Madame Buttoner of Leek

He’s finally givin’ Hill-dog clap-handers,

It’s Larry David’s alter ego Bernie “Feel the Bern when I pee” Sanders

Doesn’t it feel like he’s reaching out to pick your nose? Maybe your nose is cleaner than mine.

A merry halloo to you and yours, I write this in a haze of body stink. Meg and I are still shrinking visibly but our bodies now go into gassy spasm when we put real calories into our distended bellies every evening. The real hell comes the first time we drop the diet fully and deign to eat chorizo like some kind of mad spanish pork pirate. Turns you from a walking, talking, broccoli-stalking thought-thinker into basically a spongy meat-syringe filled with wet poop. And you don’t want to be in our neighbourhood when the plunger goes down.

Bit of a graphic start, but when you’re on a diet, all you can think of is your body’s opinion of food. And horsing winter logs of chorizo down into your tubes just to feel ALIVE!


“Get yo ass to Mars. And poosh.”

We, like pretty much everyone else were watching the UEFA European Final, complete with weird black and white movie moments like insects landing on the faces of weeping entertainers. Madame Butterfly meets Pagliacci. Oh yes, I just made an opera joke. I’m classy as f.

Meg was actually keen to watch the thing as she put a two-shpotter bit on Portugal to win the whole thing outright. Which they bloody well did. I on the other hand made a bet that several septegenarian Italians would drag themselves away from their paddling pools full of olive oil to play a little football. I was a dope. Meg has since promised to buy me a North American ice cream when we go in a few weeks. I would like to think I would have been as generous had the shoe been on the other foot. I like to think many fine things. But I am a pretty bad guy when it comes down to it. Just look at the posters on my wall.


“You were my chief, always!” 

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever re-used a photo in this blog. Or I mean the first time my alter ego the Toner of Leek re-used a photo. Did I ever pretend like that was the thing, that I was actually some other person who was obsessed with green edible symbols of Welshness as opposed to the unfragrant shambles I am in real life? I’m really asking.

Anyway, that’s how much Rom-bot means to me. Rom-bot love capitalism. Rom-bot loves robo-boogy. Rom-bot goes to Skegness.

The job has been real 9 to 5 normal-fest with me even lecturing a bunch of blow-ins (can you imagine!?) on the London tube that they need to stand on the right. I remember it happening to me years ago and not exactly being thrilled about the instruction. But they need to get in line cause this is Mah Tawn. Toughy alert.


I was always more Anthony Michael Hall than I was Judd Nelson. I mean have you SEEN that denim jacket? And he calls cigarettes, “smokes.” Outrageous.

I’ve even gone back to packing sandwiches to keep my hard-earned queenbacks out of the hands of the Moroccan cafe across the street. With their charred sweating wads of halloumi dribbling onto herby chicken and couscous base. They task me.

Apart from a quick trip to Brighton next week, my work travel regimen has quietened down a lot, due in part to the relative quite of the summer. Though Brighton is usually good value to see a burnt-out crusty or two and one would imagine their numbers should be replenished with Glastonbury just ended.

In Weybridge news, there was a robbery last week down by the train station where some “yoofs” attacked a guy with a knife. They did such a terrible job stabbing the guy, he merrily walked 15 minutes up hill to get some help.


Guys, the city of Limerick is embarassed for you.

In a few weeks time myself and Meg are bringing our parents together to swig cocktails (a little less tail and a little more… tail to result in unchanged aggregate levels of tail) in downtown Toronto. Then Ingrid and I are travelling to Newfoundland where I will spend 5 days trying to trick her into eating seal.

Don’t tell her, but I’ll be targeting breakfast and road snacks. I’ll get her. Don’t worry.

Meg and I are both sanguine about our parents meeting, after all we’re pretty agreeable and our parents can’t be THAT far from our natural levels of charm and grace. Incidentally forget all the terrible things I’ve said and done over the years and re-read the above lines. Oh and not the poop-syringe stuff earlier. Forget about that. Just the stuff at the top of this paragraph.

Ahh, there we go.

On the topic of families, Meg’s Dad has a legendary tendency to disinterest himself with the actual names of things. As far as Meg goes this has been enormously convenient for me as Meg believes a bunch of things in the world are named something other than what they are.

For your consideration, today Meg told me that she saw a car today with really big whalers. I thought she meant some of Bob Marley’s taller backing bandmates. Then I started to think maybe it was some maritime bumper-sticker that all Canadians know about. Like the Tragically Hip but in bumper sticker form. You don’t know it but that was a GREAT obscure Canadian reference. And their crap, so awful I want to put all their work in a box and melt it with battery acid. Now I’ve lost all of you. Symmetry.

As it turns out what she meant was spoilers.


Are you ready? Naw like really ready? Okay. SPOILER ALERT! Totally worth it. & The Hip still suck.

Aren’t you glad you read that? I’m glad I wrote it.

In other news Meg isn’t superjuiced by our new Primary Minister. “Theresa May? She sounds like she should be in the Dukes of Hazzard. With Boss Hogg. And Cooter.”

I really think Meg’s starting to understand this politics lark.

Madame Buttoner of Leek

Ant Coloner of Leek

It’s nature’s brute law that we do what he says,


It’s lean mean Emilio “Secret Sheen” Estevez

Doesn’t that high tempo freak-out shot make him look super-like his brah-brah? Maybe they roped him in as Emilio’s freak-out double. And then they stuck a wig on him and put his head up Molly Ringwald’s skirt.

I’d believe that before I’d believe anyone letting Judd Nelson get near their hoohoo.

Ragging on the Judd Nelson. Aren’t I recent? Keep scrolling down and I go to town on the Kaiser’s withered hand.

So I am now fully returnified from Canada, land of maple, constant apologies and slightly sub-USA portion sizes. Our last three days in Vancouver passed quickly and included a relaxed wander around an  improbably beautiful forest-gorge. They crapped out on the authoritive accent lottery, but they can sure do geography.


The ugliest place in Canada.

As well as scooting around the mountains a little, we got to spend a bit more time with Charlie, Meg’s new nephew. He’s only 3 months old but he’s already porking up hard (like I can frigging talk), developed a kick that can pierce a hole in a car door and going through enough facial expressions in a minute that he looks like one of those weird face switching suits from A Scanner Darkly. Little known fact, before having the lengthy course of hormone therapy required to become a quip with legs, Robert Downey Junior used to be an actor.

You heard me.

My return flight was without serious incident though not without call to narrate. As Meaghan has mentioned to me more than once recently, I am getting old. There is a clump of grey hair in my beard, my knees often sound like I’m stepping on cornflakes and my previously trustworthy belly, no longer takes my hearty abuse with the good humour with which it is intended.

After multiple days of ribs and pizza for breakfast (zero exaggeration), dodging edible plant-life of all descriptions and boozing through each evening to one degree or another, I awoke on New Year’s day, my final of the trip with about a 5 on the hangover scale. Unpleasant, but forgettable especially as it was the first one I’ve had this year. Hilarious.

My appetite was reluctant to fully return though and I was unable to finish my early pre-flight dinner of pizza (accidentally ordered a prawn one and was able to swap it for the one I had actually wanted, their fault for having something so gross on the menu frankly) and some ginger ale which I felt flooding my system with much needed hydration and calories. All was right with the world.


If you’re nervous right now, it just means your spidey senses are functioning normally.

As we trundled along towards the airport, the car got warmer, or did it? My seatbelt started to tighten along my middle, or did it? Man these brakes are sensitive, keep jerking me forward in this seat. Feck, that’s just what brakes are meant to do.

We pulled in outside the terminal and I hopped out, feeling a minor hiccup rise in my ches- AAAAGHGHHHHHHHGGAGAGHGH!

There was more of it than anyone could have imagined. One single 37 degree celsius orange torrent, rising and falling and rising yet more, like a Fanta Amazon during monsoon. Heaping itself upon itself, with a simultaneous spirit of renewal and utter devastation. It drove itself on with an industrial determination, irrepressibly heartless, but magnificent like the baleen of a whale or an ant colony on fire.

My moustache must have looked preedy-good.

Feeling infinitely better, we boarded our flight home and I know this is going to sound a bit Fancy Dan but jaysus it is hard to settle back into economy class after getting a taste of the good life. I’m a real softie now. It’s the new me. But some things will never change.


Like I still manage to get out of a toilet using a maximum ever of three sheets. Creative folding and lots of fibre. M’lud.

I waved goodbye to my last sniff of comfort as some kind of fratboy-Eminem bundled in beside me and immediately took off his shoes and socks. Like a criminal. Then he pulled out a huge notebook and started scribbling in it like he covers his cereal in methadone every morning. I assume methadone would make you write quickly. I don’t take methadone.

Glancing casually over, this was the kind of nonsense I read.

[Why why why? There is all the confusion. All of the corruption. It makes me want to. SHOUT.]

[No one is original now, didn’t they hear. There are so many questions, but who’s the brother with the answers. No one…?]

[I am a total imaginationless gimp, who has laquered my ceaselessly steaming ballbag in Lynx (Axe for the North Americans) Africa, the most nauseatingly sickly sweet scent in the greasingly-pubescent arsenal of the 14 year old.]

And this turd was almost 30! He then proceeded to lean his sweaty ham-bone shoulder across the armrest and onto me, soaking his acrid stink into my shirt.Through my shirt. Into me.

Now I gotta take a slight tangent. I know, how unlike me, right?

Keep outta Belgium you gimpy-limbed so and so. You will ultimately discredit Germany, both by your own deeds and those you set in motion throughout the first  half of the twentieth century. Yahah! Told that damn Kaiser good. This is what they call a comedy call-back. In the biz. This doesn’t read as fluidly as I’d like but my backspace is broken, I’m fairly jetlagged and here we both are.


In other news, we have not been reacclimatising well upon our return to the UK. We are off our sleep and meals by 8 hours and (speaking for myself) swollen from weeks of revelry. Our diet is broadening to reinclude items that never had hooves as well as to the more drab standards of UK cuisine. As we wandered through our local supermarket (sometimes I find myself staring at the freakshows in there grabbing scotch eggs, three per hand and wondering to myself, “What are you?”) we discussed the options for lunch.

“Sausage sandwiches?” I ventured.

“No! It’s not… luxury.”

Canada ruined her.

Ant Coloner of Leek