May 2004 Archives

Just so you know, Nikki


Just so you know, Nikki and little Daniel are both doing well :-)

There'll be more news from them soon.


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After school today, I went into town. It only takes about fifteen minutes in a car, most of which time is spent in the area around the bus station. You could try and take another route, but that would mean all sorts of dirt tracks.

The road into town is actually really good. This has a lot to do with it being both a road to Dodoma and the main road to the Serengeti.

totown (231k image)

There are small shops and various types of business for most of a kilometre stretch of road. Nice tractor.

tractor (256k image)

Almost all of these shops currently have red crosses spray painted on them. Not in any sense vandalism though. The council decided that the road wasn't wide enough, so they measured a distance from the centre of the road. Any buiding within this area would have to knocked down and moved the requisite distance away.

cross (179k image)

However, it's unfortunate the camera cannot properly illustrate the ten speedbumps crossed to reach town.

town1 (190k image)

town2 (178k image)



My next door neighbour, Steven, recently returned from a trip to the Serengeti. He took some jolly nice photos.

cheetah (67k image)

leopard (104k image)

lion1 (101k image)

Thankfully you don't get these kind of things in Arusha. Although, there is the odd monkey and baboon.

Bobby Beamer


You know, there is little that really upsets me. I don"t like damp hand towels when I am visiting friends. I am not too keen on holding onto hand rails on public transport. I don"t like people with breath like a dog. And I don"t like people who, when you ask them how their working day is going, turn to you with a look of faux-exasperation that borders on constipation, and say 'I"m really up against it'.

Up against what exactly? Why not say, 'I am finding work too difficult for me today as I never really put the work in over the past month'? Or, 'I can"t be arsed but my boss is on my back and is making my life hell'? But instead, some people insist on telling you that they"re "up against it".

I remember once being up against it. "It" was a wall and Susie McAlpine was holding me against it. I was once up against it again when "it" was a police horse called "Spud". I was waiting to get into the game at Preston North End when three police horses came to organise the crowd that had, up until this point, been as calm as a lake in summer. I was sandwiched against a wall between Big Arthur Hutton and Tambo "The Mountain" O"Sullivan. Their shoulders were huge and wedged me against the brick wall. As I stood there, the horse started to reverse and I couldn"t move. I was trapped. Three yards. Two yards. One yard. Then next thing I had a horses arse chalking my nose. Now that was up against.

I was once asked to mind the house of a close personal friend of mine. I was at a cross-roads in my life. I wondering if music management was really for me and had toyed with managing entertainers instead. As there was a plethora of acts around in the North West at the time I thought I was considering this sideways move. I had just thought of the name, "Anywhere's a stage!" (not too catchy in hindsight, but it was all I could think of inside the printers under pressure just before closing on a Friday night) when one of my turns called and told me he was going away for the weekend. The Great Quasi-Mysterio, a hunchback magician who was a neat bell ringer, was thinking about signing onto my books when he got a call that a friend in Hull who needed him for a speciality night in a late night chicken in a basket party.

The Great Quasi-Mysterio, Billy Robotham to his ex-wife and family, was a small man who made a room look even bigger due to his enforced hump. He joked that it was the years of carrying his ex-wife around on his back, but everyone knew that involved a DIY sex act that went wrong. Well, it was pretty much common knowledge as it was the reason that Alma put down on the divorce papers as the reason for the split. He used to be a man of around five and a half feet, but his stoop meant that he was more like four and a half now. He had been a significant member of the Stoke-on-Trent Magic Circle, but once news spread of his divorce papers they were not too keen to keep him a member so he shuffled off to make a name for himself in adult entertainment.

He was a brilliant bloke who liked a laugh and a drink. I remember once when we were waiting on a train in Carlisle and he hid inside an oversized hold-all and asked us to leave him on the platform opposite ours. When the station managers got a bit worried about the parcel they went to investigate it. As they got close to it, Quasi started to move around in the bag. When they went to unzip the bag, he jumped out and started to tell them how he had been abducted by four men in adult sized romper suits. He must have been quite convincing because the police took four hours to interview him and we nearly missed our train.

As he was in Hull he asked if I could look after his house for the weekend. I was low on cash and he provided all the food and drink that I would need. As he was a generous man I understood that there would be enough food to feed an army so I agreed. His house was one that had been in the family for years and had been passed down over three or four generations. His family were a very inventive lot, in fact his great great great uncle was said to have been the man who invented the toeless sock. Rumour has it that he had toyed with the idea of wearing it around the ankles in a leg-warmer fashion, but the fashion-istas of the day in Chorley, Lancashire, didn't think too highly of such a "gratuitous item of apparel". Had he lived today he may have been mistaken as a visionary. Some how though, the family made a lot of money and managed to buy a house of significant size and grandeur. It was called, "The Rose" by the family, while locals called it Raymond's Folly. Raymond Rowbotham had designed and built it in a Gothic Castle style at the beginning (which included a mote), then changed his mind and thought he would have some Elizabethan Tudor style house only to change his mind in the final years of construction and introduce some Greco-Roman architecture to the front of the house.

End of part one... to be continued


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Once again, getting back to work has been interesting. After a months holiday I find that I'm quite ready to get into the whole work thing.

Actually, my holiday ended a little early as I spent the last week of holiday helping the art teacher, Theo, paint a murel on a wall.

However, now that school has been going for a week, I'm rather enjoying myself. I've cut down on the beer and entertainment and have been working hard. I may even get healthy at some point before it all falls apart again in summer.

Anyway, in Swahili a bus journey would be 'safari ya basi'. It sounds almost Glaswegian.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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