Tuesday 25 June 2019


I have never and will never understand fashion. My sister is older than me and I can remember her complaining bitterly on the three or four occasions that wedge heels came back in to fashion after she'd thrown hers away. In the late 90s (I think) I was a great enthusiast when every young woman started to wear a choker instead of a necklace. What I don't know is how every single one of them got a memo on exactly the same day to tell them to switch back to necklaces.

It was hot and sunny at the weekend when I went out for breakfast with friends, and the tourists are out in force. You will not believe which awful fashion from ten years ago has cropped up again! And not just in Plymouth, it's seemingly a worldwide phenomenon.

Richard "behind the times" B

Sunday 16 June 2019

I'm Better Than You

While we're a pair-bonded social species we still compete and organise ourselves into social hierarchies. We play competitive sports, watch televised singing contests and secretly judge our friends. I once got involved in a drunken "who's more upper class" competition and just recently one of my friends wanted a rematch on exactly that topic as he now has gout.

While I've never topped a squash ladder, lived in conspicuous opulence or stacked the skulls of my vanquished enemies there are two aspects of life where I'm pretty sure that I'm top of the tree. My vomit bucket is better than yours and my 6mm allen key is longer.

My vomit bucket is Dartington crystal and stylus engraved with my initials. It's heavy and stable, easy to wash up, has a wide mouth and is deep enough that there is virtually no splatter. It might have been sold as an ice-bucket for Champagne, but they clearly don't know what or how I drink.

My car recently got filled with water (in truth it wasn't even ankle deep) and I had to service the seat runners. It's impossible to get to both ends of the bolts that holds the seat in so I made this allen key extension.

notice the paunch in the bottom left of this photo - I need to eat less.

I've seen Ed China tackle the same problem by tack-welding the bolts to the seat runners but I can't weld and I don't want to give them any more excuse to rust. I've also heard rumours about a technique that involves having a friend inside the car while you're underneath with the spanner - but that doesn't sound practical.

Richard "call it a draw?" B

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Party Weirdo

What do you call a scouser in a suit? - The accused.
In Leicester what do you call a smartly dressed woman from Nottingham? - The accused.

I've just come back from a lovely long weekend in Leicester, although it did include a hangover commensurate with coming home from a night of heavy drinking and being left unattended with three barrels of delicious beer.

When we were drinking in a nice little place (clean modern decor, modern cloudy craft beer with too much hops, organic carbon neutral ethically sourced scotch eggs etc.) we were approached by a smartly dressed woman who asked if she could sit and talk to us, she said that she'd had a hell of a day in court and wanted to have a drink. I assumed that she was a lawyer or a judge and that she would regale us with stories about the inner workings of the legal system and so I invited her to join us.

It very quickly became clear that she was very drunk and quite unhinged. What we learned was that Leicester's shit, it's all shit, court is shit and that it's all shit. She said that I looked overly gay, that one of my friends looked like a fucking copper and that the other looked like a tudor - and he wasn't even wearing his frock-coat and ruff collar! It turns out that she was only in there because she'd been thrown out of Wetherspoons!

We're a very democratic group and the two of us that wanted to leave got our way, while the one of us that wanted to buy tequila and see just how bizarre the evening could get was outvoted.

We had to go back to the same place later and retrieve a coat that we'd forgotten. Carol QC was still there but she was now asleep and we got the coat very carefully without waking her.

Richard "Steve Naive" B

Monday 3 June 2019

Pet Wraith

A few months ago my sister rescued a mistreated black and white cat from a junkie with mental problems. This isn't the first time she's done exactly this (same junkie – different black and white cat). She left the cat in our mum's care at our mum's house. Mum forgot that she was looking after a cat, left the back door open and the cat promptly escaped (...to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government she survives as...)

However, after about a fortnight of putting up posters, searching gardens and garages, leaving food outside and general searching something strange started to happen. My mum would hear movement in the middle of the night things would get moved about in the kitchen - a chicken bone was stripped and left on the floor. My sister, the cleaner and I all searched the house scrupulously for a cat (or as I suspected rats) and found nothing. I didn't know anyone who could lend me a trap camera, but we started leaving out cat food and a litter tray. The signs were that a completely invisible cat was living with my mum and that it only materialised late at night when the house was dark and quiet.

Over the months the cat has become less scared and there have been fleeting sightings of it. It will even sometimes approach my mum in the night, but it can vanish into thin air at will.

At the weekend we made a breakthrough. The cat likes to hide in cupboards, and the airing cupboard ceiling has a whole in it where there used to be water pipes. The cat can clamber into the loft from the airing cupboard and it lives up there undisturbed and undetectable.

Richard "Ghost Dreamies" B