Humour, lifestyle

Double, double toil and trouble.

Auspicious day? Yesterday I cleaned the house which must have unsettled everyone. Today I could feel it through my feet – bare feet, next to godly feet – feel the silky smoothness of the wooden floors, the springiness of the fluffed up carpet pile and…


Bless the cats – a field mouse, just what I wanted for my birthday, but not as much as I wanted my breakfast. A bowl of muesli, topped with fruit-salad and —  go on, spoil yourself – some double cream. I’ll eat it in the sunshine.  So I popped it on the table outside the kitchen door but remembered the mouse (other members of the household are more squeamish than I), I picked it up by its tail, went out of the door and hurled the little body towards the overgrown bank (for the thrice mewing buzzard to eat)– not a very good delivery (sad in a cricketing family) – Splash. Luxury dead-mouse muesli!
You see I’d been reading Macbeth — so it was ordained and it set me thinking what else I should add to my birthday breakfast.
We live in Wales – so Dragon scales and it’s a classic recipe so
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog (all freely available),
I can get hemlock and yew,
but liver of blaspheming Jew?
‘That’s racist!’ interjects the spouse,
‘Just make do with mouse’.
Entrails of a cursing Celt
Would probably suffice –I felt

For offensive antiquary

Insert anathema contemporary

Nose of Turk will no longer work
A politician’s naval I’ll convert.
For Tartar’s lip — a grated betting slip,
Ear hair from a defrocked priest
would be in the spirit of the piece.
Gall of goat and sweat of stoat —
Microwaved in belly of python
And foamed up in a soda syphon…
…That should do it!

May Lambs and cats 014 Black cat

Architecture, Art, Humour

Excited about Architecture

‘It’s the building with the huge golden knob on the top,’ said the handsome soldier recruiting in Victoria Square.  He had real leadership potential — I found it immediately — the Library of Birmingham.

He could have said, ‘the three tier cake with squiggly icing, or ‘the Spirograph Building,’ that would have found it too.


You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover and neither can you judge a library from the outside.  Judge the inside for yourself–

And at the very top, the golden knob illuminates the whole — the hole in the bibliographic doughnut.


Next to this enormous roof-light is the Shakespeare Memorial Library, remember we are near to the birthplace of the bard.  This has travelled through time and space and been given new life on the roof of this iconic building, designed by Francine Houben of Mecanoo Architecten and opened in 2013.

Nothing is perfect though: the glass lift was out of order, to the great relief of my lift-phobic friend, and the route to the top was through a warren of corridors, the ceiling of which I could easily touch — two meters perhaps.

‘Why so low?’ asked friend (her son is 6’8” tall).

‘Mistake!’ said I (having run out of head-room in our barn conversion), ‘Still, at least there are no beams!’