A small tribute. Today was the last time Grange Hill flashed its grimy bum at the British after-school TV audience. Ta ta, Trisha Yates, Tucker, Zammo, shiny Claire and Ro-land.  But why was it just Grange Hill that had such longevity?

What I wouldn’t do these days for a little Willo the Wisp, Ivor the Engine, Ludwig, Magic Roundabout and other 5:30 favourites from time to time. Or lunchtime legends such as Barbapapa, Bod (“any particular flavour?” asked the conducting frog. It was always “Stwawwwbewwy”), Mr Benn, Fingerbobs, the wonderful Paperplay with spider finger puppets that have the most amazing voices I had forgotten, or Hartley Hare vehicle Pipkins. (The links are to some diversionary youtubage; you do the readin’, I’ll do the findin’. It’s just give, give, give….) Oh, and here’s some Banana Splits for all you fans out there…

“It’s a control freak thing. I wouldn’t let you understand.”
– S.H. Underwood

Poor Alistair Darling. You’da thought running the Treasury would be a cinch; that Gordy would have made it a walk in the park after a decade. Would he ‘eck as like.

This brilliant cartoon from last June is by Morten Morland, who has the Poldraw blog and cartoons for The Times. Go see…

“What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art”: Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

What will we do here? I want to have fun, poke my mischievous fingers into the things around us, and have a sideways slanted peek into the everyday and the odd. It’s a Jamie-style salad: bring some garlic to throw in when you come. If you like.

The plan is manifold and always changing – but here’s the initial manifesto (for my benefit more than yours, I suspect):

– language is for playing with

– creativity should be messy and incomplete

– don’t be shy or die curious

– don’t apologise unless you’ve really done something wrong; otherwise, no permissions required

– don’t waste life subsuming yourself in chasing others’ approval

– laugh out loud when you’re on your own to frighten the neighbours.

Here is the Imp, last week, reflecting on how you can read all you like, write like a thing possessed and do your very best, but all in all, you’re a bit crap if you forget to live life, here, now, and not in the regrets and what-ifs of the past and the future.