Tag Archives: humor

DOG’on It!

DOG’on It!

I woke up with a thud this morning, quite uncommon for me, and a headache. A black hairy headache with an orange street-hockey ball in front.  It was 3:20 a.m., Cooper wanted to play and it was my turn for the ball.  Yes, the title is a giveaway. My ‘Grand-dog’, Cooper, is here for a ‘sleep-over’, a misleading term as it turns out. I didn’t feel much in the mood for early morning practice and put my head back down.

‘Whoof, whoof’, feeble plaintive whoofs, the kind that warn you that ‘if you don’t play I’ll pee on the carpet’.  Then the assertive ‘WHOOF!  ‘I really do need to pee.’

‘Bad word’.  I got up and pulled a smelly damp sweater over my head.  No he hadn’t peed on the sweater.  It got wet just after he first arrived yesterday while I was lying on the couch watching Newcastle v. Everton.  Everton won 2-1 but that’s by the way. Cooper arrived at half-time and spent the second half lying on my chest with his shaggy head bobbing in front of my face.  I missed the winning goal. Cooper must have seen it quite well. He didn’t cheer or anything so I deduced that he was rooting for Newcastle.  The black and white stripes are his colours after all.  He doesn’t have stripes, just a small blob of black (that’s nearly all of him) and a patch of white on his chest. But I digress. He stank so bad that as soon as the final whistle blew I shampooed him in the kitchen sink with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo so it wouldn’t sting his beady black eyes. That’s how my sweater got wet. I have other sweaters but I decided to sacrifice just one per sleep-over.

Where was I? Oh yes, so we went downstairs, Cooper leading. I grudgingly opened the front door an inch. A fair night, clear starry sky, minus 8C, wind  north-easterly 50kph, snow and ice knee-thick on the ground.  I opened it just wide enough for Cooper to squeeze out. He raised his nose and sniffed the air. He was thinking.  He thinks very slowly. He can in fact be a bit of a ditherer.  I pushed on his backside with my bare foot.  Cooper dug his claws into the ceramic tiles. Feeling that he couldn’t get enough purchase he did a sort of half-pike and twist back over my ankle and ran back upstairs.

That seems like days ago now and it is still not mid-day.  After I got up at around my usual Sunday time, 7.30, Cooper remained curled up on the floor beside my bed. He lies in on Sundays until ten.   When he eventually waddled downstairs and strolled into the kitchen he gave a perfunctory wave of his curled up tail, spread his front paws out, stretched his back and yawned. Then, his callisthenics complete, he was ready for his morning ablutions.  After more dithering on the frozen threshold he ran out and washed his face in the snow, made yellow spots here and there; and finally built a dainty monument on a carefully researched foundation half-way down the path to the door.  That done to his satisfaction he ate a hearty breakfast of crunchy cereal and a goodly splash of water to recharge his run-down bladder.

So now here we are, still hours until his adoptive mother collects him. How to keep him entertained and amused?  I am teaching him to read so that when he has left my care he can pursue self-directed studies and develop an appreciation of those finer aspects of life, beyond bodily functions and primitive sports such as indoor street-hockey. There’s not much time so I decided to start him off with the vowels. (nota bene. vowels rhymes with bowels. It is important to start off with something in which the student has expressed some previous interest).

It’s been an hour now and we are still working on ‘A’. I’ll let you know how he progresses.  But now he has turned away yet again from the large card I am holding up and is heading to the door. ‘whoof whoof, …..WHOOF!’




Filed under Humour, Stories

The Battle of Bannockburn (1314) and my part in it

The Battle of Bannockburn (1314) and my part in it

I had two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, …you see the pattern.  It is a mathematical geometric series.  Each generation ‘n’ consists of Pn (for parents) individuals and Pn equals 2 to the power of n.

In symbols, Pn = 2^n.    If you make a running total of the parents, you can calculate how many ancestors you have in total back to any given date in history. A simple way to calculate and illustrate this is on a spreadsheet as below.

For myself I have started at the year 1966 when I was 20 years old.  The interval between successive generations is assumed as an average of 25 years.  I have indicated historical events that roughly correspond to some of the generations.

So for example around the time of Napoleon’s downfall at Waterloo (1815) there were 128 people around that time that I am related to.   See how rapidly the numbers rise, at the time of Cromwell there were over 8000 of my parents living.

Let’s go back further to 1314.

The calculation shows that there were over 67 million of my parents living. In 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn roughly 8000 Scots fought 22000 English.  There is no doubt that I am of mainly the European race, neither aboriginal American nor Australian nor African, nor Asian, at least after 1314. Now the total population of  Europe in 1314 has been estimated by the experts at about 60 million.  Consequently I am related to every single one of them and therefore particles of me fought in the Battle of Bannockburn, on both sides!  And if you are of the European race so did you!

How exciting, some of your little thingummy jigs were slashing and hacking away with sword and axe doing their and your bit for the history books.

Convinced so far!

If you extend the calculation back just another 5 generations to around 1215 and the time of the Magna Carta, I had 1,073,741,824 parents alive.

Over one billion of them!  Hold on! there’s something wrong because the total population of the whole world was only 400 million and Europe less than 60 million.

Can you see the solution?  The 25 year generation gap assumption?  Each child definitely requires two biological parents. The mathematics is unquestionable.

Well it turns out that (this will be very surprising to you) I am not the first to come across this problem.  People have made academic careers out this little problem.

You can read all about it in incredibly unreadable reams of theories and mathematical formulae available elsewhere. Yes, you can Google it or I could give you references but I know you are busy and not cabin bound in the snow as I am so I will save you the bother.

Love thy neighbour

Here is the solution. We are all inbred!  Even those of us not considered members of the monarchy.   Back there through the generations some of your ancestors were taking shortcuts in finding a mate, too lazy to walk more than a few miles for a date and marrying second and third cousins willy-nilly, with no regard for the effects it has had on my spreadsheet and subsequent generations.  The barbarians.  Of course those were the days before phrases like ‘sustainable development’ were being bandied around the stable door or duck pond.   The lazy beggars were just marrying whoever was handy that could hoe turnips or herd sheep.

(This all started with that poem Joker’s Deal)

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Filed under History, Humour, Scots, Stories



“Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule”

[History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)]

OK then, so here we go.

Pick a topic – Buildings and architecture.

To become a qualified Architect in England (as defined by the professional body RIBA) takes five years of academic studies and at least two years of work experience under the training of experienced architects, a total of at least seven years full time effort after leaving senior school.  Even at that milestone the Architect is a very junior member of any practice where he may find work, gaining his real experience on projects managed by more senior architects.  Large prestigious projects are designed by large teams of experienced architects, engineers, and design professionals.

To gain acceptance into the academic studies the candidate must have minimum school leaving exam passes. In England school leaving exams are called “A levels”. Results within each A level are scored A, B, C, etc .  For example you may pass only two A level results, say with a B score in History and a C score in French,  as was the case with Charles.  To gain admittance to start a degree course that will lead to becoming an architect a candidate will need probably 4 A levels of which at least three are A grade, so the barrier may be stated as AAAB for example.  Universities will also want one at least of those to be a mathematics or science subject.   So Charles would not have qualified to even approach the starting line in the 7 year training process of becoming an Architect.  Charles went on to get a degree in History and never studied architecture.

Fair conclusion? His opinions on architecture are of no more true value than those held by any other adult person in the street.

He has the same right as that person in the street to criticise any architectural works.  The problem is that he abuses his position of privilege to kill projects, twist arms of developers in choice of architect, and generally puts his untrained fingers in the pie. No wonder the architectural profession shake their heads in dismay, except for the connivers, courtiers and favour seekers that royalty and patronage attracts.

Charles’s interests in model village developments makes one think of Marie Antionette with her model village, dressing up to be a milkmaid or shepherdess and playing at being a real person.  The problem for Charles is that he does not have a real job. He is a dabbler and honorary patron (as in patronage) of over 400 groups, societies but these are figurehead roles.

Marie Antionette's hamlet at Versailles

“What about the Mutton?”  you shout

For those who are unable to see the relevance of the headline to the comments on architecture I will continue.


Mutton Renaissance

The Mutton Renaissance campaign aims to repopularise mutton, which is meat from a two year old sheep (ewe). Once widely eaten across the United Kingdom, mutton fell out of favour in past decades with the result that sheep farmers found themselves struggling to get a decent price for their ewes.

“The prince said his interest in mutton was sparked two years ago during a visit to farmers in Upper Teesdale, County Durham, who told him about the poor prices being paid for their ewes.” (2004)

The Prince’s Duchy Home Farm supplies mutton to The Ritz Hotel in London.

A revival of mutton could give a boost to under-pressure sheep farmers and help sustain traditional countryside life, Prince Charles has said.  The Prince of Wales was speaking at the Ritz hotel in London at a dinner to launch the Mutton Renaissance Club. The alliance is dedicated to helping farmers, butchers, restaurateurs and suppliers benefit from renewed interest in the meat taken from older sheep.


26 April 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what was then the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine exploded, sending a plume of radio- active particles – equivalent in toxicity to 400 Hiroshima bombs – more than seven kilometres up into the atmosphere and due east in the breeze. In the days that followed, as a fire raged unchecked inside the twisted, white-hot remains of the reactor, the wind direction reversed and the plume, now a kilometre tall, headed west towards north-western Europe. It wasn’t until workers at a nuclear reactor in Finland detected abnormally high doses of radioactivity on their clothes – up to 100 times normal background levels – that anyone outside the Soviet Union realised the true severity of the accident.

On 2 May 1986, the plume finally passed over parts of the UK and, with fateful timing, so too did a column of cloud carrying heavy rain. The rain fell hardest where it always falls hardest – on the uplands. As the droplets of water fell from the sky, they carried with them the radionuclides – in particular, caesium-137, iodine-131 and strontium-90 – that had been dispersed from Chernobyl. It is estimated that 1% of the radiation released from the reactor fell on the UK. In an effort to prevent these radionuclides entering the food chain once they had settled on the upland soil, the ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food, as it was then known, ordered an immediate restriction on the movement and sale of sheep within the most affected areas – particularly north Wales, south-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Lake District, where the landscape is predominantly suited to grazing sheep. In total, almost 9,000 farms, and four million sheep, were placed under restriction.

from 13th century verse

Of the sheep is cast away nothing,
His horns for notches-to ashes goeth his bones,
To Lordes great profit goeth his entire dung,
His tallow also serveth plastres, more than one,
For harp strings his ropes serve everyone,
Of whose head boiled whole and all
There cometh a jelly, and ointment full Royal.


For poetry lovers you are referred to a closely related post  “Fechin eejit”

Next time, Prince Charles Head Cheese

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Filed under Architecture, History, Humour, Poetry, Recipe, Uncategorized

The Errand

Boy by Joan Eardley (Glasgow)

The Errand

High red door, blue glass pane

Peeking in from the rain

Clanking bell, sawdust floor

Chilling smell, glimpse of gore

Glossy small tiles of Delft

Picture wall, marble shelf

Brasso’d scales slyly sway

Brazen lies told today

Bench scrubb’d raw, bloody axe

Red tooth saw, cuts and hacks

Creamy corpses, horror hooks

Grinning teeth, vacant looks

Fresh today, dire display

Finest arts, body parts

Hearts and kidneys, livers, lungs

Trotters, tails, tripes and tongues

Heads and hooves, horns and heels

Ears and cheeks, eyes and beaks…

Duck your head! Tuck in that thumb!

“A  p-pound of sausages please

for my Mum”

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Filed under Artwork, Humour, Poetry, Stories

Local Evening News

Local Evening News

Good ev’ning all

Thank you for tuning in

Here’s the local news

To end your week

To make you cry

To make you weep


In Breaking News

You heard it here!

Millions are dead

Billions in fear!


Later in a

Local snippet

A cat was eaten

By a whippet


But first right now

Don’t go away

The weather with

Our Cindy Day..


“Good ev’ning all

For us next week

It will be bad

It will be bleak


With snow and sleet

And freezing rain

Good chance of floods

And hurricane”


Thank you Cindy

Now moving on..

This, about Gnus

They are on strike

In German zoos


Our leader says

By next July

We’ll all be happy

And pigs will fly


Let’s go outside

Our reporter

Is standing there

In her new coat

And fresh glued hair


Yes thank you Steve

It’s getting dark

That’s all from me

Here in the park


Great work now back

More breaking noos

It’s back to work

For those Gnus


After the break

We’ll be right back

For an update

About the park


Later we’ll have

The man who’s role

Is filling in

A new pot hole


But first we must

Go back outside

For the latest

Word on the tide


Yes thank you Steve

It’s rising more

Now back to you

From by the shore


Over here Steve

It’s nearly dark

So back to you

From in the park


Great work you both

That’s very clear

Remember folks

You heard it here!




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Filed under Humour, Poetry

Fechin’ Eejit

overheard in a Scottish pasture

Fechin’ Eejit

But he’s sic a fechin’ eejit

Naw, that wid never dae

For him tae sit doon on oor Stane

When Lizzie gauns away

Caw canny Jenny, an efter a’

He’s nae waur than maist afore

They aye were smit wi’ puckle wit

Kept cuddies an’ a whore

The puir bodie didnae choose

Tae be whae he hais been

Tho there’s nae doot the numpty is

A scunner tae the Queen

Hunners o’ years ago ye see

Fichts ower croon or Cross

Cost mony heids for wicked deeds

An left us wi’ the dross


eejit  (idiot)

Stane – (stone of Scone)

caw canny  (go gently)

puckle (small quantity)

cuddies (horses)

numpty (a bumbling fool)

scunner ( a cause of disgust)


Filed under Poetry, Scots, Uncategorized

Tuber arrested in Canada

A bare chested tuber was arrested Wednesday for demonstrating in favour of Global Warming.  After a struggle in minus 15 degree temperatures the offender was incarcerated pending a peel.

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