Britblog Roundup No 129

Welcome to the weekly British blogfest – the striking, the dramatic, the amusing, and the straight out “did they really say that!?”

Which takes me first to a bit of navel-gazing – how Matt on The Wardman Wire found a way to poke someone in the eye without blinding them – or how to respond to a spot of bandwidth theft.

Moving away from the self-referential, my choice for post of the week goes to Rachel from north London’s Moose Loose aboot this Hoose: cats are deadly killers, feline slaughter machines. Aren’t they? More fun than Tom and Jerry. I also got a chuckle out of Blood & Treasure’s interview with Sir Ian Blair – meet our commissionaire.

Turning more serious, or at least more analytical, Zenobia on Mind the Gap reflects on who benefits from the classic model of PMS: “Chocolate manufacturers, sanitary towel manufacturers, purveyors of “fat jeans”, and everyone else who benefits from women having “fat ugly days”,” she concludes.

And Jim Jay on The Daily (Maybe) offers a far more considered, analytical review of council plans for a congestion charge for Cambridge; who says bloggers only follow and comment on the mainstream media?

Staying on the newsy side, Phillip Booth on Ruscombe Green has used Gloucestershire’s post-flood reliance on bottled water to reflect on how we totally misuse and misallocate this (usually) scarce resource.

And Zohra Moosa on The F-word blog (that’s “feminism” should you be wondering), judges Brown’s first 31 days – could do better, a lot better.

Sian Berry on her New Statesman blog reflects on how BAA’s efforts to stop the protesters with an injunction that would also have apparently stopped the judge hearing the case getting on the Piccadilly line, have only boosted publicity for the Climate Change camp. Meanwhile, Harry Haddock on Nation of Shopkeepers outlines how he, and his parents, natural members of the law-abiding class, have come to distrust, and even fear, the police.

Further into the travails of life in Britain, Craig Murray explains how the Halifax wiped out his student son’s holiday, while John of Gwent notes that the fine for not having a HIP when selling your house is less than the cost of the said instrument, and Lady Bracknell finds the horrors that lurk in treatment room number 4.

In her own inimitable style, Pandemian reflects on the things she’s collected over her life – finishing with idioms, “at the behest of someone at university with whom I was absolutely not trying to sleep with in any manner whatsoever”. While if you’re still slaving away at home, while the world’s on holiday (or so it seems), pop over to Red Mum – who’s sharing her Turkish holiday with some mouth-watering photos.

Heading into the virtual world, Sharon on Early Modern Notes reflects on how Google killed the bookmark – now only part of internet archaeology, while Investigations of a Dog says that if you think MySpace is addictive, don’t be a history buff browsing around EEBO (Early English Books Online) – but if you are can you investigate the origins of Cromwell’s nickname “Old Ironsides”? (EEBO is sadly only available at the British Library, or through an institutional Athens password, or there is another way, but it does involve a long train journey – email me if you want to know the trick.)

Staying with the history bloggers, Early Modern Whale tells the story of the witch of Wapping, hanged at Tyburn in 1652, and how she got caught up in a rich dilettante’s schemes, but courageously died rather than implicate another innocent woman. Author Elizabeth Chadwick has been living her historical period – although not quite to such lengths – but she has got a snazzy pair of “12th-century” shoes, and she’s exploring the development of “fashion” at the time.

Proving that you can find a full range of interests in the blogging world, The Yorkshire Ranter, better known for military exposes, reflects on the Catalan Dragons’ surprise victory – it was the French no-namers who wun it, he concludes. (Rugby league for those who were wondering.) And Onionbag blogger has been watching the Crystal Palace athletics (and taking some spectacular pictures thereof.

But Diamond Geezer’s been going for something less working class – if slightly classier than Formula 1 – an acrobatic air race along the Thames (no I’m not going to give the sponsor a plug – it is only what Thai taxi-drivers drink while weaving along the airport expressway anyway).

Turning towards the arts, while staying (almost) airborne, City Slicker’s been to see the Menier’s Take Flight, and “spent more time looking for the emergency exits than adopting the brace position”. You have been warned.

Jonathan Calder is branching out into film criticism, with a reflection on Sky West and Crooked, filmed “when teenagers had not fully been invented”. And also on arts history, my favourite science bloggers on Inky Circus have the answer to the perfect pub quiz question: which was the first band to have a web page?

But do you want to watch your favourite athor buy a bra? Grumpy Old Bookman warns the literary world is heading in that direction, fast… but I still think 12-century shoes are OK.

Heading back to politics for the final push to the finish line, there’s a perhaps surprising agreement between parts of the left and parts of the right in Richard’s roundup of European treaty discussions on the blog called EU Roundup; Suz Blog has the inside goss on a Lib Dem defection to the Tories; Bill Jones on Skipper looks at how Labour has moved away from the ideals of John Ruskin; Iain Sharpe on Eaten by missionaries, reflects on the political backstory of Ali Miraj; Youdon’tknowme on Central News proposes a restructuring of the judiciary that would see juries decide sentences; Linda Jack wonders if she’s blown her chance of a safe seat on World at One; Alex Wilcock on Love and Liberty, in reflecting on the travails of Cameron shows an unusual sense of irony for a Lib Dem as he complains of the Tories saying different things in different seats; and, The Devil’s Kitchen is finding the word inadequate to express his reaction to the reaction against patio heaters.

A note about philosophy: the founder of this roundup, Tim Worstall, followed a policy of accepting all nominations, whether he agreed with their sentiments or not (a policy of which I was sometimes a beneficiary). I, and I think other hosts, are following that, difficult as it might sometimes be….

You might however note one thing different to many other roundups – I’ve gone for gender balance, and I think, without taking off the socks to count, that I’ve got pretty close.

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