'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

If you've come here looking for pictures of a camp Roman soldier - click on this link

Monday, June 25, 2007

So Here It Is . . .

Cockermouth. June. Four days after the summer solstice. I have just been into the Co-op & come out with my shopping in a Christmas-at-the-Co-op branded plastic bag. Is this a record?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Geordie Waste Disposal

We're obliged to the BBC for this extraordinary insight into standards of personal sanitation among the Geordies. Flushing a DD bra down your toilet is, to put it mildly, a novel way of disposing of unwanted underwear. Though the fact that the sewage system couldn't cope with this item is probably due to the shoddy standards of workmanship often encountered in the North-East. We also note that the pipe was blocked with 'a build-up of grease and fat' - no doubt indicating the culprit was enjoying a typically nutritious Geordie diet. All attempts at speculative reconstruction of the events leading up to the fatal flushing have left us speechless. Obviously a story for which the world is not yet ready . . .


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Al Gore ithm

Yesterday I think I was spammed. I got an email from Al Gore on behalf of Live Earth. I was invited to participate in an event –Live Earth Day. I had to host a party - a 'Live Earth House Party' . It sounded like a good idea and my opportunity to do something for the planet (again!). Anyways ~ about 10 mins into filling in a very complex form, designed to do what, I don't know, I lost the will and decided to spoil the ballot paper. I submitted my stuff and sat back. Initially I got the automated advices back and then what still seems to be an automated deletion of my posting. I still think it's automated. Am I being paranoid or do you think that this is a genuine happening. Here's the response followed by my further enquiry. I've done a lot of this sort of automated email and they can be very clever.

From: Live Earth [mailto:info@friendsofliveearth.org] Sent: 20 June 2007 23:56
To: Brian Dawes
Subject: Event Deletion: Live Earth House Party
An event you posted has been deleted from our system. The event's details are below.
Live Earth House Party
Time: Saturday, July7 at 12:00 PM - All Day Event
Location: Arkleby arkl;eby, CA72BT

Hello Brian,
I have deleted your event as it did not contain information making it seem like a valid event. If you do indeed intend to host a real festival in support of the Live Earth message of the need for climate protection please log back onto www.liveearth.org and re-register your event through Friends of Live Earth on the right hand side. This time please include more information and do not put 'silly' in the addressee box.

Thank you for your understanding.
Live Earth

Dear Live Earth
I would like to host a live earth musical even. But in these Spam Days that we live in I started to mistrust the questions being asked so I introduced some spurious spelling mistakes and answers.
If indeed this is a genuine real event please can a real person respond and not just what seems to be an al gore ithm.
Brian Dawes

What do you lot think – am I off beam on this one?

The Longyearbyen Day

Yes, it's the summer solstice, and while this blog comes from the north, it's just not quite north enough. So we're taking you straight off to Svalbard, land of the midnight sun - here's a link to a Svalbard webcam, so that you can enjoy 24-hours of light entertainment. (May require Java plug-in).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last Exit To Whitehaven

Spotted at last weekend's Whitehaven Maritime Festival - a nautical type in full uniform blocking the gangplank to one the ships with a sign saying HMS Balmoral - No More Cruising Tonight while simultaneously fending off a party of obviously disgruntled gay men.

Les Delices De Cumbria - Part XXI

(Actually, we're beginning to lose count). Those among our regular readers looking for a genuinely Italianate experience in Cumbria need go no further than the fabulous Lizzie's Cumbrian Frutta Cotta, a mesmerising concoction of figs, apricots and prunes steeped in spices and rum. There are rumours that the same lady produces a Cumbrian version of that full-on Italian post-prandial delicacy involving preserved fruit and mustard. A delicacy too far for the present writer, though I suspect that others may disagree . . .

Canny Geordies

Here at the News we're liberal and broad-minded. Rarely do we descend to parading ignorant, uninformed prejudice. (Our prejudices are, of course, based on profound knowledge & being staggeringly well-informed). But just occasionally, reality comes along & reassures us that, yes indeed, the world is precisely as we believed it to be. What else can we do, therefore, but draw your attention to this hilarious story about standards of honesty among inhabitants of the Canny Toon?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

International Incident #0001

Picture the scene dear reader - well actually I can do better than that - words fail see photo. A near deserted holiday apartment complex Albir Spain. I was sitting on one of the white plastic things near the pool keeping any eye on my 6 yr old grandson Audi. The blue object to to the right of the picture near the pool is German. The German frau has arrived with her grandson. The little German plays in the pool just behind the tree on the left. The lady places herself with me directly in line of sight of her duty of care and begins to read. Do you like the German edition of Hello magazine? Eva does (I'm resisting the obvious jibes you will notice). I have not spoken. She then asks me to move as she cannot see her grandson. So I move.
Why did she not move? Why did she speak English? Why did she sit where she did? Why did I move without a murmur? Why does my grandson have a German car brand as a christian name? Can it be changed?
Last night at 'that round bar' we went for a night cap with J&T. Within seconds I was asked to move out of line of sight, again in English, by the Rumanian barmaid, of the TV screen. Apparently the big chain smoking German sat at the bar couldn't move and I had to. I didn't speak. I moved. Am I getting soft? Have I gone arse (as they say in Sarth Efrica)?

On Tour in search of the breakfast

Me, RW, the daughterous one (Ems) and greGG and the 2 grandkids – Audi & 'rilla are in Spain for a week visiting RW's parents 'June and Terry' (I kid not). Ems, greGG and A&'r are in one apartment and we, due to some misunderstanding on the size of the apartment, are now staying with J&T. The misunderstanding will be sorted on Monday – Spanish holiday company management do not work at weekends. We have to ring back at 9.30 tomorrow so for the next while (as they say in South Yorkshire) we will sleepover at J&T's.

We are in Albir.

10 June 2007: This morning it rained in Spain so we had breakfast at a Spanish Caff and discovered Pan Tumaca. Basically Bread and Tomato – Toasted not fried bread but despite that close to the Cumbrian delicacy. Probably - slightly healthier.

Benidorm cannot be seen from Albir. Apart from a couple of bars catering for the Brit tourist/expat contingent is still quite Spanish. I have resisted any attempt to speak Spanish so far relying on RW to keep me straight. Driving on the right, changing gear with my right hand, putting on belt with left hand, looking left at roundabouts…….. grief I don't know how the Spanish manage without RW and Ems keeping them in-line. Maybe if 'they' had remembered to bring their driving licenses then I could have said 'why did you turn right back there'. Nearly forgot to mensh that the left turn out of Alicante airport following the newly acquired SatNav device takes you to an entirely different Albir. This Albir added 70 minutes to our journey and another reason to be cited in RW's divorce papers.RW and I have still to speak civilly to one another. The circumstances are, you will understand, a little extenuating.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

On days like these

There are a couple of days just towards the end of May and away from the start of June when Cumbria looks particularly good. The hedges and verges are just at the end of their first flush, a little manicuring is taking place, and the drive to work from Aspatria to Whitehaven is a joy. There's a point on the road just after the Chapelbrow roundabout when I can see at least half of Cumbria - from the mountains to the sea and from Whitehaven to Wigton. The temperature is 19oC at most, but it's glorious. 'You could almost live here' my inner voice opines.

Even the bit of my drive where I turn off the Cleator Moor road down through the 'nice' Hensingham council estate passing the 'lovely' hospital gives me an artist worthy view over Keekle and Wath Brow (sheer poetic place names) to the Ennerdale fells. You can tell that May be out. The morning shoppers are awaiting the free Tesco bus. The ill smokers are sat on the steps outside the hospital. Their pink-grey anoraks and car coats cast off. Sleeveless shirts and frocks with seconds from New Balance seem to be in. I swerve to miss a lurcher and narrowly glance a wheelie bin strategically placed 3 feet from the pavement by the black bag skirted dustbin men and say to my inner voice " sorry-I didn't quite catch that".

I do love and appreciate the place - I just wish that all Cumbrians did.