Monday, 28 December 2009

I can tell you're an XXL!

We can’t get away from it! Every time we switch on the TV news we’re constantly reminded that we’re becoming a nation of fatties. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had just about enough of it!

If the powers that be were serious about our terrible tubbiness, they’d do something positive about the way in which food is marketed. We all know that a lot of bad food is cheap food, and while this economic downturn is still with us, a lot more people will be eating cheap food! We’ll be spawning even more lardies!

Why not reverse the situation until we emerge from this recession? Make good food cheaper and we may then learn to like our grub without tons of salt and fat poured, or injected into it. We could get hooked on good food, and will then be ripe for picking when the downturn becomes an upturn!

Of course, it’s not our fault that we’re fat: it’s an American plan for global domination. Please refer to my song, ‘The Fats of Life’ (below) for more information.

The Fats of Life

Obesity! Obesity! America sponsors obesity! (X2)

Crumbling knee joints?
Bulging tumours?
They ain’t no more
than malicious rumours.

Type 2 diabetes?
The fear of strokes?
We all need guts
like them Sumo blokes.

Obesity! Obesity! America sponsors obesity! (X2)

We test their junk food
in the UK,
and those Third World kids
lose the will to play.

Bomb ’em with Cola.
Stuff ’em with cheese.
Uncle Sam invents it
just to spread the unease.

Obesity! Obesity! America sponsors obesity! (X2)

Hardening arteries?
Tumours on tumours?
They say it’s the fault
of us greedy consumers.

Trouble sleeping?
Gallbladder disease?
“Like another burger, son?”
“Yes please!”

Obesity! Obesity! America sponsors obesity! (X2)

When the oil and the minerals
become easy to steal,
there’ll be cut-price drugs,
so it looks a good deal.

America’s rich:
dollars grow on dollars
and wherever they go,
everybody follers!

Obesity! Obesity! America sponsors obesity! (X2)

You can call me cynical,
or label me barmy,
but it’s the back door way
to conquer an army.

World domination
is theirs for the taking.
There’s no need to shoot folk:
destroy ’em by baking!

Repeat last line of last verse (X2)


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Is ‘Turner’ art just ‘Woodburner’ art?

Could this be the winning entry for 2010?

Yet another depressing year: they’ve only gone and done it again! The 2009 Turner Prize has been awarded to Richard Wright: an artist who’s produced something that can only be described as a poorly executed piece of uninspiring wallpaper design. The work is a gold-leafed fresco and it took him three weeks to cobble together. (Three weeks!) Its only redeeming feature is that it will be painted over (with white emulsion) as soon as the exhibition ends in January (Thank goodness for that!) Mr. Wright allegedly said that all his art is temporary. He now gets to enjoy his prize of £25.000!

For Sir Nicholas Serota. Director of the Tate galleries.

I’m sticking up for the Stuckists
and the Stuckists ain’t stuck on you.
Oh, Sir Nicholas Serota
we don’t enjoy the art that you do.

The stuff you promote is anti-art:
not something that will elevate man.
Blotches on a wall are poles apart
from Van Gogh or Paul Gauguin!

Mr Turner must turn in his grave
every time you award ‘his’ prize.
Compared to the giant that Turner is –
your winner is a fraction the size.

So, come on now, Sir Nicholas,
please do ‘art’ a very good deed:
stop being so damned ridiculous:
resign from your job… at speed!

Photo (and possible winning entry for 2010) by: Colin Shaddick

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Lycra louts?

I’m lying here, battered and bleeding. I haven’t been in a fight and I haven’t been dropped from a great height. All I did was walk into Barnstaple to do some last minute Christmas shopping, accompanied by my little frog friend who, thank goodness, was safely tucked away in my pocket.

It was my fault that I got injured, apparently: I’d decided to use the pavement! The pavement is probably the most dangerous place to be for pedestrians these days, some people say.

Yes, I was run over by a bicycle. I was injured by a so called, ‘Lycra lout’ who was belting, without a care in the world, along the footpath and who had, apparently, decided that he had the right-of-way. I didn’t realize this, because he crashed into me from the rear.

What is going on? Are pavements for pedestrians, or cyclists? Nobody seems to be sure anymore. I’ve been told that many cyclists are afraid of vehicular traffic and that is why they use the pavements. If that’s the case, shouldn’t we be doing more to ensure that cyclists are safe on the roads in and around our town? If we can achieve this, then it’ll be safer for pedestrians who use the pavements too. Bicycles are, in the eyes of the law, classed as carriages and should be on the road and not the pavement.

However, with this in mind, the Home Office has issued some guidance on how the introduction of a possible fixed penalty notice should be applied: ‘… it should only be used where a cyclist is riding in a manner that may endanger others: ‘Cycling Furiously’.’ The bloke that hit me was doing that, alright!
This new fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who at times feel the need to use the pavement out of fear of traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users. I believe a fixed penalty notice could cost an offender about £30.

Got that? Well, I’ve written a song based upon my sidewalk experience. Here it is:

Do The Barnstaple ‘Jump’.

There’s a brand new dance
that’s a-goin’ around.
They call it the Jump
and it’s grippin’ the town.
For those who can remember
what dancin’ at a rave meant:
the steps are similar,
but you do ’em on the pavement!

Yeah! The steps are similar,
but you do ’em on the pavement!

There are cyclists here
and there are cyclists there.
They’re burning up the sidewalks
and they don’t really care.
They run traffic lights;
ignore the one-way streets.
And they try to bowl you over
as they listen to their beats.

Yeah! They try to bowl you over
as they listen to their beats!

So, come on you people,
put on them dancin’ shoes.
Try and walk the High Street
without pickin’ up a bruise.
Spin to the left and spin to the right;
if you hear a Derailleur,
it’s far too late for flight!

Yeah. If you hear a Derailleur,
it’s far too late for flight!

There are cyclists here
and there are cyclists there.
They’re burning up the sidewalks
and they don’t really care.
They run traffic lights;
ignore the one-way streets.
And they try to bowl you over
as they listen to their beats.

Yeah! They try to bowl you over
as they listen to their beats!


Photos by: Linda Shaddick.

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Dream

I jumped out of bed this morning,
desperately trying to cling on
to the loose ends of a fast-fading dream.
Little did I know that this sudden leap
and the following sprint to the computer,
would lead me into an argument
with a large and almost immovable object
that stood, quietly waiting, in the corner
of my small, dark studio
and as a consequence,
cause me so much discomfort.

I noticed that it was 5am. as I bent down
to switch on the mains
and because of tiredness, I forgot
that I'd left a protruding washboard
on one of the pine shelves
situated immediately above the switch.
There was a sickening 'clang' as my forehead collided
with one of the thin legs on the washboard.
I screamed inwardly, as a hundred beads of sweat
burst, like spring buds on my reddening brow.
I didn't want my wife to know
that I'd done something quite so silly.
She'd never let me live it down.
I can hear her now:
"You'll never guess what Colin did this morning..."
My friends would laugh
and say that I should play the washboard
with thimbles on my fingers and not use my big head!

I must admit that I did eventually smile
at the thought of myself playing this thing
in front of an expectant audience,
who immediately froze into a state of shock
when I started butting the washboard with my head;
pulsing to the rhythm of a 12 bar blues
played loudly by a group of old Folkies.

I sat for a while until my head cleared
and then moved slowly towards the switch.
With one outstretched finger and an easy movement,
the job was done at last.
My computer burst into life after a short while
and I swiftly sat down on my faux
leopard skin covered swivel chair.
I was now ready to begin writing!

My mind was a complete blank canvas...
Not even a minute blob of colour stained its surface!
What was it that I was going to write about?
What was that wonderful dream I dreamed?
What was all the fuss about?
Was it all worth the lump between my eyes?


Photos by: Linda Shaddick.