The Old Grey Kitty Test

Our ten-year-old mackerel tabby, Smoky, enjoys rubbing his jowls on all manner of different surfaces and textures. A lot of cats do this. They can deposit and collect information in this way and it presumably also feels quite nice on their whiskers.

Smoky recently acquired a piece of flexible corrugated cardboard (packaging from a parcel, I think) which measures about 18 by 36 inches. He likes to sit on the corrugated side (it’s smooth on the reverse) and today he also, during one of his bouts of preening, began licking the corrugations.

To my ear, Smoky licking corrugated card with his rough feline tongue sounded like nothing so much as one of those washboard homemade instruments that were popular in the 1950s. I must therefore conclude that Smoky has now invented…

Cat Skiffle!


Wagner vs Corrie

Earlier this evening, we were watching BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, a sort of ‘Eurovision song contest for posh people’, as Shana put it 🙂 when Shana, having glanced at the screen for a moment in the middle of a fraught hand of Lexicon,  suddenly remarked (indicating a burly chanteuse) ‘I bet she’d make a good lead singer in one of those Wagnerian epics.’

‘Brunnhilde?’ I suggested. To which Shana immediately agreed.

And then my comedy brain cells sprang to life. ‘Wouldn’t it be amusing,’ I said, ‘to make a Wagnerian Ring cycle style of opera telling the story of a fearless adventurer who set off in search of the perfect pint of ale, and of all the characters and ne’er-do-wells he met during his quest. It could be titled “The Return of the Rover” and the lead female role would be called Brunnhilde Ogden! Obviously, to retain a Teutonic feel to the proceedings, she would have to live on Coronation Strasse, and there would be enigmatic references throughout to a mysterious ‘Muriel’, and a backstory about three ducks pinned to a wall. They probably come alive as Austrian princesses or something in the final act.’

Shana, as usual, looked at me askance.

Then I wished I hadn’t started the plot synopsis at all. I reckon I’d need at least a thousand old envelopes on the back of which I’d need to scribble it all down. Maybe best stick to part-time waffling eh? Apparently it’s what I’m best at 🙂

Rice and Ketchup

In the television room here at Waffle Towers one programme must never be missed: Countdown.

Both Shana and I have watched Countdown ever since it began, way back in the twentieth century. And we are still trying to learn the dratted seventy-five times table!

This week we have been riveted by the latest guest in Dictionary Corner, the legendary musician and composer Sir Tim Rice. His anecdotes about music and entertainment are second to none.

But here’s something very few people are aware of.

Tim Rice (I think he was just plain old ‘Tim’ in those days but don’t quote me on that) actually wrote the Ketchup Song, that summertime smash hit for Las Ketchup in  2002. The credit is usually given to one mysterious Manuel Ruiz, but ‘Ruiz’ is merely a thinly disguised version of ‘Rice’. It’s all becoming clear now, isn’t it? Anyway, you can always rely on Sir Tim to pen a catchy tune, even if it is sometimes about some obscure South American politician’s missus.

So there you are. Rice and ketchup. Not a great new recipe idea, but a superduper nugget of pop trivia that is sure to trip up your rival pub quiz team every time.

Remember where you read it first 🙂

The Man Who Fell To Earth


As a child I had no friends, I was considered weird, a freak, scary, I felt so alone, I was too young to be able to embrace my unique abilities, didn’t even understand them. Then David Bowie appeared as if from outer space and suddenly I found someone who I could relate to. This wasn’t a typical pop star crush, this went far deeper, through his awesome songs I learned to embrace my personal weird.

So when I woke up and read the news this morning, I cried my heart out, I felt as if I’d lost a dear friend, I obviously never met him, or went to a concert, but his music touched my soul. Enough said.