Local boy makes good [That’s what I’m talking abaht]

RIP Alexander McQueen, born in Lewisham in 1969.  Residence Mayfair, it says on his Wiki page; and as a Lewisham resident I’d prefer Mayfair too. 

If Isabella Blow hadn’t persuaded him to use his middle name Alexander, he’d have been Lee McQueen.  Like himoff the Apprentice.  Ha.

Published in: on 15/02/2010 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Snow, Snow, Thick Thick Snow

London froze [ho ho] to a standstill back in November, then just before Christmas (and more importantly, starting the day I went on holiday) there was another lot, closing airports and leaving hapless and disorganised transfer passengers hanging about at Schipol for six hours with no €uros.  Last week yet more of the white stuff fell all over the UK.  And more last night.  Even in the Channel Islands – yesterday “it snowed very heavily from 2pm to 4pm and trapped me in the house” says my contact in Alderney.  Good grief.  Still, now they have had a bit of practice the commuter train companies seem to have got their act together.  Trains were running this morning, apart from delays due to something sinister in Tonbridge; and TFL appear to think they are running this afternoon, although with much use of blanket caveats about delays.  [Damn, I could have said something about blanket coverage.  Carpeting the country. Drat.]  Looks like a good time to go home and defrost the fridge.  All together now: ♫ “Oh, the weather outside is frightful…” ♫

Published in: on 13/01/2010 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Les Mots Injustes

Some bods I met on the train tonight were discussing scrabble played against illiterates.

“I played “adze” right up in the corner,” said blond bloke between chews of his ham’n’cheese sarnie,  “and my girlfriend woudn’t have it.  She said there was no such word. She looked it up in the dictionary, and for ‘Adze’  it said: “Boring Tool”.  So, she said, How Appropriate is That.”

I could not help but chortle.

He added “her name’s Helena”. [not this one ;)]

Published in: on 18/12/2009 at 12:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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I am a passenger

“Please stand away from the edge of the platform.  The next train is not for customer use”.

Oh, really.  What are all those people sitting on it then, as it speeds (or trundles sluggishly) through the station?  Scotch mist?  A figment of my overheated (not on this platform surely, where the winds blow chill from the steppes of Southwark) imagination?  What you mean, you nannying disembodied PA announcement you, is “the next train is not stopping AT THIS STATION” so why don’t you say that then? eh? eh?  The announcements used to say just that.  Dunno why they had to change them to something which doesn’t make any sense.

And while we’re about it, I’m not a customer.  At least ok yes you’ve sold me a ticket but what I want to be is a passenger.  It is better to travel hopefully, even in a train inexplicably held outside London Bridge for 40 minutes of the morning rush-hour, than to hang about on the platform while train after train filled with non-customers smirks past, sometimes adding insult to injury by actually stopping while the doors remain firmly shut.  They wouldn’t have tried that one in the days of low-tech doors with handles; before the guard could yelp “Repel boarders!” we’d be in there.  Those were the days.  When we were passengers.

Published in: on 10/11/2009 at 2:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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What does Pooh bear in the woods?

Someone has written what they are pleased to call a sequel to A A Milne’s classic tales of a boy and his bear.  Someone else is publishing it.  The estate has taken the money.  Booksellers on both sides of the Atlantic are doubtless hugging themselves with barely suppressed excitement.  [Barely. Bearly. Geddit? oh never mind].

The writer says  “Some people do hate the whole idea of a sequel, but it’s not as if I’m doing any damage to the original, that will still be there. My hope is that people will finish reading a cracking story and just want more of them, and that’s where I come in.”  With this ingenuous piece of tosh he tries to convince us that all he wants to do is write lovely stories for the dear little kiddly-winks.  Ah.  How nice.

Look matey: if you reckon you can write a cracking story, send it out into the market to succeed or fail on its own merits.  Nicking someone else’s characters and riding on their reputation is licenced plagiarism.  Making this out to be a sequel to Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner is misrepresentation.  It’s just wrong.  It stinks.  You won’t find me buzzing round this pile of Pooh.

Published in: on 06/10/2009 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

They wanted me to wear a hijab but I said no, no, no

Looking for a Christmas holiday I chanced upon “Journey to Persia” – ten days visiting Shiraz, Persepolis and Isfahan – mellifluous names; redolent of warm scented nights, exotic architecture, the glory of ancient civilisations and, well, just the general lure of the unknown. 

The thoughtful tour operator provides extensive notes:  roses, nightingales and poetry; shaking minarets; covered bazaars with wonderful textiles; yes yes yes but what have we here?

“Islamic dress is a legal requirement.  Women will need to wear a headscarf and baggy trousers and a long top to the knees, or a light, long-sleeved dress over trousers with socks”

and worse:

Possession and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited”.

Right.  Cuba it is then.

Published in: on 28/09/2009 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

A way with words

No-one can have failed to notice the recent rise in awareness of punctuation and related matters.  The existence of blogs dedicated to Apostrophe Catastrophe and Unnecessary Quotation Marks supports my conviction that, at long last, the pedants are revolting.  Huzzah!

Published in: on 23/09/2009 at 1:34 pm  Comments (1)