Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Winter Kills

Freezing fog envelopes and hides the usual view of Norwich Cathedral, Castle and City Hall from my bedroom window. Thankfully for our collective peace of mind, it also camouflages the multii-storey car parks which are home to some of our population of rough sleepers.

Old Winter is come with its cold chilling breath
And the leaves are all gone from the trees
All nature seems touched by the finger of death
And the lakes are beginning to freeze
When your minds are annoyed by the wide swelling flood
And your bridges are useful no more
When in plenty you enjoy everything that is good
That's the time to remember the poor

The cold air and snow will in plenty descend
And whiten the prospect around
The keen cutting wind from the north will attend
And cover it over the ground
When the hills and the dales are all candied with white
And the rivers are froze on the shore
When the bright twinkling stars they proclaim the cold night
That's the time to remember the poor

The poor timid hare through the woods may be traced
By her footsteps indented in the snow
When our lips and our fingers are all dangling with cold
And the marksman a-shooting doth go
When the young wanton lads on the river slide
And the icicles hang at your door
When in plenty you are sitting by a warm fireside
You will tremble to think of the poor

For the times fast a-coming when our Saviour on earth
All the world shall agree with one voice
All nations unite to salute the blest morn
And the whole of then earth shall rejoice
When grim death is deprived of its killing sting
And the grave rules triumphant no more
Saints angels and men hallelujah shall sing
Then the rich
will remember the poor

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Taking A Stand

("The stains on the pavement around the Prince Of Wales Road night pissoir," read the original flickr caption, "seem to prove what women have claimed since Thomas Crapper installed the first indoor W.C.; Men may be in possession of powerful weapons but they can't aim them for toffee.")

I was reminded of this photograph and the one below by an item in Victor Lewis-Smith's Funny Old World column in Private Eye this week. Repeating (and translating) a report from the Norwegian publication Faedrelandsvennen it told of the defence of Lise Gjul, principal of Dvergsnes School, regarding her ban on boys standing while urinating. "The problem is that young boys are not good enough at aiming when they stand. We only have space for one restroom, so it has to be used by both boys and girls. And we want it to be a pleasant toilet, not one that is splashed, stained, and stinking of urine."

The whole issue of whether boys should be made to sit or allowed to stand has apparently become a political hot potato and the subject of a rally with Vidar Kleppe leader of the democrat party declaiming "When boys are not allowed to pee in the natural way, the way boys have done for generations, it is meddling with God's work". Political oratory is not dead in Norway it seems or It would be better to say that Political lava-oratory is not dead.

The Alibi - A Gentleman's Is Known By The Company It Keeps
A Gentleman's Is Known By The Company It Keeps originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

Friday, December 08, 2006

What Mega Munch was hiding

What Mega Munch was hiding, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

I wish this was a better photograph. The shopfitters are working in the old Mega Munch premises in Prince of Wales Road and they have pulled away the plaster board to reveal an old cast iron Edwardian fireplace with tile surround.

It is not an item of outstanding rarity and beauty and I would not have noticed if it had it not been on this particular street. Prince of Wales Road with it's industrial sized drinking dens and fast flow takeaway restaurants has become a faceless environment of easy wipe Formica and brushed aluminium surfaces where the individual is entirely subsumed. This quirky art nouveauish fireplace is a reminder of a gentler time. I reckon it will have been thrown in a skip by now.

The great fire of Norwich

You can't invent what goes on in London Street these days. Someone (Not me) threw a lit cigarette butt into the rubbish bin and it sat on a styrofoam fast food container and a slight smell hit the autumn air. There was not enough smoke to photograph (as you can see) and the smell was so faint I had to keep sniffing to make sure it was there at all.
"Fair enough" you might say "This is the kind of unintentional accident that happens all the time. Nothing to get worked up about". If one thought it was going to get 'out of control' a concerned passerby could stroll over to the newsagents on the corner and ask for a cup of water to pour over it.

But you would be wrong. PC 1451 (pictured) was sufficiently disturbed to call up the fire brigade who sent a fully crewed fire engine with lights flashing and siren wailing to extinguish the conflagration. By the time they got there it had, of course, burnt out.

What annoys is the cost of the whole exercise. The memsahib and I pay £1300 a year council tax (that's about three pounds a day) and the whole of our annual payment was probably eaten up by the cost of calling out the brigade on this one occasion. If he had only asked me I would have pissed into the bloody bin and saved everyone a lot of time, money and trouble.

Aren't our policemen wonderful? And yes they should be armed.

Looking For A Fire - It's In There Somewhere

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do We Really Look Like This Photographing The Workforce

There I was stopped at the traffic lights at the corner of Bank Plain and Prince of Wales Road when I noticed this guy atop a step ladder photographing the drones who work in the offices situated in the old Royal Hotel. These he had artistically arranged around the the doorway of the building. I had time to take one photograph of him before the lights changed. What you can't see, is that although the ladder was only three steps high, he had two people holding it steady.

I did a google search to find the correct spelling of acrophobia (the fear of heights) and found this terrific web site called The Phobia List which lists just about every phobia you can shake a hypnotherapist at. In the same way that if one reads a medical dictionary you end up with all the symptoms of all the illnesses described so I have discovered I have a lot of phobias I did not know about.

These include Pogonophobia (Fear of beards), Consecotaleophobia (Fear of chopsticks) and the quite reasonable Aulophobia (Fear of flutes)

While writing the above I have just realised something exciting. By replacing the suffix phobia with phillia the meaning changes neatly from Fear of to Love of hence Genuphobia (Fear of knees) becomes Genuphillia (the Love of Knees). The Phobia List web site thus becomes a excellent tool in my never ending search for new insults. We are so used to being sworn at with obscenities that they no longer have an effect but I can guarantee that if the next time you are cut up at a roundabout, you wind down your window and shout "Isopterophilliac!!!" at the offending motorist you will succeed in stopping the traffic. (An Isopterophilliac is a lover of termites and other wood boring insects by the way).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Going out on the piste

Master Menace Blink tackles the bumpy part of the dry ski slope at Norfolk's Premier Alpine Resort at Trowse.

There has not been much snow this year.......

Friday, December 01, 2006

A hitherto unmentioned addiction to rugs.

A hitherto unmentioned addiction to rugs., originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

My favourite shop.