Category Archives: WORDS


Valentide. Part I.

There is a distance. A gulf. Water, water, everywhere…

Uncharted seas treacherous as tyrants clinging to power,

Or familiar shipping lanes, precious days, favourable winds.

We navigate small islands, atolls, pause to watch ancient, mystical whales.

We dive and weave with playful dolphins, float on our backs and listen

To tales of mer-people and sea-monsters and pirate-fleets

As told to us by wise old turtles.

Once we saw a ghost ship – its crew a band of bleached-boned skeletons,

They blasted us with spectral cannonballs

Launched from the rotting boards of their phantom galleon.

We fled those shrieking ghosts and sailed on by,

Sometimes calling on deserted islands of pure and absolute paradise.

It is here, once, I saw your soul. Did you see mine?

Then one night a storm, unbelting itself and lashing us with its wet black leather.

Plunging us below then tossing us in the air – three, four, maybe five times…

Until we sank,

Became separated.

Our lifeboats were poor yet somehow sustained us. And what happened to our crew?

Some deserted us and jumped overboard. Some died. Some remained faithful.

Ultimately it was just you and me. Alone. Alone we drifted. On two different boats no bigger

Than matchsticks in the grand sea of things. Did you think of me as I thought of you?

Parched, sun burnt, salt in our hair and eyes like apocalyptic dust. We survived.

God. How on earth (or rather, on water) when I am such a poor sailor, and your captaincy

Is sometimes questionable?

But survive we did.

And though there was, sometimes still is, and maybe will be for much a long time

An ocean of distance to separate us,

Tides will always bring us together again.

Valentide. Part II.

On a bench somewhere, sometime, not long ago, someone wrote ‘I love you’. It wasn’t me, and it wasn’t you, but we borrowed those words and made them our own for just a moment. On dry land we shake off water and tuck in our fins. Retract our tails. Fold up our sails. Moored. Docked. We traipse the city and village and town, lost among others, surrounded by concrete and stone and things made of metal. They say we look small here. Maybe we do. But to me you will always be a giant. Je t’aime. Words borrowed from a wooden bench that looks out to the sea and back again.

Words and photos by the editor.

Adverts scanned by TVTA and Jaltesorensen.

Boatniks. 1970. Denmark; Moby Dick. Pif Gadget. 1982. France; Playmobil. 1979. Denmark; La Mauny. Geo. 1992. France; Sea-Monkeys. Fix Und Foxi. 1984. Germany; Canon Noir. Pif Gadget. 1979. France; Weird War Tales. 1975. US; Lego. 1989. Denmark.


Two poems


Among Us

You told us once about reptiles and amphibians

The symbolism, intent, double-meanings

Their hunger

A prince’s pursed lips, a fairytale wish

You said stay away from forests, castles and New York sewers

Warned us of bacterial bites from Komodo Dragons

To not keep snakes or entertain Bearded Dragons

Are you a witch? We asked

No, you said, but was once poisoned by hand cream and oranges

Contaminated beans on toast and energy drinks

Offered by men and women in alligator skins

Who had power to turn poetry into horror in a single day

You said it made you puke when you read in the news

Of that three-headed, six-legged frog found in a school swimming pool

Would make a great pet, someone said

No, said you, it is us who will make great pets for them

See, how they will try to improve us

Stare into our dark places where we hide our shame and guilty secrets

How they devour our sad stories, our dark fairytales

How they leech on our desires

Don’t. Ever. Trust. Them. Is what you say

Beware of them hiding under stones and rocks

Lurking in the grass or under damp logs

Camouflaged in trees or submerged in bogs

And as for the forests and castles and the New York sewers…

Some fairytales are best put to bed

You told us you used to think exploding frogs

Blown-up by straws was extremely cruel

Now you tell us it’s extremely cool.


A Deadly Stream

Three days and nights of relentless rain

That came in sheets as hard as nails from four directions and a granite sky

Accompanied by that lunatic Mistral which owned the streets and ripped off tiles

Toppled fences and sent wheelie bins spinning like defective Daleks

Wisely, most trees bent the knee to the staggering onslaught

Those more republican were swiftly uprooted

Came crashing down like dissident ogres and defeated giants

Coudon offered up its slopes to the charging water

That rushed from the mountain in anticipation of the sea

A delegation bearing gifts of fag ends, soft drink cans

McDonald’s packaging, palm leaves and plastic bags

An armada of debris and detritus offered to the Med.


It was on the news

The campus resembled a lagoon

The stream that parted it no longer visible

She went under at around four O’clock, and he jumped in to save her

Witnesses said both were gone in seconds

Forced through a culvert no bigger than the door of an industrial washing machine

Propelled through the concrete tube built beneath the main road

By town planners who believed that this was the best way to control water

When you wanted cars to travel across it


A year passes

Remembrances for the two dead students

The mayor erects fences along both sides of the stream that cuts through the Uni

Commissions signs written in French and English that warn:


Town planners nod sagely in warm offices

Once again believing they have the measure of water.

Words and photos by the editor

Nutella, it’s a jungle out there…

Just got back from the supermarket with our ‘three-jar-only’ rations of Nutella, both eyes intact and no bones broken. Was a good trip today. Maybe tomorrow not so lucky.

French supermarkets these days, it’s a jungle out there…

The Nutella French supermarket brawls

Pif Gadget. 1977. France.

Nutella Poem

Nutella, Nigella, your nuts have a nuance enrobed in palm oil

Rush for nuts, aisles smeared in irate blood and nuts that are crushed

Underfoot, tut, tut, zut! Leap over yellow signs that say Sol Glissant

Nuts, Nigella, cook me up your brunch of nuts Nutella

Black dress, black hair, let’s split then call 18 pour les pompiers

Nuts, palm oil nuts, Nigella, Nutella, it’s a 24 hour gastronomic countdown to

cut price markdown meltdown supermarket aisle showdown smackdown

Downtown Intermarché, Lidl, Carrefour, Aldi, Super U, Super you

You got Nutella, 3 packs, and all your limbs intact, nuts, pots and pans

Casserole, nuts Nutella, Nigella palm oil, je suis la, j’ai faim, oui, mais calmez vous!

(love never ends) We’ll always be together, together in Nutella dreams

France. Pif Gadget. 1981.

France. Pif Gadget. 1976.

Italy. Topolino. 1978.

WCW action figures

Ladies and gentlemen, WordPress promotions in association with Freshly Pressed Premium Cat Food Accounts only, are proud to present, all the way from 1992, Galoob’s World Wrestling Championship action figures and Sound Slammin’ Action Ring playset! Woop! Yeahhrrr!

“RARRRR! TVTA is comin’ atcha! Grrurrrghhhh! An’ this time we ain’t foolin’ around an’ no way we’re lettin’ them low-down vintage ad browser boys beat us and cheat us like they did last time!! So better hold on to your pants coz TVTA’s gonna be whippin’ that VTWWC¹ belt right offa your skinny hips… Weee-doggie!!!² An’ there ain’t gonna be no stinkin’ cheatin’ Google referees to place us below you in the search engine rankings this time! Grarrrrrrr! We’s mean, and keen, and goin’ up to eleven on our time machine! We’s tough, rough, got an office cat called Wooof, and you better mark our words when we say TVTA is gonna lay this thing down right now! Yeah!! Bring it on!!”

US. Galoob trade catalogue. 1992.

US. Galoob trade catalogue. 1992.

US. Galoob trade catalogue. 1992.

US. Galoob trade catalogue. 1992.

Thank you for Hay-making, Half-Nelsoning, and Boston-Crabbing with us on a Saturday teatime with Dickie Davies  🙂

Footstool notes:

  1. Vintage Toy World Wrestling Championship
  2. Thanks Mean Machine, you would have made an excellent pro-wrestler if it hadn’t been for that pesky Judge Dredd
TVTA apologies for its poor imitation of 1990s pre-match wrestling threats. Wooof ate far too many cat energy biscuits while reading his latest copy of The Cat Fanciers Furball Monthly while at the same time keeping one eye on a failed weekend binge of WCW on VHS. Normal service will be resumed as soon as we clean up the mess, rewind the tapes, and get back from Blockbusters.


TVTA means…

2017 in review. Bolt by bolt.

Wooof and I like to celebrate our small achievements here at TVTA. In 2017 we gained more than 2.5 million followers, 2 billion likes, received numerous nominations such as the Lobster Award, the Good Morning I’m Hungry Award, the Time Travelling Companions of Gannow Award, the Friendly Blogger Looking to Borrow A Few Bucks Award, the Sunshine And Scattered Showers Award, and we were also Freshly Parsed 42 times!

Why, that’s enough achievements to be able to view the Great Wall of China from space with a pair of 1980s dinosaur explorer toy binoculars, cold enough to freeze penguins to a lampost, and loud enough to distract excitable puppies when used in conjunction with a sonic dog whistle and My Little Kitty glove puppet!

So what does it all mean, this TVTA thing? And do we have adverts for it?

Well, a quick browse on the interweb reveals that TVTA actually means… Threat and Vulnerablity Testing and Assessment

TVTA also means… Thermal Vacuum Test Article

and TVTA also means … Technical and Vocational Training Act

and Triple Vaginal Triple Anal … WOAH! Stop right there Wooof!

Where the heck did that one come from?

This is a family-friendly blog showcasing vintage toys!

Suffice to say, there is no mention of our humble blog anywhere in acronym land, so Wooof has been frantically retro-adding TVTA to the tags of all our old posts like a cat out of hell!

Go Wooof, you fantastic cat you!

And now, the TVTA 2017 awards sponsored by Stephen Spookberg’s Speak and Spell Time Machine Soda-Stream Maker (includes FREE collectable ‘owls of the world’ and ‘dragon botherer’ cigarette cards while stocks last) …

Our best missing item from 2017: Has anyone seen our Elizabethan tape machine?

Has anyone seen our Elizabethan tape machine? We seem to have misplaced it the last time we time travelled to 1955. If you find it, please return it to our usual address at TVTA Towers, France, Earth. Thanks in advance!

The 2017 Conquering Our Ridiculous Fear Of Clowns Award

We thought we were doing great. The hypnotherapy sessions had been positive. The yoga was beneficial. We were no longer afraid to leave the office. And Wooof was off the meds. Then these two paperworks landed on our desk yesterday, and now we’re right back where we started. Gah!

The 2017 TVTA Best Fashion Statement Award: Cheese tee-shirts

The 2017 TVTA Best Unfortunately-Named Throat Pastel Award

The 2017 TVTA Best Hulk Recreation And Leisure Award

The TVTA Best Adverts Of 2017 Award

Thanks for coming to the awards! Sincere thanks to everyone who has read TVTA this past year. May 2018 be a happy and fruitful year for you and yours 🙂

Top Seven Scariest Whistles!

We’re not talking about scary whistles like this …


… Or even these …

Ghoul-head whistles by Bung Art Studios.

… We’re talking about scary whistles expelled from the pursed lips of the most callous, evil, monstrous, devious, or just downright ingenious characters from film and TV.

So, whet your whistles, take a deep breath, and join us as we count down from seven to one…

SEVEN The Shadmock’s whistle. The Monster Club. 1981.

Vincent Price Priceless Advice: “Vampires sup, werewolves hunt, ghouls tear, Shaddies lick, maddies yawn, mocks blow, but shadmocks only whistle.”

SIX Billy The Kid’s whistle. Young Guns. 1988.

Don’t let that smile fool you. And if the smile turns to a whistle then you’re in serious trouble!

FIVE Yondu’s whistle. Guardians of the Galaxy. 2014.

Whistle while you work? Don’t be messing about when Yondu purses his lips. You might get arrowed. Devastating!

FOUR Negan’s whistle. The walking Dead.

Not a very tuneful whistle from everyone’s favourite baseball-wielding pyscho, but there’s no way I’m telling Negan that! And just try imitating this whistle yourself. Not as easy as you might think.

THREE Hans Beckert’s whistle. M. 1931.

The jolly classic In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg expelled from the lips of serial child killer Hans Beckert in Fritz Lang’s 1931 classic crime drama.

TWO Omar’s whistle. The Wire.

Chain-smoking, shotgun-toting Omar swaggers into your neigbourhood whistling nursery rhymes. Time to be very worried.

ONE Elle Driver’s whistle. Kill Bill: Volume 1. 2003.

Classic Tarantino scene of the whistling Californian Mountain Snake arriving to kill the Bride. The tune is Twisted Nerve by Bernard Herrman from the 1968 film of the same name. I’ve included the original whistle by ‘Georgie’ as well as Elle Driver’s whistle.

Pheeeeeep! There goes the full-time whistle!

Thank you for sucking in your cheeks and blowing with us 🙂

Can you think of any other scary whistlers in cinema or TV?

Ghoul-head whistle pic courtesy of Bung Art Studios

Whistling Dracula Teeth pic found on Pinterest