June 8th, 2004


Dickie Davies

It's been a fairly musical week. I played with Mike down at The Folks and then headed down to 93 Feet East in Brick Lane to do an unrehearsed set with The Lovers as they have no bass/drums anymore. Both of these went fairly well and I had a great evening with Jen and Russell. There's nothing like playing a set of songs you don't know live to keep you on your toes. And, I regret, you can get sort of big-headed about the fact you're good enough to do it (in a slightly slapdash, alt-folky, ramshackle style). Hell, it's all three chords when it comes down to it anyway. Anything else is jazz. And as Leicester Boy likes to comment, there's a reason they call it jazz.

Returning home yesterday, I was looking through a Euro 2004 guide and was intrigued to see that one of the statistics mentioned in the breakdown for the various countries was the number of internet users. It's unclear quite how this figure was arrived at. Is this people with domestic ISPs or what? Plenty of people have it at work. To my knowledge the Professor's home has no internet and he's not exactly afraid of it. Anyway, I have taken these figures and and have ranked them for your interest. To achieve this number, I have divided the number of users by the population and then multiplied this by a mysterious figure. The mysterious figure makes not a single difference to the ranking, but does mean I could make some sort of pseudo-mathematical spiel about its transformative (kabbalistic?) powers. If I could be bothered.

1. Sweden .775
2. Holland .671
3. Denmark .630
4. Switzerland .616
5. England .567
6. Germany .544
7. France .369
8. Italy .343
9. Spain .338
10. Czech Rep. .253
11. Portugal .198
12. Croatia .182
13. Greece .159
14. Latvia .130
15. Bulgaria .080
16. Russia .041

Of course, I'm not sure what to deduce from this. The bottom six have all endured various forms of commmunism or dictatorship in not so distant history. It's not much of an advert for Orthodoxy and the internet either. Prods seem to be leading the way. Given the relationship between prøn and the net, it might also tell you who are the biggest winkers in Europe. Perhaps.

I once met this woman who said that as she'd often go out to the pub with blokes on a Saturday and football talk would ensue, she'd read the sports sections to pick up a few conversational gambits to interject. "Pearce should stick to management" is one I remember. I was very impressed by this. Everyone thought she had this in-depth knowledge of the sport. I can't remember her name or who I met her through. Wherever you may be, I thought you were quite wonderful.

So, absorb this table, it might prove of use in some forthcoming Euro 2004 conversation.

I was pleased to see that a comment had been left to another comment this morning without any Sarmoungian intervention. For those of you who haven't twigged, this thing below with a pen-and-paper icon may be clicked to leave comments. Comments make Sarmoung happy. The happier Sarmoung is, the less he sinks into reflexive navel-gazing.

Ne travaillez jamais...

I must say that I'm very impressed with myself over these t-shirts I have just made for the England-France match. As I'll be in Brittany as part of the wedding weekend, these have been done with Franco-English bonhomie in mind.

The first is this picture with 'entente charnelle' (bizoux for P'tout - his idea) overlayed in the middle in blue-white-red.

The next is this picture of Michel Polnareff in Carnaby street with the old Paris '68 slogan 'Soyez realiste: Demandez l'impossible' at top and bottom. In the middle it reads 'Angleterre 5, France 0'.

Finally it's this Jane B. picture with the old standby 'Come On England'. Okay, I've got a thing for Jane Birkin. I admit it.

Ooo, missus...Sorry, mum.