Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It’s You Isn’t It?

Now I’m not trying to say that I’m Mr Unforgettable; that I’m one of those people who, when met once, emblazons himself onto everybody’s consciousness for all perpetuity with a light that never goes out. But I like to think I impinge just a little bit on those around me. That I leave a slight impression on the memory. Even if it is only to recognize my face as opposed to my name.

Years ago I did an evening class at the local college – French beginner’s level. It only lasted a year but was pretty intensive and a good deal of fun. Our tutor was a strange Francophile whose name I forget (yes, I know, people in glass houses and all that) and who rode a bicycle around town like a Victorian lady wrestling with the idea that she ought to be riding side saddle for the sake of propriety.

She still rides that same bicycle in the same manner and I still see her every few weeks as she pushes those pedals round and round like a Gerry Anderson puppet attempting to walk realistically.

We’ve always caught each other’s eyes and smiled and nodded at each other in mutual acknowledgement.

You taught me French, I think to myself.

And I imagine that in her head she’s thinking, I taught that young ruffian French.

Well, on Monday she drew up on her bike at a junction and as I was close enough to speak I thought I’d say hello – or even bon jour – and swap pleasantries.

All seemed to go well at first.

“Are you still at the college?” she asked.

“Why, yes,” I replied, “I’m just completing a course in Level 1 Sign Language as it happens.”

She looked a bit askance. Like what I’d said wasn’t quite right.

“Are you still teaching as well, then?” She asked.

Eh? Teaching? “Er. No.” I replied. “You taught me French?” I said rather plaintively.

A look of recognition passed over her face. Not recognition of me; recognition that she’d made a mistake. “Oh sorry.” She apologized. “I thought you were David the woodwork teacher.”

David? Woodwork?

“No.” I said rather stiffly. “You taught me French.” I believe I may have growled that last bit.

I could see her thinking zut alors and praying for the lights to turn to green. Things had got suddenly uncomfortable so I said a quick goodbye and stomped off up the street wishing I’d learnt a few more German swear words when I was at school.

So there you go. Not only do I not speak French well enough to stand out in her mind as a star pupil but I also look like a ‘Dave’ and look like I might be able to make myself useful with a dowelling rod.

Honestly. My ego has hit le fond du baril.

And yes. I had to Google that.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Suicidal Tendencies

No, don’t worry. I’m not thinking about attaching a hoover pipe to the car exhaust and gassing myself. Or indeed casting myself into the River Leam with my clothes left by the roadside accompanied by a note reading “goodbye cruel world”. (Given the Leam I’d be more likely to die by poisoning than drowning anyway).

I’m talking about that urge that most of us get at one time or another to stick your head above the parapet. To go “over the top” in World War I parlance. To deliberately step into the gun sights of assassins that you know are just waiting for an opportunity to take a pop at you.

For years, man and boy, I’ve been one of the shrinking violets. One of those conscientious people that, if alive 200 years ago, would have doffed their hat to Dorcas Lane and spoke in hushed tones of the quality toffs that lived in Candleford. I’d like to blame my working class upbringing. I know my place and all that crap. But actually that’s rubbish. When I was a kid being working class was already about cocking a snook at the middle and upper classes and speaking of them scathingly in the snug of the local pub.

But nevertheless I was brought up to respect those in authority over me. Not just to respect but also not to question. That’s quite a telling distinction.

I’ve never been able to rid myself of that whole thought process – that mind trap – until recently.

I don’t know what’s happened over the last few years – well, I do: I’ve had kids, finally got my University degree, had experience of running my own fledgling business – but suddenly that invidious bit of mind programming has been broken. The algorithms no longer work for me.

And the inherited fear that was part and parcel of that mindset has also dissipated.

I’m suddenly thinking so what? I’m suddenly questioning not just why but also why should I? Why me and nobody else?

And best of all: isn’t there something better? Why not do what I want to do?

It’s a heady brew all this jumping around with a big target painted on my chest. Years ago my natural sense of self preservation would have had me diving into the nearest Anderson Shelter. Now I want to just shit down the air-hole of everybody else’s.

I’m starting to realize that in some [bad] situations you actually have very little to lose if it all goes tits up. So why worry? Why care? Why take it?

Dangerous thinking.

But don’t worry. I might be mooning at the enemy troops out here in No Man’s Land but I have no intention of putting a pistol to my own head either.

I’m just saying that the smile on my face is a knowing one. Not an insane one.



Friday, June 24, 2011

CSI Leamington Spa

Yo. Rookie. Get your butt over here.

See this badge? I’m DCI McBlake and I’m gonna be the mutha who’s gonna be ripping off your head and spitting down your neck for the next 3 weeks until this case is closed. Capiche?

Whazzat? This ain’t the 80’s no more, you say? Wise guy, huh? Just push your jacket sleeves up to your elbows and walk your cheap loafers over here. You might learn something.

See, that there? Know what that is? A toilet stall? You’re half right, bozo. It’s a crime scene is what that is. This is the crime that has got the boys in the lab clawing their eyes out through their Medisave goggles.

We’ve lost approximately 14 this last week alone. Bodies? Are you nuts? Does this look like a homicide investigation? I’m talking loo rolls, son. Bog paper. Hole roll. Shit ticket. Some scrote has been coming in here, breaking into the loo roll dispensers and walking out with bog standard (if you’ll excuse the pun) 2-ply toilet paper and leaving the other patrons wishing they’d worn a longer tie to work today.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue. It is our job to track down this Izal sniffing pervert and see that he is appropriately apprehended and his paper snaffling days put firmly behind him. If we don’t we’ll be looking at a skid mark epidemic the like of which the world has never seen. Before you know it there’ll be a shortage of haemorrhoid cream and Top Man boxer shorts and then where will we be?

Back to Y-fronts is where. Try and keep up with me, son. Geez, I thought you were on the fast track straight out of Hendon?

I want these stalls dusted for fingerprints. I want casts made of the shit prints. I want DNA samples taken from the various effluvia that you see deposited around the toilet bowl. And yes those pipettes are standard issue. Get to it, son. I don’t keep a dog and bark myself.

Now to catch our man we’re gonna have to be a bit clever. We’re gonna have to get inside his head and think like him. Why does he want all this toilet paper? Could he have a bad case of Delhi belly? Well, it’s possible given the proliferation of curry houses in the district but when you got liquid fire running out of your bomb bay doors the first thing you reach for is an ice pack, not cheap loo paper made from recycled packing crates. Could he be selling it on the black market? It’s possible. Check our database for any Andrex puppy owners who are known to be making loo paper adverts at this current time.

Has he got some kind of weird sexual loo paper fetish that makes him want to insulate his entire body the better to contain and preserve his pubescent secretions? You betcha bottom dollar, kid. No, no need to say it. I can see we’re singing from the same hymn sheet. I can see that disgust written large all over your face. Well, maybe, just maybe there’s something about you after all, son.

So we need to trap this dirtbag. We need to get him to reveal his identity so we can swoop down on him like the ungodly angels of vengeance that we undoubtedly are. It says so right here on my Met badge. Ungodly. Angel. Of. Justice. Whoops, sorry, kid, that’s my Blockbusters membership card. Never mind that. See this? Know what this is?

No, it ain’t marijuana. It’s itching powder. Itching powder, dumbass. You get sprinkling it all over those loo rolls and then stick ‘em back into that there loo roll holder.

Some poor fool is gonna have himself a crack attack so bad he’s gonna rip a 5ft hole into his own arsehole. And when that happens we’ll be right here ready to jump on in.

We’re gonna get covered in glory on this one and no mistake, son.

Why you looking at me like that? Just button your lip and get sprinkling.

Boy, I could sure use a chocolate donut round about now...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Interesting to note David Cameron’s recent U-turn on UK prison sentencing.

For those of you that are out of the loop, the initial premise was very loosely based around the idea that an early guilty plea would have seen the subsequent prison sentence of the defendant reduced by 50%.

Which is rather a bizarre idea.

I mean, if I go on a teeth gnashing machete rampage around Lidl next Wednesday and get caught on their CCTV system decapitating the Store Detective with a frozen monkfish I would expect a hefty prison sentence. A good 30 years or so. But by coughing to it straight away - look, it’s a fair cop, I’m covered in blood, I stink of fish and you’ve got me bang to rights on camera - I could get that sentence drastically reduced. A good 15 years taken off. Possibly more for good behaviour.

Where’s the deterrent in that? I might as well take out a couple of the checkout girls as well. Kind of a serial killing BOGOF.

It’s not hard to imagine that Cameron was getting it hard and fast from all quarters (just like being in the prison showers) – hence the sudden U-turn.

But I bet the police were the first to complain to the Government too.

I mean, cutting sentences by half? That would undo all the hard work the police do fitting people up.

Just imagine.

You’ve planted evidence. You’ve employed the old ‘orange in the mouth and Tesco bag over the head’ instant confession technique and your chosen blagger has coughed to a list of crimes that would make Jake Arnott yank one off over his computer keyboard and then you realize that the 30 years you were hoping to drop onto your poor patsy have been instantly commuted to a measly 15.

Where the hell is the justice in that?

You’d be better off having the guy deny all knowledge and stubbornly plead not guilty in the light of all the evidence you have carefully fabricated against him.

At least that way if he does go down for a crime he didn’t commit he’s going to go down for the full 30.

I hope Cameron realizes how close this country just came to complete anarchy.

Innocent people getting their prison sentences halved by lying in court and pleading guilty to crimes that they haven't committed?!

That’s perjury, that is.

And is punishable by a custodial prison sentence.

But not, of course, if you plead guilty early...


Monday, June 20, 2011

Luck Be A Lady

Me and Lady Luck, we’ve never been constant. Never arm in arm for long. I’ve never been sure of whose fault it is but, for all it’s nice when we’re together, one of us (and I’m casting no aspersions here) can’t keep it up.

Things go sour very quickly and then we part. We go our separate ways.

Take when I was a kid. I didn’t win a Penny Chew for years and then one summer week at Weymouth Carnival I won three prizes on the raffle in a single day. Three.

And then nothing. Absolutely nothing ever again.

Until recently.

Because over the last month Lady Luck plainly took a shine to my blogging exploits and hooked up with me once more. We were an item once again. I couldn’t move but she was there shaking her tush at me and winking, "Fancy a punt?" Not ‘alf!

First, thanks to a mini competition at Don’t Panic. RTFM I won this:

I think of it as the George Formby grill. And not just because anything I cook on it will probably end up looking like a chamois leather.

And then last week Lady Luck hit me with her twin bazookas and thanks to Bringing Up Charlie I won the following two prizes:


Chocolate and Lego. For me, that’s like the Ark of the Covenant and The Holy Grail. Luck, I love you and you can shake those tassles in my face as hard and as fast as you like.

I was on a roll. I could feel it. Dead cert. No shit.

So on Saturday I bought one of these:

Going for the big one, oh yes.

And then Monday morning I headed into work as sodding usual.

Luck, you’re a fickle bitch.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I did something last week.

Something unexpected and amazing. Possibly even a little daring but in all honesty I can't recall what it was.

I just know I did something.

Something so hot and entertaining that half the world came round for a look.

My blog stats went (for me) through the roof. No more a mere 150 visits a day. We were talking 500+. And it went on all week. 7 days of mass(ish) interest. I felt like a porn site (but the wife was looking over my shoulder).

My God, I thought, I've bloody made it. I'm piloting my madcap moon rocket to the blogging moon. My blog has got vajazzled and everybody wants to come and get a slice of the action.

Man, I was shaking my blogging booty!

They'll all be coming to me now, I thought. Megabucks advertizing deals. Publishers. Film producers. The pizza boy from Domino's (I'd ordered a pepperoni special).

But then it all died away.

Just like that.

Zip. Nadda.

I have no idea why. It was like I was popular for about 7 days and then the halo of coolness floated away and found someone else's head to crown.

My vajazzle plainly wasn't good enough, wasn't long lasting enough. The slice of my pie wasn't tasty enough for a second sitting.

I'm back to a mere 100+ visits per day again.

Back to obscurity.

Back to my unadorned, unenhanced self.

Back to the way nature intended.


Oh piss-flaps!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Road Reluctantly Travelled

Is it normal to take the long way round on your journey to work?

To delay the inevitable?

I can remember, years ago, back when my pass badge was shiny and the photo printed on it featured a young man bristling with enthusiasm and a full bead, that I would march to work with a spring in my step and a skip in my stride. So much so that one day a motorcycle traffic cop, a builder and a Native American Indian in full head-dress accosted me in the street and asked me to join their colourful band of deep throated singers.

I declined but now I’m wondering if that was a wise career move.

Because the spring has been replaced with a shoulder droop and the skip has been replaced with a foot drag reminiscent of someone who’s been hitched up to a chain gang. For those of you who are familiar with the work of Charlie & Lola... I have developed a “Lola walk”. The kind she employs when life is particularly bad. When she’s lost her satchel or ripped her Lelli Kellys.

And I am starting to take the ‘long way round’ to work.

It started with a few detours around the block. Alternative routes that covered more or less the same ground but from a different direction.

But then I started to become more adventurous. I started pushing the temporal envelope, pushing the flexibility of my start time. I started going all round the houses. Started trying to listen to entire album’s worth of music on my MP3 player (bear in mind that the journey at its quickest takes a mere 15 minutes). Started searching for old ladies to help across the road and refusing to go into work until I’d found one. In the end I had to improvise. I had to dress up as an old lady myself and help myself across the road. Have you any idea how long it takes to cross a road when your colostomy bag isn’t properly fastened?

Now, I fear, I am taking things too far. I am booking trains to Manchester and wondering if I can get in a bit of shopping before I head into the office. I am eyeing up flights to New York because I figure that paying my respects at Ground Zero would be an honourable way to start my working day.

Is this normal?

Is this behaviour indicative of some, as yet, unnamed malaise?

Answers on a job application form to the normal address, please.


Monday, June 13, 2011


Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never made a penny from my internet presence. Not a dime. Not a peanut.

For some reason Bravissimo don’t consider my physique at all suitable to advertise their buoyant range of bras and glandular support devices – this despite my enthusiastic championing of all the marvellous work they do – and so my pleading to feature one of their banner ads on my web site fell on deaf ears. Even after I’d offered to do it for next to nothing.

Clearly their business brains are suffering from a poor blood supply. They might want to consider a cross-your-heart bra in future.

So I had reconciled myself to a life of non-monetary recompense for all my wonderful web work. I even turned it into a virtue.

Ha! Let others whore and sell themselves for baby wear lines and cholesterol lowering products. For me it is all about the writing. The written word. The art, my luvies, the art.

And then Marks & Spencer – or rather an advertising agency working for Marks & Spencer - approached me via email and offered to pay me $90 (yes, you heard that right: $90) just to feature a text link to their wine page on my main web site, pocketropolis, for a year.

Ha! I thought. Easy money if it’s kosher.

‘Cos I must admit I was a bit dubious about the payment actually being made. Despite my Willo The Wisp and fairy light demeanour (ahem) I am a cynical soul who wouldn’t so much look a gift horse in the mouth as give it a CT scan.

But – and this is what persuaded me – I haven’t updated pocketropolis in about 2 years. I’ve neglected it badly. It’s like a garden slowly going to seed. You know how it is – too many other pressing things to do; too many other creative projects, work, kids, life. But nevertheless this is where M&S and their advertising lackey wanted the link. Not on my blog (whose stats are looking so good they could be on a catwalk). But on my main web site that is starting to resemble a torched car left on a roadside in Essex.

Money for old rope then. (Hey, wonder if Bravissimo have ever thought about designing a bra made from old rope?)

So I added the text link. Not exactly in pride of place. And waited for payment.

It took a while. The old cynic in me began to hover its index finger over the delete key. All those prompt replies from the lackey when they were chasing me had stopped. I heard nothing for days.

And then just when I was about to give up the money arrived electronically.

Real money.

Just over £50 given the current crap exchange rate.

Shit. I’ve finally made money out of this internet thing. Money for nothing. My chics for free.


And I don’t feel like I had to hack off a bit of my soul and hide it in an old locket for Harry Potter to find at a later date either.

It’s good. I think I have the bug. Now I want to make some real money. Big bucks. Amounts that would make a Swiss banker cry.

See, I have this idea for a web site... kind of a social networking thing where people can upload photos and tag people in them only I’ll assume copyright of all their images and then secretly deploy face recognition software which can be abused by third parties to identify everybody on the site and all of them can pay me loads of money to trample all over everybody else’s human rights...

Cool, huh?

Or do I need to hack off a bit more of my soul before I'm able to leap onto the Facebook bandwagon?

P.S. I was going to illustrate this post with a nice picture of a fulsomely filled bra. A rope bra. 'Cos it would fit the gag I made above. I typed "rope bra" into Google's image search.

Sweet Gee Zus. I thought I'd seen everything and could stomach about the same.

You learn something new everyday.

I need to start practising my double carrick bend.

It's a type of knot (in case you were wondering).


Friday, June 10, 2011

Forget Orange Wednesday... This Is Technicolor Yawn Friday

Phoning in sick.

We’ve all done it. Sometimes we’ve even been genuinely ill.

Most of the time though, I bet we’ve all been swinging the lead. Pulling a fast one. Pulling a flanker. Gilding the lily. We’ve had a slight cough. A teeny-tiny headache. A bit of a sniffle. Nothing to put us on our backs. And we know this because although we don’t feel up to work we’re quite happy to stay at home, play on the Wii and surf for dodgy German web sites on the internet.

Physically we’re capable of work but we just can’t be arsed.

So we pull a sickie.

The subtle protest of the working man who is wise enough to know that his masters deserve to be given the finger occasionally. Because they pull sickies worse than anybody.

And it occurred to me today that, in this neon-lit, plastic-wrapped world of Bluetooth technology, there really ought to be an App for that.

A Ferris Bueller’s Day Off kind of app.

An app where you can ring your boss / wife / lawyer / sergeant / hairdresser / vet for the insane and explain to them that you will not be in attendance today due to [insert ailment of your choice here] and then supply them with the appropriate sound effect. Just to drive the point home and convince them of your bona fide need for a day at home on the sick.

Now if there isn’t an app like that then I am up for making one.

And this is where you guys come in. I need someone to supply the sound effects. I have provided a list of what I require below but do feel free to add your own suggestions. I always find that the more bizarre and outlandish my claims the more my boss is predisposed to swallow them as gospel. And do feel free to use props if it helps and I’d prefer the files to be mp3 if at all possible. Now, I’m running this on a first come first served basis so I suggest you get in quick before all the good ones go...

1) Whooping cough / consumption
2) Vomiting (apparently gagging on vegetable soup is a dead-ringer)
3) Diarrhea / the galloping squits (please remember to include groaning and then vast splashing noises as if someone has performed a water bomb in the local swimming pool)
4) Prolapsed sphincter (apparently ripping a cotton shirt and then screaming will plant the appropriate image into a anybody’s mind)
5) Having a baby (wouldn’t try this excuse if you are male)
6) Delivering a baby (hey, but this would work)
7) Going on a gun rampage because well, the police, they’ve got it coming, ain’t they?
8) Stigmata (maybe say “ow!” and drop the phone a lot)
9) Hysterical womb (only works if your boss is a bit Victorian)
10) Unplanned for amputation of foot with garden spade
11) Advanced stages of E.coli poisoning (more believable if you were seen eating in the staff canteen the day before)
12) Temporary insanity (you will lose points if you don’t utter the words: wibble wibble)
13) Sudden recruitment to Islamic fundamentalist group
14) Elephantiasis of the tongue
15) Sexual exhaustion (kudos if your boss buys this)
16) Impalement on the kitchen implement of your choice
17) Rabies
18) Scabies
19) Rickets
20) Cuthbert Dibble Grubb (sorry, lost my train of thought there)

Yeah. I ran out of ideas towards the end but you get the picture.

Just make them sound good folks because we’re all entitled to approximately 12 days off sick per year. Well, I am anyway. Let’s make sure we all get them!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

But I Only Had Four

Possibly I am being paranoid. Possibly I am being over-sensitive. Possibly I have developed a heightened siege mentality that is even now interpreting everybody’s cheery salutations as ballistae and cannon set upon bringing about my imminent downfall.

But this is chocolate we’re talking about here and it don’t get more personal than that.

My addiction to the cocoa bean is legendary. Not just around the workplace but worldwide too. I have in my possession a personal letter of apology from the Kraft MD for their callous take-over of Cadbury’s and a promise that they will not (upon pain of death) fudge the recipe for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

Actually I faked that letter but that’s not the point.

A big bag of chocolates were brought into the workplace on Monday for all us office types to share. I did, I admit, feel a slight modicum of guilt as I threw one of these chocs down my throat for I had actually paid Cadbury World a visit the previous week with my wife and kids and I had brought nothing back for my work colleagues at all. Not a bean. Literally.

In my defence I had limited funds, don’t give a jot for my work colleagues and tend to put my loved one’s first in matters of chocolate.

So sod ‘em.

But plainly there is a work colleague here whose grip on their chocolate is weaker than mine. The bag of chocolate was deemed fair game.

By the lunchtime of the first day though it had disappeared. It had been locked away to be “preserved for those work colleagues who were not on duty today but would be in attendance tomorrow”.

The unspoken accusation being that people currently on duty would, if given continued carte blanche, wallop the entire supply of chocolate down their masticating gizzards without a second thought for those colleagues who couldn’t be arsed to come into work today and grab themselves a piece with their own fair hands.

Well, tough. I say, sod ‘em again.

However, being of known chocoholic persuasion it was hard not to take the withdrawal of chocolate privileges as a personal attack. Infamy, infamy, they’ve got in for me, etc.

Now, I know for a fact that in the particular bag of chocolates that had been brought into the office there must easily be approximately 40 pieces of chocolate. I know this for a fact because my wife and I made our way through an identical bag at home last week (over the course of several days I hasten to add) and kept a rough tally on how many were in there.

I only had 4 chocolates out of the bag in the office. 4, goddammit. 4 out of 40+.

There are 7 of us in the office which means, if we were being mathematically fair, we were each entitled to 5.71 pieces of chocolate. 5.71. That’s practically 6 each and I doubt if even Professor Brian Cox would quibble with my maths.

I only had 4.

I had less than someone else in the office. But I feel like I am the one being persecuted.

Why? Why do they persecute me?

I hope they all find themselves on the road to Damascus soon.

I am more sinned against that sinning.

Honest. Now I feel so low I could do with a Boost.


Monday, June 06, 2011

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

So I’m back at work.

I’m back up to my neck in petty bureaucracy, ropey plumbing and orang-utan arsed contractors.

The familiar smell of my workstation – Tipp-ex, chocolate, wood polish and cyanide (I will find a use for those capsules one day, I promise you) is not acting as a balm. One expects a little residual sourness when one returns to work after a holiday but the rising torrent of acid that is currently bubbling away in my gorge (oo-er) is alarming to say the least.

How am I keeping myself sane? You may very well ask.

Current favourite coping strategy is to indulge in a spot of dark fantasizing.

No. Not of that sort, you mucky minded lot...

I am not really a building supervisor for a local government authority.

I am a sleeper agent.

I am here to dismantle the system, the authoritarian regime that maintains law & order and regulates the price of DVDs in this capitalist nanny state. You see me sitting here, searching Google Maps for the nearest Jewson’s outlet, never realising that I am in fact subtlely interrogating Google Earth for the wherewithal to gain access to this country’s great edifices of power.

But I am not sure, at this point in time, what exactly those edifices are.

I thought it might be 10 Downing Street but mentally I have this confused with Billy Smart’s circus. My ‘controller’ is pushing me to apprehend the nerds that run Twitter but I suspect they might be a little out of my jurisdiction. Besides which, I use Twitter to further my own socialist manifesto so suspect my ‘controller’ might be a double agent. Or at the very least Ryan Giggs. Either way, not to be trusted.

However, the perks are pretty good. I have excellent ball control.

Unlike Ryan.

I am of course building a dirty bomb beneath my desk. My work colleagues no doubt think I am up to something seedy and unpalatable with a sheet of bubble wrap and an old copy of Hello magazine but really I am constructing a weapon of such awesome destructive power that Harold Camping has snapped his Casio pocket calculator clean in half and is currently sobbing into his Gideon’s Bible. Once I’ve inserted the last paperclip you’re all for it.

I am looking around the office. Taking careful note of the photocopier, the stationery cupboard, the water cooler. Noting their location.

‘Cos tomorrow they won’t be here. Instead their atomized remains will be spread across a 10 mile wide crater, at the centre of which will be the smoking remains of my desk and my sock suspenders.

I may bequeath my hole-punch to someone before it is too late.

Oh what the hell. It’s too good for any of them anyway.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes.

There’s dog poo outside the building.

By ‘eck, I needs must get me shovel.

It’s so nice to be back at work.