10 February 2010


Baghdad fell to the Mongols in 1258.  Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn in front of the high altar of Greyfriars Church in Dumfries in 1306.  In evidence that students have always had their priorities straight, a dispute between two Oxford students and some local residents over beer turned into the St. Scholastica Day Riot in 1355.  The fights lasted for two days and in the end, 63 scholars and 30 local residents were dead.  Vicky and Albert got married in 1840.  New Delhi became the capital of India in 1931 and the US traded Soviet spy Rudolf Abel for Francis Gary Powers in 1962.

Born today:  John Suckling (1609-1642), Charles Lamb (1775-1834), Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), Roberta Flack (1937) and Michael Apted (1941).

Strangely enough, it is the feast day of St. Scholastica.


  1. Photo is my own -- Presidential Palace, New Delhi. 1990.

  2. Nice photo.

    StudRockman - Stud isnt banned, no, so crack on with the beachware piece (just please remember to use appropriate language, "vibrant", "diverse", etc)

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  4. A day in which some lads fell out with the locals about the beer, as a good thing as any to have a riot about, and Flack and Pasternak were born....romance indeed.

    And a royal wedding to boot. We are blessed.

    Finest Flack


    Zhivago - Grand Book and Fine Film


    I really must get my books out of my daughters cellar and reread Zhivago. I recall there were differences 'tween film and book but as the years have gone by its the film which floods my memory. It must have been the performances of Christie and Courtenay.....electric.

    Zhivago - The Trailer

  5. And Rod Steiger gave a fine performance too..

    There is a nagging doubt that originally I thought the book finer than the film......ah a lifetime of rioting with the beer may have addled my brain.

    Just to add a note of reassurance that there is now no chance that I can recover my sanity - yesterday I bought a 'preloved' (secondhand) double glazed upvc window of size 2mx1m which I can't lift unaided. £50 an absolute bargain!

    A prize to the first person who can work out how a tramp in a caravan is going to use it to sort out terminal procrastination.

  6. Make a cold frame and grow some veggies Deano!

  7. Nice one turminder - partly there, but it also involves a brewery.

    If the fucking tories get in I can't contemplate paying liquor taxes to bullingdon bastards so I'm going to have to revert to home brew. And in the winter that will require a warm lean to.

    Simply not possible to brew in the caravan - my bastard mongrel (the beloved Mungo) would sup it as it fermented whilst I slept.

    The preloved window will, as you suggest, also help in the propagation of my tomatoes and peppers etc.

    I love the idea of owning a preloved window - the day here in Yorkshire is wonderfully sunny and I am in good spirits and away to take the dogs walking.


  8. deano,

    interesting that after Dr Zhivago, both Courtenay and Christie pretty much chucked the film game.

    Courtenay went onto his first love the stage and Julie Christie off to a Welsh farmhouse making occasional appearances.

    If you've never read it Dear Tom, Courtenay's autobiography through his mother's letters to him, is as touching a portrayal of post war Northern life as it is possible to get.

  9. I seem to remember that I read it Duke - Tom is a local lad (Hull) as well as a very fine actor.

    That said I have followed your link and amazoned a second hand copy just in case - after all I can build some bookshelves into the new brewery ...

  10. Come to think of it - if I get the dimensions right I could install a big flat screen with surround sound too. And then get the Zhivago video/dvd oh life is looking up...

  11. By the way BB - I'm glad you rethought your position. I and many others would miss you.

    MsR - I was glad to read that animals are helping in the tussle with the blackdog. I'll try and post a picture of Mungo (when I can find the link from phone to laptop) he has a nutty head that photo's well and that helps lift and cheer (a little bit).

  12. "Just to add a note of reassurance that there is now no chance that I can recover my sanity"
    Oh Deano, did you lend yours out, too? We're never going to get it back, are we? Bloody neighbours.

    Re the Tories getting back in power; we got through it before and we'll get through it again. Just as long as you have enough home brew to share around, sir.

  13. Incidentally,

    in case anyone hasn't seen them, PeterGuillam has been posting absolute platinum on the Post Office and Dizaei threads.

    And RedNorth on the disability thread is brilliant.

    Really are worth checking out.

  14. @deano30 Yes I think I need a woolly dog. He will be my friend and not fuck with my head. Meanwhile I see the king of execrable Rom Coms who admits he has had nothing adverse happen in his own life wants a Tobin tax. Sorry I just find this celebrities cleaning up the world bit fucking irritating. The fact is the bankers are not the problem; they are a symptom of a problem and that is that the economic and political systems that we have relied up simply do not work in this very fragmented complex world. Bring on the plastic charity bracelets..bet there's a special Tiffany Tobin.

  15. BTW Montana, I really like the photo. I could send you some cracking ones of bombed Beirut if you wish.

  16. MsRobinson,

    I meant to say. How do you do, nice to meet you.

  17. @13thDuke Nice to meet you too your Lordship. I agree with Peter G's posts on post office. They are splendid and the definitive comments on what passes for management today.

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  19. Nice one MsR - "....bet there's a special Tiffany Tobin."

    Bound to be now that Faberge's great grand daughter has teamed up with some overloaded venture capitalists to relaunch the family business in bling.

    Bling Shop

    A woolly dog sounds a sensible choice and is a step on the road to sanity - there are a disproportionate number of dog lovers who post here.

    Young habib you will always be welcome at my gentleman's brewery, cum library, cum film theatre, when it is complete.

    Get thee behind me procrastination! - whilst out walking the plans started to become ever more grandiose (a sure sign of problems to come).

    I managed to dismiss a desire for a hexagonal lean to but then became bogged down on whether or not to model the interior on the Hermitage or on Versailles.

    Right I must be away to B&Q to look at the price of nails ...... and air conditioning and underfloor heating.

    And electric motors to open the roof so that I. may view the celestial bodies when I am bored in the night.....

    Worry not dear friends a deadline has been set - the building to be completed in time for the century celebration of the death of my hero Frederick Furnival..

  20. MsB - Dukes is "Your Grace" if you please, you antipodean young miss! Were was you dragged up?

  21. PGs post on the Royal Mail thread was superb, a better read than 90% of the shite ATL.

  22. Radio 4 about to cover the sale of the Manchester Evening News on the Media Show.

  23. Whoops 13th Duke. I am sorry Your Grace. That open BBC religious thread has brought me giggles. As religion should I feel. Meanwhile I am lying to someone who wants some work from me that I am doing it. I am going to nap.

  24. PeterGuillam is a star, isn't he? I don't always agree completely with what he says (only the vast majority of the time) but, by God, he writes very well indeed, employs measured and considered arguments,doesn't resort to glib or cheap shots (which I must own up from time to time). A writer of a far higher calibre than almost any of the above-the-line big names.

  25. My word, that is a superb comment by PeterG.

  26. Ms Robinson - ay, that could have been another deadly dull thread on church and state, but I think we've nicely derailed it now...

    favourite so far - "News at Tenebrae"

  27. The stammerer article by Michael Grant is quite superb, and the comments are (as far as I have read) really really nice. I don't really stammer (I guess), but I'm often shy and awkward when speaking; the internet (and written word in general) really helps me expressing myself the way I wish to (my significant other, for example, developed tender feelings for me because of the way I wrote emails to her).

    However, something as simple as offering Chips (or Pommes, as we sometimes call them in Germany) with ketchup or mayonnaise is always difficult: Most of the times, I'm absolutely dissatisfied with the way I spurt it out, and 2 times out of 5, I've ordered not the sauce I really wanted to order. Another funny thing: I'm always glad when someone finishes a sentence for me (if he got what I wanted to say right), but that may be because of my being quite impatient - it seems everyone else hates it.

    So, if I leave a sentence or two here unfinished, just feel free to ... *blank look*

  28. Must agree on PeterG - good posts today although I don't always agree with him.

    Edwin - I think you won over several of us here with the way you write too.

  29. deano: As the lovely thauma gracefully wrote yesterday , I dunno about [Edwin], but think it's quite flattering (to be mistaken for Edwin) ;-)

  30. Elementary my dear friend - a slip of the eye hand and brain cell. My sincere apologies but at least you recognised my intent.

  31. .....since it was your writing I was responding to.

  32. I plead architectural ambition - I was lost in wondering if I could fit a cupola to my brewhouse/library/theatre.....

  33. deano, it was karma coming back to me for my slip yesterday; you were just an agent of Destiny. There's nothing to apologize for.

    I've never seen a brewhouse with a cupola, but it sounds quite interesting. To be fair, I think I've only seen one brewhouse at all, and that one is a castle.

  34. A brewhouse with a cupolads, cupolalasses... happy times...

  35. "I think I've only seen one brewhouse at all, and that one is a castle"
    crenellations, deano - it's the only way!

  36. GC Millibandi getting torn a new one on PM.

    Has quite cheered me up.

  37. Ah, it's my day of being mistaken for other guys! Hurray!

    Now, after having looked up what a crenellation is, and after Philippa's comment that they are the only way, my question is: The only way to do what?

  38. Evening Utters,

    Excellent street activity here The usual jobsworths trying to spoil the fun.

  39. Judgment in Re Mohamed

    Check out para 295 from Neuberger, it's about as 'yo' momma' as a judge gets...

    (was just imagining a makeover for deano's castle, elementary - maybe a flagpole and a gun turret would be fun too)

  40. @deano30 Columns. You need columns. Immediately people will know you are a man of ambition.

  41. Pergola.

    No idea what it is, it's just a lovely word.

  42. Don't forget the water feature.

  43. Ms Robinson

    Definitely agree on the columns but should they be Doric, Ionic or Corinthian

    I favour Ionic myself as they are slender and more elegant and remind me of a cinema (the Ionic in Golders Green where I spent many a happy hour as a recalcitrant teenager, when I should have been in school).

    PS: Crenellations is a lovely word.

  44. Typical Pergola

    I'd love one but might be seen as a bit pretentious in the back yard of a terraced house in darkest Sheffield.

  45. re: ionic columns, little science joke.

    scene: an undergrad room at college
    clueless mate reading friend's chem textbook
    CM "What's an ionic compound?"
    Friend - "It's a compound that's being ever so slightly sarcastic"
    CM "Oh, right..."

  46. Oh goody, geek jokes! I lurves 'em.

  47. Flying buttresses, it's the only thing to hold up the pergola, wall in the hall of ionic columns, and act as a charming counterpoint to the baroque crenelations.

    You're gonna need a lot of hay bales to hide this all behind Deano..

  48. Hold up the cupola...


    Boss: well Mr O'Hara, can you tell me the difference between a girder and a joist?

    Labourer: Ah thas easy Sir. Gothe wrote Faust and Joyce wrote Ulysses...

  49. turminder - brilliant!

    he's going to need a hell of a tarpaulin as well...

  50. Deano, I think a nice spire should top it off, although it might involve investment in a few more hay bales.

    Good one, Turminder, ha ha!

    This is my fave, which I think I posted on Cif once. It describes my day today.

    select * from users;
    where clue > 0;
    0 rows returned

  51. Goodness me, you lot are chipper tonight.
    Don't let Scherfig catch you that way.

    Just kidding, Scherf, old buddy. You're right that we shouldn't all stand around patting each other's backs, but Turminder was funnier than my friend Hardeep, Shazia and Shappi put together tonight.

    It's nice to have a place you can go to for a laugh and a smile, while knowing that the people there care about the bad things that go on in this world.

  52. What wonderful suggestions dear friends - when I have dined I shall digest them and give careful consideration to incorporating all the appropriate ones in the pending design.

    I had already started to think along the lines of columns on the inside. Marble could complement the oak panelling and show the green leather chesterfields to good effect.

    Having a gentleman's brewhouse/library/theatre/observatory is one thing, but getting the cleaners in a rural location is quite another.

    My understanding is that eastern European ladies are well impressed with marble columns so the idea has lots to commend it.

  53. deano

    Do you have enough room for a moat and a duck house?

  54. MsChin - col! (Chuckled out loud.)

    Who'd'a thunk Deano was an MP?

  55. Chin my dear that charming Scandinavian duckhouse had not escaped my eye, nor more importantly Mungo's.

    I have it mind that an accommodation will have to be reached with said dog, the saga of Nelson's walking out coat for Mungo is not yet resolved. He has a long memory and propensity for revenge that has to be taken into account.

    So if I get my brewhouse/../.../.... he will almost certainly require a deluxe kennel and I had thought an enlarged version of the duckhouse (with fitted carpet, double glazing and central heating etc) might placate him...

  56. He's a Gentleman Knight of the Field, is our deano.

    btw, thauma, I think he reserves capital punishment for MPs as well as all (but 1) lawyers - maybe he'll be offended at my question.

  57. A moat is out of the question - I'd never get the bastard out and the sight of Mungo jumping in and back stroking around every time he got the better of me would be too much to stand.

  58. I need not have worried about causing you offence, deano (but I knew that really).

    Maybe a wood floor with underfloor heating and a nice rug might suit better - easier to clean when his paws get muddy; cooler than fitted carpet in summer.

  59. Moat's out then. Anyway, I hear they are jolly expensive to clean.

  60. I think he reserves capital punishment for MPs

    Bastards deleted me on the BofE thread for suggesting that a few bankers and at least half a dozen MPs would need to be introduced to the rope (for the learning of the others) before the country would have any chance of prospering.

    I suspect my mistake was to name the uber creep Mandelson as my first choice vote.

  61. Obviously Mungo will require a heated towel rail in the mud room so that he can be nicely dried off after his mudbath and sauna.

    If Deano were going to be *really* kind to Mungo, he'd construct a foxshitbath instead of a mudbath. At least, that'd be my hound's idea of heaven.

  62. Chin don't encourage the bastard - he's looking over my shoulder and taking notes...if he thinks I'm buying him a Persian rug he can fuck off.

    We finished up in an impasse about Nelsons walking out coat because of Michael Jackson's death which was accompanied by lots of old TV with him ponching around in jackets with brass buttons epaulettes and loads of braid. Mungo watched it all and then when a came across of the cover of Sargent Pepper's lonely hearts ...

    ...well I never really had a chance of dissuading him when we came across yer actual Nelson's whilst on the Nat Maritime Museum website courtesy of the Oxford reference collection.

    Food cooked - time eat.

  63. Bloody hell, there are some right twats turning up on Tatchell's thread. And I am battling against those who think that it's impossible to cook unless you have a full-time stay-at-home wife on the Michelle Obama thread.

  64. thauma

    Oh dear. I got distracted from CiF by the Moral Maze & prog on class (still on).

  65. @deano Indeed the Slutlanas, sorry Svetlanas are very impressed by columns, buttresses and a Pergola. But why stop there. Incorporate a Buddhist Temple to show your spiritual side.

    This is starting to sound like the Knights of Ni demanding a shrubbery.

  66. MsR - have you not heard of the recent evidence pointing to the fact that a shrubbery probably surrounded Stonehenge? (No, really!)

    Shrubberies can be very important.

    We are not sure if it had a nice little path down the middle.

  67. MsR

    Many moons ago, we had some discussion about a retirement home for older women of the UT. You know, somewhere we could hang out, drink wine, smoke, post on CiF and admire the passing eye candy in our dotage. Oh yes, and a butler to cater to our every whim as well. The lads thought they might have a similar retreat further down the beach. I'm starting to think that maybe what we are constructing here is our dream home, but I'm not sure which of the two it is!

  68. thauma

    If they find evidence of a rose trellis on one of the standing stones, I won't know what to think.

    Actually, I'm deeply fascinated by stone circles & surprised that Stonehenge hasn't been excavated in recent times.

  69. Just re posting this wee gem as it'll get blasted off WADDYA soon...

    And I want a 50 ft diameter, stained glass Orrery, where you can sit inside the sun and planets... On the roof.

    10 Feb 2010, 8:50PM

    Can we have a thread in which everyone pretends to be Giyus?

    'So cool, Bubba'

    posed the cynic

    'But it'll be a VERY short thread......'


    The UNKNOWN THREAD? version 7.0

    Governments may bail out newspapers, says Sorrell

    By Nick Clark

    Wednesday, 3 February 2010 Independent

    Sir Martin Sorrell, head of the advertising giant WPP, said governments may have to step in and support ailing newspapers if losses bring them to the brink of collapse.

    Sir Martin said: "Governments probably have to decide whether consolidation and media titles going out of business is the right thing from an editorial point of view."

    In an interview with Arabian Business, he compared the situation to the recent state support for the banks. "You could argue that newspapers provide a vital service," he said. "It's the same issue, whether the state should intervene in certain issues to help preserve a service. That is what every piece of welfare economics is based on."

    The media has suffered declining revenues since the onset of the economic downturn, which led to the worst advertising recession in living memory. Since then, many media groups have been looking to alternate sources of revenue, such as charging for online content, to make up for the decline in advertising.

    Sir Martin cited The Guardian as an example. "In the long-term it can't go on losing money," he said. "So let us say, hypothetically, that The Guardian could not continue to lose money after a certain period, then you would have to think about whether the Government should subsidise it, or whether you give tax advantages to people to subsidise it."

    He added that in thinking of models to bail out media organisations there were "plenty of ways to skin that particular cow".


    'Let's have a thread.....'

    chuckled the cynic

    'IN PRAISE OF.............. BAIL-OUTS?'

  70. @MsChin I am loving this retirement home. We should have a ha ha around ours I think. Ever since I came to this country and found out about them I have been besotted with the idea. Deano can have columns. I want a ha ha. Not too expensive:)

  71. Bailing out the fucking media. Where does it stop? Bailing out football clubs, publishers because they put their money down on some shit chicklit, drug dealers...I am going to defiantly eat a macaroon.

  72. MsR

    Perfect feature for the point & laugh tendency we expect to cultivate during our dotage, if I may say so.


    That's a fecking brilliant post. And I might have something to say about using my taxes to pay for journos from privileged backgrounds and as for the red tops ...

    deano, get the rope ready, me & sheff'll polish the lampost to facilitate the swing.

  73. On the subject of media bailouts, I do hope that that's the pounding of monkeyfish's keyboard that I hear ..

  74. Macaroon, yes. And maybe a hot chocolate?

    Just read the housing thread and feel compelled to leave the country right now so I don't have to share my space with those implying that its the 'million immigrants' wot did it. Bah humbug.

    So I'm off to bed to read a couple of chapters of Anna Karenina. Night.

  75. Night all. It was a Macaroon from Paris. A friend brought me a box. I ate two. And cocoa yes.

  76. 'MsR - have you not heard of the recent evidence pointing to the fact that a shrubbery probably surrounded Stonehenge?'

    Ach they wrote a song about it years ago thauma -

    All I want is a henge somewhere -
    Wouldn't it be shrubbery? Shrubbereee!

    The oddest stone circle I know is at Sighthill, just up the road from us. It was built 1978-79 by Glasgow Parks Dept and was the first astronomically aligned stone circle for 2000 years or so. It should be a major tourist attraction but is in on exposed and lonely outcrop and is quite a scary place.

    I looked in yesterday and saw BB has given up for a while at least. I can understand it - I get majorly bored with the sound of my own voice - bit it's a pity nonetheless. As Habib says, this is a good drop in for a blether.

    But off to bed - knackered - night all.

  77. Oh quick hi to Your Grace re Courtenay. There was a lovely film on the other night about extras with Tom Courtney playing one of the Damned. Like the Ronald Villiers character in Chewin' the Fat, it was fun to watch but horribly true!

  78. That pergola's tasty Sheff - I think I'll have one leading up to the brewhouse entrance. Would be daft to miss out on such a seductive feature.

    I have ideas for a water feature thauma and for a haw haw MsR but enough for tonight.

    My mind is now reeling with tonight's Horizon (BBC2) on Infinty. A programme I'll have to catch again on iplayer and then watch the repeats before I can get my head around some of the more basic concepts.

    Googleplex to the power googleplex anybody??

    We don't get bored with your voice Edwin.

    Night all.

  79. There is nothing basic about the concept(s) of infinity. It's been a long day...

  80. Evening all. Very late I know. But just thought would let any interested parties know that the Disability tests thread in the Guardian has obviously rattled Atos as they have actually come below the line to leave a comment. Something about how they just do the assessments and pass them on to the DWP decision makers blah blah blah.

    Sorry not been around much again - was out at the ME clinic yesterday and then been busy on the abundance of welfare threads today.

    Can I just say as well - since it is post watershed - that some right fooking cnuts have been about on those threads.

    Anyway night all and I hope to drop in tomorrow.

  81. 'ight princess - read thread and went bleah at a lot of it - some very good comments from the humans on it, though...

  82. Hi folks!
    Shef - loved the street activity had a sort of 60's hippy flavour to it!

    PB ionic compounds LOL!

    turminder LOL!

    Deano - I also watched last night's horizon - mind boggling no?

    I shall also be re-watching it several times!

    I often think that higher maths and theoretical physics are so mind blowing one is tempted to ask what exactly these gents are on?