DICK ‘The Tomato Ketchup Killer of Whitechapel’ MALONE

pie and mash

As he parked his bum upon the timber seat of Mr Singh’s bicycle pulled rickshaw on that fateful afternoon little did fanatical globetrotter Ludwig Von Stamplicker know that this would be his last day on earth.

Just an half an hour previous Ludwig had enjoyed a stupendous lunch, one so favoured by East Londoners, namely that of ‘pie and mash’ at ‘Ronnie’s Place’ a culinary establishment on London’s Mile End Road and much heralded by the many local ruffians who frequent the place. The meal had however played havoc with his guts so unused to such fare was he.  Thus it was that with a full belly and having been refused access to the gentleman’s cloak room (on the basis that he was, after all a Jonny Foreigner and as such likely to stink the place out) Ludwig had an urgent need about him, a need so great that he really did have to get to the nearest public convenience rather sharpish! A reticent traffic warden had advised that said lavatory was half a mile onward. Good fortune smiled upon Ludwig though for he spotted an aged Mr Singh bent over and pumping up the tyres of his rickshaw aside the kerb as black cabs aplenty zoomed past at a rate of knots, none willing to stop and pick up the likes of a glaringly obvious outsider dressed in Lederhosen as he was.  Regardless Mr Singh was only too pleased to come to Ludwig’s rescue and a fare was agreed – indeed a generous tip on offer should Singh make haste.

What Ludwig did not know was that none other than Dick Malone, a solitary man, a night-time sleeper, day time serial killer was on his case!  Dick you see had spotted Ludwig scoffing and had noted that instead of engulfing his meal in traditional ‘green liquor’ had squeezed great big splodges of tomato ketchup all over his pie and mash. Dick, as ever, viewed such action as a cardinal insult, sacrilege no less, to one of the great culinary traditions of the East End – indeed a blasphemy akin to holding in a burp in the company of generous Bedouins sharing their grub with a passing stranger.  The thing was that when Dick saw ketchup, Dick saw red!

As for Ludwig, albeit now over anxious his bowel might let him down in a public place before he reached the sanctuary of a lavvy all was, relatively at least, well as he took in the local sights and sounds, the hustle and bustle en route.  Indeed Ludwig was intrigued to note a fracas break out at the traffic lights as a large muscular shaven-headed chap in a sleeveless stark white vest with ‘Love You Mum’ tattooed on a bicep alighted his own vehicle armed with a baseball bat and bellowing, ‘You fucking slag’ at the gentleman in the car behind. Thereafter he smashed in the others windscreen with said bat, then dragging him out through the driver’s window beat him to a bloody pulp in the road – all before the lights had turned back green.  Ludwig was fascinated to learn from Mr Singh that such action was a neighbourhood sport of sorts the object of which was to disable those that caused affront within the traffic light cycle thus earning the respect and admiration of others down the boozer.

Of course, while all this was going on Dick Malone was on Ludwig’s tale. Dick paused a moment to gawp at the wretched battered one now in the gutter and covered in his own blood yet blood, red as it is, had never got Dick in the killing zone, only ketchup on pie and mash did that – a fact that Ludwig was soon to discover to his own cost.

Dick, a slightly built sinewy man and as was his want on his trusty rollerblades kept a discreet distance allowing Mr Singh to manoeuvre his rickshaw this way and that toward the public toilets and Ludwig’s perceived salvation.

However, upon arrival at the nominated latrine Mr Singh, without turning about simply said, ‘That will be £2.50 Sir plus the promised tip’ yet no riposte was forthcoming from Ludwig let alone due payment advanced his way. For his part Ludwig was no longer sat within the confines of the rickshaw – indeed Mr Singh was somewhat flummoxed at his passengers disappearance at first presuming he had ‘done a runner’.

When later questioned by the local constabulary Mr Singh was unable to provide any worthwhile evidence as to when or exactly where Ludwig, one way or the other, had alighted his push bike powered glorified cab.

It mattered not for Ludwig’s corpse, naked, smeared all over with ketchup and neatly bubble-wrapped, was discovered in a telephone box by a passing geezer a short distance away. Also affixed to the transparent plastic suit that saved on a body bag was a sticky label upon which was penned, ‘MANNERS MY SON, MANNERS’.

Following an autopsy the Coroner determined that the actual cause of death had effectively been by ‘drowning’ as Ludwig’s lungs were found to be full to bursting point with green liquor. Discovered in a bin close to his body the forensics team had come across a turkey baster presumed to be the murder weapon. Concluding his somewhat lengthy adjudication the Coroner concluded that Ludwig had been murdered and that his demise bore all the trademarks of the one the tabloids had nicknamed ‘The Tomato Ketchup Killer of Whitechapel’ and that he (or she) had plainly struck once again. Additionally a recommendation was made that posters should be displayed far and wide about that bastion of Britishness that is the Mile End Road warning locals and tourists alike that they are at this time and until the killer has been apprehended to keep a wary eye out for any person in their vicinity in possession of a turkey baster.

Back in Ronnie’s Place a relaxed Dick Malone, feeling rather splendid in the Lederhosen he was attired in this day, was enjoying a plate of said pie and mash smothered in lashings of green liquor whilst thumbing through The Sporting Life picking out a few horses upon which to place a bet. Grinning from ear to ear Dick made note of the fact a young Oriental girl sat opposite had, in broken yet intelligible English just asked the waiter to pass her the plastic squeezy bottle of ketchup as the green liquor had scant appeal!

Editorial note for the uninitiated! : Pie and mash is a traditional London working-class food, originating in East London and remains popular to this day. As to the ‘green liquor’ the recipe remains a secret!

YOUR NOSE IS DRIPPING TOO!

TRAMP

Your tiny hand is frozen

Your nose is dripping too

From the look of it you’ll throw up soon

It could be the death of you

 

As you lie there in the your sick bed

Bereft and chucking up a bit

Your clothes insufficient for such cold conditions

And I see you’ve now thrown a fit

 

From your brow I detect a temperature

Upon which one could fry an egg

And yes, now I have just spotted

You’ve got only the one leg

 

All in all you’re a basket case

In need of compassion and nursing care

Were I a priest the chances are

I’d offer up a prayer

 

And trust the Lord would take charge

Maybe grant you a wish or two

Yet as it happens even I, a thief by trade

Have no intention of staying close to you

 

So sorry pal I’m off now

You’ll note at a great pace

For I wouldn’t touch you with a barge pole with a boxing glove on the end

You know…just in case!

 

Verse by Anita Degenerate © 2014

What the critics said:

“Vicious cow…that Anita should be horsewhipped for this!” – Archbishop of Canterbury 

“Hope the author of this vile verse dies of the clap” – Russell Brand

“Plainly the bitch cares not for the human race.” – Gladys Knight

“Bloody things get stuck in your teeth.” – Gladys Knight

“Fuck off.” – The Pips

“Not a bad first stab (oops shouldn’t have said ‘stab’) yet could have gone a little deeper in the mind-set of the thief…bit more action too, perhaps a swift disembowelment?” – Jack the Ripper

SVETLANA’S HEADBOARD OF CIRCUMSTANCE

svetlana 4

An extract from the diaries of Twattersley Fromage MBE – History Explained!

How could I have known at the time, drunk as a skunk as I then was that my brief encounter with Svetlana’s headboard would leave its permanent mark upon the history of the infernal bickering’s twixt royal sovereigns? Best I begin at the beginning methinks.

The lamps were, as Sir Edward Grey so famously put it ‘going out all over Europe’, for it was August 1914 and war with the Hun had been declared. In the immediate wake of this, I Twattersley Fromage, counterintelligence operative of some renown within espionage circles had been, at the behest of none other than Asquith himself, summoned before the head of Military Intelligence, Section 5 (MI5 to the plebs). Prior to the meet I had been informally advised that the purpose of my attendance was with regard to a matter of the gravest national importance.

And thus it was on the fateful summers morning I made my way to SW1 with the spring of national pride in my step as I truly thought I was to be assigned a task both integral to and vital to the war effort.  Imagine my shock then when I discovered the undertaking I was beset was seemingly little to do with the war whatsoever! Oh no, for it was the case that even as the war kicked off we, at the very nucleus of the glorious Empire were running low on supplies of toilet paper. Indeed it transpired that The King himself had run out of his favoured Scott Tissue brand and rather than resort to using the Manchester Guardian newspaper – frankly the King could not stand his subject’s from the frozen north, moreover he doubted their hygiene and was ever so worried that a Lancastrian may have been in direct contact with more than just the front page – had resorted to using the plainly inadequate skin of the red squirrel when cleaning after defecation.

I was advised that the Germans must never discover our deficiency in this regard as it would leave us open to ridicule. Yet therein lay the problem for the only source of an equivalent soft tissue fit for a monarch was a small factory in the newly formed country of Albania – the self-same factory where The Kaiser sourced his own loo paper. Furthermore my lords and masters imparted the knowledge that they had heard on the grapevine even that centre of regal outlet was under threat of running dry. In short we had a bit of a to-do on our hands.

Having been provided a false identity my mission then was to procure a sufficiency of the old lavatorial smear proof stuff to last the King for the duration of hostilities no less!

Having journeyed uneventfully across Europe by rail I eventually arrived at Durrës Rail Station just a stone’s throw from the Boge Papyrus Emporium, a venture still run by its founder one Luan Boge with the able assistance of his reportedly lovely daughter Svetlana.

First things first though! A swift sharpener at a local bar was in order I decided. Albeit a dingy little hovel the barman was a friendly enough chap who listened intently as I gave him my cover story, namely that I was an American entrepreneur on a visit to purchase lavatory paper for a tribe of Native Americans who now struggled to find leaves since being relocated in a forest of conifers. However as we were chatting I overheard he who was to be my competitor in my quest, none other than Gotthold Offpaperstein a cunning German agent I had crossed paths with in the past. He had not noticed me yet as I overheard him chatting away to the effect that he was on the self-same mission as I, save that his quest was on behalf of The Kaiser himself!

As I pondered whether or not to head straight for the factory and dangle hard currency before the owner in the form of the desirable US Dollar I spotted a stunninglybeautiful girl arrive and in an instant Gotthold got hold of her and the pair were locked in an embrace of familiarity.

“Gotthold, my farter vonts to ‘ave ‘old of your bone in return for zer consignment.”

Fortunately I was well aware that ‘bone’ was Yankee slang for spondoollies otherwise I’d have marked her pater down as a dirty old rascal! So this was the much praised Svetlana then – bit of a corker in my book!  Plainly I had to thwart this transaction and secure said consignment for The King. So, still unnoticed I waited until Gotthold released himself from Svetlana’s clutches saying he was popping back to his hotel to freshen up and that he’d meet her at her place a little later with the money and make the exchange.

Thinking on my feet I took the view that, as night was approaching I would make use of the twilight and tail Svetlana home, wait outside her place until Gotthold arrived, then knock him orf his perch. Subsequently I would relieve him of his money and the stock of toilet tissue he proposed to buy so as to claim it for The Crown.

Although somewhat distracted by the delightful wiggle of Svetlana’s perfect posterior in front of me she eventually arrived at her little stone cottage aside the loo paper factory. For my part I lingered covertly behind a hedge in her front garden that afforded me a fine view of both the front door and moreover her now floodlit bathroom.  It certainly helped pass away the waiting time as, without even drawing the curtains shut, Svetlana stripped orf whilst running a hot bath! Fortunately for me the temperature outside was now close to freezing thus dampening the ardour that otherwise would have afflicted me – mind she was quite the loveliest creature I had ever seen! I know full well a gentleman shouldn’t ‘look’ yet to my eternal discredit I really couldn’t help myself.

As such it was almost a relief to hear Gotthold’s steel toe caps pounding away on the cobblestones thus announcing his pending arrival. He opened the garden gate and was making his way to the door when I took him from behind – I find there is no better feeling in the spying game than taking a Jerry from behind. Once dispatched, I dragged him into the hedgerow and swapped my clothes for his having first purloined both the cash he was carrying and his identity papers. For all intents and purposes I was now Gotthold Offpaperstein. We were about the same height and build plus I spoke perfect German and was confident I could pull it orf on meeting Svetlana in person.

The front door had been left ajar so I breezed in to find Svetlana looking ravishing, dressed only in a thin silk dressing gown. It was plain she suspected nothing untoward as she proffered a peck on my cheek and invited me up to her bed chamber saying, ‘I believe in pleasure before zee business.’ Crikey I thought to myself my luck was in.  What’s more the girl had a drinks cabinet in her room – champagne on ice and a variety of vodkas fit for a Czar. Plainly I got tore in and regrettably was the worse for drink by the time Svetlana whipped orf her gown and lay provocatively upon her four-poster. Me? Well with the old motto, ‘In for a penny in for a pound’ in mind I began to whip orf my own garments ready for some action yet being now pissed at a rat stumbled upon trying to climb out of my trousers only to fall forward and knock myself out cold as the old noggin smashed into the solid oak headboard of the bed. ‘Bollocks’ in hindsight!

Whatever, when I came round sometime later my now fully dressed, bored and tired looking hostess idly pointed out that she had counted the cash and all was in order. Furthermore, the shipment of toilet paper was packed up in Thornycroft Type J lorry (stroke of luck that was) out the front ready for me to drive back to Berlin in! Clearly I could not tell the girl that London was my true destination as she still thought me to be her Germanic chum! Albeit with a significant hangover there remained a stirring in my loins so I chanced my luck and asked her if she was up for a swifty before my departure. Her reply? ‘You ‘ad your chance Gotthold and were left vanting like an irksome Ingleashman’ – with a German slant of course. Twice bollocks!

I left Albania, mission accomplished, yet in the circumstances a broken man.

Postscript: Back home in Blighty the King was as pleased as punch to be able to wipe his bum in his preferred manner for the foreseeable yet my tale is not without one further twist. You see The Kaiser had got wind of the shenanigans in Albania and additionally had heard on the grapevine about The King being forced to use red squirrel skin when having a number two. He, The Kaiser that is, had sent agents working under cover over to England with instructions that all the red squirrels of the land be slaughtered and their skins taken back to Germany for without the Albanian tissue he had nothing with which to ‘wipe’.  And thus it is that, even to this day there are no more red squirrels inhabiting the English mainland. Not a lot of people know that!

THE MAN IN THE BRETON SHIRT

GIRL WITH NO LEGS

All her life

She had wanted legs

Proper legs

With feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs

Yet circumstance

Had afforded her

Nought but wheels

Small wheels at that

Little wrought iron ones

Wheels that required

Constant care

Oiling and such like

 

Notwithstanding her shortcomings

She got out and about

Best she could

That is, until the day

The local authorities

Had something of a

Retro brainwave

They cobblestoned

The market square

 

She lived in a house

On market square

So now she prayed

For tarmac

As well as feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs

 

Then one day

Quite out of the blue

The sailor arrived in town

Breton shirt, beer belly

Drank vast quantities of rum

Farted constantly

Belched with pride

With gusto

 

They met in a

Smoke laden bar

She in a wheelchair

(Her wizened auntie had taken her out for some fresh air.

Why she chose to go to a bar no one ever knew)

 

The sailor was singing

A ribald sea shanty

At the time

To the accompaniment

Of an accordion

He amused her

She caught his eye

The accordionist noticed too

A deafening silence ensued

A galaxy of drunkards

Turned about face

Embarrassing her

More than a little

 

A harlot, hanging

On to the sailor’s arm

For dear life

Flinched at his rancid breath

Yet still held fast

Such is the fate of a girl

Short of gilders

(Perversely, she cast a jealous eye at the girl)

Regardless his

‘Popeye on spinach’ forearm

Thrashed the harlot

To Kingdom come

 

In an instant

The sailor sobered up

Whereas he should have stumbled

He straightened himself

Walked over to the girl

Planted the mother of all kisses

Upon her virgin lips

Clicked his fingers

Bellowed skyward at the heavens

And, miraculously the girl had legs

With feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs

 

With great care

And eyes shut tight

The girl ran her hands

Over her new limbs

They felt ever so fine

 

When she opened them again

She found herself on a yacht

On the wide open sea

In the company of

A handsome young man

In a Breton shirt

From his place at the helm

He winked and blew her a kiss

All was well in her world

A SHORT BREAK FROM BLOGGING

DCIM100MEDIA

What with it being so close to Christmas, coupled with the fact that we are moving house shortly after the festive season I shall be taking a short break from blogging.

The thing is my lovely wife is, even as I write heavily into packing things away; choosing new curtains and other stuff for the new house and generally – and quite rightly – making note of the fact that I am affording her little practical help. The cheek of it!

It’s the premature packing up that is doing my head in. As of today the Christmas tree in the lounge is cardboard box camouflaged – I occasionally get more confused than usual (and that takes some doing) in the pulsating shadows of the tree lights in epileptic mode, although I suppose the plus is that at least it gives me a pointer as to where the bloody thing lurks. Whatever, its boxes, boxes and more boxes than you could shake a stick at. Indeed the place is turning into a maze of sorts…must remember not to hold on too long when nature beckons (I’ve written that in biro on the back of my hand just in case). Additionally she has made mention of her desire to flat pack me to prevent me getting in the way! I’d rather like to be flat packed yet have thus far refrained from telling her this.

I shall return though, and in the meantime I shall at long last see if I am able to work out how to use my ‘tablet thing’ thus enabling me to at least read and comment upon the blogs I follow during the duration of her frantic endeavours. I might add I say this only because I can no longer find my desk upon which my laptop sits!

So then, to one and all MERRY CHRISTMAS – HAVE A JOLLY GOOD ONE!

I shall leave you with my short post from last year – words that mean as much now as then I hope;

The simplicity of love

Is beyond all rhyme and reason

Do not complicate it my friend

During this, the festive season

Also, they say the old ones are the best so do remember,

‘Santa comes but once a year and when he does he fills your stocking’

‘O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL, JOYFUL AND………QUITE BOOZED UP’ AS JOHN FRANCIS WADE SUFFERS LYRICISTS BLOCK!

carol

On or about 1746; Douai, France: John Francis Wade, son of a cloth merchant and top English hymnist of his day is now living in Northern France. You see the poor sod that he is, John Wade a devout Catholic, has had to flee religious persecution in England following the 1745 Jacobite rebellion being quashed. It is thus that John spends his time now teaching Latin and knocking out a few hymns as the fancy takes him. Presently we find him stuck for inspiration at the organ (so to speak) of Our Lady’s Church just as local girl Fifi has popped in for a quick confession.

“Well I’ll be blowed if it isn’t young Fifi.” 

“Fifi I maybe yet you can be rest assured you’ll not be blowed in a house of God…mind if you’ve got thirty francs spare and you care to meet up round the back of the tavern after closing time you never know your luck!” 

“Now, now Fifi that’s quite enough on the ribald front…anyway how are you keeping?” 

“Oh I’m getting by…making ends meet.” 

“There you go again Fifi…you’re incorrigible ‘making ends meet’…whatever next will slip out of your mouth.” 

“Crikey Johnny boy you’re at it now you dirty old rascal! Whatever, still composing then I see.” 

“Trying to Fifi, trying to.  I thought what with Christmas so close I’d knock out a swift carol yet here I am, melody and title all done and dusted trying to put a lyric together yet for the life of me I simply cannot get the all-important last word to the first line. Without that vital last word I’m utterly bolloxed. I really don’t know what to do.” 

“Maybe I could be of help then? I mean I am often overpowered by the overwhelming desire to pen graffiti in the form of poems on the walls of the ladies loo in town. What have you got so far?” 

“I don’t expect for one moment a peasant girl of dubious morals such as you can afford me, an acclaimed hymnist, any assistance either in part or at all yet so desperate am I, I will give it a go. Right the carol is named O Come All Ye Faithful and the first line reads ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and…! That’s it Fifi, ‘Joyful and what’?” 

“Well if I was penning the ditty and bearing in mind that’s it’s for a Christmas Carol I think I’d run with, ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and quite boozed up’. Yeah, I mean just about everyone gets lashed up on the grog front over Yuletide.” 

“Yes Fifi I can see where you’re coming from but you forget the Church doesn’t really approve of over indulgence insofar as the consumption of alcohol is concerned does it? So that simply won’t do.” 

“OK then Johnny try this, ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and still having a half decent Christmas even though, what with me being a left-footer condoms are off the menu’. See that one express both enjoyment and makes suitable mention of contraception being not allowed to us Catholics. Nice touch don’t you think?” 

“I must confess Fifi I do rather like the way it rolled off your tongue you clever girl.” 

“Oi, nothing ever rolls off my tongue as you well know.” 

“True, yet thinking about it it’s a bit wordy. Basically I’m looking for a single word to finish off that bloody…oops, sorry God…first line.” 

“Got it! This one’s a belter, you’re going to like. ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and indifferent’. Now that one sort of, kinda like, know what I mean shows a bit of compassion for the old atheists who couldn’t give a toss about Christmas…I think that makes it an all-embracing, universal, call it what you will end to the first line.” 

“The thing is Fifi you have quite overlooked that some amongst the congregation might take ‘indifferent’ the wrong way. Indeed before your most eloquent explanation of what you were on about I myself took it to be ‘in different’ and presumed you’d been thumbing through that Karma Sutra book you purloined off that sailor from Calais.  No it’s a non-starter I’m afraid and besides we burn atheists at the stake in these parts.” 

“Well that’s me stuffed then Johnny.” 

“I can well imagine you have been you little minx.” 

“Leave it out…it’s all sexual innuendo with you…fairly doing my head in.  Tell you what why don’t you take a break. We could go for a quick one down the tavern…and I stress I mean a quick drink…and see if that gets the old creative juices…as in inspiration…flowing once more.” 

“What a splendid idea Fifi, I don’t mind if I do.  I thought you were heading for the confessional though?” 

“Well I was but if the truth be told I’m sick of seeing the ‘triumphant’ look on the priests face every single time he’s dished me out ‘50 Our Father’s and a gross of Hail Mary’s’. I can always pop back on Monday anyhow.” 

“Now, now Fifi do keep quiet whilst we stroll to the tavern I‘m thinking and all this talk of ‘triumphant’ is throwing me…oh, and by the way I do have a spare 30 francs for later as it happens!”

ERIC THE CROCODILE’S POTENTIAL

CROC

In answer to your question

No I haven’t killed your cat

Your dog or your reptiles

Nor your stupid bloody bat

 

Admittedly I frowned at them

Just the other day

For when you let them out to frolic

They do quite often stray

 

Here into my garden

Which is my pride and joy

Those little bastards that you own

Cunning tactics they deploy

 

The cat shits on my fresh mowed lawn

The dog digs down to Hades

Your reptiles scoff the butterflies

And the bat carries the rabies

 

So if you’d be so kind

To keep your menagerie off my patch

Thus ensuring the health and safety

Of your ‘pets’ yet here’s the catch

 

Ignore my request at your peril

For in my cellar I keep a crocodile

And if I let Eric – that’s his name – loose

He will soon wipe off the smile

 

From that ugly face of yours

You self-centred, ignorant twat

For Eric when the mood takes him

Will eat your dog, your bat and cat

 

As to the bloody reptiles

I’ll take care of them myself

I’ll chop off their heads with a carving knife

Mount them on the kitchen shelf

 

So I trust you’ve got the message

And you’ll keep your pets away

Thus avoiding the necessity

Of me committing an act foul play

TWO PIG HEADED LOVERS

lovers_by_spokojnysen

Outside the garret window

A carnival in full flow

Pretty maids street dancing

Each one with a handsome beau

 

Yet here, in here there is no revelry

Just a distant pulsating beat

Some cheering and much laughter

Rising up from those with the world at their feet

 

We are monochrome marionettes you know

Without a puppet master

Over familiarity has led us

To court with this disaster

 

Independent souls they say

A metaphor for selfish?

Both sat here silent in the shadows

Knowing we both share the same wish

 

That one of us first apologise

For the words that were left unsaid

That the ‘last word’ be a worthy one

To take with us off to our bed

 

And as ever we resolve

To cease from this hushed quarrel

Now the matter, as ever is sorted

With a kiss that promises ‘immoral’

 

Deeds we will act out this night

And thus ice all that we have bruised

We are the two pig-headed lovers

Both of us short fused

 

A mix of pure love and the X-rated

Is the best cure that we know

To rekindle a thing too good to lose

Born again in love’s after glow

JONNY CATAPAULT THE PLUMBER THE ARTIST’S ALL TRUST & RENE MAGRITTE’S INADEQUATE HOT WATER SUPPLY

black-magic

“Don’t think much of your Belgian plumbing Rene mate. I mean, didn’t your original plumber realise that you’d end up challenged on the old hot water supply pressure without him having fitted a pump to the system at the outset. Even better he could have installed a combi boiler – piece of piss that would have been, I’ve already checked your local mains pressure and its way above the 3 bar minimum threshold. If I were you I’d give him a bell and ask for your money back mate…still at least it’s all working tickety-boo now.”

“Jonny I can’t thank you enough. The wife, Georgette nearly caught her death of cold just last week – boy could we have done with hot water up in the ensuite then.”

“Poor Georgie Girl…how come she got so cold then?”

“Oh you know I was doing one of me trademark surrealist type nude paintings and she was the model and all that.”

“Even so Renio you’re central heating works a treat. Knowing you I’d wager you were counting the pennies and you never had it switched up.”

“No Jonny it wasn’t that all as it happens.  No, where I got it all wrong was when I had her pose for hours on end by an open window so I could set her naked form against a backdrop of fluffy white clouds and a glorious azure seascape. Do you want to take a gander at the painting?”

“Certainly do Renio…right lets cast me gazers over this one.  Bet she’s still as lovely as ever diamond kid that she is…hold up, bloody hell I see Georgie Girl’s torso has turned ice blue with what I hazard a guess to be much more than just your average winter chill.  If I recall correctly the temperatures didn’t go above freezing point at any stage last week.  It’s no bloody wonder she nigh on froze her tits off. You should be ashamed of yourself for breaking the golden rule of artists favouring the naked female form namely that you don’t, never ever ask a girl to take her kit off exposed to the elements during the mid-January inclemency.  Never forget what the tosser pre-Raphaelite Sir John Everett Millais did to the truly gorgeous Elizabeth Siddal when she posed in the bathtub – full kit on mind – for his painting of Ophelia! She very nearly died of the cold. Do not let it ever be said a surrealist would be as plain bloody inconsiderate as a pre-Raphaelite my friend.”

“I know Jonny, truly I know. It’s just that I got carried away with my work and forgot to let her take a break. It was only when I noticed I’d run out of blue paint that I thought stone the crows Georgette turned blue with the cold. The daft thing is she never complained at the time. If only she given me the nod that she was getting frost bite in the crucials I’d have stopped in an instant.”

“Has she recovered now?”

“Thankfully yes. As soon as I fathomed that our shower was up the creek I put her over my shoulder and made hell for leather to Frank’s place next door…had him run a hot bath and chucked her in it. Her teeth didn’t stop chattering till the following morning mind…it was like sleeping next to an over active woodpecker that night I have to say. I never got a wink of kip. Still all’s well that ends well – you can say hello to her if you want, she’ll be up in the studio any minute posing again.”

“In the naughty naked nud I’ll wager knowing you. I do hope you’ll keep the windows shut and the heat on full this time.”

“Oh no problems on that front Jonny. She’ll be safe and sound indoors mate. I’m going for a simple reclining nude this time around…you know playing it safe until springtime.”

“Glad to hear that…I think I’ll hang around and watch you both at work then – providing of course you have an ample supply of strong tea and a matching stock of Garibaldi biscuits mate.”

“No problem on that front Jonny, you’re more than welcome to stay and don’t worry I’ll heed your words in future.”

“Just you make sure you do.”

“You really are a living legend Jonny.”

DIGGING DEEP INTO THE MINE OF INSULTS

death

These days

Indeed for some

Considerable time now

When he shut his eyes

Her image ceased to haunt

She had become

In his mind’s eye

A glorious black nothing

 

Long since

He had consigned her to

Recollections

Very own waste bin

Trashed her essence

All evidence of her gone

 

An achievement?

He presumed it thus

 

Decades had past

Yet now languishing

Upon his deathbed

Nature’s Law of Everything

With neither

His permission or consent

Enabled his reflective drive

And there she was once more

Real, so very real

It both irked

And, if he cared to admit

Afforded him

Some small pleasure

 

Back in the day

They had been

Dyed in the wool lovers

Paris, New York & Rome

And just about any place else

Four posters, Afghan rugs and sandy dunes

Ten miles high, palaces and opium dens

Through war and peace

They had made love

And, as is the case with passionate souls

Also fought like cat and dog

Here, there and everywhere

Until the day

One fight too many

She spitting feathers

He digging deep

Into the mine of insults

Seeking out the mother load

They reluctantly agreed

The battling Siamese twins

They had become

Warranted severance

If both were to survive

Untarnished

And thus separation was achieved

The indifference alloy

Of a continent apart

Ensured magnificent opposites

No longer afforded

The contradiction of

Magnetic attraction

 

In the here and now though

Fading away

Cursed with excessive fatigue

An almost impossible weakness

Disorientated

Bothersome

Laboured breathing

Ugly swollen feet and

The mottled veins

Only a surrealist

Could do justice

She was there

Young and naked

Exquisite in her finery

Provocative in her tomboy rags

She, who once was his

Had not aged one iota

Why should she?

After all, to the world at large

It was obvious

She was nought but a memory

 

Not so to this dying man

He knew

A final, subliminal wish

Had been afforded him

Nature’s Law of Everything again?

 

Whatever, his terminal breath

Preceded

A fatal

Single

Tear of

Unbridled jubilation

She was with him at the end

Seventh heaven

 

The magic of time

Is the only truth we have