28 March 2010


Paris was sacked by Vikings in 845.  France and Britain declared war on Russia in 1854.  The names of Constantinople and Angora were changed to Istanbul and Ankara in 1930.  The Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, nuclear reactor went into partial meltdown in 1979.

Born today:  Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999), Michael Parkinson (1935), Chris Barrie (1960) and Vince Vaughn (1970).

In addition to being Palm Sunday, it is Teachers' Day in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


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  4. Paul- I didn't understand the purpose of Pollyanna's posts either.

    But Usini wasn't being pedantic. Pedantry is an absurd or exaggerated display of learning, and it's very well known that 'This Be The Verse' begins, not ends, with the famous line. And at the risk of discourtesy to mine host I was surprised that Montana took the attitude she did. You may as well say that it is of no moment that Paradise Lost begins with 'Of man's first innocence' and ends with 'Through Eden took their solitary way', not vice versa. Nit-picking it ain't.

    'Pedant' is as often as not what someone who doesn't know something calls someone who does.

  5. deano's Saturday night theatre?

    I went, with my sometime, to see the final night of this:

    Hull Truck - April in Paris

    A very funny play which I much enjoyed. Being a Northern working class sort of bloke the dialogue was very familiar to me...and of course I love the idea of shed living which is a speciality of mine.

    It's going on tour soon so if it's at a theatre near you and you like gritty humour I recommend it.

    Paul I agree with Montana about the Larkin line..

  6. Morning all.

    Please talk quietly.

    Sister's b'day dinner last night.

    Head hurts.


  7. Lavartis - I found the tosser pedantic because of the context/intent of Pauls message to pen.

    Since pen is/was afeared of his parents influence over his life the reminder of Larkin's observation, of the capacity of your folks to fuck you over, was no less helpful no matter the precise chronology of the line in the poem.

    Thus I thought Usini was both absurd and exaggerated.

  8. Re This be the Verse, Faber cut back on proofreaders in the early 70s. As someone once pointed out, what Larkin of course meant was

    'They tuck you up, your Mum and Dad'

    Had a look at waddaya thread - as someone says it's a mess.

  9. Morning all

    Another beautiful day in Yorkshire...I could get used to this.

    Another dust up on waddya? I mostly stay away from there these days, its got a bit incoherent lately

    Haven't Hull Truck got a lovely new theatre Deano? I remember seeing them years ago in the 80's...when they practically lived out of the back of a van and did very polemical stuff. I hope they haven't lost their cutting edge.

  10. OED pedantry

    1. The character, habit of mind, or practice of a pedant.

    a. Mere academic learning, without judgement or discrimination; excessive reverence for or display of learning or technical knowledge; intellectual conceit.

    [1585 A. MUNDAY tr. L. Pasqualigo Fedele & Fortunio II. v. sig. Div, I would I could meete with master Pedayntrye, To knowe what his maister saith to the chauntrye.] 1612 J. DONNE Progresse of Soule ii. 291 When wilt thou shake off this pedantery Of being taught by sense and fantasie? 1646 SIR T. BROWNE Pseudodoxia Epidemica I. vi. 24 A practise that savours much of Pedantery. 1710 R. STEELE Tatler No. 224. 7 Pedantry proceeds from much Reading and little Understanding. 1766 J. FORDYCE Serm. Young Women (1767) I. vii. 298 That men are frighted at Female pedantry is very certain. 1841 I. D'ISRAELI Amenities Lit. (1867) 100 The pedantry of mixing Greek and Latin terms in the vernacular language is ridiculed by Rabelais. 1878 H. JAMES Watch & Ward v. 88 He was gentle without timidity, frank without arrogance, clever without pedantry. 1979 D. THOMAS Swinburne x. 219 He was the..faded little poet, with an enthusiasm for books & pedantry which was..reminiscent of an eccentric don. 2003 Jrnl. News (Westchester County, N.Y.) (Nexis) 23 Nov. 4E, There's no showiness in his erudition, no pedantry in his wisdom, no ingratiation in his wit.
    b. Excessive or undue concern for petty details; slavish adherence to formal precision, rules, or literal meaning.

    The lady Montana will speak for herself but the above was certainly swilling around my mind when I concluded that in the usini/paul/handup your skirt larkin affair usini was, on this occasion a pedantic tosser. But what the fuck do I know.

    Edwin - thanks for that I like it!

    Sheff Yea it was my first visit to the new lottery supported (circa £15m) theatre. (Me sometime is on the governors board so I oft went to the old place)

    They are still good - Long time since Godber did any acting himself, which he did last night, and he/they were good. He has good comedic timing. His wife was class - I liked her a lot...

    Of course he is getting older now so keeping that edge will have to depend on his ability to spot and nurture the talent that will have one day to succeed him. A task that some artists can't master... we'll see.

    Anybody know anything about digital SLR cameras?? - I have a £70 ebay discount voucher that has to be spent today and am looking to spend about £350-£450.

  11. Sheff

    The delightful Jane Godber with her sometime

    There was once a day when the budgets would not have run to a promo video like this....

  12. Deano

    I'd go for a Nikon for preference. All though others swear by Canon.

    I've got a Nikon D40X I've had for a while now. Its comfortable and straightforward to use and gives good results.

  13. I checked the OED too! but the printed version, not the online one, so no link...

  14. seconding BB. cats away (team bonding weekend up an alp), mice played. mice now squeaking feebly for coffee...

  15. Goodness deano you can get a lot of camera for that - check Amazon (and indeed ebay) for deals. I have the canon powershot 12.1 which takes great pics but more importantly seems to be as tough as my old nikkormat. I've broken all my last digitals but this one has lasted over a year - a glacial epoch for me.

    My pal Leo has just asked for an open thread on this news story on whaddaya -


    Cif is a not bad playground - but the developers will soon be moving in I fear. . .

  16. Lavartis - I recognised the OED definition in your contribution when I looked pedantic up. As I said for me it was about context.

    You have a hard copy of the OED? I always wanted one. I would make space for the 20+ volumes in my new brewhouse/library for them like a shot.

    I could happily spend another lifetime in awe at our language and the OED. I love the whole insanity of it....and as of the inadequacy of my knowledge...

    Were you on here a few weeks ago when we discussed how most UK based folks can get on-line access to the full OED via their library tickets?

  17. For Lavartis

    OED Pedantic

    A. n. A pedant. Now rare.

    1607 R. C. in tr. H. Estienne World of Wonders II. Ep. Ded. sig. V3v, That proud pedanticke..who promised immortalitie to those to whom he dedicated any of his works. 1694 R. FRANCK Northern Mem. 27 This Age degenerates from Potentates to Pedanticks. 1776 Blockheads I. ii. 6, I am become almost asham'd of my company; a pack of strutting pedanticks, looking like elopers from the grave. 1816 Edinb. Rev. 26 106 Madame de Staël has very happily ridiculed this pedantic's taste in criticism. 2003 Yorks. Evening Post (Nexis) 7 Apr., Nitpicking pedantics might have taken issue with..claims of central Baghdad having been entered..but their arguments have more to do with street map detail than the reality of achieved ambition.
    B. adj.

    1. Pedagogic, schoolmasterly; of or relating to teaching. Obs.

    1628 W. PRYNNE Unlovelinesse of Love-lockes sig. b4, I neede not feare that Schoole-boyes breeching for them, which, some Pedantique Cl[e]rikes threaten to me. a1631 J. DONNE Sunne Rising in Poems (1633) 199 Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,..Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schooleboyes. 1644 MILTON Areopagitica 22 When every..reader upon the first sight of a pedantick licence, will be ready with these like words to ding the book a coits distance from him.
    2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a pedant; characterized by or exhibiting pedantry; exaggeratedly or absurdly learned.

    1631 T. GOFFE Raging Turke IV. vii. sig. K2v, You haue bin to me No Father, but a sowre Pedanticke wretch, One that with frosty precepts, striu'd to kill The flaming heate of my ambitious youth. 1633 T. CAREW Elegie Death Donne in J. Donne Poems 386 The Muses garden with Pedantique weedes O'rspread, was purg'd by thee. 1698 Protestant Mercury 8 June 2/2 A just reprimand..for his Foppish, Pedantick, Detractive and Petulant way of writing. 1759 A. SMITH Theory Moral Sentiments I. §iii. ii. 62 We grow weary of the grave, pedantic, and long-sentenced love of Cowley and Propertius, who never have done with exaggerating the violence of their attachments. 1788 T. REID Aristotle's Logic vi. §1. 128 He was without pedantry even in that pedantic age. 1825 MACAULAY Milton in Edinb. Rev. Aug. 305 He does not..sacrifice sense and spirit to pedantic refinements. 1855 J. L. MOTLEY Rise Dutch Republic II. III. i. 108 Rather a pedantic than a practical commander, more capable to discourse of battles than to gain them. 1871 R. ELLIS tr. Catullus Poems lvii. 7 Bookish brethren, a dainty pair pedantic. 1906 J. GALSWORTHY Man of Property 183 When they danced..they bounded, twirling their partners at great pace, without pedantic attention to the rhythm of the music. 1993 Nature 28 Oct. 794/3 The book's arguments are not well served by a somewhat pedantic writing style, too full of fancy words such as ‘evidencing’, ‘processual’,..and ‘juridicial’.

    I love the OED it learns me lots

  18. I have a micrographically reduced version in one volume, which my dad bought for IIRC £250 about fifteen years ago, and would not have room for the 20 vols! Every word of them, but you need a powerful magnifying-glass.

    Didn't notice that discussion.

  19. Edwin Yea toughness/ruggedness is an issue for me.

    I bust my non SLR digital last year. I had a passion for photographing the exact position of the sunrise (when not obscured by cloud) every morning. One of the delights of living ion a large open field is to watch the migration of the sun as the track moves from left to right between the summer and winter solstice and back again right to left (South to North). It's a nice way to watch the passage of time and life

    In pursuit of me sunrises, one frosty morning in December 2008, I dashed outside in me underpants careless that there was overnight ice on the decking near the entrance to my van. My feet shot into the air along with the camera. I knocked myself near unconscious (the back of my neck hit a step)the camera never worked again after it fell to earth from a a considerable height.

    I thus thought I would spend a bit extra on the next camera to encourage me to be more carefully in my picture taking. I was very lucky I didn't break my neck - I had a fearful headache for several days.

    I'm not a photo geek although I would like to get into the close up detail of wild and natural things- I've got some great fungus growing out side on some logs I use to display my Acer collection.

  20. Lavartis - lucky you. Magnifiction becomes necessary with age in any event. I was tempted by a first edition on ebay as a Christmas present for myself (from myself) for around £400 but they were very tatty.

    I decided to wait until I win the lottery when I would lay out the £7,000+(circa) for the leather bound version of the second (and probably final) print edition. Dream on deano...

    ....then by chance I came across the fact that if you have a public library ticket you can (in most parts of the UK) get free online access.

    For folk in the East Riding of Yorkshire it works like this:

    An example of a public portal to the Oxford reference works (OED included)

    If you go to your local Council's web page if you (or a family member) are UK Council tax payers you should, after some rooting around, find something similar.

    You then simply need the details on your library ticket if you have one. A truly fantastic public service - you usually get access to all the massive collection of Oxford reference works too.

    Hope you find this interesting/useful.

  21. The OED signed an agreement with most local authorities so the probability is that you too will be covered. The lass at my local library was helpful to me.

    Of fuck they've pissed about with the clocks again......must get the dogs out.

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  23. 'OED signed an agreement with most local authorities so the probability is that you too will be covered.'

    Yep - i use the DNB frequently and it's free for Glasgow Library users - as opposed to over £200 subscription!

  24. "I bust my non SLR digital last year. ...... one frosty morning in December 2008,"

    You get these sort of problems with time when you get to my age .......and you haven't worn a watch for thirteen(ish) years ........and the last one you wore had stopped at twenty past two two years before the strap broke and it fell off.

  25. Lavartis
    'Pedant' is as often as not what someone who doesn't know something calls someone who does.

    In general I do tend to agree, especially when the knowlege is used to put someone in their place not to educate them.

    But I also agree with Deano and Montana that when a quote is being used to illustrate a point to argue against it is indeed nitpicking and frankly irelevant. Too often the inaccuracy is used to argue against the point being made. Otherwise why not say "I agree with your point but I am sure you realise..."?

  26. Leni - if you pop in on here that was most fascinating what you said on the Fairytale thread about the old witch in my dreams being my future self. I do fear ageing and I think it is because of my mum. She has hated getting older and constantly bemoans the loss of her looks. But as I said over there she was a stunner when younger, really beautiful so I think that made it harder for her to accept. I take after my dad - my sis looks like my mum - so I dont have as much to lose in the first place! :)

    Deano - and others - does anyone know what I need to do with an old non-digital SLR where the shutter is not closing fully? Someone said I might be able to clean it with a cotton bud? Very gently. It was my dads camera so has a lot of emotional value and I would like to keep it working for as long as I can.

    I was looking at digital ones the other day Deano - as others have said you should be able to get a great camera for that price.

  27. Princess

    If you value the camera I'd get it looked at professionally rather than have a go yourself, they're easy to bugger up. Ron Harrisons on London Road might be a place to start. It needn't be very expensive to fix. As its old it could probably do with a service anyway.

  28. princess - second sheff, but shouldn't hurt to have a little 'dust' beforehand, but i'd go with a soft-hair paintbrush rather than a cotton bud.

  29. Oh, and about ageing....turning into my mother was my main terror! But although old baggery has hit me in recent years, I have, thankfully not become like my Ma.

  30. my old olympus trip bleeds in light, which I have never got round to getting fixed, so I have to remember to centre every shot about 1/3 in from the left so it looks right when I take scissors to the print! so sometimes I don't get the line straight and end up having to 'even it up' so the picture gets smaller and smaller until the centring's all off again...

    that's the nice thing about digital photos - you can crop properly! although given most of my attempts to photograph my pictures are a bit off, I'd like it if I could rotate degree by degree, so they aren't wonky...

    maybe bitmap? hmmm...

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  32. Deano

    Have a look here. You can get get a refurbed Nikon D40X for well under £400 which gives you a bench mark. and there are loads of reviews on the net if you want to check it out.

  33. Yeh my powershot is a refurb from the canon refurb ebay shop (in Ireland). Think with the money you have at hand deano I'g go with Sheff and pick a digi SLR - they do so much more than the compacts though apparently there is a Lumix compact which does as much as an SLR does - good in low light etc.

  34. This is the compact I was thinking of deano - Amazon reviews are not encouraging though!


  35. Edwin

    I've got the Leica compact which is brilliant and it just slips into a pocket. I use it a lot more than my SLR. I'd really recommend it and if Deano could spend just a little bit more the best price I've seen is under £500.

    You can also get a viewfinder that slips onto the hot shoe which makes it easier on sunny days. No camera is perfect but this little leica is gorgeous.

    The Lumix version has the same Leica lens but I think the electronics are different - it also has the virtue of being cheaper.

  36. Thanks Sheff - I will take it there and let them have a look and pay for a service of it.

    I might not be around for the rest of today. Have just found out my mum has had an accident. She has dislocated her shoulder falling out of bed!! But she is now immobile - and her husband is too as he is disabled - so I imagine I am going to be up there quite a bit just doing the basics for them.

    I might pop in later this evening but I am off to get them some shopping. Bless her - she says it is agony.

  37. princess - ouch! hope she feels better soon...

  38. Is it this one Sheff? Itl;s gorgeous.


    One of the reviews says it is the same as a Lumix X3 just different brand but £200 cheaper?

  39. Edwin
    Yes, thats it it the Leica D-Lux4. The Lumix (Panasonic) is virtually as good I think. I had a Lumix but it was stolen and decided to get the Leica to replace it. I have always lusted after one.

    One thing I like if you're snapping around people is the silent mode - so very good for candid shots.

  40. V.Windy but delightful here in E Yorks.

    I am thinking about your comments/experiences with cameras - thanks.

    My broken digital is a Panasonic Lumix and I was happy with it. There is something romantic about the Leica name, from what little I know I understand that the old E Germany used to have the finest optics in the world.

    The 20%/£70max voucher I have been given is paypal/ebay linked and is time dated and has to be used to day so I will have to make a decision or it will expire.

    PCCC you might try a phone call to the secretary of your/the sheffield/ S Yorks/whatever it is called..... photographic society. You never know your luck if they like your story you might get it done for next to nowt.

    Hope your mum has been able to get some relief.

    PB (and other tinned Salmon fans) I thought about your yesterday comment as I was out walking and thinking about what I might eat today....

    Had you not been a balanced and delightful neighbour PB I might have thought that your disgust with the spinal bones could lead to your undoing.

    Do you not know young miss that the bones in tinned salmon are mostly soft and crunchy. A source of calcium (all that is left of us one day is our.... calcime remains) that helps keep your back straight and true - more importantly that in turn helps your tits hang properly - a matter ignored at your peril, young miss.

    I also have to say that there is a premium John West salmon that is delight. It is in black tins and labeled " John West Reserve Skinless and Boneless".Not fresh but it's still a delight, although a few bob more expensive than the ordinary. It has a nice proper red colour and a sea saltiness that is refreshing. (Of course I wish I could call round Boudicans he has the best of it.)

    I keep a dozen tins of the Reserve in my Armageddon food trunks. (Food I will eat/share if/when the riots/flu strike) and I think I'm going to crack one open for lunch...

  41. I forgot to say it's Reserve Wild Red Salmon.

    I like salmon but a lot of the fresh stuff these days is farmed and real fishmongers have all but disappeared these days.

    Tesco are a pain in the arse but ours stocked fresh (thawed frozen) Pacific Wild Red Salmon which of the local options is the best

  42. Annetan ( my dear old A42)

    "... when the knowlege is used to put someone in their place not to educate them..."

    beautifully put (implied/assumed motive is a useful clue)

    That tin of Wild Red was reet tasty. I normally avoid salt (minor blood pressure problem) but the sea salt crystals in that were yummy.

    I meant to ask Anne got a good recommend for a basic Maths text?

    Youngest son's lovely partner ( 30 year old Arts graduate) has a trauma/pyscho maths blockage that is stopping her getting 'O' level grade maths necessary to become a teacher these days....

  43. Whats happened to monkeyfish, bitterweed and jay - haven't seen them here for a while? Have they given up on us? And Hank, has he really gone?

  44. deano - These are pretty good, concise & accessible. Good luck to her!

    Paul - sympathy for your Cif situation. Usini's interference was pretty crass. No idea what Pollyanna's issue is, but she does seem to like stirring things just for the sake of it. Good luck with the reinstatement.

  45. Lavartis

    You and i clearly have a totally different mindset.The issue of whether i was right or
    wrong with regard to the Larkin poem is
    neither here nor there as far as i,m concerned.
    The fact is that i was trying to give Pen
    support and in that context anyone with an
    ounce of sensitivity or empathy would have
    left well alone.Usini clearly clearly is
    lacking in either sensitivity or empathy
    because he chose to nit-pick on my post which
    was sent to a vulnerable man who is in a
    really 'bad place' at the moment.And under
    the guise of 'caring' Pollyana also chose
    to 'stir things' which given her track record
    makes me thing she,s fundamentally flawed as
    a person.

    I think the mods have been unduly harsh with me given the circumstances.But that,s my problem
    and i,ll deal with it accordingly.There is
    after all a big wide world outside of Cif.

  46. Cheers Shaz Thanks for that I'll have a look at those. Hope Brum was fun and purse not too light.

    Problem is, I think I/We have to do a lot of ground work at a very basic level to start with to build some confidence.

    Bless her she's the unfortunate kind of student that if you shows her two numbers she freezes and becomes distressed.

    I might know that in reality there only two things that you can do with numbers - add em and subtract em (multiplication = repeated addition and division repeated subtraction) but she's a long way to go before she'll see that.

    As with many, Maths appears to her as a confusing foreign language and the symbols/notation of the subject little more than Russian Shorthand - if you know what I mean..

  47. I don't think MF/BW/JR have given up Sheff but sadly I'm not so sure about Hank...

    I thought I caught a whiff of burning as a bridge was crossed. But I don't have any inside knowledge. If oneday he makes the Sheffield get together I will still be pleased to buy him a beer or three my brassed offness at him notwithstanding.

    Thanks to you and Edwin for thoughts on cameras. Have taken the one month trial to Which mag to get their reviews/best buys.

    My old Lumix was a cheaper model but still impressive. If I'm not careful I'll finish up with a SLR and a super Leica. (The pleasure of being an occasional pisshead is that if I choose to give it up for a while I could afford both...but not all three)

    Actually whatever I get will be a family thing that the kids can borrow and play with.

    I think I need the interchangeable lens facility if I'm going to develop an interest in the micro views of things. The wood fungus outside is wonderful just like pictures of sea coral that I've seen.

    The usual scam with the "Which" subscription operates - I've signed up for a months trial at a few quid but If I don't cancel it will take the normal monthly subs thereafter..not a good move for a guy with my sense of time.

    If you want a a copy of a "Which report" while my sub is live let me know and I 'll fiddle one for you.

    I have Mungo on my 5 megapix phone camera (no cable yet found) the thought of him on a 10 - 12 megapix is worrying...

  48. Hello visitor from Austria!

  49. Morning all!!

    Rough . Again. Absolutely remembering why I don't usually drink.


    I've yet to check out the new Hull Truck digs, but I did have a bit of a soft spot for Spring Street.

    Re cameras.
    I think if you 'know what you're doing' Nikon tends to be slightly better, but if you're wanting a more user friendly 'point and shoot' capable one, I think the canon EOS' may have the edge.
    IMO, obviously.

    PCC - my pop's camera started to do that.
    I think it's best to take it to a pro, at least to see what they say/suggest/charge.

    Right, now, need some Mofo coffee!!

  50. Sheff/Edwin

    From WHICH:

    "...Macro lenses
    You can also buy macro lenses for better extreme close-up photos, for example butterfly-on-a-flower type shots.

    Macro lenses are commonly fixed focal length, though it is possible to find macro lenses with small zoom ranges as well.

    Wide angle lenses
    If you're keen on landscape photography, consider a wide angle lens. There are lenses available with wide angles of 12mm, 11mm and even 10mm. These lenses allow you to fit a huge amount into your shots - great for capturing landscapes, tall buildings, or indoor shots when the space to stand further back is tight.

    Checking digital SLR lens compatibility
    Always be aware of potential incompatibility between lenses and digital SLR cameras. For example, Canon lenses only fit Canon digital SLR cameras, Nikon lenses fit only Nikon digital SLR cameras.

    When you buy a lens made by a third-party manufacturer, such as Tamron, Tokina or Sigma, you should specify the make of your digital SLR camera to ensure the fitting is correct.

    Buying used digital SLR lenses
    Used lenses can sometimes be very good value – you can even use older lenses from film SLRs. However, always check that any used lens you are thinking of buying is fully compatible with your digital SLR camera ...."

    I see I got me terms wrong its a macro lens that I might need.

    I see also that it may be possible to use old SLR lenses on new digital SLR's - me research indicates a special mount is available to load old Olympus lenses (which I have ) on new Canon
    ESO bodies (although the the auto features don't work and you apparently have to set it to manual and etc

    Anybody know anything about this?

  51. Have just heard that a group of MPs are calling
    for the term 'Special Relationship' to be banned
    in the context of Anglo-American relations.

    Talk about a lagging factor amongst our
    political classes.The Americans have never
    seen anything 'special' about their relationship
    with Britain.And most 'thinking' Brits have also
    dismissed the notion-even when Maggie T was
    getting down'n'dirty with Ronnie R in the 80s.

  52. The Leica compact has a macro facility Deano. so you can get those close up shots

  53. Paul

    The 'special relationship' has been a joke for years. I believe we only recently paid off our debt to them from the end of WW2. We've been in hock to them for so long we've forgotten what being free means. 51st state in all but name.

  54. "The 'special relationship' has been a joke for years. I believe we only recently paid off our debt to them from the end of WW2".

    Your right there Sheff - some folk think that the Germans and The Japanese did better out of the USA at the end of the war than we did.....perhaps it don't always pay to be on the winning side.

    Your SLR didn't do quite as well as the comparable Canon in the Which best buy reviews - but then the customers who had bought yours thought it wonderful and that Which had great reviews on everything except cameras... One step forward two sideways....I fegging hate shopping.

    I ought to amend my comment about affording both if I left the pop alone to... leaving it alone for a long time.....

  55. One of the first things Obama did in office was to order the removal of the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office - the made the point more bluntly by giving Broon a box of DVDs!

  56. Sheffpixie+deano30

    Absolutely right.In WW2 the Americans screwed
    us for everything they could get under'Lease
    Lend' before the attack on Pearl Harbour
    bought them into the war.I stand to be
    corrected but didn,t we hand over what are
    known today as the US Virgin Islands in return
    for the Americans giving us 50 rust bucket
    old destroyers that the US navy had mothballed
    and were planning to get scrapped?

  57. Good afternoon.

    Such a nice day. I went out to deepest Derbyshire earlier on the annual trip to see the first lambs out in the fields. And there aren't many, which shows how late spring is this year.

    On cameras - I'm hopeless / useless at taking photos. Still better than my mate who, on a girls-only trip, took a photo of the all GFs feet in a coffee shop in Amsterdam once.


    I see you were purged wholesale from Waddya last night. Are you on the naughty step.

    And Yo! to sherfig. The radio prog on unemployment the other night showed what a target-driven charade the 'help back to work' really is, and pretty much bears out what I'm hearing from those who've had to sig on recently.

  58. It's been a while since I read about it, but I think the 'Marshall plan' had a bit to do with US economic dominance/European indebtedness after WWII!

  59. Ooop - sign on, not sig on. Apols.

  60. Hello All

    Pollyanna - very clever at setting people up for a fall. Anybody know who it is ?


    R. the hag dreams.

    Carl Jung talked about active imagination. Important to remember that much that he wrote is considered by many to have have been written at a time when he was himself mentally disturbed - makes good reading though.

    Anyway he suggests - write down dream and the all connections with subject - however bizarre - and see where it leads. May change the dream .

    Many connect these architype dreams with the ' Gatekeeper ' to true knowledge. The gate keeper is an amalgam of those elements of self which prevent us looking too deeply as they represent those parts of us we fear or dislike. For this reason s'he is ugly or frightening.


  61. Hmm. Looks like I need to look at the Waddaya thread today.


    Deano & Paul have already expressed my feelings pretty well. The only thing that was to be gained by Usini in his comment was embarrassing Paul. Given that Paul's comment was a very compassionate response to a man who is troubled and, in that context, the location of that line within the poem is absolutely irrelevant. I'll go beyond calling it pedantic and say that it was a downright dickish thing to do.

  62. Petty gossip!? Petty gossip!!?? That stupid sonofabitch just doesn't get it does he? I cannot believe that anyone with half a brain or half an ounce of compassion still thinks that shitebag has any business claiming to have any moral authority whatsoever.

    Protecting child molesters is not petty. FUCKWIT!

  63. I take the point, Montana. It was my English degree(s) talking. In context it is indeed of little or no significance, but Larkin's a very major C20 poet, and some of us who have a care for kulcher don't like the tin-eared getting it wrong.

    I do think we need to remember that we only know pen's side of the story, what he has chosen to tell us. We all put a good gloss on our own actions. Having only heard one account we are in no position to make an informed judgement.

    And lest you accuse me of a lack of compassion I wrote to pen in very sympathetic terms yesterday, gave him my number if he wanted to chat, and offered to visit, because I don't live too far away.

  64. @Lavartis

    I,ve been called a few things in my time but
    'tin-eared' is a first for me.

    I can only repeat what i said to you earlier.
    I simply cannot relate to people like you and
    Usini whose so-called love of 'kulcher'makes
    their need to correct others take priority
    over the bigger picture.Which in this case was
    me trying to offer a bit of support to a man
    i don,t know but who is clearly deeply troubled.

  65. No, I'm not accusing you of a lack of compassion. If the error had been made in a thread about poetry, then it would have been fair comment. Since it was a comment meant to comfort another human being, the correction was just dickish and unnecessary.

    As far as Pen goes, I'm not for one moment suggesting that Pen is giving an accurate account of what's going on. Sectioning may well be what is best for him right now. But whatever the reality is, it is obvious that he is someone who is in need of compassion and kind words.

  66. Lavartis - I left you some information @ 11.34 above that you may find useful.

    Yes of course we only know the one side of the pen story and all that we know for certain is that compared to posts he has made here in the last year the clarity of his posts has gone down hill, steeply and quickly so.

    I think we also know that he has taken the voluntary patient option which I understand is wise, albeit that to my mind it leaves the certainty of the 'conviction' that he has about his position possibly in question. I would of course never challenge him, or his courage to tell his torment(ors) to go fuck itself.

    My feeble effort for pen has been no more than sending best wishes and an urging to stay cool.

    We would all be daft to assume that we can read the depth of a persons compassion from what they write here. I make no assumptions about you.

    I take the view that there are more decent than indecent people in the world for that has been my experience thus far.

    I'm happy to apologise in advance for my sometime lack of culture and class. I trust you'll find me, as most who post here, well intentioned if a sometime abuser, nay torturer, of our dear language.

    Living near Hull and knowing of Larkin's predilection for ladies in libraries I too am fond of him...


  67. Deano suggest your daughter tries to find an evening class in basic maths - they should assess her and put her in a suitable class (either pre or actual GCSE would probably be it). They could advise on textbooks too!

    Also try this website:
    BBC bitesize

    I mainly taught people with learning difficulties so don't have much expertise at this level. The BBC website is useful do hope its not one of the ones they cut!

    Or she could Google GCSE maths although tbh it seems to mainly have paid for content. The online courses are expensive (eg approx £300 per subject at GCSE!) so suggest local tertiary colleges/adult education services. You usually have to pay but they are cheaper. (Or used to be.

  68. having read your reply to Shaz i really would suggest she tries an Adult Basic Service Service. they are just the sort of people that they specialise in.

    She needs someone that will allow her to learn at her own pace and will build her confidence. Most people are using maths all the time without realising it,

    Too often maths teachers in schools will mark a sum wrong and not explain why its wrong! Also we do not do enough on the value of numbers at the infant school stage. When a child sees c-a-t they know what a cat is. We assume that when they see 7 they know what it means sometimes people don't pick this up at the pre school stage. Its amazing how many people don't understand place value (the fact that 17 = 1 ten and 7 units)either.

    Also as you say basic maths is all about addition and subtraction and if you miss any aspect of these along the way the rest looks like a foreign language written in a different alphabet!

    What needs to be done first is to find out where the gaps are.

  69. Anne - hi

    Can I add to your excellent advice something you hinted at.
    Even the severly disnumerate use math all the time.

    Anybady - family or friend - can point this out and help by looking at process backwards so to speak. Make the connection between something already done'known and track it back to the numbers. Helps with confidence when someone realises they are already actually using the much feared Math - or arithmetic.

  70. Hi leni - yes thats just exactly what we used to do at work.

    Find out if they have a special interest and use it to boost their confidence.

    So many people become convinced they can't do arithmetic by the school system. Sad but true I'm afraid. It is also quite acceptable to admit 'being lousy at maths' at 'smart' dinner parties!

  71. Anne - so true about being convinced you can't do maths by the school system. I was terrible at maths and arithmatic. It was only in later life when I started having to apply it to things at work that I began to "get" it.

    I am pinging in and out all over the place today because my wireless system seems to keep booting me off the home network, for some reason. I have no doubt it is because the boys are using enormous wedges of bandwidth upstairs. Ah well..

  72. DP

    Can anybody here speak mumsnet? I can't seem to understand the language that they use on their blogs. I'm guessing that it's an Islington variant of a medieval Finno-Ugric dialect, but I could be wrong.

    Apparently these people will decide the next election, so this is quite important.

  73. scherfig - it appears that they have their own online translation for the uninitiated...

  74. anne

    Your presence is required on Peter Wilby's 'not all pensioners are poor' thread.


    Beats me.

  75. scherf - they're probably all civil servants - they live and breathe acronyms and i never know what they mean.

  76. I see shaz' link now.

    Also just been reading mumsnet blogs - someone complaining about DHs £1500 pay rise being wiped out by the tax increases. A pay rise, FFS, the lucky sod. Someone else saying they will be £8K worse off 'cos of higher taxes.

    There is, however, the occasional voice of common sense reminding them of Thatcher's dark reign.

  77. I,ve just heard a 'rousing 'message to the populace regarding the terrorist threat to this
    country.Apparently 'We are all in it together'
    AND 'If we suspect it we must report it'!!!

    Next they will be telling us to'Dig for Victory'
    and 'Careless talk costs lives'.And old Dame Vera Lynn will be wheeled out to sing.Plus of course the Queen will be as stoic as ever and neighbours might even start talking to each
    other again.

    We Brits love a good crisis.Right i,m down to
    the air raid shelter with'er' indoors,cat ,ipod and a bottle of good red.Nite!

    bottle of good red.Nite!

  78. Night, Paul.

    Is it just me, or was that an ultra long post there?

  79. Fucks sake- really sorry about that people!
    Have had a traumatic day what with me being
    in disgrace!

  80. Scherfig, the time to call in in on Mumsnet is on Friday nights when they are pissed and talking dirty. I speak not from experience - there was a piece about it in last week's Sunday Times!

    One of our guys could infiltrate surely!

  81. Edwin

    Monkeyfish seems the ideal candidate for any infiltration. Or perhaps anne, Montana & sheff could be our first line of attack.

    Failing that, we'll send thauma as she much prefers dogs & horses to kids. That'll teach 'em.

  82. Right, I'm off to bed, so good night all.

  83. Me too - night guys. Hank, if you're browsing come back.

  84. Thanks Annetan will read your advice tomorrow.

    (fell asleep! - but awoke just in time to get my camera sorted before the discount voucher expired!)

  85. MsChin - no, that was Paul taking a big swig...

    I apologise if I was making a storm in a tea-cup, Paul, or if I seemed indifferent to pen's current difficulties. On re-reading I also seem rather pompous and condescending. It was not my intention to be provocative or wilfully perverse, and I am sorry if I offended you.

    I hope we understand each other better on other matters in the future. I always enjoy your comments.

    I send you my greetings.

    Good night everyone. x

  86. I think there's been a distinct lack of music on UT for a while, now. So here we go...