Może powinienem nauczyć się języka polskiego

(Headline brought to you by Google translation)

So, Polish becomes England’s second language, according to the census. Though the opening paragraph of the Guardian article tells us-

Polish is now the main language spoken in England and Wales after English and Welsh, according to 2011 census data released by the Office of National Statistics.

I get the impression that someone doesn’t speak basic maths.

Some folk are going to tell us that it’s a big problem that there are people in the country who don’t have English as their first language. But, really, if we’re all supposed to speak the same, then what are regional accents for?

English is the dominant language in England (conveniently) and it’s going to stay that way, so I don’t have any time for the shock and horror stories a bunch of xenophobes are going to make of this news.

All you good, good people

I feel like I meant something you always say you need more time
Well I’ll stay right here and I’ll wait for good until I find a love worth mine
Someday you’ve got it coming it hurts me when I read the signs
So loud and clear that I’ll make you glad if I’m leaving first and crying
All you good good people listen to me
You’re just about done with the way that you feel
When nothing rings home enough to dig your heels in
You don’t have to leave me to see what I mean
All you good good people listen to me

And all I wanna do is find my name upon the line
Before I have to lose this I want time

All you good good people listen to me
You’re just about done with the way that you feel
Nothing rings home enough to dig your heels in
You don’t have to leave me to see what I mean
Lose all your fears
They are keeping you down
You won’t have to fake it while I’m around
All you good good people listen to me

Listen to me..
Listen to me..

All You Good Good People- Embrace

This was my getting the fuck out of Cardiff song in 2001. On The Good Will Out it’s preceded by an intro of an orchestra tuning up. Almost every time, by the drum rolling start of the song I was accelerating up the bridge over the bay and on my way back to Surrey. Because I’m on a mid ’90s-early 00’s nostalgia trip, listening to songs from the Shine albums, Songbird has thrown this song at me twice this afternoon.

[I would like to say that Cardiff is quite a nice place. It’s just that some of the days of work I did there, it was nice to get out again. I was in Cardiff on September 11th 2001. That was an odd journey home.]

They say you can never go home

I’ve got a load of emails archived from when I was working at The Gas (it’s possible I’m not supposed to). I just went and dug out one I remembered writing. It’s dated 11/07/2001-

I went back to my birthplace last night. It was a simple enough journey made epic by having to escape from Cardiff’s one way system.

As an example of just how messed up the one way system is-

I’ve been staying in the Ibis. To get to the Ibis from the office, you turn right, walk a hundred yards, cross the road and then walk another hundred yards and there you are. To get to the Ibis by car from the carpark next to the office required two full circuits of the one way system, at least two miles of travelling. (Okay, the second circuit was my own fault, but only because it seemed logical to follow the Car Park sign which lead me not to a space but right round the back of the hotel and back onto the one way!)

I got lucky and only made one and a half circuits of the system before finding a road which promised to take me to the M4. The road, however, took me through what could politely be described as the backside of Cardiff. Industrial and Post Industrial wasteland as far as the eye cared to see.

When I got onto the M4 it was matter of only twenty minutes driving until I reached Bridgend, which was dead.

It’s one of those horrendous small towns which sprang up to house the workers of some heavy industry and is now on the decline, serving only as a commuter town. There was more acreage dedicated to the roundabouts which got you out of town than to shopping space in the centre. I found a hospital, but the name (Princess of Wales) suggested that it wasn’t the one where I was born. It’s probably been knocked down, so one day some unfortunate family is going to have a blue plaque (“Famous [insert criminal activity or worrying habit here] Ian Pattinson was born here on…..”) attached to the side of their lego brick housing development home.

They say you can never go home. In the case of Bridgend, that’s a good thing.

Local Electricity, for Local People

Nedd valley is the last place in England and Wales to be wired up to the National Grid. Perhaps they should go the whole hog and get themselves wireless broadband and a satellite link. (However, from the description of the valley, I think they’d have been better off building some mini hydro and wind generators and setting up a micro grid.)

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Appealing to the one handed voter

The Welsh Conservative party area office in Delyn, Flintshire (“I’m the only Tory in the village.”) allowed their old domain name to lapse, and when regular visitors went back they found it had been hijacked by a porn site.

If Wales were to get its own top level domain, the suffix would probably be .cym- pronounced “dot cum”- which could give .xxx a run for its money I guess.

I would go out tonight…..

That Paxman interview of Michael Howard. (I was reading someone complaining about the harshness of the questioning in the Presidential debate. Really, few US politicians could stand five minutes of Paxo without becoming a blubbering mess.) Via an old article about Newsnight- The Opera.

Wales disappears! Think of the sheep!

Dirk Benedict’s nose! And the rest of him, and the A Team, and various other computer painted film and TV characters. Penny assures me they look far better as prints.

Puppet blowjob gets US censors’ knickers in a twist. But it’s okay to immolate a liberal. In fact that would probably pass as a PG13.

Rhaid dysgu Cymraeg

The second draft of Union Jack is done, clearing up questions of continuity and tone raised by my boy editors (thanks Damian and Dave!) I’m currently bashing out on the Libretto the beat sheets for parts two and three of the three issues they want for a pitch and thinking of the story beyond that.

Part of the long term plan is to introduce characters from all four of the UK’s constituent nations. I have England’s, Scotland’s and Ireland’s quite well mapped out, but Wales is still only vague. Which is pitiful considering I was born there. This article reminded me that the plan I have is for a bit of a Taff stereotype (a Druid! What was I thinking?) and that if I do use him he has to be proudly and vocally Welsh. Hence the need to learn a bit of the native tongue.

Driven to distraction

I don’t know why the world needs a website that lets you watch traffic on the A55 but the north Wales traffic control center have given it to us anyway (also in welsh if you can read it).

The highways agency has some neat new stuff where you can zoom in on a map of England and read all the little electronic speed signs. There’s another part of the site where you can monitor the speed and volume of traffic in real time. Pointless but fun.

On an unrelated note: I heard an interview with the cheese guy on the radio. Apparently he’s been practicing eating lots of cheese in case he needs to get out in a hurry.