The Edmondson Blog

Joke II

The Queen is being shown around an Edinburgh hospital. Towards the end of his visit, she is shown into a ward of people with no obvious signs of injury. She greets the first patient and the chap replies:

Fair fa' your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain e' the puddin' race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm,
Weel are ye Wordy o'a grace,
As lang's my arm.

Her Majesty, being somewhat confused, grins and moves on to the next patient and greets him. He replies:

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

The third starts rattling off as follows:

"Wee sleek it, cow' in, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle!

HMQ turns to the doctor accompanying her and asks, "What sort of ward is this, a mental ward?"

"No," replies the doctor, "It's the serious Burns unit."

Take Care

Why you should never doze off (even for a moment) when you go out boozing with your friends.

Welcome To Hell

Ways Of The World

Pranksters have given a famous Grade II listed Tudor pub a complete makeover by painting it pink.

Les Smith, the landlord of the Prince Of Wales, Ledbury, Herefordshire, said, "We closed the pub up after midnight, just as usual. Then I came round at about half past eight in the morning and found my pub pink. I am annoyed - but impressed with the standard of the job."
Western Daily Press

The Heaviest Element Known To Science

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of morons promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

This Explains Everything...

People Who Should Know Better

True Story (Not An Urban Legend)

Some years ago, San Diego Zoo opened a branch called the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The Park is built around an enormous open-field enclosure where the animals roam free. To see the animals, visitors ride on a monorail called the Wgasa Bush Line which circles the enclosure. Here's the true story of how the Wgasa Bush Line got its name.

The zoo wanted to give the monorail a jazzy, African sounding name. So they sent out a memo to their employees asking, "What shall we call the monorail at the Wild Animal Park?"

One of the memos came back with WGASA written on the bottom. The planners loved it and the rest is history.

What the planners didn't know was that the zoo staffer had not intended to suggest a name. He was using an acronym which was popular at the time. It stood for Who Gives A Shit Anyhow?

Meet On The Ledge

We used to say
That come the day
We'd all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long.

The way is up,
Along the road.
The air is growing thin,
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind.

Meet on the ledge,
We're gonna meet on the ledge,
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends,
Meet on the ledge.
We're gonna meet on the ledge.
If you really mean it, it all comes round again.

Yet now I see
I'm all alone,
But that's the only way to be.
You'll have your chance again
Then you can do the work for me.

Meet on the ledge,
We're gonna meet on the ledge.
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends,
Meet on the ledge,
We're gonna meet on the ledge,
If you really mean it, it all comes round again.

Meet on the ledge,
We're gonna meet on the ledge.
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends,
Meet on the ledge,
We're gonna meet on the ledge,
If you really mean it, it all comes round again.

Artistic Appreciation

As reported in The Times: Words cannot describe the sublime way Vermeer has depicted the earthenware in this masterpiece.

As reported in The Sun: Nice jugs!

Wild Bill Hickok

On 1st August 1876, Wild Bill was playing cards at his favourite table in the corner near the door of Nuttall and Mann’s No. 10 Saloon in Deadwood Gulch, South Dakota. When one of the players dropped out a bystander, Jack McCall, took his place. McCall kept losing and, at the end of the evening, was broke. Hickok gave him back enough money to buy something to eat, but advised him not to play again until he could cover his losses. McCall felt humiliated.

The next day, on 2nd August, Hickok returned to the No. 10 and joined in a game of cards but, because Charlie Rich was sitting in his usual seat, Wild Bill, unusually, sat with his back to the saloon. Jack McCall had already been drinking heavily at the bar and saw Hickok enter the saloon and sit down.

McCall slowly walked around to the corner of the saloon to where Hickok was playing his game. From under his coat, McCall pulled a double-action .45 pistol, shouted “Damn you! Take that!” and shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head, killing him instantly.

Wild Bill was holding two black aces and two black eights, known ever since as the Dead Man’s Hand. The fifth card has been held up for speculation but was probably the queen of diamonds.

Hickok's body was claimed by his friend, Charlie Utter, who placed a notice in the local newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer, which read:

Died in Deadwood, Black Hills, August 2, 1876, from the effects of a pistol shot, J. B. Hickok (Wild Bill) formerly of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Funeral services will be held at Charlie Utter's Camp, on Thursday afternoon, August 3, 1876, at 3 o'clock P. M. All are respectfully invited to attend.

Almost the entire town attended the funeral, and Utter had Hickok buried with a wooden grave marker reading:

Wild Bill, J. B. Hickok killed by the assassin Jack McCall in Deadwood, Black Hills, August 2, 1876.

Pard, we will meet again in the happy hunting ground to part no more.

Good bye, Colorado Charlie, C. H. Utter.

In accordance with her dying wish, Martha Jane Cannary, known popularly as Calamity Jane, was buried next to him.
Fom left to right: Wild Bill Hickok, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Buffalo Bill Cody in 1873.

After the shooting, McCall ran out of the saloon and attempted to escape on a horse that was tethered nearby, but the saddle had been loosened, and he fell to the ground. McCall ran down the street and hid in a butcher’s shop where he was captured by a large crowd.

The next morning, McCall was tried by a hastily-assembled group of miners in McDaniel’s Theatre. McCall defended himself by stating that he was avenging his brother whom Hickok had murdered. It was later discovered that McCall never had a brother. Despite overwhelming evidence of premeditated murder, McCall was acquitted.

McCall was released but told to leave Deadwood immediately. He headed to Cheyenne and then to Laramie. He boasted in saloons along the way that he had killed Wild Bill. An authority who overheard McCall arrested him on 29th August. He was then taken to Yankton, Dakota Territory for trial. Jack McCall was found guilty on 6th December 1876. He was hanged on 1st March 1877 for his crime and buried in the southwest corner of a Catholic cemetery.

In 1881, when the cemetery was moved, his body was exhumed. It was discovered that he had been buried with the noose still around his neck.

More Elegant Architectural Design

Down Our Street...

Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide -
No escape from reality.
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I'm easy come, easy go,
A little high, little low,
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me,
To me...

Mama, just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead,
Mama, life had just begun,
But now Ive gone and thrown it all away!
Mama, ooo!
Didn't mean to make you cry -
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters...

Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time.
Goodbye everybody - Ive got to go.
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.
Mama ooo...
I don't want to die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all...

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, scaramouche will you do the fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning - very very frightening me!
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo, Figaro, magnifico!
But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me!
He's just a poor boy from a poor family -
Spare him his life from this monstrosity.
Easy come easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No! We will not let you go!
Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go
Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go
Let me go!
Will not let you go!
Let me go!
Will not let you go!
Let me go!
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go!
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me...

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye -
So you think you can love me and leave me to die -
Oh baby, can't do this to me baby
Just gotta get out - just gotta get right outta here.

Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me,

(Any way the wind blows....)

Door Handle Prank

Classic Penguin Clip

Impossible Things To Say When You Are Drunk




No kebab for me, thanks.

Thanks, but I don’t want sex.

I couldn’t drink another drop.

Are you sure they don’t clash?

No, I don’t want another drink.

Sorry, but you are just going to far now.

No more for me thanks, I’ve had sufficient.

Sorry, but you are not quite good looking enough for me.

I wish they’d just shut the bar so we can all go home early.

Thanks, but I don’t want to get up on the stage and sing karaoke.

What On Earth Were The Parents Thinking?!

Your editor was at infant school with a girl called Cherry Tree. I cannot remember any of the other children's names, just her. And it's not surprising, is it?

What were her parents thinking?

So, what do you call some of the most unlucky people in Britain?

Well how about:
  • Justin Case
  • Barbara Dwyer (Barb Dwyer - get it?)
  • Terrance Bull (Terry Bull)
  • Paige Turner
  • Mary Christmas
  • Douglas Hole (Doug Hole)
  • Hazel Nutt
  • Stanley Still (he says, "My name has been a blooming millstone around my neck my entire life. When I was in the RAF my commanding officer used to shout, 'Stan Still, get a move on' and roll about laughing.")
  • Rose Bush (from Coventry, West Midlands, says she loves her name)
  • Pearl Button
  • Joseph King (Jo King)
  • Barry Cade
  • Caroline Oakey (Carrie Oakey)
  • Timothy Burr (Tim Burr)

Elegant Architectural Design

Technical Support Request

Dear Technical Support,

18 months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from DrinkingMates 4.2, which I had used for years without any trouble.

However, there are apparently conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try and run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off. To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1, Football 4.5, and Playboy 6.9.

Successive versions of Girlfriend proved no better.

I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1, but it had many bugs and left a virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for several weeks.

Eventually, I tried to run Girlfriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that when these two systems detected each other they caused severe damage to my hardware.

I eventually upgraded to Fiancée 1.0, only to discover that this product soon had to be upgraded further to Wife 1.0. While Wife 1.0 tends to use up all my available resources, it does come bundled with CookingPlus and Cleanhouse2008.

Shortly after this upgrade, however, I found that Wife 1.0 could be very unstable and costly to run. Any mistakes I made were automatically stored in Wife 1.0's memory and could not be deleted. They then resurfaced months later when I had forgotten about them.

Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary, Explorer and E-mail filter, and can, without warning, launch TurboStrop and Multi-Whinge.

These latter products have no Help files, and I have to try to guess what the problem is.

Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly, requiring ShoeShop Browser for new attachments and Hairstyle Express which needs to be reinstalled every other week.

Also, when Wife 1.0 attaches itself to my Saab 93 Convertible hard drive, it often crashes.

Wife 1.0 also comes with an irritating pop-up called MotherInLaw, which can't be turned off.

Recently I've been tempted to install Mistress 2007, but there could be problems. A friend of mine has alerted me to the fact that if Wife 1.0 detects Mistress 2007, it tends to delete all of your Money before uninstalling itself.

Help requested please!

The Otford English Dictionary One More Time

Macaroon (n.): a Scottish biscuit.
Margin (n.): mother's ruin.
Matricide (v.): committing suicide on a rug.
Osmosis (proper name): an early Australian prophet.
Out of bounds (n.): an exhausted kangaroo.
Overture (n.): someone who masticates too loudly.
Palaver (n.): a kind of jumper that is irritatingly difficult to put on.
Pandemonium (n.): a black and white musical instrument.
Pantry (n.): a knicker cupboard.
Porcupine (v.): a yearning for bacon.
Portable (n.): cheap furniture.
Posse (n.): a wild west cat.
Reoriented (v.): sent back to China.
Rugged (v.): the act of sitting on a mat.
Savoury (n.): a piggy bank.
Shamrock (n.): imitation mineral.
Spellbinding (n.): the cover of a dictionary.

Where Do You Go To?

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire.
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there's diamonds and pearls in your hair.

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard Saint-Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head.

I've seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on.

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pins
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan on your back and on your legs.

And when the snow falls you're found in Saint Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon brandy
But you never get your lips wet.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed?
Won't you tell me the thoughts that surround you?
I want to look inside your head.

Your name, it is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh, a-ha-ha-ha.

They say that when you get married
It'll be to a millionaire
But they don't realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn.

Where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head.

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly-born tags.

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear the scar, deep inside, yes you do

I know where you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
'Cause I can look inside your head

Where To Look For Your Missing Chips

Lucky Bugger!

Can you believe it? This guy wins £18 million in the lottery on a Wednesday, and then finds the love of his life just two days later!!??

Talk about LUCK!!!!

Latest Stock Market Terms

CEO: Chief Embezzlement Officer.
CFO: Corporate Fraud Officer.
Bull Market: A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.
Bear Market: A 6 to 18 month period when the kids don't get pocket money, the wife gets no jewellery, and the husband gets no sex.
Value Investing: The art of buying low and selling lower.
P/E Ratio: The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.
Broker: What your broker has made you.
Standard & Poor: Your life in a nutshell.
Stock Analyst: The idiot who just downgraded your stock.
Stock Split: When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.
Financial Planner: A guy whose phone has been disconnected.
Market Correction: The day after you buy stocks.
Cash Flow: The swirling movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.
Institutional Investor: Previous investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.
Profit: An archaic word no longer in use.

Worm Overload Recreational Killer

There is a dangerous virus being passed around electronically, orally, and by hand.
This virus is called Worm Overload Recreational Killer (WORK).

If you receive WORK from any of your colleagues, your boss, or anyone else via any means DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.

If you should come into contact with WORK put your jacket on and take two good friends to the nearest grocery store. Purchase the antidote known as Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) or Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should forward this warning to five friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

How The Experts Do It

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was written by John Lennon (with help from Paul McCartney on lyrics) in 1967 and recorded by the Beatles for their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

According to the Beatles, one day in 1966 Lennon’s son, Julian, came home from nursery school with a drawing he said was of his classmate, a girl named Lucy. Showing the artwork to his father, young Julian described the picture as, “Lucy — in the sky with diamonds.”

Julian later said, “I don't know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I’d built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea for a song about Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”

From the above, the classmate can be identified as Lucy O’Donnell, born in Weybridge in 1963, making her the same age as Julian. She sat next to Julian at Heath House School. She had met up with him on a few occasions in the last few years, and occasionally appeared on daytime shows for the anniversary of the Sergeant Pepper's album. She is featured in the book A Hard Days Write. She lived in Surbiton in Surrey, and owned a nanny agency for children with special needs.
Sadly, she died from breast cancer on 1st June, 2005.

Hitting The Road - 21st Century Wanderlust

Engrish As She Is Spoke

Too Much Time On Their Hands, Reprise


The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear reactor accident in 1986 in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Northern Ukraine). It was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and the only instance of Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, resulting in a severe release of radioactivity into the environment following a massive power surge which destroyed the reactor.

The town of Prypiat was home to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers that was hastely abandoned as it became contaminated with radioactive fall-out. Its population had been around 50,000 prior to the accident. It is now a ghost town.

The Otford English Dictionary Once Again

Abundance (n.) a social event held in a farm building.
Australian gentleman (n.): the bloke who gets out of the bath to pee in the sink.
Antibody (n.): your uncle’s wife.
Aromatic (n.): an automatic crossbow.
Boycott (n.): somewhere to keep male babies.
Catastrophe (n.): first prize at a cat show.
Claustrophobia (n.): the fear of Father Christmas.
Climate (n.): what you do with a ladder.
Cobra (n.): a bra for conjoined twins.
Copulate (n.): a tardy police response.
Deliberate (v.): to take back to prison.
Diatribe (n.): a truely awful extended family of aboriginal folk.
Direct (v.): to be shown the way by a Welshman.
Factory (n.): a set of encyclopaedias.
Farthingale (n.): a modestly priced hurricane.
Fortune (n.): a singing quartet.
Igloo (n.): an Alaskan lavatory.
Intense (n.): a camping holiday.
Karaoke (n.): Japanese for Tone Deaf.

Too Much Time On His Hands

More Photos From Never-Never Land

Parking Difficulties


Double whoops!!

Wasn't Born To Follow

Oh, I'd rather go and journey where the diamond crest is flowing and run across the valley beneath the sacred mountain and wander through the forest where the trees have leaves of prisms that break the light in colors that no one knows the names of. And when it's time I'll go and wait beside a legendary fountain, 'till I see your form reflected in it's clear and jewelled waters, and if you think I'm ready you may lead me to the chasm where the rivers of our vision flow into one another.

I will want to die beneath the white cascading waters. She may beg, she may plead, she may argue with her logic and then she'll know the things I learned that really have no value. In the end she will surely know I wasn't born to follow.

The Crevasse - 3D Street Art

Inisght Into The Mystery Of God

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised God doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.
Emo Philips

Latest Photos From Never-Never Land

A Further Dip Into The Otford English Dictionary

Midwife (n.): second spouse of three.
Oddball (n.): third testicle.
Ovation (v.): laying an egg.
Palette (n.): little friend.
Paperboy (n.): instructions for settling choir fees.
Predate (v.): flirt.
Preoccupied (n.): looking for work.
Primitive (adj.): like a proper old lady.
Prudent (adj.): like a proper old lady.
Racism (n.): the belief that fast is better.
Rambler (n.): high speed sheep.
Rambling (n.): ostentatious jewellery for sheep.
Ramification (n.): bad driving.
Recant (v.): still unable to do it.
Relief (v.): what trees do in spring.
Shepherd's pie (n.): border collie trained in espionage.
Slippery (adj.): a bit like a lounging shoe.
Stereotype (n.): braille.
Summer (n.): abacus.
Teacup (n.): enormous brassiere.
Tiebreak (n.): short holiday in Siam.
Toffee (n.) payment made to an aristocrat for services undertaken.
Trickle (v.): to delight with magic.
Triple (n.): an uneven and stumbling walk.
Virtuoso (n.): an exceptionally moral person.
Water (n.): the person who gave you warts.

Insults From The Time Of Cleverness And Wit

Lady Astor to Churchill: If you were my husband I'd give you poison!
Churchill'e reply: If you were my wife, I'd drink it.

An MP to Disraeli: Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.
Disraeli's reply: That depends on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.

George Bernard Shaw to Churchill: I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one.
Churchill's reply: Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.

William Faulkner about Ernest Hemingway: He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
Hemingway about William Faulkner: Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?

He had delusions of adequacy.
Walter Kerr
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
Clarence Darrow
He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.
Abraham Lincoln
I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
Mark Twain
He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.
Oscar Wilde
I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here.
Stephen Bishop
He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Johnson

Hi, Jack!

So, What's On Your Mind?

Visual insight into men's thought processes.

Any Old Iron

Just a week or two ago my dear old Uncle Bill,
He went and kicked the bucket and he left me in his will,
So I went around the road to see my Auntie Jane,
She said your Uncle Bill has left you a watch and chain,
So I put it on right across my derby kell*,
The sun was shining on it and it made me look a swell*,
I went out, strolling round about,
A crowd of kiddies followed me and they began to shout,

Any old iron, any old iron,
Any, any, any old iron?
You look neat, talk about a treat!
You look dapper from your napper to your feet.
Dressed in style, brand new tile*,
And your father’s old green tie on.
I wouldn’t give you tuppence for your old watch chain,
Old iron, old iron.

I won’t forget the day I went to London on the spree,
I saw the mayor of London there, that’s who I went to see,
He came along in a carriage and a pair,
I shouted come on boys, all throw your hats up in the air,
Just then the mayor, he began to smile,
Pointed to my face and said, “Lor Lummy, what a dial*,”
Started Lord a mayoring, and then to my dismay,
He pointed to my watch and chain
and shouted to me “Hey,”

Any old iron …

I shan’t forget the day I married Miss Elisa Brown.
The way the people laughed at me
it made me feel a clown,
I arrived in a carriage called a hack,
When I suddenly discovered I’d my
trousers front to back,
So I walked down the aisle, dressed in style,
The vicar took a look at me and then began to smile,
The organ started playing, the bells began to ring,
The people started laughing and the choir began to sing:

Any old iron …

derby kell: a portly chest/stomach
dial: Cockney slang for face
swell: a well off gentleman
tile: hat

A Classic Yokomo

Yokomo (n., rhyming slang) = Yoko Ono Moment = Oh, No! moment: That very lonely moment when you are the very first person to realise that some large and extremely unpleasant disaster is about to come to pass. Made infinitely worse when you realise it is your fault and very soon everybody will realise it as such.

This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600 was sat in its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime. Enter the flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi.

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area and then, without properly reading the instruction manuals, took all four engines to take-off power.

The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off but as the aircraft had not been configured properly (flaps, slats, etc.), the take-off warning horn started to sound in the cockpit. Irritiated by the alarm, one of the ADAT crew decided to silence it by turning off the power supply to the Ground Proximity Sensor.

This fooled the aircraft into thinking it was in the air.

The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can't land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man crew thought to throttle back the engines from their maximum power setting, so the $200 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaly writing it (the aircraft, that is) off.

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown for there has been a news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.

The Polish Government In Exile

The Polish Government In Exile kept a lonely vigil in London for Poland’s independence during the 45 years of Soviet rule. When Communist rule came to an end in Poland in 1989, there was still a President and a Cabinet of eight meeting every two weeks in London.

During the presidential elections in Poland in 1990 Lech Wałęsa sent a message to the exiled government in London that he wished to inherit office from its President rather than from the Soviet-sponsored Jaruzelski. The Government in Exile responded by publicly backing the Solidarity leader, adding that the exiled government would dissolve itself if Wałęsa became president.

When Lech Wałęsa did became President, he received the symbols of the Polish Republic (the red presidential banner, the presidential and state seals, the presidential sashes, and the original text of the 1935 Constitution) from the last President of the Government in Exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski, thus re-establishing the continuity of the Republic and in effect retroactively recognizing the legitimacy of the Government in Exile.

In 1992, military medals and other decorations awarded by the Government in Exile were officially recognized in Poland.


An aubade is a poem regarding lovers needing to part with the coming of dawn. The form has some dramatic elements, since the poem is often a dialogue between the lovers, one saying that dawn is near and they must part, and the other answering no. There is often a refrain, in which an outsider, such as the the watchman, warns the lovers of the approaching dawn.

Aubades were in the repertory of troubadours in Europe in the Middle Ages. The love poetry of the 16th century dealt mostly with unsatisfied love, so the aubade (with its implication of loving activity) was not a major genre in Elizabethan lyric. But, as you would expect, Shakespeare made good use of the aubade:

Night shadows flee
Farewell sweet dream,
Goodbye soft kisses, melting in my heart.
Now we must part,
Emptiness surrounds me like a mist –
Stealing the warmth from my soul.

Night shadows fade,
I say goodbye
To all my dreams of love and happiness;
One last caress...
Now that I’m alone,
Now the night has flown.

Night folds her wings
And calls the dawn;
When sleep of dreamers wakens with the day,
I find you gone.
Now that I’m alone, now the night has flown.

Farewell sweet dream.
William Shakespeare.

Otford English Dictionary, Reprise

Article (n.): ice sculpture.
Aspiration (n.): snake breathing.
Assuage (n.): donkey's salary.
Auditorium (n.): tax office.
Begat (proper noun.): ancient biblical tribe of Mexican origin that wore the biggest sombreros.
Bloke (adj.): to be poor in China.
Catcher (n.): feline imitating Sonny Bono's widow.
Checklist (v.): stabilise.
Coalition (n.): miner’s union.
Cowling (n.): calf.
Dandelion (n.): a fashionably dressed larger feline.
Decadent (adj.): possessing only ten teeth.
Dilate (v.): to live a long time.
Dinner (n.): a noisy eater.
Dogmatic (adj.): pulled by huskies.
Enlightenment (v.): losing weight.
Escape (n.): part of Superman’s outfit.
Exalted (v.): removal of all sodium chloride.
Expressed (adj.): now wrinkled.
Fairy (adj.): not particularly cloudy.
Felony (v.): preparing to be knighted.
Fondue (adj.): requires affection.
Foundry (n.): a place of lost items.
Gastric (n.): hybrid automobile.
Giant squid (n.): pantomime villain's pocket money.
Granite (n.): Special evening party for older women.
Graphite (n.): someone who believes in charts.
Hindsight (v.): watching ones weight.

Old School Tie

Editor’s true story.

When I was in the fifth form at school, narrow ties were all the fashion. One or two boys had altered their school tie to conform to this fashion and a strict edict was sent out that everybody must wear the standard width school uniform tie, as bought from Gorringe’s, the department store in Holborn that stocked the uniform. Being a dedicated follower of fashion (the Kinks were in the hit parade with Dedicated Follower Of Fashion) I pondered the iniquity of it all. At the time, the fashion for tying ties was to have the narrow, back end quite short and tucked into your shirt between the top and next buttons, and then the front end long and tucked into the trouser top. Very fashionable.

By reversing the tie and wearing it back to front (or more accurately, up-side-down), fashion could be followed by having the narrow end at the front. After some experimentation it became clear that the wide end would not knot properly if the tie was reversed in this way, but by folding the wide end over lengthwise (and ironing it so it would stay put) the knotting difficulty could be overcome. Best of all, I could claim with complete truth that no alterations hade been made to the tie—it was still the standard width school uniform tie as bought from Gorringe’s.

I realised, of course, that I would quickly be challenged about the tie and I had resolved to act innocently to any enquiry while keeping the actual explanation back as long as possible.

Almost immediately, my form-master spotted my narrow tie.

“Edmondson, you know you have to wear a standard tie.”

“I am, sir.”

“Bought from Gorringe’s?”

“Yes, sir.”


Off he went and I thought the conversation closed. However, the next day he sought me out, “I have spoken to Gorringe’s on the telephone and they assure me they only sell standard width school uniform ties.”

“It is a standard width school uniform tie, sir.”

“You know you must not alter them.”

“I haven’t, sir.”

“Then can you explain why your tie is narrower than everybody else’s?”

“It’s the way I tie it, sir.”

“The way you tie it?” he asked in exasperation, “What knot are you using?”

“A Windsor knot, sir.”

“Don’t be stupid, boy, how does a Windsor knot make it narrower?”

“It doesn’t, sir.”

“Don’t mess me about, Edmondson, why is your tie narrower than everybody else’s?”

The game was up.

“I have it on back to front, sir,” I replied showing the folded over wide end tucked into my shirt.

The poor old boy nearly exploded, “You can’t wear your tie that way!”

“Sorry, sir, I didn’t realise.”

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog