Monthly Archives: December 2006

The last rays of 2006

The Southeasternmost spot in Britain. You can get more South, you can get more East, but you can’t get more Southeast.

Hammered New Year

The weather in Britain is cruelly and unfairly maligned. The striking thing about it is not the amount of rain (which isn’t all that excessive), but how amazingly temperate it is all the year round. I grew up in the American deep South and spent my adulthood in New England; I know from weather extremes. […]

The moving finger writes

Spotted through a very rainy windshield this afternoon. The best touch is the “Merry Christmas XXX” in the bottom right. Or maybe the jaunty sketch of poo in the upper right. Writing rude things in the dirt on (the ubiquitous) white delivery van is an artform here. The best one I’ve seen so far is […]

Done.

    “He was saying things about injustice, about resistance, about how these guys are terrorists,” he says. On the way to the gallows, according to Ali, “Saddam said, ‘Iraq without me is nothing.’”  

I wonder what Saddam is thinking tonight

Tonight’s the night. Maybe. There are rumors he’s been hanged already, there’s one more appeal to American courts afoot, but best guess right now is that Saddam will get the drop about five hours hence. I love this picture. He looks like the male lead for a dinner theater production of, I dunno, “I Am […]

More cultural exchange — the venerable British butty

    Behold the British culinary wonderment that is the chip butty! I watched my beloved eat this object not six hours ago. Wikipedia blandly defines “butty” as “a sandwich in British slang.” Which doesn’t get at the thing at all. Dictionary.com helpfully backs up my assumption that the word derives from “butter” (~1850) — […]

Weasel fails toilet training — AGAIN

Is it true that the water in Aussie toilets swirls counterclockwise upon flushing? I do not know. I can tell you that British toilets swirl in both directions around from the back and meet in the front in a glorious clap of waterspray. I know this because I have witnessed the phenomenon hundreds of times, […]

The True Meaning of Boxing Day

There isn’t one. There’s a consensus that the day after Christmas has something to do with boxes, and something to do with Christmas…beyond that, nada. These days, it’s a big shopping day in the UK. Two thousand people queued up outside Selfridges in London this morning. But not us. It’s a gray, gray day and […]

The True Meaning of Christmas

The true meaning of Christmas is, as any nine year old could tell you, the loot. Booty. Swag. Plunder. Gelt. It is rich food and rich drink, too. It’s a nap in the afternoon if you damn well want one. It’s one thoroughly sybaritic day at the ass end of a long, tough year, just […]

Boo!

Did you ever think it odd that the Christmas Carol, our most famous bit of Christmas fiction, is a ghost story? Did you? Really? You’re an ignorant sack of filth, then. The ghost story has been a feature of British Christmas celebration since…well, I’m not sure when. Early Victorian times, anyhow. You can see how […]

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