55 thoughts on “On holiday”

  1. Boris A La Plage – He should make a classic surf figure stood on that beach with that blonde mop on his head … Surfs up Boris Dude.

  2. Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach,
    excitements in the air, but he is out of reach,
    empty bike, empty streets, the sun goes down alone,
    I travelled to The House and found you’re not home but
    I can see you, your blonde hair shining in the sun,
    you got your hair pushed back and sunglasses on baby 🙂

  3. Boris – Wipeout!

    Why are hols never ill-deserved? And while we’re considering the lovely Kylie (eh?), why are Battles aganst the Big C always Brave? And grumpy responses to bad news Fury At Whatever?

  4. Kevin – here are my thoughts

    1 ill-deserved = lazy. Boo to beach bums who hang out lazing around for too long ….

    2. diseases = fight or flight response. Hooray for all those who fight against the ravages of illness.

    3. bad news = alarmist reactions. Long live expansive cover of good news and a controlled output of bad news

  5. Melissa

    1. ‘Under the paving stones, the beach.’
    ‘Never Work.’ (Situationists, Paris 1968)

    2. Agreed, admirable sentiment. I also like the late John Diamond’s attitude in his book ‘C’ – Because Cowards Get Cancer Too. Not that he was a coward but his scepticism is refreshing (even in a journalist).

    3. The Conflict Model of news reporting is alas
    deeply lodged under the skin of the body politic. Rememnber Chris Morris’ Paxman interview (The Day Today) winding up 2 heads of state, ending in his triumphant closing line to camera: It’s War!

  6. Ah, Sunday morning.

    Inspired by jaq’s poem/peaen to Boris, I’ve rustled up this haiku:

    Maximum Blonde
    Rumpled suit
    Brain pulsating

    Er, needs work.

  7. I like it. The only thing I might add would be ‘another round’

    Here’s my favourite poem/limerick:

    There was a young man from Dundee,
    who got stung on the neck by a wasp,
    when asked if it hurt
    he said “not a bit,
    he can do it again if he likes”

    I first heard that aged about 12 and it still cracks me up. So ends the literacy hour.
    goodnight children x

  8. A Haiku, since the term has been used, more than once on this august site, is not any old cobbled together, unrhymed, stuff . It is a strictly fornmulated firm of poesy, Three lines, those lines consisting of 5;7&5 syllables respectively, and is unrhymed. The subject is mainly something seasonal. References to nerds, anoraks and train spotters have already been made, so you, yes YOU! Don’t waste your time.

  9. I know he’s on holiday. I think I saw him in the amusement arcade at Skegness earlier to-day, but he didn’t wave to me.

  10. Mac

    Sorry to take issue with you concerning this haiku debacle. While Webster’s Dictionary (1980) defines haiku as: “an unrhymed Japanese verse form of 3 lines containing 5,7, and 5 syllables respectively”, that’s (to quote one commentator)”like trying to use a tiny bonsai as an example of a giant redwood tree.”

    Jack Kerouac provided a different definition, outlining the vast differences between Western languages and Japanese: “A ‘Western Haiku’ need not concern itself with 17 syllables since Western Languages cannot adapt themselves to the fluid syllabic Japanese. I propose that the ‘Western Haiku’ simply say a lot in three short lines in any Western Language.”

    ‘A big fat flake
    of snow
    Falling all alone’
    (Jack Kerouac)

    Another haiku: “In a Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound, considered by some to be the best English Language haiku ever written, departs from the fabled 17 syllables:

    ‘The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.’
    (Ezra Pound)

    19 syllables! But, also notice that there are only two lines. Many Japanese haiku were written as one-line poems (written vertically). I’ll grant that seasonal or elemental elements are there in the 2 haiku above, so my Boris effort crashes & burns.

    Thus endeth the lecture. The floor or podium is your’s, sir.

  11. jaq-

    ‘Another round’? And p****d in Paris tonight? Your lifestle choices seem uncannily similar to my own – apart from the Paris bit, of course, not on my salary.

  12. Melissa

    Just noticed a slurred typo in the above. Any chance that your techhie chap could introduce an edit or delete function?

    Just what you need on a Monday morning”. Hmph.

  13. k.b: Doubtless, Ezra Pound was at the forefront of the change of theme in love poetry, from dreamy innocent Victorian style to more robust modern thinking. This however , does not give him authority to take an essentially Japanese art form; Haiku; and alter its intrinsic ancient structure, whilst still using the same descriptive name form.( It’s life Smithy; but not as we know it) It’s a bit like comparing ‘The Last of the Summer Wine,’ with ‘No’ theatre, because in that series, as in ‘No’ theatre , very little happens; however the audience, who know the ‘plot’ are happy to watch it anyway.. Finally , as I sink slowly into a welcome coma; may I ask a question? Thanks! A Japanese gentleman takes a Western name : does that make him any less Japanese?

  14. P.S.
    Kevin: it would appear that the two guys you quoted were both , at approximately the same sort of time, (an uncanny coincidence perhps?)found mentally unfit . Kerouac was discharged from the navy as having a schizoid personality, whilst Pound , awaiting trial on treason charges, was declared mentally unfit. Sounds remotely, but nontheless remarkably like the progress of a trial now in progress.Ride on the waltzer, anyone?
    Does this sort of fate await all rhyming rascals and artisans of alliteration? OTY

  15. Aw, I’ll visit you Mac, you tell me what ward you’re in when your book comes out. Who knows, if society can’t distinguish silly humour, sarcasm and satire from serious in me I might end up in there with you. Sadly that isn’t a pig flying over the cuckoos nest. You have dangerous people being released into the community who need care and others who just became overwhelmed, by loss or tragedy and need some support, deprived of everything they hold dear and forced onto mood altering addictive drugs. And all this PC nonsense hasn’t stopped one child being abused in my opinion – look at that little girl tortured as a witch. But we must be inclusive of all religions musn’t we. Barmy!

    We must also check our own opinions from time to time lest we become thoughtlessly bellicose. I believe I may have been unfair to Liam Fox. I’m always saying that a politician is just a bloke (usually) Well why can’t a man go to a party he’s been invited to and enjoy the delights therin? Mr McKay has persuaded me I was wrong in suggesting that politicians should always be on the campaign trail but I am warmly comforted by the belif that Liams robust ego will shield him from any cares on the matter.

    Ah confession, it’s good for the soul. Now about that incident in the girls changing rooms…..

  16. Now then Melissa. Here you are in the office with the keys to this website.

    Go on.

    Post something.

    Those embarrassing photos from the Christmas party.

    We won’t tell.

  17. I plead not guilty, me’Lud. I was not in the said premises on that fateful night. I must confess I was flabbergasted when I read of it in the Slade Prison News Roundup Sheet. Mr McKay will vouch for my whereabouts at the time cited.Hecdoes sometimes have his uses.

  18. Mac

    Sounds like you’re Deep Throat.

    On the poetry side, Keruoac and Pound were admittedly two of the less savoury personalities amongst a literary calling that has an inordinate vulnerability to mental turmoil. (See the recent excellent article in The Speccie on Manic Depression/ Bipolar Disorder and Creativity.) But I’m not sure that I take your point about the equivalence of Japanese and English syllables in scansion.

    (Blimey, this will end in tears, I just know it.)

  19. Kevin, That is the whole point, there can be no equivalence. Should someone wish to write blank verse, why not accept that perfectly good term for that practice? I found it pretentious of those attempting to write something purporting to be Haiku, whilst at the same time changing all those time honoured, one might almost say , revered, concepts of the art. Mere anglicisation of a foreign term or name does not, and indeed cannot, alter the basic form, without an alteration of the description or name. Shakespeare said, and very well he said it too, ” A rose, by any other name, smells just as sweet”. It’s still a rose , with a rose’s form, and you can’t change a rose into a cabbage, merely by saying it is one. You won’t need a hankie , I promise. Differences of opinion are welcomed by all and sundry , I think you’ll find. Variety is still the spice which most people to add to their lives.

  20. Erm: Your ref. ‘deep throat’.
    I forgot to say that my alter ego, Linda Lovelace, is no longer in business, due to pressure of work as a health visitor for those recovering from laryngectomies.

    Another PC filled moan

    I read in the paper, not Maul, I might say
    Those teenie-bop mothers will not have to pay,
    For facials and hairdos, nail treatment and more.
    Rewards from the Government: what on earth for?
    Just one more example, why youth is corrupted
    More babies for babies, coitus not interrupted.
    Council house waiting lists, full as can be.
    Schoolgirls get precedence, it’s rampant PC
    Some, who’ve been waiting for years for a gaff,
    Can’t get a look in: you can’t help but laugh
    The clerk at the council will say, with a sneer
    Those seeking asylum come next, sir, I fear

  21. I take your point about the poetry Mac. But , ” A rose, by any other name, smells just as sweet”. It’s still a rose , with a rose’s form, and you can’t change a rose into a cabbage, merely by saying it is one” made me think of a woman for some reason.

    A heart is still a heart even when it’s broken. It beats and pumps the blood ’round. But it is not the same. Whether the heart is broken through anothers choice or death or betrayal or dissapointment you can still call it a heart but things are not the same. Shakespear also wrote about lillies smelling not so sweet when they are dead but I can’t find the reference so I’m waffling. It’s in a sonnet. anyway, sometimes things can be said to be the same but they are not – it all depends on the content, the emotion.

    Just a thought from the 1s 9d’s

  22. Jaq: Why on earth does a cabbage remind you of a woman? Many leaves to be shed before the heart is exposed? I could believe that, if it were to be offered as an explanation.Some tenements in the old Gorbals in Glasgow had a permanent aroma of boiled cabbage , I recall, but I would hesitate to liken that to any woman I ever knew.

  23. Mac – Sounds like a novel chat-up line to me (followed by “Er, don’t go yet, I haven’t told you about my extensive mayonnaise collection”.)

    Quoting the Bard at me now, eh, me old lovely? Yes, and ‘Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.’

    Thanks for pitching in, jaq. Getting a bit hairy there, the blighter’s got his jackboot on me wind-pipe, the cad.

  24. Argh, I’m a serial poster, stop me before I post again, someone, please.

    Sorry about that, folks. May I highly recommend the blog by Mr Scaryduck above (he’s not scary and he’s not a duck – rather like Red Rock Cider if anyone remembers those old adverts with Mr Leslie Nielson). I just fell off my swivel chair laughing after just seeing the Duckmeister’s pictures on the front page but I’m like that.

    Keep up the good work, sir, you’re an inspiration to us toddler bloggers. (My fee note is in the snail mail.)

  25. Kevin, as a lady of the night , my chat up line is more robust than novel, but the mayonnaise collection rings a bell. BTW have you some sort of informant , someone on the inside as it were? Must be, I suppose , or how did you know about my jackboots?

  26. okay Scaryduck, you’re on – might surprise you one day !!!

    Kevin – Scaryduck’s site is award-winning too, not surprisingly. A scary lot of talent here as you can see.

  27. Jaq; I confess that the muse didn’t hit me at once, when you likened a cabbage to a rose. I have stupidly bragged that I could turn out some doggerel about anything; given the time. Try this.———– To a brassica
    O ma chere. Mon petit chou,
    There are so many forms of you.
    Which form of you do I love best
    My lips encompass all with zest.
    Crinkled leaf of French Savoy,
    Or sauerkraut? The taste ; a joy.
    Whichever form that you may take
    I love you for your own sweet sake.
    Your scent, especially when you’re boiled
    Defies description: words are foiled
    You : Empress of the mustard clan
    Stir appetites like no-one can
    Throughout the world, where e’er I be
    Please ne’er forget; you’re life for me.


  28. Heres tea for the Big Mac:

    ‘Mere anglicisation of a foreign term or name does not, and indeed cannot, alter the basic form, without an alteration of the description or name. Shakespeare said, and very well he said it too, ” A rose, by any other name, smells just as sweet”.’

    Putting the Haiku aside for one moment. Surley this argument also negates the fact of the English Sonnet. Old Shaftspear still smelling of roses.

    Also a poem from an older vision of a paris attic:

    Somewhere on the top floor.
    Somewhere in the silence.
    Sometimes pentetrated by the city noise.
    Windows Open spring air.
    A large pile of thick thick books.
    A half empty wine bottle.
    Two legs in the air.
    o o OH Orgasm.

  29. Nick ,me old Jagger: welcome to the debate.
    A sonnet is and always was , a form of poetry consisting of 14 lines; rhyming in a particular order. It is, (if my Alzheimers will allow ), I believe , of Italian origin, and was adopted , without change in form, most notably by the bard himself. Your quoted piece is a descriptive poem, in blank verse, and has a different number of lines, ergo: it is not a sonnet.

  30. Mac: Fascist! The jackboots were just a hunch. Whether they go with plus-fours is a moot point that I shall leave you to ponder.

    A rose is a rose is a rose (Gertrude Stein)

    Incidentally, your excellent poem has a rhythm that I found disturbingly reminiscent of the one used in the song Be Our Guest from the Walt Disney boffo box-office hit Beauty and the Beast.

    Nick: Take no notice of him. More saucy sonnets or pseudo-sonnets or blank verse or whatever. Please.

  31. And again.

    Gertrude Stein:

    “Poetry is I say essentially a vocabulary just as prose is essentially not. And what is the vocabulary of which poetry absolutely is. It is a vocabulary based on the noun as prose is essentially and determinately and vigorously not based on the noun. Poetry is concerned with using with abusing, with losing with wanting with denying with avoiding with adoring with replacing the noun. It is doing that always doing that, doing that doing nothing but that. Poetry is doing nothing but using losing refusing and pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns. That is what poetry does, that is what poetry has to do no matter what kind of poetry it is. And there are a great many kinds of poetry. So that is poetry really loving the name of anything and that is not prose.

    When I said. “A rose is a rose is a rose.” And then later made that into a ring I made poetry and what did I do? I caressed completely caressed and addressed a noun.”

    “Poetry and Grammar”, Lectures in America (1935)

  32. Kevin: now I know you have a mole;trouble is, he / she, is way behind the times,( not The Times ),insofar as I gave up on the plus twos AND fours some little time ago, having recently given up goff;you know, that time at Gleneagles; during the last tournament there, to be precise. I changed into my kilt to avoid the crowds, but ,as the blasted thing blew up over my head, Terry O’Gan recognized me at once , and I had to dash for the cover of the refreshment tent. As for my subscribing to any Fascist theories , well…. Btw , you are aware of what they said about Gertie, aren’t you? There is tht old Limerick about the Family Stein.

  33. Mac: If we are going to debate the meter of the limerick(we will, we will), let us examine a canonical example:

    A prostitute living in Kew
    Once filled her vagina with glue.
    “Well,” she said with a grin,
    “since they pay to get in
    They can pay to get out of it too.”

  34. Mac – I know that the poem was not a sonnet. It never was to begin with when I wrote the thing. By the way there was a change between the sonnet of italy and the english one mainly in the rhyme scheme. After all english is a bugger of a language to rhyme with. Oh and by the way old Shaftspear did not bring the sonnet in to this country it was already here. In fact old Shaft’s poems are a parady of the sonnet sequence’s that were doing the rounds in late tudor england.

  35. Nick; I didn’t say that Willie Shakespeare had brought it here, merely that he took what was available, as it as something dear to his heart, and of course you are bang on about the sometime difficulty of rhyming in English…… .

    Kevin: Another boring long winded answer for you:
    No doubt that there was a certain something,” not quite normal,” in Mozart’s behaviour, but I question the description as Tourette’s syndrome, not least ,that element of it known as coprolalia or scatologia; the uncontrollable uttering of obscenities for sexual purposes, on the following grounds:
    As a German speaker of many years , I can say, from personal experience, that German insults are based mainly in likening someone to an animal, as in, ” Du bist eine Eule”, or even ” Du bist eine daemliche Kuh,” To refer to someone as an anus, ” Arschloch,” is frowned upon, as being not “Salonfaehiges Benehmen”,( drawing room behaviour) but the bodily functions are exactly that, and nothing more.
    Hardly the stuff which we are led to believe is obscene. It is without doubt that he was not as normal as some, (what is normal?) but, then after all he was a genius, even in old Ludwig’s eyes, ( even after his ears were no longer doing their bit.) Wolfie did suffer from the Schoenlein-Hannoch Syndrome; which someone opined was partly the cause of his early death; but I have not been able to find out what that was. However, in a biography I read recently, I found neither reference to facial or phonic tics, nor any irregular head movements, all of which are associated with Tourette’s Syndrome. It’s a mystery no-one will ever solve: mere supposition does not carry the same weight as fact. It is said that genius and madness are close neighbours, (I know; I have some of them), and so we can’t argue on that score.

    Also, from memory , perhaps slightly mangled; here is the Limerick requested:-

    There once was a family called Stein
    There was Ep,there was Gertrude and Ein
    Gert wrote crappy verse,
    Ep’s statues were worse,
    And no-one could understand Ein

  36. Mac: Amusing, yes, but typical anti-intellectualism, probably written by a self-hating intellectual. Remember how intellectuals were treated by Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, etc.?

    The quotation about that was doubtless in the back room of your mind is from Dryden:

    “Great Wits are sure to Madness near alli’d/ And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide.”

  37. I have taken time to look up the limerick I previously misquoted,( only slightly), and I find that ubiquitous contributor, Anon, as the writer. However , no less a person than Gertrude’s brother ,Leo, an art critic and collector of note, said of his sister’s work,” She and that Picasso, in my opinion, are turning out the most Godalmighty rubbish that is to found.” Someone else; C.Fadiman; said of her,” She is the mama of dada.” Funny how time changes perspective .

  38. Boys, boys…
    I remember going to see a welsh male voice choir witht the family of some arrogant git I was dating at the time. After the event the family argued over how many there were in the choir. After much argument a little voice from the back, who had remained silent till then, remarked “I enjoyed the music very much, I thought they sounded lovely”

    PS: I find the term ‘normal’ is often confused with ‘usual’ – what is ‘the norm’ for Nick may not be ‘the norm’ for Mac. Social criteria should allow for eccentricities within the constraints of the law. But as you argue, though it’s entertaining and I do not wish to stop you, I take this opportunity to remind every reader that your freedoms are being compromised by this government. New laws are being passed, draconian laws that destroy lives and syphon happiness. So please, let us enjoy the freedom of expression this wonderful blog gives us to argue over the finer points of poetry. Then let us unite in support of Boris Johnson and get rid of this dangerous sodding useless bloody government.

    I thankyou.
    (steps off soapbox, a little flushed

  39. Great reading of the Riot Act Jaq.

    We can now move on and be tested by the latest DT offering about the pros of Euro property…

  40. no spanking intended. Actually it may sadden you all to learn that I am not a dominatrix, am not seduced by software so no defence is necessary chaps but I am looking forward to taking Boris to task about his latest DT article.

    I’d be even more feisty if Boris actually read this stuff. Gotta tackle you direct then Boz! Hmmm

  41. Couldn’t agree more jaq but *how* do we get rid of this dangerous sodding useless bloody government? Apart from the next election, I mean, and surely we don’t want to wait that long?

    I think local politics may hold the key or at least 1 of the keys. Mr Tony must be s*****ing himself about next year’s local elections, when I would expect the Lib Dems to make further incursions into formerly New Labour metropolitan citadels: Hornsey & Wood Green for one. (Have I already mentioned that we the People of that proud constituency overturned a 10,000 Labour majority with a 3,000 Lib Dem one?)

    I’ve few illusions about Gordon being radically different from his wife Tony although he would be marginally preferable.

    Any thoughts?

  42. with you on that one Kev (btw, do you drive a volvo?)

    I’m in one of the marginals that was a labour safe seat and they hung onto it. Last local elections ousted labour in favour of a conservative council after 20 years. Talk me through how a by-election changes things someone please ’cause I’m all excitement over Teignbridge again. If Younger’ross gets ousted in favour of the fabulous and you-should-be-glad-to-have-him Stanley Johnson well, I’m going to wet my pants in excitement.

  43. Melissa speaks: we obey.
    The greatest and best well kept secret , until now, is, I have fallen stupidly and completely in love with the latent pleasures of the, land of the Magyars, the Puszta,and goulasch, plus such numerous other delight as to be too numerous to mention here. It is the land of the future,a haven of peace for the overcrowded, affluent( even only relatively) Brit. There are drawbacks, but if you like a pastoral life, with rural pastimes, this is the place. Years ago , I read a book entitled , ” Ich denk’ oft an Piroschka”, and the descriptions of the lifestyle and landscape were brilliant, and now I’ve seen, via TV ,what the Country has to offer,,Wow! You can keep your Spains and all those fish and chip places. Hungary is the place . Now’s the time.

  44. Mine’s a pint of Bull’s Blood.

    Yup, Hungary, Prague, Europe is full of delights.

    jaq: did you hear the story on HIGNFY about Stanley being trapped in a taxi with a voluble Germaine Greer 20 years ago? The political editor of the Mule on Sunday who was a bit of a comedian told it so well – it involved Ms Greer banging on about whatever, as she does, bless her, and Stanley finally giving up, opening the taxi door while it was moving, and rolling out… The image is priceless.

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