Thursday, February 22, 2007


Listening to Mark Radcliffe on R2. He has recommended visiting this site here.

Rather jolly. My cheese rating is Austrian Schloss. Apparently similar to Limburger but with a stronger flavour. I am golden white with a creamy texture. Of course, anyone who knows me will attest to the accuracy of this.

The worst thing about meeting Phil today is that we only had an hour and were both driving. You London bloggers and your winkle cards or whatever they are don't know you're born. Still, we got to go here instead of some characterless hole with rude staff, deafening discordant music, overpriced food and foul breathed things in IT. We call it a pub.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Hello? Does this work? I thought I'd try and see what happens. Am I going to try any of the stupid stuff yet? Of course not. I tried to log in using my adsense account details so buggered everything up royally. How stupid of me to assume that one google account was much like another. I'll be giving the options a miss for the time being then.

Tomorrow I get to go to a blogmeet! Yes, I get a social life at last. Well, blogmeet is a loose description really as there will only be two of us and it has been very hastily arranged as of an hour or two ago and so hastily, neither of us know where we're going. This is though only the second time I've met a fellow member of my ring in the flesh. I do hope Youngphil realises that the last time I met one, I ended up in the nip. But then I had been living with her for 5 years.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Thought I'd do one of these.

Google Denmark, the search terms campari+churchyard (any ideas why?) and hit Søg
What does one get?

Item one: On Spatial Reference Frames in Qualitative Motion Representation; item two is the same in html. Third page links to the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service and then there's something about historic motor racing. What on earth made him come here?

Elsewhere: ITN. This once mighty newsgathering organisation are repeatedly plumbing the depths of crass, pointless and insensitive reporting and tonight's 6.30 bulletin must have been one of the worst ever. They are making much of some footage of the penultimate few moments of JFK's life in Deeley Plaza. Note penultimate. It's not the "moment of history" they're billing it as, that happened a few seconds after the cameraman stopped filming, perhaps explaining why it's been kept in a drawer for 43 years. The man who could have put an end to Oliver Stone's career in one fell swoop, embarrassed because he'd saved a few frames for later. Earlier in the same bulletin, top presenter Mary Nightingale, in a piece on teenage gun culture, interviews one of the survivors of the Birmingham salon shooting, the sister of one of the 3 victims. "How did your family take it?" must rank as one of the most inane and heartless questions I've ever heard in a news item. Again, the same bulletin features an item on the arrest of the alleged letter bomber. Note "alleged". He's not stood trial and been convicted. Yet. The police knew this and referred to him anonymously. Twat ITN reporter referred to "sources locally" naming him as...That's it then. Why bother with a justice system when we've got Independent Television?

This will be my last post using old Blogger. They've caught up with me at last and I'll be kneecapped if I try and log in under the old system. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I have been inundated with a request to supply further details of our trip to Marrakech the other week. With pictures! As I have very little else to write about at the moment (there seems to be a contagious and unnerving ennui spreading through my sidebar presently) other than posting inane and ill-observed comments over at Geoffandbettyses I thought I may as well give it a go. Don't expect anything unsavoury, will you.

The average person doesn't know much about Morocco. Or so he or she thinks. But go on, name 6 big cities in France. Or Belgium. Betcha can't. Now do Morocco. Tangier, Fez er...Rabat yes I know um...Agadir (that's where your auntie went, werentit?), Casablanca and Marrakech. See, easy. After that, I have to admit my knowledge of the country was about on a par with Jade Goody's familiarity with East Angular. At least I knew it wasn't in America but that I'd STILL have to get on a plane to get there. We (that's me and the estranged but still desperately hankered after) had done a certain amount of research beforehand and identified a few places we wanted to see. Actually, it boiled down to 2 places: the souk and Place Djemaa el Fna.

I'll do the souk another day as La Place deserves a post of its own. You'll have to excuse the quality of the photos here as they were taken with my mobile being as Sharon's camera was broken when she took it out of the case and I don't have one of my own. However, I think they possess a certain quality redolent of the square itself. They bustle, shake and blur - you'll know if you ever go.

Djemaa el Fna means something along the lines of "Assembly of the Dead". Nobody is quite sure why but for many years this was the scene of public executions. Nice. Not for a few years it has to be said, although there is an element of ritual slaughter involved when it comes to fleecing tourists. It doesn't take long to get wise and when we eventually manage to go again - which we fully intend to do - we'll know the dodges. There's no menace involved though, it's all part of the atmosphere and atmosphere is something this place has by the shedload.

We're not hugely experienced travellers. We've done a bit between us but this was our first time out of Europe (unless you count Tenerife which is actually further south but still in Spain) so we were all eyes and ears. We arrived there in the early mid-afternoon courtesy of a horse-taxi that had taken us on a bit of a round trip (we knew, we weren't being ripped off. Unlike the front bumper of the stationary brand new Golf that strayed too close to the wheel of the cart). And at that time it's just beginning to fill up. Earlier in the day it's a wide expanse about 150 metres across, roughly triangular in shape, with the odd animal trainer and market stall. As the day takes hold the noise and bustle builds as more entertainers and food stalls arrive. Come the evening it's a roller coaster ride of noise, smells and sights. We disappeared into the souk after negotiating the snake charmers and those wanting to wrap a reptile round your neck for a photo. Now, I'm not bothered by snakes at all but I was draped with one without asking - I'm pretty certain the handlers can work out who won't throw a paddy just by your reaction - and a couple of dirhams secured its removal. I would have given more but neither myself nor the snake had any say in the matter and regardless of the culture, I don't give alms by force. Again, there was no malice, just a kind of forcefulness that given a bit of time, one gets used to.

When we returned a couple of hours later, the place had taken on a different air. Strings of lights were being hung across the stalls and a vibrant and incessant drumming from the troupe of acrobatic dancers (that's them on the left) filled the air along with the smells and smoke from the numerous barbecues being fired up. We decided to take in the atmosphere for a bit from one of the numerous cafés around the edge of the square. Many have roof terraces from where you can watch but the one we chose required the purchase of a meal to stay upstairs, or at least I think it did, so we stayed down with a coffee and mint tea. Not to worry, the pageant being played out around us was enthralling, even the other customers in the café were fascinating. I was beginning to find the drumming somewhat hypnotic and I could have sat and listened to it for ages. It's nothing like Leicester Square; for a start there are no drunks to spoil anything. But this isn't just for the tourists because there were hardly any of us there. This was Marrakech at play, it's how it's been for decades and they do it every night. There was an incredible sense of being part of a massive play, one that doesn't really have a script but in which every actor knows their lines. You get a feeling that anything could happen at any time and that's the binding force of the place.

The tourist guides say that Djemaa el Fna is on that list of places that should be visited at least once in your life and I have to agree. Sadly, we had to leave earlier than we would have liked as Sharon was flagging and we had a bit of a trek for a taxi. So we'll have to go back, especially as I didn't get to try any of the food on offer, which was a shame. The piles of snails looked particularly good. I realise that may have put most people off but there's only so much tagine chicken one can eat and I found that a bit dry for my liking.

We had a last look round, sniffed the air and went for a taxi. That is an experience for telling another day.

Monday, February 05, 2007


It is with much regret that the libertarian attitude I have employed towards comments on these pages is to end. I am fed up with chasing links to Buick retailers in Miami, travel insurance, dishwasher parts and the Rt Rev'd Bishop of Norwich's hairy go-go dancing site* only to find the destination removed because of terms violations. In future, if you want to sell me the benefits of viewing your granny pr0n site, you'll have to introduce yourself in person. Or send them here instead:

With luck, you'll end up in his next piece of shite book.

*One of these may be made up

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Marrakech was fine, thanks for asking. Very nice indeed. Apart from S getting the camera out of her case on Wednesday and it not working. Aren't mobile phones brilliant? Just about. Mine would have been better if the sun had deigned to come out occasionally but nevertheless, we were there and we can at least prove it. I am though happy to have visited one of the world's most intriguing and alluring cities. I won't bore everyone rigid with a travelogue and reams of pictures, but I can't let it pass without a few occasionals. Like this one, taken in the Kasbah. Yes, the Berber gentleman in the picture is wielding a Burberry gamp. They like a joke, just like the next man.