Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant


Justin here, and as I type 2014 slowly ebbs away into the past. This year will become last year and a new year, unsullied by the will of man will be upon us. “Where does all the time go?” is a question often asked in our hurly-burly lives, but do we really consider it? I mean, where DOES it go? Into some cosmic storehouse of the past? Or does it simply disappear, as the minutes I have used typing thus far have possibly done?
What would we do if we had access to the past? Would we seek to rectify mistakes? Would I drop one of the religious tunes I chose for my recent appearance on “Desert Island Discs” and select “Bat Out of Hell” instead? Given the chance, I probably would.
If, one day, by dint of techno-scientific advancement, we are able to change the past, exactly what WOULD we change, bearing in mind that the past inevitably affects the future?
However, these and other metaphysical musings must now cease as I lend a hand in organizing the Palace’s New Year celebrations. There will be hot soup and bread rolls for the homeless of course, supervised by local Police officers on the lookout for outstanding warrants.
Midnight Service is always very popular with parishioners overflowing with Festive spirit and I shall try to offer as light-hearted a sermon as possible, perhaps likening life to a game of football.
But before that we have dinner and guests chosen this year by my lady wife. The young man with the wire in his ear chose last year’s who were, in fact, all footballers. No such thing for my lady wife. At the head of the list is one Daniel Craig – a film actor, I am told, whilst slightly further down is Father Dougal O’ Houligan from our local Catholic church – something of a trencherman and spirits expert. “If ye can light it, I’ll drink it” is a typical O’Houligan bon mot. Then come some ladies whose names quite frankly do not ring a bell although one of them was pointed out by the young man with the wire in his ear as being “hot”. An ongoing medical condition perhaps. What would Jesus have thought?

I am proud to announce that our special guest this year is none other than Mr Boris Johnson, mayor, and soon to be – some would say – our next Prime Minister.

And so, with these thoughts clamouring in my head, I shall prepare a few words of greeting  for our guests, as well as putting the finishing touches to my sermon. When I confided to the young man with the wire in his ear that I sought a little levity this year, he told me a joke about a duck, a rubber glove and a fat lady. Sadly, I didn’t understand it.

A Very Happy New Year to you all.

Pip, pip,


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Services

Glossop Town has recently reintroduced the Council-funded mobile public enema facility.

Councillor Dick Trouser says, "There's no need to be bunged-up in 2015 now!"

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Hullo, Justin here,

And as our most spiritual and joyous festival approaches, bringing as it does merriment with our friends and families and humble thanksgiving with fellow parishioners for the coming of the Christ-child, who, it should be noted was born “at home”, in line with the National Childbirth Trust’s message, I feel that in this, my last message to you before Christmas, I should concentrate on that season.

However, wearing my political hat, I really must give voice to my concerns about the goings-on within and around a certain democratic phenomena known to us all as UKIP. That party’s leader, one Nigel Farage attracts huge media attention. As Sam Goldwyn once said of Greta Garbo, “The camera loves him” (Miss Garbo, early in her career, did sport a small moustache). And this must surely be true of Mr Farage. He is a man of the people. He drinks, smokes, spits, swears, survives ‘plane crashes' and is doubtless excellent company at dinner parties.

Sadly though, he surrounds himself with what the young man with the wire in his ear calls “knobheads”. I myself am not familiar with the term and can only surmise it refers to bedstead manufacture.

It seems to me that despite living in an age of instant communication, GCHQ surveillance, and implied internationalism, a significant slice of the population pie would put its weight behind Mr Farage and UKIP.

Like White Vanman or not, one would think that Mr Farage’s race to parliamentary influence places him in pole position. Nevertheless, those closest to Mr Farage let him down constantly. In the last few days one of his would-be MPs has resigned after making racist and homophobic remarks, blaming strong medication for his faux pas. I find this odd. Why, like all of us, I myself have taken painkillers in the past. I was forced to rely on them for a couple of weeks after an unfortunate coming together with a drill bit during my days in the oil business. But at no time did they affect my political or spiritual stance.

Embarrassingly, another UKIP candidate, a bald gentleman in his 50s, swore undying love to an alleged would-be UKIPper – a much younger female with whom he had what can only be described as hands-on experiences.

And where does all this, and doubtless more information come from, you may ask? I do not know. What I do know is that when details of the latest UKIP resignee appeared on the BBC news, the young man with the wire in his ear punched the air and shouted, “Yes!“

Even apparently genuine UKIP joiners have very unfortunate names like “Reckless”. Dearie me.
For the record, I do not share Mr Farage’s rather limited view of mankind, but I am a fan of fair play and feel strongly that the already murky political waters are being disturbed somewhat by persons unknown. I shared my concerns with the young man with the wire in his ear. His response was surprising. He handed my lady wife and I a mobile telephone each, warned us not to use the landline, and that these two gifts were called “burners” and virtually untraceable. He then tapped the side of his nose and winked.

I prefer to regard these two telephones as Christmas gifts and, to please the young man with the wire in his ear, will use mine, despite the strange clicks it tends to make. Why even now, my lady wife is speaking on hers to Neckitt and Falldown, our wine merchants, ordering significant amounts of Christmas cheer.

Which brings me back, rather neatly I thought, to what should have been the main message of this missive – that being to God bless us, every one, and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.

Pip, pip,

Thursday, 11 December 2014

On This Day

Five Years Ago

Results were announced of the competition held by Dymvale Borough Council to name the new road being built for housing development at Fivetrees. The winning entry (rewarded with a week's free parking at any council car park within the borough) was 12 year old Kylie Throng, who came up with the name of New Road. There were seven other entries, including Desolation Row, Flood Meadows, Abomination Avenue and Whowantsthisanyway.

Ten Years Ago

A legal settlement involving undisclosed sums of money was reached between publishers Thorley Pieves and the award-winning writer Lydia Stobleigh, acclaimed by critics for her courageous and innovative approach to the written word. At issue had been the publication of Ms Stobleigh's ground-breaking work, a 589-page contemplation of self, written as one sentence, all in lower case and devoid of punctuation. The title of this volume should have read 'Impenetrable', but instead left the printer's and was displayed in every bookshop bearing the title 'I'm Penetrable'. This, claimed the publishers, was only a small change of text that had helped sales enormously.

Twenty Years Ago

An appreciative gathering filled the church at Fickleshole in Kent at the memorial service held to celebrate the life and work of pioneer film-maker Norman Throbbing. Warm tributes were paid to a man described as 'unique', 'one-off' and 'like no other'. Those attending were treated to a selection of the well-known pieces to come from the Throbbing Productions Studio and find a home in the BBC Interlude archive. These included Leaf Falling, Ball Rolling, and Paint Drying, along with the full, uncut version of his famous sequence Bake-Off, featuring two potatoes in a glass-fronted oven. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Cassius Pugnatius Seagull

And as December has gently morphed into winter, rather unusually for this year, ho ho ho have I had some fun. Mrs Blenkinsopp at No. 104 has been 'entertaining' a gentleman who - so my limited search reveals - is not Mr Blenkinsopp. I sat on the window sill and joined in their mournful cries. At an appropriate moment, I joined in with my famous impersonation of a machine gun. The so-called gentleman then lobbed a boot at me, which went crashing through the window and landed on a traffic warden below. 

Now how's she going to explain that to her husband. Fnaar.

I did return momentarily to make one last mournful lament before soaring orf into the bright blue yonder that is St Leonards on Sea. Fnaar.

However, it has come to the attention of we gulls that a bunch of people calling themselves 'The Kippers' will be gathering together at the Doom and Gloom (an inn, tavern or house of ill repute so called because one of the punters died whilst awaiting his pint of 'Old Dogfart' and nobody noticed. Not for a week.) 

But I digress.

What these kippers seek to do is have a quiz night where you pay a fortune to participate, and have a portion of fish and chips. Indoors. Yep, indoors. Well, what's a gull supposed to do? No rich pickings there then.

Operating a shift system (yes, that said 'shift' and nuffink else), we will be lining up along the edge of the roof and greeting these so-called kippers in our inimitable gull style; once on arrival and once on departure.

After all, we don't want this sort of useless immigrant spoiling our sea-front haunt, do we?