Posts from 30th September 2005

Sep 05

Intelligent Beermat

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 260 views

Science meddling in matters it cannot comprehend, the concept of ‘needs a refill’ is a terribly flexible one, and much better managed by the trained eye observing the ‘cheeky line’ than this robot nonsense.

Drinking in S.E

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 374 views

From‘s review of the Montague Arms in SE15: “If it’s just a drink you want, though, there are decent pubs much nearer the New Cross stations”.

Yeah dudes, I wish that was the bloody case… I mean if you want just the one and you don’t care about your beer and will get out of there sharpish, then sure, but COME ON… surely we can do better?!

I’m sorry but just having moved to NX, I’m really disappointed at the pubs on offer. We usually end up meeting people at the Hobgoblin simply for it’s proximity across the road from NXG stn, and it’s a HOLE. Their beer is awful, service surly, prices expensive and atmosphere downright uncomfortable. Last time apparently friends of mine had chips thrown at their heads there, I mean WTF? The pub closest to my new house was ALSO pretty empty (Saturday afternoon so the atmosphere could have been a bit off due to that), but still – they have NO BEER AT ALL! The closest they have is a bottle of Newcy Brown. Sheeyah whatever. The Goldsmith’s Tavern gets recommended by – I’ve not been in yet, but the garish exterior and banner exhortations to “BOOK THIS VENUE FOR YR GRADUATION DINNER” don’t really endear me to Try It. And the Marquis of Granby… well that’s just a generic Oirish boozer on the corner which was alright the one time we went in there but I wouldn’t like to pop in by myself, if you know what I mean. I honestly don’t get it; the student population in NX is huge so you’d at least expect SOMEWHERE to have some kind of atmosphere wouldn’t you, but at the moment it’s just not happening. The best best that way remains either the Montague Arms which has such erratic opening hours it puts you off trying it, or the Sam Smiths up Lewisham Way – it’s still a bit Royston Vasey up there, but I am likely to forgive Sam Smiths a lot after a pint of their lovely OB.


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 313 views

viz “do you like hitler?” = BDELYGMIA
“grebt”, “haf”, “ect ect” ect ect = METAPLASM
“fan-feckin-tastic” = TMESIS
“yay me” = BOMPHIOLOGIA or VERBORUM BOMBUS if ur betimes a LATIN)

courtesy the FOREST OF RHETORIC site

Bagthorpes Explained

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 484 views

I don’t know why I put my RIP Helen Cresswell notice on NYLPM but it allows me to go into more detail here about the BAGTHORPE SAGA. This series of books doesn’t rate much as a ‘cult’ children’s book, there seem to be no websites dedicated to it, and not surprisingly as I think it probably only works if you ARE a kid. Cursory research though revealed TEN of the things, I certainly don’t remember there being ten.

The books are basically a sit-com based around the antics of a middle-class family replete with ‘gifted children’. It is always somewhat of a moot point whether or not the children ARE gifted, or at least whether their gifts (playing the violin, good at languages etc.) have any connection at all to intelligence, as they behave much more ridiculously than the non-gifted Jack, who is the ‘normal one’ in the family and as such the protagonist. For the first few books in the series the humour derives from this, though you get the feeling Cresswell finds other characters – particularly the enormously bitter minor-league TV writer dad – much more entertaining to write.

So, those Bagthorpe books in full.

1. Ordinary Jack – Jack tries out various hobbies to try and become ‘gifted’ and get his parents attention. Standalone satire on hothousing and the notion of the gifted child. Not that funny. The short-lived TV series adapted this one.
2. Absolute Zero – Feckless Uncle Parker wins a Caribbean cruise from a cereal packet competition, envious family enter loads of competitions and somehow win ‘Happiest Family’ prize. Pretence, hijinks ensue. Pretty funny if a thin plot.
3. Bagthorpes v The World – Huge tax bill leads family to try ‘Good Life’ style self-sufficiency, much funnier than it sounds.
4. Bagthorpes Unlimited – Awful cousins arrive to stay, o noes. Plot largely incidental to comic setpieces involving lead characters by this stage, which are all funny.
(I think these may be the wrong way round in my memory)
5. Bagthorpes Abroad – family goes on holiday.
6. Bagthorpes Haunted – family goes on holiday, part 2. These were the last two I actually read, I was disappointed but also probably too old for them (I would have been 12, 13 maybe, whereas I devoured the first four at 9 or 10). I fear the ghost is not actually real.

And the ones I haven’t read:

7. Bagthorpes Liberated – alarm bells ringing here as Mrs B discovers women’s lib.
8. The Bagthorpe Triangle – ??? the first summary I can find makes mention of a disappearing tramp.
9. Bagthorpes Besieged – media shenanigans as Mr B suspected of murder.
10. Bagthorpes Battered – housekeeper becomes have-a-go-hero tabloid cause celebre for thwarting a terrorist bomber. Satirical, I’m guessing. Published in 2001, and that’s yer lot.

The Poppiest Hobos

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,174 views

In two weeks time (October 14th), we have another POPTIMISM night – hurrah! This is the good news.

The bad news is, it’s our last at the Polar Bear, as they don’t need us any more. We don’t know whether this is just us, or a wider shift in policy for the downstairs club, or if they’re closing, or WHAT (though we don’t THINK it’s personal, we’ve always got on fine with them).

But never mind the why, que sera sera – it’s a great shame as it was in many ways an ideal venue, but POPTIMISM MUST LIVE ON. We have, as they say, so much love to give.

If you know of any venues which might fancy Poptimism then please let us know. And if you are a Poptimism regular with a blog and have helped build up our good word of mouth in the past, then feel free to mention it too in case anyone else knows.

And just to remind you – OCTOBER 14TH, POPTIMISM, farewell to the Poley Bear, it’s going to be very very good.