Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pessimism v Optimism (& Pies)

The world’s most accurate pie chart. The pie is not yet half eaten.

Conrad asks: Is pessimism more realistic than optimism?

This is the point when people start talking about glasses being half empty or half full. Too late. I’ve drunk it. Though I know where there’s more. Which means… Dunno.

But why talk about glasses when there are pies to consider. Doesn’t just looking at that fans flames of optimism in your stomach?

And sure – it may seem like the summer in Britain is fit only for ducks and Noah. But whatever the weather, don’t forget it’s swimsuit season! Doesn’t that thought and the picture below cheer you up? Continue reading


Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium


Can’t see the resemblance myself.

Oh dear. This is getting personal. Nicknames. There have been a few.

And we’re not talking Maccers, JoJo or your name with “-sy” appended.

But as the Loose Bloggers Consortium (see below) demands an answer, here goes.

Three spring to mind…

1. Bantam: Have you read the book Angela Ashes (or seen the film)? If so, you’ll be familiar with “stand-up, north of Ireland, Protestant hair” – the sort of hair that might have been dragged through a hedge backward – ending up like a bewitched barleystack. For some inexplicable reason, people have sometimes confused such a thatch with my own fine mane (see gravatar top right). Hence the nickname – bantam – sticky-up.

2. Irish: Paddy or Mick I’d find offensive, but somehow this didn’t bother me me. It was accurate. Not on the face of it insulting. I’m happy – proud to be so described. I liked the person who came up with it. I could imagine it as the moniker of  character bound for the East Indies on a tramp steamer imagined by Joseph Conrad.

This planet may be familar to some of you.

3. Planet: As in – “What planet are Continue reading


Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

Does this make me… hardcore?

Kim Hyesoon

Last Friday I immersed myself in poetry read aloud at the Poetry Parnassus. It claims to be the UK’s largest ever gathering of poets. (Not including pubs surely?) At least one poet from every country competing in the 2012 London Olympics. It’s big.

So does even turning up make me an intellectual?

Let’s raise the stakes. I sat through repeated bouts of poetry, in Korean by South Korean poet Kim Hyesoon. So that’s Korean poetry in Korean. That must make me a hardcore intellectual.

She said, through a translator, that she’d only read short ones, the better for us to get the meaning in translation. She may need help with the translation of the word “short”.  I can tell you that she is very illustrious and pioneering and that it was an unrepeatable experience. Not to be repeated anyway.

Does that make me a philistine? (Though not in a Palestinian sense.)

Wole Soyinka thinking to himself: “Are two phones enough? Maybe I should get a third one just in case.”

Next up – Nigerian Nobel literature prize winner Wole Soyinka. I’ve read quite a bit of him. I’ve even seen him before. But the highlight of his performance was when a mobile phone started ringing during one of his readings – and the phone owner would NOT turn it off. It wasn’t until Wole came to the end of his poem that we discovered the culprit. It was Wole’s own phone ringing – conveniently amplified by the nearby microphone.

We laughed. He laughed. He turned it off. Then he took out his other phone and turned that off too.

The man has TWO phones Continue reading


Filed under poetry

The art of Muslim flirting

She’s definitely winking. Picture from a post about Muslim TV sex counseller Heba Kotb on a different blog. (Warning – Some of the comments are graphic. But you’ll be quite safe on Nadia’s blog.)

The art of Muslim flirting. Such a great title. Sounds better than – here’s a round up of interesting blog things. Which is what this really is.

But it begins with Muslims flirting. Nadia El-Awady reveals all here and gives some top tips. Don’t be creepy, but do try arm wrestling Continue reading


Filed under blogs