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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big Brother is watching you...

Well, it's Big Sister, really, in this particular instance. But the principle remains the same: always be careful, because you never know when you might be being observed...

I got a phone call in the office yesterday. From one of my colleagues. Who, as it happens, is on leave this week. But who had a burning question which clearly couldn't wait until we see one another again.

"What were you taking pictures of when you were leaning over the wall of the TA barracks yesterday morning?", she asked.

Fortunately, there is an innocent answer to that question. And one which doesn't involve muscular young men in combat fatigues.

I was taking photographs of ice.

The previous morning, the sun had got just warm enough to melt some of the frost off the iron railings which are on top of the wall. This fell into tiny drops and made weeny little puddles which landed on nice, soft, cushiony moss, so stayed intact. By Sunday morning, they had frozen solid. They'll be frosted over themselves by now, but here's what they looked like on Sunday.

And that is why I was teetering on my tiptoes and giving every appearance of being fascinated by the barracks.

The Editor
(By the way, who knew moss could do impressions of the Millenium Dome, eh?)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More tea, vicar?

So, here's the thing.

I hear on the morning news that Whittard's of Chelsea (hereinafter referred to simply as "Whittard's") is at risk of being the next major high street retailer to founder in what nobody is ever going to persuade me to call "the credit crunch". (Oh, how I hate that sort of sound bite journalism! A crunch is either something you put in a bowl for your breakfast, or something rather unpleasant you inflict on your abdominal muscles. But I digress...)

Having patronised Whittard's china section for many a long year, I am concerned to hear that it may not be available for me to peruse for very much longer.

I have only, to the best of my recollection, broken one plate ever. In my entire life. (Although plates of mine have been, on occasion, broken by visiting males of the species.) Nevertheless, despite the care I take of my crockery, the rules of my life are such that, should my preferred source of crockery dry up, my entire existing stock will immediately fall prey to some sort of terrible, plate-smashing cataclysm. After which I will be forced - horror of horrors - to replace it with things which match!!

So I determine at once that I will head Whittard's-wards after work.

I want to do my bit to add to their takings for the day, so that the business looks as attractive as it possibly can to any potential buyers.

And that's what I do.

I buy some plates, and some dishes, and a mug which appears to have a cartoon picture of Bertie on it. And then I have to get a taxi home because I daren't carry such fragile - not to mention heavy - items home on a two-days-before-Christmas bus on which the passengers are crammed together in a manner which even sardines would eschew as being downright invasive of their personal space.

And then, once I'm home, I read this.

And discover that my loyalty wasn't needed after all.

But, hey: at least I have some plates, and some dishes, and a mug which appears to have a cartoon picture of Bertie on it.

The Editor

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Once in royal David's city...

Those inventive people at Utility (you remember: the company from whom Dame Honoria purchased her very own superlambanana keyring) have outdone themselves this Christmas in combining a traditional window-dressing theme with something far more idiosyncratic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the superlambananativity scene!

It is entirely ridiculous, but hugely endearing.

The large, (not cheap!), garden-ready, superlambanana models have been decked out as kings, shepherds, Mary and Joseph. There are crowns. There are tea towels. There are even little rope circles to keep the tea towels in place. (The superlambanana skull is entirely the wrong shape to accommodate the standard tea-towel-held-on-by-rope-circle shepherd's outfit: however; given that the whole shebang is inherently so absolutely daft, the teetering tea towels merely add to the charm.)

And there is a weeny, pink superlambababyjesus right in the middle, tucked into a little basket. Sorry, manger.

Having seen this display on Tuesday afternoon when, for once, the only camera I had about my person was the one which is integral to my mobile phone, I determined to return this morning, and to do so sufficiently early for the pavements to be relatively empty. Of course, the downside of that sort of timing is the reflection of the Biffa waste truck in the shop window...
(I did, though, inadvertently manage to capture for posterity the hanging display of superlambanana keyrings.)

Good people of Utility, Lady Bracknell's editor salutes your inventiveness and your creativity! Long may you continue to delight us with your talent for window-dressing, and to stock our beloved superlambanana-related souvenir products!

The Editor

Monday, December 15, 2008

Songs from the musicals #1

Fiddler on the Roof:-



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

Look who I found lurking in an alcove in St George's Hall this afternoon!

It's one of Santa's reindeer!

(Is the plural of "reindeer", "reindeer" or "reindeers"? The plural of "deer" is "deer": does the addition of "rein" make a difference? Would it make a difference if there were reinsheep? Or reingrouse? And what were reindeer/s called before they were sufficiently domesticated to be persuaded to wear reins and pull sledges?)

Oh, ok: it's clearly not one of Santa's reindeer/s, is it? It's an extremely thinly-disguised superlambanana. But, hey - you'll never hear me complaining about the arrival of a new and/or improved superlambanana. No, not even one as ludicrous as this.

I can't find any hard evidence to back up my suspicions, but I think this may be Our George after a nice rub down with several grades of sandpaper and a generous coat of some sort of high-shine sealant. Our George's perch was, after all, on St George's Plateau. So he's a local boy. And he was in such a mess by the end of the run that I suspect he wouldn't have fetched a very high asking price.

All of which leads me on to the exciting (for some of us) news that the long-awaited superlambanana book is finally available. Although, given that the cover price is £8, I'm really not sure how Cities500 can justify charging £13.20 to post it second class to a UK address... If you're willing to wait until they have it in stock, Amazon would be a much cheaper option.

The Editor

Friday, December 12, 2008

The wonder of

Lady Bracknell wishes it to be known that her enthusiasm for reducing her household expenses is not so indiscriminate as to enable her, in all conscience, to look a Woolworth's employee in the eye whilst availing herself of tins of biscuits which have been dramatically reduced in price.

Indeed, she finds it astonishing that so few seasoned bargain-hunters appear to share her scruples in this matter.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Man of Mystery

There is a statue of a one-legged swimmer - or, possibly, diver - outside Southport's ironically-named "Funland".

I took this photograph of him.

I thought it would be easy to find out his identity.

I was wrong.

I have exhausted every combination of search terms I can think of, but Google is giving me nothing. (Apart from telling me that there is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria and one of Red Rum in Southport. But I knew that.)

If you know - or can find out - who he is, please put me out of my misery and tell me.

(Actually, that should probably read, "Please put me out of my misery by telling me". It would be a bit bloody mean not to tell me until after you'd put me out of my misery. Particularly if you had taunted me with the fact that you knew beforehand...)

The Editor

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bit chilly

Um, I wouldn't say it's cold, or anything....