29 August 2009
Higher levels of depression than drinkers
Don't you hate reading stuff like that, just when you've readied a new persuasive power list of reasons to cut back on the grog?
Idiot survey. Loada bollocks, if you ask me.
28 August 2009
Bravo Mike Perham for his youngest solo sail around the world.
As Cassell's press officer I promoted the Ken Parker-edited Robin Knox-Johnston bestseller of his momentous mucking about on some wide water.
Growing up in Hong Kong after the war, I crewed for a few hard cases who'd never settle for terra firma again.
In those days, the HK-Philippines jaunt was relatively pirate-free and a crate of decent San Mig awaitethed at t'other end.
One of my favourites was a gentle-tongued Scot (rare among sailors) who I later read must have endured appalling tortures under the Japanese in order to withhold names and supply routes. His excuse was that they couldn't understand his Pitlochry accent.
I remember one doldrum when he opened up:
Back when he was 17 he answered an advert as crew for a 2-man voyage.
"Look, if you're going to keep up this infernal yammering ..."
27 August 2009
I don't think it's all rancid grape pips that keep me from joining the massed ranks of admirers for this bogus twittering.
I was going to include links to the all-too-explicable raves online for this amuse-gueule but, know what? can't be bothered.
Update: It's American and, it seems, is for real.
24 August 2009
When I returned to Hong Kong to the honour of working with its tourism board, I could judge within their first few mewling lines which letters to the editor of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) had been submitted by newly-arriveds from Blighty.
When I walked the plank off S/W Galleon Bezopoulou to be washed ashore on Prosperonia, same for the wailing and gnashing from Blighty white trash in Athens News.
But now something catches my sambuca'd bleary eye:
Starry-eyed ex-American, Mr Terry Stone of Galaxidi, writes how he:
I live in a smallish town and the local ‘kids’ have gone crazy with their modified bikes and are completely out of control. The ‘urban terrorists’ listen to no one, put everybody at risk of heart attacks and carry on day and night. Granted, this is nothing new, it is a worldwide problem. So I went to meet with an official of the traffic police, told him of the problem, showed him photographs taken of the worst offenders and even told him where and when the police might want to patrol. Of course, the police were well aware of the problem, but he confided that if they were to enforce the letter of the law, the odds were that he would be transferred to the farthest part of the country and never see his loved ones again. And this is not unique to our area. Those with power pull the strings and they don’t want their little darlings messed with. Never mind that little Johnny is a sociopath. Illegal, ill-schmiegel. The police can do nothing. But as I was picking up my photographs from the desk to take back home, the official stopped me and said that what I was doing was a far more serious offence. What? What was I doing? "Taking pictures. It is illegal to take pictures of people in Greece without their express permission. (Tourists, please take note!) And I could be in deep trouble if I continue to use my Canon Sure Shot in such a criminal manner. Huh? This was totally unexpected! Can the Athens News please check on this and let us know if we should wear masks when taking pictures. Is it true that no one is allowed to take pictures of people, even of a criminal in the process of a crime? I would appreciate knowing the true skinny on this matter. Always expect the unexpected."
" ... recently went to the traffic police in hopes of enlisting their help in stopping the loud motorcycles that race up and down our streets.
But being a starry-eyed ex-American, I decided to do something and thought the best way to handle it was to go to the police and get them to do their job - law enforcement. (Okay, you can quit laughing now.) [No-one's laughing, Mr Stone - Ed]
Fair enough. Different culture. I should get used to the way things are done in my adopted country.
I live in a smallish town and the local ‘kids’ have gone crazy with their modified bikes and are completely out of control.
The ‘urban terrorists’ listen to no one, put everybody at risk of heart attacks and carry on day and night.
Granted, this is nothing new, it is a worldwide problem.
So I went to meet with an official of the traffic police, told him of the problem, showed him photographs taken of the worst offenders and even told him where and when the police might want to patrol.
Of course, the police were well aware of the problem, but he confided that if they were to enforce the letter of the law, the odds were that he would be transferred to the farthest part of the country and never see his loved ones again. And this is not unique to our area.
Those with power pull the strings and they don’t want their little darlings messed with. Never mind that little Johnny is a sociopath.
Illegal, ill-schmiegel. The police can do nothing.
But as I was picking up my photographs from the desk to take back home, the official stopped me and said that what I was doing was a far more serious offence.
What? What was I doing?
"Taking pictures. It is illegal to take pictures of people in Greece without their express permission. (Tourists, please take note!) And I could be in deep trouble if I continue to use my Canon Sure Shot in such a criminal manner.
Huh? This was totally unexpected! Can the Athens News please check on this and let us know if we should wear masks when taking pictures. Is it true that no one is allowed to take pictures of people, even of a criminal in the process of a crime? I would appreciate knowing the true skinny on this matter.
Always expect the unexpected."
This is an excellent journal and I've noticed the alertness with which the Editor responds to those letters that press certain buttons:
We contacted a lawyer on your behalf. She said the problem you have encountered - loud motorbikes and a police reluctance to deal with them - is well-known in Greece. As she explained, you have a number of options: Indeed, as the traffic police confirmed to the Athens News, under Article 114 of the new traffic code (KOK), the police must catch violators red-handed."
Indeed, as the traffic police confirmed to the Athens News, under Article 114 of the new traffic code (KOK), the police must catch violators red-handed."
What amused me is the contrast between the official line and the wonderfully relaxed attitude here in Kerkyra to snapping the flower of local maidenhood at each saintly parade, canny lensmen clicking with a perfect eye for any nubile koritsa, their work promptly on display for sale in countless revolving racks outside local photo shops.
Where I've lived in San Antone, Boston and Seattle-sur-Sound, that'd get you a law suit by the next registered bike messenger. (More of which anon)
Dai the Folly, Mr Gwyn Headley of no fixed abode but the run-don't-walk fotoLIBRA marvel, comments cannily:
"Most UK police believe that it's illegal for us to take photographs of people without their permission, but not for them.
However, they are wrong, and the Met has recently had to issue new guidelines to its officers to tell them they cannot prevent a photographer doing his stuff.
I'm surprised that the laws of one EU country clash so comprehensively with another."
Digression Anon: In the early 1990s, I had some involvement with the Seattle Northwest Book Fair, having persuaded the under-rated Peter Moss (and here) to moderate a panel in his inimitably gentle but disciplined way.
"You just took my photo! If that appears anywhere, I'm fucking suing."
My dears, red rag to Yours Truly.
I used to troll around with copies of trade mags, including the doit-lire Bookseller.
I dunno, a month or so later? I saw this git waiting for the #8 bus to Rainier Beach and sidled up (as is my wont, or in this case my very much will).
"I know you!" I chirped in my best David Whitaker cut-glass tones, "Your photo was in The Bookseller, lead pic in the Diary page."
"Got the wrong guy, fellah."
"No, I haven't. You threatened to fucking sue if your photo appeared anywhere ... look, here ... oh, sorry, wrong issue."
"Can I see that? Jesus fuckin' Christ!"
"You can have it.
Got the address there - splendid photo. Yes, indeed -
'If my photo appears anywhere, I'm blankety blank suing.'? You sounded quite perturbed.
"Fuck blankety-blank perturbed ... yeah, I'm taking that.Thanks fellah."
23 August 2009
21 August 2009
Out this evening to catch a bit of live-alive KL down by the Plateia kiosk bandstand.
Well done them threading their way thru the Greek red-tape to get the permit.
I'm terribly jealous of their official 'Bitches of KL' fanclub.
When I was in a band in London and Haywards Heath, all we had was pretty juniors from Red Cross house and, in the hols, the shopgirls from Boots and Woolworths.
Chord-off is meant to be 8pm so make that closer to 10pm.
Ack ptui make it nearer to midnight - all the sound checks and chatting up each others girlfriends.
Pink Panther Theme: No lemons, these Kokkini; not just pretty faces.
We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a uncool service message in the form of edi-tweaks to this page.
"KOKKINO LEMONI was formed in October 2005 by Panayiotis Socratous and Alexandros Theodotos [who with the] and with the manager of the band Tasos Gkouvas they came up with the name “KOKKINO LEMONI” which stands for “Red Lemon”.
By December 2006 Panos and Alex had written 2 songs, and [it was then that] then it was when Chris Peratikos joined the band as the drummer.
Rehearsals where [delete the 'h'] in the drummers [drummer's avec apostrophe] garage, Panos on the Guitar, Chris on the Drums and Alex Vocals/Harmonica.
By May 2006 Jimmi Gardiakiotis [had] joined the band as the new singer. It was a big turnaround as Jimmi was really into metal and reggae and took Kokkino lemoni [capitalise the L?] to another level.
Summer of 2006 was full of rehearsals [insert 'which'] were held in Deans [insert apostrophe Dean's. And who is Dean? I can't see mention of him yet] workshop (thanks Dean).
The big day was the 6th of June 2006 when Kokkino Lemoni performed live for the first time a couple of their songs.
By the end of the summer they did a couple more gigs. (all in Corfu/Kerkyra) On the 16th of December Kokkino Lemoni organizes [organized 'd', not present tense 's'] the “RockAway Festival” in which they performed live the 4 songs (Mr. E, Swords Lords Chords, The Story of the Broken Promise and wrigwelter) [on which they had been working they had be [been] working on throughout the year 2006.
Summer of 2007, Mario Siapalinis joins [join-ed, past tense] the band as the bassist, Kokkino Lemoni writes [wrote, past tense] 3 more songs (M.O.B., Nargiles and Stone Doctor) and does [did many] lots of gigs.
From the [Between] 9th of September 2007 [comma] which was the last time Kokkino Lemoni performed live, until the 10th of June 2008 [saw] was a big gap of no work because all members where [were] away for studies. Then comes [came] the big return of KL, on the 14th of June KL [when they jammed] plays for the first time in 2008."
On reading the above pompous 'corrections' back next day, I can't for the life of me recollect why I thought it such a good idea to post these suggestions. Must be the proofreader/editor in me.
Good Youtube capture of Nargile
~ Science/Medicine vs How to kill a goat ~
One of my favourite series.
This one has the eminently fanciable Lucy given some lovely lines.
Speaking of whom - Mr D milks the script in fine form.
20 August 2009
Yes, indeed, they grow them tough on Crete.
I'm told that the great fear of Corfiots called up for service militaire is to be posted to hard-ass Crete.
If Master Feltham *did* come on at Ms Fanouraki, he's very silly and must have been very very drunk.
[I believe those to be Twat Père et Mère over there, not looking best pleased over their offspring's fiery cock-up.]
I'm surprised she got to his gonads first and not one of the local lads or her brothers or her dad or her uncles ... or all of 'em at once.
Cracking good throw, in that case.
As you can see, the lady is easy on the eye.
I mean, when the Beeb can't even be bothered to get the heroine's name right - Fanouraki over Fanoudaki? - what hope is there for gloaters like me to stay au courant?
I assume from their silence that they found Sambuca brulé, as per the fragrant Maria's original defence.
"Logic told me from the start her story was the correct one.The author appears to be the cheery "Cooper" - bravo, ma'am, or whatever is the current accepted nez-brun form of address.
The logic one gains from even a few club trips, and a little knowledge about British youth and Crete, a scene akin to Spring Break, Mexico, with the volume turned up to nightmare levels.
Now that he has left the country, if he has left the country, I don’t even need logic to know what really happened."
Oh tempura, oh maitake: the idiot pulls down his Y-fronts and cusses the statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
I'll type that again - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, yep, he who led the Turkish national movement and established the Republic ... and the bloodthirstiest they can get is ... er ... set up a Facebook group??
We're talking the land of the Midnight Express, right?
"To be honest, he’s lucky it was the police that took him – Ataturk is the father of the Turkish Republic and a national hero – the local boys wanted to kill him for being so insulting.”Understatement, I'd say.
19 August 2009
Temploni * Poulathes * Plateia
To save the usual après-event bitchin' mails about my having been seen cavorting at these local kneez-ups and why didn't I let my fellow white trashopoulou know, blah blah ~ here are two coming up at which I will definitely be working the tables to sponge food and booze off pals and making a fool of myself come the συρτάκι.
18 August 2009
Of course, try any of these on today's hog-snorting snogging, paper cracklin', seat thwacking thuggos 'n' they'll be over the seat and punchin' yer face in before you can say,
"Do I feel lucky, punk? Well do I?"
Trust me, you do not.
Cool Commentaria: I knew one day that the Doge of Democracy would deliver a comment weightier than the post abaht which he was chirping:
"Noisy youths on crowded intercity the other day. Not vicious, hardly drinking. I'm not stupid. Just noising up the whole carriage.
I 'hobble' over (fake limp, like the mother duck's dropped wing) and lean over the table -(carefully judged distance, so not 'in your face').
"Sorry about this but I have a problem. (pause...smile edging on 'He-e-re's Johnny' rictus; checking for the leader)
... I absolutely detest young people.
(I even surprised myself with that.)
Batemanesque freeze frame - not just the lads.
Kids gape then break into grins.
"We too loud?" says leader. "Well, yes". Gesture to ears - smiling, always smiling (the ancient primate threat/conciliate facial).
"OK mate. OK."
Hands shaken all round, thumbs up. I even like them.
It didn't make them silent - faces to be saved - but the carriage became bearable and an ironic friendly handshake from the leader when they left at Preston.
It's always different. No formula where civil society's evaporated. The one thing is never to think mano-e-mano, which is why girls make good bouncers and there are occasions when 'il faut reculer...' especially if you're in company.
Etiquette's no good. Only works on ROM. For this world, you need scholarship level politeness. Lots of RAM. Time in prison helps but I make do with public school boarding."
Yon Sinbad speaks for England.
I keep calling this cute 23-yr-old heptathlete *Glenys* Ennis - it's the rhymer in me - but her correct moniker is Jessica.
Apparently, there's some 'Sports Personality of the Year' argy-bargy over which everyone - bookies, in particular - gets hells lathered and opinionated.
I mean, just look at the quasimodo competition:
Can't remember how I stumbled acrorss this one but it's my kind of reading.
I'd like the comma in there - EVENTS*,* DEAR BOY, EVENTS - but pourquoi peiner ones smalls, hein?
Its look is un peu sinbadien but the trail seems to lead back to one Howard D'Enton.
Whoever, he's crisp, seems to deal in facts, and the whole thing has the enjoyable feel of Badass's bolshy younger brother taking up quill just to annoy donnish frère aîné.
Preen Scene: Mais dis-donc, just as I'm doffing my pointy cap to Dear Boy, enter the Doge of Democracy with the sort of Cute Commentaire I roll over like Sam and wag t'wedding tackle.
Do click thereon and read: it makes my scribblings sound as if there's a smidgeon of thought buried 'neath the bile.
17 August 2009
15 August 2009
~ 1.15 miles snipering ~
I've always enjoyed shooting and was the nasty secretive one on the school team, never joining in with the raucous victory tomfoolery afterwards.
I used to get up to some extroadinary - and extroardinarily dangerous - japes during school holidays.
Mostly I depended on being so far away that my 'victims' never suspected they were being fired on - rather like Corporal Reynolds here with his 1,853-metre bullsye.
I love it that Reynolds' first round landed next to the target but had come from so far away that he didn’t even realise he was being shot at.
I used to get up in the attic of my grandma's north London surburb home - one of many little boxes that made up Kenton's Donnington Road - and ease the circular skylight just wide enough for the barrel of my powerful BSA air-gun to protrude. (I'd have it muffled with some crude wrapping arrangement that didn't interfere with the telescopic sights).
Then I'd scan the gardens one by one for anything going on that I could have some fun with:
Very silly. I'd give myself 20 minutes and then come down to a pre-set scenario of holiday homework or improving tracts. I didn't want the Fuzz to be called and tap on the door and Granny be calling upstairs that was I up there? and some gentlemen wanting to ask me some questions.
I don't think Granny ever knew I had the gun, or would have recognised it for what it was.
And I never saw a single police car go by or heard any gossip from the neighbours - and my reign of potshots went on for years, throughout my schooldays.
One of my favourite tricks was over the roofs and the slug dropping out of sight to hit some clangy object. I never worked out what it was that went boingg, despite going up and down the street next day. I'd aim at a certain chimney that would fill the cross-hair, squeeze the trigger and - clanngg!! On would go a few lights. Weird.
Anyway, props to 'dead-eye' Cpl Reynolds.
14 August 2009
First off, what the frig sort of name is "Yettaw"?
Next, what the deuce was he doing jeopardising Aung San's chances?
13 August 2009
An adored and clued-up friend mails me:
Richard Woods writes:
"This is just to remind you that our Opera Gala is next week on Wednesday 19 August at 9pm in the Ionian Academy. Please note the following extract from the website:
.....the Handel Gala has been postponed due to a last-minute cancellation by mezzo-soprano Marita Paparizou. An Opera Gala will be held at the same place, date and time (Ionian Academy, Wednesday 19th August, 21.00), with the other cast members. Soprano Elpiniki Zervou, soprano Rosa Poulimenou and baritone Pantelis Kontos will perform arias by W.A.Mozart, G. Rossini, G. Bizet, G.Puccini and G.Verdi. The artists will be joined by renowned Greek-Peruvian pianist Alexandros Kapelis, who will also perform selections for piano solo from his recent acclaimed American tour "The Greek Myth."
Tickets: 15 euros and 12 euros for members and students and can be purchased at the door.
Last time we had an informal gathering for drinks and mezes which was very popular and I am proposing we do this again.
Cost: 10 euros per head and I should be happy to organise it. This will be at 7.30pm at Dimarcheio Restaurant at the top of Dimarcheio Square (bottom of Guilford Street) and it would be helpful if you could email me if you intend to come.
This concert is a seminal moment for us in the development of the company and we really would appreciate your support on the day. Also, please do send this email on to any friends who you think would be interested (one reason for having the concert at this time is that many people are over from the UK and elsewhere in August who will not be on this mailing list but who might like to attend).
Finally, if you are not yet a member or a sponsor and would like to be one or both of these, please let me know and I can send you further details."
12 August 2009
Hilarious Craig Brown-style Pseuds Corner-meets-breathless William Boot piss-take of the Mandelson bunk up chez Rothschild-sur-Mer.
I knew Nicolina Haslamopoulou was a little Miss Blabette but hadn't taken in her mischievous talent for camping it up for the gullible press.
For one who affects vagueness about Westminster, ChitterChatter Haslamobad is impressively precise (and indiscreet) about La Mandella's 'work' agenda:
“Something about trade unions, motor companies ending, politics.
I don’t know, I don’t follow politics.”
I guffawed at the thought that Kassiopi is "known to wealthy British visitors as 'Kensington-on-Sea'."
Not the toffs, you Big Girls Blouse - it's us sour-grape chanking plebs wot call it that.
Blimey, Follers, better not let mauve-fingered Mary Keen hear you get it wrong ....
“We’ve got no plans to go out. No reason to move — it’s paradise here.”
Dept of Why Don't they Leave us Alone? ~ If the scribbling Ιωαννης Follain is to be believed,
"David Cameron is expected to pay for a rented villa just over a mile to the south in Kalamaki, where he is expected to arrive in a week’s time."
You'd think that the fire-breathing Ms Farounaki had delivered fair warning on how we deal with tourist rough trade out here.
We'll have the Sambuca simmering.
"Her Corfu": Follain's frippery in The Thunderer clearly touched a nerve wi' Daily Mail who quickly slipped the leash on their own Glenda Gorgon Julia Langdon (no less) to get Poetic and Possessive about "her" Corfu.
Hard to know which to cackle loudest at:
Gotta love those Mail subs, but you know what? That's how I write it, too.
"As a Corfu regular for many years, I was the first to hear last summer that he had been dining with the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, over the delicious marinated anchovies in the Taverna Agni, my local taverna."
"And now, he has become besotted with Corfu - my Corfu, where I've been holidaying for 25 years."
Follow that, Follain!
11 August 2009
Bulger to Baby P
Now these specimens.
What in God's name is the point of yammering on about how wunnerful the Internet is if - years on - Venables and Thompson are still at large?
Photos and Twittered sightings ... pointing fingers ....
And Baby P? Surely to God *this* time we'll get it right ... a few good vigilantes doing their Chato's Land tracking thing ~ and then getting medieval with blow torch and tongs.
One more feeble performance over this "new identities" rubbish and I'll seriously think of calling in the Mountain Man and ending this anonymity protection crap farce once and for all.
(Still some juice in the blow-torch? When you've done with it)
I think the lads should keep the house blisterer for the Connelly con et al and I'll customize my own for the "carers".
Or here, for 'live' Memory Lane
Thus said, listen to this absolute disgrace of a desecration: Just wish I had my treatment to post so you could compare it with this appalling joke gauche effort.
The Bob Dylan canon in particular qualifies, alongside the likes of this Hermit blunder.
And, because I indulge you, that other TL, the inimitable JJ Cale.
We rollin', Bob?
10 August 2009
~ By Numbers ~
Surprise surprise, the whole effing lot were in it.
If I were our - your - pols, *I'd* be the one bolting now from the flak from the Teleg's investigations. Rather good sleuthing on the part of the paper.