Archive for October 9th, 2010

Steve Hollier: 10/10/10

October 9, 2010

Steve has pointed out the following interesting set of factoids:

This October has
5 Fridays,
5 Saturdays and
5 Sundays, all in 1 month.
It happens once in 823 years , and are signs of  money bags. Pass them to your people and money will appear in 4 days.
Based on Chinese fengshui. Whoever stops this will experience nothing good…

This Sunday will be 10/10/10 once in OUR lifetime!!!

Overland! Buy it! Somebody! Please!

October 9, 2010

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


When Mabel Meade, a retired small town English librarian, joins an African Overland bus trip she is looking for adventure.

But she has no idea that the adventure will involve her sharing an uncomfortable, geriatric and over-crowded truck with a group of extremely incompatible fellow tourists (including meteorite smugglers, drug abusers, racists, left wing idealists, vegetarians who won’t eat the food, tedious bores, and, but of course, a pregnant woman who is constantly in jeopardy).

Mabel almost immediately encounters violence and evil omens and then comes the accidental discovery of a mummified Bushman – unearthed by a sand storm in the Namib desert – with a gut full of smuggled diamonds worth a fortune.

And that’s just the beginning.

As Esmerelda, the decrepit Overland truck, groans her way through the Namibian badlands and then through Botswana bound for Zimbabwe things just get worse.

As each new challenge and catastrophe arises Mabel is the one with the answers. Most solutions seem right at the time but more often than not spur further disasters.

Tension between the “tourists” inside Esmerelda mounts. The body count rises.

When the “Cursed Safari” as the Media has dubbed it, enters Zimbabwe, the body count rockets.

To a background of massive civil unrest, White-owned farm invasions, shanty town clearances by Mugabe’s tottering dictatorship, and para-military brutality Esmerelda’s passengers attempt an escape to Zambia to sell the diamonds and split the change.

Apart from the ones who have decided not to share. They put their own plans into action. So do other parties who have become involved.

Despite her age, her trials and frequent errors, it is Mabel who ultimately saves the day and ensures that the few Overlanders who survive their African vacation will be able to spend the rest of their lives on vacation.

Somewhere a bit more relaxing. And with a lot less witches, burning elephants, civil war, haunted caves, exploding hospitals and insane one-eyed snipers.

Mabel puts her success down to many long years of employment maintaining discipline and good clean fun in her Framley Library’s Children’s Corner

Hugh Paxton’s Blog urges somebody (anybody!) to buy the damn book! It took me a year to write it! And you’ll enjoy it. Trust me.  

South Africa, the Boer Wars: powerful poetry and song

October 9, 2010

A few months ago, Hugh Paxton’s Blog posted a music video of the rousing Boer anthem De La Rey. Catchy tune. Controversial lyrics. One (English) blog reader said it made his gorge rise. Here’s one from Kipling to bring the gorge back down! But check the Boer song. It’s passionate.

Being English I prefer Kipling. You should read it aloud to capture the soul of the poem. In an English accent please!  

 The Return
PEACE is declared, and I return  
  To ‘Ackneystadt, but not the same;  
Things ‘ave transpired which made me learn  
  The size and meanin’ of the game.  
I did no more than others did,          5
  I don’t know where the change began;  
I started as a average kid,  
  I finished as a thinkin’ man.  
If England was what England seems  
  An’ not the England of our dreams,   10
But only putty, brass, an’ paint,  
  ‘Ow quick we’d drop ‘er! But she ain’t!  
Before my gappin’ mouth could speak  
  I ‘eard it in my comrade’s tone;  
I saw it on my neighbour’s cheek   15
  Before I felt it flush my own.  
An’ last it come to me—not pride,  
  Nor yet conceit, but on the ‘ole  
(If such a term may be applied),  
  The makin’s of a bloomin’ soul.   20
Rivers at night that cluck an’ jeer,  
  Plains which the moonshine turns to sea,  
Mountains that never let you near,  
  An’ stars to all eternity;  
An’ the quick-breathin’ dark that fills   25
  The ‘ollows of the wilderness,  
When the wind worries through the ‘ills—  
  These may ‘ave taught me more or less.  
Towns without people, ten times took,  
  An’ ten times left an’ burned at last;   30
An’ starvin’ dogs that come to look  
  For owners when a column passed;  
An’ quiet, ‘omesick talks between  
  Men, met by night, you never knew  
Until—’is face—by shellfire seen—   35
  Once—an’ struck off. They taught me, too.  
The day’s lay-out—the mornin’ sun  
  Beneath your ‘at-brim as you sight;  
The dinner-‘ush from noon till one,  
  An’ the full roar that lasts till night;   40
An’ the pore dead that look so old  
  An’ was so young an hour ago,  
An’ legs tied down before they’re cold—  
  These are the things which make you know.  
Also Time runnin’ into years—   45
  A thousand Places left be’ind—  
An’ Men from both two ’emispheres  
  Discussin’ things of every kind;  
So much more near than I ‘ad known,  
  So much more great than I ‘ad guessed—   50
An’ me, like all the rest, alone—  
  But reachin’ out to all the rest!  
So ‘ath it come to me—not pride,  
  Nor yet conceit, but on the ‘ole  
(If such a term may be applied),   55
  The makin’s of a bloomin’ soul.  
But now, discharged, I fall away  
  To do with little things again….  
Gawd, ‘oo knows all I cannot say,  
  Look after me in Thamesfontein!   60
If England was what England seems  
  An’ not the England of our dreams,  
But only putty, brass, an’ paint,  
  ‘Ow quick we’d chuck ‘er! But she ain’t!  


Thai Days: Oh Dear! Bangkok’s Sinking!

October 9, 2010

“Scientists have warned that Bangkok will end up being a “submerged city” in the next decade unless a sound action plan is implemented to prevent future flooding.”

Bangkok Post (Today’s Edition)

This was the verdict of a bunch of experts attending a seminar titled “Bangkok: The Underwater City.”

The Usual Suspects are:

global warming.

up stream deforestation

sea level rise

mangrove destruction for shrimp farms

stupid developments in flood prone areas

Hugh Paxton’s Blog verdict – glad we’re only renting and can swim.

The verdict of Smith Dharmasarojana (chairman of the National Disaster Warning Council Foundation) “I believe Bangkokians will kill one another to battle for fresh water when a surge of sea water innundates the city’s irrigation canals.”

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