29 November 2010
27 November 2010
25 November 2010
22 November 2010
21 November 2010
20 November 2010
Dear Mr Yorkshire Pudding,Whilst we take your feedback on board, we're trying to get our Yorkshire heritage across, hence the colloquial use of the English language.Our campaign aims to show some of the positive values associated with Yorkshire that we feel are also true of Plusnet. I am sorry to hear you feel offended by this.I hope my explanation helps clarify matters.Regards,Thomas SouthPlusNet Customer Support__________________________________________Naturally, I couldn't let Plusnet have the last word so a follow-up complaint was fired off from my bunker this morning:-__________________________________________Dear Mr South,Thank you for taking the time and the trouble to respond to my complaint about your "Won't be beat on price" advertisement.As a proud Yorkshireman myself, I am afraid I cannot see how grammatical inaccuracy in any way reflects my Yorkshire heritage. In my view, your slogan represents a dumbing down of the English language and as I suggested before simply reinforces a typical mistake that teachers have to address every day in our schools. It is an error born out of many children's inability to easily distinguish between the spoken word and the written word.I guess we will have to beg to differ on this. If your ad had said something that was very obviously colloquial such as "Ee by gum...Plusnet! They're reght ont price", I would have had no complaint whatsoever and I think most Yorkshire folk would have seen the point of the oral connectivity.Yours sincerely,Yorkshire Pudding (Sir)So that's Yorkshire Pudding 2 Plusnet 1 and you dear readers can now finally see what an annoying fellow I really am. What do you think? Are there healthier ways in which I should be spending my time? "I Won't Be Beaten on Ranting!"
18 November 2010
17 November 2010
Most national anthems are bland and predictable in praise of nations or their leaders but "La Marseillaise", the long-standing national anthem of France is different. Written in 1792 as "Song of War for the Rhine Army" by Rouget de Lisle, it became a battle cry for the French peasantry during the country's revolution. Here is the opening verse with chorus in French:-
Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!
Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons
But what does it mean? Here, the translation demonstrates that this is not your average national anthem. It's quite literally about fighting for justice and liberty. If you read the other verses there are further reference to blood, fighting and suppression of enemies. No wonder the French sing it with such passion. How different from "God Save The Queen", England's bland and subservient national anthem. I wish instead that we had an anthem like this one:-
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts
15 November 2010
13 November 2010
11 November 2010
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstruous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
9 November 2010
8 November 2010
6 November 2010
4 November 2010
3 November 2010
At the weekend Cristina spoke about the loss of her husband on national television
"It's the greatest sadness I've had in my life. It's the loss of the man who was my companion of thirty five years, the companion of my life, of struggles, of ideals... a part of me has gone with him."
That part was now in Rio Gallegos, she said, referring to Mr Kirchner's home town where he was laid to rest last Saturday.
She thanked all the Argentines who had sent support, who had prayed and who had cried, including those who turned out for his funeral. "I want to thank especially the thousands of young people there who sang in their grief, but then marched with joy, for him and for the country."
And this is the tender end comment that especially entranced me - "I want to tell them that, in their faces, I saw his face back when I met him." In the young who came to mourn Nestor's passing she saw idealism, energy, the hope for something better and lives still to be lived - the true spirit of modern Argentina which is itself still a very young country. It was his face she saw in the middle of the crowd and at the middle of her grief.
Perhaps one day they will make a musical about Mrs Fernandez de Kirchner and they'll call it simply "Cristina" with the lead actress requesting in song, "Don't Cry for Me!" How do you think it might go down?