Monday, 10 August 2009

A Pythonesque school reunion

What button do you press to begin a computer shutdown procedure? Hardly surprising old people have problems getting to grips with computer technology.

I‘m thinking of having a no-email day. I’ll set my out-of-office message to say: “I’m not accepting e-mail today. Should you wish to communicate with me, then pick up the phone for a change.”

A cat from Bristol called Wilbur strayed into its next door’s garden and encountered a hungry 13ft pet Burmese python. Days later, when the python was scanned by the RSPCA, Wilbur’s remains were identified by his micro-chip inside the snake’s body. Wilbur’s owners, the Wadeys, are now launching a ‘Justice for Wilbur’ campaign. They say the unusual manner of his death highlights an anomaly in British law: pythons are not covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. The Wadeys believe such snakes should be licensed and owners prosecuted if they leave them to roam. Martin Wadey said: “Wilbur’s little life was brutally snuffed out. We don’t want it to have been in vain.” As far as I can see, Wilbur’s life wasn’t in vain; he was a tasty little snack for a neighbour’s pet.

The school reunion in Liverpool went very well. There were so many in attendance that about 200 of us had to go off-piste in an adjacent dining room, having the speeches piped to us via the PA system. The First Sea Lord’s speech was unedifying and far too long by 20 minutes (it was 20 minutes). He proceeded to lose the majority of the audience after about the 5th minute and we in the annexe got busy with the serious business of throwing bread rolls between the tables of the different years.

He made the mistake of trying to make a few political points, and given we Old Conways cover a fairly wide political spectrum, he ended up getting barracked by one particularly annoyed individual who we all suspect was well oiled, as he subsequently fell on the hotel step while taking a breath of fresh air outside and had to be taken to hospital for a hip replacement.

The Adelphi Hotel was OK, but not worth the specially negotiated rate of £90 a night. The bathroom was what could only be described as ‘minimalist and functional’, being reminiscent of a somewhat Spartan Victorian NHS hospital bathroom. The bedroom was well past its sell-by-date and living on past glories - I suspect it has only recently been provided with an electricity supply. The view from the window, which took me about 5 minutes of strenuous effort to prise open, comprised what looked like an air conditioning unit, but couldn’t be as the hotel doesn’t seem to have air conditioning. As for the function rooms; gold Hammerite is not a good replacement for gold leaf ornamental embellishment. The hallways looked like a set from the film ‘The Shining’.

The ‘functional’ bathroom.

The wonderful view.

While driving around Liverpool to find a car park I strayed into China Town and spotted the sign below. On returning home I showed Hay the photo and being fluent in Cantonese I translated it for her.

Translated into Cantonese it says ‘Belly Stleet’.

I noticed lots of girls in town doing their shopping while wearing massive Day-Glo coloured hair curlers. I phoned my 22 year-old niece who lives in the Wirral and enquired of her whether this was the latest fashion fad, which she confirmed. Apparently it’s part of the preparation ritual for going out in the evening – you put your curlers in your hair in the morning and go out to town for the afternoon, advertising the fact you’re hitting the night spots in the evening. A little research tells me it was started by those arbiters of fashion and good taste, Liverpool footballers’ wives. I call it fishwife or Coronation Street chic.

Postings this week may be sporadic, as I'm winding down for my 2 week holiday which starts at the end of the week.


  1. Your post today reminded me of a bag of Yorkshire Mixture (for those from distant parts these are a variety of boiled sweets of many different shapes, colours and flavours). You skate from one subject to another with all the proficiency and most of the artistic interpretation of Robin Cousins. Enjoy your wind-down but, for the sake of the rest of us - don't make it too drastic.

  2. Alan: I do ramble a bit.

    小貓咪: 片,成人交友網,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人光碟,微風成人區,免費成人影片,成人漫畫,成人文學,成人遊戲,成人電影,成人論壇.

  3. Belly Stleet velly funny. Cannot believe that big pythons are not covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals act. I learn something new every time I read your blog...

  4. Kabbalah: I don't believe they're all that dangerous - except perhaps to kittens.

  5. No winding down allowed - you're an essential service!

    Agree with you about the hotel - looks like it's in need of a shake-up, shake-down, face-lift or make-over (they can take their pick)...

  6. Louise: Demolition is the word you're looking for.

  7. The curler thing makes me think of the 1960's. And the python story causes me to scratch that town off my 1,000 Places to See Before You Die list. Thanks.

  8. I am torn to write.. your just a miserable old bugger..... the hotel was fine.. a bit warm perhaps but based on its location, i.e. "Bloody England" that is probably not a bad trate for 95% of the year.
    The Dorms at school were much not better and you have just got old and forgotton that ! I though it fitted well with the weekend and was overall very impressed with the food and ambiance.

    The very fact it is in Liverpool is indicative fo hy it cost millions to do... It would appear that they are capable of stealing money in the open as well as every thing else.

    however.. holidays... what are they.. you have to build a bloody house mate and need to get on with it quick smart ! we will see if we can get to see you in mid September when we are here..

    we had a wonderful weekend

  9. Phil (it can only be you): You've just destroyed the image of my alma mater as a centre of excellence in imparting its charges with a deep understanding of both grammar and spelling.

    Was your finishing school bombed?

  10. Like the Good Book says there is nothing new under the sun. The curler thing proves it. When I was younger (late 60's-early 70's) I had to go to the grocery store with my mom on Saturdays. Half the women in there had rollers in their hair. Usually to get ready for church on Sunday.
    I haven't seen that trend catch on in Texas yet. I'll report back if I do.
    If you liked Belly Stleet you would have like a picture I posted a few months back. I went to the nail salon. I went to pay at the desk and the sign said to please make check payable to: Thy Ho.


  11. Joy: But in the 60s they didn't do it as a fashion statement - it was a necessity, and they covered their curlers up with a headscarf.