Friday, 7 August 2009

The Inglorious Bastards

I've spent all day trying to think up a name similar to "The Map Twats" - Voley's intrepid band of walkers. All that thinking has proved pointless, as the only thing I can come up with is "The Inglorious Bastards", and having just gone to Google to check the spelling of 'Inglorious' it turns out that it's already a title of a Tarantino movie. Such is life.

Anyway, after a few days of lounging around, it felt good to get some fresh air and embrace The Shire's countryside. We had been planning to walk up The Wrekin for a few weeks, but kept on having to cancel because the weather wasn't nice enough. was too nice. Hot hot hot, and it made it tough. Real damn tough. I can't recall how many times I've been up there, but everytime it hurts the backs of my knees and makes me feel like I'm either going to vomit/faint/die before I get to the summit. Still, we got there, and if you've never done it, do it! Just to say you got there.

Here's some photos, but my cameraphone has never really covered itself in any glory.

1) The view from the summit, looking out towards Shrewsbury.
2) Ivan, looking like some dodgy Cuban with that hat.
3) Ivan took a photo of this guy. I have no idea who he is, but he needs a haircut and to iron his jeans.
4) That's a branch sticking out of a tree that looks like a crocodile. Good, innit?

Those are the best photos, which isn't saying a lot for the rest. Well folks, that's me done for the week, a nice relaxing weekend of watching football awaits. C'mon WBA, c'mon United, c'mon Telford. See you all back here on Monday, yeah? Cool.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Is this the start or the end?

Sorry folks, it's time for another Slarkie letter. This one was published last night, and I was going to ignore it, as it wasn't particularly interesting, but then the ending caught my eye. This is either the start of something interesting, or it might be the death knell for it, I'm not too sure yet.

Slarkie? The floor is yours!

Whew! The letters page of the Star gets more like Wimbledon centre court every day.

It really doesn't. I hate to be pedantic and funny here, but there is absolutely no comparison with Wimbledon centre court at all going on here. Ever. Period.

Splendid smash from Alwyn Cox. Impossible to return the spin service - the grass twists under his feet.

I see. What Slarkie is about to do here is take people who have written in recently, and use various tennis comparisons to describe them.

Like I said, this letter isn't very interesting, and I was just going to ignore it. However, if we skip about 5 paragraphs and we get to the end...

The fun goes on...

It really doesn't.

and as for the guy who wishes to use all my letters to the "Sloppy Star" as he calls it, to make a blog for himself I hope he enjoys this one!

I bet he won't. Oh, I see - you mean me. I had a sneaking suspicion that either your good self or a relative of yours had visited my blog, Slarkie. If you are reading this, I'm not using your letters to make a name for myself, really. And I analyse your letters with a smile and a rueful shake of the head, not with anger and hatred. I don't agree with your views, but that is life. Keep on writing in, please. It's just a bit of fun, innit?

You'll have to go some to catch Guido Fawkes and the fortune he's made!

This is strictly non-profit, Slarkie. And thanks for the cheap plug.

I just want to end this entry with some responses to Voley's comment he left me earlier, which you can find if you scroll down and find my last Slark-related entry.

Vole: 1) I don't think Slark is a wind-up, I just think she's a little old lady with some funny views, and might be a bit lonely and wish to share them.
2) It is certainly not me! I swear on Ana Ivanovic's life, although writing letters like that as a joke would be the kind of silly thing I would do.
3) Just because she is a Blairite, does not take away from the fact that Caroline Flint is gorgeous. Especially by MPs standards...

I really am going to cut down on the Slark stuff now, and get back to regular blogging. But I'll still be reading, Slarkie...reading...and waiting...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

If there's one thing I hate...'s terrible sports journalism. I'm not the most self-confident person in the world, but I am absolutely 100% sure I could do better than these two losers. Up first, we have Elie Seckbach!

First question is to Dinara Safina, the female world number 1 (she shouldn't be, and she's more masculine than me, but whatever). As you can see for yourself, the question is "How does it feel to be world number one?"

Apologies Seckbach, but I can think of about 3 better questions off the top of my head regarding her Number 1 status. If you ask her "How does it feel..." she can only answer two ways.

A) "Yeah, it's great" or B) "I fricking hate it!" Now, Answer B would be amusing, but it ain't going to happen is it? I think we're pretty confident that the player will just trot out an answer loosely based on A. It tells us nothing, it bores the player, it's a total waste of time.
  • "Do you feel more pressure now you are World Number 1?"
  • "Have you altered your game in any way now that you are World Number 1?"
  • "Does the media treat you any differently now that you are World Number 1?" are 3 questions that I've just thought up which would be more interesting than your effort.
Let's fast forward to 0:53, where Seckbach, the bastard, gets to meet Ana. You've got a second chance, Seckbach. Now make sure you ask her something interesting. In fact, just ask her anything apart from the old "How does it feel to be fit?"

"You're known for your tennis, but also for your looks. Everywhere you go's that for you, you enjoying it?"

For the love of shitting Christ. I'm not joking, this makes me want to stab my eyes out. I'm going to make a vow, right here - if I ever see/hear/read a journalist asking Ana Ivanovic a question like that again, I'm going to find an address for them or their employer and write a letter of complaint. It is pathetic journalism, and if it makes me annoyed, God only knows what she must think. Notice how she treats the question almost exactly the same way she did the last time someone asked her that.

Let's leave that prat, and move on swiftly to another. Come on down, Marcus Tennis! You and your fab surname!

This guy is a fucking psycho. Don't believe me? Pause that video at 2:08. Christ almighty, that's either a Colgate advert or a deleted scene from The Hills Have Eyes. Anyway, let us fast-forward to 3:31, as here we have another joker meeting Ana. Your question, Marcus Tennis?

"Ana, y'know, I wanted to ask you...what do you think is more important, if you had to choose between...the two things that are most important...your shoes, or your racquet?"

When John McEnroe was playing, he famously described an umpire as "the pits of the world". Sorry John, but I think you'll find Marcus Tennis is the pits of the world. What kind of fucking question is that? Asked whilst staring at someone 20 feet away?

Right, that does it. I'm now more determined than ever to become a sports journalist. And when I interview Ana, she will fall in love with me based on my engaging and absorbing questions. We will then marry, and one day I'll get the e-mail addresses of these two pillocks, and I'll e-mail them both just a picture of me and Ana sticking our middle fingers up at them. It's only fair.

(Many thanks to for alerting me to these prats.)

Guess who's back?

Back again? Slarkie's back! Tell your friends!

I said I would start to cut down on my tirades against the letters page of my local newspaper, but I just cannot resist showing you this one. Because it is NONSENSE.

I am sitting here with my blood boiling.

You okay Slarkie? Can I get you a drink? We have some chocolate digestives in the cupboard, how about I get you some with a nice cup of tea? I'll presume you have your tea with milk in it.

Whilst our troops are shot to pieces in Afghanistan our repulsive MPs are away on holiday.

Wow, okay. Let's take this slowly. First of all, massive respect to anyone in the Army, and they are a squillion times braver than I ever could be - let me make that crystal clear. HOWEVER if someone is in Afghanistan, and fighting, it is because they chose to sign up. They weren't forced to. I'm not going to get into a long discussion about the rights/wrongs of the war, but we do have to understand that people serving their country are acutely aware of the dangers of warfare, and what might happen to them. Again, kudos to them.

Secondly, not all MPs are repulsive. I've had many a lovely "twitter-convo" (I've just made that word up) with the lovely Jo Swinson (shame she's a Liberal) and I would happily share a bed with Caroline Flint. And if we move away from the shallow end of the pool - I'm sure we could name a few MPs who are vaguely okay. Vince Cable? William Hague? Hazel Ble...anyway, they're not ALL repulsive. And I think they do deserve a holiday, every now and again. What about the ones who were against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? You think they're repulsive as well?

Not, however, before some of them have set in motion a high court action to claw back the meagre compensation allotted to our wounded heroes.

I know what you're thinking - you're thinking that this is just going to develop into a typical letter attacking MPs and attacking the Afghanistan war. Right?

But I have an idea!

Without doubt, the most terrifying sentence ever since my head of 6th form said to me "I've got your A-Level results".

We have all seen pictures of David Beckham in his white knickers advertising Calvin Klein.

Have you ever watched The One Show? I watch it sometimes, as I like Adrian Chiles' constant misery, and I fancy the pants off Christine Bleakley. I also like what I call "The One Show change of tack" where they will be talking about something sombre ie. death, and then suddenly Chiles will clap his hands together and say "Right, eggs!"

But this, folks, is a proper "change of tack". From MPs and the Afghanistan war, to David Beckham and his bulge in some Calvin Klein pants. Don't know about you, but I'm excited! About the letter, not about the bulge. Hey, if Beckham went to war, would it be the Battle of the Bulge? (Oh, fuck off)

It's said he has signed a £20 million contract for a three-year campaign.

Slarkie, if this is a subtle little tribute to the way Clarkson introduces The Stig on Top Gear, I take back everything, and I want you to be my gran. However I doubt it is, sadly.

They call him a football hero.

I call him a silly twat who threw away legendary status at United by turning into "Brand Beckham" and pissing about in his last season for us.

There is also a fabulously evocative photograph of the really very handsome Corporal Anthony Duncan who is sitting on an ammunition box...thinking about what, one wonders?

I know this! Ask me, ask me, ask me! You're pointing at me? Cool! He was thinking about whether John Nettles is better in Bergerac or Midsomer Murders! What do I win?!

Wouldn't it be great if a perfume house patriotically decided to put under contract some of our boys to advertise their wares - a few million would help a lot to ease their injuries.

I have no idea what relevance this has with the first part of your letter. And no, it wouldn't be great. It would be a bit patronising, most people wouldn't be interested, most "perfume houses" are not British, nor would they be interested. Where would they do the photo shoots? If back here in the UK, that withdraws them for where they are needed. If done out there, not really too suitable is it? How about a "perfume house" gave a few million to fund more helicopters/ammunition/vehicles/various other stuff needed?

A quick summary - you've not really thought this through, have you?

Sitting in their dusty vehicles


they could be saying: "(Expletive!) When I get back home I'm looking forward to my Gucci shower," or something like that.

Not their families? Or home cooking? Or the simple fact that, at home, they might stand less chance of being "shot to pieces"? No, it's their "Gucci shower" (whatever the hell that is). Okay, cool. Still, at least the millions they make will be a consolation, when they're shot dead.

And what finer example for the military to set, than one of their guys standing around in his pants, swearing and advertising something that doesn't exist!

(End of letter)

J Wendy Slark

I strongly dislike you.

Monday, 3 August 2009

People you can rely on

To all the nice people who commented about my last post, either on here or elsewhere, thankyou!

To appease you all, I'll keep the smarky letter entries on here, but I'm going to try my best to limit them so that they don't take over this blog. That's going to prove difficult, as in today's paper is another letter from Slarkie, and it is mental. I mean, seriously. I will blog about it at some point, but I'll leave it a few days, mainly to give me time to try and rationalise it.

So, there we have it. I asked, you answered. Life is good again. Have a picture!

A crisis of confidence

Last night/this morning I was in bed (laying? lying? lieing?) and I was reflecting on something I said to a friend a few weeks back.

We were talking about blogs/blogging, and about why people start up their own blog. I told my friend what I've mentioned on here before - that I started blogging after following The Plashing Vole's excellent effort, that my blog gave me some Creative Writing exercise (handy for my course), that it was all just a bit of fun, and I wouldn't post about politics and heayweight stuff.

But something is weighing on my mind. Recently, as you regular readers will know, I've been criticising idiotic letters written into my local paper. These letters have concerned politics, so I've already broken that vow about blogging about political stuff. I've really enjoyed doing this, and I know when I hear the thud of the paper landing on the doormat soon I'll be rushing down and scanning through the letters page once again.

But I can't help thinking that this was never what my blog was meant to be. I try and make those entries humorous, and I hope you realise that I'm doing these entries light-heartedly and not stabbing the keyboard violently and screaming "SCREW YOU SLARK!" throughout.

I guess I'm just worried that this stuff might take over my blog, and before long I'll be doing this every day. Of course what would happen then is that the happy-clappy, fun, light-hearted nature of my blog will be taken over my long-winded rantings.

SO, I feel I have a choice. Either I carry on like this, and run the risk of that happening, OR I set up a new blog. Call it "Letters from Hell" or something and take my smarky comments off to there, and leave this blog free for random musings, youtube videos and various stuff.

And this is where you come in. If you're a regular reader, what do you think? Would you be interested in a separate blog filled with all this stuff? Or do you think I should carry on doing it on here? Or maybe not do it at all? All comments welcome, because it's on my mind.