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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day         Leslie Monk




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21 August 2014

Tory Mugs for Mugs

Grant Shapps, You’ve made my day.

The Ghost of Doubtfire

13 August 2014

Mrs Monk’s students secretly referred to her as Mrs Doubtfire, I choose to believe this was a compliment.

Mrs Monk is alive and well, but Mrs Doubtfire is no more.

9 August 2014

Imagine Charlie's WTF moment

We Monks have a painted floor that shines like an ice rink when freshly painted white, which it was today.

Mrs Monk says that Mr Monk is trying to be John Lennon, Alternatively she might say that he wants the house to look like an art gallery.

Either way the floor was painted by Mr Monk today and he made sure that Mrs Monk was out of the house while he undertook his task.

However Mrs Monk returned home early, unexpected. As she entered Cat Flap Charlie entered in her wake and unwittingly walked upon the wet paint, faltering he stalled, then made his slippery passage across the kitchen floor, his four cat legs seemingly out of control as if he were skating on ice. This was Charlie's WTF moment.

I looked down at my paint job and Charlie's skid marks.

We cleaned him up before he started to lick the paint off his paws. White paws on a black cat is not a good look.


the face of Southend West

His story and other stories of local interest.

All Legal



David Webb, of David Webb & Co solicitors, London Road, Westcliff, was struck off the solicitors register in 2013, having appealed and lost his appeal against that decision to strike  him off the solicitor’s register.  Mr Webb had also been banned from practicing as a solicitor in the late 90s, so he had form.

If you were his client during that time or faced him in court as an opponent,  you may have grounds to question any judgement made based upon his participation.

Please write to David Amess or Shoestringonline and get it off  your chest. Ask Mr Amess about his sunshine holidays in the Maldives at your expense.

4 August 2014

They used to call me Odd Socks in my youth, because of my habit of wearing one red and one green sock. Cannot say this was a deliberate statement on my part designed to challenge conservative values and the status quo.

This was just lazy sock pairing.

40 years later I found myself today embarrassed by Mrs Monk walking around Bluewater Shopping Centre wearing odd shoes.

Odd shoes! Surely, this is going too far?

One other odd thing I did notice was the tight vested muscle men promenading the Bluewaterv Mall inadvertently wearing cat’s meow, camp, Warhol-like Homo-erotic designer wear.

Now that is odd.

Did not see that coming.

4 August 2014

Bus Stop

3 August 2014

Osborne's Recession

For pity's sake Esther, please wear a vest.

31 July 2014

The Dog picture was bought from a charity shop with the intention of overpainting it. Then Mrs Monk went around town setting up these pictures, circa 1995, before the verb "photoshop" was invented.


25 July 2014

Drove into a manhole in Basildon Essex, where the manlid had been removed.

This happened soon after a thunderstorm, and torrential rain, but the suspicion is that some roadworks were left recklessly, or had been tampered with by vandals.

In any event we Monks wee impressed by the two motorists that came to our assistance. We were in fact trapped in a conundrum  where we could not proceed without allowing our rear wheel to collapse into the manhole, and we could not reverse without allowing our front wheel to collapse into the same void.

I understood the dilemma almost immediately but I also had to deal with the panic of my passenger, Mrs. Monk.

The problem was solved by a very smart motorist who blocked the other lane of traffic that might cause us harm. Thus the entire passage of two lanes of Essex drivers were obstructed while we calmly dealt with our crisis.

When I say calmly, I refer only to myself because Mrs Monk was less than calm and the two motorists who came to our assistance then became the target of abuse from a number of mindless motorists who thought they might vent their spleen with their horns.

"WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP",  seemed the appropriate but futile retort.

Thank you strangers for getting us out of a hole, quite literally.

20 July 1969

The First Man on the Moon

20 July 2014

 Death In Essex

Part 3.2

I looked at Southend and gazed at the longest  pleasure pier in the world.

17 July 2014

the silent fart

went on to become the Secretary of State for Education. He went too far and got the sack, and then got stuck in the toilet all in the same week, this week.

The final part of Death In Essex, by Sara Monk, ... is coming soon.

13 July 2014

Scottish Nationalism is as unpalatable as any other kind of self serving Nationalism?

This week’s “Question Time” featured Scottish Nationalists on the panel, and in the audience; all were on the whole trying to appeal for a “Yes“ vote by attacking the Tories in Westminster, but without appearing to attack the English, not all of whom are Tories.

Ironically, this would be a self serving argument for the Scottish Nationalists that would in fact help the Tories electorally, and disadvantage the “unselfish” Left in what they might call, “England”.

And all because of a random line somewhere near Hadrian’s Wall.

“Some of my best friends are English”, they said, “and we are richer than the Japanese”.

That is not a worthy argument for voting Yes, even if it were true.

No, that is a Tory argument for voting Yes.

Ten Years Ago

Love thy Neighbour

"This way to the QUIET PARTY"

Selected By Others

These pictures were chosen, for whatever reason, by readers of these pages and not by the editor, nor the photographer, usually Mrs Monk.

28 June 2014

comfortably free

“We have paid the police for information”

Rebekah Brooks

22 June 2014

Be a crow?

There's a crow flying
Black and ragged
Tree to tree

"Double Espresso. Got it."

11 June 2014



8 June 2014


 Meanwhile,, Gove and May were conversing calmly about which of them were most culpable for Islamic radicalisation in “Free Schools”

“Who should we fire? Your civil servant or mine?”

they seemed to say.

Neither wished to be found wanting.

We are left to ponder the apologies that seek to draw a blurred line and ”move on” as they say, to avoid accountability.


Staying Alive

One Year Ago

hypochondria by proxy

NHS box-ticking computerised questionnaire.

23 May2014


Bring powers back to Boris and away from Brussels?


23 May2014

Mrs. Monk, an immigrant who has no vote, joined me on a small walk to the polling station, where we were greeted by another elderly lady with a blue rosette, and I was glad to show her my polling card.

“Do I look like a Conservative?”, I asked her.

As I licked the pencil and prepared to make my cross, Mrs Monk called out to me across the hall and gave me instructions.

 “Monk, ...do the right thing”

“No!” I said, “I’m doing the left thing”

12 May2014

Where’s Max Clifford when Gary Barlow needs him?


6 May2014

The Co-operative,

Benfleet Essex

and other pictures taken in and about Leigh on Sea

It’s later than you think.

Three Years Ago

David Cameron rarely answers questions at Question Time, in Parliament, but when Dennis Skinners asked his question 30 April 2012 about the Culture Secretary debacle, Cameron told him to “take his pension”. Cameron snarled at Dennis Skinner and Hunt laughed out loud obsequiously.

Age discrimination is supposedly taken very seriously in Employment Tribunals, and anyone over 50 should beware of the bleeding obvious and demand answers of our prime minister who has just found God in time for the forthcoming election.

19 April 2014

Ben has a way with Bosch

Our Bosch washing machine recently died after ten years service. It was replaced accordingly and with little fuss.

Obviously we Monks are not the types to actually read instruction manuals and as long as that drum goes around mixing up soap and smelly tennis kit; that is good enough for us.

Today however the drum failed to go around as expected. 

Mrs. Monk of all people was seen reading the instruction manual, laundry being the one domestic task that she will not do without. I kept my distance and let her get on with it.

Two hours later and sooner than expected, all was resolved. The new machine has a setting which stops the machine being operated by a child. In this case we discovered that we had not set the washing machine to prevent a small child from misusing the machine , but a small child, Ben 2 years and three quarters, used this very setting to prevent us Monks from using it.

Don't you hate it when that happens?

We love you Ben.

Eight Years Ago

British Gas, You Are Fired, Again.

This story is so familiar. How did we all get suckered back and where is the consumers’ choice?


10 April 2014

 Like Maria Miller, this homeless duck built herself a home opportunistically misappropriating what was not hers. This happened to be a planter alongside a shoppers restaurant at Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex.

I watched her tidy up the planter and carefully pluck some weeds, and then arrange them about her recently laid eggs. I found myself wondering how so many eggs emerged out of such a small bird.

Unlike Maria Miller this duck was very popular and no apology was required.

9 April 2014

Maria Miller’s “apology” without contrition is not an “apology”.

Another politician fails to see that they have done wrong by misappropriating public money and continue to profit by that misappropriation.

See also......

All Legal


6 April 2014

Spring Blossom in the Gutter No Parking

phone pic taken by Mrs. Monk this day outside Monk house

1.derogatory  ( Brit ) a musician, esp a pop musician, regarded as being overconcerned with technique rather than musical content or expression
2.( Austral ) any musician, esp a professional one

3 April 2014

April Fool

comments on Conservative Party YouTube movie disabled

1 April 2014


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Love is a very splendid thing. A movie called "Love" was created by us Monks at Shoestringonline. We then discovered that there were 10,729 movies on vimeo with the same title. Most seem to be syrup, or church, or just bad, or all three. Surely there would be enough to start a Love Channel. Love Channel was born, or was there already a Love Channel. Apparently not.



Unlovely movies about love and a foil to the Love Channel

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Eight Years Ago

Essex Girls Under the Boardwalk

“We played there last week at the Cliff's Pavilion”

6 February 2006

Essex Spring Kitsch

may be found in Mrs. Monk’s set of pictures we call Ephemera

London People

Very happy to recommend this photostream of a photgrapher who chooses to chronicle real people on London Streets



This song came about after a weekend in Newcastle where Helen showed us around and we sang Bee Gee songs to amuse ourselves. We teased Helen about her Waitrose reproduction artwork for her new home. and her charming Geordie way of adding an additional syllable to some spoken words, "ear-ers" for example. Helen also had a strange theory that girls with very large ear-ers were Lesbians.

Rebekah Brooks and Helen of Troy were not on my mind when I wrote and recorded this song some time ago, and long before Rebekahgate. Rebekah Brooks has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Cuckoo Spit

This would be a new vimeo music channel where you might find the "music" created by Monks. aka “Cuckoo Spit”
Cuckoo Spit by name, cuckoo spit by nature.




Bus Stop Pictures

  Recent  Pictures of Cat Flap Charlie and Friends, snapped by Sara Monk from 2009 to date, are constantly added and removed from this set so his admirers, all over the world, may be frequently updated of Charlie's progress. Of this he is blissfully unaware, because he is a cat.



The Daily Sketch

Something appears here most days from the prolific pen or pencil of Mrs Monk and less frequently from  Mr Monk, when Mrs Monk becomes less productive.



Pictures by Sara Monk where the TV is featured, either directly or inadvertently.




People at work and at play.





The Daily Sketch



...a hard sell these days, because photography is a medium with potential to show a great deal very badly, whereas abstract art intends to show very little very well....


 Recent Pictures of Monks 


105,000 people passed this Newsagent Window last year. Place a free ad or find a bargain. No catch.

The Daily Sketch

Something appears here most days from the prolific pen or pencil of Mrs Monk and less frequently from  Mr Monk, when Mrs Monk becomes less productive. A sketch is something produced in a fleeting moment or two of inspiration, not intended to be a finished work, but nevertheless too precious to be ignored. Artists like Tracy Emin make a career without ever progressing beyond this stage. Mrs Monk is currently impressed by Tracy Emin, now that Tracy has disclosed on TV, her very own private lapping swimming pool in the basement of her home. Mrs Monk also loves to do laps on a daily basis, and to count her laps, in a mermaid dream, but in a less than private swimming pool.

More 2014

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3 Most Read Stories  last 30 Days as follows...  

The Untouchables

27 June 2013

George Osborne would rather choke on a pheasant than......

All Legal

4 December 2012

"It is all legal, look at the rules book."

23 May2014


Bring powers back to Boris and away from Brussels?

3 Most Read Stories   last 12 Months..  as follows...

7 October 2013

Feckless In Need

bankers were found short of competence in charge of pension contributions

24 September 2009

Revenge of The Telephobic

a surreal conversation with a lady salesperson, selling indeterminate goods.

Vocation or Vacation

15 December 2013

MP’s PAY, a free lunch and a subsidised bar.

Other Popular Stories  last 12 Months..  as follows...  

April Fool

comments on Conservative Party YouTube movie disabled

1 April 2014

Ahh! Bush Country?

1 April 2011 

Colonel Gaddafi:  “You take me for a fool. I shall be exiled. Take me to Best Buy”

31 MARCH 2014

Tory DNA

So clever of the Chancellor to bribe pensioners with their own money.

24 Sep 2013

Stifled Spin

You will have heard Ed Balls volunteer to have his spending pledges assessed by the Treasury.

Hannan, the Deluded

24 November 2012 Whether or not Daniel Hannan, MEP, should be expelled from the Conservative Party.

11 January 2014

Fear of Buying

"They are a bit dry", she said, "Not fresh", she explained.

19 May 2012


High street giant Currys are not honouring Extended Warranty contracts.

Daily Mail

Exploits Manslaughter of Children