Delayed coverage from Wellington NZ


Archive for January, 2003

Calling people by descriptive names.

I have a munty eye. It is infected and feculent. People on the tube think I’m Freddie Kruger. That’s probably why a woman in my carriage was crying today. “Oh my god, my nightmare has become real!” she sobbed. Speaking of people on the tube, there is “Slightly Retarded Loud Talking Woman” who talks loudly to anyone and everyone about her journey. “I have to change at Piccadilly to get the Piccadilly Line and then go to Holborn” she told a young man in a charcoal suit, “what platform is that? Do you know?” He politely tells her that he has no idea and returns to his newspaper while I try not to piss myself and thank Jah she’s not sitting next to me.

Reminds me of “Chinese Walking Man”, a local of Wellington, NZ, an old chap who had a distinctive walking style. Rather a charming kind of walk, which earned him the nickname. Except I never knew him to talk to people. And there is no underground rail system in Wellington, which no doubt contributed to his habit of walking from place to place in his delightful manner.

People are probably sitting at home right now, watching the telly, having a cup of tea before turning in, and saying, “I wonder if we will see “Munty Red Eye Man” on the tube tomorrow?”

An aside, for prosperity: It snowed in London today. The burbs are black and white. Rather lovely.

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 30th, 2003

George Bush and the bogan

Am I just trippin or what? The massive US build-up in the gulf indicates that they are gearing up for something bigger than the feeble Iraqi armed forces. There’s the scenario that we are hearing all about on the news, that the regime will collapse in the face of the pressure. Or maybe they are expecting something else, maybe an uprising from the surrounding countries when the US seize the oilfields.

Jay says he has square palms. Tash says that we were laughing at her wrists. And who the fuck is this guy on our couch?


Maida Vale, London, Sunday, January 26th, 2003

Clunk clunk clunk goes Outlook

Clunk clunk clunk goes Outlook. Is it a just a matter of what you know is what you like? The mail template in Notes 4.5/4.6 wasn’t ideal. The funny thing is that up until now, when I thought of Notes mail I always thought of the 4.5/4.6 era template. In my opinion Notes 4.5/4.6 was too good for its own good. No one bothered upgrading and these days the old template is still common. It looks like shit. The Notes 6 mail template kicks Outlook 2000’s arse. In most areas. What’s this assertion based on? Hmmm. Things like how in Notes to read my email I can use the enter or backspace key to open and then browse through my email instead of enter, then ctrl+> and ctrl+

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 23rd, 2003

The Briefcase Blues?

Nope – no briefcase blues but I have come out of ‘retirement’ and started work again. This is not a Domino role, instead I am using the feculent tools of the devil – ASP, Frontpage, and, *shudder*, Outlook. =) It will be interesting to compare how the technologies work.

Maida Vale, London, Monday, January 20th, 2003

Where does this guy get off?

I thought that I was reading an extract from ‘Mein Kampf’ before I realised that it was only a young Conservative . Phew. This guy really needs to get laid….

“I believe that reality, morality and even to an extent aesthetics, are objective; independent even of God’s feelings. I value true talent, disliking most modern art and music and in general prefering (sic) the great accomplishments of Western Civilisation. I am strongly patriotic, and see the British – through its democracy, its learning and its empire – as having been the greatest civilisation in human history, the Romans following closely behind.”

His weblog includes his opinion on homosexuality and other ‘disagreeable and nasty’ things.

Maida Vale, London, Friday, January 17th, 2003

RIP the Banana

They say that the banana may become extinct . I’ve been shocked by the sarcastic nature of some of the reports I have read on the news. Maybe it’s something about the name. Banana. It’s kind of funny.

I’m trying to imagine a world without the banana. If the banana were to became extinct(something that I can’t accept anyway) it would surely be the most widely felt extinction of any life form in modern times. Imagine telling young kids in 10 years or so that their banana flavoured ice cream was actually based on a fruit that no longer existed. No more ‘slipping on the banana skin’ gags. What would happen to B1 and B2? No more banana splits. And then there are the people who actually depend on the banana for food.

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 16th, 2003

Plastic Bags and Empires

The BBC World Service strikes again. This time a report on plastic bags. I’m serious, it was really interesting. In Bangladesh, plastic bags have been banned. They were responsible for all kinds of environmental problems. I think it’s a great idea. Our perception of the plastic bag has to change so that we either ban them or use them over and over before recycling them.

In Ireland, there is a 15 cent levy on plastic bags. The BBC reporter put his foot in it somewhat in the following exchange:

“What do you think of paying the tax on plastic bags? The Irish have always been pretty good at avoiding tax.” *cringe*

“Yes, well this is our own tax, not a colonial tax imposed by someone else.”

Ha ha. Made me think of this . The imperial attitude is alive and well in Great Britain.

Oh yeah – I watched Tron last night. Interesting movie, I can see its influence in movies like The Matrix and Blade Runner. And that web site the wayback machine . There are rumours of a remake too….

Maida Vale, London, Monday, January 13th, 2003

Man rides Horse with Clouds

Maida Vale, London, Sunday, January 12th, 2003


“We can cover ourselves in Deep Heat and get up against a radiator. Keep ourselves alive until twelve.”

So said Withnail during a cold London winter. I’m close to doing the same thing. The flaw in this scheme is that the boiler is on the blink and so the radiators aren’t all that warm. The lads shower has no hot water, although ours has a mini power-shower thing that heats the water. At least it’s not as cold as Dunedin used to get. For some reason it was often warmer outside than inside. The kind of houses I lived in down there made this place look like a mansion (which, technically it is, it has the word ‘mansion’ in the name). Jeez, I remember one place, 8 (or was it 9) Dundas Street. It had at one time been a beautiful and huge colonial family home. We shared it with rats and hairly fungi. Ah, the good old days!

Maida Vale, London, Saturday, January 11th, 2003

St Peter’s Plaza

Saint Peter's in Rome Panorama

After living in London for a year and a half, I have decided what my favourite newspaper is. The Guardian gets my seal of approval, and beats off competition from The Independent and The Times , both of which, IMHO, are also very good. I really like the international news in The Financial Times . My favourite tabloid is without a doubt The Mirror . I also quite like The Sun . I’m amazed at the completely untrue stories that The Sun seem to get away with printing. A man whose conversation I listened to on the train said that at the end of the day in the office tea room, it was always The Sun that was mixed up and scattered around the room because so many people had read it. The FT, The Times, and all the other respectable papers had only been read by one or two people and were still immaculate. Yep, that’s my experience too. It still amazes me that The Sun is by far the most popular paper in the UK.

My least favourite are the junk papers that appear to be serious newspapers and contain puerile editorial content that is packaged as news. By these I mean the likes of The Evening Standard (which is very popular but full of trash) and The Daily Express. At least when someone reads The Sun it is taken with a grain of salt (it’s hard not to with the sensationalist nature of the reporting).

The funny thing about the press in the UK is that it is regarded as a sign of your political orientation. This is not without good cause as all the papers seem to have a political affiliation.

It can be quite personal though. On a reality dating type TV show I saw ages ago, one of the contestants said something to the effect of “Oh dear, he doesn’t read The Telegraph. This is not going to work out.” The newspaper that you read is a reflection of your personality. People seem to have quite strong opinions about what type of character reads what. For instance, a bigoted, child-eating Daily Telegraph reader may say of a Guardian reader that they are a limp-wristed bleeding-heart liberal.

The situation in New Zealand is not like this at all. I really enjoy the diversity of the English press, and will often buy a range of papers, including ones that I don’t particularly like in an attempt to get broader coverage and opinion of events.

(Oh – I was joking about Telegraph readers being bigots – really.)

Maida Vale, London, Friday, January 10th, 2003


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