My Country, Right Or Wrong

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After one recent blog that can only be described as heartbreaking, I needed to cheer myself up. So I laid back and thought of England...

Above: Chesterfield's famous crooked spire.


A terraced house in Oxford after a particularly violent storm.


Cheese rolling in Gloucestershire. Why don't they just go to the corner shop?


Ah, seaside postcards. Oo-er, missus!


Gurning. Apparently they do this in Cumbria. (Do NOT try this at home. You never know when the wind might change.)


Toad in the hole. No frills, just get it down yer! Possibly humanity's greatest achievement since the domestication of livestock.


Football. The proper kind, not that weird version of rugby that stops every 30 seconds for no discernible reason.
Hartlepool United fans dressed as smurfs on their way to a game at Charlton Athletic.


A working men's club. Irrefutable proof that when it comes to creating a soulless environment in which to consume alcohol, northern England has the rest of the world licked.


The Kilburn white horse, North Yorkshire. It's graffiti Jim, but not as we know it.


The Black Country accent. Not to be confused with Brummie. Though it is.


Couldn't wave goodbye without ladling a dollop of good old-fashioned toilet humour onto your already full plate.

Dedicated to those going through troubled times

revolution's picture

pick me up

What a wonderful pick me up. Thanks Nicki!

really like the smurf picture. reminded me of Anime Boston 2012 when a online web comic called homestuck was insanely popular and every body cosplayed some form of character from it.

No One Understands Them, They Don't Care

You're welcome.

Hartlepool fans have done this for years. Other clubs have jumped on the bandwagon, but none of them come close.
The Smurfs was last year's thing. This is what the good folk of Crawley new town found waiting for them a couple of weeks ago.

The town has produced another national treasure, Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling. Now I can rant with the best of them, but I'll never be able to hold a candle to this.

fa 144a.jpg Nicki

Well, here in Birmingham

Alabama, we have the statue of Vulcan. It is the largest cast iron statue in the world. What is little known is that for a while, his arm holding the spear was placed on it backwards so that the elbow was turned inward. Shows how hitory can have a bit of humor.

May Your Light Forever Shine

America's Greatest Achievement

This is America's greatest artistic achievement. It changed my life for ever, and is the reason I became a writer.

And to think that the screenplay was the work of Melissa Rosenberg, who'd eventually be asked to adapt Twilight to the big screen...

fa 144a.jpg Nicki

What about Angel of the North and

Milton Keynes roundabouts? (And I think everybody here knows about concrete cows of Milton Keynes and hopes that the story will be finished some day...)

PS: visited Milton Keynes las year... drove through, visited computer museum, but missed cows completely. Added this town to my vacation "to visit" list again :-)

Charles Stross?

Have you read anything by Charles Stross? He writes good, hard SF.

“Milton Keynes?”
It must be something in my expression; Andy turns away hastily and pours me a cup of Laundry coffee while Boris pretends it's none of his business. Angleton just looks as if he's bitten something unpleasant, which is par for the course.
“We have a problem,” Angleton explains, gesturing at the map. “There are too many concrete cows.”

From his novella 'The Concrete Jungle'.

Stross has also written 'Glasshouse', which I haven't got round to yet, featuring a man who is given a new identity as a woman.

As for the Angel of the North...well, I'm from the north and sometimes they call me 'angel' for short.
But never for long.

fa 144a.jpg Nicki

Thanks ...

... for those.

Donald McGill postcards were a feature of many childhood holidays (and my first ever paid job) in Skegness. I could never resist standing outside the shop and turning the display stands for a good laugh.

Chesterfield spire I know well, though I usually see it in the distance from the moors to the west of the town. The Kilburn White Horse reminds of the crippling climb on my bike up White Horse Bank to the gliding club on the top of the ridge. I think I'd be on foot these days.


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