Thursday 20 August 2009

Out of Office

Right, I'm on holiday for a bit. A very small amount of walking in Italy, followed by a large amount of lazing around in Italy, which I will pretend has been justified by the walking, but which, in fact, isn't. So, nothing here until the end of the month... but the last of the second series of Cabin Pressure goes out tomorrow on Radio 4 at 11.30, and will be on Listen Again and iPlayer for a week afterwards. It's a bit different from the others - hope you like it.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Before you ask: Yes, 'Floyd' is a surprisingly common name amongst Southern African tribesmen.

From the paper 'Psychological Factors Affecting Preferences for First Names', by Colman, Hargreaves and Sluckin of the University of Leicester.

"Another striking example of the psychological importance of names is found among the Pondo tribesmen of Southern Africa. The patriarchal structure of the Pondo kinship system is reflected in a set of taboos governing name avoidance by married women. A Pondo bride is forbidden to utter the names of her husband's elder brothers, her father-in-law and his brothers, or her husband's paternal grandfather, whether they are living or dead. She is not even permitted in day-to-day speech to use words whose principal syllable rhymes with any of these names. She is also forbidden to use the personal names of her husband's mother, paternal aunts, and elder sisters, but she need not avoid words which rhyme with them."

No, because that would just be silly.

What I wonder is how they police this rule. I like to think the married men of Pondo carry little buzzers with them at all times.

- I'm just going out for an hour, husband. Will you still be in when I get back?

- Bzzt! If I can just stop you there, wife, and remind you of my brother Jack.

- Oh. Yes, of course. Alright, will you still be in when I... return?

- Bzzt! Sorry dear, you seem to be forgetting Great Uncle Ern.

- Oh, come on! Your father had twenty five brothers! I can't avoid all their names!

- Bzzzzzzzzzt! Great Uncles Joe, Ron, Arthur, Clive, Floyd, Paul and James!

- Arthur does not rhyme with father! It's a half rhyme at best!

- Yes it does! Doesn't it, village elder?

-Well, on this occasion I'm going to give your wife the benefit of the doubt, but the village enjoyed your challenge, so you get an extra point.

Friday 7 August 2009

There are moments in the film where he ISN'T clutching her arm. These are not two of them.

Good guesses, but there's really no way you're going to identify a slightly obscure film from a drawing in which I have not attempted to actually draw the stars, and have, for instance, given one of them a moustache on a whim. If I do this again, I'll do it properly. But, in case you're interested, these are the stars...

...and this is the movie.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Peppy and Sterne, Private Investigators.

You know I said a while ago I might start posting drawings from time to time? Well then, that explains this, doesn't it.

They're not pictures of anyone in particular, but they are inspired by the stars of the film I was watching when I drew it. I will be astonished and impressed if anyone can identify that film. It would difficult enough if I had actually drawn the stars of it, and I haven't. And I don't see how Google can help you. I reckon it's impossible to get it unless you happen to have seen it in the last couple of weeks.

(P.S. The title is not a clue. Neither of the stars of the film were private investigators. That's just what I think this pair look like.)

Monday 3 August 2009

Now make the gas oven work...

Here's something that hadn't occurred to me until I saw it.

How do you get this sink:

...which is not in a real kitchen, but a temporary set islanded in the middle of a television studio, to run water when the tap is turned, without hoses running across the studio floor, or similar inconveniences? Answer:

Techies are great.

Saturday 1 August 2009

Perfect character sketch in three words.

All is forgiven, Radio Four. You may market atrocious spoons (actually, it's probably not even you that do that; it's probably the sinister 'BBC Worldwide', the identity of which I've never quite understood), but you also provided the following terrific quote today. Broadcaster Charles Wheeler remembering spy George Blake, with whom he worked during the war:

'He was a curious person. He was very charming. People liked him. Smiled a lot... smiled rather too much. Smiled at breakfast.'