Posts Tagged ‘foxer’

The Foxer

Warm-up foxer (What am I?)

I’m not nearly as naval as I sound. One of my first victims was a swift dog. I’ve a tenuous connection with bees. I was invented by a man born in Northern Ireland. I probably inspired a WW2 rodent. I could fit inside a shoe box. In my earliest form I was manufactured close to a river named after a British king. I have something in common with SR-71s, the seventh Tintin book, and Ireland’s favourite alcoholic drink. I was first used in the 19th Century. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

Warm-up foxer (What am I?)

I was born in Somerset during the reign of Queen Victoria. I’m mentioned in a Beatles song. I did my bit during WW1 and WW2. I’ve starred in several films. I was invented by a Geordie. I play an important role in the summer Olympics. I’m in the Guinness Book of Records. In my original form I had something in common with gunpowder and Nivea skin cream. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

Warm-up Foxer (What am I?)

I’m about the size of a playing card. I was created in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. I have something in common with The Venus of Brassempouy. I was given to a politician famed for his oratory. I’m currently in North America. My creator shared a first name with a notable Gallic thespian, a Doctor Who sidekick, and one of Winnie’s children. I sound like the strapline in a cosmetics ad. I’m possibly NSFW. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer


Warm-up foxer (Where am I?)

The city I’m in was occupied by the Germans during WW2. In front of me is a large rusty anchor. Behind me is a BMW dealership. I’m a stone’s throw from a structure that shares its name with a 21st Century cartoon character, an area of Baghdad, and an artllery piece. I’m due north of an island Napoleon knew well. I’m in a country with a female PM and a male monarch. I’m 1.7 km from a cathedral and 5.5 km from a tram museum. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

The discovery of the analeptic power of rainbows is usually credited to Flight Lieutenant Peter Geidmentis of the RAF. In July 1943 his Spitfire Mk XII was badly damaged by flak over NW France. Too low to bail out, the DFC & bar winner was scouring the countryside for a suitable spot for a wheels-up landing when his ravaged machine passed through the arch of a particularly vivid rainbow. “The effect was immediate.” says Geidmentis in his 1968 autobiography, The Desecrators. “My Griffon engine awoke with a start. I found I had full aileron control again. When I glanced at my mangled port wing, my heart skipped several beats. The ragged holes had disappeared. Where they’d been, droplets of a mercury-like liquid scuttled about like scared scarabs. Tugged at by the slipstream, the last of these miraculous beetles lost its grip as I turned onto finals at Tangmere.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

Bramley End hasn’t been the same since Henrietta Howe, the world-famous amateur sleuth, moved into Hollyhocks. Everyone is on tenterhooks waiting for the first murder. ‘Henry’ was driven out of her last village, Cyrille Regis in Wiltshire, after the 11th slaying. Her previous neighbours, the long-suffering residents of Shithot St. Bernard, Somerset, put up with 37 before kicking her out.

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The Foxer

Trevor almost got himself shot on Sunday. Me, Roman, and Maxine were in the Green Man enjoying preprandial pints, when Henry Lord came in ranting about a “devil’s daffodilly” that had been panicking his ewes in Bottom Acre. As we’re the only triffid owners in the neighbourhood we guessed it was probably Trevor, and, sure enough, it was. We eventually found the runaway in one of the old mushroom sheds on the Chipstable road, and after lots of fun and games got him in the horsebox and back home. It turns out the cunning bugger had escaped by rolling a fascine of fencing stakes into the ha-ha. It will break Helen’s heart but I think we’re going to have to tether him overnight from now on. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: A Fanfare of Foxers

Like a sentry on a bitter night or the Isle of Man in a strong sou’westerly, Flare Path’s birthday has a tendency to move about. Last year the champagne corks ricocheted and the streamers tangled on August 12. This year the big day is September 1. Today Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s most Panzeriferous and Spitfiery column becomes a hexager. Celebrations will take the usual form – a litter of wet-nosed, bushy-tailed, berry-eyed foxers all far more approachable and, potentially, much more rewarding, than the standard co-op type. (COMPETITIONS NOW CLOSED) Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

“The thing about cloud sculpting is you’ve got to work quickly. I generally use a Vector K280 quadcopter fitted with 8” whiskers and 10” trails. The K280 can dart like a kingfisher and generates minimal wash thanks to those beautifully integrated fenestrons. In perfect conditions I reckon to carve a RAF WW2 barrage balloon in around 30 minutes. One of my trademark Short Sunderlands obviously takes a little longer – maybe an hour – and depending on the cloud fabric may involve some detail work with semi-autonomous K160s.”

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The Foxer

Sun out. Work done. Roman sitting on the front step, blowing soap bubbles for Rumpus to chase. Maxine and Uncle George in the yard pottering about with Hero, the annexe’s 4” scale traction engine. Helen asleep on a rug under the magnolia, an open copy of The Chrysalids perched on her arm like a ridge tile.

This is it. The moment I’ve been waiting for. I type “EEL SPEAR” into my phone and less than a minute later, in a pavement cafe on the other side of the world, Father Time lowers his newspaper to find a silenced Walther PP pointed at his head.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer


Male Sparkuhl Bowerbirds were foxer setting long before Roman and his ilk arrived on the scene. At the start of the courtship season, these handsome electric-blue glade dwellers set about constructing elaborate woven collages with hidden themes. Objects incorporated range from the natural – feathers, flowers, seeds etc. – to the synthetic – sweet wrappers, scraps of newspaper, used condoms… Themes tend to be historical, scientific, or arts-related. Jan Hugens, a Dutch ornithologist who has been studying Amblyornis Sparkuhli for over 30 years, reckons the most successful males construct puzzles that bamboozle for at least two hours. Female Sparkuhl Bowerbirds hate to be patronised, apparently. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

To the thief who stole the spaniel-shaped RSPCA collection box from the defoxing annexe lobby while Maxine was helping Helen change the wheel on her Panda.

May dogs distrust you,
Cats boycott you,
And birds button their beaks in your presence.
May mice wake you,
Ticks warm to you,
And butterflies slam shut as you approach.
May bluebottles and blowflies
fly noisy circuits over your deathbed. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

Roman was in confessional mood yesterday evening at the Green Man. His tongue loosened by several pints of Old Cloudy, my chief foxer setter finally explained why he and Helen, the defoxing annexe librarian, were no longer together. It turns out there was no fling with Maxine… no ultimatum related to Roman’s house-filling collection of historically significant barbed wire. During a day trip to Stonehenge, the pair rowed irrevocably about the origins of the bluestones. Roman’s ardent belief in Welsh quarries collided head-on with Helen’s unshakeable faith in erratic glaciers. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

Rumpus, the youngest of the defoxing annexe cats, is a regular Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer. Every day as dusk approaches he scrambles onto the roof of the log store to await the evening bat exodus. Every morning Maxine arrives to find the front step littered with downed Pipistrelles. We’ve tried collar bells, security lights, and stern ultimatums but our one-cat Kammhuber Line just keeps on killing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

Maginot Maxine is shivering like a breeze-ruffled poplar tree. She swears old Mr. Spindle, an annexe regular, arrived as usual at 0930 this morning (They exchanged greetings; he mentioned the dead peacock – roadkill? – by the front gate). The encounter raises some interesting questions as we’ve just heard that Mr. Spindle dropped down dead in his garden yesterday evening. Read the rest of this entry »

The Foxer

The field beside the defoxing annexe is a mass of aurochs-eye daisies at the moment. Much larger than the more common ox-eye daisy, the aurochs-eye is the only variety of Leucanthemum known to wink. Some say the heart attack that took the life of four-time Derby winner Blue Pasha was caused by a patch of aurochs-eyes flashing their florets at him as he was passing.

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The Foxer

Attending the funeral of a professional foxer setter is rarely straightforward. In a tradition dating back to the 1930s the location and time of the service is almost always distributed in collage form. When Jim Poskett, the Telegraph’s veteran vulpinist, was laid to rest in 2001, there were only two of his peers at the graveside. A misidentified interwar biplane and a misinterpreted photo of Joyce Grenfell meant most mourners ended up 300 miles away inadvertently paying their respects to a deceased piano tuner. Read the rest of this entry »