The photo above was taken about 100 years ago. The photo below was taken last month by me. They both show the same place taken from as near to the same angle as I could get. The Barley Mow is a pub in my home town of Runcorn, Cheshire, England.
I just came back from Porto Pollenca in Majorca. My camera isn’t working since it was involved in a freak mayonnaise accident so I have no photographs of the trip. It’s boring hearing about other people’s holidays anyway so I’m going to tell you about the book I read while I was away instead. I wasn’t a huge fan of Frankie Boyle’s although I’d laughed at him on Mock the Week a few times but I got his book from my 3 year old daughter Alice as a Father’s Day present (I think it was the title My Shit Life So Far that caught her eye) and so took it with me to read in Majorca. It is absolutely brilliant! The only other book that has ever made me laugh out loud is Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James but this had me chortling away like an escaped lunatic in Primark trunks. I know that Boyle is quite a controversial figure and has got into trouble for telling ‘offensive’ jokes. All I can say is, I wasn’t offended by anything in this book. I would have been extremely offended if it had not been funny. That’s the thing that offends me most of all actually; comedians who are unfunny. As I am offended by unfunny comedians surely they should be removed from the TV! I must write to the Daily Mail about it.
Its a complicated debate, the one about which comedy is offensive and which should be allowed on TV. I’m not sure I know where I stand on it. I know that when exposed to more than fourteen seconds of Jim Davison’s stand-up routine I feel an urge to throw myself under a walrus. I know that when I see Roy Chubby Brown in that stupid hat I want to put my head in a Flymo. Yet when Frankie Boyle does ‘offensive’ material, I laugh. Is it the material or is it the person delivering the material? Maybe its the fact that Boyle is often quite self-deprecating which sort of cancels out any attacks he might make on anyone else. I don’t really know and, to be honest, people who get endlessly drawn into debating the nature of comedy are usually a bit short in the old sense of humour department. I just think this was a really funny book and I’d recommend it to anyone. (I would not recommend Primark trunks to anyone though as the drawstrings are actually not real drawstrings and are in fact purely decorative. Guess how I discovered that.)
If you take photographs of trees you can’t really go wrong. They just look great no matter how you shoot them. It does help having a gorgeous, amazing, cheeky little minx like my Alice around to add scale of course (and fun). Both these photos were taken on my rubbish mobile phone because my camera is out of action at the moment. Even if you’ve only got a mobile phone camera, just point it at trees and you’ll still get a reasonable result.