Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Craic Was Ninety In The Isle Of Man. A great Irish song

The Craic Was Ninety In The Isle Of Man   

Ah weren't we the rare old stock
Spent the evening getting locked
In the Ace of Hearts
Where the high stools were engaging
Over by the Butt Bridge, down by the dock
The boat she sailed at five o'clock
"Ah Hurry now lads" says Whack
"Or before we're there sure we'll all be back"
Carry him if you can
Oh the Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man

Before we reached the Alexander Base
The ding dong we did surely raise
In the bar of the boat, had great sport
As the ship she sailed out from the port
Landed up in the Douglas Head
Enquiring for a vacant bed
To the dining room soon got shown
By a decent woman from up the road
Bate that if you can
Oh the Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man

Next morning went for a ramble round
For to see the sights of Douglas Town
All went in for a mighty session
In a pub they call Dick Darby's
All got drunk by half past three
To sober up we went swimming in the sea
Back to the digs for the spruce up
While waitin' for the rosie
We all drew up our plan
Oh the Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man

That night we went to the Texas Bar
We came back down by horse and car
Met Big Jim and we all went in
To drink some wine in Yeats's
The Liverpool Judies, it was said
Were all to be met in the Douglas Head
McShane was there in a tie and shirt
The foreign girls he was trying to flirt
Sayin' "Here girls I'm your man"
Oh the Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man

Whacker fancied his good looks
With an Isle of Man woman he was struck
A Liverpool lad was by her side
And he pegging the jar into her
Whacker thought he'd take a chance
He asked the quare one out to dance
Round the floor they stepped it out
To Whack it was no bother
Everything was going to plan
Oh the Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man

Well the Isle of Man woman fancied Whack
But your man stood there till his heads came back
And whack they all whacked into Whack
Poor Whack was landed on his back
The Douglas force arrived as well
Landed a couple of belts as well
Ended up in the Douglas jail
Until the Dublin boat did sail
Deported every man
Oh the Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man
Yes he Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Is cheekiness a truly British concept?

So what is it exactly? Well, maybe it's easier to define what it's not. It's not quite the same as audacity - it takes itself less seriously than that. And it's not as rude as impudence because cheekiness never sets out to truly offend. Cheekiness, then, is neither high-minded nor aggressive. Its hallmark is good-hearted humour, a certain cheeriness of spirit.

Often it is loud - think of the effectiveness of the whoopee cushion left on the unsuspecting teacher's chair. But it can be just as deadly when silent, or even sartorial.

Cheekiness isn't just funny, though. It has the power to deflate pomposity faster than any whoopee cushion

Translating cheekiness to someone unfamiliar with the concept in Britain can be tricky. Could it be that cheekiness as a concept is untranslatable, unique to the UK?

I looked at two of the cheekiest languages on earth - Yiddish and Punjabi - to see if they had any equivalents. In Yiddish, chutzpah does embody perhaps 90% of what it means to be cheeky. But the flexibility of cheekiness somehow outdoes the necessary boldness of chutzpah.


Cheeky can be subtle.Frankie Howerd

Punjabi, too, is also a highly cheeky language, which is full of words to call people who are a bit forward. Paada is someone precocious, a chatty kind of character, jigr aala literally means she or he who has liver, the organ of courage, and maacha describes a blagger, a chancer. But none of them quite captures the essence of cheekiness correctly.

Even across nations that speak the same language, it's unclear. I asked several American friends if the term had a US equivalent, but some told me that the concept doesn't even exist in the same way. Meanwhile the internet turned up the frankly inexcusable translation of "cheeky monkey" as "zesty little chipmunk".

'Cheeky monkey'

Capuchin monkey

  • The Capuchin monkey is native to central and southern America

  • Intelligent and dexterous, they use tools such as stones to crack open nuts

  • Named by explorers for their resemblance to an order of Catholic friars

I can't comment on the cultural nuances of zesty chipmunks, but science has suggested that cheeky monkeys really do exist. The primatologist Franz de Waal famously showed the world of an outraged Capuchin monkey reacting to inequality. When its monkey friend received better food - a delicious succulent, sweet grape rather than the pedestrian cucumber they had both been enjoying previously - the cheeky monkey threw the piece of cucumber back into the face of the researcher who fed him.

Monkeys are cheeky because they are intelligent enough to be aware not only of complex social rules and expectations of behaviour, but also of the ways in which they can deliberately break these rules and thus express their refusal to accept the way things are.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Kew Gardens in West London

I visited Kew gardens a few weeks ago. It is a very relaxing calming place to spend an afternoon. I prefer it when the weather is warm but why is it so expensive? I don`t think it is right to charge £14 to walk around a very big park.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Dave and Polish Pete looking for monkeys

In a cafe at the bus station on my way to Tarifa in Southern Spain.

It is the last day of my holiday.
I am staying in Polish Pete`s flat in Gibraltar.
I am glad I made the trip to Spain and Gib and
It hasn't cost me too much money
and I have had a good laugh most days.
I broke my sunglasses on my first day.It was the fault of the flies buzzing around my head.
I have been walking around a lot and swam in the sea most days.
It was cold but It gets the blood flowing.
My left foot is sore again and I will have to get it seen to when I get back to London.
I am listening to some eighties music on my iPod, feeling OK with life.
but also a little sad.
I would like to meet a pretty Spanish girl, or any girl to that matter.
The girls P. and I met last night in Gib were good fun and it made me think back to some fun times in Spain before my dad died and I became ill.
I liked the younger girl Lorena and so did Peter but he would not admit the fact.
He keeps his cards close to his chest.
The older girl from Romania was nice too, Josephine I think her name was.
I feel I made a bond with both of the girls but sadly they are both spoken for.
Lorena took my email address so who knows?
Friday and Saturday night on holiday I spent with Polish Pete, we went on the pull in the local Spanish square on the Friday night. The women we saw there in the last bar were extremely attractive and had a nice “shape.”
There didn't seem to be that many young men on the scene.
Sadly we didn't do much more then ogle the women all night.
Saturday was a very eventful day. We took a cable car up to the top of the rock and the views were amazing. It was a great fun observing all the monkeys too.
A Russian guy got bitten by a monkey but he didn't seem too concerned as he had a bottle of beer close at hand to blot out any pain. Another girl had to fight a monkey from stealing her expensive hand bag.
It was funny and dramatic at the same time, as the monkey was at the edge of the cliff at the time.
The evening started slowly but we stumbled upon a very interesting club / bar full of older English/Spanish women.
They told me that they were on a school reunion, 40th night out. We worked it out, that most of them must have been aged fifty, but they looked and danced very well. I don't think my dancing helped my injured foot however.
I forgot to mention Dan from Essex. I got chatting to him in a bar on the beach one day. We put the world to rights, slagged off the waiter and the poor service and talked about football. I was envious of Dan when he told me about his trip to watch England play in the World Cup in Mexico. He even met some of the players in their training camp, he told me. Now it is Monday morning and the weather is cooler today.
London will be much colder.