25 September 2009

Daily Chat 25/09/09

The forces of Harold Goodwinson defeated an invading Norwegian troops lead by Harald Hardråde in the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.  Vasco Nuñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean in 1513.  President Dwight Eisenhower called on the 101st Airborne Division to force the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957 and 38 prisoners escaped from Maze Prison in 1983.

Born today:  William Faulkner (1897-1962), Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), Ronnie Barker (1929-2005), Shel Silverstein (1930-1999), Felicity Kendal (1946), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1955), Will Smith (1968), Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969) and one of my lovely Trotters, Ricardo Gardner (1978).

Today is the feast day of Saint Finbarr.


  1. This is hilarious!

    Simon's Cat - TV Dinner

    I'm sure it'll resonate with anyone who has a cat, but watching this felt someone had been observing me and my cat and taking notes.

  2. Lord S,

    They weren't watching your cat they were watching my flatmate's!

    My flatmate's on holiday, I'm cat sitting. The cat followed me all night last night as I pottered around the flat, then this morning she was waiting outside my bedroom door, followed me to the bathroom, followed me back to my bedroom, followed me to the kitchen, took two bites when I fed her then carried on following me! All with big meows (which sound bizarre because she's deaf) and the big cat eyes!

  3. "the feast day of Saint Finbarr."

    Feast day? Fnarrr!

    My cat's in hiding because of the dog.

  4. LordS,
    Great way to start the day. Thanks.
    Now to feed the bloody cat.

  5. I see that Max Clifford is now 'representing' Baroness Scotland's ex-cleaner. Perhaps we'll have another article from Kate Clanchy tomorrow on this exciting development.

  6. Martillo,
    I was interesed to hear that Alan Clark read Viz.

  7. Have you read Judith Miller's piece on Guantanamo? Unbelievable!

    A model detention centre

  8. Yes, I read it. I had to sit on my hands, even the kindest thing I had to say in reply would have been removed and possibly seen me in pre-mod.

  9. LordS - I managed a short comment, something to the effect that a looney bin now seemed the sanest place to be - but think I'll refrain from further commenting as the more I think about it the more outraged I get.

  10. I see old Mandy is musing on the problems of foreign ownership of british industry, now that his regime is on its deathbed. They have so many appalling traits but I think shamelessness must be right up there.

  11. When my mother introduced herself to me me she used the word - we, she thereby influenced the way I saw the world thereafter.

    Over to you Frank explain the word I.

  12. I did find my trousers but how they came to be in the middle of a 25 acre field is quite simply beyond my ken.

  13. Interesting new website for anyone interested in I/P issues

    Israeli Occupation Archive

    Deano - we want chapter and verse on the trouser mystery

  14. Deano

    Does your Barbie know how they got there?

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Deano,
    Hope you were wearing another pair while looking for them.

  17. Sheff,
    I may have overstepped the mark on the Cohen thread.

  18. Trust you, Mr Stoat! What did you do to get deleted?

  19. Stoaty

    Didnt get to read your comment - it had already been vapourised. what could you have said?

  20. sheff
    Great inquisitrix minds think alike, eh!

  21. Dot - had I a spare daughter I would have wished she marry you. You have a wit/wisdom of which I approve.


  22. What on earth are the Graun doing letting that neo-con numpty post her vile ramblings on CiF?

    And why do they always do this on a Friday night.

    That piece makes me quake with anger.


  23. Montanq et al - my lovely I shall be offline for some time.

    I cannot find a convincing explanation why at 62 years of age I find myself in a 25 acre field wearing yellow knickers.

  24. Yellow knickers deano? - this gets more and more intriguing

  25. I merely mentioned that Israel is seen as an American outpost but later I replied to an alleged cif editor in an impudent manner. It's still up so maybe it's ok.

  26. Deano - sounds like an interesting night. Do you think you might have been abducted by aliens? Are there any crop-circles in your field? :o)

  27. Oh god like tihng. Yellow kecks and one sock - you/me has a problemm.

  28. Stoaty

    Your "potty mouth" comment on the Cliff Schecter thread has just made me literally cry with laughter. I was laughing so much that when I had to explain to my hubby what I was laughing about I couldn't even manage it so I had to unplug the lappy and take it over to him to show him

    I could just hear the disgust your "voice" as you said it... sounds daft, but sometimes the most seemingly mundane comments are the funniest ones. I still have tears in my eyes. :O)


  29. Just another day on Cif. And what have we all learnt?

    The cold-blooded murder of two children is a perfect opportunity to whine about sexism and the patriarchy.

    Guantanamo has a 'soccer yard', Islamic feasts and butter pecan flavoured nostril food.

    Gordon Brown has saved Britain and the world and will soon be a hero.

    I think I've had just about enough of Cif. Just when you think that it can't possibly sink any lower, it does, yet again. Clanchy, Bindel, Miller, Toynbee and on and on and on. Fuck them.

  30. Hey BB cant find the thread with the funny comment on - what it is about? I need a laugh. But Deano your story about the yellow knickers etc has certainly cheered her highness up and intrigued me to boot!

    Had a strange old lunch today. I was put on this anti depressant medication by the docs which is supposed to help with pain and sleep problems but it has made me put nearly a stone on in the space of three weeks - well I have come off it but was feeling a bit crap today. Went and met a friend I have not seen for a while for lunch and she looked different. Kind of fresh and well. I noticed after a bit that her eyebrows were higher and her forehead didn't move. So I asked her straight out and she has had botox.

    But and this is the best bit - she gave me her doctors card and said that I have been looking tired recently (yeah well am signed off work ill) and this guy can do 'wonders'! She then pointed to my forehead and said he could easily remove 'that deep frown line'.

    Am not going to be taking her up on her offer of injecting highly lethal nerve toxin into my forehead but I keep noticing new wrinkles now! From confident to a shattered wreck in two quick hours - ah female friendship at its finest.

    I think it would be interesting if there was some research done as to how much peer pressure there is with this sort of thing. You know how one friend has a baby and then three years they all have one - well maybe it works that way with botox too.

  31. Come and have lunch with me Princess, I'm only down the road and we'll have a good laugh. One look at my wrinkly mush will cheer you up no end. Not to mention the rest of my scrawny self.

  32. 'Dwight Eisenhower called on the 101st Airborne Division to force the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957'

    From the useless info dept: Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia both served with the 101st.

  33. Sheff - I will take you up on that - and you can laugh at my deep frown lines. God I must be miserable - what is that saying about getting the face you deserve?

    I think my boozing and partying younger years are starting to etch themselves upon the visage. Still - it was worth it! But I am not, not, not doing botox. And it is hundreds of pounds a pop -anyway and I am brassic so cant even if did decide I wanted to.

    I met a girl at a party a couple of months ago who has had tons of 'work' done - including lip fillers and she is only twenty six. I am starting to feel all a bit alien in this brave new world!

    And I really thought all that stuff was a 'bit Leeds' if you know what I mean. I would have thought Sheffield lasses would have known better!

  34. I have vowed never to have "work" done, no matter how dodgy I look.

    Having said that, though, being half scottish and fair of skin, I have nary a wrinkle at the age of 47. My mum died when she was 72 and had hardly a wrinkle on her either.

    On the other hand, like Billy Connolly, my skin isn't white, it's blue - it takes me two weeks sunbathing to get white!

  35. Princess

    Montana has my email address - I'll drop her a line and ask her to send it to you.

    I know what you mean about "a bit Leeds" - the rot seems to be spreading south.

  36. Oh, the thread is the Republican Brat Pack one, btw.

  37. I'm a bit sad that "a bit Leeds" seems to have come to mean "a bit common". Obviously, Leeds is never going to be as classy as the Glorious Workers' Socialist Republic Of Sheffield, but I had a happy time in Leeds as a teenager back in the 80s, and plenty of good mates there (some who still live there - the oiks!), and I wasn't aware at the time (or now) that it was more "common" than Sheffield (where I also had some mates).

    Now I know different, so thanks for that. G'night girls.

  38. swifty
    You mean the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire?

  39. And I thought 'a bit Leeds' meant the opposite of 'common' ...

  40. Leeds is a lot posher than Sheffield - just look at the shopping possibilities. Sheffield is a backwater in comparison and there has always been rivalry between Sheffield, Leeds and Barnsley.


    The socialist Republic of South Yorkshire - some of us still cling on to that notion - however futile it now seems. Do you remember the Nuclear free Zone signs on the motorway when you got to south Yorks?

  41. sheff
    Gone the way of the towers ...

  42. Leeds is bigger, wealthier & more (ahem) metrosexual.

    Sheffield is one big bloody village!

  43. MsC

    I really miss the towers - they were such a landmark and you knew you were home when you saw them. Beris Connelly, a local photographer took a great picture of them which I have up on my wall now.

  44. MsC
    Sheffield is one big bloody village!

    True - or perhaps a collection of villages. I can't understand a word that is said in Ecclesfield

  45. sheff
    I only hope the powers that be don't give us a giant stainless steel football in their place, as has previously been mooted by someone with no soul. The Tinsley Towers are much missed.

  46. BB

    Do you think you might have been abducted by aliens?

    Have you read about the new Japanese Prime Minister's wife?

    Princess - Botox - FFS. Knew someone once who'd had it done and it was very strange. No expression.

    Anti-depressants are, I think, similar. I've read that people on them actually have a higher suicide rate than those (depressed people) not on them, which is very worrying. Wish you the best and I suspect your mates and whatever things you like to do to relax are the best remedy.

    Most of the several people I've known who have been on anti-depressants haven't been helped by them as far as I (or they) can see, but they have had various nasty side-effects. However one or two people have been somewhat better with the drugs, when combined with therapy, but those were pretty serious cases. And the side-effects were still present.

  47. sheff
    "True - or perhaps a collection of villages. I can't understand a word that is said in Ecclesfield"

    Theory 1: The city kept expanding its boundary, taking in more & more villages on its outskirts. So places that were originally in Derbyshire (for example Walkley) suddenly found themselves in the West Riding of Yorkshire and then South Yorkshire. People kept their local accents irrespective of where other drew invisible lines, so there's no one accent in Sheffield.

    Theory 2: Ther's nowt so queer as folk.

  48. Spelling's gone to pot, I see.

  49. Was watching the first series of Life on Mars last night. Classic Gene Hunt line - "he's whiter than a ginger bird's arse".

    As far as Yorkshire is concerned, Sheffield's a good night out if you're fond of blondes, Leeds is metrosexual and Barnsley falls somewhere between the two. Geographically, if not culturally.

  50. @thauma - the anti-depressant issue would make a really interesting open thread on Cif. For some strange reason, I'm not able to suggest it on Whaddya, but I reckon there would be plenty of Ciffers with experience of the medication, and how it effected them for good or ill.

    I've been using them for a couple of years. The result has been that my sex drive has disappeared and so I stop up half the night commenting on Cif.

    And now that option has been taken from me.

    So I either up the dose and chemically castrate myself, swap the pills for some Radiohead bootlegs, or top myself.

    I hope Georgina and Matt can live with themselves if I turn up in the mortuary for no other reason than that they banned me. )-:

  51. Sheff said - "there has always been rivalry between Leeds, Sheffield and Barnsley..."

    Barnsley? Seriously? Bratfud maybe, but not Barnsley. It's a one-horse town in search of a horse. It's competing with Donny and Rotherham at best.

    FWIW, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Sheff, dramatic setting amongst the seven hills, a good night out, some good bands, and a proper football rivalry. Owls rather than Bledz for me, since you ask.

    And on a really personal level, the local folk rallied round and let us into their homes to use their phones, and gave us a lot of concrete and moral support at Hillsborough.

    Proper working class folk with a sense of community.

  52. Blimey, I seem to have cleared the dancefloor...

    Nite all x

  53. Thauma- well they were not prescribed for depression but for ME and it's weird side effects such as not sleeping, muscle pain and panic attacks - oooh and vertigo (my favourite). But they made me really, really thirsty and I have shoved a ton of weight on. So yeah not a big fan right now. And I read up on them a bit and it seems they are quite addictive despite claiming not to be. So came off them!

    Hank - re the banning - can I get your email from Montana?

    Re Sheffield and Leeds. I was not trying to say Leeds was 'common' - more it is a bit 'posh'. I mean have you seen the birds going in and out of Harvey Nics? They all look like they are actresses or WAGS or company directors or some such. I always thought Sheffield was a bit more - well the only words I can think of and this may be a bit weird but are - friendly and homely.

    And Sheffield is one big village MsChin - totally agree. Oh and the towers! I was gutted. I have a lovely black and white print of them from a shop on Devonshire green near Rare and Racy.

    With regards to the Socialist republic bit - my grandparents were all socialists, my dad too and my ma is a bit of a lefty feminist type.

    My other half - his family are from Harrogate - minted - and true blue. We had an awkward moment last christmas as me, mum, stepdad (anarchist) and sis - sat with his dad and wife (raging Tories) as they lectured us on the arrogance of the miners! I just drank more wine. South Yorks has always had this socialist image but after what Barnsley did in the elections re the BNP heaven help us!

  54. @princess - what were you given? Venlafaxine? Thing is that the doctors dish it out with a massive disclaimer that taking the pills can lead to weight loss, or weight gain, getting sleepy, getting amsomniac... Truth is that neither the GPs, hospital medics or the pharmacists know what they're doing, or dealing with.

    "Hank.. re the banning, can I get your email from Montana?"

    Montana's got my email, pcc, so feel free to get in touch via M. Would be nice to hear from you. But as far as my Cif ban is concerned, thanx but no thanx.

    I won't be back on Cif. Fucking liberal hypocrites. Free speech for fascists, but banning orders for lefties who second guess Toynbee, Cohen or the blessed Marina Hyde.

    Little known fact: my favourite Graun writer is Marina Hyde, but I was banned for responding to a blog she wrote puffing her new book, Celebrity. I suggested that it was hypocritical of her to write a book satirising the cult of celebrity, and promoting it in her Guardian column, particularly when she had made her name as a gossip/showbiz columnist on the Sun. And that she had also benefitted from sleeping with her boss, Piers Morgan.

    These things are all true, and all on the record.

    But it's not good form to speak of it.

    So as much as I like Marina's columns, I think she's a fucking hypocrite, as is the Guardian for employing her, and Cif for banning discussion of the issue.

  55. Aah, fuck it, this place is worth something. And it could be something worthwhile, as long as there are those who can contribute something worthwhile actually contribute something worthwhile.

    Come on down, monkeyfish....

  56. I lesrned my trade in Leeds.

  57. Hank,
    These people can be compared to footballers, left or right they play for teams. Guardian writers have more in common with Daily mail ranters than they have with us.
    They may be in opposing teams but they are playing the same game and they certainly don't want a pitch invasion.

  58. deano,
    Alright? can't stop.

  59. PCC - I did shag a woman On the Stray. I just had an ache it happend I was young and immature but I liked it.

  60. Poem: ‘Bollockshire’
    Christopher Reid
    You’ve zoomed through it often enough
    on the long grind north, the grim dash south –
    why not take a break?
    Slip off the motorway
    at any one of ten tangled junctions
    and poke your nose, without compunction,
    into the unknown.
    Get systematically lost.
    At the first absence of a signpost,
    opt for the least promising lane,
    or cut into the truck traffic
    along some plain,
    perimeter-fence-lined stretch of blacktop
    heading nowhere obvious.
    Open your mind
    to the jarring yellow
    of that hillside rape crop, the grim Norse green
    of that fir plantation, where every tree
    steps forward to greet you
    with the same zombie gesture
    of exclamation, the last-ditch brown of –
    what could it be? Something to do with pigs?

    Row on row
    of miniature Nissen huts
    laid out like a new speculative estate
    in acres of glistening mud, behind an electronic gate . . .
    But don’t stop now.
    Press on,
    undistracted by the lush hedgerows
    (of which there are none)
    or the silence of the songbirds.
    Other counties
    can match these. It’s the essence of Bollockshire
    you’re after: its secrets, its blessings and bounties.
    So keep driving,
    past sly-windowed farms,
    lying there with hoards of costly machinery
    in their arms, like toys they won’t share;
    past Bald Oak Hill,
    down the more shaded side of which
    the Bollockshire Hunt has scuffled
    many a morning to its kill;
    past St Boldric’s church,
    with the slant steeple,
    which Cromwell’s lads once briefly visited,
    leaving behind them saints re-martyred,
    the Virgin without her head;
    past Bewlake Manor’s
    dinky Gothic gatehouse, now the weekend habitat
    of London media or money people;
    past the isolated
    Bulldog pub,
    with its choice of scrumpies, microwave grub,
    bouncy castle and back-room badger fights –
    past all that,
    until, if you are lucky,
    you hit the famous ring road. Thrown down
    decades ago, like a gigantic concrete garland
    around the county town,
    riddled and plugged
    by the random dentistry of maintenance work
    and chock-a-block with contraflow,
    it must, you feel,
    be visible from the moon.
    One road sign hides another. There are orange cones
    galore. Each cultivated roundabout island
    is, if possible, more off-key
    than the one before.
    But don’t stick here all afternoon:
    Blokeston itself has to be seen,
    via the brick maze
    of its bygone industrial outskirts.
    This is where Shas Balk invented his machine
    for putting a true, tight twist in string,
    where they once supplied the world
    with all it needed
    of bicycle saddles and cigarette papers,
    where cough syrup was king.
    Round the corner,
    just when you least expect,
    there’s Blokeston FC, home of ‘The Blockers’,
    and Blokeston Prison, by the same no-frills architect.
    Unmissable from any position,
    the Bulwark Brewery
    stands up in a haze of its own malty vapours,
    which even today’s counterwafts of Tandoori
    cannot contest.
    Now, turn east or west,
    and you’ll find yourself on a traffic-planner’s
    one-way inward spiral, passing at speed
    through older and older
    parts of town –
    the impeccable Georgian manners
    of Beauclerc Square, built on slave-trade money;
    bad Bishop Bloggs’s school;
    the crossroads where
    the Billhook Martyrs were tortured and burned –
    until you reach the river Bleak.
    Squeeze, if you can,
    over the Black Bridge,
    then park and pay – assuming this isn’t the week
    of the Billycock Fair, or Boiled Egg Day,
    when they elect the Town Fool.
    From here, it’s a short step
    to the Bailiwick Hall Museum and Arts Centre.
    As you enter, ignore the display
    of tankards and manacles, the pickled head
    of England’s Wisest Woman;
    ask, instead, for the Bloke Stone.
    Surprisingly small, round, featureless,
    there it sits, dimly lit,
    behind toughened glass, in a room of its own.
    Be sure to see it, if you’ve a taste
    for this sort of primitive conundrum.
    Most visitors pass
    and won’t even leave their vehicles,
    keen by this time to make haste
    back to the life they know,
    and to put more motorway under them.

  61. Christopher Reid’s poetry is published by Faber. Katerina Brac is out in paperback.

    So sort it.

  62. PS, I bought the rights to this from LRB so sweat not.

  63. Bitters,
    There's no answer to that. I'm having a sneaky whisky and soon I will hear the call from upstairs. Will read that tomorrow.

  64. colin - "Guardian writers have more in common with Daily mail ranters than they have with us...."

    Yeh, spot on, colin. But where do we go from there?

    I can't be the only heavy smoking hard drinking guy who's waiting for the "only four weeks to live" message from the GP at the same time as they have the address of half a dozen bankers.

    Sad thing is that the above is such a lame thing to say but, nowadays, it's enough to get me arrested.

    Nice knowing you guys.

  65. Oh, just had a message from MF.

    Keep watching the skies, people.

    I'm off to bed, mysen, but the monkey might be around soon...

    @Bitterweed - much as I luv ya, Nick, it's JCC or it's nutting at all...


  66. Hank
    Have this then.

  67. Deano, you are brave I will give you that. The stray is a little bit - err - exposed? Non? I hope ye were behind a tree. Harrogate is a lovely place I must admit. I like it a lot. And I actually love my in-laws. They are kind Tories - but I don't think people can get how bad it is to be lectured about the selfish miners when your own family and friends lost everything in that strike.

    Thatcher. She split the bleeding country, damn her. Anyway I am full of wine - to lessen the effects of coming off the happy pills (I know the GP would be going mad right now if she knew) but I am off to sleep.

    Nite all.

  68. Princesschipchops
    Wise words as usual.

  69. Tom Waits recent press conference - superb!


  70. How about Yeovil Town?


    Not great. Brilliant.

  71. Lightweight go to bed early tozzers.

  72. http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=oGAFOz5GA8I

  73. Hank
    England. In-ger-FUCKING-LAND!