30 June 2009

28 June 2009

Blues Latitude

Oyez Oyez! Major gig stage left

My fellow fogey fretters are always complaining I don't tell them about the real action around here.

Dudes. It's my inner Groucho subconsciously not wanting to pass on word to anyone so out of touch that you need to hear about it from the hors-de-touche likes of moi.

But this is different because it is right on my patch and the band are all my buddies.

Loipon, hie yer asses down to KondĪŒkali (or 'Kondo-karly' as y'all seem to pernounce it) and cop an earful of raunchy blues.

  • Venue: G&M's Bar (opposite Takis Taverna)
  • Plea: Puleez, in the name of God, don't go 'discovering' that ace eaterie. There's enough riff-raff touristry noshing there without you lot mincing in with your simpering hail-Dimitri-well-mets
  • When stuff: Friday 3rd July. 9.30 until 12pm
  • Quoth Roy the Axe: "Suitable for couch potatoes, dancing queens of all ages, vegetarians and especially the semi-deaf or alcoholics."
  • 26 June 2009

    'The author of "Sex Bitches on Acid" is here'

    25 June 2009


    ~ The World comes to Prosperonia ~

  • It's two high-level meetings:
  • The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) on June 27
  • The OSCE ministerial meeting on European security on June 28.
  • Conference venue: the Corfu Imperial

    The European Council meeting in Brussels on June 18 and 19 marks the end of the Czech EU Presidency

  • The 27 EU partners will discuss the economic crisis, the appointment of the European Commission president, the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, climate change, illegal immigration and external relations issues. Got it?
  • Anti-OSCE meeting, Corfu, 26-28 June 2009
    • "We call to Corfu, 27-28 June 2009, all people who resist and rise up against Fortress Europe.
    • "Say Oki to Fortress Europe"
    • "From Seattle to Geneva, from Thessaloniki 2003 to December 2008, the social war goes on."
    • "Let's trap human guards inside their own walls!"
    • Loipon, hang about lads, whatever you call yourselves ... the Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians' initiative against the OSCE meeting.
    • For starters, my Spitfire Jewel is arriving *from* Seattle (as it so happens) so she doesn't need a slow-mo replay of any o' that argy-bargy.
    • Speaking of which, did you see the DVD - Stroppy in Seattle? - I'm the Bunteresque bloke in the Oxford U t-shirt and the Oxford non-U accent, running from the burly troopers squealing "I say - steady on chaps! I only came out for a cup of Ovaltine. Ouch! Yaroo! Not fair!"
    • My baby is coming for sea, sun and lots and lots of lovely dad-daughter bonding, so watch it.
  • Anyway, Im pleased for Steve Whitty of Kommeno who, in his letter to Athens News, thanks Hillary Clinton et al for coming here and staying at a 5-star hotel down the way from SW. True to style, after yonks of doing nothing, suddenly the environs and everything en route is magically fixed
    1. Water leaks fixed
    2. Pipes buried
    3. Roads tarred
    4. Rubbish cleared
    5. Vegetation cut back.
  • Of course, you won't want to be on that road when the Highwaymen ride by. Indeed, you won't be able to be on that road.
  • In the spirit of those dawn-raiding fuzz who smash down doors to cop the terrorists and then find they got the address wrong, I should have shoved up signs for the works crew signaling "Detour - official route to Summit hotels" and let the navvies get on with it.
  • Russia hopes for NATO breakthrough
  • "Macedonia" 'plane to Corfu: PASOK pissed
  • Clinton no-go to Corfu
  • Dep Sec Steinberg to Corfu
  • Dora B: Tackling European security
  • Two different summits: 1) EU security; 2)Founding trust between East and West
  • 24 June 2009

    Thomas Cook Deaths

    ~ Louis Corcyra gassing deaths trial ~

    Nota Bene ~ Copyright The Sun

  • Trial starts June 25

    I see I have scribbled on this before:

  • Christianne and Robert RIP
  • Gassing Tragedy
  • My bet is that the judiciary will do its usual thing of screeching to a halt at cliff edge and then simply allow it to sag and flag in the familiar 'Greek Way'.
  • Top Tabloiodery ~ Where else would you read a headline like this than in The Sun?

    Baby joy for Corfu death mums

    Brilliant. The upside equivalent of my favorite Hamlet summary, "Spook King demands death probe". Anyway, I'm delighted both mothers got their mojo back.

  • VITAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: that heart-breakingly gorgeous portrait up there is so trussed up in copyright of The Sun that I'm surprised my keyboard isn't spewing writs as I type.

    But I digress. Speaking of probes, I was talking to a bunch of international scribes over for the OSCE knees-up and they seemed unaware of the Christi/Bobby tragédie trial but agreed that if things ran quiet in the Hillary camp they could always run some indignant colour piece about gaseous lynch mobs.

  • The image I nurse is of some cub reporterette over from the sticks with orders from t'boss to write up the reps' trial. She finds herself jostling with the Big Beasts at the court room door:
    "Ayup, chuck - and what exactly is the interest from the FYROM Clarion (incorporating t'Macedonia Gazette)? Am I like missing summat?"
  • There were some other, less savoury types lurking and I'm wondering if the lower life reptilian press are hosting any sort of junket for the (ever-so slightly less now) bereaved parents ... I wouldn't put it past them and the specimens I observed pretty much fitted the bill. We shall see.
  • I've been down to Kommeno to see what they've done for a clear passage for the Grandees' chariots and it's impressive. But I couldn't make out if they're intending to remove entirely that endless-wait traffic light at the top of the first hillock, or use sea access throughout.

    Either way, I will fearlessly fotograph the shenanigans until hustled away by Security and dropped down that Tzavros oubliette.

  • TTG: industry defends its own. Scroll to PAGE SIX/SEVEN
  • Trial postponed - as if all concerned didn't expect it from the start. But what a lovely headline - shades of spook kingly death probes - "Holiday Fume Deaths". Tabloidese at its best.
  • 'Disrespectful' trial delay: I've heard this gassing tragedy called many things but 'disrespectful' is a new one. I wonder what adjective stepdad Paul Wood will come up with six months from now when it's delayed a further six months. Actually, come December it'll be more like, "I'm sorry? What trial would that be?"

    Mr Woods is disappointed that it'll be a while longer 'til he sees justice done: "We flew from England at great personal cost because we have faith in the Greek justice system." Yees, so ... where are we going on this, Mr Woods? Even moi, in my anchorite cell could hear the bush telegraph back then proclaiming the inevitable delay ... *that* is the Greek justice system and, true to its own industrious rumour mill, it's very much kept the faith with those of us watching the byzantine proceedings unfold.

  • Seething at 'disrespectful' games play
  • 22 June 2009

    Perri Patetic

    Excellent razor-job letter by Athens News' cool Perri Pagonis asking why he's being shunned by the likes of:

    " ... Stamatina Tsimtsili, ebullient energetic hostess of the cooking show, In the Kitchen, and other Alter chat shows ... Will she talk to me personally about her career, interests, background, etcetera? Noooo, she won’t. It appears she won’t even think about it.

    Ditto with chatty peroxide inquisitor, Vasia Loi, feline hostess of TV Weekend [who] dodges my appeals for a chat like some nimble ballerina."

    20 June 2009

    Find 1,000,000 people

    ~ who DO/DO NOT want smoking back in pubs and public areas ~

  • Right ho, lads, pitch in.
  • The official blog for the two smoking ban groups.
  • Members of either group welcome to keep track here of statistics and related news.

    [Mega thanks to Lord Headley of Follies for pointing this one out]

    Shudder ~ Not long 'til July 1st when even Greece turns Nanny.

  • 19 June 2009

    "I'm too busy doing Radio and TV interviews about being unemployed to find a job"

    16 June 2009

    Phoenix Crop Circle

    ~ end of world 2012 ~

    That 400-foot design is in a Yatesbury barley field and depicts the mythical phoenix reborn as it rises from the ashes.

    "Investigators claim more formations are referencing the possibility of a cataclysmic event occurring on December 21, 2012, which coincides with the end of the ancient Mayan calendar."

  • "I see no ships": usual good informative comment from Sinbad. Check out his clever Panorama Mike.
  • Nottingham Man Tasered

    From this video, the police look as if they haven't a clue what they're doing.

    They're no sooner advancing on the poor bloke on the ground than springing back in apparent fear that he might retaliate - which looks highly unlikely.

    I can't see or hear any indication that the officers have received any training in any sort of restraint of suspects. Nor can I see the 'suspect' behaving aggressively in between the tasering which seems to be delivered very much at arm's length as if the lone man on ground poses more of a threat than the combined circle of Filth.

    Is this our police force these days?

  • News report with commentary
  • Daily Express coverage
  • Henry Porter good as usual, this time on hot-head thugs
  • Inquiry
  • 15 June 2009


    Something for your inner geek to have fun with.

    When you get bored, chill out with muzak: punch in name and sit back as luverly Vastfm sets up a playlist and then proceeds to play them at you.

    12 June 2009

    Nursery Assistant: Babe Abuse

    This lady can assure herself of an interesting prison sentence.

    I know that blokes inside for sex crimes suffer a dodgy status among their fellow crims, so I'd guess Vanessa George might have keep an even lower profile.

    Even wim crims harbour maternal instincts, no? Including the screws.

  • Four counts of sexual assault
  • Three further counts - making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.
  • 11 June 2009


    What a thoroughly nasty piece of work that Robert Crow looks.

    Exactly the sort of union boss I'd want to represent me in a dispute.

    In my time in book publishing, I had some dealings with our warehouse unionistas and they were classic "I'm all right, Jack" self-referential bastards.

    I never got anywhere with them but because I knew the warehouse lads and they knew that I *was* all right, albeit hated management, we emerged less scathed than if it had been left to my ivory tower bosses.

    Back in the late 1960s when I became a department head, I'd never hire a girl if her dad worked for Ford.

    They were professional strikers and trouble makers and i knew any spawn would be infected, maybe not then but sooner or later.

    "Get your 'air cut, you 'orrible little man!"

    "And while we're about it, get a shave"

    07 June 2009


    Searching for a few good men - even better, women - to join me on a weekend's pilgrimage to Athens

    • Absinthe Festival
    • Hosted by Dead Scarlet Records
    • Venue: Kyttaro Club, junction of Ipeirou and Acharnon
    • Music): Folk rockers Rome, Spiritual Front, Manu Deum, Glimmer Void.
    • Free absinthe cocktails.
    • 30 euros


    The excellent Nikos Konstandaras to the point as ever in his AthensPlus 'Breaking Point' Opinion of the Siemens scandal.

    What set me guffawing with delight and admiration was his succinct summary of how

    " ... everything appeared to be going according to the Greek way of handling scandals:

    1. Saturation coverage - enough to sow confusion so that no one knows what the story is all about.
    2. The cultivation of a sense that "everyone does it" (meaning no one is accountable)
    3. The judiciary lets the issue drag on for so long that the public - aided by the very fickle news media - forgets what it is all about
    4. Time runs out, the case is filed away
    5. Everyone goes back to business as usual

    That is what I call good writing.

    And which the discerning Sinbad borrows.

    05 June 2009

    Tiananmen Square 1989

    I was in Hong Kong when the massacre took place.

    Beijing pals were phoning and faxing it in until the lines went dead.

    We watched what TV coverage was getting across until ... blank.

    My wife and I had a literary agency spotting local literary goodies and skilled translators to sell to our pals back in London and Boston.

    Not one of our budding writers was heard of again.

    Comment Pic: "Tank Man"

    "We need to work on our relationship. Dad"

    The rooms are too small


    When the swing chair goes up, that's it. Sumer has a cumen in, or however it goes.

    I look so nervous and grumpy, not because of my crap haircut from Zoe because Nancy can't walk for a while, but because the chair is hanging from a very dodgy hook that is not quite curved enough to secure it if anyone swings too vigorously (believed to be a reference to a certain younger daughter and her bf, due to arrive June 20)

    Posted by Picasa

    Dancing Backwards

    ~ Salley Vickers ~

    I love the thrill when a new book's coming from a run-don't-walk, 1-click author that one snaps up 'sight unseen', as my old publishing boss had it.

    Salley Vickers has a new novel out June 25 and mater will be in London to collect it, so whoo hoo.

    Plug: This blog exists to plug favourites so,

    1. You should get to know Ms Vickers if you don't already
    2. Definitely read my favourite, Instances of the Number 3
    3. Here is her page
    4. Fantastic Fiction's page, including a short blurb, which is more than my old Alma Mater Amazon includes. (I'm sure Salley will be delighted to know that she delivers Fantastic Fiction, which we all know she does.)

    If you're wondering about typo 'Salley', it ain't: it is spelled with an 'e' because it is the Irish for 'willow' (from the Latin: salix, salicis) as in the W.B.Yeats poem, 'Down by the salley gardens'.

    03 June 2009

    Marry that Babe

    Good news, chaps: That May-December match tacks years on.

    I suspect it depends on how you pace yerself.

    Comment: The Boss of Me sends "the story of someone who couldn't keep up with her older fella."

    02 June 2009

    Common Solecisms

    Corfucius runs a literate ship and he looks after his buds.

    Voici a useful list from that last bastion of anglais how she is spoke, L'Economist.

    Oh all right, you lot in the back row, here's what it means.

    Aggravate: I grew up knowing it to mean 'make heavier'.