- Sun lotion
- Sandals and white ankle socks
- Superman beach towel
- Rubber ring
- Tetley's Teabags (180 pack)
- "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy (Thanks Alkelda)
- Binoculars for bikinis on beach survey (purely sociological)
- "The Complete History of Hull City A.F.C." in six volumes.
- "Islam Sucks!" T-shirt
- "Turkey isn't for life it's for Christmas" T-shirt
- "British Lager Lout on Tour" T-shirt.
- Homer Simpson swimming shorts.
- Flesh coloured "Speedo" thong.
- Swimming mask for bikinis under water survey (purely sociological)
- "Midnight Express" DVD
- Pet rat - Roland (starving) in case of customs search.
- Fart powder to slip in holiday rep's "welcome meeting" Sangria.
- After sun lotion.
- Map showing location of nearest medical centre.
- String vest x 2
- Y-Fronts (White) x 10
- Andrews Liver Salts
- Camera for bikini survey (purely sociological)
- 200 new Turkish lira (Not old ones!)
- £10 note for entry visa.
- Box of ballpoint pens and small hand mirrors to give to the peasants.
- "Visit Sheffield" leaflets to give to waiters and housekeepers in lieu of tips.
- Jar of cranberry sauce ( after all we are visiting Turkey!)
- Oh and plane tickets... always very useful.
31 July 2008
28 July 2008
After the service, we checked in at the Eaton Hotel on Hagley Road then with an A to Z in hand we walked through leafy Edgbaston down to Hornton Grange where the wedding reception was held. We passed some beautiful properties set in mature gardens. Sometimes it felt as if we were on a stroll in the country - not hiking through England's second city.
On Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast and then drove into the centre of the city to visit the Birmingham Back-to-Backs "exhibition". Just next to the Hippodrome and on the corner of Hurst and Inge Streets is the last remaining "back-to-backs" court in a city which once boasted thousands of these cheap housing solutions - home to many thousands of working class families for a hundred years beginning around 1830. How cramped and primitive conditions must have been.
Ironically, the National Trust has spent around a million pounds rescuing "Court 15", turning it into an important attraction which recognises and pays homage to the downtrodden masses who had to live in these tiny houses - which were literally "back to back" with only one door in and out of each three room/three storey house. In the shared courtyard there were privvies and a wash-house and - only towards the end of the nineteenth century - a tap which provided clean running water. Previously, water had had to be carried from a well about a hundred metres away.
25 July 2008
1. First name 2. Favourite food 3. High school 4. Favourite colour 5. Celebrity crush 6. Favourite drink 7. Dream holiday 8. Favourite dessert 9. What do you want to be when you grow up? 10. What you love most in life. 11. One word to describe you. 12. Your blog name.
22 July 2008
21 July 2008
barefoot, listening to the space between each footfall, picking up and putting down its print against the marble floor. But I
skimmed flat stones across Black Moss on a day so still I could hear each set of ripples as they crossed.
Above - Words from another Yorkshire "pudding" - the poet and broadcaster - Simon Armitage. They have been in my mind a while now. I think they say to us that what matters is not the headline things we do but how we experience things. Here's my variation...
I haven’t shaken hands with a President or a Prime Minister but I have seen a mother wren feeding her babies in the nesting box up our garden.
I haven’t scaled Everest with sherpas but I once found a bleached white sheep’s skull in a Derbyshire field.
I haven’t had a backstage pass for The Rolling Stones or Coldplay but I have marvelled at a canopy of silver stars from a pitch black Irish lane.
I haven’t surfed off Bondi Beach or Hawaii but I once saw the world’s sharpest rainbow arching over a Hebridean bay.
I haven’t been to The Derby, Wimbledon or a Grand Prix but I have held a clutch of home-grown new potatoes in my hands. I haven’t had my name splashed across national newspapers but I once bought the filthy beggar outside “Spar” a cheese sandwich and a can of beer.
I haven’t learnt to speak several languages fluently but just last Monday night I followed a wiggly hedgehog all the way home up our city street.
I haven’t dined with dukes or princesses nor have I ever swum with dolphins but once I saved myself from drowning in a distant ocean when there was no one there to hear my gulping cries for life... only those salty waves and the treacherous current...
18 July 2008
16 July 2008
He pre-empts it with "Don’t ask me how and why I came up with this. I’m no poet. It comes when it just comes." Hey Tian - you were definitely right about not being a poet! Stick to money grabbing in future!
Professional Blogger's Poem
Hate your job? Start a blog.
Pick a good niche, whichever one you wish.
Learn how to write, with all your might.
Use your own voice, blogs give you that choice.
Write from your heart, and it’ll be an art.
Post everyday, posts builds your pay.
It may not be now, but it’ll happen somehow.
Publish good content, your readers will comment.
Avoid link farms, they’ll only cause harm.
Feed the spiders, treat them as insiders.
Spend some time on SEO, top rankings boost your ego.
Make some pingbacks, they’ll raise your paychecks.
Don’t you ever fear, you can be a Blogopreneur!
Now that's what I call poetry! Eat your heart out Keats! Emily Dickinson! Dylan Thomas! Make way for the great Tian Kian Ann! But what the hell does he mean by "link farms", "spiders", "SEO" and "pingbacks"? It's all mumbo-jumbo to me. However, although his business-oriented poem is unadulterated crap - perhaps it is useful in posing the question - Is it possible to write meritorious poems about blogging? I think I will try one or two soon so thanks Tian Kian Ann - although you seem plain daft to me you have stirred some creative juices. Any other bloggers fancy attempting poems that focus on blogging?
12 July 2008
Last night I was dog tired when I went to my little room at half past one in the morning, leaving the four other teachers to continue rabbiting whilst quaffing Sauvignon Blanc. I was the leader of the expedition so I was a bit peeved to discover that at three in the morning these selfsame "colleagues" had taken it into their heads to prowl round the perimeter of the hostel with a sweeping brush, giggling while they scraped it against the dorm windows and made ghostly noises in order to spook our young charges.
7 July 2008
2 July 2008
Similarly I despise Chris Evans and Steve Wright on Radio 2. They are equally banal, equally false and irritating, loving the sound of their own smarmy voices. Ever heard "Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs" on a Sunday morning? This is sugar-coated yukky nonsense with moronic listeners pledging their love over the airwaves while Steve pretends to care. It might go something like this with romantic violin music playing in the background:-
STEVE WRIGHT ....And here's a message from Reginald in Cleckheaton "Dear Steve, I have lived with my wife Ethel for thirty eight years. We first met when she was a bus conductress in nearby Leeds. When she punched my ticket, I looked into her big brown eyes and fell in love. Yes it was love at first sight. Please play anything by Cliff Richard and tell her that I love her very much and she is still punching my ticket." So specially for you Reginald, here's Cliff. Enjoy...
Why anyone would feel the need to express their romantic leanings and personal affections over the radio is as mysterious to me as why the United Nations haven't invaded Zimbabwe to oust cruel and crazy dictator Robert Mugabe. They could always give him a slot on Radio 2. I'd rather listen to him at teatime than the comeback four-eyed twerp who is Chris Evans... or maybe "Sunday Love Songs with Robert Mugabe"? See you Wrighty!
Last night, we lay down on sunbeds and watched Mrs Moon rise like a tangerine over The Aegean Sea. To capture the beauty of the scene fa...
Chavs being chavvish. Just the other day, I spotted a male "chav" down by the local Methodist church. He was wearing a Burberrry ...
So there I was standing in the kitchen of our son's terraced house. Something caught my eye outside in his little urban garden. It was a...