Archive for July, 2007

Circumspect Circumnavigation

How about this for a phrasal verb of untold ugliness: circle back. As in

Well, after you speak with Fred, make sure you circle back with Mabel to see that she’s ok with it.

As if the other person travels by hanglider or something.

Thatch Entertainment

I enjoyed the visit to the Imperial War Museum.

It had an exhibition on the Falklands War which was a bit sparse. There was some TV footage, and I had expected to see the following, but no sign:

Them was the days.

We’re All Right, Jack

I’m back. I have had the urge to write something since getting back from London on Friday, but the urge did not translate into words.

The Irish Independent has an editorial today, claiming the following:

As a country, we were 10pc better off last year than the year before – and incomparably better off than before the Celtic Tiger boom.

It is consoling to people like me -whose last pay increase was lower than the rate of inflation- that if my living standards have fallen, at least ‘as a country’ we are doing fine.

– Doctor! These flesh-eating worms are destroying my innards, resulting in unspeakable pain!

– Fear not patient. In this hospital we are doing a better job than ever. Why, the number of actual sick people in the hospital has fallen dramatically over the last year.

The Irish Independent ‘we’. Who is it? Is it you? Introduce yourself dammit.

– Guard! A drug-addled cow rapist has just plunged his machete between my shoulder-blades!

-It needs to be noted, sir, that the actual incidence of crime has fallen over the last year, indicating that we are safer than ever before.

Are you one of these 33,000 people with assets of at least €1m in addition to the value of their home? If so, let me shake your hand. Thanks to dynamic go-getters like you, we as a country are 10% better off than last year.

Put it there, pal.

Accent on the ridiculous

“We’ve put an accent over the first A to make it more exotic and two Is at the end just to make it look a bit different,” Jordan told OK! magazine.

Fair enough. We are all individuals, and therefore require individual names. And numberplates.

One of the dreary aspects of living in a republic where the cars are registered according to the year and county is the asphyxiating lack of room for individual expression in one’s car numberplate, to say nothing of the job opportunities foregone. Every time I venture North, I am blown away when I behold the likes of Bi6R1 DE adorning the rump of a Toyota Corolla.

Some of you are already aware that my wife and I have been engaged in similar negotiations to those undertaken by Peter and Jordan. It is a long and drawn out process, and the result may be similarly portmanteauish.

First of all, my own going in position was that the child should bear the name of my favourite TV programme, i.e. Ugly Betty. My wife wanted the child to be named after her favourite city, Stockholm. So initial options bandied about were Ugholm and Betstock. Then I got to thinking that something purely alphabetical betrays a lack of individuality. I figured that some numbers would spice things up a little. So we then pondered 291holm and 2520stock, but my wife wanted to place a circonflex over the 2 to make it a bit different, which I thought was an aesthetic abomination, and whilst willing to accept a circonflex on the 0, I thought it was a bit silly to have a circonflexed figure preceding an ‘s’, since the circonflex generally indicates the absence of an ‘s’, as in l’hôpital.

However, things have been somewhat up in the air somewhat since we found out the child’s gender. Basically, I’m not convinced that 2520stock is a suitable name for a boy.


In the absence of an actual summer, a couple of summer-related tunes:

Arthur Lee does Bummer in the Summer:

Lee Hazlewood and someone called Sim Malmkvist doing a very good version of Summer Wine on Swedish TV in 1969:

and Peter Gabriel doing Here Comes The Flood:

The last one is bloody depressing. It’s enough to make you want to go off and live in the desert.

On Wednesday I am off to London for a few days, where hopefully I will witness the Thames Barrier give up the ghost. But in the event that it doesn’t, perhaps someone can suggest something else worth doing. I will be paying a visit to the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the Tate Modern.

Horse Bolts, Door Slams Shut

El País is reporting that the website of the magazine that published the cartoon of former newsreader Letizia Ortiz in a compromising position with a descendent of Louis IX has been shut down.

Princely Prints

I look forward to all upstanding ‘free speech’ internet warriors -hard bitten veterans of the Save Denmark from Saracens and Deliver Benedict from Dhimmitude- posting a copy of the cartoon at the bottom of this post in their sidebar.

I am not posting it above the fold, because when I posted the 8 facts about myself, my mother got on the phone to find out about the where, the what, the why and the whom of the person I had mistakenly punched in the face. (But she didn’t ask about me getting lifted by the peelers. I think it was the aristocratic angle in the first event that swung it for her.) Then another time she rang me to tell me that I used the word ‘rather’ rather too much. So -since I know that not every reader of this blog goes in for rudey nudey stuff, I am leaving it at the end.

What it is, you see, is the cover of a magazine, whose seizure has been ordered by a judge, because of the fact that it is ‘irreverent’ towards the Spanish heir to the throne and his wife. What it shows is a rather graphic cartoon representation of Prince Felipe and his former newsreader wife (that is, she used to be a newsreader, but she is still his wife), engaged in a conjugal act, Discovery-channel style.

It refers to the recent announcement of €2,500 government payments for women who get pregnant, and has Felipe saying: “Do you realise? If you get knocked up, this’ll be the closest thing to work I’ll have ever done in my life.”

Apparently, according to Spanish law, you can get up to 2 years in prison for calumnies and insults against the king and his offspring. Also, you can get 6 to 24 months for using the image of the king or any of his ancestors or descendents in any way that can damage the prestige of the crown.

Here it is:

Update: the fold isn’t working.

Continue reading ‘Princely Prints’

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July 2007