Friday, November 30, 2007

LeftLion #20 - Out NOW! NOW NOW NOW!

FREE Notts Xmas decorations
The A-Z of Nottingham Hip-Hop
Cappo
Neville Staple of The Specials
The return of Miles Hunt
Shopping in Notts
Dominic Minghella
Loay Hady

Plus May Contain Notts, A Canadian In New Basford, two months of Nottingham listings and all the usual features. Available in all the pubs and bars in the city centre worth a toss tonight, and all the other shoppy places from Monday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nottingham Education #2: The Accent

(I wrote this for some student mag last month. Seeing as I didn't get paid for it, and because there are so many twatty youths in the city who are currently spurning their native tongue in favour of trying to talk like somebody from Brixton after a brain haemorrage, I see no reason not to print it here...)

The Nottingham accent is weird. For one, only half the people in the city actually talk like that, as people who live south of the Trent sound like they come from the Home Counties. For two, it’s the most difficult British accent to get right (which is why they never bother with it in any production of Robin Hood, especially the current one. And we won’t even talk about Kevin Costner’s attempt in Prince Of Thieves, which got him laughed out of the UK premiere).

If you want to learn Notts As She Is Spoken (and you should, because it opens a lot of doors, mainly the ones in clubs and late-night bars), you need to learn the following ground rules;

1. WE’RE NOT NORTH. WE’RE NOT SOUTH. WE’RE NOT EVEN MIDLANDS. WE’RE EAST MIDLANDS

Attempting a standard Northern accent is not going to cut it – the Notts dialect is far too subtle for that. And although we’re in the Midlands, our accent bears no relation whatsoever to the Birmingham one. Moral of the story – attempt to wing it, and you’ll come a cropper.

2. DON’T BOTHER LISTENING TO LOCAL MEDIA FOR GUIDANCE

Trying to find a local accent on the radio or telly is as pointless as looking for a pound shop in Knightsbridge.

3. WE MIX BOTH NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN ACCENTS IN THE SAME SENTENCES

In other words, we combine harsh Northern vowel sounds with drawn-out Southern ones, and then snip off a few vowels or add new ones for good measure. It’ll take a lifetime to master it, but here are a few examples;

Northern

Notts

Southern

Up (‘Oop’)

Shirt (‘Shot’)

Down (‘Daahn’)

Bath (‘Baff’)

Work (‘Wok’)

Out (‘Aht’)

Just (‘Joost’)

Home (‘Om)

Sound (‘Saahnd’)

Must (‘Moost’)

Take (‘Tek’)

Town (’Taahn’)

Ergo, a sentence such as “I was about to have a bath before going to town, but realised my shirt was dirty, so I went out to buy a new one” is pronounced “I wor joost abaaht ter tek a baff after wok before gooin’ dahn tahn, but it wor dotteh, so I went aht ter gerra new’un. It’s saahnd as a paahnd!”

4. REPLACE WORDS THAT END IN ‘Y’ AND ‘IE’ WITH ‘EH’

If you learn nothing else, this is the rule to live by. You don’t go to Rock City to take in a gig; you go to Rock Citeh to see . Your best mate is not called Julie; she’s called Juleh. You’re not studying at a place of Higher Learning; you’re at Uneh. Quite possibly doing a Joint Honours in Istreh and Sociologeh. Maybe living in Strelleh. Doing a part-time job in Ockleh to mek some extra munneh so you can afford a season ticket at Notts Caanteh. The Nottingham version of ‘The Rain In Spain Lies Mainly On The Plain’ is ‘Toneh Adleh Aht O’ Spandaah Balleh’. Repeat it, in the mirror, at least five times before going out in the morning.

5. A BRIEF TERMINOLOGEH

A full list of words peculiar to Nottinghamshire would take up pages and pages and pages, so here are the most essential;

  1. ‘DUCK’
    (‘Dook’) - Term of endearment, regardless of gender or sexuality. In other words, don’t be offended if you’re a strapping Sports student and the bus driver calls you ‘duck’. ‘Duckeh’ can also be used, but only with people you’re particularly close to. Eg: ‘Ayup, me duck’
  2. ‘YOUTH’
    (Yooerth’) – A (mainly male) term of endearment, regardless of age. In other words, if the same bus driver calls you ‘youth’, he’s not casting aspersions on your perceived lack of life experience; he’ll probably call the bloke behind you whose just collected his pension the same thing. Eg: ‘That Yooerth over there wants to flog his iPod’
  3. ‘SUCKY’
    (‘Sookeh’) – Nothing to do with Bevis or Butthead: it’s a disparaging term that calls someone’s intelligence into question. Known in the South as a ‘Plum’, and the North as a ‘Soft Lad’, said person is a bit thick, but in a fairly benign way (if he was outright insane, he’d be Batcheh’). Eg: ‘That Yooerth ovver there only wants a tenner for his iPod – he must be right Suckeh’
  4. ‘COB’
    The local equivalent of a bap, roll, baguette, etc.
  5. ‘CHELP’
    One of the few terms used by DH Lawrence still in existence today. It’s a catch-all term for back-chat, insubordination, etc. Eg: ‘Andeh gen the landlord some right chelp abaaht fixin’ the cooker, so he’s kickin’ us aht’
  6. ‘SNAP’
    Food of any description, which is best consumed when you’re Clammin’ (i.e., hungry). If you’ve got some cobs in a Tupperware box, congratulations – you’re in possession of a Snap Tin.
  7. ‘CHATTY’
    (‘Chatteh’) – Not a description of your ability to talk at length: more a critique of your personal hygiene. It also means you’re extremely Crufteh. Eg – ‘I’ve got to clean up me ‘aase before me Mam visits – she’ll goo Batcheh when she sees how Chatteh it is’
  8. ‘DEZZIE’
    (‘Dezzeh’) – nothing to do with South Indian culture: it’s a description originated in Notts in the 1980s, after Des O’Connor, which casts aspersions on one’s sense of style and fashion. Eg – ‘Ugh! Aah lecturer was in Rock Citeh wearing a tank top over a Spice Girls t-shirt! He looked WELL Dezzeh!”
  9. ‘ONE-O’
    A phrase of indeterminate origin that describes maximum effort and (in some cases) excess. If you bust a gut running for the last bus, overindulge at the SU bar, partake in a 48-hour revision binge, or pursuing a member of the opposite sex, you’re on it like One-O. Eg – ‘This youth in aah year is a right Keeno – he’s been sucking up to lecturers like One-O’
  10. ‘CHIPPING’
    To go somewhere. You may be chipping off to Rock Citeh, or chipping back ‘om ter yer Mams for Christmas. Eg – ‘This club is well Dezzeh and I’m clammin’ for some snap. I’m gonna chip, yer get meh?’

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kiss This

Congratulations to Duncan Hamilton, who won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year today for Provided You Don't Kiss Me, his account of being Cloughie's inside man at the Post during his time at Forest (And congratulations to LeftLion, for predicting that he'd win said award ages ago). This makes it the second Notts-related book to win the Will Hill in recent years, the other being Gary Imlach's My Father And Other Working Class Football Heroes.

When we interviewed Hamilton a few issues ago for LeftLion, he was still in a state of shock about how much interest he was getting from the book, but I can't imagine why. It's absolutely mint, even though it's not the most comfortable read for any Forest supporter looking for a comfort blanket in these more troubled times for the Tricky Trees. If you haven't read it yet, you must.

Yer GET Meh?

Post of the Week

Ta very much to the youths at postoftheweek.com for their Biggery-Uppage of May Contain Notts. And welcome to anyone swinging by from that very mint blog, even if they don't live in Hood-Town. Don't worry. We're not going to shoot you.

New columnist in LeftLion

We're building up a solid team of shit-hot columnists on the Lion at the moment. Hot on the heels of Left Brian, Left 'Pie-on and A Canadian in New Basford comes our latest column; Bar Bar Black Sheep. It's by someone I know who has worked behind loads of bars across Notts, and has a shitload of stories to tell. I have the feeling it's gonna be a very decent read...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ten things you won't see in Notts during Euro 2008

So, thanks to England stinking like a teenage boy's bedroom last night, there will be no Euro 2008-related tomfoolery for us next year. I was doing the LeftLion pub quiz last night, so I missed it - but I was witness to the longest sentence the Fish Man has ever said (which went along the lines of "They were fucking shit", and then mumbled a bit). When it was all over, I felt the usual feelings of loss and regret that inevitably come when England fuck it up. But then a shower of Stone Island-wearing gibbons came in, and the one with the hairstyle that looked like he'd submerged his head in a chip pan and then dragged a rake down the front of it called me 'scum' for not being there to cheer 'The Boys' on. Then I started laughing.

Just as well we're out, really, as we would have been just as shit then as we are now. But before we all do Cross of St George-like slits on our wrists, let's all calm down, take a deep breath, realise what we won't have to put up with next year, and be grateful.

1. There won't be shops selling England tat months before it happens
Seriously, they ought to call it Man-Christmas or summat. Speaking as someone who texts everyone he knows on New Year every two years with a message that goes “Yessss! It’s World Cup/Euro year! Get IN!”, even I get pissed off with non-sport shops flogging mank from March onwards. I mean, does anyone really need an England air hockey game or an England executive pen set? And I'm not even going to talk about England fish shapes or England garlic bread. Fuck that.

2. You won't see England flags everywhere
In 2002, the AA estimated that the country was wasting millions of gallons of petrol due to the drag factor caused by people strapping plastic England flags to their cars. More importantly, the RAC estimated that hundreds of thousands of cars look absolutely shit. And do they really have to have ‘England’ written on them? Have you ever seen a stars and stripes with ‘America’ on it, or a swastika bearing the legend ‘The Nazis’?

3. You won't see chatty estates looking like a big concrete garden fete
As soon as the Christmas decorations come down (March), up go the fucking England flags. Funny how the people who get the shittiest end of the stick from their own country are the most patriotic, eh? The good news is that flying a cross of St.George at home doesn’t automatically make people think you’re a racist anymore. The bad news is we still haven’t got flagpoles in our back yards, so people invariably trap ‘em in the upstairs window, which is wrong. Does the US national anthem go “Oh say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet hang out of Daz’s back bedroom?” If you’ve got your flag in your bedroom window, you can’t open the bastard during the hottest time of the year. For as long as two months. That’s minging as fuck.

4. You won't feel like you're in the Trent End circa 1982 when you're in the pub
People who moan about all-seater stadiums love international tournaments, because they can go to Walkabout or somesuch and relive the ‘good old days’. You have to get there at least an hour early to get a good spec. Then you get wedged in against a load of pissed-up twats, struggle to listen to what Gary Lineker has to say and are forced to listen to crap music for half an hour. Like the old-school experience, you get a cack view of the action whilst being swept along in a sea of humanity, having the word ‘cunt’ bellowed in your ear by some nob-end who keeps making wanker signs at a television screen. At half-time, you have to piss into an overflowing sink. Someone keeps throwing up a half-full pint pot whenever England score, there’s a hot dog stand at the back that’s in danger of being overturned, and when you leave the place there’s three police vans and an ambulance outside.

5. You won't have to deal with bell-ends standing in the middle of town after England games, showing off
In Italy or Argentina, people bomb about on scooters after games waving flags the size of Viccy Centre about, and it looks dead good. In Nottingham, Tez from Carlton hangs round the Lions with his shirt off and a flag tied round his waist, bellowing and sticking his arms out like he was at a New Model Army gig, having a go at people who are on their way to another pub for ‘not being England’. There’s a reason for that, Tez; it’s because we’re not cunts.

6. You won't have to deal with the same bell-ends singing ‘No surrender to the IRA’ in pubs for no reason whatsoever
Can someone remind me what qualifying group the IRA were in this year, please? And isn’t it funny that the twats who sing this are always the ones staggering round town on St Patricks Day with those fucking stupid Guinness hats on?

7. You won't have to deal with pubs burying themselves in a blizzard of England mank
Down comes the ‘No Football Shirts’ sign in the window. Up go loads of photos of twatty models in face paint and signs that scream ‘Watch England Games Here!’ Oh, okay then, I was just going to shut my eyes and imagine what the game would be like until you said that.

8.You won't have to put up with spacky girls in market T-shirts who don’t know what the fucking fuck is going on
I’m glad to live in a world where football is understood and appreciated by intelligent women. I just can’t stand the ones who clog up the pub in Italy crop-tops (because it’s always Italy, isn’t it? It's never Ukraine or Andorra), or T-shirts with crappily suggestive footy puns like ‘Score with me', 'I have great ball control' or 'Jizz on my tits for England'. They’re just there to cop off, argue with each other over which one’s Wayne Rooney, get bored after ten minutes, and start comparing the tattoos on their arse. Back to Jumpin' Jaks with you, trollops.

9. You won't have to sit in a pub, watching England suck harder than everyone on Forest Road after 7pm
Remember how horrible it was last year. Remember how much wrangling and bartering you did to get out of work early enough. Remember how you would sit outside a pub at noon for half an hour, so you could get a good seat. Remember the pinch-faced, expletive-laden faces of your compatriots in the pub, as the Golden Generation displayed all the finesse and flair of a dribbling post-coital dog's cock. Remember it all, and be grateful you won't have to go through it again.

10.
You won't have to cope with the inevitable misery of England getting knocked out
Yes, men do have periods. They usually come once every two years, after England go out against a proper team. All the usual symptoms are there; listlessness, an inability to be rational, general mardyness at being lied to and betrayed and a complete trashing of the living room when your partner says “Why don’t you watch Wimbledon instead?”

(PS: If only the England team had displayed the passion and commitment that this local footballer did)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Somebody dig up the McWhirter Brothers immediately

The govermental arse-wiping process better known as ASBOs are usually not worth commenting on, but this takes the biscuit - if not the whole packet. This youth here has been barred from every pub in Notts bar five for the next five years, due to 16 incidents of unadulterated meatheadery in assorted hostelries. Every single pub in Notts minus five, as you may have already divulged, is a fucking enormous bar-out and worthy of a place in the Guinness Book of Records (the other thing that probably crossed your mind, of course, is that you must really have to hate someone if you feel the need to puncture their lung with a fork).

Obviously, in a more enlightened society, they'd display him at Goose Fair in a glass tank and charge people to watch him punch the fuck out of a crocodile or summat, but at least - according to the Post - we can all feel safer in our beds now. Which is nice. The five pubs that he is allowed to drink in must be very pleased with the publicity they're now getting. I know where my next pub crawl and informal business meeting is going to be, don't you?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

St Pancras


First the good news; for years and years and years and years and years, St Pancras was an absolute shithole. In fact, it's main purpose seemed to be to put off people from the East Midlands from ever visiting London. The first time I ever went there, when I was 14 and on a mission to buy some Jam shoes and a white Lonsdale sweatshirt like what Paul Weller had, I spent the first half an hour cowering in a toilet, reading the most horrific invitations to stand on Platform 3 at 7.30 with a copy of the Standard under me left armpit if I fancied getting me cock sucked, and discovering that the previous occupant had left his shoes, trousers, pants, and tie on the floor.

(I nicked the tie, though. It was nice)

Now, of course, all the papers are rubbing their genitals in undisguised glee over the £800m spunkage over said grot-laden station, making particular reference to the fact that Nottingham is now linked to Continental Europe (because we're always going out on the piss in Brussels and commuting to our call-centre jobs in Paris, aren't we?) However, what they fail to mention is for the 99.9999% of people who use St Pancras to get to That London, it's not all that, really.

Why? Let us count the ways;

The Journey
It's all very well being able to get to Paris in 2 hrs 15 mins, but before you can even do that, you're stuck on a train that - if you're really unlucky - stops at Leicester (our jumper-wearing crisp-devouring inbred cousins) Loughborough (which I won't have a word said against, because Chris Needham comes from there) and Luton (which demolished the only reason for going there - those massive flamingos in their local Arndale Centre - years ago). And if you're coming back, you run the risk of wasting valuable minutes of your life in the stations at Bedford (I went there once. There was a Carpet City) Market Harborough (why?), and then - just when you think you're a few minutes away from planting your feet on the Motherland, the bastards stop at Attenborough and Beeston. All you want from a service to London is to get into the fucking place as soon as possible, and back to a proper city even sooner.

The Facilities
There are only four things you need at a decent station; a pasty, a pub, a decent-sized paper shop , and somewhere to curl one off. The architects of the new St P, on the other hand, think that what we really need is a dead long champagne bar, and loads of poncy shops, which
means that you have to walk half a mile outside to get to the tube station. The nearby WH Smiths is tiny, and there isn't a requisite West Cornwall Pasty stall, so you still end up at Kings Cross station. Rubbish.

The Location
Local business-dickheads are twittering that, thanks to the new St P, Nottingham will finally achieve its dream of being part of the commuter belt. No, mate. The only way that was going to happen would be if they somehow managed to move the station five miles into the centre of London. You're still going to have to spend an hour or so with your nose under Mr Commuter-Twat's minging armpit to get wherever you need to go. You're still at the mercy of someone in Stratford bringing the entire Tube network down because he left a box of chicken on the seat. Kings Cross is still going to be a shithole.

The bogs are nice, though. They're just miles away.