Sunday, May 06, 2007

A bit of dust...

My fellow Bloggers, another blogger bites the dust. Well, only a little dust. I've decided to take a sabbatical from blogging, as "inspiration" and motivation have been lacking recently. It's for the best that I take time off and clear my head, and hopefully come back revamped. I don't know when I'll be back, but I will be. Until then, let the words of Jeremiah Rankin soothe...
God be with you till we meet again,
By his counsels guide, uphold you,
With his sheep securely fold you:
God be with you till we meet again.

Life and Music

I watch this video, and it makes me almost want to cry. If life is like a music score, the point is not to get to the end of the piece as quickly as possible, but to sing and/or dance as the music plays. Quite simple really. It's done touchingly...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Who is Paneel?

The Spar on New Cross road is one of my regular haunts. Whether it's picking up a newspaper after work, buying emergency plum tomatoes for one of my oh-so-lovely stews, and now, a seemingly interminable sale of 1l bottles of Copella apple juice for £1.49. Scholars of the 1l bottle of Copella will understand what I mean, it's value for money which makes you want to slap your bottom Asda-style. The shopkeepers in the area know my face. In fact, sometimes when I buy plantain (which some of you may or may not know is a personal obsession), I get offered an extra one - which is basically 5 for the price of 4, or 5 for £1. When you go through as many plantains as I do, one extra plantain can be difference between rice and plantain, and rice with a hint of plantain.

Sometime last year or the year before, I went into the Spar (which incidentally doesn't sell plantain), only for the shopkeeper to greet me like a long lost brother. They must love my custom, I thought. How about a free bottle of Copella, I almost said. "Do you still work at Victoria?", he asked. I've worked all over London in my time, it was plausible that he'd seen me work in Victoria. "No, I haven't worked in Victoria in a while", I replied, "I work all over the place."

For some reason, I felt I should know him, which is why the questions didn't seem so weird. It may have been one of my sight issues. Once upon a time, I jumped on the bus 63, when I should have been getting the 53. The bus turned off Old Kent Road, which made me ask the driver what bus I was on. 63. Not 53. My not knowing this man may have been as a result of my sometimes dodgy eyesight. So I played along.

And then he asked me about Paneel. Paneel? Oh, Paneel! No I haven't seen him for a while. The truth is, I didn't have a clue who Paneel was. At this point, it should have tweaked that I didn't know this guy, because I always worked alone, and would never work with someone else. Let alone Paneel. But this was a shopkeeper who worked for Spar, he was here today, but he'd be gone tomorrow. Till today, I ask myself what possessed me to pretend that I knew Paneel. Of course he was there that day, but he hasn't been gone since. He pops up ocassionaly every few weeks, when Paneel is out of my mind. I walk in for a pint of milk, and bam! I end up having a conversation about Paneel, with someone who may as well be described as Paneel's keeper. I'm sure Paneel is doing well. Have you seen him lately? Is he still working at Victoria.

All I ever want is some milk, and a 1l bottle of Copella. But I end up talking about someone I don't know, never seen, had previously never heard of. So, who exactly is Paneel?

Elections hit by problems!

Nope, not the Nigerian elections, but the Scottish elections. I had to lay this on thick for all the Nigerians who insisted that election malpractice and incompetence was not a strictly Nigerian disease. Delays in counting because a helicopter couldn't make it to the counting centre, computers not able to count some ballot papers.

The key difference is that there is no "Maurice Iwu" type character telling the world that the electoral commission should be patting itself on the back. Everyone has said what a disgraceful state events are in. There is also no deliberate attempt to disenfranchise voters, as occured in Nigeria.

And one of the main issues I had with the Nigerian elections was the scale. Too many things being contested at once for it to be a manageable affair. Britain has a far smaller electorate, yet elections for different offices take place every year. In every four year period of the electoral cycle there are general elections, municipal elections, local council elections, mayoral elections, assembly elections, European elections. This allows for every election to be on a manageable scale, and much more easily monitored. You'd be hard pressed to find another country as big as Nigeria which elects everyone at the same time. It's just a bit much.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Super Mario - blind

It may not seem like the most difficult thing in the world, but it's still fascinating. This fella can play the first two levels of Super Mario Bros with his eyes closed. There are also internet rumours that he can do the same thing up to level four.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


A meeting is taking place in Brussels today to discuss the Millenium Development Goals, mainly universal primary education. In yesterday's Guardian, Polly Curtis went to Nigeria to see what progress is being made on primary education.