Categories

Englishness

Don’t Go!

Given a lot of the Yes campaigners’ rhetoric, it’s possibly not wise of me, an anti, to suggest to wavering Scots that they should read a blogpost by a pro-intervention Conservative MP in England, but, apart from someone’s friends-only Facebook update, this is the piece I’ve read about the independence vote, taking place today, that […]

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Burning Down The House

This summary/graphic by Tim Montgomerie of The Times is fun. It imagines the four parties Britain would have if we started from scratch. If we did do such an experiment with voters—if we asked them about real policy choices—I don’t believe that these are the clusters would emerge; most people, especially English people, believe hotchpotches of […]

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Jumpers For Goalposts

[UPDATE: For the hordes arriving here after searching for the comedy catchphrase “Jumpers for goalposts”, you’d probably be better off reading this.] Yesterday afternoon, I interrupted some desk-bound consulting work that, even if I weren’t prevented by an NDA from doing so, would put you to sleep instantly if I told you about it, to […]

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Let’s Saint George!

While I’m on a Radio 4 kick, I heard Mark Lawson interviewing the soon-to-be-stepping-down Andrew Motion and Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on Front Row yesterday evening about the appointment of the next Poet Laureate. Apparently, although they were quick to say it wouldn’t be a TV talent contest, there’s going […]

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Men Are From Mars…

Both of these photos are from the same wedding, at the most excellent Barn at Bury Court. I took the first on one side of the venue (with my camera in a transparent shower cap to protect it from the rain) and the second, later, on the other side, when the rain had stopped. Boys […]

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Not English

Just back from lunch watching the first half of Villa versus Newcastle at my local. (Joey Barton is a dirty…) I live dahn Sarf now so there were about five people apart from me interested in the Midlands against the North-East dotted around the fairly large TV room. In walks a big black Senegalese bloke […]

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Gum Shoe

Mick Hartley links to a Times report of a “serious” novelist suing the proprietors of a neighbouring factory because the fumes it produced so affected her concentration that she was reduced to writing genre fiction. It’s not just a funny hook for a news story; it’s a delicious illustration of how class and status in […]

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Lightly Worn

Beachy Head[click image to enlarge it] I was eating breakfast in an hotel in Cambridge the Saturday morning after I shot that college ball. A tall, intense-looking man with a beard sat down at a table nearby. He pulled a hardback book out of his briefcase and began underlining paragraphs heavily with a soft pencil. […]

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Off The Grid

the middle of nowhere[click image to enlarge it] [A dirt track in Wales exactly seventy-five miles from the nearest Starbucks. POOTERGEEK is laden with three cameras, several lens bags, and a tripod. He is trying to open the gate to a field full of sheep by pressing a London Transport Oyster card against the hinge […]

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Bismillah!

Did anyone else hear that BBC news soundbite from a representative of the emergency services reviewing the effects of the sub-tropical storms that hit parts of the UK this week? Amongst other things, he described them as “very, very frightening”. If so, did you manage to resist singing, “Thunderbolt and lightning / Galileo! / Galileo!”? […]

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The PooterGeek Argus Headline Collection: Hove Special

I admit that I have, in the past, given my readers the impression that the more genteel half of Brighton & Hove is a sleepy, geriatric, upper-middle-class, conservative place. Indeed, one resident commented here: After all the effort I’ve put into making Hove sound like the hipper and more cosmopolitan sista of Brighton, you’re making us sound […]

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Scissored Sisters

The official name for the place where I live is “Brighton & Hove”. A friend of mine was recently asked at interview to characterize the difference between Brighton and her non-identical Siamese twin town and came up with something along the lines of Hove being a respectable older aunt and Brighton a wayward younger sister. […]

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Citizen Ghale

My dad has long been associated, as a member and officer, with the largest UK teaching union, the NAS/UWT. Indeed, in classic working-class northerner style, he first had a heart attack as he arrived at a union conference. Equally typically, after it was initially misdiagnosed by a junior doctor as a digestive problem, he just […]

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Say It Loud: I’m Chippy And Proud

“Chippy!” is the cry of a winner in the lottery of birth losing an argument. There’s a scene near the beginning of Casino Royale in which Vesper Lynd practises some amateur psychology on 007 as they sit opposite each other on the Eurostar. She says something like: You’re Oxford, but not from money, hence that […]

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Reach For The Pie

I’m sitting here eating a microwaved vegetable biryani in front of my computer, having returned from a Ginsters-fuelled morning shoot of a band at Shoreham Airport, a cute, art deco building surrounded by dodgy Italian mopeds of the sky—not just propellor aircraft that look like they are powered by elastic bands, but helicopters that were […]

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RIP

Yesterday, over the phone, my dad and I held our own Ashes inquest. It was brief.

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Sex-u-a-lity

Given that I spent New Year’s Eve alone at my computer keyboard tidying up my remote UNIX home directory, this is going to read like a middle-class white guy wibbling on about how “vibrant” the local “community” is as he moves into a flat in one of London’s tiny ethnic war-zones instead of the Georgian […]

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Overheard In New York

Someone at Harry’s Place comments that Until now, I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was Welsh.” which reminds me of being in a video rental store in NYC in the late 90s with a local. An old Tom Jones song starts playing. “Well, I never,” says I to my native companion in my conspicuously British way, “This […]

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Mild For The Time Of Year

In the past week, two shops within two doors of each other in my street have decorated their respective forecourts with a giant fibreglass ice cream cone and a lifesize inflatable Santa Claus.

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Beige Girl In The Ring

Following on from my previous post, the entertaining flickr pages of a posh Asian-Italian woman called Robyn are at the end of this link, including her own pics of Brighton from her recent visit with her man. (They seem to be public so I don’t think this makes us voyeurs. She’s part of the Bobbie […]

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Orb In Sky

I enjoyed a beautiful drive through Autumn English countryside to a job in West Sussex yesterday. Driving back blind into low sunlight wasn’t quite so pleasant. This random November photo from flickr is lovely too.

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Ungentlemanly English

A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the accordion but doesn’t. Gentlemanly English is when you can read Martin Amis without resorting to a dictionary, but people are unaware of this fact when they read your own writing. Gentlemanly English is when you have a knighthood and a seat in the Lords, but […]

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Hot Wheels In Hot Pants

Sorry it’s been quiet. I’ve been working my way through hundreds of photo scans. Once I’ve finished I’ll be back in action here and on the Wedding Photography Blog. In the meantime I couldn’t help but notice something familiar about one of the snaps I took on the river in Cambridge at Hot Wheels Helena‘s […]

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Admissions

Marvel at this unintentionally revealing Guardian story about the lengths middle-class parents go to to get their children into church schools. It opens with a Jewish mother admitting that she feels hypocritical attending Church of England services so that her two kids can get into the local church school. At least she is honest about […]

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It’s Like Watching…

Isolated a talented striker up front. Lost possession cheaply. Couldn’t score from open play. Vulnerable defending set-pieces. Star player sent off for violent conduct. Beaten on penalties. Who says England weren’t in the World Cup final?

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Shrinking England

Via the Rubbish Man I came upon this. Despite the inherent wrongness of psychoanalysis, it’s rather a good read: “England’s repeated failure in penalty shoot-outs is not down to bad fortune, as the English media, with its empiricist presuppositions, insists. To lose once might be an accident, but to lose five times demands a psychoanalytic […]

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Have Pity On Their Souls!

On average, over the rest of their lives, each of these children will have to endure the spectacle of England crashing out of international football championships on penalties a further twenty-nine times. Look at those fresh, hopeful faces and imagine a football boot stamping on each one—forever. Surely there is no God.

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