28 September 2008
We have just had the 2008 World Air-head Guitar Championships.
Greece fielded one Carlos Slazenger, who doesn't sound very Greek to me.
27 September 2008
You know, i have not been able to watch Borat all thru because I am so embarrassed for the 'victims' and -and i dont know what this says about me - i kept cringing at his kissy greeting of those american males who were just as uncomfy but correctness prevented them speaking out.
The titles he comes up with - Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Male - I can't wait. It should be a hoot.
He is so good that it took me a long time to realise that the sashaying male model in the video was *him*.
For Want of a Nail
So tell me, does that or does it not look as if the Basilopoulos supermarket empire has included some buckshee hardware with my Portokali marmalada in the form of a hefty nail?
I found the receipt and went down to see the manager before he could accuse me of scoffing ¾ and then slipping a bit of rust in.
I like the manager and he likes me, probably because he sees me chauffeuring maman back and forth, trogging behind with the trolley as she tosses in the caviare and bubbly.
So I show him the jar and other staff crane over my shoulder to look and I don my tolerant writ-won't-melt man-of-the-world expression in readiness for his panick-stricken expression.
He turns it in his hand and nods knowingly before looking at me with a smile: "You make much work in your garden, yes? I see you buy tools for make house better. This good nail; see, is no bend. When you finish eat, you can make good hammer with this." Beeg smile.
Never let it be said that Johnny Greek lacks a sense of humour, and I swear there was a twinkle in his eye.
But hey, if this was Bainbridge Island, I'd butter myself another slice, slather on the Safeway's marmaladiest and - "What the-!! M-my throat ... something ... can't breathe ..." and saunter over to learnèd counsel to discuss precise terms of the mega settlement. As it is, I *do* have a heavy-duty "hose holder" to put up on the poolside wall and, as the man said, it does look a good strong nail.
Life in Hellas!
25 September 2008
Well-worded review by The Spectator's clever James Delingpole of BBC1's adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbs.
He talks about the documentary, Earth: The Climate Wars, but then chides us that,
"None of you will have seen it because you'll have been watching Tess ... either going, 'Phwoar, I wouldn't mind a bit of that stuck on my relentlessly turning tragic wheel,' if you're a man, or 'Hurry up and die, bitch!' if you're a woman ...
... my wife hates Hardy so much I was forced to watch it on my own, which was maybe for the best. When the Polanski version came out with Nastassja Kinski, my schoolmate Simon Nelson and I rechristened it 'Toss', and I have to say the Tess in this version, Gemma Arterton, is no less inspirational.
Has a novelist ever used his creation more cruelly? There's never a moment where poor Tess has the slightest chance of escaping her tragic fate.
She has to go to court favour with the d'Urbervilles because of the accident with the horse. She has to go with Alec on the ride where he rapes her because otherwise she'd have been torn to bits by the drunken harridans who are jealous of her beauty. And just when she might have been redeemed she ends up with the most vicious prig - Angel Clare - on the planet.
My wife thinks it's all too implausible. Me, I think Hardy's the one writer who tells it like it really is."
24 September 2008
You can take the rep out of the call centre but you can't ... etc
Actually, you can't do neither.
I've been roped in to coach some local phonistas and they are agog at my harshness and know-how - all filched from my time as galley slave on the Good Ship Bezosia.
En particulière my tips on:
"Yes, kyrios," you chirp, "I have your orders up on the screen. Loipon, I see we shipped the Manessi & Carithi to you on September 14th and the Boulgaris study of leather nether garments has been postponed by the publishers pending the court case. Is there anything else I can help you with? Efaristo, sir. Kali syn'ekia."
Comment - Well, OK, I come a cropper there on the prehistoric BBC clip (see Anon Comment), but therein lies a tale.
My favourite *Blighty mole sends me cuttings that she knows I'll enjoy, many of which I use such as her latest about Call Centres whose URL I promptly misplace. But I want to post something about CCs anyway so I surf and surf and can't find hers so i go for the best I can find (without bothering with mere trivia such as age). Which is odd, considering that, en forme, I'm one of the better proofreaders and editors I've come across (down to knowing that it's one word).
But Anon was there to catch it, and I'm always flattered to know that someone out there is reading this stuff.
Loipon, I will leave the ancient links in if only to remind one and all that,
"Those oft are Stratagems which Errors seem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream."
*Addendum ~ And, seeing me under fire, she sends me another, about Biggest BugBears.
23 September 2008
"Angry old man? Screw them"
My fave espionovelist John le Carré speaks out with some choice observations:
And the ace comment from someone about it being, " ... a shame that it takes a writer of fiction to give the Government a reality check."
18 September 2008
LHC meets Jeeves
I thought this Large Hadron Collider stuff was brand new, but Michael French's recent letter to the Daily Telegraph quotes from 1934's Right Ho, Jeeves:
'I was reading in the paper the other day about those birds who are trying to split the atom, the nub being that they haven't the foggiest as to what will happen if they do.
It may be all right. On the other hand, it may not be all right. And pretty silly a chap would feel, no doubt, if having split the atom, he suddenly found the house going up in smoke and himself torn limb from limb.'
Our new washer comes with precise instructions including diagram of what goes where.
A whole page of A-G guidance written in english but appearing nowhere in the *greek* section. My greek pals laff at the presumed gullibility of foreigners and believe it to be a spoof.
Have any of YOU had instructions as to the placement of:
LOL. I mean, does that not read more like a storage machine than a washer in which you - I mean I - just dump the grungy platters and cutlery and hit 'Play'? Right?
And you should see the 6-point diagram as to how to place the cutlery ... oh dis-donc. Photos, too.
17 September 2008
Oh Lawks, can you imagine the ride you'd get between them corkers! Some of the natashas one sees around Corfu town and on floating wodka palaces are stunning enough, but this babe takes the gateau. Mr Pingping down there is all of 2' 5". Svetlana Pankratova's legs lope in at a hip-hugging 4' 4" - almost twice Pinger's height.
Some of the natashas one sees around Corfu town and on floating wodka palaces are stunning enough, but this babe takes the gateau.
Mr Pingping down there is all of 2' 5". Svetlana Pankratova's legs lope in at a hip-hugging 4' 4" - almost twice Pinger's height.
12 September 2008
Excellent 'Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody' in the 6 September Spectator, Tamzin 'Tamara' Lightwater right on form. Can't understand why I'm the only Speccie reader in Corfu who recognises her talent.
She talks of everyone going Palin crazy and her female co-workers coming in "with their hair teased into frightening up-dos ... Major brainstorming following bad-tempered memo titled 'Who is our Sarah Palin?' "
Funniest bit is where she muses that "seems we did something silly with candidate selection which meant that all the arch right-wingers got weeded out. We've only got Compassionate Centre Right Cameroons."
Bags more like that. My favourite column - next to Rod Liddle's.
11 September 2008
I could call it 'Lucre for Louka' if any reward is offered but there's none. We're just appealing for the lad to be returned - aye, I reckon he's been nicked.
Gone since Aug 24, he's snipped so no hanky-panky with the totties.
Took notices down to Diellas and AlphaBeta supermarkets and was at my ooziest.
They weren't that busy but the manageresses were taking the usual heat from the usual Greekness so when it came my turn, I simpered "I know you're very busy ... wondered if ... any chance ... put up sign for lost dog ...".
Loipon, being the first person in yonks to recognise their industriousness shoves me to the head of the queue; then the hangdog 'tude ... then the hangdog DOG. I mean look at that lad. Who couldnt love that expression?
So the signs are up and fingers crossed, if only that some pal of the purloiner says "Yo! That hunting pooch you said you picked up way over in Glyfa. Same looking hound being announced as lost in Diellas which is your local market. Rum."
09 September 2008
I'll lodge them here for when i open the new dedicated blog wherein i tell the sorry soggy saga.
I tell you, some shit is going to go down on this decision. I've had hotelier contacts and rep pals on the blower - as if I have any say - talking repercussions.
Ricky Carson "safety inspector", all of 26, and Nicola Gibson, rep, 24, to take a 20-year negligence rap for some maintenance berk who'd been told to check the boiler but took the avrio-methavrio route.
Come November, Prospero's Isle will be jam packed with journo calibans and I will there with disinfo' a-plenty.
Our chief prosecutor says insufficient evidence, and Judge Gatzomanis dismisseth it?? I tell you, my guess is some palms glistened there ....
08 September 2008
Friends would ask about my girls and I would bleat sadly about the loss of their heirlooms.
Interestingly, their fiercest reaction was against their original removal behind my back but that they were then unquestioningly accepted by my brother without even suggesting that I might be called in to explain why I'd reached such a low as to renounce my girls' memory and have someone else do my dirty business of ditching them.
"So ... like I don't know the dude but, hey, he *is* your brother. Are you saying he just *sat* there, knowing he lives in this asshole laughable thievery and *still* agreed that,
'Yeh mum, duhh, yer right. Like Italy is soo much safer for Chris's stuff'.
Is he lacking somewhat in the self-awareness department?' "
Splutter. In what department? Self-awareness schelf-awareness.
I had no reply until I read the Hesperus edition of Edith Wharton's The Touchstone and the very clever Salley Vickers' foreword, para two line three, where she talks about "the diabolical traps we set ourselves through self-referential obtuseness." (My itals)
My dears, the scales fell from my eyes. What a brilliant observation.
Doesn't that explain and define it all?
Mamzel House Guest brought China Forbes' new, solo album 78 out with her and I listened and I listened and really could NOT get into or on with it.
But I persevered because she's a lovely lady and her Pink Martini work is ace.
Then suddenly one evening I *heard* it and then I heard it some more and pretty soon I was hearing phrases and then whole passages in my head. And then I couldn't leave it off the stereo.
Pals came round and said 'That's sort of dreary for you, no?' and then they came again and asked 'What IS that? Nice' and then they'd come again and ask 'Shove China on ... that '78' track'.
Now I know precisely where it fits:
Buy TWO CDs just in case Meet someone with whom there might be something and play it as 'getting-to-know-you' background to blossoming affaire After a while she says "That's nice. Who is it?" Things go OK and you play it in the car to picnics and on the portable on the beach and back home as you sway on the patio. One night she says "That is such a nice album. i didnt like it at first. Would you burn a copy for me?" I'll do better than that. Retrieves 2nd copy. "You darling. How did you know?" Spend summer lost in love. It's *your* song, YOUR album. One day it's over. Not *that* day - you have to go through WEEKS of agonised denial and texting and emailing and explaining to yself why she hasnt replied, why she doesnt answer, why she's shifty at parties you hadnt known she'd be there ... all that.
But that one day, it was over. How did Donne have it? Something like, "Love is a growing or full burning light, And his first minute after noon ... is night." My ellipses. (Don't bother to write in, Dottore Baddeley. They get the gist)
Finally finally finally it sinks in. It's over. You're driving back one night. Cool breeze, nice feeling. Hit the CD bouton and it's Forbes. Wry smile. Drive on a bit but the memories are flooding. Hit eject and frisbee the disk out into the darkness.
Comment comment: the over-commenting 'Lupin', whose asinine comments I have studiously ignored these past years, comments on my ignorance of the fact that Ms Forbes plays, on this solo album, all of:
acoustic and electric rhythm guitar lead guitar bass piano, mellotron, vibes and wurlitzer harmonium and harmonica Yamaha PSS 480 Arp [sic] strings (whatever they are] violin
I'm aware of her versatility, Lupers. It's one of the drearier aspects of the sound, that it comes from the same hand.
You're telling me it's ridiculous!
That's only Salman bloody "Mind My Fatwa" Rushdie with his clammy mitts round a choice chickadee that I wouldn't mind going under the scimitar for.
I wanna be a famous writer, protected by Scotland Yard, roger pretty girls.
This is so funny. I mean, look how far we have come ... you could never have run this in the TLS back in my day; prolly not in yours neither. I must send this to David Lodge. It has shades of Philip Swallow in 'Changes Places.' Do you remember? He trades places with Morris Zapp who ends up staying with Mrs Swallow (long story) and Phil with Desiree Zapp (longer still) and one day Phil is having a crap and he comes across a damning review that the cuttings agency never included and which Philip is convinced was penned by Prof Zapp. Oh lord, and the reviews I used to do in my idiot show-off youth, really harmful ones that affected how many copies the book trade might have subscribed. Or pseudo witty ones to make my mates laff down t' Groucho. I'm surprised someone didn't top ME.
I must send this to David Lodge. It has shades of Philip Swallow in 'Changes Places.'
Do you remember? He trades places with Morris Zapp who ends up staying with Mrs Swallow (long story) and Phil with Desiree Zapp (longer still) and one day Phil is having a crap and he comes across a damning review that the cuttings agency never included and which Philip is convinced was penned by Prof Zapp.
Oh lord, and the reviews I used to do in my idiot show-off youth, really harmful ones that affected how many copies the book trade might have subscribed. Or pseudo witty ones to make my mates laff down t' Groucho. I'm surprised someone didn't top ME.
06 September 2008
05 September 2008
Isn't that the title they always go for? 'Harvest Yield' or 'Fruits of the Land' or some such?
Anyway, this isn't at all what I'd even notice on a table or altar *except* this is all from our own land and gathered by Yours Truly for Tassia to make into some scrumptious nosh for me and my mates when Maman goes tripping the light fantastic next week with the visiting Synodians.
By the way, I am told that Corfu is the first ever non capital city to be chosen as venue for a Synod. What? What's a Synod? I thought everyone knew that (Quick, Eric, fire up Wiki)
04 September 2008
Letter to Athens News.
"A symptom of British depression
I THINK there's a deeper problem in this [in reference to British citizens' alcohol-fuelled nights in Malia, Crete, as described in Sex on the beach, published on August 22], not least because the English have been getting plastered and misbehaving for centuries, millennia, even. The only difference is that in the era of mass tourism we've started exporting it abroad. I think it speaks to a general unhappiness in a culture built around the denial of pleasure, whereas the Greeks, like the Spanish (I lived in Andalucia, Spain, for the last eight years before moving to Greece this past spring), live in a culture of the celebration of pleasure, which is why they don't get off their faces every night due to depression, desperation or boredom, and usually prefer an iced coffee. It's an entirely different mindset to the one that sends Brits abroad to get wrecked.
I think we also have to factor in the complicity of travel companies - the BBC Radio 4 show "You and Yours" featured a recording of a holiday representative offering people alcohol at breakfast time - and also the bar owners themselves, who, as has been recently reported, sometimes resort to flogging toxic industrial alcohol as "vodka" to make more money. Hence, the appalling story of the young guy who literally drank himself to death on Crete recently. If bar staff told people they weren't going to serve them because they were obviously drunk already, maybe some of this misbehaviour wouldn't happen. There's also a class subtext at work here, and I think it's a little more complex than oiks running wild on the islands. If you've ever been to Gaucνn, in Andalucia, you will probably have seen the British upper classes behaving just as badly."`
Not a Problem - not!
Shades of Borat.
Actually i have a very BIG problem with the language I'm assaulted with these days.
I phoned Barclays bank to make a simple transaction and got the usual runaround i now take for granted.
Finally i get some girl who does what I called in for.
"Thank you. Very efficient." One has to praise them to the skies for the most basic operation.
"Not a problem," she responds.
"I know that. I was thanking you for doing your job and I'd be worried if customer service at that basic level did indeed pose any sort of a problem."
Not a problem, i was assured.
Can't buy me love
Actually, that turns out to be exactly what you can do - and thank you Mr Rod Liddle (that's him over there) for confirming it.
Aug 31st Sunday Times, page 15 Comment .
I quote, and you can read the rest because it gets better with his dig at building societes.
"What qualities do you think women look for in men, according to a recent survey? GSOH? Hung like a gibbon? Unending fidelity? Caring, consensual and deeply committed to combating global warming issues, with a wind turbine nailed to his forehead?
Nope, none of those – all they want from their man is huge amounts of money. That’s number one on the wish list, just ahead of “someone who’ll listen, okay?”, which we men all have to do anyway because there isn’t any choice.
Meanwhile, men want a woman who will just shut up from time to time and maybe look after the kids, if she’s got a moment between thinking about shoes and watching Sex and the City.
So, in 250,000 years of evolution, nothing whatsoever has changed."
I keep quoting the ace Rod Liddle at people and telling them that I steal most of my best lines and topics from him so, to keep myself honest, I'm shoving this link up so I won't plagiarise *quite* so much.
He writes for the Spectator and it's 50/50 who I turn to first, Tamzin or Rod.
Taki seems to have fallen by the wayside.
Then I find he writes for the Sunday Times, so now we take that, too.
From what I hear from the grumbling classes out here, he speaks for England.
For me, too.
Comment comment: Eagle-eyed Anon's comment won't mean much because I've hastily corrected the goof but I had referred to him as RoN throughout. A bit bloody stupid - not to say unconvincing - to praise a scribe to the heavens when I can't even get his naffing name right, and Anon has me bang to rights.
In fact, i went down to brek and asked my mum (and A.N. Other who happened to be here) how they called him and they both said Ron, so go figure. And Ron's such a uncool name in this household - my dad was ever Ronald and only Gan Gan called him the monosyllable moniker.
What's scary is how fast Ron Anon got onto me.