Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Long ago in the days of the old steam television, as the wonderful SPIKE MILLIGAN(spine Milligna, the well known typing error.) might've said. The steam telly was a huge wooden box full of valves which took about an hour n' a half to heat up and display a crappy old black and white picture on a tiny screen. The buttons were huge clunky things that you had to twist with both hands to turn channels, never mind turn on or off. It was just as well that there was only 2 channels in those long gone days as the levels of hernias would've been a lot higher. Do you remember horizontal and vertical hold; 405 and 625 lines, etc. Ahh in the days of digital telly, this is how proper tellys worked. But it was on one of these steaming box of valves that a nine year old(just, 5 days past the birthday)space mad, schoolboy watched the most mindblowing thing he'd ever seen. The MOON LANDING.
I would wait with mounting excitment every Tuesday night for the paperboy to deliver the TV21 comic, with all the GERRY ANDERSON-based comic strips exquisitly drawn on quality glossy paper ,a wonderful comic. Telly had PATRICK TROUGHTON as DR WHO; LOST IN SPACE; VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA; TIME TUNNEL; So, rockets, space and science fiction was 'it'. So, when the APOLLO boys started their 'stuff' it was great. I always remember being most excited when APOLLO 8 went off around the moon for the first time. I was stunned, and still am by the photos of the moon and the approaching darkness of mountains and crater walls as they orbited the darkside and then earthrise. A few months later PATRICK MOORE and JAMES BURKE are talking us, in great lengths through this grainy lousy telly(live from the the moon') ,mostly black, with a white chunk,at the top of the screen. The picture was,it turns out, upside down."Dad,dad,they've landed and the moons upside down"... I pondered on the possibility that they had landed at the south pole,or the moons bottom. Then the picture rightened up and cleared up a little and NEIL ARMSTRONG stepped on the moon. And a 9- year old schoolboy busting a gut with excitment, in his grey school sweater and black school shorts on a bright sunny morning was yelling for his dad ."Dad,Dad, he's walking on the moon!!!"When i got to school we we're moon skipping around the playground for weeks.

Even today the conspiracy theorists are still blathering on about shadows; Reflections in visors; Flags waving; Multiple shadows; Lack of blast craters and on and on. As i've said before the yanks cant keep a secret among a few people for long ,never mind thousands for 40- odd years. It must be frustrating for the astronauts. I had to laugh when i read about BUZZ ALDRIN giving somebody who claimed he'd never gone to the moon, a 'smack in the gob.'Good on yer, Buzz. I've been watching programmes over the last week or so and some of the re-digitallised lunar footage is ,to me ,truly mindblowing, after all this time .The 9-year old schoolboy is now a 49 year old schoolboy. And to complete this nostalgia fest. I recently mentioned DANNI and DISHI(over on the links)These are the people who supply the comics on disc. They sent me a disc with all the old COUNTDOWN comics on.Countdown was a sort of extension of the TV21. But they used to feature a lot about the APOLLO programme. I remember the first issue with , GERRY ANDERSON'S ,U.F.O.Thunderbirds, Fireball, Stingray;JON PERTWEE'S Dr Who, and stuff ,but with a huge free gift. A poster that you had to add stickers over the weeks to, to show the whole Apollo moon shots n' stuff. I, of course filled it up and it held pride of place on my bedroom wall ,right up there with the BRUCE LEE posters.

Friday, 17 July 2009


As many of you, no doubt remember, or not by the lack of birthday greetings that flooded the infinity of cyberspace, or the not quite so infinite infinity of the Royal Mail. But, anyhow, another year 'flopped' over. Next year would've been the big Five-Oooooooh!!!...But i've found away of avoiding this tragic occurance. No, not at some suicide clinic in Switzerland. My daughter shares the same birthday as her beloved father(my words, not hers!)....So i bask, in the cold of her shadow, lonely and neglected. So, i shall put this situation to my advantage and start going backwards, not mentally,chronologically. So, remember in 33 years ,i'll be 'sweet 16'.....
A little while back,an article on the blog examining my station in life as a house husband, introduced a highly stained pinny. This inspired the lovely Cathy Simpson.(look at her link, over the other side of the page)..This in turn caused a 'knock on response from' around'. The stains on the pinny caused the creation of a seperate sentinate lifeform,that developed and evolved then ran away to become an MP and live off fiddled expenses. Cathy reported seeing it on a boat sailing the seven seas. This was probably after running away after being exposed in the Telegraph. But we may never know the truth as it all got very silly. But the Lovely Lynne saw how i had an emotional empty hole within me,(must've seen it through a hole in my jeans)that needed filling. So, for my birthday i got a superman pinny. So now when theres dishes to be washed or a carpet to be hoovered .Meek, mild mannered cartoonist Tim Leatherbarrow becomes Sooperdooperpinnyman. The pinny doesn't cause much trouble, but the telephone box to get changed in does(ever tried getting changed in a phonebox?I have and i'm covered in bruises.). It was awkward trying to hide an old red English phonebox in the kitchen. So, that was shifted into ,the utility room. Then into the studio, i've told the Lovely Lynne its there as i'm doing a strip about some fellah thats zips through time n' space in the phone box,crazy i know, but i think it has possibilities.
But now i'm older with the smells and stains of an older man .One day a super pinny could evole from the mature organic emissions of yours truly. Faster than a discarded soggy tea bag; Able to leap a full fairy liquid bottle with a single bound; Soap bubbles bounce off my chest .A new hero is born.



Over the last couple of days ,all those serious looking newsreaders have been telling us how hundreds of thousands of people are going to be killed by the swine flu pandemic sweeping the world faster than anything ever.....But then ,with a smile ,it's pointed out that this isn't nessecerally going to happen and this is 'ONLY(!)..A WORST CASE SCENARIO????"....Oh well thats a relief then, nothin' to worry about. All those out there popping their clogs is just bad luck. But thinking about it, its an act of genius by the politicians.

All this time the bunch o' shit'eads who congeal in that building with the big clock have been showing how totally useless they are at running the country by making targets and then totally failing to come within a million miles of reaching them. Their little graphs, etc, the lines instead of reaching the top of the page dont even get far above the baseline. But what they've decided to do ,instead of trying to reach these proposed positive targets. They have announced a negative target. The 'Worst case scenario'......It scares the shit out of everybody. Then, when this point isn't reached, everybody gasps a gasp of relief and praise is heaped upon our glorious leaders for guiding us through this potential disaster.

This (WCS) can apply to anything from the economy.The whole country could crash and millions would be out on the streets, but only thousands suffered,"God, bless the goverment". Sport; The Ashes....(WCS),England get slaughtered by the Aussies...So, if we get away with a mere battering ,or a good hammering, thats alright then. In fact it becomes a victory of sorts. Being British a victory is quite often a 'not too bad beating', rather than an outright victory.

You can expect a(WCS) for the Olympic stadium. Costing squillions of tax pounds, so when it only costs billions of tax pounds, we've got a bargain. The same principal for the boys fighting in Afghanistan. When we dont lose the (WCS) number of men, the goverment can say we told you so,we're winning, and they didn't need extra helicopters....Personnally i think every time a politician opens their mouth, its a case of worse case scenario.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Well, it's my birthday you ignorant shower. Maybe i overlooked the 3foot mound of envelopes on the mat inside the front door containing the mounds of birthday cards that've no doubt poured through this morning,to bring your love and respect to me on this very special day ; Give me joy n' pleasure and give the post man a hernia. On my way to the first pot of tea of the day i wouldn't have been capable of noticing a post van parked at the bottom of the stairs. But when my eyesight'kicked in' after my 3rd mug of heavily sugared tea, my 20/20 vision could see the doormat perfectly. Totally unobscured by a mass of birthday cards...YOU MISERABLE HEARTLESS BASTARDS!!!.....I am now 49 years of age , and worse than that i am now in my 50th year.....Excuse me while i go and sever some vitally important blood vessel, will ya.

I was born when the world was black n' white; The Beatles hadn't formed, you listened to Slim Whitman and Jim Reeves and Cliff Richard and Adam Faith and enjoyed it? Doctor Who wasn't even thought of. Steam engines filled Lime street station and powered past our old house. And if you went 49 years before my birth , i'd have been alive during the First World war. Oh god this is getting worse. I am now at that age where there are plenty of old people ,but wherever you go you seem to be the oldest. Thankfully i've retained my youthful good looks whereas many of you haven't. There is, ironically a shaft of sunlight beaming through the darkness...My birthday is ST SWITHINS day and when it pisses down on this day, it pisses down for 40 days and 40 nights, so enjoy my birthday..Cos its hammering down.

Friday, 10 July 2009


One of the great joys and pleasures of life is locking yourself in the toilet, seating yourself comfortably on the 'bog' and reading a comic or tabloid newspaper. Cartoonists are the main offenders and are the only people i've seen with magazine racks and bookcases in the smallest room. But that is about to change. Hi-Technology is coming to the Lavvy!....
If you look to the list of links on the side of the blog page . One of the list is for a pair who call themselves DARREN & DISHI ( produce computer discs of all the comic characters you could ever think of. For a couple of quid you get hundreds of issues, annuals and specials of 'whoever' from Superman and Batman to Spiderman and The X-men and millions more. I've spent months plowing through the collection of comics ,curled up on the couch with the lap top. And recently, much as i would never have believed it until recently. I have sat reading comics on the 'bog' from my laptop. The time spent is gradually getting longer and longer and the seat ring on my backside is taking longer and longer to disappear between 'visits'. There is now an extension lead constantly ready in case of emergency on the landing outside the 'Lavvy'. This is in case the lap-top battery goes flat and i need to connect the charger. I mean you cant be left locked in the 'Kharzi' with a flat battery and Magneto on the verge of destroying The X-Men; Doctor Doom annihalating the Fantastic Four; The Green Goblin murdering Spiderman; The Joker doing for Batman, etc,etc.....Jeez! it doesn't bear thinking about.
DARREN & DISHI are well worth getting in touch with ,they'll send you a list of all the titles available and its amazing ,tell 'em you read about it here. I still like comics with paper and staples and no one can replace the boxloads in the attic. But i'm now doing my bit for the planet . Reading about all these heroes saving the planet, by having hundreds of comics on a little cd disc, rather than a 40 foot pile of paper and staples.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


The other day i had a busy day ahead of me .So, i put the kettle on , boiled an egg, made some toast sat and turned the telly on. After contemplation of the multiple tasks that the day held before me, i put the kettle on again and thought something along the lines of "Oooh F**k it !"..I knew there were things that i had to do, and i wasn't going to neglect my responsibilities. One of the tasks that had to be addressed was catching up on the growing collection of films that was building up on the SKY+system. The first i'd been meaning to watch was McVICAR, starring a certain Mr ROGER DALTREY. It wasn't bad. A certain Hard man called John McVicar had, apparently this annoying habit of going out with some like-minded 'tooled-up geezers' to pull a 'blag' at various banks. Then 'gettin' nicked' and sentanced to 'a stretch', 'in the nick'. After many attempts at escaping and gettin' a kickin' from' the screws'. He is finally released to go through the whole thing again. But 'our hero' escapes, but 'gets nicked again. But he gets a degree and writes about crime on the telly and newspapers and the film is a success and he lives happily ever after. Except, apparently his son, such a cute kid in the film ,playing 'footy' in the park with Roger Daltrey, with a Daltrey backing song playing away. The kid now he's 'all growed up', is 'a tooled -up armed robber, who's been 'sent down', just like his dad, he must be so proud.
I thought i might become 'a geezer';Be 'the daddy'; Pull a few blags; Etc,etc....... But ,not many of you know this but i've 'done time'. I've been in the toughest 'nicks' in the land. I've attempted to escape hundreds of times. Once i made it as far as the landing. When i did get out, the dogs had no trouble following my scent. This was due to an incident with a bar of soap in the shower ,so i never showered for the rest of my 'time'.
I've always believed in wearing the right'gear for a job.."If you pull a blag, pull it right," as my ol' dad used to say on our visits. So, i'd wear a stripped shirt a beret,or bobble hat, and a bag marked with SWAG. I had trouble with balaclavers, as my somewhat aqualine regal, upper class nose wouldn't fit under the wooly covering properly. And, purely coincidentally, the main girlfriends i had through my formative years and even the Lovely Lynne have all worked in various banks, so every 'blag' i pulled i was recognised. The following morning 'The Old Bill ' would bust in telling me how "They were 'the Sweeney and to put my trousers on. Then, for some reason how they hadn't had their dinner". Then off 'For a stretch'. All fascinating stuff, topped off with how i gave up honest thieving to become a criminal cartoonist. I wondered if Roger Daltrey would like to play me in the film. But ,everyone thought with a nose like mine, PETE TOWNSHEND would be better.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


If you were lucky enough to have been stranded on a frozen moon a billion light years beyond our galaxy, you will have been spared ,for a billion years or so ,just about enough time to avoid the light speed news signals beaming across the cosmos to inform you of the death of, 'the king of pop'..Michael,Whacko Jacko, Jackson himself. The stories about prescription drugs; A skeletal body covered in needle holes, like a tea-bag covered in little perforations, but not as much mass ; Stomachs bunged full of tablets; And his kids who aren't his. And they're not even their mothers???/Now thats a headscratcher for a simple country lad like meself. The Lovely Lynne told me the other day that apparently he was totally bald. Jeez! Could you imagine what he'd of looked like without that ridiculous head of hair to cover that mess of distortions that passed for an Airfix kit of an early Star Trek aliens face ,that was the' Whacko's kipper'. Jacko's face and he's bald ,god thats a sight that i'd say would ruin your day.
There's that saying about people remembering where they were when certain people 'popped their clogs'. People like J.F.K.;Elvis; John Lennon; My dad(well i do!)....Now, of course The Whackmeister, himself. And just in case the memory does let you down in years to come. We, of course have the weeks of totally insane revelations that are, and yet too come out.All that would make it almost impossible to forget one of lifes genuine nutjobs. Somebody who put such a lot of effort and mind boggling amounts of money into his insanity deserves to be rememebered. How crazy he was, who knows, crazy he may've been, but he wasn't daft.
I was talking with that hairy ace caricaturist to the stars Guy Carter. He said 'That when he went, he'd like to go quietly and with dignity!'...I disagreed totally. When i go i want the world to shudder and shake,Volcanoes to erupt ; Earthquakes, Floods n' tsunamis; People howling and wailing in the streets all over the planet; Television specials going on for weeks, no make that months; Plaques and statues put up everywhere i ever went; Billions of websites devoted to my memory.......But that probably wont happen. My beloved Lovely Lynne will miss me cos she loves me madly and i do the dishes ( with a little help from a stained pinny) and hoover up. The little'un'll be pissed off at me cos she'll have to walk the dogs.