Friday, 31 October 2008

Pit Stop to Cornwall.

These two chaps left my house mid-morning today for a week's holiday by the sea in Cornwall! Most things at tail height were vulnerable as the default position for these two dogs is 'wag tail, hold head high and lark about'. I saw them off after a nice morning walk and a great little visit to BS5.

Top stuff.

In other news I have been emailing the chaps about our mutual reluctance to open the door to trick or treaters this evening. We don't seem to be getting into the spirit of things in the Manchester and Bristol area.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Table top Bingo

I have been pushing Mike around this morning and generally tidying the house (Mike is my vacuum cleaner) and discovered that I had my table cloth on inside-out, much like my t-shirt related incident a few days ago.

Anyhow, I sorted it out and have now set the table for dinner this evening with my brother and his other half. I will crack on with cooking at about three but between now and then I have to order a Bingo machine on the internet, as does my pub Landlord so we will order two down at the pub. Strange day.

Snow Patrol...

This time last week I was a week out with my timing for '8 legs of chaos'. It is today that two (mental) labradors descend on my house with Greg and Nicola. I am really looking forward to it!

Here are the hounds yesterday in the snow!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

BS5's Friday night chat show.

So Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross have been suspended from broadcasting whilst an investigation looks into their lewd antics in a recent Radio 2 Broadcast. The Director General of the BBC just called me to ask if I could host Mr Ross' chat show on Friday night with a free hand to invite my own guests. Here's the line up for Friday night if you want to tune in:

Interviews with:

Mr Data
Winston Churchill
President Josiah Bartlett
Erin O'Connor

Music from: The Cantina Band (all the way from mos Eisley)

Tune in!

American top ten...

I am not a particularly avid reader of Popular Mechanics either in print or on line but I was directed there by a decent BBC Blog I enjoy that covers the US election.

Within the BBC Blog I found this link and read the lot! I think California is my favourite one. What a shame there were so few close up pics.

Scargosun, a dollar says you know at least two of these ten?

In other news I have an assessment day in a week with John Lewis, the Department Store group. Ireland travel plans are thus on hold.

BS5 late trading tip of the day: Buy V.W shares last week.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Fetch me a skirt!

I have turned into a bit of a woman – I hadn’t shaved for about 12 days and was really quite beardy but took it all off today and am now feeling the benefits of hot, clean towels, a new razor and really good moisturiser!

They might not let me in at the pub next visit.

I am off to arrange some flowers....(oh dear).


BP just announced their profits for the three months of summer when oil prices went crazy. They made a profit of 6.4 BILLION pounds, or 71 million a day. Feck! I'd get out of bed for that.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Piano moves.

I had such a fun time moving a piano down the street in the dark!

I was helping my friend and neighbour David who I see a couple of times a week as I am running, or as he cycles past about his business. Our Piano move turned out to be quite neighbourly. First of all we moved the piano from my favourite house on the street, Lincoln Villas which is just a few houses down and between the house where I live now and the flat I used to share with Seamus.

It was a bit 'to you, to me' really but it was fun. I met a chap from the Ivory Coast who was helping David out too. We wheeled the beast out and down the street where we met another pal of both of ours, Alex. There was a quick tune on the piano in the street which was surreal, then we had to park up to let a car past.

The piano finally made its way to its destination house where David's (very attractive) wife Ann opened some bottles of beer.

I like my street, it is neighbourly, community spirited and fine.


So it's quarter past five and it's dark because yesterday this country ended British Summer Time and put the clocks back an hour.

In 40 minutes I have to help a pal move a piano down our street. Last time I looked, pianos didn't have headlights. This should be entertaining, musical yet dangerous.

Updates to follow unless we are involved in a piano-vehicle incident...

Hurricane Butler!

My tremendously good friend Seamus has just blown in, through and back out of Bristol in about two hours flat!

I was out for a run at 07.10 and missed a call; he and Stapes had just landed in Bristol on the way home from Turkey where they had been for a week. I picked the lads up at Temple Meads and inevitably had to park up while Seamus conducted a deal involving large amounts of folding. We all went for breakfast where the food and the coffee were on form but much more so the crew running the show; we'll be back there, I suspect.

Back to my house to pick up all sorts of gear that Seamus had bought before he went away and then a dash to the other side of Bristol to catch his train and ferry to Ireland, a trip I hope to replicate in the next ten days.

Got home, parked up and Dave who lives at no 100 and is married to a foxy Dutch woman asked me if I could knock on at his house to help him wheel a recently purchased piano down the street.

It's only Monday morning!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Books and stuff.

My pal FFF over at her Blog completed this 'meme' that she had acquired from a page she visits. I thought I would give it a go.

Name a book you have read more than once:
Winsto's History of The Second World War (in 5 volumes)

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
No not really. I think the way I see life came from other stuff and not exclusively any particular book.

How do you choose a book? eg - by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?
Tend to read Biographies so if the subject is someone already of interest, then I am in.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
Non Fiction with an occasional dash of Sci-Fi.

What is more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
As long as it's not too full of shoes, handbags and flowery old bollocks, I'm happy.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Memorable: Cotter Martin running free into a ball game in Underworld

Which books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Bedside shelf: The Bible, 3 x Biog of Churchill, a Rogue Trooper graphic novel and a travel book by Eric Newby. And an episode guide to Star Trek: TNG.

What was the last book you have read and when was it?
My blog friend Scargosun commented on a post of mine about Colin Powell and during the week I re-read 'A Soldier's Way', Colin Powell's Biog'.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Several times, including Underworld, in fact.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Crazy fooo....

So then, another whole week long without shaving and I have moved from scruffy git to the semblance of a beard. I normally shave for church because some of the old ladies look disapprovingly towards the unshaven. This week I am going to keep with the beard growing, I mean all the significant religious guys had beards; God, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, BA Baracus...

Contains swearing...

I was in the mood for a cheery weekend post, but...

There's some complete cunt out there who really does not have time for VX52. Someone already had a go at his mirror way back when, then his star was untimely ripped, and now another go at his mirror.

He's a good car; what is this person's problem? Actually I now recall I subconsciously heard a 'thwack' at about 4.00 this morning. Some wanker getting a second's selfish pleasure. Hope the fucker walks into an oncoming bus.

Friday, 24 October 2008

If the world could vote...

Well worth a look, this, and I did my bit.

A nice, neat little website that is cool to have a gander at.

(Yeah, yeah - I know it's poor form to end a sentence with a proposition).

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Naked Politics.

Now - onto politics! The Americans are a bit uppity that Sarah Palin has spent something like 90,000 dollars on clothes in the six weeks since becoming Veep running mate. Here's my vote wining, thrift-conscious solution (not that I want them to get more votes than Barack O!)

Let's see Sarah Palin campaign buck naked. She's not a bad looking bird and it would send all the right messages and make things more entertaining.

Hollywood or Brazilian votes acquired, or maybe more of a Bush campaign!


8 legs of chaos!

Later today eight legs of chaos are coming to stay here in BS5 accompanied by their owners, Greg and Nicola (my brother and not-technically-but-always-considered-to-be sister in law).

This little whirlwind of canine capers comes in the shape of Toby (brown) and Quaddie (black). The whole gang are on their way to a week's cottage holiday in Cornwall where the two dogs will see the sea for the first time. Once in, I reckon they will love it and lark about joyously.

Here on the home front Greg has warned me to dog proof my house which means I have to remove basically anything from floor level, coffee table level, or just within reach of an inquisitive nose. Their tails wag constantly so I need to take a good look at what might be knocked over.

Double click the picture - it's quite a good effort!

Should be fun!

Update: Bugger! Yep, I'm a simpleton - the gang are here a week today, not today! And I am in Ireland next week, so some logistical juggling follows.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

American translations...

A quick Anglo-American language explanation in relation to this post of mine, way back in March (and on St Patrick's day). Wanderlust Scarlett had asked me about the language, and the phrase 'sussed it out' so here goes:

There is a little Latin in there, from supicere, to mistrust. As you have alluded, suss is to figure it out and has its origins in ‘suspicion’.

The Swan with 2 necks has a couple of meanings; often two swans are pictured with their necks intertwined forming the shape of a heart, and secondly, the swan with two ‘nicks’ is a reference to slave related branding, I believe.

I am glad you enjoyed the quirks of trans-Atlantic differences in Blogging!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Had you noticed how cleverly the Glenrothes by election is folded into the immediate news schedule that will follow the conclusive result of The US Presidential Election, or failing that, the aftermath of its political and legal ramifications if it is too close to call? A good day to bury bad news when Labour's recent bounce is scuttled?

Cheap and running scared at No 10!

Happily, the image I chose randomly for this post is from a London tourist board website a friend of mine designed!

Monday, 20 October 2008

In the bag?

Is he on the tipping point of bagging it?

I hope so, it would be quite an exciting thing to see, and to watch a different America unfold next year.

I think it is quite smart that Colin Powell, a bright Republican (rare!) has endorsed Barack O. All that said, I think John McCain is decent enough; he just belongs to a lunatic party with a crazy running mate!

I hope Mr Obama keeps working hard and doesn't become complacent in these final two weeks.


I have just had an interview to be an area manager for a national chain of dental practices. The interview was on the phone so I didn't need to dress up. The woman who interviewed me (about three minutes ago) was from Bolton where the firm has its head office. This role is supporting a dozen or more practices across Bristol, Gloucester and the S West. There is no requirement to pull teeth though I suppose I could help out if they got busy.

Short-listing complete by tomorrow, interviews Nov 5th. We shall see.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Weekend report.

Chat (bravely, to Rachel)
4 a.m Seamus arrive
Minibus (again)
GREAT friends
Text Gigi (fabulous femme)
Harvest Festival
Serve tea (loads)
Serve Coffee (loads)
Turn of ankle (fine)
Wash up
Train Station/Walsh
Swan With 2 Necks
Count Blessings (many)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Saturday driver!

Today I am driving the church mini bus on a jolly little trip to Westonbirt Arboretum. It is just outside Bath and quite near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. About 20 of us are going along. The park covers 600 acres with 3000 trees and miles and miles of walks and paths.

I will try to take some pics because I am sure it will be quite colourful and impressive. You can purchase tea and cake - always vital on any trip involving our church group.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Walshy, Seamus and me...

Later today the chap on the right (as you look) is coming down from Manchester. Tomorrow the chap on the left gets here from Co.Wexford, Ireland. I am already here and I am in the middle.

This picture is taken at Ashton Court a few years ago. Ashton Court was a decent free festival held in a public park in Bristol. Back in the day when we were all thinner (except me) and had less grey hair (all of us) Ashton Court was an annual lark that always had stories to tell.

We three are back together this weekend, and I suspect it will be no different with a few tales here in BS5.

I am quite excited!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

I am One!

Yesterday, in the genuine pleasure of an entirely delightful afternoon with my Ma and Pa I forgot to post a Blog celebrating BlogBS5 turning 1!

This is the 1st day of my second year of Blogging and my 550th post.

It has been a pleasure to make your acquaintance if you are a habitual commentator - thank you!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Decorations and light bulbs

I have had a top-smart day today, shopping and having lunch with my Mum and Dad.

They were in Bristol (which is about an hour from their house) choosing Christmas cards in John Lewis, the main department store in a shopping centre just outside the city.

I met them mid-choice in the cards dep't with my Dad offering such incisive opinion as 'that's very nice, dear'. He said that to each choice. Anyhow, cards chosen and we had a wander about (I looked at TVs and brunettes). Christmas is in full swing and it looks great with strings of decorations 100 feet high reaching from the top to the bottom of the store through the escalator bays! Pictured here but they look cooler than this.

I made an exciting, thrifty and environmentally sound purchase. 100 watt energy efficient light bulbs, guaranteed for ten years, normally about 4 pounds a go, retailing for 39p! (That's 67 cents in America). I have bought three (big spender) and will swap them out later and Blog about the change (should be a fascinating read).

As I type, the woman next door is surpassing her own record for shouting and making the kids cry. Not pleasant and much door banging taking place.

The only negative part of the day with Ma and Pa was over lunch when an attractive woman came into the pub where we had lunch. Even to me (a total drugs novice) it was obvious she was smacked off her tits, and flying high and fast on heroin. She was chatty enough but had that smacked up arrogant swagger that can so quickly snap into a fierce, vulnerable rage that lashes out and knows no bounds. Ugly situation but it didn't get out of hand and she moved on when her lunchtime vodka arrived. I did not take a picture of her.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Frack to Bont.

I really like being an adult.

Why? Well, heck - lots of reasons, but it's just gone 11 and I am off to bed. As I undressed I discovered I'd had my top-smart Billabong T-shirt on backwards aaaaaaallllllllll day long. Now if I was six, I guess someone would have shouted at me about that, but as I am 36 and live happily on my own, it really doesn't matter.


This is Julia.

This lady is Julia Boseman who is the Congresswoman from North Carolina (Scargosun, maybe you know her from the farm shop in those parts?)

My brother and I just had a very convoluted conversation to establish when she got stuck in a gaseous anomaly for 17 days, which in fact repeated itself for 83 years. Then we got to remembering that this actually happened to the USS Boseman on Star Trek, which was captained by Kelsey Grammar at the time. Jean Luc' and the gang saved the day.

We hadn't even been drinking beer.


Monday, 13 October 2008


The man on the usually sound BBC news has just said that Gordon Brown suggested his task was like that of Churchill and Roosevelt in reconstructing the economy after the Second World War. Wasn't Roosevelt actually dead by that point, because as I recall it was Harry S Truman in the chair when the war actually ended as FDR checked out in April '45?

This is a pedantic post.

In researching this post, I have found that FDR had a secret train! Can a train be that secret? Was it a 1940s stealth train, maybe? Cool!

Canadian Bus.

My good pal Radders has recently come back from Canada where he spent two weeks on holiday. I have known Radders since we were ten and he was my first pal at a new school I attended from 1983.

He was kind enough to take a top bus picture for me, knowing I would love it. Top smart! I am sure there is other stuff in Canada too.

Controversy Hand Grenade

A great friend of mine who is also a Blogger posted this on his site tonight so I am having a go! It's a bit controversial and not like a regular Blog meme!

Here's what he said, and posed!

I've filled out a few questionnaires in my time a few of which are posted on this site, but I thought I might author one and find out about interesting things.

I ask you:

If you could kill someone and get away with it, would you?

Have you ever felt you may go mad?

If you were the opposite sex, would you have sex with yourself?
Yes, I have a pretty taut, flat stomach and I'm a nice guy with a shiny clean Mercedes (for now)

Have you ever pretended to like something to make yourself feel cool?
Yes, whisky but only once. I learned.

How long would you last under interrogation?
Feckin Ages! Well, until they sent in Erin O'Connor and said 'Tell us the launch codes and she'll be in the buff in 5', then I'd fold.

Have you ever knowingly forwarded a spam email?
Six times, maybe?

How often do you use the word Cunt?
Not nearly enough! Sorry women of the world, it's a GREAT word, especially with your mates. I call pals of mine a C in blokes only company all the time..

Have you been head over heels in love yet?

If it was your choice, would you unfreeze Walt Disney?
Yes I think I would.

Do you believe in fashion?
I believe that simple clothes that are well chosen will always be classy?

If the world was to end and you had the power to save only one friend, who would it be.
Feck! I don't know...the guy who wrote this would be in the running though.

Did you have to think about the last question?

Is Chi real?
Does not compute...

Do you actually hate anyone?
No. This will sound religious and cheesey but that would be a failure in me and the faith I have.

If Frogs did turn into people when you kiss them, would you go looking for one?
Hey, even a pretty frog probably has a bit of style.

Do you have an alternative explanation for death?
No, we just kinda wear out, really.

Did you like 'Sunscreen' by Baz Lurman?
Yes, quite a lot.

If you could be a Transformer, who would it be?
Optimus Prime, he's a massive lorry and a cool leader to boot.

Imagine you lived in the Star Wars universe in your underground house on a small desert planet looking after your nephew, but you had all the knowledge of all the Star Wars movies. A Stormtrooper comes knocking on your dome and asks you if you've seen 2 droids and an irritating young boy.....what would you do?
Send 'em straight to Mos Icely (I think) and not get toasted.

Multiple Choice. You get to punch someone, it has to be one of them..1. George Bush, 2. Lenny Henry, 3. Jesus, 4. Stephen Hawking, 5. Gary Coleman......who would it be?

Answers on your blog or as a comment please...

Jesus and Mo

This is a top cartoon site my brother sent my way when we were chatting last week. Given the hoo-haa about cartoons a year or so back in Denmark, this is pretty volatile stuff if you just 'react' rather than read it. Here's a random cartoon from the site.

The strip is called Jesus and Mo, and the two of them live together and share a bed, but only like Ernie and Bert or Morecambe and Wise. Anyhow, they are always discussing the theology of their religion and quite often they go to the pub where the Barmaid (always unseen) always out argues them about theology. It's quite smart stuff and there's always funny stuff going on, like Mo on the Playstation or Jesus reading 'Carpentry Now' magazine.

Check it out, you might like it, you might not.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Need to get out more!

I love the internet; it's just a whole free shop with things to look up, download, watch and investigate. I'd sooner have my broadband than my TV. I am a Spod! The two older chaps in our gang say they don't get it and wonder what it's all about.

Today I have been looking up:

Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)
The Obituaries from last week's Telegraph
Where Pearl Harbor actually is (this remains to be pinned down)
Jesus and Mo, a smart cartoon strip
Who else was born the same day as me (Florence Nightingale)
Recipes for curry goat
What day of the week it was when I was born (Friday, right in time for the w.e)
Retail 'situations vacant'...
The words to my nearly fave bit of singing in church

Top smart!

Japan in the morning

Weyhey, it's a quarter to five in the morning and I have bounced out of bed, ready to watch Lewis in the Japanese Grand Prix. Come on! I think my pal Trevor is coming over too, so that will be cool and I will make bacon sarnies and coffee. It is nice and foggy outside with an autumnal smell in the air.

I am chilled again after my small Royal rant against the lefties in the BBC.

Update: That was not worth getting out of bed for!

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Tonight I am listening to a programme on Radio 4 about the Royal Family (hurrah!) It is now looking at Diana, Princess of Wales. She was 36 when she checked out (same as me now!), the poor mare; I stood amongst many on The Mall for her funeral a few days later and it was a fine event. Inevitably, Radio 4 in its slightly cheap, new labour way is loving up on Earl Spencer's speech at the time that was taken as a real rocket against The Firm. Many stood and cheered it that day, but I absolutely did not because that felt cheap! Fucking lefties in the BBC...all so right on and that 'smash the state bollocks'. Wankers!

Here endeth the rant!

Afterburner kicks in!

I have flattened my PC and reinstalled XP so previous virus issues are now sorted! This is cool and my machine is lean and fast once again, and I am using Google Chrome again as my search engine.

I'd like to say I did this all by myself in a top hacker stylee but in all honesty I need stabilisers and arm bands when it comes to my computer. Luckily my pal Walshy sorted me out and gave me some direction!

It's a thought provoking exercise when you have to take off all the files you want to save before wiping it all out; I saved very few, namely my CV, a couple of articles I wrote over the last three or four years (about friends), a picture of a Galway girl and a couple of snaps from my diggie camera.

Friday, 10 October 2008


Now , I thought this was kinda sweet, endearing and delightful, especially in a week where news has been 24/7 gloom! The BBC (where I live in jolly old England) became all stiff-arsed Edwardian dismissive about it, but hey, I say this is cool. Good for both of them and the people watching. Delightful and bright.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

8 million pounds in the Ice.

Bristol is one of those local councils that has a few quid tied up in Iceland's recently failed banks.

Personally I think old Gordon has been credit-crunch deft so far this week but to freeze Iceland's assets in the UK was a bit strong and bellicose, I thought. The Icelandic PM who is a reader of this Blog (maybe) seems to me to be a reasonable, quietly spoken man with whom one could negotiate but Gordon has probably riled him now by sticking all his dosh behind the sofa at no 10, and invoking anti terrorist laws to do it! Hardly conducive to useful relations to freeze ALL of Iceland's investments over here as a first step now, is it?

Anyhow, Bristol is in for 8 million pounds which is at the low end of it, I understand. If Bristol had 8 million quid it could stick in the bank to lose in the first place, how come it wasn't just spent on more help for the city's vulnerable folk?


Whilst VX52 was having his MOT, I took a stroll into the city's new shopping centre that opened a fortnight ago (and has already seem 1m people pass through!) It's quite smart and has all these stores, so it's fine if you like clothes shopping and coffee, both of which I can exist without. I do like the apple store though, and the Sony Centre. Harvey Nicks is not my thing at all.

Anyhow, here's what some of it looks like from the very top.

It was pretty busy today and the tragic thing is I was quite excited about an escalator that looked as though it was going very slowly indeed but then when I stepped on it (the only person at the time) it immediately started to go faster - cool!


VX52 has been to the garage today for his MOT test. If you are reading in America, I am not sure of the equivalent but the MOT is the Government roadworthiness test, compulsory each year after a car is 3.

Everything was ticked and VX52 passed. I was surprised at that as he's got 87,041 miles on the clock now.

My friend Spence did the MOT test for me (he's the one who looks like Heston Blumenthal) and I gave him my car for the morning at 7.15 just before my run. I also encountered Spence later in the morning when I saw a very shiny silver car coming towards me at a hefty rate of knots on a road near here. Spence and I had a moment of sudden mutual realisation that the car was mine and the bloke on the pavement was me. Quite a rate of braking followed! Spence is a good man and gave my car much more of a check over than he needed to and has said he will give it a tweak for me next week to sort out a small issue.

Friendships are a fine possession.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The New York Times and shouting.

I live next to noisy, unruly kids! Heck, I'm on a good street and families are a cool thing but today, after about three months of constant noise at getting up time, and again at home-from-school time, I became ratty. I am a relaxed sort of a chap, indeed often to the point where it might be hard to detect a pulse sometimes, but today I was ratty about it and it tested my neighbourliness and stretched my default stance of life conducted in a DCF.

At 'home time' when I was just chillin' with a coffee and the New York Times (paper copy, and a total treat, always enjoyed and earnestly anticipated), I became irate. It's not the noisiness that I mind because kids being noisy is cool; it's the parental interpretation of care and growth through employment of the words FUCK, JESUS, and C**T that depresses me. What's that about? And shouted so seemingly unlovingly?

Not my call to do anything about it but I was a ratty mofo' tonight.

When I land a job and leave for work at 7 and come home again at 7, none of this will be of consequence so a complaint feels churlish yet here it is.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Iran drama. What Falcon?

Ooops! Just caused an international stir larking about on a low fly past in BS5. I took my eye of the ball and strayed into Iranian air space and now it's bouncing diplomatic traffic all round the world. I really need to be back in an office job away from the temptations to goon around after lunch.

Monday, 6 October 2008


My internet connection is nice and fast but this week my refresh rate for pages through Firefox is double bobbins slow and it's reet irritating! I have a virus that is altering my DNS and remains resident in the memory and therefore the boot up. No, I don't really know what that means either.

Time to flatten and start again, ably assisted by a pal later in the week.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hey, hey, hey, hey......

This is the dog's bollocks and reminds me of school days (but not American school days). Me, my tremendous and life long friend M.E.R.C and endless days in the 1980s. Fantastic!

And after all.......

This is a quick post for Scargosun who asked recently if there was video evidence of BS5 trying out Wonderwall on Karaoke the other night. Alas no such video exists but here I am with my Wingman Spence, singing said same tune back in the early summer (when I had a job, it would seem)!

Hey BS5, that's a shady picture but a smart tie!

Campaign stop.

Check this out!

I couldn't get a close picture because of the presence of the Secret Service, but last evening at The Rhubarb, the pub had arranged for a singer to do his stuff for the evening (he was very good), and whaddayaknow Barack Obama turned up! Amazing.

He said 'Yes we can!' a few times and talked about change and the special relationship and then he did his turn.

It's been a funny old weekend.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Bengali BS5

Today I went along to a festival of Eid, the celebration that takes place at the end of Ramadan. BS5, cultural attache! This one was specifically for the Bangladeshi community, but they had a completely open invite.

'Eid Mubarak' was the title of the day, as it were. Mubarak means Welcome, I have learned. (I only knew of Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt but he wasn't there).

The festival took place in the Church hall attached to my local church, St Luke's. No one else from 'our' church went along this time but I certainly accepted the generous invite and attended. I turned up at 3.15 and I was actually quite nervous because even though I have been to the church hall a zillion times, I did not know anybody except the 2 chaps I met after Friday Bingo, who made the invite to me.

My welcome was immediate and open, so I had no need to worry.

As promised there was a table laden with food and I was invited to tuck in. I tried a fish curry, a lamb curry and a vegetarian curry. I thought the veg' looked the nicest so I had quite a large amount. Turns out the veg curry was 800 chillies, quarter of an onion and a noodle. It was hot as rocket fuel and blew my shoes off. But I ate the lot!

I mustered my few facts about Bangladesh and managed to make pleasant chit chat about Bangladesh coming into being in 1973 (I think) and the cultural/language impact on Bengali speaking communities. After the dinner there was the usual sort of thing one would see at any celebration with small children singing songs (in Bengali in this case) and people generally chilling. Most people were from BS5 anyhow, so there was lots of chat about that too.

All quite smart and good stuff that an Islamic festival mixes it with our church; not always embraced in Bristol.

Quite an unusual Saturday afternoon. Almost grown up and sensible. Gosh!

Pic 'n Mix....fifty six

Last night was Bingo calling night - a new line in my CV, perhaps.

Our usual Bingo caller was out for dinner and asked me if I would step in. Heck, why not? Drama from the off as the key got stuck in the door so I turned the corner to find an assembly of panicked folk. I nipped over the road to the local garage and borrowed their WD40 and we were in shortly after.

This is the Enigma machine used for Bingo calls. I had intended to print out all the numbers with their calls, such as 77 Sunset Strip but this didn't happen, so I kinda' made them up which was a decidedly risky tactic as the Bingo ladies are quite fierce about protocol, especially with a young whipper-snapper on the go.

We played six games with yours truly calling away, making it up and generally being silly, and whaddayaknow, they loved it and asked if I would call every other time and share the duty with the regular caller.

After Bingo it was a well deserved pint at The Rhubarb and a few tunes on the Karaoke (sang Wondwerwall and various others).

A classy night altogether here in Bravo Sierra Fiver.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Word Cloud...

Last night I was watching Channel 4 news which I rather enjoy, and they had a piece on Presidential debates. They invited visitors to view their US Election word cloud.

I didn't have a clue what that meant so I Googled it today. It is HERE. It's quite smart. You lob in your own text and the software arranges it into a little pic with the most frequently used words in your copy. The site asks you to credit it which I am happy to do via way of the link that is bolded out above.

This 'word cloud' is a little tale I wrote a while back about a massive weekend beer fest in BS5 when I lived with Bag and Seamus. Seamus had been working in Hong Kong and Bag and I had spent the weekend on the lash; Seamus returned to utter chaos.

Rosti Schmosti

Today in the continuing theme of the week, I am going to try cooking something new. On every cooking programme I seem to watch (and there aren't many) someone or other chucks out a potato rosti. Some people like them, some people are a bit sniffy about them. I like food that divides people because it implies that it is interesting. Not sure what I will have with it, but I'll give it a go.

Jonathan Sachs is on Radio 4 as I type and he is his usual intelligent and listenable self. He's the UK's Chief Rabbi and is talking about atonement.

Also as I write the three little kids next door are their usual noisy selves. They switch on at 6 and shout constantly until 8. Great laugh. I get toy planes, cars, footballs and all sorts lobbed over my fence during the day (yeah, I give them all back).

Off for a run.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Miles and Miles to BS5

Tonight was a fine dinner: a glass of wine, a thoughtful stretch on the sofa and a good listen to this (picture) with the last glass of white after dinner. Ideal.

A thoughtful day, for which I am thankful.