Cronkoner of Leek

Born in a cave by horned Norse demons

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It’s elemental whitefro maniac Richard “erotic glance” Simmons
Once saw him on a train platform (could be true, you don’t know). Oozes a raw animal magnetism that makes me want to sweat to his oldies by which I can only assume I meant something hilarious.
Chim chim chicken limbs! Another week of this crazy helter skelter (had to labor to convince my phone to not autocorrect that to “belted smelter”) gauntlet we call life. Life is calling will you accept the charges? The charge is MURDER! Murder most foul? Murder most fowl. Back to those chicken limbs.
And breathe.
As you might have gathered, I have nothing to say. Not a damn thing. You can show yourself out. Take a pocket full of jellybeans from the big bowl on your way. They’re there for visitors. I’m trying to watch my figure.
You’re still here?! I thought I told you to leave! Get out! I don’t care if the bus is on strike. Get out and walk, princess.
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I’d call you a worm, but Terry here would get offended. And he’s already been pretty off with me since I told his kids about the Tooth Fairy. Now they feel like they’re missing out.
If you’re still reading, you passed the test and good on you. You will now receive your reward. With my writers wand I shall weave for you a tale that will let your emotions soar like the noble kestrel and bring to mind such sorrow and tragedy as hasn’t been seen since fair Juliet cleft her bosom in twain at the slumbering frame of her beloved Ro-ro. Which was her nickname for him.
Also I got a bunch of coupons for unlicensed beauty treatments down at my gym. They will wax anything no questions asked. They can do it so cheap because they hire all these young karate students as interns.
Wax on wax off. Proper belly laughs there. See? Aren’t you glad you kept reading.
Now to the meat of our tale. It’s veally good. Veal is a meat.
For this past Yuletide as well as dropping the routine of relaying Christmases between Ireland and Canada, we instead flew to France with a decent (and occasionally indecent) portion of my dear familia.
As well as eating our way towards having a story to tell every time we went to the terlet, we generally swanned about achieving little to nothing and standing out like a D minor 3rd in Mozarts Concerto number 7.
I listened to some classical music in the week and I’m getting ideas of my station. I don’t even know if any of that crap I said is real. What the hell’s a Mozart? Is it that little stick the fancy butler waves around in the music place? When he makes the guys with musical instruments make squeak boom swoosh noises?
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Cronk no know name of thing good like you smart people. Cronk sorry. Teach Cronk to love. Cronk will cook you lima bean casserole. Cronk see on Jamie.
Cronk’s the best.
One of the most significant ways we stood out from the Frenchies was by taking part in a Christmas Day swim. Meters from the Croisette, the A1 promenade of the Cote D’Azur I and several of my kin disrobed and shuffled miserably into the grey surf like so many of our country(wo)men were doing at home and absolutely zero French. Shivering, lobster-pinkened gams are not the Cannes way of celebrating Christmas apparently.
To be fair there was one lad far over the way who got a bit nude, walked towards the water and then pissed off, but I think he was hoping the water contained someone else’s wife with whom he could adulterate. On discovering the smell was seaweed and the squawking was not female humans but vomity seagulls, he packed up right smart.
While unlike him, my folks and I shuffled around in the water for a good 20 minutes. Swim 5 strokes. Do a wee. 3 back in the other direction. Float. Spit. Check if nutcutlet number two has receded. Stub toe on rock. Little more wee. Swimming!
It was so pleasant in fact and the water so relatively warm I went back the second day for another awkward shuffle in the… spume (one of my top ten words there). On both occasions I was imbued post-float with a hearty satisfaction that I had ticked off a solid amount of accomplishment for the day, which left me the rest of my diurnal cycle for cheap rose, eating mustard flavor crisps (you haven’t been BORN until you’ve got into those bad boys) and collecting paper sweating bags of pain au chocolat from the bakery under our apartment.
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There was also some spinning logs of heaven four doors down, including one which was stacked with veal. As you may have gathered from my earlier veal joke, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Unsustainably delicious geography.
After achieving quite the nothing for several days we returned to bleak old Blighty where Meg and I started the laborious task of forcing ourselves through the house repository of chocolate, macaroons and several things we had bought new forgetting that we were about to go on a diet. The cruelest bite. As they say.
Before that though we had then birthday girl (she is now furious with me), my dear mater on our doorstep for New Years. She was adamant that she would not spend New Years day, her birthday waking up on our couch after over indulging on my paint-thinner margheritas so I had to walk her back to the hotel in the first minutes of the new year while both of us struggled to digest a Patron’s ransom in tequila and lime.
In other news, Meg is convinced that I peeked at her wedding dress because I knew about some feature that she had previously told me about. Well if had ever considered taking a peek, I could never do it now. Smart money is she’s booby trapped the fecker and two teeth down on the zipper to the bag it’s in, I’d find myself covered in fire-ants soaked in cat piss. She has means that one.
Cronkoner of Leek
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Morroconer of Leek

Being married to the man is apparently not “the shit”

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It’s admittedly gar-geous but probs a ‘mare Brad “The Sweaty Arm” Pitt.

So I know I’ve been slacking on the blog a bit lately, but I’ve actually been really busy mainly with work.

The memoir will be called “Fur-tive Glances” if I ever move into a less controversial industry. Actually I might save that for my soul album. I’ll be holding a sax with a grapefruit on the end of it. No reason.

This weekend just past, Meg and I went on a mini-holiday to Windsor. The town where the Queen keeps all her ceremonial knickers and residents live in fear of being savaged by ferocious over-sized corgis.

We had been talking about going there for so long, my dear Mater got sick of hearing us yak about it so she got Meg a Christmas present of a night in a Windsor hotel. And guess who tagged along, ruining the luxury getaway vibe with trivia about the British Navy’s embarassing (but oh so invigorating) hazing rituals and constant references to the Queen Mother’s gusset?

This putz.

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This is the kind of classic crotch gag you can enjoy by following my Instagram feed. There’s also the odd photo of stuff I eat. Mainly pencaps and Tictacs. I understand trendy things.  

So a bunch of little incidents to report from this.

On the way into Windsor, I looked up something on my phone. On a bit of a whim I had liked Cliff Richard’s Facebook page (also liked Daniel O’Donnell’s in the same session but Daniel has decided that his fanbase are a bit more analog than digital) but hadn’t really  delved into his depths. Now the first photo I saw set me laughing, but as I kept swiping through it unveiled a whole series of bizzare mini-dramas that left me panting, weeping and indeed dribbling as Meg apologised to the others on the train for ruining the library in a vacuum ambience of the quiet-car. A big deal for the limeys.

Firstly Cliff has apparently bought shares in a vineyard in Portugal and is lacadaisically flogging his very orange brew to elderly women via his photo feed. In one amazingly restrictive promotional event, he was turning up for a tight two hours, where if you bought three bottles of his grog (€20, a total shteal) he’d write his name on a piece of card. Also a lot of the people who were commenting on Cliff’s inane updates had profile pictures commemorating the man himself and urging him NEVER to retire. And there’s a hell of a lot of saucy promotional images of Clifford himself for his albums (Just… Terrific Rock and Roll is on pre-order now) and his calendars.

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Mister February 2015 here. His page is full of horrifying dream-invaders like this image. No way to know he’s wearing underpants here guys. No. Way. To. Know.

Just an idea for anyone looking for Christmas ideas for me, those calendars are in shops NOW.

As Meg and I walked down the main street of Windsor, we could see what in the distance and poor light looked like a group of men spread out across the otherwise deserted high street. Owing perhaps to our days in Manchester where stuff like this can go sideways fast and our own upbringings proximal to Limerick and Detroit we have a sensitivity to diceyness. Probably a good thing.

As it turned out, the large group of men was two small separate groups. One was a group of rotund midgets drunk off their arses and crammed to their tiny gills with Windsor fudge (probably a metaphor) and the other was waiters clearing the tables at an establishment called Madame Posh. Not the first or last time since moving down to the Thames Valley that we were the scum to be viewed suspiciously.

There was this flabby 7 year old lad in the station sucking on a Bounty bar (coconut is a fruit) and eyeballing all the other candybars in the vending machine in what could only have been a threat.

Our hotel in Windsor was lovely, but there was obviously something going on at breakfast as the staff were disorganised like 4 year olds at a birthday party. At one point a lady in denims stormed up to our table and dropped a bunch of brown bread toast on our table and quickly before she ran off I blurted “This isn’t ours <no response> um I don’t want this toast.” The penny dropped and she realied it wasn’t ours and her eyes darted around the room.

“Good morning. <no response from the guests>… GOOD MORNING!!!”

Some people actually awkwardly chorused “good… morning?” and one guy got his toast. A tale as old as time.

There was a lady on the train wearing shorts in 15 degrees to show off her varicose veins the size of tiny knuckles poking out of her calf and brown curled toenails like she had been trying to use her feet to find a penny in a pile of her own fecality.

girl-train-posterWhat I did trying to avoid looking at those uncharitably uncovered hooves

Other tidbits from the weekend, I stole 11 soaps from the housecleaner’s cart, the hotel totally nailed the angle of the toilet mirror (100% view of the TV while sitting on the toilet) and Meg and I got smashed on Moroccan wine.

Also apparently there is such a thing as Moroccan wine.

We watched a TV show where obese people were literally publically weighed in front of their peers which included such gems as “I had a tough childhood, my sister was hit by a truck” and “your husband lost twice as much weight as you did and HE’S not even following my program!”

It was a rich full weekend.

In other news Meg called me excitedly with news from her work-at-home day. There had been one of those door to door meat salesman that we’ve all heard of arrive onto our road like a bacony Willie Lomond and Meg obliged him by signed us up to an £80 a month meat club.

When I heard that some travelling flesh-peddler had been taking the fancy of the local women with his fantastic line of thick juicy sausage, I was about fit to round up the village men and hang him from a tree like Mussolini. Then bang on time we got a box of admittedly high quality meat (the % of which orginating from the local morgue being undeclared) which has meant the whole thing has turned into a draw, but we decided to cancel anyway as we can’t have the neighbours knowing we have meat notions.

Still think I’d rather this cuckhold squadron didn’t know our address. I won’t be able to get to work in the morning with shady spivs plying me with pockets full of ground beef and their drawers full of tripe.

“Hallow me owld Choina salt, whadoowehav heeyah then, a lovely bit of kidnay foh da misses.”

Gotta go, I hear someone’s at the door.

Morroconer of Leek

Tyler of Leek

When I asked him how things were going, you could say he was an over-confider

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It’s movie-toxin omni-twerp, Rob “The Nob” Schneider

I just say Nob because anybody called Rob (the only name more popular in my year of birth than Mark) was immediately called The Nob. Even if they were nice. Thank goodness my name didn’t rhyme with anything.

Though Mrs. Boyle was probably cruel enough as a nickname.

BerppahdeBERPPP! And like a particularly buoyant turd, I’m back baby.

After almost a month on hiatus the Toner of Leek has rid himself of all the filthy trappings of relaxation. The baubles of sloth. The frippery of his atrophied idle hands which embarassingly sinks below the pant line at your aunts birthday party for innappropriate but well-deserved scratch.

Just to be clear these are things I am no longer associated with, though Meg will still anyone that listens I have the shrivelled cabbage-eating hands of a carny.

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“Now I know you’re not looking at mah chicky. Buckwheat, peck his eyes out.” 

So what’s been the fly juice since last we spoke I hear you bashfully ask. You’re absolutely adorable you know that? But if you cross me…

The summer only really kicked off three weeks before it ended as I travelled to Finland for workboy times. I had decided to stay near the airport as Helsinki is in actual fact quite far away from my house so my time exploring the city would have been minimised to a quick perusal of the recycling bins at the train station before turning tail and heading back.

So I went along to a work barbecue. There were huge slabs of deep marinated skirt steak. Pig middles. And a barrel full of flame-roasted shrimp the size of Don Cheadle’s man-parsnip. He calls it Dong Cheadle.

The next day was workmode but once I was done I was all set to luxuriate in my crapulence in the airport lounge. Look it up, it’s kosher. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fully enjoy my Finnish wine and bulk-bought minipretzels in the style to which I have become accustomed. Stressors included a last minute phone call, writing up a final draft of a report and a highly autistic kid who was happily smashing his head into a wooden panel as I tried to dampen the intensity of my concerned glances at his mother. She was getting into the soup. Can hardly blame her.

Soup like.

soupwshaqAs a young boy I often dreamed of being a cup of soup. This cup. 

I feel like they would have been well-served by acknowledging that soup can function as a snack. The tagline writes itself. Christ even have a meal deal with Shaquille O’Neal.  Cop a feel and make him squeal. That’s the soup competition in prison.

My talents are wasted.

So I flew back the three hours to London, arriving with just enough time to have a full and hearty evening of packing. For verily, the next morning Meg and I departed for the True North Strong and Free. With a national currency known as the TimBit and the Head of State recognisable by their Canadian Crown of hockeyplayer’s molars studded into a maple syrup-lacquered moose antler, Canada is a nation of contrasts.

This was my third time in Canada in about 18 months, so I’m a real dab hand at… that. I’ll admit I just wanted to say dab hand. Because it’s weird.

This is normally where I might include an image illustrating my point. But apparently Dab Hand is quite a common name for both fake penises and bongs. So just imagine that here.

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Or if you’ve got a crummy imagination, just enjoy a brief reprise for R-Money.

Meg and I got to the airport in jig time and we wandered straight through security like Drake or Bonnie Tyler or one of them other celebrity arseholes. As it happened I could sneak Meg into the airport lounge much like a grubby Leonardo DiCaprio street urchin, up from steerage with all the Guiness swigging wastrels to the Captains table with Billy Zane.

She kept reaching out to pick something up and then pausing hand hovering in the air while she looked for me, waiting for the inevitable nod. She had a light pre-flight lunch of M&Ms and Baileys, like a rockstar.

I sampled some Drambuie without ice and regretted it more than the time I asked a lady with a potbelly in a Japanese bar, “Baby… in stomach?”

We then walked out, filled with chocolate and sweetened boozes onto the plane when we got the best surprise you can get when getting onto a plane. “Please turn left.”

UPGRADE! Like finding a bucket of fried chicken under a pile of dirty pants, we happened upon a real tasty meat-treat. In the shape of premium economy. Not quite Business Class. But definitely not cattle class.

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Not that cattle aren’t the hero of their own story. They just don’t get the leg room we do.

That seems an obvious point at which to leave our boozed-up heros, hurtling through space with our heads on cushions on a chemical toilet wall on 10,000 ft of North Atlantic air.

Poetry ‘n’ ting.

In other news Meg and I have been battering it with the life admin. The washing machine has been whirling like a stanky wet dervish since we came back and bar a bit of jetlag (and associated conciliatory curry) we have been going to bed at good Christian hours of the evening and eating more thick green leaves than a Californian cult leader. Cult leaders eat healthy. Anything as fun as leading a cult, they want to stick around as long as possible to see how good it gets.

the-wicker-man-6DO THE HUSSLE! Also, no more bras, we’re done with them.

I have also started running again and as well as a blog, podcast, facebook page and twitter account, I am also now the food photo-taking owner of an honest to God Instagram account. And boyos, I’m bloody hooked. Not a scabby pigeon goes by with out me taking a photo, dawbing a filter over it and thinking I’m all deep and soulful.

I’m a real fancy boy now. You wouldn’t believe I’m the same guy that used to soak his runners in Dettol.

Well you would. You’ve always hated me.

Typical you.

Tyler of Leek

Caledoner of Leek

If he had the money he should have taken the plane,

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It’s the Titanic’s resident baddie Billy “cool guy” Zane

Jesus he’s hot, like a young lickable Brando. But the poor boy had the last drop of acting beat out of him like he was an almost finished bottle of ketchup in the cafeteria of a government-run shelter for the clinically untalented.

This past weekend I headed to Edinburgh to attend the stagging (you can tell by my deft use of the terminology I’ve done this a lot) of a college chum and former housemate. As someone who has lived with me and not been disappeared by my hoodlums during the brief nine days I was head of a Massachusettes gang of streetwise bakers (trust me it’s a thing) I kinda gotta keep him sweet. He knows all the freaky stuff I’m into. Though he still thinks his hamster threw itself into that wood chipper.

Maybe he needs to.

So I took the rustically-named Caledonian Sleeper up to Scotchland. This is the name given to the overnight train between London and Edinburgh and surprisingly it was really comfortable.

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The other, better known Caledonian Sleeper. What’s under his kilt eh ladies? A pasty Celtic shmekle. Obvs.

Before I had got on, I’d purchased an intoxicating beverage with the hope that it’d help me get off to sleep, but as I sat into my seat I felt it perhaps a little vulgar and was reticent to whip it out. That was until I saw the lad beside me pull out his can of Special Brew.

Special Brew for those of you mercifully unacquainted is a super strength lager that can barely be contained by the thin layer of aluminum that manufacturers have recklessly put between it and humans. The noxious fumes released by the metallic click and hiss were all I needed to tell me… I was among friends.

After a 7.5 hour journey, we slid into Edinburgh which was looking its foreboding best under a clear sky with the last wisps of morning mist driven out on a sharp coastal breeze. I’m really painting a picture. I’m eloquent as f brah!

With The Irish Imposition as one of my many nicknames, I promptly darkened the door of true Tralee Boy (Ardfert division) Philip. Despite a late night, he put up with my tea-sucking nonsense for a few hours before we wandered out for further caffination and a crescent length of pastry.

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Actually Mark, it’s called a croissant and it’s from France. There are many kind of bread from all over the world. This has been another info-blast, from Bread Man.

Hahaha. That’s just my friend Bread Man. He lives in the equipment shed of the electricity sub-station behind our house. Hey Bread Man, did they ever find those evil baker gang (told you it was a thing), the Bakers Dozen that put your wife in that oven?

Bread Man doesn’t want to talk about it apparently. Don’t chime in if you can’t bring the friendly patter Terry! Arsehole.

Ermm… Edinburgh! Yes, so I met up with the stag and cohort of mentype beings who were decidedly the worse for wear after the pints consumed the previous night. The smell of accumulated sweaty man bottoms brought back to my various childhood experiences in summer camps, even back to first year in college when I was sharing a room. Sharing a room with men is a whiffy business. Especially when my smelly bottom is added into the broth.

We then hiked up Arthur’s Seat. A steep enough climb up a massive rock that is pretty much glower powering over everything in Edinburgh, like Mr Burns freaking out some hippies. I was happy to find that despite not having done any hiking to speak of over the past few years to speak of, I was still among the first to the top.

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It’s important if you’re going to sneer at Gods creation, to do so from a good vantage point. And yes that is me in the photo. We should talk more often eh?

From then on we mainly boozed, napped and saw some grade-A comedy from the Fringe Festival. To recount my favourite joke from that day (David O’Doherty for the win), “When Steve Jobs died, they tried to bring him back to life by jamming him into a giant bag of rice for three days.” As a stag, probably the seediest thing about it was my rendition of Ignition Remix by avowed child fan R Kelly.

After we were chucked out of the karaoke bar there was talk of seeking out an establishment called “Fingers,” but a quick Google showed it to be well closed by the time my poorly advised haggis burrito (you have not LIVED!)  converted our small singing booth into the chlorine wafted fields of Flanders. No survivors.

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They used to crack these babies out when I made my patented 8 bean and diesel salad.

In other news, Meg and I are watching the skintight shitshow that is the Rio Olympics. Don’t swallow the water or your kidneys will fall out your arse and on the offchance you get elected president, enjoy your last few moments pre-impeachment. And not bs Bill Clinton poling-the-electorate impeachment. “Madame President, did you steal that oil rig?” impeachment.

Some things we’ve noticed include that the music the gymnasts do their routine to, is being played out of a 2002 Nokia enhanced with speakers held together with tinfoil and and biscuit tin lids, the pool for the diving hasn’t been cleaned since Pele started doing those boner-pill adverts and UK commentators have dropped all pretence of unbiasedness.

An actual quote from a BBC commentator on the British sync divers: “Taaaaake your tiiiime…. do it right.” Fortunately the commentators for the gymnastics were far more forgiving of the bendy lasses of Team Brexlympics.

As they slipped, slid and fell on every damn bit of their body but their feet, the arseholes at the BBC were constantly trying to explain away their vertigo-addled stumblings. “Oho, she fought that well there.” You mean gravity!? That’s the gig Chuckles. “Great effort there.” The judges don’t seem to agree. “Unlucky there.” TO BE BORN WITHOUT JOINTS!?

I’m hepped up. Need something to soothe my nerves, what’s on? Dressage.

Mightn’t be here this time next week if I’m honest.

Caledoner of Leek

Anne Robinsoner of Leek

If it’s anti-gravity ice cream, he knows where to stuff it,

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It’s elderly stockmarket tycoon, Warren “All you can eat ” Buffet-t

Between the Dairy Queen and the Burger King he owns it’s a dang miracle he’s got to 208 years old. I guess $60bn buys a lot of jaguar glands. That stuff’ll get you where you need to go.

So in case you didn’t notice, we launched our podcast. It pops, locks and busts the freshers! Rap talk. Anyway I want to take up the first few lines with a thank you or two for those that helped with the thing.  Thanks to Meg for holding in her various toilet needs during the recordings. Took some convincing but I told her that I would demand we didn’t edit out any… background noises. Thanks to Luke and Joe for inviting me to do the thing and putting up with me chuckling through endless sombre accounts of war-crimes. Finally thanks to Meg again for letting me disassemble our bedroom to form a sound-dampening studio environment every second Sunday for several months. The bed ends up looking like I’m trying to build one of those monsters from the end of a Power Rangers episode

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Probably this creepo, he’s not allowed near schools anymore.

I just looked up the original cast. Did you remember that the pink one was the girl, the black one was a black chap and the yellow one was Asian? Yeesh. Though I will say, Zordon’s looking well.

Anyway the podcast is good and I will also say gets generally better throughout the ten episodes as we learn to be a little less bashful and gradually come to the realise that human history basically amounts to people named “penis” laying waste to entire villages of men, women and children. I also make a rude joke or ten.

Subscribe here, as hard as yeh can!

https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/80-days-exploration-podcast/id1139128775

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So that’s written & audio media addressed. Now I’m cornering the visual medium with my youtube videos of me forcing soapbar husks together. Next medium? Maybe smell…

Suggestions for the name of my personal fragrance on the back of a stamped-addressed envelope please. The smart money is on “Dusk of the Musk.”

Meg had a tough old week of it. As well as me rabbiting on about a podcast that she views the ultimate endgame of is for us to get physically and amorously involved with each other to “get it over with,” she also had to deal with the high pressure scenario of  picking “the dress.”

One of her bridesmaids had travelled down to be in the hizz-ouse for the whole thing. She travelled around hells half-acre (her phrase that I am stealing like so much reduced-to-clear ham) to find the right dress over a 48 hour period and in the end made her decision so, happy ending. And not the Thai massage kind.

This was doubly so because we were able to avoid any interaction with the mutants on that show “Be Forced To Say Yes To The Dress.” Monty. Anne Robinson. The whole freak parade. I watch that show waiting for somebody to snag their sleeve on the wrong candelabra and all the furniture spins around to turn it back into Montys abattoir-themed sexclub that he operates there in the evenings.

Welcome to Monty’s F-Palace. Wednesday is wife-swappin’ and ribs night.

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Don’t like the look of that fist he’s made. Especially with his drug-ring there to snag on… stuff.

After deciding where she needed to go, we headed out towards the edges of the city to an area I had staunchly defended as being perfectly fine for us to wander around. Most of the areas of London that people know as being a bit tasty or a bit stabby are being gentrified hard. Though that may slow down now as Boris has kicked all the Belgians out and they’ve taken their money with them. As we emerged from the dehumanisingly named Tube,  we realised that we weren’t going to be able to walk our intended route as there was a police cordon blocking the road.

Maybe it was something to do with the Ride London cycling (and procreation) event? Doesn’t go near there. Lemon meringue tasting class? It’s not the season for lemons you fool! Maybe, they cordoned it off because it’s too… nice?

Naw. After “socialising” at a boxing event some young fella got sliced up a treat by local  ne’er-do-wells. Cocknies. The cockney massive got him. Eastenders style!

This murder of a human made Meg understandably skittish and we flaked it out to the shop and back home in record time. Knifey cockneys woud stab up their own mother to get their hands on an pricey frock. As the horsey burds from Game of Thrones will tell you, “it is known.”

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It is known. That are known. It’s all bloody known lass. Oh and the last shot of every season has to be a dragon cawing at the viewer like a bloody great big chicken. Because it is known.

As well as all the walking we had done, we also broken our diet hard with mounds of Brazilian beef and a little bit of afternoon booze. The end result of this was our evening being spent prone on the couch, drifting in and out of a garlicy slumber as an impacted bolus of cow, blood and salt clambered through our intestines driving everything else before it like it was chasing lemmings off a cliff.

If ever there was a time we wished the lock on the toilet actually worked, it was this past weekend.

In other news, I am shlepping up to Edinburgh this weekend for the stag-do of a former housemate and the person that makes the sentence “no I am not the first of my friend group to get hitched” not just a lie I say to take the pressure off our wedding planning.

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To honour this important rite of passage, please enjoy this photo of me wearing his face stretched across my passage.

Congratulations on the engagement and upcoming marraige Simon and Shannon. But if you guys steal my idea for having a nude sauna backroom at your wedding, we are done as friends.

We’re still doing that right Meg?

…Meg?

Anne Robinsoner of Leek

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!

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Babkoner of Leek

About her freshwater kin, I’ll cast no aspersions,

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Or she’d poison my IrnBru, it’s Nicola “our only hope” Sturgeon!

I decided to use my opening photo reference for good rather than… well not evil but mocking nonsense as is my norm. I kinda need to keep leaders of other countries sweet right now. You already know why.

So my monthly unblogged weekend has passed and thusly my blog gland drippeth (forsooth!) with what I can only assume is hilarious anecdotes, quippery and the very height of befuddlery that I have cobbled together to call my human life.

Life bit the first! Last Saturday I woke with a start to see that my car to the airport was waiting already outside my door. Due to an alarm-setting malfunction (lack of doing the thing) I slept through to the minute I was meant to leave for the airport to head to New York, but being the canny traveler I am I leave loads of time for such foolishness and made it to the airport after taking the retrospectively merciful move to take a quick shower. The overnight humidity these past weeks has my morning plums as ripe as a doonbuggy on a Lousiana corncob. Apologies, I’ve been talking to Americans for a few days. That’s how they all talk.

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“I been bucking like a hoohaa on the 4th of July eatin’ mah backtack ‘n’ scrapple and doin’ the Charleston on a cottonpick.” – 21st President of the United States Chester A. Arthur (pictured)

After arriving at the airport and getting my newly refreshed plums pawed at by mayor of the gropetown, I was into the building and after demolishing some stale pastries I got onto my plane only to realise that the fools had bumped me like a late dinner reservation to the waft zone by the toilets. But in this case, the Bidness Class toilet! Victoire! Yes as a governmentally-acknowledged fancy boy, they planted me into a full reclining seat with all the modcons including champlane, air d’oeurves before my meal (just one more, keep it going Marky-boy, that’s my new nickname for myself BUT NO TIME FOR THAT NOW) and a really, nice… jet towel? For my neck. Oh no. I’m sorry.

My first two days in NYC, were both hot and chafy but heightened by the presence of one Ian Prince, a former Japan inmate (no really it was great(no really it was a prison of the body AND the mind (beanpaste as a dessert made to look like chocolate!? (these are just some words to have a quadruple bracket closing off my bloggy bucketlist)))).

We sauntered around like cocks of the walk, perusing the finery and giving our heart valves over to a strict and strenuous regimen of alcohol, pork and salted salt. The Americans really know how to destroy an organ legally and with utmost, albeit short-lived enjoyment. In this vein (and still in my veins) was a fresh and sugar soaked chocolate babka.

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If that specifically New York confectionary sounds familiar. Congratulations/commiserations, we are kin.

It glistened in the afternoon sun, steamed with just-baked sweetness and bounced off the disgusting New York Union Square pavement as we dropped half of it and tasted even better when we picked it back up and continued eating. It was insane. Calories easily in the thousands. Shame in the millions. I want one! (tears off t-shirt Hulk-style to reveal a flabby wrinkled torso, babka flakes suspended in my man-breast-fluff).

I regret nothing.

We continued the food tour to include the birth of New York hipsterdom in Brooklyn. As they say in New York, you can’t spell Brooklyn without… all the letters. And some education. A pen. Or a mouth. It’s a nice spot. Brooklyn!

Inspired by this brush with trendiness I also engaged in several highly trendy behaviours.  One such move (I call things I do “moves” now, it’s trendier that way) I went to watch Ferris Bueller in a park in Manhattan, swigging Cava from a communal bottle and trendily mixing up Mia Sara with Mia Farrow. Easily done, but one of these didn’t stumble upon the creepy fact that her boyfiend (no typo, typno) Woody Allen was shtupping her young  (and I mean YOUNG!) adopted daughter.

Director Allen and his wife Previn pose at premiere of "To Rome with Love" in Los Angeles

How could he… resist? And of course his appeal is. Obvious. <leaves room>

Another trendy move (it’s already passé to call it that) was to go to a house party in Harlem. As we approached the house there was a lot of shouting and policey lights in the area we were heading to but we veered hard right before anybody did any crimes to this simple country lad. Instead we had a boozey cheese sandwich party, where we discussed theatre, publishing and the complexities of the nomad life. I’m also pretty sure I straight up weed on her floor. New York rules are that New York Rules! And pee goes eeeverywhere.

In other news… Brexit. I need to stop talking about it or I’m going to get both sad and angry for the umpteenth time since the turd-gobblers that constitute 52% of the voting UK public pulled back their dribble-soaked “Britain First” bedspreads and smeared their democratic contribution to the world across the walls of their padded voting booths. And I will stop talking about it after this one spindly point. 52% of people did a dumb thing, but this thing has been coming for a while. This place is way more f’d than people thought, me included (though perhaps I should have known better and assumed worse) and if there is any positive to come from this squirt-fight liquid dumbness it is as a warning to others. US, Ireland, anybody anywhere that cares about where they live (an admittedly long list) look at what’s happened and rid yourself of complacency. Real bad stuff can happen and on recent evidence, it bloody well will.

I can hear Meg sleeptalking upstairs. “I’m not an expert!!” Might be time to give her a break on discussing this blighted land.

Creme brul-hey-that guy’s on an airplane? Naw, you should go, this ain’t getting better.

Babkoner of Leek