17 May 2009

Daily Chat 17/05/09

On this day in 1895, the first Omonoia Station opened in Athens.  In 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal and, therefore, unconstitutional.  Celebrating birthdays today:  Dennis Hopper, Taj Mahal, Enya, Trent Reznor, Busta Rhymes, and my aunt, Jane.  Norway celebrates Syttende Mai, or Constitution Day, today and it is Galician Literature Day.  So get out there and read some Galician literature!


  1. happy birthday jane,,


  2. So get out there and read some Galician literature!"""""

    the spanish the polish or the ukranian ?

    This year the Galician Royal Academy has decided to dedicate this day to Ramón Piñeiro López (Armea-Lugo 1915, Santiago de Compostela 1990).

    oh the spanish,,although galician is rooted in latin and close to portuguese,, the language of love poetry

    the polish /ukrainian Galicia is surprising in the number of different groups that have been part of its history,, a tremendous variety

    wiki,, of course

  3. @ customerservice &extramile (from late on yesterdays thread)

    Thanks for the advice/knowledge I didn't know that you could increase the size of the text displayed on your screen from your keyboard

    In the event the control key and the +/- option works a treat.

    A big help thank you very much.

    My machine is an 7 yearish old Toshibia Laptop and the inbuilt touchpad scrolling/pointer (mouse) option suggested didnt seem to work but thanks anyway.

  4. " Norway celebrates Syttende Mai,"

    With it's oil money in a Sovereign Fund and the size of it's population it could probably afford to make everday Christmas day and half day closing.

    If Only Thatcher had not been a feckless charlatan

    Always a regret that booze is so expensive in Norway - I have a passion to visit and see the Northern Lights. Thought I might take the mail-boat cruise and sail the cost one day.

    Camp/drive option is easier and probably cheaper - but the cost of the pop is an issue and it's bloody cold when the stairway to the gods is out and seducing.

    Playing "Stargazer" by last years composer in residence on Classic FM ( hole in brain where mans name should be) on the mobile phone/MP3 very appealing -. End result a real danger of hypothermia but what the hell fear of death means no life.

    Still camping is a possibility (legal anywhere within a short set distance of a persons home) cos you can now drive there direct from Yorkshire without a trip around the Baltic and without a danger of wet feet. Dry land all the way

    Alaska might have been a cheaper option (but this years dollar/£ movements mean prob not now) and they have some nuts up there too.

    Norwegians and Icelanders make for some of the wildest drinking companions on earth. That's one of the reasons for the high cost of pop - rationing by price in the interests of having a future population at all.

    They get so pissed they can't find their own organs let alone someone to copulate with.

    The Hull fishermen used to say that you had to guard the boat 24/7 if you had to put into one of their ports for repairs - else the bastards would break your compass open (‘cos it floated in alcohol) and you'ld never get home.

    I will have to find a way to visit.

    There is no way home for a would be Viking/existentialist/quaker if I can not see the Auroa before I die.

    I have an understanding that Israel gives all Jews worldwide a right of return. Not so the Norwegians for disgruntled vikings - during the Thatcher years Yorkshire might have closed down since we would all have tried to make a claim. If the bastards had joined Europe I might have gone in 2000 I suppose it's just as easy to be hermit there has here.

    Last time Northern Lights seen over Hull was 1930's. I had a tinge where I am only a couple of years ago but I was too drunk to get in the car. There were spectacular pictures taken and published only 5 miles from where I camp!!

    I dashed up to John O'Groats next day stayed 4 nights fantastic clear skies two night (no lights)

    Cloudy two nights (Poker Flatts Uni Of Alaska reporting Centre say fantastic display over Scotland) saw not a thing

    They are seen of our North coast several times in an average year but you can have a long wait. Still no now the Scots have refined the rights to camp on open land who knows

    A cloudy and still an east wind in Yorks today and no Northern Lights last night.


  5. I am too idle to delete the above correct my spellings and repost - sorry.

    That is my one health issue - chronic acute mananism.

  6. Athens got a mention whoo! I use omonia station a lot...

  7. Why make the decision toay whether or not it is chronic or acute I'll do it tomorrow.

  8. I don't like to ask what for Kiz - I is a gent,

    I know the Blackpool trams don't stop there.

    Best W

    I must sod off and do something else

  9. Happy Birthday Aunt Jane....

    Weather not too bad today - heading for usual Sunday terrace café later on (bit of a weekly ritual this).

  10. morning everyone

    nice post room101. I used to have a link somewhere to a gallery of pics of Finnish people lying in the road blind drunk on a Saturday night - apparently they have trucks that go round to collect them. My hubby has family on his aunt's side in Finland.

    I've never been to scandanavia and would love to some day. So much of the world to see, so little time (and money).

  11. Oh bollocks - increasing that text size still didn't work did it?

    ".......Thought I might take the mail-boat cruise and sail the cost one day."

    Sail on bye pennies you cannot come to heaven with me.

    End of silly morning. Stream of consciousness can be tedious for others so sorry all. I imagine hogging a board is a sin.

  12. BB

    That general falling-down drunk attitude is prevalent in Sweden as well, especially in winter when it gets dark at 3pm.

    The café culture is different here - people go out,sit on a terrace and have these huge Trappist beers and are still able to stand up afterwards. Awesome.

    Hope you got some sleep afer last night's marathon.

    Kizbot - to paraphrase Shakespeare (and hope burned thigh is healing) get thee to a taverna now.....

    There used to be a great Greek place in Brussels where everyone indulged in the custom of smashing plates. A group of people I know took a very dour Scots Presbyterian there one night and he came out totally disgusted. They did it on purpose.


  13. Doing the taverna thing at home today... Just made some tzatziki and got a couple of fish to grill and we can eat on our lovely balcony overlooking a sea of tv aerials on the top of the blocks of flats... warm day... but not sunny..
    101- I use omonia underground station a lot because I often change lines there when pottering about...

  14. @ Bru

    "A group of people I know took a very dour Scots Presbyterian there one night and he came out totally disgusted."

    That's why we are in the mess we are in and he is punishing us all is it?

    I had a dreadful experience in Bruges on monks beer. It's a favourite destination for an "lost weekend" on the Hull ferries cheap in the winter months


  15. Bru - I love the cafe thing in Belgium and France. I lived in France for 7 years and there is nothing I love more than to sit outside a cafe in the summer and watch the world go by.

    Kiz - JEALOUS!!!!!!! I am going round to my dad's for lunch. Not quite on the same level really, is it? :(

  16. @ Kisbot

    I was only jesting - I didn't even know they had an underground. I've never been to Athens but my sometime wife was a dancer in "club" there for a few months before we met in the late 60's.

    She and the girls she danced with had to have the Equity union rep out because they were expected to "sit and talk to the customers" after the performances. It was an exclusive club with very rich men from the east and Arabia but she and her mates were not up for it and demanded the contracts the had be signed be amended to make it clear.

    The union won and she had a very memorable hassle free few months in Athens and loved every minute and still talks fondly of it.

    Best W Deano30

  17. The new parts of the Athens underground are quite fab... loads of exposed archeological remains which have been glassed over for viewing as well as lots of ancient artefacts exhibited in various stations... syntagma is a bit of a museum really...

  18. Room101

    Hilarious. Believe me this Scots guy made our Gordon look like Hugh Heffner.

    BB - where did you live in France?

    Kizbot - I love Greek food - the best thing about the "European village" around the EU Commission is the number of restaurants catering for food from all quarters of the EU. When I worked there we had Kitty O'Shea (best fishcakes in town), the English pub (best ploughman's lunch) and so many of these great Greek restaurants.

    Which reminds me - lunch beckons.


  19. "In 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal and, therefore, unconstitutional"

    If only we had an established and courageous Supreme Court and a Constitution

    It might rule that our class/wealth segregated Public Schools were inherently unequal, and therefore, unconstitutional.

    Aye and pigs might fly backwards and upside down whilst breaking wind over Buckingham Palace.

    Lunch beckons me too pub I think then dog walking and an afternoon with the papers.

  20. sartrecastic17 May, 2009 14:13

    Hmm. I spent the other day explaining very with painful meticulousness why "separate but equal" was not equal. (With regard to the implications in the BNP's 2005 manifesto that there would be by mandate ethnically segregated schools.)

    You'd think 55 years later you wouldn't have to do that sort of thing.

    Incidentally you're a bit damned either way when it comes to schools and their class / ethnic mixture. People seem to disapprove of de facto segregation and yet at the same time condemn attempts to integrate (e.g. postcode lotteries).

    With that in mind it really is high time we got rid of state faith schools.

    On the subject of Greece I am ashamed to admit that during my week at Rhodes I ate full English breakfasts, fish and chips and chocolate wafery wonders from a German ice cream parlour. I did not speak a word of Greek and the only times I didn't use English were when reading German signs and whatnot on account of my toddler-like command of that language.

    Apart from that week I have never left the confines of England.

    Is that just sad for the 21st century?

  21. Just saw this:


    with a cameo appearance by Silent Hunter.

  22. sartrecastic17 May, 2009 17:34

    Oh dear, Guardian.

    I always knew there was something fishy about that Moazzam Begg.

  23. Kiz - did I spell Omonia wrong up top?

    As for the drunken Scandinavians - when I lived in Sweden it just amazed me how juvenile they were in their drinking habits. My Danish ex had told me before I went there that all the drunks you see in the streets of Copenhagen are drunk Swedes who've come over for the day. I thought he was exaggerating until I had a week's holiday in Copenhagen. Damn if every drunk I saw wasn't speaking Swedish!

  24. either spelling is ok in English... both are used... yrs is probably more formally correct..

  25. Montana

    How long were you in Sweden? And what part?

    You're right about the drunks in Copenhagen - a friend of mine returned to Brussels saying she'd been tripping over them on the pavement after lunch.

    Mind you another friend once went to Benidorm for her Easter holiday and opened the door each morning to go down to breakfast to bodies in the corridor (too much partying the night before).

    I think the rule of thumb in Belgium is that if you can drink a triple cherry beer and still walk in a straight line, you are fully integrated.



  26. Incidentally you're a bit damned either way when it comes to schools and their class / ethnic mixture. People seem to disapprove of de facto segregation and yet at the same time condemn attempts to integrate (e.g. postcode lotteries).
    all the way through school my kids classes were
    made up of at least twenty different ethnicities/
    nationalities,, the local 5-12 yr old school had a sign saying "welcome, we speak 43 different languages"

    awesome good school,,Mount Pleasant Junior School
    Vancouver Canada,,
    hmm age has its humour,, i live a block from the school,, hung around it for ten years and today i am not sure if its Junior,,Elementary or some other label,,anyway it is a great school

    its at one end of a park always inhabited by dark (black) haired swedes with brown paper bags
    and has been for ever ,,but this is such a strangely sensible neighbourhood its never been a problem in any way,,and all the dog owners actually do clean up,,always,,

    takes a village to raise a child,,cell phones dont cut it

  27. *hic*

    Too much to drink at Dad's. He had this weird port-equivalent type drink called Malaga... never had it before, but it was lovely after lunch. I will have a headache tomorrow now.

    Bru - I used to live in the South Vendee - an area called the Marais Poitevin, known locally as Green Venice for all its canals. About 30 mins inland from La Rochelle. La Rochelle is my favourite city in the known universe.

    3p4 you're a canuck! My husband is too, but from Montreal.

  28. @ Sartrecastic

    "Apart from that week I have never left the confines of England."

    What never been to Yorkshire for the day?

    I once courted a lass from (Fowey) Cornwall - crossing the Tamar to Plymouth was her, and her family's idea of going up to England for the day. That they did every few years.

    When I finally persuaded her to join me for a week end in London - Well it started at at Paddington where she saw her first black human being, she was amazed. We went on to have a fab weekend with friends who lived in the Irish area ? ( Not far from Marx in Highgate)

    She couldn't get over grown men fighting about who was going to pay for the next round of drinks in the pub, with the Sally Army stepping over the fallen to sell WarCry on the Friday night - God bless you Sylvia wherever you are now.

    I lived in a village near Lancaster (5 miles away) The 80+ year old landlord of the Green Dragon Pub had arrived in the village after WWI and had married the pub owners daughter.

    I once asked him if he liked Lancaster he said, and this is true - " I went once 50 years since and I didn't like and I never went back." I honestly thought he was taking the piss. He wasn't he'd never left the village for 50 years.

    @ 3p4

    "takes a village to raise a child,,cell phones dont cut it"

    What a nice sentence!

  29. Bru - I was in Skåne, just outside of Ystad. It was lovely, even though the family I worked for wasn't the most welcoming. They were minor aristos - count & countess. Took Swedish lessons at the local medborgarskolan and had some great neighbours. Ystad is a beautiful town, too.

  30. @ BB

    Often think of the Vendee as France's little secret ( although the landscape is too flat for my natural taste) the minute you get south of the Loire the weather used to be great and reliable in Summer!

    You don't have to go as far as the Med. Only a short(ish) drive from St Malo.

  31. Dratt - Forgot to log on with the Google account. So can't amend remove my comments. Sorry.

  32. room101 - doesn't look to me like it needs amending or removing. :o)

    Bru - yes it is very flat, but I love the canals down to the sea. Was dutch monks that dug them I believe.


  33. This is in my village - lovely little bar and restaurant to while away a summer's evening...


  34. "Incidentally you're a bit damned either way when it comes to schools and their class / ethnic mixture. "

    It wasn't the Afrikaans who invented apartheid.

    The UK had perfected it years before in the way they chose to structure their cities and all of society on a demarcated wealth/class basis.

    What exacerbates the problem latterly is that neither the police officers nor the teachers live in the communities from which they derive their livings.

    And as for the Judges and Physicians well don't start me off again!

  35. @ BB

    Wow what a great thread - you learn something on here every day:

    "Bru - yes it is very flat, but I love the canals down to the sea. Was dutch monks that dug them I believe"

    I would never have known that it was dutch monks who short changed the irish navvies and got the contract. It was those guys that gave you lots of work in family law in the UK and many other parts of the world. Judges always had difficulty with the concept of "living over the brush"

    A culturally quaint fashion that the canal builders took to here. I'm trying to get my mind around what Dutch monks might have done with their evenings after a hard day on a shovel?

    Montana will tell me they couldn't cut the mustard on the Western Mountains in building the first trans USA railway line - that was the Chineese

    Only been once but think the Big Sur coast(a must see for a Kerouach fan) fab.

    San Fran could be greatest seaport city in the World I loved it. Only there a week but may return one day.

    Hated LA and Vegas (had no choice my host thought they were treating us) gave me the shivers wild horses would not persuade me to revisit

    Regards must dash have work to do elsewhere.

  36. Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo, by Pietro Mascagni just played on Classic FM - love it

  37. room101

    My father's favourite piece as well - beautiful. It was part of the background music to the Godfather III.


  38. Dear oh deary me:

    "Julie Bindel, a feminist campaigner and journalist, admitted being infuriated by women like Egan and Tkacik. "Feminism is not the freedom to act like a dickhead," she said. "These women are individualists, not feminists. They are lazy, bone-idle women who have no interest taking part in a political movement for change but are trying to get credibility for their selfish lives by playing identification politics. You can't claim to be a feminist simply because you're a woman."

    Thing for me is, if being a feminist means having to be like Bindel, I think I will be happy as I am, thank you. SRSLY

  39. I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes a great feminist icon! :D

    The last episode made me cry, when her power was transmitted to every girl in the world.

  40. @ room101.d30 (17 May, 2009 11:27)

    ".........Playing "Stargazer" by last years composer in residence on Classic FM ( hole in brain where mans name should be)........."

    Hole filled in - Composer Patrick Hawes

    Can't find a reference for free track/video but worth a quid from iTunes ( Track on CD "Towards the Light")

  41. Dammit! Just wrote a response to BB about the fem wars article and lost it. Blogspot claimed my cookies were disabled. Don't know why it does that sometimes.

    Anyway -- the gist was that I don't seem to fit in either camp. Not too sure about the 'didn't report my rape because I had better things to do, like drink' comment, but it seems to me that the Hirshman/Wolf/Bindel camp need to get to grips with the fact that, for the Jezebels the battle looks to have been won and all they want to do is get on with their lives. For them, feminism is exactly the right to behave like dickheads if that is their choice. Bindel & co. don't really get to define feminism for everyone, do they?

    And Bindel accusing someone else of playing identification politics is just a little too rich, isn't it?

  42. rightthenducks17 May, 2009 22:54


    my personal short list of enjoyable movies,,none of which i have seen since the kids departed includes buffy,,the first movie,,i think its kirsty swanson with donald sutherland,,great comic book,,

    i am not a canuck bye the bye,,my birth certificate says i was born in North East West Ham hospital,, i usually just say Mile End

  43. Montana

    I think ultimately what it boils down to is that, by and large, in the West - certainly in the States and the UK anyway - feminism has more or less achieved what it set out to achieve. I am not saying the glass ceiling has completely disappeared, but there are certainly a hell of a lot of chunks taken out of it. Women have more freedom than at any other time in history.

    People of our generation and older can remember the bad old days, and some, like Bindel for example, must look at the young women nowadays and think "why the hell are they behaving like that" forgetting that the whole purpose of equality is for women to be able to behave with as few social constraints as men do.

  44. Ah well - I need to get to bed. Work tomorrow. Oof.

  45. You're not staying around for some fun on the Harman piece?