The Edmondson Blog

Down At Our Local Railway Station

"No, this isn't the 22:45 stopping service to Knockholt."

Spot The Difference

Microsoft has apologised for editing a photo to change a black man's head to that of a white man.

The picture, showing employees sitting around a desk, appeared unaltered on the firm's US website. But on the website of its Polish business unit the black man's head was replaced with a white face, although the colour of his hands was unchanged.

Microsoft had altered the image to reflect the ethnic make-up of the Polish population, which is predominantly white. However, one wag has commented, "Clearly Microsoft was attempting to please all markets by having a man with both a white face and a black hand to sybolise interracial harmony."

Never Accept Sweeties From A Stranger

When you were young, did your parents ever warn you about accepting sweeties from a stranger? Well, if they did, this was the person they were talking about. Pretty strange!


Dear James,

How are you, my darling?

Lots of excitement here. The other day I popped into our local Christian book shop and saw a Honk if you love Jesus bumper sticker.

I was feeling particularly adventurous that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir practice, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting. So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.
Goodness! I am glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed.

I was stopped at traffic lights at the busy junction in the village, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn't notice that the lights had changed.

It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed - and I'd never of realised how many people love Jesus!

While I was sitting there, the gentleman behind started honking and then he leaned out of his window and shouted "For the love of God! Go! Go! Go! For Christ's sake, GO!'

I must say, what an exuberant evangelist he was for the Lord!

Everyone started honking!

I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people.

I even honked my horn a few times to share in the joy!

There must have been a gentleman from the seaside in the queue behind me as I heard him shouting something about a sunny beach.

I saw another gentleman waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air.

I asked Uncle Max what he thought that meant.

He said it was probably am oriental good luck sign or something.

Well, I have never met anyone from the Orient so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back.

I'm not sure why, but Uncle Max burst out laughing - why, even he was enjoying this religious experience!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me.

I expect they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed.

So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove off.

I noticed that I was the only car that got through the traffic lights before they changed again and I felt sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.

So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the oriental good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful people!

Will write again soon,

Lots of love

Aunt La La.

Mother of All Funk Chords

(This is very clever, but I'm not sure what to make of it!)

Surprising Recent Discovery


A practical observation on the risks of stupidity was made by the German General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord in Truppenführung, "I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid.

"Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities.

"Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments.

"Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy.

"The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations.

"But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!"

A probably apocryphal quote from Albert Einstein deals with the power of stupidity:

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe."

My Favourite Things

To commemorate her 69th birthday, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at a charitable event at New York's Radio City Music Hall. One of the musical numbers she performed was My Favorite Things from the legendary film Sound Of Music.

Here are the updated lyrics she used (if you sing it, it's especially funny):

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

(She received a standing ovation from the crowd.)

More Local News

More From The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain

Birthday Cakes

(Above: your editor's birthday cake - many thanks to Sue Moore.)

Down Our Local...

Don't Judge Too Quickly...

More From Our Local Newspaper

Let Me Die A Youngman’s Death

by Roger McGough

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
“what a nice way to go” death

The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

“But he has nothing on at all!” said a little child at last.

“Good heavens! Listen to the voice of an innocent child,” said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said.

“But he has nothing on at all,” cried at last the whole people.

That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, “Now I must bear up to the end.” And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.

From The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen.


Since the Dee Bridge Disaster in 1847 (see pic above), new bridge designs have collapsed every 30 years or so as designers push them to, and beyond, their limits. Presently, a new design of bridge, the cable stayed bridge (such as the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford in Kent) is being pushed to its limits. It is over-time for another disaster…
  • 1847 Dee Bridge – cast iron girder bridge. Then 32 years pass:
  • 1879 Tay Bridge – continuous girder bridge. Then 28 years pass:
  • 1907 Quebec Bridge – cantilever bridge. Then 33 years pass:
  • 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge – suspension bridge. Then 30 years pass:
  • 1970 Milford Haven Bridge (now called the Cleddau Bridge), spanning the River Cleddau in Wales, and Westgate Bridge in Melbourne, Australia – both box girder bridges.
It has now been 39 years and counting…


As the Great War progressed through 1918, matters seriously deteriorated for the Germans, both militarily and domestically. A series of strategic withdrawals by the Germans probably saved their army from disintegration but was devastating for morale, and by the beginning of October it was evident that Germany could no longer mount a successful defence, let alone a counterattack. There was a threat of a general military mutiny. On the home front there was a grave threat of imminent revolution in Berlin, Munich and elsewhere.

On 5th October 1918 the Germans sent a telegram to the U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson, asking him to open peace negotiations – the Germans believing they could negotiate a more acceptable peace treaty via Wilson than directly with the French and English. After a series of telegrams, on 23rd October Wilson demanded the abdication of the Kaiser and told the Germans plainly that peace negotiations were out of the question. He demanded unconditional surrender.

Eventually, by way of a telegram sent on 7th November 1918, acting German commander Paul von Hindenburg requested a meeting with the French commander, Marshal Foch.

The German delegation crossed the front line in five cars and was escorted for ten hours across the devastated war zone of Northern France (perhaps, they speculated, to focus their minds on the lack of sympathy they could expect). They were then taken to Foch’s private train in the Forest of Compiègne.

There was no question of negotiation. The Germans were able to correct a few impossible demands (for an example, the decommissioning of more submarines than their fleet possessed), and registered their formal protest at the harshness of Allied terms. But they were in no position to refuse to sign.

On Sunday 10th November they were shown newspapers from Paris, to inform them that Kaiser Wilhelm II had abdicated.

Between 5:12am and 5:20am the German dignitaries signed the Armistice in front of Marshal Foch, General Weyland and British Admiral Wemyss aboard carriage number 2419D. The Armistice, which stopped the actual fighting, took effect at 11am that day (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).

The Treaty of Versailles, signed on 28th June 1919, was the peace treaty that officially ended the Great War. Many Germans felt that the Treaty was unfairly severe to Germany and historians feel that it was this dissatisfaction that later paved the way for Hitler.

The carriage in which the Armistice was signed was later put back into regular service with the Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, but after a short period it was withdrawn to be attached to the French presidential train.

From April 1921 to April 1927, it was on exhibition in the Cour des Invalides in Paris.

In November 1927, it was ceremonially returned to the forest in the exact spot where the Armistice was signed. Marshall Foch, General Weyland and many others watched it being placed in a specially constructed building: the Clairiere de l’Armistice.

There it remained, a monument to the defeat of the Kaiser’s Germany, until 22nd June 1940, when swastika-bedecked German staff cars bearing Hitler, Goering, Keitel, von Ribbentrop and others swept into the Clairiere and, in that same carriage, demanded and received the surrender of France.

During the Occupation, the Clairiere de l’Armistice was destroyed and the carriage taken to Berlin, where it was exhibited in the Lustgarten.

After the American advance into Germany in early 1945, the carriage was removed by the Germans for safe keeping to the town of Ohrdruf, but as an American armoured column entered the town the German detachment guarding it set it ablaze and it was totally destroyed.

After the war, the Compiègne site was restored, but not until Armistice Day 1950 was a replacement carriage, correct in every detail, rededicated – an identical Compagnie des Wagon-Lits carriage, no. 2439, built 1913 in the same batch as the original, was renumbered no. 2419D.

German Precision

Next Thursday's Funeral

A husband walks into Victoria's Secret to purchase a sheer negligee for his wife. He is shown several possibilities that range from £200 to £450 in price - the more sheer, the higher the price it seems. Naturally, he opts for the most sheer item, pays the £450, and takes it home. He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him.

Upstairs the wife thinks, "I have an idea. It's so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won't put it on, but I'll do the modeling naked, return it tomorrow, and keep the £450 refund for myself."

She appears naked at the top of the stairs and strikes a pose.

The husband gasps and exclaims, "Good Grief! You'd think for £450, they'd at least have ironed it!"

He never heard the shot.

The funeral is on Thursday at noon.

More Funny Cats

Hold On Tight!

How to hold on while the train is in motion in order to avoid falling.

What The Papers Say

Precise reporting from today's papers.

Enjoy Your Holiday Flight!

Gordon Brown's Retirement

At last Gordon Brown decided to throw the towel in and resign. His cabinet colleagues decided it would be a worthy gesture to name a railway locomotive after him. So a senior 'Sir Humphrey' went from Whitehall to the National Railway Museum at York , to investigate the possibilities.

"We have a number of locomotives at the Museum without names," explained the Head Curator, "Mostly freight locomotives though."

"Oh dear, that's not very fitting for a prime minister," said Sir Humphrey. "How about that big green one, over there?" he said, pointing to a handsome green steam locomotive.

"That's already got a name" said the Head Curator, "Number 4472, it's called FLYING SCOTSMAN."

"Oh. Couldn't it be renamed?" asked Sir Humphrey. "This is a national museum after all, funded by the taxpayer."

"I suppose it might be considered," came the reply, "After all, the LNER renamed a number of their locomotives after directors of the company."

"That's excellent", said Sir Humphrey, "So that's settled then ... let's look at renaming 4472. But how much will it cost? We can't spend too much, given the expenses scandal!"

"Well", said the Head Curator, "We could always just paint out the F."

Definition: Political Correctness

Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Winner of the annual contest at Texas A&M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.

Stupid Tattoos

(On a note of clarification, only old salty sea-dogs can properly carry off a tattoo.)

Funny Cats

More Difficult Insurance Claims

Down Our Way...

Fantastic Music Machine

Turn your sound on for this. This is almost unbelievable. See how all of the balls wind up in catcher cones.

This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa . Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft , Iowa ...Yes, farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it was WELL worth the effort.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.

Or so they say ...

This actually might be a hoax. The detailing is very plain and the camera is remarkably smooth as it pans across. It could be a bit of clever computer graphics. Hmmm...

Revenge Visits Us In Many Forms

Illegal Immigrants

HM Immigration Services are always vigilant for innovative new schemes being used by potential immigrants to illegally enter the UK. This photo shows a very sophisticated attempt which nearly succeeded.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Today is the 200th birthday of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892). In his latter years he used to travel to the Isle of Wight for health reasons. On one occasion, his nurse said, "Sir, you have written about everything apart from death. Do write something about our final journey to God"

As he sat on deck he watched the bosun steering the boat into the twilight and wrote the poem Crossing The Bar:

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Hat tip Denis Khan, Bombay, India.

More From Our Local Paper

New World Record!

Did you know that a new world record has been set for the HIGH JUMP from a KNEELING position?

The record (1.73 metres) was set yesterday on a beach near Cannes on the French Riviera.

I don't yet have a photo of the actual record jump. but the photograph below was taken just a split second beforehand and gives a clear idea of how this remarkable record was achieved.

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog