Lunedi Lunacy

I love the British Music Hall tradition and I love Kenneth Williams – so what could be more suiting to a Monday morning that Kenneth Williams doing an old Music Hall number?

Both were known for their double – sometime single – entendre and here they meet in this little ditty (oh grow up I said ditty) about a prize winning marrow.

Well I don’t know what you’re tittering at  but I find it’s a lovely tribute to horticulture (oh do give over I said horticulture!).

And this was what he was hymning so mellifluously:

Weightlifter Jonathan Walker lifts the prize winning 54.3176863075 kilo (119 lb 12 oz) Giant Marrow from the 2012 Harrowgate Autumn Flower Show over his head.  O what a beauty indeed!

On this day in 1915: Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

Lunedi Lunacy

In an earlier Monday Madness – yes faithful reader that’s what it means – I had posted Irish comedian Keith Farnan taking about, amongst other things, Irish dancing.  Farnan very astutely observes that Irish people really don’t know how to dance:  they just stand in one place until they get angry with the floor and start pounding on it chanting “I hate the floor.  I hate the floor!”.  Then they join a line of other people all hating the floor.  To which I will add a little goes a long way – in fact this example is just enough for me.

On this day in 1943: The Holocaust: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.

Lunedi Lunacy

It’s been a while since I took a seat at the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and as always I came away both confused and enlightened. I must admit there are times when the accents are a touch too authentic for my Anglo ears and some of the references only make sense if you read the Daily Mail (okay skim the Daily Mail because nobody actually reads the damn thing).

However in this case, rather frighteningly, I find their explanations of a “Hung Parliament” and the election process are clearer than a recent e-mail I received from my sitting Member of Parliament.

On this day in 1899: Bayer registers “Aspirin” as a trademark.

Lunedi Lunacy

Perhaps not safe for work???

On the weekend my friend Mark raved on Face Book about Friday evening’s Graham Norton Show and even posted a link to it.  Unfortunately it was one of those “due to copyright this is not available in your area” things which I felt was blatant discrimination against Islanders but turned out it applied to all of North America which made me feel better.  However within hours it was available on Norton’s YouTube Channel and Mark was right – it’s bloody genius.

Norton has a record for putting together great combinations of guests with sometimes startling results but even he maintains that this was one of his best shows:  Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

And notice a few things – the guests have – gasp – drinks!  and pretty much anything goes.  How can you tell it’s not North American TV?

To see the entire show (it lasts about 48 minutes) including Hugh Jackman’s mom and James Blunt you can click here.

On this day in 1700: William Dampier is the first European to arrive on the island of New Britain.

Happy Islander Day


Now I have to admit I’m a bit flummoxed as to how we should be celebrating what is a fairly new holiday (2009) here on Prince Edward Island.  When asked on Face Book by a friend from Upper Canada I glibly said that it was a day to just take it easy: many a true word has been spoken in jest.  According to It gives people the chance to have a day off to relax or to take a short winter break.   And that seems to be what most people we know are doing.

p-e-i-book-to-be-used-at-notre-dame-uni-1306095To honour this new tradition I thought I’d celebrate by coupling it with my own tradition of Lunedi Lunacy by sharing a touch of Island lunacy.

David Weale (left) is a well-known popular historian who has spent a good deal of his life collection stories from the Island and writing about Islanders.  He has over a dozen books to his credit including four written for children.  He told the Island stories on radio, on stage, through his books and with his magazine Red, The Island Story Book.  Several of his books are collections of witticisms, aphorisms and reflections of Islanders about their (and our) home.

  • The Island’s contribution to Confederation is that we allow the other provinces, even Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, to feel big.
  • On PEI it’s easy to love your enemies like your friends because they’re mostly the same people.
  • The reason the population is increasing is because so many Islanders come home to die, and don’t!
  • He’s not an Islander dear, but he’s lived here all his life.

It’s an Island Thing
Quips and Witticisms
Tangle Lane Publishers – 2013

  • My mother put holy water on us when we went out so we wouldn’t fall in love with Protestants.  And it worked.
  • The Protestants believed the Catholics were going to hell, and the Catholics believed the opposite, so there was pleasure in it for everybody.
  • They were good and kind neighbours, but they were Catholic and we were Protestant, so we never spoke on Sunday – not a word.
  • The Catholic mothers had their holy water, but we were Protestant so all my mother had to ward off evil was Javex.

Lord have Mercy
Islanders hold forth in the great
Catholic Protestant Kerfuffle

Tangle Lane Publishers – 2009

  • When she gets to heaven it’s sure the Almighty will have to mend his ways.
  • He’s not completely crazy, just a half a bubble off plumb.
  • He has nothing to say but it sure doesn’t take much to get him to say it.
  • She never hears a word you say.  All she does is talk and wait to talk.

Teeth of the Saw
the Island book of insults
and cutting remarks

Tangle Lane Publishers – 2008

And according to the author someone actually – and I can believe it – said: If that David Weale is so smart how come he has to write down what other people say?

David Weale’s books can be found at and Indigo Books or from The Turret Bell a local book store here on the Island.

On this day in 1810: Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, is executed.