Image  —  Posted: November 4, 2012 by mike olley in getting in to the swing of it
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End of an error…

Posted: October 18, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in getting in to the swing of it
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We’ve run out of ideas, the memories have faded, you’ve had all the answers, the imagination has run dry and now we can’t even afford to run the place anymore…

Why’s that?
Oh, didn’t I tell you? Someone burnt down the shop last night. Everything has gone.

Yes, and as no one really understood us, so
no would insure us: we weren’t covered, which means all the money has gone.

So I’m not getting paid for this?
Have you ever?

No. So there really is no money?
It’s not as if we had much in the first place,
what we didn’t spend on rent and stock went
on damp-proof paint. The damp won’t be a problem anymore after a fire like that but at least no one was hurt. Someone told me that
Steve the damp patch had already gone away on gap year.

So what now, start again?
To be honest with you, we’ve only got two thoughts to rub together: Who would do such a thing like this? What are we going to do now?

We could have a whip-round, or get a loan from the bank…
No one is going to give us the time of day, let alone some money. We’ve got nothing of value to act as security.

Wait, what about the original idea for sliced bread? Wasn’t that kept in a fire-proof box? We could dig that out of the wreckage and use it as security – why are you shaking your head? No, don’t tell me it was caught in the fire too?
Yes, it was.

The idea for sliced bread – I’m afraid that’s toast.

What is a good idea?

Posted: October 11, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in getting in to the swing of it
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Have you seen the new list of guidelines from the Association of Ideas?

Go on then, you sound like you’re going to have a rant, get it out in the open.
Basically this is going to put free-thinking back a thousand years, or at least a couple of weeks – from now on, every idea has to be categorised, bloody labelled!

But you already keep your ideas in boxes.
Yes, for ease of storage and presentation. You can’t have the stock just spread out all over the floor, this is a shop, not a jumble sale. Anyway, these are metaphorical boxes we’re talking about only to be seen in the paperwork – there’s going to be mountains of it.

But surely the paperwork help with the regulation of the Mind business?
Don’t give me that, it’s only the ones who care about the Mind business in the first place that will bother with these new guidelines and while we’re all up to our eyeballs in paperwork, the cowboys will still be out there raking in all the money with their scams which means more complaints, leading to tighter regulation, more paperwork. This is the end, I tell you.

Good grief, doctor doom. It’s a little bit of sorting out.
Tell me, how can you say if an idea is good or bad at the start? Only time can tell that.

You’re acting like a baby – I don’t wanna do this!! It’s too hard!!!
Alright, Squirty cream…

Is that the best insult you’ve got?
No, it’s an example: squirty cream – is it a good idea or a bad idea? It’s rubbish as cream but can be a lot of fun. So where do you put it?

Isn’t that a bit of an embarrassing question?
It’s alright, I’m not going to tie you down to an answer, this is more than fifty shades of grey we’re talking about: not every idea is black and white. Trying to sort this lot out properly is going to be worse than Venn diagrams at school.

It’s a subjective decision, what you think is good I might think is bad.
That wouldn’t bother me at all, you never had any taste in the first place.

I’ll ignore that. Here you are, two boxes; white for good, black for bad. Why are you putting the white box in the black box?
Because it’s a bad idea.

mindstuff logo link

The ‘like’ button,
not the arrow.


I need more coffee. Black and strong, none of that weak stuff. In fact forget the water, that only dilutes it – just give me the jar and a spoon. Mmmph. Mmmph, ‘as better. Yeah, much better. Mmmph.

You’re eating coffee? Are you alright?
Never better.

You look a bit wired. You’re plugged into a video recorder?
I’m trying to keep a clear, wide-awake head.

Oh, you’ve had another one
of those dreams?

No, this one was different. None of that trying
to run with legs like lead, or going out in public without any trousers on; no, none of that low-budget independent stuff. This was a proper full-on dream, no expense spared.

Okay. Good. Right, what are we going
to talk about today?

Hang on, don’t you want to hear it?

No, talking dreams is boring. They’re only interesting to the person who had them.
Not this one. It had everything: it was action-packed; explosions and fireballs – loads of diving out the way; cutting-edge technology – faster than fast cars full of gadgets, driving well over the speed limit down impossibly narrow and twisting streets through the biggest pile of cardboard boxes you’ll ever see; exotic locations – like fantastical places you never imagined existed; the baddies we were up against were really so bad they were downright rotters, zombie rotters to be precise, but we got ’em; AND, and there was romance – Angelina Jolie, Kiera Knightley and some unknown called Hilary from Accounts; there were guest appearances by Pitt, Depp, even Sir Michael Caine – what was that funny line he said… it was classic, had us all in stitches, an absolute classic… erm… no, it’s gone, never mind. I’m telling you, this dream had everything, and more, a brilliant story: there isn’t enough money in the world to pay for all the special effects it had.

Okay, that sounds vaguely interesting, no wonder you’re wired.
ou know what dreams are like: one minute you’re living it, it’s all so real; the next minute the alarm clock goes and everything evaporates. Pooft! Gone. This one’s still fresh in my head, I don’t want to go back to sleep in case I record over it.

Is that why you’re plugged into a video recorder?
No, me and The Boi were trying to work out how to get the dream on to DVD, I reckon we can sell a few.

mindstuff logo link

The ‘like’ button,
not the arrow.

It’s been strange ever since we won the Liebster award: we’ve had more people coming over but still no one’s got a clue as to what we do here at the mindstuff shop.

This is the place you come to for ideas.

But I can say that until I’m blue in the face, trouble is, no one listens these days. Take this lot over here, staring at the damp on the wall. They’ve been like that for nearly half an hour. Steve (the damp patch) is getting the right hump, it’s been a hard first week partying at Uni and he’s trying to catch up on some sleep:

Steve is normally ‘happy-go-lucky’

I’ve never seen a Banksie like it, it’s almost three dimensional, dark and furry. The figure itself appears very angry. Opinions?

It’s uncanny how the leery smile on it’s face seems to follow you round the room.

Almost like it’s laughing at us.

True genius, and look over here: these stacks of tupperware boxes, the neat rows, the regimentation – just like Carl Andre’s bricks at the Tate.

Can I help you?

Tell me, what do these boxes represent?

A lifetime’s hard work; over here we’ve got memories, those are thoughts and on the other side is mainly ideas.

You keep ideas in plastic boxes?

Yes, they’d go off otherwise.

Thinking out of a box! Of course! Oh, I’m trying to get my head round this concept but my mind… my mind is literally blown.

Well I can get you something for that if you want.

An ‘Idea warehouse’: such a post-ironic statement, I love everything about it: the bleak railway arch feel, this whole concept has a distinct touch of the Warhol’s.

Alright! Admittedly, there’s a home-made feel to the place but there’s no need to be rude about it.

What’s in this big black rubber box here? Top secret?

That’s only for use in emergencies.

Can we have a look?

Is it an emergency?


Then you’ve got your answer.

Can we take a souvenir?

What free? We can’t just give everything away.

Is that an original Banksie on the wall?

No, it’s original damp and it’s trying to get some sleep. Look, this is a shop, you’re supposed to buy something.

PAH! just another case of commercialism destroying Art.

Look, how would you like it if I came round your house, wandered about a bit, looked through all your stuff and just asked loads of daft questions? We’ve all got to earn a living somehow.

How the hell did this place win an award? Right everybody, file out, let’s go. There’s more interesting blogs than this one to go to.



The cheeky thieving so-and-so’s, they’ve stolen the punchline.

mindstuff logo link

The ‘like’ button,
not the arrow.

You’ll love this. Satisfaction guaranteed. Even for the cynics.

cute tabby cat snuggling in bed

Troy doesn’t get out of bed for less than 10 000K,
or some munchies.

What!?! This is the most ridiculous concept I’ve ever heard of! An article with no content other than a few headings and catchphrases designed to lure the reader into reading this post and pressing the ‘like’ button? What a cynical ploy – the public will never buy it!
This post is different though. It’s not about empty promises, there really is something in it for the reader at the end.

And what might that be?
Well obviously I can’t reveal ‘what it is’ right at the beginning because then you wouldn’t want to read on, would you?

And what’s to stop me from just scrolling to the end of the post?
Trust. I know I can trust both you and the readers. I mean, what would be the point in getting the answer at the end of this post straight away without reading any of the persuasive argument to back it up? What sort of hollow experience would that be?

Right now I’m not having any experience other than frustration because I don’t know or understand what the hell I’m reading about. Why are you being so obscure about this ‘answer’ at the end of the piece? At least give me a clue.
Okay, it has to do with satisfaction.

That’s good. I want satisfaction. Tell me more.
Little by little, remember? It’s all about delaying gratification. Rationing the information, whetting the intellectual appetite, unravelling the answer slowly…

YES, YES, YES, I know! Just bloody tell me!
“I can’t get no satisfaction”, once sang the Rolling Stones.

But I want satisfaction and now you’re telling me I can’t have it?
But you will my friend, all in good time. This is an interjection – I’ve dangled the carrot and taken it away, thus making the carrot more desirable than ever and in the process piggy-backing a hugely successful cultural phenomenon, i.e. the Rolling Stones which gives the argument gravitas and a more populist slant.

Er… that sort of makes sense
Do you see the effect this is having? You’re more relaxed. The more of this article you read, the calmer you become. But of course, a person of your intellectual standing would easily understand this. Did you notice how I didn’t patronise you then?

That’s right, you complimented me.
Spot on, you’re absolutely right. Well done you!

Thank you.
Now you’re in the right frame of mind I can tell you the secret of achieving satisfaction.

What is it?
It’s persisting and getting to the end of something.

Like this article?
Like this article.

I like it.
Press the button then.

mindstuff logo link

Press the ‘like’ button,
not the arrow.
What are you like?


I don’t see why I had to rush back off holiday early. All a bit last-minute, what with having to run after the plane or miss it, what do they reach on the runway? About 200mph? Yes, I really had to go some, and carrying a case too! Only just made it.

Hello!? Who’s that waiting outside the shop? Looks like we got a customer.

Sorry to keep you, had a bit of a long commute, no I don’t always come to work in shorts. Or flip-flops. What are you talking about, funny shirt? This is tame compared to some of the luminous stuff you see paraded about on the high street these days – yes, I read about it on the plane, in Hard Egg News. What’s that? You don’t read it. Well, you should: it’s not a bad blog as it happens. Can you just move to one side so I can get the key in the door and unlock it – there, that’s it. Open for business. Now, what can I do for you?

Your name’s Zoe and you’ve got some questions…

Oh sorry Zoe, I’m not buying at the moment. Eh? you want to ask them not sell them. Well, you do know that a lot of people ask me a lot of questions all the time. I’ll see if I can help. Go on, then, fire away.

Name a book you would read over and over again?
Catch 22, it has obviously been a big influence.

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
That my first two would be fulfilled after a bit of work so that I appreciate them and that my third never be granted so that I always have something to strive for.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I don’t really have a favourite. I do know that teachers aren’t only found at schools – I have met many wise and helpful people whilst wandering about the planet.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I try not to go back to the same place twice but I am a culture vulture and not a beach bum. Don’t get me wrong, beaches are alright, just not to lay on all day. I’ll be general: I love Scandanavia.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Putting the duvet cover on. Somehow I end up buttoning myself inside the damn thing.

What is your favorite dessert?
Gulab Jamun: a rose-water and cardamon-infused doughnut type of dessert from the Indian sub-continent region
– if you’ve never had them you’re missing out and all the more for me.

What is your least favorite mode of transportation?
Roller skates, never could master them – ice skates fine.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

If money was no object where would you live and why?
In a two bed house in the area I’m living now. It’s all I need and I’m happy here.

What is your dream career?
If only more people read and liked my stuff…

What movie do you flat-out refuse to watch, no matter how good people say it is?
My own bio-pic.

Is that it then?

It is. What’s this? It’s an award!?

I had no idea. Zoe, thank you for the nomination. I’m truly honoured. No, I really didn’t know this crowd was going to turn up, nor the crates of champagne. Oh look, canapes. Hang on, I think I might have an old speech somewhere in my pocket, yes, here it is.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Zoe and say that I think her blog:

just english

is very good.

Okay, you can put the spotlight back on me again, I need the heat, I’ve just come back from a hot country a bit sharpish – there’s quite a temperature difference. Now, where was I?

Apart from the usual friends and family, I’d also like to thank all the people who follow the shop, the infrequent customers and those who frequently press the ‘like’ button.
Lastly I’d like to nominate (in no particular order):

I like your art
christophe gowans
tracy loves history
Jason Shergold music collector
lp cover lover
i could be splendid
neglected space

Please take a look at these sites – it was hard to make a final list as there are many good sites out there.

Site owners: thanks for entertaining me, I don’t know if you accept these awards but if you do these are…

Terms and conditions:

Please answer the questions below. Credit your nominator (with a link to their site). Nominate 11 people and use the same questions or write your own.

  1. Name a book you would read over and over again?
  2. If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
  3. Who was your favourite teacher and why?
  4. Where is your favourite vacation spot?
  5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
  6. What is your favourite dessert?
  7. What is your least favourite mode of transportation?
  8. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. If money was no object where would you live and why?
  10. What is your dream career?
  11. What movie do you flat-out refuse to watch, no matter how good people say it is?
mindstuff logo link

Avez-vous la guelles de bois?

S’pose I’ll have to get a cabinet made to put the awards in.

Everyone needs time off now and again

Posted: September 5, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in holiday
Tags: , , , , , ,

adios solI think I need a holiday.

Wish I was where?

Posted: September 4, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in holiday
Tags: , , , , ,

nuestro puebloSunny Spain? That sky looks a bit cloudy if you ask me. No thanks, I’d rather stay here. It’s not so different here and it is the same sun we’re both looking at.

I could always put another jumper on.

Ah, that’s better. Did you know six jumpers have the same shielding effect as a Kevlar vest? Google it and see.

I’m not even going to bother talking about comments. I don’t need them. Who needs other humans to communicate with? I don’t miss anyone.

mindstuff logo link

Avez-vous la guelles de bois?

I’m fine, thanks for asking…

Posted: September 3, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in holiday
Tags: , , , , ,

el castillo en la nocheI really don’t mind being left to hold the fort all by myself in this damp dark railway arch while everyone else goes off to sunny and warm places to relax.

I love my work.

Today I’m going to put words in the right order and see if I can make something worthwhile. Like my life.

So, I’m busy.

Don’t you dare interrupt with a comment or a question or any sort of human interaction. I’m quite happy being holed up here, thanks.

mindstuff logo link

Avez-vous la guelles de bois?