Older blog entries for marnanel (starting at number 1025)


I'm just writing this down to get it out of my head so I can get on with work. TTTO the Nightmare Song from Iolanthe.

And I jump from my socks when I see a blue box
For it must have descended from heaven
And a man in a fez which he raises and says
Not to worry; he's only Eleven
And he's saving the Earth for whatever it's worth
From the threat of a Dalek disaster
But a fellow nearby has a glint in his eye
And I realise it must be the Master

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/282060.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-07-18 13:46:03 from Monument

Auntie Hero

So, did I ever tell you about my Auntie Hero? She was my aunt. And it's true, she was only an aunt, but she always strove to be a great-aunt. She was practicing her auntcraft until she could be the ideal auntie-hero, and already I found her at the centre of every strange story. If there was ever someone who could make you feel like you were helplessly lost in the middle of a children's book from the nineteen-fifties, it was Auntie Hero.

Well, Auntie Hero lived in a ramshackle house with my Uncle Stan. That was what they called him, because that's where he came from: Unclestan is the most avuncular country in the world. Everyone there has a moustache, twirlable and waxed, and when you cross the border they'll queue up to pat you on the head and tell you you've grown-- I must say it confused me the first time. Well, strictly speaking, I didn't visit Unclestan, I just visited their embassy, in Niece.

Anyway, one day it was my eighth birthday, and Auntie Hero appeared as she always did, bearing a mysterious brown paper parcel as she always did. But this time, before I could even tear the wrapping...

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/281454.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-07-09 21:18:59 from Monument

More sleep

The doctor has put me on some tablets to help me sleep better. They're working, more or less. But now that I'm getting more time to dream, I'm finding I remember my dreams as if I'd been awake at the time. For example, I'm fairly sure I was dreaming when I had the chance to hear all four verses of the Betelgeusean Death Anthem aboard a doomed spaceship the other night.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/280940.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-27 10:54:42 from Monument


Kit and I spent a very happy afternoon at St Mary's Church, Thorpe, where they were having a pet blessing service to which Petra had invited us. We met several friendly dogs, and a rabbit. Someone I often chat to when he's working at Sainsbury's turned up with his ferrets. And Fr Damian was going to bring his cat, but she had other ideas.

We brought all three tarantulas and both millipedes. The best part, for me, was seeing people handling the creatures for the first time. A lady who may have been in her seventies said delightedly that she'd always wanted to hold a tarantula-- I think she may now be planning to get one of her own-- and a girl of about eleven was fascinated and called to her mum to take a photo of her holding Ucalegon Millipede.

It was, indeed, a little like The Vicar of Dibley.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/280790.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-23 22:37:10 from Monument

21 Jun 2013 (updated 22 Jun 2013 at 09:17 UTC) »

McLibel twist

In case you hadn't heard of the McLibel trial: two environmentalist protesters wrote a leaflet saying McDonald's abused their workers, took advantage of children, made their customers sick, destroyed rain forests, etc. McD's sued for libel, which led to the longest trial in English legal history, where McD's had to demonstrate in open court that these allegations were untrue, and often failed, to their great embarrassment. Large amounts of public money were spent on this.

In a twist out of "The Man Who Was Thursday", it now turns out that one of the two protesters was apparently an undercover operative for Scotland Yard, who couldn't back out for fear of breaking his cover. [Update: I was a bit confused. The story says that the leaflet was *written* by the undercover cop, who then vanished leaving the two protesters to face the music.]

You may recall when we learned a year ago that the same operative had infiltrated another group, impregnated one of its members, and then disappeared never contacting the woman or her child or paying any support, again in order not to blow his cover.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/280377.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-21 22:12:19 (Updated 2013-06-22 08:51:50) from Monument

Poetry on tumblr

I have a poetry tumblr: tjathurman.tumblr.com. Please follow it, if you like that sort of thing.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/279422.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-17 20:15:38 from Monument


Today I sat on a railway platform, eavesdropping on a conversation between two railwaymen. I learned from this that instructions have just come down from the powers that be to prepare for a royal funeral, by which they surmised was meant Philip. This will involve a week of extra trains to Windsor, for people who want to see him lying in state and sign his book, and corresponding changes along the line. There is some sort of plan to prevent trains stopping at Windsor if the place is gets crowded. The stationmaster at Windsor has been given a deadline to produce a plan to implement all this, and they have been promised they'll be told a full day before the media if he's given a short time to live: good luck keeping that quiet. Anyway, I thought you might like to know if you use the railways around here.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/278974.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-11 18:33:51 from Monument


"I went, as usual about this time, to hear F.D. Maurice preach at Lincoln's Inn. I suppose I must have heard him, first and last, some thirty or forty times, and never carried away one clear idea, or even the impression that he had more than the faintest conception of what he himself meant. Aubrey de Vere was quite right when he said that listening to him was like eating pea-soup with a fork, and Jowett's answer was no less to the purpose, when I asked him what a sermon which Maurice had just preached at the University was about, and he replied—'Well! all that I could make out was that today was yesterday, and this world the same as the next.'" - Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff (1829-1906)

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/278751.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-09 23:05:17 from Monument

Carriage clock

I have always been bothered by those adverts where some wrinkled person who was famous thirty years ago reminds you in a slow voice that you'll be needing funeral insurance one of these days. They're so bloody patronising. It's such a worry for your relatives if you don't have funeral insurance, and if you sign up for ours, we'll send you a carriage clock absolutely free, because we know what you like, you old fart, you like carriage clocks. That's your whole life right there, polishing and admiring your carriage clock, trying not to think about all the time you haven't got left.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/278405.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-08 17:58:18 from Monument

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