Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where are the bees?

There's a lot of clover, and it should be full of footballers (bumble bees), shugies (drones) and redarses (redarsius), but nada. The odd bumbler in lavender beds* is all Zoltan and I ever see on our patrol. Nary a jasper even. If we can find the bees, maybe we'll find the sparrows as well. They've all gone somewhere or maybe they've turned invisible, or maybe the time of bees is over.


* I think I know who you mean. Ed

Monday, June 23, 2008

DIVERS ~ Poetry Workshop 25th anniversary anthology

Writers' Reading Party (pdf)

organized by the POETRY WORKSHOP & AARK ARTS publishers

Date: Sunday June 29, 2008 Time: 8:00pm

28 Heath Street, Hampstead, NW3 6TE
Telephone: 020 7435 3648
[above ‘The Horseshoe Pub’]

You are invited to a writers’ reading party, an informal get together of new and old friends, of people who love literature, life and conviviality to celebrate the launch of the Poetry Workshop’s 25th anniversary anthology Divers. There will a wonderful line-up of poets — established and new — reading short extracts from their work. It promises to be a warm and engaging evening, full of words, laughter and reflection, so do come along with your partners/pals and join this special community of people — and celebrate friendship and writing. Everyone welcome. Tickets: £8/£5.


Cui bono?

Agent provocateur in anti-Bush demo (via Leninology)

"He was near the front screaming abuse at the police and trying to get a friend further back to join him. The second man sheepishly refused his encouragements to edge forward. [...] He continued to shout slogans such as: 'Pigs Out.' On his back was a black rucksack and he carried a professional-looking camera with a large telephoto lens. [...] Then it dawned on me. I had met this man at a party. [...] I'd met the police inspector at a party around last Christmas. The local mayor was there, along with councillors from other parties and journalists." (Daily Mail)


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Somebody you never knew existed won't be somewhere

Leading Anglican bishops to boycott Lambeth Conference over gay clergy

"Do you really want to hurt me?" suffragan bishop George O'Dowd asks the conference, to the obvious horror of the African representatives.

"The Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, the Bishop of Willesden [...] will also be absent." (Telegraph)

[There's a bishop of Willesden? Mrs Haverty, can you get onto this story pronto. See if you can get a quote from this Pete Bent. Didn't he used to be drummer for the Beatles? Now he's bishop of Willesden and John's doing a long stretch in Purgatory. There's an angle for you, straight away. Ed]

Newsmusic Desk

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Great photos

Edward Sheriff Curtis: One man's obsessive pursuit of the lost tribes of America

"Geronimo, wrapped in a rough blanket and crowned with a ceremonial headdress. The ageing leader of the Chiricahua Apache tribe fixes the viewer with a discomfiting, reproachful stare. 'Formerly the war spirit of the Apaches,' reads Curtis's caption for the image 'now a prisoner of war in Indian territory'." (Telegraph)


Friday, June 20, 2008

Cloud tracks east

Great Western Railway and Bakerloo lines heading east-northeast from Kensal Green towards Queens Park, at 7:03 pm, June 19th


Flight paths crossing

Sunset with contrails, looking west through Capital City Academy, at 9:14 pm, June 17th


Thursday, June 19, 2008

23 things to do in Denver when you're Sean

Syntax magazine

"I remember remembering that I had never seen such a woman but that I was searching, curious to know that if in all of Paris, in that great and teeming metropolis, such a woman existed."


Cancer patient recovers after injection of immune cells


"The 52-year-old, who was suffering from advanced skin cancer, was free from tumours within eight weeks of undergoing the procedure. ... Larger, more elaborate, trials are now under way. ... Almost 9,000 new cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, are diagnosed every year in Britain, and nearly 2,000 patients die from the disease. ... 'We have now treated 93 patients with metastatic melanoma using their own anti-tumour cells with response rates up to 72 per cent. Mark Origer remains disease free now over three years after treatment.' "

This is great news. Maybe Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation could fund the development of this technique?


Sunday, June 15, 2008

London Underground songs

Angel (Aretha Franklin) classic

Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty) classic

Finchley Central (The New Vaudeville Band)

[Sunny] Goodge Street (Donovan)

London Bridge [is falling down] my fare lady

Silvertown Blues (Mark Knopfler) d.l.r.

Warwick Avenue (Duffy) new classic

Waterloo [Sunset] (The Kinks) classic

White City (The Pogues) ruff

Willesden Green (The Kinks) rare

Victoria [Dines Alone] (Tom Paxton) she skips the potatoes

Any more songs or links? Junkie Doll by Mark Knopfler should really be called Turnpike Lane and it also mentions Turnham Green. Up The Junction by Squeeze refers to Clapham Junction, I believe ("I never thought it would happen/With me and the girl from Clapham"). Then there's Going Underground and Down in the Tube Station at Midnight both by The Jam.

Dept. of trying to be like Diamond Geezer

Now showing: Hercules Unchained

Sunday at the flicks

Little Swee'pea (1936) Popeye takes Swee'pea to the zoo. [Is Olive a single mother? Ed]

Main feature: Hercules Unchained starring Steve Reeves

You won't believe your eyes, or your ears. A laugh in every line. If I were Hercules I wouldn't trust that Ulysses one hundredth as far as I could throw him, (which is a long way). I certainly wouldn't trust him at all with that Iole (Sylva Koscina). In the immortal words of Borat, "Wa wa we wa!"

[Sadly, there is a really despicable circus act with tigers in this. "Of its time" is the best one can say about that. Ed]


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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quizville U.S.A.

1. What was the last kind of cookie you ate?
- A biscuit

2. Which character do you identify with in Friends?
- Seinfeld

3. Did you secretly hate your prom king and queen?
- Do you mean porn king and queen?

4. Which member of the Monkees did you have a crush on?
- Cheetah

5. Which would you say invented punk: The Ramones or Billy Idol?
- Never mind the bollocks

6. Would you be embarrassed to catch your Mom kissing your Pop on Thanksgiving Day after some eggnog and a few turkeys?
- It would worse the other way around

7. Oldsmobile or Corvette?
- I don't follow baseball

8. Cheerios, Grape Nuts or Doughysoggers?
- Fleetwood Mac

9. Do you like to dip biscuits in gravy or do you consider it unladylike?
- I like to dip ladies in gravy

10. If a British person asked you if you wanted to smoke a fag, would you (a) say "Yes, welcome to the NRA", (b) "Not really, but I wouldn't mind tying one to a rail for a while and whipping them lightly", or (c) I'm sorry I can't understand you, get your teeth fixed.
- Duelling banjoes

11. Is it essential to present a corsage on that important first date?
- Not till the last date

12. How many dates before you let him or her know your first name?
- Never let them know, and spray them with mace if they ask

13. Do you think we should change our national anthem to America the Beautiful?
- Ask an anarchist a stupid question

14. Should the soccer's Premier League be moved to Florida, now that we own it?
- Yes

15. Daisy Duke or I Dream of Jeannie?
- On different nights

16. When was the last time your Mom and Pop held a cocktail party for the boss?
- We had chippolatas once

18. What is the best foreign movie you have ever seen?
- The Graduate

19. Did you ever wear somebody's pin when they went road racing?
- Do you mean pinny?

20. Gun control: ban automatics, no or maybe?
- Yes

21. Chitlins or Grits?
- Roman Catholic

22. How about your first hickey, and where was it: his car, your car, your mother's car, your father's car, your town car, your beach car, your SUV or your drag racer?
- My first Hickey, was Mrs Hickey in number 39.

23. Is the death penalty applied too leniently, should it be more painful: yes, maybe?
- Save the human

24. Chain gangs: should they be saved from floods or serve them right, leave them?
- Make one out of Bush, Blair, Cheney and Rumsfeld and throw them overboard

25. Why do foreigners hate us?
- Because we conquered them and then tossed them aside


Friday, June 13, 2008

Whither Haltemprice?

David Davis could face challenge from former Sun editor | Politics |

"The prime minister would not reveal whether Labour would enter a candidate in Davis's Haltemprice and Howden constituency."

The withdrawal of the Liberals gives Labour a chance to win the constituency, I think. Though Tory-ish Liberals tend to be libertarians I think, a lot of them are tactical anti-Tory voters as well. In 2005 Davis won with 47.5% of the vote. The Liberals had 36.8% and Labour 12.7%, a total of 49.5% (ref.). If you assume that a large slice of Davis's floggers and hangers will defect to Labour, which is now more to their taste, then you could see a win for Labour, if they can find a strong candidate. MacKenzie is bit of a clown, unlikely to get more than the Monster Raving Loony's.

13/6/2008: After Newsnight's report tonight, it appears that the Labour candidate designate doesn't even support the government measure, which makes David Davis's move look even more Reggie Perrin-ish. The only thing he can do now that makes any sense is to defect to the Liberals. (Yeah, yeah, "Liberal Democrats" - gahd, it's as bad a name as Pope John Paul George Ringo or whatever. Like we never knew they were democrats before David Owen joined them.)


Sunday, June 08, 2008

3 phases of sunset


The scene tonight, after a summery day when the parks were thronged and nature profuse. (The view is from Willesden, north across the valley to Dollis Hill.) It was so hot today that all the rain puddles where dogs can get a sip were dried up, except for one muddy one with a bowlful of murky water in the middle, which was acceptable to some dogs but not to highly strung pedigree bitches (nous avons raison).

Hedgehog gurning

Cutie #2

At the Willesden Herald, we search high and low, 24/7 to bring you the cutest little creatures, not like other news media who scour the world only to bring you the latest misery and horror.

Jacintha B. Pukka

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Charles Chaplin: The Kid

Sunday at the flicks

The Kid - Charles Chaplin (1921)*

London's poverty transposed to Hollywood by the black-listed genius. Charlie Chaplin, co-founder of United Artists, had to wait till he was in his eighties for permission to re-enter the U.S, for a long-overdue honorary Oscar.

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* Click CC to select subtitles in various languages or to turn off subtitles

Saturday, June 07, 2008

America & China: two berserk

China and America: "Just Good Friends" : June 2008 : Richard Spencer : Foreign : Telegraph Blogs

"According to the US Justice Department, giving evidence to Congress no less, not only were Chinese officials allowed to go to Guantanamo to interrogate muslims from Xinjiang, China's Uighur-dominated western province, who were held there, but American military personnel 'softened them up' first by using a sleep deprivation tactic they jocularly called 'the frequent flyer programme'. This involved them being woken up by soldiers every 15 minutes." [That's supposed to be funny? With funny like that, who needs sadistic bastardo.]

McCain - you were a P.O.W. Would you stop torture? Obama - let's hear more than "business as usual": it's all very well looking and sounding cool, but when it comes right down to it, how do we know that you're not a bigger hawk than McCain? You're not a shoo-in, old bean, so you better start walkin' the walk sometime soon. (I mean talk is cheap.)


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ask Mrs Haverty

Personal, social and work problems of every kind. Quick results. Evil charms? Pursuing the wrong Anti-Christ? Trouble with the opposite sex? Possessed by demons? I guarantee to solve the most difficult problems speedily. Curses lifted. Herbal remedies available. Have you tried lesser charlatans and been disappointed? I worked for the late, lamented Fr Santos of St Butholds, r.i.p. Run-down? I have the solution.

Send your questions to Ask Mrs Haverty. Mrs Haverty regrets that due to the volume of correspondence received, she cannot answer your emails individually.

Mrs Haverty

"We are loonies and we are proud!"

Breakin open the asylum | Society | The Guardian

Doctor Who star David Tennant starred in a hit TV show set in a psychiatric unit but would it be made today?

"Within a year and a half [...] the entire six-part serial had been posted on YouTube in 10-minute chunks, in flagrant violation of Section 512(c)(3) of the US Copyright Act. I was the writer of that serial and had devoted three years of my life to creating it. So you can imagine how I felt when my teenage son brought this gross piracy to my attention. I was delighted." (Donna Franceschild)

No need to slog through the YouTube clips anymore, you can buy the DVD of Takin' Over The Asylumn from June 9th (2 Entertain Video, £19.99). One to watch many times over. Among other delights - cameo from Spike Milligan, a young David Tennant in full spate (see official BBC video clip under the link above or here), the charmingly lugubrious Ken Stott, and a superb cast (invidious to single out) playing unforgettable characters - it has a brilliant soundtrack, including first use of Beatles' tracks ever allowed. The hairs will stand up on the back of your neck when you hear Hey Jude come in, at the end of Nana's episode.

Noël Knowall

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's Bammy versus Magoo

(Come on up for) The Rising - Bruce Springsteen (live, Wembley)

US elections 2008: Barack Obama wins Democratic nomination for president | World news |

Yes, we can. (Will-i-am, Scarlett Johansson, Herbie Hancock et al)

Suzanne Goldenberg's report from St. Paul (mp3) (Guardian audio)

Tribute to Sidney Poitier/To sir with love - Lulu

Jacintha's take on it: They call me Mr. Obama

Newsmusic Desk

Have we nothing better to go on about, considering Burma, Sechuan, Darfur, British high streets, Afghanistan and Pol Pot in Rome? Ed