That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

In a white room,
with black curtains,
at the station,

Was going to talk about Scottish Meat and how it’s The Best in The World, but I’ve just come from The Japing Ape and it all seems nonsensical.

We live in interesting times my friends. The nights are drawing in after one of the best summers ever and our minds will inevitably turn back to our black art of BLOGGING.

Vaporise Barney has decamped and good luck to him.
He still made me laugh the loudest. He had something to say and the bastard gave himself the best lines. Of all the blogs, I identified with him the most.
It’s a drinking, seen a bit, had the corners knocked off, kinda thing.
One day, when you’re like me, you’ll understand.
Christ he was good. Hey! Get over it.

Hutton and his acolyte Noreen have hit an unfortunate purple patch. I say unfortunate because this is The Republic. I shall have no truck with them.

Brewski’s back, which is excellent. It’s like the swallows or house martins, except it’s out of sinc. But fairplay to him. He is a pinnacle. We can see him from afar. There isn’t many you can say that for, now is there?

I won’t mention FMC. I can’t sleep while there is an ague in her bones.

But throughout, and without the slightest slip, Gorilla Bananas has continued like some immutable standard.
e.g. ‘Diana’.
I am at a total loss as to how this is possible but there it is.
Not quite a year ago, I handed out the first ever Maroons. Awards for what I thought were the best blogs and commenters.
Bananas won Best Blog.

I’m having an INTERNET PARTY on the first anniversary of Cape To Rio. What I thought we’d all do is sit at our machines wherever in the wide world we are, with a bottle, and just get pie eyed drunk making all sorts of rash comments along the lines of:

“Leave him FMC/Sheba/Sarah/Lindy/Andraste/Sam and come and live with me in poverty in Scotland” sort of thing

I’ll send out the invites don’t worry.

Oh. And all the rest that haven’t been mentioned, come on, we all know who we are and that there isn’t a bunch comes anywhere close.

See! This is the worst of it. I assume we are so vain and up our own arses when it might just be me.

Anyhoo, HERE is the list of the best blogs on the web. NOT IN ORDER. Just the arbitrary way I put them in the stencil. (template) If I missed you out it aint personal.

The Japing Ape(BEST Blog)

The Anti-Barney
Just ask Anti! (AGONY)
Foot Eater !
Kim Ayres
Sir Kim
Justin Barker
The Lord Goldenshowers
Manuel Stimulation
The Safety Inspector
Dr McCrumble's bookcase
Ms Redhead

Daphne Wayne-Bough
PI Pat's Past Imperfect

Binty McShae
Doctor EVIL
Fatmammycat (15)
Twenty Major


List update.

The list of the best blogs should be THE SAME as the links list opposite. By definition. Somehow (by my own hamfistedness) I’ve contrived to miss out LEILOUTA, Kellius, Mr McGuinness, and by a quirk of fate, my own fab tribute site. Cape Trio.

If your site is not on the LINKS LIST it just means I haven’t got there yet. So long as you bring records or cider or mild recreational stimulants or better yet some girls, you will be welcome at the soiree. (Details to follow)

I shall now try and type out some snappy replies to your comments in the comments section.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Beggars' Banquet

Commissioner Conroy strode across the room to welcome his visitor. Handshakes over, both men sat, taking their ease in familiar silence at the window overlooking Phoenix Park.
The commissioner waited for his political master.

“O.K. Noel, where are we up to?”

Conroy counted off the points on the fingers of his hand:

“We have total deniability. Miller’s in Spain with the dossier, he’s due back tonight. The decoys left yesterday, they should be in Italy tomorrow…”
“Where are they now?” asked the politician.
“God knows. They flew Ryanair.”

The politician allowed himself a sudden bark of a laugh before seeking his clarification:

“And you’re confident they will sow confusion in the manner that we want?”

“Trust me, that pair could fuck up a game of ludo without trying but we’ll keep kicking their arses in the right direction.” Conroy replied.

There was no laugh this time.

“And the other feller, what’s his name, Hennessy? Does he need anything ? Is there anything I can provide?” asked the politician, now very much, the only Prime Minister in the room.

Conroy, realising too late his earlier freedom, paused to consider his answer:

“He will suffice.”

Hennessy put down the folder, careful not to betray his excitement at the revelations he had just read. He unfolded the black return envelope from the inside cover and following the instructions, put the folder in, then closed and signed the security strip, before pushing it back across the table.
‘So,’ he thought, ‘even Max is out the loop on this one.’
He couldn’t decide if that pleased or disturbed him.
Max stowed the packet away, and as if reading Hennessy’s mind, said:

“I do know this much. Your first stop is The Vatican. You have an appointment tomorrow with Cardinal McShae of their secret service. Be careful of him.”

“What is he? Swiss Guard? Jesuit?” asked Hennessy.

Max shook his head, “K. O. M.”

“Here, take this,” he said, sliding Hennessy a clear plastic wallet of banknotes.
“It’s to be cash all the way from now on. Don’t use a card. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must see a man about a dog.”

Hennessy watched as Max, satchel slung like a bandolier, made his way through the tables to the washroom in the gloomy interior of the bar.
He didn’t come back.

A peal of laughter from the tour group in the corner prompted Hennessy to take a quick professional scan of his fellow patrons. The place was filling up. Mass must be over. The Feast of the Assumption would be in full swing soon.
The tour leader was gathering his group about him. Advising them their bus had arrived to take them back to their ship.

“Dinner dance tonight everyone, and this time tomorrow we’ll be in Italy!“

They all cheered. They had an infectious end of term jollity which only threw into relief what lay before Hennessy.
But that path led nowhere so he checked his Bulgari. Still plenty of time. He would catch this evening’s plane to Milan, take the Maserati if Cat hadn’t wrapped it round a tree by now, and he could be in Rome by 2am. On second thoughts, the road to Rome was good, he could catch up with Cat tonight and still be in Rome with time to spare…if he left early enough.
With that thought, he smiled as if for the first time.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Beggars' Banquet

At one of the more regional airports of our fine European Union, a plane has landed. On board, are two important people. From the thousands of hard working professional men and women who make up that august organisation, An Garda Siochana, they have been most carefully selected for this mission.
I’m calling it an airport, but it’s really a four kilometre strip with a white box at the side of it. The white box has something international airport written on it, but they’re not kidding anyone.
Their mission, which they have chosen to accept, is not unadjacent to the one that is being explained to our hero some 600 miles to the south west.
As the more astute of you will have realised, our hero is indeed Ronnie Hennessy, the Free State’s danger man.
Every country has them, of course they do: their man for a tight spot.
Equally at home in a white dinner jacket on the Cote d'Azur or a black donkey jacket in the Russian oilfields, when the going gets tough, you send in Hennessy.


Out on the Spanish terrace, the two men sat sipping their drinks in the sunshine. Just two family men off the hook for an hour, chewing the fat, smiling at waiter and passer-by alike.

“No way Max. I’m retired. You said so yourself.” started Hennessy.
“It doesn’t work that way and you know it.” replied Max.
“Why me anyway?” Hennessy asked, waving over more drinks. A cognac for him and a kir for Max.
“You were requested by name. Noel and Bertie were specific.”

said Max,
all the while avoiding eye contact by rummaging in his satchel. From it, he took a folder and placed it tantalisingly on the table next to his kir. Hennessy noted it was government green with the embossed golden harp on the cover. He saw too the unbroken security tabs.
You should have been an angler, Max. he thought.

Out loud, he said,

“Oh, Noel and Bertie is it now? My, haven’t we come up in the world? It wasn’t that long ago you needed my help with…”
“Look Ronnie,” said Max, interrupting, “we both know you’re going to do it, so why don’t we skip to the end?”
Hennessy smiled his best disarming smile and reached out for the proffered folder.
“Show.” he said.


As the plane ground to a halt at its stand far from the terminal, the older of the two defenders of the peace woke up and stared out the window at the shimmering heat.

“Where, in the name of Christ, is this?” he asked.

The younger of the two looked at his inflight map for a second before answering his superior.

“Mally you are one fucking eedjit and that’s a fact!”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

For Andraste:

For Twenty Major:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Beggars' Banquet

Now the dust has settled and our thirst is slaked for the time being, we can turn our attention back on our hero. He has taken himself here in search of quiet and inspiration. He has a tale, and for now, his tale is ours. We shall walk the path with him, for a little way at least. Until we see some promising attraction, up a side street maybe. Does everyone have a drink? Because I think happy hour may be drawing to a close.

How often have we mislaid a loved one in the confusion of the city? We try and think. Concentrate. What was she wearing? Oh yes, that old red anorak and blue jeans, well that shouldn’t be too hard to spot…and immediately we see them, miles away through the crowd, and the funny thing is, they’re not wearing red at all, or jeans for that matter.

No, we recognise them by their totality. Their height, the way they move on the street, their habit of weaving, or whatever it might be.

So it is that our man recognises a figure from his past moving in the crowd. Moving up the hill towards this very inn. A figure it has to be said, that he’d hoped never to see again.


It is undoubtedly Max, for no matter what disguise he employs and today it appears to be ‘tee shirted holidaymaker’, to our hero’s eyes, he always has the look of a lost man in a suit. Our hero’s eyes, as we shall see, have been well sharpened.
He watches as the tourist wanders up the road, taking his time, looking in the windows, smiling, ever the sightseer. This display he knows, is not for his benefit. This performance is for others who may be watching. To our hero, that thought alone is enough to chill him, even in this heat.

With his heart beating now, he watches as the tourist wanders past the entrance, strolls up the street and suddenly stops. He watches as the tourist apparently decides that he will have that drink after all, and meanders all the way back to the tavern. His eyes never leave the tourist as he walks straight up to his table and drops with a sigh into the seat opposite.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Part 18

No sooner had Ayres hit the grass in an ungainly jumble of limbs, than the grimy tramp pulled a glass vial from his filthy rags, and, smashing it on the ground in front of us, disappeared in a cloud of green smoke.
When the smoke had cleared, he was in the firm clutch of our leader and coughing most wretchedly.

“Haven’t quite…got that formula right…too much sulphur.” he spluttered.
“With what foul bane have you assailed our confederate?” demanded Bananas.
“What? Oh, just vitamin B12 complex.” coughed the grubby vagrant.
“Not Amazonian poison dart venom then?” I asked, only slightly disappointed.
“Sorry, ‘fraid not. Can’t get the frogs you see.” wheezed the heaving hobo.
“I feel magnificent.” said Ayres from the ground, where he had stretched out with his hands behind his head.

The greatest of detectives released the disgraceful bundle of filth, whereupon the dapper little monkey scampered up his arm to sit on his shoulder scowling at us.

“Clever little chap” I said in admiration.
“Capuchin.” Said our supreme sleuth.
“I didn’t think to bring coffee G.B. but there’s some Darjeeling in a flask.” I offered.
“A White-headed Capuchin to be more precise.” continued Bananas, pointing at the monkey, “the preferred companion of organ grinders, mendicants and burglars.”
“Whatever else I’ve been, I was never a mendicant, and that’s a fact!” said the tramp hotly.
“Let’s eat.” said Ayres.

In Castle Alucard, the spiky haired comedian was coaching Mr McShae the Scotsman on the finer points of the English double entendre. (He was to provide the comic relief during the intermission.)

“So you see McShea, all baked goods are a safe bet. For example, dumplings, baps, éclair…
“Éclair?” Asked McShae
“It’s to do with the shape. Look don’t worry about it McShea.”
“It’s McShae actually.” said McShae
“That’s what I said” replied the comedian.
“No, you said McShea,” said McShae “but never mind. So, I’d rather have a French stick than an éclair?”
“You’re almost there McShea.” clapped Jokey.
“It’s McShae!”

Monday, August 21, 2006

Part 17

A s we stood and stared in the direction of our leader’s outstretched finger, sure enough I fancied I could make out a dark shape and a curious flash of red trailing it, moving among the stand of elms and poplar.

“What is it?” asked Ayres, “is it the Beast of Bodmin?”
“Barbudo?” I asked, “I thought he was getting treatment.”
“Quick men, the game’s afoot! We must be swift. The tors are riddled with caves and our quarry must not slip our grasp!” Shouted that most magnificent of detectives and with purposeful strides he was off up the slope.

We followed in his wake, in no small measure hampered by our provisions. As Ayres’ sturdy young legs pumped up the hill like pistons, they struck the hamper at every step.

“Mind the crockery Ayres,” I admonished, “and we should try not to shake the Burgundy if we can help it.”


Back at Castle Alucard, Dr Evil’s daughter Sarah had decided to liven proceedings by ‘putting on a show’.
Guest and servant alike had been dragooned into rehearsing a unique amateur production cobbled together from Lady Windermere’s Fan with bits of Charlie’s Aunt. The released safety inspector had just loped in through the French windows with a cricket bat exclaiming “Anyone for tennis?”

“No No NO!” shouted Sarah.

Of course the fabulously wealthy Dr Evil could have hired the English National Opera to stage Aida on the lawn, but Sarah who was up on these things had stamped her dainty foot saying that was the point. The old money made their own entertainment with nothing more than the dressing up box from the attic.
Evil had agreed, although it went against all his aesthetic sensibilities.
Sarah on the other hand had no such doubts and had appointed herself director of the piece.

Look at the rubbish I have to work with, she thought, and noticing an unnatural bulge in the Inspector’s flannels asked,
“are you wearing a box by the way?”
“A what?”
“A protector. A cricketer’s box?”
“No. Where do you wear them?” asked the inspector.
“On the pitch, look never mind. You’re quite sure are you?”
“Yes quite sure thank you.”
“See me after rehearsals then,” she said, her voice suddenly hoarse.

As the run-through continued, Sarah mouthed the lines in time with the actors‘ delivery.
“…is this an oriental dagger I see before me, it’s squiggly blade pointed toward my breast?…”


Back out on the moor, we had gained the summit in time to see an old dirty vagabond disappearing into a thicket dragging an evil looking monkey after him on a chain. The monkey, dressed in a miniature bandsman’s uniform was screaming in bare-fanged terror at our approach. The vile chattering little beast adjusted his little pillbox hat and suddenly lifted a blowpipe to his lips, sending a feathered dart towards Ayres.
I tried to warn him.

“Ayres! Watch out!” I shouted, “You’ll upset the trifle!”

But Ayres now quite deaf to my entreaties, stood silent for a second then fell smiling onto the grass.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Part 16

We had been some days at Castle Alucard and I had not finished my morning routine on the trapeze when Mr Gorilla Bananas, friend and foremost of detectives, bustled into my room.
In my green drawers and stripy Henley vest, I fancy I cut a virile figure as I hung there by my toes.

“Are you mocking me Maroon?” he asked.
“Whatever do you mean Bananas?” I replied, not for the first time lost by the superior workings of his fascinating intellect.
“Never mind.” he continued in some excitement, “We must get out on the moor forthwith and investigate those strange lights we saw last night. I’ve looked at the map and I calculate they emanated not a mile distant, from a place called Gibbet Wood on Gallows Hill.”

With our friend and associate Ayres, we made our hurried plans and by half past three that afternoon, Gorilla Bananas drew us up in the castle courtyard to inspect our equipment. In order to travel light, we had foregone our alpenstocks, climbing gear and the religious accoutrements in favour of a generous hamper of provisions, lest we should get caught on the moor and miss supper.

Ayres and I were to carry the hamper between us while Bananas would orienteer with map and compass.

The weather had dramatically lifted and was now at its Devon best: damp sunshine with the promise of early evening drizzle.
Satisfied with our preparations, the remarkable ape declared we were ready for departure and our trio set off across the moor, bickering, as is the English tradition, about who should have brought the mustard spoon and who the first aid kit.

We had not gone three furlongs from the castle gate when we encountered our first disquieting experience.

There in a delightful hollow was the reprobate butler, Eater, picnicking with the young American Miss Lindy. He the servant, was busily buttering her buns and spreading honey on her muffin with the back of a spoon.
Together, they had researched the meaning of the Japanese ideogram found in the American bibliophile’s book.
“quality inspected. # 23” was the puzzling translation.

Eater was far from pleased at our sudden arrival, and started back from his labours. Although his black eye had now subsided, he regarded Ayres with particular suspicion and pointedly remained out of the latter’s reach. I am afraid to confess that his familiar manner with Miss Lindy and his insolent attitude to us, his betters, infuriated me.

He addressed us with a mouth full of jam and crumpet.

“Forgive me Sir Kim, I hardly recognised you with your trousers on.”

His remark brought forth the most delightful chuckle from Miss Lindy-K. This was too much. I had to score a point back for Ayres’ honour.

“Yes, well, you were privileged, Mr Eater,” I returned in hot indignation, “his legs although short, were often remarked as the finest at college! Especially his thighs. Weren’t they Ayres?”

I was immediately rewarded by another chuckle from Miss Lindy, this time obviously at the butler’s expense, who now seemed to be choking on his teabread. I turned in humble triumph to my companions but Ayres and Bananas merely looked at me in silence, too gallant to press home our advantage.

“If you would point us to our path” said Bananas smiling, “we’ll trouble you no longer.”

We had not gone a further furlong and I was engaging Ayres in conversation to lighten the burden that hung between us, perhaps two hampers would have been better;

“Taught that fellow a lesson in life I fancy,” I said brightly.
“Why on earth did you mention my legs Maroon?” he asked.
“Don’t be so modest Ayres,” I replied.
“Yes but now he thinks…”
“Stop!” said Bananas lifting his leathery palm, “Look. Up at that copse. Do you see it?”
He was pointing to a coppice on the skyline, his nostrils flaring in that way of his.
“There. Moving through the trees!” he exclaimed

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Beggars' Banquet

How fortunate we are in our position. Today being the 15th Day of August, it is the Feast of the Assumption, as I’m sure we all knew. Today we celebrate the passing of the Blessed Mother from this earth and her assumption into the Kingdom of Heaven. Now here, in this sun-bleached town, there will be a procession.
You’ve surely seen the films on Holiday ‘87 and so on. Frank Bough and Nestor watching in suburban bemusement as the firecrackers and the statue of Mary, carried shoulder high by handsome young men in white shirts, passes by, and all the while unknown to us, Frank was thinking of cocaine and getting tied up by nubile girls! Beastly Frank and his tank tops.
Anyway I digress. A procession will wind past this most agreeable of oases on its way to the tiny church up the road. It’s one of the biggest days in the year for this little town and like all the best religious feasts, we, along with the population, will feel an honest purity for the couple of hours that the procession and quick Mass will take. But even in our state of grace, we will know in the dark kernel of our mortal hearts, just like Frank, that the feasting will begin soon after, and then all bets are off.
Can you hear the drumbeats? Look there! They are coming round the corner and making their way up the hill towards us.

All eyes have turned in the direction of the saintly clamour. All eyes that is, except for two.
Out on the white desolation of the flagged patio, under a huge golden parasol advertising the holy brew of St Miguel, sits an exiled Irishman reading last night’s results from Limerick.

At specific points on the journey, the statue stops, takes a bow, turns around amid the firecrackers and rockets, and starts up again. It seems to be floating in the crowd on its own. It’s drawing near now, the rhythmic singing and the incence and the foreign faces and the rockets. Native and visitor alike are swaying, being drawn into the ceremonial, on some innate level it’s all making sense.
The moment is only a little spoiled by the bustling arrival of a Scotsman (judging by the tartan scarf and the heather sellotaped to his rucksack.) His feast started at 10:30 this morning.
He is tearfully reading a text message on his infernal cellphone. He is singing: “If you hate the Glasgow Polis, clap your hands…”.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

There’s a small boy in the street. He’s leaning way over, trying to make himself immovable. His free hand is pointing at the toyshop window. His other is held fast in the lady‘s glove. She is the irresistible force. She’s moving down the street, late for something. As the tantrum starts, she conjures a ‘present for a good boy’ from her handbag. The small boy is entranced and follows to heel.
That’s me that is. The small boy.
This place, and all us lot, we happy band of convivial souls, are the toyshop, do you see?
And the irresistible lady with the entrancing presents for a good boy, that would lead me away from you for so long?
Is an irresistible lady with entrancing presents for a good boy.

Anyway, enough….

The Beggars’ Banquet.

Come, gentles all, for our table is near set. Soon the platters will be brought, piled high with all you could want. What is more, the curtain is about to lift on something that you should see. So a quick group hug, huddle in, and we’re off!

This time our stage is set in the summer heat of Castile, in a particularly hot summer, this very one in fact. We shall be as unobtrusive as an English tour group out at noon. I shall play the tour guide and you shall follow my raised umbrella. It will be our standard. Only eat the tapas if it’s cooked. We’ve seen the city walls, we’ve seen the old Moorish town, we’ve seen the cathedrals old and new. How about a lunchtime reviver? Let’s step from the loud heat echoing off the pavement, into the quiet cool of this charming establishment. We shall sit here, where we can watch everything. Oh look, how lucky, just in time for midday happy hour. Come, fill both your cups, and we’ll see what’s to be seen.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

“Look into my eyes. The eyes. The eyes. Don’t look around the eyes. Look into my eyes.

Three, two, one…….
You’re under!

When you wake, you will feel refreshed and revitalised.
World poverty will be a thing of the past.
You will realise that the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are glad we came.
The weapons of mass destruction were found and destroyed.
The minor differences between Israel and her neighbours are not your concern…

Three, two, one……….
You’re back in the room!“