Sunday, June 15, 2008

[post-stupour blogging] of elections, missed buses and exams

All right, I admit it - I was asleep when the door buzzer went and 'they' came for Welshcakes to take her voting.

It's Sunday, about 4 in the afternoon and I've just been experimenting with the concept of 'siesta' for real. Tried to go through books of picture postcards but was a bit too heavy-eyed after the prosciutto lunch and well ... you understand. Welshcakes also had it in mind to do a bit of siestering but the little question of having to go out to vote precluded that.

By the way, there were some sticks of grissini and that was going to be sufficient, wasn't it? Not a bit of it. Welshcakes wrapped them in basil leaves and prosciutto - then they were ready.

I'm completely lazy. Not completely. Earlier today [10 a.m.] I went down the hill to the lower town to see a Russian friend who had just seen off her Russian friends and we ambled along to the bus stop which is situated at the end of a long 'Y' shaped road, which was once two mighty torrents of river.

I'm not explaining well. The whole of the lower town is in a valley, with the ancient buildings clinging to it either side. Picturesque just isn't a sufficiently apt word. Well, at the end of this were two forlorn ladies who'd missed the bus because unbeknowns to them - it's both Sunday and election day today, which brings me back to Welshcakes who has just been taken away to vote.

No doubt she'll blog on that later. I plan to take Welshcakes down the road for a late supper at the Consorting Cafe [don't get the wrong idea] and I promised to change the lightbulb and I'll do the vacuuming tomorrow morning - not sufficient recompense for her kind taking-in of this irrascible blogger in his hour of need but I'll think of something.

So there it is, dear reader. We're getting our energy levels up as best we can for the big day tomorrow - exam day for her school all day Monday. I presume the examiner will be from the British Council.

My Russian friends, meanwhile, are visiting another town and I'll catch up with them tomorrow as well. Now I eagerly await Welshcakes return, in her light blue splendour, from her exciting dip into Sicilian political culture.

Being stateless myself, I'll mix her a light refreshment and enjoy her tales of derring-do . Oh and it's now 37 degrees C.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

[tyke that] been shoovellin' mook agin, ha ye, lad?

Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at

Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane
Tha's bahn' to catch thy deeath o` cowd
Then we shall ha' to bury thee
Then t'worms'll come an` eyt thee up
Then t'ducks'll come an` eyt up t'worms
Then we shall go an` eyt up t'ducks
Then we shall all ha' etten thee
That's wheear we get us ooan back
Ah ooan back lad, ah ooan back
An aw'll be at peace
I don't think.


[at any time] fragility of life

At any time.

[home's your castle] have I got news for you

Chris Cocker, 36, from Blackburn, laughed so hard while watching BBC TV's Have I Got News For You that he fell off the sofa, the BBC reported. A neighbour in the flat below heard the thud and called police.

"I fell off the settee in hysterics and hit the floor and got myself up and started carrying on watching the telly and the next thing I know there was a knock on the door," Mr Cocker said.

The knock was from police officers, but Mr Cocker was not happy to see them and refused to co-operate. "The bit where I lost it the most was when I shut the door and the policeman had stuck his foot in the doorway and was refusing to let me shut my own front door," he said.

Police then pepper-sprayed Mr Cocker, bundled him into a police van and took him to a police station where he said he was stripped naked and made to spend a night in a jail cell, the BBC said.

The whole thing turns on three points:

1. Mr. Cocker got up all by himself and didn’t inconvenience anyone else in this difficult manouevre;

2. Mr. Cocker clearly had not installed the second security door for when troublesome visitors stick their feet through the outer door;

3. The necessity to be naked in jail.

I’d dearly love to hear a recording of the initial conversation between the boys in blue and Joe’s brother but there is one point left unresolved and uncommented on in this whole tawdry episode – the programme ‘Have I Got News For You.

I do feel there is a prima facie case for search and arrest of the main culprits on that particular show and quite substantial justification for 42 day detention and waterboarding, those subversives being prime candidates for insurgency status.

Would all this have happened under Angus Deyton?

Friday, June 13, 2008

[clubs] of tammany and tin gods

You know, I’ve really started wondering about the angst and the aggro surrounding clubs.

Before I go any further, time for the disclaimer – I shall studiously try to avoid references to any specific clubs and organizations bar one and yet there seems to be a common denominator, from football to online clubs.

One of the groups I think which needed to take a long hard look at itself in the past was the Scout Organization. They had a handbook called Policy, Organization & Rules, a bureaucratic tome if ever there was one, which in turn was referred to as ‘Press on Regardless’.

What was the point? It was supposed to be a friendly, voluntary, philanthropic organization, for goodness sake. Did the pedantic language ever stop one kiddie fiddler from slipping through the net? And yet the plethora of rules seemed to give a certain type of person a certain type of security, setting up a hierarchy in which the top positions were sought after.

Yacht clubs are notorious for both those who wish to avoid all responsibility, to escape being roped into working bees and the like and those who seek the top club positions, not above a little manouvering and elbowing to climb that greasy pole.

What’s the point? Is there some sort of pleasure to be derived from resolutions and minutes of meetings and from the seconding of motions through to imposing gruelling sets of restrictions on members? Why do clubs lumber themselves with these things?

With online groups, are those who rise to the top the best ones to run the show? Are there distinct starters and runners? What’s the point of an online group? What sort of person should be allowed in and what sort should be allowed to remain?

What’s the club actually for?

I confess I don’t know – it seems that there is a moment where it seems an eminently good thing to do and then there comes the time when the damned thing should be given away because it is just bringing everyone down.

The key question I’d like an answer to is how to have a club without people posting threats about others, getting all ‘ultimatum happy’ and generally causing misery for all around. Where’s the pleasure in that?

Why would anyone wish to be part of all that?

[interim report] light at the end

Envisage Wednesday we'll be freed up to blog. Just now there are my Russian visitors and the exam time plus Sunday's election [see Welshcakes' posts] but it eases up after Tuesday.

Little bit of Russo-Italian stick. The visiting ladies went to dine last evening in the lower town and I went with them for a while. When the waiter came over, I indicated, 'Belissimo, non?' nodding to the three and he said, 'Non.'

He clearly felt I should be confining my activities to a good Sicilian girl or maybe a Welsh girl in Sicily, had he known about the lovely lady up in the middle town, Sordo. Of course I can't invite you all to Welshcakes' place but there's a nice B&B down the road - actually ultra-nice:

Pinetta Monserrato
Tel/faz +39.0932.946.908

So if you fancy a spacious B&B on the hillside overlooking the old town, that's your spot. If you fancy some Italian lessons in a most civilized manner [thereby allowing this household of ours to survive the summer], the place is:

English International School

Welshcakes is too modest to say but she's a fully qualified teacher in Italian and Paula can also do this. She is today teaching one of the Russian girls.

In all seriousness though, it's a fabulous area with more than reasonable rates compared to the rest of Europe and last evening's cool 22 degrees walking through the old town was a delight, not to mention the cuisine and the sheer relaxation here.

And you'd get to meet Welshcakes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Field of Dreams

'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight
by Emily Jane Brontë

'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.

Crossposted at Cherie's Place.

Thanks, Cherie from James.

[reasons for silence] tall tales and true

Watch that nose!

Have you ever noticed how things gang up on you and then your limp reasons for not blogging are 'blogging will be light' or 'RL intrudes'?

Bet my reasons sound a little far fetched.

For a start, Welshcakes was finally forced to take a day of recuperation yesterday [hence her prolific blogging but you'd never know that, the stoic] and was homebound on the recommendation of Dr. Higham.

Then I was called out by a certain bevy of unspecified gender to impart certain knowledge and a goodly part of the day was spent either doing that or checking in on home.

Then a certain Russian lady was arriving at 10 last evening with a ladyfriend and with the threat of another arriving today, I helped them into their digs but the prospect of a nightcap with a certain WCL had me scooting up the hill to find a quite chipper Welshcakes furiously pumping the keyboard.

We enjoyed the nightcap.

Then old Higham hit the day and didn't stir until now, one hour before being due down the hill once again.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pub quiz: McCanns and W.S. Churchill?

Pub quiz: McCanns and W.S. Churchill?

What is the connection between the McCann case and Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)?

Clue: Famous quotes.

[quickies] tuesday morning boys' talk

Nice little piece from Ordo - this on McCain, for example:

If it looks and smells like an intellectual pygmy, then it probably is an
intellectual pygmy...

Or from Sackerson:

I must start to read the big-words papers.
Or from Wolfie:

It doesn’t get much better than this. [Together with Wolfie's marriage guide]

Or from Rob at The Broadsheet Rag:

But bare with me.
Yes Rob - I'll give it a try. Wait for me. :)