"We're sailing on a strange
Some reflections on amusing humans
I have known – all of them caricatures,
The first one, called "going where" gives a bit of existentialist advice –
the rest speak for themselves.
As with a lot of things in life
And we do well to admit it
We don't know where we are going
just know we want to go there.
Otterley Hopelass was his name.I first met him down at the riverside pub
Quite why I don't know;
I suppose, Mr and Mrs Hopelass
called their son Otterley,
and there he was - Otterley
and he was, and still is,
and probably always will be
‘The Innocent Lamb.'
Strange name for a pub.
Innocent, it was not
and lamb didn't
appear on the menu.
the Innocent lamb
was where it was
we had this little converstation.
Surely you can.
It can't be that difficult?
Why only the other day
reminded me how he
had packed it all in
in what everyone
was a crazy
and that was
and look since
it sounds risky,
but that's the game:
Look at it this
you're not giving
all that much
(no offence intended),
good though they are,
the prospects in
‘Grey Clouds Interior Design'
Spread your assets.
the business did collapse...
of course it wouldn't -
shades of grey
will always have a market
but if it did,
stocks and shares
with Umayleaver and Gamble -
they're into pensions now,
"Do you really!
what do you do all day?
It can't be that absorbing.
I've mixed paint -
is quite an art,
and with grey,
well, it becomes
But does it really bring
That was it, really -
didn't come to a
didn't reach a decision.
what others may
and addiction -
all left him
No one knows
Whether it was something to do with the water supply
Or perhaps some kind of genetic trait
Developed in the oesophagus
of the people
the pollen of a local tree species
But everyone knows
town's reputation for steady vibrations
beginning around 10pm and reaching a crescendo
after midnight – the hum of thousands of air conditioners
But this was no
Engineering side effect of ugly cooling machines
Designed to relieve inhabitants from oppressive heat
No – this was the natural song and rhythm
Of the snorers of Mendoza
And you must understand
The habit was not confined to middle-aged men
Who had laboured, dined and drunk themselves
beautiful young maidens,
the greatest grandparents – all
indulged in this extravagance
Visitors to the town
Perchance irritated or disturbed by the nightly rattle
Soon found the contented din of slumberers
pulled even the most insomniacal into
its welcome charms
It is not however
Infectious or contagious or adoptable in any way
Only born and bred locals are
certain to develop the trait
A little after puberty and thereafter endemic
But to visit or to stay is to be blessed
By the snorers of Mendoza.
Although the class system sucks
From the sewer to the troposphere,
The British still earn
a bridled admiration
Despite it all.
in art, science, and academia
In sport, endurance and adventure
Are generally attained with a measure of modesty
And often an apology.
a bit lucky - got there in the end
With chin up and a stiff upper lip,
Bearing an old war wound and
Can't believe m' eyes
That's my girl
Oh, the British!
They embody a spirit fundamentally admirable -
Human achievement in the face of adversity;
They rise from a mad and bigoted history
To occasionally shine against a backcloth of perversity.
An English gentleman, 1907
|Mosely Road Baths, London
Calder Street Baths – built
like a prison
Red-painted bars and peeled-paint ceiling;
Noise of boys cheeking a peek
Past the neck-a-knee
blind of the changing room streak;
together of Glasgow's laughs
And closed forever this culture's past
Where a weekly wash and a day of show
the white tangled limbs of mums, boys and aunts;
busty woman in a slung-up holster
Shows a rubber baby to stay a float;
A beer-bellied man with slumped chin and
can float but cannae swim;
Skinny boys in football shorts
Fly through the air in awkward exposure
And pretty girls in their
Delicately blush in the eye infested splash.
"Baths" were community swimming pools, now mostly replaced by "leisure centres"