Sunday, 20 December 2015

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

Justin here...

As the Great Day and the Miracle of Christmas draws ever closer, I have to report that the various Yuletide domestic crises – inevitable at such a busy time – have themselves been overshadowed by the sacking of one Jose Mourinho, lately the manager of Chelsea, a local football club. I must admit to being less than captivated by the activities of footballers, and have deep reservations about someone who calls himself, “The Chosen One”, or “The Special One”. Surely these titles have religious overtones bordering on the blasphemous. Several months ago I said as much in our Palace circular, but was persuaded by the young man with the wire in his ear not to include the observation in distributed copies. His words were; “Get real Archie, they worship him.” 

But as I write, my concern is with the effect Mr Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge is having on Palace staff. Why, even my lady wife has taken to wearing a black armband. Our Nativity scene remains unfinished. The cow, you will remember, had been partly painted brown by Mr Crumbling. It is now partly Chelsea blue, rendered so by Mr Crumbling who I found weeping gently in the Lower Scullery this morning.  Controversially, Mr Hassan, my ethnic adviser is lobbying for the inclusion of an astronaut in our Christmas tableaux in honour of Tim Peake who is presently orbiting this troubled globe. Mr Hassan went further by suggesting that for all we know, The Baby Jesus was himself a very tiny alien. He then lapsed into a tearful fury, yelling, “Mourinho will never go to United!”

At this point, on the advice of the young man with the wire in his ear, I left.
Such is the miracle of Christmas, as I passed Lower Chapel, my heart was lifted by the singing of our junior choir so lately enmeshed in the difficulties of “In The Bleak Midwinter”. Today they were fairly belting out “Hark! The Herald Angels”, one of my favourites. I popped my head round the door to congratulate Alison Grommet on her sterling work with so disparate a group of youngsters. She thanked me, but looked troubled. When I asked what concerned her, she said, “Thank you Archbishop, but they like it so much, won’t sing anything else now.” I was nonplussed, but immediately interrupted by young Craig Hassan who ran up and asked, “’Ere! Who’s Harold Engels anyway?”

I made my farewells and trudged back to my study. There is still much work to do here.

Pip! Pip!

Monday, 30 November 2015

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


Justin here,
I pen these words on my return from listening to Junior Choir practice. What a joy! Alison Grommet, our junior choir mistress for these past few months has done a truly wonderful job bringing together an hitherto disparate group of under-twelves, many of whom only volunteered after promises of cake, and has created a most effective singing instrument.
Of course, there are still small problems to solve, evident earlier in the choir’s rendition of “In the Bleak Midwinter” You will be familiar, dear reader, with the line, “Snow had fallen sno-ow, snow, sno-o-o- -w on snow."  Clearly, there are three distinct “o” sounds in the middle. Unfortunately, one child, little Craig Hassan, grandson of one of my ethnic advisers, Mr Alberto Hassan, insisted on putting in an extra “o” which as you might imagine, did tend to fracture the rhythm somewhat. When Miss Grommet pointed this out (for the umpteenth time), young Craig, an assertive child said, “So what? Its only a stupid song”, and ate more cake.

What would Jesus have done? Well, I went off to find Grandad Alberto and tactfully outlined the problem, thinking that he might have a quiet word. Mr Hassan’s reaction dismayed me somewhat. “Well I’m with Craig on this,” he said, “Besides, when does it snow where your Jesus bloke came from? Its daft” 

Before I could reply and explain the symbolism of snow and isolation, raised voices from the Lower Kitchen prevented that, I’m afraid.

Sadly, the refurbishment of our Nativity scene is not much further along, and I heard the unmistakable rumble of Mr Crumbling shouting, “Brown. Brown! I’ve run out of brown  and I’ve still got the cow’s ‘ead to do!” “USE BOOT POLISH!" shouted Mrs Wellbeloved. (Mr Crumbling is rather deaf).

I simply cannot type Mr Crumbling’s reply. Taking a deep breath, I resolved to enter and to try to settle differences. By this time, rock buns were flying and once again I was rescued by the apparently ever-present young man with the wire in his ear…

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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

Hullo, Justin here...
I write now that the clocks have decreed that our daylight hours shall be shorter and minds turn towards the delights and challenges of Winter. For my next sermon, I had in mind the immortal words of Monsignor GuntherTeaspoon, writer, Esperanto poet, philosopher and 1934 World Vatican Yo-Yo champion. He said, "Though I feel a bit chilly, I must remember the chillier". Wise words indeed.
However, my musings have been interrupted somewhat by what I shall call a vigorous debate about Palace Christmas arrangements which has broken out between my lady wife – aided and abetted by the young man with the wire in his ear, Mrs Wellbeloved, our head cleaner and part-time cook, Mr Alberto Hassan, one of my 27 ethnic advisers, and the sadly ailing Harold Crumbling, the Palace’s longest serving handyman. Most of these good people have in years gone by been responsible for creating Palace Christmas decorations.
It seems that for decades - well before my time in fact, the Palace has favoured what could be called a traditional theme in Christmas decorations. Indeed, last year’s Nativity scene and array of bells, candles and cotton wool snow seemed to bear witness to this being the way to go again this year. Not so – and hearing raised voices in the Lower Kitchen, I entered and found myself in the middle of a fierce argument, fragments of which I report here.

My lady wife; “The cattle are lowing, the baby awoke. Its there, in the words of the carol for goodness sake!”
Young man with the wire in his ear; “Can’t argue with that, matey”
Mr Hassan: “Oh yes I can. It’s a typical white, middle class, Christian, Dickensian load of hokum!”

At this point I intervened to point out that Christmas is, in fact, a Christian festival. And was told to shut up and put the kettle on. Meanwhile, Mrs Wellbeloved and Mr Crumbling stridently suggested that the inhabitants of our Nativity diorama were past their best. Said Mr Crumbling; “The cow needs repainting and Joseph’s got no nose. AND I’m gettin’ too old to be lugging all that stuff about with my back.”

My lady wife seemed close to tears saying, “But it's traditional. Its what Christmas is all about!” As I sought to intervene once more, Mr Hassan banged the table and shouted, “Traditional for who, exactly? What about all the Jews and Arabs, Rastafarians, Druids, Hindus, Muslims and Inuits? What about them, eh?” This time, I did make myself heard. “But God loves everyone”, I said. At that point, Mr Hassan actually threw one of Mrs Wellbeloved’s notorious rock buns at me.

The young man with the wire in his ear swiftly bundled me from the room.

Pip! Pip!


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Pangolin Villas - new self-catering apartment for rent!

Famed for its local, friendly wildlife
Our featured property of the month is this delightful residence, formerly known as 'House of the Severed Limb', and has always proved a great hit with tourists young and old. There are phantoms to suit all tastes, some resident, and others which can always be recalled from their resting places beyond the grave.
Eddie, one of our resident ghosts

But don't just take our word for it!  Here's a letter from a satisfied customer:

“Dear Mr Wuff,
                              I am a grate believer in gosts and stuff and me and my friend Muriel regulerly go to seances. Recently, these have been interuppted by a horrid old man who pops over from the Other Side and shouts at us by holding up signs with stuff writen on them. I thought you might be iterested in the enclosed photo.
Yours Truly,
Gwen Varnish [Mrs 47]"

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Pangolin Celebrity Guide!!!

Frank Sinatra. 

He was a celebrity. OK, he was very tiny and wore a dreadful wig, but he could sing, dance a bit and hung about with gangsters which doubtless helped with the celebrity thing in that it discouraged yobs from shouting, “Oi, wiggy, do I Done it My Way!”

Attilla the Hun had a fair old following too. You were either for or against him. If you were against him, he killed you. Certainly got him known about the place. 

And Marilyn Monroe – whoa – now there was a celebrity! So it wasn’t her real name, which was Norma Postule or something, but who cared? That lady dazzled.

I could bang off an almost endless list of real celebrities... Ella Fitzgerald, Alma Cogan, Rasputin, Petula Clark, John Wayne, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Sooty, The Queen Mother, Willie Nelson… so could you.

But why were they celebrities? I will tell you. Its because they actually DID something really well. (scrub The Queen Mother although she had a hell of a wave on her). These days we’re awash with thousands, nay, millions, of alleged celebrities who haven’t really done anything. Or if they have, only a little bit of it. Or badly, or both. Why should this be?

Well its all to do with the internet, smart phones and millions of sad young bastards who haven’t got lives. The media panders to these saddoes by producing so-called newspapers which advertise “ALL THE GOSS” - that being snippets of inconsequential tittle-tattle about “Big Bro love-rat nipple ring bust-up” featuring young people you’ve never heard of who don’t actually do anything but get themselves on telly because they’re massively insecure and don’t want to be who they actually are. TV adverts help the whole thing along too with shedloads of deeply irritating, grinning fools pushing toothpaste, or in one UBER-irritating ad, a cool young man taking everything in his stride whilst DRINKING WEETABIX!! Honest. I’d fire the arrogant poser pdq.

Can anything be done about it? Probably not, but eventually Justin Bieber will be fifty and by then he will have stopped being fashionable and irritating. His place will have been taken long before that by another celeb. We can’t even SAY the word properly these days in an age which favours textspeak and WALOS means What a Load of Shite. That certainly works for me. (TCWFM)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

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

Hullo, Justin here.
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosomed friend of the maturing sun... Ah, Autumn... Almost upon us and even here in our sleepless city, the signs are there... falling leaves, thoughts of a still distant Christmas, and more immediately the Rugby Union World Cup. Presently, this clash of the Titans dominates our little household. My lady wife and the young man with the wire in his ear are both terribly keen on this competition, and so I am free to indulge one or two minor passions of my own.
I recently unearthed a few brass rubbings I made in my student days. One – of Sir Gilbert de Ponce and his wife Lady Edith taken from their tomb in the nave of Glossop Cathedral reminds me always that Man makes plans and God smiles. Research tells us that the ambitious Sir Gilbert and his new wife journeyed from France early in the 12th century to join the court of King William. En route from Dover to Winchester they were set upon by what appear to have been ne'er-do-wells and hobbledehoys, robbed of all their worldly goods and left naked and bruised by the roadside. I mention this by way of making the connection between circumstance and solution. Far from being discouraged, the de Ponces girded their loins with leaves, lay in wait for the next French emigrés to appear and repeated the procedure, eventually reaching King William’s court, late but unbowed, ending their days as Master and Mistress of the King’s Commode. Were theirs Christian actions ? Well, in the words of the Bard, “Needs must when the Devil’s made off with yer kecks.”

Sadly, I am tugged back to reality by shouts of “Ref! REF! – FORWARD PASS!” as Tongans jump on French heads, and try hard to weave something rugby-ish into Sunday’s sermon.

Pip! Pip!


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

'At a Dead End' - a review of Art in the Mausoleum, by R T Faherty (our resident art critic)

As part of the annual Glossop Open Cemeteries event, I was invited to review a series of site-specific installations which some of these arty types had, er, installed in carefully designated mausolea around the county. Well, as you know, I'm a regular attendee at these arty events and so off I went in anticipation of warm white wine and peanuts, and called at my first family vault.

It was staffed by a lugubrious young man with '****' tattooed on his forehead. No, he didn't actually have a row of asterisks engraved on his bonce; more that I'm aware that Auntie Florrie may be reading this and rude words give her heartburn. He offered me what looked like liquid manure from a hip flask. I tasted it and found my initial impression to be correct. Then I asked about the artwork. He pointed to a set of headphones resting on the capstone of the monument.

"It's for a sound installation," he explained. "But there ain't no electricity or running water in there, so you can't actually listen to it."

"I thought this was supposed to be, ahem, site-specific!" (I raised one eyebrow in the manner of James Bond).

"It IS site-specific," he protested. "It's just that it's specific to a different site".

Just then, my old friend Bogg arrived. He was wearing his usual donkey jacket which looked as though it had spent the night with its namesake. I once had a cucumber reduce itself to mush in my fridge over a period of several months, and the aroma was similar. He didn't attempt to find any artwork, and when I left he was still engaged in a struggle over the hip flask with the tattooed tippler - a scenario fairly typical of Bogg's art appreciation activities.

I wiped a blob of marmalade from my map and set off in pursuit of my next exhibit.

The next family tomb was remarkable only for its lack of family. There was nevertheless an old tramp making himself comfortable in there. He threw an earthworm at me and uttered a terse, Anglo-Saxon expression. "Oh," thought I. "Not much chance even of a cup of tea here then", and turned to go. He called me back and offered me a dirty scrap of paper with 'Benedict Ping - artist statement' written at the top. It went on to explain:

'As subtle derivatives become frozen through studious and repetitive practice, the viewer is left with a hymn to the outposts of our era...'

I read no further. If I can't spot the inane ramblings of an Arty Bollocks generator, then who can?

I might add that some of these family vaults are situated in some pretty out-of-the-way places, and my next one involved a trip across an area of quicksand, a wood known to be inhabited by werewolves and a sheer 20' drop.

I teetered on the brink of the quicksand. I could see the top of an artistic-looking toupée and a cheese sandwich (with a bite taken out it) floating on the surface. I turned back, dropped into our local off-licence and speedily liberated a bottle of single malt while the owner was remonstrating with a bunch of hoodies.

Sitting by my own fireside, I reflected on what a very arty day it had been, and how highly I recommend the tour to anyone who's hoping to shed a relative or two en route.

Monday, 14 September 2015

CORBYN the CONQUERER from our political correspondent Bridget Barmie

So, Labour has a new Leader. In a seismic , unprecedented, amazing, stunning, unparalleled, stunning (you’ve said that already. Ed) victory, Jeremy Corbyn became the new, grizzled, loveable leader of the Labour Party. In his victory speech, tie-less, sockless Mr Corbyn paid tribute to his countless trillions of supporters throughout the galaxy. Looking on were his vanquished rivals, Yvette Cooper, aka Mrs Balls, a name which has haunted her family for years, Andy Burnham (the little bloke with long eyelashes) and another lady who everybody’s forgotten now.

Congratulations have poured in from politicians and public alike. Mrs. Primrose Thicknesse (47) from Glossop, Derbs., said, “At last we’ve got somebody who’ll sort out all those rich bastards.” When reminded that Mr Corbyn had won a leadership election and not a general election, Mrs Thicknesse said, “Oh. Right. I can’t abide General Elections. All that having to vote stuff.”

Kyle Brutle of Goole said, “He seems like an OK sort of bloke. He’ll get my vote as soon as he bombs the shite out of ISIS and starts hanging paedos.”

Opinion from the other side of the political spectrum is probably best summed up by Sir Julian Loaded who said, “Ha ha ha ha! Both feet! They’ve shot themselves in both feet. My job as Head of Various Really Indecently Well Paid Things is safe as houses. (Sir Julian is paid £12547k per annum) And in a rare departure from Royal protocol, HM the Queen said, “Oh for Christ’s sake!”

The Leader of the Lib Dems was not available for comment because nobody could remember who he/she is.

Of course, not all present prominent Labourites are happy about Mr Corbyn’s election and some have refused to serve under him. Said Simon Smoothie, MP for somewhere in the Midlands, “What, and have to wear T shirts and tracksuit bottoms? You’re joking!”

Later tomorrow, Mr Corbyn will throw a celebratory dinner for supporters.

On the menu will be Shredded Wheat (one per guest) and skimmed milk.

Monday, 7 September 2015

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

Justin here. A rather chastened Justin, I must admit. I have been encouraged by our creation of church-based credit unions to successfully combat payday lenders like the notorious Wonga. In fact, I can now reveal a very small part of my exchanges with one Len Smootharse, the then head of Wonga.

“Listen Bish”, said Mr Smootharse, “Why shouldn’t we make a bob or two out of idiots?” My hackles rose. I do so hate “Bish”. Well, we settled Wonga’s hash, did we not? Mr Smootharse left and has been replaced by Ms Penny Niceperson who I haven’t met but am assured smells of lavender and new mown hay.
So, on the basis of a battle won, I rose in the House of Lords the other day to make what I considered to be a perfectly reasonable moral suggestion. Of course, I had run through the gist of my speech with my lady wife, but at the time she was shouting at Hull Kingston Rovers to “For pity’s sake get hold of the ball, you bunch of sissies!” on the television, so perhaps I did not have her full attention. 
However, in the long car on the way to the House I outlined my proposed address to the young man with the wire in his ear. He immediately laughed – quite derisively, I thought, and said, “Look Archie (much nicer than Bish, I have always thought), yer landed gentry and stately homes mob aren’t going to go for that in a month of Sundays. It’s a lemon“.
What would Jesus have done, I thought. No matter. I pressed on. So that, dear reader, you may judge my heartfelt plea for yourselves, here is a précis of what I said.

“My Lords, Ladies, Peers of the Realm, fellow clergy, Her Majesty’s Government, The Lions Rampant and all who draw nigh… (Intros do go on a bit in the Upper House). I stand before you as a man of God acutely aware of Our Lord’s teachings on mercy and compassion. Do unto others…" (I let that bit hang in the air for a few seconds), then continued…

“Presently the free world is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the form of thousands, nay, millions fleeing to our borders so as to escape hunger, imprisonment and death.” At this point I did notice several snowy heads nodding. Whether this was in agreement or the onset of sleep I cannot say. 

I went on... "I therefore respectfully propose that all of us who live in grand houses, palaces even, should set aside as many rooms as we possibly can so as to accommodate homeless, penniless, starving migrants, and thereby demonstrate for all to see the essentially British maxim of Fair Play For All.“
I am sorry to say that at this point I could not continue because of shouts of “Bollocks!” and “Get lost, Bish!” (I do so hate Bish). Various items were thrown in my direction and the Leader ordered all amplification and recording devices switched off. My mortification turned to fear as I spotted Eugenie, Lady Pinchbeck, a one-legged woman of at least 102 summers, bearing down upon me waving her zimmer frame whilst shouting, “I’m not having any of that swarthy mob anywhere near Crabbers End!”(her family seat) “You’re nothing but a God-bothering do-gooder!” Fortunately for me, the young man with the wire in his ear stepped in and felled Lady Pinchbeck with a very respectable short left hook before bundling me from the building and back to the relative safety of the long car.

This unfortunate episode may well not make it to the media, but I don’t mind admitting that I found it frightening and most revealing. Well, for good or ill, I have decided to do what Jesus would have done. Next Tuesday, unbeknownst to all but myself and the young man with the wire in his ear, Lambeth Palace will take delivery of 35 Portakabins, 100 chemical toilets and a canteen. The young man with the wire in his ear supports my madcap scheme, but does keep muttering something about fans and manure.

Pip, pip!


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Pangolin News Flash!


                         IMMIGRANT CRISIS HITS GLOSSOP

  • Strange person seen in street
  • Pensioners not safe in their beds
  • Washing stolen from line

In this exclusive report from award winning journalist Portia Fishwick, we reveal the horror of a continental invasion.

Today, the normally bustling highways and byways of this Derbyshire town are deserted, save for keen-eyed patrolling Police officers.

Chief Inspector Dave Grist
Says Chief Inspector Dave Grist: “This is something we take very seriously” C I Grist’s words were echoed by Councillor Joyce Humper on Radio Glossop when she said, “The Police are taking this very seriously.”

I was given special permission by C I Grist to speak to actual eyewitnesses of the incident which has struck fear into the hearts of Glossopians. In the town’s launderette I found Mrs Eileen O’Blimey [47], a frail,brave woman who, in her own words said, "I just had to nip out and get me smalls done as we have had our washing machine repossessed". Visibly shaken, she went on, “I was just crossing the road by the bookies when I seen this bloke. He didn’t look local and I suddenly realized he were foreign.” At this point Mrs O’Blimey looked very shaken and had to sit down. The story was taken up by launderette manager Traci Blunt [19]. She said; "Yeah, I seen him an’ all. He definitely looked foreign, an’ he was like, walking along."

Leaving these plucky women, I went next to the tap room of The Royal Gherkin, normally quiet at this time of day but now crowded with mostly men wisely taking a day off work. “I mean, its not safe to be out there, is it?” queried a young strapping chap called Grant who didn’t want his name mentioned. However, the Gherkin’s landlord, Des Gimlet, had no such reservations. He said, “I spotted him first just as I was coming in to open up. I don’t know why, but you don’t think twice in these circumstances, do you – I mean not with these millions of immigrants jumping over fences in Calais and stuff, so I just went up and asked him who he was and what he wanted.” A muted round of applause followed and I was impressed with Mr Gimlet’s selfless disregard for his own safety.
Mrs Eileen O'Blimey recounts her ordeal

These are just a few of the eyewitness accounts I have heard today. There is genuine fear here as Police try to find the mysterious and possibly dangerous foreigner seen prowling the streets.

STOP PRESS! At approximately 5.21pm this evening, Chief Inspector Dave Grist made this local radio statement. “Earlier this afternoon, a man came forward and identified himself as Dr Miguel Gonzalez. Dr Gonzales was able to confirm that he was the foreign-looking male who had terrified locals. Dr Gonzalez had become lost and was trying to find his way to Glossop Royal Infirmary where he is to take up the post of Head of Psychiatry.”

Dr Miguel Gonzales
Later, through a hospital spokesperson, Dr Gonzalez added "What a bunch of nutters. As a psychiatrist, I expect to see quite a few of them again in the near future."

The Mail says: We give thanks for the grit and determination of journalists like Ms Fishwick whose Dunkirk spirit guards us against the threat of unbridled immigration. That today’s terrifying events resulted in a peaceful ending is irrelevant. Tomorrow, it could be a lorry-load of Islamic State butchers.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

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

Justin here. 

I’m pleased to report that our Summer Fayre frolics went off tolerably well although I still fail to see why a “y” is preferable to an “i” in its title. Nevertheless, apart from a potentially dangerous stand-off between the nuns of Our Lady of Strictness and The Sisters of Cool, it was all most enjoyable. It is worth mentioning that Mr Des O’Connor, our Celebrity Guest was instrumental in calming passions between the religious ladies by collapsing half way through “If You Were the Only Girl in the World” clutching his chest immediately after the young man with the wire in his ear had darted forward to adjust Mr O’Connor’s microphone, inadvertently pinning it to the singer’s chest rather than shirt. But nuns of both persuasions saved the day and the veteran crooner was able to continue.
But presently, I must admit to a certain mystification with regard to our Labour Party and its search for a new leader. Mr E Miliband, the last incumbent was, to my mind, cruelly treated by the Tory Party and the media – which is owned, apparently, by the Tory Party, and as a consequence the Labour Party was soundly trounced. It now finds itself in the strange position of having an ideal candidate – Mr Jeremy Corbyn, an utterly incorruptible follower of the principles set down by Kier Hardie – but who appears to unsettle Labour Grandees. Why should that be? Might it be because Mr Corbyn wants to redress the balance between public and private ownership of essentials like energy and transport, rid us of nuclear missiles, bring the banks into line with what is legal and celebrate a quality sadly lacking in many politicians – honesty? He puts me in mind of Jesus. We all know what happened to Him.

Finally, there is one more Test Match to play. A completely splendid England XI have already won the Ashes. In theory, they could simply lark about during this last contest, bowling underarm, using the bat handle or being sent off for repeatedly raspberrying at umpires. But with cricket being cricket, they won’t. They’ll give it their all and at stumps on the final day, they will emerge as winners. Like Mr Corbyn? 

Pip, pip, 


Monday, 3 August 2015

Pangolin Newsflash: Hipster of the Black Lagoon mystery solved

Dramatic pictures emerged yesterday of a search party's amazing discovery at local beauty spot Filth Pond, near Langley's Bottom, Glossop.  Said Team Leader Samantha Kerb: "We've always believed in the hipster legend. It's spotted from time to time and, as you can see, it's a distressing sight. But up till now, it's always managed to evade us."

Local Social Services spokesperson Aubrey Spanner added "The team did a great job coaxing the hipster out of the water with lattes and real ale. He (we think it's a male) will now be taken to Chester Zoo for evaluation."

Friday, 24 July 2015

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

Justin here. 

I write during a lull in the hurly-burly of preparating for our Palace Summer Garden Party. As ever, I have been inundated with suggestions for new events to join evergreen joys such as the now sadly ageing Lambeth Country Dance Team and the ever popular Home Made Wine stall, which this year will offer an especially potent dock leaf and turnip brew. 

An individual called Kanye West came up in discussion several times. My research suggests that Mr West is a popular singer, although the young man with the wire in his ear- so often my guide through things contemporary -  tells me that Mr West’s music and persona may not suit our essentially English gathering. According to the young man with the wire in his ear, Mr West is an egocentric arsehole. Naturally, the young man with the wire in his ear immediately apologised for his earthy terminology, but I must admit that I myself met quite a few egocentric arseholes during my banking days. What would Jesus have done ? In the end, we settled for Mr Des O’Connor.
After the sad deaths of a pet dog and a tortoise, killed by herring gulls, I note that our Prime Minister seeks to have a “Big Conversation” about the depredations of these large and apparently aggressive sea birds. There are two camps here – one which points out that herring gulls are opportunist predators who make no distinction between Yorkshire terriers or day trippers’ ice cream cones and that we mere humans can do little to modify the their behaviour, and the other which recommends poisoning, shooting, sterilising and gassing in order to keep our small dogs and bags of chips safe. My lady wife allies herself to this latter grouping and has been spotted lurking, armed with one of my old cricket bats and a stale loaf, on the library’s flat roof.
Mention of cricket, especially in the wake of England’s recent comprehensive defeat by Australia, pains me somewhat. How can it be that after our outstanding victory in the first test match we can, as the young man with the wire in his ear put it, “roll over like a bunch of numpties” in the second? I know not. Perhaps during the third test, in the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Where two or three (English slip fielders) are gathered together….(many Australian wickets will be taken)“ Of course, the brackets are mine, but I live in hope.

Pip pip,


Friday, 17 July 2015

Packing Volumes

It's that time of year again. Once again we ask some of this country's leading writers to share with us what they will be taking to read on their hols.

Candice Thrubb:

This year I will be taking with me to Lombardy something very exciting. All About Me (5) is the fifth and latest volume of my autobiography, just hot off the press - so hot that I haven't yet had a chance to peek inside and check that all is as it should be. I will, of course, need to take with me as well the four companion volumes to check for consistency of reference and maybe just for old time's sake. Can't wait.

Lawrence O'Fegarty:

I'm looking forward to having with me in Umbria this year the fully illustrated edition of Unremarkable Objects, Norman Stiblet's monumental study of North Staffordshire drain-covers. I won't be going anywhere without also packing the 1962 edition of Pitkin Pictorial's Guide to Devon. Where would we be without bella Italia!

Antonia Pluke-Anstruther:

Anthony Quirke-Burke has been at it again and I won't be leaving any airport till I've got my hands on his much-acclaimed Plonker.

Benedict Crope:

No trip to Italy would be complete for me without a small book of verse to dip into poolside. My choice this year will be Another Garland by Amanda Crope. And I shall have And, Sigourney Hirschnackel's riveting work on the use of this small conjunction in Western Literature.

Anthony Quirke-Burke:

Can't help it, I'm a creature of habit. So it's back to Puglia once again and taking with me Antonia Pluke-Anstruther's much thumbed Nether Region.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Pangolin Science

Dr Oswald von Thyroid, a leading authority Bunt’s Syndrome (the study of really boring things for its own sake), and seen here looking at something unspeakable in a little glass tube thing recently proved conclusively that immersing a man of average height and weight wearing a pair of Dreadnought underpants of average height and weight in mole urine for twelve hours drastically alters the size and whiteness of said underpants.
Says Dr von Thyroid, "Collecting the mole urine was the difficult part. It took my team 14 years. But I am confident that here is proof positive of significant implications for the underpant industry worldwide."

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Ask Lady Violet

Dear Lady Violet,

I've been hired by a posh lady to strip out the filfy old bathroom in the house that she'd bought at auction as a repossession. Strip it out, and replace with mahogany units and gold plated taps, all that. I done it, and right clarse it looked too.

Unfortunately, I'd broke into the wrong house to do this and she's refusing to pay for the works done. Should I take her to court? And what shall I do about the eco-freak in the house what's got my work who's trying to sue me for breaking and entering, causing criminal damage to his conservatory (which I've turned into the mahogany bathroom) and is sending hate mail because the wood has not come from a sustainable source?

Yours sincerely,

Bingo Leadwilly
Lickey End

Dear Mr Leadwilly,
Unfortunately, you fall into an increasingly large class of relatively skilled but intellectually challenged people - often men - presently clogging up the nation's courts. What you describe is a mistake. To that I would add BSM - as in Bloody Stupid Mistake. In simple terms, it is your fault. I would suggest that unless you can show that the gold plated taps were acquired by you legitimately, you should go into hiding immediately.


Lady V

Dear Lady Violet,

My bloke insists on showing me the contents of the dustpan every time he's done a bit of clearing up. It's mostly dust. With the occasional hair clip.

I couldn't give a toss and I wish he'd fuck off. How can I explain this without hurting his feelings?

Yours in anticipation,

Euphoria Bentley-Potts

My Dear Miss Bentley-Potts,
There is never an easy way to end a relationship. Personally, I have always favoured a direct approach, but this will inevitably involve hurt feelings on the rejected one's behalf.
If I might suggest a middle way - why don't you collect together this person's belongings, pile them up in the street and when he appears saying, "Erm, have you seen my socks?" you point eloquently outside. When he goes outside to investigate, slam and lock the front door, then and only then, yell, "FUCK OFF!" through the letterbox.

My best wishes,


Lady V

Thursday, 9 July 2015


Has anyone seen my frisbee? It is one of the new-fangled, memory-foam types, all properly sprung and everyfink!

Last seen in the Poyndexter Park area, Glossop, in 1908. You can see from the expressions of these frisbee-playing bystanders what a very impressive piece of kit it is. Seemed to be heading off towards Mars.

Please contact U F O Pugwash, Prickle-Bottome, Herts.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Pangolin Obituaries

Juliana Gnipper   4/3/1902 - 30/6/15

Ms Gnipper is renowned for spending much of her adult life in custody following a widely-publicised murder conviction in Tinkerbush, August 1934. She had bludgeoned to death the hairdresser 'Whot bluddy done that to my hair' with one of his own sets of curling tongs in the mistaken, though understandable, belief that it was a medieval instrument of torture.

Photographs were eventually disclosed to the presiding Judge in the Court of Appeal, who decided in a landmark ruling that the killing was actually 'justifiable homicide' and released her on condition that she purchased a wig.

She is shown here greeting a new patient to the Tinkerbush dental practice where she eventually became a receptionist. She never did get that wig.

Damien Fannyfumbler  16/10/54 - 29/6/15

Entrepreneur, groper and member of the Conservative Party from 1960 - 2015.

His secretary, Josie Butt (78), climbed down from the top of the bookshelves where she had taken refuge from his amorous advances and explained to The Pangolin: "Need you say more?"

Sunday, 5 July 2015

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


Justin here.

I write at a time of deep anxiety for the Greek people. Whilst I am no international finance expert, I have to agree with my lady wife’s summary of the dilemma, that being, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t".

Bless her, she is doing her bit to assist Greece’s faltering economy by purchasing substantial quantities of something called ouzo. Sadly, yesterday evening, in a chance coming together with the young man with the wire in his ear’s after-dinner cigar, this potent liquid removed most of his eyebrows. What would Jesus have done? Well, I’d like to think much as we did, with a large bottle of mineral water to douse the flames and then the careful application of mascara, effectively disguising the absence of eyebrows.

There are lessons in everything and all of last week and the rest of this week will see sporting drama unfold here in the capital down in Wimbledon. Once again, and to their great credit, English players carry the Plucky Losers flag, whilst these island’s remaining hope lies on the shoulders of one Andrew Murray, who does, ironically, have a bad shoulder.

So presently, sporting analogies fill the mind, from our women footballers coming so close to Lewis Hamilton achieving something called pole position for the imminent British Grand Prix. And these analogies do so fire the passions. As the young man with the wire in his ear – he of the mascara embellished brows - shouted as Hamilton’s time was announced, “Yes! He’s beaten that German ****ard!”, forgetting perhaps that they are both on the same team.

And, you know, perhaps that team spirit is lacking in Europe. Greece is, after all, part of the European team. Admittedly she told a few fibs to get on to the team in the first place, but now, in her hour of need, surely her fellow team members must come to her aid. Germany, the richest member should show compassion and persuade fellow members to bale out the floundering Greeks. Will she? I think not. Angela Merkel is not Jesus. 

Pip. Pip.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Cassius Pugnatius Seagull

Bloody humans! Come over here, building unsightly blocks of flats all over our cliffs and fishing in our seas!

Well, we're staging a comeback, I can tell you! Me and my mates have recently taken to finding the cities with the biggest accumulation of pavement rubbish in the UK, and moving in. I myself have loitered on office windows and fixed daydreamy office types with a stern glare, before hopping in through the window, leaving a calling card on the telephone dock, going "Blarp!" and then hopping off again.

I've also noticed that pigeons congregate in these areas. I detest the way they pooh everywhere, so we've taken to covering their poxy little excretory offerings with more generous portions of our own.

Left a decomposing starfish on the windowsill of No. 98. Yep, we're staging a comeback!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

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

Justin here.
As with so many things in life, I am presently engulfed with requests, by post and by telephone, by Twitter and Facebook to make some sort of statement about the financial scandals presently besetting our national game. Of course, the Twitter and Facebook elements are dealt with by Mrs Hatchett and my secretarial staff, but I do try to respond personally whenever I can, especially to grammatically correct letters.
I have stated many times that my first love is cricket – no stranger itself to corruption at an international level – but still imbued with a sense of fair play on village greens throughout our similarly green and pleasant land, I think.
Football, with its crude chanting and essentially tribal nature has never attracted me although I do understand that it is loved by many millions of ordinary folk. Vive la difference! Not everybody likes brass rubbing.
So you might imagine my dismay upon discovering, with the help of the young man with wire in his ear, via his electronic tablet that football’s world governing body FIFA is shot through with bribery and corruption. Mr Blatter seems to be a pleasant grandfatherly figure, but the young man with the wire in his ear tells me that he is in fact,  “one swindling, dishonest ***tard.” He immediately apologized for his linguistic slip, but went on to applaud the decision of the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation to prosecute several high ranking FIFA officials. I am persuaded of the veracity of these prosecutions not least by the appearance of the FBI agents involved – all clean-cut soberly attired men and women who are so obviously upstanding and honest. Worryingly, FIFA officials also wear suits.
I did ask for the young man with the wire in his ear’s opinion of this scandal, especially the role of Americans in investigating what is usually regarded as a European sport. His answer, that it was to deflect world attention away from US drone strikes, collateral damage, Palestine, Iran, Ukraine and ISIS, was depressing.

So, dear reader, you catch me at a time of indecision. Do I go on record with a strongly worded statement of disapproval or instead, words of forgiveness? What would Jesus have done? Bearing in mind Our Lord’s reaction to moneylenders in the Temple, namely His pitching them out into the street, I doubt that He would have much time for Mr Blatter and his associates. Unofficially, I have it from the young man with the wire in his ear, via his similarly equipped American colleagues, that they, the Americans are going to “lock the ***gers up” Again, I chided his use of swear words, but find myself agreeing with him. I bring to mind the words of Saint Brian in his Letters to the Linoleums (Lino. 3.23)… "And if thou stickest thy head even above the parapet and nicketh someone else’s dosh, the wrath of God will surely descend upon you, even as a ton of bricks.”

And of course, alongside all of that is the monetary crisis in Greece and the possibility of that country being drummed out of the Eurozone. So often my window on the world, the young man with the wire in his ear tells me that the Greeks have only themselves to blame because, “they didn’t pay their ***ding taxes." . Personally, I think Greece seems a very pleasant country – my lady wife is especially fond of something called retsina – and the Greeks have retained some very interesting cross-dressing presidential guards. It would be a pity to lose all that to German conformity.

Pip, pip,


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

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

Justin here and, you know, in the aftermath of a dramatic General Election, my thoughts go out to those whose wishes were dashed, whose hopes came to nothing, and who tasted the bitterness of defeat so publicly. It would not surprise me to discover that many are presently being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
My high office prevents me from taking sides in political contests which, let’s face it, deal in the main with things secular, whereas as Archbishop, my concerns must be spiritual.
I am sure that when the victor, Mr David Cameron visited Her Majesty, the occasion was especially cordial. So often my window on the world, the young man with the wire in his ear, tells me that he is reliably informed that the Monarch is in fact a Tory. This small detail alone must have lubricated the cogs of conversation no end.
But Christian charity has to turn her face towards the losers. I have decided to invite Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg to the Palace so that I might offer what solace I can in this difficult time. Mr Balls too may feel the need for spiritual guidance after losing his seat to a young lady who, I believe, is just twelve and three-quarters. And possibly adding insult to injury, there will now follow leadership contests for the main three parties. What some may regard as the fourth – UKIP – has already done this with its leader, Mr Farage, stepping down then up again within hours. Hearing this on the news, my lady wife, always one for the bon mot, the joke, the play on words, remarked, “Ah, Mr Fromage – The Big Cheese – he’s back!” Oh, how we laughed! I confess I very nearly choked on my macaroon.
More difficult to grasp, for an apolitical creature like myself, is the sudden influx of MPs from north of the border. Frankly, I do not understand this. I had thought that the Scots had their own Parliament. Are their any English MPs in the Scots Parliament? This formidable group is led by an especially shrill young lady. A Scots Nationalist, no less.
So there you have it; my - some would say - inadequate impressions of what has been a turbulent time. But I look forward now to a short period of peace and quiet before the Opening of Parliament – a time when I can pop down to Lord’s or the Oval and drink in the pleasures of leather on willow. As Our Lord said, “Where two or three are gathered together...”

Pip, pip,


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Trending - latest from GLOSSOP GUARDIAN

NO GLOSSOPIANS HURT reports Angela Pinkthing

No-one from Glossop was hurt when a chip-pan blaze ripped through the kitchen of 47 Chimney Parade, Bradford last night. Said Glossop Fire Chief Norman Cramp, "It's just sheer good luck that no-one from Glossop was in that part of Bradford yesterday."

ROAD SUBSIDES reports Ralph Gonad

Emergency Services were in attendance at the junction of Abattoir Drive and Pie Street on Monday when a large hole appeared in the road. Interviewed at the scene, Police Chief Superintendant Ronald Hitler said, "Well, there are two Ford Fiestas and an ice-cream van down there at the moment."
Fortunately, these vehicles were unoccupied at the time.

Later, a Pie Street resident, who cannot be named for legal reasons, called Maurice Arthur Mole went voluntarily to Glossop Police Station. Commented CI Hitler, "Mr Mole, a keen amateur tunneller, is helping us with our enquiries."
Maurice Arthur Mole

Nellie Whelk (87). Photo courtesy

SPORTS NEWS from Judi Blebby  

Glossop Athletic FC Avoid Relegation

In a dramatic 12-All draw against Stokely Town, Glossop Athletic secured their next season’s place in the Frobisher’s Birdseed League. After the match, manager Terry Parrot said, "The lads done tremendous. It was a gritty performance. I know Stokely had nine players sent off, but they still done good."

Glossop FC's Kevin Groper being guided towards the goal whilst balancing extra-long piece of spaghetti

Local pensioner Nellie Whelk (87, Mrs) said, "He’s a proper nuisance, that Mole bloke. He’s been in and out of our cellar four times."