Friday, October 28, 2005

Oh no, I missed it!

My very first blog's very first birthday, and I completely forgot about it! It's seen 122 posts and completed a full year on Oct 9. And all I did on that Big Day was to preen a little about me being a saintly Liam Neeson. Oh the shame of it!

However, here I am on Oct 28, wishing my blog a belated but very happy birthday... ready for it? Here goes:

Happy birthday to my blog
Happy birthday to my blog
Happy birthday to my first ever blog
Happy birthday to my blog!

Let's hope it goes on to celebrate many many more happy returns!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hull's attractions: Bill Nelson and The Humber Bridge

For those people whose personal music memories go back to the early 70s, they might remember a band called Be-Bop Deluxe, whose lead singer and guitarist was Bill Nelson. Dont know? Dont remember? Not to worry, I have no memories of him and didnt know about him either till about a month back, when my husband rediscovered Bill Nelson via his website. And then of course there was nothing to do about it but attend the official Bill Nelson fan convention ("Nelsonica 05") in Hull, Yorkshire - which happens to be his hometown.

The musical extravaganza (not!) took place at the pub that he played at the very first time - The Duke of Cumberland pub. I have to say that the hour-long interview and the old 70s videos played thereafter left me cold - in the sense that there wasnt much to interest me.

I did perk up when they played some music from his new to-be-released album - The Alchemical Adventures of Sailor Bill.

That sounded way better than his 70s-style head-banging music (aka noise) and I'm looking forward to listening to the entire album when it comes out. And Mr Nelson can consider his fan base to have increased by a quantity of one.


Since, technically, Bill Nelson was on the scene first, he can be considered Hull's most famous attraction. Hull's second-most important draw is the breath-takingly huge suspension bridge, the Humber Bridge that spans the Humber Estuary.

It's a really imposing sight and seems to stretch for miles across the estuary - although I dont suppose it would be more than a mile long. The Humber (river/estuary) at that point is pretty darn wide as well, and I would have loved to go on the ferry that chugged its way to and fro. I'm sure it would take a good 15 minutes to cross from one side of the Humber to the other on the ferry.

And finally, here's me with the Humber Bridge in the background.

Wednesday Oct 26, 2005 - Blog Quake Day

It's not yet Wednesday for me, but somewhere in the world, it is already Wednesday. So, following in Shoefiend's steps, here's my post as part of the relief effort for the earthquake victims.

Please donate what you can for the quake victims:

If you're in the US, click here

If you're in the UK, click here

While on the subject of the earthquake, I was disgusted and annoyed to find that the Pak government was still quibbling over unimportant matters - viz, the report that Indian soldiers had crossed the Indo-Pak border to help the Pakistani soldiers, on request. The Pak govt denied it loudly and strenuously, stressing that if the Indian soldiers HAD crossed the border, it would have meant war. Right. War. When the quake had devastated so much, the Pakistan government would have spent time, money and resources on a war. Is humanitarianism of less importance than politics? To politicians, apparently so.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Recommended read (for those over 18)

This post is one of the funniest about dogs that I've read - and Elizabeth writes some good ones, I must say :) I adore her dogs (would love to meet them one day!) AND her blog:I Should Know Better.

Yes, I already have a link to the site in "Random but Recommended", but I thought I'd make it easier for interested readers to get there quicker :)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Careful, the politically correct police are watching...

Heard this bit of news on the TV just before I left for work today: A woman who had been victim to a hit-and-run accident called the police and described the man who had hit her car as "fat". She was cautioned by the police for using an inappropriate term about her attacker.

Evidently the woman's political incorrectness was more important than her being the victim of a hit-and-run. Never mind getting her description of the man who was the suspect in the accident, their first priority was to put her right about her gross transgression. Maybe they would have been more sympathetic to her (and followed up on the fat culprit) if she'd described the man as "differently thin", perhaps. Differently thin by about 50 kilos, maybe.

For god's sake, "fat" and "thin" arent terms of disparagement - they're merely descriptions, on a par with "tall", "curly-haired", "slender", "short"... - oops, I mean "vertically challenged". Or do I? If I was short, I'd rather accept that fact than be patronisingly called "vertically challenged". SHORT SHORT SHORT! FAT FAT FAT! THIN THIN THIN! STUPID STUPID STUPID! So there, you commonsense-challenged upholders of the law!

Oops: Two corrections. It wasnt a FAT GUY, it was a FAT WOMAN. The lady who got hit wasnt in her car - she was standing on the pavement talking to her friends when the FAT WOMAN in a Citroen hit her.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I've come to a rather disillusioning conclusion - people are people, bosses are bosses and office politics is office politics... the same seething mix of bitching, back-stabbing, buck-passing and insincere glad-handing, no matter in which part of the world you are. I'm sad to report that the company I'm working for is no different, although I had hoped for better.

I have no complaints about my immediate colleagues - they're a great bunch of girls. It's the powers-that-be who, although seemingly cooperative and helpful, are actively spinning in circles trying to stab others in the back while trying not to get stabbed themselves.

And while the dance of the Janus-faced carries on in its deceptive fashion, those not in the know, who are trying to mind their own business, suddenly find their backs bristling with daggers.

Phew. That got rid of some steam in the form of some really bad writing :) But honestly, isnt it frustrating sometimes, how red-tapism and one-upmanship by other people can bog you down no matter how good or efficient you are? Sometimes I feel like screaming "AARGH, JUST LET ME GET ON WITH MY BLOODY JOB AND PLAY YOUR GAMES SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH SOMEONE ELSE".

I really wonder how social workers and other civic-minded folk manage to keep going despite the constant obstructions they face from the establishment. More power to them!


Now on a completely unrelated topic - the next time someone here says that they're moving to a Mediterranean country for a total change in lifestyle, I will take them with a bucketful of salt. I've just (give or take a day or four) returned from a 10-day trip to the Costa Blanca part of Spain, which is seeing a huge property boom as thousands of Brits move there.

I might as well have stayed at home, for all that I saw of "Spain". Yes, the weather was lovely - sunny and warm in the daytime, pleasantly cool in the evenings. Yes, the scenery was different - a scrubby, dry landscape instead of the lush green of Britain. But that was as Spanish as it got. The restaurants were all catered for British tastes, with the ubiquitous fish-n-chips, burgers, kebabs, Chinese takeaways and - of course - chicken tikka predominating. All run by expatriate Brits for British tourists. Irish-style pubs and British pubs sold Guinness and imported beers. Thank GOODNESS there wasnt a Tesco or Sainsbury's, or I'd have felt I hadnt moved from the UK at all!

Seems to me that if people move to another country, they should try and assimilate into that culture - at least make friends with (cant think of a more "grown-up" phrase here) the local people instead of alienating them by creating "expat" colonies, mini versions of their hometowns. It just doesnt seem right.