is he still a figure 0f “WHAAAAT? — Shock, gasp, horrors, dismay!!”?


Ladies and Gentlemen,

and the rest of you oafs—I give you now my prompt (as in cue, or clue, or trigger—not as in immediate).

Read it if you dare, and bitterly regret all those missed omelettes. Miss an omelette even once and you’ve lost it for ever (but let’s not get lost in philosophising here; I’m sure God knew what S/He was doing when It set the ball rolling—

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—all those years ago.) To see what I’m (rather indignantly, I might add, on your behalf, not mine) raving about this time just click the eggie pic above. If all goes well you will be delivered unto The New Zealand Herald. But be assured that the ol’ dog has had two eggs (yes, two! Eeeeeeek!) eggs for breakfast every morning for decades. Fried, and served hot on cheese on toast.


that my recipe (sans frills) is more or less a croque mitaine of French faim (sort of)—

“Monsieur Argus, Sir?”

“Good heavens … it’s Little Virginie! Virginia’s fro  French cousine!”

“Sir … don’t you mean une c. Madame? A croque mitaine is a sort of bugbear used to frighten les little enfants into being bon!”

(Bugger! It must run in their family …)


“HEY! Vous! Monsieur Argus!”


(Oh no …)

Bugbear big

“Vous avez something against croque mitaines?”


Nothing at all against CMs … but a lot against people who believe everything they’re told. As a ‘live, and let live’ kinda oaf myself I’ve enjoyed many raised eyebrows over the past decades for what I choose to eat (and actually buried a few health-nuts).

C’est la vie …

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for the departed

unsung Heroes—


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The following verse was written by Robert Richardson to entertain the troops at  the Observer Christmas bash:


It was an ancient sub-editor and he stoppeth many libels,

Fowler’s Modern English Usage and the ODWE were his bibles.

We met in the Bodoni Arms, it was his favourite venue,

He sat alone, a pint in hand, and made corrections to the menu.


“Pray tell me, master sub-editor, your secrets and your tricks,

“How many prima donnas you have saved from looking pricks.”

He raised his head and gazed at me with a piercing, bloodshot eye,

“’T’would be my pleasure, sir,” he said, “but I am rather dry.


“A double brandy will suffice; it helps soak up the ale,

“You get ’em in, then I’ll begin to tell my subbing tale.”

I hastened to the bar and bought the drink that he desired,

Convinced that what he told me would be sober and inspired.


Returning to the table, I set the glass within his reach

Then sat, a humble acolyte, as he composed himself to speech.

“In the beginning was the word, but which word we’ll never learn

“Because a sub deleted it to avoid a widow turn.


“And in the Gospel of St John, one chapter seems too terse,

“Where the two-word sentence ‘Jesus wept’ appears as just one verse.

“A sub-editor did that, my boy, and I shall tell you why:

“He had to make a par somewhere ‘cos the text was one line shy.


“And so it goes, from age to age, in every realm and land,

“You’ll find the diligent sub-editor, a style book in his hand.

“We guard our Mother English tongue, keep her pure and unalloyed,

“Just see what dreadful things go wrong when our talents aren’t employed.


“We’d have asterisked out those filthy words Lady Chatterley learnt from Mellors

“And if Dickens had but had a sub, his books would be novellas.

“We know ‘can’ from ‘may’ and ‘may’ from ‘might’,

“And never say ‘less’ when ‘fewer’ is right,


“We punctuate punctiliously and are alert for innuendoes,

“We can all spell ‘desiccated’ and don’t rise to crescendos.

“Of grammar and of syntax our knowledge is formidable,

“Though frankly we don’t give a toss about an unstressed syllable.


“To denigrate the sub-editor is the action of a moron,

“A word that very nearly rhymes with that little twat Giles Coren.

“When it comes to writing headlines, polysyllables we eschew,

“We have a taste for shorter words, like ‘mull’ and ‘ire’ and ‘rue’. “


“Your wisdom overwhelms me, no counsel could be finer,

“But can you explain to me, I beg, the role of the designer?”

“Don’t speak to me of that lot!” (He gathered spit – and spat),

“A paper needs designers like an oyster needs a hat.


“Oh they’ll draw you pretty pages, you can’t change them ‘cos it’s art,

“Then once you’ve made the copy fit, they rip the thing apart.

“The reason why they do that is a mystery to man,

“But I’ve a shrewd suspicion that it’s just to show they can.”


I feared I had offended him, my question had been crude,

But a treble double whisky put him in a better mood.

“And tell me of your colleagues, whose work is so essential,

“That I might dare approach them with demeanour reverential.”


“Right across Observer the subs are brilliant, off the scale,

“The Times can only dream of such – and fuck the Daily Mail.

“But even with such talents, sir, once the story’s in the queue

“And is eighty-six lines over, what magic can you do?”


The old sub smiled and shook his head as if he were amused

At meeting one so young and green and easily confused.

“Nothing is writ that can’t be cut, that is the Subbing Law,

“Give me the Ten Commandments and I’ll trim them back to four.


“Thou shalt not miss the deadline, or write in ‘Subs please check’,

“And if perchance you use a fact, don’t get it round your neck.

“But the first of all commandments you must follow to the letter:

“However good your copy is, a sub can make it better.”


“And yet,” I ventured cautiously, “can what they say be true?

“I’ve heard tell that the management wants to get rid of you.”

”’Tis true,” the gloomy sub replied, now glugging down red wine,

“They got rid of the NGA, now we’re the next in line.


“But mark my words, young journalist, the cup they drink is bitter,

“Mistakes will sprout like dandelions and literals will litter.

“Comment it may still be free, but faith in facts will shatter,

“Whatever garbage fills the space, that’s all that’s going to matter.


“And there will come a day, I fear, when one sub shall remain,

“Facing those damned accountants and battling in vain.

“He’ll stand astride the subs’ desk like that Dutch boy at the dyke,

“Until, professional to the last, he falls upon his spike.


“And as those bastards stand and jeer, a golden age shall cease,

“But not before his dying words: ‘Has the lawyer seen this piece?’

“They’ll bury him with honours, even Murdoch will be there,

“FoC will read the Lesson, Rev Indent will say the prayer.


“Good Spot will start the banging out, as flags fly at half mast,

“A choir of solemn hacks will sing ‘Oh Sub, our help in ages past’.

“And in the years that follow that tragic last defeat

“You’ll find the Tomb of Unknown Sub in St Bride’s upon the Street.


“On either side shall angels weep, and proudly in between

“You will see a pencil, blue, crossed with an eyeshade, green,

“And on Carrara marble, carved in ninety-six point caps,

“You’ll read subs’ eternal question: ‘Who wrote this piece of crap?’


Semper Vigilans


From Librevox

a recording of one of my favourite poems:

—this post being a test to see if my uploading of it works.

(Bugger~!) (It didn’t …)

Plan B, then—

try this:


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AND if what you get resembles the above pic you are in the park. Asking as a somewhat jaded old dog: is it possible to fall madly, wildly, passionately in love with a damsel you’ve never met, never even seen, and never shall?





I think so. The soul of the true romantic never dies, huh?


“Argie! Be warned! Beyond here be deep waters …”

Argus copy 4

“I can take care of myself, Nick. But thanks anyway …”

It’s all art, and nothing more.

Certainly nothing less—and the above methods aren’t working, so it’s dreaded Plan C—


—and the work in question is “The Spell of the Yukon” read by Anita Netherton at the Ottawa Folk Festival 2010. I gather she was one of a herd of readers, possibly spontaneously gathered and launched. (Hah! That one worked! At last, a hit!






people by the scooooore …

or not. I get my coffees and multis* mixed up sometimes (makes for some interesting beverages).  In the meantime, you poor thing—


More clue~?

Take a pinch of white man
Wrap it up in black skin
Add a touch of blue blood
And a little bitty bit of Red Indian boy

—or not.

Preferably not; for we racists it spells angst and possibly doom. But that’s the way of it ever since ol’ God programmed genes to be interchangeablish—

His antiquity has since ensured his importance to historians and scientists who study how the British Isles were populated – a topic that went viral last week when geneticists published new research that showed the young man would have had black hair, blue eyes – and dark skin.

A great many widely held – but incorrect – assumptions about the expected pale-skinned, fair-featured nature of Britain’s founders were promptly overturned, to the rage of some commentators and the joy of many …

read more: CLICK HERE

—back to the drawing board then.


How about those cranks who think the world was different a few thousand years ago, pre and post asteroidal/cometary/space-thing impacts?

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—climates too, I believe. When ice-ages melted it fair raised sea levels worldwide (four hundred feet, we’re told). Quite enough to create change … do the cranks (sans ‘space aliens’) have a point? Don’t ask me … I’m still in shock from being told that Australian Aborigines have been dwelling quietly out of sight in Ozz for tens of thousands of years longer than possible. (Okay, longer than than we were taught.)

You’ll be telling me next that ‘man’ has been in the Americas longer than the ten, eleven, thirteen thousand years the Bering Land Bridge entitled him to (must’ve been smuggled across by those space aliens too).

… British men and women of today. We are not a nation of farmers … but can trace our ancestry to nomadic hunters, who – 300 generations ago – carved antlers to make harpoons for fishing, used bows and arrows, and trained dogs…

Wow. Being English I identify with dogs, and have used a bow and arrow (once. Still looking for that blasted arrow …) so it must all be true:

We’re mongrels!

All of us

Argus copy 4.png

… except for some …




Try this as a creamer…



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“Time,” the Sage tells me morosely, “is the medium of change.” And he should know, time has certainly changed him. I remember when he was but a pup (as it were) and now I keep tripping over his blasted beard. Honestly, some wise men … (he knows his onions though).

I discovered a couple of hours ago that one of my all-time heroes passed away a few days back.

Just another nutter. No-one will miss him … he’s the guy who had an idea, got it checked out by a fully credentialed geologist who apparently was unanimously backed up by an entire conference (which alone should have wiped the smirk of the face of a few other experts) but I won’t tell if you don’t—

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—and nothing is more predictable than the reaction of the experts to some of the stuff put forward by the late Mr J. A.West.


a damn anyway. I mean, who gives a hoot if the great Sphinx of Giza is a few thousand more years (ten, anybody?) older than we were taught pounded with at school? So?


take a wee look at the NY World’s Fair of 1964. Sadly I’ve long since lost the 8mm movies and snaps I shot at the time but thanks to the miracle of modern science I pulled these in off the WWW—


(Oh, wow~!)


Vitality, anybody? Pizazz?

Hah! You should have seen the wee robots wandering about telling everyone the time …



as being America at its best. Vital, optimistic, unashamedly brash, and very talented without fear of showing so. Superlatives abounded—

—and when Spouse and I went back recently, in time for the Millennium, our host drove me out to the site.

It was a bit further away than expected.

We got there pretty much at sunset; daylight fading almost as fast as memories. We were the only souls abroad, no sign of nobody nowhere—which suited my mood perfectly.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 17.27.01.png

Time has certainly done his work here. There. Everywhere …

Bastard …

… but that’s just the way of it. Without the use of maths and/or science (okay, possibly just a little) I’ve developed my own ideas on time and space which I shan’t spout here lest alarmed people track me down and send hordes of nice men in white coats around to my house.

But at least I have the comfort of knowing that one John Anthony West (deceased) might have approved …

*         *         *

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dodododo               dodo



The webbie on offer below seems to jaded tired eyes a lot longer than the physical newspaper article (remember news? On paper?) was.

But before we go further, here’s your webbie—

To read more:  CLICK HERE

—and if you go there, and if having gone there you do actually read it; ask yourself “Oh no! What is the jaded old mutt on about this time?”


that if you do need to ask I’d venture that you miss my point.


“Argus! Welcome to The Club old mate! Grab a beer, sit next to Miss Cassandra and enjoy the show!”



* (Paper, schmaper, newspaper—you know, great for wrapping fish’n’chips in the good old days)



2015.pngof good ol’ pro bono publico Political Correctness?

I DO~!

But I’m just a jaded and tired old dog. And as always the world belongs to the young—how can I complain? The world was mine too, once, when seas were blue and albatri hung smiling in the air just out of reach.


to be protective of the young. But to sublimate all else to pandering to whims they don’t even know themselves that they have?

Just a year or three back in Queens Park in Invercargill was a beautiful avenue overhung with mature European trees. The trees themselves were part of a mini-environment established by the love of decades; bluebells abounded in springtime along with the daffodils and others such.

And then—

—and then some PC idiot (determined to score points with his/her/its peers) voted to savage the trees and ‘improve the park for all’ by using the savaged trunks as structures for the children to play on … and it happened.

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RIP:  2015

I have no idea if the ‘lovely works of practical art’ created from the corpses of murdered trees were paid for, and if so by whom*, but someone’s career was enhanced thereby. Points were scored.

Every care was taken, we were told. Every angle checked and the artworks are entirely safe in all respects. So when I trotted through the other day this is what I saw, egg upon the face of the grandstanding PC folks—

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—if they but had the nous to realise—

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—which mercifully for them: they don’t.

And so—


—the beat goes on, the beat goes onnnnnnnn …. dodo



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* By the poor bloody taxpayers, of course. Sheesh!