One of the last pictures taken by the Farne Islands wardens before they left last week
In this blogposting…
* Photos
* New Words for Old
* News From Nowhere
* The World...
Continue at your own risk...

Ten Peaks Valley, Canada
Except for those of the seal and the Turkish lasses, the photos scattered throughout this posting were all sent to me by Lynne, to whom many, many thanks.  I think they show how beautiful the world still is - and even, in some cases, how humankind has adorned it.
 Alesund, Norway
They’re lovely.
East Iceland
Just in case the message hasn’t reached you yet, our next AGM will be very special indeed.

The wonderful Kev has invited us to hold it at his workplace, so that’s where it’s going to be.

It will take place at 1100 on Monday 19 December at South Tyneside College.

If you miss it, you’ve only got yourself to blame - because a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
Keukenhof, Netherlands
Each year, and sponsored by Mensa, the Washington Post invites its readers to take part in a highly-inventive word game.

The idea is to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and then supply a new definition.

You’ll get the general idea by looking at the list of this year’s winners, sent to me by my old friend Brian...

The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
A person who is both stupid and an arsehole.
Euphoria induced by getting a tax refund; it lasts only until you realise it was your money to start with.
The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
All talk and no action.
Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
Marquayssac, France 
 In tandem with its letter-changing contest, the Washington Post runs another.  Readers are invited to supply alternative meanings for common words.

This year’s winners are…

The person upon whom one coughs.
Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
To attempt an explanation while drunk.
Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
To walk with a lisp.
Olive-flavored mouthwash.
Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
A rapidly receding hairline.
A humorous question on an exam.
The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
Mount Roirama, Venezuela
My attention has been drawn to two world-changing events which, inexplicably, passed me by when they made minor headlines earlier this year.  On the basis that it’s never too late to make amends - and just in case you missed them, too….

First up...the Turkish Football Association imposed a harsh penalty on one of that country’s most successful and popular teams earlier this year.  Because of serious violence amongst its supporters, Fenerbahce (‘Fenner-bar-chay’) were ordered to play their following match behind closed doors - that is, in an empty stadium.

But the Women’s Supporters Club protested that this was unfair; that the hooliganism had been caused only by male supporters.  They therefore suggested that, instead of playing to an empty stadium, Fenerbahce should play their match to a crowd of female supporters only.

Taken aback, the Turkish FA agreed.

The match was a huge success.  The near-capacity crowd of 41,000 women supporters were joyful, good-humoured and partisan, but in a very sisterly kind of way.  Even the rival players joined in, throwing roses into the crowd.

The fiercely-fought match ended in a 1-1 draw.

I’d love to see the next Tyne-Wear derby played under the same circumstances.  I know it will never happen, but I’d love to see it...
Women enjoying themselves in Istanbul...
Next….three hearty cheers to Mexico City Council for coming up with one of those ideas - like the wheel or apple and bilberry pie - that make you wonder why no-one has thought of it before.

Temporary marriages.

In a city where almost half of marriages fail ( - and it’s getting that way here, too - ) the Council decided that a fixed-term, two-year marriage seemed like a good idea.  If, after that time, both partners want to continue the arrangement, they can.  If not, they split up amicably.

It’s a thunderclap of brilliance - and ackowledgement of stark reality against infantile, roses-round-the-door fantasy.

Knowing that the marriage has only a fixed term encourages both parties to work harder to keep it going.  And it saves all the acrimony, distress and expense of divorce.  I can’t fault it.

Well done, Mexico City (of all places).
Multnomah Falls, USA
After the disreputable hatchet-jobs we’ve already done on Afghanistan, Albania and Algeria (about which I am still receiving supplementary information), we turn our unforgiving gaze next to Andorra.

I’m naturally grateful for all the unlikely and offbeat facts you’ve already sent me - but I need more.  I know it’s not easy; Andorra is, after all, one of the world’s teeniest states - a country that, by most international standards, shouldn’t really exist at all.

But it does.  I know this for a fact because, when I was in Barcelona, I was within spitting distance of it.

So please - keep on digging.  And send your low-down to me in any of the usual ways.  Try to resist the temptation of putting your info in a public Comment, though.  Otherwise, anything I write won’t come as news to anybody!
Riomaggiore, Italy
Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Serge Guinet said...

Bonjour Ian,
j'aime le blog et les photos sont magnifique,

Ian Robinson said...

Merci Pepere!