Thursday, December 29

Best Christmas Present

Pork Tool Kit

Child Scaring

My Christmas contained young humans this year, I'm not often in their company and I find it hard to gauge my answers to their questions;

My 4-year-old nephew asked me what work his Auntie Lorna does

She sells cranial drills brain surgeons

... So they can do brain transplants.

Tuesday, December 13

Reviving Absurdity

Who doesn't need an off-the-shoulder-see-thru poncho trimmed with pompoms?

I just went to Paris.

The whole point of going away is to renew one's sense of the absurd, you go to a new place with all its strange behaviour, you're there long enough to normalise the strangeness, then you come back home to a whole new set of previously unobserved ridiculousness.

The point of the Parisian trip was to attend a 'Congress', I found a world in miniature: I felt enormous as I tried not to wolf eclairs made for dolls and sipped on the tiny tiny cups of coffee. There were also people speaking and there were films being shown but I mainly remembered people obsessing about beverages. Listening makes people really hungry.

There were a lot of Americans at this event, from my own visits to the USA I know that American people need to be permanently plumbed into large reservoirs of caffeine - at the end of the Paris event when we were asked how the next one could be improved the big demand was for bigger coffee, I would've asked for bigger cakes but I was too shy.

Tuesday, November 29

When is a Kitchen not a Kitchen?

Fridge and microwave were hauled upstairs, lounge became lounge/kitchen diner, Bill the builder started work on the ground floor tearing up the floor and knocking holes in walls.

That first morning Bill asked me when the kitchen was arriving. I pointed at the cooker and dishwasher standing together in one corner and told him that the dining table, sink and a couple of sets of drawers were under the blue tarp outside. Bill gave me a look but said nothing and then the plumber turned up, he also asked when the kitchen was arriving, there were a couple of beats of silence, Bill and I looked at each other, then he informed the plumber

I think she wants it to be organic

Apparently a kitchen is defined by the arrival of a set of identically new items, the main point of the modern kitchen exercise is to cram as many 'units’ and appliances into the available space - these items must be fixed, they can’t move or change because, in say five years time, when your circumstance change or that style has become passé, you will be expected to take the whole lot out and start again. Clever, clever marketing people.

When we first moved into this house there was a constantly shifting population of lodgers, children and visitors, we needed lots of storage for food, pots and pans and work surfaces for prep. Cooking happened at odd times, people loafed around on sofas watching tv, arty school projects happened, Christmas decorations were made. After a few years of this, the office moved in, lodgers moved out, children grew up and the kitchen turned into a meeting room/workshop/cooking place/dining room.

When the office moved out last year the amount of cupboardage in the kitchen seemed excessive so I removed everything above waist height and proved the law about rubbish expansion in the presence of storage space - just how many colanders do we need, how many times have we used those funny knives, what exactly were we planning to do with all those plastic carrier bags? Why do we have a drawer/drawers for things that we don't know what to do with?

It's not quite finished yet - but already our old stuff  looks new because it’s in a different place, there’s room to add more storage if we need it but right now we’re enjoying lots of lovely spaces between lumps of furniture.

Thursday, November 17

Danger: This blog might be turning into one of those home improvement sites – if you are allergic to such things turn away now.

Sorry about all the blog-neglect going on here, renovations Chez Labonne have taken over my life.

It's the ground floor, and it started with just a little bit of picking around the edges, first in February, and then a bit more in May,

Can Of Worms doesn't do the resulting mess justice: over in the lounge-ey area, the removal of a rancid blue nylon carpet uncovered shiny little tiles with deep fissures running through them. I threw my biggest rug over them, dragged in a couple of sofas and decided to ignore the situation for another thirteen years.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen area, tearing down the wall cupboards and built-in appliances revealed some impressive mouldiness. I picked off the scabbiest bits, whitewashed the walls, proclaimed myself a ‘New Rustic Minimalist’ and decided to ignore the situation for another thirteen years.

I cracked a week later and after many false commencement dates, Bill the builder arrived last month...

Wednesday, October 19

Who Ate All The Pies?

Lisbon is lovely but I headed straight out to Belem where the world-famous-best-ever Portuguese custard pies are made. This turned out to be the world's biggest cake-eating palace, as well as all the almond cakes, rice cakes, meringues and gateaux made here, 12,000 custard pies are baked and eaten daily in a cafe that can seat 2,000 cake-eaters.

Friday, September 30

Service Will Resume Shortly

Miss Whiplash drew up a schedule with lists and addenda of all the things that needed to be done by the end of today.

Tomorrow I shall sleep for a few days and then I'll go to Portugal to eat and have fun, I'll probably have something to say about that here.

Tuesday, September 13

Education These Days

A lot of people like the idea of 'working in television' but have no idea what that means, sometimes I get a glimpse into what is supposed happens in a production office, the letter below* arrived this morning and has managed to simultaneously brighten and depress my mood.

Hello, My name is xxxx xxxxxxx and i was wondering if there was any work experience available for producing? I am 15 years old and currently study at xxxxxxx (fancy school). I live in xxxxxx near xxxxxx (fancy area) and would be very grateful for any more information you have on work experience! I have skill such as:

Horse riding (hobby intermediate level)
Ballet (grade 7 and pointe)
Tap (grade 6)
Sailing (level 4 RYA)
Violin ( grade 5)
Piano (grade 8)
Running (hobby)
Drama (xxxxx School)
I have also done work experience with xxxxxxx productions so I know what I'm doing with the camera!

Thank you very much for your time! xxxxxx.

*The entire application is faithfully reproduced here, the only additions are the x's and the bracketed notes

Wednesday, September 7

Sun Exposure Will Harden Pants

Finding jeans to fit me has got more difficult, this is possibly due to my recent obsession with cephalopods resulting in my becoming part squid.

Surfing the net to see if there were any sexy 8-legged jeans, I came across some instructions from True Religion about how to care for TR jeans*.

1. Wash true religion jeans jeans when the first salt water (brine concentrated more) wash will not fade over time; wash jeans as much as possible without detergent, detergent will speed up the fade.

2. Please do not use hot water soaked pants, and that there will be a large degree of shrinkage phenomenon, the general temperature of 30 degrees can be. If possible, please do not use a washing machine to wash jeans, pants fold that would undermine the sense of touch of the original color pants, and that the body's natural wear white pants have become unnatural. Do not iron, to maintain the natural pants.

3. pair of jeans is best not to prolonged sun exposure, sun exposure will harden pants, dry pants on the pants to keep your great help. Dry clothes, the pants over and avoid the sun fade when your pants.

4. wash when we must remember to turn over inside the washing, can reduce fading. If the jeans are not dirty with oil or other special circumstances, the minimize liquid detergent (neutral) the amount (try not to use detergent, alkaline detergent is easy to make jeans fade), or even water to wash.

5. from the health point of view, of course, every day, wash pants. If you do not wash dirty with dust and bacteria under blisters like without detergent.

*this becomes even more amusing to English people because for us pants are underwear.

Monday, August 29


I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams

Last June our small company accepted a challenge to deliver 5 hours of television by the end of September 2011 - a 500% increase in the previous year’s output. Each film has to meet a series of deadlines along it’s production route and as the last two hours of programming enters the final stages of delivery the whooshing has now reached hurricane-like proportions, our hair is all tangled and we are clinging on to heavy objects as we hope that we get to be spat out more or less intact at the other end.

The deadline heading straight for us right now is the final cut of our Giant Squid film*, getting to this point has involved working thousand-hour weeks ever since I can remember, this bank holiday weekend the director, producer and two editors are working continuous shifts.

It hasn’t been all work though, the producer nipped off on Saturday lunchtime to be the lion in a local production of The Wizard of Oz and to reassure his family that he is still alive and the director definitely got himself a couple of hours sleep - so when people ask us if the work has taken over our lives and whether we still have any friends left I can say with confidence that we totally embrace the idea of a healthy work/life balance.

*updates about this and our other films in production can be found on the Ammonite Films facebook page

Wednesday, August 3

Tea - Mongolian Style

Find a large brick of tea and crumble part of it into a pot of boiling water, add toasted millet.

Keep the tea at a steady simmer and place slices of cold mutton fat, some cheese that is like unsalted Feta and a cheese that is like a very hard Parmesan in the drinking vessels.

Play some songs.

After half an hour of boiling add salted rancid butter and mares milk - a bit at a time until it tastes right then pour into the tea bowls.

This is the scene when the cooking is nearly finished, a drinking tune is being played and strong alcohol is being passed around the audience they must flick three drops from the cup into the sky before drinking the rest in one go.

Tstsegmaa tests the mutton dumplings and Chinggel is putting the finishing touches to the tea.

Thursday, July 28

Camping Queen

I'm hoping that I’ll have time to borrow a human this weekend.

Getting home from the Azores three weeks later than planned meant that I’ve had to cram the start of a new building project and catching up with five-weeks worth of office stuff into three and a half days before heading off to work at WOMAD for the weekend.

I love everything about WOMAD festivals except the camping, tents make my face go funny and I can never sleep in the things, however, if I want to do this job I have no choice and I love this job. Miss Whiplash lent me her little red tent for easy popability and I arrived early to pop it up in what seemed to be an advantageous place - near some rather posh-looking tents. I then went off to go and do some preparation for the weekend and came back a few hours later to see that the posh-looking tents have been assigned – I checked the tags on the tents to either side of mine.

I checked them out on Youtube, I don't think it'll be so bad - here’s one of them

BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting some of the music from WOMAD.

Sunday, July 24

An ABC Of Curiosities

I have been given a lump of ambergris by a whale-and-squid specialist

Ambergris is made in a whale’s stomach, it is the sharp parrotty beaks of many squid mixed up with the whale’s intestinal fatty juices. Sometimes this mélange is burped back out of the mouth like a fur ball but more usually it passes through the other end of the whale, the lump bobs to the surface of the sea where the process of salt water and oxidisation turns it into ambergris – it smells like whale poo and is used in the more expensive perfumes.

Bloody Kit
No sooner does one thing start working properly but another thing breaks down. We finally got a knob replaced that had broken last week - one full day of filming with everything working perfectly, by the following night the Giant Cable was broken...

The Faial cape is celebrated as an island icon, its distinctive outline is scribbled as grafitti on walls and picked out in stones on the pavements. Made from very heavy fabric, the hood is disproportionately large and is made to sit above the wearer’s head by means of a wooden frame which is apparently very uncomfortable. Could this have been the inspiration for Darth Vader?

Sunday, July 17

Strange Behaviour

A Camera Boy has just turned up to help us find a giant squid somewhere in the big wet area in front of our house. He is fresh in from Indonesia where he was filming slow lorises (sounds a lot like slow lorries).

The slow loris in the wild is nocturnal and it is the world's only venomous primate; they excrete venom from their elbows and when threatened they lick their elbows to make their bite poisonous.

Before they were brought to my attention by the Camera Boy's filming trip I knew nothing about this animal but now I know that it is cute, furry and big-eyed so they are captured to sell on as pets*. They are also endangered.

*To get round the venom thing their teeth are snapped off.

Saturday, July 16

Split Shifts

Now that half the team are out filming at night our mealtime structure has fallen apart. These days at noon 3 people will be eating toast or a full-on fry up while the others are half way through their working day.

Somewhere in the early afternoon a 'proper' cooked meal is ready, it would be nice if we sat and ate together but now we're never hungry at the same time so it gets eaten in shifts. Sandwiches and snacks are packed for supper on the boat and those of us left behind have a bread and cheese supper sitting at a table outside our house watching the sunset and wondering if the specks we can see on the ocean are 'our boat’.

I think we are all feeling a bit disjointed.

Monday, July 11

Ant Hoovering

Today I finally hoovered the ants.

During any given summer many ants launch themselves on doomed nuptial flights wherever it is that I am staying. It seems futile to try and do anything about it until the stream of bodies stops but I’ve been here for two weeks now and still they are pouring out from under my window frame, heading straight for any electrical items and then dying. Drifts of little black bodies had piled up too high to ignore any longer.

After hoovering I rediscovered the product that I bought last week in the Azores. I haven’t dared use it yet, I think it is moisturising cream but then again my translating powers might not be all they should be.

I prefer my body lotion not to smell. A few years ago I endured a harrowing journey to London when I boarded a train after rubbing my knees with cocoa butter. The train was packed and I took a seat behind a family with a little dog, the child started on immediately and loudly that there was 'Someone eating chocolate’ and the dog spent the entire journey scrabbling at me through the seats.

Despite the train-and-cocoa-butter experience, I ended up buying this product mainly because I was intrigued by the words on the bottle. 'Love Lotion’ promises 'sexy and attractive skin’ which is what one might hope for in a moisturiser but it also explicitly claims in words written around a pair of kissy lips that it 'seduces 9 out of every 10 men’ on the back of the bottle this claim is reinforced with the words 'in tests 9 out of every 10 men ...

I need more information about this testing:
at what distances does Love Lotion work? Does it work on any particular sort of man?

The claim states that 90 per cent of men are seduced by Love Lotion but was it applied to women or, like cigarettes and other cosmetics, was the testing done on beagles and mice?

If anybody reading this is a tester for Love Lotion will you please supply answers to my questions.

Monday, July 4

The Odyssey

I have been informed that it is a legal requirement to install one television set per 20 square metres in every public place in the Azores, I haven’t verified this but I have seen a lot of screens - all showing what appears to be the same continuously running soap opera featuring swarthy men and heavily made-up women in dramatic and emotive situations.

We appear to have been caught up with the drama, our days now cycle through a series of fairly predictable lurches from tragedy to triumph and back again.

Last Monday afternoon a lorry turned up with our Giant Cable which made us happy, but then we couldn’t get it off the truck which was awful … but then we did something terribly clever with poles and leverage - haha.

We celebrated our possession of the cable while choking on the smell of burning clutch left by the Giant Cable lorry who spent an hour trying to leave our property.

As the lorry finally heaved itself away an Austrian lady appeared with a truckload of dry wood, the wood was unloaded and we were very happy, the wood lady wanting to return home to her starving children got into her truck … which refused to start, we pushed her in her vehicle sending it cascading down the hill but still it didn't start - I hope her children are ok.

The principle location for our drama has now moved down to the harbour where our boat is moored and we are building a system for managing our equipment on the boat, a system that would gladden the heart of Heath Robinson - a knotty affair of pulleys, winches and fly-wheels, that has needed endless modification. Several days after we should be in the water we are still trying to make everything strong enough and balanced enough and not too heavy.

Our efforts would not have succeeded this far without the genius of the boat’s skipper and his friends who have pitched in on the whole glorious affair. To counter-balance all of this practical brilliance and to stop us feeling too positive we are also dogged by a Greek chorus of shaggy old men who stop by, often for hours at a stretch, to shake their heads and tell us that what we’re doing is rubbish and it’ll never work.

Our island is a very decorated place, wall paintings and mosaics are everywhere, the picture I’ve posted here is on a wall outside a restaurant where one can eat and watch the weeping/smouldering soap opera. Interpretations welcome.

Monday, June 27

Here We Are Then


Arrived Azores at lunchtime, it is damp and it is a bank holiday here. Shops shut. Luggage still in Lisbon.

We hear that our giant cable, housed in a crate the size of a small apartment and the major component of our filming kit – the one that was freighted two weeks ago - has not arrived.

Seven of us are occupying two adjacent holiday homes, most of us are sleeping in the upper house, the lower house has become the camera-cable-computer-nerve-centre. The upper house has a wood oven and I have ordered wood which can’t be delivered until Monday.


Starts misty, gets rainy … then torrential

Mosquitos don’t like being out in the rain, the island’s entire population of biting insects appear in our house looking for food and shelter. At breakfast time the youngest Camera Boy, fed up with the attention, took his can of man perfume, pointed it at 'flying stuff’ and pushed his finger down on the sprayer until the can was empty.

Someone called with the information that they spoke to a man who is almost certain that our cable is in his cargo-collecting place on our island – he will check first thing Monday when the cargo place opens.


The sun is out, steam-drying the landscape - colours are supersaturated

A veteran cameraman-oceanographer is part of our team, charming, handsome and fishy – it’s like we have found a synthesis of Clark Gable and Jacques Cousteau. He goes out to sea in a kayak that he pedals rather than paddles. When he sees something interesting he gets in the water and films it. Today he filmed a baby whale playing near the surface of the ocean, the footage is very beautiful.


No-one has any idea where our cable is until lunchtime when it is tracked down in Lisbon.

The man with wood for the wood stove is called to find out the time of his delivery, he tells us that he has not had time to go out and chop down any trees yet.

Thursday, June 23

Praying To Edna

Miss Whiplash and Girl Wonder have organised our squid-hunting trip. Without them there would be no expedition.

I have talked about Whiplash in previous posts, she is very tall and good at sums and when she is not in trouble with the police she runs our film company with a rod of iron. Miss Whiplash also sings in a band. This weekend she is off to play at Glastonbury and somewhere between handing me the call sheet for the trip and telling me that she had ten packets of Betty Crocker mix at home which had to be turned into hash cakes by the morning she advised me to pray to Goddess Edna, I misheard this before I looked it up, so forever in my mind we will be asking Edna's help in our quest to find a Giant Squid before the end of July.

Accounts of Edna's life vary, she was an Inuit with an abusive father who was desperate to marry her off to the highest bidder. In some accounts, having realised that he'd married her to a 'bird creature' Edna's father tries to rescue her, this involves throwing her into the sea. Other versions have it that the father is so enraged by Edna's refusal to obey him that he throws her into the sea. Either way Edna always tries to rescue herself by climbing into her father's kayak and he chops off her frozen fingers. Edna falls to the depths of the ocean turning into a sea animal as she plummets. Edna's fingers grow into seals and whales and polar bears and Edna becomes the ruler of sea monsters.

the image is one made by my new favourite artist Ningeokuluk Teevee


There is so much graffiti going on where I live that the shopkeepers have decided that, rather than fight it, they will go with the flow and many have asked the graffiteurs to artify their shop signs and shop fronts. I am filled with the urge to go out at night with my own cans to add to the decoration.

Does anyone else think that my plan to transform the 'Massage Club' front would make it more amusing?

This is all work displacement daydreaming, I pass the 'Sausage Club' twice daily but my waking hours are taken up with getting ready to go on a filming trip in the Azores which is why I have no time to blog let alone paint.

I'm off at midnight and will try to post from my far away island when I'm not busy trying to catch a giant squid

Friday, June 10

Man and Lady In Garden With Cat

Twenty years ago I bought an old Super 8 camera in a flea market and filmed everything that moved until I ran out of film. These masterpieces then languished in a drawer for years.

I made two attempts to get the reels digitised but neither time was the job done well. Bits of my footage have survived the process though and earlier this year I used them to practice using a video editing programe.

This first epic shows my parents playing in the garden

Thursday, June 9

Some Azorean Culture

I have a new bff in the Azores, keen to educate me in the culture of the islands she has sent me this link featuring Azorean singer Zeca Medeiros. I love it.

Tuesday, June 7

Getting a Reputation

Bristol gets in the news now and again it’s always interesting to see which bits of information stick.

Miss Whiplash stayed late in the office last night, waiting for one of our cameras to be returned by a French company who had been using it to film bats in Nicaragua.

The camera was delivered by a handsome and underemployed young artist who was delighted to be in Bristol - our city was a holy place for him.

Where can I see ze Banksys?

Whiplash gave him a map and pointed out some of the places where the young man could see some of the artist’s best work. But the man looked concerned

Are zese in any of the bad places?

Whipash was puzzled - what do you mean by bad places?

for example, St Pauls I ‘ear it is full of how you say? ... toxicos

is there anywhere else you’ve been warned about?

yes Southmead are you telling me to go anywhere near Southmead?*

Whats wrong with Southmead?

The Nazis are living there

*The only reason that we know of Southmead is because of its hospital which has an excellent neurosurgery unit.

Monday, June 6

Whale Meat Again

I have just returned from the Azores, this was a recce for a forthcoming filming expedition which was arranged and executed with tremendous haste. I’ve spent the last four days meeting skippers and making lists, measuring things, making drawings and drinking a lot of strong coffee. The main things that have stayed in my head from the trip are these:

a) Portuguese as a written language clearly has similarities with Spanish, but when spoken it is full of soft szjujj-ey noises which makes it sound like a language being played backwards

b) There are a lot of sausages on the Azores, I didn’t get a chance to sample them all, but I can recommend Azorean black pudding.

c) The Azores is Whale World; former whale-processing stations line the roads to the harbours, bars are full of little whales carved out of their own bones, snack bars operate from whale-shaped huts and whales are woven into the in the pavements.

I saw 'whale’ on a restaurant menu but I didn’t find out if it really was from that animal, it might have turned out to be just a whale-shaped sausage.

Wednesday, May 25

Chasing John Lynch

We like whiteboards to keep track of what's to be done around the office. They get full of notes about jobs to be done, shopping lists, and about a million unresolved problems.

Next week we will be recording the narration for two of our films, Whiplash and I have been squabbling over who gets to chase John Lynch.

Sunday, May 22

Fuzzy Pictures: day 7

Since our 'riots' last month, my neighbourhood has been host to a continuing party, even in the rain people crowd the streets. Yesterday I was struggling home with my shopping and was so overcome by the glorious technicolour everywhere that I decided to photograph my favourites in the last 500 metres before I got to my door.

Saturday, May 21

Fuzzy Pictures: day 6

I needed a photo frame and wandered into what looked like the right sort of shop. I didn't see a photo frame but I did see a clock on a suction pad which I thought might be useful stuck to our fridge (now that I've thrown my cooker out I have no kitchen clock). The suction clock was £4.

On the way to the till I saw some antlers shaped like mirrors which I had no idea I needed, I couldn't see the price on them so I took them to the till. On handing them over I noticed a ticket for £22 stuck on the back of the packet of antlers. At that moment the man at the till said

those antlers are 50p

Gosh, I said that's good do you have any more?

the man checked the computer and said that technically the one I had didn't exist and in fact the till price was not 50p but -50p, he rang my purchases up and I paid £3.50.


Thursday, May 19

Fuzzy Pictures: day 5

I've been tearing out strange and interesting pages from magazine for decades, today I decided to decorate one of the edit suites with them, the parts are still being shifted around but they must get stuck down tomorrow.

I'm hoping the editor will enjoy it, this bit appears to be the animal cruelty section, it includes a photo of James Dean playing bongos to some cows and a pig, Emilio Zapata blowing smoke in the face of a night monkey and some images of a horse dressed as a zebra being ridden by a tiger.

Wednesday, May 18

Fuzzy Pictures: day 4

Darn fox - still evading capture

Tuesday, May 17

Fuzzy Pictures: day 3

Trying to round up the animals for treatment - panic ensues!

Monday, May 16

Fuzzy Pictures: day 2

I've just discovered that Hugh has carpet moth.

Treatment starts tomorrow

Sunday, May 15

Fuzzy Pictures: day 1

My lovely Lumix has broken, just as I've got the urge to photograph things, but I shall not be deterred, my iphone 3 will stand-in and herald the start of a week-long 'Fuzzy Picture of the Day' feature.

Today's image shows you two things of which I am very proud:

Thing Number One = Brick-o-matic Bread, it might look a bit black but it's jolly nice and people have been known to pay a lot of money for this sort of thing in Paris.

I'm much prouder of

Thing number Two = this is yeast that I've kept alive for two whole weeks. Yeast must've inspired someone to make the Tamagotchi; one has to feed it, protect it and keep it happy or it dies.

I've never had a proper pet or looked after a baby (my sister is having one and might need my help), this is a sort of practise run.

Sunday, May 8

Oven Shopping

The Brick-o-matic is all very well but a kitchen needs an oven and I'm keeping an eye out for something suitable. Yesterday I saw this one. I like the towel rail detail and the little warming box at the foot of the burning part (presumably it's for reviving/steaming cold mice). However that oven won't fit anything much bigger than a single cat*, I need at least a double-catter, maybe even a triple so I'll keep looking ...

*I'm not planning to actually cook any cats, but I have noticed that cats are an excellent unit of measurement

Saturday, May 7

Baking A Labonne

When we moved into this house I threw out the mimsy fireplace that was blocking our magnificent chimney hole. Since my recent kitchen destruction I've been experimenting with different configurations for cooking in this space.

Please note the Labonne Patented Brick-o-matic Adjustable Height Grilling System, once I've finished my trials I'll be putting it on the market and hoping that you will all support me and purchase several - the ideal wedding gift!

Thursday, May 5

My New Minimalism

I’ve been a bit stressed lately...

Normally I bake my way out of trouble but lately I've needed to get a bit more physical; I recently spent a happy weekend (I think it was happy) pulling up the nasty carpet in the living room and tearing off wallpaper, beating the room into submission until it was reduced to a bare shell.

When the thrill of that destruction had ebbed I turned my attention to the kitchen. The toy oven that never baked evenly and won’t fit a proper roast dinner, that and the leaky fridge were both hurled outside. Great lumps of wall cupboard that were stuck up on the walls taking up valuable air space, they came off ... so did the mimsy peach-coloured tiles.

All done, the next thing I needed was cake.

I now spend a lot of time looking at the space where the oven was.

PS: I've just reread one of my old posts, clearly home chaos is a recurring theme in my life (and that of my friends)

Sunday, April 24

Build It And They Will Come

I attended my first Pre-riot Party last Thursday, here's what happened:

5pm: Many police piled in to arrest some squatters living across from a newly opened Tesco store, these naughty people had been singing and dancing outside it all week handing out free cake to anyone who didn’t go in. They had a sign saying HONK IF YOU HATE TESCO - the cacophony of honking cars had been continuous for 7 days.

Tesco might have been getting a bit fed up with this, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with the evening's events.

Four people were arrested without incident and nothing happened so the police sent for back up. During the arrest the police discovered the squatter's cider supplies and made a statement to the press that they had removed 'suspected petrol bombs’

6pm: ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY police along with dozens of vans and horses have now arrived, they are in full riot gear. They try and upset people by blocking the roads and pushing them around but we’re on holiday, it’s Easter – Peace Man!

11pm: It’s a beautiful warm evening and I’m on my way home, but police and horses are blocking the roads around my house so I join the milling crowds, there are dozens of bars along the road where the police want the riot to happen. so the essential ingredients of many people and alcohol should get things going, but we’re on holiday and in no mood to protest.

This non-event is surreal, lines of police stand behind riot shields across the roads. We try and ask the police about what is going on but they stand on silently waiting for the riot to happen.

2am: The crowds in the bars have been tweeting away about 'something going down’ in Stokes Croft, hundreds of people have now turned up for a riot, the bars are closing, AND NOTHING IS HAPPENING.

Guess what happened next?

Thursday, April 21

Yes I Understand You Words

Everyone is away filming - Whiplash and I are left in the office to sort out the remaining engineering issues that need to be resolved before the next trip. Glass tubes and lumps of metal are arriving at our offices and we need to tell other people what to do with them, Whiplash listened to a man who arrived with a large box and wrote down what he said to her, I've typed her notes up so we can all know what's happening:

electrical dome comments
2 x 4 ft connector leads with 12 way female one end and 4 way females at the other end

connect spheres to junction box spotex making (cameras have gone to spotex)
box of mashers large and small spring mashers coming tuesday item 2 on scan drainage or disc springs on nautilus draining

plastic mashers – 1 made big for dome electrics, 4 smaller ones for little domes
2 x 5/8 hole optics
2 x 1/2 “ hole electrics

2 optical connector with big one and one each little one

still havent got camera with large enough head so big dax

Kevin back on Tuesday

Dirty Arials

Bristolians don't like words that don't end well, they round off rogue vowell-y words with an 'l'. This can be confusing and entertaining such as this exchange I had today regarding the cleaning skills of someone I know as Tanya:

Me: Hi Kath how are you?

Kath: Not good - I've just had words with Tanyal, she's not cleaning the common arials properly.

Sunday, April 17


I'm sorry, I seem to be slightly out of sorts these days

Friday, April 1

How To Deal With Snoring Chairs At Dull Meetings

The other chairs decided that it would be fun to wake Duncan up by dousing him with alcohol and setting fire to him !

Wednesday, March 30

Mega Super

I consider my main achievement on this trip to be the fact that I haven’t yet been arrested. This is despite several excellent opportunites;

Firstly there is my inability to understand the one-way system in the big town that I have to go to for batteries, timber, tools and the Mega Super.

This place clearly doesn’t expect to be visited by out-of-towners so the direction for driving is not posted on many of the roads. Having caused a massive klaxonage at every turn on my initial foray I now simply follow any moving vehicle and hope it will eventually pass a shop that has things I need.

Yesterday there was quite a big argument about whether the police should be called to arrest me in the small town that I go to for fuel. The petrol station has a Manboss and several women who run the place. I filled up with fuel before realising that my bag was empty of wallet. Seeing no child to hold as hostage while I made my escape, all I could do was offer a promise to return with money very quickly.

The Manboss wanted to call the police and the women spent about an hour trying to convince him otherwise, everyone got very heated and it nearly turned into a fight. Only when I chipped in (in my best Spanish) with assurances of my honesty and an offer to leave my Yves St Laurent sunglasses as security, did the arguing group stop and regard me with puzzlement.

Then one of the women said

See ... she barely speaks

and I was allowed to go haha

Sunday, March 27

Camper Requests

Camper and The Lavatory petition for acceptance into the mainstream seating community

Help ...

It's all going wrong with the filming. The camera crew have been trying to untangle a camera out of a tree since 4am - it's nearly lunchtime and they're still not back ...

Saturday, March 26

Rocky And Stumpy

This is Rocky he likes macramé and oil painting

He also likes hangin' out with his pal Stumpy

Out On A Limb

Coatis have double-jointed ankles - they point their feet backwards which makes getting down trees easier

I am suffering from Santa Rosa Fat Arm - apparently a high proportion of visitors to the Park get at least one Fat Arm for about a week.

The cause of Fat Arm can be mysterious and is often thought to be brought about by spider bite, I have Fat Arm because I leaned on a wasp who was pretending to be part of the table cloth.

Yesterday I went into a part of the forest where two of the Park rangers were working, one of the rangers was a small elderly lady, her large straw hat was secured to her head with a floral scarf, she was working with a young man. The rangers were repairing paths around a picnic area. I parked my car and the lady came up to me asking who I was - I showed her my papers, she asked me to go and see her to sign out before I left.

When I was ready to leave they were doing a spot of carpentry, I went up and said

Ok I’m off now

The lady looked at me, then stared at the young man who missed a couple of beats before quickly putting his left hand up as though it was a notebook, he asked my name, I told him and he tried to write it on his sweaty palm.

Then he asked me for my passport number.

That is in my car

The young man looked over at my car, he didn’t want to move, so he thought of another question
what is your driving license number?

That is also in my car

Neither of us were quite sure what he was supposed to do with this information so he put his hand away and wished me a good journey.

Thursday, March 24

Chair Attempts Suicide

Today an Outlaw Chair was discovered by the Chair Police. This individual had heard about the crackdown on lawless chairs and tried to end it all. Only his indecisiveness got in the way.

Tuesday, March 22

How Was Your Last Seven Days?

The photo is an illustration of we sustain ourselves here, the food in containers is prepared in the park canteen – here we have a rice-based dish, potato and beetroot salad and black bean puree, you may also note our reliance on Tabasco, coffee and beer.

The days after the longest Monday went something like this:

Next Day – nothing worked, I spent a lot of money buying car batteries and got shouted at by the man running the battery shop because I didn’t want to buy his winch.

it is really hot here

Day After – some things worked a bit, but we didn’t have enough power - I had to go back and buy more batteries. The chairs refused to behave

More Camera People arrived hoping to use the cameras

Day After That
- I bought wood to make a table and found some better behaved chairs.

The things that worked yesterday no longer worked.

it is really really hot here

Next Day – our main filming system relies on a pair of cables stretched over the forest, the cameras are all worked remotely. We finally got the cameras working and tried to launch them but the electronic systems interfered with each other and turned our cameras into Crazy Robots from Hell

I am asked to order more stuff to be sent over from the UK

Day After That – some people fell out with each other

it is really really really hot here

Day After That – one of the cables collapsed

Day After That
– the other cable collapsed

it is still bloody hot

Where Do Bad Chairs End Up?

Chair Hell

Sunday, March 20

International Chair Ambulance Arrives

A Flying Squad of chair medics arrived on the scene last night. After examining the wounded, a specialist chair doctor carried out major field surgery.

Those that survived were supplemented with specimens from the finest furniture store available. We sincerely hope that the influx of foreigners will integrate with the native chairs and co-exist peacefully for at least six weeks.

Friday, March 18

Chair Wars

Anarchy broke out among the furniture last night. Evil Chair and his cronies attacked the few remaining Good Chairs. This one has clearly had the stuffing knocked out of him and is bleeding profusely - will he survive?

Thursday, March 17

Evil Chair

This is Evil Chair - Evil Chair sits around looking inviting, just waiting for someone to sit on him, then just as his victim has got settled with a beer, Evil buckles his legs and throws him backwards.

Evil Chair is allowed to hang around because Good Furniture is difficult to find and there are too few Good Chairs to stand up to this bully.

Here is Evil Chair with his brother - they find Evil's antics so funny that Evil Twin has laughed his head off.

This is the Soggy Bottom Gang, anyone sitting on one of them gets sucked through the sponge at the back of the chair. The Soggy Bottom Gang don't want to kill anyone, they just want to be left to get on with getting drunk and falling over.

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