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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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More Recent 2014


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


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


31 MARCH 2014

Tory DNA

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


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.


subscribe, no charge...

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

subscribe, no charge...if you must.


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


 Death In Essex

Part 1.2

Dame Shirley Porter turned her back on me in disgust.



Leigh upon Sea can be Sublime in spite of itself.

Mrs Monk’s photographs. The most recent appear first.

28 January 2014


Southend Council.

How very Fahrenheit 451?


28 January 2014

This book is a beautiful collection of Photographs and a well considered but an unduly extravagant gift for the Monks.

"Rebel with a camera: Dennis Hopper's stunning photographic archive is revealed," said the Independent, for example.

Like Mrs Monk, the late Dennis Hopper was a prolific photographer and this book recognises perhaps his most important work in this medium. The book is in fact a beautifully bound hardback of considerable weight that may just oblige the Monks to reinforce their coffee table.

The book is 2 inches thick and weighs a whopping 14lbs.Each page has been turned with considerable excitement.

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.

16 January 2014

The AA continue to make offers to get me back.

No thank you. Please stop wasting my time AA.

Two Years Ago

16 January 2012

Hello Co Op, Goodbye AA

The Monks decided to save money and cancel our AA membership of 20 years standing, and switch to the Co Op. When I called to cancel this and my Car Insurance, also with the AA, I did not expect to get abuse, and a lecture from a mega mouth sales man. He seemed to think he had the right to demand that I listened to his sales jargon and ignore my instructions to cancel my membership.

Essex Spring Kitsch

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

11 January 2014

Fracking For Food Banks

Fracking in the UK: 'We're going all out for shale,' admits Cameron.

Local authorities will be paid for this fracking says Dave, so they will now be able to pay for other stuff. Will they now provide  support for Food Banks 100%, or will Food Banks continue to be abandoned for charity to pick up the crumbs and hand out the gruel? 

Or will the local authority increase the Lunch allowance for Mayors and Councillors?


11 January 2014

Fear of Buying

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

London People

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



“A party wall is not a wall through which you have a party.”

So wise of you to make this observation.

7 January 2014

Friends & Family

George Osborne wants me to share his message with my Friends and Family?

4 January 2014

The Biggest Splash

Much of the England is flooded and battered with weather, including the Beach Front down the road where Mrs. Monk snapped this pic with her phone.

We are blessed with a photogenic subject; the Estuary can be sublime in all weathers.

New Year’s Eve Revisited

We had a great time.

2 January 2014

1 January 2014

Having adolescent neighbours with no adult supervision can be a problem.

They seem to think that they should decide when we might sleep and that they are at liberty to decide whether we shall be awake between the hours of 10 PM and 3 AM, and that we should listen to their choice of inept karaoke music in our beds.

The gloves are off since this is an oft repeated offence, and when we told them to turn it down, they pumped up the volume.

1 January 2014


Happy New Year

In recognising an immigrant, physical appearance counts for nothing.




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.

Monkfry's Selected By Others photoset Monkfry's Selected By Others photoset


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







More Recent 2014


Go to 2016 2015D  2015C 2015B 2015A 2014B 2014A 2013B, 2013A, 2012B, 2012A 2011B, 2011A , 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004

  Complain, Applaud, or Comment  CONTACT Shoestringonline


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

Vocation or Vacation

15 December 2013

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

24 September 2009

Revenge of The Telephobic

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

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

23 May2014


Bring powers back to Boris and away from Brussels?

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