Monday, February 28, 2011

Trellis visits the Maghreb

Always one to keep her breast on the pulse, my North Wales correspondent writes:
Dear Mrs Gaddwyffy,
your hubby IS a one, and no mistake! Men! They just can't keep out of mischief, can they? I don't mean to be rude, but is he a bit, well, a bit ODD? I mean, the way he rants and kills people, and that ridiculous hat he wears. He seems very grumpy. If I were you, I would feed him lots of Marmite, hide his hat and take his pistol away from him. Mind you, he's so ugly, you might want to keep him locked in your cellar. I know I would!
Oh dear, it's the cross we wives have to bear, isn't it?! Or should that be "crescent" in your case?
Anyway, do your best, dear, a lot of people are counting on you!
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd.

Scrote the Boxer

As you can see, I am still frittering away my time making nestboxes instead of using my God-given talents on worthwhile projects like painting the chimney and repointing the bathroom. Number 1 is a new-style Kestrel box, wide and shallow, in contrast to the conventional design, Number 2, which is narrow and deep. Number 3 is in the process of becoming an indoor Barn Owl box made from a tea chest. I have added an internal base, and all it needs now is a front with an access hole.
The animals are optional: 1 has a baby polar bear (thank you, Angit), 2 has a Rupert Bear (thank you, an old flame who shall remain nameless) and 3 has a Kiwi (thank you Joe, Matthew and Alfie).
Envoi: the sharp-eyed among you will notice that I forgot to stain one side of the Number 1 box. What do you want from me? Perfection? OK, I promise to be perfect from now on.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cautionary tale

A tough looking group of bikers were riding when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge so they stop.
The leader, a big burly man, gets off his bike and says, "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to commit a suicide," she says.
While he did not want to appear insensitive, he didn't want to miss an opportunity he asked "Well, before you jump, why don't you give me a Kiss?"
So, she does and it was a long, deep lingering kiss.
After she's finished, the biker says, "Wow! That was the best kiss I have ever had. That's a real talent you are wasting. You could be famous. Why are you committing suicide?"
"My parents don't like me dressing up as a girl......"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Royal inspection

Now there's a man who knows what he likes!

New Zealand news

My thanks to those of you who have enquired about Jeremy and family in New Zealand. They live in North Island, north of Aukland. The terrible earthquake is in Christchurch in South Island. So, they are safe, but it will do no harm to pray for the people in Christchurch who have to cope with the disaster.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I wouldn't have a clue what this is, and all my suggestions are likely to be rude. Any ideas?

Sara Gazarek

This song, "Makes me feel this way", makes me feel this way, this way being happy, good and full of optimism for the future. Sara Gazarek is a wonderful combination of happy person, brilliant singer and real jazz-feel musician. And her group members are equally remarkable. If I could play piano like Josh Nelson, I would die happy, go to heaven and give the angels a treat!
Count your blessings and enjoy. And then listen to "Let's try this again". Even more life-affirming.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Some time ago, my wonderful correspondent, Prairie Mary, sent me this picture of Tractors by an artist called Louisa McElwain, adding that she - Mary - had no idea of the artist's physical endowments. Well, here she is in all her glory, Louise McElwain, that is:

Friday, February 18, 2011


Well, it was his turn, but I hold out little hope for the protesters: Libya is a typical repressive state, riddled with informers.
It seems, too, that Ghaddafi has established a dynasty: his son Saif el-Islam Gadhafi recently gave a speech in which he in which he described the four pillars of Libyan society:

- Islamic law
- the Quran
- Libyan security
- his father

I wonder if there is a handbook for all these tinpot dictators, because they all seem to sing from the same infernal hymn sheet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No date

Apparently, this is the lady who sent me the Valentine. I'm sorry, but I would never yield to the charms of a lady who smokes, however enticing her fancy may be.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Declaration of love, or something

Well, shiver my timbers and foist my gumple! Today I received a Valentine's Day Card showing a couple dancing, and the legend "You tickle my fancy". It's an expensive card and posted first-class, so it is from someone not short of a bob or two. Indeed, a person of taste. A close inspection of the postmark shows that it was not posted locally, so it must be a very distant fancy that I am tickling. To tell you the truth, it's probably just as well: fancy-tickling at my age could be dangerous. And, wealthy and cultured as she may be, I am taking no chances: I really don't think I would cut it as a toyboy.


I bet you knew already, grandpa, that today is St Cyril's Day. He is credited with inventing the Cyrillic alphabet; at least, it's named after him. I bet you didn't know, though, (and neither did I) that the following langauges are written in the Cyrillic alphabet:
Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Aghul, Akhvakh, Archi, Avar, Azeri, Balkar, Bashkir, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Buryat, Chechen, Chukchi, Church Slavonic, Chuvash, Dargwa, Dungan, Erzya, Even, Evenki, Gagauz, Ingush, Kabardian, Kalmyk, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Komi, Koryak, Kumyk, Kurdish, Kyrghyz, Laz, Lak, Lezgi, Lingua Franca Nova, Macedonian, Mansi, Mari, Moksha, Moldovan, Mongolian, Nanai, Nenets, Nivkh, Old Church Slavonic, Ossetian, Russian, Ruthenian, Serbian, Slovio, Tabassaran, Tajik, Tatar, Turkmen, Tuvan, Tsez, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Uyghur, Uzbek, Votic, Yakut, Yukaghir, Yupik.
Bozhe moi, I haven't even heard of most of them!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A valedictory from Mrs T

Dear Mrs Mubarak, she writes, I am sorry to hear that you have had to vacate your palace, such a shame after all you did to make it nice with lace curtains and doilies on the tables and that. But, you know, my dear, we have to do what is best for our menfolk. According to the Ruabon and Oswestry Gazette, your hubby upset a lot of people. Some say he had a Sunni disposition, but others thought he was Shite, and had to go.
I do hope you find a nice little cottage somewhere now that you have retired. I should avoid pyramids, though, if I were you - they must harbour the dust something chronic, never mind scarabs.
Yours etc
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Onion

My thanks to D for sending me this piece.
In 1919 when the 'flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu.. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many died. The doctor came upon one farmer and, to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different, the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions. She gave him one which he placed under the microscope he found the 'flu virus in the onion. It had obviously absorbed the bacteria, thereby keeping the family healthy.
Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop and, to her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work... and no, she is not in the onion business.
The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case.. What have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!!!!
Now there is a P.S. to this...
I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues and she replied with this most interesting experience about onions:
Weldon, thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmers story, but I do know that ! contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion, put one end on a fork and then place the forked end into an empty jar...placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs. Sure enough it happened just like that... the onion was a mess and I
began to feel better.
Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Grumpy Friday

Damn! It's Friday and my chance to be grumpy at last. Damn! I am in a good mood, and have nothing to be grumpy about. I even said hello to the ducks this morning AND watched a squirrel demolishing one of the peanut feeders without a nasty thought in my head.
So, you ask (or would if you hadn't already logged off), why this positive frame of the Old Scrote's mind? The answer is: Chicken soup with barley.
An angel of mercy called by last evening bearing a tureen of home-made chicken soup. With barley, the secret ingredient that turns an innocuous soup into a guided missile aimed at any virus within firing range. I had two large helpings and woke up this morning feeling good.
And serene. Damn! Why couldn't the angel have brought the soup on another evening?!
Any road up, I am grateful to D, my angel of mercy, for lifting me out of the Slough of Despond. As it turns out, so are the ducks and the squirrels.

Non farmi ridere!

For those with a taste for Italian barzallette, here's one that resonates with me these days:
Mi è bastato vederti da lontano per capire quanto fosse grande la tua bellezza.Mi è bastato vederti da lontano per capire quanto già ti desideravo.Mi è bastato vederti da vicino per capire che da lontano non vedo un cazzo!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Periodic Tales

I have just finished reading a review of a book about the chemical elements in the periodic table, "Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements" by Hugh Aldersley-Williams. It's clearly a quirky book about chemistry, and I look forward to reading it. What caught my attention particularly was his lament at the disappearance of "wet chemistry" from the school curriculum. No more "stinks and bangs", experiments are now on video not on the lab bench, everything is safe and sanitised. The author, says the reviewer, "even regrets the removal from the paintbox of rich greens based on arsenic and flame-red vermilion formed from powdered mercuric sulphide." And concludes "Removing risk, he suggests, enfeebles life."
I'll second that.

Trellis puts her finger on it

Never stuck for a theory, Mrs T offers the following:
Dear Mrs Samarkand, she writes, I can't believe you have another cold! According to Mrs Prytherch, my neighbour across, who is a Christian Scientist, all illnesses are punishments for sin. So I just wonder what you have been up to: lust, envy and pride, I shouldn't wonder, you being English and all.
As to a cure, maybe you need to try being good for a while, though in your case it might take a VERY long while, you being English and all.
Yours bluntly
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, Retd
PS Sorry I got your name wrong before. I know you are not a teapot or a Siberian wolfhound, but it's a mistake anyone could make.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tell us a joke, daddy

Before the British currency was decimalised, there were coins still in circulation going back to the early years of the nineteenth century. The biggest of the copper coins was the penny. The Victorian penny went through several modifications: the young Queen's head became eventually an old Queen's head, and on the obverse, the seated figure of Britannia was similarly modified.
Don't go, the funny part is on its way.
The joke was to ask someone if they had ever seen a "honolulu penny". When they (you hope) said no, you showed them the pennies illustrated above, the right-hand one being the earlier version. The punch line: "See, on the left-hand penny, the trident is on her knee, in the right-hand penny, it's honolulu!"
Oh how we laughed. Remember there was no such thing as television or the internet in those days: we had to make our own entertainment.
For the first time, I realise that a by-product of a bad cold is delirium. Sorry about that.


"Voilà l'anglais avec son sangfroid habituel", translated as "There goes the Englishman with his usual bloody cold".

The best mistranslation I ever came across, though, was "Rose, émue, répondit", valiantly mangled into "The pink emu laid another egg".

I'd laugh, but my throat hurts too much. I am a wimp when it comes to colds.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Ducks 1, Old Scrote 0

I'm man enough to admit defeat. I've stopped my cannonades against the ducks. They are on the pond, in the pond, dabbling head down under the pond, trashing it to smithereens.
They can have it.
But there is nothing noble in my decision to let them stay. Last weekend, I started my second cold of the winter, and it's a beast of a cold. I feel rotten, I haven't got the strength to open the back door, let alone sling a buckyball at them.
And if you are into conspiracy theory, you might believe that what I have got is not just a cold, but an attack of avian flu, delivered right up my nose, courtesy of those two bloody ducks on my pond.
Whatever, if they breed, I will post some more pretty pictures of the fluffy ducklings. Heaven forbid the foxes should get them.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Алексей Архиповский

This man plays a balalaika like you've never heard it played before. In the dictionary under "virtuoso", it says "See Alexei Archipovskii!"
Click on his name, listen and be stunned.

Friday, February 04, 2011

A quickie

- Le juge : nom, prénom, âge ?
- La prostituée : Dobrovska, Sofia, 34 ans.
- Le juge : nationalité ?
- La prostituée : Polonaise.
- Le juge : profession ?
- La prostituée: m’enfin, Michel ! ! !

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Prayerful moment

Another amazing insect. You probably know it as Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii.
I think the photographer deserves acknowledgement: his name is Fred Turck; not sure what his Latin name is.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Trellis offers her advice

Always one to keep abreast of the news, she tackles a current issue:
Dear Mubarack Obama, she writes, I thought you were just the President of the Untied States, but I now hear that you are also the Pharaoh of Egypt. It's your business, but I really don't think you can do both jobs well, I think you will fall between two tools if you're not careful. Also, I think you have put an additional burden on yourself by becoming a muslin. Fancy being circumscribed and having to climb up a muezzin five times a day!
Well, it's just my opinion.
Blodwen Trellis, Mrs, Widow, retd.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011