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Arthur's All-seeing Architectural Almanac

Arthur gets up, puts foot in chamber pot.

    Asylum Seekers

  • 4th Mar 2003 - I aint got time to wonder why

    I have in my hand this piece of paper. Upon it the following inscription doth appear: Dear Arthur Shrimpton, you are invited at the request of *insert religious organisation here* to join us for free Tea and Scones at our next seminar. RSVP. Yours sincerely, Unreadable Name. Charming! And where did they get my address from? That flippin' electoral register of course, sold for thirty bits of silver to the new local evangelist mobster. Maybe i'll turn up, you know, try out the tea, survey the building. Might even meet some nice folk there. Just hope they dont mention the War, or even religion. Anyway, i'm C of E, and forever will be, just like i'm always proud to be British. But whenever anybody throws a war party, we always seem to be invited along, but not just for scones, its usually for some nasty fighting, with loads of our boys killed off, and for what? Britain is a pile of pigeon droppings and deserves no salvation. I hate it here. The world has got worse. I think its gonna get worser still. I dont know if a war with Iraq will make it any better. I just dont know. Anyway, i'll do my bit. I'm too old for call up. I could always join the home guard. Which reminds me, there's some Iraqi asylum seekers living in our dustbin cupboard. Maybe I could question them, bribe them with some tea to tell all their invasion plans to me. Trouble is, they're all on heroin. And I dont speak very good Iraqi. Actually, they might even be Afghans. One of them might even be that naughty Bin Laden chap. Maybe thats why he's in the bin cupboard. Its a dead giveaway. Foiled by General Shrimpton of British Intelligence. But these are dark times, dearest readers. I hope, whoever you are, that you are safe and loved and have plenty of food on the table. Goodnight, dear readers, and sweet dreams.

  • Sherlock Holmes

  • 3rd Mar 2003 - Annual Expenditure results in Misery

    Greetings, Pigeon lovers, its a new day! But oh dear, whats this? Another horrid bill on the doormat. No love. No kindness. Just another rental increase that had gone up by more than the rate of inflation. Why do they always do that? And what horrible people they are too. So rude and impolite. Damn! Oh well, the day that started so fine and sunny turns to ruins. Even the milk was off. The bill: I threw it in the draw. Put on my coat and outta the door. Hyde Park corner in about half an hour. I made a drunken stroll underneath the arch there, looking up on that enormous statue of angels and chariots. Bloody hell, must weigh in at several hundred tons! I reached into one of many pockets to search for food. Found a few scraps, nothing edible for humans. Moving on, and cleaning the aged sweat from my glasses and moustache, I made my way past Apsley house to that rather silly QE gate on Hyde Park, all tin and scrap iron and bits of artsy fartsy metal and welderings. Actually, in the right light you could say that its quite an impressive job. I dearly love that statue next to it, the Jason and the Argonauts type fantasy statue, lovely thing, but should have been made about 400 feet high, like in the movie. And so, Hyde Park, we meet at last. Henry VIII's old stomping ground, meets Arthur: 21st Century misfit. I've had my time here; Watching suckers swim in the ice in 1995, surveying the fallen trees in 1987, plugging my ears to rock music in 1976, and so on. Entirely riveting without a doubt. But this year i'm down and out, likely to eat some grass cuttings if my lot didnt improve, and there I lay, inspecting some of London's finest blades for consumption, when I looked up, and on the horizon, there was, a large tent, begging investigation. By now I would eat anything, so off I marched, still covered in foilage. My approaches revealed that this was a Star Trek show. What was that doing here? Arthurs Cash: 4; Entrance Fee: 13 - Result? A fast bus home to Arthurs cafe for a supremely smashing blow out of bread and packet soup. Sorted!

  • Arthur Warhol

  • 2nd Mar 2003 - Glasgow Kiss and Tell

    Hello World, and also people from other worlds, who might be listening in, and planning some kind of invasion of our planet, maybe to enslave the human race to do its bidding. Hello to you too, and no hard feelings. Well folks, it was a Sunday in dear old London Town, and every house smelt of Golden Roast Potatoes, and stuffing. Except mine, which smelt, as always, of rotted pigeon droppings and Baked Beans. I decided that it would be a great idea to go to my local great English Pub and watch the football cup final, whilst supping a nice pint of great English warm Ale, and chatting to the regulars. The Pub was awash with plates of Beef and Roast Potatoes, and trays of hot lovely vegetables, and people reading the huge Sunday Newspaper multi supplements of never ending editorials. On one TV, the final, on another, the Cricket, and two groups of punters stared over each others heads at opposing TVs. I joined the Soccer pundits with my Ale, and all was right with the world. Afterwards, I wobbled home, only to find the nasty building site near to my home was operational on a Sunday! Charming. A mob of yobbos had cleared a row of very nice houses and were soon about to force their dribblings of architectural hilarity upon our manor. Todays task was to remove some monsterous metallic earth clearing machines, and replace them with some equally horrible construction contraptions. This very loud ritual thumped the ground and rattled the tea cups. I had to enquire. With cap in hand, I approached the head yobbo, smiling. "Excuse me", said I, still smiling. The man looked menacing. Steel toe-capped boots. Really bad fitting jeans, with the crutch well down to the knees, and a builders bum crack straining to get out the back. 'News of the World' in back pocket. One of his ears supported a little yellow pencil above it, and had a silly earring on the lobe. The other ear was ringless but had a cigarette butt wedged upon it. He smelt of very cheap lager and hamburgers. With his face close to mine he told me to go away "pal" and pretended to knock his head into my nose. Oh dear. I retired immediately, unhurt. I dont think he liked me. But then again, who does.

  • Help the homeless

  • 1st Mar 2003 - Only the lonely know how I feel inside

    I went to visit Tiddles. He died many years ago. Well, was put to sleep, a decision made so fast, so insensitively, but so Tidds might suffer no more pain. I'm sorry, but his body was taken away, so here I was, outside this Vets like I was all those years ago, just after he was taken away. And there I was, an old man standing in the street outside a horrible fifties featureless building, just thinking of you. Bye bye. Oh how life can be so cruel. And how lonely. How alone some of us can be. Now all my friends have gone to who knows where. And me, if not for these sweet animals, only myself and my thoughts for company. Only the lonely. I dont think any of us really want this isolation. Its just a trap. We could try and escape, but its a natural state, better than the horrors out there in civilisation. I often think it could be worse. I sometimes think about that poor girl, kidnapped and kept in a coffin, days and nights alone in the icy cold, thinking she would be murdered, chained and squeezed into some rotted box by a psycho, alone in the cold and dark and silence for hours upon hours. This should make my story seem heavenly, but it doesnt. Its all relative i'm afraid. I often feel a lot of fear, of vunerability, of sadness. And I often think about that lady. I hope she's coping, shes still often in the news. I know everyone has a time when they feel the fear, we're all occasionally prisoners of the mind. Especially me. Oh well, thanks for reading this entry. I didnt go into this featureless building, as I didnt feel well. I shouldnt have come here.

  • tiddles

  • 27th Feb 2003 - Attack of the Killer Pigeons

    Now where was I? You might ask, absent from the World Wide community, stuck here in freezing London Town, with only my withered pension book keeping me from total starvation. This bloody Labour Government dont give a folk like me a chance to enjoy ones self, only a packet of bird seeds keeping me and my poor pets alive throughout the cold winter months. Well, the snow has cleared in London Town, and Fiddler Fred came round and fixed my computer, and I won at bingo, so we can afford to eat. So I decided to take my menagerie onto the tube, or subway to you, so we could keep warm and read discarded newspapers. Maybe even forage for some left over chewing gum or something. So there we were, cat box on one seat, pigeon box on the other, enjoying the views from the Circle Line, going round and round London, watching the world and its people from this old rattling train. Must be about 60 years old this carriage, and smells like it. Some stations stink just as bad, some are modernised, and still stink. I smelt even worse, cos my animals had ponged out the place, and were getting irritable, like bored schoolkids, so I let them out, between stops, so that the pigeons might trap and devour an old banana skin, which they ripped to shreds and pecked at mercilessly. During this time, an asylum seeker woman got on, walked thru my pigeon flock, and showed me this bit of paper. I didnt understand it, but I think she wanted money to go away. She held a baby, strapped tight to her torso, which looked like it was dead. Behind her, a little boy with an accordion looked at me in pain. He tripped on the banana which activated a horrible bum chord on his knackered instrument. I pointed at my flock, now eating crumbs off the womans sandals, but she just held the note closer to my nose. I had to shout NO! and she turned away, with a face of hatred towards me, sheer hatred, as if i'd tried to kill her. Oh dear. I rounded up my herd. Time to go home. Seems yet again, i'd put my foot in it. Good Heavens!

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