Heckmondwike, the consequences…

A gathering of tea cups or mugs, unwashed. Left in a place of work, the collective noun is as we all know by now a ‘heckmondwike’. But the consequences of such a thing when dishwashers are present is even more aggravating and confirms my dislike of these infernal machines.

I’ve already gone on about how unsociable they are, but with the possibility of a ‘heck’ ( one is allowed to shorten the noun when in common parlance ) there comes the likelihood of a ‘oswaldtwistle‘, or more commonly the shortened version a ‘twistle’. As anyone with any knowledge of English will know this is the word used for retrieving a dirty mug from a dishwasher when there are none left in the vast store cupboard that normally holds at least twenty to try and minimise the risk. It also means ‘ a very bad turn of mood’ like when a spotty oik assistant in a shop ignores you when looking at mobile phone and heads for the chap next to you who’s just walked in. The wheeling of a mobile shopping bag guarantees that this  spotty oik will deem you completely invisible. Hence the phrase on the return of a shopping trip with aforementioned mobile shopping bag: “I dropped into Carphone Warehouse to see if they would give me an upgrade on my iPhone 6 for something even more expensive and the oik ignored me completely and talked to some young bloke about how cool the iPhone 4 was. I got into a right twistle, and stomped out.

I’ve a liking ,which is obvious from the last couple of posts, to making up new meanings from place names. The inspiration is a book called the Meaning of Liff which was written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, the former the writer of Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the latter a humorist who does lots of stuff on Radio 4. The book was published years ago and to me is their finest work. Seek it out and enjoy. I’ve done my own version recently which is based on Gloucestershire place names only and is called “Glossary”. I’ll be posting extracts and drawings from it over the coming months. The drawing has been posted before but it bears repeating, if you’ve seen it before then calm down, no need to get into a twistle, there will be a brand new drawing in the next postinginvisible

Hammer to crack a nut.

My last posting on dishwashers and washing up seems to have generated more traffic than I would have expected, so I make no apologies for keeping on the same theme. I’m fond of tea, and unlike coffee I’m not that particular about the brew type. As a Lancastrian  I am forced to admit that my present favourite claims to come from Yorkshire. I suspect that is where they put it in the box rather than there being fields of tea collectors taking the delicate leaves from a south facing slope in Barnsley.

I do insist that it is brewed in the pot,even if it’s just for me, but at the end of the day it is a cheap teabag blend. I also tend to stack a line of teacups in close proximity to myself nearby my desk. So there’s a gathering of empty mugs. Perhaps there’s a collective name for that, how about a “heckmondwhike” of mugs. So the phrase may be: “Oh there you go again, making a complete heckmondwike in your little office, there’s so many I can barely see out of the window. You’d better get them in the dishwasher before too long”.

Answer: “There would never be a heckmondwike before the invention of dishwashers, so it’s your fault for buying one of those infernal machines. In the good old days we just had a cuppa and then we washed up the mug, and we only had two of them until the kids came along.Now we’ve got enough to make the biggest heckmondwike south of Barnsley. If you ask me it’s all just a hammer to crack a nut”

( The last line being the excuse to put in this drawing that I found in a drawer just a few days ago, beyond the heckmondwike.)hammernut1sf )

Who came fourth?


I’m not a runner, never have been much. Even when I did take up sports I tried not to exert myself too much. I’m fond of the quote by the late Tony Benn, veteran politician, who I believe once said :” I sometime feel like taking exercise but a sit down in a comfy armchair usually makes it go away”.

Don’t get the wrong impression, I’m almost all for it. I think we should all be taking more exercise and I do a bit of swimming and walking myself.The Olympics is a media festival for our British commentators, trying to say something meaningful in under ten seconds.You can’t get a proper brew of tea in the time it takes some runners to run  a race, and if the race is longer than that then they’ll edit out the boring middle bits where no one is falling or doing anything but the running.

The ones I feel sorry for, but probably shouldn’t do, are those who come in fourth. The last in the race probably just got into the team and has a probably got  a healthy attitude to coming last and may even use it in dinner party chat for years to come as an amusing anecdote. But the one who came fourth is likely to keep quiet about it for years to come. The “fourthers”  as we might call them, are damaged goods. They were contenders, they could have got a medal but didn’t.

If you ever meet one, and it’s unlikely, they won’t tell you. Don’t ask them about it, get them to the nearest armchair.


Murder Weekend…


Going through some old stuff, yet again, and came upon this. I used to do drawings every week or so for the English Tourist Board. They, or the people that I worked for in particular, were brilliant to work for. I think I can say that we had a lot of laughs. The English Tourist Board no longer exists by that name, they were amalgamated and mashed together with other places and in the end evaporated up their own corporate guidelines.

This was to highlight an article about Murder Weekends where people get together in large hotels, together with a group of actors and they all have to find out who was responsible for the so-called ‘murder’. It’s the sort of thing that would be absolute murder for me.

Brylcreem, remember that?


Apparently it gave you control over your hair. Perhaps Mr Whippy here should be Mr Whispy as he hangs on to the last remnants. I could add a huge Elvis too, and may well do. Usually seen these days at the back of a funfair repairing the dodgy dogems.

Unintentional Diversion

I thought that might make a great name for a book. I’m not big on reading novels, I prefer to read about things that are supposed to be true. Like biographies and history stuff, but you could argue that not a lot of these are strictly ‘true’ being someone’s version of someone or someone’s version of events long past.

I suppose it could be a racing driver’s autobiography ( no pun intended ). Now there’s a book that I’ll find hard to pick up, having no interest in driving part from getting from A to B and zero interest in cars. Though I do think we all have too many of them for our common good and most of them sit around doing nothing, apart from losing value all day.

So wither the title?

Well I’ve been out all day, driving, and in this country if you drive from North to South or visa versa, you’ll have no problem finding your way quickly. However going against the grain and driving across the country is fraught with the possibilities of getting lost. Some months ago I tried this very thing and attempted to reach Buckinghamshire. Those of you out of the UK might think this is a made up name where Postman Pat resides in a land of cottages and summer sunshine. Driving, alone, in the daylight, I could not find it. I was supposed to be going for lunch with some chums, but by the time I got even close they would have been on the pud and ready for home, so I turned around and went home. In my world Buckinghamshire does not exist, and should not.

Today I had to go to Corby ” Home of the World Famous Trouser Press”, I am told.I was collecting chairs bought on eBay, long story: not very interesting. Remembering disappearing Buckinghamshire I made sure that I was completely ready for the trip. Not far, but against the grain. To add to the help I used a sat nav thingy on my mobile phone.

Normally in the car with company I would expect the odd word, like: “Should we be going on the M1?” a phrase guaranteed to sap my self confidence. But this time I was alone apart from Sally Satnav. She was extremely helpful, telling me to take the third exit off the roundabout or whatever, in plenty of time and never once questioning if we should indeed be on the M1, which we should not have. I did detect a hint of impatience when she spoke the dreaded word: “Recalculating”but that aside she was perfect company. We got there fine without mishap, apart from the unintentional diversion onto the M1, and a tour of the Northamptonshire countryside.

Chairs loaded onto the car I set off back across the country, remembering my mistake with the M1. As I approached the area where I’d gone wrong, there on the side was an illuminated sign advising me of a change of road layout and to ‘Ignore Satnav!’. She’d already told me to take a left so steeling myself for a bit of a telling off, I pressed on.

I’m sure there was a bit of a sigh from her when tight lipped she told me to stay on this road for 20 miles… there was a tone of resignation in her voice. Was she leading me astray. Perhaps her mood would change and she’d say: ” I live quite close to here, we could call in for a coffee, if you get my drift?” Or would she never speak to me again.

She chose the latter, the battery on my phone ran out. Her patience with me was exhausted. I made my way home alone with no sign of any ‘unintentional diversion’.spaghetti2


Where did that come from?


More”Guides to the Modern Man’s Haircut” is this small collection. I’ve not ever witnessed and “Adolf” in my lifetime but I’ve come close on one or two occasions. One was one of those blokes that wanders around an art gallery making sure you don’t get too close to the artwork. They always look bored rigid, but then I suppose you would when you’ve been Chancellor of all Germany. The other time was handing over cash for parking and the site of someone closely resembling Adolf taking the money and chuckling was an unnerving experience.

As for Trump, that was something my mother used to call a fart when we were young.

More of these to come this week. Let’s get them out of my system. Like a trump.

How would you like it Sir?


It’s a familiar phrase in the barber’s shop, an institution that has had something of a come-back recently. More recent barber shops are thankfully short on the atmosphere of the testosterone filed places of old with the smell of cigarettes and shelves with stuff called “Brilliantine”. This greenish liquid was applied to the hair after the tonsorial efforts of the barber who was usually male and in my experience was as bald as an egg.These barbers had one style: short back and sides, the rot set in when the Beatles came along.

I thought it might be good to do a guide to the modern haircut.There’ll be more, loads more.



Breath deeply and relax…


I detect that a lot of us are still taking a breather after the political shenanigans of the last few weeks, so I’m going to continue the theme of taking a breath.

I had my own sharp intake of the stuff the other day when I made one of those purchases that is likely to embarrass you. No ,it was nothing medical. Just one of those things that you buy on the spur of the moment. It was in fact a gizmo for cutting the grass on my allotment. Not a strimmer, a clipper. Not expensive, and without those annoying stringy things that are forever breaking on a strimmer. It had a number of good reviews on-line.

It arrived and it was a flimsy and plastic as I only had the right to expect. As a result of years of never reading instruction before assembling anything I have learnt my lesson, and I carefully read the ones included with my new purchase. I assembled it easily and it works, but it looks like a pair of hair clippers on the end of a pole, and sounds like it too. Down at the plot where one’s manhood is judged on the power of one’s strimmer I made sure I was there with no one else around and tried it out. Keeping it well hidden from any other allotmenteers. The fear of anyone coming along and saying: “What the hell is that thing?” was just too much for me to contemplate. I shall have to cut my grass at dawn or dusk.

Re-reading the instructions it appears that I should really not be using them outdoors at all. Perhaps they are hair trimmers after allnotforuse152?


So, I’ve been doing the odd political cartoon over the last few days and they’ve had a generally positive response. I have the feeling that everyone is a bit cheesed off with politics and perhaps would enjoy a bit of a break from it. So here’s a drawing from a series I’m working on on bandsmen, or should I say bandspeople as there will be women in the series and one has to be politically correct. Oops! There we go again, politics, catching us out again.bandrumblog

Enjoy the warm weather and with a bit of luck you’ll catch a brass band playing in the park.