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TRAGEDY: Judge Marcus Einfeld (Australia) Having seen a marvellous production of Lear last night at the Young Vic, it was all the more poignant to be reminded by Clive James on Radio 4’s “Comment” this a.m. of the key elements of tragedy - viz. a fall from lofty grace, as a result of a specific… Dej 03/29/09 0
RE: Heard on Oxford St., London W1 - “La Classe” (cc. www.brothersabroad.com) Fine point, sir…which might explain why there was no discernible reaction from the herd! I was actually so struck by the use of the verb ‘accelerer’ that I rather overlooked the diffidence of the construction, given that road signs/directions (for example) are always so much more polite in French than… Dej 03/16/09 0
Heard on Oxford St., London W1 - “La Classe” (cc. www.brothersabroad.com) “Est-ce que vous pouvez accelerer, s’il vous plait?” - French teacher attempting to herd her ruck-sacked pupils, who were dragging their heels in the middle of the pavement. This request struck me as being in marked contrast to the “hurry up!” or “keep together and move along!” which one might… Dej 03/15/09 0
Top Simile - courtesy Radio 4 (“Berlin Diary” by Christopher Isherwood) Just heard: “He lay crookedly in the corner, like an abandoned sack…” Stephen King would scorn the use of the adverb, but I felt that its arguable awkwardness fitted the context rather nicely. Dej 11/17/08 0
Radio 4’s Pick of the Week/‘Outlook’ BBC World Service - Churai (sp?) Incense (Senegal) “Pick of the Week” last night featured the importance of churai in ‘Senegalese’ marriage, as underscored by musical accompaniment ~ Isatou Somebody: “churai strengthens love…even if your husband is weak…” There was also a reference to the belt of beads worn around the woman’s waist and their aphrodisiac rattle -… Dej 05/19/08 0
Feedback/BBC Radio 4 - PRONUNCIATION Need to check whether this might have made it onto the relevant BBC message board… ________________________________ Dear Roger/Feedback Team, Good to have you back and to hear that your listeners’ quills (actual or virtual) are still as sharp as ever! I seem to recall from the final outing of your… Dej 05/11/08 0
MIS-SPEAKING by Victoria Coren (THE OBSERVER) As you will have gathered from my recently mentioning Ms. Coren’s column on David Beckham’s appearance in a print ad campaign for underwear, I have become a big fan of the late Alan Coren’s daughter. She was recently having some good fun at the expense of the former First Lady… Dej 04/12/08 0
Heathrow Terminal 5 Launch Debacle - quote of the day Cool, young German passenger when asked his impressions of Terminal 5 by the BBC’s reporter - and delivered in totally dead-pan, savvy-euro-stylee: “It’s a nice building…but it would be better with some ‘planes” Priceless…for everything else, there’s Mastercard! Dej 03/28/08 0
Radio 4’s Book of the Week - LINGUISTICS/use of NOT (meaning ONLY) ....as in ne que…? Stumbled across the following last night - a description from a female suitor’s perspective, as far as I could gather: “...not the most inveterate optimist could have read any more than languid civility in his response…” [had to do a double-take to break down this delicious… Dej 03/06/08 0
The Oxford Comma* Just heard this offered as an example on Radio 4’s “Brain of Britain” quiz - “fish, chips,* and peas” Why the comma and why the nomenclature? - would be my questions! Dej 12/03/07 0
RE: Henry V - “Once More Unto The Breach” Just heard - courtesy of Radio 4’s “Broadcasting House”, bien sur - that this speech actually precedes the battle at Harfleur, NOT Agincourt, as is the common misconception! Pretty d*mn sure that I was not taught this at O-Level for which we studied HV. Over…? Dej Mahoney - Director, AOB… Dej 11/25/07 0
Thursday Interlude: “Happiness” Time Out quoting John Nettles (Bergerac/Midsomer Murders?) in “The Hunt for Middle England” (BBC4): Happiness is a big bank account, a pretty wife, an approximate Indian restaurant and occasionally to watch your neighbour falling off the roof”! Dej 03/08/07 0
” BLAIR: The Inside Story” - BBC2 Great line from a speech I didn’t recall, in Part Two of this excellent, three-part documentary last night - TB neutralising any expectation that he would tell Uncle Sam where to get off (as the Hugh Grant character had just done in “Love Actually”): “The difference is that in real… Dej 02/28/07 0
Paranoia - 9/11 Just heard the intro’ to a new series on BBC 2 - The Conspiracy Files - examining the wealth of theories around 9/11, in which one guy shares the following: “As the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” Hadn’t heard this… Dej 02/19/07 0
Carnival - etymology I just heard some guy on Radio 4 alluding quite convincingly to the derivation of "carnival" as "saying goodbye to meat" (carne + vale? ) - which had never occurred to me, I’m afraid to say.  Interestingly, my Chambers dictionary reads as follows:"probably from - caro flesh + levare to… Dej 02/17/07 0
FASCINATING FACT OF TODAY - language/Sicily Just heard (courtesy R4) that there is no future tense in the Palermo dialect.    This was suggested as a reflection of the prevailing, fatalistic state of mind - nothing will ever change. Dej 01/25/07 0
WELCOME TO BROTHERS ABROAD!  Brothers Abroad is a long-running intercontinental conversation between three brothers from their different vantage points: Europe (London, UK), North America (New York, USA) and Africa (Lagos, Nigeria).  The idea grew from a large body of e-mail exhanges between ourselves and the website was conceived as a ‘live’, categorised medium for these… Dej 08/04/06 0
Your Man in Hermosillo - A Dispatch from the Desert   Once I was a senior lawyer and Vice President at a major record company, but I went out in search of even more variety in my career…the rich fabric of life. Today, as a consultant to one of the U.K’s top ad agencies, my mission is to fly out… Dej 08/03/06 0
” The Leaning Fence of London” For several months at sometime during the first half of the ‘90s, it became quite common for young guys going about their own business in and around Central London to be accosted by men leaping from white vans, which would usually have screeched to a halt at a ridiculous angle… Dej 08/03/06 0
Land of the Rising Sun - Snapshots   I had never been too excited about visiting this fabled land. It was more, something on the to-do list; a bit like going to the supermarket – other trips you’d rather make, but you know you’ll be glad to have this one done and dusted. I had worked for… Dej 08/03/06 0
Foreign Exchange (revisited): Caen 1975 - Letter to John Peel at Radio 4 (Home Truths)   John, belated congratulations to you and the Home Truths posse on your success at the Sony Radio Awards! I attended the ceremony last year for the first time and thought it was a great event - unfortunately, I was away this year.  The subject-matter of this note is by… Dej 08/03/06 0
Dispatch from Osaka - El Hadj   You may be amused to learn that we ended up at The Hyatt Regency (courtesy of Alex’s efforts on the Net) and got upgraded to a killer, bay-view room on the 27th/top floor for half the price of the more central Hilton, can you believe?!  Dej 08/03/06 0
Blue Orange [MY NOTE: It is now just over a year since my last ‘review’ (’‘De La Guarda’’ ) , which largely wrote itself , as I had no intention of doing a review when I went to see the show . It was more a case of the spectacle staying with… Dej 08/03/06 0
A Life in the Day of Tae Kwon Do Red Belt Ever since I was given a kung fu costume, aged about 11, I had wanted to emulate Bruce. But it was not until a couple of decades later that I finally joined Errol Williams’ Tae Kwon Do club, which convenes at various venues on the east side of London. This… Dej 08/03/06 0
“Hidden” (“Cache”), The Movie With the “Da Vinci Code” bandwagon going like a runaway train, despite its most uncatholic reviews, one could be forgiven for not remembering the successes of last year’s annual film jamboree in Cannes. The winner of the Palme D’Or 2005 is still playing in one or two ‘very select’ cinemas… Dej 08/03/06 0
London Transport/ Tube - Weird Sightings Jubilee line (northbound/Waterloo): three cute, cappucino girls between the ages of four and eight, ALL carrying a naked, white Barbie and being admonished by their very young, stressed-out brown sugar of a mother…”Destiny, get away from the door!” I kid you not!  Picadilly Circus (ticket area/underground): three oriental girls squatting… Dej 09/09/05 0
Soho - Theatre of Life Last week some time, I was proceeding in a northerly direction, on my way back to the office after the brief lunch-break that JD allows me, when I noticed a small crowd gathered at the dodgy end of Berwick Street.On closer inspection, I spotted a bare-breasted, nipple-ringed (or is it… Dej 09/06/05 0
Alicia Keys @ The Criterion Theatre   I have never played Alicia’s first album as much as I felt I ought to, er…coz I’ve never really LOVED it. True, there are a couple of killer cuts, but having seen stars at her first London showcase at Hanover Grand in April 2001(?), the earth has never quite moved for… Dej 05/06/05 0
Joss Stone @ Ronnie Scott’s   I like Joss Stone’s ‘‘Soul Sessions’’ like I like warm apple pie…a la mode. The basic recipe (composition?) is traditional and wholesome - there’s healthy fruit involved and the ice cream topping is vanilla sweet…and quite cool until it gets properly mixed with the hot stuff.      Dej 11/25/04 0
Dej’s Quote of the Year! Following Geoff Hoon’s (or an MOD spokesman’s)  observation that Um Qsar is a bit like Southampton (no doubt meaning - port town of a certain size, population etc.), the Beeb elicited the comments of a British squaddie on the ground…  He’s either never been to Um Qsar or he’s never been to… Dej 12/08/03 0
“Raising Victor Vargas” - The Gate, Notting Hill   A few words on the venue, before I get going…Does The Gate think that its shabbiness qualifies as boho-chic, or what?! The foyer is more like a cramped kiosk area and the availability of Japanese rice crackers as well as Ben & Jerry’s mini-tubs does little to redeem its credentials. I recommend… Dej 09/27/03 0
The Archer of Seville   This is not a previously untold story about the Sagittarian brother of the Barber, but rather one about the recently elected Tory candidate for the role as London’s Mayor.  Funnily enough, Lord Archer did declare at the Blackpool conference that titles were something of an inappropriate anachronism  going into… Dej 08/10/99 0
“De La Guarda” @ The Roundhouse The morning after the night before .........The promotional artwork for this show carries the banner ‘‘As Good As Sex’‘, rather surprisingly attributed to The Guardian. I have to assume that this is one of those out-of-context quotes so universally overused by enthusiastic marketeers, as not only does it appear to… Dej 05/15/99 0