Tuesday, 27 January 2009

SOMEBODY STOP ME

Stop me if you've heard this one before. A man says to a woman, would you sleep with me for a million pounds, and she says, yes, of course. So he says, would you for a fiver? And she says, no, fuck off, what do you think I am? And he says, well, I think we've established that; we're just negotiating price.

There was a lot of that sort of caper in Gstaad during my sojourn. Not out-and-out pimping, not prostitution, but much more backscratching than I've seen in the past, more cajolery, inducements, snowjobs, in short. But for why? As usual, the worldwide recession has something to do with it, and even the gorgeous old Eurotrash muttons are feeling the pinch. They still LOOK the same - all men over 40 are chiseled and burnished and wear a French interpretation of US streetwear from 1979; everything a little too new, everything a little too shiny*. They still regard Patek Philippe as de rigueur  and their invasive cosmetic dentistry  has rendered speech indistinct.  The women wear high-end designer ski kit and are completely teetotal. Moreover, some of them have flown in from LUTON! It is to die, in my view. The place still looks entrancing; the allure of the snow cannot be gainsaid, and last weekend we had knee-deep powder, even on-piste, but there is something irrefutably plebby about the visitors these days that makes someone as relentlessly international, as mindlessly loaded, as myself want to cry icicle tears of longing for the old days.

The Glenda Slag brigade was out in force: clapped-out old hacks who still turn a living from writing pisspoor captions to grainy images of hasbeens, such as my dear friend, Lord Numb. Numb was my companion throughout, and was kind enough to pay for my vacance.  Those in the know will guess his true identity if I reveal him as a well-known furrier from Swiss Cottage, which brings a nice symmetry to our association. We were papped one night at GreenGo. I was in palest chartreuse cashmere, with a creme de menthe coat and a pair of Kenneth Cole Broken Hearts in benedictine.  Numb was flushed with drink and success and we were pictured sharing a steaming pile of gefilte fish. You probably saw it.

But, home is where the heart is! On my return, how horrified I was to read of the new killer snow that has crept into my native land instead of the old-fashioned commuter-friendly stuff we had enjoyed in Switzerland.  The Scottish avalanche had claimed the lives of three stolids who hadn't heard the frozen death-blanket unfurl itself above them as they roared "Avalanche? Wot avalanche?" through their megaphone.  How hideous to have misunderstood the bleak warning Do Not Schlep About Today - Avalanche Likely! My heart goes out to all those who speed-read public information notices and who think a pair of  Clark's Pathfinders and an Oeuf Ecossais wrapped in greaseproof paper is enough to sustain them.  How I hastened to the dear old Thicket to restore my equilibrium and  to log the changes of nature, mainly floral. How I  luxuriated in the familiar sounds of birdcall and the rustling of the undergrowth as it offered itself up as a brackeny bed for the dedicated doggers who do so much to make the Thicket a place of exotica! 

January is the Gateway of the Year in the Thames Valley, and the snowdrops already hang their white lamps underfoot. A straggle of jasmine is aflame with gold, and the coltsfoot bright with yellow flowers, which appear before the leaves. Here and there, I saw the purplish butterbur flowers, and watched the yellow powder of the catkins carried on the wind.  There are a few early celandines in the grass and both the Goat willows and White willows are in flower already.  Most unusually, the red deadnettles are out. Unlike common nettles, they carry no sting.

I am having a bad time at the moment. Today I listened to Mark Ronson's cover of Stop Me over and over again. Unlike the Smiths' version, it carries no sting.

Stop me, oh stop me, stop me if you think you've heard this one before,
Who said I lied, because I never
Who said I lied, because I never
I was detained, I was restrained
I broke my spleen, and broke my knee
And then he really laid into me
Who said I lied, because I never
So I drank one and it became four
And when I fell on the floor
I drank more.
Stop me, stop me, if you think you've heard this one before.



*unlike Kev Musgrove, of course. His clothes get shinier with AGE.

30 comments:

  1. Flowers in January? That's unheard of in these parts.

    But very welcome, I am sure.

    Things never seem to remain the same, despite outward appearances, do they? The telling is in the tiny details - the up close examinations.

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  2. How am I supposed to follow up something as eloquent as Ponita's post? Oh well I love your blog Can I link to you on my blog? would you be interested in a link exchange? Come over to http://scottstipoftheday.blogspot.com and let me know!

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  3. Is Jimmy still at GreenGo Mrs P? How's he doing?
    Sx

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  4. In a bad way? It sounds to me as though you're on top form.

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  5. I am envious of such excitements. You make Thames Valley sound positively idyllic.

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  6. I'm feeling very picked on today. First of all Library Lizzie says I can't play the "guess where I going with my straw donkey" game and now Clarissa, who has some years on me by the way, has a dig.

    Wanders off stage left muttering something about Peggy Mount...

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  7. "coltsfoot bright with yellow flowers... purplish butterbur flowers... yellow powder of the catkins carried on the wind... celandines in the grass... and Goat willows and White willows in flower... beautiful, lovely stuff, yet surely untrue - did you get on a plane to South Africa by mistake, Mrs P??

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  8. The Glenda Slag brigade are still alive? Ah, where would we be without them?

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  9. A world where men look like Kilroy and women like the staff of !Hola! magazine. I can see why Switzerland isn't allowed to fight anyone.

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  10. Were there many Argyle shirts on show?

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  11. Chartreuse and crème de menthe? Euugh, I think I'm going to be sick.

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  12. I'm new here so apologies if you've gone over this before but is the dear old Thicket the same thing as Scarlet's bush?

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  13. "... palest chartreuse cashmere and creme de menthe coat..." How do the emeralds go with that? We need a pic, we really do, a big clicky one.

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  14. More than forty years and all my teeth, I not "zozote", more than I not "yoyotte" bunch !! But I remember that love has not price ...sauf... to Pigalle or rue Saint-Denis!
    I note that you carry clothing liquidates, of which the vapors can induce euphoric phases?
    J'avoue que le langage fleuri me plaît beaucoup !
    L 'explanation of Yoyotte is a parallel with the nettle :)

    This is an expression dating back to the 18ÉME century and that saw the light of day in the vegetable one king to Versailles.
    Bunch Yoyoter initially applied to the young exhausted one that not knowing that she soothing grass to choose threw themselves on the first bad come grass (the bunch therefore) to do their matter with bad surprised urticantes.

    Affectueusement Ladie Clarissa

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  15. MJ, a thicket is a posh bush from Berkshire.
    Sx

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  16. Dear Ponita, how nice. Here in the glorious Thames Valley we have the sort of microclimate that even the good burghers of Bournemouth would die for. Flowers in January, like Easter Eggs in December, are nothing exceptional to us.
    Scott, we haven't been introduced, and I cannot understand a bare word of your comment. Kind friends will tell you that I cannot link; I do not know how. Nor can I produce umlauts - although I often becram my blog with quite gratuitous German - or cedillas. I never embolden text nor italicise. It is all quite beyond me. However, I see that you are an Attorney. A New York Attorney. As such, I welcome you with open arms, with open mouth, and with as many buttons undone as I dare in this icy weather. If you had been, let's say, a plumber from Climping, or a hat-blocker from Old Woking, my welcome would've been frostier. Now then, lemme see what you're working with ...
    Scarla, to whom do you refer? Not Jimmy McGlinchey? As you know, he received a remarkable compensation pay-out from that rogue chiropractor, but I don't think he would've made it to Gstaad. He is from Cumbernauld and, as such, would not have been able to make himself understood, and his clothes would've let him down.

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  17. Auty, darling Auty, aside from Stenzler, you're my best bike Jew (sorry, I am channeling Amy again).
    Madame DeFarge, the Thames Valley not only SOUNDS idyllic, it looks idyllic, smells idyllic (particularly parts of Reading), feels idyllic (Slough is the leader here) and tastes idyllic (certain areas of Midgham). Why not do yourself a velvety favour and visit?
    Kev, peevish; liverish. Whatever ails you, my boy? And why are you referencing Peggy Mount (most likely in Sailor Beware)? You know that my cure-all is a high colonic, and I would urge a purge asap.

    Gadj, forgive me, but you are an ex-pat with a grievance. Very often, homesickness takes the form of unveiled envy, and I think we see a good example here. All these buds are fully visible in the Thicket as we speak! I drove through that bosky paradise this afternoon, en route from the glory that is Greenford, and could scarce keep my eyes on the road for the floral abundance. Another way of conjuring up instant blossomaria is to establish the sort of wholehearted interest in pharmaceuticals that Lord Numb and I share.

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  18. I'm off to the Wenns and the Lattice House for a mid-day snifter or three, coming Clarrie?

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  19. Chris, darn tootin! Nigel Mansell was there as well, giving rise to: What's DRIIVNG Nigel crazy? Dunno, but he's LAPPING it up! Keep your eyes on the ROAD, Nige!

    Boyo, far worse, I'm afraid. These cut-price piste-clutterers look as if they've been injected with cortisone. And furthermore, there was some NAKED snow-play (not me; don't worry) details of which I will append to your latest post.

    MJ, yes you are new, but that's scant excuse for not doing your homework. The Thicket is a gorgesome piece of common land (and I use the word common advisedly) once beswarmed with all manner of highwaymen, cutpurses and degenerates of every hue. I spend a lot of time there in contemplation and inebriation. Many Pouncer fans have sought me out in that very location, and found me at the kebab van graciously accepting a gherkin gratis. How I long for a location webcam!

    Daaarlingest Inkums, you shall have one. And in a tinkly silver frame, which you can prop up on your grand piano alongside the portraits of dear Debbie Kerr, Lizlou Hurleypie and Margaret Beckett (shome mistake shurley?) You can gaze at me as you run effortlessly through your Selections from Coward, ending with Some Day I'll Find You. And then, perfectly-prepared Mojitas for all and sea-cucumber aplenty.

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  20. Julian dear, a shirt proclaiming itself "Sponsored by Ginsters" would have no place in Gstaad, no place at all. However, you may be interested to learn that Paul Stapleton is a close-personal of mine, and has guested at my groaning board on more than one occasion. I am also on cordial terms with more than one high-up from Exeter City.

    Daphne, your problem is a weak constitution. See me, I once caused a sensation in a Pernod peignor, a Grangala G-string and a pair of Sambuca stilettos.

    Crabtree, mon brave! Alors, je crois que la cuisine c'est quand les choses ont le gout de ce qu'elles sont. (I once stayed at Chalons-sur-Marne in an hotel with a wonderful name - Haute-Mere-Dieu. Not far away is Hautvilliers, where Dom Perignon, the Benedictine cellarer, discovered champagne and the second fermentation. I often drink to him. Sante.)

    Scarla, got it in one.

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  21. Barry, Barry, Barry Teeth, I feel afeared. Are you painting me as one of the GRUNDIES? If so, I am more Lillian (nee Archer) or, at a pinch, Jolene Perks without the bucolic accent and the line dancing. No, I am Lillian. You are probably Eddie Grundy, Scarla is more Jolene, Wendums is Shula (without the religion or the horses), Gadjo is Nigel Pargetter, Daphne is Jill Archer, Auty can be Nelson Gabriel. I will think about the others; I have an emptyish day.

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  22. Is there a bustle in your hedgerow?

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  23. As painted on the cover of The People's Friend?

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  24. MJ, you simply can't commune with the Thames Valley,so why bother?

    Kev, I lovya, in a worrying way. Take off all your clothes and dive with me under this with Sngulledown 15-tog perma-covered duvetsimulator with ultraheat kick-in, before Dr Maroon (back from Tahiti) attacks me with his hideous ethnic improver.

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  25. I told you the words began with L !

    er, leek and lode?

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  26. Which of the lefthand mesons has a charge of zero?

    Is it five?

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  27. Is there a "Mrs. Pouncer 101" course that I can take because frankly, I still don't have a clue what is going on around here.

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  28. (Mrs P, may I try to assist MJ?) MJ, once you realize that "Sngulledown" is nothing more than an exotic rendering of "helium extracting", much is made clear. (Mrs P, forgive me for making such a trivial point.)

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  29. Don't be a mollymawk, Inky! Sngulledown is a candlewick-covered haven filled with Icelandic seabirds. It has all the warmth of Damart with the exotic tang of fulmar about it.

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  30. Fascinating.

    Please continue.

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