Farty's Fortunes

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Twenty Love Songs

  1. Roberta Flack1 - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

  2. Bobby Goldsboro - Summer The First Time

  3. Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love With Someone (You Shouldn't've Fallen In Love With)?

  4. Rod McKuen2 - If You Go Away

  5. Clifford T Ward - Gentle

  6. Ace Of Base - Don't Turn Around

  7. 10cc - I'm Not In Love

  8. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U

  9. Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting

  10. Justin Hayward - Forever Autumn

  11. Wilson Phillips - Hold On

  12. Tony Rich Project - Nobody Knows It But Me

  13. Darren Hayes - I Miss You

  14. John Waite - Missing You

  15. Texas - Say What You Want

  16. Toni Braxton - Unbreak My Heart

  17. Rickie Lee Jones - Years May Go By

  18. The Eagles - Peaceful Easy Feeling

  19. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

  20. Trisha Yearwood - Thinking About You

No reason. No reason at all.

1 Yes, I know this version is Celine Dion. Bear with me.
2 And this is Jacques Brel. Someone told me his original version was better than RM. I agree.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Girl Who Broke My Heart

This is a true story.

It was midsummer's day in Embra, with the afternoon sun beating down out of a cloudless, cerulean blue sky. (Not this year, obviously.) Carrie and I were seated at one of them wooden combined-table-and-chairs efforts so beloved of pub beer gardens. She was drinking an Australian Chardonnay while I had my favourite Bounty In A Glass. I had not long started wearing glasses and kept fiddling with them self-conciously. Take them off, polish them, put them back on. Adjust them. Take them off again. Over and over.

Carrie had decided to pack it in, leave Embra and seek her fame and fortune Dahn Sarf. She wore a long, figure-hugging aquamarine dress for her last day. It went well with her long, wavy ash-blonde hair and blue-grey eyes. I handed her a small, carefully wrapped package. "Since you're determined to go, I thought you could use some Travelling Luggage," I mumbled.

"Oh, how dainty," she exclaimed delightedly. I could tell straight away she'd never heard of Terry Pratchett, but couldn't hold that against her. She prised open the lid. "Oh look, it's bigger on the inside!" Just like that wardrobe with the lamppost in it and the blue box with the flashing light. She popped all her worldly goods inside and fastened the lid, then leaned over, put her hand on my shoulder and pulled me close to kiss me goodbye.

That. Kiss. Lasted. Forever. Her full lips were soft, moist and warm, tasting of cherries; I felt giddy with the scent of perfume in her hair and it felt the most natural thing in the world when her tongue slipped past my lips and into my mouth. You know that bit when your tongues are exploring each other? Yeah, that. I can still feel it now. Not exactly rough; hot and wet but not at all unpleasant. Eventually I paused just long enough to draw breath and whisper, "Carrie, I love you - "

And sat bolt upright in bed. Carrie was gone. Somehow, it was two weeks later and I was thirty miles away in Sunny Dunny. And a million light-years away in my head. I heaved a sigh, dressed quickly and wandered along the cliff path to let the breeze clear my head. Looking out to sea, I could see dark storm clouds gathering. I was mildly surprised that life was carrying on as if the world hadn't just come to an end: a tall ship, not unlike this one, only with crewmen swarming over the rigging like ants, was battling its way toward the harbour and safety, sails whipping wildly in the wind.

I took off my glasses and let the rain wash away my tears.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

New Balls, Please!

Did you see the evening news today? Thousands of homes flooded in Sheffield. How awful - living in Sheffield! I could write for Graham Norton, it's a piece of piss.

Yes, it's that time of year again, when the heavens open up and Wimbledon gets rained off. Which reminds me of this apocryphal tale from last year...oh, how I wish it were true...

* wavy lines etc. *

The Hoff arrives at Centre Court without a ticket and tries to blag his way in with the tried-and-tested "Do You Know Who I Am?" ploy.

PA system bursts into life. "Can any of the guests please identify a gentleman at the gate? He appears to have forgotten his name. Tall, mid-fifties, black shirt, shades, full of himself, bit of a tosser."

I love tennis, me. I could sit and watch it all day.

A Lady Farting

I think she's followed through.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Music Challenge

I've been challenged by Jenny at Mountain Mama. Pick out music from the year you turned 18. Get all nostalgic and then write a post about how this music affected you. Trickier than it seems, what with me having a mental age of 14...

Bay City Rollers - Bye Bye Baby

We called them the Gay City Strollers, what with all that flouncing about in silly clothes and tartan scarves. But with all those girls chasing them everywhere, it was probly just jealousy. I did memorise the lyrics, of course. The only thing that sticks in my mind is that they picked their name by sticking a pin in a map. BCR was the second choice, as 500 Miles To The Inch was considered too avante-garde.

Rod Stewart - Sailing

I did love this one. I remember at some point much later on, thinking I couldn't stand that Rod Stewart bloke. Except for Sailing, of course. And The Killing of Georgie, In A Broken Dream, Downtown Train and in fact everything he's ever recorded. Alright, I confess, he's fab.

Windsor Davies & Don Estelle - Whispering Grass

"Sing, Lofty!"
'Nuff said.

Tammy Wynette - Stand By Your Man

This isn't working, is it? Just makes me think of the followup single - ah, the irony! - and Billy Connelly's excellent cover, D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

10CC - I'm Not In Love

Now that's more like it. Oddly enough, what this makes me nostalgic about is school. I was a stage-hand in our year's production of The Mikado, and we got the run of the school hall for rehearsals, building and painting props, fiddling with the lights and, most importantly, checking out the sound system. This consisted of playing 10cc over the speakers. Over and over. At full blast. Out of this world. Sometimes we swapped it for...

David Bowie - Life On Mars

Yes, I know this came out in 1973, it just took a couple of years to reach the wilds of Embra. I think the Viking project was in full swing at this stage, if not already launched for a rendezvous with the Red Planet in 1976. I love space, me. Anyway, I've no idea why we were never ever told to turn it down, the soundproofing wasn't that good! Maybe the music teacher liked Bowie? And everybody loved 10cc.

...and finally...

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Arguably the first ever proper music video. Certainly the longest single I'd ever heard, even if I still don't understand the lyrics. Spare him his life from his pork sausages? What's that all about, Mama Mia?

God bless you, Freddy, wherever you are.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Money For Old Rope

The Egg Marketing Association, or whatever the feck they're called, decided to save some cash by rerunning the old Go To Work On An Egg tv adverts. But in its infinite wisdom, the regulator has declared that the ads breach modern guidelines about eating a varied diet and that. The upshot? Free global media coverage.

Cue barrage of crap egg puns...

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Most Embarrassing Moment or something

Saw this story in Spanish Goth's blog, and it reminded me of this episode from 1979...

*picture goes wavy as we switch to flashback mode*

Gay friend Andy and I had, after extensive research, found the perfect place to get a decent Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster1 - none other than the World's End Pub in Embra's Royal Mile. All you had to do was bring your own sugar cubes and warn them you were coming so that they could chill the glasses to absolute zero.

We sank a couple, slowly, watching the bubbles rise and the colours swirl as we chatted about life, the universe and everything (when that phrase was still cool). Then a couple more...and...yes, they are very morish, aren't they? Ok, just one more for the road...and one for luck...

We tunlbed tumbled out the door much, much later, feeling jusht fine, until the fresh night air hit us. I managed nearly thirty paces (and, come to think of it, must have crossed a busy road) before I went down. "Andy! Andy!" I gasped, "I cannae go on. Here, take my stash for safe keeping!" That's how close we were. He tried to help me up, but my legs had taken on a life of their own, one that involved lolloping about like Jamie Oliver's tongue. So he stashed the hash deep in his pocket and stumbled off up the road and around the corner into the night. Darkness descended...

"Hello, hello, hello," or words to that effect, oozed their way into my stream of conciousness. I chanced my eyesight by cracking open an eyelid. The filth! Thank Christ I was clean. Not counting the vomit on my shoes. Trousers. And shirt.

"Evening, offishers."

"Can you tell us where you live?"


"So what are you doing in Aberdeen?"

That woke me up. I clambered unsteadily to my feet.

"I may be drunk, offisher, but I know North Bridge when I see it!" From a loooooooong way below. And why is it spinning?

He must have been in a good mood that night, or near the end of his shift. "On your way, then." I gave him my toothiest smile and staggered off in the general direction of home and bed.

A few days later.

"Hi, Farty! How's life?"

"Hi, Andy." I recounted the tale of my brush with The Law, while we disposed of my stash in the safest possible way. "So *inhale.hold...and release* how did you get on?"

"Oh, I made it all the way round the corner before I passed out."

1Our recipe fell through a wormhole in the space-time continuinuum and landed in my lap at Seacon '79. This was my first and last visit to sunny Brighton, which was a shame because the nudist beach opened in 1980.

Our Recipe

Place a sugar cube in the base of a frosted glass.
Add a dash of Angostura Bitters.
One measure of blue curacao.
And one measure of Creme de Menthe.
Fill to the brim with champagne.
After it settles, top up with Parfait Amour.
Stir cautiously and sip.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Mr Farty's Kitchen Tips

Mrs Farty does most of the cooking in our house. Here are a few tips on how to avoid getting landed with it.

Always remember to put water in the pressure cooker before closing the lid.
In fact, since destroying one pressure cooker and having to clean another one - twice - with steel wool, I tend to put the water in first nowadays.

Stir gravy continuously from the moment you add thickener until ready to serve.
Yes, you can strain the lumps out, although using a blender tends to make it runny.

Potatoes are more easily digested when cooked.
So we had them a few minutes after the main course. What's the big deal?

Potatoes get softer after prolonged boiling; eggs get harder.
This actually happened to my uncle Peter. He couldn't understand why the "soft-boiled eggs" weren't soft yet, after cooking them for half an hour.

Back-scratchers are ideal for scraping boiled eggs from the ceiling.
See above.

Remove LMF's kirby grips from clothing before placing in washing machine.
Rather than after draining the machine and checking the filter (or calling the service engineer if you're female).

Don't leave your uneaten pizza at the restaurant.
Get the waiter to put the leftovers in a box, take it home, pop it in the fridge, leave for a couple of days, then throw it in the bin. Well, that's what we do at Farty Towels anyway.

Check what type of oven you are using before cooking Yorkshire Puddings.
Again, not guilty. What happened was, Aunty B (of Full Moon fame) volunteered to cook her Legendary Yorkshire Puddings to go with our Sunday roast. Turned the oven up to supernova. Greased the tray thoroughly with dripping. Popped the tray in the top shelf. Mixed the batter. Opened the oven door. Stepped back to avoid the flames. Shrieked.
Some ovens turn on the integrated grill when you switch them to full heat.
btw, we've still never tasted Aunty B's LYPs.

When your oven goes on fire, close the oven door.
Keep it closed for at least an hour. Turn off the oven. Cover with a damp towel. Slap Aunty B's wrists every time she "just goes to check". Rub it in at every possible opportunity for the next five years.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Doing the Hokey Pokey

Well it made me laugh.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Amnesty International

Do you want to know what really makes me mad? A cocktail of Amyl Nitrate, LSD & speed, with a just a dash of oven cleaner for that added zing.

But this story comes a close second. In brief, the Vatican has called for all members of the Catholic Church to stop funding or otherwise supporting Amnesty International, after AI took a pro-choice stance on the issue of abortion for victims of rape or incest.

I can't stop people from funding the Catholic Church, so here's the next best thing.

Donate to Amnesty International

I'll go first.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Adventures in the Canada - Illustrated

A Waterfall

Mall Train

Toffee Apples

Good Advice


Chocolate. Strawberries.

Sky Train. Science Centre ahead.

Yes, it says cannabis.



Mmmm fudge.

For Spanish Goth.

If you take size 14 or more, then Intimate Apparel is not for you.

Ice Cream


Chocolate Hedgehogs

Goats. On the roof.

Full Moon.

More fudge

Fudge Factory. 50 Flavours!

The Eagles. Not at Hotel California.

Drama Queen Drive.

What a way to go

Mmmm coo-kies!

Chip. And indeed, Dale.

Cat, tree. Tree, cat. Just like that!

Black Skwerl. Note the Evil Eyes.

Bear Paws.

Farty with a Bear Behind.