Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Aristocrats, fundamentalists and cemetary Sundays

Well, I'm now returned and almost recovered from a bout of tonsillitis that started on the day of my departure from London. Pennsylvania is awash with, er, crap rain which makes my return from England and Ireland all the more depressing because I had nothing but glorious weather. I met glorious people and really love England and Ireland and am missing being there a lot currently.

Croatia was a hoot, as was Montenegro--the latter all the more so because I was there when the population voted for independence from Serbia. As time goes by, I'll likely share some anecdotes from the trip, including my encounters on an EasyJet flight to Split with a Brit aristocrat who'd bought himself a wonderful present to celebrate his divorce and with a Croatian priest whose entire family (10) had been wiped out when he was an eight-year-old boy by General Tito and how he'd been saved only because he hid in a well, hearing two car accidents near my parents home in Ireland--one involving a fatality--cemetary Sunday a la Irish style, and experiences shared with some wonderful people hailing from Colorado, Texas and San Fran, etc.

I will add at this point that I am now settling into writing a new nonfiction book as well as doing more lawyering--both of which I should have been doing more of when I was blogging--and thus my blogs will be less frequent and long. Accordingly, should you want to keep up with the blog, I'd suggest you add me to your RSS feeds and that system will prompt you when something new from me "your way comes."

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Overheard on the London Bus

World cup excitement is getting close to fever pitch in London because England has made it through to the next round.

Not being a huge footy (that's what soccer is now called in England) fan, I must confess to being really drawn in this time. I really enjoy watching the games on the telly in pubs with my friends. And of course the great beer helps set the mood.

On the double decker bus the other day I was sitting in front of two Londoners (middle-aged man and woman who worked in the clerical department of some supermarket chain) talking about England's lacklustre performance; horribly lacklustre when one considers the mindbogglingly expensive players onn their roster--to wit players of the ilk of the willowy David Beckham whose other tombstone epitaph will most likely be "husband of the former "Posh Spice" and father of a child called "Brooklyn".

Anyway, some classic English wit was much in abundance and it was all I could do to stifle my chuckles of pleasure. Incidents like this is why I love London and the English.

I don't know that much about football except what I see on the telly and England is playing crap," said the woman. "My daughter kicks far better ball than that Beckham bloke."
"Definitely crap," said her male partner. "And what they're paying that chap."
"They'll not get much further in the competition if they don't pick up their socks, will they?"
"No, that they won't."
"And they've just been playing crap countries so far? What'll 'appen when they go against good ones like Germany and Sweden?" She sighed deeply. "I mean, so far it's been crap playing against crap countries, innit."
"Just crap," said the gentleman. Pause. "I have to sort out a big vegetable delivery when I get into the office this morning. Too much bloody paperwork in the job."
"Too little money for too much work, innit," said the woman. Pause. "Was you watching the news on the telly last night, was you? There's definitely going to be a strike at them ASDA depots (UK Walmart subsid), you know?"
Silence.
"It's supposed to rain heavy by knocking off time today," said the man.
"And I didn't bring me bleedin' brolly today. Just typical, innit." Silence. "I suppose we can't complain though. We've had a lot of hot days, ain't we? Mind you, it was stifling in my office yesterday. Tracey nearly passed out, she did. They need to give us another fan in there."
"Here's Camberwell Green coming up. Press that bell, will you, love? This is the crap driver that never gives us enough time to get down the bleedin' stairs."

Update--England met a 'good country' the next evening and drew 2-2 with Sweden.

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