Archive for January, 2004

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

HM Government

UK Citizenship ceremony
Offical guidance

Venue
The venue must be a setting appropriate to the conduct of the ceremony of UK citizenship.
A poorly decorated church hall, out of town DIY store, inner city crack house or motorway service station are all good choices. Venues unique to regional localities may also be chosen; eg: Former internment camps, disused coalmines, nuclear power plants, highland shepher huts or low cost regional airports – all have a unique place in UK society and are thus good choices also.

The venue should be equipped with the following:
1. Large format poster of Tony Blair.
2. Blu-Tak to affix poster to wall of venue.
3. Tape player (purchased from Argos).
4. Tape recording, tracks to be included:
Eastenders theme (Simon May Ensemble)
Greensleaves (Karaoke version – For use in England)
Donald where’s yoor troosers (Billy Connolly – For use in Scotland)
Bread of Heaven (Max Boyce – For use in Wales)
Things can only get better (D Ream – For use in Northern Ireland and Islington)

Congratulations (Sir Cliffe Richard – Bhangra Mix)
4. Folding table.
5. Union flag tablecloth.
6. Supply of protect and survive leaflets.
7. Black bin liners for collection of post ceremony litter.
8. Job seekers allowance claim forms.

Celebrant: All rise.

All the aspiring citizens present will stand while the theme music from Eastenders is played

Celebrant: Dear friends and asylum seekers we are gathered here today/this evening/this lunchtime/in despair (delete as appropriate) to assume the rights and responsibilities[ the celebrant will glance meaningfully at the TB poster at this point ] – of United Kingdom citizenship. This is a step not to be taken with a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt. If any person present does not know who Jonny Wilkinson is could s/he now leave the room and make their way to the front desk for re-programming. Pause for departures.

I will now ask those present to respond and make a series of pledges – the response in each case is “I do”

Celebrant: Do you promise to discuss the weather with a stranger at least once a week?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you pledge to eat fish and chips on Fridays?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you promise to strive for a consumer lifestyle fuelled by unsustainable debt and dodgy ringtones?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you pledge to follow the plotline of at least one televison soap opera for the rest of your life?
Citizen: I do

Celebrant: Do you pledge to undertake one of the following regularly:
a. Car boot sale
b. National Trust visitation
c. DIY
?

Citizen: I do – a b or c

Celebrant: Having made your pledges we now come to the final part of the ceremony, the oath of allegiance. Please face the picture of Tony Blair and repeat after me.

I will talk proper English and try to fit in with my neighbours.
I do solemnly swear that I will obey all laws commands and dictates of our leader – for he has lovely teeth.
I promise to pay the bearer on demand.
I love Queen Brenda and will keep a picture of her in my house – I will pray for her in my own way.
I will not drop litter or play loud music.
I recognise that this oath may be recorded for training purposes and that I may be deported if I do not keep up repayments to my trafficker.

Celebrant: That concludes our ceremony. You are now citizens of the United Kingdom. Please leave quietly so as not to disturb the neighbours – place your litter in the black bin liners by the door.

All the citizens will then depart whilst ‘Congratulations’ is played. Other regional music may follow

Who ate all the pies?

Friday, January 30th, 2004



There’s something very satisfying about a nice big n juicy pie. The combination of crisp yet yielding pastry, melting in the mouth – and luscious tasty filling is hard to beat. Most folks who don’t eat meat seem to have one particular meat type thing that they miss. For many it’s bacon. This is certainly one of mine – I do miss that smoky salty intense flavour of bacon sometimes. I also miss pork pies. Now this may sound like anathema from a citizen of vegetaria but I can’t help myself. It’s not something I care to conceal any longer. In my previous life as a carnivore the pork pie was an essential staple in my nutritional landscape. Rated at a handy million calories per serving with 120% saturated fat content they are a vital comestible for anyone needing a complete meal in one. Just the thing for a handy lunchtime snack, a fill-me-up for supper or a post pub piefest. I’d better stop before I cave.

Anyway these days the only pie action I get is of the sweet variety – [ vegetable pies are shite ]. I’m especially partial to warm cherry pie with a dollop of fresh cream. If it involves almonds as well then it starts to border on sexual. It was no surprise then to read today that Bignjuicyville is smack bang in the middle of the nation’s pie-eating capital according to a new survey. Reading like a Viz feature this survey puts those lilly livered Londoners bottom of the pie munching league with just 1 in 5 eating a weekly pie. [ More sun dried polenta darling? ] The Scots are third, East Angular second with Yorkshire and Humberside fourth and fifth. I have to say the results were surprising. Those Kwik Save boffins that carried out the survey found that of the 1,282 people surveyed chicken and mushroom was the nation’s favourite filling. Personally I always found this a little slimy and preferred Minced Beef. [ God it’s all so pre-BSE here today aint it? ]. Saturday is apparently the most popular day for eating pies – [ never let it be said I don’t write topical posts ]. Men preferred chips with their pies while women went for mash. “It’s fantastic to see that the great British pie is holding its own and standing firm as a national favourite at meal times”, says Kaptain Kwiksave. And would you believe it they’ve got a special on mini Melton Mowbrays at the moment.

~Twitch~

What am I?

Thursday, January 29th, 2004

My first is in Natasha but not in Hamilton

My second is in Wildenstein but not in Jocelyn

My third is in Pamela but not in Anderson

My fourth is in Tori and also in Spelling

My fifth is in Christina but not in Aguilera

My sixth is in Posh but not in Becks

My eighth is in Jordan but not in Egypt

My ninth is in Rivers but not in Joan

Snow place like home

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

A four hour journey home tonight has left me in need of resuscitation. Hence a minimal posting I’m afraid.

If you are in Britain you may have noticed that large parts of the country have stopped functioning. Seems to be due to some snowfall. Not that it ever snows here of course. What with our usually tropical weather and all. Caught us all completely by surprise. No warnings, no weather forecasts, no wall to wall media coverage for the last week. Can’t understand it myself…

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

Steaming

Brilliantly atmospheric shots of steamy New York streets over at Satan’s Laundromat. I badly need to go back – not keen on the whole visa shennanigans tho.

Doomed

Did you get caught by the w32/Doomed virus?

I did – and pesky it is I can tell ya. God knows what I’ve emailed to people without knowing – I’ve certainly had some very weird ones coming in this direction. If you add up all the human effort expended on fixing this and other malicious computer problems it would probably be enough to achieve something amazing – like find intelligent life in George W – or cure Cancer. Aside from bunging the perpetrator in jail I wonder if he – (no sexism here but I bet it’s a bloke) – could be subverted into some socially beneficial activity. How about a virus that forces it’s victims to give to charity in order to get it removed?

Anyway – if you need to remove this little bugger from your PC – try this from Sophos – works a treat. Download the MYDOOGUI cleaner and then run it – remembering to tick the scan all files option on the configuration tab. If you’re running a network – best call Ghostbusters and go on an extended holiday.

Monday, January 26th, 2004

Quick as a parrot

N’kisi the African Grey Parrot is one clever little birdy who is opening the minds of scientists to the cognitive abilities of animals. The major reason for this is that N’kisi can speak – after a fashion. Humour, context, tenses, and verbal invention shown by the parrot have opened a fascinating window into how animals perceive the world – and us. More reason for us to take animals and their welfare far more seriously than we do.

Rover – sick as pup

The problems with the Spirit Mars rover may be due to ‘too many computer files’ according to reports.

I am actively checking out rumours that the Rover is running a bootleg copy of Microsoft Windows XP and that the recent message received from the surface of Mars was actually,

“This rover has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.”

Need I say more at this stage?

All that Jazz

Sunday, January 25th, 2004



The Museuem of London is a curious place. Smack bang in the City of London situated in what seems to be a sort of elevated concrete traffic roundabout. At least from the outside anyway. So it was when I came to visit for the first time last weekend to see the latest exhibition there, ‘1920s: the decade that changed London‘.

The museum building is deceptive. Despite it’s unpromising exterior it is very roomy and modern inside. Albeit in a tarted up 1970s bare concrete and ceramic tile Barbican Centre kind of way. Upon entering, a charming flapper greets you and beckons you to see the 1920’s show. The people who work here are among the friendliest museum staff I’ve ever encountered. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble – very impressive and refreshing when so many of the public facing staff you encounter in London can be a bit backward when it comes to helping you. Anyway – onto the exhibition proper. They are using location sensitive audio guides that you get free when you enter. Hidden radio beacons in the exhibition space are detected by the gizmo you wear around your neck as you move through the displays. Your headphones play you some erudite commentary about the objects around you. All very clever but I found it was pretty incompatible with my usual swanning technique. No sooner would I be listening to a detailed exposition of The British Empire, say – when I would have swanned off in the direction of A K2 telephone box; the commentary juddering abruptly and trying to keep up. Great technology – but I think it’s aimed at less frenetic visitors than I.

There is a rich collection of exhibits in this show – some of which are very special indeed. An elevator removed from the Selfridges store in Oxford Street can be seen as you enter. All gold and bronze deco detail – it’s a splendid centrepiece. The Jazz age in London was marked by many American imports. The Charleston, talking pictures and American style retail therapy – in the form of the Selfridges department store. I’d not previously known that Gordon Selfridge, the founder, was a Chicago man. I remember seeing the grand department store buildings in the Loop in downtown Chicago when I was there a few years ago – very similar in style to the grand Selfridges building. Funny how long it takes to make connections sometimes isn’t it?

What I enjoyed most about the show was learning how transforming this period was for ordinary Londoners. A great energy and buzz, accelerated, no doubt, by the post WW1 boom – seemed to take over the city. Telephones, television, private cars and wirelesses – all began their steady growth into mass ownership items during this period. There was some great film footage of a bus ride through central London from the drivers viewpoint – fantastic. A very covetable collection of early telephones and an actual sample of the Eric Gill carvings from St James Park Station I wrote about back in April last year. A very atmospheric show; watch out for the impromptu performance from Jazz Age Annie and check out the weirdness that was the Kibbo Kift[ and you thought Jacko was wacko ]. Show closes on 18th July 2004 – well worth a visit if you are in London and have a few hours to spare. Don’t miss too the Lord Mayor’s coach just around the corner from the exhibition – see if you can work out how they get it out of the Museum for the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.

The name's Bond, Jennie Bond

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

It’s all going to kick off next week. We’ll be tuning into ITV avidly to pick up on the latest goings on from the jungle with ower Ant and ower Dec. Yes it’s that time again – time for, “I’m a fading minor blip on the entertainment circuit – boost my profile and I’ll eat maggots for you”. Stars such as Diane Modahl, Alex Best, Lord Charles Brocket and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock will be beamed into our homes dressed only in Gucci fatigues and insect repellent. Which brings me to Peter Andre; greaseball steroid boy – now running a bar in Cyrpus. How I’ve longed to see Peter’s six pack again after it went into premature retirement in the nineties when it decided to grow a lard overcoat. By far and away the most exciting prospect though has to be Jennie Bond. Jennie who has “recently opted for a quiet life in rural Devon with her family and ponies” [ NO NOT CAMILLA ] will be joining the stars to rough it in the jungle. Yes indeed, I am looking forward to hearing her tales of life with the royals – just before she is compelled to plunge her head into a perspex box full of Peter Andre grubs or eat Ant and Dec’s rancid leftover thongs.

Linkage…

…is mine from two enigmatic sources. Thanyou muchly – I’ve always wanted to be described as a he-man. [ he he ]

Rolling

My three wheels have been joined by a fourth following my trip to Mr Fixit’s last week. Reassuringly the whole car is now going to the same place as me when we are out and about together. Surprisingly low cost too given the life threatening nature of the malaise.

Flushed with success

Judging by the number of hits I’ve been receiving since I dared to mention, ‘colonic irrigation in Glasgow, [ There I’ve done it again ] – there is an untapped market [ If I could describe it as such ] for this service – not only in the Clydeside metrolops but also further afield; the furthest enquiry thus far being from the ‘eastern US’. [ thinks: could I….could I really give up my present life and become…..the internet’s first mobile online colonic consultant?…..clicks to domains r us and checks out availability of www.colondirect.com ]

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

Breakdown week – the fourth day

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004