• January 2009
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Thank You for the Party!

I’ve been friendly with my pal Higgy since we were at school. He was best man at our wedding 25 years ago. On Hogmanay we ventured to Higgy Towers (and I’m not joking!) for a great Hogmanay party Hosted by Higgy and his lovely wife Barbara. It was just the tonic we required having had two pieces of bad news in the hours and days beforehand.

Higgy runs Cranston Fine Arts which specialises in military art but also goes into other areas of selling prints and originals. One of the artists who Higgy publishes is Ivan Berryman.
Ivan has become a friend too and has recently made a new start by moving here from the Isle of Wight. He was at the party and I asked him about this stunning picture of Concorde (As we looked at the original). The detail of London is incredible. Ivan reckons it took him a month to paint London and ten minutes to paint the Concorde! As someone who couldn’t paint a nose on a false face I am overawed by such talent even if I’m a peaceful dude and don’t share Higgy and Ivan’s fascination for things military.

Also at the party and looking supremely fit despite his 78 years was Malcolm Finlayson who played in goal for Milwall and later Wolves. He was in the late 50’s/early 60’s Wolves team which served under legendary manager Stan Cullis, one of the foremost clubs in England at the time.

Malcolm in his Milwall days.

It was fascinating to hear his account of being in the Wolves side which won the FA Cup and lost out to Rangers in the Cup Winners Cup semi-final the following season. Like Jim Leighton in later years, Malcolm was rejected by Dumbarton for whom he played only four games.

Malcolm played with (Billy Wright) and against (Stan Mathews,Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse etc.) some of the finest footballers of his generation, so I’m now only one handshake from these legends!




New Year – New Reality

Aw naw! Bloody Celebrity Big Brother! It’s not that I watch it of course (on account of the fact it is the viewing equivalent of Pot Noodle*)   but it’s presence in everyday life is ubiquitous and virtually unavoidable.

And here’s a passing thought. Tommy Sheridan and Ulrika Jonnson (allegedly not averse to “the boaby”) under the same roof?

Lets start a CBB journalese watch. Which tabloid will be the first to use “Love Rat” or “Romp” in connection with the show?

*Pot Noodle is a snack which looks and smells like vomit and chopped up elastic bands.

Paper Talk

Let me ask you some personal questions. When was the last time you had a romp? Have you ever slammed a decision? When was the last occasion you’d have classed yourself as a reveller? Have you ever been or been the victim of a love-rat? Are you prone to brandishing anything? Do you live in a tight knit community?

Let me put it another way, when did you ever hear any of these words used in the course of conversation? They are of course journalese, a curious hybrid of a secret code and shorthand.

For example

“Local community leaders slammed police last night when it emerged that two teenagers found romping in a derelict factory were released without charge. It is not the first incident the tightly knit community has had to endure. Anti-social behaviour including noise from late night revellers, the use of a local car park by love-rats and even cases of youths brandishing weapons have been reported. A police spokesman said “We were called to an incident involving an eighteen year old man and a seventeen year old woman. They were released without charge as no crime had been committed”. However there was fury and outrage from locals and a source said…………………………..”

Does anyone have favourite journalese words or phrases?