bookmark_borderWhoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

I stumbled across the above Groucho Marx quote and it reminded me of my very misspent youth..

Growing up in Belfast in the late 70’s my priorities were the following;

  1. Get a car
  2. Get a girlfriend

This was the priorities of all my testosterone drenched mates too.

Sure we had the Troubles going on but a car, and a girlfriend, that took all our attention. Staying alive? Nah, getting sporty rims on the car? MUCH more important.

I’d just swapped my old bone shaker Ford Escort for a Ford Capri which had a sunroof – somewhat of an oxymoron if you lived in Belfast with its constant rain! With my new car I was able to persuade Freya, a work colleague, to come out on a few dates with me. Yes, we were SO shallow ‘dem days.

One Saturday evening I met up with Freya and took her up the Craigantlet Hills (not a euphemism BTW), to admire the enchanting views over the magical city we’d come to know as home. In reality everyone knew you only went up the Craigantlet Hills to get frisky.

So, it’s dark and I’ve parked the car in the direction of the city, ahead of us are some woods but surprisingly for a Saturday night the car park is empty.

We’re in the car, getting hot and steamy when suddenly Freya jumps!

I ask what’s wrong and she says there’s someone outside! It was dark, the darkness being the reason why everyone went there but by the moonlight she thought she could see something moving quickly between the bushes… fucking perverts!

I turned around to look and looked and looked but I couldn’t see anything. So I said relax, probably just a fox. We carried on snogging for a bit when she suddenly let out a yelp and pointed out the window. I turned around and was gobsmacked to see black shadows sprinting across the road. I thought Shit! There was! I could see shadows moving quickly down the road!

Suddenly there was a knock on window!

Fuck! I nearly kecked my pants!! My heart leapt into my mouth!

Quivering, I wiped the steamed-up windows and looked up. Standing by the door were two soldiers in camouflage with their faces and hands blackened out. Oh God! Then it dawned on me, it was one of those army undercover patrols, they go off on patrols for three or four days at a time, keep an extremely low profile and watch certain areas for terrorist activity, probably SAS or something like that..

So that was what Freya saw running across the road, it was a group of soldiers out on patrol, all blacked out and running from field to field.

I wound the window down. A soldier asked to see some ID, I passed out my drivers license, he checked my number plate on his radio and then asked what we were up to?

‘ermm…just… know…ermmm..necking..’

And he looked at me, grinning and said those immortal words;

“Well sir, probably best if put your neck back in your trousers and get home..”

We were mortified!

For all we knew they could have been watching us for ages!

We never went back there..



bookmark_borderIce Cream is VERY important..

When we were growing up in Belfast during the early 70’s life was just normal, or from our 8yr old perspective it was normal, there was the usual kids telly from 5pm each weekday; Scooby-Doo, Blue Peter, Magpie, Mr Ben, Captain Pugwash, The Magic Roundabout. And at the weekend we were all up early to watch The Banana Splits and The DoubleDeckers before the exceedingly boring Grandstand started with all that football nonsense, all watched on our huge B&W telly, just normal life for kids everywhere.

But then one afternoon when my sister and I were doing our school homework at the living room table mum rushed in and switched on the telly. The news was on and there were people rioting in the streets. We were normally in bed before the news came on but we watched this while pretending to do our homework.

I whispered to my sister “Why are they all fighting, what’s going on?” To which my sister replied “Well, them ones on that side STOLE AN ICE CREAM VAN and those ones are trying to get it back!”

My jaw fell open! “WHAT! How could they do that?! I don’t believe it! How DARE they steal the ice cream van, what are we gonna do for ice cream!! I’m going out there to help them, I’m going out there to fight!” Shocked! I was absolutely furious! I was so upset!

And for a surprisingly long time that’s what I thought all the fighting was all about and that’s why all those policemen were out there patrolling the streets, ice cream was REALLY important. I told my friends and they had the same reaction, they couldn’t believe it!

And isn’t it interesting how we as kids brought terrible terrible things down to our own perspective?

Fifty plus years later and when I see Mr Whippy these days I do a quick check around just to make sure everything’s OK 😉

bookmark_borderI got my first toothbrush when I was nearly 12

I was going into hospital with an appendix emergency so mum thought she’d better buy me one. I gave her a confused ‘WTF is this?’ look..

She hadn’t bought one before as there were nine of us kids and money was tight. At least we weren’t mad like that couple next door – they had thirteen kids. Hey, it’s not a competition!

That’s what it was like growing up in the 60/70’s. When we went out to play after school there was a swarm of us kids in the streets, kicking balls, playing games and generally getting away from our parents – and older brothers. We were like a plague of locusts, spreading across the streets and fields.

And it wasn’t ALL bad news coming from a large family, there were actually certain advantages. When I was at school nobody picked on me because they knew there was an army of brothers in the background waiting the kick the shit out of anyone who gave me grief. And even better, the toilet seat was never cold, because usually someone had just got off it!

We were only allowed to watch telly when the weather was terrible. The huge heavy telly, a 18 incher, was mum and dads domain, we weren’t allowed to touch it. If we were lucky (and it was pouring outside!) we could watch The Flintstones, Pinky & Perky, and that brilliant new Scobby Doo. We never figured out who the baddie was in each episode, thank goodness Daphne had the smarts!

We bathed once a week, usually at the weekend, me and my sister in the same bath, no shampoo, just huge lumps of red Lifebuoy soap and lots of scrubbing. I don’t think I had a bath to myself until my sister started to develop boobs. From then on I had to have my weekly bath after her, in her dirty cooling water. I reckon she peed in it too. At least it warmed up the bathwater a bit..

During the cold winter months, we’d wake up with ice on the inside of the window pane. There was no central heating, never knew it existed, mum would light a fire in the living room. We became expert fire lighters from a very early age – and sit as close as possible to the fire, one side of you went red with the heat and the other side was blue with the cold draught. We’d swap around, like those rotisseries chickens, to ensure we were cooked on both sides.

The coalman would come around once a week. And the breadman – he had huge long drawers(!) that he pulled out and mum picked the bread she needed – always Sunblest. White! I don’t recall there being Wholemeal bread, at least not until those Hovis ads appeared on the telly. For some weird reason the breadman also sold shandy. We got a bottle once when young teenagers, drank it and were drunk for the rest of the day. Yabba-Dabba-Doo! (or don’t in this case!)

One day in the 70’s I came home from school and mum had rented a colour television from Radio Rentals. We were amazed. We sat there for ages watching horse racing on the telly in COLOUR…look at the green green grass, the colours of the jerseys. It was like being at the cinema! And the evening snooker matches on BBC2 were so much easier to follow!

There were four of us in my bedroom, two sets of bunk beds. My biggest dream was to have a lockable box that I could put my things into, safe from my brothers nicking them. Trying to sneak out during the middle of the night for a pee was fraught with danger – step on a toy or bit of Lego, wake them up and you’d get a torrent of abuse. I learnt to creep around very quietly at night. Little did I know this was good training for my career as a cat burglar. Meowww.

One night I was desperate to have a pee so I crept extremely quietly out of bed and down the inky blackness of the stairs. It was pitch black and I didn’t dare switch on a light and wake everyone up. I felt for the banister and snook down hoping mum hadn’t left any ironing on the stairs. As I gingerly inched down the stairs I suddenly felt a cold hand touch mine. I screamed. My brother screamed. He’s been sneaking back up! Everyone was awake. A torrent of verbal abuse followed. The next time I tried that I checked the other beds first!

bookmark_borderWhy witches get a ‘bad press’.

 What do you learn in witch school? Spelling.
What do you learn in witch school? Spelling.


Up until the end of the 15th century nobody really thought about witches, some people believed in them but they were seen as a minor fact of life, nobody bothered much about them. If someone was found to be a witch the usual punishment was a day in the stocks and then release. But then in 1484, a Dominican clergyman, Heinrich Kramer, made an attempt at prosecuting alleged witches in his Tyrol region.

It was not a success, mostly because of Kramer’s obsessive sexual interest in one of the accused, Helena Scheuberin, which led the other tribunal members to suspend the trial. He was expelled from the city of Innsbruck and dismissed by the local bishop as “senile and crazy”.

So, obsessed with witches, Heinrich Kramer wrote a book in 1486, the Malleus Maleficarum, usually translated as the Hammer of Witches. It is full of crazy ideas;

• Woman become witches by sleeping with the devil and signing a pact on his anus.
• Witches deprive men of their viral member and keep nests of penis’s in trees.
• Witches kill and eat new-born babies.

Midwives, with their unquestioned access to newly born (and hence unbaptised) children, at a time of high infant mortality, were an easy target for conspiracy theories. The book contains details instructions on how to capture, torture and kill witches. The best theologians of the time condemned the book as recommending unethical and illegal procedures, as well as being inconsistent with Catholic doctrines of demonology. The Clerical establishment by and large think Kramer is nuts and he is denounced by the church.

There are very few copies of his book, twenty at most, but then a new technology arrives.

The Printing Press.

Because of this new technology, Kramer’s dark fantasy, that every town, every village is riddled with sex obsessed witches goes viral. For nearly two hundred years sales of his book are second only to that of the Bible. And because of relatively easy access to the book, witch fever grew, spreading via major trade routes across Europe and to the New World.

There was not a shred of evidence that anyone was actually guilty of satanic witchcraft during the witch craze. People were convicted on the basis of malicious gossip, natural phenomena such as animals and children dying, animals appearing near their houses, the use of traditional herbal remedies, and the exchange of cross words. The accused would frequently say anything to escape the agonies of torture.

Turns out the invention of this new technology, the printing press, was a double edged sword. It obviously allowed the education of the masses (slowly, but surely) but at the same time for two hundred years hundreds of thousands of innocent people, nearly all woman, were tortured and burned alive.

Mark Twain is alleged to have said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”. And now we have the invention of the internet and with it some mad COVID theories; 5G networks are causing it, COVID doesn’t actually exist, all those doctors and nurses are in on the act, the vaccine is a way of implanting Bill Gates microchips in the population, etc etc.

Even though all these stories were quickly debunked and proven untrue, the pervasiveness of misinformation and conspiracy theories on social media and in the news cycle has led the Director-General of the World Health Organization to warn that “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic. Fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus, and is just as dangerous”.

There’s an old Chinese curse which translates as “May you live in interesting times..”, we certainly are, aren’t we?

bookmark_borderShared a moment

A doctor came to see me at work here in south London, he needed some tech support and noticing my accent he asked me where was I from? I told him a little fishing port in Northern Ireland, a longggggg time ago.

I looked at him and knew immediately he was ex-army. When you grow up through ‘The Troubles’ you know instinctively who’s army/police and who’s not, it’s a survival instinct.

He said to me “I lost a few mates over there in ’85, all at the same time”.

And he looked at me, I looked at him and we both know what he’s talking about, I’ve heard this before and there’s very little you can say apart from “I’m so so sorry, it was a terrible terrible time..” and we shared the moment..

And he continued, in a very sombre tone “Aye, they were in an army truck…” and I know what’s coming next, a fucking massive roadside bomb..

“and a tree fell on them..!”

“apparently the IRA planted it”

Fuck me! Bastard! IT’S THAT OLD JOKE! I burst out laughing, more out of relief, thinking thank Christ!

He had me going there for a minute, SUCH an old joke! I just didn’t expect to hear it in a hospital in south London of all places, he well and truly caught me out. I wonder just how long he’d been waiting for that moment, 35 years?? His life is now complete, I bet he punched the air when he left the office!

bookmark_borderTo shave or not to shave. Now THAT is the question!

Beards and soup are mortal enemies
Beards and soup, mortal enemies

It’s the start of summer 2020 and I’ve been avoiding my fellow (in)human beings since early March. Walking the streets of London these last few months feels like accidentally straying onto a Zombie movie set, where is everyone? The first time I really noticed it was when I was walking up the road and a woman nearly threw herself into the hedge trying to avoid me (the story of my life sweetheart, the story of my life!)  

My feeling is this is going to go on for a few years (!) and I’ve been thinking my usual left of field thoughts. I wish I was a Hamster and could hibernate, or go into suspended animation until a working vaccine is available. And then I was wondering, how come in SciFi movies everyone comes out of suspended animation clean shaven and not looking like furballs? I’ve stopped shaving as frequently, sporting the Werewolf look, what’s the point, and now I’m wondering why we actually shave?

Historically, shaving was simply more hygienic. Lice were rampant but washing in freezing cold water wasn’t something to look forward to. Alexander the Great told his soldiers to shave because it was easier to fight and avoid beard grabbing. Men who did not shave were considered barbarians.

But why do woman shave the parts of their bodies that aren’t pubicly – sorry publicly – visible? Social convention? Hugh Hefner and Playboy didn’t help, it seems to me that the big push came around that period (ouch!) but I’d love to know what the Victorians attitude was. Most of us have access to clean water for washing, so the lice argument is null and void and yet we’ve become accustomed to shaving frequently. On average men spend about 125 days per lifetime shaving and research by Emma Leslie of shows these surprising figures for ladies;

Shaving legs- 72 days a lifetime
Styling hair- 294 days a lifetime
Plucking eyebrows – 30 days a lifetime
Taking off your make-up- 52 days a lifetime
Applying fake tan- 12 days a lifetime
Dying your hair- 23 days a lifetime
Body moisturising- 44 days a lifetime
Painting nails- 20 days a lifetime
Exfoliation- 20 days a lifetime
Pedicures-11 days a lifetime

Of course this is from the very selective audience of a beauty products website so the figures are going to be VERY slanted, I don’t know anyone who spends 12 days, or even 12 minutes applying fake tan which reminds me of this little story.

A long time ago I was sharing a flat with a female friend. She was going through a dry run re: boyfriends but one morning I was having a shower and the shower pan started to fill up with water. I was puzzled and mentioned this to my housemate. She looked suitably embarrassed and said “Oh, I’ve got a date tonight – so thought I’d better get the razor blade out..!” Gross!

ANYWAY…. the interesting aspect of all this social isolation is it gives one time to really think and ruminate, to take stock and figure out what kind of person you really are. We never really get much chance to think and ruminate, do we? We start school and then it’s full on until retirement, study study study work work work boom dead! But now we’ve got time to think and ruminate, to really focus on the bigger life questions; where are you going, how is your life, what do you really want, what is the meaning of life, are you going to eat that last Rolo, you know, just the important stuff..

George Sands wrote “There is only one happiness in this life; to love and be loved.” I agree with this sentiment to some degree but George Sands has obviously never tried a White Chocolate Magnum ice lolly on a hot summers day! I think there are many many happiness spread all through our lives, just walking around the (now packed!) park yesterday listening to the children laughing/playing and the birds singing brings me and I’m sure everyone a sense of happiness.

As Philip Gould approached his final days he wrote movingly in the Guardian “I live by the day. Just sitting in the park, looking at the flowers thinking how beautiful they are. It’s almost … not hallucinogenic but it’s a much stronger feeling than previously. For me, at the moment, going for a walk in the park with Gail is heaven.” We, who can see this, understand this, it brings deep joy.

bookmark_borderBelfast 1976. Troubles..what Troubles?

I recently found the above video of Belfast from 1976. Goodness, that brought back memories! My friends and I were regular visitors to the city centre, mostly because the shops at home were crap, These days we are all used to Amazon shopping but to my 15 year old self everything of importance was in the mecca of Belfast, a range of comics, toys, gadgets and games that was impossible to source anywhere else.

To get into the city centre we had to go through security barriers, these barriers surrounded a two mile wide section of the centre so it was stop and get searched, everyone, old, young, babies as well. The security people would wave an electronic magic wand over your body that apparently detected explosives! Then it was into one of the large department stores but again checked at the entrance, the ladies would have their handbags checked again. After a while this just became instinctive, it became a matter of life, a habit, you could only enter a store via one door and you’d automatically raise your arms to be searched at the door.

My first trip overseas (well, to us the Isle of Man was overseas, we had to get a boat there!) was a revelation, I walked into Marks & Spencer and stopped by the door waiting to get searched, the customers behind me walked past me, it was very strange NOT to get frisked when entering a large store. Old habits..

Even when I moved to London it took me quite some time to get out of the reflex of looking for the security guy to frisk me, it’s interesting what becomes ‘normal’. Walking around in Belfast you’d become oblivious to the bombed/firebombed shells of stores, life went on. Every five years or so the IRA would place car bombs in our local town and blow up the Co-op, Woolworths and Wellworths, there was a rhythm to it and we all just got used to it.

I know this may seem frankly bizarre to non-war torn cities but here’s two points to remember.

  1. On the telly there may have been a mob of rioters throwing stones and petrol bombs(!) at the police and army, BUT at the same time there were 1.5 million people NOT throwing stones and petrol bombs at the police.
  2. My friends and I were surrounded by armed police and army in ‘meat wagons’, loyalist and paramilitary groups marching around (when the coast was clear), frequently I watched controlled explosions of suspect devices, I was there when bombs went off in my home town and in Belfast, all this was happening; kneecapping, rioting, murders – but to a 15 year old living through all this, my greatest stress BY FAR was making sure I got my Maths homework in on time to Mr Macaulay, our dreaded Maths teacher! Life is strange, isn’t it?

bookmark_borderThe joy (and burden) of the sisterhood.

Ladies who do lunch

I was wandering around Sainsburys this morning when along came a little girl chat-chat-chat-chat-chat-chatting away with her dad. I watched them slowly go down the aisle with this constant chat between them. Everyone was smiling. It was super sweet to see, and yet just another reminder just how verbally stunted we men as a species are.

The longer I walk this planet the more time I have to observe life, and more importantly, re-form my opinions!

This has been happening quite a lot these last few years. I’m becoming increasingly aware of the differences betwix the two sexes and increasingly envious, yes, envious, of almost every women’s ability to communicate, to network, to be part of such a big collective, a sisterhood, in ways we men can only imagine.

Despite constant and pervasive historic neurosexism, modern neuroscientists have identified no decisive, category-defining differences between the brains of men and women. In women’s brains, language-processing is not spread any more evenly across the hemispheres than it is in men’s, as a small 1995 Nature study proclaimed but a large 2008 meta-analysis disproved.

So it’s a mystery to me (and the subscribers of Nature) as to why women are so expert in communication (and the subtle nuances) and men seem to be real dullards. The current thinking is that the brain is no more gendered than the liver or kidneys or heart but women’s brains are thought to be wired for empathy and intuition, whereas male brains are supposed to be optimized for reason and action. Most of us remain strapped in the “biosocial straitjackets” that divert a basically unisex brain down one culturally gendered pathway or another

I watch family, friends and work colleagues chatting away ten to a dozen, and how important it is, how natural, how fulfilling, it’s that networking, the social oil between each other that makes me so envious. We don’t get that, we have to go to football matches in tribes to even get a glimpse of that comradeship that comes naturally to almost every woman I know. We men are walking this planet tongued tied and handicapped.

When does this difference start? A colleague thinks it starts at school, that great big melting pot of primary school is torn asunder with our tendency to split high school into boys/girls only. But I think it starts off even earlier than that, my own anecdotal evidence suggests right from learning the first few words of a language. Observing very young children it’s obvious that it’s the girls that do much more of the chatting, just like the little girl in Sainsburys this morning. Boys tend to be much quieter and when the dreaded puberty and high school hits we shut down even more, resorting to grunts. If you’ve ever had the (mis)fortune to sit on a bus that’s just picked up a load of high school girls going home the clatter is almost deafening. That wasn’t how it was on our school buses, there was very little chat – apart from the sixth formers at the back, hurling the usual abuse at everyone, which wasn’t conducive to friendly chat!

As I get older, my overriding impression is that a women’s world is so much richer than a man’s, we walk this planet almost completely switched off. Of course, this is a generalisation, guilty as charged. There are blokes who can talk the hind leg off a donkey, I met up with two of them a while back and I just couldn’t get a word in edgewise, it’s like a competition between them. And the local drunks who stand outside the off licence seem to be engaged in constant seemingly pointless conversation between themselves – even if standing alone!

And I’m aware this can be a two-edged sword; woman seem to be more adept at the complexities of large group interpersonal relationships; who’s in, who’s out, and nuances that pass me by. We men only have the cello to play with but woman have the entire orchestra at their disposal. I know our lives are poorer for it.

bookmark_borderHappily Ever After


Are you sitting comfortably?

Dear children..

Once upon a time in a very strange land called Singledom, there lived an ever so slightly green (and occasionally windy) ogre called Grog. He wasn’t rich, famous or even particularly clever but he was kind, decent, had a good heart, and really, that’s all that mattered to him.

Before making the long trek to the land called Singledom he lived in a very popular land called Marriagedom where he had many great adventures, escapades, near misses and the occasional pratfall because, if truth be told, he really was quite an adventurous ogre! By some mysterious magic which he didn’t fully understand, he had somehow managed to grow two baby ogres (it was a mystery wrapped in an enigma), they turned out to be greener and much smellier than him! (Yes, I know, hard to believe!)

However, now he lived in Singledom and golly gosh, wasn’t it a spooky place, full of other ogres, old dragons and some really quite scary monsters, occasionally even he had quite a fright! He’d lived there for well more than ten years and yet even after all that time, he still hadn’t figured out the very odd ways there.. (Yes, he really was quite dim, an intellect rivalled only by garden tools)

For starters, he checked out some of the inmates – oops sorry, I mean inhabitants – passport photos and he was surprised at how different the photos were from the actual inhabitant. “I’ve put some weight on since that photo was taken” seemed to be a common refrain or “did I not mention my co-joined twin?”. In all fairness, it seems the male inhabitants of that land were very partial to the same behaviour too, one of his ogre friends went to meet her 6ft ‘athletic build’ ogre date, it turns out he was 4ft and circular! Cor blimey mate! I guess he worked in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!

And then there were the natives who didn’t actually live there, they were illegal immigrants! How naughty! Big chief ogre Trump nearly choked on his cornflakes! They earnestly told him they had full residential status but when he checked they actually lived in his old neighbourhood country Marriagedom and had sneaked into Singledom just to play with the toys! Hiss! Boo! Durty Rotten Scoundrels!

The other thing the green-ish one found a bit difficult was the language barrier. He spoke English (well, OK, maybe with quite a strong Irish brogue but still recognisably English!) but over there it was a very curious version. For example, he didn’t understand LOL, AFAIK, CU, FWIW or SFLR, he wondered – was it Welsh?

Plus the really odd names like BigButts and Glitterfarts, he would never name his little ogres that, no matter how smelly they got! He found grammar rules seemed very loose, a few of the natives didn’t seem to know the difference between there, they’re and their or your and you’re or to, too and two, and hadn’t a clue what a serial comma was (hint – you just passed one, now wash your hands).

And then there was the idea of an actual date. In the swamp where he was hatched, dating meant meeting up and spending time with the same lovely lady ogre, at least until they both decided they were flogging a dead horse (or a dead donkey!) (oh poor donkey!) but in Singledom they used an expression he had never come across before. Apparently one would date lots of ogres all at the same time and then eventually settle on one by saying “Shall we date exclusively?”

Well, he thought, that was very… ummm.. modern..

Singledom was awash with strange customs, some inhabitants appeared happy to write endless messages but when it came to actually meeting up they seemed extremely reluctant. This threw the green one somewhat, in his hatchling days this was known as ‘having a penpal’!

And some inhabitants seemed to have extremely poor social skills, they seemed incapable of saying anything more than “Hi”, “Hello” or “HiYa?”. The big green one suspected they just repeated the same message to everyone in Singledom parrot fashion no matter what but that would just be really annoying. Silly ogre, surely they wouldn’t do that, would they??

Then one day the green-ish one was contacted by a dusky maiden in a land far away called Nigeria. She told him that God had spoken to her in a dream and informed her that she and the green one were going to get married, have lots of little ogres and relocate to a magical castle in a land far far far far far away called Scotland. All he needed to do was send her 400 gold coins to buy a magic carpet and she’d be there in a jiffy.

He thought this sounded wonderful and readily agreed but did ask her as to why God just didn’t make the 400 gold coins appear on her pillow? Very confusingly, this angered her greatly, she swore at him and she cursed him, she cursed his little ogres and she cursed his pet hamster.

Snowy hasn’t been the same since!

Another time he was contacted by a Princess from the land called Arabia telling him that he was her dream ogre! Wow! She was very very much younger than him but a lovely shade of green and suitably round absolutely everywhere. He couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been betrothed to some gallant knight before him but he was really pleased and enormously complimented, this was more like it, she seemed completely genuine!

Then she told him a great secret, she had secreted away a huge treasure chest full of gold and silver coins! Wow! He couldn’t believe his luck! She wanted him to look after it for her and she would share it with him, she just needed his bank account details and she guaranteed he would get a large tax free share of it!!

Oh my goodness gracious me! What luck!

He wrote back immediately asking what a bank account was, (he’d never had one of those) but then tragedy must have struck because she immediately disappeared right after that. How peculiar..

One day another inmate contacted him from Singledom, she seemed just as genuine as all the other but he feared she had a broken pencil because her message was full of errors;

Hello, Nice meeting you,how are you? Hope your are alright. my name is sally! i have interest in you that makes me leave a massage for you and also I wants you as a friend also want you to right me. i like green skin. tell me were you leave and also send me your pictures; Is my plesure to meet you here in this site. Yours sincerly Miss sally!

Well, at least Miss Sally seemed completely legit.

One day he was contacted by another inmate, she seemed VERY friendly! Her name was Pussy Galore. She was having a party at her swamp with lots of other ogres and wondered if Grog would like to join them. She mentioned she had lots of swings installed and they would be having a swingers party! What fun. He couldn’t wait.

Then he thought he might try visiting the market town called Waitrose. He’d heard it was a very big market with lots of very high class tasty morsels. There was food too! He went there one afternoon with his wooden shopping cart hoping to fill it up with some beauties but all to no avail. He placed himself by the freezer cabinet and struck his best pose; chest out, bottom in but not one single damsel came along to help him. Oh Bother! He couldn’t stay there too long, it was very chilly on his willy!

Then he heard about Cinderella meeting her Prince Charming at the ball, so off he went to the local Tavern called Stringfellows. He put on his best suit and hit the dance floor, who could resist? He was sure he could impress the local maidens with his Monster Mash, his Gangnam Style Funky Chicken, his Mashed Potato and then his Hokey Cokey (cos that’s what it’s all about!). Sadly the maidens in Stringfellows were immune to his charms (and his Harlem Hustle) and he was asked to leave after being too enthusiastic with The Bump. Oh his poor Achy Breaky Heart.

Poor Grog, he was getting a bit bored with all the shenanigans of Singledom and wondered if a life as a trappist monk awaited him, or a life tending his swamp with his over-talkative donkey, he wasn’t sure which fate was worse.. He had travelled the length and breadth of Singledom, from the icy north beyond the Great Wall of Hadrian (protecting the island from the fearsome white walkers) to the very southern lands of ancient Cornish (who made the most delicious ice cream!) but all to no avail..

BUT THEN.. when he had pretty much given up..something happened. Completely randomly, after many many false starts he finally met a fair maiden called Mog, another long suffering inhabitant of Singledom. She had just as many tales to share with him, all of them sounding strangely familiar..

She had smarts, was strong, was feisty, could hold a tune and could out-stink even him! They spent a lot of time chatting, laughing, arm wrestling, mud bathing and cutting the cheese. It seemed too good to be true!

And then one evening Grog treated Mog with kindness, love, respect, tenderness, burned weevils and a lovely bunch of weeds when something absolutely magical happened, she rolled onto her back and was transformed into a purring pussycat!

Holy Smoke! This was cat-astrophic!

He was completely and utterly allergic to moggies!

He swore never ever to do that again!

(This explained why she was very mewsical!)

But Grog had fallen for her deeply, so he purrsuaded her to come with him to consult with the witch of Boots The Alchemist. She told them she couldn’t break the spell; treat Mog lovely and she would be transformed into a purring moggy….however, the witch could adjust the spell for a small fee, so instead of transforming into a cat – she would be transformed into a DOG! And not one of those silly yappie poodle dogs but a proper ogre sized dog, one that came up to his knees!

This was the best of both worlds; feisty, fighty, funny, flirty, frisky, farty and furry all rolled up into one, she was the ideal companion! His friends said she was literally a bit of a dog and a bit ruff-ruff but Grog didn’t give a hoot, he thought she was a real hot dog! He loved her very very much and soon afterwards they moved to the land called Happily Ever After

The End

bookmark_borderThe Meaning of Life?


On the very first day, God created the Ox. He said to the Ox, “As an Ox, you must go to the field with the farmer all day long. You will work all day under the sun! You will work hard to provide for your calves, they must always come first, and you will do this for 60 years.”
The Ox replied, “What? That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for 60 years? Let me have 20 years, that’s more than enough and the 40 years I’ll give back to you.”
So God said OK.

On the second day, God created the monkey. He said to the monkey, “You will entertain people. You’ll make them laugh, do monkey tricks, be mischievous and do this for 20 years”
The monkey protested. “What? Make them laugh? Do monkey faces and tricks? Ten years will do, and the other 10 years I’ll give you back.”
So God was getting annoyed but agreed.

On the third day, God created the dog. God said to the dog, “You are to sit all day by the door of your house. Any people that come past, you will bark at them and pass comment of them and do this for 20 years.”
The dog objected, “What? All day long to sit by the door? No way! I’ll give you back 10 years of life!”
So God was pissed but agreed.

On the fourth day, God created man and said to him, “Your job is to sleep, eat, and play. You will enjoy life very very much. All you need to do is to enjoy and do nothing. For this kind of life, I’ll give you a 20 year life span.” The man objected. “What? Such a good life! Eat, play, sleep, do nothing? Enjoy the best and you expect me to live only for 20 years? No way, man… why don’t we make a deal? Since the cow gave you back 40 years, the dog gave you back 10 years, the monkey gave you back 10 years, I will take them from you!” So God, really pissed now, agreed.

In our first 20 years, we eat, sleep, play, get taken care of, have no bills to pay, no responsibilities, enjoy the best and get to sleep in as long as we like..
THEN for the next 40 years, we work our arses off all day long, do overtime, sweat in our chosen field, worry and stress and do what it takes to support our family.
THEN for the next 10 years, we entertain our grandchildren by making monkey faces and monkey tricks and make them laugh and giggle. They absolutely love us.
AND for the last 10 years, we stay at home, sit by the front door and bark at everyone coming past and pass comment on them.
That is the meaning of life.

Woof! Woof!