Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Its Way Out

The British Phone Booth

Red Phone Booth

When in London, England recently it struck me that a British icon is teetering on the edge of oblivion. The red phone booth, an internationally recognized symbol of Britain, is on its way out. In Beijing some months before it was evident that coin operated phones are rare nowadays in an age of cell phones and phone cards. London just served to reinforce the observation. I attempted to make calls to friends and relatives near Hyde Park Corner and a row of phone booths hove into view. Not only did none of them accept coins but indeed only one actually had a phone! Elsewhere in London I came across the same scenario. The red phone booths have not been removed presumably because they are acknowledged to be part of the landscape foreigners expect. Nonetheless as a functioning service they are now essentially an anachronism. It is not as easy as it used to be to communicate at Speakers Corner, soapbox be damned!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Motherwell at Tynecastle

A late charge saw 'Well come back to force a replay after being two goals down.

Uncle Phil Dead Too

Auntie is gone but so is Uncle Phil, as the Motherwell fans refered to their newly deceased captain. Quite a shocker when Phil O'Donnell collapsed and died at Fir Park a couple of weeks ago. A thrilling Scottish Cup Tie at Tynecastle, Edinburgh saw Motherwell take the field for the first time since. I had to forgo this tussle since I was in London at Auntie's cremation. Too many deaths in the family for my liking.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Auntie is now dead and buried, or cremated to be exact. I am in Blighty for a couple of days in January so it is hardly a holiday but it is good to visit the family despite the circumstances. 3 year old cousin Max is in the Little Kickers on Saturday learning football skills. He plays in a church hall across the street from Mill Hill School in North London. My parents almost sent me there when I was a nipper although how they could have afforded it I know not. I would have been a different end product had I ever matriculated now wouldn't I? Probably would have known how to speak proper.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tom Kozar

This gentleman died recently. His obituary was of interest for the quote below but also because he was the son of Jean Ewen, a Canadian nurse who accompanied Norman Bethune for 10 months in 1938-1939 through the tumultuous times of war torn China (2nd Sino Japanese War). Ewen, despite reservations as to Bethune's character, died in Canada but has been buried alongside him in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China. Kozar was a labour movement advocate in British Columbia and in an overlap with Bethune himself, was instrumental in gaining recognition for foreign nationals who fought fascism in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.
Kozar's advocacies, as he said himself, "were like the hailstones of truth falling on the tin roof of life."