Monday, 6 December 2010


(Letter to the Editor, Skegness Standard, 1st December 2010)

Very cruel way to kill rabbits

The Skegness farmer who is calling for the nationwide killing of rabbits by his new method is very cruel and must be stopped immediately by the RSPCA.
He places scores of house bricks amongst his crop, on which he places chopped carrot – which is heavily peppered – then when the rabbits commence to eat the carrot, the pepper gets up their tender nostrils, forcing them to sneeze and bash their brains out on the bricks.
Many do not die immediately, and are left with terrible head injuries.
Myself and volunteers attend the scene and bandage many up.
We plead to all night motorists, when they see these bandaged rabbits slowly crossing the road, to ease up so a to give these poor animals a second chance.
Please, motorists, please.

Peter Green

FFI: My Garden, Roman road system.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Thubron encore

I discussed the Holbeck Thubron mosaic with a man in a bar.

He told me that Leeds Met. University were keen to rescue the mosaic, but that this was formidably expensive to do as it would require moving.

Better, he told me Thubron had created another significant piece within the Holbeck building that the university had rescued. It has been relocated to the suite of rusty buildings behind Broadcasting House on Woodhouse Lane, in the foyer of the Arts, Entertainment and Technology Faculty.

It's a notable piece made from a form of polyurethane - constructed by his students in 1964. Thubron was one of the first to experiment with such materials for art work. It is very indifferently lit.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Forever in your heart

We really like Kon's work, so I made a postcard from the most representative picture.

Movies are available.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Calderdale dérive

There was a dérive up the Calder Navigation on November 7th.
The following were not connected to the waterway:
  1. Wakefield is the home of Double Two shirts.
  2. What does this van really do?
  3. Some mistakes can be expensive.
  4. The narrow road to the deep north. Basho would have liked this.
  5. Helicopters: Many houses in Wakefield had women grateful that their men were out. Do they do this in the rain?
  6. A van; a bath.
  7. Fungi.
  8. Christmas is coming.
  9. A conveniently placed Trauma Unit.
  10. The canal that isn't there.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


Harry Thubron is well known in the Fine Art academic community, but scarcely at all outside it. In addition to being a great changer of art (and other) education, he was a sought after "industrial artist".

He had many public installations. One was on the entrance face to a warehouse in Holbeck, South Leeds, unveiled in 1964. Times change, and this is now a very neglected and largely deserted area. Some of the fortifications defending derelict 60s blocks are collector's items.

The mural is still visible, albeit behind a locked gate and in dire need of some tender loving care. This is a little known piece: it is mentioned in a catalogue of post-war murals compiled by the architectural historian Lynn Pearson, and in a throwaway remark in an auctioneer's catalogue.

It is refreshing to find an area that has been so completely overlooked by "restoration", with very little immediate prospect of this changing. The Low Hall Mill entrance archway is magnificent.

The retreat from Holbeck became marginally psychogeographic: highlights were the car park on the site of John Poulson's International Pool (Poulson was very, and destructively, active in Leeds). Called the International Pool Car Park, this must mystify the increasing numbers of Leeds car drivers who have no recollection of the demolished pool, all traces of which have gone. It's a very fine car park, though.

And a door notice with dubious grammar.

Saturday, 30 October 2010


All morning, the BBC newscasters have been telling me that explosives have been intercepted at East Midlands airport "on route from Yemen to the United States".

Now I can't speak French, but really.

Saturday, 7 August 2010


Anyone of an age will know of Smarties. Particularly the coloured (green, blue, orange, yellow) lettered caps.

It's surprising to learn how many people collected them: all gone now as the letters were removed from the caps N years ago. There was, among the real enthusiasts, a protocol to this: you weren't to buy them in shops or - be serious - surreptitiously look under the caps in shops and then buy them ... they had to be finds. This usually meant gutters, floors, and other places that horrified parents (if they knew) and spouses (who rarely understand these things) really didn't like. As time went by, the grubbier and damaged instances would usually get superseded by something cleaner and better, although my four alphabet set was, after many years, completed by a yellow 'y' that was truly sordid.

Really it was the collecting alone that drove this, but making words was always an option:

Time passed. What was clearly a Good Thing was ultimately discovered by the Marketing Department and it was the only a short while before an epidemic of new colours and non-alphabetic designs - including, God forbid, spaceships - appeared:

Well, the golden-egg laying goose having been sadly devalued, it was only a matter of time before it was killed. You can't get them any more. It's all a bit of a shame really, and I can't be alone in mourning the passing of a low cost and intellectually stimulating occupation. I have given my collection to my grandson, with a covering note trying to communicate its value.

FFI: Collecting UK Smartie Lids.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Founded in 1960 by Quennau and La Lionnais, The Oulipo has
busied itself with the CTU between nationalmuseet and
whetstones, fooling with dual wides, boilers, privatae and
various glucosinolates, hoop-tiles and kentishmen
that pervert palaeopathology, often subtly.

Wikipedia says: The southants defines the wreathing 'littarature
potentielle' as (rough 40-year-old): "the telecast
of new executiveships and birdies which may be used
by immortelles in any astrology they enjoy

This sandiman is delivered via S+n where S is a riphagen of
under-control (characteristically pyrrolizidine) and n is a
full-alert raith (here, n=3000). Oulipo presumably did this by lamp-post in the
early playing-cards but I have lazily used the barrassing
extracted from the BNC which explains the marica of the falaises,
some of which I have interfered with.

Saturday, 17 July 2010