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Recent Posts:
September 2005


Battle of Britain

Fertility Treatment

The Plumber's Tale of Woe

Learning to Read and Write

Bureaucracy Gone Mad

What is Really Happening in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come!!!

August 2005

More Surgery!"

How I Met Michael Rennie (1909-1971)

"The Sixth Lamentation" - An Excellent Book

French Onions

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

I'm Recovering Well

Well, I'm Glad That's Over!

Just Me Prattling

The Russian Mini-Submarine

Amazing Animals: The Sturgeon

The Tower Subway

Surgical Pre-Assessment

July 2005

The Coal Delivery

Spyware and Anti-spyware"

Getting Enough Sleep?

An Insidious Cancer

Americans First on the Moon

"The Lion King"

Update on my Biopsy

Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?


Animal Intelligence

Fl./Lt. Dennis G. Hornsey, D.F.C.

The English Language

London Bombs

Marriage Advice?

My Biopsy

A Message for the World's Leaders

June 2005


A 'Perfect' Day

Amazing Animals: The Emperor Penguin

Crowned on this Day in 1509

A Sweet for a Special Occasion

King Solomon's Mines

Father's Day

Tiger, Tiger....


Cockroaches and Human Fertility

World's Best Character Actor

Computer Decisions

Food for Thought


World Ocean Day

Daft as a Brush (or Two)

Douglas Jennings, RAF Evader During WW II

Lord of the Rings

Driving Me Mad

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Friday, 9 September 2005
The Plumber's Tale of Woe
Topic: Humorous
Something reminded me of this joke my sister, Maud, told me a very long time ago. She lives in Spain and I believe this incident really happened, as it is just too preposterous to have been made up. Sadly, it seems, we always laugh the loudest at someone else's misfortune.

a plumberA lady, who lived in a block of flats, was having trouble in her kitchen, her sink appeared to be blocked. So her reluctant husband was asked to have a look at the problem. Changing into his 'work' clothes, he stuck his head into the cupboard under the sink and proceeded to try to undo the locknut and the coupling so that he could remove the trap. In the meantime, his wife decides she will pop out to the corner shop and leaves him lying half in and half out of the cupboard and swearing gently under his breath. After she had gone and after struggling unsuccessfully to get at the sink trap, the husband gives up in frustration. He telephones the plumber who, by a stroke of luck, was working nearby and arrived within a few minutes.

After being out for about an hour, the wife arrives home with her shopping. She is amazed to see that her husband is in the exact same position he was when she left with his legs sticking out of the cupboard. On an impulse, she bent down and "vested a familiarity upon his person" [use your imagination!]. Well, the shock was so great that the poor plumber sat up with an exclamation - and banged his head very hard on the end of the pipe. Our dear lady then perceived the error of her ways and screamed for her husband. Anxious about the cut on the head of the dazed plumber, they decide to call for an ambulance.

The ambulance duly arrived and two paramedics tended to the injury. As the plumber had blacked out briefly, they decided to take him to hospital to be checked over. They carefully put him on a stretcher and proceeded to carry him out of the flat and down the stairs. "How on earth did you manage to sit up so hard and knock yourself out?", asked one paramedic. So, the plumber then explained what had happened and the shock he had had when he had suddenly, and most unexpectedly, been subjected to the 'ministrations' of the lady of the house. This tale of woe so amused the paramedics that they promptly convulsed in laughter and inadvertently tipped the poor plumber off the stretcher and down the stairs. Sadly, when the poor man finally arrived at the hospital it was found that he had sustained a broken leg in addition to his original head injury.

Rate this joke: Exellent, Good, Fair, Terrible

Posted by Noviomagus at 18:08 BST Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink

Wednesday, 6 July 2005
Marriage Advice?
Topic: Humorous
Someone once sent me a copy of this letter to 'Technical Support'. Thought you might enjoy it too!

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications that had operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, but installed undesirable programs. And now Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and House Cleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Here is the reply from 'Technical Support'...

Dear Desperate,

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an entertainment package, while Husband 1.0 is an operation system. Try entering the command C:\I_THOUGHT_YOU_LOVED_ME.EXE and download Tears 6.2 to install Guilt 3.0.

If all works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will create Snoringloudly.wav files.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 or reinstall another Boyfriend program. These are not supported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have a limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider additional software to improve memory and performance.

Good Luck,
Technical Support

Of course, that program only applies to young and inexperienced husbands. The enhanced program for older experienced husbands is running beautifully and does not need any further maintenance!

Posted by Noviomagus at 18:15 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 8 June 2005
Topic: Humorous
Here are a couple of 'funnies' that my husband heard on BBC Radio Two's, "Wake up with Wogan", this morning between 8 and 9 am. Purportedly, both true stories.

A man goes into a newsagents and asked the girl, "Do you sell first class stamps?" "Yes, sir", she replied. "Oh, good. I'll have a dozen, please." "Oh, I'm sorry, sir. We only sell them in books of twelve".

A gentleman boards an aeroplane at Dublin carrying a packet of fresh edible crabs. He asked the Air Hostess if she would be kind enough to store them in the refrigerator in the galley. "Certainly, sir. No problem". Relieved, he made his way to his seat. On landing, the tannoy comes on. The Air Hostess had an announcement. "Would the gentleman who gave me the crabs at Dublin please come and identify himself".

Posted by Noviomagus at 20:59 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Saturday, 23 April 2005
Much Ado About Mugabi!
Topic: Humorous
I came across this website recently, apparently the 'Official Home Page' for Robert Mugabi. Only it can't be - can it? It's an absolute scream with some very funny tongue-in-cheek photographs of that unpleasant man. If Mugabi really wrote it, he should have been a comedian not the President of Zimbabwe!

He likes to eat baked beans? Hardly likely! Yes, it definitely must be a clever lampoon of Africa's most infamous President. Wonder who is responsible for publishing it?

If you visit and you are curious about the poll, 'Am I a Good President', be warned. 'Current Results' and 'Submit Vote' are one and the same, so make sure you put what you want in the little box before clicking on 'Current Results'! Yes, I admit I got caught and inadvertently voted "Yes, most certainly!". Groan...

Can't possibly be The Official Website, can it?

Posted by Noviomagus at 18:11 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Friday, 25 March 2005
Have a Goog God Friday!
Topic: Humorous
Received an email from my son in which he wished me a 'Goog God Friday'! I think it was a typo but it made me laugh anyway.

Do you use a spell checker when you write emails? It is an extrememly helpful little tool but, if you are a really bad speller and can't tell the difference between words like 'write' and 'rite', it is probably of little use! Take this silly example found on the Internet:
Spelling Checked!

Eye halve a spelling checker
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marks four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It's rare lea ever wrong.
Eye Have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My checker tolled me sew.

Posted by Noviomagus at 12:57 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Saturday, 12 March 2005
"Tongue in Cheek" or "Genuine? To heck!" (Having Fun With Anagrams)
Topic: Humorous
I've been wasting my time! It all started when I was browsing a Blog by That Canadian Girl. One of her entries entitled "Greener Evil Propels Up" caught my eye - apparently, this was an anagram of her name! From there I surfed to a website called Wordsmith.Org and checked out my own name and discovered that I am a Terse Asset! Each name, word or phrase you enter in the 'Find Anagrams for' box brings up a huge list of possible letter combinations. However, many of these made no sense and it was all rather tedious to look through. Then, almost by accident, I found a second website called, Anagram Genius. The text you enter here brings up just one solution but you can also search their archive and find lots more permutations of famous names. I found some odd ones, some funny ones and some hilarious naughty ones! A waste of time, definitely.... But, they do say that laughing does you good and prolongs your life. Here is a selection of the ones I found (in no particular order):

Laughing does you good: Huge and odious googly
Blog Writer: Growler bits / Web Girl Rot! / Brit Glower!
Let's eat out tonight: Hesitate to Glutton
Michael Jackson: Can jail shock me?
Margaret Thatcher: That Great Charmer / Rather Great Match
Tony Blair: Brainy Lot / Lab I No Try / Lay Briton / Arty Lib? No!
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair: Tyrannical, horny, lethal snob
George W Bush: Bush ego grew / He bugs Gore / Bugger Whose? / Bog where, Gus?
Vladimir Putin: I'm valid turnip / Dump rival in it!
President Vladimir Putin: Splendid virtue in armpit
Winston Churchill: I'll crunch this now!
Charles de Gaulle: Aged as cruel hell
Charles de Gaulle Airport: Lord, I sell parachute gear!
Bob Geldorf: Forged Blob / Dr of Gobble
Bill Gates: Legal Bits / Begat ills / I get balls
Prince Charles: Clasher Prince / Sir Lance Perch / Scalp enricher
The Prince of Wales: I, who left a Spencer / One epic, Welsh fart!
His Royal Highness, Charles, The Prince of Wales: We hope he'll chastise his self-caring son Harry
HRH Prince Charles and Camilla to wed: Shallow AC/DC philanderer in rematch
Camilla Rosemary Parker-Bowles: Amiable porker screws amorally
Great Britain: Battering IRA!
United Kingdom: Guided men to think
United States of America: Dine out, taste a Mac, fries
Sir Patrick Moore: pick roomier star
Patrick Moor: I'm a rocket pro
Saddam Hussein: UN's said he's mad / Human's sad side / Hides, damns USA / Hissed "Damn USA!"
Osam Bin Laden: Is a banal demon / Means a bad lion / an Islam bad one
The Oscar Peterson Trio (Jazz pianist): Hottest Piano Sorcerer
Alec Guinness: Genuine Class
Alexander the Great: Extra-hated General
Clint Eastwood: Old West Action / Lies down to act
I am not amused: Tedium as moan
What a waste of time: Ha, Fat awesome twit

Now, go and find some of your own!

Posted by Noviomagus at 01:28 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Sunday, 16 January 2005
Some More Problems with the Language!
Topic: Humorous
Here are a few more mistranslations that may make you smile.

This first one happened to me in Spain in 1961 or 1962 when I was staying with my sister, Maud. I was having trouble with my foot - couldn't put my weight on it. It seemed to be a recurrence of my flat foot problem - probably due to the shoes I was wearing. Anyway, my sister decided I needed to see the doctor. Now, when I was sixteen, I had been prescribed some leather arch supports and had a course of treatment which entailed putting my feet into a bowl of water on top of two metal electrodes which alternatively contracted and relaxed the foot muscle (a very odd feeling!). So, naturally, I wanted to tell the Spanish doctor about it and that I had worn supports in my shoes. I looked up 'support' in my little pocket dictionary. The most suitable word was 'sostén'. Well, I made the error of pluralizing it and explained to the doctor that I had worn 'sostenes' in my shoes. Well, did my sister laugh when I came home. I had actually told the doctor that I had worn a bra in my shoes!

My eldest sister, Marie-Claire, who is a nun in the religious order of the Sisters of Marie Auxiliatrice, told us this story about the Papal Nuncio to Paris (I think it was Archbishop Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII]. He gave a speech to a group of Church Dignitaries on his arrival in France and inadvertently said "When I look at my behind..." [Quand je regarde mon derrière..."] when he meant to say, "When I look back on my past..."

There is another trap that English people abroad can fall into - using a foreign word that sounds like the English one you want to use. My sister made this bloomer when she first visited Spain. She is an inveterate chatterbox so, when she was introduced to a handsome young man at a party, she was not put off by her (at the time) limited ability with the language. She was recounting an embarrassing episode that had just happened to her so she said "Estoy muy embarazada". She didn't realise until later that what she had said was not, "I am very embarrassed", as she thought! What she actually told the young lad was, "I am very pregnant"!

Another extremely unfortunate incidence of this kind of mistranslation happened when an English speaking Army Chaplain wished to bless some French speaking soldiers on their way to the battle front. "Soyez blessé" he said. Whoops! Not "May you be blest" but much worse, "May you be wounded"!

Bonne nuit!

Posted by Noviomagus at 17:48 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Friday, 14 January 2005
Problems with the Language?
Topic: Humorous

To you go abroad for your holidays? Do you take a small dictionary with you to help with your smattering of the language? Well, take care and, if possible, use a language dictionary with two sections to double check words before you plunge in feet first. Why? Well, this is a true story of what happened to one poor French lady who went shopping in London in the 1920`s.

My father worked in the London branch of a French firm, Dormeuil Frères. One of his French colleagues, recently married, had brought his wife over from Paris. Her command of the English Language was rather inadequate and the poor lady was feeling very miserable away from all her friends and family with little to do except write letters home. So, to try to cheer her up, her husband managed to get some tickets for a performance of a very popular opera showing at Convent Garden Opera House the following evening. The only problem was that their seats were up in the Gallery.

"Eh, bien, mon petite chou. Tu crois que tu pourras aller a les boutiques demain pour acheter des jumelles de théâtre?" [Well, darling, do you think you could manage to go to the shops tomorrow to buy some opera glasses?]. Hours of work in those days were much longer and he had no chance of getting to the shops himself.

So, the next day, our French lady arrives in Oxford Street and goes to a big store which her husband had said would be sure to have just what she wanted. But, no luck. Frustrated, she was forced to give up. So, she went to meet her husband in the evening and told him she had gone to "----" shop but that they didn't have any opera glasses. "That's ridiculous", replied her husband. "They must stock them - I saw some in the window! ". The wife explained that she had spoken to a young assistant in the shop and asked if he could give her some opera glasses. But he had just stared at her as if she was mad and had stuttered, "No, I can't help you, Madam". She had tried to ask him if he was sure he couldn't help as she needed them that evening but the young man had appeared to be very embarrassed and had rushed off to get the manager. The Manager was very polite, she said, but had told her very firmly that he was very sorry but they were unable to help.

The problem was that she had looked in the dictionary to translate the word "jumelles". As often happens, the word had more than one possible translation and she had chosen the short, easy word instead of the longer "opera glasses". What had she asked for? Well, no wonder the young shop assistant was embarrassed. She had said: "I want some twins. Can you give me some?"

Posted by Noviomagus at 12:58 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

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