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CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Mick Harper
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My flat is slowly but inexorably filling with used Dulce Gusto coffee pods. I can't throw them away because they hold my creative juju. Don't bother making suggestions, this is something every writer has to face on his own. Oddly, the crack cocaine wraps aren't a problem. In the bin without ceremony.
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Mick Harper
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I just ordered six large unsliced brown organic stoneground wholemeal wheatgerm loaves from my local healthfood shop. They only do them ready sliced. Is that hippy enough for you?
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Mick Harper
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Book News

One of my pet beefs (send an SAE for the full list) is the ridiculous amount of space devoted to the doings of Bloomsbury. The latest outbreak is a one and half page (!) Guardian review headlined

Suffrage marches and skinny dipping with the Bloomsberries
Noble Savages: The Olivier Sisters
In this compelling biography Sarah Watling tells their tale for the first time. It is the story of the end of Victorianism and the birth of the modern age. It is also, grippingly, the story of the early feminist movement, and a vital contribution to the construction of an alternative women’s history.

Virginia Woolf nicknamed them the Neo-Pagans (nice one, Ginny), Rupert Brooke didn't have sex with all four of them and they went camping with Lytton Strachey's brother. Their only contribution to the construction of an alternative women's history is that one of them opened Britain's first Steiner School. Though to be fair, by Bloomsbury standards, that is fairly massive.

On The Red Hill by Michael Parker
For the first eighteen years of their relationship, its very existence was illegal. Yet they were together long enough to go from being outlawed by the state to being married by one of its officials.

Immensely cheering. No known Bloomsbury connections.
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Mick Harper
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The prison population in America is now so vast, it has its own search engine, a fact which I discovered today from my own search engine

Inmate Search: Michael Harper L96070, Tallahassee, Florida
Michael Harper is an inmate currently at the Florida Department of Corrections (FL DOC), located in Tallahassee,FL. If you are wishing to visit, the visitation hours are limited by the security level of the facility; please call 850-488-5021 to get the latest updates on the visiting application requirements as they change without notice
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Mick Harper
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Further to the above, those of you with a wide spread of interests and a fair degree of self absorption might like to know that, for a small monthly sum, you can get daily Google updates for ten different entries. So I have on my list things like 'Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries' and 'Applied Epistemology Library'. Unfortunately, in the nature of search engines, you tend to get a few irrelevant results mixed in. For instance this morning I got

Tengri Damgaları | Türk Mitolojisi | Sanat tarihi, Antik .. 10. If you remember, the first project we did in the class was the plaster cast of our hand. The civil servants in the class got through this project only because Mrs. Festini promised then they could begin on their deer as soon as it was completed.

Home | Facebook With the paperback edition of Walking With Sausage Dogs due in July, and as a thank you for your support over the last year, I'd like to invite you and your sausage dog to contribute to a small promo video for the book.
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Mick Harper
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Herman Goering said, "Whenever I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my Browning" but did he know that another great English poet, Shelley, was expelled from Eton for using gunpowder to blow up his housemaster's garden? Which of our own crop of poets are so incendiary? Philip Larkin possibly. Pam Ayres certainly. Simon Armitage would like to be but can't. After that everything is fey. Except for the black ones.
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Mick Harper
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I've finally cracked the Puzzle of the Portobello. This was why Tesco's was always running out of Anchor Spreadable. Their repeated excuses to increasingly restive crowds that "We can't get the truck into the parking bay round the back during daylight hours" didn't explain why all other market-leading brands had no such difficulty.

Anyway, alles klaar this week when Tesco's Own Brand Spreadable Butter suddenly popped up on the shelves. It's exactly the same as Anchor except a bit cheaper. Do I intend rewarding Tesco for this exercise in barefaced gerrymandering? Yes.
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Mick Harper
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My Google dragnet continues to be my chief amusement since I've had to give up sex on medical advice. One more rejection apparently could send me over the edge. This one is downright baffling

Mick Harper, Property Maintenance Services In Walsall
Reviews are limited to one per user and you have reviewed this business before.
https://www.scoot.co.uk/England/West-Midlands/Walsall/Mick-Harper-CLLY165.html

My own policy when it comes to reviews is to limit them to one per country. This from Canadian Amazon

Amazon.ca:Customer reviews: The History of Britain Revealed
Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The History of Britain Revealed at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.
https://www.amazon.ca/History-Britain-Revealed-Michael-Harper/product-reviews/0954291107 - Rank 39
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Mick Harper
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Don't go shopping today. It's like a microwave out there.
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Mick Harper
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Ia anybody concerned about preserving our heritage? A Swedish/Canadian consortium just bought Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon and Chessington World of Adventures. My childhood will never be the same again.
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Mick Harper
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In a Guardian financial report (about the Mulberry share price) the following terms were used entirely unselfconsciously and without further elucidation:
millennials
generations Zers
noughties taste-makers
Insta generation
generation Z
Insta millennials
I know what they all mean but I'm worried you might not.
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Mick Harper
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This Week's Quiz Question

The most famous individual in advertising history is The Marlboro Man, a cowboy smoking a Marlboro cigarette. What is the connection between him and the Duke of Marlborough?
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Mick Harper
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I suppose muggins will have to tell you. It's either 'none' or 'some'. American women started smoking in a big way after the war but found the nicotine stains were spoiling their washday red hands, so the filter cigarette was introduced. Men wouldn't touch them. The cigarettes, I mean.

Philip Morris, needing a brand name for this 'woman's cigarette', decided on a vaguely English aristocratic name because women like that sort of thing. More fool them. It didn't really work so Philip Morris asked their admen what to do. Madison Avenue said, forget women -- go for blokes. So they gave it to the cowboy and created the world's best selling cigarette.
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Wile E. Coyote


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The connection is that Marlboro were originally an English brand of cigarettes dating back to 1824. The cigarettes were produced in a factory on Greater Marlborough street, the street was named after the first Duke of Marlborough.

You can put my cheque in the post. Please don't let it bounce again.
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Mick Harper
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Look, Coyote, you can be smarter than me but don't make a career out of it.
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