Sunday, November 9, 2014

Moments in Love #4

West End Pub. Buddhist retreat. A day drenched in Sunshine. A night soaked in Champagne...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moments in love #2

Pillows and cushions on the lounge floor. A movie plays. All the action is off screen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moments in love #1

Sitting in Macari's 7:00am. One cup of tea to share. One cigarette to smoke. One thought on my mind.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rainy Sundays

Waking up late to the smell of slightly burnt toast. It is raining outside. Move seamlessly from breakfast to lunch in the time it takes to read the sports sections of the broadsheets. It is raining outside. Bubble & Squeak and mint sauce. Batman, The Big Match. It is raining outside. Light fading. 633 Squadron. It is raining outside. More toast for tea. It is raining outside. Radio Luxembourg 'Street Sounds'. It is raining outside. Back in bed... It is still raining outside.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rain stopped play

Sitting in the pavilion watching the rain sheet down, cutting the square off. Waiting for the umpire to abandon the game and for the celebrations to begin!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let's all speak palare

I've recently been reading a number of works by the magnificent English poet/writer Jeremy Reed and combined with a recent spell of listening to Julian and Sandy's exploits on 'Round the Horne', I've  been finding Palare creeping back into my lexicon.

According to Wikipedia Palare (or alternatively ParlareParlaryPaloriPalariePalari; from Italian parlare, "to talk") is a form of cant slang used in Britain by actors, circus and fairground showmen, merchant navy sailors, criminals, prostitutes and the gay subculture. It was popularised in the 1960s by camp characters Julian and Sandy in the popular BBC radio show Round the Horne.  There is some debate about its origins, but it can be traced back to at least the 19th century and possibly the 16th century. There is a longstanding connection with Punch and Judy street puppet performers who traditionally used Polari to converse

Be that as it may, here are some bona palare phrases for your perusal...

WordDefinition
ajaxnearby (from adjacent?)
alamohot for you/him
aunt nelllisten, hear
aunt nellsears
aunt nelly fakesearrings
aunt nell danglersearrings
barneya fight
basketthe bulge of male genitals through clothes
battsshoes
bibibisexual
bitcheffeminate or passive gay man
bijousmall/little (means "jewel" in French)
blagpick up
bluecode word for "homosexual"
bodbody
bonagood
bona nochygoodnight (from Italian - buona notte)
bonaroowonderful, excellent
bungerypub, this comes from the English word for the closure on a barrel.
butchmasculine; masculine lesbian
buvarea drink (from Italian - bere or old-fashioned Italian - bevere or Lingua Francabevire)
cackletalk/gossip
campeffeminate (possibly from Italian campare "exaggerate, make stand out")
capello/capellahat (from Italian - cappello)
carseytoilet, also spelt khazi
carts/cartsopenis (from Italian - cazzo)
catstrousers
charperto search (from Italian - acchiappare - to catch)
charpering omipoliceman
charverto shag/a shag (sexual intercourse) (from Italian - chiavare)
chickenyoung man
clobberclothes
codnaff, vile
cottagea public lavatory used for sexual encounters
cottagingseeking or obtaining sexual encounters in public lavatories
covefriend
crimperhairdresser
dallysweet, kind. Possibly an alternate pronunciation of dolly.
dilly boya male prostitute
dinarimoney (Latin denarii was the 'd' of the pre decimal penny)
dishbuttocks
dollypretty, nice, pleasant
donawoman (perhaps from Italian donna or Lingua Franca dona)
dorcasterm of endearment, 'one who cares'. The Dorcas Society was a ladies' church association of the nineteenth century, which made clothes for the poor.
dragclothes, esp. women's clothes (prob from Romani — indraka — skirt; also possibly from German - tragen - v. to wear (clothes))
dossbed
ecafface (backslang)
eekface (abbreviation of ecaf)
endshair
esongnose (backslang)
fantabulosafabulous/wonderful
feele/freely/fillychild/young (from the Italian figlio, for son)
fruitqueen
funtpound
geltmoney (Yiddish)
handbagmoney
hooferdancer
HP (homy polone)effeminate gay man
jarryfood, also mangarie (from Italian mangiare or Lingua Franca mangiaria)
jubesbreasts
kaffiestrousers
khazitoilet, also spelt carsey
lacoddybody
lallies (lylies)legs
lallie tappersfeet
latty/lattieroom, house or flat
lillshands
lillypolice (Lilly Law)
lyleslegs (prob. from "Lisle stockings")
lucoddybody
luppersfingers (Yiddish — lapa — paw)
mangariefood, also jarry (from Italian mangiare or Lingua Franca mangiaria)
martinishands
measuresmoney
meeseplain, ugly (from Yiddish "meeiskeit, in turn from Hebrew מָאוּס repulsive, loathsome, despicable, abominable)
meshigenernutty, crazy, mental (from Yiddish, in turn from Hebrew מְשֻׁגָּע crazy)
metzasmoney (Italian -mezzi "means, wherewithal")
mincewalk (affectedly)
naffawful, dull, hetero
nantinot, no, none (Italian — niente)
national handbagdole, welfare, government financial assistance
oglelook, admire
ogleseyes
oglefakesglasses
omiman (from Romance)
omi-paloneeffeminate man, or homosexual
onknose (cf "conk")
orbseyes
palare pipetelephone ("talk pipe")
palliassback
park, parkergive
platefeet; to fellate
palonewoman (Italian paglione - "straw mattress", [viz. old Cant "hay-bag" = woman])
palone-omilesbian
potsteeth
remouldsex change
riah/rihahair (backslang)
riah zhoosherhairdresser
rough tradea working class or blue collar sex partner or potential sex partner; a tough, thuggish or potentially violent sex partner
scarperto run off (from Italian scappare, to escape or run away or from rhyming slang Scapa Flow, to go)
schlumphdrink
scotchleg (scotch egg=leg)
screechmouth, speak
sharpypoliceman (from — charpering omi)
sharpy polonepolicewoman
shushsteal (from client)
shush baghold-all
shyker/shycklewig (mutation of the Yiddish sheitel)
slapmakeup
sohomosexual (e.g. "Is he 'so'?")
stimpslegs
stimpcoversstockings, hosiery
stridestrousers
strillerspiano
switchwig
thewsthighs
toberroad (a Shelta word, Irish bóthar)
todd (Sloanne)alone
tootsie tradesex between two passive homosexuals (as in: 'I don't do tootsie trade')
tradesex, sex-partner, potential sex-partner
trollto walk about (esp. looking for trade)
vada/varderto see (from Italian — dialect vardare = guardare - look at)
vardered — vardering
vera (lynn)gin
voguecigarette (from Lingua Franca — fogus - "fire, smoke")
vogueressfemale smoker
willetsbreasts
yews(from French "yeux") eyes
zhooshstyle hair, tart up, mince
(Romani - "zhouzho" - clean, neat)

zhoosh our riah — style our hair
zhooshyshowy

Polari Omies and palones of the jury, vada well at the eek of the poor ome who stands before you, his lallies trembling.—taken from "Bona Law", a Round The Horne sketch written by Barry Took and Marty Feldman


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The British & Irish Lions

As the tension begins to rise, I cast my mind back to 1971 and the exploits of King Barry and the rest of the Lions as they saw off the brutally efficient All Black to secure tour victory. What a team, what a tour!

The Lions won the first test in Dunedin 9–3, with a penalty goal to the All Blacks, and two penalties and a try, (scored by Ian McLauchlan) to the Lions. Several Lions players later admitted they were overconfident following their initial test victory. The Lions were hence convincingly beaten 22–12 in the second test in Christchurch, with the All Blacks outscoring them five tries (Bob Burgess (2),Sid GoingIan Kirkpatrick, pen try) to two (Davies (2)). The third test match was played at Athletic ParkWellington. The Lions did not make the same mistake they had in Christchurch, resulting in a 13–3 win, the Lions scored two converted tries and a drop goal. The All Blacks managed only a try.
Following the third test the Lions led the series 2 - 1. The final game played in Auckland would require an All Black victory for New Zealand to draw the series. A draw or Lions victory would give the Lions a series win. Scores were level 8–8 at half time with a try, conversion and penalty each. The first 15 minutes of the second half saw the Lions land a penalty goal and the All Blacks score a try. With the scores tied 11–11, Lions fullback JPR Williams received the ball 45 metres out and attempted a drop goal, it was successful and put the Lions ahead 14–11. Williams' drop goal was the only one he ever landed in his test career. The All Blacks could only manage three further points from a penalty to draw the game and give the Lions the series.
Let us hope that this tour of Australia delivers equal levels of skill, tension, courage, commitment and success! 

Poll Results - What would you rather your team win?


  1. Local Derby
  2. Nothing else matters...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eric Ravilious


Eric William Ravilious (22 July 1903 – 2 September 1942) was an English painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver. He grew up in Sussex, and is particularly known for his watercolours of the South Downs. He served as a war artist, and died when the aircraft he was on was lost off Iceland.
Ravilious was born on 22 July 1903 in Churchfield RoadActon, London. While he was still a small child the family moved to Eastbourne in Sussex, where his parents ran an antique shop.
He was educated at Eastbourne Grammar school (weren't we all?). In 1919 he won a scholarship to Eastbourne School of Art and in 1922 another to study at the Design School at the Royal College of Art. There he became close friends with Edward Bawden and, from 1924, studied under Paul Nash. Nash, an enthusiast for wood engraving, encouraged him in the technique, and was impressed enough by his work to propose him for membership of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1925, and helped him to get commissions.
In 1925 he received a travelling scholarship to Italy and visitied FlorenceSiena, and the hill towns of Tuscany. Following this he began teaching part-time at the Eastbourne School of Art, and from 1930 taught (also part-time) at the Royal College of Art. In the same year he married Eileen Lucy "Tirzah" Garwood (1908-1951) also a noted artist and engraver. Between 1930 and 1932 the couple lived in Hammersmith, London, where there is a blue plaque on the wall of their house at the corner of Upper Mall and Weltje Road. In 1932 they moved to rural Essex where they initially lodged with Edward Bawden at Great Bardfield. In 1934 they purchased Bank House at Castle Hedingham, and a blue plaque now commemorates this. They had three children: John Ravilious; the photographer James Ravilious; and Anne Ullmann, editor of books on her parents and their work.
In 1928 Ravilious and Bawden painted a mural at Morley College in South London on which they worked for a whole year. Their work was described by J. M. Richards as "sharp in detail, clean in colour, with an odd humour in their marionette-like figures" and "a striking departure from the conventions of mural painting at that time". It was destroyed by bombing in 1941. In 1933 Ravilious and his wife painted murals at the Midland Hotel in Morecambe. Ravilious engraved more than four hundred illustrations and drew over forty lithographic designs for books and publications during his lifetime. His first commission, in 1926, was to illustrate a novel for Jonathan Cape. He went on to produce work both for large companies such as the Lanston Corporation and smaller, less commercial publishers, such as the Golden Cockerel Press (for whom he illustrated an edition of Twelfth Night), the Curwen Press and the Cresset Press.


His woodcut of two Victorian gentlemen playing cricket has appeared on the front cover of every edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack since 1938. Hiis style of wood-engraving was greatly influenced by that of Thomas Bewick. In the mid-1930s he took up lithography, making a print of Newhaven Harbour for the "Contemporary Lithographs" scheme, and a set of full-page lithographs for a book called High Street, with text by J. M. Richards. In 1936 Ravilious was invited by Wedgwood to make designs for ceramics. His work for them included a commemorative mug to mark the coronation of Edward VIII, the "Boat Race" bowl and the "Garden" series of plates, in which each size of plate showed a different plant. Production of Ravilious' designs continued into the 1950s, with the coronation mug design being posthumously reworked for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. Apart from a brief experimentation with oils in 1930 – inspired by the works of Johan Zoffany – Ravilious painted almost entirely in watercolour.


He was especially inspired by the landscape of the South Downs around Beddingham. He frequently returned to Furlongs, the cottage of Peggy Angus. He considered that his time at Furlongs "...altered my whole outlook and way of painting, I think because the colour of the landscape was so lovely and the design so beautifully obvious ... that I simply had to abandon my tinted drawings". Some of his most famous works, such as Tea at Furlongs, were painted there.
Writer Geraldine Bedell: - "his painting was influenced by his design. His elegant watercolours, with their stipples, hatching and drastically simplified shapes, are instantly recognisable. And he maintained his artistic identity when he became a war artist. - His work is light of touch, elegant, and hugely pleasurable."
Ravilious was appointed an official war artist in 1940, with the rank of Honorary Captain in the Royal Marines. During that year he painted at the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham and Sheerness; sailed to Norway and the Arctic on board HMS Highlander, which was carrying out escort duties, and painted submarines at Gosport and coastal defences at Newlyn. In 1941 he spent six months with the navy at Dover, then transferred to Scotland in October. He spent much of 1942 at various R.A.F. bases, before being posted to Iceland in August.

He was killed on 2 September 1942 while accompanying a Royal Air Force air sea rescue mission off Iceland that failed to return to its base.

Marmite on Toast

When all was done & busted, all was said and forgotten, the ultimate breakfast pleasure was Marmite on thick white toast with reservoirs of Anchor (no other brand would do). Nothing could beat it.

And then they brought out Marmite XO...

How good is it? It tastes like Marmite used to. It is that bloody good. It conjures up memories of Botham's Ashes, bunking off school with the girl who lived over the roundabout and late night sorties after Ziggy's. It is that good!

A thousand runs before the end of May

Whilst the first round of the county championship and the occasional opening friendly against one of the two universities were usual either snowed off or at least buried beneath an avalanche of football results. By the time late May has eased into view everyone has got the hang of the idea - the cricket season has started!

In those early games at least one batsman hits a rich vein of form that propels them onto the back pages and either gets them spoken of as a possible test contender or more often as being on track to beat the end of May cut-off to reach a thousand runs - the batsman's Holy Grail. This year's contender is England tyro Joe Root, who despite a fine century for England at Headingly will fall short as so many do.

Whether someone does manage to make it to 1,000 runs before June appears on the numerous desk calendars of the 18 counties is irrelevant really. The important thing is the game is back. The summer game full of its monotony and exhilaration, with its inevitable rhythm and the occasional jarring interjection (a hat-trick or barrage of sixes), with its long lunches and short spells, hectic run chases and moments of blissful tranquility is back. And thus all is well in the world!

Strings of Desire #8

Gibson 335

The combination of a lovely rich Gibson tone and you can almost feel the feedback snarling around the hollow body. Gorgeous looking and equally fun to play. You can move from Sunday Morning to Heroin* at the flick of a switch.














*I'm sure I don't need to explain. Do I?

Poll Results - Which institution do you mistrust the most?

An overwhelming win for the complete bankers!

1. Banking 
2. Press
3. Government
4. Industry
5. Freemasons
6. Unions 
7. Military
8. Workers
9. Poets

Monday, May 20, 2013

Albert, Albert Camus, everyone knows his name


Sitting on the windowsill with a copy of L'Etranger in my hand, half in, half out of my Susans Road flat watching the local boys returning from their football match...

Life as Sussexistentialist was wonderful. They were sweet, confusing but heady days.. The soundtrack was the MJQ and the guidebook was written by the former goalkeeper and Gitanes smoking French author Albert Camus. His novel L'Etranger (or The Outsider as it was roughly translated) re-calibrated the way I looked at the world. The simple act of lighting a cigarette, talking to a beautiful girl, making a meal for one and staring out at the traffic was now beyond the mundane. These were the actions of a man on the edge of society...

From the very beginning when Mersault (the hero of the novel) learns of his mothers death, through to the very end on the eve of is own death. He glides and skims through life, death, sex, drunkeness, arrest and being condemned to state execution, the sheer weight of the sun bleaching out the more mundane emotions and reactions of 'normal' people. 

All of which made life on the South Coast somehow far more bearable, knowing that others had felt the same way before.