Photo: The late Harry “The Horse” Kinder (left) warned me many years ago about what a bastard Alex “The Toff” Riley (right) could be.
Is The Toff a Bomb Maker, Vandal, or Peeping Tom or simply just a bullshit artist?
YOU BE THE JUDGE…
THE story begins on a visit to the Adelaide Airport when The Toff was pulled aside and asked if he had any objection to being tested for bomb making residue on his clothing.
The Toff sarcastically replied that he was a 90 year old retired “Planner in Charge” who had lost the use of both of his hands in the Korean War and had not made any bombs that week.
The security guy went ballistic and said that he would have him frog marched out of the airport and be made to appear in front of Tony Abbott the very next day.
The Toff clamped up and offered up only one word answers from then on. Luckily the State Governor put in a good word for Alex and he walked free.
Well f**k me, then it happened again.
The very next time The Toff returned to the airport he was pulled aside and asked the very same question again.
This time the Toff replied cautiously and said he was now a 75 year old pensioner with “disabilities” and had fought in Vietnam.
The security guy apologised and said he was only doing his job. The Toff was not amused and muttered under his breath “moron” as he walked away.
Well f**k me, then this happened. Some months went past and then The Toff received a letter from a Bad Debt agency.
The letter demanded how and when was he going to pay the $2,500 fine for the shop window front in the Riverland town of Berri that he tossed a wheelie bin through on New Year’s Eve.
The Toff was shattered as once again he was being accused of something he did not do.
Really? He phoned the agency and said you have the wrong man as he the Toff was a 80 year old pensioner who could not lift an empty wheelie bin, yet alone throw it through a plate glass window.
The Toff said he could prove that he was at Seaton that night at a New Years Eve Party for geriatrics, some 150kms away. Fortunately the dumb guy agreed and no more was heard.
Well f**k me, and then this happened.
Some bloke left his business card in the Toff’s “letterbox asking the Toff to call him. This bloke David, said there was a “victims of crimes” case against the Toff regarding his assault on a woman called Elizabeth.
This time the Toff explained to the bloke that he was a 85 year old pensioner with dementia, a heart problem and had recently undergone brain surgery.
Oh! said the bloke – sorry about that but a number of people have said they think you look like a sexual predator.
Well f**k me said The Toff, how many more bastards are using my name out there.
Heist gallery founder, Mashael Al Rushaid, says her new exhibition ‘Origins’ draws on the narratives of ‘indigenous peoples on the corners of the planet, whose lives have remained unchanged for centuries’.
It’s bound to raise a few eyebrows, especially when one of its principal contributors, photographer Jimmy Nelson, has previously been accused of presenting a “damaging” picture of tribal peoples.
But, if you can leave aside the politics of portrayal, the collection of photographs – many of them portraits – from a range of international photographers, is stunning.
A single Rankin eyescape at the gallery’s entrance focuses the viewer on the eyes in other works.
Often belonging to bodies that are decorated in paint, lavish jewellery, headgear, they connect us: the large brown irises in Mario Mariono’s gypsy girl Suman; those staring from behind a mask of jewellery in Xavier Guardans’ Rembes; from a mass of white fur, or under a hat of flowers, in Nelson’s Nenet and Dropka.
During World War I the United Kingdom called upon its female population to join the workforce.
With a majority of men being deployed and a dire need for production both to support the troops and to keep the country running, women were asked to “do their bit”.
Munition factories were one of the main sites where man (or woman) power was needed. These production facilities dealt mainly with trinitrotoluene (TNT), a toxic chemical compound that was originally used as a yellow die before its potential as an explosive was discovered.
It is no wonder that the women who were exposed to TNT on a daily basis turned yellow due to depigmentation of the skin.
Their hair would often turn green or reddish too and sometimes even fall out altogether.
Hence the nickname ‘Canary Girls’ or ‘Munitionettes’.
The side effects of working with such a toxic substance was not just visual. Other effects include: vomiting, nausea, migraines, breast deformation, chest pain, and weakening of the immune system.
On top of all these risks, the leading cause of death in the factories was explosions.
The biggest of these blasts was in 1918 at the National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell which killed 130 workers.
This is Britain’s worst ever disaster involving an explosion and it was the biggest loss of life in a single explosion during WWI.
Despite all these hazards and the women’s ability to perform both heavy duty and delicate tasks perfectly, on average, women were paid less than half of what their male counterparts received.
In 18th Century Lurgan, Ireland, Dr. John McCall’s wife Margorie fell ill with fever and died shortly thereafter.
Since he was a doctor and therefore rich, Margorie naturally had an expensive gold wedding ring – but at her death, neither John nor any other mourner was able to remove it from her swollen finger.
Due to fear that her fever would spread, Margorie was hastily buried in Shankill Cemetery, and news of the doctor’s dead wife spread throughout neighborhood.
Soon, some grave-robbers got busy digging up Margorie’s coffin. When they pried open the lid, they were delighted to find that yes, the valuable ring was still on her finger. Try as they might, they couldn’t pull off the ring, so they agreed to saw off the whole finger.
As the sharp blade cut into her skin, Margorie came back to life, sat bolt upright, and shrieked like a tween with Bieber Fever. A miracle if there ever was one!
When the startled corpse-desecrating thieves fled, Margorie was left alone to climb out of her grave like a creep and wander home.
Across town, her widower Dr. John was boozing with some relatives, sorrowful at the loss of his wife but also pumped about his new-found bachelorhood.
When he heard a gentle rapping, rapping on his chamber door, he opened it to find his dead wife, extra creepy and all wraithlike in her burial robes and bloody from the ol’ saw-to-the-finger ordeal.
The shock was too much for the doctor. He instantly dropped dead on the floor and was buried in the grave Marjorie had just vacated.
For 15 years, Irish anthropologist Martina Tyrrell has studied the relationship between humans and animals in Arviat, an Inuit community on the west coast of Hudson Bay, where the townspeople are increasingly having to cope with a large and dangerous visitor – the polar bear.
It’s a Sunday afternoon in mid-October. I’m standing near the cemetery at the eastern end of Arviat, with a handful of other people.
All eyes are fixed on the newly formed sea ice where a polar bear bellyflops into the sea, hauls itself back on to the broken ice, and bellyflops again.
Inuit men and women, accustomed to close encounters with polar bears, seem to be no less in awe of this creature than I am.
There are gasps of delight at the bear’s antics, and informed discussion about its age, size and sex – and the reasons why it is behaving like this.
This is the seventh or eighth bear I have seen in as many days. Daily, I join townspeople on the dock near my house.
Binoculars are passed around as we watch a mother bear and two yearling cubs on the snowy slope on the far side of the town.
Continue reading via The polar bears are coming to town – BBC News