Sunday, June 26, 2011

Singular voices

My Lazy Sunday features two unexpected covers, a voice that can melt the wax in your ears and Tom Jones dancing like a maniac.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Interesting discussion about the game of Spite, over at The Dabbler.

Oh yes and on Monday I posted the extraordinary story of the Hobyahs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Return of Isner Mahut

ToE readers will not be surprised to hear that Isner and Mahut have been drawn together once again in the first round of Wimbledon.

Isner and Mahut are perfectly balanced yin-yang anti-doppelgangers who, since they 'found' each other in last year's impossible tennis match, have been living together in a wooden hut high in the Himalayas, where they spend their days playing out endless chess stalemates and drawn games of noughts-and-crosses.

According to The Times on Saturday, the odds on Isner and Mahut being drawn together again, taking into account Isner's seeding last year, were 1 in 13,871.

But on ToE, we know that the Fates do not play dice. The odds were, of course, 1 in 1.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Yesterday I posted about electronic music at the Big D.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Double Dactyl - the next generation

Over at Nige's place I appear to have accidentally invented a new poetic form - the 'Double Dactyl Plus', with this poem:

Double Dactyl E-Coli Theory

Benedict Cumberbatch
brought a cucumber back
from his vacation
in Las Palmas de Gran.

Engelbert Humperdink
mugged him and nicked the thing,
Took it to Krautland;
That’s how it began.

(To explain: previous Double Dactyl poems had merely rhymed the last line of each stanza, whereas the new 'Double Dactyl Plus' form rhymes AABC, DDEC, where AA and DD are, at a minimum, dactylic half-rhymes, and rather than that business about single-word dactyls in the second stanza and nonsense first lines, there must instead be at least one mention of a cucumber.)

UPDATE: Here's another one, which abides strictly by the rules, including the cucumber one:

Incident at Blue Peter Presenters Function (Double Dactyl Plus)

Cucumber sandwiches
for high tea at Claridges!
All spesh’ly laid on for
the Blue Peter crew!

Valerie Singleton
burnt all her fingers on
a hot buttered crumpet,
And now she might sue.

FURTHER UPDATE: This one is a Double Dactyl Plus Plus, combining both the orginal Hecht/Pascal rules and my additional rules:

Boxing Commentator Salad Poem

‘Rumpeta rumpeta,’
said Harry Carpenter,
Making his way to
The greengrocer’s stall.

But then he was struck by a
And now he can’t eat
any green things at all.

(Meaningless opening line: check.
Subject's name in second line: check.
Single word double-dactyl in second stanza: check.

AABC DDEC rhyme scheme: check.
Mention of cucumber: check.)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Found poetry

Over at The Dabbler I expound on a topic previously explored on Think of England, namely Found Poetry.

Yes I know, I know, but look I can't keep coming with brand new topics all the time, dammit.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Champion

I contribute to the Dabbler Book Club review of Tim Binding's novel The Champion here.

I alone praise it. Tough crowd, the Dabbler Book Club.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Geoffrey Boycott tattoo

On the Beeb's cricket text commentary today, the banter turned to tattoos, and some wag emailed in to suggest that if Geoffrey Boycott were to get a tattoo, it would be one of his own face... On his own face.

I found this idea both amusing and philosophically intriguing. I shall muse on it at length, and see what emerges.

Shane MacGowan

Over at the Dabbler I write about Shane MacGowan.