Sunday, 20 December 2009

Actiones sunt suppositorum

In this festive season, it seems appropriate to ask what is mortification.

Some see it as a shriving of the body that frees the soul.

Others believe it is a natural consequence of approaching godliness.

These people know nothing. Mortification is standing at your door before a gathering of carol singers. They have just asked your pre-school daughter what Yuletide tune she would like to hear, and received the lisping response "Jesus Entering From the Rear".

Theodicy cannot encompass your feelings when she then launches into the chorus.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

“He was laughing in the tower”

I grow weary of Boyo's diaries. The constantly doubled consonants in Anna Chancellor's name tire my eyes.

Instead I've taken to his record collection. Long abandoned by their owner, these discs of trembling ebony sing beneath my fingernails.

I have concluded that the finale of Sir Malcolm Arnold's 5th Symphony is a sour commentary on Wozzeck - Berg not Büchner.

Listen, and tell me what you think.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Che farò senza Euridice?

A bedtime story exchange:

No Good Boyo: So Dorothy and her little dog ran back to the farmhouse to escape from the tornado. And what was Dorothy's little dog called?

Arianrhod, our daughter: Cerberus.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Au fond de l'Inconnu

No Good Boyo subscribes to what he claimed is a journal of Attic Greek research called Radiotimes, but turns out to be a tele-vision and wireless listings magazine.

I leafed through it the other day in apprehension of finding out what British people watch other than the ritual humiliation of rural simpletons - a form of entertainment that Ukrainians prefer to enjoy live.

I found this:


7.00pm Sky Arts ARTS

Bill Clinton dubbed it "the Woodstock of the mind", and the annual literary festival in the small town of Hay-on-Wye attracts a much wider field that just London literati.

The likes of Sandi Toksvig, Simon Schama, Sophie Dahl, Rick Wakeman, Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Brigstock and Sting will all be there this year.

Many of them will make it along to Sky Arts's temporary studio for a chat with Mariella Frostrup and she'll also have daily reports on events through to the end of May.

Sting is revered as a demiurge by the mountainfolk of Tyahnybok District in the High Carpathians because of his physical and vocal resemblence to Yeldasys, an hermaphrodite wood sprite, but these others are unfamiliar to me.

I feel a little ashamed to have underestimated the intellectual balast that weighs down the barque of British public life, and shall apply myself during this confinement to studying the works of Brigstock, Wakeman et alia.

Any recommendations for a point of departure into this sea of knowledge would be welcome.

Friday, 8 May 2009


Some time ago I was intrigued to find myself pregnant again. A little later I was disappointed to find that No Good Boyo was the father.

My confinement has given me real insights into my spouse's daily life. For example, he has personalised settings on his computer that filter every Internet search into its nearest pornographic equivalent.

I now regret trying to augment my Hitchcock collection by Googling "remastered Rear Window".

I gave him money, name tags and a map of London before he set off for the British Museum's "Babylon" exhibition with our daughter Arianrhod. On his return I frisked his duffel bag to discover a Bob Marley t-shirt and a bottle of rhum.

He has a commendable approach to ecology, as indescribable items of his clothing also serve as dish-cloths, elementary footwear and devices used in the making of cheese as the years pass.

Paternity has not sapped his creative urge. I found a letter in my name addressed to the "Mrs Mills" column in The Sunday Times, asking for advice on "unsightly facial removal". No words had been omitted.

Finally, Arianrhod recently assured me that her ambition on leaving school is to become a "mod wolf". And I thought I had cleansed the house of Hesse.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Es Gibt Keine Alternative

A belated Valentine from Boyo, ready for my 2010 election campaign.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Un cœur simple

It is easy and rewarding to jeer at No Good Boyo, especially now that bear-rolling has been outlawed in Ukraine, but he does have some noble qualities.

One is his conviction of that everything he has ever done is a pleasure to behold, and an honour if he did it to you.

Earlier this week I finally managed to translate his college diary, with the help of the Welsh Academy's daunting dictionary and by asking Boyo what it all meant during his evening appreciation of Voskoboynykiv's latest vat of monkey juice.

I read that two of his college conquests subsequently "became" lesbians and joined convents. Now Boyo's tastes in the érotique are catholic rather than Catholic, and he has little time for the "nuns with guns" sub-genre, so we can assume that all he wrote was true.

I asked him how it felt to know that one boudoir encounter with him was enough to make two young women realise not only that they are homosexual but also that a life of prayerful chastity is the only way to regain their self-worth.

Boyo was watching John Carpenter's The Fog, a film that he maintains is a witty deconstruction of Conquista myths. But then he also thinks leprosy is caused by "too much rabbits". He paused in his viewing, focused on my shoulder and delivered himself of the opinion that:

"One night with me and they both knew no ordinary man would ever be enough. So they dyked up and went to try out some nuns. Makes sense, innit?"

I said nothing. Perhaps he felt he had been a little crass, as he added:

"It was separate nights, not both of them together. Though that would have explained where they got the idea from, mind."

A slot on Radio 4's Thought For The Day beckons.