WELCOME, FRIEND!

Happy New Year to All - EXCEPT SPAMMERS

It's not important in the grand scheme of things. But within the frame of reference of the microcosm that is the Paranormal Hotel Blog, there is room for humour, friendliness, triviality, occasional seriousness, routine urbanity and much else that scarce merits mention. In particular, there is always a welcome for guests' comments, almost all of which recognise and respect the prevailing local ethos of tongue in cheek commentary and observation. Keep coming, folks, and have a great New Year!
Now, to the spammers: dull-minded and pathetic you may be, equally low in neurons, imagination and decency, unloved and unenviable, wasteful of space and even of the air that you breathe: what are we to do with you?
Well, you might be surprised to learn that on March 27th, 2011, at precisely 1520 GMT, as a necessary and sufficient precursor to the End of the Universe, as predicted by the Mayan Calendar, Nostradamus and Gary Glitter himself, all spammers, together with their computers, will spontaneously implode. It is further predicted that those who happen to be standing up at that moment will collapse in on themselves and fall vertically about their shoes, as happens in all the best controlled demolitions.

Season's Greetings to all

It had to be done!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Paranormal readers. See you next year, if not before!

Buskers in Brick Lane - Lewis Floyd Henry

Last week, on a flying visit to London, I was passing time pleasantly in Brick Lane, enjoying the sights sounds and smells of the Sunday morning street market, when I came across these buskers. The first group were semi-official, in that they were playing a prearranged slot in a provided venue. A ukelele band, just out for a good time, they certainly cheered the small crowd of passers-by.
The second was a loner, a maverick. A one-man-band complete with a mini drum kit to back his pretty wild guitar playing. He was actually quite impressive, in a Hendrix throw-back kind of way.

I was able to to grab a short video recording of both. Mobile phone quality of course, but good enough to give an impression of how they sounded. Here they are:




I wonder how well he'd go down in the Souq?

Postscript: Since posting this I've discovered that this guy's quite a regular in Brick Lane. His name is Lewis Floyd Henry. He pops up in a few youtube videos, some much better than mine. Maybe I'll buy a decent camera!

Goodbye Musheireb, it's been a ball...

Just two of the dozens of closed shop fronts in Musheireb (and one of them a King!) The demolition continues apace, sacrificing the present to a promised future. Compulsory purchase compensates the owners of the buildings who are, of course, local people and for the most part absentee landlords. Certainly they don't live above their shop units. But for the tenant shopkeepers it's a different story. Short term eviction notices, possibly with the offer of a new tenancy in a remote place at triple the rent. Good deal. To ensure compliance with the eviction orders, the Authorities have simply cut off the electricity and water supplies to the condemned area. Many of the shopkeepers have rigged up small petrol generators to power a few lights so that they can try to sell off the last of their stock.
Last night I took a couple of photos from the roof of Sofitel (see below). The extent of the blackout is impressive, and sad. Goodbye, Musheireb. I'll miss you.

the blackout that was musheireb

must unto dust be brought

Qatar 2022 - Expect Amazing, or, Money's Coming Home



What you do, it seems, on learning that Qatar has been awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is start up your Land Cruisers, open the windows and sun roof, turn the radios on at full volume, and drive up and down the Corniche in convoy, beating a tattoo on the horn. But then, you also do this to mark the start of each Eid and on National Day, so you've had plenty of practice. And you keep it going till about 3 a.m.
And what you'll do for the next twelve years is build and build. Solar cooled stadiums, roads, hotels, apartment blocks for the professionals, labour camps for the faceless ones. A football city will rise from the desert.
The FIFA guys are not stupid. Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) were the only two bidding countries that could reasonably be expected to come through the coming financial meltdown intact. (2008 was merely a rehearsal). Money follows money and it's a long time since football was about sport.
My guess is that you'll be ready in time. The 2006 Asia Games should have taught you that lesson. But what will you do with the hordes of fans in the hours between breakfast and the first match of the day? You know, the rampaging thousands looking for beer and every entertainment that goes with it, which doesn't mean shopping malls. Then there's the tattooed loons who think they can take the sun because they've been once to Ibiza. You're going to need a stadium-sized casualty and burns unit to cope with that lot. And an army of police. Good luck guys!
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