We had a bit of time to look around Liverpool yesterday. The statue of Billy Fury is in Albert Dock, a short distance away from the curious Superlambanana tribute to Merseyside bands of the 1980s. You can see Echo and the Bunnymen, A Flock of Seagulls and the Lightning Seeds in the photo, while Frankie Goes to Hollywood and China Crisis are among the other acts to get a mention.
I’ve found out that the Dutch have two words for ‘cyclist’. The same person can be both types of cyclist at different times. For example, someone can be a ‘wielrenner’ when going for runs in Lycra at the weekend on a racing bike and become a ‘fietser’ when travelling to work or the shops in ordinary clothes on an upright bike in the week. They don’t have the confusion between sport cycling and everyday cycling that clouds much of the discussion about cycling over here.
The 34 More Beers Project: Einstök Icelandic Toasted Porter
It’s been a surprisingly good September, especially when you consider that the previous month was Leicestershire’s coldest August for 21 years. Amazingly, it’s still warm enough to sit outside and quaff a late afternoon beer. This Einstök Icelandic Toasted Porter is definitely the first beer from Iceland that I’ve ever tried, and it was less pricey than you might think (£2.69 for a 330ml bottle from Amathus in Soho). According to the label, this 6% ABV porter is ‘brewed with Icelandic roasted coffee’, and this is evident in the taste, along with some chocolate notes. The only thing that bothers me about this beer is that the Viking on the label is shown wearing a historically inaccurate horned helmet.
18 to go.
"Are you Czech or Slovakian?"
I had the morning off today and was surprised to hear the doorbell ring at about 10 am. When I answered the door, there were two blokes and two women there, all about 35 years old. One of the men asked me in an east European accent “are you Czech or Slovakian?” Obviously, I replied that I was neither. He then explained that he was looking for Czech and Slovakian people and did I know of any in this area. I truthfully replied that I didn’t but even if I did, I wouldn’t have let this bunch of weirdos know about it.
In the afternoon, I told this strange tale to the Slovakian lady who was working with me. She straightaway said that my callers must have been Jehovah’s Witnesses, explaining that many of her compatriots in this country had recently joined that particular cult after getting a lot of attention from them. She was very unhappy about this situation, feeling that a vulnerable group was being targeted and exploited.
'First and foremost, it's important to clarify what we mean by upright city bikes, and how they differentiate from other styles you may see. With their high, sweeping handlebars and sometimes step-through frames (which are not suggested to be gender-specific anywhere but in North America — just practical, comfortable design), they are designed for a different posture: riding in an upright position — rather than hunching over — taking all strain off your back, shoulders, forearms, wrists, and hands.
Not only are they designed for comfort, they’re sturdier and safer, making them ideal for cruising at slower speeds, providing opportunities for an intimate, unfiltered awareness and experience of the people and places around you. They’re not meant for long distances or off-roading, but are the perfect means for a short, slow, non-sweaty jaunt around your neighbourhood.’
The only bit I disagree with is the statement that step-through frames 'are not suggested to be gender-specific anywhere but in North America'. Regrettably, that same ignorant and reactionary view is also prevalent in the UK. If you’re in any doubt about this, just look below at the foolish comments that BeerLeg and Bill are bound to leave.