“I Hope You Get Cancer” – Frankie Boyle Live at New Theatre Oxford

WARNING: This post contains adult themes and explicit language

Now, let me start by stating the obvious, I don’t want anyone to get Cancer! But it certainly got your attention didn’t it? It also maybe gave you an indication of how “inappropriate” some of the content in this post may be. So if jokes about Cancer or AIDS or Pedophilia aren’t your bag, do us both a favour… Don’t read on… Because this review-of-sorts of Frankie Boyle’s ‘Hurt Like You’ve Never Been Loved‘ tour may not be for you…

Frankie Boyle, even at his most polite, isn’t a “family friendly” comic. This is a man who was banned by the BBC because he once said on stage “I thought the only way they’d let me back on the BBC was if I shagged a child” But despite not being as mass-marketable like others in his line of work, such as Michael McIntyre or John Bishop, Boyle is still very popular – A fact that was made very evident by the fact that despite being extremely politically incorrect, he sold out his show in Oxford. Even if it meant fans driving down from London or Redding or god knows where else, as many had seemed to have done.

Continue reading

What A Marwell-ous Day At the Zoo

Right, well, another Zoo post… I’m really making a habit of these aren’t I? Well… No regrets!!! : D

Here are some of my favourite shots from a visit to Marwell Zoo, in the English county of Hampshire. Tickets were quite affordable, compared to say ZSL, but then it was quite a drive away to get to. It wasn’t the sunny day one hopes for on a visit to the Zoo, but then it is England ; p


Quite honestly, Marwell was amazing. The animals had great enclosures and I’m sure during the summer it must be quite a sight to see many of them roaming in shared habitats. If you love near by or are planning a trip in that direction, take a day and go. You won’t regret it.

A Day at Whipsnade Zoo

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog you’ll know that I like, once in a while, to try my hand at photography. Now, I am by no means a professional. Barely even an amateur. But I do manage to get the odd picture or two that I can look at years on and feel quite pleased with.

One of my favourite things in the world to photograph is animals, and while I’d much rather photograph them in the wild, being a city a boy I rarely get the opportunity. So it is a delightful treat when I convince a friend to accompany me to the local Zoo.

Knowing of my love for the furry, slimy, scary and cuddly, a very dear friend decided to take me to Whipsnade Zoo, located in Bedfordshire. And I must say, if you haven’t been, you really should try to get out there. It is just breathtakingly gorgeous and seeing so many of the animals roaming in their large enclosures really warmed my heart. Many of the smaller herbivores were even roaming free about the whole compound, which was an especial treat! It may not be the great plains and jungles many of them are accustomed to, but it’s nice to see them being treated well. Or as well as can be hoped.

I hope some of these pictures inspire you to patronise this establishment for yourself. And take it from me, if you’re a real animal buff, get the ZSL Membership – 3 trips to either Whipsnade or the London Zoo and it’ll have paid for itself.

An Afternoon at the Museum(s)

Despite spending a wonderful year in Oxford I had not, much to my chagrin, visited the two linked museums in oxford – the Natural History Museum and the Pitt Rivers. So a few days past, thanks to the prodding of a very dear friend, I finally made the excursion to see the muss and fuss (and of course the Shrunken Heads!)

What followed was a realisation that these two museums are severely lacking in space. Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to imply that they were by any means shoddy or architecturally minuscule… Rather I make such a comment simply to make more dramatic the point (as is my habit ; p) that the institutions are absolutely bursting with an amazingly diverse collection of artefacts, fossils and various bits and bobs. While I have had the pleasure of visiting many museums, none made so vigorous an effort to catalogue the minutia of human existence as did the Pitt Rivers. And the Museum of Natural History can boast many wonders of its own… From masks to games to arms to cosmetics – the various displays house thousands of little pieces of the human story.

But it’s not all tiny puzzle pieces of the grander human experiment (apologies for the mixed metaphor). There is also much for the less anthropologically inclined, such as dinosaur fossils, various extinct species of animals and a fairly decent collection of stuffed animals. Admittedly I did not spend much time in Natural History Museum, owing most to the fact that I found it difficult to stare at the stuffed remains of so many beautiful creatures, which I would have given much to see in the wild. Sadly for many of us, and especially generations to come, stuffed and mounted is probably the only way many of them will ever be seen.

My personal thoughts on conservation and preservation aside, the Pitt Rivers is a wonderful family friendly afternoon that I encourage all of you in or about Oxford to drop in on. Admission is free and you can even enjoy a nice picnic in the garden out front.

For more details about visiting and what’s on go to Pitt Rivers Museum or Natural History Museum sites.

Once More

Once more they rode
Through gaping maw
Strapped but with their wits and everlasting souls

Knowing they would returned changed
Some chipped, some halved
None whole

Each man stood
In his fate alone
As they strode on together

Some stiffening recalcitrant lips
Some quiet
Some hoping for better weather

The church bells rang
Staffs were gripped
As nerves and strengths were beckoned

This is your chance
Each soldier thought
You’ll receive no second

March on forward to your fate
First the left foot
Then the right

Now there is no retreat
Now we march
Now we fight

Once more once more
The general cried
Soon promised lands we’ll reach

Once more young warrior poet
Once more
Unto the breach

The First Frost

Why do we struggle so much
To find something wrong
In a world so beautiful
These were the words that rang through his head

The wind whipped past his ears
The cold snapped upon his knuckles
The frost fell upon his lips
“Beautiful!” he said

His steps upon the white pathways
Hidden soon as he stepped away
Like he had never even been there
Like he had never even tread

Dancing in the lightfall
It sang to him once more
You may not have what you thought you want
But you have this instead

Another reason to smile
To try
To stay
To wed

To a new world
A new life
A new love
Waiting ahead

And in that moment it all melted away
Their words
Her smile
That stare
As he fell upon his bed

Feliz Navidad

A friendly festive season
From bitter cold to balmy warm
From trimming trees with chilly breeze
To where mass and masses are the norm

I feel the love of so many
Family and friends, old and new
If I bet, I’ve some regrets
But only very few

In the quad and by the piano
There are carols all round
Warm wishes, festive dishes
And such happiness found

There are presents and lights
And the Christmas spirit is flowing
Warm hugs, heart tugs
And a nose that is glowing

A beautiful Christmas Tree
With merry tinsel tied
Plush and green, oh so keen
Making me happy inside

Tis the time of giving
Giving warmth and gifts and joy
Tis the season, to find a reason
To spread love to every girl and boy

So from a boy with so many places
Which home he could now call
What more to say, happy holidays
And Merry Christmas to you all

Once Bitten

Once bitten, twice shy
Twice bitten
Should I ask why?

Too much, yet not enough
But close enough
To feel, to touch

Almost there, but not quite
Not quite all
But always right?

Everything, yet no thing at all
Some kind of thing
Known not what to call

Uncertain, confused
But refused

Once bitten, twice shy
Twice bitten
Wish I knew why

A Fork in the Road

I travel a path well laid
With promises and expectations known
With costs few, and dues paid
With futures seen and plans made
I travel, this path I was shown

But in traveling I have heard of another way
Approaching in a fork ahead
This road has many tolls to pay
And where it ends I could not say
But it begins, to call my tread

For this new path has temptations of love
Of happiness and new glories
It shows opportunity to see new stars above
Of a new world to be part of
Of amazing, and thrilling stories

Now I know not which path I’ll take
Though I’m afraid in the end
With uncertainty in my wake
And a life not lived at stake
I might break, if I don’t bend

I have frosty words ringing in my ear
And yet many miles to go
I have sorrow and I have fear
But also happiness and cheer
And where I’ll end up, who knows

The Voice

Do you know what the definition of insanity is Joseph?” the voice said, in an almost soothing tone, “It’s trying the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”

It is in fact one of the most remarkable traits of the human race. We just don’t know when to give up.” The voice said, moving to the far left corner of the room; away from the near limp body secured to a wooden chair, under a single flickering bulb. And as the dark figure from which it exuded stood there, silent for a moment, Joe felt like the room was empty. And for one brief moment he was alone. But sadly only for a moment. “Surely by now you see that you can end this pain Joseph. Just tell me what I want to hear.”

Continue reading