Touching the boys

Tomorrow is Orange Wednesday at Ioannis’ house; we shall watch ‘Touching the Void’ over bowls of Spag Bog*. Touching the void reminds me of two things:

a) The first time I met Simon at Rayk’s birthday party, when I told him about “Touching the void” and he thought I was talking about “touching the boys”.

After clarifying his mistake, we went on to bond over “Shaving Ryan’s Privates”, “Batman in Robin”, “Diddle-her on the roof”, “Forrest Hump”, “The Loin King”, “Glad-he-ate-her”, “Inspect-her Gadget”, “Saturday Night Beaver” and of course “The Empire Strikes from the Back”.

b) Boney M. Specifically their song “Brown Girl in the Ring”. This comes about because as anyone who’s seen the film knows, when the protagonist of the film is lying broken at the foot of the glacier expecting to die at any moment, he tells us of how this song kept running through his head and how he though “Oh no! I’m gonna die to the sound of Boney M”. I have previously mentioned this in my award-winning blog post, Pulitzer Prize and Best Blog on the Internet not winner on the Dalai Lama.

And finally I think blogging can be summed up by today’s quote “If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it.” – Arthur Schopenhauer.


*Spag Bog = Spaghetti Bolognaise

What has become of people?

I was reading the comments on Dilbert’s blog when I came across a youtube video showing American soldiers teasing thirsty Iraqi kids, making them run behind a truck for a bottle of water.

You can see it on this link

It just made me angry and then sad.

Musings over bacon tea…

I’m amazed how few blogs I actually have about music. Especially blogs from Naz The Recommender, who just has to let you imbeciles know what real music is.

I also wonder how it is everybody knows that when you’re told the electrician will visit between 8-12 in the morning, he’ll turn up at approximately 11:45. If at all.

By the way, bacon tea is Lapsung Chowsung or whatever its fancy name is. It smells of smoked bacon. But you knew that didn’t you Ioannis?


I’ve been sitting all morning clearing up my Hotmail account. It’s a funny feeling having your inbox entirely empty!! as I have now. Now I guess I’m sitting waiting to catch internet flies.

My account has been boosted up to 1000MB, most probably because I’m the only lazy sucker left who puts up with their less-than-crap service and user-friendly-NOT design.

It’s quite astonishing when you think about it, how easily I (well, not just I) have access to communications from the past, and how similar in feeling it is to flipping through an old diary. By that I mean one of your own old diaries, and not peeking at someone else’s by the way. Suddenly old friends are brought to mind, old jokes are re-laughed (thanks to Jill and Sky mainly), old hobbies now abandoned that seemed so engaging at the time. I found an oh-so-important .ppt file from MBS that was flavour of the week that er.. week and now lies catching virtual rust. (Do you remember the presentation for I.T. Trends on Nordea, Tinks? The largest Swedish bank? No?? And why would you, I did all the bleeding research!!!!)

And I’m listening to a bizzare collection of songs, thanks to Ioannis.

Air Supply (All out of love), and then Allanah Myles (Black Velvet)

All 4 One (I swear), and then Andre Segovia (Malaguena)

Angel Dust (Black Rain), and then err… Angel Dust again (Bleed)

Bloodhound Gang (Do it like they do on the Discovery channel), and then Blue Oyster Cult (Burnin’ for you)

What an idiot!

Had a great time watching ‘Le diner de cons’ with Ioanni, Robert and Ali. We were laughing like nobody’s business!! There were some choice phrases that just read beautifully. I love French films (as well as other European / Independant) because they dare to be different. The simple, well-written plot required no gimmicks, and the dialogue and acting was spot on.


On a sourer note, I have become aware that somebody seems to be having conversations with some of my web contacts on MSN pretending to be me! I haven’t used MSN in yoinks’ years because I don’t have the tinternet at home, and the library doesn’t allow messaging services. So my advice to everybody out there dying to have words with me is: Pick up the phone. And if somebody is on MSN asking you to do all sorts of perverted things, then that person may not necessarily be me! 🙂

Oh help me Jebus!!

Dear e-mail

Unfortuntely, the position of Customer Service Manager has now been
filled internally.

apologise for this.  i will however keep your cv on file to look at in
the future.

Kindest regards,


Why would they want to “look at” my c.v. in the future?? Might I have unwittingly produced a work of Modern Art the likes of which you see on telly going for enormous sums of money? 

P.S this is an actual email I received today. I have cut-n-pasted here with no alterations whatsoever.

P.P.S this Stephen Streater guy looks like Ioannis

P.P.P.S which of my dear readers has the 1920 x 1200 screen?


Is it me, or are journalists getting increasingly stupid? I read the Manchester Evening News almost daily because it’s great (= free) and they have a good puzzle section.

Yesterday’s headline was “Outrage as funeral cortege has to pay toll”. The toll in question was 12p, and why should they expect not to pay it, nay be “outraged” that they have to pay the same toll as everybody else just because they’re toting a stiff in the back?

Another “outrage” was about Manchester City Centre’s famous electronic bollards, or “stupid-person catchers”, as I call them. Thanks to Si (who’s back out of hospital fresh as a daisy, I might add) for e-mailing this link showing idiots disobeying the No Entry signs and then being “outraged” when their vehicle gets damaged. Duh!

And then there are the interviewers who, armed with their cameras set out to show how much they know about the situation by asking questions like “Do you think the public will be outraged by this situation because 14.6% have said so in our poll, and given the recent increase in tensions you must be particularly aware of a breakdown of communication that seems to be undermining the process put in place that were so highly commended only late last August by the Lord High Commissioner ?”

They don’t trust the Expert they are interviewing to be clever enough to come up with words describing the situation themselves, so the helpful interviewer only allows them the “Yes” or “No” option. Also is the news more newsier if they are “Live” standing outside some bloody building??

Lie down on the couch

Yossarian is explaining his dreams about fish to Major Sanderson, a psychiatrist.

…”Just why do you think,” he (Major Sanderson) resumed when he had finished, looking up, “that you made those two statements expressing contradictory emotional responses to the fish?”

“I suppose I have an ambivalent attitude toward it”

Major Sanderson sprang up with joy when he heard the words ‘ambivalent attitude.’ “You do understand!” he exclaimed, wringing his hands together ecstatically. “Oh, you can’t imagine how lonely it’s been for me, talking day after day to patients who haven’t the slightest knowledge of psychiatry, trying to cure people who have no real interest in  me or my work! It’s given me such a terrible feeling of inadequacy.” A shadow of anxiety crossed his face. “I can’t seem to shake it.”

“Really?” asked Yossarian, wondering what else to say. “Why do you blame yourself for gaps in the education of others?”

“It’s silly, I know,” Major Sanderson replied with a giddy, involuntary laugh. “But I’ve always depended very heavily on the good opinion of others. I reached puberty a bit later than all the other boys my age, you see, and it’s given me sort of – well, all sorts of problems. I just know I’m going to enjoy discussing them with you. I’m so eager to begin that I’m almost reluctant to digress now to your problem, but I’m afraid I must. Colonel Ferredge would be cross if he knew we were spending all our time on me. I’d like to show you some ink blots now to find out what certain shapes and colours remind you of.”

“You can save yourself the trouble, Doctor. Everything reminds me of sex.”

“Does it?” cried Major Sanderson with delight, as though unable to believe his ears. “Now we’re really getting somewhere! Do you ever have any good sex dreams?”…


I was really scared that my blog was down today, as I couldn’t get through to it. But now I’m not, so it’s ok.

Nothing much to say, no political debate to rave about, no insane snippet of news to roll my eyes over, so I’ll just say a big HELLO to all my international readers out there stalking me, and “Keep sane”.

later: Oh sorry, almost forgot. Sha and I visited Simon in hospital on Saturday. Waited for Tracy and Co. to show up at 5 p.m., but we gave up waiting by 6 p.m. and went in on our own. Hope he’s better now.

And the first incidence of a “web rage attack” has been reported in the newspapers. Someone insulted some other one on the web, and the some other one tracked the someone down and hit him on his own doorstep with a pickaxe handle.

So, “Nemo me impune, lacessit”!!!!

Religion and fashion – Gegen die Wand

I saw this interesting quote by Herman Hesse on my google page today. 

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

And there was an interesting discussion about religion and fashion in Turkey on BBC’s This World programme yesterday. Well, I say it was an interesting discussion, but I was only waiting for the shots of scantily-clad women strutting up and down the catwalk.

Turkey is quite unusual in being at once both secular and striving to join Europe while also retaining strictly conservative elements. I guess I should not comment without going there. But this dichotomy was reflected in the predictions of two entrepreneurs in the garment industry with very different personal beliefs which in turn coloured their business strategy.

One was pious, religious, and predicted a return to Islamic values in Turkish society and to profit from this he had built a new factory to produce garments (including full-length swimwear for ladies) that confirmed to religious standards, or what he interpreted those standards to be anyway.

The other was a young, modern Turk who had inherited a well-known lingerie company and, facing immense price competition from China and Hong Kong, decided to go upmarket with quality goods. He was counting on European attitudes towards undergarments catching on and increasing his sales.

It was a thought-provoking insight into the two sides of Turkey today. I am reminded of a beautiful and powerful German-Turkish film I saw called “Gegen die Wand” which brought up many of the same issues and in which you saw Turkish people trying to come to terms with this same split, as well as other issues.