Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fun with Predictive Text

I know it may sound a very childish thing to do but I like to have fun with predictive text. I don’t do it on purpose but when I am writing a text I see what other word come up when I type in the one I want. Some interesting ones to arise :

PINT also gives SHOT and RIOT

QUEER also gives PUFFS

COCK also gives ANAL

I am sure there must be loads more so let me know what you find.

Almost winter

Two weeks ago I went to Sheringham to see Craig. The seaside town had changed so much since my last visit a month before. It was clear to see that it was quickly approaching winter. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, cold and windy, and the town was close to empty. On my last visit it had been sunny, warm and very busy but now there was a cruel wind coming off the see front and the streets were close to deserted. The town was starting to close down and go into hibernation.

In this respect some seaside towns remind me of a hedgehog – not because they are prickly and full of parasites but because they sleep for the winter months. Both need to build up their resources to last them the harsh time ahead. The hedgehog must put on enough fat to last it through its long sleep and the seaside town must gain enough financial bulk to last it the lean times to come. A wet cold summer can lead to disaster for both with a lack of worms or tourists meaning they may not survive. But luckily for both the summer was good and a mild and dryish (except for the last few days) October has given them extra time to fatten up.

I expect the next time I visit Sheringham it will start to look like a ghost town and have a gale blowing in off the sea. On the up side it may now be a little easier to get served in most of the pubs without the crowds.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Monty Python - Why ?

Monty Python is getting a bit of a resurgence on TV over the past few weeks. The musical Spam-a-Lot is big and there have been a great number of programmes about the cast, how they met, the writing of the series and what they are all up to now. Please, please stop ! I have never been a great fan of Monty Python and never found them that funny despite having a great liking for that style of humour. I know they invented that mad cap style of irreverence and anarchic comedy and led the way for many other comedians and comedy series but I just don’t like them.

In this country though it seems to be the 11th Commandment –

“Thou shall like Python and repeat famous sketches when drunk.”

Much like the 12th Commandment –

“Thou shall like Bohemian Rhapsody and sing it whenever drunk.”

As it goes I don’t like Bohemian Rhapsody either. In fact I would go as far to say I hate the bloody song !!! Hating both of these things in Britain is as close to treason as you can get without killing a member of the royal family. It seems that you should like it without question even though many people are not sure why they do.

So please, the powers that be, put all of the Python related stuff on a special channel and call it Python TV so I know to avoid it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Does a duck's quack echo ?

Apparently not ! Much to my great disappointment it turns out that a ducks quack does indeed echo. One of my great nuggets of useless and pointless trivial is now dead and buried. Mythbusters on BBC2 used fancy hi-tech sound recording equipment to break this long held and much derided myth. It turns out that there is an echo but it is very difficult to pick up with the human ear without technological help.

Next they will be telling me that most polar bears are not left-handed.

NB This urban myth/statement started when researchers studying polar bears in the artic monitored their hunting habits. They found that when hunting the right paw was used to hide their black nose and the left to kill the prey (seals mostly). It was surmised that the killing required the greater skill and so the dominant paw must be used. Therefore, most polar bears are left-handed !

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Great Cricket Insults

I have always imagined cricket as a sedate Sunday game played by middle aged business men on the local church green. But slating and bad mouthing the opposition are common place when professionals come to the crease and here are a few examples.

1. Rod Marsh & Ian Botham: When Botham took guard in an Ashes match, Marsh welcomed him to the wicket with the immortal
"So how's your wife & my kids?"

2. Daryll Cullinan & Shane Warne:As Cullinan was on
his way to the wicket, Warne told him he had Been waiting 2 years for another chance to humiliate him. "Looks like you spent it
eating,"Cullinan retorted.

3. Glenn McGrath (bowling to portly Zimbabwean
chicken farmer Eddo Brandes): "Hey Eddo, why are you so F**ing Fat?"
Eddo Brandes: "Because everytime I F*** your wife, she throws me a

4. Robin Smith & Merv Hughes:During 1989 Lords Test Hughes said to Smith after he played & missed:"You can't f**king bat". Smith to Hughes
after he smacked him to the boundary: "Hey Merv, we make a fine pair. I
can't f**king bat & you can't f**king bowl."

5. Merv Hughes & Javed Miandad:During 1991 Adelaide
Test, Javed called Merv a fat bus conductor. A few balls later Merv
dismissed Javed: "Tickets please", Merv called out as he ran past the
departing batsman.

6. Merv Hughes & Viv Richards:During a test match in
the West Indies, Hughes didn't say a word to Viv, but continued to stare
at him after deliveries.
"This is my island, my culture. Don't you be staring
at me. In my culture we just bowl." Merv didn't reply, but after he
dismissed him he announced to the batsman: "In my culture we just say
f**k off."

7. And of course you can't forget Ian Healy's
legendary comment which was picked up by the Channel 9 microphones when
Arjuna Ranatunga called for a runner on a particularly hot night during a
one dayer in Sydney... "You don't get a runner for being an overweight,
unfit, fat c**t!!!"

8. James Ormond had just come out to bat on an ashes
tour and was greeted by
Mark Waugh....... MW : "F**&^$#@ me, look who it is.
Mate, what are you doing out here, there's no way you're good enough to
play for England" JO : "Maybe not, but at least i'm the best player in my family"

9. McGrath to Ramnaresh Sarwan: "So what does Brian
Lara's d**&^$#@ taste like?" Sarwan: "I don't know. Ask your wife." McGrath
(losing it): "If you ever F*&king mention my wife again, I'll F*ing rip your

10. Mark Waugh standing at second slip, the new
player (Adam Parore) comes to the crease playing & missing the
first ball. Mark - "Ohh, I remember you from a couple years ago in
You were sh*t then, you're fu*king useless now". Parore- (Turning
around) "Yeah, that's me & when I was there you were going out with that
old,ugly sl*t & now I hear you've married her. You dumb c*nt".

11. Yet another Australian witticism with this time
porky Sri Lankan batsman Arjuna Ranatunga the victim. Shane Warne,
trying to tempt the batsman out of his crease mused what it took to get
the plump character to get out of his crease and drive. Wicketkeeper Ian
piped up, "Put a Mars Bar on a good length. That should do it."

12. Ravi shastri v/s the aussie 12th man (don't remember who, and don't
to slander anyone ) shastri hits it to this guy and
looks for a single...this guy gets the ball in and says "if you leave the
crease i'll break your f***ing head" Shastri: "if you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn't be the f***ing 12th man"

13. Malcolm Marshall was bowling to David Boon who had played and missed a couple of times. Marshall : "Now David, Are you going to get out now
or am I going to have to bowl around the wicket and kill you?"

14. Fred Trueman bowling. The batsman edges and the
ball goes to first slip,and right between Raman Subba Row's legs. Fred
doesn't say a word. At the end of the over, Row ambles past Trueman and
apologises sheepishly. "I should've kept my legs together, Fred". "So
should your mother" he replied.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bugz in the Attic

On the 25th of September I was walking home when I passed my usual haunt The Lord Roberts. Through the window I saw a friend and popped in to say hi. I was the last day of being in my 20s as I turned 30 the following day and was not yet ready to go home. We chatted for a while and he asked me if I wanted to go to a live gig with him which he would be reviewing for a local newspaper. I can’t remember the last live music I heard and as the night was still young I agreed to be his plus one on the guest list.

The venue was a typical student place, very dark, not much furniture and beer served in plastic glasses ! I had been there a few times in the past and little had changed. Cans of Red Stripe were aplenty as was the smell of cannabis. I was told that the band was a mix of soul, funk and jazz – not my favourite combination of music but I was looking forward to in none the less. And then the band came on …

Lead Singer (Female) – Amazing voice and great stage presence. Needed a stronger bra though as she kept threatening to pop out of it during the performance which could have caused huge damage to the front row of the audience.

Lead Singer (Male) – Boiler suit and VW badge. Good voice and did well at getting the crowd going.

Keyboards (Male) – Another boiler suit and looked like a doorman I used to work with. Played well and loads of enthusiasm.

Keyboards (Female) – Thought she was a drum stick to start off with. Needed a few good meals. Also sang and had a very soulful voice.

Drummer (Male) – Very fit man and the live drumming added a great spark to the sound of the group.

Keyboard (Male) – Didn’t see much of him throughout the gig. May have been shy or just stood behind the lead singer.

DJ (Male) – The easiest job of the whole evening and whole group. Another boiler suit and big afro. Did not see him actually mixing any records. Occasionally played some small percussion instruments and set of a siren that indicated the end of one song and the start of the next.

Despite the varied mix of the band members they complemented each other well and their music was great. A little slow to get started but by track four they were in full swing. A blend of Band New Heavies meets Basement Jaxx and whilst these may not be my favourite bands I couldn’t help but dance and sway to the infectious beats. A top night and a brilliant way to say goodbye to my 20s and hello to my 30s.

This week I am off to see Journey South ! God help me !

Good News Bad News

On the 26th of September it was my 30th Birthday ! I approached it with some trepidation but on the whole was looking forward to it. The day was set up by a visit from my boyfriend the previous week during which we spent much time eating out and drinking vast amounts of alcohol. He left on the Sunday before but not without leaving me a bundle of presents and a card to open on the big day.

The day arrived and I awoke somewhat bleary eyed (a night out with Mike at a gig which I shall write about soon) and looked at the bottom of my bed expecting to see the Grim Reaper looking at his watch – he wasn’t there. I opened Craig’s presents (lighter, aftershave and boxer shorts – very nice) and popped downstairs for the post. A nice jumble of cards from friends and relatives were on the door mat. The rest of the day was spent doing very little, a favourite of mine.

The evening approached and I set of to the Roberts for a Birthday drink with friends. A very nice present from Alan (Scissor Sisters album) and many rounds of drinks from the others. And then the bad news came – JP a close friend of all of us had been involved in a road accident whilst working in China ! He had sustained a head injury and as a nurse I expected the worst. But all does not seem that bad. Mike had been in constant contact with work colleagues who were with JP at the time and although not at his best he was at least stable.

I felt quiet bad trying to celebrate a Birthday when being faced with such bad news, but was reminded by a friend that JP would have wanted us to carry on with the party and drink as much as we could. So in honour of him we carried on, many toasts were made and a good night was had by all.

JP has now been flown to a hospital in Hong Kong where he is receiving excellent treatment. His partner is also with him. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.