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unmade films



for Building Plans on CAD for  Planning Permission


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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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



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.

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


This tune was recorded one April Fools' Day. I have no idea where it came from. It was just a bit of spontaneous foolishness.

Three Years Ago

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.

One Year Ago

Dear George

Ugly Britain. The day George Osborne vilified the poor and the Daily Mail  exploited the manslaughter of children.

23 MARCH 2014

Trolling the Trolls

 24 MARCH 2014

People who accuse others of being Trolls, are also exposed to the charge of cyber bullying.

22 MARCH 2014

 Death In Essex

Part 3.1

the silent fart

Barely perceptible to the sedentary teacher who sits in front of the class all day

18 MARCH 2014

Waiting For Colonoscopy

Mrs Monk’s Sketch Books are frequently published on Flickr


Tony Benn

Our government appointed Ian Duncan Smith to deny inequalities in Britain. Our government does not recognise the need for Food Banks, or Bedrooms, and requires sick and dying benefit recipients to forfeit their benefits.

Tony Benn felt otherwise and said so with every breath he once had.


Bob Crow

Wherever he now be, there will be no more Zero Hour Contracts.



10 MARCH 2014


Mrs Monk was delighted to discover a Bumble Bee this morning.

Just the one.

Like me she notes an increasing disregard for nature.  Birds bees and trees would seem to be increasingly threatened. Without them we would all be dust. Such are the demands of the cement garden mentality.

The following story was published in 2009.

God Bless Darwin

We bought the Tee Shirt

8 MARCH 2014

A Confrontation

One of a set of pictures called Ephemera, featuring items designed to be useful or important for only a short time and/or occasionally embedded with prescient significance. Photos by Sara Monk.


Five Years Ago


Readers have found this story of my missing phone recently so I am happy to put this link on the front page.

“I have my phone” said Mrs. Monk, waving it and taunting me.

And other Florida stories from theses pages.

3 March 2014

“Government statistics reveal that between January 2010 and January 2011, 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of their benefits having been ended after being wrongly assessed as fit for work by ATOS.”

Happy to recommend that my readers subscribe to Tom Pride

Nine Years Ago

7 March 2005

Matisse and Little Britain

The stiff upper lips dissolved into nervous smiles.

 Death In Essex

Part 2.2

I sought reassurance from myself but there was nobody at home.

20 February 2014


a small splash

The pictures found here are almost certainly taken by Mrs Monk and received the most short term attention lasting at least two whole days from this very day.
Will certainly be updated from time to time, so please come back if you please.


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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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16 February 2014

Our intention was to visit, or revisit, the art of Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern, but we stumbled upon a TOP SHOP fashion event that took over the Turbine Hall. Mrs Monk took these pictures. We discovered that when entering a doorway it is not the custom of a bony-arsed super model to give way to a senior couple who arrived at the door ahead of them.

12 February 2014


 Death In Essex

Part 2.1

fishermen shaded themselves from the sun under the giant "No Fishing" sign.


“Money is no object”

11 February 2014 PM

Barclays Bank announces diminished profit, 2000 job losses  and undiminished bonus awards on the same day.

“Money is no object”

11 February 2014 PM

Austerity! What Austerty?

“Money is no object”

David Cameron

Britain is not Broke after all.

11 February 2014 aM

Waterworld home county Tory heartland requires bailout

Conservative Party  PR into overdrive

Eight Years Ago

Essex Girls Under the Boardwalk

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

6 February 2006

 Death In Essex

Part 1.2

Dame Shirley Porter turned her back on me in disgust.

23 January 2014

 Death In Essex


Part 1.1

The last few remaining moments of the green light.

23 January 2014

"Zero-hours no way, decent jobs and decent pay." is the mantra of young unemployed job seekers protesting on the streets and fighting for a future . They have of course noticed that this government is content to allow privatised companies to drive down wages and conditions for hard work, while protecting high wages and obscene bonuses in the city.


19 January 2014

Ten Years

Shoestring Chronicle goes back a long while and more than ten years, but Shoestringonline is just ten years old today. It was conceived as a diary and never intended to earn cash, and in that respect it has fulfilled a promise and a potential. Readership has grown year on year, but if that  were to fall, Shoestringonline would nevertheless continue to materialise in one form or another as long as Monks have a creative impulse for it to continue.


If you look to the right of this column you may discover in real time what Mrs Monk has on her mind at any time day or night, through the medium of Twitter. Otherwise she has been the subject of comment on these page,  and has on the whole accepted and endorsed my views unless she disagrees. In that case I would be the first to know about it.


It may read, and let’s face it, Shoestringonline is intended to be read, as an assault on political hypocrisy, but then it all started modestly as a report on the sickness of Seamus, a lodger, and a cat.


19 Jan 2004

Seamus, the cat is sick. Not terminal, but he does have to get his teeth fixed, possibly pulled. The vet said he doesn't need teeth to eat. Excuse me for asking. New German Vet sounded Scottish to Mrs. Monk, but passed Monk inspection nevertheless, due mainly to her willingness to clean up cat poop with enthusiasm. Sent away to administer antibiotics before big op on Friday. Pray for Seamus.

The complete story is as follows....

Seamus is Sick

for one week only Mrs Monk has provided the wall paper.

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...  

24 September 2009

Revenge of The Telephobic

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

7 October 2013

Feckless In Need

bankers were found short of competence in charge of pension contributions

31 MARCH 2014

Tory DNA

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

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

All Legal

4 December 2012

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

The Untouchables

27 June 2013

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

Vocation or Vacation

15 December 2013

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

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

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