"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

A Farthingsworth of Tall Tales from Blighty's Fameless Blog
Newsflash from New York (no, not that one!) |  Are the British better drivers? |  The Story of the Telephone Kiosk |  Drinking Nelson's Blood |  Screaming Jelly Babies |  Flying to the UK is very dangerous! |  Brits to drive on the right |  Who hung the monkey? |  Upper class virgins |  Double, double trouble |  What a Lovely Morning for a War

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

21 Reasons To Get Your News From the UK

The United Kingdom has one of the largest - if not the largest - number of national dailies of any country in the world. I counted 21 paid circulation daily newspapers in England, Scotland and Wales.

Every shade of political opinion is represented from the traditionally surly right-wing editorials of the Times and the populist Daily Mail to the socialist Morning Star.

The most famous, and longest established, of them all is "The Times". It's name was adopted by other newspapers around the world (e.g. The New York Times) and so outside of Britain it is referred to as the "Times of London".

The Times was first published in 1785 and for many years it was famous for never carrying news on its front page. For over 200 years it was published as a broadsheet before switching to a compact format in 2004.

The Times newspaper is the originator of the ubiquitous typeface known as "Times New Roman", devised for reliable printing on mass production machinery.

Nowadays, newspapers all carry online editions as well as the printed versions. The modern age of the Internet has made yesterday's printed news all but redundant.

Blighty's website
has a page (www.blightys.com/UKNews.html) in which a fair sampling of Britain's online news sources is presented as convenient clickable links. There is also a Google Widget providing live updates from the BBC and a pocket history of the "Beeb".

Friday, January 23, 2009

Silly Season in Britain

I think I must be still asleep. Or perhaps it's all those chemicals I've been pumping into my bloodstream to fight the cold that still lingers two weeks after I first sneezed. Or maybe it really is silly season in the United Queendom.

I was watching BBC World News on the gogglebox this morning. There was a bizarre news item that caught my attention. Britain has regained the title in the world underwater ironing competition. Then the Beeb showed a video of people wearing SCUBA gear ironing their laundry underwater. I quickly reached for a third cup of coffee in an attempt to restore reality.

An hour or two later my laptop beeped to herald an incoming email from Pugwash (regular readers will know that Pugwash is the gentleman who imports all our Brit stuff). Walkers - the potato crisp people - are introducing some new flavours. Before you read on you had better do a Tim Horton's run to make sure you are fully awake.


Here are Walker's new flavours:
"Fish & Chips", "Crispy Duck", "Cajun Squirrel", "Onion Bhaji", "Chili Chocolate" and "Builder's Breakfast".

No, it's not a joke. At least it's not my joke anyway. Perhaps the Walker's Crisp people have spent too long at the bottom of a pond ironing their laundry.

I have ordered some of these bizarre crisps; they will be in stock well before April Fool's Day - trust me on this.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Does it pay to be polite?

According to a recent Australian study, it doesn't pay to be polite. Americans think of the British as being excessively polite, while the British often think the exact opposite of Americans.

Now it transpires that politeness may be dangerous to your health; it might even cost you your life!

The Australian researchers drew these conclusions after studying the survival rates of British and American passengers on board the Titanic. They suggest that British male passengers were more likely to have declined a place in the lifeboats in favour of the women and children. American male passengers, on the other hand, had a more enhanced survival instinct that took priority over their concern for the fairer sex and the young.

The study goes on to suggest that the gentlemanly conduct of the British passengers stems from an instinct to protect those who would breed or grow up to form the next generation. So the American passengers who rushed for the boats may have been preserving only the present generation.

Here at Blighty's we always try to be polite and if this ship ever founders it will be women and children who will get first place in the lifeboats. Rule Britannia.