Tag Archives: Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Another camera-free attempt at the WordPress Photo Challenge..


The cow mooed in terror as she fell, hooves scrabbling in vain against the sides of the long dark tunnel. Eventually she emerged into a large cavern and landed with a terrific splash into something that it didn’t do to think too hard about. She climbed to her feet and looked in surprise at the other five, who were looking in astonishment at her.

“Seriously?” said the dog. “She sent a cow?”

“Er, what do you mean?” asked the cow.

“What I mean,” said the dog, “is that’s there’s been a certain logic to what she’s done so far. I mean, it’s fair enough that she swallowed the spider to catch the fly, and that she swallowed me to catch the cat, but as far as I know there has never been any recorded case of a cow catching a dog.”

“It’s not actually the first mistake she’s made,” said the bird. “We birds don’t usually eat spiders. We tend to go more for worms, or preferably bird-seed. She’s obviously never watched the Road Runner on TV. Wile E Coyote never puts a spider under the Acme anvil.”

“She’s losing it,” said the cat.

“You’re only realising that now?” said the fly. “If she’d just left her mouth open I’d have flown straight back out, I only flew in by accident. She didn’t need to start a bloody zoo.”

“How on earth did she swallow you anyway?” the spider asked the cow.

“I don’t really know,” said the cow. “She was milking me, I was staring vacantly into space, as we cows tend to do, when she suddenly swung me round by the udders and straight into her mouth.”

“She’s stronger than she looks,” admitted the cat.

“Cleverer, too,” said the dog. “She tossed a stick up in the air for me to catch, and when I came down she was lying on the ground with her mouth open.”

“Why haven’t you all caught each other?” asked the cow.

“What was the point?” asked the spider. “I was here second, but I reckoned if I’d caught the fly I’d have no-one to talk to.”

“Over time we’ve all become friends,” said the bird.

“And how do we get out?” asked the cow.

“As far as we can make out,” said the fly, “we don’t. We just sit here and wait to see what comes along next.”

“Couldn’t we jump up and down, and try to make her sick?” asked the cow.

“I thought of that,” said the spider. “I wanted to wriggle and wiggle and tiggle inside her, but someone vetoed the idea.”

“Listen,” said the cat, “when your only means of cleaning yourself is to lick your own fur, the last thing you want is to be expelled forcefully from somewhere in a jet of someone else’s vomit.”

“Er,” said the cow nervously, “what about -”

“Don’t worry about that,” said the dog. “She’s had constipation for weeks. Mainly on account of the fact that she’s eaten no fruit or fibre, being on an exclusively wildlife diet.”

“Diet’s not the right word,” said the cow. “You should see the size of her now. She looks about twenty-two months pregnant. With triplets.”

“What do you reckon will be next?” asked the spider.

“Hard to tell at this stage,” said the cat. “If she believes that cows catch dogs, then God knows what she thinks catches cows. An armadillo, perhaps, or a vole. Maybe a reindeer.”

Daylight suddenly appeared,  far, far above.

“Looks like we’re about to find out,” said the fly.

They all listened, and could hear an animal sound. They all looked at one another.

“She has got to be kidding,” said the cat.

They listened again. It was definitely the sound of neighing.

“I’ve got a really bad feeling about this,” said the dog.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

Again, man-without-camera meets photo-challenge without fear…


Once upon a time Rome was just a tiny village, and the Romans were a simple folk, holding toga-parties, making sparkling candles and growing pasta. Then a far-sighted village leader called Nero renamed the area Urbi et Orbi, meaning “the city and its satellite towns”, and urban life as we know it began.

The Romans quickly embraced the snobbery involved in living in the biggest place around, referring to those that lived outside the city as Sub-urban. You would think that the out-of-towners would take umbrage at such insults and stay well clear of the place. Far from it, they went right to it. In time all roads led to Rome, or at least to the giant roundabout just outside it (it is where the term “spaghetti junction” comes from).

Tourists (from the Latin (ok, Spanish) word “torreste”, meaning “thick as bull-shit”) turned up in droves during the summer months of Julius, Augustus and Septembus. Although there was only one street, the Appian Way, they would hire a taxi-chariot to drive them its length, so as to hear from the driver how terrible things were, and how it was all the fault of the Goths, Huns and Vandals, coming along and taking all our jobs.

They gaped at the Seven Hills as if they’d never seen scenery before, marvelled at chariot races as if they’d never seen a horse-and-cart before, and gasped at lions as if they’d never, well, ok, that part was fair enough.

They bought overpriced laurel-leaf hats with ” a souvenir of Rome” written upon them, gazed at statues of men with impressive muscles and unimpressive other bits, and actually (and even the Romans couldn’t believe their luck here) threw away their money into a fountain.

The highlight of their trip was when they got to stare in awe at Rome’s only big building, the Coliseum.

Though in fairness, it was in much better condition back then.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

In which a man with no camera takes on the WordPress Photo Challenge anyway…


“I  believe you’re on holiday this week, Tinman?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“So, what are you doing? Crossing the Alps with hundreds of elephants? Diving for treasure on  a sunken wreck in the Caribbean? Going over Niagara Falls in a barrel?”

“Watching the rain through the window of a house in Greystones.”

“Ah, you’re having a staycation.”

“A what?”

“It’s a Word Merge. It’s like Brangelina, or brunch, or Mensa.”


“Marks and Spensa.”

“Er, I don’t think -”

“Well, ‘staycation’ is like that. It’s short for ‘staying at home for your vacation’.  It’s for people who are on holiday, but too poor to go anywhere – no offence, Tinman.”

“Er, none taken, I suppose.”

“It’s a really cool word.”

“No it isn’t. It’s shitiful.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

Still no camera, still taking on the Challenge….


Ugg and his wife Ogga had been standing, four-footed, watching while fellow villager Argh had tried to pick an apple from a tree. He had stretched one front paw up, up, to no avail. Chastened, he turned and trudged away from the tree.

Then he stopped, as if an idea had come to him. He turned back towards the tree, and raised himself onto his two back legs. He tottered, teetered, wobbled. He sat down suddenly on his bum, but stood back up again.

“Now that’s just wrong,” said Ugg.

What happened next astonished them. Argh put one back leg in front of the other, then repeated the move. His gait was part trapeze artist, part Riverdance, but he was moving forward, right to the base of the tree.

For the first time ever, man was walking on two legs.

He picked an apple. Then a higher one. Then a higher one still, and began to juggle them in his two front-paws. He moon-walked. He tap-danced. He flicked a round rock up into the air with his  right foot, and then volleyed it into a nearby bush. He hopped around in pain for a while after this, effectively now walking on just one foot.

“Now that’s just showing off,” said Ugg.

“There’s a lot to be said for it,” said Ogga. “Look at how he can reach high things. You should try it. You could put up shelves in our cave.”

“What are shelves?”

“Don’t know, really,” said Ogga. “I just know that I am genetically disposed to want them.”

Argh turned away from the tree and they could see what could no longer be called his underside.

“Yuck!” said Ugg. “You can see his nipples!”

“And his thing,” said Ogga, a little too admiringly for Ugg’s liking. The scornful retort that he began, however, was drowned out by a fearsome roar.

A wild boar, head down, was charging towards Argh.

“Now he’s in trouble,” said Ugg. “He won’t be able to run as fast on two legs.”

Argh looked around, armed (if that’s the word) himself with a stick, and as the boar approached, whacked him across the head with it. The boar fled.

Ogga whooped with glee. “That’s it,” she said, “I’m giving it a go.”

“As your husband, I forbid it,” said Ugg.

“Yeah, right,” snorted Ogga. She raised herself onto her two hind legs, and took a few practice steps. “I’m going back to the cave,” she said. “Coming?”

Ugg watched her walk away. She was doing the same thing that Argh had done, but somehow it was different. Her hips seemed to move from side to side, and her bum swayed in a strange yet alluring way.

It’s still wrong, thought Ugg, getting to his feet to follow her, but somehow it didn’t matter to him anymore.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

Yet again the man with no camera takes on the WordPress Photo Challenge, with words….


“What sort of a growth?” asked the vet.

“It’s red, and it’s on his nose.”

“Perhaps it’s a pimple,” suggested the vet.

“What?” said Santa. “Do you mean this is puberty?”

“Could be,” said the vet.

“So you’re saying he’s going to start chasing after girl reindeers, like Vixen, and being cheeky to Mrs Claus and me, and his voice is going to suddenly drop, along with other bits of him?”

“I don‘t think reindeers have voices,” said the vet.

“The others certainly do,” said Santa. “They laugh and call him names.”

“What names?”

“Um, don’t know really,” said Santa. “”Redser,” I suppose.”

“Nah, that’s for gingers,” said the vet. “Perhaps it’s sunburn.”

“This is the North Pole,” said Santa icily, appropriately enough.

“Look, to be honest,” said the vet, “I’m more used to putting funnels on dogs’ heads, or guessing whether a tortoise is dead or not. All I can suggest is to leave it a few days and see if it gets better.”

It was two nights later, on a foggy Christmas Eve, when the vet’s phone rang.

“It’s starting to glow,” said Santa‘s panicky voice. The vet sighed. He was beginning to regret asking for a phone from, well, Santa.

“Maybe it’s just shiny,” said the vet.

“No,” said Santa. “If you came and saw it, even you would say it glows.”

“Well, I can’t come now,” said the vet. “I have to stick my legs into the back of a horse.”

“Wow,” said Santa, “what sort of procedure is that?”

“It’s not one, I’m playing the rear half of the horse in the village pantomime.”

“So what will I do?” wailed Santa.

“Don’t know,” said the vet. “Use him to read by, or something.”

“Use him to – wait a minute, I’ve got it! Doc, you’re a genius.” The phone went dead.

The following morning the vet rang Santa. “How did last night go?” he asked.

“Good and bad,” said Santa. “I used him to guide my sleigh, and was doing my route faster than I’ve ever done it before. Then I got pulled in by the cops.”

“What for?”

“Driving without a tail-light.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

One man with a broken camera and a refusal to accept that this means the Weekly Photo Challenge no longer applies to him…


One of the oddest, and least challenged, things about science is that paleontologists can find one solitary bone and from it deduce what a dinosaur looked like.

The principle is as daft as finding one blonde hair and deducing the existence of Scarlet Johansson, and the fact that Scarlet Johansson does exist in no way weakens that argument.

These paleontologists would have us believe that all dinosaurs were ferocious, angry, million-toothed creatures, without having any evidence to back this theory up, such as for example a cave-drawing of one of them hanging out of a very tall building.

The human psyche disagrees, dredging up deep communal memories that none of us even know are there. So when someone was asked to design a dinosaur for TV, these memories forced their way into his subconscious mind and he invented Barney, because the T. Rex was in fact furry, gentle and friendly. And purple.

Other inventors have been unknowingly inspired by similarly harmless creatures. The child’s kite recalls the gentle Pterodactyl, dancing on the breeze. The mammoth sparked the idea of the 84 bus, slowly and meanderingly rambling about its unhurried business. The Velociraptor, a creature with a wide head and just one front leg, is evoked by a tricycle.

The friendliest of all was the Sabre-tooth Tigger.

All of these creatures frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee (now Boise, Idaho). Sadly many of them perished during our first attempt at inventing fire, a procedure involving a flint, some straw and some sticks of what turned out to be gelignite. The resulting crater was so large that to this day it is mistaken as a meteorite strike. The ice-age saw to the rest of them, as we sheared them to make coats for ourselves, there being no anti-fur campaigners about then.

Scientists will scoff at this, saying that humans were not around at the same time as the dinosaurs, to which I would reply well then who buried the bones. We were of course there, meddling with the balance of nature and causing havoc, just as we do today. The men were strong and carried a big club, which is why we now have the game of cricket. The women looked liked Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC.

The ancient memory of that is how someone created Barbie.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Another week in which a man whose camera-phone is no longer working refuses to accept that the Weekly Photo Challenge might not be for him…


pic via chefjeffjeff

Some of you will remember the comic the Beano, and will remember the Numskulls, a group of tiny boffins who ran the various Departments of someone’s head. We thought of them simply as a cartoon strip for the entertainment of children, but suppose they really exist? It’s no sillier than the idea that all of our thoughts, emotions and intelligence come from electrical impulses, and that our personality depends whether we are left-brained rather than right.

Perhaps they have been with you since the second you were born and gave that first cry, when the Mouth Department cranked open its double doors and blew loudly into a set of bagpipes.

Since then they have yanked out your first tooth, applied curlers to your first lock of hair, produced the dribble to smear over your first toy.

They have learned with you, the Brain Department trying to make sense of Periodic Tables, Venn diagrams and the plume of ma tante. A lesson on the facts of life filled with them with horror on behalf of the Numbits further down.

They clear specks of dust from your eyes by pouring buckets of water out of your pupils, washing the windows of your soul. They use laughing-gas to make you laugh, sleeping-gas to make you sleep, and marsh-gas to make you fart.

They make ear-wax, though heaven knows why, perhaps they have shares in the cotton-bud industry.

In other words they ensure the smooth running of your ears, your eyes, your brain.

They ensure the running of your nose, too, by trickling treacle down it. If they are feeling especially mischievous they will roll their floor-sweepings into a round ball, dust it with gunpowder, ram it into the torpedo-tube of your nostril, and ignite it.

When you are asleep the Forehead Department sneaks out to paint wrinkles on your forehead.

When you are hungover they get hungover too, so they take it out on you. The Mouth Department rolls out a carpet along your tongue, the Ear Department turns its controls up full so that every sound is as loud as thunder, while the Brain Department bangs on the inside of your skull with a large wooden mallet.

You often hear the expression “playing with someone‘s head“. Perhaps that’s what the Numskulls are doing with ours.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

My old computer and my old phone are refusing to speak to one another. The computer, in fact, refuses to acknowledge that the phone exists, even when the phone is, well, plugged into it. Now that’s just gotta hurt.

Anyway, the upshot is that I cannot upload any pictures. Which, for a photo challenge, does pose a challenge.

So you will just have to imagine the pinkish blur which was going to feature here today. Because although I could have gone for close friends, close relatives or, had there been any aliens about, close encounters of the third kind, I had simply taken a photo with my thumb over the lens.

You just can’t beat the classics.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

The rules for this week’s challenge are simple. WordPress tell us that we can post any picture we like, so long as it is taken today.

Think of the possibilities. A butterfly on a leaf. A bee hovering over a flower. A vapour trail in the sky. A dog-turd on the street. There’s a whole world out there, just waiting to be captured forever on film.

It can keep waiting, though, because the weather is like this:

That picture was taken when the rain wasn’t blowing onto the window. This one was taken when it was:

You know you live in a wet country when (a) you keep a lifeboat in your back garden and (b) it’s full of water.

So I’ve had to look indoors, and have opted for this:

It’s what we use to wax our turtles, before we turn them upside down and play Curling with them, sweeping frantically in front of them as they slide across our wooden floor towards the jack, a reluctant Tinkid.

And why, out of all of the items (and there are millions of them, believe me) in our house have I chosen this one?

I just reckon it’s my only chance. I can’t see them ever having a “Weekly Photo Challenge: Kitchen Supplies”.