Monday, 28 May 2012

Hand Luggage

The brightness – due to newness or lack of use – of the right hand pannier, compared to the left-hand pannier, corresponds to the polishedness – due over-handling  – of the right hand, compared to the left.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Muse Cows

And then there are pictures that suggest a poetic treatment...

In dappled light, cows fight…
Or,
In dappled haze, cows graze…
Or,
I make a cow yawn when I tell her, I didn’t ask to be born…
Or,
Cows fight, not a cowpat in sight…
Or,
Interesting how the graffiti mirrors the markings on the cow…
No, this is the poem: Drink Your Milk: Join Your Ilk
Go for a country walk after dinner –
a meal of beef, butter, cheese, and milk.
Mingle with the cows.
Join your ilk. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Verbal Ping Pong

‘Table Tennis set’ – ‘Table set for dinner’
‘Table for two’ – ‘Cook-up a winner’
‘Grease the wok’ – ‘Grip the bat’
‘Beat and oeuf’ - ‘Slice the ball’
‘Serve’ – ‘Sieve’
‘Net’ – ‘Net-call’
‘Turn up the heat on the hob’ – ‘Prepare to lob’
‘Antispin’ – ‘Antipasto’
‘Flip shot’ – ‘Omelette’
‘Play a ‘let’’ – Unreturned service…  
‘Steam ahead’ – ‘Roast’
‘Toast’ – ‘Tan’
‘Scoring – Scorching’ –
‘Use the bat as a fan’ – Unreturned service…
‘Play the table’ – ‘Lay the table’
‘Warm-up’ – ‘Steam-ahead’
‘Outplay’ – ‘Overcook’
‘Keep your eye on the ball’ – ‘Not the cookery book’
Ooh… the oeuf-ball’s sliced - Is slit… has died.
‘Ping pong’s a game’ – ‘Better fried’.
‘Table Tennis table?’ ‘More like a kitchen-table’. ‘More like a cooker hob’. ‘The tables, they’re tanned’. ‘Tanning tables?’ ‘Yes, the tables have been turned.’
Such situations are often characterized by verbal “ping pong” between those making an observation and those reacting to the observation. I call this “verbal ping pong”, as it seems that participants are simply hitting images back and forth over the net, as if they can score points on an opponent: the art of exchanging words, phrases, or insults back and forth between two people for an extended period of time. A playful, witty banter session giving each party a turn to in essence "drop the oeuf" when they run out of eyes, balls, or shots.

When you think about it you can be “tanned” on all three tables: by sparkling after-dinner conversation at the dinning table; as you slave over the cooker hob – what’s cooking if not tanning? and I’ve often been tanned, given a roasting, even, at ping pong. 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Visual Ping Pong

‘Table Tennis table?’ ‘More like a kitchen-table’. ‘More like a cooker hob’. ‘The tables, they’re tanned’. ‘Tanning tables?’ ‘Yes, the tables have been turned.’
Such situations are often characterized by visual “ping pong” between those making a visual observation and those reacting to the visual observation. I call this “visual ping pong”, as it seems that participants are simply hitting images back and forth over the net, as if they can score points on an opponent: the art of exchanging images, photographs, or insults back and forth between two people for an extended period of time. A playful, witty banter session giving each party a turn to in essence "drop the oeuf" when they run out of eyes, balls, or shots.

When you think about it you can be “tanned” on all three tables: by sparkling after-dinner conversation at the dinning table; as you slave over the cooker hob – what’s cooking if not tanning? and I’ve often been tanned, given a roasting, even, at ping pong.

To be continued...


Monday, 7 May 2012

The Headless Umpire

Pre-Dr Beeching’s cuts, nets adorned the tables of moving trains; nets spanned our once vast rail network: the lob, loop, block, and smash were a common if somewhat blurred sight for commuters as The Ping Pong Special (as it was affectionately known) sped through stations like, Cowden, Heaver, and Eridge. In those days you could always be sure of a table in the table tennis coach. Some say these early train-travel tennis tournaments inspired the astronauts to hit a golf-ball the moon (on the Apollo 14 moon landing in 1971). No, pre-Beeching, Rail Tennis was a serious passer-of-the –temps on trains - trains with coaches specially designed for the contests (unlike nowadays where, due to the dominance of airline seats, it’s virtually impossible to get a seat with a table). However the game wasn’t without its critics; a few diehard traditionalists (Beeching among them no doubt) considered train-travel tennis as nothing more than training for tennis.
But table tennis “on the move” required much more dexterity than it’s earth-bound brother, as valuable points – sets, even - were often won or lost as the train rattled over a set of points. And then there was the question of where to seat the umpire. Because the ceiling of the coach being too low for the umpire’s elevated seat, holes were cut in the roof. But the through draft this created caused havoc with flight of the ball. This, coupled with the problem of low bridges (The Headless Umpire – lovely pub sign - still serves decent pint if you like your beer without much of a head), led to the invention of the Mobile Umpire’s Chair. This strange contraption ran on the train track parallel to that of the tournament train, thus enabling the umpire to track the play through the window of the coach. The umpire would communicate his rulings through a hosepipe, connecting his chair to a loudspeaker in the players’ coach.
Those were the days. Gone is the “Ping Pong Coach” (nowadays it’s designated as the “quiet coach”), although Tennis Coaches are still working for an hourly rate on the tennis courts in our city parks and leisure centres. But sadly there are very few example of the Mobile Umpire’s Chair left. Post-Beeching most were converted into wheelchairs (in anticipation of the Paralympics? Pure 'Pataphysics). But occasionally you can still spot one of their vital appendages - their portable yellow ramps – leaning up against the wall on station concourses. These were once used to transport the umpire across the tracks - into the players’ coach - for the presentation of the “Winner’s Trophy”.   

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Locker Room Umpire's Chair


Whilst we are all familiar with the umpire’s high chair out on the tennis court, few of us are aware of the existence of the other umpire’s chair, that high chair locked away in the locker room. Out on the tennis court one of the umpire’s jobs is to preside over something called ‘change of balls’ (this happens after the first nine games of a match, then after the next eleven, then the next nine, then the next eleven and so on). The locker room umpire, he or she, sort of mirrors this task (if you could call it a task); one of his/her jobs is to observe ‘the changing of clothes’, or to use layman’s terms, ‘watch people undressing’. But the locker-room umpire’s main job (if you could call it a career - queer sort of career) - his raison d'ĂȘtre - is to umpire ‘play’ in the shower.