Avatar Sad Viennetta

The last time my sister visited from Sweden we went round to my brother’s house, as we always do whenever there’s a family gathering because he has the biggest house. We all brought food and had a general chit-chat. It was the same as it ever was.

It was, that is, apart from Sarah had a mild fascination with eating food from the 1980’s and kept bring it up in conversation. This continued for a while and when the desserts were brought out this included a very sad-looking Viennetta.

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked.

“Oh nothing really,” said Sarah, “it’s been in mum’s freezer for a while but other than that it’s fine.”

“Oh. Could I have a bit more information about that? Only the last time we emptied mum’s kitchen cupboards we found food and spices from Safeway which was very disconcerting given that it hasn’t existed since 2005.”

Sarah goes back into the kitchen to check the box which is still lying on the kitchen counter.

“It says…. 2019. But it’s sugar, right? Nothing is going to happen to sugar. You won’t get poisoned or anything.”

Yes, my sister, the doctor, ladies and gentlemen. I did have a small slice out of curiosity and it did taste a bit funky however it was in a way that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The flavour was there, the ice cream, the wafer-thin chocolate bits, all were present. Still this lingering feeling of uncertainty kept me, and everyone else insane enough to have a bit, from fully enjoying it.

It also had some freezer burn and had to stand for a while before it all fell off.


Avatar I.D.T.A.B.F.A.B.B.O

Observation. Observation is key when considering the details of modern life. You might “see” something on your way to work or on your way out of the house but are you really “observing” it?

Luckily even with the downgrade shortly after the Covid pandemic, I still have plenty of eyes with which to keep tabs on things happening around me. When the economy picks up again I hope to install some more eyes, maybe something European. I would look tip top with a pair of mirar ojos or regarder yeux. Something classy, you know?

Whenever I visit home, I usually walk the same ways up and down main street; round the back streets, through the car park on Barley Hill road and out past the path between the cobblers and the firm of solicitors on the corner, then on the way back straight down the main road (but not in the middle of it, that would be silly). I have walked this way hundreds of times and you would have to be an unobservant fool to not see the dance school opposite the car park.

I have seen this place and yet it is only recently that I observed the sign advertising it. There are in fact two, one over the doorway and one on the side of the building. Both signs are almost identical apart from a full stop. Why would a full stop be so important you ask? The accreditations of the dance school are why it’s so important.

I am no dancer. If you see me dancing you’ll wish you hadn’t. I don’t know a pirouette from a monestary. Are they dance moves or names of clowns? Who knows. The sign on the side has three sets of acronyms but the one on the front, at first glance, has only one: I.D.T.A.B.F.A.B.B.O. That’s one long qualification, I thought, and what the hell could it stand for? Ten words? Are these dance people mad? I looked a little closer and saw that it was actually two acronyms: I.D.T.A and B.F.A.B.B.O.

Are they having a laugh? Imagine having that printed on your business card and having to explain what it stood for. Having done a bit of research I believe the sign on the side is the correct one because I.D.T.A (International Dance Teachers Association), B.F.A (Batchelor of Fine Arts) and B.B.O (British Ballet Organisation) are all legit. From a quick look on Google Maps though this one was put up first which begs the question why did they then print a second sign that was incorrect?

If I get close enough will the rogue full stop turn out to be a giant spider? I wish I had taken a photo because there are no photos of the sign on the internet and I sound like another crazy person talking about something that may or may not exist. I guess I will have to wait until my next visit to solve this mystery (not a mystery).

UPDATE (02/08/2023): since writing this post I have done some digging and with a little help have managed to obtain these up-to-date photos of both signs.

My memory was totally wrong about the BFA. It was, however, correct about the full stop. The top picture is the side sign and the bottom is the one on the front which has that extra full stop making it look like a mega qualification.

Avatar Dear Beans… Furious Locker Fetish Frenzy

I have been meaning to make a confession for some time now because it’s happened again and it happened right under my nose. I didn’t mean it to happen and it did. Oh, what a fragile and tragic series of events it was!

Some years ago I “purchased” a locker from a local art gallery. By “purchase” I mean I paid the £1.00 to use the locker and then kept on using it. It was practically a purchase after all because money changed hands, they got something and I got something. I would return to the locker to store things inside, hiding them away like a squirrel burying nuts for the winter. After several months of this I returned to a sign telling me that my purchase had been rescinded and the art gallery had taken the locker back by force. This was completely unacceptable and in my outrage I fled the scene and never returned. I didn’t agreed to these terms and yet I was being forced to comply with them. Absolute b*stards.

All those lovely trinkets of mine were lost. I had several diamond necklaces, a couple of Monets (rolled up very tightly and very carefully of course), a wallet full of oil and a Chinese urn signed by every member of the Ming dynasty amongst other things. Priceless.

In my new place of work I was assigned a locker. Actually, it’s less a locker and more lockable filing cabinet. It’s mine though and I keep only the essentials in there in case it gets taken away from me again. It’s a very busy office so the majority of the lockers are already taken by other members of staff however a few nights ago I was walking through and noticed that I was making a mental note of the odd ones that were still free. I had previously borrowed one to keep my gym items in until I worked out how to use the lockers at the gym (that’s another story in itself). When I returned to my locker the next day though I realised that the one adjacent to it was free. How had I not realised this before? Why was this only being brought to my attention now?

I took the key and kept it. Obviously the idea of knocking through the wall to make it a double locker is not permittable but it’s still good to have a spare. Is it though? Am I only coveting the locker because I can and because of what happened previously? Am I destined to continue to take lockers that don’t belong to me? I don’t need it and yet I keep it as mine.

I need some advice so please help in any way you can.

Yours stealingly

Fencepost Nundidge

Avatar Look at him (but don’t be inspired)

What’s going on here exactly?

Look at this berk. I took screenshots of this from some Twitter advert because it looked ridiculous. This guy is doing all these different kinds of exercises as though it’s supposed to inspire you to “reach goals easily” and “no gym, no problem”. What a waste of time.

I wouldn’t mind so much but for the last month or so this has popped up every other day. This guy needs to take a hint and get outta my viso/volto. My viewing eyes don’t need this kind of visual fungus. I don’t care if you can track progress and keep motivated, I don’t care if you can see visible results in four weeks and don’t think you can tempt me with silly muscular arm emojis.

What worries me most is the disclaimer at the bottom of the video: “The stunts in this video were performed by a trained professional. DO NOT ATTEMPT IT.” Stunts? It? They seem to have such a poor grasp of English that even if I wanted to “hit every single muscle” I wouldn’t trust them to do it given that they can’t even word a disclaimer properly.

I expect you may have already seen it but I wanted to spread the word regardless.

Also, Chris, get a real f*cking job, mate.

Avatar Blurrd

Last weekend, some people hopped in a car and drove over six hours out of their way to go and see some men with musical wooden sticks on a big stage.

The sticks were played well. The musical men did good. It did not rain which is good because the people were outside and not wearing coats.

The less said about the toilets the better.

As the big ball of flaming gas disappeared from the sky, the stone structure on the hill looked pretty and made everything better.

That said, if you wanted a bottle of cold liquid you had to part with 300 pennies. A cone of frozen milk cost over 600 pennies. Huge posters telling you to keep hydrated was a piss take by all accounts.

Overall if I could have scooped out the men with music sticks and moved them somewhere else I would have done. Highly recommended.

Avatar Newsboost – Marauding mash mutilation mandate

Conservative politician Tub Barsley unexpectedly hit out at mash today in an unprovoked attach critics are calling, “spineless”.

In this morning’s edition of the ‘Daily Porker’, in conversation with political correspondent Felicia Nonstop, Mr Barsley steered very clear of the fence and sat on a rock at least a hundred miles away when expressing his overwhelming disdain for the squashed potato wonderstuff.

“Mash is nobody’s first choice at a pub or restaurant,” explained Mr Barsley, “if you’re given the options you’ll always go with chips because they’re infinitely better. If you’re choosing mash then you need to get your head examined.” It should be pointed out that later on in the article he also compared the act of mashing a potato with dusting your living room in that both activities are completely pointless. Barsley has never been one to mince his words especially when it concerns either food or politics; we all remember his controversial housing plan from September 2020 which was universally panned and vetoed by the House of Commons.

Second in command at the British Mash Council, Christopher Marshall, fought back after reading the egregious comments.

“What kind of a world do we live in when people are allowed to say fragrant lies in the press? I personally have nothing against Tub Barsley,” quipped Mr Marshall, “but he needs to keep his attitude in check. Mash is a beloved addition to any meal and we have statistical data to show that it is a clear 50/50 split between chips and mash at the dinner table. We are hoping that this will slide in our favour given the recent advertising campaign however we are quite happy with where we are right now. Damaging, childish words should be kept under wraps and if Mr Barsley continues with this line then we will be forced to take legal action.”

Tub Barsley, who once set fire to his own mother when lighting candles on her 60th birthday cake, has not commented any further.

Avatar Box lid

Recently I was shuffling some nonsense around and stuffing more boxes into the solitary cupboard at my flat in the hope of creating a little more space.

As I was tearing up some old cardboard I found that a young Reuben had doodled on the inside of one of the smaller boxes.

For those whose eyesight is not as good as it used to be, the top has ‘secret files’ and several incriminating piece of information about walruses. Roy Orbortron (the robotic version of Roy Orbison who was created to carry on his musical legacy) is a walrus for some reason and he has changed the words of the classic song ‘Pretty Woman’ to ‘Pretty Walrus’. This may have been done in the hopes of attracting a mate although nobody can doubt the controversial nature of this switch.

But wait! There’s more!

Roy Orbotron (different spelling) also orbits the planet Venus as a disgusting Transformers-esque robot walrus meaning that he must split his time equally between serenading female walruses with his back catalogue and flying around the second nearest planet to the sun. Thankfully he didn’t choose a planet that was further away otherwise he’d never have enough time between the two feats to organise, I don’t know, a summer holiday. Quite why he is orbiting Venus is not explained in the document.

If you have any clearer answers then do let us know. For now, watch out for any suspicious walruses or walrus-based robots who may or may not be flying through the sky and/or playing the guitar (boy this post is exhausting to write).

Avatar Dogventure

Sunday has been a funny ole’ sod.

After a week lying about and not doing much in the Lake District, we had to come back and face the reality of everything once again. This happened on Friday and after catching up on chores and putting some food back into the fridge I decided to go back over to Vikki’s house so we could collectively bury our heads in the sand together and pretend Monday wasn’t coming our way.

We opted for a local walk nearby rather than driving somewhere. About ten minutes in we were going past a secondary school when we noticed the shape of an animal shuffling in the distance. At first it looked like a cat but it was too big for that. It was a dog. A car turned around at the end of the street and then drove back in our direction. Once this distraction was out the way the dog looked at us, gave a friendly bark and started lolloping towards us.

What do you do with what appears to be a stray dog? I didn’t know and neither did Vikki so I looked up some websites and they advised to contact the Council. The Council, yeah, the ones that don’t operate on a weekend because they’re closed. They claimed to have a 24 hour line to call but I couldn’t find a number to call. With nothing left to do we gently coaxed the dog to come back with us so we could formulate a plan.

The dog was very domesticated and seemed quite old. She would follow and stop at the side of the road when necessary. She was naturally curious as all dogs are but not to the degree where she would run off to the nearest interesting smell or run into someone’s garden to take a pee. Walking a dog without a lead is risky. Walking an unknown dog without a lead is madness and not something I would recommend to anyone.

After some food, water and a bath, Eloise, a name I gave her, seemed a lot happier. We tried taking her round to Vikki’s parent’s house because they have a bigger garden however they were going away that afternoon so her mum put some photos up on FacePlace in the hope of finding the owner through the local dog pages (see, “locco doggo paggo”). There was nothing much else we could do so I said my goodbyes and headed on my way. As I got in my car I noticed a truck that didn’t look like it belonged to any of the neighbours and saw the man heading round to the front. As I drove past, Vikki’s door was open and the man was talking to her. I knew what was happening so quickly parked and went over.

It would appear as though Eva, for ’twas her real name, a mere thirteen years old, had managed to uncharacteristically escape from the garden and got a bit lost. Their house was down the road from where we had found her. The owner was very pleased to know she was okay after seeing the pictures Vikki’s mum had posted and rushing over as soon as they found out. Eva said goodbye and thus ended the dogventure.