Thursday, January 31, 2008

Z for effect

The last poem in Hugh Haughton's Chatto Book of Nonsense Poetry (1988) is Paul Muldoon's 'Quoof'. Here's the last-but-one (a version of which is a favourite with my grandpa):

An English Alphabet

A for ’orses
B for mutton
C for yourself
D for dumb
E for brick
F for vescence
G for police
H for retirement
I for an eye
J for oranges
K for restaurant
L for leather
M for size
N for a penny
O for there
P for relief
Q for ticket
R for mo
S for you
T for two
U for mism
V for l’amour
W for a shilling
X for breakfast
Y for Gawd sake
Z for effect.

Haughton writes: ‘Based on the alphabet published in the Daily Express on 20 June 1936, probably derived from the surrealistic alphabet performed by the cross-talk comedians Clapham and Dyer, with interpolations from other alphabets recorded in Eric Partridge, Comic Alphabets, Their Origin, Development, Nature, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961.'

Friday, January 25, 2008


(From 1965. Does 'Afferbeck Lauder' translate into English?)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008



This one goes out to all the dendrologists, arborophiles, shrub-people, bark-rubbers, twiggers, copse-swains and branch managers. Thanks for welcoming me into the fold! When's the next social?

Friday, January 18, 2008


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

them spooky eyes

Goya - El sueno de la razon produce monstruos - 1798

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Photo by Edward Curtis

Monday, January 07, 2008


Thursday, January 03, 2008

everyone needs a favourite motorway

As is the case with a good ten-elevenths of unhemmed posts, this was inspired - if that's quite the word - by something in today's paper. I can't find it on the web, but it was about Martin Parr's most precious objects, one of which was a black-and-white M1 postcard.

In the meantime, why not have a shot at identifying all five panels?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008