Texas Strangers


Bic Wood

20 January 2002 17:29

RE: Parlez-Vous Anglais? and Translations

Paul and Trevor;

Thanks for both of your replies to my e-mail with its urgent questions.  I feel significantly more educated now that I have your definitions for sprogs, effing and blinding...
 
Given that it was bitterly cold here last evening - high 50s during the day and low 40s at night (F not C) - I used the weather as an excuse to stay in with a bottle of Scotch and the Spooky St. Ives web site. 
 
The first pleasant surprise was the depth of the site.  Every time I thought I was about to reach the end of my enjoyment a new branch appeared.  I started with a bottle of the Macallan at my side.  (I thought Scotch was appropriate based on the J. Leach plan to always drink the "drink of the country" and I was hoping to be transported, so to speak, to St. Ives.  Of course, pub brew would have been an obvious choice, but was not available.  I guess Gin could have also been in the running, but why?  Don't know anything about Pimm's [No, Pimm's is a complete mystery to us as well. We're not sure what's in it so we use it to clean the ceramic hob!] ... Anyway, Scotch seemed to qualify (and would have been what I was drinking anyway even without all of this cold weather and country justification [waste product from a male cow's rear]).  The decision of which Scotch was settled by starting with The Macallan - 18 year old - to show proper respect.  As the evening went on and the depth of the site became obvious I switched to Laphroaig simply due to the call of the bottle.  Paul's advice to use the menus to go through the site in some sort of order and then dip back in through the Appendicitis page proved to be the perfect plan, provided for an excellent evening, and seriously dented both the Macallan and Laphroaig.)
 
I must admit that I entered the site with some skepticism.  While my initial glance at the site (as previously reported) was very positive, I was not convinced that anyone could continue to combine that much humor, appropriate sarcasm and crankiness, and good localized information across an entire site of any significant size.  I was biased by the junk that is generally available on the Internet.  (Summarized by a quote I had recently seen - "We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the Complete Works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."  (This was from a Robert Wilensky from the University of California so I am sure it is not only insightful, but based on government funded research.))
 
I was surprised and very entertained throughout my trip through the site.  I would recommend the site as the best tourist guide to St. Ives that is available.  The "walking tour" and Sloop sections provided the level of detail and interest that are not available in the mass market published stuff.  My only complaint was that it did not cover enough and ended too soon.  I am looking forward to more breadth being added at the same level of depth. [Give us a chance, we're still knackered after hoofing all the way to Hayle and back several times to bring you the Hayle To The Chief section]
 
As a techie and occasional web designer, I was at first put off by small things such as the naming of each page in the html as "New Page 1".  (Only noticed if you turn on the "History" list in your browser.)  [Don't look at us, mate. Jelly does the technical stuff and as we've pointed out before he hasn't got a clue. He says that every time he creates a new page it has a default title of New Page 1 until he calls it something else. He's using Microsoft FrontPage so it just goes to prove the old English proverb; he who sups with the devil needs a long spoon! And in Jelly's case a brain would help as well.] However, after the Scotch loosened up the brain cells that had been in public/work mode, I realized the subtle truth and even beauty in each page being "New Page 1".
 
Have the two of you thought of adding together your considerable talents and knowledge and including stories of the Leaches - B and J particularly?  I only spent a small amount of time in Janet's presence, but she did have tales to tell.  Perhaps I mostly enjoyed them because of her ability to produce stories with a Texas/Japanese/English attitude.  (Mary and I fondly remember a story she told me on the phone about a "prang" that involved turning the mini over in the streets of St. Ives.  She said the problem was that the steering wheel was improperly designed - it was too small.  I never understood if "too small" referred to the overall diameter of the wheel or the diameter of the outer ring, how a too small steering wheel could cause the car to flip, or if perhaps whiskey was somehow involved in either the designing or the driving.  In any event, it seemed that there were definite Texas and Japanese influences in the telling of this English incident.)  Anyway, I worry that stories by and about her and Bernard are now effectively lost if the experts like you guys do not get them down in some form. [Hm, as you know, Trevor is the Guardian of the Secrets of the Leach Pottery. We think it is like being in the Illuminati and he may not be allowed under any circumstances to divulge inside information. We'll ask him if he can bring the subject up at their next moot!].
 
As to the Sloop winter raffle with drinks and prizes, why do St. Iveans have all the fun.  The only prizes you seem to get in U.S. bars is being asked to leave.  Anyway, since Trevor has obviously worked out a scam to win at will, let me suggest that he use this skill at the next travel voucher drawings and then use the winnings to bring you both to Austin.  I know this will not satisfy his obvious propensity to stay in places that are cold and near large bodies of sea water - like Maine, why?  To compensate we could visit Lake Travis - hopefully not too cold, but with The Oasis built on cliffs over the water that can perhaps fulfill a need for salt water with the salt this is on the rims of the margarita glasses.  We could visit many other places.  We have places called pubs - they aren't - but we also have bars - they are.  We have good music (of all sorts) and bad art [Ooh, it'll be just like a home from home then!] (of even more sorts ).  Come any time.
 
Thanks for the fun.  

Well, gosh, folks, I guess it's true what they say about Southern hospitality. That's two great bits of e-mail correspondence we've had with Americans; one lot in New Mexico and now Bic in Texas. What's the matter with the rest of the States, don't you have electricity? 

..... Well, OK, we've seen on the news that they don't in California these days but what about the rest of you? Why don't you tell us what's what in Wyoming? What's news in New Hampshire? What's cooking in Colorado? What's doing in the Dakotas? What's massive in Missouri? What's airing in Arizona? In short, what's the status in the states?

(People in Alaska are excused from replying immediately. We're happy to wait until later in the year when you defrost!).

Send us an e-mail from each state and whoever sends the best one will win the right not to be visited by Tony Blair!

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