EDitorial ± 25-Jun-2002


Because you might be reading this on the 26th day of the month. Because twice twenty-six is fifty-two which is the number of cards in a deck, minus the jokers, and who needs those? Because seeing the number "26" reminds me of two-and-six, in old pre-decimal parlance, which was worth who knows what.

A new font devised by a chap named Kevin Simpson - it's called Jonathan, which happens to be the name of my godson who recently had a birthday and was given, by me, a blue Brasil shirt

Presented for your scrutiny are twenty-six items, count 'em, in an alphabetical stylee:

  1. Aberystwyth
    I want to go back there having just read a noir-ish comedy by Malcolm Pryce called Aberystwyth, Mon Amour: druids, an ark and a 24-hour whelk stall
  2. Babysitter
    Moving to Kesgrave in a shock move: still available for the prize of a Domino's Veg-a-Roma?
  3. Carrot Cake bagels
    Sampled the first batch t'other day following my personal web campaign from a couple of weeks back; not bad
  4. Divine Comedy
    Have a track called The Summerhouse on their Promendade LP; my mum's summer house was officially opened last Saturday with the twin raising of the St George flag and Stars & Stripes - very much not a shed
  5. Elvis
    Do I hear that the late Mr Presley is top of the charts? Meanwhile the more punctual Mr Costello is on top of my CD stack with his 1984 Punch The Clock album.
  6. French windows
    Rather handy on a balmy June evening
  7. Gimcrack
    To be slipped in next time you're admiring your parents' ornaments: where on earth did that gimcrack come from?
  8. Hoity-toity
    A word you must use at the earliest opportunity; compare harum-scarum and hugger-mugger
  9. Instinction
    Single by Spandau Ballet; not actually a word, but then you knew that
  10. Jumpin' Jack Flash
    Jagger a knight? Him who runs the corner shop in Stella Street with his mate Keef? Cliff must be hoppin' mad.
  11. Korea
    They came, they played well, but now they're out despite the various conspiracy theories put forward
  12. Leaflet lady
    You know who you are, and thanks for all the good work
  13. Midsomer
    Murder capital of England judging by Sunday night's body count: hackneyed, cliched, and top entertainment for two hours
  14. National Anthem
    A track by Radiohead that, as Kylie would say, I can't get out of my head
  15. Oh
    Theo says: "Where choo-choo?" At the station, I say. "Oh", he says. "Where choo-choo?" On the track, I say. "Oh", he says. Repeat ad nauseam.
  16. Pink Lady apple juice
    Freshly squeezed from M&S - scrum
  17. Queen
    HM ER II is visiting Ippo on Thursday - three cheers, etc!
  18. Reading festival
    White Stripes, The Strokes and Pulp on the same stage on the same day: I would if I could
  19. Sausages
    Nigella does hers in the oven, so I did mine that way tonight: prick 'em, coat 'em in a little oil, gas mark 6 for 40 mins, turn after 20 mins
  20. Tanning shops
    Springing up everywhere! Sure nobody wants to be pale and pasty, but do you really need to look as if you've ingested a jeroboam of Sunny Delight?
  21. Under, Six Feet
    All episodes taped so far, none watched; fab, apparently
  22. Video games
    Must get down to the Barbican for Game On, an exhibition on until September about the history and culture of video games: whatever happened to Pong?
  23. Winchester
    Wifey there last week admiring Anthony Gormley's standing figure in the cathedral crypt, near St Swithun's tomb
  24. Xanthippe
    Yet another term for a nagging woman, albeit a fairly erudite one; named for Mrs Socrates, no less
  25. Yes
    Yes, No, Maybe, Can You Repeat The Question?
  26. Zvak
    Congrats to J Zvak for being the last entry in the Ipswich phone book

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 17-Jun-2002

Boys From The Black Stuff

My big brother loved Brazil from an early age: not only did he have a replica gold shirt c/w CBF badge, he was also the proud owner of an authentic Brazilian Subbuteo team. In those days the mighty South Americans played out any number of friendly matches against Inter Milan, oddly enough, with continental style goals at either end of the glued-down pitch.

This all rubbed off on me, and a schoolmate was good enough to get me a programme for the 1978 England v. Brazil match at Wembley (remember that old place?) featuring a moustachioed Rivelino on the cover. Possessions can't make you happy, but this came pretty close. Nearly a quarter of a century later we find the equally exotically named Rivaldo and Ronaldo scoring in every game to set up this Friday's glamour quarter final. Fab.

Brazilian flag built from Lego, part of a set now adorning the top of the telly representing the nations still competing for the World Cup; sorry Jo, we took yours apart

Let's briefly recap what we know about Brazil:

  1. it's an enormous landmass of Catholic Portuguese speakers
  2. there's an awful lot of coffee & sugarcane & cassava there
  3. surname of former Ipswich favourite and pub landlord Alan
  4. also a highly original Terry Gilliam film with Jonathan Pryce: has anyone seen Lowry?

For reasons that I'll keep to myself, I once sent a fax to the Brazilian Football Association. Prior to this I'd tracked down a Spanish girl who happened to be working in my area and asked her to translate my message. She was none too impressed at my casual Spanish-equals-Portuguese assumption. At least they were good enough to fax me back even if it was clear that they didn't understand a single word.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. don't they call Cowdenbeath "the blue Brazil"?
  2. hopefully my godson will wear his blue "Brasil" shirt with pride
  3. one word: Maracana!

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 11-Jun-2002

Smiley Culture

Couple of weeks back found me meandering around Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich's own version of Central Park. More often than not, of a lunchtime, you'll find me (if you were looking for me) propping up the bar of a sleazy cappuccino joint, so it made a wholesome change to go in pursuit of some local culture.

First up was The Room Upstairs for a mini exhibition entitled The Queen Visits Suffolk in Pictures. Digression: I detest unnecessary capital letters, so take my word that the previous sentence couldn't be helped. Evidently HRH has been to our fair town thrice:

  1. in 1961, for the opening of the Civic College
  2. in 1975, to open the Post Office Research Centre
  3. in 1977, to swan around the town centre before setting sail from Felixstowe in the royal yacht
NB You may know these places better as Suffolk College and Adastral Park, or even BT Labs. Maybe the town centre will be renamed prior to her return visit next month.

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, as shown on an old picture postcard

Leaving that room, heading right then left brought me to the Victorian parlour for two items of personal interest: a painting of Margaret Catchpole by a chap named Rev Richard Cobbold, and a sketch of Cobbold himself by another artist. Hadn't seen these before.

Finally, with my late-review-o-meter hitting dangerous levels, into the Wolsey (who he?) Art Gallery for a "collaborative exhibition" called Loss Of Face:

"...in which a hundred defaced heads are juxtaposed with an electronically constructed score"
Each photo showed a close-up of a saint or angel taken from a medieval rood screen, the face having been gouged or scarred during the Reformation. Sounds grim, but was compelling.

Funny thing was that I went back to the Wolsey Art Gallery on Sunday with the kids. Not to show them the gouged eyes and scarred faces, but for an interactive art show for 3-5 year olds. Called Five Alive, it's on until Sep 2002, and is top fun. I liked the playhouses built of blackboards the best. Chap in charge was saying that the houses have to be checked for rude words at the end of each day.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 5-Jun-2002

Doorstep Challenge

Scanners are marvellous bits of gadgetry, to be sure. How on earth did we manage to produce plausible fake bank notes before they were invented? Only joking, Mr Eddie George!

Page 1 of the "Quick Start Guide" to my CanoScan 1240U states, in no uncertain terms, that:

You may be required under law to obtain authorization from a person possessing copyrights or other legal rights to the item being scanned
Which sounds right and proper, does it not. So should I have sought permission from the owner of Carrot Cake in Ipswich, strictly speaking, before scanning one of their takeaway doorstep chicken sandwiches?

Scan your sandwich

It took me a while to venture into Carrot Cake (to be found in the old Mick McNeill sports shop by the back of Marks and Sparks) for more than a cappuccino-to-go. If you take away with you nothing else, to coin a phrase, try the doorstep sarnie one lunchtime - truly it's a meal in itself. Freshness and quality is terrific, and feel the width! Many are the admiring glances I've had when returning to the office, though I suspect they're staring at the sandwich.

Carrot Cake, High Street, Ipswich, Suffolk: go get fed

Continuing that fine Maple Leaf connection established by former ITFC players Craig Forrest and Frank Yallop, CC is run by a Canadian chap. He served me my sarnie on Friday morning about thirty minutes before the 2002 World Cup kicked off, in between gawping at the car that had done its best to ram-raid the travel agent's shop over the road. Later this week I'll be sure to congratulate him on his country's fine win over Portugal today. Oh, that was the USA?

I'm not sure I intended this to be an extended advert for his premises, but I can also recommend:

  • the caesar salad: stacks of greenery, croutons & chicken
  • the waffle: banana and maple syrup topping for me
  • the pecan pie: meant to share it, but very guiltily scoffed a whole one of these last week

If I had to pick a word, it would be ersatz. And if I had to pick a word for the Canadian caff, it would be fresh. You want a juice? There's two apples, chop-chop, into the juicer with a soupcon of ginger, there you go. Now if he'd only bake his own bagels, life would be complete.

Be seeing you!