Tuesday 31 May 2011

John Finnemore's Sketch Night

Exciting news! Well, for me, anyway. I will be writing and performing a new sketch show for BBC Radio 4 this Autumn. What will it be called? Who else will be in it? When exactly will it be on? These are just some of the questions science simply cannot yet answer. 

What science can tell us, though, is that in order to prepare for it, I will be doing a fortnightly sketch show at the Albany in Great Portland Street over the summer, and the first show is this very Saturday! It would be great to see you there. 

To read the titchy writing, click the image to embiggen it, or click here for the show's website (which is currently just the same information, only bigger, and with a map. But in the future - wondrous things.)

Sunday 29 May 2011

Twinned with St-Bernard-mais-D'oh!

Westward Ho! is a small village in Devon, which was named after Charles Kingsley's book, and is the only place in Britain to have an exclamation mark as an official part of its name. Which is a shame, because imagine how much more exciting it would be to visit, say, 'Birmingham!'.

Anyway, until yesterday, I thought it was the only such place in the world, but that's when I learnt of the existence of the small Quebecois town of...

Fantastic. Double the exclamation marks, double the fun. Apparently the Commission du Toponymie  (and kudos to the Canadians for having such a thing) maintains the 'Ha! Ha!' relates to a nearby lake being an unexpected obstacle, like a Ha-ha... but I think we all know the event it actually commemorates.

Saturday 28 May 2011

But, you know, if they're all full...

Rather a bleak thing I found on Google Maps:

I hope that's just a review, and not actually their slogan.

Sunday 22 May 2011

I think Lykke Li and I probably shouldn't get married. Which is a shame, because I imagine I'm just her type.

Sorry for the poor quality picture - if you can't read it, it represents a privileged glimpse into the philosophy of Lykke Li; who is, apparently, one of Sweden's leading Slight Curves. The creed by which she lives is as follows: "I believe life's too short for compromises and bad fitting jeans." 

As it happens, I was approached to do this ad first - I would have been identified as a Bulgy Slab. The quote I submitted was "I believe that life is impossible without compromises, and indeed that developing the art of compromise, with others and one's self, is life's most vital skill; but that what life is far, far too short for is having a 'custom jeans fitting at a Levi's store near you'."

 I never heard back. 

Friday 20 May 2011

Aslan was probably the same.

Sorry for the unannounced break, I've been on holiday.

While I was there, I took this picture of a feral cat which snuck up to drink from the swimming pool just before sunset; because I felt it looked so much like - and was acting so much like - a lion coming to the water-hole in the evening. Obviously, I took care not to get too close, because after all this was a wild animal, and I had no doubt that if I disturbed him, or even encroached on his territory, he would attack with all the murderous ferocity of the lion he so closely resembled.

Conceive of my terror, therefore, when having finished his drink, he did not slink back to his lair, but turned and made straight for me!  

Just look into those cruel tawny eyes! Clearly, his thirst slaked, this fearsome descendant of the King of the Beasts had but one thing on his mind...


Does the mighty pussy cat want his tummy tickled, then? 


Still looking like a lion, I think you'll agree; only now a lion after it's been shot and turned into a hearthrug.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Hidden fires.

Sat opposite this chap on the train at the weekend. Balding, glasses, fawn jacket over quiet check shirt, doing the Independent crossword. Maybe not one of life's hellraisers.

But now, if you didn't spot it immediately, have another look at the gap at the top of his shirt... 

Do judge a book by its cover, that's very much what the cover is there for. But don't judge a man by his fawn jacket... 

Sunday 8 May 2011

Queen Leer

A little late with this, but of all the beautiful tributes to the Royal Wedding couple, I think this one, in a shop window on Oxford Street, was the finest:

Doesn't she look radiant? 

Thursday 5 May 2011

No, I don't know what happens when you press the button with a fish on it.

Thanks to Plenty More Fish for directing me to this amazing guy who has created book covers based on famous albums. My favourite is Horses. And Surfer Rosa. And Abbey Road. I have lots of favourites. (Simon Kane has also done a great one, but it's on Facebook and I can't work out how to link to it.)

Anyway, it looks like too fun a game not to join in just because I'm rubbish at Photoshop, so here's a couple from me, done with horse-drawn pen and paper.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Not all they're cracked up to be.

Oh dear, Sainsbury's. Are you having trouble with your Easter crackers? Were your Easter crackers not as big a seller as you hoped? Do you find yourself with a lot of Easter crackers left over? I wonder what went wrong. After all, your Easter crackers are very nice, with all the pretty springtime colours and chick and bunny labels one expects to find on Easter crackers. I really don't understand why your customers have apparently gone elsewhere to buy their traditional Easter crackers. Oh, no, wait a minute, I think I've got it... there's no such thing as Easter Crackers! There's your problem, Mr. Sainsbury, right there - Easter crackers are not a thing. And you can't turn them into a thing just by making them and assuming everyone will go 'Oh, we have to have Easter crackers now, do we? Ok then, here's a fiver'. 

(And good luck with selling off the Easter crackers no-one wanted at Easter now that it's not even Easter. I'm not sure 70% off is enough. I think you'd have to pay me.)