Bodrum, Books, Turkey & Turkish, Turkey Street

Take a Stroll Along Turkey Street

Books, Food & Drink, Turkey Street

Ten Degrees of Drunkenness

Drunk2The other day, I was Facebooking (is that a word?) with Philip, an old mucker from my bean counting years. Actually, he did all the bean counting while I took all the glory. Philip was one of the first to buy a copy of Turkey Street. In fact he bought two. I mentioned in passing that a little drink might help turn the pages. He took me at my word and attempted the first chapter on a Brighton to London train. Apparently, he was too pissed to remember any of it. This got us into conversation about that tipping point – when a night out on the tiles in your best frock turns into no-knickers in the gutter. We came up with the ten degrees of drunkenness and reckon ‘smashed’ is the point of no return.

  • Warm
  • Glowing
  • Merry
  • Tipsy
  • Sozzled
  • Smashed
  • Paralytic
  • Dribbling
  • Comatosed
  • Dead

I’ve never been beyond ‘dribbling’ whereas the old pro, Philip, has died many, many times.

Equalities, Istanbul, LGBT, Police, Politics, Religion, Turkey & Turkish

Istanbul Pride, Turkey Shame

Istanbul Pride 2015Yesterday, at the very last minute, the Turkish authorities banned Istanbul Pride. A peaceful celebration of difference and diversity was savagely dispersed by water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas, the weapons of choice for the Turkish State. Memories of Gezi Park came flooding back. It seems the holy month of Ramadan was the feeble excuse offered up by the Police. Yet, last year’s march also occurred during Ramadan and passed off without incident. Perhaps this was the last hurrah of a president on the skids. I do hope so. Watch the footage of a young man waving a rainbow flag being blown clear off his feet by a water cannon. Is this the image of a modern Turkey President Erdogan wants to convey to the world?

Images courtesy of Occupy Gezi and Twitter

Equalities, LGBT, London

London Pride

Arts & Theatre, Norwich

Poetry in Motion

Last month, I posted a little piece about street buskers in Norwich doing their thing along Gentlemen’s Walk and Haymarket. I mentioned a nubile young man who does magical things with his crystal ball and one of my regulars asked to see a picture (I can’t think why). I am ever responsive to the needs of my punters so, ladies and gents, I give you poetry in motion.

Notice the oldie at the beginning of the clip cruising past on his mobility scooter. That’ll be me in the not too distant future.

Americans, Equalities, Gay Marriage, Ireland & Irish, London, Marriage

What a Gay Day

Freedom to MarryYesterday, the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in all 50 states and America joined a select group of nations that have introduced marriage equality. The map I’ve featured from Freedom to Marry illustrates the situation around the world before the Yankee vote. In these damp little islands of ours, only Northern Ireland is holding back the tide, Canute-like. The fire and brimstone lot who dominate the Northern Ireland Assembly are in good company – kiddie fiddling priests, the British National Party, Ex-Soviet republics and religious fundamentalists of all persuasions who fine, flog and hang. The dusty old Ulstermen will lose the fight in the end. It’s inevitable. Reason and sanity are against them. Today, the streets of London are paved with gold sequins. It’s London Pride, a grand celebration of everything that’s been achieved. Doubtless, black cab drivers will cuss and bemused tourists will think they’ve landed in Oz. Sadly, we can’t be there to join the party.

Norwich, Religion

The Bells, The Bells

With Liam away in London on family duties, I was left to my own devices to troll the streets of Norwich. As I passed the rear of St Peter Mancroft, a divine shaft of light pierced the clouds and a sudden crescendo of bells rang out. Blimey. It was almost enough to make this sinner drop to his pagan knees. I resisted Peter’s temptation, it’s not something I tend to do in broad daylight (not even when the better half is away in the Smoke).

St Peter Mancroft is the largest church in Norwich after the two cathedrals. A ring of fourteen Whitechapel bells clanging high in its lofty belfry makes quite a heavenly racket, I can tell you. As it turns out, it wasn’t the Almighty calling, just a practice peel for the National 12-Bell Striking Contest Final.

Bell Ringing Contest

Who was St Peter Mancroft? No one. The Mancroft bit is thought to be a mangling of the Old English gemaene croft, meaning a common field. Nobody knows for sure. Fancy.

Bars & Restaurants, Food & Drink, Norwich

The Cocks of the County

The Bell

There will be a great cock match at the Blue Bell…to show 31 cocks…Gentlemen shall be accommodated with a glass of excellent wine and care taken to prevent disturbance by the mob.

The Pub Landlord, 1725

Blimey. That’s a lot of cock. Just leave the bottle. These days the cocks of the county strut their stuff along Prince of Wales Road with its grubby hotspots of ill repute. The Bell now serves up cheap ale to north folk with tattoos and bad teeth. Still, at £3.59 for a large glass of pinot, who am I to argue?