Friday, March 28, 2008



Middle English berken, from Old English beorcan; akin to Old Norse berkja to bark, Lithuanian burgÄ—ti to growl
And more growl than bark I must admit: Babel to berken.

Delivered a booster unit to some B1 students and ended up growling and barking at them. Now, Craig over in the comments of Shakespeare Experience suggests I will go mad if .... sorry old bean, too late, milk spilt, cat licked it and now had kittens.

I wonder sometimes at my antics in the classroom - and M&M still pay me.

But, to be colloquial, "Bugger that!"

Doctored again :- re-scanned and the waters are receding, but have not yet de-parted. More weeks on Ibuprofen.
However, my poor weak frame has decided to whimper a little. Bit of poor drumming on behalf of the 'old ticker' (isn't English a colourful language?).

Been Beta-blockered!

Ah HA! Real illness at last - says my vanity (and all is).

'Half a tablet of the lowest dose purchasable,' declares the doctor from Bran (talk about ego demolition jobs).

My mother's chastity is in question - did she milk the milkman and bastardise me? Am I not a true Farrar? Is it any wonder i go rabid in front of the jetsam and flotsam washed into the classrooms I prowl?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Only a Game

What, with the strange sleeping patterns induced by excess of leisure, I happened to be 'watching the football' - odd language, English.

Romanian (football, and language) I'm afraid (shows how bad the TV choice is over here).

The referee was hit on the head by a flying object in around the 70th minute: There is no doubt of that - several (thousand) repeated showings highlight the fact.

Response of the man who owns the club (Rapid) - a set up.

The repeated showing also show a number of items on the pitch - being moved off by his own players and his own players (well, the foreign ones) waving and shouting at the fans (Rapid) responsible.

“No – NO! a set up” – spies and second-columnist Steaua (opposing team) supporters amongst our loyal fans – the referee was paid to throw the match.

The referee is clearly ‘hit’ – no doubt: Not a single official of the Rapid team has apologised; instead, without exception it seems, they are pleased.

This is Romanian football.

Also telling is the two day storm still blowing – as the owners of the clubs vie for position on the TV – show after show with a range of Rapid owners and others ‘slagging-off’ the referees.

Does no one here see?

So, the referee stopped the game – not straight away, after he goes to start it again and more things are thrown onto the pitch.

Rapid, and its fans are, hopefully, going to loose not only the match, but also the right to a live audience.

The Rapid players, and management and owners physically attacked the referee as he tried to leave the field –

But the referee is to blame.

Interesting to note, over in the UK, managers (including that of the national team) are setting up the conditions for disciplining any player who shows decent!

Sometimes I wonder if I am living on the same planet.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Anyone who Had a Heart!

Thud-ub ... thud-ub .... thud - u...b

No - not quite gone 60s ga-ga: Just had 'one of those weeks'! (and I'll allow myself that exclamation mark - I am on an exclamation mark diet - noticed a tendency to exclaim a lot - so restrictions apply.)

First the medical bits - did a run around on Thursday and Friday after several weeks of really under-performing - dizziness, low energy and breath shortage.

Went to the Doc - she twiddled a bit, sent me to the Doc next door, a heart specialist - beauty of being with a clinic - he twiddled a bit and sent me off to another, bigger specialist - and she charged me a lot of money to put a sonic thingamajig (technical English for something or other) on me, after making me lie on my LEFT side - seems sort of ritualistic to me.

Pretty pictures made - just like having a baby I suppose - and the result (apart from sclerosis of the aorterial (?) valve - nothing to worry about - and the expected, considering I'm English and have that awful English breakfast at least three times a day - talk about stereotyping! (allowed) fatty deposits on the tubes - how is your cholesterol level by the way?) ... is Pericarditis - instant reference to every medical source on line.

Not going to die today. Might in a week or two if the damn thing doesn't go away - so, what is the fantastic treatment - nurofen.

I ask you (deleted !)

Nurofen (Another deleted two !)

For those who don't realise, nurofen is the sort of thing you take for a headache the morning after. How degrading - I've a hangover of an illness.

Not impressed either with my body, or with the Doctor's obvious lack of theatrical sense - how can a Farrar only have nurofen?

She did throw in a need for an x-ray (in case of TB) but that was poor compensation for the damage done with such a piddling treatment.

And, NO, I didn't even show anything wrong with the x-ray.

Overall, a most unsatisfactory encounter - to be repeated in two weeks when this Daughter of Dracula extracts another wapping great fee to see if the waters have departed.

(Actually she was brilliant but that is nowhere near good copy.)

Shortly before the Doc I met up with Sebastian - who is a modern man and has changed his totally unreasonable Romanian surname into a really, really, totally unreasonable Romanian surname by adding his wife's to his own.

He's also got a baby - and talks about it.

And sends pictures over the internet - of the baby.

(Notice - not an exclamation mark in sight! - damn, delete that.)

Anyway, he paid for the strong coffee I had just before going off to have my heart examined (one has to help along the diagnosis some how).

He also mentioned his wife had been chatting away to Tudor Cretu - an old Shakespearian (as in former pupil of Shakespeare High School, Timisoara). His wife does something in television. Tudor Cretu?

Why? - Tall kid, went to be a teacher (deserved all he got in that line) bit 'head in the clouds' - journalist?).

OOOOhhhhhh - apparently he's turned poet and novelist! (! allowed.)

Instantly I remembered what a sensitive and civilised child he was - and then readjusted and re-remembered I'd have kicked him quite happily on several occasions.

If the child is father to the man - he has just the right personality to make a good novelist - it's never the really nice ones who make it - you need to have been a bit of a pain in the first place.

Good luck to him - especially if he can write.

(And he mentions me in his television interview - so can't be all bad, can he?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Improve your Britishness by doing something very un-British?

I've lived and worked in several countries where they do this sort of thing - mostly former Eastern-Block and former communist - and can assure you, as a Brit, it really is the last thing to do.

The casual assurance of one's Englishness (in my case) and commitment to 'standards', could never have developed through formal means - you need bread in sausages, Ice Cream made from hydrogenated pig fat and bitter to do that.

(More BBC)

And one they've not published:

What is China's game?

But surely - the Olympics is totally unpolitical which is why the athletes are asked to give up their right to free speech in order to not upset the hosts?

Why does any country participate and spend a lot of money on training competitors etc but for the love of sport and individual triumph?

And surely London bid for the Olympics purely for humanitarian reasons - the chance for those poor athletes to see a free and beautiful city?

China is just participating in the 'norm'..

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sporting Madness

I have to say – I am, by no means, ‘Sporty’.

Picture my surprise then at the time I spent watching the damn thing yesterday – a large chunk of a tennis match; almost the whole of one football match and several serious chunks of a second.

Andy Roddick is one of those people you are free to admire – he is not squeaky clean, he needs a shave now and then, and he perspires: He is, however, the perfect ‘English’ gentleman – something he denies occasionally.

Roddick goes out to win, happily demolishing any opponent mercilessly: But you just know he won’t cheat. I can’t think of a single other tennis player I would be so sure of saying such a thing about (although I suspect one or two others might fit the charge).

He won in Dubai yesterday through effort, coming back from a set down, with a steely determination and a glint of charm in his eye. You just want to shake his hand and say, “Well done.”

Not so with the football.

I watched parts of two English cup matches and, although the results were glorious in there unexpectedness, I really can’t say I enjoyed the victories.

The Man Utd game was a disgrace – I didn’t want United to win, but I didn’t want them to loose through such atrocious, unfair refereeing. A hollow victory for Portsmouth. The ‘game’ stops being a game when the rules are abused in such a blatant way – it’s one reason why most Romanian football matches are unwatchable.

Barnsley won – and that is magnificent! The underdogs break through, again; the fairy tale continues.

Saddening is the reaction I feel – more delight in Chelsea loosing than in Barnsley winning.

What a state of affairs when such a spirited and uncompromising effort as the Yorkshire teams takes second place to the defeat of the southerners.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

White and Working Class

Two responses to the BBC:

Has the Sun stopped publication?

Is the media not dominated by sports coverage?

Is the high street emptied of pubs?

Do the conservative party still not promote 'traditional' values?

Goodness - maybe time to come back to a more mature and civilised England!


Born in Wythenshawe - in Deepest White Working Class Manchester - I got an education (state - local comprehensive onto provincial university) so that my voice and opinions were worth listening to: They have been.

So too have the opinions of a lot of school colleagues who followed a less 'exalted' route (eg the girl who worked at two jobs and studied at night school).

Learn to articulate, do something for yourself, get opinions not prejudices and maybe such a silly discussion wouldn't happen.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I wonder what the moguls at Microsoft were thinking of?

My poor old computer couldn't cope with the leap year - it lost a month, flipped to the end of March and then went into 'daylight saving' routine.

Got a bit of a shock when I looked the time this morning - had to go and have a lie down!

Bit like the tradition of being the only time a woman can ask a man to marry her - ?

Bloody stupid traditions!