Merry Christmas!

Greetings one and all.  🙂

So – I’M IN AMERICA!!!  Nebraska, to be precise.

For those that don’t know I am spending Christmas with the lovely Lisa, her daughter Brit and my two new adopted dogs: Ginger and Molly.

This is the best Christmas I can remember for a very long time.  I flew in Christmas Eve, 8 hours with a 5am GMT start ending with a brilliantly festive evening at 23:00 CST – a full 26 of your human hours later.  Mmmm, jet laggy.  Heh heh.  We are having the best time ever.  Today (Boxing day to the British or “the day after Christmas day” to the Americans) we are driving to Kansas to meet Lisa’s youngest brother Chris and his family.  John, the other brother, sent a shipping order of lovely baked things like iced buns, Kolache – think Stollen without the marzipan, and other such lovelies like peanut brittle.  I am doing the lion’s share of the driving – on the “wrong” side of the road.  Be afraid Mid-Western America, be very afraid.  I’ll update the blog later on details of Kansas, Christmas Presents, Snow Boots (it’s minus 11 here!!!) and where most of the world’s sugar supply is eaten.

The flight took me over Greenland, Canada and Northern America flying ‘down’ across the Dakotas (I think).  The only time I did not see snow on the ground was in the UK.  I have now seen real-life iceburgs.  HUGE iceburgs.  Canada appears to be completely empty apart from  6 people and a dog.  In fact, I’m not even sure it was a dog.

Geographical note: Nebraska looks a lot like Norfolk, UK, from the air only with far far less houses.  It’s only until you get to one of the cities you start to see a population density greater than one ‘house’ per mile.  In some places a lot less than that.  The reason that American houses are bigger than European houses is that there is 4000 times the spare land to build on.  America is, to put it crudely: bloody massive.

It’s been fun going to some of the local supermarkets like Walgreen’s.  I am getting used to people stopping dead in their tracks and staring at me.  It appears that an obviously British accent like mine is a wonder to behold to your average Mid-Westerner.  The Walgreen’s checkout girl nearly expired with happiness when I showed her a British ten pound note and spoke about our pretty money versus the utilitarian color colour scheme of the US dollar.  People go all gooey-eyed and watch your lips move.  Heh heh.

Yesterday I got to speak to Mr and Mrs Bulldog.  We spoke at length about the joys of customs officers who open your baggage (they left a note saying “we checked your bags for contraband” – at least they tell you) and how airport bag checkers are not the greatest the greatest fans of Civil War Re-enactment.  😉

We are all so happy.  I hope you are too.  I’m off now to Kansas.  Now, where did I put my ruby slippers.

Merry Christmas.

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Poetry and plugging

Because I iz so busy n stuff innit: I’ve not got around to blogging about some recent fun (and I’m at work so I better not do it right now either).  Briefly:

  • Champagne, in the morning, at work, twice in two weeks.  Huge new recession-proof deals  I think I made the right decision to work here.
  • Pownce is closing, Revision3 laying people off and cancelling shows (despite Digg hiring the lead developer on the PHP project).  Not good news for the Web 2.0 world.  I’ve always been a little suspicious of anybody that has a business model which doesn’t extend beyond “we will sell advertising and be rich whilst doing some cool stuff”.
  • Brilliant Birthday due to even more brilliant woman.
  • My shining armour and white steed are safely back in the stable after riding to the rescue of several victims of rubbish ISPs.  (Breaking news: a text message this morning reveals there is more to do due to further ISP stupidity.  *edit* all fixed there too now*).  Warm and fuzzy feeling = on, setting = gas mark 6.
  • I have been off to the wilds to freak people with my poetry whilst simultaneously becoming a founder-member and web-master of a local poetry group.
  • The most recent gig was in Coventry at The Tin Angel.  A lovely venue with a wide selection of poets.  Four of us went up to “reprazent” the Milton Keyne’s ‘sound’  (oh yes, I’m down with the lingo kidz big dog).  This is worthy of a blog post on its own so I’ll do that later…ish.

Which leads me on to the plugging.

Poetry gig: www.poetrykapow.co.uk Poetry Kapow is on this Sunday.  I will be performing but if that doesn’t curl your chest hairs there will be umpteen other VERY good poets with only one bad one allowed for the sake of diversity and because there is probably some European law that says we have to have a stinker in there too – I’m assuming it’s not me (one man’s genius is another man’s personality disorder personified) but you’ll never know if you don’t turn up.  Poetry Kapow is excellent.  Trust me.  Excellent music, poetry  and some other arty stuff.  Lots of different styles ranging from funny stand-up comedian-type poets through lyrical Byronesque master-pieces to profound tear-jerking thought-invaders.

No excuses now – if you’re anywhere near Wolverton, Milton Keynes get your wobbly bits down to see us all.  The bar is CHEAP and the consumption of absinthe and cheroots is no longer compulsory to enjoy the evening.  Honest.