I'd 'missed a bit' and assaulting me with a loofah.
  • Unplugging the phone every time I attempted to call the Police for help.
  • Cruelly depriving me of dessert until I'd eaten my greens.
  • Sadistically claiming there was no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy.
  • Refusing to buy me a television for my bedroom.
  • Making me attend a state penitentiary every day which they called 'school' and insisting I do 'homework' every afternoon before I was allowed to watch Blue Peter.
  • Imprisoning me in a dining chair until I was given 'permission' to leave the table.
  • Demanding I go to bed before 10.30pm on a school night.
  • Making me brush my teeth until my gums reddened.
  • Not letting me eat marshmallows for breakfast.
  • Withholding pocket money if I wasn't 'good'.
  • Refusing to buy me designer gear when Angela Gaston had it.
  • Denying me a Gameboy (pathetically they claim these weren't invented before 1989).
  • Confiscating my declaration of undying love to Simon Le Bon before I could find a stamp.
  • Not letting me take the cat up to bed

    These and many more abuses are laid starkly and rawly naked in my no-holds-barred last taboo bestseller-to-end-all-bestsellers ' I Was Locked In A Cupboard For Longer Than You!' - available exclusively from all Wainsburys supermarket outlets and budget flight airport vending machines. The wounds may have healed, but the scars remain festering.
    The ideal pop-up stocking filler for Christmas at only £8.99 or six-for-one multibuy with every packet of coco-pops.

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