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Showing posts from October, 2005

Matt's travel reviews NE special edition

Now, I've never been much of a one for Faliraki. Thoughts of Benidorm soothe not my quaking breast. The idea of the beaches of Goa fills me with a sensation of mild distaste.

This is not because I have anything against holidays abroad per se. I've had some jolly nice times abroad. Travel broadening the mind and what have you. But abroad is not generally my first choice for a holiday, for much the same reasons as I feel guilty buying new books when so many remain unread.

There are so many parts of this country I haven't seen yet, so many local specialities I haven't eaten yet, so many local beers I haven't drunk to the point of laterality yet. Britain's pretty fucking gorgeous y'know, and the last four days in Northumbria have done nothing to dissuade me from this view.

Let it not be said that I won't let you learn from my mistakes, the town we stayed in (a beknighted place by the name of Amble "Britain's friendliest port" according to its sig…

Short break, back soon

Right, myself and the mrs will be perambulating up hill and down dale in the NE for the next few days, so lack of updating will be down to geography rather than laziness. See you all later.

In other news Eat it!. Coastalblog, standing up for the rights of poor, put upon waiting on staff everywhere.

You just don't get it, do you?

This has also been posted on the marvellousPumpkin Publog, but in the spirit of thriftiness I thought I'd stick it here too, I hate to waste a good rant.

Flic Everett's massively wrongheaded article in today's Guardian says a lot more about her than it does about standards of service in restaurants and bars. Possibly the waiter recommended rosemary potatoes with her chicken because it would have complemented the dish? Possibly replying that you loathe rosemary is a little rude, when it would be politer to smile and say "No thanks"?

Furthermore, where precisely is it written that waiters have to be servile? Good service is a skill, and the skill lies in ensuring that the customer is comfortable, enjoying themselves and has everything they require without being in their face all the time. The skill is not in sucking up to the customer and laughing like a hyena at their pisspoor jokes.

And finally, why can people not simply get it through their heads that if you don&#…


Today. I like the sound of it. Good solid number, and I've always preferred even numbers to odd. Divisible by 1, 2, 4, 7, 14 and 28. Which if you add them together and subtract 28 totals 28. Which is not how many pints I'm having this evening.

Step by step

I note with interest that in the last week the Murdoch papers have run a few stories focussing on Iran's alleged (though you wouldn't know it from reading) training and equipping of the Iraqi insurgency.

Okay, no mention of invasion yet. Just "concern" and the feeling that Iran needs to be a "good neighbour". Anybody else getting a sense of deja vu?

Big-nosed scouser in appalling slur SHOCKER

I was aghast this evening. Aghast. There I was, happily stirring a risotto in the approved smug middle class foodie manner when my complimentary copy of the super, soaraway Ormskirk Champion plonked gracelessly through my letter box. I dove upon it, eager to read of further developments in the Ormskirk Model Boat Society's quixotic battles against the unthinking, blinkered council (can they not see the benefits a giant model boating lake would bring the town? The fools. Hubris awaits), or possibly some satisfying news of how a young lout has helped pay for the costs of the CCTV by depositing his kebab on the expensive new civic block paving (there's a rumour that they fine you double if you hit the coloured bricks). But no, what do I see?

STAR TAKES CHEAP SHOT AT TOWN screamed the headline, so far, so intriguing. Imagine my disgust, then, to discover that the story was about a quote from celebrity Jimmy Durantealike, drugs awareness campaigner and occasional footballer, Mr. Rob…

Who says three into one won't go?

Three things: I am currently unemployed, I am in the middle of putting together a Phd proposal and it's NaNoWriMo next month.

A couple of clarfications, the Phd proposal is nominally based around the idea of writing systematically, NaNoWriMo is the challenge wherein one writes at least 50,000 words in November, the idea being that 50,000 is the lower limit of what could realistically be considered a novel. This Novemeber I have a fair bit of time on my hands, as currently stands.

Anyone spotted where I'm going with this?

Well, given the confluence of factors it seems silly not to, really, doesn't it? So there we go, in November propose to write a systematic novel (not that I think it'll bear any relevance to the actual Phd application, but it'll certainly be interesting to see how the experience differs from the previous two years unstructured efforts)

So here's the deal, rather than taking 50,000 words as the minimum requirement I propose to make it the limit. The…

Oh, so that's going to be the excuse.

Like many of my equally self-satisfied peers I scoffed heartily at the Government's excuses for invading Iraq, whilst knowing that it would occur. And like many of my self-satisfied peers I scoffed heartily at the notion of invading Iran. "No way!" we cried "it doen't matter what justification they come up with, no one will fall for that again!"

So why does the news that the British government is accusing Iran of supplying weapons to the various southern insurgencies leave me with a sinking stomach and a strong whiff of expediency?

Right then

Just to bring everyone up to speed I am now officially unemployed. One of the jobless. A man with no purpose to his existence, no visible means of support and nothing whatsoever to offer society. Despise me.

N.B. This is not strictly true. Having decided to take the plunge and do a Phd I currently working v.v. hard on my proposal. And on editing a novel. And writing some more Ormskirk short stories. And writing those poems for Erbacce that I promised absolutely ages ago. And I can't help but notice that it's NaNoWriMo next month. Of course, none of this actually makes any mad dollaz, but I don't need to worry about that until next year, anyway. So that's all right then.