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2005-01-03 13:57

Sic transit

I'm shortly to throw myself to the unmercy of the British public transport "system".

I'll be back at work tomorrow (strikes, floods, leaves, signal-failures et al. permitting) following the last part of the skihoppning via the Interweb, sigh.

Vi ses!

2005-01-02 21:58

Maibi'its b'cors Ah malandanah

In London there is no particular need or requirement to go anywhere else to cosmipolate; the cosmopolitariat has come to you.

Dining, as we have been, out (to perpetrate reviewnings) we have encountered exclusively staff (including hands-on managerial) from the new EU countries. Poland and Slovakia, in particular. (The Polishes are skinny blonde wimmins; the Slovakiennes are darker and rrroll their r's something fierce.)

London totally rocks, isn't it? Next table to us tonight there was a group of two men with a wimmin dressed in Very Islamic, all tucking in to a somewhat fancified bread-and-butter pudding. As, indeed, did we and vair nice it was too. (I have a long-standing weakness for BnBP, I confess.)

I have seen the ("a") future, and it is we!

(Did all the Strayan bar staff slink off home in chastened anticipation of an imminent Ashes thrashing or were they undercut by Latvians, does anyone know? I frequent these days only unusually well away-tucked pubs in London where the staff are still natives and there are still seats free.)

2005-01-02 11:47

Cake is the new pie

It is Ukrainia! And it is gorging on cake!

Residents of the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa have marked New Year's Day by gorging on a giant cake baked specially for the occasion.

Meanwhile, according to Radio Romania International, the Bad Guy has finally resigned. It could be a good year for Ukrainia, let's hope.

Ukrainian television said it was the fifth year running Odessa bakers had baked a huge cake for the public in the central square on New Year's Eve. They were getting bigger every year, it added.

The cakes also, ho ho!

2005-01-01 15:13

What I am doing on my holidays III

The flags at the chateau von Bladet are also at half mast, for sure. We shall also observe a three-paragraphs silence:




In other news, the Dowager Countess, who has a sideline as a restaurant critic, has blagged us free dinners for tonight and tomorrow night.

The small print, sadly, has not-unsevere restrictions on how extensive the drinknings are permitted to be, but we will soldier on regardless because a free dinner is after all a free dinner.

Oh, and I can exclusively reveal that watching the skihoppning on TV with the sound on (Janne "The Manne" Ahonen won, of course) while clutching the radio for foopball commentary to one ear (the unstoppable Chelski won, of course) is more tasknings than my poor spicy brain can handle.

And do you know, Varied Reader, why TV news is so bad? It vexes me much, I confess. Since I'm too busy holidaying to follow the 'bladets online, I've been reading the Indybladet, and while it has not failed to be dominated by the tsunami, it nonetheless manages more than inane pathos-punching and even finds room for a pertinent remark or two on Ukrainia, where the Bad Guy looks finally to be conceding, having apparently exhausted his considerable stockpile of ungraciousness.

We exult, however, that Radios Budapest, Slovakia International and Prague (all of which broadcast in, amongst others, the Engleesh) all turned up on the wave of shortness yesterday.

Which are all the more welcome since there's no Foreign on our cable package, helas, and none also on the digital radio channels. Shortwave is by now certainly trailing edge technology, with several international services (I'm looking at you, Danmark!) having abandoned it for the Interweb, but it has swiftly cemented a place of cherishedness in our rootless and cosmopolitan heart.

And if anyone's wondering, the BBC World Service (648 KHz on medium-wave in Blighty) really is, selon nous a vast vast huge and ginormous improvement on the tiresome and parochial Radio Hampstead ("Four"), whose indefatigable fascination with the minutiae of Whitehall intrigue we are so very unable to share.

2004-12-31 12:16

Gott nytt r!

My very excellent sisters (and their shiny new husbands) got me very excellent presents, hoorah!

And this rogue edition of our Monday Review of Stuff focuses on wind-up radios, of which that one was among our excellent swag. It is, in fact, everything you could want from a wind-up radio if you were, as I am, I: my only niggle with the one I openly incited to buy me was a lack of longwave (very necessary for the cricket in the summer, you see) and the linked Morphy-Richards edition remedies that defecit as well as incoporating six (6) shortwave bands.

Shortwaviness is, of course, not without its ironies: for vair technical reasons a transmitter is not honoured in its own land, so the only place I can get the BBC World Service is on its medium wave frequency. But I have picked up YLA (?) Radio Finland (which is openly targetted at homesick Finns) in Swedish, and Sveriges Radio (which plainly has a Mission To Civilise The World and therefore jumps around a lot in langwidges and frequencies). And stations from Austria, Czechia, the Netherlands, the Switzyland, France (there's a lot of 'em. Keep it down, France, would ya?), Vietnam, China and several other places besides which have neglected to broadcast in langwidges I can recognise. (The exotique lands listed were using the silly Engleesh, of course.)

Meanwhile, we briefly annoyed our very excellent and Japanese-speaking little sister by insisting that the plural of "tsunami" is "tsunamis" in the such said silly Engleesh, and we pass on an advisning from a Sensible Charity Person to stagger any donations you may wish to be making over a period of months, since this is how long it will take to get anywhere near sorted and compassion-fatigue is a vair vair real post-disaster problem.

(Sweden's Foreign Office ("UD") is now talking in terms of 3,500 Swedishes missing in Thailand. Globalisation, isn't it: rich countries are even outsourcing their national disasters now.)

2004-12-30 12:03

What I am doing on my holidays II

Yesterday, the South Bank was absolutely heaving with the touristes, dont, it is only fair to concede, moi.

I feel slighted if, out in London, there are more Englishes to be heard than Elsewhereishes, which, I am happy to report, yesterday there were not.

Cantonese (my personal pick for the world's prettiest langwidge) at dim sum in Chinatown; assorted Yoorpeans out and about; Mandarin on screen for the nice House of Flying Daggers (an old-fashioned tragedy, much more engaging to our Western sensibilities than the lead-booted propaganda of Hero); and Forreners all over, hoorah!

Top day out, even if I did miss the cricket fight-back and the hoppning. Speaking of which, VG neglects to disappoint enthusiasts of partisanship: with Ljkelsy's podium (i.e., third second place) monsterhopp (sic) relegating Ahonen's victory to a footnote.

Finnish Svenskbladet has a slightly different take:

Det ryktades att polacken Adam Malysz funnit segerformen och att Schattenbergbacken i Oberstdorf r svr fr Janne Ahonen. Det visade sig vara lst prat.

There were rumours that the Polish Adam Malysz had found winning form and that Schattenbergbacken in Obersdorf is difficult for Janne ["The Manne"] Ahonen. This turned out to be idle chatter.


2004-12-28 13:16

What I am doing on my holidays

Yesterday was a day of unfamilial Cultcha and Drinknings up in the Smoke.

The Tate Modern turbine-hall series, isn't it? Vair nice. And Mr Robert Frank's fotos before he met up with the Beats and acquired the mistaken belief that he was more interesting than his subjects.

And the Rude Chinese Restaurant for dinner, all interspersed with yummy l.

And today starts the hoppning, to which we very much look forward. Can Janne "The Man" Ahonen extend his championship form to the Four Hills? It'll be a dull tournament if he can, for sure.

2004-12-26 12:27

The von Bladet Christmas Message

What with the Queen of Blighty and Vickan's daddy (who is the king! Of Sweden!) having done it and even the Archbishop of Canterbury and the man men call "Pope" (he's eighty-four, you know!) having muscled in on the act, it is doubtless with great relief that you turn to this bladet for debriefning on the year of goneness past and, in turn, instructions for the year of yearness coming.

Which are thus:

  • You've all done jolly well!
  • The world would be a nicer place if persons were nicer to each other. This year, why not let's all give it a go, eh?

Thank you.

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