Thursday 9 November 2023

From the archives: 'Mairzy Doat's A Female Deer.'


'Pooh, what are you doing?'
'Keeping the old vocal nodules at bay, Piglet. Dohdohdohdohdoh...
Figaro here, Figaro there, Figaro every fu--'
'What for?'
'My chance to shine, Piglet. My chance to showcase all my hums on that TV show.'
'TV show?'
'"Let's Have A Butcher's At Yer Voice, Then".'
'It's "I Can See Your Voice".'
'That's what I said.'
'So which, er, hum to you propose--?'
'A crowd-pleaser, Piglet. A rousing singalong.'
'Oh, yes?'
'"Mairzy Doat's A Female Deer".'
'I think it's "Doh A Deer".'
'I know what it is, Piglet. Always brings a tear to the old eye when Mary Poppins sings it to that Trappist family high in the Austrian Alfs.'
'It's actually The Sound Of--'
'Success, Piglet. And it'll be all mine. Marvellous song. Halfway through the first verse there's that commotion at the back of the circle. Then this Mother Superior sings,
I've just decked a nun
called Mariaaah -
And suddenly that dame
Is walking somewhat lame - you seeeee".'
'That's not how I remember the film you don't remember at all.'
''Course, they have to get a move on with the old "Mairzy Doats." Next thing you know, all those German planes are heading their way.'
'The Luftwaffe.'
'The Stroopwaffel. Exactly. That's when they all have to clear know, climb every mountain, drive Fords across every stream.'
'I think it's "ford every stream", Pooh. As in get across --'
'Though I can't see how they can climb and drive at the same time. Then there's that bit,
"Climb every mountain,
Search high and low."
I mean, you're not going to clock a mountain if you search low, are you? There you are, snout to the ground...your average What'sthematterhorn isn't going to yell "Oi! I'm up here".'
'Pooh, I think--'
'I suppose that's what they call the mystique of cinema.'
'I suppose.'
'Anyway, I'll have a gala time on that show. Very genial host, you know. Paddy McGinty.'
'It's Paddy McGuinn--'
'An Irishman of note, he is. Fell in for a fortune and - bam! - suddenly and unexpectedly advanced himself in goat-fancying circles.'
'Paddy McGuinness, Pooh. And he's from near Bolton.'
'I have no idea to whom who toom you refer, Piglet.'
'I...oh, good luck, Pooh.'
'Thank you, Piglet. And you will come along? The old moral support? Front row?'
'I'll be somewhere.'
'Spendid! Now...lalalalalaaa...mememememeeeeee....Jules-Rimet-fat-solar-flare-tee-dious!'


Sunday 8 October 2023

Pooh, meditation and minefieldness (with added Vera Lynn and Jimmy Cliff)

 'Pooh, I was wondering -'

'Shhh, Piglet.'
'Why? What's happening?'
'Let us betake ourselves unto the zone.'
'What zone? Oh, don't tell me someone's slung up an installation right here in -'
'Silence, Piglet. Silence. Tigger says it's essential to mediate. You know, let your mind go plonk.'
'Why should we do that?'
'Words, Piglet. Tigger says that sometimes they can be swords when they should be fraushoes.'
'It's that honey, isn't it? Moment I saw "Produce of Colombia" I just knew--'
'That whereof of which we know whatnot, thereof let us know not it.'
'So…if you don't know something you shouldn't talk about it?'
'When's that stopped Tigger?'
'For it is written, Piglet: let your yea be yea and your shush be shush.'
'Biblical, is that?'
'Oh, Piglet, Piglet. Jimmy Cliff. 1968. Top tune.'
'I think he might have got it from -'
'He sang about the White Cliffs of Dover, you know. Just like Miss Lynn.'
'I don't think Mr Cliff had quite the same experience of Dover as -'
'Your mind, Piglet, your mind is like unto the sky.'
'What's this "like unto" business?'
'Your thoughts are like clouds, Piglet, having a proper old scud. Happy thoughts. Airy thoughts. Then, all of a sudden, sad thoughts. Not all that very nice thoughts.'
'No, Pooh, that's minefieldness.'
'Not mediation?'
'You mediate between things.'
'Ah. Like the devil and the old brown cow?'
'Deep blue sea, Pooh.'
'Oh, code now, is it? Well, purple sparrow to you.'
'No, it's a saying that -'
'Sorry, Piglet, I'm in the zone. Ow…ow…'
'Oum, Pooh.'

Tuesday 3 October 2023

From The Archives: Rabbit Re-Imaged on National Poetry Day

 'Well, Pooh, it's all go....'

'Really?  I'm sorry I missed it.'
'No, no, Thursday. National Pootling Day.'
'Oh, that, yes.'
'Tigger's been visioning Rabbit.'
'He doesn't want to make a habit of that.'
'It means getting him ready for his poetry launch.'
'Oh, really?'
'Yes. He has a proper poet name and everything.'
'Proper poet name? "Rabbit" not good enough?'
'Well it would have been last year. Tigger says that National Ptomaine Day '15 was all about channelling the edgeland-glade-and-wistful-wood vibe, so "Rabbit" would have done nicely. But as Tigger also says, we were then in the then then but now we're now in the now.'
'He does know he's talking out loud?'
'Yes. Tragically. Anyway, they found a name format that's been lying around for a few months because the previous owner no longer has need of it. Having…you know…'
'Having what?'
'Gone to meet his Mater.'
'Oh…oh, you mean that Mr Bowie.'
'No the other one…the one word--'
'Yes. Only he stopped being that and became The Artist Formerly Known As Prance.'
'So Rabbit became what?'
'The Poet Formerly Known As Rabbit.'
'Doesn't make sense…'
'No, they realised that--'
'I mean, Mr Prance, that was his name. He could stop using it and keep prancing.'
'Yes, Pooh, they--'
'Whereas Rabbit is called Rabbit and is a rabbit.'
'Pooh, they did--'
'He can't un-Rabbit himself, National Potiphar Day or not.'
'Pooh, they modified it.'
'Tigger and his PR.'
'Gosh, he has a proportional representative.'
'Or is it PA?'
'Gosh, he's bought Philadelphia.'
'Personal Assistant.'
'Who is?'
'Tiffany Breathless. She came up with what she called an interim-facing-fix-going-somewhere-or-other.'
'Which is what?'
'The Poet Still Intermittently Called Rabbit.'
'Mmm. No. Timing problem, Piglet.'
'How will we know when he's a poet and when he's a rabbit? We might see him out and about and say, "Hello, Rabbit, how are you?" but if we, you know, pick the wrong time, we might never get "I'm well, thank you" out of him.'
'Well actually, Pooh, they realised that, too, so--'
'I mean I might just want to pass the time of day with him--as him--but instead I might get an earful of that…you know…stuff.'
'Well, that's why they did what Tiffany called an assessment and unfurther-doingness implement, so--'
'I might say "Hello Rabbit" and he might give me the old, you know, "Thou still unvarnished bed of quietness" and all that.'
'They've decided--'
'Or start wittering about that Arthur League and how he kept going onwards--'
'Pooh, they've changed his name again.'
'Brer Baudelaire.'
'French poet, Baudelaire was. Tigger says he wrote Fleurs du Mal.'
'What's that mean?'
'Flowery and bad, apparently. But he's really famous. Tiffany says the name has cashew.'
'Fleurs…you sure it isn't Mal's Flowers?'
'Ah, well, now, she and Tigger didn't rule that out either.'
'So we're talking about bouquet-facing sponsorship.'
'A tee-shirt, at the very least.'
'"How's my emoting?" No, can't see Rabbit in a tee-shirt. Or writing a poem, come to that.'
'Oh, that's not a priority. The main thing is to be a poet.'
'Has he written any?'
'Just the one.'
'Which is?'
'"With a wife and twelve kids
  and a leaf in my gob
  that's amore.…"'
'They've got their work cut out.'
'Going forwards.'
'Backwards, Piglet. Emphatically backwards.'

Friday 22 September 2023

Your Auld Yang Syne


'Her eyes widened. She was the very picture of astonishment.'
'Pooh, what are you talking about?'
'At long last she was able to speak.'
'Who was?'
'"Oh, it really you? After all these years?".'
'My new venture, Piglet. Romance. I'm writing a story to send to the outfit that does all those love know, their eyes went crossed across a rheumy crowd and all that.'
'What, Mills and - '
'Wills and Whiffs, that's the one. All the world loves a lover, Piglet. So I bethought me that I'd betake me to pen and paper and becoin me a few extra bob.'
'So who's your hero?'
'Torquil Broadshoulder. Commissioned officer in India in the last days of Reg.'
'You mean the Raj.'
'No, Reg, his superior, about to retire.'
'Is that a name? Torquil?'
'Of course it is. Old French, you know. Ou le Wisdom Normand, as we initiatives say. Derives from tranquil, which just happens to be his key quality, and Torquay, which just happens to be where he embarked for India.'
'From Torquay?'
'Oh, picky picky...look, I'll chuck in a paragraph about chaotic sailing schedules.'
'Right. And the lady?'
'Lavinia Tempestheart. Youngest of three daughters, still living with her father at his rectory in the village of Soft Verges, a curlew's twitch from Aylesbury.'
'I see.'
'Dutiful, she is. Helping dad. Good works in the parish. But actually she's in an ecstasy of molten passion.'
'Funny sort of rectory.'
'In her secret world, Piglet!'
'Ah, I see...Tempestheart.'
'Pretty nifty, eh? A creative's name, that.'
'Creative what? That's an adjective.'
'Oh, Piglet, where have you been? All adjectives are nouns these days. And all verbs. The barriers are down.'
'I see.'
'Anyway, she and Torquil were childhood sweethearts, gazing hand-in-hand of a summer night upon a golden, rolling Vespa - till fate decreed.'
'Decreed what?'
'Again, Piglet, you're stuck in the starting-trap. Fate doesn't have to fossick about with the why and the warehouse. It just decrees.'
'Well I never.'
'Nor has Lavinia. Anyway, her one pleasure is an occasional trip to London. So there she is, Oxford Street, looking at all the swish shops and imagining a life that, with malevolent caprice, has been so cruelly denied her - when suddenly, she tingles at an intimation.'
'What, in broad daylight?'
'A sound, Piglet. A voice. She hasn't heard it for years but there's no thrills her to the phwoar.'
'You may well say "Cor". This is her moment, Piglet. La plus ca spare change. Her epiffle. Her apotheotheosis. She turns round. She says what I said at the start. Sorry, intones...all trembling, like.'
'And he says?'
'"Lavinia. My darling. I stand before you, your Auld Yang Syne. Yes, it is I it is me except after 'c' - here, cop hold of me troth".'
'I assume that her eyes have opalescent depths.'
'Oh, for pity's sake, Piglet, she's not a drinker.'
'But he needs something to gaze into.'
'Well, all right, he can gaze into his epaulettes.'
'How can you twist your head to gaze - '
'He's taken them off, Piglet! They were chafing him something rotten.'
'Right. And after that?'
'What do you mean, after that? That's it. That's what the readers have been waiting for. Honestly, I'm obviously casting pearls before - '
'Don't say that!'
'Ah...yes, sorry.'s a winner, yes? My public will lap it up. Not a dry eye in the hearse.'
'Broadshoulder, eh?'
'Yes, particularly proud of that, I am.'
'So his other shoulder - narrow?'
'I knew I should have tried this out on Barbara Cartload.'


Tuesday 19 September 2023

Mellow Yellow Frootloops


'Well he says it's looking tatty.'

'Sorry, Pooh, who says what is?'

'Tigger. The Wood. Needs tidying up.'


'Leaves falling. Dank grass. Unruly undergrope.'

'Well it is autumn.'

'Exactly. Yes, I know poets go a bundle on it. Season of mellow yellow frootloops and all that. But heavens above, autumn comes round every year. It's had enough chances to sort itself out.'

'But this is what autumn is.'

'Oh, I've heard all the guff, Piglet. Part of the eternal wossname.'

'Yes, with autumn comes decay, with spring comes - '


'Is that the word? They missed a trick this year.'

'Yes, well, let's not go into all that. Point is, Tigger wants us to help spruce the Wood up.'

'Why us?'

'Because we know the place inside out. Who better? We're natives of this heath. You know, like the characters in those Stan Hardy novels. Jude the Oblong. Tess of the Doobeedoos.'

'Well I like autumn the way it is. I think we should just - '

'Oh, come on, Piglet, where's your pluck? Think of, me, Tigger, venturing forth. The Wood's answer to those French buckle-swashers.'

'I think you mean - '

'Attlee, Portnoy and Amethyst.'

'It's actually - '

'The Three Elonmusks. Hacking and pruning, delving and dredging. Can't remember the last time I had a proper delve.'

'I think we should leave autumn just as Mr Keats says, "Drows'd with the fume of poppies".'

'You see? Drug abuse and all.'

'Pooh, it means - '

'Fat lot you care. Another day, another hoodie. Let the neighbourhood go to raac and crumble.'

'But if we cut everything back, where would you hide your winter supply of hunny?'






Saturday 8 July 2023



'Well, Pooh.'

'Well, Piglet.'

'Another lovely evening.'

'Indeed.  Especially when you consider the significance of evening as a dividing line between the pressures and busyness of the day and the period of calm, rest and reflection that is night-time.'


'Further, the special properties of evening have been celebrated in works as diverse as William Collins's "Ode To Evening", a lyric with wistful overtones of the pastoral, first published in 1746, and "When The Deep Purple Falls", a song in the light romantic vein popularised by Nino Tempo and April Stevens in 1963.'

'All I said was -- '

'And what better place in which to appreciate evening than this, our very own Wood -- '

'Pooh, what are you -- ?'

' -- referring, of course, to a certain acreage of land which, while often expansive enough in itself, does not cover the same quantity of ground as would normally be associated with a forest -- '

'I have no idea why -- '

' -- but which can often make up for its smaller or more compact or indeed bijou size by offering a delightful mixture of deciduous trees, deciduous meaning "to shed" or "to fall off", as evidenced by such as the oak or the beech or indeed the maple, this last being the national tree or growth or super-sized pot plant of Canada -- '

'Now just wait a min -- '

' -- and evergreen trees, such as box, holly and juniper, this last happily lending itself to the title of a song written and popularised by Donovan, a troubadour born in 1946 in the Maryhill district of Glasgow.'

'Pooh, what is all this?'

'Being a line from a track on "The Move", debut album by the band or combo or indeed massive of that very same name, released in April 1968, the track itself being called "Weekend" and the line in full being "Holy mackerel, yeah, what is all this?"'

'Pooh!! Why are you talking this way?'



'No A-I. Artificial Interloper. Wonderful. All you have to do is feed in key words and it generates conversation endlessly. Terrific, the site I've found.'

'What's that?'


'Yes, well, I think I've heard enough -- so that'll do.'

'A song popularised by Peter Gabriel though in fact penned by Randy Newman, Gabriel's version having been released in 1998. With its haunting refrain, "That'll do, babe, that'll do", the song celebrates the beauties of a kind and steady heart, which ensured its status as a firm favourite among such radio presenters as Terry Wogan, born in 1938 in Limerick, a major city in the Repub -- '


'Being the cry or outburst or eruption by vanquished foes in such graphic publications as Fleetwood Comics, whose titles include "Commandos Die Hard", "Tank Alert" and "Ravens Over Berlin", and usually uttered in response to such directives as "Die, Pig Dog!" or "Sayonara, Bub!"

'And Sayonara to you, too, Pooh.'

'"You, too, Pooh" being of course a delightful example of assonance, as in "bright, white light" -- oh, Piglet, don't go.'

'I absolutely have to go -- right now.'

'Being the first sizeable hit for The Moody Blues, a group or cohort or indeed clump formed in May 1964 in Birming....'


Tuesday 2 May 2023

Bread and sinuses...


'Are you sure, Pooh?'

'It's what I've heard, Piglet.'

'It all sounds very complicated.'

'Question of timing, apparently.  Tight schedule.  The Eurovision finals are on the 13th and His Royal Highhorse's ceremony is on the 6th.'

'I'm not sure it's Highhorse, Pooh.'

'Are you sure you're not sure?'

'I'm cert--well, he's being allowed a late entry for Eurovision?'

'A gift from the world, it seems.'

'And he'll be--'

'Singing it halfway through his ceremony, yes.'

'What's it called?'



'And the nation has a part to play.'

'Does it, now?'

'Yes, there's a rap bit where they all have to cry out in unison.'

'Cry out?'

'Yes--swearing allegiance to the country's core values.'

'Remind me.'

'In order of resonance, fidelity, union, community, kinship--then quick pause for breath--then obedience, fairness and fortitude.'

'I see.  And that's tout ensemble?'

'Ooh, Piglet, nifty bit of French, eh?'

'I have a smattering, Pooh.  Plume de ma tante.  Bonjour, concierge.  Guillotine.'

'Well, yes, tout ensemble.  And they'll be required to yell the values twice.  Mind you, the tempo picks up at the end, I'm told, so it might just be the initials.  No decision on that yet.'

'It all sounds--quite something.'

'It will be.  Celebrities rapping along with your everyday folk--one of whom has been chosen at random to officiate.'

'That's nice.  Who is it?'

'Well, it was going to be Louise of Cannock, but she'll be at a hen do in Antwerp, so it's Dean of Westminster.'


'Oh, it'll be fancy, all right.  All the stars out in force.'

'A celebration in the grand tradition.'

'Roman tradition, you might almost say, Piglet.  Bread and sinuses.'

'I suppose Mr Titchmarsh will be of the starry number.'

'Should be...unless he's detained.'


'Having to coddle his spuds.'

'Ah, well, not an activity for shared space.'

'It might provoke comment.'