Category Archives: Uncategorized

*Change of mind; this blog is NOT closing*

Dear everyone who is still posting here: I can’t bring myself to curtail a lively discussion that started two or three years ago (tho’ I don’t have anything more to say about the Roots song that I haven’t already said). I am even today reading new posts… I’m not going to agree or disagree with any of them: they are a fascinating read, and fun to find on a blog I have seriously neglected but might still be viable in its way. So please carry on posting, chaps (and whatever the femine noun for ‘chaps’ is).


Said the Owl to the Dove…

‘I wish to woo, I wish to woo’
Said the owl to the dove
(For woo’s what you do
When you’re falling in love),
‘I wish to woo,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo…’

‘Who-who would you woo?’
Cooed the dove in alarm,
‘For I live in a cote,
While you live in a barn,
Which won’t do,
It won’t do,
It won’t do…’

‘If that’s true’, said the owl
Sadly shaking his head,
‘I suppose I might ask
The wood-pigeon instead,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo…’

‘Coo-coo!  You’re so cute,’
Said the friendly wood-pigeon,
‘But to hunt and to hoot
Go against my religion,
It won’t do,
It won’t do,
It won’t do…’

‘If that’s true,’ said the owl
Sadly shaking his head,
‘I suppose I might ask
The fat cuckoo instead,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo…’

‘Well I might steal your nest,’
Laughed the jolly cuckoo,
‘But if you think that I’d want
An old moon-face like you,
You’re cuckoo,
You’re cuckoo,
Your’e cuckoo…! ’

‘Honk Honk!’ hissed the swan,
‘Quack off!’ said the duck,
The hen gave the owl
Her most furious cluck,
‘It won’t do,
It won’t do,
It won’t do…’

‘Dear, dear,’ said the owl
If I can’t find a bird,
Then maybe an animal
Is not so absurd?
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo…’

‘Hee-haw,’ laughed the donkey,
Said the camel, ‘Harrumph!’
‘Thick, thick!’, chirped the cricket
The elephant trumped,
The dog growled at owl,
And the cat said, ‘Me, how?’
‘Eek!’ screamed the guinea-pig
‘Bad moos’, said the cow,
The monkey threw coconuts
‘Neigh, Nay!’ said the pony…
At the end of the day,
Owl was really quite lonely.
For all that he’d heard,
His wretched life through:
‘It won’t do,
It won’t do,
It won’t do…’

So if you go out
While the full moon is bright,
Here is the song
Owl still sings in the night,
‘I wish to woo,
I wish to woo,
I wish to woo…’

‘The Dogs of Spain’ – new Dunlin song online

(For background and details to the song’s content, scroll down below the video..)
In July, 1588, a muster of 131 Spanish ships sailed from Corunna for England, carrying nearly 25,000 seamen, their intended task being to collect and transport Flemish land troops from Calais to Margate and launch an invasion of England…

Almost half of the vessels in the fleet failed to return and untold thousands of Spanish sailors perished with them.

Following a series of damaging engagements with the English navy in the Channel and off northern France, twenty-six ships were wrecked around the western shores of Ireland, having skirted the British Isles in hazardous conditions, and with inadequate supplies. While some shipwrecked crews were given sanctuary in Ireland by the church, many hundreds of sailors were otherwise stripped, robbed and abandoned; hundreds more were massacred where they landed.

The history-book account of the Armada tells of a legendary victory for Drake, Hawkins, Frobisher and the English Navy – and it seems, at least, in seamanship, planning, tactics, shipbuilding and quality of munitions, the Spanish fleet was outclassed. But skirmishes with the English cannot account for the scale of the castrophic losses suffered by the Spanish in what was, arguably, the worst maritime disaster of all time. Scattering the Spanish fleet off Calais and driving it northward seems to have been all that was necessary for Drake and co. to forestall the invasion; for at this point, only half-a-dozen Spanish vessels had been lost. Drake’s own behaviour – both before and during the invasion – seems to have primarily involved plundering Spanish vessels, on a freelance basis, to increase his own personal wealth: a state-sanctioned pirate, no less. On the Spanish side, King Felipe, Medina Sidonia (naval commander) and the Duke of Parma (Flemish land forces) between them donated the full weight of their strategic incompetence, lack of communication and complete disregard for the provision of adequate supplies or for the sailors’ personal welfare; these coupled with an unshakeable faith that, recognising the holy righteousness of their cause, God would intervene to ensure its ultimate victory. (Possible echoes of recent and ongoing military conflicts?) The Pope, meanwhile, sent his blessings but withheld the funding that might have made a crucial difference.

For the rest of it: ‘Well, some men blame the weather…’

It is a tale with few, if any, heroes – English, Spanish or Irish – but with thousands of victims: nearly all of them Spanish. ‘The Dogs of Spain’ is my imagined (Moley says ‘channelled’ – ha-ha!) narrative of a 16th century trader recruited to man an armed merchantman – a class of Armada ship that was least well-suited to either naval warfare or northern maritime conditions.

I suggest you put the kettle on, or go to the cellar for more ale, well before the song starts – it ain’t a two-and-a-half-minute foot-tapper, if that’s what you were hoping for..

Dunlin: a Gothic Fantasia..

Simon Le Pong

‘Please, please smell me now…
Is there something I should know?’

Once upon a time…

… your external modem used to go ‘hmmmmmmmmmmmm, bleep, bleep, icketty-click, jer-jer-jer-jer-jer-jer-jer, hee-haw, hee-haw, jer, jer, hmph…., ding!’

It might take 38 tries before Compuserve got you connected, but from thereonin, the internet was fast, available, fun and fast..

Talk Talk broadband, it saddens me to report, is slower than someone’s much-beloved grandma at an Asda checkout, in front of you. twiddling with those plastic bags, wetting fingers to accomplish task, fumbling for change – that is, once it becomes apparent that, in the absence of card and PIN no., money comes from purse, purse comes from handbag and hang on a minute my darling; as I rootle about, let’s talk about summer holidays and hairdos…

I reckon the joy of computing – home programming, etc. more-or-less ended with the arrival of Bill Gates’ Windows monopoly.

And the sickest thing is, that this pretty decent Dell machine contracted to Talk Talk to keep me state-of-the-art webwise, takes longer than my old Amstrad used to in the eighties, loading op system from floppies.

There’s no such thing as ‘Meant to be…’

There’s no such thing as ‘meant to be’
As if some deity meant it
But if I say ‘You’re meant for me’
I didn’t just invent it.
It’s ‘meant for me’, not ‘sent for me’
(provided you consent to me)
So, when I say ‘we’re meant to be’
It’s me, I mean, who meant it…