Oh for Pete's sake #2 Existence of giant sea-going scorpion fossil suggests that in the past there may also have been giant, GIANT spiders. That's it. I am *definitely* never travelling in time, no matter how many nattily dressed, converse-wearing, ADHD-prone young men invite me to come see their "sonic screwdrivers" in their "blue box". Also, a huge attack by killer jellyfish has wiped out Northern Ireland's only salmon farm. So I'm not going swimming there either
Oh for Pete's sake #3 The Times was holding a competition to find a motto for Britain, to match "as American as apple pie" or "liberté, égalité, fraternité". Personally, I loved "Dipso. Fatso. Bingo. Asbo. Tesco" and "Mathematically we could still qualify" as a summation of this great country's achievements (see #4). Though "We apologise for the inconvenience" has a certain Adams-esque ring to it. The winner was "No motto please, we're British". Bloody typical but better than the rah-rah-rah ones winning. I once read a story that Canada held a competition to find the Canadian equivalent of "As American as apple pie" and the slogan that won was "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances". I really want that not to be aprocryphal.
Oh for Pete's sake #4: England, my England. Why are you SO WOEFUL AND SHITE? I wonder why I love football so much some times, particularly on nights like this. Scotland played brilliantly and went out on a high. England played like overpaid prima donnas and threw away chance after chance. With yet another clueless, skill-free, supine performance against Croatia, England crash out of the European Championships and still Second Choice Steve won't do the right thing and quit. What we need now is for the FA to sack him and throw buckets of cash to Jose Mourinho. At least if England lose then, they'll have a good-looking, witty manager.
Oh for Pete's sake #5 Spooks was completely ridiculous this week, though not anti-American for a change. The set-up was completely preposterous and annoying and the scriptwriter wants a good smacking, and I am disturbed by the insertion of the Ben Kaplan character for reasons I cannot fully articulate but which have to do with the replacement of Danny by Zaf and Zaf by Ben Kaplan. Next week looks like there's more movement on the uber-arc though, thank heavens.
Oh for Pete's sake #6
The government has lost the data of 25 million people in the bloody POST, but it's okay because it's only their names, birth dates, bank account details and the names of their children. So nothing that would be useful to fraudsters or specialists in identity theft, then.
(2) Work Crap day altogether. Found out by happenstance that I do not work for the department I had been assuming I worked for, even though my wage comes out of their budget, and thus am not entitled to the one-off payment they have negotiated to work two extra hours a week, even though I work at least an hour a day longer than they do every single day and have been doing so for two years. Also, our wage claim from April 2007 still isn't settled and we have yet another mandatory fucking meeting to attend next week. I almost lost the will to live during the meeting today. Much discord and unhappiness.
(3) At last, a meme I can relate to, instead of the endless "what did you wear to your prom" type questions (Answer: NOTHING, because I didn't go to one except in the JOHN HUGHES FILM OF MY IMAGINATION)
1. When was the last time you ate a pasty?
Last year some time. I gave up pastry as part of the vaguely devilish pact I struck in October 2006. I have never pastied since though there have been several sausage roll incidents.
2. Did the Moomins freak you out as a kid?
Nope. Didn't watch 'em. Ludwig freaked me out. I much preferred the days when it was Ivor the Engine. Shhhhhrrrr-ty-kufff, Shhhhhrrrr-ty-kufff!
3. Got any A-Levels?
Yes: English, History, Economics, French and General Studies.
4. What's your favourite pub?
In London: The Three Kings in Clerkenwell. Tiny backstreet boozer, all stained glass, wooden bar, open fire, Thai food of a lunchtime, dartboard, good ale and the occasional celebrity sighting (well, Anna Friel and David Thewlis and the staff of the NME who turn up to win the pop quiz)
Outside London: I have extremely fond memories of the Coach in Stalybridge, where I did a LOT of drinking back when that seemed like a good idea.
5. What's your favourite pub grub?
I don't eat much in pubs but there's a pub on Clerkenwell Green that does a mean fishfinger sandwich with thick-cut chips
6. How about curry, do you like it and what's your fave?
What a stupid question. It's curry, I grew up in England, of course I like it. Tandoori King Prawn starter, chicken passanda, mushroom pilau, naan, at least two poppadoms, thank you kindly. The Star of India in Leytonstone sends me a seasonal calendar each year. They know me that well. And what would I do without scenic pictures of Kolkata and Simla?
7. Which national saints days do you celebrate?
None. Though 90% of the country seems to discover Irish antedecents every St Patrick's Day and I am the only person I know who doesn't have one somewhere in their lineage. It's depressing really.
8. It's Christmas day. Morecambe and Wise or the Queen's Speech?
Morecambe and Wise, of course. Even though I think I know them all off by heart by now.
9. You are having a dinner guest over. You find out it's a SUN journalist, what do you do?
Talk about the stories they couldn't publish because they didn't have enough for it to be lawyer-proof, because that's some quality dirt right there.
10. What did you get up to last Guy Fawkes night?
Stayed in, as the best stuff wasn't on the day this year
(4) Birthday I missed lots of birthdays while I was away up north last week but to misquote the West Wing, it would be a kindness if we could set aside how late I am and embrace the fact that I showed up at all. A very happy belated birthday to barkley, hesychasm, sharinlilbit and thefourthvine.
(5) Karaoke soul On Saturday, as a belated birthday celebration, we're going out to get sloshed and sing songs at a karaoke bar. I don't actually want to do it, I discover, I just want to have *done* it. It is on the list of 30 things I want to have done by the next big birthday, which I must post to this LJ some time so that I have a record of them.
(6) Holiday cards. Only I can see the results. All answers welcome. (ETA Most of my stuff is packed down in one of about 30 boxes so please don't assume I have your address if I've sent you one before)
Do you want a holiday card of some kind?
If yes, my address is...
(7) A million points to anyone who can tell me where the subject line is from. Honestly, a million, because I don't know.
(8) Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating it.