Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Tuesday 26 June 2012


And now ladies and gentleman let us persevere in our keenly ignored series on a theme of further education and continuous professional development . . .

1. The word 'Mesolithic,' is a sub-portmanteau construction comprising of the terms - meso (from Low German): meaning 'couldn't give an 'eff' and lithic (from Cantonese): meaning 'a crisp battercake.' Hence Mesolithic means: 'ineffable waffle.'

2. The term Mesolithic was first coined by Hodder Westropp at a croquet match held underneath Queen Victoria's voluminous skirts. An enraged Sir John Evans swung his mallet at Westropp for daring to invent words in proximity to the royal ankles (Sir John later argued the locution 'superannuated-palaeolithic' was far more suitable.) The sight of Sir John's oscillating mallet put the willies right up Westropp who fled and (without the aid of harness or rope) scaled the Queens left leg. Unfortunately he had only attained the kneecap* when the good Queen collapsed from sheer corpulence thereby flattening an entire generation of archaeologists.
*The only man known to have reached the peak was of course Prince Albert (with the aid of his unique piercing, crampons and a winch.) He later descended by parachute bearing nine children.
Apologies if you are too young or too American to get that one.
3. Faunal remains at sites such as Ferriter's Cove and Star Carr have demonstrated that the staple diet of the mesolithic consisted of fricasseed womble in mint sauce with an optional side of sliced pineapple in batter.
Recent isotope analysis has proved dessert was included in the price.

4. One of the first clearly recognised mesolithic cultures was the Azilian Culture from Southern France, characterised by bone harpoons and decorated pebbles. This was closely paralleled by the Godzillian Culture from Japan characterised by men in rubber monster suits wrestling among minature buildings.

5. So the other day I was around at Alan Hayden's, y'know just for a cuppa an' a chat like, and he has dese two hewage dogs see, two massive hairy, smelly wolfhounds, leppin' all over the shop - an' when they're not barkin' they're fartin'. An' I look around his kitchen and I says: 'Jay-sus! Al, dis gaf a yours is a mess, it's covered, an' I mean covered, in hair and where dere isn't hair dere's shyte.'
An Boss Hayden looks about an' shrugs an' sez: 'Sure it's the Epipalaeolithic Eastern Mediterraneans' fault.'
'What? Ye mean like the Na-toof-ians?' Sez I, me jaw swinging open with ink-red-doolitty.
'Yeah, dey were the ones what experimented with the domestication of dogs like . . .' Sez Boss Hayden. 'An' dose experiments were a total failure and dat's why me house is covered in hair and shyte! Dese poor crayturs should never have been domesticated. Never in a millun yee-urs.'
'Alan,' Sez I, calm as ye like, cos I didn't want to be spillin' tea all over me best Dunnes Stores slacks. 'Yer blamin' de poor hounds when it's plain as daylight dat the hair an' shite in this place is all human!!'
And den dere's silence until Boss Hayden offers me another sandwich.
He makes a grand sandwich does Alan.

6. As has become the fashion on these educational blog postings I am now going to lead you in song in order to blow away the cobwebs of recession and issue in the glorious light of wild, unchecked heritage funding. And today we will be singing (and cutting a caper) along to Herr Lionel Richie's magnum opus. Please follow this link
Gyrate with gay abandon to the intoxicating tones of Mr. Richie (while enjoying the hairstyles and leisure suits) and if you can dance just like Lionel does in that video I promise by songsend the phone will ring and you will be offered a secure pensionable job in excess of 80k a year.
This charm has never been known to fail (and if you prove to be the exception it's your own fault.).
Herr Lionel Richie (see above) and Sir Oswald Mosley (see below.)
6 (and a bit.) The more I do these postings the less sense they make . . .

7. In 1931 the fishing vessel Colinda, while at work some 40km from the coast of Norfolk, pulled a mesolithic barbed antler point up in its net. It is a testament to the navigational incompetence of the captain that he had somehow managed to steer the ship 40km inland. (Later that day he bagged a henge, three cows and a disgruntled Oswald Mosley.)

8. In 2005 George W. Bush advocated an invasion of the Mesolithic. The plan had to be abandoned when his advisers could not find it on a map.

9. Q: What do get if you cross a baseball bat with very strong laxatives?

              A: It beats the shit out of me.

10. Now, I sincerely hope that clarifies the matter.

See ya in two weeks. And don't forget to buy my tat in the olde shoppe.

Tuesday 12 June 2012


My love of fiction is truly rampant, it is no exaggeration to say it is as unbridled as a Smithfield nag that has gorged itself on a nosebag full of bennies (sound of fox horn from stage left.) Books go everywhere with me, on occasion, I have taken Jane Eyre under the duvet (with a flashlight,) I once had Madam Bovary behind a hay barn, and I have even gone so far as to take a bath with the Brothers Karamazov (Rub a dub dub.)
Of course my love of archaeological literature is much the same, my academic library fills at least five wheely bins - or conservatively speaking - half a skip. I'm a great lover of the archaeology magazines too. Those archhaeozines are all about the sexy end of archaeology. Sex sells, (I know it does, I'm worn to a nub selling the stuff since the recession took over,) so I was delighted to see Cosmo ladies magazine has taken the brave step of publishing an archaeological mag . . .
But let's not get carried away with trashy magazines shall we? It's easy to overlook those classics of archaeology. What about Gordon Childe's 'Prehistory of Scotland,' a triumph, an unbeatable example of what happens when you put Karl Marx in a kilt and send him on holidays to Jurassic Park. I would be lost without that tome, a indispensable part of my quarters, things would feel unbalanced without it. See fig.3a below.
And let us not forget Herr Hitler, who was of course the first site director I ever worked under (or at least if it wasn't him, it was someone quite like him.) When Der Fuhrer was not marching four million troops into Russia (just in the nick of time for Winter) he was penning what was to prove probably the most seminal work relating to the health and safety of archaeologists worldwide . . .
Of course there comes a point in the day when every archaeologist has had enough of books and wants nothing more than to order a pizza in a soggy cardboard box, deflate onto the sofa (see fig.3a above,) then watch the cheesy grease spill off their haute cuisine and make thought-provoking patterns on their crotch. I find watching this sort of abstract food art far more instructive than the myriad of filth one sees on the television nowadays. However should the archaeologist feel the need to turn on the  idiot box . . . there's a book about that too!

See you in another two weeks moy luvvers!

A note about my new shoppe: I've been making linocut prints for years and never selling them. Quite different to anything I've put up on this site. So now I'm out in the marketplace shaking my aesthetic booty. Do have a look, only a few pieces up there at the moment, if you don't have the spons, at least share it on facebook or twitter or
If you haven't already seen it click HERE.
Muchos Apreciados
Mr. C. McHale, Knight of the Loyal Order of Terenure.


My photo
I am a descended from a long line of conga dancers. I occasionally wear shoes. I gave up going to the toilet twenty years ago - it's a filthy habit. I have a pet bunny called Mucky - he's a filthy rabbit.