Sunday, January 29, 2012


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Friday, January 27, 2012


I don’t think I have previously ever mentioned the maid I have employed here at Lax Manors, Cherie Bombe, a delightful petit-foux who has been part of the staff here a full cinq minutes. Mlle Bombe not only tops up my various choses intraveneuse, she is also French mistress in the boarding school I run, Lax Towers, a single-storey yet rambling establishment here at the Lax compound.

I gave her a tinklez-foux on her phone du cel to enquriez of her whether she had any (as the French say) inklant of my important passez-mot or, as the French say, billet-foux.

‘Mam’zelle?’ I was now saying in my familiar cranky tones – indeed, my head was aching and my voice betrayed un pain croissant as a result – ‘It is mwah, Mrs Lax.’

‘Aa! Mme Lax! Comment-allez, ‘ow you say, vouz Madame!’ came the familiar squeal from the audiogrammatic speaquer.

‘I have an, ‘ow you say, problamportant,’ I respondezed. ‘I need to accessez-moi mon blogue, por to tellez les types insignificante les information pour correctez-les. Can you aides-moi?’ You know sometimes I find myself thinking in French, which I believe is the sign of an excellent speaker, however as in the example here it often comes out with some Flemish in it, because of a bad chest cold I caught a few winters back. Tish-boom! Oh dear I am sorry, I’ve never really shaken that sneeze, either.

Her reply was barely audible through the large jelly of bronchial to-do which now enjambemented my telephone. ‘Mme,’ she said, though it sounded not a little unlike that thing Young Rogers often says, ‘Meh’. ‘Non. I ‘ave not seen your precious cod. If I do see it, I will of course ‘ow you say bring it to you on a silvair tres avec une pepperminte au coin de la rue. In the meantime, I must apologise but I ‘ave a large class of schoolgirls to teachez-leurs. Fiche le con, Annabel, stop dipping Englantine’s pigtails dans l’inkwell! La! You desagréable girl, I will detentez-vous deux heures après l’ecole pour that dreadful be’aviour!’

I didn’t trust the foreigner, and suspected that, like Old Rogers, she probably knew far more than she was letting on. Nevertheless at this petit point I had nothing more to go on; indeed, I was no better than I had been at the beginning of the investigation.

Once again, I furrowed my brow and investigated the many rooms of my Lax intelligence, pausing only to giggle a little at the most amusing fact that so many times my surname gave the deceptive appearance of making so many positives into negatives. Ah! So many rooms and so many memories… so many rooms… so many memories…. My goodness, I was self-hypnotising! This would be good! Just like page 92 of my excellent if commercially unsuccessful Advice for Young People…! I drifted off into a deep, revealing sleep, to be continuedzzzzzzz.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the case of the missing password II

Usually when I lose things, Old Rogers has them. He’s a regular magpie, picking up shiny objects to eat for, he claims, the sparkle. Whether he had my blog password was a long shot, but I was ready to make it and, spying him on the horizon sniffing for truffles I aimed my musket and fired. Two hours later he reported to my drawing room, where I was putting the finishing touches to a rather fine nose-blown sketch of tits on a twig.

‘You shot for me, ma’am?’ he queried, pausing only to dab at a freshly blown-out eye socket with a hay-rag.

‘Yes Rogers,’ I murmured, barely stopping to rest my quill. ‘I wonder if you had any idea about my password.’

Though I did not turn, I had a very good notion that Rogers had simultaneously blanched while turning a shade of beetroot. ‘Ma’am?’ he gasped.

His disturbed demeanour suggested to me that Rogers most certainly knew something about this mystery.

‘That’s right, Rogers, my password! Password!’ I commanded, authoritatively.

‘Oh, password!’ he laughed, relaxing, something I hoped never to see in a servant, particularly Rogers. ‘I thought ye said arse word. And the arse word is a word I hope never to hear used in the presence of a lady. Because confidentially…’ here he dropped his tone to a whisper and leant down to my ear trumpet, ‘… the arse word is arse.’

He stood again, to attention this time. ‘As for your password, m’lady,’ he murmured, ‘I know nothing of such. I assumed you, ma’am, with your direct line to Him Upstairs, would have no need of any such magickery.’

The plot was thickening, much like the snot-ink I had been using for my tit pic. Clearly Old Rogers knew nothing; but who else was in my employ? It seemed appropriate to call on other people in my day-to-day life to help me with this mystery, but sadly their identity was also somewhat outside my memory sphere. I quickly grabbed a copy of my poorly-performing recent book Advice to Young People on Leaving Home to jog my recollection of who else there might be in my existence here at Lax Manors. What I saw amazed me... if you have a copy to hand, turn to page 57 and you’ll see what I mean!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

back in black

Now, where was I? The fact is, I nodded off there for a short while, and only woke from off the loud sound of my own bones putrefying. That's normal - I have them replaced quite often these days, and I recommend it, it keeps you young. Just ask Keith Richards, his grandsons do it.

Opening my beady little eyes for the first time in some... goodness me... some months, I couldn't help noticing that while I was away standards had dropped considerably to the extent that they were now hiring out the Acropolis for weddings and Kim Kardashian (insert Kim Kardashian joke here - or is her name enough? I don't know who she is, or in fact, if she's a woman, or if her name is in fact spelt Kim Kar - ian). I knew I had to get down to the roneo machine and publish a new blog entry.

But can you imagine - goodness me and bless my clawhammer banjo - once I sat down in front of the typevision with all my irate thoughts correctly assembled... I realised I had no idea what my password was!

There's quite a tale in this one readers and of course it's a thrilling mystery too! Will Mrs Lax ever find her password? How will she delve into the dank corners of her own closed mind to find out what it might be? Should she have that stye seen to? There's a twist in this tale I don't mind telling you and there will also be handy tips for homemade wine! Stay on my wavelength!

Monday, September 20, 2010

When I was a girl

Oftentimes after a cup of tea (-enema) and a glass of fortified milk (oral) I am compelled by virtue of endemic concussion to dwell on my past.

The past, as many will tell you, is a foreign country. Naturally for a proud white person like myself this makes it a particularly distasteful prospect. However, when you get there – it’s a little like New Zealand in this respect – it doesn’t look that foreign really. In fact, everything is remarkably familiar, only they call thongs jandals, which makes one want to puke with the strangeness of it all.

I was born in 1924 and so I was just a little girl when the stock exchange crashed. I remember clapping my hands with glee as bankers jumped out of windows everywhere; it was as fine and frolicsome as Empire Day!

We made our own fun then. One thing that I have noticed about young people today is that they are always going off to doofs. In my day, we didn’t go to doofs – the doofs came to us! I remember our local doofmeister, a wizened, gypseyesque character who we knew only as Professor Jandal. He had an enormous dooforgan, which took two days to set up and was entirely portable. He would come to your bridge night or tea party and set up in the corner with only his eleven children for assistance. The bellows themselves were twice as big as Henry’s. We all popped Es an hour before and none of your waiting for anything to ‘happen’, because these were quick e’s!

Many people assume that we in the 1930s were terribly straight-laced. Perish the thought! I had some of the curliest laces around, and my friend Peggy had, well, let’s just say she also did not have straight laces at all one bit. We were laced entirely from top to toe, and the last one went through the nose.

Once the fire in the doofmeister got started and the huge tumblers began spinning, the bellows would rise and fall and the doofing would begin! I must admit once or twice I quite lost control, even at one stage jingling my pearls! My saintly mother saw me from the upstairs window, fortunately, and felled me with a slug; I was confined to bed for two years thereafter, and thankful for it. I had seen that awful Winston Churchill eyeing me off earlier in the evening and had not relished the prospect of submitting to his ghastly jittery pawings.

It was the boys you had to worry about, then. They were always at you for a toggle or a winny (these were words we used for what I gather are still quite common sexual practices amongst the sensual and/or capacious) with all that ‘oh, Grace, they’re about to send me off to the front and I’ve never had ‘un’ or ‘oh, Grace, adjust me monocle… ooh, did you know that was goin’ ter happen?’ and so on. The boys in our village used to spend a lot of time hanging around the local beer sign – I suppose they thought it was ‘cool’ – doing something they called ‘bird-watching’. Before you knew it they’d be frotting away with each other and had stopped watching the birds altogether, leaving the birds to get down to that ghastly thing the bees always got involved in. Now, I believe, with the bee shortage it’s done with flies and rabbits, and the outcome is just as problematic.

How babies were made was, naturally, a complete mystery to us girls in those days, and once when that awful Dr. Jenner tried to show me a diagram of some sexual tonsils I had a fainting fit and was prescribed to become an alcoholic for the next four years. When the priest told us the ‘stork’ was responsible for babies I naturally assumed he meant a penis and the hilarity, and confusion, thereafter was quite hilariously confusing I can tell you! Luckily, the maid brought in some jam fancies and the Count put his pants back on behind the silver tray.

We had no such thing as birth control in those days; if you became, as they say, ‘with child’, you just held it in. I kept my one duff upped, so to speak, for six years until 1946, when something Lord Haw-Haw said on the radio made me laugh, and I dropped me bundle. Fortunately I was wearing underpants at the time and Lord Alfred Douglas – he was round for tea at just that very moment – took the hairy little lad and raised him as his own. I soon forgot the entire incident and in fact if you asked me about it now I would deny it entirely. Didn’t happen. It was all Winston’s fault.

Monday, April 26, 2010

love an adventure

Harnesses are really what it’s all about. Harnesses, hairnets and harassment. I harness up before I go out the door: the various packs and baggagings strapped to any aperture or extremity I can find across my ancient, craggy, creviced and stentorian form. Hairnets: well, of course. I made a promise to mother – and she made a promise to me that I was going to keep it, on pain of mutilation (she who hasn’t stood in the corner with the word ‘dunce’ scratched across her forehead with mummy’s best chisel hasn’t stood for much) – that I would never cut my hair, and naturally I have kept my side of the bargain. The resultant folliclage weighs eleven times as much as me; sometimes I must say I feel like that little acorn at the end of the carrot bush. It needs a net not just to keep it all in, but also to keep others out: rats, cats, bats and all the other hair thieves whose eyes are specially trained to find and steal beauty. And harassment? Yes, and harassment. Harassment of that codger Old Rogers who needs to get my harnesses and hairnets and of course the hamper of tuck and the horse to haul the heavage of things we need to get us there. He won’t grumble – oh no, he’s too devious – but he will insist on being methodical and persistent in the most irritatingly capable way which makes one sigh with exasperation. ‘Old Rogers,’ I will snark, ‘must you be so competent?’

‘Ay, ma’am,’ he will respond, ‘beggin’ yer parden, it’s a quirk I can’t over… over… ‘ow you say, overcome.’

‘Well it certainly leaves little for me to do,’ I respond, ‘except complain.’

‘And that, m’lady, is what meks the worl’ go roun’,’ Rogers will observe. ‘Each doin’ what ‘e or she do best.’ (He’s not being sarcastic: the fool doesn’t have it in him any more than I could notice the implicit criticism).

Such is the quality palaver whenever the Lax entourage hits the road. I often wish we had some amanuenses to write down the banter that goes on between us, but fortunately it was all scripted by a special bard in the year of our respective births, and all we have to do is read off pages.

One thing that isn’t scripted is my trip to the stables prior to any journey to select a steed. I knew we were planning a foray to cold and miserable climes, so I was looking for the furriest and most plush of our equinities, something I could snuggle up against in a snowstorm. Our stablemaster is a comedy Italian, Old Badgers, with one of those corkscrew moustaches and a latin temperament. When I got there he was romancing a gondola with a bottle of vino. ‘Wotcher, M’lydy,’ he greeted me, ‘by which Oi mean, arrivederci.’

‘Oh, Badgers,’ I laughed. ‘I don’t understand your woggy talk. I suppose you are trying to say something flattering to me.’

‘No doubt, ma’am!’ he tittered. ‘I am arrivederci.’

‘I wish to select the warmest horse in your stable,’ I went on, acting out the international sign language words for ‘I’ (pointing to the eye), ‘wish’ (producing a wishbone), ‘to’ (holding up two fingers), ‘select’ (producing a copy of the 1980s-90s British music magazine Record Mirror… no, that’s not it… Select), ‘the’ (a French cup of tea), ‘warmest’ (electric blanket, on for an hour) ‘horse’ (a syringe full of heroin), ‘in’ (something in something else, in this case, a finger in a nose), ‘your’ (something from the days of yore – in this case, my birth certificate), ‘stable’ (a table, with a large ‘S’ placed in front of it, and a sign on the same end of the table indicating this is the front of the table).

‘Zo-a,’ said Badgers in his inimitable style which I am imitating so well, ‘you-a wanna da junkie coffee shop is it?’

Somewhere off to the left I thought I could hear audience laughter, or perhaps it was the sea.

Eventually (or, as Badgers would have it, ‘coupla days’) we sorted out the issues. I was to take Damson, the noble stallipony with a wild nylon mane, and Rogers would get Tamsin, a strong and handsome donk with one silver horn. We would show the locals when we rode into town. Who knows, with fine rides like these, we might even find ourselves dispensing some justice!

There we were, Old Rogers and myself, and the fine horseflesh between our thighs. It was a crisp, clear morning or, as Rogers would say, mornin’. The mist was being pumped surreptitiously from small tubes behind the heather. The dew glistened on toads as they leapt thro’ the valley. Atop a mountain I could see a crofter burning his possessions for warmth. A solitary eagle flew o’er, not that solitary as she had another smaller eagle in her talons. All was still and silent, except for Old Rogers’ wheezing.

‘Old Rogers,’ I said. ‘You’re ruining the moment with your breathing.’

‘Ay, ma’am’ quoth Rogers, and he bestilled. Yet still there was a perturbing growling sound.

‘Sounds like someone squashing a horse,’ I mused. ‘Rogers, I think you’re squashing your horse. Get off.’ He did. I got off mine too, just for symmetry.

Still the groaning noise. And it was getting louder.

‘It’s a demon,’ said Old Rogers, always quick to assume something is a demon.

‘No… it sounds mechanical-a’ said Old Badgers.

Before we knew it, it was upon us. A colossal black motored-cycle, all chromium and exhaustedness. And behind it that sat that squalid scrawny upstart Young Rogers, fringed jacket, mirror shades and stacked platforms. ‘Wotcha peeps,’ he yelled above the roar of Old Rogers’ resumed wheezing. ‘Ders ex masheena. Only comin’ wiv ya, en’t I?’

‘You?’ I gasped. ‘Most unprecedented, really…’

‘It’s a project, ma’am,’ he cheerily outlined, ‘with no great justification’.

Who could argue with that?

Friday, April 2, 2010

easter thoughts

Spare a thought for Jesus, who either died or was born on this very day, 2010 years ago. God gave us this gentle, wise soul who rose from the dead so we could be aware of our own possibilities and potential to also similarly rise from that same dead. Jesus was uncategoriseable: you couldn't call him a socialist, a hippie or a jew, and you certainly couldn't call him a peacenik. He was just a man, and also, a superstar.

I often think about Jesus on this, his day of birth or death I can never remember, and consider what he might think if he came to Earth now. He'd go on all the talk shows, he'd probably have a blog! And he'd certainly have a thing or two to say about child obesity and compulsory army service. I hope he'd clear up that thing about the Shroud of Turin too, it really intrigues me!

One thing I do know about Jesus: he would vote conservative, urge you to make a lot of money and to oppress the poor, as that makes them more likely to go to Heaven. Since you are then the reason they are going to Heaven, your cruelty is actually altruism and you, too, can go to Heaven. Listen to Jesus and do as he says.