Friday, 30 May 2014

Oh Fuck, it's Aunty Hilda

                                                    'Flaxen, have you been eating your winter, root vegetables?'

Fuck. Aunt Hilda is coming to visit. Since losing her husband, 'Harold the Harangued' to terminal halitosis she has made a point to visit me every Cuthberttide. On second thoughts, when does anyone succumb to bad breath? I suspect the yard arrow shaft found sticking through his neck may been a compounding factor, but we will never know. Admittedly his breath did smell rather rancid when we burnt his body seven days later.

Aunt Hilda belongs to the class of matron who has lived secure behind chain mail curtains and has viewed life through chinks in the armour. She judgeth not with words but with gesture, eye and frown. The thought of sitting through one of her monotonous monologues in the Great Hall fills me with great despair. Last year, Henrith did feign death in order to escape the lecture: 'The importance of wearing clean underwear whilst maiming, killing and burning stuff.' She returns to her Garth after a week. Her return to her homeland, by long boat, is inevitably uneventful. Alas, this year Jutish pirates have been espied off Tipton headland, and sadly, I predict that she will be intercepted, captured, but gratefully, not violated. As she is no longer in the full flush of womanhood, I fear the barbarous Jutes will have no further use for her and cast her unto the frigid waters of the North Sea where she will expire, accordingly. Once news of this happy/unhappy event reaches the Great Hall I will solemnly praise and extol her virtues unto the gods.....

The world for aunt Hilda was predictable, circumspect and banal. If only life and death, was really that simple.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Noah’s Ark Found in Dudley High Street

                        Lot's Wife- 50p or 3 for a pound, only at Patel's Pound Emporium

Breaking news coming from the spa town of Dudley, West midlands- This correspondent has exclusive and comprehensive proof that Noah’s Ark has been unearthed close to Dudley market. Contrary to belief, the Ark did not alight on Mount Ararat and disgorge its occupants, two by two, in an orderly manner as related in the bible.

Mr Patel, manager and owner of ‘Patel’s Pound Emporium’ stated: "I uncovered the lost Ark whilst stocking the plastic Buddha’s in aisle two, next to the plaster  effigy’s of Nelson Mandela- 50p for one or 5 for a pound."

Mr Patel continued: "I noticed a ship’s prow sticking out of the shelf containing novelty wigs, chocolate penises and X ray specs."  At first, he thought his assistant, Mr Alfonso Plankinski- Mugumbo had inadvertently placed the novelty plastic Noah’s Ark on the wrong shelf. However, he became convinced when he found two unicorns on the top deck. Mr Patel pontificated, thusly: "The presence of the unicorns, on the Ark, neatly explains why unicorns are not a feature of today's fauna, innit." When probed about the diminutive size of the Ark and the fact that it appeared to be made out of pink plastic, Mr Patel, evinced: "Clearly being immersed for 40 days in water has invoked natural shrinkage. Eons of being buried in Dudley’s rich, loamy, pink soil has wrought a fundamental change in the very nature of the Ark itself, innit."

Support has been forthcoming from Dr Sanctimonious Fuckwit: "Bronze age trade winds could have easily carried the Ark to Dudley market."

It has not gone unnoticed that many the inhabitants of Dudley have big noses.    
Further evidence has been elicited from Nostradamus’ obscure quatrains:

When the land will be ruled by the Moor,
And the king of the Franks shall bend his bow,
Noah’s Ark will be found next to Dudley market,
In Patel’s Pound Emporium.

Professor Malcolm Frothmouth, of Dudley’s Advanced Institute of difficult stuff, had this to say: "Mr Patel is simply blowing bubbles out of his arse. This is clearly a marketing ploy to shift his overstocked, life size renditions, of Lot’s wife."

God was not available for comment.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Dreamless Sleep?

                                    Would you like some hemlock with that, sir? Well, same to you, snub                                                                                                  nosed bastard!

Modern medicine is a wonderful thing, although derided by some. We sometimes forget that it has not always been so. Modern, Western empirical medicine has not come easy or cheaply. Great strides have been made over the last 100 hundred and 50 years in medicine and medical care. Modern surgical techniques, antibiotics, effective cancer drugs and innovative, and expensive treatments mean that we are living longer, well at least in the civilised world. At the turn of the last century, life expectancy, for a man, in England was 47. Today, life expectancy is 77. This continues to increase. Pundits predict, that for the coming generation living to a hundred will be common place.

With great age comes great social, medical and economic dilemmas. We are truly living beyond our design tolerances. Diseases, such as cancer, were relatively rare 150 years ago. Today, 1 in 3 will be stricken by malignancy. Even with the great advances in medical oncology, especially over the last four decades, 1 in 4 alive today will succumb to malignant disease. As we live older other diseases, characteristic of old age, become more prevalent. Heart disease and dementia stalk many a quarry.

As our population demographic curve shifts to the right we are faced with ever increasing economic challenges. Public pensions are funded by the tax base. At the beginning of twentieth century England, 4% of the population were over 65. In 2050, 25% will be over 65. This raises the alarming question: where will the money come to provide these people with a livable pension? Either taxes for the working will rise to exorbitant levels or many, in their dotage, will have to adjust to a life of not so genteel poverty. Reciprocal resentment will undoubtedly set in between those who work and those who have worked.   

And the cost of modern medicine does not come cheap. The development of new effective drugs is not an inexpensive exercise. Drug development and trials come at a cost. For every effective drug there will be numerous nostrums which fail. Drug companies expect a profit and have hungry shareholders to feed. Again, this is ultimately funded by the tax base.

When we do eventually start to die, medicine is there with palliation. Palliation is designed to give us a pain free and hopefully a dignified death. From personal experience this is not always the case. After watching my father die of cancer over a period of six months, often in degrading agony, I vowed that I would not die this way. Watching someone you love turn into a nappy wearing, bed sore ridden wreck, is heart churning. If my father had asked for assistance to ease his passage I would have willing fulfilled his last request. But he never did, and I was too much of a coward to suggest his way out.

There are some realistic and practical governments who have embraced ‘Death with Dignity.’ The usual suspects are on the list. Unfettered by religious interference and uncaring dogma, these most secular of states are providing a solution to a most vexing problem.

Will euthanasia be abused? I suspect so. But this will be very much in the minority. Where there is society there will be those who test and flout. Safeguards and checks need to be there to protect those whose time is not now. But ultimately, any civilised society should acknowledge that medicine has reached the end and has one final job to do: when your time comes, exit stage left and reach for whatever version of Valhalla gives you salve.      

Friday, 23 May 2014

Mare by the Sea- Surely, an Unnecessary Redundancy?

                                                Go get the bone, Eingar!

Beautiful Mare: tropical island paradise with a Gallic flavour. Vast expanse of white sandy beach fringed with coral resplendent, warm, clear waters. Arse bucket.

Brynhildr preened and pouted on the sand. She combed her lustrous blonde hair with long, sensuous strokes. Her large, but perfectly formed breasts, rose with every stroke of the brush. Eingar, my trusty wolf did caper in the sea chasing sun fish. Brynhildr complained that the sand did find its way into all her delicate nooks and crevices.

For jest, we buried Theobald, ‘The Thegn’ unto his neck in the sand. Eingar delighted us by cocking his leg and anointing the poor thegn, according to his wont. Good boy, Eingar! Afterward we quaffed mead, mightily. Much later, I woke to the gentle lapping of the waves; tides wax and wain according to lunar pull. Note to self: sun and sea compound the effects of alcohol; must drink less in future. Wise word indeed, oh Flaxen.

The thegn was nowhere to be found. Mayhap he decided to stay on this tropical paradise and consort/cavort with the local women. Mayhap he drowned in the delightful turquoise waters- we will never know. In truth, I was too hungover to put the island to the torch. So, we left the good people of Mare relatively unmolested and unsinged.

Life is full of arbitrary imponderables. Often the margin for success or failure; mayhem and death is slim. The good people of Mare owe their continued happiness, and good fortune, to a quart of mead.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Rise of the Stench People

                                           The local Kindergarten is getting tough

Be wary, be alert, be cognisant. For the stench people cometh. Next time you are on the bus, surreptitiously sniff the armpits of the person adjacent to you. If your olfactory organ is assailed by a malodorous odour, then you may have found one of the mysterious stench people. They usually abide in places with scant hygiene facilities. Sometimes, they are surrounded by soap, deodorant and heady perfumes. But by a titanic force of will they eschew cleansing and choose a life of noisome fetor.

There is no cure. No palliation. Stench folk can only be purged by fire. If you are confronted by a ‘stenchy’ then place them on a pyre and burn unto ash. Spray the ash with Lynx deodorant and cast to the four winds  

 Arse, big smelly arse.   

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Forty Caledonian Francs to the Saxon Groat

                                             Doing my bit for global warming

The Isle of Pines, New Caledonia is a stunningly beautiful tropical island paradise. Turquoise waters scintillate under an azure dome. We disembarked just after brunch on Thunnorsday and were immediately met by the swart locals bearing coconuts and garlands made from the local flora. In their wake followed a sallow faced, ill-favoured Westerner. He introduced himself as the Frankish missionary hereabouts. Bugger, the wretched Franks had beaten us to it! He said that bloody Saxon reavers were not welcome here. Our violent uncouth manners and Saxon nihilism would only corrupt this most simple of people. I explained that I had not come here to corrupt but to pillage and burn. I reassured Leofric (for it is he) that the simple folk who survived would remain completely untouched by culture, Saxon or otherwise. He seemed not reassured at all. I asked how many of his kinsmen were present on the island. It transpired that poor Leofric was alone amongst these unschooled savages and he, alone, was promulgating the good news about the Christ child. He had inculcated the notion of meekness and the importance of loving thine enemy. These concepts, I thought, were admirable especially if they were truly adhered to, by my foe. Leofric asked if I had heard of the Christ and whether I would like to benefit from eternal life sitting next to Jesus and the Lord god. I asked whether there would be feasting, wenching, fighting and mead in heaven. No, apparently joy would be obtained as the sole consequence of being in close proximity to Jehovah, who also happened to be Christ. Go tell it to the Jutes I averred. At this stage I became wearisome of his blather and decided to split him atwain with my trusty double headed Danish war axe, ‘Twat Cruncher.’ Go hence and relate to Jehovah that Flaxen, of the Tipton Saxons, has sent you ahead of your allotted span for being a sanctimonious cunt. Oh, me and the lads did chortle.

As we left the island we were gratified to note, that indeed, the island had exceeded our expectations as a suitable source of combustion. The whole vista was alight and flames danced and frolicked wildly amongst the pines. I noticed a beaded tear stroll amiably down Harold ‘The Heralds’ florid cheeks. ‘What ails thee Herald? Are you awed by this scene of wanton and senseless conflagration?’ ‘No’ croaked, Harold. I’m sorely blighted by haemorrhoids and these Jutish breeches doth chafe and abrade somewhat awful. Arse, big sore arse.' 

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Isle of Pines should burn well, don't you think?

'Hey, has anyone seen my Bermuda shorts?'

For those who care, posting might be intermittant for the next 8 days. I have decided, after much contemplation, to take my mistress, Brynhildr on a cruise to the South Pacific on a rather long, long boat. As expected my wife, Edith 'Swan Neck' is none too pleased. I tried to explain, that as king and a lusty murdering 9th century barbarian I can do what pleases me the most. This argument was met with a stony stare. So, we set off from Sydney and sail unto the blue yonder. Any islands in our path will plundered, as we find them.

I'm hoping to spread Saxon culture to the poor savages whose islands we alight. Those priveleged thus, will be exposed to my fickle benevolence/malevolence. Culture will be dispensed throughout through the medium of my axe, Twat Cruncher' and my sword, 'Arse Big Fat Arse, Biter.' Western civilisation has always been spread this way and I'm a stickler for precedent.

So, while I'm away: Be true to yourself and love the women you lie with. Trust no one and take heed of genetic testing on your supposed offspring. Remember, bastards are everywhere and the illegitimate can be numbered 1 in 10; tis a wise father who knows his son.

As for the rest: Burn, plunder and slay, as is your wont. Be fickle and exercise your whims according to caprice. If all else fails, burn stuff. It works for me.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

British News

                                         "If you don't stop looking over my shoulder, I'm going to bite your nose orf"                                                                               

Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, 'We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house.'
(The Daily Telegraph)

A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, 'This sort of thing is all too common'.
(The Times)

At the height of the gale, the harbourmaster telelphoned a coast guard on his mobile phone and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff.
( Aberdeen Evening Express)

Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue , Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled - 'He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.''
( Bournemouth Evening Echo)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Coming Soon to an Academic Institution Near you?

This is a transcript of a recent email exchange between an ex student of mine. Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent. 

Good day, Flaxen, how are things with you?

I trust all is well and your practice in science and thoughts in philosophy has dissuaded you not. I must admit I have not kept up with current events, but as far as I have been told, I hope that Tipton is no more in turmoil.

I wanted to elaborate on the topic of science a little more today, although please do bear with me if I have already mentioned it.. my memory is fading. As you may or may not know, I will be moving back to Tipton University this July to continue post graduate study in science - first doing a bridging course to graduate as BSc in difficult sums, and hopefully if my marks pull through I wish to endeavour into Masters in difficult sums. Ultimately, I want to get into research in the field of difficult sums. My current position in science has served me well, perhaps too well, that doing the practical work has stimulated my academic interest further that has fed my passion to learn more about the field. Notwithstanding, I foresee potential vicissitudes in this journey and will not drop being a scientist. But should it be successful, it would be like a dream. The completion of this course is estimated to take 3 years due to some time table clashes and what not.

It will be an interesting, challenging, and a fresh start again. And it is an exciting opportunity to study in a field closer to yours. May our path cross again.

Kind regards,


Hi Student, 

Forgive my late reply but I've been off work for a few days. Good to see you are returning to civilisation to continue your studies. In the meantime I've mutated into a solipist. I, and like minded individuals, meet up every second Wednesday in the month and debate whether any of us exist. So far I've established that I probably do exist, although one can never be totally reassured with this sort of thing. I' m concerned that you may be just a projection of my fevered and disordered imagination. If that is the case, please ignore this email. At one stage I thought I might be god, but after much introspection, this notion seemed blatantly ridiculous as the concept of god is absurd and contradictory. 

Anyway, keep well. We may meet up one day, but only if we both fulfill the criteria of existence. 


Dear Flaxen,

In the chasms of my memory, I had a dignified image of this wise *******cist, heeding the warning that thou shalt not delve to modern philosophy, where all roots of senselessness exist. What has devoured you into this senseless solipsism? Why has your practice of pragmatism fallen short?

That was my initial reaction. Then I realised solipsism is rooted as far back as Descartes. I have some respect for Descartes for discovering cogito ergo sum but I'm not too sure if his later achievements were as good. Now upon further analysis, I noticed solipsism was further reinforced by George Berkeley. A Brit. Why am I not surprised? It also comes in direct contrast to your other favourite British (or Scottish more specifically) philosopher David Hume who suggested the bundle theory. There is no self in the bundle theory. Therefore neither you nor I will exist. And all the way through this I had to revisit why my favourite philosopher was David Hume, and I love him not for the bundle theory but I resonated with the problem of induction. Anyway, I do miss these ponder of thoughts when I'm not around you. Thank you for rekindling my interest. I might pick up philosophy while I'm back at varsity.

In summation, I wish you well and all the very best for the stupendous team in Tipton. Please send my regards.

Kind regards

To be continued……

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The time that land forgot......

                                     Who is the mysterious blond boy on the bike?

Have you ever been to Wolverhampton? Urban sprawl competes with dreary desolation. Anyway, me and the war band thought it would be a giggle if we went for a visit just to sample the invigorating, befouled air. From Tipton you take the Dudley canal, turn left into the Birmingham canal before finally alighting in Wolverhampton town centre. A pall of despond overlays the whole area and rarely dissipates except when a strong maelstrom doth blow from the East.

We usually favour the ‘Sick Parrot’ Tavern. As ‘Happy hour’ extends from 5 to 10pm on Monday nights. The clientele are mostly dour, wastrels with thick waistlines. Copious amounts of mead are generally consumed and the rubicund Landlord usually provides a local wanton strumpet, who in the course of the evening removes her clothes to the sound of a hunting horn. In truth, most of the wenches he procures are not conventionally comely and would be well advised to keep their garments on and well secured at the front. The whole proceedings usually progresses to a brawl and culminates with the local Sheriff and his men descending upon the scene with cudgels and vehement curses. We usually get back to the long boat at about 3 in the morning and sleep off the night’s excesses with gusto born of acute alcohol poisoning.

Yoga for the Inebriate

                                                  'Sweet Lotus moving with the breeze' Arse.

The intrinsic beauty of the pose is breathtaking. This is technically difficult and should only be attempted by a certified master of the art or after imbibing a quart of cheap vodka.