how did you get here?

After that rant I thought I might need to brighten the place up a bit. Maybe a few soft lights, a little music, and a couple of well chosen throws over the old suite to give it a new lease of life.

Actually what I’ve got is a list of search phrases that people have used which have punted them in the direction of in the last week. All of them obviously ending initially in disappointment, then turning to joy as they discover my ramblings.

Let me know your favourite

(p.s. I’m a big fan of number 6)

  1. hot granny
  2. old french christmas postcard
  3. pictures of tomato soup
  4. the laughing gnome david bowie
  5. poem en francais
  6. alun deodorant danger
  7. gay asshole pictures
  8. American Airlines in flight video Welcome to london
  9. blood brothers pics
  10. get your paws off me you dirty ape
  11. Interactive. Decorate a house
  12. desperate housewives – pics
  13. laptop rucksack military
  14. colour flame candles
  15. monster truck video
  16. hiring a jazz band in france
  17. wrong name on flight ticket
  18. dark weapons caution
  19. What do you get when you fall in love
  20. Polruan school archives

Fer fox ache

So I got to Ann Arbor, which is nice except it’s suffering from a flu epidemic. Inevitably after a few days of holding out heroically, including the giving up of smoking which I had slipped back into since New Years, (Prize for anyone who can tell me how many times I’ve given up smoking since starting this blog thing last July!) I caught it, so the last couple of days have involved sitting around the apartment feeling a little hot and confused and sleeping an alarming amount. What has also happened is that I have watched an even more alarming amount of Fox News Channel. If you get Sky through a dish in the UK then you are lucky enough to be able to watch this too.

Since I have been typing this the following 2 phrases have caught my ear as they talk about Europeans attitude to their war on terror;

1. “Pervasive anti-americanism”, you all hate Americans, yes you do, you’re just in denial.

2. “Two faced, lying, weaselness on the subject of Iraq”, that’s the trait that you have. I’m not convinced “weaselness” is a word but you show it.

48 hours in the company of Fox News Channel is scary. Scarier still is the fact that it’s the US’s most watched news channel. Yeah I know I could turn over to another channel, but being here I feel a kind of responsibility to soak up the populist media to get a feel of the place I’m in. Ted Turner, the guy who invented CNN isn’t keen. He said the network is the propaganda tool for the Bush Administration. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s certainly legal. But it does pose problems for our democracy. Particularly when the news is dumbed down, leaving voters without critical information on politics and world events and overloaded with fluff,” he added.

Why do you care?

Because Fox News is the biggest news channel in the US.

Because Fox News viewers are more likely to believe the following ;

* That evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq had been found;

* That weapons of mass destruction had been discovered in Iraq; and

* That the U.S. had received wide international support in its decision to go to war.

(all of which were labelled as “misperceptions” by the Program on International Policy Attitudes).

Because those self same viewers with “misconceptions” are the people that voted Republican last year.

Because the Republicans run the largest most powerful country in the world.

See what happens when I get ill? I rant.

Someone get me some flu drugs fer fox ache.

It may be winter outside, but in my heart it’s spring


The day after I arrived in Detroit it hit minus thirteen degrees in proper British temperature, which is 21 pixies and half a flagon in old fashioned US speak. Seriously, when I was a kid I thought that the US was the most futuristic, modern place on the planet. They had the Six Million Dollar Man fergawdsache. But the reality is slightly off kilter. It’s all a bit olde worlde here in some ways frankly, which is odd when they consider Europe-land to be backwards. I suggest we step outside and have a fight to sort it all out… when it gets warmer.

So yeah, talking of attitudes, I was listening to a guy on a local Christian Radio Station the other day for I have found God… ahem… yeah right. No offence intended obviously but, no, that didn’t happen. I was listening because I’m always interested in what these guys will come up with. This guy was a dream. A walking, talking advert for the love, peace and forgiveness that Jesus Christ can bring to your life. You see he was talking about the Tsunami’s (Did the Manics play their song “Tsunami” at the benefit gig on Saturday in Wales? Please tell me they did…) and his point was basically this… “Have you noticed that the tidal wave happened the day after Christmas which is Christ’s birthday and that the majority of those killed were Muslim or Hindu? Can you see what God’s saying here?” really, he did, I checked.

Alvie thinks the man on the radio was a little harsh.

Other things? well yesterday it was minus fifteen celsius which is nearly as cold as a Christian DJ’s heart.

39,000 feet and one arsehole

So if you’’ve read the important historical documents below, you may remember from an earlier time that I said I was less than impressed with BA. Don’t remember? Well, I can either make a revision timetable for you, or you can take responsibility for these exams, after all it is the rest of YOUR life we’re talking about not mine… Fine, have it your way… Go sit with your mates in the park having a laugh and looking at girls, but don’t expect me to be there to support you when you fail these exams and end up having to get a job as a dustman, or a traveling salesman. If you’’re not careful you’’ll end up a market researcher the rate you’re going. Anyway I did, and I was. “Say” and “be less than impressed”, that is. With me? Good. What about you at the back? What’’s so funny? Well, if it’’s “nothing” perhaps you’d like to share that “nothing” with the rest of the class? See me after.

Anyway, here’’s being less than impressed with BA part 2.

I get an email telling me that I should log onto the BA website and fill in some important personal information for security before catching my flight today and saying to me “hey! why don’t you do our new online check in thingy at the same time saving yourself from all the hassle of queuing behind the smelly no-internet access masses? And hey, go crazy and change your in-flight meal to a vegetarian one too”. (I’’m on a plane to Detroit now by the way). The security information has to be filled in before flying. It’s the American law (and as we all know, that’’s gun law, so best to get the stuff filled out to avoid any unpleasantness or bleeding.). The online check-in thingy can only be done within 24 hours of the flight time. All clear with the timings here?

So any road up, just less than 24 hours before (let’s say 23 for the sake of argument shall we?) off I toddle to the website, key in me handy 6 digit code, only to get a response in red from website goblin saying that the website was a bit broken and would I mind awfully trying to log in again. Which I did, getting a message in red saying that the website was a bit broken and would I mind awfully trying to log in again. Which I did, getting a message in red saying that the website was a bit broken and would I mind awfully trying to log in again. Which I did, getting a message in red saying that the website was a bit broken and would I mind awfully trying to log in again. You get the idea… I gave up and thought maybe normal service would be resumed later.

At this point imagine one of those bits in a film where you see a clocks hands going round quickly to indicate the concept of “several hours later…”. Thanks.

Several hours later I return to said website to give the whole process another go. I key in my handy 6 digit code and this time get a new message from the red message pixie in the machine to say that because I had tried to log in more than 3 times unsuccessfully that day, access to my booking details had been barred for 24 hours, but that I was welcome to try to do this again after those 24 hours had elapsed… You see what’s happening here? If I wait 24 hours, it’’s after the time of the flight departure, but this has to be done BEFORE departure. Time to phone someone I think. I look on website for contact numbers, find one for people who have made internet bookings like me, but then notice that it says that it closes at 5:15. It’s now 8 o’’clock so that won’’t work will it? Oh look, here’’s another number for general bookings and help and they’’re open til 9. How ideal.

15 minutes of listening to The Flower Duet by Delibes punctuated by a recording of someone smugly telling me that I may want to go on to where I can give my special security information and check-in conveniently and easy without queuing for an operator, I was still calm. Poor BA have got a broken website so they must have many people phoning in same position as me. Bound to take a little time. I eventually get woman on the phone and explain my plight and that I had to call the general number because the Internet Bookings number is closed and it’s all going lovely, until she says “”I’’ll just transfer you”.” and suddenly I’’m listening to recorded message on the Internet Bookings line telling me it closed at 5.15 and would I mind awfully calling back on Monday. That’s the day after I’m supposed to fly.

Less happy now.

Phone back.

Hold 15 minutes listening to Delibes and ad.

Explain again.

Get told that it’s the Internet Booking line I want.

Explain that it’s closed.

Get told I’ll have to call back Monday.

Oh ferfoxache…

Anyway, you’re bored now, I can tell, your eyes have glazed over. Hey, I’ve been on a plane for 5 and a half hours, how do you think I feel?

Guy next to me asked for a vegetarian meal once he got on the plane and couldn’t get one. I didn’t fancy my vegetarian lasagne and so offered it to him unopened and untouched. He looked at me steadily for about 15 seconds and then said ““If I wish to avail myself of that option, I shall ask you.””

I’m at 39,000 feet and he’s an arsehole.

Mr Tumnus was a lady

Onwards and upwards, further up and further in. What’s the phrase that Aslan keeps using at the end of the Narnia books after everyone’s died and Narnia’s reinvented even more real than it was before? Anyway, Cornwall’s a lot like Narnia. Full of Fauns and Dryads.

Actually that’s Mark and Carla, 2 of the people I was down in Polruan (tell me that’s not the name of a place in Narnia!) in Cornwall with, at, to. Grammar huh? We stayed with the lovely Jo and lovely John in their lovely holiday cottage on the lovely waterfront. Shades of Bergerac there, but lovely it all was. Saw the New Year in first in a pub, then down on the beach with champagne and candles for midnight, then a bit more pub for the watching of some very rocking guitar music played by local band. Then things go a little more hazy but possibly involved going back to the cottage for some more wine and then bed. Or being abducted by aliens and being shown new and wonderful technologies which would end war and human suffering on this planet forever and allow us to take our place alongside the rest of the peaceful species on the Galactic Council having been shown how to instantly travel to anywhere in the universe at will.

I forget.

Anyway, a few days pottering about in Polruan, catching up on entire series’s’s’s of Spaced and Black Books, both works of comedic bliss. A few trips across the estuary…

…on the ferry…

Look I’m sorry but try telling me that this place wasn’t invented by C. S. Lewis. Christmas trees on gaily painted ferry boats? I ask ya!

Driven back ably by John via a lovely pub somewhere in the middle of nowhere that made the best gnocchi dish I’ve tasted so far ever. Kind of normal Gnocchi then pan fried a bit so it had a slight crunch to it then put with some roasted peppers, pesto and rocket with some shaved parmesan. If you want me to love you, cook me that. Follow it up with the lemon tart I had for desert and I will be your slave…

What else? Back in Epsom again for a week or so am I now. What the hell’s happened to my sentence structure? Too much lager poured on it in Islington last night I suspect. You think lager turns you into Yoda?

Back in ’83 I laughed at my Uncle (Hi Geoff!) one Christmas for betting me that Boy George was a girl when we saw him on TV. What’s that got to do with the price of Turkish delight you may ask… Well I found out the other night through the medium of watching television that the singer of The Delays (rather fabulous pop music purveyors) is actually a bloke rather than the feisty woman type person I had envisaged from hearing him. That was a little bit of a surprise and now makes listening to the album that I listened to a lot last year a bit of an odd experience. Anyway Geoff, you can now laugh at me for being uncool.