Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Royal Wave

Over the Christmas break (Dec 20, 2007) Queen Elizabeth became the longest living British monarch. If she makes it to 2015 she'll also be the longest reigning. Among her many contributions, waving...

Queen Elizabeth II Will Leave Behind Long Legacy Of Waving

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ee Buy Gum

The first in a series of posts tagged 'annoying.'

There are settings in which the act of chewing gum is not acceptable. Exchanging wedding vows is typically not done while smacking and popping sounds come from your constantly working jaw. Don’t chew gum at a job interview or while having a tooth extracted.

But gum has a very important place in society in terms of freshy breathness. It’s essential in certain social settings. It helps you concentrate in exams. So why is it so hard to get gum out of its wrapper?

Gum used to be packaged in one way, a stack of flat sticks, each individually wrapped in both silver and regular paper, and then collectively wrapped in a bundle so tight you needed a crowbar to get the first one out.

The trend now is to sell gum in little match-book-like boxes, you open the box and a dozen individually wrapped sticks offer themselves to your mandibles desires. What you don’t see is the other end, the end in the bottom of the box that holds on for dear life as you try to pull it out and when you do the paper lining the box comes with it as do all the other sticks of gum.

Regardless of wrapping the cost of getting that first bit of gum out is the sacrifice of at least one other bit of gum. Hopelessly squashed and mangled, its wrapper torn, possibly flung on the floor, you discard it before you can extract a useable piece.

Annoying huh?

Xmas stuff

A fabulous Christmas in the motherland.

Since last I was there, the family has moved northward and into a locale small enough to be rightly called hamlet (hard to imagine Shakespeare having success with a play called Village isn't it).

There was a reunion of Notability, the cheesily named vocal group of chums, some of whom I hadn't seen for a decade. Amazingly we all looked very much like when the group broke up. Would we sound the same? yeah, no one wanted to know, least of all us.

There was much traditional food that I miss so badly, and I got to practice my British accent among those who know it best. Interestingly (and quite flatteringly) the only two people to tell me I had lost my accent were from 'up north' from when I used to live there. I interpret that to mean I've lost any northern accent I may have once had but that the actually UK tones are relatively okay.

Here's me with the newest niece, and one of the kids climbing all over grandad.

For a New Year's resolution I resolved to make a resolution. So that's me set till next year...