I must quote you a fantastic bit from Pamela.

The eponymous heroine and fiancé Mr B are discussing how she will spend her time once they are married. She enumerates a long list of useful and improving activities, including family management, keeping accounts, visiting the unhappy poor in the neighbourhood, assisting the housekeeper in the manufacture of jellies, comfits, sweetmeats, marmalades and cordials, driving in Mr B’s chariot, listening to Mr B’s ‘instructive conversation’, entertaining ladies of quality, playing cards, music, reading, writing, and of course praying to God in thanks for ‘all the blessings I shall receive at the hands of Providence, by means of your generosity and condescension’. (I think Pamela would become slightly annoying after a while.)

Mr B points out that she has, in fact, omitted one important item from the list of duties expected of a newly married woman.

What delight do you give me, my beloved Pamela, in this sweet foretaste of my happiness! I will now defy the saucy, busy censures of the world; and bid them know your excellence, and my happiness, before they, with unhallowed lips, presume to judge of my actions, and your merit! And let me tell you, my dearest girl, that I can add to your agreeable enumeration my hopes of a still more pleasing amusement for you, though it is what your bashful modesty would not permit you to hint at; and which I will now no further touch upon, lest it should seem, to your nicety, to detract from the present purity of my good intentions, than to say, I hope you will have, superadded to all these, such an employment, as will give me a view of perpetuating my happy prospects, and my family at the same time; of which I am almost the only one, in a direct line.”

Or as we would put it nowadays, in our coarse, modern fashion:


Girl magnet

A curious thing happened yesterday. I had a super day walking, doing weights, then swimming and yoga with Jane, then a few pints in the pub and a game of Go with my friend Donald. The people at the next table were obviously intrigued by what we were up to and started asking us what the game was and all about the rules ekcetera. So if I go in there with the board I will probably find a game.

That was not the curious thing though, as when Donald went to the loo, a girl stopped by our table and said to me “I’ve been sitting over there for a while and I couldn’t help noticing that you have really nice legs.” (I was wearing shorts.) I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this as obviously she had had a couple, but then I do have really nice legs so maybe she was just very observant. We had a short discussion about whether I work out (yes), and then she departed again.

That does not happen to me very often, and she was quite hott looking, so I can only conclude it was the Universe taking the piss out of me in some subtle way. Also she seemed to be there with a man, so whether it was her boyfriend or not I do not know, but if he had not been there perhaps I would have gone over and continued the conversation later.

Perhaps she was trying to recruit me for a bizarre threesome, like in Alan Partridge: “Excuse me, I don’t want to be part of your sex festival.”

Anyway I think I will be popping into the Dignity more often.

Wizzo Cornwall

This car is not from the motor pool

I had an enjoyable drive across England; the A303 is a lot more fun than the motorway, featuring mighty hills, hairpin bends, tractors, and Stonehenge! Any road is a lot of fun with an Audi.

It was super hot weather, and I saw this man having a barbecue on his truck! As you can see he has a patriotic chair to sit down in and eat his Scania-burger.

Majestic Apollo, the Sun, enmired by the leaden clouds of e’en (good writing)

Possibly Britain’s most inviting snack bar.

More pictures of Mr Lard enjoying his holiday :D

The Year of Living Safely

I forgot to say that yesterday marked a year since I quit smoking :D

First off, quitting smoking is real easy. You just do not smoke any cigarettes. Staying quit is easy too - just apply the same technique. That’s not the difficult bit.

The really difficult bit is deciding to quit in the first place. Sometimes the ‘chief executive’ part of our brain has a discipline problem with his staff. It is easy to convince yourself to do something you already want to do; for example, take the day off work and go to the beach. Much harder to work against your existing inclinations; for example, not to have that seventh bowl of ice-cream.

The strange thing is that all smokers want to give up, without exception. Non-smokers will find this hard to believe. No matter how much you claim to love smoking, if you could wake up tomorrow morning and be magically free forever of the desire to smoke, everyone would take that deal. So why don’t we quit?

The answer lies in the curious nature of addiction. If you have never been addicted to anything, it is hard to imagine what it is like. Most people probably imagine that it is like being thirsty - you experience an intense desire for the drug, accompanied by symptoms of physical distress which are only relieved by the drug. That is true as far as it goes, but addiction also digs its pernicious tendrils right into the volitional centres of the brain. It makes you do things you do not want to do.

It is actually rather spooky once you realise what is going on. Nicotine (for example) is controlling your decisions. It is no different than if some evil alien implanted a chip in your brain and started influencing your behaviour by radio control. If you find this hard to believe, ask yourself this question: Have you ever decided not to have a cigarette, and then found yourself smoking one anyway? Have you ever done something embarrassing or inconvenient to get a nicotine fix? (for example, begging strangers in the street for cigarettes, or walking miles to find an open newsagents).

Why do we do that? It is because of fear. We are afraid to be without the drug. Rationally, we know that we’ll be just fine. No one died of not having cigarettes, no matter how much she wanted one. If you are in a situation where you know absolutely that there is no chance of getting cigarettes, anxiety disappears, and in fact you suffer no ill effects. It is as though the nicotine ‘gives up’ and saves its effort for another day. But up to that point we will do almost anything in our power to get the drug.

If the prospect of going without nicotine for an evening fills us with anxiety, how much more frightening is the prospect of a whole life without it? Exactly. When I was still smoking, even thinking about giving up made me nervous and edgy, and start reaching for cigarettes.

The fear of withdrawal is at least partly grounded in reality: if you go without nicotine for a couple of hours, you start to feel quite odd. You feel a little light-headed, as though something is expanding inside your brain, and even slightly intoxicated, but not in a good way. These feelings get progressively worse the longer you go on, so it seems logical to assume that they would simply go on getting worse until they become unbearably unpleasant.

In fact that does not happen. Withdrawal reaches a plateau quite quickly and does not get any worse; for four or five days you feel a bit weird and out of sorts, slightly divorced from reality as though experiencing the world through clear plastic. Your sleep patterns go haywire, and all sorts of strange and powerful emotions come to the surface, and generally you feel as if you’ve been experimented on by aliens. But by the morning of the fifth or sixth day, you wake up feeling just fine, and even a little euphoric. Curiously, there is no desire to smoke at all. The world seems fresh and clean, colours brighter, tastes richer, like your first day out of hospital after a long illness.

In the closing scenes of Blade Runner, Rutger Hauer taunts Harrison Ford: “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.”

I just got tired of living in fear. I didn’t want some drug controlling my life any more. I am not a smoker. I am a free man!

Keithlard, or Virtue Rewarded

I am reading Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. It is wizzo. In my expert judgment it is nearly as good as Jane Eyre, except it is not.

Your friend and diarist is rarther tired, having spent all day working on the booth at a trade show. I could not sleep last night as I knew I had to get up early, so lay fretting and flumping from side to side trying to find a comfy bit of pillow, but they had all turned hard and unyielding. So I was a bit worn out when I arrived at the show at 9am, and after ten hours of smiling and welcoming search engine marketers, demoing the product, keeping a watchful eye on our rivals’ stands, handing out complimentary T-shirts, answering really hard technical questions, and being interviewed and filmed for the Telly, I was ready to curl up and go to sleep in the nearest corner.

I did not though, as there was a really cute girl on the stand next door, who I had been trying to muster the courage to go and talk to all day, and cursing my stupid shyness. I am no good at marching up to cute girls and saying “Hi! I am Keith! What is your name? I am friendly and unthreatening!”, otherwise I would probably be married about fifty times over by now. Finally she came to our stand and said hullo, and I leaped into action, as I am fine if someone else breaks the ice. In fact I can be a one-man charm offensive when I get going, as some of you will be able to testify :D

Anyway luckily she was really nice as well as super pretty, and amazingly enough I got up the nerve to go and chat to her in the pub after the show, even though she was with all her workmates who I do not know. I dare say this all seems rarther ridiculous if you are blessed with the ability to mingle, but I am not. Once I worked in the same office with a girl that I fancied for about nine months before being bold enough to contrive to bump into her at the printer. I probably had a brilliant conversational gambit worked out, but due to bad co-ordination of mouth and lips it came out as ‘shmrrpl msmphh smnt?’. Needless to say that did not lead anywhere, as she probably thought I had some kind of disease.

So over the years I must have got better at this stuff somehow, as I do not seem to dissolve into silent embarrassmint any more when talking to cute girls, even if I am a bit sticky getting going at first. Probably by the time I am 76 I will have mastered the art of saying hello. Anyway today just goes to show that you do not get anywhere being quiet, and sometimes a little bit of nerve can get you a long way.

I am tired though and must nestle into my tiny bed, goodnight :>

PS I have walked 32 miles in four days (most of it round the Business Design Centre in Islington :D)

I may have met a super hot girl

I may have met a super hot girl through the Internets!

I do not know how she got my email address, but probably through a friend or something. Anyway she emailed me today to say:

Hi, My name is Vicky McGreham, I’m just a college girl who just arrived in UK and looking for a sex partner. All what I need is a good man, you must be serious and honest, let me know if you wish to meet.

You may see my pics at my web page:


Kisses Vicky

Well, no one would make something like that up, so I confidently headed over to the web page, where I found the following message:


My name is Victoria. I’m 22 yers old. I like different people, like sport, dancing. I find new sexual sensations.

Write me:

Although I am a few yers older than Victoria and do not really like sport and dancing, or different people, I do find new sexual sensations. Well with so much in common it seems obvious that I should pursue this opportunity further; I clicked on the link to download her photo album from the web site.

It is an EXE file which is a bit strange, but perhaps it is a self-extracting archive. It is only 9.3K in size, which is fantastic! Obviously Victoria is not only a sizzling nude model but a skilled computer scientist, and has invented a revolutionary new compression algorithm.

As I do not have a Windows machine to run it on, I will have to pass up the delights of looking at her photos, but some analysis of the EXE file indicates that it appears to work by attaching part of itself to the MFC42.DLL file. I still do not see how that helps me see naked pictures, but I dare say it will all make sense once we meet up and become lovers.

I have emailed her accordingly, to say this:

Dear Victoria (may I call you Vicky? I feel I know you already)

I was very excited by your email; I think I may be just what you are looking for, as I am serious and honest, and I also like sex with 22-year old college girls! What are the odds!?

I am having a little trouble viewing your photos, as I have a Linux computer. May I ask if you have any plans to make your pictures available for Linux users, as you will perhaps be surprised to learn that free software has a large and rapidly growing user base, especially among sex-starved men who like the Internet.

I enclose my address and contact information, as well as my bank details if you should need them. I look forward to hearing from you to arrange our first meeting. I do not know whether you would like to have sex immediately, or if we will have time for a coffee first. Anyway, let me know your plans.

Yours expectantly, K

Pond news

I spent much of the weekend roaming the little flat like a caged jagular, hoping the rain would cease. Eventually it did and I wandered down to the pond to check up on the inhabitants.

I did not see the cootlets, but Mr & Mrs Canada Geese have had five super little goslings! They are all fluffy and yellow with little crew-cuts like Jake Gyllenhaal in Jarhead. It was quite funny as their Mum was teaching them to swim by cruising purposefully from one side of the pond to the other, then it was time for dabbling lessons and ‘investigating mysterious strangers for food’ 101. I did not have any unfortunately but I did gaze enraptured at the goslings.

I saw Henrietta the duck, but she did not have any ducklings. I am a bit worried that she seems to have lost her mate, as I have not seen Henry in quite a while. It must be awful lonely if you are a solo duck while everyone else is busy nesting and fledging. I have not seen any other farm ducks on the river otherwise I might introduce them to Henrietta. I cannot resist a bit of matchmaking.

Anyway I was strolling happily through the woods enjoying the heady perfume of spring flowers and the clean smell of rain, and trying to think of a poetic simile for what it smells like, but I could only think of Comfort fabric conditioner.

A Bird came down the Walk

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.

—Emily Dickinson

It is a wizzo spring

The weather has been super nice the last couple of days and I have been wandering around sniffing flowers and saing hullo birds hullo sky ekcetera. I have been called adorable, and given a bun. Jen recommended a funny comic strip. I saw a chaffinch on the way to the Tube station (that is me not the chaffinch, they rarely use the Underground as they are rarther well off and travel everywhere by taxi).

When I got home I had delicious home made bacon & egg mayonnaise sandwidges, and a refreshing BEER. It does not get any better than that really.