30 June 2011

Free photo offer- again

This is a photo of my nephew taken earlier today as we wandered from the Cross Bones gates in Southwark to Waterloo station. The photo itself was taken at a sort of skate park by the National Theatre.

If you live in London or in Essex (but within easy reach of Romford) and would like a free portrait, then contact me at thepoormouth@gmail.com so we can arrange a photo session. I will be happy to send you jpeg prints by email. There is only one condition - that I can use suitable photos on my website. I will not reveal your name if you do not wish me to do so.


© 2011 Shaun P Downey


 © 2011 Shaun P Downey

It was an absolute delight to work with Celena. She is a beautiful young woman with poise and elegance

A new session with Nephew and Celena

© 2011 Shaun P Downey
I spent a long and very enjoyable and very successful day with Nephew and Celena yesterday. I have nearly 750 photos to process -  something that will take me quite a while to process.

Needless to say some of them will be posted here!

28 June 2011

Love in Space

Because there is precious little down here

Back tomorrow or Thursday

27 June 2011

Screaming Tree

It's been a while since I had a simulacrum on the Poor Mouth. Time to rectify such gross negligence.

Last week the Daily Mail published the above photo alongside a print of Edvard Munch's famous work "The Scream" claiming that the former was a dead ringer for the latter.

While I would not say there is much of a likeness it is an impressive tre indeed.

The tree is a 400 year-old oak that can be found at the Marks Hall Arboretum in Coggeshall in Essex. It is less than 40 miles away so I feel a day out coming!


Mallow, Romford not Cork

Malva silvestris in back garden

26 June 2011

Female Genocidaire sentenced to life

According to Wikipedia Pauline Nyiramasuhuko (born 1946) is a Rwandan politician who was the Minister for Family Welfare and the Advancement of Women.

Born in the small farming community of Ndora, in the province of Butare she attended high school at the Ecole sociale de Karubanda. It was there where she became friends with the future wife of Juvénal Habyarimana, who became President of Rwanda in 1973.

Nyiramasuhuko trained and worked as a social worker. She then worked for the government's Ministry for Social Affairs, educating women about health and childcare. In 1992 she was appointed Minister for Family Welfare and the Advancement of Women in Habyarimana's government.

Last week, Nyiramasuhuko was found guilty on seven of the 11 genocide charges she faced, including conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide and "rape as a crime against humanity."
Her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali was also sentenced to life.

Nyiramasuhuko, became the first woman to be sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda which sits in Asusha Tanzania.

Vulture Funds Act made permanent

It seems to have gathered little or no coverage at the time but it very leasing to see that The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010 was made permanent last month.

The main effect of the act was to prevent creditors from using British courts to seek harsh payments from some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries for debts that the likes of vulture funds may have bought for a fraction of the cost.

Paul Singer - a face of evil

It means that human excrement like Paul Singer, the CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation cannot use British courts to screw over poor countries.

The act was originally a private member's bill that gained government support at the very end of the last Labour administration. Despite the efforts of Christopher Chope, the slimebag who sits as a Tory MP for Christchurch, the bill became law. However there was a "sunsetting clause" which meant that the act would fall into abeyance unless it was supported by the new Tory/Lib Dem administration. It is to their credit that support was given and the act is now permanently on the statute books.

25 June 2011

More Baggage Reclaim

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

More photos of Richard Sanderson of Baggage Reclaim fame

Bagage Reclaim

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Presenting for your delight and delectation Richard Sanderson of Baggage Reclaim. Taken last night before Scaledown at the King and Queen in Foley St in London

24 June 2011

I love moi brick

© 2011 Shaun P Downey
My sister's cat Lexi and her pet brick

No photo hunt this week. Back tomorrow.. or Sunday

22 June 2011

Chavez silence causes concern

Abraham Lincoln may or may have not have been responsible for the famous quote “better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt” Whatever the provenance of the quote it is a proverb that most of us should heed.

One person who has never heard of the golden nature of silence is Hugo Chavez, a person with an almost preternatural talent for talking nonsense and at great length.

However, According to the Guardian, Chavez has fallen silent as he recovers from emergency hip surgery in Cuba. This is out if character for a man who has reportedly interrupted normal television programming 2,135 times to address his nation since taking power in 1999. The strange quietness has fuelled a flurry of speculation and criticism back home.

Since being admitted to hospital in Cuba on 10 June, Chávez has made just two public appearances, showing up last Friday in four photographs alongside the Cuban president Raul Castro and a telephone interview with the Venezuelan Telesur television network. Meanwhile 1.6 million followers have been starved for tweets from the Venezuelan president since 4 June.

His lack of comment on a serious outbreak of prison violenc a growing power crisis have prompted criticism from the opposition parties and a spate of online rumours.

"Such poor, scarce and ambiguous medical updates inevitably trigger rumours that go from liposuction to improve his figure to a back problem that will hinder his ability to campaign, or even a more serious illness," wrote Luis Vicente León, a columnist for the opposition El Universal, on Sunday.

"It is absurd that the president can sign documents from Cuba," said Robert Bottome, from the Caracas-based consultancy VenEconomy, warning that Chávez's absence could trigger a messy scramble for power in Venezuela. "By disrespecting the constitution we are leaving the door open to serious turmoil," he said.

Such a long silence from Chavez is certainly strange. It does have one major benefit – that he has not been spouting his usual rubbish. Perhaps silence will improve his standing on the world stage elevating him form cretin to fool…

WOOT, WOoF, WOOF...er meow?

21 June 2011


© 2011 Shaun P Downey

It being Wimbledon Time again

Will Young Mr Murray be the first Scotsman to win Wimbledon since Angus Podgorny? Or will we be eaten by cannibal blancmange impersonators

Website updated

I have finally gotten around to doing a significant update of my website. There are still some photos to sort through but I have added over 100 new photos to the site, many of which have never appeared on the Poor Mouth.

If you would like the website address, contact me at thepoormouth@gmail,com

19 June 2011

EDL coming to Romford

There is an Armed Forces Day parade in Romford this coming Saturday (25 June). Serving members of our armed forces, cadet forces and veterans will parade along South Street.

It will be well attended by local citizens who are looking for a peaceful and pleasant time. Sadly there is one group that intends to be there who, with their appalling track record of loutery may well cause problems on the day.

The English Defence League has a Romford Division that intends to be out to support the parade. According to their Facebook page:

"we will be celebrating this years armed forces day in our usual patriotic manner in romford market,this is not an edl demonstration but an event to support our brave lads and lasses from the armed forces and as such we request that you all bring your flags,edl colours are optional.this is a family event so the more youngsters that show up the better"

The EDL are a bunch of louts who create trouble wherever they march. While this is not a demonstration I would be mightily surprised if they do not get tanked up at one of the local pubs - possibly the Lamb, the Golden Lion or perhaps the Bitter End given that they intend to meet at the Market Place.

I would not be surprised if racial abuse is shouted at Asian Romfordonians at the very least.

To give an example of what the EDL are like Flesh is Grass  has an important post about an EDL march from Redbridge to Dagenham yesterday. 250 members marched through the borough without a police escort.  Three Asian youths were attacked, one requiring hospital treatment for a broken jaw. Such violence is par for the course for the EDL.

Tomlinson death cop in court tomorrow

PC Simon Harwood is due to appear in court tomorrow accused of killing Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests that took place in the City of London on 1 April 2009..

Mr Tomlinson collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations having been assaulted by a police officer, identified as Harwood. He will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with manslaughter.

Keith Starmer , the Director of Public Prosecutions charged Pc Harwood over the death after reviewing an inquest jury's unlawful killing verdict. He has originally considered that there was no case to answer until new medical evidence at the inquest helped change his mind.

The footage taken by New York businessman Christopher La Jaunie that shows Harwood assaulting Tomlinson is well known. Had it not been for La Jaunie then Harwood almost certainly would not have faced trial.

Let’s see what happens. I would be surprised if Harwood is not found guilty and imprisoned

Brian Haw dies

For the best part of six years Brian Haw was a part of my daily life. Twice a day I would pass his protest – until I left work at the end of last year.., It was an eyesore that attracted plenty of idiots, but as far as I was concerned Haw was exercising a right to peaceful protest. I therefore had no problem with him doing what he was doing.

The Guardian and other papers are reporting that Brian Haw, has died after "a long hard fight" against lung cancer. The 62-year-old died in his sleep on Saturday in Germany, where he had been receiving treatment.

Haw began his protest opposite the Houses of Parliament on 2 June 2001.
The camp was initially a response to economic sanctions and British and US bombing raids on Iraq, but it grew in scope after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq that followed.

I didn’t agree with a lot that the protest was about but I admire Haw’s tenacity. Now that he has died I daresay that the protest will be gone soon. Somehow Parliament Square will not be the same.

17 June 2011

Photo Hunt - Informative

The theme for this week's photo hunt is informative. This is a poster I saw in Paris a couple of years ago.At that time over 20 countries watched, controlled and/or censored what their citizens could access through the internet. The Great Firewall of China is well known but China is not alone sadly. I fear that the number of countries imposing internet controls may now be greater.

Ted as evil as ever

15 June 2011

Backwaters of History – Neutral Moresnet

I have a small confession to make – I am fond of what is called alternate history. Basically alternate history is speculation on what would happen if a historical event, be it minor or major, took a different course. Two popular, and perhaps clichéd examples are a Confederate victory in the American Civil War and a successful Operation Sealion (the proposed Nazi invasion of Britain in WWII).

Altrnatehistory.com contains many different timelines, some very good and well thought out. Some are intriguing including one I came across today concerning the possibility of Neutral Moresnet remaining in existence as a micronation ,

Neutral Moresnet? Where the hell was Neutral Moresnet?

This website provided me with the answer.

After Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo the Congress of Vienna had to re-establish national borders. One area of contention was the Prussian/Dutch border near Aachen .

The village of Kelmis near Aachen had a zinc mine which both the Prussians and the Dutch wanted, Neither party wanted the other one to have possession of it either. The problem was resolved in 1816, with the Aachen border treaty that created a small neutral zone around Kelmis and the zinc mine.

The Neutral Moresnet flag

Neutral Moresnet ,as it was called, was never going to be a major player on the world stage given that it had a total area of just one Square mile and a population in 1850 of fewer than 300 souls. It had no currency, no army and low taxes. Its population rose to around 4,000 by the outbreak of WWI

The zinc mine was depleted by the 1880s and attempts to raise wealth by other means, including casinos and postage stamps, were thwarted by Belgium and Germany. That said several gin distilleries flourished! In the early 20th century Germany took an increasingly aggressive stance against Neutral Moresnet, cutting off the electricity supply and severing telephone connections.

As a result the citizens petitioned to join Belgium but events overtook them. The territory was overrun in 1914 WWI and remained in German hands until the end of WWI.

After WWII the Treaty of Versailles ceded Neutral Moresnet to Belgium which annexed it formally in 1920.

So there you have it. Interestingly (or perhaps not) Neutral Moresnet may have become the first “country” to adopt Esperanto as its official language. More on that another time.


© 2011 Shaun P Downey
Cephalaria in full bloom

Enveloping II

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

14 June 2011


© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Tudor accidents

According to the BBC Oxford University historian, Dr Steven Gunn, has been scouring 16th Century coroners' reports as part of research on accidental deaths in Tudor England.

In these modern times some of the ways of departing this life may seem rather strange. Then again they are perhaps no stranger than the ways we find to do ourselves in this day and age.

A widow called Agnes Rapte was killed by Lord Bergavenny's bear when it broke loose at his house at Birling, Kent in 1563. Another victim, Agnes Owen from Herefordshire, was killed in her bed by a runaway bear. When a bear bit a man to death in Oxford in 1565, the bear wasn't punished but was taken into royal custody.

There were also some bad judgement calls. Thomas Curteys of Bildeston, Suffolk, was practising archery on a fine June evening in 1556, when he took off his hat and invited another bowman called Richard Lyrence to try to hit it with an arrow… Meanwhile In 1552, Henry Pert, gentleman, in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, drew his bow to its full extent with the aim of shooting straight up into the air. The arrow lodged in the bow, and while he was leaning over to look, the arrow was released.

Over in Houghton, Hampshire John Hypper was 'playinge Christenmas games' on Boxing Day 1563 at about 6pm with divers other parishioners of Houghton, Hampshire in the house of Thomas Purdew of Houghton, husbandman. While playing he involuntarily crushed himself and injured his testicles so that by reason of his old bodily infirmity he became ill and languished until about 3am on 28 December when he died."

Thomas Alsopp of Coventry was standing in the former cemetery of the Coventry Greyfriars under a stone wall on 26 April 1558 when a maypole fell over. It hit the city wall and knocked a stone out of the top of it, which hit him on the left part of his head and penetrated his brain, killing him instantly.

Oh and people fell into cesspits and choked on their own shit.

Plus ca change

13 June 2011

Ugh I feel dirty

Checking on visitors to a post in October 2009 regarding Tracey Emin and her desire to leave the country because of the taxation policies of the last government (My view was that the talentless troll should go toot sweet!) I noticed that the post was linked to in an unpleasant article by someone called Lasha Darkmoon. The article is just one of a umber that appear on a racist website called the Occidental Observer.

The editor is Kevin MacDonald, professor of Psychology at Cal State University in Long Beach.

I won't add any links. Google the above persons and site if you really want to.

I have amended the original blog post to say:

"If you have come here from a Google or other search please enjoy the photo. The article in question has been removed.

If you have come via the link on that odious website The Occidental Observer then kindly FUCK OFF!"

And the lily's resident

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Madonna Lily

© 2011 Shaun P Downey
Another delight of our back garden. Also the thumb has drained (I won't go into detail about the amount of pus that came out) and I have a nice antibiotic to take as a meal supplement. Still painful but I can pick up my camera,

12 June 2011

Is it 30 years?

Is it 30 ears since I saw Girlschool (with AIIZ supporting)? I used to be a bi HM fan - still love it now! It's great to see Kim, Enid and Denise still going strong. Sadly Kelly Johnson, the original lead guitarist, died some years ago of cancer. On lead guitar now is Jax Chambers.

This song is from one of their more recent albums Believe

Hiroshima Mon Amour

From 1977 featuring original singer John Foxx. Foxx is another artist who deserved more recognition than he got

Marc Almond - A lover spurned

ALthough he has had a fair bit of success over the years there is a lot more to Marc Almond that Tainted Love and crass rumours about his drinking habits!

Music for an infected thumb I

Still one of my all time favourites he says showing his age.

Typing without banging my thumb is hard

11 June 2011

Summer Fun

Oh Jeremy Gluck where art thou?


Ramones - Bonzo Goes to Bitburg

One of the bands I regret never seeing

Photo Hunt Triangle

Running late and I'm finding it hard to type and hold a mouse at present what with an infected thumb. This is my entry for this week's photo hunt. It;s a reworked version of an earlier entry. It's a snowdrop from below... honest!

09 June 2011


© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Have some Haiku fun

Are you a Haiku fan? Do you like to construct risque verse? Do you like chickens? Even if you answer no to all of these get over to Knatolee's World right away and see what hen related haiku you can create!

Knatolee is offering a great prize to the person who produces the best hen haiku. Be warned I may well have set the bar high with this one:

Priapic rooster
Gives in to primal urges
the girls feign horror

Go over there now and top that! Closing date is 30 June

Website update

I am finally getting around to updating my photo website. Some current photos have been deleted and new photos are being added.The process should be complete by Sunday.

If you do not have my website address and would like to look at it then contact me though thepoormouth@gmail.com

07 June 2011

Bahrain – a haven of peace, love and tranquility

Not my views of course but an indication of the spin the gauleiters of Formula One racing are putting on the situation in Bahrain.

Bahrain had been set to host a round of the Formula One world championship in March. This was postponed in February. However the powers that be of F1 have now voted unanimously to reinstate the race, letting it take place towards the end of he season

Jean Todt (not related to Fritz of that ilk), the president of FIA (the world governing body of motor sport) has blamed the media for providing misleading press (particularly the British press – He must be a friend of Sepp Blatter…) reports on the situation in Bahrain.

Speaking from FIA La La Land Todt said "The information we have is that at this moment the situation is very peaceful in Bahrain. You should go there and have a look… I don't think we should anticipate problems. If you were in a more optimistic frame of mind, when we arrive everything is nice, sunny, no wind, friendly, you will say we were right."

In an effort to lend credence to his argument Todt then produced the report which was the basis of the FIA's decision in Barcelona. It was a simplistic, seven-page report put together by the FIA commissioner Carlos Gracia, who listed his various meetings with leading Bahrain officials over two days. Gracia concludes his report: "It is my view that there is no indication of any problems or reason why the Bahrain Grand Prix should not return to the 2011 calendar."

The Bahrain pays $40m for the privilege of holding the race. Hoever Todt, like the commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, said the decision to go back to Bahrain was not based on money.

Interestingly Todt’s son is a business partner of Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who has a 30% stake in Nicholas Todt's ART grand prix team.

Last night Todt's remarks were ridiculed by the Avaaz human rights campaign, whose director, Alex Wilks, said: "Claims that calm has been restored and life is back to normal in Bahrain are completely untrue. In the last week the police have continued to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to break up peaceful marches, killing and injuring tens of people. ,,”

Congratulations to Formula One. It’s leaders are clearly more venal and grasping than their counterparts at FIFA The are certainly a bunch of callous scumbags who care more for money than human rights. Sadly they are just one of many scumbags in that respect.

Ican think of 47 very good reasons. Yesterday the BBC reported that 47 doctors and other medical staff appeared at a military tribunal in Manama (the Bahraini capital) yesterday to face charges related to protests earlier in the year.

According the Human Rights Watch the charges they face include
- bringing weapons into hospital,
- stealing blood so that protesters could feign serious injury,
- applying medications to simulate symptoms of nerve gas,
- refusing to treat injured or ill people who were not Shia
- and generally "serving the agenda of the protesters".

I doubt that Todt et al give a damn about this travesty.

Proof that rockers are born not made

Courtesy of Oddee.com

Musatoid and Musaceous

Back in the 80s, the puerile *but funny) comic Viz created a character called Tommy "Banana" Johnson. Basically young Tommy Johnson had a large banana which he tried, to put to use as a hairdryer and a telescope - much to the irritation of the person needing help. In the end a policeman stick the banana up young Johnson's jacksie.

In a subsequent story Tommy meets the same fate but in this episode Viz uses the word Musatoid to describe something with banana-like properties. While it is a wonderful word it was probably created by the writer. The correct word to describe something that appertains to a banana (or a plantain) is Musaceous

And he point of this being? Strangely musatoid and musaceous have never appeared together in an internet article etc.

And the point of this being? I have nothing better to do than write this!

03 June 2011

Star crossed lovers (Photo Hunt Dirty)

© 2011 Shaun P Downey

Their eyes met across a stamen: one an ambush predator, the other a simple collector of nectar. It was a love that should never be, a love that would disgust the other denizens of the  Hope Cottage gardens. Never before had a Hexapodan* embraced a Cheliceratan* but that did not concern Crabeo and Hoverette.

Personally I think it's dirty and this in keeping with this week's photo hunt

* Hexapoda is the subphylum (unit of taxonomy) that includes insects includes all insects; Chelicerata includes spiders

Empire State Human

A Crow and the Baby

Black Hit of Space

I thought I would have a day of cheesy Human League songs from back before they turned in to a second rate pop band

Boris doesn't perspire, he glows

© 2011 Shaun P Downey