Sunday 27 September 2020

The Sunday Ishmael 27th September 2020

 Massive Outbreak of Civil Disobedience in Scottish Universities.

Scotland attempts to lock up its student population in a bid to halt the wild-fire spread of coronavirus amongst the student population. Student accommodation provides a significant income source for Universities, in the region of £6000 per year per student for 12 students sharing kitchen and bathrooms in one apartment. Within days of students arriving at University, where their education would be delivered online,  coronavirus outbreaks ensued. Students were instructed to self-isolate in their rooms, and not go home. They weren't keen, as a spokesperson said: " the whole point of going to University is to socialise, make friends and have sex. If I'd wanted to study, I'd have stayed home and enrolled with the Open University". Asked why the isolation time couldn't be used to catch up on pre-semester reading, the spokesperson said: "You're still missing the point, innit. I'm going home. At least I'll get fed there.

Glasgow Hall of Residence

Loise Caie, 20, claimed the experience felt like "prison". She said: “It feels a bit like a prison. Our kitchen is quite small and I’m sharing with 12 people.“I think it’s a crazy expectation to ask us not to go outside and get fresh air. We’ve also seen the police circulating outside a few times because they want to make sure we don’t break any rules.

Barlinnie Prison

I probably would have gone home if it wasn’t for us being ordered to stay by the uni."

Middle-class parents have driven to Halls of Residence in surprisingly large numbers to take darling Hamish and wee Fiona home.  Others have made their own way to railway stations and airports. It's probably the end of the University system as we know it.  

That aint workin' - that's the way ya do it, money for nothing and your chicks for free.

I had a new tumble dryer delivered the other day. The chap installing it had no sympathy for the student plight. "They wanted to go, didn't they? They should stay there and try reading a book."

Rigged up like a Ruritanian Christmas tree, a senior police person with a wholly unlikely name

Look at the medals. Believe the medals. And the white braid thing. Just believe it.

 today promised a full and far-reaching cover- up into why a handcuffed man, under police arrest, was able to draw and shoot a gun - a gun, for fuck's sake, while handcuffed, kill the Custody Officer then inflict life-threatening injuries on himself. This is Britain. We're supposed to be able to keep our prisoners safe. Anyway, even as we speak, police officers are combing South London, searching for a plausible narrative.  Look at the medals. Believe the medals. Dick was the officer in command of the operation which led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent man who died in consequence of being riddled with bullets by officers under the mistaken impression he was someone else. Dick was cleared of personal blame in the subsequent criminal trial in 2007. In June 2009, she was promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner. We've covered this ground previously, but it never hurts to remember.

So Andrew Neil is off to pastures new, eh? The 71 year old broadcaster leaves the BBC after 25 years  "with a heavy heart" , and, no doubt, a heavier wallet, to become chairman  of the new TV channel, GB News which will launch early in the new year. How he will be missed. Here's mr ishmael's thoughts on Neil:

Leadenly wise-cracking his way through PBC coverage of Pip Hammond's baptismal statement, young bridegroom,  
Andy Neil, who, as he constantly reminds us,  went to grammar school and university before enabling Mr Murdoch's lifetime of corruption, 
child-sexualisation, 'phone tapping, tax evasion,  

and corrosion of the national discourse, seemed, this morning,  to have an infection in his throat.

Old playboys should wrap-up warm.

Anyone who had seen Andy's  coverage - he would call it - of  political matters, any of them,  could not fail to conclude that we pay him a huge amount of public money for talking out of his  arse;  why is his throat sore?


Were this wretched, repugnant old bore the Invigilator he claims to be then obviously the vermin of MediaMinster would not be queueing-up to appear on one of his many shows; he's like the supposed satirist, Tory FatBoy Hislop - also making a fortune from the PBC -  in being just another of Ruin's Licensed Fools.  If Neil was even remotely capable then we wouldn't all be choking on the taste of legislators' shit, would we?

Anyway, despite talking out of his arse, the old boy has a croaky throat this morning. We must wish him  a lengthy  and preferably permanent convalescence on his French estates with his young bride and his NewsCorp shares.
Nightey-night, don't let the anal-laryngitis bugs bite.
Bienvenu au Chateau Vulgaire.
Regardez, moi avec mon booze
Ici les pauvres ils ne sont permittez pas,
parce-que Je les deteste. 

Biker Guy Martin  is a  whiskery, grinning, fucking lunatic,  who will surely, through his addiction to being on telly as an intolerable,  supercharged yet stupid  version of the late Fred Dibnah, kill himself, and do so long before he learns to speak properly. In fact he'll probably never sort-out his mouth, which is cruelly unsynchronised with his brain.

For those whose viewing lives are, as yet,  unblemished by his repetitive stuttering, Martin is a kind of secondary modern school Professor Brian Cox, everything is not, well, just amazing, rather, it is well, I'll go t'tfoot of ower stairs, whooda thought it, wind tunnels, eh, flamin' wind tunnels, whooda thought it, flamin' wind tunnels, justa test a flamin' bike  - Mr Guy Martin, is the new go-fast celebrity, who just allus wanned to go faster, I allus wanned to go faster, allus wanned to go faster; an sez everthin' three times, sez everythin' three times, yeah, sez everythin' three times, jobsagoodun. I said, jobsagoodun, job done, like. Yeah, job done. Shouldn't mock his affliction but then he shouldn't go on t'telly, nah, shouldn't go t'telly, like, not if he dunt want people tekkin'  t'piss',  tekkin' t'piss; 'sall them doin, is tekkin' t'piss.

Martin's first TeeVee outing was with a mate, with a mate, like, he's me mate, an' a right good lad, and they were toddling around the Midlands canals, kinda like refurbicating the narrowboat as them went, like, as them went along, d'ya know warramean, like;  doin' it up as them wen' along.  They stopped underneath  Spaghetti Junction, where them figgered-out how to make a shower, no, a proper Victorian one, so's them could get clean, and doing all t'weldin', weldin' an brazin', like, so the shower when it were made, were a pukka job, like, a pukka job, 'ot water comin' out, at right good pressure, right good pressure, aye, it were comin out at right good pressure, were the 'ot water.  They stopped, too, in the Potteries, where, Martin learned, like, warra right clever fella, a right clever fella, were that bloke Jo-siyah Wedgewood. Right clever fella, he were, built t'canals an' all, so's he could get 'is pots to market, achelly built the flamin' canals, himself.  he did

It was an entertaining device, an engineer naif, goin' round't place on a canal boat and staging little events, mechanical sideshows,  to demonstrate  how inventive were the Victorians, for those not already imbued with that knowledge by Professor Fred and dozens of others, and Martin's lack of presenters' artifice quite refreshing.
A little of that, however, goes a long way, and now I want to beat his grinning, idiot savant head against a wall and then run him over with a steam roller, scrape up his flattened corpse and throw it in a Bessemer Converter.

His second stab at telly greatness was when ChannelSnow followed him around the Isle of Man TT Races, where he reached  nearly two hundred miles an hour on that frightful, deadman's course.  He claimed to be self-funded, taking time out from his dayjob as a truck mechanic and being at odds with the race organisers up until the last moment.  In this show the naivety seemed a bit far-fetched, a bit laboured, nobody quite as stupid as Martin claims to be could ride that course at that speed and despite his increasingly irritating gob, Martin 

and all the TT riders show  what a horrid ninny this bloke is

and this one

Uuuurgh, uuuurgh, doh, doh, doh, ohh, m'game this,  doh doh, m'game that, .......uurgh.........uuuurgh.
Fucking repulsive, this prat.

and this one


Oh, yeah, well, I'm like changing my job and it's just such a national tragedy, for me but mainly for the fans, I just love 'em, ya knowharramean?

 Autumn Reflection - mr ishmael 1/12/2014

 The mice come in every Autumn;  this is the countryside and no matter what we do they come indoors. Professional mice eliminators say that we must pay someone - someone like them - to mortar-up every external crack and fissure; d'you know, they say, that a mouse can crawl through a space the diameter of a Biro tube. And whatever, you are under siege from them,  even if your house is  absolutely impregnable, we need to come and mouse-proof the grounds, the paths, the lanes, the hedges. Oh, just a coupla hundred pounds a year, the contract.  Yeah, but it's peace of mind, innit.  And that's priceless.

I have never engaged these people,  the pest controllers.  I tried traps, one year, until I found a little mouse trapped by his mangled leg and had to take him outside and crush him with a rock.  Another time I installed some of those ultra-sonic plugs, just plug 'em into a socket and they emit a high-frequency squeal which either kills or terrifies the mice. Worked for a while.

This year, they've been running around between the walls on three floors and so we put the bait down everywhere.  We have smelt decaying bodies for some time and assumed them all dead,  the poison, we understood, was pretty quick. Only it's not.

Today we had a leak, splashing down from the first floor and when the plumber came he showed me these push-on, plastic corner-joints which he had found in the central heating pipes.

What happens, he said, is that the mice take the poison and  are driven mad with thirst and, hearing the water in the pipes, try to get some for themselves.  Fair gave me the horrors, it did;  poor little bastards.  But then they're vermin, that's what they are, gotta get rid of 'em.  I mean, it's just like the Jews, isn't it?  Or is it, in Farageland, the Somalis, now, who have become our vermin?   

Enough people called them vermin and then they were treated like vermin.  If they were pet mice or creative, artistic Jews, well that'd be different, wouldn't it?

Honest, Not Invent
- an anthology of writing by stanislav and mr ishmael, is now available. For reviews, go to The Sunday Ishmael: Publication Announcement: Honest, Not Invent:13/09/20
The book is available as either paperback or hardback; we've had proof copies of both and the production quality is very good.  Cover design is the same for both.  340 pages, each chapter dated in the list of contents; we have stanislav from as long ago as 2007, and some of the finest ishmael essays from the present blog.  For now (there are still a few hoops to go through before it appears elsewhere, at the same price) the book is only available from   No one's billing or delivery address, nor any payment info, will be available or disclosed to the creator of the book; all this is securely handled by the publishing platform. Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy should follow these steps:

Please register an account with them first.  This will save you a couple of quid, as going straight into the links provided below seems to make paypal think it's ok to charge in dollars, and apply their own conversion rate, which will put the price up slightly for a UK buyer.  Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Honest, Not Invent" into the Lulu Bookstore search box.  If you follow a link, a pop-up box asks for age confirmation - simply set the date to (say) 1 January 1960, and proceed.  If you type the title, the anthology will not appear as a search result until the "show explicit content" box (found at the bottom left by scrolling down) has been checked.  You may also see the age verification box, as above, at this point.

The full title is "Honest, Not Invent - the best of stanislav, a young polish plumber", and the cover you'll see is red with white titles and a picture of Buster the Blog Dog.  

Link for Hard Back : 

Link for Paper Back : 

At checkout, try  WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage.  If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.  (ORDER10 might also work, for a 10% discount, if the 15% has expired.)
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £14.35; HB £23.74. 

Mr ishmael's essays today are:

Arse to Mouth Disease strikes Greatest Living Journalist   Published 23rd November 2016

Biker News                                                                           drafted 8th June 2015

Autumn Reflection                                                               drafted 1st December 2014


Mike said...

I sympathise with the mouse. I went fishing once, in Sydney harbour, and caught a flathead. It took a while for my unskilled hands to get it off the hook. I couldn't bring myself to kill it outright - it wasn't going to live after my pathetic efforts, so it must have died a painful death. That was the end of fishing for me. And a memory that pains me to this day.

I once went to a private function where Niel was the headline - I think it was at the Dorchester on Park Lane. It was a paid function, but I didn't pay - actually was paid to attend. Probably a couple of hundred people in total. Niel arrived with a very beautiful young PR assistant showing him the way, shook a few hands going up to the podium. He was over-suited and coiffured in the style of the noble Lord Steel. He was red-faced, I presumed from drink, or maybe just blood pressure; I may be wrong but he did seem to be carrying what looked like a large tumbler of Scotch - or cold tea. I sat near the back so I could make a quick exit, if necessary. Much to my surprise, and I must give him credit, he gave a very informative, and entertaining speech - without notes. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but a fool he is not.

Mike said...

PS when I was in student "halls of accommodation" the level of hygiene was disgraceful - and that was just the females. I can't imagine its got any better. Covid is the least of their problems.

Anonymous said...

Accepting the inevitable, the Universities are now mass-releasing their prisoners, with the proviso that they can go home, but everyone in the parental home has to self-isolate for a fortnight. Seems common sense, given that the little darlings are carriers. When and under what conditions, they can return to Yooni is not clear.
I think., mr mike, that I was quite privileged in my Hall of Residence - although, of course I didn't appreciate it at the time. It was an Edwardian building, purpose built back in the day, in its own extensive gardens, we did have shared bathrooms (lots of them, but no ahn sweetes) and serveries on each corridor, and we had cleaners every day, an issue of perfectly-laundered sheets weekly, polished hardwood floors, a dining hall and kitchen supplying 3-course breakfasts and dinners(suppers, for those speaking London), a library, Junior and Senior Commion Rooms, etc. Tennis Courts and croquet on the lawn. Free education and a student maintenance grant. The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.
This reversal of the instructions to students is an interesting lesson - civil disobedience on a sufficiently large scale works.
So, mr mike, you have a personal encounter with Andrew Neil to offer as your Claim to Fame? Never a pretty man, he seems to have deteriorated with age, booze and the company of young people and now looks about 15 years older than his 71 years. Good to know he gave you an entertaining evening. Had to be good at something.

mongoose said...

I remember we had a power cut once in Hall. Midwinter. Sunday afternoon, everywhere shut, cold packed "tea" collected and the power went off. It was off for days. The sixties-built student barn quickly became very cold. Curiously, all the loos and bathrooms were in the middle of a sort of H-block. So there were no lights. I at least learned to pee sitting down, and also to wear shoes at all times when visiting shared hygiene spaces.

The mongoslings are all still at their various covid-catching stations. They should all be licking each other and catching it as soon as possible. Recover and safe home for Christmas with grannie. IFR still over one, but not two, in a thousand anywhere you care to look - about twice that of ordinary flu. The insanity continues.

mrs ishmael said...

The Government, in order to persuade the citizenry to have the winter flu vaccination, is now issuing dire warnings that one can suffer from Covid and winter flu at the same time. Keep them frightened. I've been having the flu injection every autumn for years now (asthmatic), and have never had flu during that time, nor any adverse reactions to the vaccination, so I will be having an injection - but, hey, there seems to be a Project Fear in place.
D'you remember chicken pox parties? When a child in the neighbourhood caught one of the so-called "childhood ailments" - chicken pox or measles or whatever, mum would throw a tea party for all the kiddies in the area, specifically so they could get infected at a time in their lives when they would suffer least from the disease and build up immunity so they wouldn't get it later in life when they might have dreadful consequences. So. Maybe the whole student accommodation thing was designed to be a sophisticated "chicken pox" party. After all, the consequences of throwing all these students together to lick each other were clearly forseeable, for anyone whose brain has been fully myelinised.
Sounds like your power cut was a huge learning experience, mr mongoose - was it the 3 day week thing?
At my rather privileged Hall of Residence, after our 3-course Sunday breakfast, rapidly followed by a 3-course Sunday lunch, (all sounds a bit Tom Sharpe - recommended reading for those laid up with the flu of any variety) the kitchen staff would clear off for what was left of the weekend. The students couldn't be left without sustenance until Monday morning, of course, so we were issued not with a cold packed "tea" but a Vesta meal. Here's a review from the Nostalgia Central website:

"Although the curry is the national dish of the British these days, back in the 1960s and 1970s when fish & chips was still Britain’s favourite meal, having a curry was the height of culinary daring.It showed you had a sophisticated and worldly palette.
It wasn’t particularly easy to get hold of a curry though. In fact, the only real way to sate your urge for something spicy was to pop down to your local supermarket and pick up a Vesta.This was a DIY curry which was available in a choice of flavours – none of which were particularly hot or curry-like. The box contained sachets of coloured powder which you prepared by tipping them into a pot of boiling hot water and stirring.The end result was a shiny brown stew that both looked and tasted like shit. And which made your kitchen stink like a Calcutta cesspit."

Not just curry. Paella as well. Still available from your local supermarket for the full retro student experience - cooking with mrs ishmael. Not very good at it. Learned from Vesta.

mrs ishmael said...

Oh yes - the Anonymous comment up the road a bit was me. I didn't tick the correct box. Apologies.

mongoose said...

Jesus, mrs i, I take that as a personal flaming insult. The three day week? I was at school. Grr.

Joking aside, it was just a power cut. Bathing, showering, and loo-going were all done in the dark for the best part of a week (if memory serves). it's amazing how quickly one can be trained to put ones outdoor shoes on to go for a pee in th middle of the night.

Vesta curries?! Did they have red-and-green striped logos or somewuch? Me dear old - the worst cook in the history of he universe - used to inflict them on us. Great chunks of boiled potatoes smeared with yeck. Dear me. Best forgotten again as soon as possible.

mrs ishmael said...

Oops, sorry, young mr mongoose - Prob'ly nursery school, at that.
Having lived with a succession of leaky, elderly dogs for thirty years, I can applaud the wisdom of never going barefoot into that good night. Best to have shoes that can survive the washing machine, or they'll eventually rot off your feet. Or even rot your feet off.
Just checked the Vesta branding - it now seems to be green, yellow and purple, but I'm sure it was red and green back in the day, with a little Taj Mahal picture. I love the idea of your dear old being an appalling cook - I have a lot in common with her. A neat little running joke in the Tom (Not John,his cousin!)Barnaby stories in Midsummer Murders was that his wife, Joyce, was a truly dreadful and innovative cook. The number of times his lightbulb moment would strike just as he had to sit down to another of her dinners, requiring him to rush off and solve the latest murder(s) with one of other of his catamites, was legend. And when it was too early in the episode for the light-bulb moment, he would be busily uncorking a bottle of something red or white as alcohol makes palatable much disgustingness.

mongoose said...

Shocking things came out of that kitchen, mrs i. Indescribable mush most it was. My poor father just ate it all and remained silent. Later in life, when he was not surrounded by children and their attendant bills for sports kit, school books and car spares, they had a few quid to spare and he would buy nice cuts of meat. Into the kitchen they went and out they came dressed as dogfood. Cooked unto submission.

Because we are Good Catholic Boys, on Fridays the poor lad had to eat fish. You have not lived a full life until you have been presented with a bit of smoked haddock and some tatties which have been cooked together - in a pressure cooker yet - for Lord knows how long. I don't know what temperature it gets to in there but I am pretty sure that a spud needs ten times the cooking of a haddock. And the steam release bit filled the whole house with the stench. Redemption through suffering indeed.

I now, of course I do, cook everything for two minutes and eat it while it still wriggles about, and that includes the vegetables.

Mike said...

When I were a kid my family was not well off. We were meat and 2 veg. With emphasis on the meat, as my mother kept the books at a wholesale meat distributor - if you get my drift. I now don't eat meat - I very rarely have chorizo in Spain, but that's just eyeballs and testicles.

I remember Vesta, but never had one. We never ate anything from a packet.

mongoose said...

Most of us were skint, I think, mr mike. Although i do not think that we really noticed. There wasn't much "stuff" to have. I remember that sports branding started and it became fashionable to lug one's school books around in an Adidas holdall thing. A Sinclair calculator was later the iPhone of its day.

Ma, btw, was a fantastic baker. Puff pastry pies and cakes everywhere. One day some bastard started to sell frozen packet short pastry and it was never the same again. Of course, they both worked their arses off from dawn to dusk looking after and paying for us lot. Fucking about making puff pastry was a task too many, I guess.

Does anyone remember instant mashed potato? I thought my dad was going to stage a rebellion when that happened but if he did, I didn't see it.

alf bitchfrock said...

i swear some cunt just shat on my grave

mrs ishmael said...

Instant mashed potato seems to have provoked anaphylactic language from mr alf - but it was a truly dreadful product of a food chemist's laboratory. D'you remember the advert? aliens chortling about the stupidity of earthlings peeling potatoes with their metal knives.

mrs ishmael said...

Oh, mr mongoose, the image of pressure cooked potatoes and haddock will stay with me. Reminds me of my son's attempt at fish fingers and chips. He didn't bother peeling the tatties with a metal knife, nor, indeed, washing them. He cut them up, mud and all, and tipped them into the hot oil, together with a packet of frozen fishfingers, instantly cooling everything down. Nobody was injured. Seems there just isn't a cooking gene in my line.

Caratacus said...

Fear ye not, Mrs. I, on the matter of youthful hygiene. In the mid 70s I stayed on a farm in the delightfully named area of Huish Champflower in Zummerzet and the young fledgling organic farmer couple were earthily contemptuous of any nannying advice re. the raising of their sturdy young son. I remember one morning when said lad, all of four summers, stumped out to the yard where a couple of chickens had jumped up on to a glucose mineral lick and were availing themselves of the nutrients within. With a brief sweep of a muscular forearm the chickens were despatched to other duties and the family scion bent his head to the lick and gnawed hungrily. I haven't seen the family in many years, but I would venture to suggest that the young man is positively bursting with immunological resistance and an example to us all.

mrs ishmael said...

I dare say, mr caratacus, sir - they say that our many ills stem from being too clean. Great story - the little lad had a sweet tooth.