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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

Monday, August 25, 2008

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu

Well, that's that. Despite mounting public pressure for them to be left in place, it is almost certain that the superlambanana flock will be chivvied onto trucks by the supersheepdogs early tomorrow morning and whisked off to ... well, who knows? Some sort of sheep fold, presumably.

Word on the street (oh, ok: in the local paper) is that 90 of them will reappear outside St George's Hall shortly prior to the charity auction on September 9th.

I am extremely proud to report that I managed to bag a nice, round one hundred of the revised total of 125. Given another month - and a lot more poring over bus route information, and being assured by bus drivers that they don't go where their route map says they go - I could have extended that total to include at least some of the superlambananas to the north of the city centre. But I would never have managed all of them. Some are simply too far off the beaten track, and others have been so badly damaged by the elements and/or vandalised that the supervets can't revive them.

Pottering around Liverpool by bus, train and Shanks's pony to bag superlambananas may seem, to someone who doesn't know me, like an odd thing in which to take pride. But the great joy of this whole, extended safari has been the fact that I could actually do it. Thanks entirely to twelve months of acupuncture, I am now the fittest I have been since before my second back injury four years ago. Rough calculations accomplished by means of an A-Z, a ribbon and a tape measure indicate that I walked more than two miles yesterday. (Yes, I'm paying for it today. Yes, it was only my determination to reach 100 which kept me going. No, it probably wasn't sensible. But I did it. Two months ago, I couldn't have even imagined doing it.)

Speaking of bus, train and Shanks's pony, having been hurried away from Tudorlambanana by a be-cagouled couple who leapt out of their car with their cameras poised, I am now firmly of the opinion that bagging superlambananas by car and sat nav is just cheating. At the very least, it's missing out on a lot of what goes to make up the full superlambanana safari experience. You're supposed to get rained on. You're supposed to discover to your horror that the A-Z failed to mention any number of really steep hills. You're supposed to get lost in your attempts to navigate down the crease between two pages of your only-slightly-out-of-date-honestly A-Z: that's how you get to meet lots of new people who are only too happy to give you directions to their superlambanana.

I am once more approaching my monthly bandwidth limit on Flickr, but I'll upload at least one picture of each of the last several superlambananas I photographed at the beginning of next month.

In the interim, I have discovered - after only about twenty pages of Google results - this website. I'm not quite sure who would want to shell out for prints of other people's photographs of the superlambananas, but it does at least provide you with a complete catalogue of the beasties. Not to mention these rather fab free wallpapers, and a rather fun book you can download and print off so that you or, more probably, your offspring, can design your own superlambanana. (I'm thinking of Alex, here. Alex, I am reliably informed by his mom, is entranced by the superlambananas.)

Superlambanana memorabilia have been disappointingly thin on the ground, but Utility is offering a couple of key rings and a colouring book. (I'm not 100% sure that link to my search results will work, but, if it doesn't, you can get to the right page by using the obvious search term.)

Favourites? Gosh, that's tricky. Supergrassbanana is hugely endearing. Superchromebanana is as classy as an exceedingly classy thing. I still have a soft spot for Superlamba-xray and child. Peel is a very clever idea, very well executed. If I were forced to choose just one, I'd probably plump for Cargo. But ask me on another day, and it might be something else.

If your own enthusiasm for the superlambananas equals that of Pop "Oh, I do hope there is a superlambanana map in my birthday parcel so that I can see where you have been" Larkin, you will be hugely relieved that the whole thing is over. So thank you for bearing with me. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

The Editor

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The wind is whistlin', the wind is whistlin' through the house...

So. It's Saturday morning. Quite early. I've been to Hunts Cross by train to catch Happy Feet, a late addition to the superlambanana flock, and I've got off the train on the return journey at Liverpool South Parkway so that I can have a wander up Mather Avenue in search of Springy.

Springy is supposed to be in the grounds of Springwood Heath primary school. Having sought him high and low, all I can say is, if he is there, he's extremely well camouflaged. Somewhat miffed, I trudge back towards the nearest bus stop through a grassy, wooded area.

And that's when I hear it. An unearthly, fluting, wailing noise. And it's very close. I glance around me in what I fondly imagine to be a nonchalant manner, looking for aliens. Or, failing aliens, a mischievous small boy with a blade of grass between his flattened palms, and suspiciously-pursed lips. The grassy, wooded area is singularly devoid both of aliens and rubicund, Just William-esque small boys.

"What must have happened", I say to myself in a soothing, explanatory manner, "is that somebody has thrown something hollow up into the tree branches. If it was winter, you could probably see the hollow thing, and then there'd be no mystery at all. And no reason to worry."

Hardly worried at all, I break the sticky crip land speed record getting out from under the trees and onto the nice, sensible pavement. Which doesn't screech at me. For this relief, much thanks.

Next stop Speke Retail Park, because I'm hoping to be able to get close enough to Peel to photograph him. I've passed by him at speed a couple of times in the Dude's Rolls Canardly, from which luxuriously-appointed vantage point it has looked as though there is no pedestrian access at all. But, as ever, when one is on foot, the situation is entirely different.

Resting my camera on the useful barrier some kindly town planner has seen fit to erect to prevent reckless individuals from hurtling full pelt into the converging streams of traffic, I hear the fluting, hooting, wailing noise again. It's very loud and it's coming from somewhere very close to my right ear.

Steadying my camera - which, for some reason, has developed a mysterious wobble - I reason that I must have brought the noise with me. And that either I have an invisible alien perched lightly on my right shoulder, or the noise is being created by something I'm carrying. Or, indeed, wearing.

Suddenly - as they used to say in the old adverts for colourless Coca Cola - everything is clear. The wind is whistling through the hollow glass bead in my earring. There are no aliens. Leastways, none which announce their presence with fluting, wailing noises. I just happen to be wearing an earring which goes (rather aptly) bananas when the wind catches it at a certain angle.

Once the penny has dropped, of course, I spend the rest of the morning inclining my head at increasingly bizarre angles in the hopes that it will happen again. Which it does. But not unless I'm in a position which does nothing for my reputation as a sober and upright member of the local community.

If nothing will now do but that you purchase yourself - or someone you want to scare out of her wits - earrings with a built-in ghostly wail, I believe that LauraMae still has some for sale which are deftly-fashioned from blown glass beads.

Pop - who makes extravagant and unsubstantiated claims to be my friend - laughed so much when I related this anecdote to him that I thought his sides were in genuine danger of splitting. What a kind man he is!

The Editor

Monday, August 18, 2008

Health & Safety

Wise words from my employer's brand new, mandatory, online health and safety training package:

“Furthermore, our relationships with colleagues will be enhanced if we take care and avoid harming them.

Today, behaviour that causes unnecessary pain or injury to others is regarded as socially and morally unacceptable.”

I swear on the Dude's life that the above has been lifted directly from the screen, and has not been subjected to my habitual satirical tinkering. That being the case, I am quietly confident that it needs no further comment from me.

The Editor
(Still recuperating from weeks of building work, but hoping to be back in the blogosphere on a regular basis 'ere long)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Things you learn...

Liverpool has superlambananas.

Norwich, on the other hand, has elephants.

The Editor

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I wish that my room had a floor...

My lovely builders - of whom very much more later, once they have moved out and I have had a little breathing space - have forbidden me to wear blue to work tomorrow.

There is a very good reason for this.

Much kudos to anyone who can correctly guess that reason.

The Editor