EDitorial ± 28-Feb-2005

Son Of A Biscuit Eater

One of The Boy's favourite bedtime books at present, on loan from those benevolent folk at the local library, is called Pirate Jam. In which the two main characters, Fredbeard & Little Jim, who can't buckle swashes and get seasick, fail their exams ("You two be useless pirates!", cries their teacher) but then go on to use assorted shipwrecked items to create delicious strawberry jam and stripey jumpers. Har-har!

Very same Boy could be found at a pirate-themed party yesterday; he went equipped with hat, cutlass and telescope, while other 4-5 year olds raced around with moustaches, hooks and bandanas, skidding on giant soft play doubloons and crawling through barrels. Those lads and wenches stopped only for a quick goblet o' grog.

I got hold of a BBC Radio cassette of Comedy Classics some while back, and the highlight is a really funny sketch from The Million Pound Radio Show. The pirate captain suspects that his crew aren't happy because they want a bigger share of the loot, but then the first mate says:

We wants a training day, preferably in a nice hotel near Hastings, where all us seadogs can sit us down, pool our experience, compare work methods and prioritise objectives, damn your eyes!

First mate goes on to demand an occupational health officer and a creche, and speaks of wanting to improve his communication skills "'cos pirates only speaks in the present tense". Marvellous.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Buccanneers & corsairs:

  1. I once saw a stage production of Captain Pugwash at The Old Rep, Ipswich, matey
  2. that locker doesn't belong to Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork or Mike Nesmith
  3. only six months until the next Talk Like A Pirate day, yarr!

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 21-Feb-2005

Junk Mail Jr.

We recreated that scene from Witness over the weekend where Harrison Ford, the world's second best known carpenter, helps the Amish people to raise a barn. Strictly speaking we were indoors (bloomin' nippy out) deconstructing an Ikea bed, but I imagine it felt pretty much the same, manhandling wood and Allen keys.

Eldest is having her room redone. Possibly related to this, some word-processed rules have just been Blu Tack-ed to her door. There's five in total; this is number three:

You've got to hate Charlie a bit for leaving BUSTED

She's now asking whether she can have an email address. Tricky one, that. As much as anything I'm concerned about all that filthy junk mail. Now, if only kids had their own specialist spam...

Spam for kids no.1

Spam for kids no.2

Spam for kids no.3

As Wallace famously remarks to Gromit in the opening scene of A Grand Day Out (although he's taking about Bank Holidays), "it's a problem".

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 16-Feb-2005

Jumping Jack Flap

A wise man once wrote in his File Of Facts that "one man's energy bar is another man's flapjack". Before he knew it, that same slow-release snack, packaroo with miscellanous seeds and crunchy bits of nutritious niceness, had been consumed, devoured, and had ceased to exist in its current form.

Recently I are been sometimes baking. Turn to page 348 of your 1966 edition of Good Housekeeping's Cookery Book and you'll find a can't-fail recipe for ginger nuts, a surefire hit. Particularly lovely when they're cooling, mine turn rapidly to impenetrable bullets, harder than (and the reader may wish to insert her own metaphor at this point) a miner wearing a T-shirt in January while strapped in to NASA's Vomit Comet and shouting answers to a Mensa quiz.

So hard that me & eldest discovered that you can drop them in a cup of tea — they float — and, after two minutes, remove them still intact. Gap in the market there for a dunk-proof biscuit?

Repeat until you're well-risen and a nutty brown colour:


If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Fairings & shortbread:

  1. advisable to warm the spoon before plunging into syrup
  2. stir it, scrape it, make it, bake it
  3. next time I'll lower the heat and use a smaller tray

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 11-Feb-2005


A quiet day in the office, and the newly appointed office manager is inspecting the daily delivery of free-to-employees fruit, our fringe benefits of bananas, Braeburns and black grapes. Now, his desk is a hop skip and jump away, and I suggest to him that he needs some means of remote surveillance, like CCTV, a FruitCam, if you will.

This gets the creative juices flowing in some of us, and things happen:

  1. colleague A produces an unused tiny digital camera,
  2. colleague B turns up some webcam software,
  3. colleague C knocks up a hasty web page,
  4. and colleague D devises an appropriately placed instant company logo by Blu Tack-ing a mousemat to the wall.

Behold a typical snap from the results of our team efforts:

I want a banana
I want a banana
Bring me back a banana, sailor boy
— Arthur Askey, I Wanna Banana

Inspiration for this wonder of the 21st century came from the Cambridge Coffee Pot, one of the first devices connected to the Internet. Follow that link on the right hand side to read this terrific story.

Any road up, our 'Cam is going great guns (every sixty seconds), with viewers in the London office admiring our bountiful bowls, and the odd voyeur from company outposts in Malaysia, etc. And, most importantly, colleagues A through to D went home that day feeling a rare sense of achievement for a job well done.

Be seeing you!