In a msn conversation with ‘IT Support’ (you should’ve guessed who that is by now!) yesterday, there arose the opportunity to throw in a quote from ole Shaky’s Julius Caesar. In India, where I did my a substantial chunk of my schooling, Julius Caesar was standard reading for about year 11 (circa age 15) or so. I loved it! To this day, there are whole fistfuls (mouthfuls?) of dialogue I can quote offhand. But I think what was most helpful to a kid of my age was the extensive notes at the back of the textbook that performed the necessary introductions, line by line, to the beautiful world of Shakespeare. How else would I understand what was meant by unicorns being betrayed by trees, bears with glasses, elephants with holes, lions with toils and men with flatterers, etc? And what with my teacher reading it aloud (the only way) with me, I grew to enjoy the timing and sense of play, for e.g. when Caesar is being celebrated publicly and Cassius is sounding out Brutus to join the conspiracy,

Brutus: What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
Choose Caesar for their king.
Cassius: –Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.

the ‘Ay’ comes in with a jump, because Cassius is eager to literally pounce on a sign from Brutus that he is displeased with Caesar’s growing popularity. Note the metre Shaky employs, Cassius’ first line is meant to fit on the end of Brutus’ last.

There’s a lot of comment on how Brutus is the person we end up liking, and the person who lasts till the end, while Caesar buys it in the 1st scene of Act 3. But JC’s spirit does come visit, and it is true when the critics mention the aura of JC pervading even after his demise. Brutus is my fav, although even Cassius the plotter has good qualities.

But ’tis oft thus said, a man’s best tribute
is one that comes not from friend but from foe (my imitation of Shaky 🙂

Thus spake Anthony on Brutus’ death:-

Anthony: This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!

Best job offer so far

Ok, here the latest from our careers service. Why it’s so good should be self-explanatory.

Description of position:
You will work as part of a team responsible for maintaining a
high standard of cleanliness throughout the Centre, including
areas of the female changing room and showers while the centre is
open to the public.

Qualifications required:
Able to prioritise workloads, good communication and customer
care skills. Due to exposure to the female changing room and
showers while the centre is open to the public, a female
candidate would be preferred (as stated in section 7(2)(B) or the
Sex Discrimination Act).

vfdgvsre gwevserver vf

Ok, yesterday it was time to find out what the Indians did for us. The number 0, plastic surgery (ew, gross!), and the first sewer system 4500 years ago! Jonny resurfaced momentarily online, and I managed to have a brief chat. Same with Helgi. All is well.


Jill & I, locked in a battle of wits over the online sudoku puzzles. A whole day of absolutely criminal unproductivity. Who won? Of course I had to let her 😉

From the ‘Songs I heard today’ section :- The Gathering

“What fine judgement I see,
in the eyes of our world leaders
Oh how beautiful life could be,
if it had not been shot to pieces”

What the ancients did for us…

1) Yes my dear readers, once again it’s UKTV History time, and yesterday I sat through Adam Hart-Davis explaining to mw what the Chinese have bequeathed us. Firstly, fast food and restaurants were Chinese ideas, with some of them getting so good at it that the Palace used to order takeaways from them. Marco Polo imported the Chinese noodles, that were re-born as… pasta! And apart from the obvious gunpowder/fireworks that everyone is aware of, the Chinese also invented the concept of paper money, that traders used to protect their assets from highway robbery.

2) On an entirely different note, this post also celebrates the institution of the David Beckham Public Recognition Awards for no discernable Talent (David Beckham PRAT). Nominees so far are

  • Bob Geldorf – The David Beckham of rock music.
  • Jamie Oliver – The David Beckham of chefs.
  • Nigella Lawson – The Victoria Beckham of chefs.
  • JFK – The David Beckham of statesmen.
  • Suggestions welcome, nay, indeed solicited.

    3) I’m currently reading ‘The spy who came in from the cold’ by John le Carre. It seems to be the only spy novel that can be termed a ‘classic’. The author was working for the British Foreign Service, and seems not only to know the tricks of the trade, but also understands the psychological state of the spy.

    4) Another 2 hours of driving at 1pm today. On Monday I was equally commended for my control of the car and reprimanded for my bad habits. Today should be fun; Roundabouts, and Pedestrians: How not to run them over.

    (later on in the day…)

    Driving went well, but I’m getting anxious that the bloody instructor is trying to squeeze as many lessons as he can out of me. Since I’ve pre-paid for ten hours, he’s counting on them in the bag and testing to see if he can force more dough out of me! Whereas my plan was to finish in ten hours. That doesn’t seem likely, as he’s just pulling me up for silly inconsequential things, like not looking at the road when driving, and forgetting to brake when someone’s crossing the road. Haha, just a bit of humour there. Yesss, I’ve still got it!

    Manc bomb scare

    Ok, so they found a briefcase under the M60 overpass (Mancunian Way). I know of times when the first person to find it would have given a quick, furtive gander about and then’ve sidled off with it! The Mancunian way. Oh, for the good old days.

    Futurama (Snu snu)

    “You win again, Gravity!” – Zapp Brannigan

    We had great fun at Tracy’s yesterday, we being Ioannis, Jessy, Mamie, Simon, Tracy & I. Tracy had the full bottle of “water” left over from her house-warming party, so she managed to finally persuade us (I put up a real fight) to come over to her place. Earlier in the day t and i had gone to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar for a pint in the sun. That’s where I found them in an exuberant mood. After another round we set of to Pizza Slut, for a meal of grand proportions, which was where Jessy joined us. Finishing our pizzas, (and rounding it off with some ice-cream, we ambled to the bus-stop for the 50 to take us to Tinks’. ) We got some beers from Tesco, called Mamie, and settled down in front of the telly with Futurama, thanks to Simon’s collection.

    Had a nervous start to this morning, eyes-open at 5:45 am. Nobody should have to face a bank manager and a driving instructor on the same morning. Especially on a Monday. Double especially after a Party Sunday.

    (later on in the day…)
    I had a great time driving, had to sit through the first half-hour listening to the instructor explaining various complex gadgets in the car like steering wheels and lights and stuff while I was itching to get in the hot seat and take off with a wheel spin. Apparently I also had to be taught that one uses the left mirror when turning left, and vice versa.

    Terror on the highway + Aliens

    I felt that since everyone who made the trip to the strawberry fields yesterday will be writing about the fields, I’m giving it a different slant.
    There were 10 of us in all, Bingboula, Catherine, Gary, Jessy, Jill, Mahesh, Mamie, Tracy, Yovina & I. We set off from ASDA in three cars, and Mamie and I had the ‘good’ fortune of being driven by Tracy in Jessy’s brother’s car. As we were leaving Manchester joining the M602, Tracy had a little battle of wills with a truck that was attempting to exit it. Fortunately, after a brief contest which had Mamie and I saw a lot of our life pass before our eyes, Tracy gave in and let the truck pass us. We then managed to make it to the fields without further incident, apart from the humorous episode where Jill in the lead (driving the rental car) turned into a side road to let us catch up with her, and then both cars followed her into the side road so we ended up nose-to-tail in a circle .

    (to be contd…)

    Ok, I’m back. Ioannis has posted the pics on our isom weblog .

    I’ve decided to give a little commentary on the strawberry pics, especially regarding the fact that some of us were really clueless as to what to do in a field. For instance, Tracy dear thought that the stuff had to be dug up from the ground, bless! Jill bumped into a visitor from another planet and did as recommended, extending a greeting to them that we are a peaceful people. And although the sight of those bug-eyed, claw-tentacled aliens didn’t unsettle her, the partially-nude Adonis certainly did. Mamie was prepared for the aliens though, she was carrying almost all her earthly possessions in case they gave her a lift. And when her hands got full, well… Bingboula discovered that the blue-coloured plants that the aliens introduced seemed to have a lot more strawberries in them! And here Tracy and Jill celebrate a victory for Earth as the low-flying spacecraft narrowly misses their heads (the aliens having got what they came for.) Mahesh observes Mamie settling down to a quick lunch after the ordeal of being strung upside down. You can even see the Deputy Commander of the aliens gloating over the captive Earthmen and Earthwomen as they cry out in pain and anguish.

    Lack of experience

    Another gem from the career’s service. An e-mail advertises the availability of a job as a helper for a disabled writer who will be totally dependent on the help physically. But the e-mail details the skills they are looking for as “A lack of caring experience would be an advantage” I wonder why?


    What is the world coming to? It’s such a shame that people can’t go about their everyday business without having to fear for their lives. I’m talking, of course, about the unestimable number of unexploded mines, rockets, motar shells, etc. that lie strewn around conflict zones across the world. Every year, according to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), 20,000 people are either killed or injured, the overwhelming majority of which are civilians, including children.
    I also just realised the other day that the date 7/7 marks the day I arrived in the UK in the year 2000.