Category Archives: Tooty Stuff

Making Light of Advancing Years

By the time I turned sixty (and everything went south rapidly) I’ve found it more and more difficult to ride my bicycle. Downhills became hard work: the flats felt like I was climbing Ben Nevis with an anvil on my back: and uphills…well uphills were impossible. Even pushing the bike up any gradient was hard work. In fact I was becoming concerned that I might be experiencing a heart problem. But a coincidental day in Accident & Emergency, on a heart monitor, soon put that fear to rest. So when I spotted a bike in fine fettle for sale at the side of the road at a very nice price, I was tempted. My daughter convinced me. “Nice colours.” She said. “Your favourites. And shiny mudguards too.”

I bought it…

 

And, oh my, what a transformation. It may have a steel frame (the older one is lightweight aluminium) and a weird seat that looks as though it will disappear up my rectum – taking my goolies along for the trip – but it’s so much more comfortable (if you discount the absense of suspension). And the effort to ride it…well there is no comparison: I now  ride up hill: on the flat I’ve yet to be overtaken by young boys on their back wheel, or ladies in lycra, or anyone else for that matter. And downhill is now limited by the effectiveness of the block brakes (not very). Journey times are now halved, and I don’t have to take a fifteen minute pulse-checking lie-down to recover after the ride. It’s like I’m 59 again! The reason for this? The previous owner kept it in a dry shed and actually performed maintenance (spit-spit, I hate maintenance) on it. So what have I learned?  Well I’ve learned this. I’m not too old and knackered to ride: I just need to look after the bike to stay young. So will someone kindly pass me the chain lube?

Rejoice: Good News, Earpluggers…

…principal photography has begun on the 42nd Earplug Adventure – or the Forty-Two’eth episode, as I prefer to call it. And just to prove that the camera hand is still firm and capable, here’s a trio of shots for the opening segment of the tale…

Yes, that last shot features Nigel the Golden One – leader of the Planet Scroton. He’s back! Can’t wait for more? Neither can I!

Tooty’s been a-fiddlin’

When I presented the model of the next Earplug Adventure’s space ship – namely the honeymoon barge of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger the Tankerville Norris…

…I pretty much admitted that it was no ‘looker’, but that it had an excellent name. I also stated that I would make the ship believable. Well here are a few shots of it ‘in action’. We’ll start with a beauty shot…

…which proves that even the stubbiest, ugliest ship in all creation can look good from one angle. Here’s one of it in an atmosphere under cover of night…

This one looks like it might have narrowly avoided a huge explosion or disaster…

And this one clearly had either Magnuss or Hair-Trigger hitting the ‘Go Faster’ button…

So, as you can clearly see, I haven’t been entirely idle. As regards the story: other than the couple becoming a…well…a couple, I don’t have much clue. But just to get my ageing creative juices flowing I’ve given it a non-sensical title that should stretch me somewhat, and hopefully the plot will reveal itself to me. And that title is ‘The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah‘. I wonder what it means? I do make life difficult for myself, don’t I! 

Does Eight Seconds Really Make That Much Difference?

When I “do a selfie” I don’t hold the camera at arm’s length: I utilize the camera’s built-in timer. This makes it appear that it’s not a selfie at all, and that someone else took the picture. But sometimes, when I’m not paying close enough attention, I might possibly set it to the wrong time duration before it goes click. Most cameras have a 2 second delay and a 10 second  delay. If the light is bad – or if someone is approaching, and I don’t want to appear a complete narcissist to them – the tiny icons on-screen could look similar enough for a simple mistake to occur. Two could be confused with ten. But does this really matter? After all, it’s just a photo of little old me looking as good as he can, and hoping that he can fool the world into thinking that he might be cool and in full command of his corporeal existence. Well yes it does! This is what I look like after peering myopically into the camera’s sun-drenched LCD screen and selecting the wrong icon…

Then, to compound this error (and after moving to another site because someone became curious at my behaviour and started hanging around) I carelessly set the camera up facing into the Sun…

So, sorry, although I found the right icon this time, you’ll have to imagine how cool and in command of my corporeal existence I actually look.

I Expenda on a Fenda Extenda

Back in late 2020, when I was rediscovering the joys/pains of motorcycling, my boots often looked like this…

And the bike’s engine was even worse. So I trawled the Internet for an answer to my muddy problem. I found (and fitted) this…

My Fenda Extenda (terrible name, but very discriptive) was a Godsend, and it made the bike look nicer too…

So when I stepped up to its replacement, I was ahead of the curve. I didn’t wait until my header pipes and engine casings were all covered in shit: I bought another Fenda Extenda first…

Now if it’s any bloody good I have no idea: but it  certainly looks  nice…

Of course, on a machine this handsome, a rusty bucket would probably look fabulous.

P.S I am in no way affiliated with the Fenda Extenda’s manufacturers – Pyramid Plastics; I just like the product.

P.P.S The magnetic tank bag featured here is the same one on both bikes – made by Oxford (and really neat). It just shows the vast difference in the size of the bikes.

P.P.P.S It may be a coincidence, but don’t you think that the bikes (although very different) look rather similar in their stance and bearing? I must be a fan of modern retro.

 

The Unexpected Result of 365 Days of Mourning

I am writing this at 9.00pm on the 15th Sept 2021. Exactly one year previous, though four hours earlier in the day, my wife’s body had been taken away to lay in a local funeral director’s establishment. I had become (and remain) a widower. I’ve been dreading the approaching anniverary for some while, as has my daughter, who took the day off from her day care centre to stay home with me. But I had already resolved to treat the day like any other. It is simply the 15th of September, just as the 14th was a regular day, and the 16th will be tomorrow. Just another day. And, by and large, both of us were successful. We spoke of her, of course; but we never dwelled upon the subject. That’s been done enough during the intervening twelve months. I also knew that I needed something to keep me occupied, lest my mind wander back through time. So I decided that I would make a model out of used household ‘stuff’.  ‘Stuff’ such as lavatory cleaners and anti-persperant containers. You know, quality ‘stuff’. I knew what sort of model I wanted to create. A space ship for the next Earplug Adventure. More specifically a honeymoon spaceship for Magnuss and Hair-Trigger.  So, having previously purchased a huge tube of contact adhesive, I set to work. Many hours later…

…the ship took on form. And what a nice colour it is too. Toyota Carina E metallic blue (which I found in the shed behind the windscreen washer fluid) and some nattily scissored pieces of yellow sticky-back plastic…

Okay it doesn’t really look much like a spaceship; but you wait until I’ve taken a few shots of this baby and played with them on my computer. Then you’ll be convinced. You will swear you can hear the hyperspace drive motors whine as it streaks across the screen. And it already has a name. Rather ironically I discovered it on an old gravestone. It belonged to a boy who died during infancy in the late Seventeen hundreds. It was a wonderful name – though not really for a little boy. Or any human being for that matter. I don’t know what his parents were thinking when they gave him that moniker: but it’ll make  a great name for an earplug spaceship. It’s called the Tankerville Norris. See, how silly is that? So I’m not going to  shed a single tear today: instead I’m going to smile. She won’t be upset, of course: I told her I was going to do it, when I woke up this morning. Of course I can’t be certain that she heard; but she knows  what a silly old Tooty I am, so she’ll figure it out. And she was always happy to help out with an Earplug Adventure. I believe I can feel her smiling wryly behind me as I type.

 

Tooty’s Pissed Off Again

I didn’t think it unreasonable of me to expect to add The Age of Stone to my list of free e-books on this blog’s sidebar. I mean, every other book is there: why not the latest? Well WordPress had other ideas. The ‘Classic’ posting system just wouldn’t  work. I mean, it wasn’t even there to try. And the new ‘Block’  system (which I loathe with an intensity usually reserved for recalcitrant ink jet printers and DVD players that can’t recognise that there is a DVD in the tray) just sat there and did nothing – for ten minutes – before I gave up; called it several names, none of which are printable here; cursed the designer of the ‘block’ system to perminent impotence, considered creating a voodoo doll; and decided on an alternative course of action. And this is the alternative course of action. All Earplug Adventures in PDF Format Unexpurgated & FREE! Yup, there’s a page beneath the header that now contains every Earplug Adventure file, which can be accessed by anyone and everyone absolutely free. And very nice they are too. Well worth a visit. Now, if WordPress would kindly allow me, I’d like to remove those free e-books from their fucking sidebar. But I’m not hopeful. Bunch of shits.

 

La Era de la Piedra (The Age of Stone), en su totalidad, ¡GRATIS!

Es posible que se haya perdido algún episodio de La Era de la Piedra (The Age of Stone) en el camino; pero eso ya no importa porque ha llegado la versión gratuita en PDF para que la descargues y leas en tu tiempo libre (y quizás la compartas con tus amigos), o para leer in situ aquí mismo. Trate de comprender la magnitud de esta maravillosa oferta: es inigualable en la historia de la literatura y la fotografía. Todas esas fotos: todas esas palabras: todo ese genio creativo, ¡absolutamente GRATIS! Simplemente haz clic en la imagen de la portada del libro y es todo tuyo, tuyo, tuyo.

Impetuosity isn’t reserved for the young 2: Driven by Necessity

When I bought my awesomely ridiculous Yamaha XJR1300 it came with a pair of expensive after-market exhausts (quite nice, but standard would have been better) and a pair of stupid little headlights, which looked like this…

But it wasn’t the aesthetics of the ‘streetfighter’ lights that really bothered me; it was the fact that the resulting beam of light was coloured brown and wasn’t even suitable for a bicycle, let alone a machine capable of 140mph (220kph). The first time I rode at night (in 22 years, I might add) it (to use a local regional vernacular) ‘properly shit me up’. I couldn’t see where I was going!  In an effort to correct the situation, my first port of call (the next day) was a bike breakers emporium, where I was told: “No we haven’t got one, but if we did, we’d have to ask a hundred pounds for a tatty used one.” And in answer to my questioning “Ugh, why so much?” the owner of said emporium informed me that: “You’ve got a cult classic there: prices are going up all the time.”

This news was both good and bad. Good that the bike is worth more than I paid for it. Bad that parts are hard to find and expensive. So, being impetuous I went on Ebay and chose a random 8″ motorcycle headlight and duly paid my £50 to buy it. Three days later this happened…

But, upon reading the label, my impetuosity appeared to have backfired on me. It was a replica headlight for a 1980 Yamaha RD350LC. Oops. So I (impetuously) set to work  stripping the brown pool devices from the XJR and setting about the replica headlight with a hacksaw and file. An hour later…

“Ta-dah!” as they say. And it works too – brightly.

But that isn’t all. When I first showed the ‘new’ bike to my  sister, she eyed my well-worn jeans and said: “Right, you’ve got to get some proper trousers now.” So, once more I cast my gaze to Ebay, but no one selling leather trousers seems to be the same shape as me. But, as desperation set in, impetuosity reared it’s handsome head once more. I spotted a pair of trousers with a 34″ waist. My size! But how long were the legs? Most sellers didn’t mention this, which I thought was extremely stupid. But in the description this seller stated that he was 6′ 5″ (tall – like very). I am six feet and half an inch (still, surprisingly).  But, I reasoned, a lot of my height is in my legs: this guy is probably tall in the body. Logic? No, not really. Impetuous? Yes, probably. I bought them. They arrived whilst I was wiring the Yamaha’s headlights. So, bouyed with success, I tried them on…

Now you could be forgiven to thinking that they are slightly baggy. And maybe they are, a little. But when I place my feet on the slightly rear-set footpegs of the bike, the trousers  fit exactly. They couldn’t be more perfect if a tailor had made them for me. I’m getting rather keen on the impetuosity stuff. I’m even beginning to wonder if I’m not being guided from beyond the veil. Actually I’m convinced I am. And I can’t wait to see what I do impetuously next!

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 22)

En respuesta, el Ser Supremo bajó la fiesta de los tapones para los oídos en la sopa de la realidad…

Y con una mirada de completa autosatisfacción…

… los despidió, a la exposición Age of Stone dentro del Museo de Tecnología del Futuro…

“Espectacular.” Susan habló con aprecio. “Entonces, ¿qué estamos haciendo aquí? ¿La SB va a ayudar o no? “

Por supuesto, los Hermanos Earplug sabían exactamente por qué habían sido devueltos a la Era de Piedra. También sabían lo que se les pedía. Chester llevó a Susan a un lado…

Ninguno de los dos notó que la formación rocosa se parecía exactamente al culo de un pato.

“Susan”, dijo, “el enfrentamiento con Wonky llegará pronto. Esta es una batalla que no puedes pelear. Y si te lastimas, no estoy seguro de ser de mucha ayuda para mis hermanos. Por eso es muy importante que te escondas ”.

Por un momento, Susan se sintió abrumada por la emoción…

Chester no había anticipado esta reacción. “Oh, Sue, no me hagas pedazos ahora”.

“Pero soy parte de la exposición Age of Stone”. Murmuró desde algún lugar del suelo. “No puedo abandonarlo en su momento de necesidad. Y tampoco puedo abandonarte. Oh, Chester, eres un chico tan encantador como el rosado anaranjado: quiero estar a tu lado en las buenas y en las malas. Incluso vería póquer en televisión, tarde en la noche contigo, si realmente insistieras. Y también te compraría una tortilla, si tienes hambre. Y aceitunas “.

Chester se comprometió a decir, “Um …” antes de que Susan se abalanzara sobre él y le plantara un beso enorme en la cara…

“Por favor, déjame unirme a esta pelea”. Agregó de alguna otra fuente que Chester no pudo identificar fácilmente. “Te lo ruego”.

La falta de oxígeno dio alas a los procesos de pensamiento de Chester. “Tus cortafuegos”. El pudo. “Alguien tiene que gestionar los que vinculan este lugar con el museo propiamente dicho. Evitarán que Wonky lleve esta pelea al indefenso museo. Si se separan en sus formas de tapones para los oídos, creo que son suficientes para llevar a cabo la tarea “.

Cinco minutos después, y tras una plétora de besos, Chester fue a reunirse con sus hermanos…

“Vuelve sano y salvo”. Llamaron como uno solo. “Hay más de donde vino eso”.

Poco después, los Hermanos Earplug se pusieron hombro con hombro…

“Está bien”, dijo Magnuss, “si tengo esto bien, ya tenemos las herramientas para derrotar al Wonky SB. Es solo una cuestión de utilizarlos para su mejor efecto “.

“Hmm”, respondió Miles poco convencido, “sin embargo, me habría sentido mejor con un respaldo de peso pesado. Ese Dios de las bolas de cuero parecía un hombre mezquino “.

Magnuss consideró esto durante uno o dos nanosegundos. Podía comprender la decepción de Miles. Pero Miles no había estado dentro de la cabina. No le habían expandido la cabeza. Magnuss estaba seguro de que había ocurrido algo más que la transferencia de información dentro de esa cabina. Pero en este momento no sabía qué era, por lo que se mantuvo callado sobre el tema. En cambio, dijo: “Bien, necesitamos llamar la atención de los Wonky SB. ¿Alguna sugerencia?”

Bueno, durante la siguiente hora el quinteto heroico marchó alrededor de la exhibición gritando algo como: “Wonky es un valiente”. Y “Ven y pruébalo si crees que eres lo suficientemente duro”. Incluso rompieron el viento e hicieron comentarios despectivos sobre su parentesco. Pero fue en vano. Pronto cayó la noche dentro de la Edad de Piedra, y su marcha se había reducido a un vagabundeo serpenteante…

… Y sus gritos se intercalaron con bostezos. Estaban considerando ir a tomar un café, cuando, de repente, ocurrió algo antinatural … um … ocurrió

Un portal pareció formarse en la sólida muralla del castillo. Esto, en sí mismo, no era una prueba incontrovertible de que el Ser Supremo Wonky estaba a punto de aparecer: pero la alteración en la coloración ambiental de la exhibición ciertamente fue…

“Oh, bragas”. Magnuss gimió. Luego, reuniendo su coraje, espetó: “Hombros erguidos, muchachos”. Luego confundió a los gemelos (pero impresionó a sus mayores) usando un antiguo término militar: “No dispare hasta que vea el blanco de sus ojos”.

No dijo más porque apareció una forma dentro del portal…

Entonces, algo de la fuerza extra que Magnuss esperaba que hubiera ganado mientras estaba dentro de la cabina impregnó a sus hermanos…

No sabían qué esperar; pero los Hermanos Earplug no tenían dudas: estaban listos para la batalla.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Two-Wheeled Tooty: Confidence Regained

Once upon a time, five years before he was named Tooty (in 1981), a young country bumpkin was talked into switching from Honda motorcycles to Yamaha. Here he is posing  with his mighty steed – a Yamaha RD125DX…

He and the Yamaha gelled instantly and he would become a life-long fan of the brand. But life being life – that is unknowable and often incomprehensible – in time his situation changed, and motorcycling  became a thing of the past. Then, in 2020 (21 years after quitting bikes), he took the plunge and returned to the fold…

Of course his mount was a Yamaha. A YBR125 to be exact. But it wasn’t the best that ever escaped that manufacturers stable. It wasn’t Japanese for a start! But he didn’t know that when he bought it. And he never really forgave the machine, despite the fact that it was totally reliable and never let him down. But he never felt entirely confident upon it – especially in traffic. Poor suspension: lack lustre brakes: feeble single cylinder engine were its major bug-bears – though Tooty had hoots of fun rushing down gravel-strewn, muddy-as-heck, and cow shit-ridden back lanes on it. Look at the picture above: does that really say “Confident rider”? Nah. What he really needed was something that would give him back the two-wheeled exuberance of his long-lost youth. Something with a bit of oomph. Another Yamaha obviously. But one built in Japan.  Regardez vous por favor…

Ten months later. Yup, I’m back – and on a cult classic too! But I think I might pass on the gravel-strewn, muddy-as-heck, cow shit-ridden back lanes for now. Maybe an off-road bike for those. Might have to get some motocross boots though. Hmm, sounds fun…

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 24)

But still the situation worsened for the Wonky SB. Not content of stripping him of his atomic boiler suit, Miles and Chester let rip on his god-like underpants…

…and the would-be avenger was forced to hide his nether-regions by squatting in a most undignified manner…

“No,” he wailed, “I surrender. No more. Leave me alone.”

“Go,” Magnuss bellowed in reply, “before we destroy you completely.”

“I’m going. I’m going.” The Wonky SB said hurriedly as a strange red portal opened behind him…

Then, with defeat etched in every step he took, the Wonky SB collected up the remains of his boxer shorts and wandered, unsteadily back into his unknowable realm…

But as he turned back to regard his nemesis…

…a force grabbed him and swept him away into a roiling cauldron of energy…

…which might have been a black hole.

For a moment the boys merely stood there in shock. Then a cascade of pretty energy particles descended upon them…

Of course, it was the Supreme Being in celebratory mode…

“Well done, boys. What a brilliant job. Now get yourselves back here.”

A heartbeat later they and Susan’s primary sub-unit stood at an observation window in the Rhubarb Crumble

“We couldn’t have done it without your powers.” Magnuss informed the Supreme Being. But he was being polite: obviously the Supreme Being knew that already. “And Susan too.” He added.

“Indeed,” the Supreme Being said as he regarded Susan’s primary sub-unit, “if she hadn’t stepped in at the appropriate moment, all might have been lost. Well done to you too, little green blob. Now I expect you’d all like to get back to the Museum of Future Technology for a celebratory discotheque. Well, be on your way: I think you’ll find the journey back somewhat shorter than the one here.”

But, of course, before the Rhubarb Crumble could go anywhere, there was the matter of returning the Weevil Trunnion to its place in the storeroom…

Then, the task complete, the first ship to come off the new Martian production line swept across the strange, ever-changing landscape…

…and blasted skyward…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Wallpapers of the Tooty Kind

Having concluded my important task of the day (I can do only one per day: two taxes my memory too much), I sat myself in front of my laptop and began fiddling with some pictures I took whilst on a wander through a tranquil graveyard the day previous. This is what caught my attention…

A novel step over a flint wall – complete with hole for slipping a foot into, or allowing a small dog to pass. The scene itself makes a pleasant wallpaper. But I felt that the hole was the real star. So, on my first pass I created…

…a scene through a window on an ice planet. Hmmm, might use that in an Earplug Adventure. My second pass brought forth…

…the interior of a defensive position during battle. Hmmm, might use that one too. And on my third pass I created…

…the view from a cell in an alien prison. And it was this one that gave me an idea for another Age of Stone story. If, during the Age of Stone, all technology is based upon rocks and stuff, then  surely they would make their star ships from stone too!  Have to put my thinking cap on now. Could this be the forty-second Earplug Adventure e-book in the making? Bloody hope so: I don’t have any other ideas!

Not for all the Tea in China

I’ve probably mentioned, one or twice in the past, that I don’t do heights. Four rungs up the ladder push the envelope of comfort for me. So, recently, when I looked out of my bedroom window at this  fellow…

…I asked myself is he A: fearless? B: brave? Or C: a fruitcake? Because…

…I wouldn’t do this for all the tea in China…

Would you?

Turning a Green Village Yellow

I’m fortunate enough to live in a village which sits within the boundaries of the Southdowns National Park. As you can probably imagine it’s a very green environment. But for 2021, the parish council – which in a more primitive era might have been termed ‘village elders’ – decided it needed ‘greening’ even more. To this effect they gave every household a packet of wild flower seeds and told them to plant them. Well it has been a great success. But the most obvious success has been the proliferation of sunflowers throughout the village and its environs. Here’s just a fraction of a field that one local farmer turned over to the production of myriad wild flowers…

And the churchyard put on quite show too…

I did my bit , of course. Here’s one I planted in a tub in the back garden…

I was very happy to join in. But then, for me, it get’s a little poignant. Here is one of mine that faces the street…

Isn’t it brilliant? But this seed didn’t arrive courtesy of the Parish Council. This grew from a packet of seeds handed to me at my wife’s funeral. It isn’t the largest sunflower in the village: but it is the best. But to pile poignancy upon poignancy, today – inspired by all these sunflowers that have appeared at every turn – I chose to wear a yellow t-shirt. Burrowing through my considerable collection of t-shirts I spotted a seldom-used Marks & Spencers example at the bottom of the lowest drawer. But as I eased it from beneath the stack I made a discovery. Unlike all of my other t-shirts, I didn’t wash, iron, and pack away this one. This one smelt strongly of the over exuberant use of fabric conditioner. This one was ironed properly and folded neatly side to side. In short, the last person to wash, iron, and pack away this t-shirt was my beloved wife. For a moment I was overcome. Then I put it on…

Not sure what I’m going to do when it needs to go in the wash. Already the creases have fallen out, and the smell of the fabric conditioner has faded away. And I can’t get them back. Another link with the past broken.

Impetuosity isn’t reserved for the young.

For the past year I’ve done several things on impulse. My carelessness has reminded me that I was once young and did all the stupid things impetuous young men do – often with regret when they went painfully wrong. So, if I have any sense, you would think that I might have learned something as I’ve grown older. Namely that it’s usually safer if you think something through before acting. But, as I approach the second half of my sixth decade, impetuosity seems to be taking control again. Recently, whilst out walking in the English countryside I was smitten by a sudden thought. An inquiry really. I don’t know why, but I had to know the answer. So I acted on impluse; and now I know that my willy is impervious to the common stinging nettle, but my scrotum is not. It’s not important, and it won’t enhance my life; but it’s good to know. But that paled into insignificance at my latest bout of impetuosity. Bored with the limited performance of my (shabbily-built Chinese-produced) Yamaha YBR125…

…I began trawling through the dreadfully limited stock of my local motorcycle dealers. I was looking for something affordable in the 300-500cc range. Instead I bought this…

Flipping heck it’s a monster. It’s a 2002 Yamaha XJR1300. It has three more cylinders than my 125; ten times the cubic capacity; and, I reckon, weighs more than all my previous bikes put together. What was I thinking? And I’m afraid that it’s going to hurt a lot more than that patch of stinging nettles did. But it’s my dream-bike: with impetuosity in control, how could NOT buy it?

Earplugs Without Pictures 13

Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this tremendous tale…

As usual there are two brief extracts presented. Both chosen by Mr Sheer Randomness.

“Ladies, Gentlemen, and P.C Wilts,” Runt spoke clearly above the building excitement that ran like a raspberry ripple through the assembled V.I.Ps, “may I present to you the Tubo Di Tempo. It’s a new, mini version of the Tunnel Temporal – designed by the brilliant Italian scientist, Piggies Du Pong.”

“If you don’t mind me saying,” the charming (if ancient) former movie star, Sir Dodger Muir interrupted, “Piggies Du Pong doesn’t sound overtly Italian. Rather, I’d wager the fellow hails from either Belgium or France.”

“In your era, perhaps.” Runt replied. “But in Piggies’ era he’s Italian; so shut it, okay?”

Sir Dodger was about to author a dazzlingly witty riposte, when his train of thought was interrupted by the activation of the Tubo Di Tempo and the arrival of two bug-eyed weirdos from another time zone. Instantly the newcomers addressed Cushions Smethwyke. With a curt bow the smaller-nosed of the couple introduced itself as Glumb Kimball and its huge-hootered associate as Hombolt Whale. “Greetings from the future.” It added. “What do you think of the Tubo Di Tempo?”

Cushions wasn’t sure how to respond: and P.C Wilts’ expression betrayed his instant dislike of the pretentious twerps from a clearly technologically superior era. “Er…very nice.” She managed. Then growing in confidence she added: “A lovely shade of blue. My favourite. Well my second favourite actually. I’m rather partial to a warm orange glow.”

“How wonderful.” Hombolt Whale squeaked through it’s huge, but obviously restricted, snozzle. “Because when it’s turned on at this end it glows orange. Regarde s’il vous plaît.”

Moments later the Tubo Di Tempo did just as Hombolt had promised.

“There.” Sir Dodger grumbled. “Told you it was French.”

But even as the ageing thespian was speaking, so too was Glumb Kimball: “Well we’ve left a copy of the owners’ manual with your Time Techs, so, if it’s alright with you, we’ll be on our way to our own era. It’s much nicer there, by the way. By-ee.”

With that the time-travelling duo stepped into the tiny maw of the machine and disappeared in an instant. Naturally Cushions rushed forward to deliver a blistering farewell insult, but she was too late and needed to be consoled by the former bounty hunter and part-time curator, Hunting Provost: “Don’t concern yourself, my delightful love interest.” He whispered into Cushions’ ear. “They were ugly sods with big bulgy eyes: the future’s welcome to them. And they’ve left us with something really valuable.”

“They have?” Cushions inquired as everyone crowded around to take a look at the wonder from the future..

“Of course.” Hunting spoke in a conspiratorial hush. “Now we can start charging visitors for trips into the Museum of Future Technology twice. Once in this era; and again when they go into the past. I bet, if we take a look at our bank accounts, we’ll find that we’ve already begun amassing a vast wealth before we’ve actually begun sending anyone through. All we need to do is actually set the metaphorical ball rolling. We need to find new-arrivals with no prior knowledge of our earlier time travelling problems.”

“Yeah.” Cushions replied as she let her gaze wander past Hunting. “People who aren’t scared of visiting the past and run the risk of getting stuck there. And I think I know the very people.”

AND

Naturally Mincey had one thought on her mind: a means of generating income. And she waited until the RoboSecGua had fallen far astern of them before bringing up the subject. It was a wise decision to distance herself from the security robot, because at that moment the star-struck RoboSecGua was in the act of encountering a stray plugmutt. “Hello, little fellow.” It said in its best friendly tone, which wasn’t very friendly at all because its voice box was a low-grade type and could only produce a nasty, tinny monotone. “What is your name and what are you doing out here on your own?”

Plugmutts, in general, possess a limited vocabulary and this one was no exception: “Heathrow.” It replied. “Heathrow out here – look for you.”

This reply surprised the RoboSecGua; plugmutts seldom sought out officers of the law. “I am surprised by your reply.” It said. “Plugmutts seldom seek out devices such as I. Why?”

“Beige female earplug.” Heathrow answered. “She bad news. She Sir Dodger’s estranged daughter. She no like famous movie stars. She jealous as heck. She want something. No trust her.”

This worried the RoboSecGua more than it cared to admit. “Flipping heck!” It exclaimed. “I hate to think what she might be doing to the wondrous Sir Dodger – as we speak!”

Well what Mincey was doing was not enjoying a guided tour, which included the amazing spectacles that were so powerful that they could see all the way around the world and up the viewers trouser leg.

“By the Saint of All Earplugs.” Mincey squealed. “I had no idea my buttocks were so dimpled!”

But she felt more secure in her emotional state when they took a stroll towards the Future Alps Exhibit. So it was then that she chose to drop her verbal bombshell: “Dad.” She began, “You know that you’re a museum curator and all that? Well, I was wondering…what with you being really old and stuff…might it be possible that you retire, or die or something, and give the job to me? I’ve got plans for this place; and I think that I’d do a much better job than that toothy git, Cushions Smethwyke. What do you think, Dad? Good idea or what?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the The Time Tamperer vol 1 cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file. By the way, in addition, and also – you can access all the Earplug Adventure files (including Vol 2 of this exciting tome) on the sidebar by clicking the cover images.

What Really Happens in English Graveyards at Night

In the light of day, and the average English graveyard appears tranquil and silent, gravestones sit quiescent and still..

But at night, when no one is around to see or hear…

…earplugs hold very important meetings in their grand halls. I wonder what they discuss?

 

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Pedra (parte 8)

“¡Hah!” la aparición se burló. “¿Entonces que tenemos aqui? ¿Podría ser este el poderoso auricular Magnuss? Santo, maldito, Magnuss? ¿El que no puede hacer nada malo? ¿El que, cuando casi derroto al Ser Supremo en una batalla de ingenio y rayos, me despojó de mis calzoncillos?

Magnuss era esencialmente un tapón para los oídos muy honesto; pero hoy pensó que la honestidad no iba a salvar el día …

“No”, respondió, “mi nombre es Trevor Humphries. Entrego pizzas para una tienda en High Street. A la Universidad de Ciudad de Droxford principalmente; pero también hago un poco de residencial. Estoy ahorrando para un ciclomotor nuevo “.

Fue una buena mentira contada de manera convincente. Por un momento casi engañó al Ser Supremo Wonky. “¿Qué ingredientes?” Preguntó.

Lamentablemente, Magnuss nunca había comido una pizza en su vida: prefería el repollo salteado o hervido. “Um”, comenzó – y supo, en un instante, que su subterfugio había fallado. “Sí, está bien, soy Magnuss: ¿Qué quieres?”

“Tienes una foto de mi trasero desnudo, ¿no?” Respondió Wonky SB.

Decir que Magnuss estaba atónito por el conocimiento del extraterrestre sería quedarse corto. Estaba atónito. Su gas nunca había estado tan flácido. Al instante, su mente volvió al día en que el vocalista principal en falsete de las Trumptations, que era Cory Turpentine, había abierto la puerta destartalada del apartamento que esperaba alquilar a Magnuss y Hair-Trigger …

… y los había invitado a entrar para verlo …

A él y Hair-Trigger se los llevaron al apartamento y se mudaron en cuestión de horas. Pero había una mancha desagradable en el techo del baño, así que (recordando la imagen de las nalgas de Wonky SB en detalle) Magnuss le había pedido al artista más vilipendiado del museo, Anton Twerp, que modificara la mancha desagradable y que se pareciera mucho a una gran culo pedos en las nubes …

“Hmm”, confesó Magnuss, “algo así”.

“Y se produjo mucha risa cuando se lo mostró a todos sus amigos, ¿correcto?” El Wonky SB gruñó.

“Bueno, hubo un poco de risa”. Magnuss asintió de mala gana.

“Más que un poco.” Wonky SB gruñó. Incluso tuviste la temeridad de invitar a ese bufón con cámara de Rupert Piles. Mi trasero apareció en las noticias de las seis. ¡Y tú y tus estúpidos hermanos van a pagar ese insulto y esa mortificación interior! “

Magnuss no quería detalles, pero Wonky SB se los dio de todos modos:

“¡Tu peculiar quinteto está condenado a vagar por estos castillos por la eternidad!” Rugió …

 “Eternidad. O hasta el día de tu muerte. ¡Lo que tome más tiempo!”

Esta no fue una buena noticia para Magnuss. Pero la imagen de la viruela y las pústulas tampoco lo hizo sentir demasiado popular entre su anfitrión …

“Tengo que volver con los chicos”. Susurró sotto voce . “Juntos somos mil veces más fuertes que el pequeño yo solo”.

Pero, mientras huía, casi se cae al charco de lava …

“Vaya”, gritó, “eso estuvo demasiado cerca para ser cómodo. Al diablo con esto, he tenido una tripa llena: ¿dónde está la salida?

Al poco tiempo comenzó a relajarse un poco …

… El estanque de lava estaba ahora detrás de él; y si continuaba en dirección ascendente, encontraría la superficie una vez más. Era simplemente una cuestión de tiempo.

En ese momento, Chester y Miles estaban maravillados con los rostros cambiantes de su entorno …

“Ojalá tuviera una cámara”. Dijo Miles. “Podríamos filmarlo y usarlo para hacer un cortometraje de ciencia ficción”.

Chester no estaba convencido. “Sí, pero ¿a quién vamos a conseguir para protagonizarlo?”

Miles hizo una pausa por un momento, antes de responder con: “Estaba pensando en Marvin Fishlegs u Okaw Blymie. Tal vez ambos.” Entonces se dio cuenta de que estaba hablando tonterías y decidió cerrar la boca.

A poca distancia, Magnuss reapareció en algo que se parecía vagamente a un cielo nocturno …

Al principio se sintió aliviado y bebió el aire fresco de la noche. Pero, a medida que cambiaba el escenario …

… comenzó a tener serias dudas de que, incluso combinados, sus hermanos y él eran compatibles con un ser que podía secuestrar y encarcelar al verdadero Ser Supremo.

“Oh querido.” Él dijo. “Esta vez realmente creo que hemos mordido más de lo que podemos masticar. Gracias al santo de todos los tapones para los oídos porque mi querida, dulce y ex novia cazarrecompensas, Hair-Trigger Provost no está atrapada aquí conmigo “. Luego se prometió a sí mismo que si prevalecía en la lucha que se avecinaba, le pediría a Hair-Trigger que fuera su esposa. Era un plan que le daría fuerzas. Un motivo para ganar más allá de la mera necesidad de sobrevivir.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

If you are a Spanish speaker, please tell me:  did that make any sense? Yes, I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense in English; but you know what I mean.

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 8)

“Hah!” the apparition sneered. “So what do we have here? Could this be the mighty Magnuss Earplug? Saint, bloody, Magnuss? He who can do no wrong? He who, when I almost defeated the Supreme Being in a battle of wits and thunderbolts, dispossessed me of my underpants?”

Magnuss was essentially a very honest earplug; but today he figured honesty was not going to save the day…

“No,” he replied, “my name is Trevor Humphries. I deliver pizzas for a shop in the High Street. To the University de Ciudad de Droxford mostly; but I do a bit of residential too. I’m saving up for a new moped.”

It was a good lie told convincingly. For a moment it almost had the Wonky Supreme Being fooled. “What toppings?” It asked.

Sadly Magnuss had never eaten a pizza in his life: he preferred stir-fry or boiled cabbage. “Um,” he began – and knew, in an instant, that his subterfuge had failed. “Yeah, all right – I’m Magnuss: Whatta ya want?”

“You have a picture of my naked bum, do you not?” The Wonky SB replied.

To say that Magnuss was stunned by the alien’s knowledge would be an understatement. He was flabbergasted. His gast had never been so flabbered. Instantly his mind went back to the day when the falsetto lead vocalist of the Trumptations – that being Cory Turpentine – had opened the rickety door of the apartment that he was hoping to rent out to Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

…and had invited them inside to view it…

He and Hair-Trigger had been taken with the apartment, and moved in within hours. But there had been a nasty stain on the bathroom ceiling, so (recalling the image of the Wonky SB’s buttocks in precise detail) Magnuss had asked the museum’s most reviled artist – Anton Twerp – to alter the unsightly stain and make it closely resemble a big farty arse in the clouds…

“Hmm,” Magnuss confessed, “sort of.”

“And much hilarity ensued, when you showed it to all your friends – correct?” The Wonky SB snarled.

“Well there was a bit of tittering.” Magnuss agreed reluctantly.

“More than a little.” Wonky SB growled. “You even had the temerity to invite that camera-wielding buffoon Rupert Piles around. My arse made the six o’clock news. And you and your stupid brothers are going to pay for that insult and inner mortification!”

Magnuss didn’t want details, but Wonky SB gave them to him anyway:

“Your quirky quintet is doomed to wander these castles for eternity!” He roared…

 “Eternity. Or until the day you die. Whichever takes the longest!”

This was not good news for Magnuss. But then the image of pox and pustules didn’t make him feel too popular with his host either…

“Gotta get back to the guys.” He whispered sotto voce. “Together we’re a thousand times stronger than little old me alone.”

But, as he fled, he almost fell into the lava pool…

“Yikes,” he yelled, “that was too close for comfort. Sod this – I’ve had a gut-full: where’s the way out?

Shortly he started to relax slightly…

…The lava pool was now behind him; and if he carried on in an upward direction, he would find the surface once more. It was merely a matter of time.

At that moment Chester and Miles were marvelling at the changing faces of their environment…

“Wish I had a camera.” Miles said. “We could film it and use it to make a science-fiction short film.”

Chester wasn’t convinced. “Yeah, but who would we get to star in it?”

Miles paused for a moment, before replying with:  “I was thinking Marvin Fishlegs or Okaw Blymie. Maybe both.” Then he realised that he was talking rubbish and decided to shut his mouth.

A short distance off, Magnuss re-emerged into something that looked vaguely like a night sky…

Initially he felt relieved, and drank in the cool night air. But, as the scenery changed…

…he began to have serious doubts that, even combined, his brothers and he were a match for a being that could abduct and imprison the real Supreme Being.

“Oh dear.” He said. “This time I really think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. Thank the Saint of All Earplugs that my dear, sweet, former bounty-hunter girlfriend, Hair-Trigger Provost isn’t trapped here with me.” He then promised himself that if he were to prevail in the coming struggle, he would ask Hair-Trigger to be his wife. It was a plan that would give him strength. A reason to win beyond the mere need for survival.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Scary Pollinator Alert!

If anyone can tell me what this huge, bumble-bee-sized, fly is, I’d be grateful. It doesn’t appear in my British Wildlife book and I can’t find it on line…

Did it come off a ship from the nearby port? It doesn’t look native. It also appears to be earning it’s keep by pollinating enthusiastically. Hungry perhaps? Whatever, it shits me up, and I don’t care if I never see one again: but I have know what it is.

Revel in the Ribaldry 35

Too much time has passed since our last delve into the world of Hamster-Sapiens. So on with an extract from this masterpiece of ribald hamster fiction…

Once again good old randomness has chosen the extract. It’s this one…

Everyone crowded around the education computer as it parked itself in the centre of the lounge. Its single ‘eye’ looked up into the face of Ho. “Ya been callin’ m’lud?” It said in an inquiring tone.

“Yeah.” Ho hissed urgently through excited incisors. “Tell Ho how Crustacean guys perhapped.”

“Cripes, dude.” The machine replied, “You’s askin’ a whole lot from the merest education computer-thing. I aint got the words whatta make no sense to guys like you guys is. I got the real shitty talk, y’all.”

Ho looked to Wetpatch for a translation. But instead of responding, the school-hamster addressed Kevin directly…

“Can you produce a computer printout instead?” He asked.

It didn’t matter how many times that everyone pored over the resulting computer printout, not one of the hamsters present was sufficiently qualified in computer-speak to fully understand it, or even begin to. It was just so much ‘Gahg’ to them. Or even ‘Yalg!’

Even Branston had been instructed to drag himself away from the Security Camera Office to cast his expert crew-person’s eye across the multitude of barely decipherable figures, icons, and multifarious digital crap. But all Branston could conclude was, “Well it looks to me like the ocean is criss-crossed with sub-atomic Trans-dimensional Conduits. Where they are, and how we access or navigate them, is beyond me. But that’s how the council perhapped: They contemplated their way into a potential alternate reality, and were taken there in the aforementioned web of quasi-existent tunnels that permeate our reality.”

Blur, who had left her post as the controller of the captain because she was bored and lonely, had never really noticed Branston before. To her he was just a fat little voyeuristic geek with a false sense of omnipotence about him whenever he was seated upon his ‘throne’ in the Security Camera Office. But his summation of the computer printout suggested that he had hidden depths: That he was more than the sum of his few parts.

“Ooh Branston,” she breathed into his ear after he’d left the room, and was half way back to his duty station, “you were so masterful just now. I can’t say that you’ve particularly impressed me previously; but I can’t help thinking that you have hidden depths. Perhaps we can exchange plumb-bobs? I believe that you may be more than the sum of your parts. I’d like to feel some of your more private ones.”

Branston smiled inwardly: He was indeed more than the sum of his parts. He’d had the foresight to pre-empt Ho, and had already visited Kevin previously. He’d managed to interview the education computer for almost a full five minutes prior to Ho’s beckoning. From the resulting verbal diarrhoea that was excreted from Kevin’s voice box, he was able to comprehend just enough to impress everyone when the inevitable call for his assistance came. He could no more read a computer printout than he could insert the prow of the Bargebutt into his rectum: But he could certainly act well enough to convince everyone – including Blur, for whom he’d had a ‘thing’ since joining the crew – and now his foresight was about to bear fruit.

“Yummy.” He said.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Naturally this e-book remains on sale at most respected e-book stockists. Check out the sidebar book cover shots to access some of them. Be bold.

 

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 3)

Naturally it was Magnuss who led the way through the rather uninspiring pedestrian door. As his eyes accustomed themselves to the reduced level of illumination, his silicon brain was seared by utter disbelief at the sheer scale of The Age of Stone exhibit…

“Cor,” he said, “look at the size of this, guys: it aint half-big!”

And, as Rudi, Valentine, Chester and Miles joined their ultra-adventurous sibling…

…none of them were about to argue with his summation.

“Flipping heck, Magnuss,” Chester yelled, “there’s not just this nearby castle: but another one all the way over there too!”

Miles, Chester’s twin, quickly added: “But it’s a bloody long walk. Let’s check out this nearby castle: there might be a pneumatic rapid-transit system that will carry us there in a jiffy and thereby save our ecologically-resourced shoe leather.”

So, without further ado, they set off towards the most obvious opening in the mighty stone walls of the nearby ‘castle’…

“Hey man,” Valentine complained, “the picture on the welcome sign was sho’nuf  shot in Summer. Why do we have to get here in Winter, huh?”

It was fair question: and when it began to pseudo-snow…

…the others began complaining too. In fact they were becoming more and more cheesed-off. Chester, in particular, was suffering badly: he almost choked on a false snowflake that accompanied the air that entered his lungs…

“Hmm,” Magnuss, who led the way, said quietly to himself, “might have to have a word with the Health and Safety Committee about that, despite the fact that I loathe them for their officiousness and nit-picking pedantry.”

This was quickly followed by: “And I think the museum will need to supply thermal underpants too: I’m feeling decidedly fragile in the botty area.”

Everyone assumed that the ‘weather’ was nothing more than a welcoming stunt. That the situation would quickly improve, and that (instead of suffering chilblains) they could all begin to pay rapt attention to the remarkable ‘stone’ technology of the future era from whence it came. But they were wrong…

“Crikey, it’s getting worse, rather than better.” Magnuss said out loud.

But Miles didn’t mind one bit: he loved playing in the snow – even if it wasn’t real. But after a while, even he agreed that finding shelter should be a priority…

So, whilst Miles, Chester, and a still-grumbling Valentine ensconced themselves in an alcove that might have been a futuristic stone telephone booth, Magnuss and Rudi soldiered on in search of someone who could tell them where to go and what to do…

But somehow they became separated in the virtual virtual-whiteout, and Magnuss, in his panic, began trying any door he could find…

Even back doors! Fortunately this one gave way to his insistent hammering, and once again his eyes were assailed by lighting of the inferior kind. But when the door began closing behind him, and the room came into focus, he couldn’t believe what he was looking at…

It was big and green and scary on at least thirteen levels of buttock-puckeringness…

Then, to complete Magnuss’ horror, it did this…

Of course Magnuss turned to flee. But it was too late: the surprisingly nimble giant made an impossible leap and landed on top of the unfortunate earplug…

Ooof!

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 2)

A mere hour and a half later, the millions of kilometres between the area that Rudi had designated Pongy Space, and the Museum of Future Technology, had been traversed…

“Cor,” Chester gushed characteristically, “these Hyper-space attack ships sure do shift. By the way – where are the brakes?”

But the younger of the twins needn’t have worried about crashing headlong into their beloved emporium: Valentine – skilled as he was at piloting vessels such as the Punting-Modesty XL5 Facepuncher…

… pulled the saucer up short with plenty of microns to spare. Within moments of disembarkation, the five-some stood upon hallowed ground…

“Ah, that’s better.” Miles said as his eyes ranged here, there, and everywhere. “Anyone fancy a ghastly coffee at Café Puke?”

Magnuss, now feeling better once upon terra firma, was about to reply, when they all heard the annoyingly metallic (and monstrously mono-tonal) voice of a Robot Security Guard – more commonly known as a RoboSecGua – as it called for their attention…

“Flip me sideways,” Magnuss whispered out of the side of his mouth to Rudi, “what have we done this time?”

“Hey, Val,” Rudi said in response, “did you pay the parking meter?”

But they need not have concerned themselves fiscally: the RoboSecGua was only there to accompany them in a mad dash through the museum…

…to a recently installed facility called ‘Decontamination’…

“Hey,” Chester squealed with delight, “I’m not affronted by this embarrassing situation at all: my bum has never been so pleasantly tickled before. What about you, Valentine?”

“Yeah, cool, man.” The second-eldest brother replied. “And regard the funky moisturising cream dispenser: I really dig it!”

But all good things must come to an end, and soon they were released…

Unsurprisingly the first person they encountered was their Auntie Doris, who had brought her beau, K’Plank the Space Wanderer, with her…

“Hello boys,” she called from the top of the Up ramp, “nice to see you back. Before you rush off on your new mission, K’Plank has some fatherly advice for you.”

“Indeed I do.” The former bad guy, but now totally reformed rotten egg, added. “I think you should take pause to consider those closest to you. Magnuss, Rudi, and Valentine: your girlfriends are undoubtedly pining for you: I think it best that you see them first – just in case something terrible were to happen to you in the new Age of Stone exhibit.”

Naturally the three brothers mentioned took on board these wise words, and before long Magnuss had invited Hair-Trigger for a quick snack at Mister Pong’s Exotic Food Restaurant…

…where he planned to tell her that he was off on another adventure without her. Naturally Pong’s daughters, Yu-Wah and Wah-Hey were there. And, whilst Mister Pong took Magnuss’ order, the girls tossed aside their waitress dresses and rushed off for a rendezvous with the eldest Earplug brothers…

“Hey girls,” Rudi said as the females appeared from a side corridor and matched velocity with them, “we were on our way to see you.”

“Sho’nuf were,” Valentine confirmed his brother’s words. “We got something to tell ya.”

“We know.” Yu-Wah replied. “Everyone does. It’s all over the museum.”

“When do you leave?” Wah-Hey added.

“We’re on our way there now.” Rudi answered unwisely. “We were just gonna stop off to say hello before we caught a travellator to the new exhibit.”

This didn’t go down well…

“You rotten, lousy, selfish gits.” Yu-Wah bellowed.

“I’m surprised you didn’t just give us a quick phone call, or maybe text us.” Wah-Hey added.

“And to think we left our posts to come see you.” Yu-Wah whined. “Magnuss took Hair-Trigger to Dad’s restaurant. He’s a proper boyfriend, he is: not like you two.”

“Yeah,” Wah-Hey snapped. “We hope you get lost in the Age of Stone – that’s what we do.”

“And we hope the toilets are blocked too.” Yu-Wah finished. “Goodbye.”

Well there wasn’t much either Earplug brother could think of to say, so they watched the waitresses disappear down the corridor from which they had emerged in a far better mood…

“They’ll get over it.” Rudi said in the resulting silence.

“Yeah, sure thing.” Valentine replied uncertainly. “But I hope that wasn’t some kind’a curse they just put on us: getting lost aint too bad; but the thought of blocked toilets just makes me quake in my funky disco boots.”

A half-hour elapsed before the quintet re-joined…

As he rallied his troops, Rudi made no mention of Yu-Wah and Wah-Hey’s displeasure. “Okay, guys,” he said, “let’s go kick some stone-age buttocks.”

With that, and with slightly trepidatious hearts, the five pinky-orange earplugs climbed the stainless steel ramp that led to the new exhibit…

They simply had no idea what to expect.

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Poor Old Tooty: The Aftermath.

Well, actually there hasn’t really been an aftermath – if you don’t include me giving up bananas as a precution. In fact, other than a poor taste of t-shirt, all appears well at Tooty Towers…

If they ever remake Star Trek again, they know who to call.

But wait, perhaps all is not as tickety-boo as it might appear. Look what happens when I raise the aforementioned t-shirt…

Oh-no, how can I go out in public in a piebald state?

Argh, they had to shave my manly chest for the ECG sensors. Now I’m a hirsute titty freak!

Poor Old Tooty!

I’m beginning to feel my age. Not only is my funny bone on hiatus – feeling lethargic in the humour department, you understand – but other things are becoming bothersome too. Woke up at 5am – feeling like shit. Tried to have shit: couldn’t. BIG PAIN. 7am finally faced the truth: not invincible: called National Health Service 111. 20 minutes later Ambulance arrives. Following an ECG and other stuff, taken here…

This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me

Following some anti-sickness stuff and a dash of morphine, it’s off to the land of nod. Miraculously (following the oft-interrupted, drug-induced, snooze) crippling pain gone. Spend rest of day being tested for everything under the sun. Eventually handed a cup of tea and a tuna sandwich and told: “If you can keep that down without it hurting, you can go home.” Went home. What was it? Who knows!

Snails Ruin Summer Memorial – Well Almost!

During the Summer of 2020 I was inspired to create a sort of reverse window box that I planned to attach to a wall that faced my sitting room window. I hoped that the flowers within it would brighten the view out through the window, and make the street look colourful and cheery too. I showed it to my (then ailing) wife, and she agreed that it would look very nice. Come Spring we planned to plant some seeds in it; but (if you’re a regular reader of this blog) you’ll know that she never saw the Spring. But I went ahead and did it anyway – as a Summer memorial to her. I selected Scabious and Cornflowers – coz they were her favourites. I added Calafornia Poppies as (what I considered) a perfect visual counterpoint. Well they all germinated – the Scabious and Cornflowers taking the lead role. But, to my horror, they were all destroyed overnight by a gang of marauding snails. Too late I applied the snail pellets. But then, as the endless rains of Summer gave way to a few days of sunshine, this happened…

Linzi’s reverse windowbox lives. And best still, those are late germinating Cornflowers at the far end of the box. Better late than never: success!

No Footpath! No Shit?

As I walked along a narrow, single carriageway back lane, the sides of which were strewn (nay, overwhelmed) with greenery gone bananas in a wet English Summer, I chanced upon a hidden sign…

With such an abundance of native plants hiding it, I couldn’t imagine why it was there. And upon closer scrutiny, I discovered this…

Regarding the immediate area I could see no reason for its presence.

“No Footpath?” I said. “No shit – I’d never have guessed.”

Somebody paid money to have this erected: why?