Things will Brighton up

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Hello; this is your captain speaking. On behalf of Gabrielquotes Airlines, I would like to welcome you aboard 2012. During our flight, we’ll be passing a few important landmarks.

  • February 4th – Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee: Her Maj has successfully completed 60 years as Queen. In recent times, her most significant public duty has been postponing Prince Charles from becoming King.
  • July 27th – the Olympics: London becomes overrun with people throwing javelins and discuses (disci?) about. This is an idea which began in Greece, and no doubt explains how  they became such a dominant global power.
  • August 12th – the end of the Olympics: the tourism boom ends and London is left scattered with un-necessary open spaces and a large bill.

If anybody wants to disemboard from the aeroplane in a country other than the United Kingdom, I really don’t blame you.

Lectures are going downhill

For some reason, one lecture each week is now held in the Engineering block. The lecture theatre is rather exciting; instead of having steps at the side, it has a slope running all the way down to the bottom. And the seats are all on the same slope – indeed, the entire floor of the room is a flat plane set at a ludicrously steep angle. It felt rather like something out of Alice in Wonderland, but I was constantly terrified of dropping my pen and seeing it roll away into the abyss at the front!

Getting value from one’s tuition fees

One of my new lecturers this term impressed me more in person than he did in his official photo on the website – I’m rarely impressed by anyone remotely associated with cricket.

In our first lecture, he promised £1 to anyone who could identify the origin of a particular quote, and as the guesses started flooding in, we were treated to the bizarre spectacle of an academic literally throwing money at his students. Not that his throwing was very good. The first coin bounced off the ceiling and landed on someone in the front row. Now that should be a fun lawsuit.

Being away from Brighton

One of the so-called joys of being back in London has been to be reminded quite how ghastly and intrusive all the announcements on public transport are. Journeys around Brighton are free of the incessant interruptions which provide so much vital and helpful information in the metrop. No matter how important the conversation you’re having, whatever Boris Johnson wants to communicate to you is far more important:

Meanwhile, train services seem no better than in Sussex. Waiting on the platform at Surbiton, I was informed that the first train was “delayed due to awaiting a member of the train crew at Woking” (presumably they’d popped out to take a three-course lunch), the second was “delayed due to a fallen tree on the line,” and the third “delayed due to a short-notice cancellation” (I imagine that would cause delays!) – presumably, if I’d stuck around long enough, they’d eventually have used the classic ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse as well?


The Making the Same Stupid Mistake as Someone Else Less than Two Years Ago Prize is awarded to Waterstone’s for the following caper (I think the spokesperson’s comment is the best bit by far!)


Waterstone’s fell into the same trap as WHSmiths and Tesco in 2009, who included a book about incestuous rapist Josef Fritzl in their list of the “Top 50 Books for Dad.”

The NHS wins the Chocolate Teapot Award for Helpful Advice, after creating the Change4Life website, containing “simple and helpful” ideas for healthy eating. Take a listen below, and decide how helpful the ideas really are.

The Catch 22 Medal of Honour for Customer Service goes to the aforementioned South West Trains, for their high-level commitment to assisting and advising their end-users:

The There Must be a Moral in this Somewhere Prize goes to Lena Paahlsson, who featured as the star of the following newspaper article:

A nationwide survey of primary-school teachers has established that children named Callum, Chelsea, Connor and Courtney are the most likely to be disruptive and naughty. If there’s an explanation for the fact that all four of those names begin with the same letter, I’m damned if I can C it.

“Marx had some correspondence with the Russian revolutionaries. Before Marx died.”

“So they seized a cache of weapons that the British had sold to the British…”

ME: This wallet’s got a big hole in the bottom… / MUM: That might be the way it’s made.

ME: Did you just eat a biscuit? I didn’t know you liked biscuits! / MUM: Well it was a broken one. I was basically just tidying up.

Facebook: The European Parliament and 21 other friends posted about ‘Christmas’. / ME: I really know how to live.

Four books, one year, 365 dairy entries: hard to believe it’s a year since
Note verbale
If anybody’s interested in me sounding off about racists, sexists and homophobes at home and in Israel, why not read LJY-Netzer’s weekly article, this week featuring a certain Gabriel Webber?

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