sicily

This posting was originally an e-mail to friends in September 2006.

We’ve had lots of visitors this summer and what a blast it’s been. Towards summer’s end we fancied a short break and when we learned our very good friends G and M were having a holiday in Sicily we jumped at the chance to go and spend a weekend with them. It would be great to catch up with them and Sicily was one of the places we’d longed to visit, in my case since I’d first read about the island as a 13 year old in class 3S. The place had a fascinated me for years – the Strait of Messina – the narrow strip of water separating the island from the Calabrian coast of mainland Italy, famous for its treacherous waters and deadly whirlpools. These were immortalised in the Jason and the Argonauts stories from Greek mythology where he had to battle the Scylla monster and the Charybdis whirpool (is that the origin of the expression between a rock and a hard place?). Then there was Mt Etna, a real live and huge volcano dominating the SE corner of the island. Imagine living with that in your backgarden. Then the historical context of an island ruled by the Greeks, the Romans, Vandala, Goths, centuries of Arab rule and the Spanish – all of whom have left their mark before Italian unification. Then the mafia and the scenes from The Godfather I and II, surely the best twin films of all time. Well they are to me. I had to see the place but would we be disappointed or delighted?

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big log – blog perchance?

I mentioned in the Blunter blog the guy who delivered the biggest log in a public loo I’d ever seen. Incidentally, I’m no computer specialist and you don’t suppose blog is short for the big log do you? Can’t be. I’m sure it’s an acronym or new age equivalent of captain’s log or something. You tell me…

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blunter: postscript

In the recent posting I did on Blunter I referred to two guys who helped me enormously in those early Cellnet days, C on PR and J our motorsport consultant. J caught sight of the Blunter blog late last week and has reminded of two more incidents as a postscript to the day and soon afterwards.

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no mo jo..seph

Is it just me or isn’t it great that Any Dream Will Do, which at long last found the star of the new Joseph production last night, is finally over? It seems to have been running for ever, slowly working it’s way round to selecting the guy Lee who is already a professional understudy. So the brickie et al fail to make it. Big surprise there then.

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glasses

I’ve been wearing glasses for, phew, probably 10 years now. I started with the reading glasses you get in Boots etc and self-tested on the reading card to get the right lenses. Once I got beyond 3x magnification I realised I had better get my eyes tested at the opticians and invest in some proper glasses. By this time I’d developed the habit of wearing the specs for close attention work; reading, using the computer etc, then shoving the glasses to the top of my head to speak to people and so on as I didn’t need the specs for distance viewing. Like this:

But I also developed the habit of taking the glasses off and putting them down – often leaving them somewhere, frequently losing them. This wasn’t such a bad problem when I was paying £10 for the reading glasses, but prescription glasses were considerably more expensive. It didn’t stop me losing them. Continue reading

malt bread memories

Is it just me or do certain things you eat and smell evoke memories of your childhood or youth? Tonight we had malt bread. I can’t remember the last time we’d had it; it wasn’t 25 years ago or anything like as long but instantly it reminds me of being at home as a kid. Memories of what, 45 years ago? Continue reading

blunter

I worked for the mobile network, Cellnet, for about 12 years. It was in the early days of the industry and it was the best of times. I don’t remember too many bad times. Most of the craziest people I’ve ever met were in the mobile business; some of the greatest people I’ve known were also involved and many of them remain my friends to this day. But one of the real characters was a guy called Bill Hunter, known affectionately as ‘Blunter’ as that was exactly how he’d answer the phone. He was a real one-off and they threw away the mould after Bill. He passed away sadly several years ago but his memory makes me smile to this day.

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All to cock McClaren rescued A. Le Coq

Wouldn’t it be great if McClaren could just select the Beckham right foot in his England team? I think that’s what he originally intended by banishing the rest of the body and the circus to the history bag last year. Ah well Steve, never mind about principles when your £1.5m pa salary’s under threat. Beckham was back and saved your job last night. A 3-0 win against the mighty Estonia was OK. The result was everything last night I guess. Two very sweet crosses from that incomparable right foot did the trick. The headlines are all yours David. Continue reading